Before You Move Consider This!

idaho realtor websitesMaking a move can be one of the most stressful things you can do, and that goes double if you’re selling and buying a home as part of that process.

A new town can be disorienting, and not having your usual network of support to rely on can leave you feeling really boggled. There are countless details to remember and take care of, but before all of that there are a few crucial things to ask yourself before you even start thinking about a move.

We’ve put together a list to help you tackle these tasks with ease!

What Is The Market Doing?
Buying a home in a market on the rise is a good idea, whereas buying in a down trend may not be so wise. While no one short of a psychic can tell you what the market will do for sure, a qualified REALTOR® can show you trends so that you can make a decision from an informed standpoint.

Who Do You Know?
Speaking of a support network! A small group of people you can call on in times of need is more valuable than can be expressed. Whether it’s asking about where to find a good place to eat, or needing someone to puppy-sit, it really helps to have some local people you can count on.

Where to Work?
You may be relocating for your job so this might not be a big concern, but if you’re moving for any other reason you’ll almost definitely need income. Research the area online and put out some resumes before you’re even in the area, it never hurts to plan ahead.

How is the Weather?
Unless you’re snowbirding it you will be spending a lot of time in the climate you’re moving to, so it’s important to be prepared for the weather. If you get cold when it dips below 70 Alaska may not be the place for you! Study up on trends, weather hazards like tornadoes, and other elements that may impact your enjoyment of your new home.

These are all good ideas for things to think about when searching for a new place to live. In some cases you may not have much choice if you’re having to relocate for work or family, but with a little planning the move will be much easier. Be sure to talk with a qualified real estate professional too, as they will know the area and can help you get oriented quickly!

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Tips to Beat Home Buying Stress

home buying stressNo doubt about it buying a home is a pretty big deal, one of the biggest deals most of us will make during our lifetimes in fact, but there’s no reason it has to overwhelm you with stress.

You will get through it, and with the help of your loved ones and a qualified professional or two, you’ll find there are a lot fewer things to stress about than you’re likely worried over. To help you keep the stress down during buying we’ve put together these tips!

Know What You Want
Easier said than done but having some idea of the type of home, general area you want to live in, or even just the “must-have” items for your new place is key to finding it. Communicate these desires to your agent and go from there.

Listen To Your Agent
Hey, you hired them for a reason! And while they are definitely there to help facilitate your needs one of the reasons you are working with them is because they know real estate on a whole other level. A good agent will know about the area, about potential pitfalls, and can help you find the place where your dreams meet availability.

Talk It Out
The best way to deal with stress sometimes is just to talk it out. Talk to your friends, talk to your family, and especially talk to your agent. They are in your corner and by communicating effectively when you have thoughts or especially concerns you make everyone’s job easier.

Start Early
The best way to avoid stress is not to rush into things. In some cases you may have to move for work or family reasons and the timing may not be your own. Otherwise however, buying a home is definitely something to take at pace. Start saving before you even start looking if you can, go ahead and get familiar with the area, and start looking for the right real estate agent for you.

Getting a home inspection, being patient, accepting compromise…these are all other things that will be part of the process. Just take it one step at a time. The best place to start is to find an agent who understands your needs, knows the market, and who is also a good fit for you personally. Get in touch if you have any other questions!

Important Questions For Relocating Seniors

senior real estateFor many seniors the thought of finding a new home seems daunting to say the least.

In fact, it can be down right frightening depending on one’s situation. But it doesn’t need to be.

The thought of moving by itself can be troublesome, much less finding the right place with the right amenities, and the right price – thankfully your chosen real estate professional will be by your side to help you navigate the ever changing real estate market.

But before you start searching for a new place we’ve put together some things you may want to talk to your REALTOR® about before your move.

What is the demographic of the area?
It’s always good to know your neighbors and the community you will be calling home. As such make sure your area not only has the resources you require but also caters to your personal preferences as well, you may not want to be in a loud neighborhood that has a lot of traffic or that is near a playground.

What are the taxes and on-going costs?
The price of your new place may only part of the cost. Be sure to be aware of any homeowners association fees, utility costs, or community costs that may be part of the area you live in.

How safe is the area?
Your agent should be very familiar with where you will be moving. There is nothing more important than feeling safe where you live. Be sure to do a little homework on crime rates, or just ask outright what they know about the location.

How much home do I need?
Downsizing is common with seniors and so it’s a natural thing to consider how much house you really want. Better yet, how much home do you really need? You may not want or need a ton of space that will need extra upkeep. Talk to your agent about your goals and what your ideal space looks like to you.

The most important thing is to choose the right agent and communicate openly with them. Remember, they are there to help guide you through their experience towards the realization of your vision and that requires all the information you can provide.

Dreaming Of Owning A Home? Here’s 3 Tips To Help!

idaho dream homeAfter renting for years you’ve decided it’s about time to think about buying a home. Maybe it’s just the desire for more equity in your finances, or you’re tired of landlords and the uncertainty of month to month living – whatever the reason, it’s time, but you aren’t sure where to even start.

As exciting as it feels to think about buying a home, it can also be pretty intimidating tool. To help ease you into things we’ve put together a few quick tips to jump start the process of home ownership right away!

Start With Finances
It’s the part everyone dreads, so best to get it out of the way first. Know your credit score and have a recent report ready. If you spot any credit issues you will want to work towards repairing them at least 6 months before buying a home. You can also seek out a lender who can help you get all the paperwork you’ll need in order – a REALTOR® should be able to recommend a few.

Start Looking
It’s never too early to start looking. Use the web or even spend some time driving around the areas you’re interest in to start getting familiar with what’s available. Consider things like location in relation to amenities, schools, and drive time to work while you’re out scouting.

Start Saving
Moving day will be here before you know it! You don’t have to think just about the money for the down payment and closing costs but remember to prepare for additional things like time off needed to relocate, cost for hiring movers, and cleaning costs for your old place as well. It never hurts to start socking away a little money in an extra account specifically for these uses; you’ll be glad you did in the long run.

And of course, of course always start by working with a qualified REALTOR® who knows the market! An experienced real estate agent can do a lot more than just move paperwork around, they will be an invaluable ally on the road ahead, so make sure you choose one who is knowledgeable and who also fits your personality.

Home Buying: Things Your Real Estate Agent Wishes You Knew

real estate marketingBuying real estate isn’t like much else in the world. No other purchase requires as much forethought or demands as much consideration before undertaking.

You simply do not casually take part in it the way you would buying a cup of coffee, a new tv, or even a car; yet it is also one of the types of transaction that generally you don’t do very often, so it’s hard to really get adept at it unless you’re in the business.

Thankfully that’s exactly where a qualified and experienced real estate agent will come in! But even if you have the very best agent there are still some things you can do to be well informed before the home buying process begins, here’s some ideas to get you started.

Learn About The Area
If you’re moving across town this isn’t such a big deal, but if you’re moving across country you may want to take a little more time. Visit the area to get familiar with it geographically and use the internet to study local amenities and find where important things like your work, hospital, and grocery stores are located. Your agent can likely help here as well!

Know What You Can Afford
For most money doesn’t just grow on trees and as such some homes you like just may not make sense financially. While you don’t necessarily needs to know an exact figure having a ball-park idea of what you can afford in a home is a good place to start. Thankfully, this too is something your agent can help you with!

Trust Your Agent
A lot of times the best thing is just to let your agent work their magic. It can be easy to misstep and say the wrong thing around sellers, to get indecisive in regards to whether one house is more right over another, and sometimes trying to be helpful can actually be a hindrance. So talk with your agent, understand their plan and your part in it, then let them do that voodoo they do so well — it is after all why you sought out their help!

These quick tips will help you get off to a great start, and your agent will likely appreciate them too! If you’re still looking for a home, or need to sell your current home please get in touch to find out how we can help you!

REALTORS®: More Than Just Finding Homes

It’s no secret these days that just about anyone can get online and search for homes anywhere in the country. You’ve likely even seen tv commercials showing how easy it is to do even from your phone. So why do people still need real estate agents?

A truly qualified agent will do more than just give you a list of homes, they should be a qualified professional with insight into the market who can help you navigate the real estate transaction process with greater ease as well as understanding. But what are some other reasons you might want to work with a professional?

Comfort
Buying or selling your home is one of the biggest decisions in your lifetime and it often involves major changes to living situations as well as finances. Real estate can seem like a treacherous undertaking, especially if you’re a first time buyer or seller, and the peace of mind that comes from knowing you won’t be facing it alone is worth it’s weight in gold — just like a good agent is!

Knowledge
Whether you’re buying or selling an agent familiar with the industry will be invaluable throughout the process. Offers, counter-offers, amendments, all of these steps can be overwhelming to take on alone. Even just knowing where the prices are in the market and how to negotiate will be well worth a commission when it brings you greater return on your investment.

Resources
This is especially important for sellers! A full time real estate agent will have marketing resources you yourself couldn’t hope to have on call without huge cost. They will be able to list your home, showcase it on their real estate website, share it on social media, and do many other things to get your home not only sold more quickly but generally for a higher amount. For buyers? You’re not left out either! An experienced agent will likely have many personal contacts and other options for finding you the perfect place.

These are just a few of the things many people don’t consider when thinking about buying or selling their home; it’s easy to understand – if you’ve never dealt with real estate before you can’t understand the value of a real estate experts experience. Don’t let hesitations keep you from reaching out to a Realtor® in your area with questions, you may be surprised to find how much easier working with a local pro can be!

Let Your Yard Go To The Dogs

One member of the family that simply can not be left out of the home making process is our four legged friend the family dog.

No matter the breed or size your fur baby is one of the most important parts of what makes your house a home.

We’ve put together some ideas to make pooch feel extra special when you’re looking for a home!

A Safe Place
First and foremost you want your new home and yard area to be safe. Make sure you have a fence for the back yard and that it is in good repair without any gaps or holes where your pup might get out or get stuck. Even if there are holes too small for her to get out remember other things might get IN also, so patch up all those spaces!

Made in the Shade
This is especially important if your dog will spend a lot of time outside: a shady place. Whether it be a dog house, shade trees, or just the porch it’s important to have a spot that pups can get out of the sun to stay cool.

A Cool Water Feature
Puppers got fur. Puppers get hot! A water feature, even just a small pond or kiddie pool in Summer time will make your doggie flip their wigs! It’s a great way to add some fun and to provide a way for them to cool down when things get hot outside.

Toxin Free Is The Way To Be
Some plants and flowers can make your doggo sick – some can even cause your dog to die! – so be careful in choosing the greenery that is in your yard. Talk to a local landscaper or vet to get more info on which plants to avoid and keep your best friend free from danger.

Something Fun
Maybe it’s their favorite toys or a fun tunnel to run through; you might even consider cutting a little window in the front fence – doggies love watching whatever is going on out beyond their walled castle. Pups can get bored easily and this can lead to digging and other less desirable behaviors, so include something to keep them busy.

It’s not a big thing to do and with a little creativity and even a tiny budget you can make your new home, or your existing home, a great place for your four legged family members! If you’re currently searching for a new place get in touch I would love to help!

Sellers Market? BUYERS MARKET!

92297_1081You’ve likely heard by now that we’re in the middle of what industry experts like to call a “sellers market”, and while it’s very much true that right now is a great time to sell your home there are a number of reasons why it’s also an amazing time to buy!

How can it be both?
Granted, sellers are especially motivated right now because of low inventory and high demand – which almost guarantees a better return on their investment – but even with prices likely being higher there are still some great benefits to buyers.

It’s About Timing
Compared to last year home buyers are more ready to buy now. With the cold Winter months and the uncertainty of the elections out of the way many people are feeling more comfortable with finances.

Supply Vs Demand
Home inventory is low right now; even if there wasn’t a rush on listings their general scarcity adds a sense of urgency to the market. What if the home you want gets a better offer? This drives a lot of potential buyers off the fence and to the signing table much faster.

The Sky Is Falling
Many would be mover-uppers and potential home buyers are motivated right now because they’re afraid the mortgage rates are going to go up – and they likely should be. How does that aid in making this a buyers market within a sellers market? Because RIGHT NOW the rates are still low!

Price Check
Of course money is always a factor, but with inventory being low and demand for homes being high it’s almost a certainty that home prices will also be going up. For the savvy home buyer this is a sure sign that if you’re thinking of buying any time this year it’s likely the sooner the better.

Are you considering buying a home and just having a terrible time finding the right one? Your dream home is out there and we can help you find it! Contact us or use our website to search for the current available homes today!

Tips On Surviving Moving Day

homeraceOh day of days at last! MOVING DAY!

If the thought of that leaves you aghast, don’t worry you’re in good company. Moving day, while one of the most exciting parts of realizing the transition is actually happening can also be completely terrifying – but it doesn’t have to be!

We’ve put together some great tips to help you tame the fear and get through moving day like a seasoned pro!

This guide is more for the key survival items you’ll need other than all of the things in your home you are moving, so first: PACK!

Yes, you should in all hopes have everything actually in boxes and somewhat prepared to be moved from one place to the next before the day itself arrives. Haste makes waste, and waiting til the last minute amplifies chaos. Just taking the time well in advance to be ready for the day itself will make things move much much smoother; if you’re stuffing coats into boxes while the movers are hauling them out it’s a sure bet something is getting forgotten somewhere.

Build Your Moving Survival Pack:

Medicine
There’s nothing that makes a medical emergency even more difficult than not being able to find the first aid. This proves doubly so if the emergency is the simple fact that you can’t find your prescriptions in the hundreds of boxes that now occupy your living room. Be sure to pack essential medicines and a basic first aid kit separately from everything else so it’s easy to find.

Tools
Moving into the new place there will be any number of things that may need fixing, or things that may have gotten broken in the transition that need attention. Even if it’s just hanging pictures you’re going to need a few primary tools that will make your life easier: two kinds of screw driver, a hammer, a wrench or socket set, and some duct tape are recommended. Remember to include a flashlight!

Trash Bags
Whether it’s cleaning up the old place or throwing away the packaging from moving into the new one there is going to be trash. Having a box of trash bags on hand will save you a trip to the store; they can even be used as padding for some of your items during packing so that they’ll be right there when you unpack.

Snack Pack
Chances are most of your perishables aren’t going with you and when you get in the last thing you want to think about is cooking on top of all the insanity going on. Make sure you have some ready to go snacks in your supplies to keep energy levels up and cranky levels down. Think granola, fruit roll ups, juices and of course plenty of water.

Blankets and Comfort
If the beds aren’t going to be setup right away consider a family camp out in the living room the first night. Pack sleeping bags or comforters close to the back so you can build your blanket fort! If you’ve got little ones it’s especially important to keep woobee’s and snuggle animals nearby!

These tips for your moving day survival kit should help you navigate those first crazy few days! Remember, if you’re feeling overwhelmed reach out to your agent – they are generally an endless source of assistance and may be able to recommend services in the area to help.

Best Kept Home Buyer Secrets

home buyer helpEverybody loves a good secret, a little wink wink inside tip, that in itself is no hidden knowledge.

Buying your first home can be really intimidating and first time home buyers are often full of questions, never having experienced real estate from the inside before; whether your new to the process or an old buying pro we’ve put together some good insight and guidelines to help you get the most for your dollar.

Keep It In Your Pocket
One of the worst things you can do when you’re considering buying a home is to start spending money. In fact, it’s likely wise to put a hold on big expenditures before you even begin looking for a home. Not only will you need all those funds for closing costs, moving, and other things but large purchases – specifically with credit can reflect poorly when it comes time to qualify for a home loan.

Get Pre-Qualified
Boom! Biggest, likely best thing you can do. Talk to a lender – your agent should be able to recommend a few – and see what you’ve got going on in the finance department and see what you still need to take care of. Getting pre-qualified for that home loan will take a lot of the hassle and waiting out of the first part of your home purchase; also keeps you from running around looking at houses that aren’t within your price range.

Don’t Play Romeo
It’s easy to get excited and emotional about the idea of a new home – especially when you find one that is just THE perfect one – but check your emotions at the door. Emotional buying at the market is bad, emotional buying a home can be devastating. Emotions change, your lifestyle will change, and so it’s important to look at your potential new home with a practical eye.

Always Get An Inspection
No, really. ALWAYS. Not having the home inspected is akin to buying a car site unseen without even sitting behind the wheel – much less taking it for a test drive. A home inspection can help you spot major issues as well as minor ones and will save you a lot of pain in the pocketbook.

Bid Boldly, But Be Smart
This isn’t a market for the feint of heart! Big boldly but understand your bid should be based on two things: how much you think the home is worth and how much home you can actually afford. Look at what other homes in the area that are similar have gone for and use that as your metering stick. Don’t be afraid to give a non-round number as a bid either, whether it’s a Jedi mind trick or just science, for some reason sellers often like an odd number as it stands out from all the typical offers they’ve received.

The best advice that’s no secret at all of course is to work with a qualified real estate professional who puts your needs first and listens to what you’ve got in mind. Haven’t found on yet? Get in touch!