Upcoming class dates are:
Saturday, November 18th, from 12pm-3pm (ish)
Vancouver YMCA, conference room
11324 NE 51st Circle, Vancouver WA
Monday, November 20th, from 5pm-8pm (ish)
Marshall Community Center, Conference Room
1009 E McLoughlin Blvd Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)
Saturday, December 2nd, from 9am-12pm (ish)
Marshall Community Center, conference room
1009 E McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)
Remember…with reservation…we will throw in lunch, or dinner! 🙂 …if these dates/times don’t work for you, we have others. Check out the website for more class dates, times, and locations.
Client Appreciation!! It’s coming up soon…. have you RSVP’d? We are full in the 21+ area, but have plenty of general seating tickets still available. 🙂 What are we watching? uh… STAR WARS: The Last Jedi!! Ok… I am really excited for it! Are you? Saturday, 12/16, from 3:30pm-6:30pm. Let either Chris Berg (503-320-0925 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or me know how many tickets you need and we will get you on the VIP list.
Thank you again…. thank you for letting us be a part of your home adventure… whether you are buying, selling, or refinancing… Chris & I are always here to help. It’s what we do…. 🙂 Thank you for your continued support, and your referrals… YOU ROCK!
So this week we are going to talk about the ‘right’ home, and how sometimes the ‘right’ home changes over time….sigh… I don’t think there is such a thing as a ‘forever’ home. We all have homes for different stages of our lives. The average person has 3 homes over their life… the starter home, the ‘family’ home, and the downsize home. When my husband and I purchased our first home back in 2001, I thought it could be our ‘forever’ home, but alas… it was a great home for the almost 16 years we owned it, but we out grew it….and then outgrew the area. Our current home (which my husband says is our ‘forever’ home) is our ‘right home’…for now. I know that in about 15-20 years we will most likely be selling it for our next ‘right home’. It’s amazing how fast those years fly by….just saying.
So, what is the ‘right’ home? The right home is the one that fits your needs….for now. The average person/couple only owns their home for 5-7 years. I think that depends on the market though. Anyone who purchased a home between 2005-2015, most likely has enough equity to sell and step into their next ‘right home’ because the market shifted back. The market is, thankfully, leveling off though. Of course…that could just be the winter market. Remember that the best time of year to buy a home is always the winter months.
Question? How many of you have seen that commercial not to trust anything you read on the internet? You know…’they can’t print anything that isn’t true?’ Who told you that? The guy says. “The internet” says the woman. “Did you meet my boyfriend? He’s a French model.” This other, obviously not French guy shows up, and says, “Uh…Bonjour”. Well, that applies for real estate as well.
You can not trust real estate photos you see online! It is a lot like internet dating….what you see is not always what you get! The photos may be 2-3 years old, and not reflective of the home at all. Sometimes the photos are taken in such a way to make a room and/or yard appear larger, or smaller. Sometimes the photos are taken to avoid something that isn’t very attractive, or that is damaged. Long story short….don’t judge a home by the pictures, or by what you read on the internet!
So what do you look for when looking for a home???
When you are looking at homes with your agent, remember to look at a variety of things concerning the home. What is the neighborhood like? the school district? the neighbors? It’s not being ‘snobby’ at all to evaluate the people who will be living among…..it’s called ‘being safe and smart’! Remember that these are the children that your children will be playing with, and how the neighborhood is maintained and taken care of is going to reflect upon your home as well. You’re not just purchasing the home, you are purchasing the neighborhood as well, and if/when you ever want to sell that home, your potential buyers will be doing the same. Does that home meet your top 3 needs?
Items to consider….are the yards kept up? Does it appear that the people in that neighborhood take care of their homes? Are the cars in the driveway, and on the street, clean and in good condition? Do you see children playing in the street? This is always a key point to me as I have children myself. If you don’t see many children playing outside, that isn’t a good sign. Of course, some neighborhoods consist of mainly older families, or families with no children, but you should always see signs of play….bikes in yards, chalk on a sidewalk on a nice day, basketball hoops, etc. When the weather is nice like this children should be outside playing….if it is a ‘safe’ neighborhood. Remember that it can be the nicest home in the neighborhood, but if the neighborhood isn’t a ‘safe’ one, it is probably better to keep looking.
Really, the number one question you need to ask yourself is if this is a neighborhood that YOU would want to live in with your family? A good buyers agent wants to find you a home that you can love, and not try to push you into a home that might not be ‘right’ for you.
When looking at homes, remember to look for ‘good bones’ and items that, if they need repair, won’t take a lot of money to do so. Often lately I have been seeing homes with a lot of ‘flash’, but very little substance. What I mean by this is that the sellers did the fancy work….nice counters, paint, carpet, etc….but the expensive items like the windows, roof, heating, etc appear to be in need of repair or replacement. The home appears wonderful upon first glance, but the more you look….the worse it gets. Lipstick on a pig…so to speak. It’s easy to get caught up on the ‘pretty things’, but frankly, those items are pretty easy to do yourself, and a great way to build equity. Don’t look at the makeup on the home, look for the homes personality as anything looks pretty with make up. 🙂 Look at the siding, roof, heating, windows, general maintenance and care of the home. Now, I am not saying that everything should be brand new or anything…., but it should all appear to be in good, and working condition. There shouldn’t be broken windows, the heating should work, the roof should have at least 2-3 years left on it, etcetera. Of course, neither you nor your agent are inspectors. Remember that what we see is visual, and the inspector will be doing to inspection to look for anything that could be a major drain on your finances, or anything that would prevent financing. With many homes you will receive a 5-6 page sellers disclosure where the sellers are disclosing what they know about the home. Most sellers don’t check under the home, or walk the roof, or look in the attic space, or simply forget about things, and it is because of this that I always advise to my clients to read the sellers disclosures with a grain of salt. You definitely still want to hire a home inspector….as it is always what we can’t see that causes the most problems. Quick note….with bank owned homes, estates, and with most investor properties you will not receive a sellers disclosure, or will have to waive the right to one as the seller has never lived in the home.
So, I guess the ‘short’ of my message this week, is to take a look at the neighborhood as closely as you should take a look at the home. New doesn’t always mean best…no matter if we are talking about homes, appliances, counters, neighborhoods, etc….look for areas, homes, etc that have been well maintained as these are the best purchases for the long run. Just like square footage doesn’t mean anything (the floorplan does), the age of the home really doesn’t mean anything either….it is all about how well the home has been maintained, or taken care of. Every home needs some repairs, just be sure you know what you are getting into. As a homeowner, it is all on YOU to maintain the home so that it will take care of you when it is time to move on to your next ‘right’ home. Deferred maintenance just means it’s going to cost more later….just like owning a vehicle.
Talk to the neighbors when you are driving around, look at the yards, pay attention to the children, what about the vehicles, the homes themselves? All of this is important….and don’t be afraid to drive around neighborhoods on a Friday or Saturday night! ;-D If there is an HOA, make sure that you get a copy of the HOA rules and regs as sometimes there is a rule that would prohibit you from wanting to purchase the home. Not all HOA’s are bad, and some are more lenient than others. Most new(er) neighborhoods are going to have HOA’s, and if you don’t want to live in one, you may have to keep that in mind when looking at homes.
Another thing to remember about Vancouver, and in our surrounding areas, is that we don’t have a ‘good’ side of town, or a ‘bad’ side of town….Clark County is famous for their ‘pocket’ neighborhoods. You can drive two blocks and be in an area of $500,000 homes, go another two blocks and be in an established middle income neighborhood, go another two blocks and be in a ghetto, and then find yourself in a brand new neighborhood! It’s all about the ‘pocket’ neighborhoods here. ;-D
I hope that explains this a bit, but if you have any questions, or comments please call or email me anytime! I am here to help…
….and as always….may the odds ever be in your favor out there!
Please call, email, text, or even facebook me anytime with any questions, or if there is anything I can do to assist you with your home adventure! As an agent, I am, as always, here to help. If there is anything you would like to see on here that you would like more information on, please let me know and I will make it a weekly note.
Thank you again for your business and for your referrals!
…as always…if you have already purchased a home, or no longer would like to receive these emails from me, please let me know and I will be happy to remove you from receiving any more.
Thank you again for attending the home buyer education classes, and I hope that you will continue to refer the classes out to your friends, family, and co-workers. We appreciate your referrals and word of mouth!
Next Week: What happens AFTER signing? Keys? ….or… Why do deals fall through?
Last Week: Water & your home
Have a great day, and I will talk to you soon,