My Blog

How to make your relocation smooth

10/14/2018




If you're in the early stages of relocating to a new community you probably have many questions. It can be hard to know where to begin. That's why I've compiled a short list of tips that can help you remember key steps to a successful relocation.

  • Tip#1: Start Early 
    While time constraints are often beyond your control, it's critical to get the ball rolling as soon as you become aware of the future move. If you currently own a home, you should begin the selling process. If renting, you need to check with your landlord regarding the status of your lease and potential penalties you may incur by moving. And of course you will need to look for a home in your new city. If pressed for time it might be more appropriate to search for a rental before committing to the purchase of a home. A trained real estate professional can be of great assistance in all of these areas. 
  • Tip#2: Clear Clutter 
    Arrange a garage sale, give unwanted items to friends, or donate them to charity. Start organizing for your move and purchase boxes and other moving supplies.
  • Tip#3: Details, Details, Details 
    File change of address forms and make the necessary arrangements for your children at school. Call all your utility companies and schedule the cancellation of service for at least 1-2 days after your planned move date. Remember, many utility companies will charge you an extra billing cycle if not given enough notice.
  • Tip#4: Pick the Right Moving Company 
    Decide how much involvement you need from your moving company (packing, unpacking, etc.) and investigate moving companies. Your real estate agent can provide suggestions. Get a full estimate and ask the moving company representative any questions you may have. Consider the benefits of moving insurance and check with your insurance provider to see what protection they recommend.
  • Tip#5: Don't Forget the Kids 
    Moving can be very hard on your children, but there are steps you can take to help alleviate your children's fears. Communicate with them as to exactly what's going on, and get them involved in the moving process and the search for a new home. If they have a favorite toy, pack it last.
  • Tip#6: Moving Your Pet
    Maintain your pet's daily routine until the day of the move. Take your pet for a routine veterinary appointment and obtain all necessary records. Moving by car is the least upsetting for the animal, but if flying is the only option be sure to plan early. Space for pets on commercial airliners is often limited. You may wish to consider a pet transportation service, which can greatly help your pet with the transition.
  • Tip#7: What About Your Car(s)?
    Your moving company may be able to accommodate your car, but it can be costly given the fact that most general moving companies charge based on gross weight. There are companies that specialize in car shipping. Other services can have your car driven to its destination. Check with your auto insurance company about coverage during transport.
  • Tip#8: Get Settled
    Make a move-in shopping list, check all smoke and security alarms, set up utilities, and start unpacking!

These are just a few pointers to help you organize your relocation. My website has additional resources available, and I'd be happy to help you with any and all aspects of your relocation. Please call me and let me know how I can be of assistance.

Get pre-qualified, or get pre-approved?

10/14/2018



If you're considering the purchase of a new home, you may be concerned with the issue of finance. Attaining the right mortgage is a key step in the home buying process, but it doesn't have to be a stress-inducing one. Most lenders offer prequalification, pre-approval or both to help you know where you stand. Let me explain the difference between prequalification and pre-approval:

  • Prequalification: Prequalification is a preliminary estimate of how much you can afford to pay for a home based on information you provide. Because credit and employment information aren't validated for prequalification, it can only be considered a rough idea of a monthly mortgage payment and loan size. This can be a useful guide as you begin the home buying process, however. 
  • Pre-approval: Pre-approval is a written commitment from a lender to finance your home purchase up to a set amount. This indicates that the lender has taken a close look into your financial history and has agreed to lend you a specific amount of money, reliant on certain details like a finalized sales contract and professional inspection. Pre-approval indicates to sellers that you are a serious homebuyer.

Regardless of which option you utilize, or even if you take both steps, you'll be able to shop with much more confidence. Why wait until you find the perfect home to discover problems with obtaining a mortgage?

If you would like more information on how either process can help you get into the home of your dreams, give me a call. I'd be happy to answer any of your real estate needs.

TIPS FOR FIRST TIME BUYERS

10/14/2018




If you are currently in the market for your first home, you probably have lots of questions. You are about to be making an important decision for your future, a great investment of both money and time. I have a wealth of experience helping first time buyers like you make sound, informed decisions. Here are some tips that can help make your home buying process successful:

  • Tip #1: Do Your Homework
    The perfect home won't find you by itself. The key step in buying a home is doing the proper research. Educate yourself on local schools, neighborhoods, and the kinds of homes available. By reading available materials and talking with experts, you can start to put together your idea of the perfect home.
  • Tip #2: Start Planning
    Most decisions benefit greatly from proper planning, and home buying is certainly no exception. Start a filing system with sections such as home buying, home financing, and service providers. By forming a home buying plan you can more easily focus on the most important factors and help give structure to the entire process. My website is a great resource for property information.
  • Tip #3: Get PreQualified
    Getting prequalified for a loan normally only requires a short phone conversation with a lender, and can greatly help your home search. Prequalification does not guarantee you a loan, but it does provide you with an estimated monthly payment and a price range to use as a guide when shopping for homes. Being prequalified can also often indicate to sellers that you are a serious, prepared buyer.
  • Tip #4: Look for Value
    When shopping for homes, it's important to consider potential value. Even if you're not planning to sell the home some time down the line, it's a good idea to consider the future value of the home. Protect yourself against things like falling prices and gradual shifts in the nature of the neighborhood. You may not think of a new home as a means to make money, but it's an important investment that requires caution.
  • Tip #5: Decide What You're Looking For
    Settle on the home features that are important to you (covered parking, hardwood floors, architectural style, etc.) and make an ordered list. Having well established guidelines will help narrow down your search and will prevent you from being shown properties that lack your key amenities. It can help you make the decision not to buy an attractive property that doesn't really fit your needs. My website has a search feature that allows you to filter thousands of listings based on attributes that you select. If you know you want a brick house with gas heat and a garage, you can get the results you're looking for.
  • Tip #6: Relax
    You don't have to make an offer on the first home you see. Make sure to look at other listings in the area to get a feel for the marketplace. When you decide to make an offer on a house, consult with your real estate professional so that all of your questions are answered.
  • Tip #7: Shop Around for Your Mortgage
    Deciding on the financing for your home can be as important as choosing a home itself. The first step is deciding what kind of loan best fits you: a fixed rate mortgage, or an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM). There are benefits to each form of loan, and your real estate professional can provide you with more information. Next you'll want to begin to shop around for different lenders.
  • Tip #8: Protect Yourself
    Be careful when signing a contract on a home that allows you to find financing, have the home inspected, and work through any problem areas that may arise. Paying for a quality home inspection is absolutely crucial! You can save yourself thousands in repair costs by being sure of what you're getting into.

More information for first time buyers can be found on my website, or by giving me a call. I'm confident that I can provide the kind of exceptional service that will make this process an exciting one. Don't hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have, I would love to be of assistance to you.

WHY YOU SHOULD USE A REAL ESTATE AGENT

10/14/2018



If you are currently in the market for your first home, you may be curious as to how a Real Estate Agent can help you. You are about to be making an important decision for your future, a great investment of both money and time. I have a wealth of experience helping first time buyers like you make sound, informed decisions.

Here are some ways that you can benefit from the help of a real estate professional:

  • Agents can help establish a plan for a home that fits your needs. Style, size, amenities, and other preferences will help determine what kind of home is best suited for you.
  • They will help you to determine realistic spending limits. They can often explain alternative financing options or introduce you to a mortgage counselor. Agents can arrange to have you "pre-approved", which can help improve your positioning in negotiations.
  • Their access to all home listings within the multi-listing system enables them to evaluate based on your affordability and the qualities you desire.
  • They have access to information on taxes, real estate values, utility costs, and municipal services, all of which can aid you in your decision to buy.
  • They provide direct service by working for you as a buyer's agent, helping to negotiate the best terms and price for you.
  • They can make you comfortable with the closing process and they will obtain closing figures in advance for your review.
  • They can recommend home inspectors, pest inspectors, and surveyors, and can help arrange inspections.

These are just a few ways that a quality real estate agent can help you in your journey towards buying your very first home. More information for first time buyers can be found on my website or by calling me directly. I'm confident that I can provide the kind of exceptional service that will make this process an exciting one. Please don't hesitate to call or e-mail me with any questions you may have.

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