RE/MAX Town & Country

Posted by Debra & John Blanchet on 2/28/2018

If you’re in the market to buy a home soon, you probably have a long list of things to look for. You also are most likely focused on savings and shopping around for the best mortgage rates. You may know everything that you should do when you’re buying a home, but has anyone told you what you shouldn’t do? Read on to discover some of the worst practices of people searching for a home. 

Lack Of Research

You need to search for a home before you even set out to look at properties in person. While you’ll want to work with a realtor, you should know what you want before you start working with him. Your agent will be able to set up alerts for you that enable you to see properties put on the market as soon as they become available. This search will be tailored to your wants such as a large yard, master bathroom, or separate dining area. If you understand what your needs will cost you in relation to your budget ahead of time, working with a real estate agent will be a more fruitful experience.

Not Letting Your Real Estate Agent Do Their Job

Real estate agents are experts in the housing market. Your agent will research prices and help you to understand what a reasonable offer on a property will be. Your agent has the tools to get you the information you need to make an informed offer on a property. Sellers get insulted if an offer is well below the asking price. Trust that your agent knows what he’s talking about. 

You’ll have a close relationship with your agent throughout the house hunting process. You’ll need to make arrangements with your agent to go to open houses and home showings. Your agent will accommodate you to the best of his ability. All you need to do is communicate with them. 

Not Looking Beyond The Online Search

If you are out and about and see a property for sale that interests you, don’t assume that it’s out of your reach. Sometimes the online searches miss things. A property may include (or not include) something that you’re looking for. You can take down the address where you saw the “for sale” sign and speak with your real estate agent about it.

Skimming Over Properties

When you have the opportunity to look at a property, really take the time to view it. You can miss a lot of details by quickly going over a property due to your first impression. There’s a lot of things that you may not see if you don’t look at the details of a home as you walk through it.       

Tags: house hunting  
Categories: Buying a Home   Real estate  

Posted by Debra & John Blanchet on 6/28/2017

One aspect of house hunting that some prospective home buyers overlook is security. Perhaps it's because they're looking at homes in "nice neighborhoods, where you shouldn't have to worry about that sort of thing happening." Maybe another reason they're paying little or no attention to security issues is that they're more preoccupied with the layout of the kitchen, the size of the backyard, and the condition of the master bathroom.

Even though there are dozens of details to compare and think about when you're house hunting, security features are important enough to include in your checklist. By letting your real estate agent know that home security is a high priority for you, they'll hopefully point out security features that they notice and perhaps ask the listing agent for any additional information on things like installed alarms systems, deadbolt locks, or security lighting on the property.

As a side note, if the present owner has recently installed an extensive security system in the house, you can also use that as an opportunity (excuse) to inquire about crime in the neighborhood and whether there have been any recent incidents in the area. Additional research may need to be done to ferret out that information.

As you check out different houses that your buyers' agent shows you, here are a few security-related checkpoints to keep in mind:

  • Do the doors look solid and are they secured by deadbolt locks?
  • Do first-floor windows have functional and securely locking mechanisms?
  • Are there any outside floodlights, lamp posts, and/or other forms of illumination around the house?
  • Are there any overgrown bushes next to the house that could conceal a burglar's attempt to enter the house through a window?
  • Are there any fences on the premises that might discourage a burglar from entering the property?
  • Do the main entrances have locking storm doors that provide an extra layer of security?
  • Are there any other security vulnerabilities that you or your real estate agent think need addressing, either now or in the immediate future?
While that list may not include every possible security feature and potential weakness to look for when touring homes for sale, it will hopefully heighten your awareness about the need to prioritize home security -- even before you actually close on a house and move in.

When you do find the ultimate house for you and your family, it's always a good idea to change the locks on all external doors as soon as possible. You never know how many duplicate keys have been circulated over the years to contractors, neighbors, cleaning people, pet sitters, house sitters, and family members. One way to take control of your new home's security situation is to make sure there are no extra house keys floating around in the hands of people you don't know.