Category Archives: Moving Essentials

5 Tips for Home Hunting in a Hot Market

We’ve come a long way since the darkest hours of the bottom of the home market. Now, buyers are finding the competition for homes surprisingly stiff. The days of touring twenty homes and deliberating over the tiniest details have slipped away.

So what can you do to increase your odds at landing a home you can love? Here are a few tips to help as you navigate this increasingly active market:

1. Get pre-approval for a loan before you begin shopping. Browsing without the power to buy is a recipe for heartbreak now.

2. Be clear about the neighborhoods you’re interested in before you shop. Understand what the recent trends have been in terms of sales and competition for those sales if possible.

3. Be prepared to lose out on some homes. Yes, it’s likely that one or two great candidates will get away. Mentally prepare yourself for the possibility of being outbid or not getting an offer written in time.

4. Have your agent familiarize you with multiple offer situations. Ask specific questions about how it works and what to expect.

5. Get cutting edge MLS information and/or information on homes not yet on the market. Hot sheets and inside information on potential new listings can position you for first in line. Work with an agent who has access to the latest information and a solid network of connections in the community.

6. Make offers on multiple properties and see which gets accepted first. If you have four homes which meet your criteria, don’t go round robin on the offers. Write four and see what shakes out.

I’ve seen what it takes to win a great home in a booming market, and would be glad to guide you through the experience. And sellers, this is also a great time to get in touch and list your home!

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School’s Out for the Summer!

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Now that school is out for the summer. You may be reevaluating your district and looking    to move.

Schools are a contributing factor for anyone buying a home. Even if you don’t have kids yourself, your next buyer might, and they might base their decision to buy on the school district which serves your home.

The question remains: How do you evaluate schools? What’s the best approach for understanding if your local schools will score your property an “A” or relegate it to the land of “D-“?

Luckily, there are some excellent resources out there for vetting schools online. Here are a few I’ve come across which provide a good place to start:

Education.com: A major portal site for education everywhere, you’ll want to pay particular attention to the schools section.

GreatSchools.org: A good search engine for researching schools, you can do zip code based searches and learn lots about the public and private institutions in the area.

ProjectAppleseed.com: A website dedicated to improving public schools, you can learn a lot here about the crucial elements of what makes a local school and excellent local school.

Finally, here are a handful of questions to ask yourself if you’re doing research:

How comprehensive is the school’s safety policy?
What social/support services are available at the school?
How does the school handle discipline?
Are people involved in a parent/teacher organization?
How healthy is the school district’s annual report?

Finally, be sure to ask your agent!

Looking for neighborhoods with great schools? I can help!

The Cost of a Commute

Do you ever wish you lived closer to work?  Some of the happiest people I know have the shortest commutes.  Traffic stress, the cost of gasoline, and the hours wasted on the road take their toll.

Well, if you’ve ever been looking for a reason to move closer to your work, this might just send you over the edge.  The truth is, it could be a major financial mistake not to cut a long commute out of your life.

This eye-opening infographic from StreamlineRefinance.net shows you how much more home you can afford when you eliminate a long commute from your life.  From their math, it looks to be anywhere from $15,900 (1 mile reduction) to an astonishing $477,000 (30 mile reduction)!

While you might have some arguments against their assumptions, I think the graphic is useful all the same:  It gets you thinking about how you value your time and the “hidden costs” of a long drive to your livelihood!

Check out the infographic for yourself:

http://www.streamlinerefinance.net/cost-of-commuting.html

Thinking it might be time to move closer to your job? I work with families relocating all the time, and would love to help you sell your current home and find a perfect upgrade closer to work! Contact me today: 317.223.8015, crobertson@realestatelinks.com.

The Big MOVE

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The chaos of moving day is a prime time to forget or misplace essential items.  When you’re preparing for the big move to your new home, the following items are some of the most overlooked (and the most sorely missed in a time of need!).

To prevent the hassle and heartbreak of forgotten possessions and lost information, make a check list  containing the following items:

1. Jewelry, watches, and small valuables:  These small, expensive and often irreplaceable items are best kept in a safe deposit box or kept with trustworthy friends or relatives on moving day.

2. Garage door opener:  The old one won’t be of much use at your new house, will it? Be sure to leave it behind for the new owners.  Also, make sure the old owners of your new house give you theirs!

3. Spare keys:  Sets to your old house should remain with the new owners, but don’t forget sets to the new house!  There’s nothing more frustrating than arriving at your new place without a way to get in.

4. Old address books:  Yes, we all have fancy new smartphones, but it seems like families all have a well-worn phone book stashed in a spice drawer somewhere.  These are practically family heirlooms of information, so don’t leave them behind.

5. Unfinished errands:  Do you have any clothes at the dry cleaner?  Books due to the library?  What about other video game or DVD rentals?  It can be a real hassle to settle up on these items from 100 miles away, right? Get it handled!

6. Medical records:  While a lot of medical information is digital these days, you should make sure you don’t misplace your copies, including dental information and prescriptions.  It’s easy to lose them at the bottom of a hastily thrown-away box.

I make sure my clients’ experience selling their old home and moving into their new dream home is a smooth transition. If you’re interested in a hassle-free home selling experience, please get in touch today: Email me with any questions, comments or concerns! crobertson@realestatelinks.com 

(image taken from http://jcheaney.com)