How to Size Up A Neighborhood When Home Shopping

It’s difficult not to limit your attention to the properties you’re looking at when house hunting; however, it’s extremely important that you judge the neighborhood they’re in as well. The neighborhood plays an important part in buying a home after all. The following are a few things that you should look for when comparing neighborhoods:

  • Safety of the neighborhood – While you’ll want to make sure the neighborhood is relatively crime-free, a lack of crime is not the only thing that makes a neighborhood safe. Consider things like traffic as well. For example, if there’s heavy traffic outside your home, it may not be the safest place for a child to live.
  • Quality of the school district – If you have children or are planning on having children, you’ll want to do some research on the schools that serve the neighborhood.
  • Length of commute – The perfect neighborhood may not be so perfect if it’s going to take you hours just to get to work. Figure out how long it will take to commute to work.
  • The neighbors – You won’t want to end up living next to a frat house or next to neighbors who live in a dilapidated home. Look at the houses next door and speak with the neighbors to get a sense of who they are.
  • Nearby amenities – Take note of how close you are to amenities such as banks, grocery stores, gas stations, parks, and more.

These are some of the most important factors you should consider when looking into the neighborhoods of the properties you have a potential interest in. The last thing you want to do is to buy a dream house that ends up being in a nightmarish neighborhood, after all!

Why You Should Have Your Own Real Estate Agent When Buying a Home

These days, there are tons of resources available online that can help inform you and guide you as you go through the homebuying process. In fact, it’s not difficult to look for houses listed in your area and to schedule walkthroughs with the seller’s agent on your own. However, this doesn’t mean that there’s no need for your own real estate agent. The following are a few important reasons why you still need an agent:

  1. Knowledge about neighborhoods – A local agent can tell you everything you need to know about a neighborhood, including future developments that might affect the value of the property.
  2. Knowledge about properties for sale – A good agent will be able to alert you to properties that are about to be listed or have just been listed so that you can beat other buyers to the punch. This is because of their personal connections with other agents who are representing sellers in the area.
  3. Price guidance – Local agents will be very familiar with the local real estate market and will be able to tell you whether a property is accurately priced so that you don’t overpay.
  4. Negotiating assistance – Real estate agents know how to negotiate and can help you lower the price of the house or possibly the closing costs.
  5. Paperwork – There’s a lot of paperwork involved with buying a home and an agent can guide you through it.

A real estate agent will provide you with a huge advantage when it comes to the homebuying process. You’ll quickly find that the homebuying process can be a lot more challenging than it appears without the professional guidance and connections of an agent. If you’re looking for a reputable real estate agent to assist you in the homebuying process, then be sure to contact us at Randy Lindsay today.

Money-saving Tips For Cross-Country Moving

moving truck

Moving across the country is no easy task. It takes a lot of planning to make sure that everything goes smoothly. It can cost a lot more to move such a long distance as well, especially when compared to local moves. Fortunately, there are still ways that you can save some money. The following are a few moving tips to help you save money moving across the country:

  • Invest in high-quality moving boxes – Don’t use flimsy boxes to pack your things. Use high-quality boxes that will hold together over a long trip. They’re going to be stacked on top of each other shifting around in the back of the truck, after all.
  • Purchase moving insurance – Movers will carry basic moving insurance, but it will be limited to a certain amount per pound. You’ll want to purchase additional insurance to make sure the actual replacement value of your belongings will be covered.
  • Donate unneeded items – Sort through your belongings and sell, donate or toss all items you don’t need or never use. The fewer things you have to load and unload, the less expensive the move will be.
  • Find a reputable, experienced mover – Don’t just hire the cheapest mover. Doing so is a good way to lose or damage items (or fall behind schedule). Look for a mover that has long distance moving experience as they will know how to handle the specific challenges that a cross-country move presents.
  • Book accommodations in advance – Do your research to find affordable hotels to stay in during your trip so that you don’t end up booking more expensive rooms last minute.

These may seem like simple tips, but they will help you save money on your cross-country move.

The Cost of a Bad Credit Score When Buying a Home

bad credit scoreYour credit score matters. If you’re planning on buying a house, one of the first things you’ll want to do is check your credit. If you have bad credit, it can greatly affect your ability to qualify for a mortgage with beneficial terms. The following are just a few ways in which having bad credit can effect you when buying a house:

  • Qualifying for a mortgage – Your credit score helps lenders determine how financially responsible and capable you are of paying your mortgage payments on time and in full. The lower your score is, the bigger of a risk you are. If your credit score is particularly bad (say, sub-500), then the lender may refuse to even qualify you for a mortgage.
  • Larger down payments – The less you owe, the less of a risk you’ll present to the lender. This means that if you have bad credit, the you may be required to provide a larger down payment to help offset the risk that the lender is taking on you.
  • Higher interest rate – If you have bad credit, then odds are your interest rate is going to be quite high. Not only will your monthly mortgage payments be higher, but you’ll end up paying much more over the initial cost of the house once you’ve finally paid off your home mortgage loan.

These are some of the ways that bad credit can affect you when you buy a house. Even if you are able to qualify for a mortgage with your bad credit score, you may want to consider holding off and working on improving your credit. Doing so can help you obtain better terms, which will benefit you over the long run.

Choosing a House with Your Pet in Mind

pet at homeEveryone has their list of wants and needs when it comes to finding a new house. However, if you have pets, then there are probably a few things that you’ll want to look for in particular when house hunting. The following are a few tips for choosing a house if you own a pet:

  • HOA pet restrictions – There may be certain restrictions on different types of pets. It’s important that you check the HOA guidelines and rules to make sure your pet would be allowed before you buy a house.
  • Look for a yard – Depending the type and the size of your pet, you may want a yard where it can play, run around, and possibly even sleep if it’s an outdoor pet (such as a larger dog). Look for a property with the size yard you need for your pet. You’ll also want fencing around that yard–and if there’s no fence, you’re going to have to build one.
  • Look for a pet-friendly neighborhood – If you own a dog, you’ll want to live in a neighborhood where it’s easy to walk. If the house is right off a busy road, it may not be ideal. However, if the house is in a quiet neighborhood with large sidewalks or a nearby park, it may be perfect.
  • Look for pet-friendly flooring – Carpeting is probably the least pet-friendly flooring since it will get dirty easily and will stain easily. Reclaimed or distressed hardwood flooring is best since scratches won’t stand out as much.

These are some of the most important things that you should look for if you’re house hunting and you own a pet. To help you find a house that’s pet-friendly, make sure that you work with a reputable real estate agent.

How a Real Estate Agent Can Help When Building a New Home

building a homeIf you’ve decided to build your own home instead of buying an existing house, then you might think that you don’t need a real estate agent. After all, isn’t the whole point of a real estate agent to help you find an existing house that fits your needs? The thing is, a real estate agent can do a lot more than just that. The following are a few ways in which a real estate agent can be incredibly beneficial, even if you’ve decided to build your own house:

  • Find a reputable builder – If you want to build a house, you’ll need to find a builder. You’ll want to find a builder that not only communicates clearly and listens to what your needs are, but that won’t cut corners. Real estate agents can recommend high-quality builders in the area.
  • Negotiate with builders – One of the biggest mistakes people make is to assume that the price that a builder quotes is non-negotiable. That’s not always true. A real estate agent typically has tons of negotiating experience, which means that they could potentially help get the builder to lower their price or offer more in return for the price that they’ve quoted.
  • Find a mortgage lender – Many builders have affiliate mortgage lenders that they will recommend. However, they don’t always offer the best terms. A real estate agent will have relationships with several lenders that they can recommend to get you more favorable terms on your mortgage.

As you can see, having a real estate agent by your side can not only help make the process of building a new house less stressful, it could potentially help you save money. To find out more about how we can help you, be sure to contact us at Randy Lindsay in the Charlotte area today.

MY BIO

Randy has enjoyed over 27 wonderful years in the Real Estate industry making dreams come true for homeowners.

Superior customer service is #1 to Randy and he provides this to all of his clients using knowledge, professionalism, integrity and persistence.

Randy is a successful and experienced real estate agent who expertly represents both buyers and sellers. Scores of Charlotte area residents have trusted Randy in the process of listing their homes to sell.

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