Friday, November 21, 2014

My Own Home Buying Experience: Part 4

So I am at the end of my transaction in buying my own home and here is what I will take with me from my experience to help guide my own clients during their process:

1. Keep an open mind when looking for a home. Make a list of a few "Must Haves" and be flexible with the rest. You may miss out on a great home if you don't open your options.

2. The amount of paper work is mind boggling. As a buyer, when your lender is calling and needing something out of the blue at the last minute or escrow is asking the same thing, it can be very stressful and I can see how a buyer may just lump the lender, escrow officer and realtor into one and get frustrated at everyone. I have always tried to prepare my buyers of what is to come and potential outcomes but no one can predict all the odd scenarios that can arise when buying a home so I will continue to work hard at communicating with my clients about being as proactive as we can possibly be.

3. I've said it and written about it but it is so important that when buying a home, that you over-inflate the amount of cash out-of-pocket that it will take. Between all the inspections, appraisal, lender fees, escrow fees, moving fees and other things here and there, you will need much more than just your down payment to make it through the home buying process. So when looking over your numbers, give yourself lots of cushion room for anything you may not be thinking about when buying.

4. And last but not least, work with a great agent that is open to answering all your questions and someone that you feel comfortable talking with about any and all concerns. If you don't fully trust your agent, you aren't going to get the most from them and you really need to be as open with them as possible. So find someone you feel very comfortable with and are able to ask questions, get answers and trust that they are doing the best they can to help you in the process. I try to start every relationship with my clients by letting them know that I am aware how confusing the process may be and that no question is "dumb" or unimportant and I am happy to go over everything with them till they completely understand what is going on.

Friday, November 14, 2014

I Help Buy and Sell Homes, Not Just Houses

I just heard someone that is having an emotional time selling their home, and I'm reminded of selling my first home.  We spent countless hours making a wine cellar area at the bottom of the staircase near the garage. We lived there when we got married and the house was filled with wedding dresses and photos.  We adopted our dog and that was her first home as well.  My husband and I brought our daughter home from the hospital there. We spent days painting and decorating her nursery which we thought was the most beautiful room ever.  And we sold the home to a young bachelor who would probably only appreciate the wine cellar. And the nursery will be painted over for a guest room or office, most likely.  And that closet downstairs will only hold coats for him and not the memory of our dog hiding in there the first day we brought her home.  But we were a growing family and needed to sell.  We moved into a rental since we wanted the next house we bought to be a long term home and we didn't know what our needs were at the time. I think moving into a rental made the sale a bit harder since I knew I wouldn't be able to personalize this new house the way I wanted.  But I reminded myself that the nursery we painted would someday be painted anyway with our daughter growing up and that my kids now have a nice yard they play around in now and we have great times here as well...cause this is where we live now and we are together.  And while we were out looking for a new home recently, my husband had a hard time looking at other people's houses and having it feel like home when it was obviously decorated with other people's things and family photos.  And I just had to remind him that paint and photos are just what hang on the walls and that a house is a home after you move in and start to make memories.  And as a realtor, I really try to let my clients know that I understand the ties that bind them to their home...cause it's never just a house.  And while my job is to get inspections done, and fill out mounts of paper work and help them understand the process, it's also my job to make it more than just transaction and also make it a move forward in their lives. So if you are out looking to buy a home, or thinking of selling yours, I am always here. 


Friday, November 7, 2014

Opened Escrow!

I know that some people shy away from buying or selling a home during the holidays but I think this is a great time to make a move.  Less competition around this time can make for a better search or sale on both sides.  I just opened escrow on this beautiful home that was only on the market for 2 days.  If you or anyone you know is wanting to make a move this holiday season, please consider me in your real estate needs.  I am always here for you.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Buying An Updated Home VS One That Could Use Some Remodeling

I'm in the middle of buying a home myself and it's always on my clients checklist as to whether to buy a home that is already updated, or do the work someday themselves.  And here's what I think, sometimes you can look at a home that has recently been remodeled and it seems appealing to just move in and do no work.  But sometimes these homes are, what I like to call "Lipstick on a pig".  Trust me when I say that granite counter tops and new floors does not improve a home that was not previously taken care of and well maintained.  So new counter tops and floors are going to mean nothing to an owner if they have to put holes into walls to fix bad wiring or rip up the shower since the plumbing is old and there is moisture in the wood underneath.  The thing is, any home can have an array of issues.  A home has many different parts that need to be taken care of and maintained throughout the years and even sometimes when they are, they can still go bad and you may not know till it's too late.  But I've seen many remodeled homes that look as if they've just tried to distract a buyer from really looking at the home and its condition...and it works. These can wind up being a real big money pit.  But if you have a home that is older and hasn't been remodeled, I personally feel that you may get a better idea of how the home itself was taken care of by looking at how the floors, counter tops and how other parts were maintained.  There is nothing that makes me more confident about a home purchase than looking at the condition of the carpet, and windows and bathtubs when they have been around for many years and seeing that they are still in great condition.  So, that is my thought for the week....and if you are looking to buy or sell a home, please consider me with your real estate needs.  I am always here for you.