Monday, November 25, 2013

Keeping it all straight.....

Purchasing a home can be a daunting experience, and one that too often is driven by emotions. While you should love the home you ultimately decide to purchase, you should exercise some practical reasoning and methods to ensure you're getting the best possible home for the money. Using the services of a reputable realtor is invaluable. They are familiar with the area, values, and common concerns.
When touring homes with your realtor, it is wise to have done a little bit of research on your own. Aside from the material likely available from your realtor or the seller's agent, consider looking up the home's property records and building permits online if possible for the area. Review some reliable home inspection sites to get a feel for common issues in the area, as well as some tips of things to look for as you walk through homes.
Some obvious things to keep your eye out for include signs of water damage. This can be on ceilings, walls, window sills, and even baseboards. Look for bubbled or blistered paint, discoloration of the area, or a musty odor. Water damage often leads to mold, which in turn can lead to health concerns and some serious cash to correct both the source and result of the water.
Look for signs of poor maintenance. This can include simple things like cracked outlet covers, or drippy faucets in need of a gasket. Take a good look at the exterior of the home, keeping vigilant for signs of cracks in masonry, pest infestations (like termite tubes), and rotting woodwork in the eaves or fascia of the house. While all repairable, these are often signs that basic maintenance has been neglected and may incur costs that quickly add up.
Check all the mechanical systems in the home, including the furnace, air conditioning system, hot water heater, and appliances (if they will remain with the home). Ask if there are existing warranties in effect as well. It often pays to bring along someone who is experienced with home repairs to give their opinion.
Not all aspects of home-viewing require that you look for signs of potential trouble with the home. It is every bit as important to look for positive features; particularly those that will increase the value of your investment. In addition to looking for signs of a well-maintained home, consider the location of the home. Is it near services and amenities such as good schools, easy access to shopping, and medical facilities? Look at the homes in the same neighborhood to get a sense of the overall pride of ownership within the community. Look for quality workmanship and professional installation of things such as cabinets, exterior hardscaping (patios and the like), and for overall functionality and flow within the home.
Don't simply trust your emotions when it comes to buying a home. Do a little research on common pitfalls, take along a qualified friend or relative for a second set of eyes, and carefully examine structural details to ensure you're not falling in love with a money pit. It's often been said that the wisest purchases are those based on location. After all, you can paint, remodel, renovate, and re-imagine a building. But you can't often move it to a better area.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Location, Location, Location!

When looking for a home, whether your first or fifteenth, the old adage "location, location, location" will never change or steer you wrong. Whether as your family home or an investment property, considering the services and amenities in proximity to a home are key factors in making a wise purchasing decision.
By utilizing the services of a local, respected Real Estate agent, you will be getting years of specialized experience in not just the process of buying, but expertise in the area you are looking to buy in as well. When looking for a home in Grand Junction, Colorado, for instance, you want to seek out a realtor with a proven track record in that area. By engaging the services of a professional realtor you are assured of a smoother experience.
If you aren't quite certain just where to buy a home in Grand Junction CO, a realtor can be invaluable. They will provide you with details about the various areas, the pros and cons of each area, and historical information on the real estate market in each.
Considerations when purchasing a home include not just the look and feel of the home, but its location and proximity to services and facilities your family will use now and in the future. Consider how close you want to be to loved ones in the area, the educational system (particularly top-rated schools), transportation ease, and community facilities such as convenient shopping, parks, and recreational facilities. View areas with an eye toward the future whenever possible. While you may have no children now, someday you might, and a solid school system is a must. Even if you are buying a home for rental income, your tenants will want quality schools and community amenities as well. This will be reflected in the amount of rent you can expect to receive from the property. Homes in poorly-performing school districts or far from shopping options command lower prices.
As with most real estate markets in the United States, the Grand Junction market has many types of homes and price points available. By working closely with your real estate agent, view as many homes as possible. Create a checklist of the features you would like in a home, along with some common areas to be aware of when viewing homes. Don't be afraid to ask for your realtor's professional opinion on matters that you're unclear about, such as whether that addition was legally permitted or that stain on the ceiling might be a sign of a failing roof.
First time home buying is often the most stressful time in your and your family's life. With so many options available, so many potential pitfalls, and the sheer amount of the financial investment required to buy that home, the process can be intimidating. Don't go it alone. Rely on a qualified real estate expert to help you navigate the market wisely.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Saving money by working with a Realtor

With the burgeoning numbers of home buying shows on television, more and more first time home buyers may be lured into thinking they don't need the services of a qualified realtor. Just find a foreclosure, gut it or renovate it, and voila'!  A perfect home. If only life were as simple as portrayed on TV. The reality is just a tad different.  When dealing with real estate, such as a home or condo, experience is key. Knowing the area, understanding the market and values, and being able to recognize potential pitfalls are all a part of a savvy realtor's skill-set.  This expertise comes from years of involvement in real estate in a given location. When looking to purchase a home in a given area, such as Grand Junction Colorado, selecting a realtor who has a proven local track record is a boon.  Working with a realtor can not only narrow down the number of homes you visit to just those that meet your needs, it can also save you loads of money. The realtor will work for your best interests. Their experience includes affiliations with other professionals, such as mortgage brokers, lenders, and home inspectors. Each of these associations can help save you time and money that might be spent hunting for the best prices, most  reputable professionals needed for your purchase. It will also reduce your stress dramatically knowing you don't have to handle every facet of the process alone. Realtors will listen to your needs and concerns as well.  By letting them know what you are hoping for in a home (three bedrooms, split-level, swimming pool, fireplace, location, design, price range), they will set to work to assemble a wide range of options to show you. They will tour the homes alongside you, providing information and answering your questions gladly. Many times they will also verify legal issues, such as making sure that garage out back was properly permitted or that swimming pool light meets current electrical code requirements. All of these value-added services can make your life, as a first-time home buyer, much less intimidating and stressful.  Additionally, realtors can spot signs of neglect or impending disasters in homes. They are more likely to notice a foundation crack, water or mold issue, or even a neighborhood in decline. They will do the research for you on the best school districts, best value for the dollar, and other issues that can make home buying simpler and safer for you.  By steering you clear of  pitfalls and assisting you through the maze of options and processes involved in purchasing your home, a realtor truly does work for you and can save you both money and heartache. By keeping an open line of communication between the home buyer and the realtor,  you will have the ability to ask questions,  get answers, learn about homes and the real estate market, and successfully find and fall in love with your first home.  If in the market for a home in the Grand Junction, CO area, consider the expert services of  The First Time Home Buyer Guy.