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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I Want to be a Realtor

I Want to be a Realtor

This is a re-post of a previous blog but I get so many people asking about becoming a Realtor or telling me that they have been thinking about it, I feel it is worth the repetition. Enjoy! During my career, I have had many clients, friends, and referrals tell me they want to become a Realtor. “Great,” I say. Then I ask why. There are a million reasons to become a Realtor and another million not to. I love my career. I love my clients (well, most of them). But, just like anything, there are downsides. I am always happy to educate excited “Realtors-to-be” so they get the full picture of what taking the real estate plunge will actually look like. Here are some of the ideas and possible misconceptions I hear about becoming a Realtor. “I just love to look at houses!” Me too. The fact is, there is SO much more to being a Realtor than just looking at pretty houses. The scheduling, the driving, the gas consumption, the late clients, the paperwork, the rejection, the people that have no intention of buying because they just like to look at houses too. The list goes on and on. “I can make my own schedule.” Yes, you can. However, if you want to make money at it, at least in the beginning, your schedule won’t be yours. It will be your client’s. I understand that you want to be at your children’s after school activities and their sporting events on the weekends and church and family dinners. However, when do you think most people have time to meet with you or go look at houses? After work and on weekends – the same time you want to be with your friends and family. Once you are established and have a solid foundation, your boundaries can be much more rigid. You can hire people to work for you when you are not able. Just know that many nights, weekends, and vacations will be interrupted because of the fact that you “can make your own schedule.” “I know so many people that it won’t take me long to be successful.” That may be true. There are certainly people who are so well connected and respected in their community that no matter what new venture they take on, others will support them. It should also be noted that no matter how many people you know, they know you in your current role. It may take a while for them to think of you as a Realtor. It may take a while for them to trust you when you are new. You also should know that just because people know and like...

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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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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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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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