Wednesday, January 10, 2018

What Orlando Home Buyers Should Consider First...

When you want to buy a home in Orlando you have quite a few things to consider, but two things should be primary:
·        The Price
·        The Location
First, the price. It can be oh-so-tempting to spend all your lender says you can afford. But should you do it?
The lender doesn't know anything about your life and what you like to do with your money. He or she doesn't know that you love to go to concerts or attend sporting events. He doesn't know that you're taking piano lessons or that your daughter is in a pricey private school. She doesn't know that the week at the beach or the ski mountain each year is vital to your well-being.
Take what the lender tells you and then scale it back to leave room for the other things that are important in your life. If the lender says you can spend $X and your payment will be $Y – ask what you can spend when your payment is $Y minus the dollars you want to keep for enjoying life.
And then the location. Location is vital to quality of life for a couple of reasons.
First, you want to be able to enjoy your home. Part of that is enjoying the neighborhood, and the neighbors.  By law, your agent is not allowed to steer you toward a neighborhood with people who share your interests, values, family make-up, etc. But you can do some driving around and look for yourself. You can even stop and talk to some people and ask about the neighborhood.
Second, you want to be able to spend time in your home rather than on the road.  Look for a location with a fast commute to school, work, or the recreational pursuits you enjoy. The dollars you might save in choosing a home 30 miles out will be more than used up in the gasoline you'll buy over the years – to say nothing of the hours of "home time" you'll miss. 

When you're ready to find your new Orlando home, get in touch. I'll be pleased to help you find a home that fits the budget that you determine, in a location that suits your lifestyle. 

When you're searching for a new home here in Orlando/Central Florida you have a fair idea of what you want and don't want, so take the time to really nail it down. Sit down with those who will share your new home and come up with three lists of nine.
  • The first list is things you either must have or "really, really want" in your new home.
  • The second list is for things you'd like, but they aren't truly necessary.
  • The third list is things you don't want at all.
For instance, you may absolutely need an extra room to use as a home office. You might also need an oversized garage to house toys or an antique car. Perhaps you're an avid gardener and "must have" sunny space in the yard for a garden. 
Put those at the top of the first list, right along with the number of bedrooms and baths you must have. And do think that over carefully – if you have 5 children, do they really need separate bedrooms or could you substitute 2 or 3 large bedrooms? And what about you – do you really need a separate bathroom all your own - or space for an easy chair and table in the corner of your bedroom? Or can those features go at the bottom of the list? 
The second list might contain things like a bay window, storage under the stairs, or a skylight.
Then, the things you absolutely don't want. For instance, you might not want a location in the flight path of the local airport or within smelling distance of a feedlot. I met a man once who absolutely didn't want an extra bedroom, because he didn't want to make it convenient for guests to spend the night.
Perhaps you won't be able to list 9 items on each list. If that's the case, finding your new Orlando/Central Florida home will be much easier.
Before you begin viewing homes, make several copies of your lists and take them along when you tour. Make notes as you view each home. This will help you avoid confusion as you compare one house to another and try to remember the various features and benefits of each.
Do be sure to give your agent a copy of your lists ahead of time.
Because we know the area and because we're out showing homes every day, we know the inventory and will be able to save you time by eliminating homes that are missing things on your "Must have" list or that contain things on your "absolutely don't want" list. 
When you're ready to find a home in Orlando/Central Florida, call me. I'll be happy to work with your needs, wants, and "don't wants" to find you the perfect home.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Sell your home faster with great curb appeal

When your Orlando home is for sale, its curb appeal will have a tremendous impact on your success for two reasons:
  1. If prospects don't like the looks of the exterior, they might decide not to come in at all. (Yes, I've had that happen.)
  2. If the yard and the exterior of the house look neglected and they decide to come in anyway, they'll automatically be looking for proof that the interior of the house hasn't been well maintained. Conversely, if the outside says "WOW," they'll expect to see the same inside. And strangely enough, we humans to see what we expect to see.
If your home is on the market, use this checklist to make sure your prospective buyers enter your front door expecting to see a well-maintained, attractive home - one that says "Wow!"
Curb Appeal Checklist:
The house itself:
  1.  Power wash and repaint if necessary.
  2. Scrape and re-paint any and all peeling trim
  3. Check the front door for scuffs and scratches – repaint with an appealing color or even replace it with a nicer looking door. Check the back door and repaint if necessary. If you have pets be sure to check for and remove muddy prints from the doors every day.
  4. Screen doors – make sure all screens are in good repair, hinges are tight, and the handle/ latch works properly.
  5. Window screens – wash, then repair any torn screens.
  6. Replace cracked windows.
  7. Clean the gutters.
  8. Check all window frames and door frames for spider webs. Those critters work fast, so if your family usually uses the back door, check the front door daily.
  9. Check your porch lights for unsightly bugs and burned-out bulbs.
The yard:
  1. Keep the grass watered, mowed, and edged.
  2. Trim or remove overgrown plantings – let people see the house!
  3. Add color with flower beds or potted plants on porch or steps.
  4. Add fresh mulch to the flower beds and around the shrubs and ornamental bushes. 
  5. Check the fence and gate for sags. If it needs new paint, paint it.
  6. Add an attractive doormat.
  7. Pick up and put away/dispose of everything that doesn't belong – check for and remove kids' toys, flyers, candy wrappers, hoses, gardening tools, etc. every day.
  8. Power wash and remove oil stains from the driveway.