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Blog: BUYING HOUSE

Deadly Homebuying Pitfalls

Buying a home is a huge deal for everyone. Unfortunately, there are many big mistakes and pitfalls that buyers often make. These mistakes complicate the home buying process and can cost you tons of money and time correcting the mistakes.

Many buyers get caught up in the excitement of purchasing a home and let their emotions make decisions, only to find out they missed an important step. This post will explore some of the biggest pitfalls buyers make when looking to purchase a home.

Deadly home buying pitfalls:

1 – Not Getting Proper and Professional Help

It’s important to remember that while you may be able to learn a lot about purchasing a home on the internet, it is impossible to learn everything. Real estate is a constantly evolving market and something you read just last year could now be useless.

There are many aspects of purchasing a house that buyers don’t even know exist. From the buyers and sellers agent, to appraisers,to inspectors, to attorneys and mortgage bankers. Each one of those jobs have professionals that perform those tasks 8 hours a day, every day of the year, and have perfected the profession. Trying to save a few hundred dollars by skipping out on an inspection or attorneys is foolish and almost always returns to haunt you.

2 – Not Getting Pre-Qualified Before Looking at Homes

Most people enjoy looking at new homes, but do not enjoy talking about the money aspect. Obtaining a proper pre-approval will save you tons of stress later in the process.

Getting a proper pre-approval allows you to know exactly how much money you are capable of spending on a house and helps you narrow down the market to what you can afford. Additionally, some buyers are able to use their pre-approval as a negotiating tool to help get the price down.

3 – Thinking Too Short Term And Ignoring The Long Term

When looking to purchase a home people tend to think about the next 4-5 years of their life, instead of the next 8-10, which is where they should be thinking. Yes, 5 years is a long time and a lot can change from job and marital status to children, but selling your home does have a cost. If the market does not appreciate quick enough you can stand to not get your moneys worth from the original purchase.

Obviously there are many circumstances that no body is able to predict, but spending time thinking through just some of the basic scenarios can save you a lot of trouble in the long run.

4 – Not Understanding The Full Costs Involved

There are many costs involved with purchasing a home that many buyers don’t realize. It is not just pay the listing price and it is yours. There is inspection costs, moving costs, closing costs, escrows, and more. Professionals can explain and walk you through all these extra costs, ensuring there are no surprises at the very end.

5 – Not Understanding Fair Market Value

One of the biggest issues when buying a house is buyers not understanding the market price of a home. People get caught up with what their parents think it should cost, or what you can afford in total, or with personal opinions about the price of a home which often is far different than the market value. There is a very organized process to determine the market price of a home that involves reviewing similar comparable homes that sold within the nearby vicinity.

It is important to know what the market value is because a house can be listed over, under, or exactly at market price. Being able to recognize the difference between the listing price and the market price can save you lots of stress and money and help you formulate a concrete offer.

What Dog Owners Should Know When Buying or Selling a Home

(Guest Blog By Medina James at DogEtiquette)

 

Untitled
Image via Pixabay

 

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, if you’re a dog owner, there are some special preparations and precautions you must take. It may be one of the last things on your mind during this busy and stressful time, but real estate dog etiquette is extremely important. Here are some tips for both buyers and sellers who have to deal with canine friends throughout the process.

For sellers – your house smells more like dog than you think

When we live with certain smells for years, we get used to them. We all know that everyone’s house has a particular scent – and if you’re trying to sell your house you don’t want that scent to be eau de pooch. The natural way to get dog odor out of carpets and furniture involves baking soda and vinegar, but there are also plenty of sprays, shampoos, and other products you can purchase to help. Plug-in air fresheners work for the final touch. Also remember to pick up any dog poop in your yard. Here is a good article about removing pet odors from a house.

For sellers – make arrangements to have your dogs out of the house

This goes for scheduled showings and for open houses. You’ll want to make arrangements to have your dogs out of the house – and not just out of the house and in the backyard. You’ll want your dogs to be completely gone. Either board them for a day or ask a friend or neighbor to watch them for a few hours.

For buyers – ask ahead for dog visits

Some pet owners want to take their dog to a potential new home to see how they interact with it. Older dogs with mobility issues may have trouble with certain design elements of a home, and you may want to see if they can handle stairs, decks, porches, etc. before committing to purchase. If you want to do this, you need to ask. It’s rude to bring a dog into someone’s home without first clearing it. People have allergies, fears, and even other pets you must consider.

For both – think about moving day

Moving day is stressful for your pets, so it may be best to board them (here are some tips on that) or have them stay with a friend. If you can’t arrange this, it’s smart to put them in a “safe room” in your house and instruct the movers to move that room last. This is simply safer for the movers and for your dog.

For both – it’s best to leave your dog out of the process (no matter how cute)

You love your dog. Strangers may also love your dog. Most everyone you meet may love your dog. But somewhere there is someone who just doesn’t like dogs. Maybe they’re afraid or maybe they’re allergic. Whatever the case may be, some people just aren’t dog people. So why take the risk that a potential buyer/seller is in this small minority? Even if your dog is incredibly well-behaved and cute, it’s best to leave them out of the process altogether. Ask a friend to watch your dog, or hire a dog walker if the dog just needs to be out of the home briefly for a single showing.

Even dog lovers don’t really want to deal with other people’s animals during the home buying process. It’s not only considerate of others to leave dogs out of the process, but it’s better for your dogs too. Many dogs are stressed out by tons of strangers and new environments, so it’s best to protect them from the chaos that is buying or selling a home.

What Dog Owners Should Know When Buying or Selling a Home

(Guest Blog By Medina James at DogEtiquette)

 

Untitled
Image via Pixabay

 

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, if you’re a dog owner, there are some special preparations and precautions you must take. It may be one of the last things on your mind during this busy and stressful time, but real estate dog etiquette is extremely important. Here are some tips for both buyers and sellers who have to deal with canine friends throughout the process.

For sellers – your house smells more like dog than you think

When we live with certain smells for years, we get used to them. We all know that everyone’s house has a particular scent – and if you’re trying to sell your house you don’t want that scent to be eau de pooch. The natural way to get dog odor out of carpets and furniture involves baking soda and vinegar, but there are also plenty of sprays, shampoos, and other products you can purchase to help. Plug-in air fresheners work for the final touch. Also remember to pick up any dog poop in your yard. Here is a good article about removing pet odors from a house.

For sellers – make arrangements to have your dogs out of the house

This goes for scheduled showings and for open houses. You’ll want to make arrangements to have your dogs out of the house – and not just out of the house and in the backyard. You’ll want your dogs to be completely gone. Either board them for a day or ask a friend or neighbor to watch them for a few hours.

For buyers – ask ahead for dog visits

Some pet owners want to take their dog to a potential new home to see how they interact with it. Older dogs with mobility issues may have trouble with certain design elements of a home, and you may want to see if they can handle stairs, decks, porches, etc. before committing to purchase. If you want to do this, you need to ask. It’s rude to bring a dog into someone’s home without first clearing it. People have allergies, fears, and even other pets you must consider.

For both – think about moving day

Moving day is stressful for your pets, so it may be best to board them (here are some tips on that) or have them stay with a friend. If you can’t arrange this, it’s smart to put them in a “safe room” in your house and instruct the movers to move that room last. This is simply safer for the movers and for your dog.

For both – it’s best to leave your dog out of the process (no matter how cute)

You love your dog. Strangers may also love your dog. Most everyone you meet may love your dog. But somewhere there is someone who just doesn’t like dogs. Maybe they’re afraid or maybe they’re allergic. Whatever the case may be, some people just aren’t dog people. So why take the risk that a potential buyer/seller is in this small minority? Even if your dog is incredibly well-behaved and cute, it’s best to leave them out of the process altogether. Ask a friend to watch your dog, or hire a dog walker if the dog just needs to be out of the home briefly for a single showing.

Even dog lovers don’t really want to deal with other people’s animals during the home buying process. It’s not only considerate of others to leave dogs out of the process, but it’s better for your dogs too. Many dogs are stressed out by tons of strangers and new environments, so it’s best to protect them from the chaos that is buying or selling a home.

6 Reasons Why You Still Need A Realtor

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Many industries have been disrupted and even sometimes replaced by the rise of new and innovative technology. Uber has all, but replaced taxis. AirBnB is used just as often as hotels. Expedia and other similar sites made travel agents a thing of the past. And the list goes on.

Some people have predicted that it would only be a matter of time before this paradigm shift would make its way into the world of Real Estate. On the surface, it seems that the internet would have caused Realtors to go the way of the travel agent. But when we dig deeper, we see that the real estate agent is a much more immovable force. Although the role of the Realtor has certainly shifted in the face of many challengers, here are a few reasons why you should still use a Realtor to buy or sell your home.

1. Your Realtor Works For You

Simply put, your real estate agent works for you as a full-time liaison to help you accomplish your goals. If you're selling a home, they can respond to any call or inquiry regarding your home instantly. People will move on very quickly if they are having difficulty seeing a home, particularly in markets where many similar homes are for sale. Your Realtor's job is to be ready and available to field these calls. If you're buying a home, your Realtor is busy reviewing new listings that fit your search criteria and networking with other agents to find properties that haven't hit the market yet.

2. Your Realtor Negotiates on Your Behalf

If you're selling your home, although you are paying commission, using a Realtor usually nets you more money in the end. They are trained, expert negotiators and work hard to make sure your interests are well represented in the deal. Their professionalism and code of ethics allows them to present your needs in a way that makes sense to the buyer and the buyer's agent. Negotiating can be a long process and it pays off to have a professional on your side.

The same holds true if you're a buyer, but with one, awesome caveat: using a Realtor doesn't cost you anything!

3. Your Realtor Helps You Navigate the Contracts

Needless to say, contracts can be confusing to those who don't deal with them on a regular basis. It can be hard to navigate the legalese. Your Realtor not only knows what paperwork needs to be completed, they also know how to read the contracts and ensure that you're not signing off on something you could regret. Paying for this piece of mind is often worth the cost.

4. Your Realtor Has a Fiduciary Responsibility to You

Realtors have fiduciary responsibility, meaning that they are bound by law to act in their client's (your) best interest. For most people, your home is your largest financial transaction. Great care should be taken with the process of buying or selling a home and your Realtor is bound by law to serve as your trusted advisor.

5. Your Realtor Saves You Money

Many people's main motivation for forgoing an agent and trying to do it themselves is to save money by not paying an agent's commission. If you're a buyer, your agent's commission is paid by the seller. If you're a seller, using a Realtor nets you more money in the end by helping you negotiate with the buyer. On both sides, your Realtor ensures the contract you sign most likely won't turn into a headache down the road. By doing it yourself, you may end up going to court with the other party later on, an expense and headache that could have been avoided by using a trained professional in the first place.

6. Your Realtor is Your Consultant

With so much information about the real estate market online, your Realtor is extremely valuable to you in other ways. They have the pulse of the neighborhood. They know what's happening with schools and businesses. They have great recommendations for local restaurants. As Realtors, they also have access to quality contractor referrals right at their fingertips. Need a painter? No problem. Looking for a pool guy to take care of your new saltwater spa? Consider it done. Whatever your need, your Realtor can point you in the right direction. They're your own personal Yelp!

Overall, although some people COULD sell or buy their own home, your home usually represents your largest financial transaction and is rarely worth the time and effort to handle it yourself.

How to Know If You’re Ready to Buy Your First Home

Buying your first home is a big endeavor; it’s an exciting and fun time. If buying is something you’re thinking about, think about these next few considerations to determine if you are ready!

Consider your Finances

A home is an important investment. Annual income should be the first consideration in buying a house. Most lenders will recommend a budget between three to five times your annual income if you plan on putting down a 20% down payment. There are also a few other financial factors to consider. Existing loans or debts, as well as poor credit scores, can make the buying process more difficult. If your financial state is stable and can handle the event of purchasing home, you are ready to buy.

 

Consider the Cost

Many consider the price of the monthly mortgage when considering buying a home, but many forget about the other costs involved. Property taxes, insurance, HOA Fees, and utilities will all add to the cost of owning a home. You will also need to make sure you have money leftover after all of that as an “emergency fund” to pay the repair man in case your roof starts leaking, your pipes burst, or your refrigerator breaks down. If you are able to manage those costs as well as the monthly mortgage, you are ready to buy.

 

Consider your Lifestyle

Most experts agree that buying a home makes financial sense if you know you’re going to stay for a minimum of 5 years. A lot of different factors can influence where you call home. Do you have a secure job? Does your company transfer often? Do you have an expanding family? If your employment situation feels secure and you are content with the size and location of the home you would be purchasing, you are ready to buy.

 

The process of buying your first home is more time-consuming than it may seem, but the end result is worth all of the efforts put in!

 

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