Independence

Independence

  On this Independence Day, the day our nation celebrates its freedom, I thought I would reflect on the significance of the word and how it pertains to real estate – I mean everything pertains to real estate, right? Most of us don’t remember taking our first steps, some of us can’t recall our first day of kindergarten, but most of us know what it felt like to walk onto that college campus. The fear, the exhilaration, the feeling that we were all on our own. That’s independence. Later curfews, if any at all. Adults weren’t watching your every move. You had some space to grow and to make mistakes. Much like it was to get that first apartment. That was real freedom. Until the landlord came asking for the rent. But, we could come and go as we pleased, have anyone over to visit at any time of day, and have only cheese balls in the pantry and Budweiser in the refrigerator if that’s what we wanted. There were some limitations about how loud you could play your music and what color your walls could be, but it was ours, nonetheless. Real independence is the day you buy your first house. You can landscape your yard, put wood on the floors, paint the front door, and call it home. In this country, we are truly fortunate to that homeownership is highly attainable and that we have that right at all. Today, as you’re grilling outside on your patio, sitting by the pool or playing corn hole in your yard, take a moment to smile and be thankful for your independence. It’s yours, you did it, and be thankful for the others that fought to keep this country...

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You Can’t Always Get What You Want – Or Can You?

You Can’t Always Get What You Want – Or Can You?

  We live in a world that we have so much at our fingertips. Get online at 9:00AM and have a new suit delivered to your door by noon. We can take virtual trips to the Grand Canyon while lying in bed in Indianapolis. We can even tour a house from our phone while standing in line at the coffee shop. So why, then, can be it sometimes be so difficult when it comes to actually buying that house we’ve been dreaming of? Perhaps you can’t always get what you want. There are a lot of factors at play. Maybe the app you have been using has outdated information and the house is already sold. Maybe the photographer did such a great job that the pictures are quite deceiving. Perhaps the description of spacious and meticulously maintained was very subjective. Or, just maybe, it isn’t for sale right now. The nation’s real estate market is currently experiencing low inventory. So, what do you do if just can’t find what you’re looking for? (There’s another song in there) There are several options depending on your budget. You can rent until that right place shows up – but you need to be ready for it. Make sure you can either get out of your lease with little consequence or sign a month-to-month lease. Another option is to buy a house in a location you love and renovate it to be exactly what you want. There may be plenty of things about it you like, and you can build on what’s already there. Lastly, you can build. Of course, you need to have the land, but if that’s available, it’s a great option. One word of warning, however, you still may not get exactly what you want. Why? Well, there are several reasons for that, too. Your lot may not be able to hold the size or shape of the exact home you want. There may be an HOA involved that will disallow one of your desires. It may just not be possible to have all the things you want in the size or style of house you choose. Your architect and builder are good sources for these questions before you get started. And lastly, we change what we want. In the beginning, we want a humble home on a nice lot bordering a creek. Then we grow, change, and see many more possibilities. We then want the 3000 square foot, 2-story “smart” home with an award-winning pool and trimmings that could stack up to any on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Why am I prosing on not getting what you want? Because it’s just a house. They come and they...

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Best Home Search App

Best Home Search App

  It seems like everyone is interested in real estate. Even if you’re not in the market to sell or buy, you’re probably curious. It is interesting to know what is going on around you. What did that house down the street sell for? Or you’re driving around on a Saturday afternoon and want to know what the house you just saw with a sign in the yard is listed for. Did you miss the house because you didn’t see it on the app you use? Are you late to the party because everything you look up was sold three months ago? Where do you search for real estate? Chances are, you get on your phone or tablet and open up an app. A lot of consumers I speak with say that they use apps such as Zillow or Trulia to search for properties and find sales prices and estimated values. But, there are a couple of reasons why apps and/or websites like these might not be the best ones for you. First of all, if you have been following my blogs, you have read “Is Zillow Accurate?” Secondly, apps and sites such as these are not real estate apps – they are marketing apps. They take your information and sell it. They use it to sell to lenders, real estate agents, etc. that pay for leads. Thirdly, some MLS areas have opted not to share listing information. I read one study that showed only 49% of the current MLS listings were showing up on these apps. That’s a LOT of homes not being seen by the consumer. So what is the alternative? Where do you search for real estate information that is up to date and accurate? I am glad you asked! If you live in Tennessee, download the HomeScout app. You can use the VIP code: 6159170139. It is linked directly to the local MLS in Middle Tennessee. If you live outside of Tennessee, contact me and I can get you set up in your area. This is the greatest tool that I have seen. It tells you the status of the property, how long it has been on the market, shows photos, provides school zones, room sizes, property taxes, how long it has been on the market, and more. You can make your own notes about the property, favorite properties to watch, and even schedule a showing. The other exciting part of this tool is that I can enroll current homeowners in an automated system that will provide comps for their area every 30 days. You can now be a nosey neighbor without anyone knowing. Or, even better, you can stay on top of the market...

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Low Inventory Real Estate Market

Low Inventory Real Estate Market

  If you are like me, you live in a real estate market with very low inventory. What happens when you need more room, your kitchen is outdated, or you really want a swimming pool and you can’t find a house on the market that fits your needs? Or, maybe with the rising interest rates you found a great house but now the higher interest rates put it out of reach. If you currently own your home and your market has appreciated since you purchased, chances are you have equity. A great option is a home equity loan. There are many things you can do to improve your home or remodel to fit your current needs or desires. You might want to add a patio to give you more outdoor living space. You may want to add that swimming pool you’ve always wanted. Or you just might need a new roof. You may have heard about a home equity loan, but another option is a home renovation loan. There are FHA, VA, and conventional products. In a nutshell, these loans will allow you to renovate your home by lending on the improved value, not the current value. They can be a bit more complicated but if you have a loan officer and mortgage company that knows how to navigate the process, it can be a wonderful solution. Home renovation loans are great for those larger projects where you may be gutting kitchens and bathrooms or adding square footage. Of course, as a Realtor, I would hope we could find a house for you to buy that would fit your needs and be within budget, but it is not always possible, especially in a price range that is very popular. I have great vendors I work with that I recommend to clients for both types of loans. In fact, most of them can handle loans out of state so feel free to reach out if you can’t find your dream home but think you could make your current home work for a few more years with a little love. I am happy to refer you to professionals that can give you the hard facts about these loans and how they may work for...

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Inspiration

Inspiration

  I live and work in Nashville TN. Our nickname is Music City. People move here every day, in hopes of becoming either a songwriter or a star. As a songwriter, or a writer in general, you need inspiration. Something that will, seemingly, just come out of nowhere. Something that hits you between the eyes and speaks to you. It may be a trip that you took, it may be a sunset. It could be a heartbreak or an illness. So many things in our daily lives can inspire us if we are open to them. It can be the same in real estate. When you are looking to buy or sell a house, you have an inspiration. Something came into play that helped you make that decision. Did you take a job in a different area and want to move closer to work? Is your family growing and need more space? Are your aging parents needing help and you are looking to combine two households? Whatever your inspiration, buying and selling real estate can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Keep your eye on the end game. Keep focused on the inspiration that got you here in the first place. If that inspiration is negative, then focus on how you will feel once it’s over and that chapter is closed. Some of the most award winning, popular, beautiful songs are written out of a negative place so don’t be afraid to go through it. When you come out on the other side, you will be a better, stronger version of yourself and you’ll have new inspirations for a new season. Once you get where you are going, there are entirely new inspirations to be found. What color will you paint the bedroom? What kind of stools will you put at the breakfast bar? What type of painting or art will look best in the living room? You may want to take from travels you have been on and infuse other cultures into your world or you may collect things you have seen at art fairs. However you enjoy to add life to your home, make it a piece of you. I believe, and hear from others, that when you walk into a home, it has a feel. You can feel the energy. What better energy than that of yourself. When others come into your home, they see a piece of you. They see your personality play out in the things that surround them. Make it yours and don’t apologize for it. Who cares if you don’t use this year’s “color of the year” or have the latest trend in countertops in your kitchen. If you love...

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You’re Not All That

You’re Not All That

  You’ve met them. Those people that the minute you meet them you know they think they were born to bless others with their presence. They think they can do nothing wrong and you are stupid if you think otherwise. Don’t you just want to tell them, “you’re not all that”? Yeah, it goes the same for some people in the real estate market. They think that their $20,000 under asking price, cash offer, first day on the market should make Sellers run to sign the papers and ask if they want all their furniture too. We have a great real estate market in the Nashville area. Over the past two years, I have taken many calls from real estate investors from other states that heard that Nashville was a great market and a great place to invest. They are looking for a “deal”. Well, those days are gone for now. Prices have risen, and Sellers are smart. I have had to explain to more than one person that while cash is great, if it doesn’t accompany a strong offer in other ways, it just might be “prince” instead of “king”. Certainly, there are circumstances where a cash offer makes most sense but if the offer price is a lowball offer, most Sellers will say, “No, thank you”. Think of it this way, if you are a Seller and your house is on the market for 2 days. You get two offers. One is for full price, is contingent on the Buyer’s 90% conventional loan and they are pre-approved by a reputable lender. The other offer is for $15,000 below asking price but is all cash. In most cases, Sellers would take the risk to make $15,000 more. However, the offer may have included things like no appraisal, or no inspection, in which case, the Seller may want to consider value and condition of their home prior to making that decision. I try to get my Buyers to be reasonable in their offers. It is never a good idea to offend or make a Seller mad with the spirit of negotiation in mind. Some people know it’s not personal while others take it very personally and are very offended by a lowball offer when a property is priced well and a Buyer is just out fishing for deals. Life and real estate is about compromise – negotiation. If you start off offending, chances are not good that you will come to a resolution and an outcome that you are hoping for. So, just because you have cash and think your *you know what* doesn’t *you know what*, doesn’t mean that you will get that house. They may just tell...

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