Posted by Pamela Crawford on 2/25/2018

When you move into a home that you worked so hard to buy, itís an exciting and overwhelming time. The biggest problem with a new place is that you donít know your surroundings very well. Even if you have just moved down the street, thereís a lot of new things to be discovered from new neighbors to new places to explore. 

One thing that many new homeowners overlook is the way in which their new home functions. Do you know where the circuit breakers are? What about that switch in the corner of the living room that doesnít seem to do anything? While the seller's disclosure and your home inspector will give you a wealth of information, you can gain a lot of knowledge just by asking questions. 

Sellers may not be eager to answer too many questions at first for fear that their answers could jeopardize the sale of their home. You can safely ask a lot of questions at the final walk-through or at closing since the seller will know that theyíre secure in the transaction.         

Whatís Strange About This House?

While you wouldnít word a question to a seller in this exact way, you do want to know if thereís anything unique or anything that you should anticipate about the home. Remember that you should be subtle, yet curious in your question asking. 

What Type Of Repairs Have Been Made?

While you expect that most repairs will be on the disclosure statement, anything that has been done in the past is noteworthy as well. Itís helpful to know whatís been done in the house in the past so you have an idea of what to keep an eye out for.

Where Are The Important Utility Boxes In The Home?

Not all home inspectors are created equal. Your inspector may not be great at educating you as to where things are in the home like the circuit box, the water switches, the pump, or the controls for the furnace. The seller can often show you the location of these items in the house. This will prevent you from a lot of confusion starting at the time you move into the home. 

Have You Enjoyed Living In This Neighborhood?

You can discover a lot about a neighborhood if you just start a conversation about the sellerís own experiences. You can learn a lot through this simple question. Are there any crazy dogs in the neighborhood? Where are the best places to eat in the area? While you may not ask these questions directly, you can gain some powerful information just by being curious and conversational.

Gaining a good rapport with your seller can get you places. Youíll know a bit more about the home and the seller will even feel more friendly towards you. The seller could even leave some cool stuff behind that they donít need like a microwave, a piece of furniture, or a patio set. All you need to do is be friendly and curious and youíll be off to a great start in your new home.

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Posted by Pamela Crawford on 1/7/2018

Buying a vacation home is something that many dream of, but for some itís not just a dream. And itís certainly not something that is only for the rich and the famous. Maybe you have been saving for one your whole life, got a large bonus at work that you want to use as a down payment, or are just going out on a limb; there are several things to consider before taking the plunge and buying a vacation home. Cost: First and foremost, what kind of financial position are you in? Are you able to put down 20% and if not will you be able to afford the potential higher interest rate that goes along with less money done? If you are planning to buy farther away, can you afford the airfare cost for as often as youíd like to spend there? Can you afford the inevitable maintenance that will be necessary? You certainly do not have to be a millionaire to purchase a vacation home, but itís important to know what you can afford and cannot afford. Location: Do you want to buy a vacation home that is within a couple of hours from your home? Or would you rather buy one a plane ride away that may be in a location thatís warm year round? Or do you want to buy a home in another country? This is certainly something that should be determined before beginning your search. Condo vs. Single-Family: Do you want the privacy of a single-family home or do you want the amenities that come along with living in a condo? There is a level of privacy that comes with owning a single-family home versus a condo, as well as there are condo fees to consider. This decision may not matter much to you, but itís important that everyone involved agrees on the type of home they would like to buy. Rent It: Do you plan on renting out your vacation home when you are not there? Are you looking at homes in locations where renting is possible? Can you afford the home if you do not rent it out? If you canít afford the home without renting, how often do you need to rent to be able to afford it? Do you want the hassle of renting it? Itís important to consider this possibility even before you begin your house hunt. Buying a vacation home is extremely exciting, but itís a large investment. It should be well thought out and planned out. But, once you have those details worked outó go out and buy the vacation home of your dreams!

Posted by Pamela Crawford on 12/24/2017

Are you an experienced homebuyer? If so, you may be better equipped than others to enjoy a quick, worry-free homebuying experience.

Ultimately, a veteran homebuyer can learn a lot from his or her past experiences, including:

1. How to Avoid Paying Too Much for a House

The housing market offers many opportunities for veteran and first-time homebuyers alike. However, a first-time homebuyer may struggle to pounce at an opportunity to acquire a top-notch house at a budget-friendly price. On the other hand, an experienced homebuyer likely knows what it takes to acquire a house at a price that matches or surpasses his or her expectations.

As an experienced homebuyer, it generally helps to think about how you narrowed your price range when you most recently searched for a home. This experience may guide you as you look to establish a price range for an upcoming house search.

Furthermore, a veteran homebuyer may know exactly what types of housing market data to examine before entering the real estate market. By evaluating the prices of recently sold houses and available residences in cities and towns where you'd like to live, you can use assorted real estate market data to accelerate your home search.

2. How to Get Home Financing

If you struggled to get a mortgage for your first home, there is no need to deal with home financing problems once again. Instead, a veteran homebuyer can allocate the necessary time and resources to get pre-approved for a mortgage and enter the housing market with a budget in hand.

To receive pre-approval for a mortgage, it usually is a good idea to meet with various banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can educate you about myriad mortgage options and help you select the ideal mortgage based on your homebuying needs.

3. How to Differentiate a Buyer's Market from a Seller's Market

Regardless of whether you previously bought a house in a buyer's or seller's market, you can use your past homebuying experience to help you assess the current state of the housing sector. Then, you can map out your homebuying journey accordingly.

If you notice houses are selling quickly at prices above their initial asking figures, you may be preparing to enter a seller's market. In this scenario, you may need to act quickly to acquire a great house.

Comparatively, if you find that homes are lingering on the housing market for many weeks or months, a buyer's market may be in place. In a buyer's market, you may be able to purchase a stellar house at a discounted price due to the sheer volume of houses that are available.

Before you launch a home search, it is important to note that even a veteran homebuyer may need help at times. If you hire a real estate agent, you can receive expert support throughout the homebuying journey. In fact, this housing market professional will make it easy for you to discover a superb house in no time at all.

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Posted by Pamela Crawford on 12/3/2017

Although a home seller has already accepted your home offer, you'll want to employ a diligent home inspector to examine a residence before you finalize a purchase agreement. By doing so, you can identify any potential home problems that you might have missed during an initial house showing. Plus, a home inspection will allow you to find out if a home requires extensive repairs or maintenance and if you'll need to modify or rescind your original offer.

Hiring the right home inspector can make a world of difference for homebuyers. However, finding the ideal home inspector sometimes can be difficult, particularly for homebuyers who want to speed through the homebuying process.

So what does it take to employ the right home inspector? Here are three tips to help you do just that:

1. Review a Home Inspector's Qualifications

Learning about a home inspector's experience and skills is paramount. And if you devote the necessary time and resources to understand a home inspector's qualifications, you'll be able to find out if this individual is the right person to assess a residence.

Typically, you should try to find a home inspector who boasts construction and building maintenance expertise. Depending on where your home is located or your residence's condition, you also may need to find a home inspector who understands how to deal with asbestos, lead-based paint and other potentially hazardous conditions.

Be sure to conduct an in-depth evaluation of several home inspectors before you make your final decision. This will enable you to hire a top-notch home inspector who can help you identify and resolve any home issues before you conclude your home purchase.

2. Evaluate Sample Reports from a Home Inspector

Ask a home inspector to provide samples of past home inspection reports Ė you'll be glad you did! By getting copies of past home inspection assessments, you can better understand how an individual approaches a home inspection.

For example, does a home inspector provide clear information in his or her reports? And does the inspector offer notes that highlight home problems? Take a close look at a home inspector's past reports, and you can find out whether this individual takes a basic or comprehensive approach to his or her work.

3. Get Home Inspector Insights from Your Real Estate Agent

Your real estate agent may prove to be your best resource throughout the homebuying process. As such, your real estate agent can put you in touch with home inspectors who have your best interests in mind and will do everything possible to conduct a thorough inspection of a property.

In many instances, your real estate agent may be able to offer multiple home inspector recommendations. This professional also can provide details about what to expect during a home inspection and how to handle any home problems that you might encounter as part of a home assessment.

A home inspection may seem like a tall task, but with a great home inspector at your disposal, you can improve your chances of obtaining the ideal residence.

Posted by Pamela Crawford on 10/29/2017

Purchasing a home can be stressful, and the homebuying process might even cause your blood pressure to rise if you're not careful. Fortunately, there are many quick, easy ways to minimize stress and stay calm during the homebuying process, including: 1. Don't Be Afraid to Take a Step Back and Relax. The real estate market remains an ongoing battle between homebuyers. Plus, after you find a house you like, you may encounter problems with a home seller as you try to finalize a purchase agreement. But remember, as you move along the homebuyer journey, don't be afraid to take a step back and relax. Buying a home represents a life-changing event, one that should not be taken lightly. However, homebuyers who try to rush through the homebuying process may watch their stress levels rise quickly Ė the last thing any homebuyer wants to encounter. If you feel stressed at any point during the homebuying process, be sure to take a deep breath and focus on the big picture. By doing so, you'll be able to improve your chances of remaining cool under pressure and simplify your journey from homebuyer to homeowner. 2. Stay Organized. As a homebuyer, you may be required to make phone calls and emails as you move along the homebuying journey. And in some cases, problems could arise if you don't document your conversations properly. But a homebuyer who devotes the necessary time and resources to stay organized should have no trouble tracking phone calls and emails that are sent to a home inspector, lender or other professionals who may be involved in the homebuying process. Jotting down notes on phone calls usually is a great idea for homebuyers, as this allows you to keep track of your conversations. And if you send emails, you already have a surefire way to monitor any messages you send or receive, too. 3. Hire a Courteous, Diligent Real Estate Agent. Let's face it Ė it often is easy to become emotional during the homebuying process. On the other hand, if you have a courteous, diligent real estate agent at your side, you'll be better equipped to overcome any hurdles that you may encounter during this process. Your real estate agent will offer information about upcoming open houses and set up home showings, enabling you to check out many homes that fit your needs. Also, this professional ultimately will serve as a liaison between you and a home seller and can help you stay calm, cool and collected during negotiations. Furthermore, your real estate agent will keep you up to date as you progress through the homebuying journey. As a result, this professional is exceedingly important and can help streamline the process of buying a home. The homebuying process can become time-consuming and complicated, and as such, cause stress. Conversely, if you use the aforementioned tips, you should be able to simplify the process of finding a home that suits your perfectly and buy this residence without delay.

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