I Found the Home of my Dreams…!

You really can buy your dream home!
You really can buy your dream home!

You have finally found the home of your dreams, but how much should you offer? Without a doubt this is the question I am asked most frequently when working with buyers, especially first-time home buyers. It isn’t always an easy question to answer but there are a few tips to help you make that decision:

1. Ask your agent how much comparable properties in the neighborhood have sold for.  The best indicator of value is the selling price of homes that are similar to the one you are hoping to purchase. Your Realtor can run a search and show you exactly which homes have sold, when, for how much, and generally show you pictures so you can compare condition, location and amenities.
2.  Ask yourself how badly you want this home. For some people, it is just a house, for others it is THE house. If this home is the only one that you believe will meet your needs in the next 5-10 years, you will probably want to make an offer higher than if it is just one of several that will work.
3.  Are you going to ask for the seller to contribute toward your closing costs? If you are, you should factor that into your offer. The more you ask for in the form of seller credits or seller-paid inspections, the more appealing that offer should be. Anytime a buyer is asking for concessions, the offer becomes less and less appealing to the seller. You can compensate for that in your offer price. Ask your Realtor what costs are typically paid by the seller and which are paid by the buyer. This can help you structure your offer to be more enticing to the seller.
4.  Can you afford it? Just because a lender tells you that you can borrow a certain amount doesn’t  mean that you are comfortable at that payment. Look at your budget and decide how much you can manage each month and still put a little into savings for the future. If you have to offer more than that amount, it might be wise to keep looking. Buying a home is probably the largest financial investment most of us will ever make. It is important to do your homework and seek the advice of a licensed real estate professional. Working together with your lender and your Realtor, buying the home of your dreams can be a reality. Happy house hunting!

Staging-It Just Makes Sense

Recently I purchased a home with the purpose of flipping it.  It was a much nicer home than I usually buy, but it still needed some improvements.  We touched up the paint, replaced the stove, changed

Master Bedroom
Master Bedroom

out some light fixtures and replaced some faucets and a vanity top.  There were also some miscellaneous repairs that needed to be made and I replaced the front lawn with some low-water

landscaping.  And then I

master bedroom
Master Bedroom

had someone clean it from top to bottom, including sprucing up the backyard.  I thought it looked pretty good when all that was done so I took some pictures of it before I had it professionally staged.  I usually stage a home myself but this one was vacant and I didn’t want to start from scratch so I hired a design firm from the Roseville area.  Wow, that was perhaps the best investment I made on this project.

The home looked spacious and open before the staging, now it looks spacious and beautiful.  I can’t even describe the way it feels when you walk in to a lovely living room setting, instead of the empty room that greeted you as you opened the front door.  I haven’t had the home listed for even 24 hours and I have multiple offers.  Our market is  crazy-hot right now, but I know that professional staging works.  If I wasn’t a believer before I certainly am now.  And I am not alone, according to Realtors who work with buyers, a staged home generally gets higher offers than a similar non-staged home.  This doesn’t mean you need to go out and spend thousands to have your home staged, but there are plenty of things you can do with what you have.  Start by de-cluttering and de-personalizing the space.  Choose paint that is in neutral tones and clean the house from top to bottom.  No one wants to walk in your home, sniff, and say “they have pets”.  So clean and de-clutter, get the advice of your Realtor or even an interior designer on how to rearrange your furniture, and happy selling!

Living Room
Living Room
Living Room
Living Room

 

Dream Homes

My Dream House
My Dream House

As many of you know, I was on vacation just over a week ago.  It was a busy week while I was away, and my agents at home kept things humming.  Last week was a whirlwind of catching up and preparing to leave again, this time for Washington DC where I will attend  the National Association of Realtors legislative meetings and attend my graduation ceremonies for earning my Master of Real Estate degree.  As I write this I am on a plane flying over some strange “crop circles” in the middle of the country.  It is only Tuesday, but it has been a successful week already.

Yesterday afternoon I sat with some wonderful clients at the title company as they signed loan documents for their new home. Louise and Daryl are long-time clients that I have worked with before, especially Louise.  In 2011 she found her dream home and I helped her buy it.  Not long after that she met the love of her life, and I helped Daryl sell his home as he and Louise started their lives together in her dream home.  Today they are buying a new dream home together.  They will be selling their home with five acres where they kept goats and horses, with its arena and barn, and they are moving into a spacious home in town with a 3 car garage and a swimming pool.  It’s a place where they don’t have to do daily chores and they can travel without worrying about the animals.  It’s a home where they can grow old together. Isn’t it funny how our dreams change?  I think that’s part of what makes life interesting.  Congratulations to Louise and Daryl as they move into this next phase of their lives, and let me know if you would be interested in buying a dream home of your own.  I hear there is one coming on the market with 5 acres, a barn and an arena☺️

Music to My Ears

Led ZeppelinAs many of you know, my mom is still in a nursing home trying to recuperate from a broken leg.  She is surrounded by people of her generation, all battling something, and many of them will spend the rest of their lives there.  Hopefully, my mom won’t.  Each day as I walk in the front doors, I am greeted by the strains of music coming from a portable music player.  The other day I saw a gentleman in a wheel chair pulled up close to the speaker, enjoying the music of his day.  It sounded like something from the 1940’s or 1950’s, and then I had a flash to the future.  What will they be playing on the stereo when I am in a place like that?  It seems strange to think of Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd coming from a nondescript music player.  Imagine all the old folks rocking out to the Rolling Stones.  It’s quite a vision, isn’t it?  Or maybe by then we will be more calm, more accepting of the status quo, less rebellious  Then again, maybe not.

Why Did I Do It?

The signs are awesome!
The signs are awesome!

I have been asked by a few people why I decided to join the NextHome real estate franchise, so it seems like the perfect subject for my blog post this week. I have been running Campbell Realty since 2004 when my husband passed away. David started Campbell Realty in 1996. The company has done well, and grown over the years. I am not looking to get really large, I want to keep the family feel where we look out for one another, and I can still do my job of supervising the agents. But the one thing I lacked was cutting edge technology. Trying to find mobile applications, transaction management tools, marketing resources, and keeping my website up to date felt like a full time job, and I LOVE to work with clients. All the management was cutting into my real passion of selling homes. And then came NextHome. I saw their website at www.NextHome.com, and I was wowed. Check it out for yourself and you will see why. NextHome offers me the best of everything. They have cutting edge technology for my clients and my agents. They write proprietary software with the needs of their customers and owners in mind—they don’t settle for cookie cutter answers and they don’t launch a program until its tested and tested some more.

So what do I love the most? That has to be their fresh, bold logos. The signs look amazing, and I have gotten a great response from clients and other agents. I also love their websites. They are easily customizable, and while I am still figuring that out, the fact that they syndicate to more than 800 online sites is hard to beat. And their marketing material templates make creating flyers, brochures, and postcards a breeze. So far, I haven’t found a downside, but ask me in six months. Who knows, maybe I can find something to complain about. But, knowing NextHome, they will continue to innovate and improve, staying a step ahead of the competition. So, who are you going to call when you want to buy your next home? I sure hope it’s NextHome Campbell Realty.