With over 20 years of experience, I have had the pleasure of helping hundreds of people find their ideal homes! From looking for their dream home to relocating and even to downsizing, I have been able to walk through and help many people with their home-buying needs. And now I get to help the next generation embark on the same journey! This blog is a compilation of helpful information that I have learned over the years that pertains to buying a home in every stage of life, and I hope that you can get some amazing value from it!
There are a lot of real estate myths floating around out there that many people assume are common knowledge. So we wanted to set the record straight about a few of them. So here are 6 myths about real estate you've probably heard and why they are false.
1) A Home Either Passes or Fails a Home Inspection
A home doesn't "pass" or "fail" a home inspection. The purpose of a home inspection is to assess the condition of a house.
A home inspector will provide a report explaining any issues they may have found along with a summary of the age of the key systems of the house, such as the plumbing, electric, and HVAC systems, along with other major features like the roof and overall condition of the home.
So a home doesn't pass or fail an inspection--the inspection just gives you an insider peek into the state of a house before you buy it.
2) Inspectors Are Required To Find Something During an Inspection
Not true. The goal of a home inspector is not to label a house "pass" or "fail"; they are hired by the buyer to do an independent and objection inspection of a property. And while no property is perfect and the inspector will most likely find things that could be improved, there isn't anything about the inspection process that would motivate the inspector to "have to" find something wrong.
If a seller is concerned about what might be found in an inspection, they can always get a pre-listing inspection done so they can compare any findings of the potential buyer's inspection.
3) If Zillow Says It, It Must Be True
A lot of people look to Zillow like a Real Estate Bible. Any information they find on there they assume to be true because Zillow is such a large real estate website.
Zillow is a better resource for generalized information, not specific information. For instance, their Zillow's Zestimate can give you a general idea of a home's value, but it definitely isn't an exact valuation tool.
For instance, Zillow can't recognize the difference between why a home on one particular street would be priced at a certain value but the house two blocks away would be priced differently. It also can't factor in things like why the previous sales sold for the prices they did or what is drawing people to particular neighborhoods, like good school systems, for instance.
So while it might be a good place for initial research and as a general guide, don't take everything you see on Zillow at face value.
4) It's Better To Price a Home High Because You Can Always Come Down
This is one of the most commonly believed real estate myths in the industry: in an attempt to get their ideal asking price for their home, they initially overprice it thinking that it will protect them from selling too low.
The problem with this is that overpricing a house can often lead to it sitting on the market for long periods of time and not receiving much interest, which can also look bad once the price is dropped to something more reasonable. An overpriced home can even keep interested buyers from even looking, let alone putting in a lower offer.
If a home is priced competitively from the get-go, however, the chances of attracting the right kind of buyer at the right price for the seller greatly increase.
5) Start Low When Making An Offer on a House
While sellers can make the mistake of overpricing, buyers can likewise make the mistake of low-balling their offer. There isn't anything wrong with negotiating; but if the home is priced reasonably and a buyer puts in an unrealistically low offer, they may alienate themselves with the seller and no longer be seen as a serious candidate in the negotiation process.
6) All Real Estate Agents Are the Same
While the general home buying/selling processes are relatively the same across the board, the same can't be said for real estate agents.
Similar to other professions, there are those agents in the real estate community who are committed to excellence, put in a lot of time and energy for their clients, are excellent problem solvers. And there are the agents that do what they need to do to get the job done and no more.
Just as in other fields, there are real estate agents that are better than others. So do your research--see who has some of the best results in your city. Look for things like achievements or awards. Do your research and find a reputable, experienced agent in your area to help you find or sell your home.
If you are in the Boise area, I would love to help you find or build your perfect home or sell your home! I have been in the market for over 20 years and have been a Top Producer in Boise for the last several years as well. If you are currently in the market for or looking to sell a home, please give me a call! I would love to help you!
Click below for an in-depth look at the Treasure Valley Home Market Statistics for September 2020! You can always find the most up-to-date information that you need to know on the #KelleySimonSays blog!
Perhaps you are thinking about building a new home--congratulations! This is an exciting aspect of homeownership!
You're looking through pictures of houses, seeing your favorite style of homes, and mentally sorting out all of the details that will create your dream home.
You have undoubtedly heard different stories from others about their home building experience. Building a house can be a great adventure, or it can be a complete pain in the neck. It really all depends on the steps you take and the people you work with.
So here are 5 tips from a realtor on building a house and how to make it a dream process instead of a nightmare.
6 Tips From a Realtor On Building a House
1) Know What You are Getting Into From the Start
There are some things that are important for you to be aware of before you ever even start the building process.
First, be prepared to dedicate a lot of time to the process--a lot of time. Being involved in your house building endeavor can sometimes feel like a part-time job, if not a full-time job. If you want to make sure that everything is going smoothly and being done correctly, expect to be spending a lot of time on-site at your new home.
You may not spend quite as much time in the early design stage, but just be ready to devote more time to your big new project as more construction gets underway.
Secondly, be prepared for any financial stress you may encounter. People spend years saving to build a house, and even if you are financially ready for this, spending these amounts of money can cause stress just in and of itself. Just be prepared for this and have some extra relaxation methods and techniques ready to go to help you get through these times as they come.
Just knowing what you are getting into and discussing with your significant other or a friend about how to handle difficulties as they arise will help you greatly when building a house.
2) Budget, Balance, and Build
When you are creating the budget for building a house, make sure to leave room for any additional or unexpected costs that may come up, because there will undoubtedly be additional costs that come up. A good rule of thumb is to factor in 30% of the total cost for the unforeseen costs that will arise.
With that said, make sure you are building with a balanced mindset. Keep your budget in your mind and follow it, but don't be so rigid that you don't spend money or even splurge a little on the things that matter to you most. You are designing this house, after all.
Now you can start to build. Find a builder who routinely builds homes like the one you want to build and make sure they are licensed, bonded, and insured.
3) Plan, Plan, Plan
Have a good, solid idea of what you want for your house in the design stage. Pick out things like tile, cabinets, floors, appliances, paint colors, etc., before you actually need them. That way when your contractor comes to you and says, "We'll be putting the floors down in the living room in two weeks," you can go ahead and order exactly what you want and keep the whole project rolling along on schedule.
Having a good plan will also help you avoid last-minute design changes which can incur additional costs.
As you are planning, consider whether or not you plan on someday re-selling. This can help you determine how customized you want your house to be. If you plan on re-selling someday, make sure not to over-customize the house with things that the average person wouldn't want in their home. If you don't plan on reselling, then go ahead and tweak things to your liking.
4) Hire the Right People
This is probably the most important decision you will make in regards to you building a home. You will be working very closely with your builder/architect throughout the whole building process, and the overall experience is largely determined by the relationship that you have with them.
Your realtor will be of great help in this process. They should be able to give you referrals for builders/architects, project managers, and any other hire you are looking for. Your realtor is in the house building realm all the time--take advantage of their expertise and connections as you start building your ideal, cohesive construction team.
Do your homework before hiring anyone. Make sure you interview lots of different builders before making a decision. You will be able to test their levels of experience against each other. You can also get a good feel for how it would be to work with that particular builder.
If a builder is taking a long time to get back to you when you reach out with questions, that would be a good indicator that they might not be very timely when working on an actual building project.
You can get a good idea of how a builder will work on a project and find one that you get along well with as well. This will make the whole experience much easier and more enjoyable. After all, these are the people who will be helping you with one of the biggest financial commitments of your life. Make sure you vibe well with them and they are competent.
5) Communicate Everything; Don't Assume Anything
While there isn't a way to avoid mistakes altogether, you can minimize them by being specific and making your expectations very clear.
Keeping open lines of communication with your builder or project manager can help lessen the number of mistakes that get made. The more specific you are when describing how you want something to look, the smoother everything will go. Assuming your team understands every part of your vision for your house perfectly could get you into trouble--they have a lot to remember. So make sure you communicate openly and respectfully about what you want at each stage of construction.
Click below for an in-depth look at the Treasure Valley Home Market Statistics for August 2020! You can always find the most up-to-date information that you need to know on the #KelleySimonSays blog!
All of us here are Kel & Company would like to wish all of you a safe and Happy 4th of July!!!
Have you ever wondered what the benefits are of buying a home that has an Homeowner's Association (HOA)? While some folks might view this as a con in a home purchase, there are actually many benefits that an HOA brings to the table.
Let's look at the top 5 benefits of an HOA!
1) HOA's Help Increase Home Values
Yep, you read that right. A Homeowner's Association can increase your home's value.
The reason for this is because HOA's have standards and guidelines for properties that homeowners have to follow. These typically include things like: guidelines and requirements for outbuildings and structures like fences, sheds, and play equipment; landscaping requirements; limits on noise levels; and requiring approval of design changes to your home.
HOA's also ensure that any common areas like swimming pools, sports courts, walking trails or parks are all maintained and kept immaculate.
While this kind of regulation isn't for everyone, it does create uniformity for all of the residents in the neighborhood and ensures that everyone's property values are as high as they can be.
Most Homeowner's Associations provide some level of amenities, ranging from swimming pools to walking trails, parks to tennis courts, golf courses to protective gates.
HOA fees help in maintaining amenities like these, which can make living in a community even more enjoyable.
3) HOA Rules and Regulations Help Deter Nuisance Behaviors
Because each resident has to follow the same rules and guidelines in regards to the exterior of their homes and noise levels, the number of obnoxious behaviors or home additions is close to eliminated.
This benefits everyone in the neighborhood by making a more peaceful, pleasurable community while also keeping everyone's property values high.
4) HOA Provide Increased Community Engagement and Neighborhood Pride
Homeowner's Associations often plan and host community events and activities like block/neighborhood parties, special events like "Movie Night in the Park", and holiday-themed festivals.
This draws the community together and turns regular neighbors into friends and creates a sense of community togetherness and pride.
5) HOA's Provide Financial Stability for Neighborhoods
The upkeep of the neighborhood, in general, doesn't have to be the concern of any one resident. In fact, it doesn't even have to be a second thought.
HOA's typically do a very good job of maintaining common areas and amenities, and this is thanks to the financial planning on the Homeowner's Association. With the allocated funds from the HOA fees, they are able to keep beautiful and well-maintained common areas for the benefit of of every resident.
Click below for an in-depth look at the Treasure Valley Home Market Statistics for July 2020! You can always find the most up-to-date information that you need to know on the #KelleySimonSays blog!
There are many reasons that someone would choose to downsize their home. Perhaps there is a couple who have recently become empty nesters and don't need all of the space of their current home. Maybe someone is retiring and looking to have less house to take care of. Or maybe someone is looking to downsize for financial reasons.
Regardless of the reason that you are looking to downsize, the process of downsizing your home and your belongings is pretty much the same and can be overwhelming.
Here are 5 Tips To Downsizing Your Home that will help you get through the process more smoothly.
5 Tips To Downsizing Your Home
1) Take Inventory of Your Stuff
Take inventory of all of your belongings and narrow them down to things that you need, use, bring you joy, have sentimental value, or make your house feel like a home.
Another good standard of measure as you sort through your things is to stick to the items in your home that are in great condition and let go of the things that are worn, broken, or have just seen better days.
For instance, you can forgo packing and unpacking a box full of chipped coffee mugs or scratched up picture frames. Keep the photos in the frames and discard the bulky, worn-out frames and throw the chipped and damaged mugs out.
Evaluating your belongings this way will help you really weed out the items that you truly don't want or need and will make downsizing into your new home a heck of a lot easier.
2) Minimize Duplicate Items
There are very few things that you truly need multiples of; so if you are finding that you have duplicates of certain items, select your favorite item and give the others to Goodwill or the Salvation Army.
While some duplicate items are a necessity (i.e., multiple trash cans for different rooms of the house), having four or five different spatulas, for instance, isn't a necessity and will create just that much more of a headache when you go to unpack them.
So make sure to get rid of duplicate items and just keep your favorites.
3) Temporarily Stop Getting New Items
The last thing that you need to do in the middle of downsizing is buy additional things that you will have to move with you.
So put a temporary freeze on bringing new items into your home until you are decluttered, moved, and settled into your new home. That way you can see what things you truly need and it can be easier to add new items to your new house without that hassle of doing it while in the moving process.
4) Make Sure Everything Going to Your New Home Has a Place
Don't move anything into your new house that doesn't have a designated space already.
If you can mentally prepare and know where the different items in your home are going to go, this will make the moving in process that much easier.
Make sure you label your boxes based on the rooms that they belong in. And if you have miscellaneous items that don't necessarily have a place in your current home (for instance, that junk drawer in your kitchen that became a junk drawer by accident), sort through those things and try to make sure you aren't taking anything with you that is going to be "homeless" once you are moved into your new home.
5) Measure Your Furniture to Make Sure Everything Will Fit
One of the saddest and biggest time-wasters during the downsizing process is realizing that you moved a large piece of furniture to your new, smaller home, only to find that it doesn't fit in the space you envisioned for it.
Before you move, create layouts of the rooms in your new house and where you plan on putting each piece of furniture. This will help you determine which pieces of furniture you want to keep the most if they won't all fit into your new space and will keep you from dealing with the headache of figuring out what to do with the furniture that ends up being too big or too much.
If you are looking to downsize, contact us at Kel & Company and we would love to help you find the perfect home for you!
Click below for an in-depth look at the Treasure Valley Home Market Statistics for June 2020! You can always find the most up-to-date information that you need to know on the #KelleySimonSays blog!
These are confusing and unprecedented times that we are living in. There is a need for staying safe and healthy, and there is also a need to continue on with our lives and not live at a complete standstill.
Maybe this is where you've been in regards to selling your current home or looking to purchase a new one. We here at Kel & Company have been doing everything that we can to help people continue this area of their lives in a safe, healthy way. So we wanted to give you some tips and tricks on staying safe and healthy while selling or buying your next home.
Ways To Stay Safe While Selling Your Home
- Staying socially distant is one of your best friends when it comes to selling your home. And this is a pretty easy one to accomplish because it's pretty standard for the industry regardless of whether we are dealing with a worldwide pandemic or not. If someone is going to be looking at your house, let their realtor handle letting them in and showing them around while you go for a walk or a drive. Minimal contact with people will help both you and them stay safe and healthy.
- When you come back to your home after a showing, make sure you sanitize all handles in your home and anything else that could have been touched. This ensures that any potential germs left behind are eradicated from your home. You could also leave gloves and/or disinfecting wipes for people to use as they view your home with their realtor.
- Work with your realtor and have them communicate with other realtors about safety precautions that can be taken for both you, the potential buyers, and the realtors themselves. You could ask your realtor to make sure--if you don't provide them--that anyone entering the house wears gloves, masks, or uses disinfecting wipes when they need to touch something.
- You can also do much of the transactional process virtually. Have a tele-meeting or phone call instead of in-person meetings; talk to your realtor about offering virtual home tour options for your house that people can view online; some paperwork may even be able to be done by fax or email with a virtual notary present. Talk to your realtor about the different virtual options that you have that will help your home-selling process flow smoothly and keep you safe and healthy.
Ways To Stay Safe While Buying a Home
- Look for ways that you can still view homes and maintain your social distance from people. Ask your realtor about virtual home tour options online. And if these aren't available for the houses you are interested in, make sure you maintain at least 6 feet distance between you and your realtor as you tour homes in person. Here at Kel & Company, we have even set up an option for if you fall in love with a house virtually: we can help you write an offer on the house that is "subject to an in-person viewing of the house". This ensures that you can move as quickly as you want on a home you are interested in by getting a contract in place but also protects your earnest money until you have been able to verify in person that the house is everything you want it to be.
- If you are touring houses in-person, make sure you wear face masks and gloves. And bringing disinfecting wipes with you to open door handles and such is another great safety precaution you can take. Not only do these measures protect you in the event of pre-existing germs in the houses you are looking at, but it is a kind and considerate measure to take in leaving that family's home clean and germ-free of anything you or your realtor could potentially leave behind as well.
- Like we said before, work with your realtor to do as much virtually as possible. Tele-meetings, phone calls, financing--all of these things can be--and commonly are--done virtually anyway. So it doesn't change too much of the normal house-buying process.
There are ways that house-hunting and house-selling can go on cleanly and safely--you just have to know the right professionals to help you get that done! So if you are looking to list your home or purchase a new one, give us a call at Kel & Company and we will take care of you!
Click below for an in-depth look at the Treasure Valley Home Market Statistics for May 2020! You can always find the most up-to-date information that you need to know on the #KelleySimonSays blog!
Kel & Company
Silvercreek Realty Group