Saturday, October 9, 2010

Picture this!

A picture is worth one million words. It really is. Think about it. When you are viewing potential properties, why wouldn't you bring a camera? You really need to. You want to take as many pictures as you can of any property that you are going to view so you'll remember the details later. Your memory isn't as good as you think it is. No, I'm not trying to insult you. It's just that a lot of us get excited when we are going to look at properties for the first time and we forget that we are going to forget.

Let's say that you have set aside a Saturday to spend with your Realtor viewing 5 different properties. Most likely these properties will not all be in the same neighborhood. Also, most likely these properties will not all look exactly alike or have the same features. After you see the first property, you are going to think that you'll have no problem remembering where the bathroom is or how those kitchen cabinets looked. We'll after the 3rd or 4th property, things might seem to blur together or get a little more confusing in your head.

Now imagine that its 3 days later and you're trying to remember which property was the one that you really liked with the double sinks in the master bedroom and the dark wood cabinets. Was it the first property you saw or was it the third. Which neighborhood was it in? You don't quite remember now. Take pictures of the front of the house and the inside of the house so you can match them up later.

That's just a tip to get you going. Remember to bring your camera now and you won't have to try to remember what the properties looked like in a few days. I hope that helps.

Larry N.

Friday, October 8, 2010

What you can't see CAN hurt you!

I'm going to say it. You should not skip having a home inspection when you are buying a property. I know it costs more money that you feel you don't have but I'm sure you budgeted for this, right?
A professional home inspection is a vital part of the home buying process. Unless you are a home inspector, you are going to miss something. You're just not that good. You may think you're checking all the nooks and crannies but there is going to be something that you can't see.

I almost got trapped into buying a condo that was full of black mold. I originally went in to inspect it myself. It smelled a little musty but I thought nothing of it because it was a vacant unit. I noticed a little mold on the kitchen wall above the counter. I thought, "No worries. I can take care of that after I move in."
Well on the day of my home inspection, the home inspector spotted the same moldy spot in the kitchen. The only difference is that he went a little further. He did something that I should have done but didn't even think to do. I was a newbie to the home buying game at that point. He moved the stove out of the way. Well guess what, that little bit of mold turned into a WHOLE LOT of mold. It was covering the entire wall behind the stove. Keep in mind, that's just the mold that we could see. Upon closer inspection, it was also rotting away the wooden back splash and where the counter tops butted up against the wall. We also found more behind the refrigerator and in the closet with the a/c handler.

Needless to say, the owner of the property never mentioned this to me or my Realtor. Also needless to say, I did not buy that property. I promptly canceled the contract and got my deposit back. That would have required AT LEAST an entire kitchen remodel and who knows how much dry wall to be replaced. There is no way to tell how far the mold has spread without ripping out drywall, piece by piece, and checking. So, on to the next property!

That's a true story. It happened to me about 4 months ago. It goes to show you that what you can't see CAN hurt you! Get a professional home inspection! Be prepared.


Larry N.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Home is where the START is.

It's a funny thing that most of us don't think about the first most important aspect of our lives before we begin any personal or professional journey. Yes, it's true that you need to prepare your self financially before you set out to buy a new house, maybe your first house. It's true that you need to save money, check your credit, secure financing, find a Realtor, and get motivated to get out there and work for what you want.

The thing that most people forget is that success in any outside venture really starts inside your home. Where you live now is your home now. When you buy a house, that will be your new home. However, your home now is where you are right now.

I think that making sure things are in order at home is a major step that many of us overlook. If you think about it, I'm sure that when your house is in disorder that you don't feel as sharp or as in focus as when everything is where it should be. Am I right?

I know for a fact that something as simple as making sure my bed is made makes me feel more in focus. I like to be able to look around and see a clean space. That helps me feel more organized and helps me feel like doing more. When my place is cluttered, I feel cluttered. There is a direct relationship there.

Making sure that your place is clean is just part of the equation. The harder, but more meaningful things, are making sure that your home life and relationships are healthy. If you have a significant other living with you and you are having a bad day or you just had an argument or whatever the case may be. I am willing to bet that you are just not as in focus that day as you might be otherwise. Am I right?

I know that we can't avoid having arguments but we can try our best to be the best person that we can be; the best boyfriend or girlfriend, the best husband or wife, the best father or mother, the best brother or sister... I know you understand what I mean.

Just be your best and try each day to be a little better than the day before. You can't go wrong with that attitude.

Does anyone have any experience with this or any thought to share on the topic? Let me know. I'd be very interested to hear about them!

"Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around." - Penelope Cruz, Vanilla Sky



Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Take that First Step


You know how people always say getting started is the hardest part? Well, I believe that it is. I feel that 95% of people who fail, fail because they fail to take that first step. It's easy to see why these days too. The economy isn't in the best shape. (I know. Understatement.) But this has happened before and we always persevere and make lemonade out of lemons.

Most people have wonderful grand ideas and really want to improve their situations and quality of life. There is no doubt about this. We are not lazy by nature. I just refuse to believe that. I think we all want to make the most out of life. Most people, that are not home owners, want to be home owners.

The problem is that a lot of people find themselves in a rut, either physically, emotionally, or financially, and find it near impossible to get out. Why is it that they find it near impossible to get out? Have we ever really thought about that question? Why is it that when we are down, it's so hard to get back up?

I think it's because the situation, the personal environment, the news media, acquaintances, etc are all telling people that things are so bad and they just aren't getting any better. Have you turned on the news lately? I haven't. I don't watch the news. I really don't. I don't see much good news on the news. When was the last time the news media told you that you can be a home owner if you want to and you shouldn't let anything stop you from owning your own home? We just don't see it.

Please don't get me wrong, I am not trying to depress you. This is an uplifting message. You see, good news... very good news... happens every single day. People are happy. People are helping people. People are succeeding in what they try to do. People are making a difference in their communities. People are making more out of themselves even in these tough times. People are buying homes every day. People are becoming home owners. A lot of people are starting their journey as first time home buyers.

That type of news doesn't sell very well though. It's unfortunate but true that bad news sells.

I think I might have got a little off topic there but what I'm trying to say is that because of whatever reason, people often beat themselves up mentally and emotionally when times are rough when they should be helping themselves to their feet, patting themselves on the back, and telling themselves "Keep going. You can do it. I believe in you."

Once you take that first step toward your goal, whether it's owning a home or anything else, and make the decision that you will not quit and that you will not give up, you are on your way to making it happen.

I believe that.


Larry N.