Sadie Guichard's Blog
Searching for a new house that will meet your needs without breaking your budget can sometimes feel overwhelming! There are dozens of factors to consider and countless details to handle at any point in time.
Fortunately, there are strategies for getting it all done, maintaining your sanity, and being satisfied with the final outcome.
If you feel like you're getting off track (or can't even find the train station), here are a few tips for getting organized:
Create a priority list. If you haven't clarified and discussed with your spouse what you want and what's important to both of you, then there's a good chance you won't get it. You do not have to go it alone, though! A top-notch real estate agent can help you create a working list of priorities and preferences that you can use as a measuring stick when evaluating homes for sale. Better still, once you develop this list with your agent, he or she will have the information they need to efficiently locate properties that conform to your wish list and requirements. Your priority list will be based on a lot of criteria, including your desired lifestyle, the size of your family, and proximity to good schools, recreation, and shopping centers. If may also be important to you to live within a short drive to work, childcare facilities, or houses of worship. One of the best ways to organize your wants and needs is to get a copy of a homebuyers' "wish list" from your Realtor or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Key factors to consider when developing your list may include items like architectural style, the amount of remodeling you're prepared to do, and the size of the yard. Privacy, space between neighboring houses, and distance from busy highways are also important factors to weigh.
Choose the right real estate agent: The ideal way to find a real estate agent you'll be pleased with is to get recommendations from family, friends, and trusted business associates. If someone you know well has had a favorable experience with a specific real estate agent, chances are good that your experience would be similar. Since most real estate agents value referrals, a smart agent will strive to make a positive impression on both you and the person who referred you. It's often advisable to talk with more than one real estate agent before making your final decision, though. That way you'll be in a position to compare qualities like experience, knowledge, personality, rapport, and energy level. It's vitally important that you feel comfortable with the agent you decide to work with, and that they're responsive to your questions, concerns, and requirements.
While a "wish list" and a "must have" list are essential components of a successful real estate search, the process unfolds much more smoothly when you remain open minded, flexible, and realistic.
Getting ready to move is a fun and exciting time. With all of the change happening around you, it’s good to have a solid plan in place for moving that will get you through. Perhaps the most chaotic time is two weeks leading up to moving day. Don’t worry, we have a checklist ready for you, so you can be prepared.
2 Weeks Before The Move
First, you should make sure that your car is ready for the drive, if you’re driving to your new house. Even if you’re hiring a moving company, you’ll need to know that your car can handle the trip and that your movers and you have maps available. Even in the age of GPS, this is a good idea just in case you lose service on the road.
Next, you’ll need to get cleaning. You should begin cleaning any of the rooms in your house that have been emptied out including closets. This is a good time to make one last check that everything has been packed. If you need to make any kind of arrangements to have your old home or your new home professionally cleaned, you should do so at this time. It will be much easier to have your new home painted and cleaned before you arrive with all of your stuff.
You need to get your records in order. Any prescriptions that you have must be transferred to a new pharmacy nearby. It’s a good idea to keep all of your important documents in a safe such as passports, financial statements, deeds, titles and wills.
You’ll need to get your family prepared for the move as well. Be sure that you know where pets and kids are going and how they’re getting there. Collect all other valuable items such as jewelry and family heirlooms and pack them somewhere for safe keeping.
One Week Before The Move
The last week in your home might be kind of stressful and emotional. Make sure that everything is packed at this point. Label each box for easy unpacking once you get to your new place. You could easily forget what’s in each box by the time you get there!
Other items of concern:
- Confirm the move-in and closing dates with your real estate agent.
- Arrange to pay your movers.
- Make a plan in case the movers end up running behind and you get to your home before your stuff does.
- Back up your computer and keep a drive with the files on it in the safe.
- Dispose of anything hazardous within your home like paint and chemicals.
- Change your address with the Post Office if you haven’t already done so.
- Cancel or change newspaper and magazine subscriptions.
- Find meals that you can make using the remaining food in your fridge.
- Empty lockers at school and the gym.
Return borrowed items to friends and family.
There will be quite a bit left for you to do once you get to your new home. You’ll need time to get established. Moving is exciting and stressful all at the same time! With a plan, you’ll be on your way to a smooth move!
Making an offer on a home you’re hoping to buy is a stressful endeavor. You want your offer to stand apart from others, and if you don’t feel comfortable increasing the offer, a personalized letter is a good way to explain your situation and possibly sway the seller in your favor.
Sounds good, right? But when most of us sit down to write an effective offer letter we often come up stumped. What makes your situation different than any other hopeful buyer? How do you find the right tone in your letter? How do you sign off at the end?
There are a number of things to consider when writing an offer letter. So, in this article, we’re going to help you craft an offer letter that will give you the best chance of getting accepted by a home seller.
Begin with them
Before you start talking about yourself and why you love the house, start by addressing the seller by name. Thank them for letting you view their home, and compliment them on the work they’ve done to take care of it.
Why you love their home
A good place to start in your offer letter is to describe exactly what sets their home apart from the others you looked at. Are there defining characteristics of the home that make it perfectly suited to your family? Does it have a large yard that your dog will love to run in or the workshop you’ve always wanted to practice your woodworking?
Make your letter personal. This is your chance to show that you aren’t just concerned with the price of the home.
Share information wisely
Some buyers get excited about all of the changes they would make if their offer was accepted on a home. And while it’s okay to plan and be excited for the future, you might not want to share that information with the seller.
Remember that they have many memories and hours of work put into their home, and they might not appreciate you talking about how you’re going to start tearing down walls.
Once you get into the flow of writing your letter, it’s easy to get carried away. However, sellers will be more receptive to reading and understanding your letter if it is short and to the point. Try not to go over a page, single-spaced.
Once you’ve written your letter, review it to see if there’s anything that can be simplified or removed altogether.
Before sending your letter, have a family member, friend, or real estate agent look it over. Not only will they be able to catch small grammatical errors, but they’ll also let you know if something you’ve written is confusing or would be considered over-sharing.
You might be tempted to hit the send button as soon as you’re done with your letter. However, receiving an email can be impersonal--we all get hundreds of emails that we never even open. Rather, print your letter on nice paper, sign it by hand, and consider attaching a family photo if you have one that’s suitable.
Where you decide to live is perhaps one of the most important decisions that you’ll make. The location of your home will determine the property value and how much you can potentially get out of your investment. The location of your home also will determine how you live your everyday life. What’s nearby and how you get around are big factors based on where you choose to live. Here’s what you must consider when choosing where you want to live:
The Part Of The Country You Live In
Where you choose to live is based on a lot of factors in your life. Yet, the part of the country that you choose to live in has such a big impact on your lifestyle. If you’re planning on staying in your home for a long time, this is an important decision. Although many people have their location chosen for them based on job and family needs, other people work this question out a bit differently.
City Life Or The ‘Burbs?
If you like peace and quiet, this is an important question. If you live far outside the city, you’ll be able to have a lot more land than if you buy a home within the city limits. Education options are also greater in the city compared to a town or rural area. If you are looking for wider access to entertainment, shopping and medical services, you may need to strongly consider living closer to the city. If you like a bit more quiet, choose the outer limits as a place to live.
Each neighborhood in a particular area has different characteristics. You’ll want to find a neighborhood that fits your personality and needs. You should feel comfortable and at “home” in your neighborhood. Also, you’ll want to be in close proximity to your workplace so that you avoid a long commute.
What Are The Schools Like?
This is one of the most important questions for people who have a family or are planning to start a family. You’ll need to do some research as to what school systems are like in specific areas that you’re thinking of living in. Keep in mind that you may end up paying a premium to live in a neighborhood that has a good school system.
Depending upon the neighborhood that you choose, people will either keep to themselves or provide a certain kind of social pressure. In certain neighborhoods there’s more social activity and more pressure to send your kids to certain schools and enroll them in certain activities.
Now that you know how to find the right place to search for a home, you’ll need to figure out what kind of home you’d like to live in. Start making your wish list!
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