Avoid The Wrong Real Estate Agent

In what will likely be the biggest investment you make in your life, buying a home needs the attention and assistance a professional real estate agent can provide. But not just any real estate agent, it’s important to find the “right” one. With the ease of being able to land a license, you want to make sure you’re hiring an agent who has the experience and drive to ensure you’re provided the tools and skills to walk away from a closing knowing your needs were met. Let’s jump into issues you can face if you don’t have the right agent on your team.

THE “WRONG” AGENT WON’T LISTEN.

It’s important to find a real estate agent that sits down with you and actually listens to your needs. What type of home do you want? Where do you want to live? Does the commute to school or work have to be a certain distance? Etc. Working with an agent that doesn’t take the time to listen to your real estate needs will end up wasting your time and sending you homes to look at that don’t match your needs. Sit down with an agent that wants to get to know your needs and wants to help you achieve your goal of buying your dream house.

YOU’LL GET TERRIBLE ADVICE

Choosing the wrong agent means you’ll find yourself in situations with terrible advice. Make sure you choose an agent that is able to give you the proper direction when it comes to the whole sales process. From negotiations, to repairs, you want to ensure you choose a trusted adviser that can guide you on the right path.

THEY WON’T NEGOTIATE THE BEST DEAL FOR YOU

A great agent will negotiate for you to get an amazing deal. Now this isn’t to equate to unrealistic negotiation expectations of what the market will sell a home for – because that can mean losing your dream house. But the “wrong” agent won’t bother to negotiate on any part of the sales process. You want to find an agent that not only negotiates for you, but does it in an effective way and advises you on the best steps to take, to ensure you still get the right home.

DIFFICULT TO GET IN TOUCH WITH

A great agent has a set and active schedule that allows you to get in touch with them, or a member of their team, on a reasonable time frame. The “wrong” agent will be difficult to get a hold of, even not getting back to you during the sales process for days (sometimes even weeks.) To find a great agent, you want to find one that has dedicated business hours that allow you to get in touch with them at anytime during those hours, and is available to call you back if they miss your call, in a timely manner. This is incredibly important during the sales process, if something needs immediate attention, and your agent is nowhere to be found, you can lose the deal.

CAN LEAD TO A LEGAL MESS

The “wrong” agent can be unethical, or simply not have the proper knowledge about the legalities within the industry that is standard for agents to follow through on. As a professional, in an industry with a lot of accompanying laws, it’s a great agent’s job to know how to protect you throughout the sales process. While providing the necessary contracts and guidance to ensure you’re protected by the decisions you make as well.

AN UNHAPPY BUYING EXPERIENCE

Buying a home is an important and big process in a person’s life. If you’re buying your first home, or you’re purchasing your dream home, you don’t want the experience to be traumatizing. A great agent will be able to navigate the bumps that come up within the sales process in an experienced and professional manner. The “wrong” agent will create a mess of the sales process, not find you the right home, and you can end up with a home you don’t actually love – or one with too many issues. Find a great agent that knows the process and can ensure it goes as smoothly as possible, giving you the time to prepare for common situations that may cause delays. Although some things can occur that neither party is aware of, having an experienced agent will help you through general hurdles that could arise through the sale.

 

 

You need the right agent to find you the right home.

 

The Incredible Joy of Owning Your Home

If you haven’t bought a home yet, you’re missing out on a wonderful feeling! That moment when you walk through your doors, throw your purse or keys on the floor, plop down on your couch and breathe a sigh of relief while thinking, “Finally, it’s ours (or mine)!” And the joy of looking at all of your boxes, getting to roll your eyes about why you buy so much stuff, then giving yourself a moment to take a nap because you worked hard to get here and earned it! Yes that’s a real feeling!

We often hear, and read, about the cost effectiveness of home ownership. The equity build-up, the freedom it can give us from finances in our retirement years, and a plethora of other ways owning a home can be a positive impact on your bottom dollar. But we don’t often hear about the emotional impact owning a home can have. Yes there will be days the fridge is acting silly and you need to call your home warranty, or days you have to get outside to mow your own yard, but nothing beats the pride and joy of owning a home.

There is a sense of security, and a sense of “this is mine and I worked my way up to this moment,” that provides moments of bliss. The ability to do with your home as you please, not pay a pretty penny for every member of your fur or feathered family, and the privacy it provides can’t be beat.

Home ownership also gives you the ability to put down some roots. I mean that figuratively and literally. You get to build memories through the holidays and go through many milestones with your family, that leave a significant impact into the later years. You also get to build bonds with your neighbors, and grow in a community oriented neighborhood. With rentals, people come and go annually, however, the roots planted building long term relationships within your neighborhood create a deeper sense community than a rental ever could.  It’s as easy as spending time at the Annual back yard BBQs, Potlucks, Playing Cards, 4th of July and New Year’s Eve spent lighting fireworks, and just the excitement of getting to know each other can build new relationships that can last a lifetime.

 

Buying a home isn’t about the dollars and cents for everyone, sometimes it’s just about the joy of owning your own place and getting to build amazing memories in it. If you’ve been longing for this, get in touch with a REALTOR, and make it happen. You owe it to yourself to make your dreams come true!

From I Do to SOLD

From I Do To SoldNewlyweds are saying “I do” to each other, and equate to over half of first time home buyers that are also saying “I do” to their dream homes. It makes sense! When you put two hearts together, the time comes to find a home to nourish that love. A home that brings two of your places together, and makes it one. If you and your spouse are ready to fall in love with the perfect house together, here are five tips to make sure the process goes smoothly, and you come prepared.

 

 

1. YOUR WEDDING BUDGET: Your wedding is a one-time event that shouldn’t be less than what you’d imagine. It’s a beautiful time to put all of your dream pieces together. However, it’s best to sit down and find out ways you can shift the budget to help with your down payment for a home, if you plan to purchase. The average couple spends a little over $20,000 on their wedding. Even a savings of $5,000 from your wedding budget can help with owning the perfect home.

 

2. WEDDING GIFTS: Wedding bliss comes with wedding gifts. Let’s admit, one of our favorite times during the wedding season is all of the gifts that come pouring in! Have any friends or family pitching in cash? Save that to put towards your down payment. And depending on the generosity of your gifts, you can even open an account dedicated to your down payment, that friends and family can gift to.  Don’t forget to ask your lender about the HomeFundMe Program in your area.

3. PREAPPROVAL:   One of the least brought up conversations in relationships is the credit and financial history of your soon-to-be spouse. Get together with a lender to go over both of your histories to know what needs to be done to put you guys in a position to own together. In some cases, only one person can get approved, while the other can’t. If you want to put both of your incomes toward the cost of the house you want, talking to a lender early on can ensure you are prepared to make the right moves.

4. THE RIGHT AGENT: That’s where I come in! For starters, I can connect you with a lender to ensure you guys are being watched over from the best recommendations. And it’s an absolute joy to take the stress out of buying a home for my newly wed couples. We all know how stressful, although joyous, a wedding can be. To then jump into buying a house shortly after, well, it’s certainly a lot to get through. But I can guide you through all of the steps to make sure you end up with a house you love. Just think of me as a wedding planner, but for homes.  Your home will be might priority.

5. NOW THERE’S TWO: Although some spouses are a match made in heaven, loving and adoring the same exact things, often times that’s not the case with most couples. You still are your own persons, and have your own tastes. This is where the first step to comprise really begins. Spending a good bit of money on a place you both will love and call home. A happy marriage starts with a happy home, so be sure you both are considerate of each other’s wants and needs in style and location, so you both are happy with the home you end up getting.

 

Don’t Replace Your Agent With The Internet

technologyWith the influx of new technology and web based solutions, it isn’t a surprise that everything is moving fast into the era of the internet. From sites like Uber to Grubhub, we generally can pull up our phones or laptops to order what we want with ease. And with every industry being revolutionized by technology, the same methods are “attempting” to be applied to the real estate industry.

We could all agree that the simplification of the process through paperwork would be much appreciated by agents and buyers/sellers alike; but the attempt of replacing the agent by sites like Zillow and other third party resources, can lead to a snowball affect of disaster. Think about real estate being smack dab in the middle of fast food and a doctor. You can use your mobile device to quickly place your order for a $20 meal, but when it comes to getting a surgery, you’ll want to put that phone down and visit a professional. Now think of your real estate agent being in the middle of all of that. You can use your devices to look for a home, look at market data the way you look at WebMD, knowing not to take it too seriously because you need a real professional’s input, but it’s fun and gives you a general idea of what to expect. But there in lies the issue, the data online is an oversimplified version of what goes into the process of buying and selling. The same way it oversimplifies medical diseases and surgeries, you’d still expect to get a professional’s diagnosis.

Although a real estate agent isn’t quite like a doctor, the industry in it’s legalities, contracts, and processes is similar in the sense that it needs to be taken seriously. Looking for a house online and wanting to put an immediate offer on one can be exciting and fun, but the issues that require a professional’s guidance comes after the initial contract is written up and the hard work comes into place to actually make the home your own. Same for sellers, if you decide to put your home on the market and want a website that will give you an automatic offer, how do you know you’re not being taken advantage of in the price? But most importantly, how do you know you’re not being taken advantage of in other aspects of the contract? Because there is a lot more to the sale of the home then just agreeing on a number.

The next time you’re digging through public sites for homes for sale, and getting instant home valuation estimates, keep in mind that this is a simple process to give you an idea of your market. A very general idea. But after you’ve found the perfect house, or after you’ve decided that the numbers make some sense for you to sell, call your favorite real estate agent and make sure they give you a more detailed look into the market and assist you through the full process, not just the exciting first parts. Because it’s going to be in the middle of a contract when the lending is falling apart, or negotiations can’t be made on repairs and emotions are at an all time high, that you are going to wish you had put down your laptop and had an agent fighting for you by your side. Use the internet, have fun with it’s amazing resources, but don’t let it replace your agent. We aren’t in an age, just yet, where technology can do everything a professional can.

Warning: Four Common Household Fire Starters

House fires are devastating tragedies that may lead to substantive loss of property and even injury or fatality.  The National Fire Protection Association attributes electrical failure or malfunction as the cause of over 47,000 fires annually.

Taking precautions like installing smoke detectors and upgrading appliances can relieve some of the fire risk.  However, these four common household objects can put you at risk, and you may not even know about it.

  • Dishwashers – even though water runs through the dishwasher, it can still overheat. Any appliance with a motor or heating element can cause a fire, and dishwashers have both.
  • Jars and other glass objects – the reflection of the sun through empty glass onto dry material, like a jar next to some blinds, can ignite a blaze.
  • Rodents – when household pests chew through electrical lines and expose wires they are increasing the chance of an electrical fire.
  • Laptops – in addition to heating up during use, laptops contain lithium ion batteries that can erupt into flames when overheated.

Protect your home and your family when you take care to spot possible fire starters in unexpected places.  For more information, visit the National Fire Protection Association’s website.

3 Questions To Ask Before Buying Your 1st Home

owning your own homeThe real estate market is constantly changing, so of course DO YOUR RESEARCH!

DO NOT jump the gun on this one! Unbiased advice from family and peers may be kind, but you are the only one who knows what your needs are when it comes to buying a home.
 

WHAT MADE YOU CONSIDER OWNING A HOME?

Forget finances for a minute and focus on what made you consider even buying a home in the first place!

  • Is your family expanding?
  • Does your family feel safe?
  • Is there a STELLAR school system in the area so your children can get the education they deserve?
  • How about that unbearable landlord?

WHICH WAY IS THE REAL ESTATE MARKET GOING?

DON’T SLEEP ON YOUR DECISION TOO LONG! Home prices are on the rise! Not only are they on their way back up, but these increases are happening monthly.

record-home-sales-chart-house_122259Don’t believe us? According to Existing Homes Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average price of homes in May 2017 went up 5.8% from last year.

If you wait until next year to buy, you might be scrapping for change in the cushions to say the least! Not only will it cost you more to buy, but you will also need to increase your down payment to account for the higher price of the home.

 

WHAT IS THE MORTGAGE FORECAST?

The initial process of purchasing your home may seem easy and quick, but THERE IS MORE TO IT! The ‘long term cost’ of buying a home WILL haunt you if you buy at the wrong time! Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), and NAR have projected that mortgage interest rates will DEFINITELY increase over the next twelve months. The smallest increase in mortgage rates can have a huge impact on a home owner.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

If you and your family feel it is the right time to buy a home then GO FOR IT! Consider these points when making the final decision.

Don’t forget, this move is FOR YOU!

Avoid These Paint Colors When Selling Your Home

A fresh coat of paint on your home’s interior or exterior is a relatively inexpensive way to revitalize your home when it is on the market.  An exterior update can rejuvenate an older home and interior paint jobs can add dimension and diversity to the rooms.  According to the Institute for Color Research, people tend to judge an environment within 90 seconds of initial viewing, based strictly on its color.  Avoid these swatches when you are repainting your home for sale.

Off-White or Eggshell

While shades of white may seem like a safe bet, statistically they do not work.  Zillow reports that homes with off-white or eggshell kitchens sold for $82 less than the estimated value.  White walls can make small spaces look smaller and create a flat ambience.

Dark Brown

This unappealing shade also lessens the value of the home.  Homes with dark brown bedrooms and bathrooms sold between $230-$460 less than their estimated value.

Terracotta

Homeowners prefer this shade of flower pot more than traffic cone orange; however, it is just as poorly received.  Homes with terracotta walls in the living room sold for almost $800 less than their estimated value.  In fact, global surveys report that orange is one of the least-liked colors in the world.

Slate Gray

Gray may be trendy right now, but homebuyers prefer the lighter side of the palette.  Homes with slate gray dining rooms and living rooms sold for approximately $1100 less than their estimated value.

Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone

Well here it goes….

As the title implies, I am definitely stepping out of my comfort zone.  If you know me, then you know how I love to talk.  Well, I thought this would be just as easy.  Boy was I wrong.  I’m sitting here looking at the computer simply terrified.  Terrified of the judgement I will face.  Terrified of the laughs at my expense.  Terrified of strangers and associates reading my every thought.

College students internet computer addiction sitting bench outside campus summer
Internet computer addiction reading, judging…oh NO!

But all and all I guess that is the essence of “stepping out of your comfort zone”.

So there in lies the question, if I’m so terrified… Why am I doing this?  Because it has come to my attention that I need to step away from what is easy and attack what is hard for me.  So, then blogging it is.

I will be trying to blog as much as possible.  Hopefully I won’t bore the world too much.  Maybe as time goes by I will actually put something out there that may even help or inspire someone to “step out of their comfort zone”.

If I get too ranting I am counting on my readers to put me back on the right track.  Just let me know if while you’re reading all you see is blah blah blah

Well, would you look at that.  I did it and I didn’t flamesburst into flames…..

 

Summer Summer Summer Time

The beach calls, the kids are having fun, and coming up soon school!  That’s right, school is coming up fast. This post may have been about all those great trips you could take, but do not forget the most important trip you could take this year. The Trip to your NextHome! See what we did there. Parenting and being responsible for all the big decisions can be taunting. What school zone do you want to be in? Where is the best programs for athletics or jazz? Where are you going to move? Summer is suppose to be fun! let us help with the home part! If your interested in buying or selling contact me here!  Making sure you have enough time to get relocated and ready for the new year is a BIG DEAL, so let us help!

Here are some Great Vacation Spots to keep your eyes on in the mean time!

Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon stretches an estimated 277 miles across Arizona and provides vacationers with space to hike trails like the Bright Angel or Rim, or whitewater raft the Colorado River.

St Lucia

The St. Lucia Jazz & Arts festival is an attraction for some visitors, as are the Chassin region’s rain forest and the island’s beaches.

Pompano Beach

Enjoy all that Florida beaches are known for—warm ocean waters, long stretches of golden sand, and tons of sunshine—at a fraction of the cost with a stay in Pompano Beach, otherwise known as “the Heart of the Gold Coast.”

 

Summer is here!

I love summer time, the warm sunny weather and pool days just breath new life into me. I also love to drive aimlessly listening to my favorite summer playlists, windows down, and music up loud. On these drives I take in the scenic view and of course, for sale signs! The amount of listings and new construction in Middle TN is rapidly expanding!

I love walking through a house for the first time, whether new construction or an old soul. Every house tells a story. A story of what was or what will be. A house is made a home by these very stories. Growing up I always considered home to be at my grandmother’s. Our family spent more time there gathered together than in our own separate dwellings. I think it’s part of the reason I love finding old 70’s styled houses with 90’s decor! I’m laughing just thinking about the wall paper and carpeting that covered that home of ours. It’s this part of my life that interested me in real estate.

When looking for that house you will make a home through your own stories, it’s important to cast that vision of what you want for your family. It’s also important to find a professional who can see that vision to fruition alongside of you. I look so forward to helping families find the house that will become a story telling home! And what better season than summer to get out there and start looking!