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Articles Tagged "Homebuying tips"

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June
20

Features to Consider When Downsizing - Laffey Real Estate

Downsizing can simplify life, whether you're an empty nester or looking to get into the tiny home trend. A smaller house means less upkeep, lower bills, and more time and money to do the things you love.

Our real estate agents can smoothen your transition to a smaller space by helping you find a home that's perfect for you.

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May
31

Bidding War Buyer's Guide - Laffey Real Estate

Bidding wars occur when housing inventory is low in a popular location. It occurs when two or more buyers are interested in the property. As a buyer, it's not advisable to rely solely on the seller's agent when you find yourself in a bidding war; you should have your own home-buying pro. Our real estate agents are ready to negotiate on your behalf to help you navigate this tricky process.

In today's competitive market, houses in all locations and price ranges are receiving multiple offers, and bidding wars are becoming a lot more frequent. Sometimes, a listing can be purposely underpriced to trigger a bidding war. One of the primary reasons longtime home searchers find it difficult to close on a home is because they end up outbid repeatedly.

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January
17

Considering the Garage - Laffey Real Estate

Home garages are not what they used to be. Homebuyers expect the garage to have adequate space for parking one or two cars, storing tools and household items, building home projects, and pursuing hobbies. According to our real estate agents, buyers expect the garage to be a livable space in the home that serves multiple purposes.

In most newer home developments, the garage is attached to the house. This provides easy access to the house and added safety when parking the car, especially at night. The garage has become an important home feature that prompts home buyers to ask a lot of questions before making an offer on a property.

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June
14

Early Offer - Buy a Home - Laffey Real Estate

Real estate markets across the country are booming, with more buyers shopping than there are homes available in many markets. With homes selling so quickly, it's important to consider all options for landing the top choices on your list of potential homes. For buyers in a competitive market, an early offer can be an appealing option for trying to land a home before more buyers get the opportunity to make a bid. There are both positives and potential pitfalls to making an early offer, and our real estate agents are here to help you decide on the best options for purchasing your next home.

  • What Qualifies as an Early Offer?
    In many cases, agents like to list homes on Friday because it's typically the best day of the week for posting new listings. The open house will then usually occur a few days later, so there is a small gap between when the listing is posted and when most buyers will see the home in person. So an early offer will typically come in shortly after the house has been listed, but before most buyers will see the home. Some sellers will be more interested in considering an early offer than others, with their own circumstances and the local real estate market trends playing an important role in their decision.

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March
22

Why Pre-Approval Should Come First - Buy a Home - Laffey Real Estate

Pre-approval. It's the first step every homeowner should take before shopping for a new home. Our real estate agents recommend starting with this step because it helps narrow your search to homes within your price range. It also gives your offer added weight when you find the home you want to purchase. Whether you have excellent credit or a significant down-payment, getting pre-approved for a mortgage is a step you don't want to skip.

The Many Advantages of Pre-Approval

We are in a low inventory market, which means that sellers receive multiple offers for their homes. Many times the offers are above the listing price. As sellers consider their options, the knowledge you're serious about and can close the deal gives you an advantage. It also helps you know how high you can go if a bidding war erupts.

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October
26

Condo or House - Homebuyers - Laffey Real Estate

Real estate is a financial investment, but it's also an investment in the type of lifestyle you want to enjoy. There are advantages to purchasing a home, and there are advantages to buying a condo. Carefully weighing your options is the key to making the right choice for your future.

Comparing the Costs of Fees and Maintenance

A house is more than just four walls and a roof that encloses a large space. It is also a yard, fence, and landscaping that you will need to maintain. And, unlike a condo, all of the maintenance is your responsibility. Unless you have an HOA, the advantage is that as the sole owner, you have full decision-making authority over how to maintain it and what you want to include in the landscaping. In general, you can expect to spend approximately 1 to 2% of the home's purchase price each year on maintenance. Further, if an HOA governs you, you will also need to pay HOA fees to maintain landscaping, parks, pools, etc. within the community.

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October
5

Video Tour Questions - Homebuyers - Laffey Real Estate

If you're buying a home in a location that you can't readily commute to, video visits are a perfect way to get up close to a house you may not be able to see in person just yet. Video visits can help you narrow down options, or reduce the risks when you must buy a new home sight unseen. Our real estate agents are highly experienced in helping home buyers in a variety of situations, and we want you to make the best of your visits, whether virtual or in person. You should have a list of questions to ask about the homes you view; you can add these, or use them to start your list. 

  • How long has this property been on the market?
    Sometimes, a home just needs the right buyer. But if a home has been on the market for more than a few months, it may have problems that local buyers have spotted more readily. It shouldn't bar you from considering a property you love, but it should prompt closer inspection and further questions.

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April
20

Choosing a Floorplan - Buy a Home - Laffey Real Estate

When shopping for a new home, most buyers tend to think first about the location and maybe the size. But the layout of a home is one of the most significant parts of the homebuying process. From the shape and size of the home to the number of stairs and the distance between the living room and kitchen, the flow and layout of the home will impact your daily life. Choosing the perfect home layout requires careful consideration because you don't want to regret your choice or outgrow your living situation a few years down the road. To help determine which layout will work best for your family currently and in the future, here are some pro tips from our real estate agents.

  • Lifestyle Needs
    It may sound obvious but when shopping for a home, you need to envision your family actually living in the home. Some of the important things to consider include pet ownership, how many children you have and whether you'll have more in the future, whether an older family member may need to move in with you at some point in time, and general lifestyle needs. If you have kids, you may want to look into the number of bedrooms, a larger dining area, and kids' playroom. If you entertain often, you may require a gourmet kitchen, plenty of living and dining space, and a fantastic outdoor leisure area.

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December
30

Home Loan Pre-Approval Timing - Laffey Real Estate

Start off your new year with a new home by getting your loan pre-approval and preparing to purchase. A new year means a new start, and a sparkling home awaits.

Our real estate agents understand that the pre-approval process can be rather confusing. To start off your new year right, we're here to help guide you through this first stage of the home purchase process.

Know Your Credit

Knowing your credit score is a great place to start when deciding if you are ready for a pre-approval. Lenders will have varying minimum credit scores, but for the most part, you'll need a score of at least 620 to ensure you are approved for a loan.

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November
11

Gated Communities - Laffey Real Estate

Gated communities offer many amenities for homeowners. From added security to guest services, to shared facilities like pools or tennis, a gated community adds that "something extra" to suburban living. While all of these communities offer different bonuses compared with standard street housing, not each community will have the same offerings. Our real estate agents offer the following advice to help you know what to look for when buying a home and to choose the right community for yourself and your family. 

Understand Gated Security

For some communities this may be a simple physical gate with a key or code, in others, this may consist of a robust security system including a staffed security guard. There are benefits and drawbacks to each type of security. If security is simply an automated keypad, this will be less difficult to breach, but personal security may instead be more expensive. Either type of security has a shared safety advantage. However, less traffic in the area means a reduced risk of accidents for both cars and people, as well as less stranger-based vandalism or theft.

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