The Real Estate Insider: Insights, Tips, and Trends for Buyers and Sellers

 

 

 

Oct. 10, 2023

October 2023 Newletter

Posted in Newsletters
May 9, 2023

Exploring Beaverton, Oregon: Past and Present

Beaverton, Oregon, nestled in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, has a rich history and a vibrant present. From its early days as a small farming community to its current status as a thriving city, Beaverton offers a captivating blend of historical charm and modern amenities. In this blog post, we will take a journey through time, uncovering the historical roots of Beaverton and exploring its present-day attractions.

A Glimpse into Beaverton's History
Beaverton's history dates back to the early 19th century when settlers began to establish homesteads in the Tualatin Valley. The area was originally inhabited by the Atfalati tribe of the Kalapuya Native Americans. Over time, Beaverton evolved from an agricultural community to a bustling town with the arrival of the Oregon Electric Railway in 1914. The railway brought growth and opportunities, transforming Beaverton into a center for commerce and trade.

Cultural Landmarks and Historical Sites
Today, Beaverton proudly preserves its history through various cultural landmarks and historical sites. One notable attraction is the Jenkins Estate, a stunning mansion that reflects the elegance of early 20th-century architecture. Visitors can explore the estate's beautifully manicured gardens and learn about the region's heritage.

Embracing Nature
Beaverton is renowned for its picturesque landscapes and abundant outdoor recreational opportunities. The Tualatin Hills Nature Park offers over 200 acres of natural beauty, featuring serene trails, wetlands, and wildlife. Visitors can enjoy hiking, bird-watching, and picnicking amidst the tranquility of nature.

Thriving Business Community
Beaverton is not only a city steeped in history but also a hub of economic activity. It is home to a diverse array of businesses, including technology companies, manufacturing firms, and innovative startups. Major employers such as Nike and Intel have a significant presence in the area, contributing to Beaverton's economic growth and creating numerous job opportunities.

Community Spirit and Events
Beaverton fosters a strong sense of community and hosts a variety of events throughout the year. The Beaverton Farmers Market, held from May to November, showcases local produce, crafts, and live entertainment. Residents and visitors alike can immerse themselves in the vibrant atmosphere, supporting local vendors and enjoying the community spirit.

In addition to its rich history and vibrant community, Beaverton also offers a diverse and thriving real estate market. Whether you're looking to buy or sell a home, Beaverton presents a range of options to suit different preferences and budgets. From charming single-family houses in established neighborhoods to modern condominiums in bustling urban centers, the real estate market in Beaverton caters to a variety of lifestyles. With its convenient location near Portland and access to excellent schools, parks, and amenities, Beaverton continues to attract homebuyers seeking both comfort and convenience. Real estate in Beaverton offers a promising investment opportunity, as the city's growth and development show no signs of slowing down. Whether you're a first-time buyer, a seasoned investor, or looking to relocate, the Beaverton real estate market has something for everyone.

 

April 25, 2023

Portland Metro, Oregon Real Estate Market Insights - Spring 2023

As the vibrant city of Portland continues to captivate homebuyers and investors alike, the real estate market in the Portland metro area remains dynamic and alluring. Spring has brought new opportunities and trends, making it an exciting time for those looking to make their mark on the local property landscape. In this blog post, we will dive into the latest developments, emerging neighborhoods, and key factors driving the Portland metro real estate market this spring. Whether you are a prospective homebuyer or a keen observer of the market, join us as we explore the thriving real estate scene in this picturesque region.

Steady Market Growth:

The Portland metro area has been experiencing steady market growth, even in the face of a challenging economic landscape. This spring, the market continues to demonstrate resilience, with increasing demand for housing and a limited supply of available properties. This delicate balance has resulted in favorable conditions for sellers, who can leverage competitive pricing and multiple offers, while buyers must be diligent and prepared to act swiftly.

Emerging Neighborhoods:

While established neighborhoods in Portland, such as Pearl District, Hawthorne, and Alberta Arts District, remain highly sought after, emerging neighborhoods are garnering attention in the spring of 2023. Areas like Montavilla, St. Johns, and Foster-Powell are witnessing revitalization efforts, attracting homebuyers with their affordability, unique charm, and proximity to amenities. These up-and-coming neighborhoods offer a chance to invest in a promising market while enjoying the benefits of a vibrant community.

Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Living:

Portland has long been recognized as a frontrunner in sustainable living, and this commitment to eco-consciousness extends to the real estate market. Buyers in the Portland metro area are increasingly seeking energy-efficient and environmentally friendly homes. Features such as solar panels, energy-efficient appliances, and sustainable building materials are highly desirable, reflecting the city's values and the growing demand for greener living options.

Mortgage Rates:

This spring, prospective homebuyers are facing the challenge of high mortgage rates. The real estate market is experiencing an upward trend in interest rates, making it more expensive to borrow for property purchases. These higher rates have implications for affordability, as they can impact the overall cost of financing a home. Homebuyers must carefully consider their budget and financial capabilities, as the increased mortgage rates may require adjustments in their housing plans. It is crucial for buyers to explore different loan options, consult with mortgage professionals, and thoroughly evaluate the long-term financial implications before committing to a mortgage in this environment of elevated rates.

A Focus on Outdoor Amenities:

One of the many draws of living in the Portland metro area is its abundant outdoor recreational opportunities. With a wealth of parks, trails, and green spaces, this spring sees an increased emphasis on properties with outdoor amenities. From private gardens and spacious yards to proximity to hiking trails and riverfront access, homebuyers are keen on finding residences that facilitate an active and nature-centric lifestyle.

The Portland metro, Oregon real estate market for spring 2023 continues to showcase its allure, presenting both buyers and sellers with exciting opportunities. Steady market growth, emerging neighborhoods, sustainable living options, and a focus on outdoor amenities are some of the prominent factors shaping the market this season. As the city continues to flourish, it is an opportune time for homebuyers and investors to explore the diverse range of properties available and make their mark in this thriving real estate landscape.

Whether you are a first-time buyer or a seasoned investor, partnering with a knowledgeable local real estate agent is key to navigating the Portland metro market successfully. With their expertise and understanding of the latest trends, they can help you find the perfect property that aligns with your goals and aspirations. Embrace the excitement of spring in the Portland metro area and seize the opportunities this flourishing real estate market has to offer.

 

Feb. 27, 2023

Crafting a Dream Home Over Time: Transforming Limited Budgets into Extraordinary Spaces

Creating a dream home is often associated with substantial budgets, but what if we told you that an extraordinary living space is within your reach, even with limited financial resources? With patience, perseverance, and a thoughtful approach, you can gradually transform your dwelling into a sanctuary that reflects your unique style and aspirations. In this article, we explore the remarkable journey of turning a limited budget into a dream home over time. Join us as we uncover the strategies and mindset needed to create an extraordinary living space without breaking the bank.

Cultivating a Vision:

Transforming a limited budget into a dream home begins with a clear vision. Take the time to imagine your ideal space, considering aesthetics, functionality, and the ambiance you desire. Explore design inspirations, create mood boards, and develop a cohesive vision that will guide your journey. This clarity of purpose will serve as a compass, enabling you to make informed decisions as you gradually bring your dream home to life.

Prioritizing and Planning:

When resources are limited, it's essential to prioritize and plan your investments wisely. Assess the areas of your home that require immediate attention or have the most significant impact on your daily life. Consider aspects such as comfort, functionality, and safety. By focusing on these priority areas, you can allocate your budget effectively and ensure that each investment contributes to the transformation of your living space.

Embracing the Power of DIY:

One of the most empowering ways to transform a limited budget into a dream home is by embracing the do-it-yourself (DIY) approach. DIY projects allow you to utilize your skills and creativity while saving money. From repurposing furniture to painting walls and even tackling minor renovations, taking the DIY route can significantly reduce costs and give your home a unique, personalized touch. Embrace the learning process and enjoy the satisfaction that comes from crafting your dream home with your own hands.

Strategic Shopping and Thrifty Finds:

When working with a limited budget, strategic shopping becomes a valuable skill. Take advantage of sales, discounts, and clearance events to stretch your dollars further. Explore thrift stores, flea markets, and online marketplaces to discover hidden gems at affordable prices. Don't be afraid to mix and match items to create a curated, eclectic style. With a discerning eye and patience, you can find affordable treasures that enhance the charm and character of your dream home.

Gradual Progress and Patience:

Transforming a limited budget into a dream home is a journey that requires patience and acceptance of gradual progress. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither will your dream home. Embrace each step forward, celebrating the small victories along the way. Rome may not have been built in a day, but each day brought it closer to greatness. Keep the big picture in mind while appreciating the beauty of incremental improvements.

Creating a dream home on a limited budget is not only possible but also a fulfilling and rewarding endeavor. By cultivating a vision, prioritizing wisely, embracing DIY projects, practicing strategic shopping, and nurturing patience, you can transform your living space into an extraordinary haven over time. Remember, it's the journey itself that shapes the character of your dream home, and each small step forward is a testament to your creativity and resilience.

Don’t let a limited budget deter you from pursuing your dream home. With determination and a well-thought-out approach, you can gradually turn your living space into a sanctuary that reflects your unique personality and brings you joy for years to come. Embrace the journey and savor the process of crafting a dream home that defies financial limitations.

 

Nov. 21, 2022

Unlocking the Secrets: The Best Time of Year to Buy Household Goods

In a world of ever-changing prices and shifting retail landscapes, finding the opportune moment to purchase household goods can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. However, with a little insight and planning, you can become a master of timing and secure the best deals for your domestic needs. In this article, we will unveil the secrets of the best time of year to buy household goods, helping you make informed decisions and maximize your savings. So, grab a notepad and let's dive into the realm of smart shopping!

New Year, New Possibilities:

As the calendar resets, retailers often introduce fresh inventory and offer discounts on last year's models. January is an excellent time to buy items such as bedding, furniture, and storage solutions. Take advantage of post-holiday sales and clearance events, as stores make room for new stock. Embrace the spirit of renewal and find incredible deals to transform your living space.

Spring Clearances and Renewal:

Spring brings a sense of rejuvenation, and it also heralds the arrival of clearance sales. Look out for discounted appliances, cookware, and cleaning supplies during this season. As retailers prepare for new product launches, they often offer attractive prices on items that may not fit the upcoming trends. Spring cleaning becomes even more rewarding when you can save on the tools and equipment you need.

Summer Deals Heat Up:

As the temperatures rise, so do the opportunities to cool down your spending. Summer is a prime time to purchase air conditioners, fans, and outdoor furniture. Retailers compete for your attention during the summer months, offering enticing promotions on various household items. Take advantage of these competitive deals to create a comfortable and stylish living environment.

Autumn Harvest of Savings:

Fall is not only synonymous with vibrant foliage and pumpkin spice lattes but also a harvest of savings on household goods. Back-to-school sales present an excellent opportunity to snag deals on electronics, office supplies, and small appliances. As students prepare for the new academic year, you can benefit from the discounts and equip your home with the latest gadgets and accessories.

Winter Wonderland of Discounts:

The holiday season brings more than just festivities; it's a treasure trove of discounts and special promotions. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the weeks leading up to Christmas offer significant savings on a wide range of household items, including electronics, home decor, and kitchen appliances. Keep a watchful eye on online and in-store deals, as retailers strive to capture the holiday shopping frenzy.

Timing is crucial when it comes to buying household goods at the best possible prices. By aligning your purchases with the seasonal patterns of the retail industry, you can save substantial amounts of money while still acquiring high-quality items for your home. Remember to stay informed about sales, clearance events, and promotional periods throughout the year.

Whether you're seeking a fresh start in the New Year, embracing the spirit of spring renewal, enjoying the summer sun, capitalizing on autumn's back-to-school promotions, or indulging in the winter holiday shopping frenzy, each season offers its own unique opportunities for savings.

 

Posted in General, Homeowner Tips
Sept. 11, 2022

How to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air pollution is a serious problem that can have a significant impact on our health. The air we breathe inside our homes can be two to five times more polluted than the air outside, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Today's energy-efficient homes are often built to be as airtight as possible. This can help to keep the home warm in the winter and cool in the summer, but it can also lead to a buildup of pollutants inside the home.

Pollutants can come from a variety of sources, including cooking fumes, cleaning products, and even the materials used to build the home. When these pollutants are not properly ventilated, they can build up to unhealthy levels.

There are many different factors that can contribute to indoor air pollution. These include:

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs): VOCs are chemicals that are emitted from a variety of sources, including paints, cleaning products, furniture, and even some foods. VOCs can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, and they can also have long-term health effects, such as respiratory problems and cancer.

Mold and mildew: Mold and mildew can grow in damp or humid environments. They can release spores into the air, which can cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems.

Dust mites: Dust mites are tiny creatures that live in dust. They can trigger allergic reactions in people who are allergic to them.

Pet dander: Pet dander is a major source of indoor allergens. It can trigger allergic reactions in people who are allergic to dogs, cats, or other animals.

Secondhand smoke: Secondhand smoke is a major source of indoor air pollution. It can cause a variety of health problems, including respiratory problems, heart disease, and cancer.

In addition to these common sources, indoor air pollution can also be caused by:

Wildfires: Wildfires can release harmful pollutants into the air, which can then enter homes.

Cooking appliances: Cooking appliances can release pollutants into the air, such as nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide.

Fireplaces: Fireplaces can release pollutants into the air, such as smoke and soot.

Chemicals: Household chemicals, such as cleaning products and paints, can release pollutants into the air.

 

There are a number of things you can do to improve the air quality in your home. Here are some tips:

Routine Cleaning. This means regularly cleaning hard surfaces and vacuuming carpets with a HEPA-rated filter. You should also wash bedding weekly in hot water to kill dust mites.

Change HVAC Filters. Air filters can remove allergens and pollutants from the air, so it's important to change them every three months. Also, have your HVAC checked and cleaned regularly. This will help ensure that your system is working properly and that it's not releasing pollutants into the air.

Get Some Fresh Air. Even during the winter, opening windows for at least 10 minutes a day can help ventilate your home and reduce pollutants.

Control Humidity. Too much humidity can lead to mold growth, so it's important to keep humidity levels between 30% and 50%. If needed, consider investing in a dehumidifier.

Use Air Purifiers. Air purifiers can help remove pollutants from the air, making it easier to breathe.

Use your fans. Fans can help circulate the air in your home, which can help reduce pollutants.

Stay on top of pet hygiene. Pet dander can be a major source of indoor allergens, so it's important to clean your pet regularly.

Use your kitchen vent. Cooking can release pollutants into the air, so it's important to vent your stovetop or oven when you're cooking.

Add some plants. Research has shown that plants can help clean your indoor air. Some plants, such as English ivy and bamboo palm, have a reputation for being some of the best plants for purifying your air.

Be aware of your household cleaners. Many household cleaning products contain chemicals that can pollute the air. When you're cleaning, try to use products with natural ingredients.

Be aware of home fragrance items. Some candles can release pollutants into the air. Instead, use candles made with beeswax, palm oil, or soy wax and make sure that there is adequate ventilation while using.

By following these tips, you can improve the air quality in your home and make it a healthier place to live.

Posted in General, Homeowner Tips
April 30, 2022

Benefits of Homeownership

 

Interest rates are certainly a factor to consider when buying a house, but they shouldn't be the only one. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to buy a house, is a personal one that depends on your individual circumstances.

That said, there are many advantages to owning a home, both financial and non-financial. Here are some of our favorite reasons for buying a home:

  • Long-term increased net worth. Over the long term, home values have generally appreciated in value. This means that your home can be a valuable asset that can help you build wealth. According to the NAR, the median net worth of homeowners is $300,000, compared to $8,000 for renters.


  • Creating equity. As you make mortgage payments, you're building equity in your home. This means that you're essentially paying yourself back for the purchase of your home.  Because homeowners build equity in their homes over time, they have access to a line of credit that they can use for emergencies or other expenses.


  • Sense of security. Owning a home can give you a sense of security and stability. You know that you have a place to live that you own, and you don't have to worry about your rent going up or your landlord selling the property.


  • Tax advantages. There are a number of tax advantages associated with owning a home. For example, you may be able to deduct mortgage interest and property taxes from your taxable income.


  • Better credit standing. Making on-time mortgage payments can help improve your credit score. This can make it easier to qualify for other loans in the future, such as a car loan or a student loan.


  • Creating your dream home. One of the biggest perks of owning a home is that you can turn your starter home into your dream home — one hole in the wall at a time. No longer will your landlord have the power to veto your paint color choices (or lack thereof). With your own place, you can finally let your inner interior designer run wild.

Of course, there are also some disadvantages to owning a home, such as the upfront costs of buying a home and the ongoing maintenance costs. However, for many people, the advantages of owning a home outweigh the disadvantages.

If you're considering buying a house, it's important to weigh all of the factors involved and make a decision that's right for you. However, if you're looking for a long-term investment that can provide you with financial security and peace of mind, owning a home is a great option.

Bonus Tip: Work with an experienced real estate agent (or husband and wife team, ahem)

Buying a house can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. An agent can help you through the entire process, from finding the right home to negotiating the best price. An agent will also be able to provide you with valuable insights into the local market and help you make the best decision for your needs.

 

 

 

Jan. 14, 2022

Moving to a New Home with Furry Friends

Congratulations on your upcoming move! While moving to a new home is an exciting adventure, it can also be a bit ruff when you have furry friends by your side. As real estate professionals and pet owners, we understand the unique challenges and joys of relocating with pets. In this blog post, we'll explore some helpful tips and tricks to make the transition smooth and enjoyable for both you and your beloved pets.

Preparation is Key Before the big move, it's essential to prepare your pets for the upcoming changes. Create a comfortable space for them amidst the packing chaos, with their favorite toys, blankets, and treats. Let them explore moving boxes and gradually introduce them to their carriers or crates. This way, they'll feel more at ease when moving day arrives.

Pet-Friendly New Digs When searching for a new home, consider your furry friends' needs. Look for pet-friendly features like a fenced yard, nearby parks or trails for walks, and easy access to pet services. A home with pet-friendly flooring options, such as hardwood or tile, can also be a wise choice. After all, a little wagging tail can leave its mark!

Make a Vet Pit Stop Before moving, schedule a visit to the vet. Ensure your pets are up-to-date on vaccinations, and consider getting a copy of their medical records. If you're moving to a new area, ask your vet for recommendations on local veterinarians. It's always good to have a new "pet doc" in your corner!

Crate Travel On moving day, keep your pets safe and secure by using crates or carriers. Label their crates with their names and attach photos for easy identification. Familiar scents, such as bedding or their favorite toys, will help comfort them during the journey. Don't forget to pack a "pet essentials" bag with food, water, bowls, medications, and a leash for quick access.

Unpack Their Haven Once you arrive at your new abode, create a designated "pet haven" where they can retreat to while you unpack. Set up their bedding, food, water, and litter boxes in a quiet area away from the commotion. Gradually introduce them to the rest of the house, one room at a time, to help them adjust comfortably.

Exploration Encourage your pets to explore their new surroundings at their own pace. Familiarize them with the neighborhood on leashed walks and let them sniff out their favorite spots. Be patient if they exhibit signs of stress or anxiety—it's a big change for them too! Lots of cuddles, playtime, and treats will help them feel loved and secure.

Home is Where the Paw is To prevent your pets from getting lost in their new environment, update their identification tags with your new address and contact information. Consider microchipping them as an added safety measure. Additionally, check your new home for any potential hazards and secure fences or gates to keep your pets safe and sound.

Moving to a new home with pets can be an adventure filled with joy, wags, and the occasional furball. By prepping your pets, creating a pet-friendly environment, and offering love and patience during the transition, you can ensure a stress-free and pawsitive (I know, I know) moving experience for everyone involved.

If you're ready to embark on this exciting journey and need assistance finding a pet-friendly home, reach out to our real estate team. We'll help you find the perfect new nest for you and your four-legged companions. Happy moving!

Feb. 9, 2018

Tips to SOLD: Upgrades to Up Your Home Value

Growing into a home is a true joy, creating lasting memories in a space does wonders for the soul but often causes wear and tear on our homes. Homes love it. Living in a home with gusto, growing and molding families’ generation after generation, is the life blood of all homes. However, there may come a day when you realize the home you’ve blessed, and been blessed in, has no more room for growth. Moving up, on or down is part of every homeowner’s journey. After the years you’ve spent in a home, it can be hard to leave it, scary even. Becoming sure you will get top dollar for your home, helps moving on seem reasonable and attainable. Give your home some much needed attention and a few small facelifts to ensure you sell for top dollar. Follow these dozen tips to help ease the fear of leaving behind a home you’ve loved so well and guarantee you can move onto somewhere you can once again fall in love with.

      1: Invite a Realtor over. Getting a comparative market analysis for your home is a free perk of using a Realtor to list your home. Any Realtor is capable of coming into your home and knowing the market value, but the key is to hire a Realtor who informs you of the value of your home, gives you tips to improve the value and shows you homes on the market like yours. Take your Realtor’s advice when it comes to little updates like getting good carpet stretched, painting that hot pink bedroom and de-cluttering that one junk closet. Your agent receives constant feedback from buyers about what they like and want from a home so their advice is based on a large variety of buyers!  A lived in home is a loved home but a quick clean up can do wonders for a space and give home buyers a better understanding of what the home has to offer.       

    2: Paint, paint and paint some more! Nothing updates a space, big or small, in a more efficient way than a fresh coat of paint. We encourage that you paint the space a neutral pallet and keeping it light in tone. Light and neutral colors make a space feel larger and brighter. Grey, beige and white all lighten a space making it feel both homey and spacious.

    3: Remodel dated areas. The 70’s was a rough time for design. Architecturally it was phenomenal but, aesthetically, it was a little much. This goes without saying but popcorn ceilings and shag carpet aren’t the only things in older homes that need to go but they are definitely two of the most prominent design elements that date a home. Don’t get me wrong, I am well aware that there are people today who still love some shag carpet and popcorn ceilings but the general public tends to grimace. Throw out the orange shag and install some new, neutral carpet in bedrooms. The space you renovate will be fresh and revived for the next owner. Therefore, boosting your return on your home.

     4: Small bathroom and kitchen updates go the furthest. Even just putting in a new vanity, hanging a new mirror, painting the walls and updating the fixtures goes a long way towards breathing new life into a tired space. Kitchens are similar. Experts agree that kitchens yield at least 80 percent return of every dollar spent. Opening up a closed off kitchen to the living area, installing new counter-tops and updating your cabinets will generate the highest return. However, even a few updates to the kitchen will help you sell your home at top dollar.

      5: Get your home clean, sparkling clean! A clean home is the most efficient way to sell your home. If you’re too busy to clean every inch of your home, hiring a cleaning service just before you list and maintaining the home will help you get your home sold faster. When a space is clean, it is easier for a home buyer to see themselves in the home.

      6: Organize like you’ve never organized before. Storing large items you very infrequently use at a storage unit until you move to your next home or packing as much as you can before you move out will not only make it easier to move out but also keep your home uncluttered during the showing process. Copious amounts of stuff in a space whether it’s a closet, pantry or storage room, make is hard for potential buyers to realize just how much storage space there is in the home. Leaving things a little more open means your storage space looks well organized and available.

      7: Choose a style. Staging your own home is a simple task as long as you know less is more. Choosing a style for your home that best represents the space and is aesthetically pleasing will ensure home buyers will be impressed. Your home will be photographed when it is listed and it is important the decorations you choose are easy to keep clean as showings could be happening on a daily basis. Cluttering your space with lots of decorations can overwhelm the space and make it look small. Just remember when you’re staging your home, you are trying to show prospective buyers what it would be like to call your house “home.” Do your home justice by making its best features stand out. Whether it is drawing attention to the fireplace with a vase with fresh flowers and antique books or the kitchen island by a fruit basket or cake stand on the counter.

        8: Curb appeal is the key to the first impression your home portrays. Keeping your lawn mown, shrubs trimmed and any flowerbeds weed free, is sure to make a great first impression. Most home buyers fall in love with a home before they even open the front door. Having a welcoming front porch is always a plus. A cute welcome mat and a nice potted plant is enough to welcome in potential buyers and make a great first impression.

         9: Refresh exterior paint. Chipped or faded paint sends a message to home buyers that your home hasn’t been well maintained and there could be any number of problems ahead. Painting your home isn’t too expensive and depending on the loan may be necessary to close anyways. It is better to get it done ahead of time and keep buyers minds open before they event come in the front door.

        10: Go green! Energy efficient lighting and new fixtures can not only brighten up a dated home but lower electricity costs. While home buyers are aware they are taking on a mortgage and utility bills, anything that helps them to keep bills down is an added bonus.

        11: Love on your home one last time! Saying goodbye to a home you’ve loved and heading on to the next chapter of your life can be a little bittersweet, so enjoy the time you have left with your home. Your Realtor will make the selling process smooth and if you choose to do any of these things you are speeding the process along. Don’t let your hopes get dashed if it doesn’t sell right away, the perfect people are coming along soon to love on and grow in your home just as you did!

             Remember, this list isn’t something that you have to do in order to sell your home. If this seems overwhelming, just choose a couple things to spruce up the space and keep it looking clean!          

Nov. 21, 2017

First Time Homebuyer Checklist

         

Congratulations! You are about to purchase a place to build memories, pursue dreams and grow roots. There is no greater excitement than sliding the key to your first home in the deadbolt and stepping foot into the entryway of your very own. For lots of first time homebuyers, myself included, we go into the home buying process with a House Hunters narrative in mind. Shockingly we don’t find ourselves sipping tea on the pier when our faithful agent tells us the spectacular news, but instead stressed and exhausted at the end of what felt like an overwhelming roller coaster ride. While a blast at an amusement park, not really what you envision for your first home search. Don’t fret! With the help of a devoted real estate agent and a good understanding of what to expect when you’re purchasing a home, you will go through the process like a champ ready to personalize your new abode. This milestone is the biggest purchase of your life so follow these helpful steps to make it a smooth and enjoyable one!

Step 1: Know your credit score and sit down to talk with a local lender as early as six months before you plan to buy your home.

            Your credit score helps lenders determine if you are reliable enough to pay off your home in the time allowed and on a monthly basis. Your lender can give you great tips on how to raise your credit score in order to better improve your chances of getting the pre-approval you are hoping for. Your debt-to-income ratio is important as well. So, talk with your lender about the best way to pay off debts prior to getting pre-approved. Local lenders have a lot more clout when you submit an offer to a listing agent than a large credit union or online lending service. Local lenders are readily available and are personally invested in your home purchase. There is also a large chance that the listing agent on the home you fall in love with will have already gone through a smooth transaction with a local lender which will help solidify your offer. Helpful hint, ask your lender for their personal cell phone number so you can reach them anytime because you probably won’t find your dream home during “office hours.” Being aware of your finances is always helpful when going into the home buying process but make sure not to call it quits if you think you can’t buy. Talk to a local lender and you may be pleasantly surprised at how much you can afford. Getting pre-approved before your home hunt is crucial! Waiting until after you find the perfect home could mean it goes under contract with a different buyer before you can get the approval. Being approved before your home search will also ensure that you can afford the home of your practical dreams.

 

Step 2: Find a trusted real estate agent who will go above and beyond to get you your dream home.

            Just like with your lender, your real estate agent should give you their personal cell phone number and an e-mail address for you to contact them with at any time. If the perfect house hits the market, you will need to see it quickly in order to not miss the opportunity to buy. While the market is constantly changing, it is almost always true that your dream home is someone else’s dream home too. Putting in a strong offer before the competition is critical to you retaining your dream home. Your agent is a wealth of information and knowledge, utilize and trust them! Your agent should do all they can to get you exactly what you need in a home. Getting an agent you respect and trust involved as soon as you can will give you someone diligently searching for your first home, reaching out to their community resources to find you un-listed gems and searching For Sale By Owner, foreclosure and short-sale properties too.

Step 3: Research the market and know what your budget will realistically buy you.

            One of the hardest parts of being a first time home buyer is knowing what your price range will warrant you to buy. Look at tons of homes in your budget and make an attainable wish list from the homes you have found. Going into the process knowing what you can comfortably afford and what homes will be like at that price point will help you feel confident in your purchase!

Step 4: Give your agent your wish list and know what is most important to you in your future home.

            This is one of the most important steps in this process, make sure your agent is aware of your needs. No client is the same as the one before them, so it is imperative that you know what you want and what you need and let your agent know too! If you give your agent a wish list, they will work hard to get you what you need and want. Your agent should be aware of what makes a home perfect for you. However, most homes won’t be the full package. If you found a home that is an 8/10, that is a pretty great rating! Being willing to add some of your desires to a home later will make it easier to figure out what are necessities now.

Step 5: Search an MLS supported website, like gentryteam.com, for accurate listing details.

            In this market, homes are selling quicker than most sites on the internet can keep up with. This means there is a large chance that a home you see on most internet home search sites can be under contract, at a lower price point, or already sold. The best way to make sure you aren’t wasting your time, or your hopes, is to search for homes on a website that pulls directly from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) website. The MLS is a website that only licensed real estate agents can access. All properties for sale in the Tri-Cities are listed on the Pacific Multiple Listing Service (PACMLS). Properties are updated immediately by listing agents with all changes. Price Reductions, Pending Inspection, Pending Appraisal, Sold and Back on Market are all recorded on this site and updated as necessary. For example, gentryteam.com shows all of the listed properties, both active and pending, in our market. This way you are assured that you can schedule private showings, write any offers and potentially purchase the active homes on our site. Additionally, whenever a new listing becomes active on the market it is simultaneously added to gentryteam.com. This is also true with any other status changes, pending, sold, back on market and price changes. Being aware of what homes are active and attainable will allow for much less heartache and stress.

Pro-tip: Search craigslist and Zillow for For Sale By Owner properties. Give your agent a call if you find any For Sale By Owners you like and let them negotiate for you!

           

Step 6: Know the terminology and the process.

Going through the home buying process maintains a fairly standard procedure. Your agent will walk you through the process in detail but knowing the terminology and having a brief concept of the process will help you be prepared before you actually sit down and write up a contract with your agent.

Here is a brief overview of the home buying process.

o   Draw up and submit an offer with your agent.

o   Once an offer is mutually accepted, deposit your earnest money.

o   Hire a home inspector.

o   Review your inspection report with your agent. If any major repairs are needed, your agent will help you negotiate a remedy with the sellers.

o   After your inspection period, your lender will send an appraiser to the home to assess if the purchase price is equivalent to the home’s value.

o   Meanwhile, the lender will be collecting any additional documents needed to submit your loan to underwriting for final approval.  

o   Once you have final approval, you will set up your signing appointment with the closing attorney to finalize all legal documents.

o   As soon as the closing attorney records the deed in your name, you will receive the keys to your new home!

For more information regarding the home buying process, visit www.gentryteam.com/buying.

 Step 7: Have fun!

            You only buy your first home once. Enjoy the process and trust the professionals working for you; your agent, your lender and the title company all have your best interests in mind!

This is not an all-inclusive list because the home buying process isn’t predictable. There are going to be things that come up that no one can foresee but you can count on your agent and your lender to walk you through the unexpected. With a basic understanding of the process, a flexible attitude and trusting the team of professionals you’ve hired, we assure you that you will end up with a smile on your face and a cozy place to call home!