Fast Food – Fast Houses

Fast Food – Fast Houses

We live in a fast-paced society. Fast food, fast cars. Some people get pets on a whim and then once they realize the cost of time and money, they give them back. Others get into business relationships and get out after they realize the red flags were there from the beginning, but they didn’t pay attention. The same thing happens in real estate. I’ve had clients “want” to sell their house only to come to me after an offer is received, having second thoughts. I’ve had other clients that “have to have” this house but get cold feet once the reality of the costs sets in. Some people will tell you that it’s never too late and that it is a good thing you figured it out before making a big mistake. Yes, that is true. However, it is MUCH better to be sure BEFORE you get into the situation. Have you ever dated someone and thought later, “Wow, there’s 6 months of my life I’ll never get back”? When you get into real estate deals, you are not only wasting your time and energy, you are putting others in the same position. There are many people and expenses that are involved. That being said, one of the most unfortunate things I’ve seen is people who buy a house without much forethought or due diligence and sell it less than a year later because they didn’t think the whole thing through. They not only waste their time and energy, but a LOT of money. They have closing costs, real estate commissions, loan fees, and moving expenses that all could have potentially been avoided if they would have slowed down enough to make an informed decision. Does the house sit near a train track and you think it might be no big deal? It might not be, but if you are a light sleeper or you have a dog that barks at every little noise, you might want to re-think that purchase. Is the house a dream house but far from work or the conveniences you are accustomed to? The drive might not bother you at first but when you forget something at home or need something quick from the store for the recipe you are making for guests tonight and have to go back, it might be less than desirable. Have you always thought you wanted the charm of an old house? The charm is great but so can be the expense of maintaining it. If you have the money, time, and it is worth it to you, it could be a perfect fit, however, if either of those is scarce, you might consider a newer home built to...

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New Construction Inspections

New Construction Inspections

  “I am buying a new construction home, I don’t need a home inspection.” STOP!! Let’s take a step back and think about this before “saving” $500. I have heard this argument from more than one Buyer. The builder may be great. They may have great people working for them. However, even great people make mistakes. What if they had to use a new vendor or subcontractor? What if the material was defective? What if someone was rushing to beat the rain and missed something? Many inspectors will do multiple inspections throughout the building process. There are generally 3 phases of inspection. Framing Mechanical Insulation Doing phase inspections enables inspectors to check the footers and look for any variance in framing measurements. They can view the electrical and plumbing prior to the drywall being installed as well as making sure insulation is in walls, around windows and everywhere else it should be. Home inspectors see some unfortunate things in new construction homes. Houses that passed the Codes inspection with glaring defects. Plumbers have come in after framing and cut joists for piping and not properly supported the joists that were cut. This could cause structural issues, not to mention, perhaps void possible warranties. Entire sections of walls have been missing insulation. People sue builders over poor building standards and defects all the time. From my experience, most of those lawsuits happen when a home was already complete and the Buyer didn’t or wasn’t able to do phase inspections. A lot of builders and developers are just out to make money and don’t put as much emphasis on quality control and customer service as we might expect. I don’t want to seem mistrusting, however, with a purchase as large as a house, you need to feel as comfortable as possible that your brand new home is going to last, hold and even grow its value over the years. That brings me to the final point. Don’t fret if you found the house further along in the building process and you have not had phase inspections. A home inspector can still find things, and most likely WILL find things. It doesn’t matter how old a house is, a good inspector will find items that got missed. And don’t be fooled that “It wouldn’t have passed the Codes inspection if it wasn’t done correctly.” Again, humans make mistakes. My best suggestion is that you have a home inspection any time you buy anything someone will live in. If you need a recommendation for a good home inspector, most Realtors can give you a list of inspectors they or their clients have used or you can look online. www.Ashi.org is also a good...

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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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Why Realtors Should Hang Out

Why Realtors Should Hang Out

  Anyone who knows me knows that I am a networker. I network with CEO’s, musicians, blue collar workers, association and Chamber members, neighbors, and, yes, Realtors. When new real estate agents ask me for advice, I tell them they need to network with other agents. They often look at me like I’m crazy. They say, “I’m not going to sell a house to another Realtor.” Oh, but you ARE! Here are five reasons why Realtors should hang out. You can get the inside scoop on upcoming listings. I am in networks of Realtors that send me listings that are not yet on MLS for the public to see. This is hugely helpful in a competitive market when I have clients looking for a very popular type home. I can be ready to show it immediately when it is available. Sometimes they’ll let you in a listing FIRST.Every once in a while, clients prefer to take the hassle out of listing their house on MLS. They don’t want tons of people going through their house and would rather a few select people see it if it is likely to bring a good, quick offer. If you have a relationship with the listing agent, you may get to be one of the select few and save your client the hassle and disappointment of competing with other buyers. You may win for your client in a competitive market.I have had more than one instance where a Seller has chosen my Buyer’s contract over another one that may have even been slightly better because I had a relationship with their agent. When a Realtor knows that the agent representing the other party is professional and easy to work with, it can go a long way with clients who want a stress-free experience. You may find a house that isn’t listed for your Buyer.It is frustrating for agents and for buyers when the market is so hot and we see properties being listed on MLS and go under contract as soon as they go live. Chances are, they knew about it before it was listed. If you have a Buyer with a particular need, send it out to your Realtor network. There is likely someone who has a client who is looking to sell a property that fits that criteria and it may be possible to get it under contract before anyone else knows about it. The bad stuff is easier to deal with.Not all transactions are easy. Not all clients are reasonable. So, when the bad stuff happens, having a relationship with the other Realtor can make all the difference. If you know and respect each other, solutions can be found even...

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