Melissa Kaspern's Blog
A home showing is a valuable opportunity for a property buyer. In certain instances, buyers will set up dozens of showings to review a wide range of residences. Meanwhile, a buyer sometimes finds the perfect residence during his or her first home showing.
Ultimately, there is no set number of showings that you will need to attend before you find your ideal house. It also is important to note that there is no time limit on a showing, and some showings may be shorter or longer than others.
Regardless of how many house showings you schedule, it is paramount to do everything possible to get the most out of a showing. Lucky for you, we are here to teach you about property showings and ensure you can optimize their value.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you prepare for a house showing.
1. Review a Home Listing
A home listing may include various information about a house's age and condition, but you likely will require additional details about a residence before you decide whether to submit an offer to purchase. Fortunately, a home showing enables you to gain additional insights that may be unavailable in a listing.
Take a look at a home listing and put together a list of questions about a home. Then, when you attend a showing, you can receive instant responses to your queries.
2. Give Yourself Plenty of Time
There is no need to rush through a home showing. As such, you should give yourself plenty of time to check out a house and walk through it during a showing.
Oftentimes, it is beneficial to bring a pen and paper so you can jot down notes during a showing too. You also may want to take a camera with you. This will allow you to capture photographs of different areas of a home so you can review them after a showing and decide whether a house is right for you.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is happy to help you prepare for a house showing. He or she will learn about a home prior to a showing and may be able to provide you with insights that you won't receive elsewhere. Plus, a real estate agent will offer honest, unbiased feedback about a residence and ensure you can make an informed decision about a house.
In addition, if you find a home that suits you perfectly, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase. And if you ever have concerns or questions during the property buying journey, a real estate agent can provide in-depth responses.
For those who want to get the most out of a home showing, it generally is a good idea to plan ahead. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can prepare for a home showing and use this event to analyze all aspects of a residence.
In your search for a home, there’s one option you may not be considering: others may also be looking for the same thing—and they’re willing to share the responsibility. However, there are a few things to remember before buying a house with someone else.
Here are a few housekeeping topics to remember when buying a home with someone else.
The Title and Deed
When you buy a house, you get a title. With co-ownership, it explains who owns the property, agreements to property ownership, whose name is placed in the public records under the title and negotiations. The title, while a document, is also more conceptual than a deed.
While the deed does much of the same, it is the physical embodiment of ownership over the property. Understanding the differences between the two is important and something your agent can assist you with.
When Sharing A Property With A Non-Spouse
When you’re sharing the property with a non-spouse, you have a few options. These include:
Tenant In Common
With this option, there’s no need for a 50/50 split. Buyers are allowed to own unequal interests in the property. If one of the co-owners were to pass away, their ownership would transfer to one of their beneficiaries.
Joint Tenants With Right Of Survivorship
Co-buyers own equal interests in the property as a 50/50 split. If you bought a home with two other people, you’d each have one-third interest in the home, and so on. If one tenant passes away, the remaining owners gain the deceased owner’s percentage of interest in the property. There’s no need for a court proceeding or probate, this happens automatically.
Both co-ownership options allow for an undivided interest in a property. All owners are co-owners as a part of the entire piece of property. If one owner wants to sell, for example, they would sell their tenancy or partial interest in the property.
Create a Checklist
When you purchase a property with another person, you’ll want to ensure your agreement is iron clad—keeping strain off of the relationship can also make for a more co-habitable experience. Make sure both or all parties agree to terms by doing the following:
Create a co-ownership agreement
Clarify who owns what percentage
Decide who pays the ongoing expenses
Give options if any owners want out in the future
Bringing in a qualified attorney is a great way to craft a concise agreement. Sit down with all of the potential owners and go over the agreements. Once terms are reached, ensure everyone has a copy of the legal agreements and contracts.
While sharing a property purchase can reduce your debt, it’s important to make complete agreements and understand whether the decision makes sense for all parties involved. If it does, it’s a very viable way to split home buying costs and move in to your own space.
When buying a house, especially your first home, it's all too easy to make impulsive decisions and fail to "see the forest for the trees."
Although it's impossible to ignore your emotional reactions to a house for sale, it's vital to look at the big picture and make sure there are no red flags being ignored or glossed over.
For example, if the foundation of the house looks unstable or the surrounding neighborhood is showing signs of deterioration, it's ultimately not going to matter how much you love the layout of the kitchen or the convenience of a first floor laundry room. Major problems can overshadow the desirable features of a home and have long-term implications on your finances (and sanity).
Even though the future marketability of a house may be the last thing on your mind when you're searching for your next home, it's a factor worth giving some serious thought to. When that aspect of home ownership is overlooked, it could result in headaches and possible financial loss down the road. While real estate generally has a tendency to appreciate in value over time, there are exceptions.
The good news is that many potential problems can be prevented by combining common sense with the advice of qualified professionals, such as an experienced, certified property inspector. If you're wondering what's covered in a typical home inspection, the American Society of Home Inspectors offers this overview: "The standard home inspector’s report will cover the condition of the home’s heating system; central air conditioning system (temperature permitting); interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; the foundation, basement and structural components."
So while inspectors can't look behind every wall or accurately predict the remaining lifespan of an existing HVAC system, they can provide you with a lot of valuable tips, recommendations, and insights into the condition of a house for sale. Working with a top-notch real estate (buyer's) agent will also help you avoid many of the potential pitfalls of buying a home.
While nobody wants to move into a "money pit," the likelihood of finding a home that's absolutely perfect and doesn't need any repairs, updates, or improvements is extremely low. Home buyers who are too focused on perfection may eventually realize that their standards are unattainable. A successful search for a new home hinges on the ability to distinguish between a minor cosmetic problem, such as an unappealing paint color, and a major problem, like a basement that floods regularly or a roof that's been compromised by storms, falling branches, or long-term neglect.
Although home buyers have differing expectations when it comes to repairs, remodeling, decorating, and renovations, one thing's for sure: Everyone wants to add their own personal touches to a new home and make it feel and look like their own!
Before you launch a home search, it helps to prepare for the property buying journey as much as possible. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to get ready to find your dream house.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you prep for a home search.
1. Establish Homebuying Criteria
If you know you want to buy a home, it generally is a good idea to define your ideal residence as well. That way, you can streamline your house search.
Consider where you want to reside. For example, if you work in the city, you may want to focus on houses in or near the city itself. On the other hand, if you plan to return to school, you may want to search for a home near top colleges and universities.
Think about what features you want in your ideal home, too. If you have always wanted to own a home that boasts a luxurious outdoor swimming pool, for instance, you can map out your home search accordingly. Or, if you want to purchase a residence that features a state-of-the-art kitchen, you can search for a home that offers this amenity.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
A mortgage typically is a must-have, regardless of where and when you search for a home. And if you enter the housing market with a mortgage at your disposal, you will know precisely how much you can spend on a residence.
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage can be simple. If you meet with banks and credit unions in your area, you can review your options and select a mortgage that complements your finances.
If you have concerns about home financing, don't hesitate to ask questions. Banks and credit unions employ courteous, diligent mortgage specialists who can respond to your home financing queries. As such, you can work with these specialists to gain the home financing insights you need to make the best-possible mortgage decision.
3. Hire a Real Estate Agent
As you get set to conduct a home search, there is no need to work alone. If you hire a real estate agent, you can collaborate with a homebuying expert who can take the guesswork out of finding and purchasing a house.
A real estate agent is happy to provide guidance throughout the homebuying journey. He or she can offer tips and recommendations to ensure you can find a terrific home at a price that matches your budget. Plus, a real estate agent will simplify the process of setting up home showings. Perhaps best of all, if you are uncertain about whether to submit an offer to purchase a home, a real estate agent is ready to provide insights to help you analyze all of your options.
Dedicate time and resources to prepare for the homebuying journey. By doing so, you can enter the housing market with the insights you need to succeed.
One of the perks of moving out of an apartment into a home is having your very own outdoor space. Depending on how close to the city you live, you may not get much of a yard with your home. If you’re looking for that perfect outdoor space to dwell in, read on for some tips on buying a house with a yard. If you check the yard out, you could save yourself from facing problems further down the road.
Are The Trees In Good Condition?
While mature trees in a yard are a sure fire way to have privacy and shade, the trees must be safe. You want any trees in your yard to be healthy. Otherwise, during a storm, you may have an issue with falling trees. If you have a lot of trees in your yard, it may be a good idea to hire an arborist who can tell you if the trees are safe. Tree removal can be costly, so you’ll need to plan for this expense if your yard has many trees.
How Safe The Outdoor Living Areas?
You should check out any outdoor living areas the yard has. If the home comes with a patio, or gazebo the soundness of the structures should be checked. Any cement should be free of cracks or crumble.
The Layout Of The Lot
There is more to a yard than the size of a property. You should keep in mind where the home is situated on the lot. Is the front yard more prominent than the backyard? Is the home on a slope? Is there a chance water will pool near the foundation of the house? All of these questions are important for the long-term health of the property.
How Much Yard Are You Willing To Care For?
You need to know how large of a yard you’re actually willing to care for. For many buyers, a small yard is just enough. Other buyers aim to care for a large lawn the many flowerbeds. The larger the yard, the more possibilities you have. If you are willing to take the extra time and incur the additional expense that a large yard will cost, it could be a good feature to look for. Yard size may also narrow down your home search considerably.
Buying a home with a yard can be a great decision, all you need is to understand your own preferences and ability to care for properties of different sizes.