I have a summer obsession, well to be honest a few summer obsessions. The great thing about these obsessions is that they really help to forge new relationships, especially since we are relatively new to the area. As you can see, my biggest summer obsession is probably creating a beautiful garden. Wherever we have lived, we spent years toiling in the yard cultivating beautiful gardens. Not only do we love them, we get visitors coming to check them out. In one of our previous neighborhoods’, we had people walk up the driveway to sniff and admire the flowers. In our new neighborhood, we have people visiting the backyard to admire the gardens. Cultivating a garden helps to cultivate relationships. We give tours, talk about each others garden joys and woes, and share perennials.
Of course once you establish a garden, you attract other visitors. Now that several of us have gardens, we have also bonded over attracting the Baltimore Orioles, hummingbirds, finches, and butterflies, and unfortunately the occasional rabbit. One obsession leads to another. I love working in my sunroom so I can enjoy the beauty of my garden and catch a glimpse of the birds and butterflies.
My third obsession that helps me to meet new neighbors is walking my furry friend. Who doesn’t want to stop and pet this adorable cavachon. We have children ask to pet him, adults stop to talk about how cute he is, and our “adopted granchildren” ask to run with him. Of course we meet other dogs and get to know their owners.
Moving to a new city and neighborhood can be very difficult. It is even harder when you don’t have young children that help pave the way to new introductions. You need to find a way to meet and get to know your neighbors. Fortunately, my summer obsessions help do just that.
As a Realtor, I help my Buyers find ways to get to know their new area and neighbors. Let me know if I can help you.
Hope you also take pleasure in some of our pictures.
More and more millennials and the up and coming Gen Z’s dream of home ownership. Unfortunately, many of the young people today carry large student debt. Home ownership is achievable by following these three simple steps.
Learn to live on a budget. Know exactly where and how you are spending your money. It is so easy to budget with all of the free apps available today. Prioritize your spending, downsize what isn’t necessary, and know what sacrifices, such as stopping at the coffee shop and going out to eat, you are willing to make in order to pay off your debts and save money.
Build your credit history. Stay on top of your student loan, car loan, and credit cards. Make sure to pay them off each month on time. If you don’t have any loans or a credit history, open a credit card, use it, and pay it off each month.
Automate a down payment savings. Have a designated amount of money automatically deducted from your paycheck each month and deposited into a house fund account. Keep the account separate and don’t touch it until you are ready to purchase a home.
Although, there are loans available for no money down, it will be necessary to have available funds for closing costs and miscellaneous expenses such as inspections. A sizable down payment with a good credit score can reduce the interest rate on the loan for your home purchase.
All good things in life, require a few sacrifices and work. Home ownership is achievable, you just need to take the proper steps to get there.
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.