Some things to be aware of when House Hunting

by | Jun 24, 2012 | Real Estate | 0 comments

Hey there and happy Sunday!

Sunday is family day at my home…and we have been running around doing errands. We also stopped to see, Brave, and I tell you, the writer of that movie is a mother with a teenage mother!  LOL  We also stopped to pick up some previously viewed movies from Blockbuster.  One of the movies we got was, The Help, and that is such a good movie!  It is also a good movie for our kids….my kids had to ask me if things were really like that.  On one hand I love the fact that they have to ask since some of the topics of that movie are so foreign to them, but at the same time I have to be sad when I watch it….in fact, I am crying now over that poor little girl crying and poor Abeleene having to leave her.  It was such a wrong time….

Anyhow…now that everyone is sad…  sorry!  Let’s move on to to home stuff!!!

So how does this relate to you and buying a home?  Well, when buying a home you do need to some research…  you need to look forward, and backward as well.  So some things to be aware of when looking for homes….

Election year
As we all know this is an election year, and I would never presume to tell anyone how to, or what to vote, but if you are moving into a new town, school district, or area then you do need to be aware of anything that has recently been voted on in that area since it may affect whether or not you want to move there.

Schools
If you have children then you do want to do some research on schools that your children might be attending.  One of the things that most folks don’t think about when thinking about schools is location….location of the school is important.  Look at more than the school they will presently be attending…what about future schools?  The average buyer spends 7 years in their first home, and that is a couple of schools….

New vs Old
When I bought my home, I purchased a new one.  We ‘thought’ it would be easier, but it really wasn’t.  With a new home you don’t know how the home is going to settle, or how the neighborhood is going to end up.  When we first moved in, and we started getting some neighbors….we really liked them and we helped quite of few of them put in their yards, and they helped us with ours.  However, as often happens in new neighborhoods most folks are just running through and they left.  Our neighbors now?  No clue really.  There are about 5 homes on our street that are owned by one extended family and they do their own thing, the other homes do their own thing….it isn’t really a community.  It is the opposite of the neighborhood 8-10 years ago.  Of course some of the homes in our neighborhood are on their 4th owners, and the homes are only about 10 years old.
Most more established neighborhoods have an established personality so you know what you are moving into.  Drive through…talk to the neighbors. With older homes you also have already been through the settling period so what you see is what you know.  Newer homes tend to be more energy efficient, but older homes can have the Clark PUD come out and help with energy efficiency.

Condition
How well is the home taken care of?  Doesn’t matter if it is a bit worn, what matters is if it has been loved…  A loved home probably has had the maintenance done on it regularly.  Look beyond the ‘flash’ for the quality.  Good bones will get you further for cheaper than pretty flash.  You can always upgrade carpets, counters, paint, etc….look at those more expensive items, and look at the home itself.  I know this sounds weird, but a well loved home feels cared for….and they feel better than a home that hasn’t been taken care of at all…even if it is prettier.  I see a lot of homes and it is weird but really there is a lot of feeling when buying a home.  I know I tell you to use your head, but yes, buying a home is emotional too….go ahead and ‘feel’ it…your buyers agent will help you with using your head.

Market
When you are looking for homes be aware of that neighborhoods market.  This is what your buyers agent will help you with.  Are there a lot of homes for sale in that area?  How long are they on there for?  If there are a lot of homes in an area you want to live in you have more choices, and therefore may have more price flexibility.  If there are only a few homes for sale in that area, and it is a good area then there may not be any price flexibility.  When talking with your agent about the area you want to live in ask your agent about what is available in your price range, and what their take on that market is.

Looking for homes…..
RMLS.COM!  This is the website that all agents use to post homes for sales and it is used by all agents in clark county.  We do not use any other dot com site…no redfin, no craigslist, no zillow, no homes.com, none of those other sites…those are for marketing purposes only and do not always have accurate information as there is no regulations or rules about what someone can post on those sites.  Only the RMLS.com has rules and regulations that an agent must follow for when posting homes.  Why?  Because that is the website that other agents go to for home information so it has to be up to date, and accurate.  The rest of them??? Not worth a spit….  Sorry!  For example; I know of a home right now on two of those sites and it isn’t for sale…..it is the agents own home.  If you call on this home she’ll say something like, “oh, I am sorry but that home has an offer on it…can I get your information and send you some others?”  It is marketing!  Yes, it is kind of like a ‘bait and switch’…but technically it isn’t illegal.  Now…I am NOT saying it is right and NO I don’t agree with it and neither would I do this….but a LOT of agents do.  I had a client send me some homes earlier this week and they went to one of these sites.  There were 2 homes they really loved…I mean REALLY loved….sadly one of these homes sold back in March and the other, per the current rmls, is a short sale with a bankruptcy that requires the buyer to bring in an additional $15,000 for the bankruptcy court….and it has a roof leak, needs new siding, and because of the roof leak, needs new flooring….  none of this was on what they saw…  sad, isn’t it?

So, last thing for today?  Don’t go to those other sites…go to the rmls.com for your housing information….just remember that the agent whose name shows up is the sellers agent and you want to talk to your BUYERS agent…the one who works for YOU!

If you know anyone who is thinking about buying a home, our next class is Saturday, July 7, 2012, at the Vancouver YMCA located at 11324 NE 51st Circle from 9am-12:30pm!  With reservations, lunch is included….  🙂

Please let me know if you have any questions! And again as always, if you are looking for a buyer’s agent, please give me a call or drop me an email…I would love to help you with your home buying adventure!

Please call, email, text, or even facebook me (at Tracie DeMars Real Estate Q&A) anytime with any questions, or if there is anything I can do to assist you with your home buying adventure! As a buyers agent, I am, as always, here to help!! 😀

Thank you again for your business and for your referrals!

If there is anything you would like to see on here…please let me know and I will make it a weekly note!

…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. Upcoming class dates and times are located at www.freehomebuyerclasses.com.  Just click on the link on the left hand side.  We appreciate your referrals and word of mouth!  Also, if you have somewhere that we can place the flyers at, please let me know….
:-D

Next Week: Inspections
Last Week: Homeowners Insurance (aka Hazard Insurance)

Remember that you can always go to ‘Free Home Buyer Education’ on Facebook for all of my weekly blogs and upcoming class dates/times/locations. I post the weekly blogs on there as well.

Tracie DeMars / Realtor

ReMax Equity Group
License# 81289
Vancouver, WA
360-903-3504

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