Open House Schedules this weekend of August 19!

Be in our neighborhood this Sunday for the best home opportunities with Leslie and Paul.

3007 North Vermont Avenue, Royal Oak with Leslie
$ 279,000 — New Price!
3 BEDS 2 BATHS 1210 SQ. FT.
MLS # 218075412

 

3007_North_Vermont_Avenue (1)

Open House Schedule :
Sunday August 19 – 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Immaculate Royal Oak brick bungalow in popular Red Run Heights neighborhood just blocks away from Red Run Golf Club and Red Run Park. This move-in ready 3 bedrooms home has 2 full baths, all beautifully updated in 2015. Kitchen offers granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances and ceramic floors. Beautiful hardwood floors on main level with a spacious family room that includes a gas fireplace and tons of natural light. Spacious Master bedroom has beautiful master bath and lots of closet space. Large finished basement for additional living space. Fully landscaped fenced in back yard with mature trees and large deck, perfect for outdoor entertaining. Welcome to your new home! Licensed agent must be present at all showings.BATVAI

8950 Morning Mist Dr, Independence Twp with Paul
$ 489,900
4 BEDS 4 BATHS 2966 SQ. FT.
MLS # 218049993

OH_morning_Mist_0715 (1)

Open House Schedule :
Sunday August 19 – 2:00 pm to 4:00 pmGorgeous, spacious, open floor plan, this stately home is an entertainers dream! The open first floor boasts cathedral ceilings in the Living room and Great room, formal dining room, cozy den and a spacious back hallway complete with a lav, and large laundry/mudroom. Upstairs has 3 spacious bedrooms and a master bedroom ensuite complete with huge walk-in closet and jetted tub. Finished lower level is right out of a 1950’s diner! Snack bar complete with a vintage chrome soda fountain dispenser, with commercial water carbonator and chiller. Huge TV/Movie home theatre area and a full bathroom, yet still tons of storage space too! Professionally landscaped yard with low voltage lighting, fountain and stone steps leading from the deck down to the lower level walk-out basement. Private, relaxing, quiet, treed backyard overlooks small pond at the end of the property. This home has been meticulously maintained. Natural gas generator. BATVAI

 

for more details and photos,  click here.

Renters for a Weekend or a While: What’s the Best Use of Your Investment Property?

Renters for a Weekend or a While: What’s the Best Use of Your Investment Property?

The residential rental market is now the fastest-growing segment of the housing market. In the United States, the demand for single-family rentals, defined as either detached homes or townhouses, has risen 30 percent in the past three years.1 And in Canada, rental units now account for nearly one-third of the country’s homes, with particular demand for multi-family units, including apartments and condominiums.2

At the same time, the short-term, or vacation, rental market is also booming. The popularity of online marketplaces like Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO has helped the short-term rental market become one of the fastest-growing segments in the travel industry.3

Now, more than ever, there is an abundance of opportunity for real estate investors. But which path is best: leasing your property to a long-term tenant, or renting your property to travelers on a short-term basis?

In this post, we examine the differences between the two investment strategies and the benefits and limitations of each category.

WHY INVEST IN A RENTAL PROPERTY? The Top 5 Reasons

Before we delve into the differences between long-term and short-term rentals, let’s answer the question: “Why invest in a rental property at all?”

There are five key reasons investors choose to real estate over other investment vehicles:

  1. Appreciation

Appreciation is the increase in your property’s value over time. And history has proven that over an extended period, the cost of real estate continues to rise. Recessions may still occur, but in the vast majority of markets, the value of real estate does grow over the long term.

  1. Cash Flow

One of the key benefits of investing in real estate is the ability to generate steady cash flow. Rental income can be used to pay the mortgage and taxes on your investment property, as well as regular maintenance and repairs. If appropriately priced in a solid rental market, there may even be a little extra cash each month to help with your living expenses or to grow your savings.

Even if you only take in enough rent to cover your expenses, a rental property purchase will pay for itself over time. As you pay down the mortgage every month with your rental income, your equity will continue to increase until you own the property free and clear … leaving you with residual cash flow for years to come.

  1. Hedge Against Inflation

Inflation is the rate at which the general cost of goods and services rises. That means as inflation rises, the money you have sitting in a savings account will buy less tomorrow than it will today. On the other hand, the price of real estate typically matches (or often exceeds) the rate of inflation. To hedge or guard yourself against inflation, real estate can be a smart investment choice.

  1. LeverageLeverage is the use of borrowed capital to increase the potential return of an investment. You can put a relatively small amount down on a property, finance the rest of the investment with a mortgage, and then profit on the entire combined value.
  2. Tax BenefitsDon’t overlook the tax benefits that can come with a real estate investment, as well. From deductions to depreciation to exemptions, there are many ways a real estate investment can save you money on taxes. Consult a tax professional to discuss your particular circumstances.

These are just a few of the many perks of investing in real estate. (For more detailed information, visit our previous post: Why Real Estate Investing Makes (Dollars and) Sense. [Link to October 2017 blog post.]) But what’s the best strategy to maximize returns on your investment property? In the next section, we explore the differences between long-term and short-term rentals.


LONG-TERM (TRADITIONAL) RENTAL MARKET

When most people think of owning a rental property, they imagine buying a home and renting it out to tenants to use as their primary residence. Traditionally, investors would use their rental property to generate an additional stream of income while benefiting from the property’s long-term appreciation in value.

In fact, that steady and predictable monthly cash flow is one of the key advantages of owning a long-term rental. And as an owner, you don’t usually have to worry about paying the utility bills or furnishing the property—both of which are typically covered by the tenant. Add to this the fact that traditional tenants translate into less time and effort spent on day-to-day property management, and long-term rentals are an attractive option for many investors.

However, there are also limitations to long-term rentals, which often come down to your ability to control the property. Perhaps the most obvious one is that you do not get to use the home or closely monitor its upkeep (this is different from a short-term rental, which we’ll share in the next section).

In addition, while you can usually generate a steady, predictable income stream with a long-term rental, you are limited in your ability to adjust rent prices based on increasing or seasonal demand. Therefore, you may end up with a lower overall return on your investment. In fact, according to data from Mashvisor, in the 10 hottest real estate markets, short-term rentals produced “significantly higher rental income” than long-term rentals.4

SHORT-TERM (VACATION) RENTAL MARKET

Short-term rentals are often referred to as vacation rentals, as more and more travelers enjoy the benefits of staying in a home while on vacation. In fact, according to Wells Fargo, vacation rentals are steadily growing and predicted to account for 21% of the worldwide accommodations market by 2020.5

Investing in a short-term rental or funding your second-home purchase by renting it out can offer many benefits. If you purchase an investment property in a top travel destination or vacation spot, you can expect steady demand from travelers while taking advantage of any non-rented periods to enjoy the home yourself. In addition to greater control over how your property is used, you can also adjust your rental price around peak travel demand to maximize your returns.

But short-term rentals also have risks and drawbacks that may dissuade some investors. They require greater day-to-day property management, and owners are typically responsible for furnishing the property, upkeep, and utilities.

And while rental revenue can be higher, it can also be less predictable based on seasonal or consumer travel trends. For example, a lack of snowfall during ski season could mean fewer bookings and lower rental revenue that year.

In addition, laws and limitations on short-term rentals can vary by region. And in some areas, the regulations are in flux as residents and government officials adapt to a new surge in short-term rentals. So make sure you understand any existing or proposed restrictions on rentals in the area where you want to invest.

Urban centers or suburban communities may be more resistant to short-term renters, thus more likely to pass future limitations on use. To lower your risk, you may want to consider properties in resort communities that are accustomed to travelers. We can help you assess the current regulations on short-term rentals in our area. Or if you’re interested in investing in another market, we can refer you to a local agent who can help.

WHICH INVESTMENT STRATEGY IS RIGHT FOR YOU?

Now that you understand these two real estate investment options, how do you pick the right one for you? It’s helpful to start by clarifying your investment goals.

If your goal is to generate steady, predictable income with less time and effort spent on property management, then a long-term rental may be your best option. Also, if you prefer a less-risky investment with more reliable (but possibly lower) returns, then you may be more comfortable with a long-term rental.

On the other hand, if your goal is to purchase a vacation or second home that you’ll use, and you want to defray some (or all) of the expense, then a short-term rental may be a good option for you. Similarly, if you’re open to taking on more risk and revenue volatility for the possibility of greater investment returns, then a short-term rental may better suit your spirit as an investor.

But sometimes the decision isn’t always so clear-cut. If your goal is to purchase a future retirement home now to hedge against inflation, rising real estate prices, and interest rates, then both long- and short-term rentals could be suitable options. In this case, you’ll want to consider other factors like location, market demand, property type, and your risk tolerance.

HERE OR ELSEWHERE … WE CAN HELP

If you’re looking to make a real estate investment—whether it’s a primary residence, investment property, vacation home, or future retirement home—give us a call. We’ll help you determine the best course of action and share insights and resources to help you make an informed decision. And if your plans include buying outside of our area, we can refer you to a local agent who can help. Contact us to schedule a free consultation!

The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be financial advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.

Sources:

  1. USA Today –
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/real-estate/2017/11/11/renting-homes-overtaking-housing-market-heres-why/845474001/
  2. The Globe and Mail –
    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/real-estate/the-market/article-demand-for-rental-housing-in-canada-now-outpacing-home-ownership/
  3. Phocuswright –
    https://www.phocuswright.com/Travel-Research/Research-Updates/2017/US-Private-Accommodation-Market-to-Reach-36B-by-2018
  4. Rented.com –
    https://www.rented.com/vacation-rental-best-practices-blog/do-long-term-rentals-or-short-term-rentals-provide-better-investment-returns/
  5. Turnkey Vacation Rentals –
    https://blog.turnkeyvr.com/short-term-vs-long-term-vacation-rental-properties/August2018DigitalMarketingCampaignSocialMediaImage-1533744828769 (1)

OPEN HOUSE SCHEDULES THIS WEEKEND AUGUST 11 and 12!

175 Wimbleton Drive, Birmingham with Leslie
$ 454,900
3 BEDS 2 BATHS 1936 SQ. FT.
MLS # 218011832

Open House Schedule :
Saturday Aug 11 – 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Wimbleton Collage

You couldn’t ask for a better location! Close to the shops and restaurants of downtown Birmingham yet far enough so you can hear the gurgle of the creek behind the house. Fabulous ranch on pristine riverfront land. Huge living room with bay window and natural fireplace, and spacious dining room. Updated kitchen with granite countertops and snack bar. Original hardwood floors throughout. Updated baths with granite countertops and detailed tile walls, one with a roll-in shower with euro glass. Three spacious bedrooms and bonus Florida room overlooking the river and ravine. Newer deck with stairs to a lower deck and fire pit next to the water. Award winning Birmingham Schools.

For more details/ photos : HERE

3007 North Vermont Avenue, Royal Oak with Leslie
$ 299,000
3 BEDS 2 BATHS 1210 SQ. FT.
MLS # 218075412

Open House Schedule :
Sunday August 12 – 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Vermont CollageImmaculate Royal Oak brick bungalow in popular Red Run Heights neighborhood just blocks away from Red Run Golf Club and Red Run Park. This move-in ready 3 bedrooms home has 2 full baths, all beautifully updated in 2015. Kitchen offers granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances and ceramic floors. Beautiful hardwood floors on main level with a spacious family room that includes a gas fireplace and tons of natural light. Spacious Master bedroom has beautiful master bath and lots of closet space. Large finished basement for additional living space. Fully landscaped fenced in back yard with mature trees and large deck, perfect for outdoor entertaining. Welcome to your new home! Licensed agent must be present at all showings.BATVAI

For more details/ photos : HERE

3798 Newport Way Drive, Waterford Township with Steve
$ 689,000
3 BEDS 3 BATHS 2419 SQ. FT.
MLS # 218023288

Newport collageOpen House Schedule :
Sunday August 12 – 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm

Come see this beautiful open floor plan Snug Harbour Ranch featuring 85′ on All Sports LOON LAKE. Enjoy privacy and security in this private gated community. This is a perfect home for entertaining with its huge kitchen and Great Room spaces. Relax in your Master Bedroom with beautiful lake views. Your ensuite features ceramic tile, a large soaking tub and glass walk-in shower. Enjoy awesome summer activities in your FINISHED 2000+ sqft walk out . This space will amaze youbasement with it’s versatility and charm. Your glass block custom built bar will be enjoyed by everyone. The oversize lower level bedroom and full bath is perfect for your summer activities. Your garage is listed as a 3 car. You’ll find that and much more making this space perfect for a car enthusiast.

For more details/ photos : HERE

807 East Fourteen Mile Road, Birmingham with Lisa B

$ 195,900
2 BEDS 1 BATH 786 SQ. FT.
MLS # 218075978

897 E 14 CollageOpen House Schedule :
Sunday August 12 – 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm

Charming Birmingham ranch with tons of potential! Open and spacious floor plan. Two generous bedrooms and a beautiful tiled bathroom. Kitchen boasts lovely blue tiled accents, and all appliances stay! Back door opens to small deck overlooking the large, grassy yard. Oversized one car garage with tons of storage. Ideal location close to downtown Birmingham with it’s shops, restaurants, markets and activities. Nearby Woodward and access to freeways make your commute quick and easy. BATVAI.

For more details/ photos : HERE

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT Hot off the press!! 🔥 NextHome City Realty opens a second location in Michigan NextHome City Realty – Detroit Branch.

NextHome is proud to announce the newest addition to the franchise.  NextHome City Realty – Detroit Branch.
The company will be owned and operated by top-producing REALTOR® Paul Mychalowych. NextHome City Realty will provide real estate services for all areas of Wayne County including the Grosse Pointe Markets as well as every city up the Woodward Corridor to NextHome City Realty’s Birmingham Location.
“With our unique collaborative work environment, we want to be a part of this community as the real estate resource as it continues its growth as one of the fastest growing cities in the nation,” said Paul.. “With offices spanning from Detroit all the way up to Birmingham we can service all the growing communities in between. We have extensive knowledge of these markets and can hopefully help contribute to Detroit’s resurgence, which in turn will filter out into the surrounding areas.”
Visit NextHome.com to find out why so many brokers are making the switch to NextHome.
Read about this wonderful news HERE.

Another chance to see these homes! Open house schedule this weekend of August 4 and 5!

12915 Scott Springfield Twp, MI 48350 with Gayle
$319,000
4 BEDS 3 BATHS 1900 SQ. FT
MLS # 218048690

Open House Schedule :
Saturday August 4 – 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm

12915_Scott_Road (1)

 

Pride of Ownership shows. 4 bedroom 2 1/2 bath home on a beautiful 2.63 acres. First floor owners suite with updated master bath. Open, airy first floor with kitchen and eating area. Beautiful views from inside and out. Large deck off great room. Two car attached garage. Full unfinished basement with 8′ ceilings ready for your personal touch. Home has three outbuildings. BATVAI

 

 

7605 Devins Ridge , Independence Twp, MI 48348 with Gayle
$845,000
5 BEDS 5 BATHS 4326 SQ. FT.
MLS#:218061113

For more details/ photos : HERE

Open House Schedule :
Sunday August 5 – 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

7605_Devins_Ridge OH 0805

Bridge Valley Family Resort All on 1.5 acre lot. Estate boasts 5 bedrooms 2 owner suites with private baths, jetted jacuzzi and showers. Two story great room with surround sound, gorgeous built ins, fieldstone gas fireplace and large windows for beautiful views of nature. Open concept kitchen perfect for entertaining. Exterior has an in ground heated 36x 18 pool with diving board, breathless landscaping and ample yard to play. Much, much more.

For more details/ photos : HERE

OPEN HOUSE THIS WEEKEND OF JULY 27, 28 AND 29!

4969 Schlaff St. Dearborn, MI with Mohamad
$159,900
3 BEDS 2 BATHS 1220 SQ.FT.
MLS#: 218067771

Schlaff

Open House Schedules :
Friday July 27 – 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Saturday July 28 – 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm

Beautiful, move in ready home located in the heart of Dearborn, MI. This home includes a finished basement that includes a living room, kitchen, dining room and bathroom. The home is well maintained and is centrally located for easy access to all that Dearborn has to offer. Limited opportunities to own a home in this area. Submit your best offers as this home will not be on the market for long!

For more details/ photos : HERE

7605 Devins Ridge , Independence Twp, MI 48348 with Gayle
$845,000
5 BEDS 5 BATHS 4326 SQ. FT.
MLS#:218061113

Devins

Open House Schedule :
Saturday July 28 – 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm

Bridge Valley Family Resort All on 1.5 acre lot. Estate boasts 5 bedrooms 2 owner suites with private baths, jetted jacuzzi and showers. Two story great room with surround sound, gorgeous built ins, fieldstone gas fireplace and large windows for beautiful views of nature. Open concept kitchen perfect for entertaining. Exterior has an in ground heated 36x 18 pool with diving board, breathless landscaping and ample yard to play. Much, much more.

For more details/ photos : HERE

3798 Newport Way Drive, Waterford Twp 48329 with Steve
$ 689,000
3 BEDS 3 BATHS 2419 SQ. FT.
MLS # 218023288

 

Newport

Open House Schedule :
Sunday July 29 – 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm

Come see this beautiful open floor plan Snug Harbour Ranch featuring 85′ on All Sports LOON LAKE. Enjoy privacy and security in this private gated community. This is a perfect home for entertaining with its huge kitchen and Great Room spaces. Relax in your Master Bedroom with beautiful lake views. Your ensuite features ceramic tile, a large soaking tub and glass walk-in shower. Enjoy awesome summer activities in your FINISHED 2000+ sqft walk out basement. This space will amaze you with it’s versatility and charm. Your glass block custom built bar will be enjoyed by everyone. The oversize lower level bedroom and full bath is perfect for your summer activities. Your garage is listed as a 3 car. You’ll find that and much more making this space perfect for a car enthusiast.

For more details/ photos : HERE

69443 SAXON Drive, Bruce Twp 48065 with Lisa B
$ 279,000
4 BEDS 3 BATHS 2757 SQ. FT
MLS # 218028096

Saxon

Open House Schedule :
Sunday July 29 – 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Great family house in a great family neighborhood complete with a sub-park and lake! House has solid bones, just needs a little TLC and your special updates. Lovely LaFata cherry kitchen cabinets with granite countertops. Large breakfast nook, open to the spacious family room. Sliding doors lead to the patio and private backyard. Spacious living room with attached dining room, separate library/den. Spacious bedrooms upstairs, and a huge unfinished basement with tons of possibilities. Huge private yard. Quiet country street, yet not far from all the shops and restaurants. Great Romeo schools.

For more details/ photos : HERE

12915 Scott Springfield Twp, MI 48350 with Gayle
$319,000
4 BEDS 3 BATHS 1900 SQ. FT
MLS # 218048690

scott

Open House Schedule :
Sunday July 29 – 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm

Pride of Ownership shows. 4 bedroom 2 1/2 bath home on a beautiful 2.63 acres. First floor owners suite with updated master bath. Open, airy first floor with kitchen and eating area. Beautiful views from inside and out. Large deck off great room. Two car attached garage. Full unfinished basement with 8′ ceilings ready for your personal touch. Home has three outbuildings. BATVAI

For more details/ photos : HERE

8950 Morning Mist Dr, Independence Twp with Paul
$ 489,900
4 BEDS 4 BATHS 2966 SQ. FT.
MLS # 218049993

morning mist

Open House Schedule :
Sunday July 29 – 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Gorgeous, spacious, open floor plan, this stately home is an entertainers dream! The open first floor boasts cathedral ceilings in the Living room and Great room, formal dining room, cozy den and a spacious back hallway complete with a lav, and large laundry/mudroom. Upstairs has 3 spacious bedrooms and a master bedroom ensuite complete with huge walk-in closet and jetted tub. Finished lower level is right out of a 1950’s diner! Snack bar complete with a vintage chrome soda fountain dispenser, with commercial water carbonator and chiller. Huge TV/Movie home theatre area and a full bathroom, yet still tons of storage space too! Professionally landscaped yard with low voltage lighting, fountain and stone steps leading from the deck down to the lower level walk-out basement. Private, relaxing, quiet, treed backyard overlooks small pond at the end of the property. This home has been meticulously maintained. Natural gas generator. BATVAI

For more details/ photos : HERE

July2018DigitalMarketingCampaignLinkedInImage-1530541658504

How to Avoid the Top 8 Home Inspection Mistakes

July2018DigitalMarketingCampaignLinkedInImage-1530541658504It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of buying a home. Once you’ve had an offer accepted on your dream house, you’ll probably be anxious to move in. However, before you make a significant financial commitment, it’s best to know exactly what you’re buying.

When you hire a home inspector, you get a professional, in-depth examination of the property’s structures and systems. It’s a worthwhile investment that can save you money in the long run, either by warning you away from a bad purchase or by providing a list of deficiencies you can use to negotiate with the sellers.

The inspector’s report will also list minor repairs that, if made, will help to maintain your home over the long term. Additionally, a good inspector can often predict the standard life expectancy of your roof, HVAC, and other big-ticket items so you can start planning for their eventual replacement.

However, many buyers make mistakes during the inspection process that cost them time and money and lead to unnecessary stress. Avoid these eight common buyer blunders to minimize your risk, protect your investment, and give yourself peace of mind and confidence in your new home purchase.

MISTAKE 1: Skip Your Own Inspection

Many buyers rely on their home inspector to point out issues with the property. However, by conducting your own visual assessment before you submit an offer, you can factor expected expenses into the offer price. Or, if you suspect major problems, you may choose to move on to a different property altogether.

Examine the walls and ceilings. Are there suspicious cracks, which could point to a foundation issue? Any discoloration? Yellow spots can indicate water damage, while black spots are typically mold. If there’s a basement, look for powdery white deposits along the walls and slab, which can result from water seepage.1

To assess the plumbing, start by turning on a bathroom sink or tub, then flushing the toilet. Check for a drop in water pressure or a gurgling sound coming from the pipes. You can also try running the water in sinks and tubs for several minutes to test for drainage issues. Peak underneath sinks to spot signs of leaks or drain pipes that go into the floor instead of the wall.1

Look for fogged or drafty windows, which may need replacing. Examine the roof for signs of cupped, curled, or cracked shingles. Check siding, decks, and other wooden structures for evidence of rot.

Overall, does the home appear to be well maintained? Unless it’s a highly-competitive seller’s market, consider the overall condition of the property BEFORE you submit an offer. Work with your real estate agent to factor in repairs and updates you know you’ll need to make when you determine your offer price.

MISTAKE 2: Hire the Cheapest Inspector

We all love to save money, but not all inspectors are created equal. Before you hire one, do a little research.2 You may even want to start shopping for an inspector before you complete your home search. Inspection periods are typically short, so it never hurts to be prepared.

You can start by asking around for recommendations. Check with friends and family members, as well as your real estate agent. Then contact at least two or three inspectors so you can compare not only price but also levels of experience and service.

Ask about their background, years of experience, and the number of inspections they have completed. Verify their certifications and credentials, and make sure they carry the proper insurance.

Find out what is (and what isn’t) covered in the inspection and if they utilize the latest technology. Ask to see a sample report so you can compare the style and level of detail provided. Finally, make sure you feel confident in the inspector’s abilities and comfortable asking him/her questions.

MISTAKE 3: Miss Attending the Inspection

Make every effort to be on-site during the inspection. Buyers who aren’t present during their inspection miss out on a great opportunity to gather valuable information about their new home.

If can attend the inspection, don’t spend all your time picking out paint colors or chatting with your new neighbors. Instead, use your time there to shadow the inspector. It’s the perfect chance to find out where everything is located, ask questions, and see first-hand what repairs and updates may be needed.3

Of course, if you do choose to tag along with your inspector, exercise good judgment. Don’t get in the way, become a distraction, or do anything to jeopardize your (or the inspector’s) safety.

If you can’t make it to the inspection, ask if you can schedule a time to meet in person or speak by phone to go over the report in detail. It will give you an opportunity to ask questions or request clarification about issues in the report you don’t fully understand.

MISTAKE 4: Skim Over the Report

Inspection reports can be long and tedious, and it can be tempting to skim over them. However, buyers who do this risk missing crucial information.

Instead, you should read over the report carefully, so you don’t miss anything significant. Now is the time to address any areas of concern. You have a limited window of time to request repairs or negotiate the selling price, so don’t squander it.

Your inspector may also flag some minor items that you wouldn’t typically expect a seller to fix. However, ignoring these small issues can sometimes lead to bigger problems down the road. Make sure you read everything in the report so you can take future action if needed.

MISTAKE 5: Avoid Asking Questions

Some buyers are too embarrassed to ask questions when there’s something in the inspection report they don’t understand. Afraid they might look foolish, they avoid asking questions and end up uninformed about important issues that could impact their home purchase.

The reality is, questions are expected. You hired your inspector for their professional expertise, so don’t be shy about tapping into it. For example, you might ask:

  • Would you get this issue fixed in your own home?
  • How urgent is it?
  • What could happen if I don’t fix it?
  • Is this a simple issue I could fix myself?
  • What type of professional should I call?
  • Can you estimate how much it would cost to make this repair?
  • How much longer would you expect this system/structure/appliance to last?
  • What maintenance steps would you recommend?

Don’t bother asking your inspector if you should buy the property, because he/she won’t be able to answer that question for you. Instead, use the information provided to make an informed decision. A skilled real estate agent can help you determine the best path.

MISTAKE 6: Expect a Perfect Report

Some buyers get scared off by a lengthy inspection report. But with around 1600 items on an inspector’s checklist, you shouldn’t be surprised if yours uncover a large number of deficiencies.4 The key is to understand which problems require simple fixes, and which ones will require extensive (and costly) repairs.

Your real estate agent can help you decide if and how to approach the sellers about making repairs or reducing the price. Whatever you do, try to focus on the major issues identified in the inspector’s report, and don’t expect the sellers to address every minor item on the list. They will be more receptive if they perceive your requests to be reasonable.

MISTAKE 7: Forgo Additional Testing

There are times when an agent or inspector will recommend bringing in a specialist to evaluate a potential issue.5 For example, they may suggest testing for mold or consulting with a roofing expert.

Some buyers get spooked by the possibility of a “red flag” and decide to jump ship. Or, in their haste to close or desire to save money, they choose to ignore the recommendation for additional testing altogether.

Don’t make these potentially costly mistakes. In some cases, the specialist will offer a free evaluation that takes minimal time to schedule. And if not, the small investment you make could provide you with peace of mind or save you a fortune in future repairs.

MISTAKE 8: Skip Re-inspection of Repairs

Most buyers request receipts to prove that repairs have been correctly completed. However, it’s always prudent to go a step further and have negotiated repairs re-evaluated by your inspector or another qualified professional, even if there’s an additional charge.6

While the majority of sellers are forthcoming, some will try to save money by cutting corners, hiring unlicensed technicians, or doing the work themselves. A re-inspection will help ensure the repairs are completed properly now, so you aren’t paying to redo them later.

To avoid having to go back to the sellers, be specific when requesting repairs. Identify the problem, how repairs should be completed, who should complete the work, and how the repairs will be verified.7

Some buyers prefer to avoid this step altogether by completing the work themselves. They either request that the seller fund the repairs or reduce the selling price accordingly. Whichever path you choose, protect yourself and your investment by ensuring the work is done properly.

WE CAN HELP

A home inspection can reduce your risk and save you money over the long-term. But to maximize its effectiveness, it must be done properly. Avoid these eight common home inspection mistakes to safeguard your investment.

While these are some of the most common missteps, there are countless others that can trip up home buyers, cost them time and money, and cause undue stress. Fortunately, we have the skills and experience to help you avoid the potential pitfalls.

If you’re in the market to buy a home, we can help you navigate the inspection and all the other steps in the buying process … typically at no cost to you! Tap into our expertise to make the right decisions for your real estate purchase. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation!

Sources:

  1. Family Handyman –
    https://www.familyhandyman.com/tools/diy-home-inspection-tools/view-all/
  2. HGTV –
    https://www.hgtv.com/design/real-estate/finding-the-right-home-inspector
  3. The New York Times –
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/23/realestate/home-inspection.html
  4. Realtor.com –
    https://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/what-does-a-home-inspector-look-for/
  5. Realty Times –
    https://realtytimes.com/advicefromagents/item/37369-top-5-biggest-home-inspection-mistakes
  6. Realtor.com –
    https://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/home-inspection-mistakes-buyers-should-avoid/
  7. Star Tribune –
    http://www.startribune.com/who-verifies-repairs-after-the-home-inspection/132844523/

Real Estate Relocation Guide: 7 Steps to a Seamless Move

Whatever your reasons are for relocating to a new area, the process can feel overwhelming.
Whether you’re moving across across town or across the country, you’ll be changing more than your address. Besides a new house, you may also be searching for new jobs, schools, doctors, restaurants, stores, service providers and more.

Of course you’ll need to pack, make moving arrangements, and possibly sell your old home. With so much to do, you may be wondering: Where do I start?

In this guide, we outline seven steps to help you get prepared, get organized, and get settled in your new community. Our hope is to alleviate the hassle of relocating—so you can focus on the exciting adventure ahead!

1. Gather Information

If you’re unfamiliar with your new area, start by doing some research.1 Look for data on average housing prices, demographics, school rankings and crime statistics. Search for maps that illustrate local geography, landmarks, public transportation routes and major interstates. If you’re moving across the country, research climate and seasonal weather patterns.

Check out local newspapers and blogs for information on political issues and developments that could impact your new community. You may also want to search for online forums and Facebook Groups relevant to your new area. These can be a great place to find information, ask questions and just observe local attitudes and outlooks.

If you’re relocating for a job, find out if your new employer offers any relocation assistance. Many large corporations have a designated human resources professional to assist employees with relocation efforts, while others may contract this service out to a third party. Some employers will also cover all or a portion of your relocation and moving costs.

By gathering this information up front, you’ll be better prepared to make informed decisions down the road.

Let us know if you’d like assistance with your information gathering process. We have a wealth of knowledge about this area, and we keep a number of reports and statistics on file in our office. We would be happy to share information and answer any questions you may have.

2. Identify Your Ideal Neighborhoods

Once you’ve sufficiently researched your new area, you can start to identify your ideal neighborhoods.

The first step is to prioritize your “needs” and “wants.” Consider factors such as budget; commute time; quality of schools; crime rate; walkability; access to public transportation; proximity to restaurants, shopping, and place of worship; and neighborhood vibe.

If possible, visit the area in person to get a feel for the community. If you’re comfortable, strike up conversations with local residents and ask about their experiences living in the area.

Still not sure which neighborhood is the best fit for you and your family? Contact a local real estate agent for expert assistance. It’s usually the most efficient and effective way to narrow down your options.

We provide neighborhood assessments and advice as a free service if you’re relocating to our area. Or, if you’re moving out of town, we can refer you to a local agent who can help.

3. Find Your New Home (and Sell Your Old One)

Once you’ve narrowed down your list of preferred neighborhoods, it’s time to start looking for a home. If you haven’t already contacted a real estate agent, now is the time. They can search for current property listings that meet your needs, typically at no cost to you.

Create another list of “needs” and “wants,” but this time for your new home. Include your basic requirements for square footage, bedrooms and bathrooms, but also think about what other factors are important to you and your family. An updated kitchen? A large backyard? Double sinks in the master bathroom?

Narrow your list down to your top 10 and prioritize them in order of importance.2 This will give you a good starting point to begin your home search. Unless you have an unlimited budget, don’t expect to find a home with everything on your list. But having a prioritized list can help you (and your agent) understand which home features are the most important, and which ones you may be willing to sacrifice.

If you already own a home, you’ll also need to start the process of selling it or renting it out. A real estate agent can help you evaluate your options based on current market conditions. He or she can also give you an idea of how much equity you have in your current home so you know how much you can afford to spend on your new one.

Your agent can also advise you on how to time your sale and purchase. While some buyers are able to qualify for and cover the costs of two concurrent mortgages, many are not. There are a number of options available, and a skilled agent can help you determine the best course given your circumstances.

We would love to assist you if you have plans to buy or sell a home in our area. Please contact us to schedule a free consultation so we can discuss your unique needs and devise a custom plan to make your relocation as seamless as possible. If you’re relocating outside of our area, we can help you find a trusted agent in your new city.

4. Prepare for Your Departure

While everyone considers packing a fundamental part of moving, we often overlook the emotional preparation that needs to take place. If you have children, this can be especially important. Communicate the move in an age-appropriate way, and if possible take them on a tour of your new home and neighborhood. This can alleviate some of the mystery and apprehension around the move.4

Allow yourself plenty of time to pack up your belongings. Before you start, gather supplies, including boxes, tape, tissue paper and bubble wrap. Begin with non-essentials—such as off-season clothes or holiday decorations—and sort items into four categories: take, trash, sell and donate/give away.5

To make the unpacking process easier, be sure to label the top and sides of boxes with helpful information, including contents, room, and any special instructions. Keep a master inventory list so you can refer back to it if something goes missing.

If you will be using a moving company, start researching and pricing your options. To ensure an accurate estimate of your final cost, it’s best to have them conduct an in-person walkthrough. Make sure you’re working with a reputable company, and avoid paying a large deposit before your belongings are delivered.6

If you plan to drive to your new home, map out the route. And, if necessary, make arrangements for overnight accommodations along the way. If driving is not a good option, you may need to have your vehicles transported and make travel arrangements for you, your family and your pets.

Lastly, if you will be leaving friends or family behind, schedule final get-togethers before your departure. The last days before moving can be incredibly hectic, so make sure you block off some time in advance for proper goodbyes.

Looking for a reputable moving company? We are happy to provide referrals, as well as recommendations on where to procure packing supplies in our area.

5. Prepare for Your Arrival

To make your transition go smoothly, prepare for your arrival well before moving day. Depending on how long your belongings will take to arrive, you may need to arrange for temporary hotel accommodations. If you plan to move in directly, pack an “essentials box” with everything you’ll need for the first couple of nights in your new home, such as toiletries, toilet paper, towels, linens, pajamas, cell phone chargers, snacks, pet food and a change of clothes.7 This will keep you from searching through boxes after an exhausting day of moving.

Arrange in advance for your utilities to be turned on, especially essentials like water, electricity and gas. (And while you’re at it, schedule a shut-off date for your current utilities.) Update your address on all accounts and subscriptions and arrange to have your mail forwarded through the postal service. If you have children, register them for their new school or daycare and arrange for the transfer of any necessary records.

You may want to have the house professionally cleaned before moving in. And if you plan to remodel, paint or install new flooring, it’s easier to have it done before you bring in all of your belongings.8 However, it’s not always feasible without someone you trust locally who can supervise. Another option is to keep a portion of your things in storage while you complete some of these projects.

If there are no window treatments, you may need to install some (or at least put up temporary privacy film), especially in bedrooms and bathrooms. And if appliances are missing, consider purchasing them ahead of time and arranging for delivery and installation shortly after you arrive. Just be sure to check measurements and installation instructions carefully so you aren’t stuck with an appliance that doesn’t fit or that requires costly modifications to your new home.

If you own a car, check the requirements for a driver’s license and vehicle registration in your new area and contact your insurance company to update your policy.8 If you will rely on public transportation, research options and schedules.

If you’re relocating to our area, we can help! We offer “VIP Relocation Assistance” to all of our buyer clients. Contact us for a list of preferred hotels, utility providers, housekeepers, contractors and more!

6. Get Settled In Your New Home

While staring at an endless pile of boxes can feel daunting, you should take advantage of this opportunity to make a fresh start. By creating a plan ahead of time, you can ensure your new house is thoughtfully laid out and well organized.

If you followed our suggestion to pack an “essentials box” (see Step 5), you should have easy access to everything you’ll need to get you through the first couple of nights in your new home. This will allow you some breathing room to unpack your remaining items in a deliberate manner, instead of rushing through the process.7

If you have young children, consider unpacking their rooms first. Seeing their familiar items can help them establish a sense of comfort and normalcy during a confusing time. Then move on to any items you use on a daily basis.10

Pets can also get overwhelmed by a new, unfamiliar space. Let them adjust to a single room first, which should include their favorite toys, treats, food and water bowl, and a litter box for cats. Once they seem comfortable, you can gradually introduce them to other rooms in the home.11

As you unpack, make a list of items that need to be purchased so you’re not making multiple trips to the store. Also, start a list of needed repairs and installations. If you have a home warranty, find out what’s covered and the process for filing a service order.

Although you may be eager to get everything unpacked, it’s important to take occasional breaks. Have some fun, relax and explore your new hometown!

Need help with unpacking, organizing or decorating your new home? Contact us for a list of recommended professionals in our area. And when you’re ready to start exploring local “hot spots,” we’d love to fill you in on our favorite restaurants, stores, parks and other attractions!

7. Get Involved In Your New Community

Studies show that moving can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression. People who have recently moved tend to be isolated socially, more stressed, and less likely to participate in exercise and hobbies. However, there are ways to combat these negative effects.12

First, get out and explore. In a 2016 study, recent movers were shown to spend less time on physical activities and more time on their computers, which has been proven to lead to feelings of depression and loneliness. Instead, get out of your house and investigate your new area. And if you travel by foot, you’ll gain the advantages of fresh air and exercise.12

Combat feelings of isolation by making an effort to meet people in your new community. Find a local interest group, take a class, join a place of worship or volunteer for a cause. Don’t wait for friends to come knocking on your door. Instead, go out and find them.

Finally, be a good neighbor. Make an effort to introduce yourself to your new neighbors, invite them over for coffee or dinner, and offer assistance when they need it. Once you’ve developed friendships and a support system within your new neighborhood, it will truly start to feel like home.

Want more ideas on how to get involved in your community? Contact us for a free copy of our report, “Welcome Home: 10 Tips to Turn Your Neighborhood Into a Hometown Haven.”

LET’S GET MOVING

While moving is never easy, these seven steps offer an action plan to get you started on your new adventure. To avoid getting overwhelmed, focus on one step at a time. And don’t hesitate to ask for help!

In a 2015 study, 61 percent of participants ranked moving at the top of their stress list, above divorce and starting a new job.13 But with a little preparation—and the right team of professionals to assist you—it is possible to have a positive relocation experience.

We specialize in assisting home buyers and sellers with a seamless and “less-stress” relocation. Along with our referral network of movers, handymen, housekeepers, decorators, contractors and other service providers, we can help take the hassle and headache out of your upcoming move. Give us a call or message us to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation!

Sources:
1. You Move Me –
https://www.youmoveme.com/us/blog/105-tips-for-a-successful-relocation
2. HouseLogic.com –
https://www.houselogic.com/buy/house-hunting/must-have-items/
3. Livestrong –
https://www.livestrong.com/article/436651-the-effects-of-sunlight-fresh-air-on-the-body/
4. Parents Magazine –
https://www.parents.com/parenting/money/buy-a-house/make-moving-easier-on-you-and-your-kids/
5. The Spruce –
https://www.thespruce.com/starting-to-pack-for-your-move-2436470
6. Moving.com –

11 Tips For Hiring Quality Movers


7. The Spruce –
https://www.thespruce.com/unpack-your-entire-home-2435815
8. HouseLogic.com –
https://www.houselogic.com/buy/moving-in/before-you-move/
9. HGTV –
https://www.hgtv.com/design/real-estate/moving-checklist
10. Moving.com –

How to Start Unpacking & Organizing Your Home After a Move


11. ASPCA –
https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/moving-your-pet
12. Psychology Today –
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/is-where-you-belong/201607/why-youre-miserable-after-move
13. The Daily Express –
https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/574171/Divorce-stressful-moving-home