Team Garner's Blog
If you plan to buy or sell a home in the near future, it is important to find the right real estate agent. By doing so, you should have no trouble getting the optimal results from the homebuying or home selling journey.
Ultimately, you'll want to conduct extensive research before you hire a real estate agent to help you buy or sell a home. This will require you to look at a variety of factors, including:
1. Communication Skills
A real estate agent should serve as a friendly, knowledgeable source of housing market insights. This individual should be able to provide you with the information you need to make homebuying or home selling informed decisions. That way, you can seamlessly navigate the homebuying or home selling process.
Hiring a real estate agent who is a great communicator is essential. This housing market professional will allocate the necessary time and resources to listen to your concerns and questions and respond accordingly.
The right real estate agent will stay in touch with you via email, phone and text. This will ensure you can stay up to date as the homebuying or home selling journey moves forward.
Plus, a real estate agent who understands the importance of communication is unafraid to be honest with you. He or she will provide honest, unbiased suggestions as you buy or sell a home and guarantee you can get the support you need at all times.
2. Industry Expertise
How long has an individual served as a real estate agent? Spend some time learning about a real estate agent's expertise, and you may be better equipped than others to determine whether this person can help you accomplish your homebuying or home selling goals.
A quick online search offers a great starting point as you assess a real estate agent's expertise. In fact, this will allow you to learn about a real estate agent from any location, at any time.
If you want to go a step further, set up a face-to-face meeting with a real estate agent. This will enable you to ask questions and gain deep insights into a real estate agent's background.
3. Client Referrals
How would past clients rate their experiences with a particular real estate agent? Thanks to client referrals, you can find out how a real estate agent has supported his or her previous clients.
A real estate agent should be able to provide you with client referrals without delay. Then, you can reach out to these client referrals and gain unparalleled insights into how a real estate works with homebuyers and home sellers.
Client referrals allow you to find out what it's like to work with a real estate agent at each stage of the homebuying or home selling journey. They also can provide you with insights into a real estate agent that you might struggle to obtain elsewhere.
Evaluate the aforementioned factors as you search for the right real estate agent, and you can employ a top-notch housing market professional to help you buy or sell a house.
Are you thinking about buying your first home but completely overwhelmed with where to even begin?
Buying your first home is a big, and exciting, decision. It’s also one that comes with a big learning curve you need to get down quickly.
There are many steps to the process and even though your agent is always here to help you and give advice it’s critical you do your own research. You want to be able to take action quickly when you find your dream home. To do this you will need to be able to keep up with the process by having everything done neatly, orderly and on time.
So where to start?
Start by sitting down with your budget. What do your current finances look like? What sort of wiggle room for spending do you have? What can you afford for a monthly mortgage payment?
And perhaps more importantly, do you have enough saved to cover a down payment and closing costs? Depending on which programs you qualify for you don’t necessarily have to put the traditional 20% down. With that said, you should know how much you would need to put down and if you have money in the bank to cover those costs.
Smooth out any credit snags. Your credit score doesn’t need to be out of this world, but it should reflect that you are actively improving and financially responsible.
Find a mortgage professional you trust to help you make the right moves throughout the process. Again, you want to be able to take action quickly once you find a home you love. And you don’t want to miss out because your mortgage professional hasn’t prioritized you.
You will also want to have a preapproval prepared, with the help of your mortgage professional, when you are ready to start looking at houses. Having a pre-approval in hand shows your agent that you are serious about this process.
Calculate the costs. Yes, more math! You will want to take into consideration real estate taxes, HOA fees, home repairs and maintenance as you refine your budget to see which homes make the most sense for your lifestyle.
When looking at homes focus on the “bones” of the house. Look past paint, hideous wallpaper and yes even the granite countertops. Are there enough bedrooms? Bathrooms? A laundry room? Is there enough garage space and driveway? Do you like the floor plan? The neighborhood?
Know what’s important to you. In an ideal world, you will find a home that ticks off every item on your wishlist. And not to say that it’s entirely impossible, but know which items on your list are negotiable. Which are you willing to budge on and which are make or break?
When buying a new house, you’re not just buying a roof to keep over your head. You’re buying a home to build your life in. To create a refuge from the outside world, to create memories within, and to grow your family in.
A home is a reflection of who you are, the things you fill your life with and your values. And this is true for the neighborhood your home resides in as well. Whether you are a young family or planning to start one in the near future choosing the perfect neighborhood for your lifestyle will bring you years of good memories to come.
The perfect place to start when choosing a neighborhood is by asking your agent! So many factors go into selecting a home and we know the importance of the various factors you need to consider for settling a young family. We can choose houses for showing that fit your unique family needs as it grows.
When scouting out local neighborhoods visit their community center and library. Both will be able to provide you with a list of local groups and activities that are available. You’ll most likely be able to find a local paper or newsletter here as well to get a feel the neighborhood’s culture and community involvement.
Most couples start by researching the schools in the neighborhoods on their list. Things to consider are budget and the available extracurricular activities that are available. It’s easy to focus on preschools and kindergartens when searching but remember to look at the middle and high schools as well.
Search for meetups for parent groups that meet regularly to have play dates. This is also a great way to find and meet locals to ask them questions about their experiences with the community. Reach out to the group organizer with a friendly message and they will be more than likely happy to answer and all of your questions.
Take a drive around the area to get a lay of the land. Are there nearby playgrounds and parks you could walk or take a short drive to? Visiting at different times of the day can give you an idea of the neighborhoods general routine. Are there lots of young children getting on the bus in the morning or teenagers riding their bikes around in the afternoons?
You’ll also want to carefully consider costs of homes in that neighborhood and if they fit your budget. If you’re planning a family you’ll want to have an idea of future costs while creating this budget so you don’t find yourself strapped between your mortgage and childcare.
Planning your family’s future is an exciting time and choosing the neighborhood you’ll raise your children in is pivotal. As your family grows over the years their needs will change too. The perfect neighborhood is the one that will have a positive environment for your child whether they’re 18 months or 17 years old.
When it comes to painting inside your home, you might have to fight that inner voice that says "white, white, white" or just barely off-white when you visit the paint store. Or you might hear the voice of a television designer saying "go with that neutral gray, or beige, or greige, whatever that is. But if your soul seeks color and your heart skips a beat when you see reds, blues, greens, and even oranges, don't let fear of the voices hold you back.
Paint is one of the few ways to individualize your home that (a) won’t break the bank and (2) can be covered up when necessary. So, if you’re drawn to bold colors, just go for it. Add some into your life. Here are five ways to creatively use paint to add color to your walls.
- Accent wall. When you’re first starting out adding color to your home, it’s okay to take baby steps. One way is to choose a single wall on which to add a bold, deep, bright, or dark hue. While you may not have too many options, the best wall to choose is one that has architectural details that your color can highlight. That means, choose the wall with the arch, the French doors, the clerestory windows or that sit below the stair rail.
- Another accent wall to choose is the fireplace wall. Since most of the space likely has brick, tile or stone, paint the area above or to the sides of the fireplace as an accent.
- Doors are another place to be bold. Of course, it's fashionable to have a bright splash of color on your front entry, but you can dress up the rest of your doors too, so give them some rich farmhouse red or deep aqua that makes your heart sing.
- Cabinets or built-ins. Because shelving, doors, and other built-ins lend themselves to lovely semi-gloss or high-gloss paints, turning your set-in bookshelves, kitchen island cabinets, or bathroom vanity into a beautiful colorful display gives just the right juxtaposition to your white or light walls and ceiling.
When preparing to paint in a more deeply saturated color family, start by bringing home sample sizes of the colors you love. Paint a swatch on the proposed wall (if you’re brave) or on a sheet of butcher paper and then hang it on that wall. Live with it for several days and observe the color in all light variations from early morning to late evening so that you know what the final result will be before you put it on the wall.
If you’re renting and want a wall of your own to paint, and the house that goes with it, speak to your local real estate professional to get started on your home search now.
If you’re in the process of moving, you don’t necessarily need to hire a moving company. Hiring movers is only one option of many when it comes to getting your stuff from place to place. If you want to save some money on your move, you should check out alternatives to hiring movers.
If you don’t want to drive your own moving truck, but still could use some assistance on your move, you should take a look at container moving. You fill up the container with all of your stuff, and the company will get the container from place to place for you. This is especially helpful if you are doing a long-distance move.
You can always rent your own truck, pack your own stuff, and head out the door on your own. You’ll pay for gas and mileage, but have control of your own timeframe. Moving companies often have many different resources available to help you in the process including boxes and packing supplies. National companies provide convenient truck returns over most parts of the country where you’ll be, so it’s easy to get the truck back.
Ship Your Stuff
If you happen to be moving a long distance, sometimes, it’s more cost effective to let the big stuff go. Ship items like clothes, books, DVDs, and other personal belongings that can’t easily be replaced. Sell big items like beds and sofas.
You can use many different kinds of shipping services, or even use air cargo to get your things from one place to another. While you’ll need to purchase some furniture when you get to your final destination, this could be a good option, especially if you’re looking to start over, or if you don’t own a whole lot of furniture and large items.
Use Your Car
Your car is always an option to help you move no matter where you are moving to. Whether you’re moving across the country or just across town, you’ll probably need to pack your car. It’s also a lot of fun to have your car for a road trip on long distances. This way, you’ll have a lot of stuff with you, but you can still travel and see many things that you wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
Tips For Packing The Car
You want to be able to get the maximum packing space out of your car for the move, no matter how far you’re going. First, you should plan how you’ll pack ahead of time. You don’t want to save the task of packing the car for moving day. Also, you need to make sure that there will be room for every living thing that needs to go into the car like children and pets. Those are important and you definitely don’t want them all squished in between some boxes during a long move!