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Buying a Home for Man’s/Woman’s Best Friend

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It may sound crazy but many of us buy a house for our best friend, the family dog. Given that 99% of pet owners feel that the dog is part of the family it isn’t really all the crazy. Many Buyers undertake projects to improve the house they fall in love with if it isn’t pet friendly.

Although we personally never require a fenced in yard, doggy door, or dog wash, we always look for ease of letting the dog out on a chain and having a place to dry the dog’s feet off. 52% of dog owners surveyed under take projects to benefit their dogs. If the yard isn’t fenced, 23% build one. Dog owners also change the flooring in their homes to make maintenance easier. They prefer not to have carpeting where the dogs enter from the yard and 10% install laminate or luxury vinyl tile instead of wood. Wood floors scratch easily, especially if you have a larger dog. Although, I notice scratches on my floor and I have a 24 lb. cavachon. We installed luxury vinyl tile where we let the dog goes in and out and the clean up is easy.

Buyers should ask if fences or outdoor kennels are allowed in the neighborhood before purchasing a home. Many neighborhoods have covenants that forbid fences; especially chain link ones, kennels, and dog houses. Know your options before you buy. Is a laundry room sink important for bathing your dog when they come in from the mud? Or do you need a faucet in the garage? Today, we find clients who are building a home request a dog was either in the garage or the laundry area.

As a Buyer, do you look for a pet friendly home? What is the most important feature for you?

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The Fearless Home Inspection

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Many Sellers fear the home inspection once they accept an Offer to Purchase and wait with baited breath for the report. There are several steps Sellers can take to reduce their stress.

1. Disclose , disclose, disclose. Anything that gets disclosed on the Real Estate Condition Report won’t be held against the Seller because the Buyer is made aware of the possible defect or issue.

2. Practice home maintenance. Don’t put off repairs for a later date. Replace light bulbs, check all outlets to make sure they are in good working order and grounded, unclog drains, fix leaky faucets, and  install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Check electrical boxes and wiring for mice damage.

3. Check all windows. Make sure they all open and stay open. Repair any cracked panes or sashes.

4. Although an inspector isn’t there to check on your cleaning skills, a nice clean house shows it is well cared for and not  subject to neglect.

5. Have your own pre-inspection. While most Buyers should order and pay for there own inspection, a pre- inspection allows Sellers to fix any issues that may affect the sale or to disclose them in the Real Estate Condition Report. A pre-inspection by the Sellers is especially beneficial in a Buyers market when the inventory exceeds the number of Buyers.

Although a well maintained home doesn’t guarantee any surprises during the home inspection, it can eliminate larger problems and reduce Seller stress.  During the down market, I always had my Sellers order a pre- inspection. As a Seller, I followed my own advice and discovered that our chimney needed to be repaired by a professional. The pre- inspection actually eliminated the Buyers inspector from finding any defects.

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Buy the House you need- Not the One of your Dreams

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he house you Need and the one you Dream of are not always synonymous. But hopefully the home you need can also fulfill some of your dreams.

Case in point, from personal experience, the parameters of our last home purchases was based mostly on need. The last two houses we bought were for ease of living and didn’t really fulfill that many of our dreams. While both houses were nice, we knew we needed something that would allow us (me) the ease of getting around, knowing that I was looking at knee replacements in the near future. The first home, which we lived in for exactly 2 years , because we ended up moving out of town, was made to be ours with some painting, upgraded counters, and new lights. The second house, in which we currently reside, was brand new with some upgrades such as hardwood floors, a tile shower, and backsplash. The colors are not what we would have chosen, and we prefer solid surface counters but we will make do. Most importantly, our home allows for single floor living, has only a 2 step entry, wider hallways, and a walk-in shower.

What did we give up by having our needs met versus our dreams? In reality, not a lot. We still have a nice home although we would prefer one with more character. High on our dream list was a sunroom, which didn’t come with the house but we added, much to our delight.  We can create character if we choose but most importantly, we have a roof over our heads and it is easy to get around the house. It meets our needs.

Although as a Realtor, it is my job to make your dreams come true, I work hard to keep your feet firmly planted so your needs are fulfilled and dreams can follow. You want to buy a home for today and the tomorrows’ that follow. As in my case, if we followed our hearts, I wouldn’t have been able to navigate around my home following my recent knee replacement.

A young mother recently asked if she should buy the home she wants today or the one that will accommodate the children she plans on having in the next few years. It really depends on what she can afford today. If she can afford the home of the future,I’d say do it because with rising interest rates and home prices, it will cost more in the future. Generally, people only live in a home for 5-7 years. Today, Buyers are looking farther down the road. We commonly hear, “We want to buy our forever home.” If that is the case for you, than think about what your needs will be in the future and whether the house fulfills them or can easily be adapted later. We really need a roof over our heads to keep us warm and dry. Although the house may not be the home of your current dreams, when it is filled with love, family, and friends, your needs and dreams may become synonymous.