Too often the emotional tug for a property, or the desire to buy, exceeds the desire to fully investigate many very important factors that will impact your quality of life.
When someone needs dental work, they make sure they find a skilled dentist who they have confidence in. When one needs an attorney, they seek one who has the proper expertise to truly represent their best interests.
However, when people decide to purchase real estate, especially first time buyers, they are too ofter duped into a false sense of security when they meet a “high volume” agent.
Many “top producers” care much more about their image and income, than they do their clients! This leads to all too common breach of fiduciary responsibility to protect their clients best interests, resulting in innocent purchasers getting stuck with not such great deals.
The good news is that there are also some really great, caring, humanistic agents who care deeply about their clients and make sure that they get the best possible property and terms for their budget.
I wanted to share a few first time buyer mistakes I found in Realtor Magazine that I thought were important to share.
Common first time buyer mistakes [courtesy of Realtor Magazine]:
5. They don’t think about resale before they buy. The average first-time buyer only stays in a home for four years.
Clients often ask me what kind of heating systems are best, I thought you’d find this excerpt interesting. In New England we do have a few other types of systems, such as steam, geothermal and solar. In addition we have a variety of ways heating and cooling can be distributed, cast iron radiators, steam, baseboards, radiant, though ducts are the most common.
I found the post below from American Southwest Magazine interesting, and thought you might as well, enjoy!
In some areas of the US, temperatures have dropped into single figures, and even into minus digits in several other locations. Inevitably, homeowners want to know how to heat their homes affordably and efficiently. Central to this is the question of whether an oil or gas furnace is the best solution. If you are looking for a furnace for your home, these are the advantages and disadvantages of each type:
The majority of gas furnaces have an AFUE rating of eighty-nine to ninety-eight percent, whereas oil furnace AFUE ratings tend to fall between eighty and ninety percent. While gas furnaces have greater efficiency than oil furnaces, they usually cost ten to twenty-five percent more than oil furnaces of the same size. Modern furnaces can be up to thirty percent more efficient than models that were made a decade ago.
Notwithstanding, as far as fuel prices go, gas is definitely more beneficial. The US Energy Data Administration reports that the average home spends $690 on heating with natural gas over the winter months. This compares to $2558 spent with heating oil, $1448 spent with propane (in the Midwest), and $964 spent with electricity. The price of oil is more erratic and prone to fluctuate in response to global events. In contrast, the production of natural gas is centered around Canada and the US, which secures a more reliable supply. Maybe due to this factor, roughly half of American households are heated using gas right now, compared to roughly eight percent of households with oil heating.
Oil furnaces are easily and frequently maintained by the delivery firm (a service agreement is needed). However, servicing is more comprehensive, because of soot and dirt accumulation ˗ oil filters have to be changed and chimneys have to be cleaned regularly. Gas furnaces hardly require any maintenance (service agreements are not needed), however gas offers less warmth than oil per BTU. Gas furnaces are cleaner and less noisy, but they are more expensive than oil furnaces. Always use a certified and trustworthy HVAC firm, and obtain multiple quotes prior to making any significant investment in your property.
Original by: American Southwest Magazine
Have any questions about heating systems in general? Feel free to comment or reach out to me directly.
Choosing where to buy a house or condo is a vitally important decision. Consulting with an expert who has experience and knowledge of local and regional communities can have a huge impact on ones success and outcome.
Once you’ve done your research on schools and community services as well as commuting options and you are ready to hone in on specific communities you want to engage with someone who has a broad array of knowledge in real estate. One who has knowledge relative to construction, heating, ventilation, landscaping, grading and many related fields, along with a strong network of attorneys and finance people.
The entire legal process of purchasing or selling any piece of real estate can be difficult & stressful or it can be exciting and enjoyable. Working with one who possesses the skills I’ve mentioned has an amazing impact on what one actually gets in or out of their investment. Zillow can be a powerful tool for reviewing homes, agents and more. Check out my Zillow profile and let me know if I can help you!
3. Heating system vent pipes!
Remember that today’s modern, high efficiency heating systems have “direct” venting out the wall, about sill height.
When it comes to gas and oil fired systems, these vents can become blocked from snow. When this happens Carbon Monoxide can be prevented from exhausting and thereby create a potentially deadly environment inside a dwelling.
So clear all walking and driving surfaces for slip and fall safety, but remember to clear heating system vents to avoid even more serious threats to one’s life.
Now is also a good time to clear snow from roofs that are prone to ice damning, as the melt and freeze cycle we often get at this time of year is sure to create ice damning in vulnerable areas.
Happy trails and stay warm!
2. Properties need to breath as do heating and ventilation systems. Next in the lowest level of the house we look for any signs of moisture especially around any bulkheads and base of foundation walls. If there are any odors, dampness, mustiness, then one should check for mold.
3. Once one is comfortable with the level of air exchange, then the next thing to do is close up the house and come back in 24 hours to start a radon and or air quality test(s).
4. Air ducts are prone to trapping not only dust and dirt, but spores and other bacteria as well. So ducts should be professionally cleaned every couple of years. One way to know that they are becoming dirty is the air filters getting excessively dirty quickly. Under normal conditions, HVAC systems air filters should be replaced every 90 days.
5. Pet dander and hair are another source of fresh air contamination. Not all pets shed, but if there are several pets in a home and they are the type that shed, their dander can easily get into carpeting, cloth furniture, bedding and the ventilation system. So if you come across a property with these issues, know that it will take deep cleaning to eradicate.
I hope these tips will help you in your real estate search, as always feel free to ask me any questions and I’ll reply in a timely manner.
Have a Happy New Year!
Anyone who is thinking about buying a home needs to know these vital facts to ensure they get a better than average deal. Most people don’t realize it but each real estate transaction involves around 350 touches or interactions (email, phone, documentation, etc.).
This is why a trusted, proven broker, who takes his or her fiduciary responsibility to obtain the best price and terms seriously is imperative to the process. You need someone who will truly represent his or her clients best interests and always be sure this is the primary focus of any purchase or sale. As a result, well represented clients can save lots of money and get more for their money.
Key qualities to be on the lookout for when choosing abroker are that they are professional and also available for you. When you make a meeting you want to know this person will be on time. With how connected we are these days you can find out a lot of information from a simple Google search.
Other bonus qualities may be but are not limited to: building construction knowledge, strong negotiation skills and a real network of allies (lawyers, lenders, movers, handyman to make moving easier.) Overall things like this will help with the ultimate buying/selling process and make your move much more enjoyable.
Let me know if you’re looking for a broker, I’d be happy to help!
Sam Webb, Broker Associate, Realtor (I’ve also got my builder’s license, too!)
International President’s Circle Top 2%
Free MLS for my Clients:SamWebb.com
Everybody wants a great deal and there are hundreds of ads, TV shows and websites that offer “unbelievable” opportunities for a “small” fee! But you know what they say about deals that sound too good to be true! Each of the properties in the aforementioned categories are being offered at a discount for a reason…
Let’s look at some examples:
- Short Sales, which are sales that require a lender’s approval, due to the delinquency of mortgage payments, can take many months to either be accepted or denied by the lender. Therefore buyers must be very flexible on closing dates, and or be okay with not getting such a property and having to start the process again on another home.
- REO’s (Real Estate Owned) are properties that the bank has foreclosed on and they discount them and list them with a broker, generally because of the deferred maintenance and rough condition. When people lose a property to the bank, they usually are not happy and have not been putting time, energy, money or love into the property.
- Auctions are challenging properties, because quite often they are distressed – condition wise, occupied by unhappy owners or tenants, and most often cannot be viewed inside until after agreeing to the auction sale price and signing the papers related thereto. Such papers require no financing contingency, no home inspections and closing within 30 days of auction,
As you can see, these types of purchases are not generally easy or appropriate for anyone who is not very experienced in buying, rehabilitation, dealing with difficult tenants and can handle a significant amount of stress and risk. If you are interested in a property that you feel may fall into one of these categories feel free to reach out. I’d be happy to help you figure out if this is the right choice for you.
While some people know exactly which city or town they want to live in, many people, in this transient society are open to more that one option. People who move to a new area are often focused on their commute to a new job.
Even if you have been in the same job and plan on being there for several more years, choosing a living location is an important decision and one that you want to thing a bit more long-term about.
Here are some of what I believe to be the most important factors to consider when you are looking to buy a property:
- Job location, proximity and stability
- Lifestyle needs, such as recreation, shopping, transportation
- Schools, if you have or plan on having children in a public school system.
- Friends in the area.
- Community you will be living in.
Early on, I suggest you look closely at each of these items and decide how much of a trade-off you are willing to make for each line item. For instance, would you prefer to get more “house/condo” for your money by living a little further from a major city, but have to commute more? Or, would you prefer to live in a city and be comfortable with less space?
Once you’ve started to get a real feel for your preferences, then you can actually begin scouting out the areas you are considering to get a better feel for your future neighborhood and home!
Thinking about a specific location? Concerned with your current commute and looking to move? I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to comment on this post or reach out to me directly.
And then there are your needs. Many of us are often driven by our wants for more, bigger, faster, nicer, stronger and so on. However, our Needs are often significantly less than we think they are. Our consumerism society is bombarding us with “things” to buy that will give us happiness. For example, most people don’t “need” a 25 room multiple million dollar home – and this usually doesn’t lead to a happier life.
I came across a great article the other day, where Joshua Becker talks about how many people tend to actually lead a happier life when they own a smaller home, he focuses on his mother’s experience with her recently purchased smaller abode. Check out his article here.
When it comes to housing, you need a roof over your head, a bathroom, heating system and other essentials to protect you. Many people who own modest homes or condos are very happy because they appreciate what they have and don’t have to worry about excess property they need to maintain.
Have you had a real estate experience you’d like to share? A question? I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to comment on this post or reach out to me directly.