The Fun Way to House Hunt with Family & Friends
One of the best features on our new website is the Search Party function. This feature is awesome! It lets you invite friends and family to your online home search. You can share listings with each other, react to listings, and share comments. All of this happens privately within your group, so you can be totally honest with your feedback.
To use this feature, you just need to create an account on the Property Search page. You can sign up with your email, or by using your Facebook or Google+ account.
Once you’re signed up, you’ll see a section called Search Party. Click the button to invite your friends or family to join your search. Just enter their email address and they’ll get an invitation.
Now that you’re part of the same search party, you can begin your house hunt together! Visit any listing on our site and you’ll see the Social Search box below the listing photo.
React to the listing and/or add your comments to share your thoughts with the other people in your search party. If you want to invite someone else to join the search, you can invite them directly from the listing by clicking “Add a friend to your search.”
This is a fantastic way to streamline your search and save time. When you’re ready, you can even invite your Realtor to join your search party. That will help your Realtor get an even better idea of the types of homes you want to see.
Set up your search party today and let us know what you think!
Your home is probably the largest investment you’ll ever make. The process of buying a home can feel overwhelming at times. With more than 40 years of real estate experience under our belts, we wanted to share five mistakes to avoid when buying a home. The more prepared you are for your home search, the more successful you’ll be!
Mistake #1: Not fully considering the importance of location
It’s easy to fixate on all the amenities you want in your home… Open floor plan, granite countertops, hardwood floors, sparkly new appliances, etc. You might find all these wonderful things in a house that isn’t in the best location for your lifestyle. Try not to be so dazzled by the home’s amenities that you neglect to consider its location. Remember, you can always change a house, but you can never change its location!
Do your legwork to be sure a particular location is right for you. Visit the neighborhood at different times of day. The area may be quiet and peaceful during the day, but loud and raucous at night. That’s something you want to know before you buy the house.
Mistake #2: Thinking short-term
If you plan on moving again in just a couple of years, buying a home may not make financial sense. There are closing costs and moving costs that can add up quickly when buying a new house. If you’re in your home for only a short time, you may not be able to recover these costs.
It’s also important to consider how your lifestyle will change over the years. If you hope to be in your house for a long time, you need to look ahead five or ten years – or more – to what your needs will be. Will there be enough space for a growing family? If you’ve always wanted to get a dog, does this house have a good yard? If you think you may be working from home in the future, is there space for an office?
Life can be unpredictable and none of us know for sure what will happen years from now. But if you have some clear goals or ideas about what your life may be like in the future, take that into consideration when choosing a home.
Mistake #3: Shopping without understanding your finances
Doing a deep-dive into your finances should happen at the very beginning of your home search. You need to fully understand your finances and what you can comfortably afford to spend on your new home. If you wait to do this, you risk falling in love with homes that are outside your price range.
It’s also important to get pre-qualified for a loan as soon as you’re serious about your home search. This will put you in a strong position to make an offer as soon as you find the right house.
Mistake #4: Overspending on Your Home Purchase
It’s really important to stick with your budget and only purchase a home you can comfortably afford. Again, don’t be so dazzled by amenities that you throw your budget out the window. If you overspend, you’re going to feel stretched financially every single month, and you may grow to resent your home. That’s a terrible way to feel!
If you can’t get everything on your wish list within your budget, that’s okay. Keep in mind that you can make upgrades to your home over time. In fact, making changes later will let you customize everything to your tastes and lifestyle.
Mistake #5: Skipping the home inspection
Never, ever skip a home inspection! An inspection costs a few hundred dollars, and it can be awfully tempting to forgo it and pocket that money instead. BIG mistake. An inspection will reveal problems with the house you need to be aware of before you own it. If a mistake is uncovered, the inspection will save you thousands of dollars. Either you can choose to walk away from the purchase at that point, or you can use the problem to negotiate for a lower price.
Depending on the property you’re considering, you may need additional inspections. If it’s an older home in a rural area, you may want to have the septic system inspected. A failing septic system is expensive to replace, so that’s something to be aware of before closing. It’s also a good idea to have a pool professionally inspected.
In summary, you’ll be successful if you balance the financial and emotional considerations of buying a home.
Buying a home is both a business transaction and a very personal and emotional process. That can be tricky to navigate. But if you have a budget and a plan from the very beginning, it will be easier to stay on track.
Life on the water is one of the things we love best about the Eastern Shore. Finding your own slice of waterfront real estate can be a dream come true. But there are some unique challenges with buying waterfront property that are important to understand. We’ve learned a LOT about buying waterfront homes over the past 40 years. Read on for our top advice for buying waterfront property!
1: Take time to thoroughly research the property.
When it comes to buying waterfront, it’s impossible to ask too many questions. If you want to make changes to the property, find out what’s allowed. Environmental regulations may limit your options. This not only impacts your ability to add or change structures on the property. It may also impact your options when it comes to landscaping and tree removal.
Your Realtor can connect you with local, county, and state agencies that oversee the various permits required for any sort of alteration in the critical area. Meet with these folks before you buy the house. You want to do as much of your investigatory work as possible before you put in an offer. If the market is hot and you feel you need to get an offer in before your research is complete, discuss including contingencies that will enable you to back out of the deal.
Finally, don’t forget to research the unique insurance needs of waterfront homes. You may need not only flood insurance, but also special wind or storm insurance as well.
2: When buying waterfront, it’s more important to consider the property than the house.
Not all waterfront property is suitable for how you may want to use it. Think about the activities you’d like to do on the property. Is it easy to get down to the water? Do you need deep water? Is it a good spot for fishing? Think about your lifestyle to determine if a particular property is right for you and your family. Share this information with your Realtor to help focus your search.
3: Look into the utilities available at the property.
Cable and broadband internet may not be available for more secluded waterfront properties. Are you prepared to live without these modern conveniences? Also, consider the condition of the septic system. If a new one is needed, make sure you understand the permitting process and costs involved. Homes in the critical area require special septic systems that are more expensive.
We have true waterfront real estate experts on our team. If you’re interested in finding the perfect waterfront home, message us and we’ll help you get started!
The weather is hot, and so is the local real estate market! We’re seeing houses sell faster and at or near list price. This can be intimidating as a buyer… You don’t want to rush into anything, but you also don’t want to miss out on the perfect home. Below, we’re sharing our top advice for buying a home in a hot market.
1: Get pre-qualified for a mortgage.
If your finances aren’t in order, you won’t be prepared to make a strong offer. A seller is likely to accept another offer while you go through the process of getting qualified for a loan. Taking care of that at the very beginning of your home search makes a huge difference.
2: Be clear on your “must haves” and your “would-like-to haves.”
It’s a good idea to narrow your wish list down to three or four “must haves.” These are the things that you really don’t want to compromise on if at all possible. Try to view everything else on your list as a “would-like-to have.” Even in a true buyer’s market, you probably won’t find a home that ticks everything on your list. In a hot market, you may need to be even more flexible. Keep in mind that you can always make changes to the house once you own it.
3: Make sure your agent is sending you a daily email with new MLS listings that fit your criteria.
This is standard practice for Powell Realtors. It’s important that you see new listings as soon as they come on the market – before they show up on Zillow, Trulia, etc. As soon as you see a listing you like, contact your Realtor to arrange a showing.
Contact us if you have any questions about preparing for your home search. We’re happy to help!
Buying a home with a pool means tons of summer fun for you and your family! If the home you buy already has a pool, you avoid the hassle and expense of building one yourself. It can be very expensive to build a pool, so it’s almost always cheaper to buy a house that already has one. Also, if your new home already has a pool, you don’t have to worry about the noise, mess, and stress that come with building one.
As wonderful as having a pool can be, there are some important things to consider first:
1: Maintenance & Upkeep
Pools require a lot of maintenance, so be sure you understand the time and cost that will be involved. This is something people often underestimate when caught up in the excitement of buying a home with a pool.
2: Safety & Insurance
There’s a reason why insurance costs are usually higher when your home has a pool. They can be a safety hazard, especially for young children and pets. Be sure the pool has a secure fence that is up to code.
3: Inspection & Records
Before buying a home with a pool, ask the current owners for all of the information related to the pool. Ask who the builder was and to see a copy of all maintenance records. We also recommend that you have the pool inspected by a professional.
If you’re looking for a home with a pool, we can help you find it! There are great options out there, including some of our current listings. Message us and we’ll help you find the perfect outdoor oasis!
Buying or selling a home is probably the largest financial transaction you’ll ever make. It can also be a very emotional process. Working with the right Realtor is critical. Read on for our advice about how to choose the right Realtor.
Choose an Experienced Realtor
It’s important to work with someone who has knowledge of all aspects of the real estate process. An experienced Realtor will guide you through the process from start to finish. They’ll let you know what to expect along the way, and they’ll make sure you’re prepared. This experience not only makes things easier for you, it will help make the financial aspects of the transaction more favorable.
Your Realtor Should Have Extensive Knowledge of the Area
Obviously, it’s helpful to have a Realtor who knows the ins-and-outs of all the neighborhoods you’re considering. They can steer you toward the areas that best suit your needs and lifestyle.
But knowledge of the area goes deeper than this. An experienced Realtor in your area will understand zoning, covenants, permitting, and regulations that may impact your use of the property. They’ll also have relationships with the local service providers and government staff. This means that they can help you troubleshoot any issues you may run into. Your Realtor’s knowledge of the area and their local relationships can save you a lot of hassle, time, and money.
Your Realtor Should be Trustworthy
Buying or selling a property is a major financial transaction. It’s also a very personal process. You are going to spend a lot of time with your Realtor. Your Realtor is going to know a lot about your lifestyle and finances by the time your transaction is complete. Make sure you’re working with someone you trust to have this information and handle it appropriately.
Your Realtor Should be Part of a Great Team
Although you’ll spend most of your time working directly with your Realtor, you’ll also be relying on their team. You need a Realtor whose colleagues can step in and help out on short notice if something comes up unexpectedly.
There’s also a tremendous amount of paperwork and legal documentation involved in any real estate transaction. So it’s important to consider the support staff at your Realtor’s firm. Are they experienced, reliable, and extremely detail-oriented? Do they hold the proper licenses and certifications to process all of the documentation?
If you’re selling your home, you also want to consider the marketing support your Realtor’s team offers. What is their approach to marketing your home? What tools do they use? Do they have a strong social media and web presence? These are all important things to evaluate when selecting your Realtor.
Make Sure Your Personalities are a Good Fit
You and your Realtor are in it together for the long haul! Your Realtor needs to be someone you like spending time with and can relate to. The process is a lot easier – and a lot more fun! – if you genuinely like your Realtor.
We have a team of more than a dozen Realtors who are knowledgeable, experienced, and love their jobs! Give us a shout if you’d like to schedule some time to interview one or more of our Realtors.