Tag Archives: first-time home buyers

Yuck, Ouch Inspections!

I just saw this sad article about a woman in Canada who bought a million dollar home.  She thought that having an architect and engineer walk through the home would be enough to verify that it was safe for habitation, so she didn’t get a home inspection.  After closing, she discovered that the walls were totally and completely infested with mice.  Yuck!

Worse still… the damage from their droppings and urine is so severe that the house has to be gutted.

Enough said, right?  Here’s a link to the article – don’t be shy if I can help you with anything!

Best,
Irene

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Warren Buffett’s thoughts on Real Estate

Well, spring has descended upon us!  I am trying to enjoy the 70 degree weather here in Vermont in March – and trying not to think about how this over-the-top spring like weather is affecting the local economy. 

While the weather patterns dictate our local travel and tourism based economy, there are some general economic factors that support a healthy real estate forecast for 2012 and beyond.  Recently, Warren Buffett – the so called “Oracle of Omaha” was interviewed on CNBC.  He recommends buying real estate over investing in a diversified group of leading companies. 

It has been a long time since buyers and sellers heard that kind of good news!

Buffett said that along with stocks, single-family homes are cheap and attractive investments.  In contrast, investments in Treasury bills, gold or simply keeping money in cash are not as attractive.  He also said that if he had a way to buy “a couple hundred thousand single-family homes” and easily manage them, he would “load up on them” and “take mortgages out at very, very low rates”. 

In reality, managing “a couple of hundred thousand single-family homes” is an impossibly Herculean logistical task.  In my last blog I mentioned several reasons for the real estate market improvement:

  • Interest rates are at a historic record low.
  • Baby Boomers are nearing retirement and have the ability to snap up high end properties at lower than usual prices.
  • Some people who watch the real estate market feel we won’t see further drops in value.
  • Some buyers who have been on the side-lines for the past several years are ready to re-enter the market.

Let’s face it – it is much easier to buy stocks with a few keystrokes and mouse-clicks.

So while this news is good for investors and Warren Buffett followers – who really will benefit?  When asked if a young individual should buy stocks or his first single-family home, Buffett recommended buying a single-family home with a 30-year mortgage.  “It’s a terrific deal,” he said.  “It’s a leveraged way of owning a very cheap asset now and I think that’s probably as an attractive an investment as you can make right now.”

Are you looking to complete the “American Dream” and own your own home?  Are you interested in the second-home market?  There are great buys to be had out there and interest rates make an attractive investment.  As I’ve mentioned before – if you are thinking about buying property in this area – now is the time to do so!

Until next time, Irene

Basic Steps for First-time South Central Vermont Home Buyers – PART IV

A simplified guide for painless purchasing of your South Central Vermont home,

Be patient. You’re getting close to the finish line and will soon be the owner of your first home. Just a few more steps to go…

1. Homeowner’s insurance policy

Adequate homeowner’s insurance is a requirement of all lenders, and it is certainly in your best interests to protect the investment you’ll be making in your South Central Vermont home. To find the policy that is right for you, you should shop around for the best value. Check online for quotes from at least three reputable agencies. Be aware that some companies offer a discount of 30%-40% if you buy online. Other possible discounts can result from insuring both your home and the contents or by insuring your home and your car with the same company. Check to see if you need flood insurance, as many properties in South Central Vermont do. Know the replacement value of your home, taking into consideration any unique features. Think about probable inflation increases at renewal time. Will your insurance agency automatically adjust your coverage, or will you have to request a change?

2. Preparations before closing

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Basic Steps for First-time South Central Vermont Home Buyers – PART III

A simplified guide for painless purchasing of your South Central Vermont home.

Okay, you’ve made your lists of: must have” and “would be nice” features, and you’ve identified desirable neighborhoods with the schools and amenities that meet your needs. Now it’s time to seriously shop for your first-time South Central Vermont home.

Before you even step outside to begin the search, your agent will email to you listings which meet your criteria, and you can “visit” many of them online via a virtual tour. Once you have narrowed down your choices, your agent will arrange for you to look at–in person– your selected properties. A few bits of advice here:

1) Take notes on each home you tour. Too often individual details blur after you’ve seen four (or more) houses in a day.

2) Look past the owner’s furnishings and décor. Concentrate on the features you have identified as important and try to picture yourself actually living in the space.

3) If you have decided that you don’t need a “move-in ready” residence, look at the potential of the property. Would simple cosmetic changes make a considerable difference?

4) Listen to both your head and your heart. Sometimes a property really does “speak” to you, and you know you have found your new home.

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