|Give Your Story a Happy Ending|
The best part of my job is hearing people’s stories. I’ve
been lucky enough to work with hundreds of clients over the years,
and each one brings a unique story when seeking a home
One of my clients, for example, called me last
month because he is looking to buy a second home, on Cape Cod.
Before he started visiting homes with his realtor, he called me – I
love when clients do this, because the earlier they bring me into
the process, the greater the value I can provide.
told me he wanted to buy in the $350,000 range. I encouraged him to
look at homes in the $400,000 range as well. When he replied that
the price was out of his comfort level, I assured him that I was not
advising him to offer $400,000 but rather just to look at these
homes. The reason? Like buyers, every seller has a story.
The Seller’s Side
A vacant home on the market
for $400,000, for example, may sell easily for $350,000 since
clearly owners have moved on and probably are more eager to sell. If
a family is still living in a home that is on the market for
$400,000 and they have yet to find a new home to buy, it may be more
challenging to get them to consider a $350,000 offer.
every home on the market today – and there are a lot! – there is an
owner with a unique reason for selling. Sometimes it can be
difficult to learn this reason. The best realtors will never divulge
why their client is selling their home, because they believe it may
hurt their negotiating power. If a buyer discovers that a seller has
to sell in order to buy the new home they want, for instance, he has
a little more leverage when making an offer.
By taking the
leap of faith to look at homes a bit higher than your comfort level,
you may be able to learn about the seller’s story and make an offer
that ultimately feels comfortable.
You Really Know Your Comfort Level?|
Every buyer needs to decide what price range feels right when
looking for a home. If you make a mistake and buy too high, your
quality of life could suffer greatly. If you make a mistake and buy
too low, you may end up with a home that doesn’t work for your
So how do you learn that number? Here are some
questions to consider.
All of these
questions will help you figure out your price comfort level when
shopping for a home. Then when you start looking, you can look a
- Am I looking for my dream home, the home where I plan to spend
at least 20 years?
- Am I a do-it-yourselfer who enjoys home improvement projects
or will I need to outsource and pay more for these requirements?
- What are your income expectations over the coming years? Is
your income expected to rise, stay level or decrease? Of course,
you can’t always predict these things.
- How much can you afford to spend on a monthly payment,
including principal and interest, taxes and insurance (make sure
to leave a little “wiggle” room in this figure as property taxes
and insurance rates can fluctuate)?
- How much will you need for utilities and upkeep (the more
expensive the house, the higher these costs)?
- What kind of lifestyle do you want to live? Do you want to
have money leftover after the home bills are covered so you can
travel, dine out and shop without worry? Or are you willing to
hunker down and be a little "house poor?"
|February's Home Value Improver|
Boost Your Home’s Energy Efficiency
is a hot topic these days, pun intended! So how can you make your
home more energy efficient? You’ll be saving the environment and
saving money at the same time!
Here are 7 tips:
- Keep your home’s water heater set at 120° F.
- Use energy-saving settings on your refrigerator, dishwasher
and other appliances.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent
bulbs (CFLs), which use 25% of the electricity.
- Consider replacing old appliances with energy-efficient models
before they die.
- Clean or replace all filters in your furnace, air conditioner
and heat pump.
- Choose low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators.
- Inspect your attic insulation to make sure it’s insulated
Did you know that February is not just the month to honor U.S.
presidents and celebrate romance? It's also National Time Managment
Month. Best regards,
When you're buying or refinancing a home, the
requirements, paperwork and schlepping around can become a full-time
job easily. Getting organized and focused is key to your success,
and your peace of mind.
By devoting a certain amount of time
per day or per week to the project, you'll avoid the overwhelming
feeling that so often occurs with home buying and refinancing. Also,
it helps to keep all your paperwork, contact information and
deadlines in one place - and carry it with you so you can answer
questions or get answers wherever you are!
Thanks, as always,
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