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Category Archives: buy

5 Things to Think About When Buying Your First Place

As a renter, you have the luxury of choosing a place that meets your needs at the moment.​ Buying a home is a much bigger commitment, both in terms of finances and the length of time you’ll likely live there. When seeking out your first place – whether a house or condominium or anything in between – it’s important to do your homework.

Here are 5 things to consider as you begin the process of purchasing your first place.

1. The growth possibilities. Shop for a place that meets your current spaces needs, but also consider one that can adjust to a changing household. A five-year plan may not pan out as you expect, so think about possible life changes that could impact your need for bedrooms, bathrooms and square footage.

2. What’s under the hood. Your first place may not come with many frills or luxury features – but all the basics should be in good condition. Thoroughly inspect prospective properties. And before any purchase is made, hiring a professional inspector is a must. Your real estate agent can guide you through this key step.

3. Know that no home will be perfect. Your first home may likely not be the perfect place. But make it the right one. Finding the right home is often a matter of prioritizing. Make a list of “must haves,” along with “nice to haves” and “not necessary to haves.” A three-car garage is nice, but would you rather have a larger kitchen or live in a good neighborhood? Only you can measure the importance of the amenities you are looking for.

4. Consider ALL the costs of ownership. When you buy a home​, you take on recurring costs you don’t have to worry about as a renter. Look for a home that meets your budget in terms of full living costs – mortgage, utilities, trash pick-up, sewage fees, homeowner’s association dues and other fees. Your lender doesn’t take into account these costs when approving your home loan. A good real estate agent can help you calculate estimated monthly costs to determine the most appropriate price range for you.

5. The lifespan of things. In addition to identifying cosmetic and structural flaws before you buy, know what to expect from the home’s components. How long until you need to replace the roof, appliances, furnace or carpet? Everything may be in working order now, but all homes need these types of repairs at some point. Researching the expected remaining life on large-ticket items can help you plan for the future.

When you’re ready to start the process of buying a home, RemaxAllPro.com will be ready to help.

5 Tips for Getting Over “The One That Got Away”

Imagine you finally find the house of your dreams. It has everything you hoped for in a home, from the right countertops to the right landscaping. You spend hours envisioning the parties you’ll throw in the backyard and the baths you’ll take in the clawfoot tub. But fate intervenes. For some unfortunate reason – perhaps a fierce bidding war or a fickle owner who decides to stay put – deal falls through. How do you recover? Here are some tips.

1. Get right back in the saddle

If you must have a pity party, do it quickly. Perhaps a quick toast to what could have been, then dive straight back into search mode. In today’s market, things move fast. You don’t want to miss an even better home while you’re mooning over photos of the lost listing.

2. Don’t dwell on one dwelling

Delete the listing of the home that got away. Erase the pictures you took with your phone when you toured. Do your best not to compare new homes to the one you lost. There are lots of homes with lots of new possibilities. Keep an open mind.

3. Don’t settle

Don’t let your frustration push you into a hurried purchase of the next available property simply to get the process over with. Stay true to your shopping list of features you need and want.

4. Re-evaluate your budget.

Take another look at what you can spend and what the homes you’re looking at have been selling for. Do you need to add cushion to be more competitive when making an offer? Or do you need to start looking at a less expensive neighborhood to find a home that has everything you want?

5. Talk to your agent.

Your RE/MAX agent will be full of advice for surviving the lows – and highs – of your real estate journey. Find an agent here: RemaxAllPro.com.

Own It! Separating Wants From Needs

By Carriann Johnson, interior designer and TV personality

As an interior designer for 16 years, I understand falling in love with the details. And it’s so downright exciting to shop for one of your largest investments – a home! But before you get carried away with your list of “dream features,” have you truly defined what you want versus what you need in your next home? In my years of working with hundreds of clients, I have found that the things we think are “must-haves” aren’t what we really need once our lifestyles take over.

Recently my husband and I found ourselves home shopping. When I sat down and really thought about what I needed – and not just what I wanted – to my amazement, we decided to look for a smaller home. The fancy outdoor living space and grand front entrance I used to want had been taken off our list. Entertaining space and a dining room weren’t ‘needs’ any longer due to our hectic schedules. We found a home with more intimate spaces that bring us closer as a family compared to the sprawling oasis of rooms we once wanted. Carefully considering our lifestyles helped us create a list of what we really needed.

What do you need from your home? Remember, key word here is “need.” A need should always trump a want when it comes to big decisions in life. Agree? Take a look at my list to help you find the right attitude when looking for your next home.

1) Make a list
Make a list with two columns – wants versus needs. Your needs should include things like location, school districts, neighborhood, your budget, number of bedrooms, features and amenities, plumbing and electrical that are updated, lot size, number of garage spaces, HOAs and Covenants. Wants may include nonessentials such as the specific style of the home, a newer furnace and hot water heater, remodeled kitchen or baths, deck, pool, hot tub, flooring material, fireplace or wood stove, newer windows and/or landscaping.

2) Consult with other family members
If you’re purchasing a home for more people than just yourself, consult with other family members to further define your wants versus needs. A larger kitchen may be important to your spouse, whereas your son or daughter may need extra closet space due to hobbies or interests. Consider how you want your family to live in your home. Believe it or not, studies have shown that square footage and the floor plan of your home can affect your relationships. Bouncing thoughts and ideas off one another can be very helpful in determining your wants and needs.

3) Consider tomorrow
Consider how long you may plan to stay in your next home. That in itself can determine your wants and needs. If you are planning to stay short term in your home, its location, value and neighborhood will be important, as will current market activity.

If you are planning to stay in your next home longer than five years, think about upcoming life changes. Are you planning to expand your family? Will you be needing an extra room to accommodate an aging parent? Will you need a generous lot for a future home addition? Is remodeling certain features in your budget?

4) Compromise and trade-offs

The home shopping and purchasing experience can be exhausting. However, being realistic will ease your mind and reduce your stress. We have been suffocated by the pressure to live a life that tells us we need certain things to be happy. Avoid the noise. Ask yourself: What makes you happy? If having a large kitchen brings you joy so you can cook for family and friends, make that a need. But be okay to let go of a large backyard if you live in a state where mosquitoes and rain dominate your summers. Spend time defining your lifestyle and what you could forgo in order to be happy in your home.

Keep these perspectives in mind when defining the wants versus needs of your home and you’ll be sure to find a home you love!

Find an experienced professional to work with – visit RemaxAllPro.com.

6 Decisions to Make Before Your Home Search

 

In the market for a new home but have no idea where to start? There are several decisions you should begin to make before you even start your home search. By asking yourself the right questions, you can quickly pinpoint what you want – and can afford – in your next home.

1. What’s your budget? See how your finances stand up to the 28/36 rule, which lenders use to see what you can afford to pay each month. A financial adviser or your real estate agent also can help you crunch the numbers. Going through the mortgage pre-approval process lets you know how much lenders will allow you to borrow – plus it helps you show sellers that you have the funds to backup your offer.

2. What do you need in your new home? How many bedrooms or bathrooms do you need? What about a large kitchen, a home office or a playroom for the kids? How many cars need covered parking? It’s critically important to ensure the home you select meets your family and lifestyle needs.

3. Do you want a condo or single-family home? Condos come with much less maintenance. You typically won’t be shoveling snow in the winter or replacing the roof, but you’ll likely pay monthly association fees to cover services and repairs in the community. Houses, on the other hand, come with more privacy and freedom to customize. They also come with full responsibility for maintenance.

4. How do you feel about living under covenants? Depending on where you buy, you may have to pay homeowner association (HOA) fees in addition to your mortgage. There are benefits to HOAs, such as maintenance, community centers, and maybe even a pool or gym. But you also could be faced with more restrictive rules about the look of the outside of your home, down to the color of your front door, types of window coverings, and whether you can plant flowers in your yard.

5. What school district do you want to be near? Even if you don’t have children in the house, local schools will affect your property value. Prospective homebuyers tend to search with education in mind. Do your research on the schools in the areas you’d like to live in.

6. Should the home be move-in ready? Ask yourself how much elbow grease you’re willing to put into a home – or how much you’ll pay someone else to do the work. Fixer-upper homes can be great after the work is done, but you’ll want to figure out your renovation budget before you start your home search. A203k home-renovation loan might be the right resource for you. If you’re not ready for the extra financial commitment of rehabbing a home, or you can’t or don’t want to wait for remodeling projects to finish up, then a home that’s move-in ready might be right for you.

After considering all these factors, you’ll be ready to start the home search with a clearer picture of where you’re headed. When that time comes, let a RE/MAX agent guide you all the way there.

Five Things to Know: Millennials and Home Buying

Millennials are now major players in the home buying arena, according to the recent Home Buyer and Generational Trends report released by the National Association of Realtors:

1. Millennials accounted for 35% of buyers in 2015. This is up from 32% in 2014, and is the third year in a row Millennials have composed the largest group of recent buyers.

2. In 2015, the number of Millennials purchasing in an urban or central city area decreased to 17% from 21% in 2014. Suburbia-phobe? Perhaps not.

3. They have help getting their foot in the door. Twenty-three percent of Millennials used a financial gift for (or toward) their down payment.

4. An online search was the first step for 56% of Millennials, whether they were looking for properties or searching for information about the home buying process.

5. Almost 90% worked with a Realtor to buy their home.

Are you a Millennial looking for your next home? Work with an agent prepared for the changing marketplace. Find one here.

December Housing Report

RE/MAX researches 53 major metropolitan markets and analyzes the data to get a pulse on the US housing market. Here are some highlights from this months report. To download the full report visit http://www.remax.com/c/about/newsroom. For more information about your local real estate market and what these trends mean for you, contact a local RE/MAX All-Pro agent.

November 2015 RE/MAX National Housing Report

RE/MAX researches 53 major metropolitan markets and analyzes the data to get a pulse on the US housing market. Here are some highlights from this months report. For more information about your local real estate market and what these trends mean for you, contact a local RE/MAX All-Pro agent.

Following the hottest summer selling season in years, October home sales cooled down 7.7% below sales in September, and 0.8% lower than October 2014. October and January were the only two months of the year that saw lower home sales than the same month last year. Click here to download the November 2015 Housing Report.

3 Ways to Compete in a Bidding War

3-ways

After weeks (or even months) of searching for a home, you’ve finally found the perfect home. Unfortunately, you have excellent taste and there are five, 10, maybe even more offers on the table. If you’re caught in a bidding war, there’s more you can do than cross your fingers.

Here are 3 strategies that may help turn the odds of winning the war in your favor.

1. Help the seller out
Do whatever you can, within reason, to make the decision easier for the seller. This can include being flexible on the closing date to accommodate the seller’s moving plans. And although it’s not unusual for buyers to ask a seller to pay for a portion of their closing costs, now may not be the time to press your luck. If you’re able to cover your own closing costs and you don’t ask for seller assistance in your offer, you definitely could stand out. Also, the greater your down payment, the more secure a seller may feel that your mortgage financing will close with no problems. That’s not to say you can’t compete against someone who is offering a larger down payment; sellers will weigh various factors as they review offers with their agent. Overall, limiting your requests of the sellers and submitting your highest and best offer are the best approaches to being competitive.

2. Be prepared to act fast
Both you and your agent should be constantly monitoring homes for sale so you can evaluate potential homes as quickly as they’re posted. Research the properties as much as possible before your showings so you can be prepared to make an offer on the spot if the home is a good fit. Talk with your agent about adding an escalation clause into your offer that automatically increases your bid if other buyers come in. Finally, include a pre-approval letter from your lender stating that you qualify for a loan in the amount of your offer.

3. Don’t be shy
There isn’t always a lot of cash separating the top bid from the next closest contenders. For a seller with a strong emotional attachment to their home, an extra thousand dollars might mean less than passing their house along to the right buyer. Draft a letter describing why you fell in love with their house. Is it the perfect size for your growing family? Do you want to bring the backyard garden back to life? It just might give you the edge over the competition.

If you’re looking for advice tailored to your specific situation, a licensed buyer’s agent may be able to help. Contact a local RE/MAX All Pro agent today.

3 Ways to Separate Wants from Needs in a New Home

3-ways-to-separate

Rolling Stones fans and savvy homebuyers both know you can’t always get what you want. At least not everything you want. You should, however, have some sense of what you want and what you need when you start your search for a new home. Distinguishing between the wants and needs can be tricky because so much emotion can swirl around visions of your “dream home.”

But making two separate lists of wants and needs will save you hours and energy in the long run. Here are three things to do to help you decide how to assign home features to your lists:

1. Ask yourself if you can truly live without it.

“Wants” are features that would be nice to have. “Needs” are things that you really must have to function. Be honest, can you truly live without shiny new stainless steel appliances? If yes, put them in the “Wants” column. On the other hand, an additional bedroom may belong in the “Needs” column if you’re expecting twins. Creaky knees? A ranch layout is a “need.” Occasional desire for a nap by the hearth? That fireplace is a “want.”

2. Determine if a feature could be changed or added later.

No matter how ambitious you are, some things may remain beyond your control to change, like proximity to public transportation, or quality of the local school district. If these features are critical to you, they go on the “Needs” list. On the other hand, things like patios and hardwood floors can be added later. List them as “Wants.” Your agent can probably help you talk through potential future costs of renovations and additions to accommodate your wants. Changing the bus routes, on the other hand, is probably beyond the capabilities of even the most experienced Realtor.

3. Talk it through with your agent.

A trusted Realtor can bring a much-needed dose of objectivity to your decision-making. He or she can help you visualize the day-to-day reality of living with (or without) a certain feature, as well as guide you through the math that may help you separate wants from needs.

A Realtor you can trust always goes on the “Needs” list. Find a RE/MAX All-Pro agent who can guide you through the homebuying process.

AV’S BEST REAL ESTATE SERVICES 2015

2015-04-AVbest

It probably comes as no surprise to many in the Antelope Valley that RE/MAX All-Pro has once again been selected by Antelope Valley Press readers as AV’s Best Real Estate Services for 2015. The company is coming up on its 25th Anniversary next year and a multiple winner in this prestigious category.

“We are a very focused and forward-thinking real estate company that provides our clients the ultimate real estate experience. We understand the process of buying and selling a home through a client’s eyes and we provide them the best real estate council, advice, and negotiation skills,”says Broker/Owner Keny Terracciano.

“Our agents are the most productive and experienced agents in the Valley, and we pride ourself on the fact that nobody sells more real estate in the world than RE/MAX,” explains Broker/Owner Keny Terracciano. “When looking to buy or sell real estate, the consumers seek out the best brand in real estate, and no other brand in the world sells more real estate than RE/MAX with over 1 million homes sold worldwide in 2014.  It is a win for the client and it is a win for the agents that work at RE/MAX All-Pro.”

“As a real estate broker, I am blessed beyond measure to lead a group of highly educated, successful, and experienced Realtors with unwavering focus on navigating and educating their clients through every step of the real estate transaction,” expresses Keny Terracciano.

“As an organization, we strive to give back to the community in which we serve through our non-profit Cure a Child, our City of Lancaster partnership, and the RE/MAX All-Pro Community Outreach programs. That is our company mission, and has provided much success for our associates and brokerage,” adds Terracciano.

The company’s continuing growth is reflected in Terracciano’s opening a Palmdale location at 3001 Rancho Vista Boulevard in Rancho Vistaand they look forward to serving the entire Antelope Valley.


 

Thank you for making us AV’s BEST Real Estate Services BACK to BACK!!!
If you need help finding your dream home, contact us to put our local knowledge and experience to work for you. Get the very BEST real estate professionals on your team with RE/MAX All-Pro.