Any major purchase requires research, careful analysis, consideration, and thought. Home buying isn't any different! Determining the right location, the number of bedrooms or bathrooms needed, and outdoor space-- that's the easy part. However, there
are many other factors to think about in your home search. From your initial search to the moment you get the keys to your new home and beyond, we will be there, guiding you through the process. We help connect you with mortgage professionals to get the best rates.
As an area expert, I can help educate you on the different neighborhoods, schools, and other local community amenities that suit your lifestyle.
Home Buying Can Be Easy
As your buying agent, I can help streamline the process of buying a home and make it easier for you. I’ve aligned myself with the top professionals in the industry, and once an offer has been accepted, I will personally help facilitate the process to close on the home. By working closely with mortgage brokers, title and escrow companies, home inspectors, and home warranty companies I will provide you with the best service possible!
Sooooo....If you came to me as a prospective home buyer and asked to go out shopping for houses, there are two things I would ask you first:
What do you want in a house
What do you need in a house?
To many people, this subtlety is absolutely lost. If buyers tell me their home needs to be at the end of a cul-de-sac, so be it: they’re the clients. But let’s be honest: You need a roof over your head, running water, heat, and — depending on your latitude — maybe air conditioning. But you want four bedrooms, a white picket fence, and a pool.
If you’re planning on buying a home anytime soon, let me give you some helpful advice: Be prepared to distinguish needs from wants so that you can be confident about which homes you want to make offers on when the time comes. Here’s how:
First, we start with your dream home…
Envision your ideal home. Does it have a huge plot of land for your dogs to run around? Or is it a high-rise condo overlooking the city? Where is it and what makes it special to you? Now, think about your budget: How much house can you really afford?
If you’re ready to shop for homes, you should have already gotten a pre-approval from a lender. Not sure how to do this? Talk to me, this is a hugely important part of the process and determines so much of how your home search will go. So, with that price in mind, you may need to forgo some of the wants. Unsure what’s reasonable and what’s not in your price range? This is where your agent comes in. One of the main roles of a real estate agent is to know the area, know what homes are going for, and about how much added features — like an additional bedroom or a pool — should add to the price. Learn how much house you can afford based on your monthly income…then work backwards.
As you put together the picture of your dream home, you may discover that there are features you don’t want to sacrifice and for which you’re willing to pay more. Maybe it’s living within a thirty minute drive from work, an open kitchen or family room, or even something less common, like wheelchair access for a family member.
Sometimes, the wants are easy to distinguish from needs because you’ll find yourself saying “a pool might be nice.” But another way to look at it is: wants are things that you can add or change on your own.
For example, maybe you’re a chargers fan and want a home with yellow walls and blue carpet. Obviously, with a little effort, it’s easy to change these things after you move. If you watch cable house-hunting shows, it can be maddening to see couples turn down home after home because the flooring isn’t right or it doesn’t have a patio.
Some people don’t even want to consider getting their hands dirty and working on their home themselves, but trust me, finding a great home at a good price is infinitely easier when you’re flexible on wants.
Focus on “value items”....
In real estate, a value item is a feature that adds value to the property to future buyers.
When evaluating your needs and wants, it’s a good idea to consider value items with more weight than things that are personal preference but add little value.
Items that add value include dual-pane windows, granite countertops, hardwood floors, land, nice landscaping (but don’t forget you’ll have to maintain it) and even intangibles like a beautiful view and being in a top-rated school district.
A great real estate agent will be able to help you determine the difference between a valuable feature and personal touch.
Of course, some big features don’t always add value. For example: Does a pool add value? It depends. an agen on the National Association of Realtors website explains: “Those buyers who want a house with a pool are usually not willing to pay much for it and in some areas of the country having a pool may even be perceived as a negative to many prospective buyers. Some folks just don’t like them or have young children and are afraid of the safety risks.”
So a pool is kind of a toss-up depending on where you live.
Anything too personal may lack value in terms of resale … or even subtract it. Examples I’ve seen include a giant meditation platform in the backyard, chicken-coops, or bright yellow walls. You may fall in love with the giant mural that the current homeowners painted in their child’s room. After all, your son loves He-Man™ too! Just keep in mind that when you go to sell, someone will want to repaint over it, and they’ll count the cost of repainting when they consider what to pay for the home. Things that add value are generally thought of as beautiful, safe or convenient by the majority of people. Things with no value are special to you for a reason that other people might not understand or want.
As you prepare to buy a home, remember that no home is perfect. Whether finding a place to rent or buy, you will always end up making compromises. But with a good understanding of what’s most important to you, what you can live without and what will add value to the home, finding the right one will be easier.
I tell my clients to create a home buying checklist of the features they want and need so I can help them determine what’s feasible within their budget. You can use a similar checklist before you go out looking at houses. In fact, print it, fill it out and bring it to your real estate agent on the first appointment. We have one available for you right here on the website!
*this fabulous information, and more, can be accessed on www.moneyunder30.com!