Michelle Gillespie - Keller Williams Realty



Posted by Michelle Gillespie on 2/24/2019

House hunting can be time-consuming. With so many houses currently on the market and so little time to spend visiting homes, itís important to narrow down your search as much as possible before attending a showing.

Fortunately, in todayís digital world, itís possible to learn a great deal of important information right from your phone or computer.

In todayís post, Iím going to give you some advice on researching the homes youíre thinking about making an offer on. Weíll talk about researching the neighborhood, and--of course--the house itself.

Putting together all the stats on the home

Letís start with, arguably, the most important thing to research: the house itself. When you want to learn about a home, the best place to look is usually the real estate listing. Since most of us discover homes through listings, odds are youíre already on this page. However, thereís a lot of information in a listing, so take the time to go through it and gleam whatever you can from the homeís description.

Next, Google the house address and click on listings from other real estate sites. Oftentimes, a house that has been sold before will have multiple listings across the internet with different data.

Once youíve scoured the listings, head over to the county assessorís website to look at records of the homeís ownership. This will tell you who bought and sold the home and when. Thereís much you can learn from this data, especially if a home is being sold frequently. You can also use this information to contact previous owners to ask them questions about the home that the current owner might not know the answer to.

Snooping around the neighborhood

If the house is nearby, simply driving through the neighborhood can tell you a lot. You can visit the neighborhood during rush hour to see what the traffic is like, for example.

However, it isnít always practical to take the time to visit a house that you arenít sure youíre interested in. So, whatís the next best thing? Google Maps.

Visit the neighborhood on Google Maps to see whatís in the area. Are there a lot of closed businesses? That could be a sign of a neighborhood in decline. Check for nearby things like parks, grocery stores, and other amenities that could influence your buying decision.

Next, use Googleís ďstreet viewĒ feature and explore the neighborhood. You can see what kind of shape the other homes are in, and find out the condition of infrastructure like roads and sidewalks.

Note addresses of comparable homes in the neighborhood and look up their purchase prices. This will give you an idea of whether the home is being priced appropriately.

If youíre having trouble finding information on a home, such as sale records, try contacting the local assessor. They should be able to point you to a database that will help you in your search.





Posted by Michelle Gillespie on 1/6/2019

If you have plans to buy a house as quickly as possible, it is important to maintain flexibility. That way, you can adjust your homebuying timeline at a moment's notice.

Ultimately, there are many instances where you may need to modify your homebuying timeline, and these include:

1. You are struggling to identify your dream home.

It generally is beneficial to enter the housing market with homebuying criteria. These criteria can help you hone your house search and may be modified as you attend home showings and open house events.

Also, think about where you want to purchase a house. If you would prefer to own a home in a big city, you can tailor your house search accordingly. Or, if you want to live in a small town, you can focus exclusively on residences in areas that match or exceed your expectations.

Even with homebuying criteria in hand, however, changes to your homebuying timeline may be required. But if you remain patient and persistent throughout the homebuying journey, you can eventually discover your dream house.

2. Home sellers are rejecting your offers to purchase.

Once you find your dream residence, you may submit an offer to purchase it. Yet if your offer fails to hit the mark with a home seller, you are unlikely to receive an instant "Yes."

If you find that your offers to purchase houses are rejected time and time again, you may need to adjust your homebuying timeline. Furthermore, you may want to rethink your homebuying strategy.

To submit a competitive homebuying proposal, you should consider a house's condition and age, as well as the current state of the real estate market. This information can help you craft an offer to purchase that accounts for a variety of factors and likely will meet the needs of both you and a home seller.

If a home seller rejects your offer to purchase a house, there is no need to worry. Remember, the real estate market offers many opportunities, and homebuyers who are diligent can continue to search for the right house at the right price.

3. You have yet to find the right real estate agent.

A real estate agent may hold the key to a successful homebuying journey. He or she can help you set realistic homebuying expectations and ensure you can achieve the optimal results.

If you need to adjust your homebuying timeline, a real estate agent can help you do just that. Plus, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about new houses that become available in your preferred cities and towns and set up home showings. And if you decide to submit an offer to purchase a home, a real estate agent will help you put together an aggressive homebuying proposal.

Ready to streamline your home search? Reach out to a local real estate agent today, and you can get the help you need to pursue your ideal residence.




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Posted by Michelle Gillespie on 12/16/2018

Pursuing a house can be difficult, regardless of the current housing market's conditions. Thankfully, homebuyers who plan ahead may be better equipped than others to enjoy a quick, seamless and successful homebuying experience.

Ultimately, there are many reasons to prepare for buying a house, and these include:

1. You can determine where you want to live.

A homebuyer who knows where he or she wants to live can tailor a home search accordingly. As a result, this buyer can speed up the process of acquiring his or her dream residence.

When it comes to planning ahead to buy a home, it generally helps to know where you want to go. If you make a checklist of home must-haves and wants, you may be able to hone your home search to specific cities and towns. Then, you can pursue residences in these areas and find your dream house faster than ever before.

2. You can enter the housing market with a budget in hand.

You know that you want to buy a house, but you still have no idea how you will pay for a residence. Fortunately, if you plan ahead for the homebuying journey, you can get your finances in order and enter the real estate market with a budget at your disposal.

Generally, it is a good idea to get pre-approved for a mortgage prior to pursuing a residence. A mortgage provides you with a set limit that you can spend on a house. Thus, a mortgage can help you minimize the risk that you'll spend beyond your means to acquire your dream residence.

Obtaining a mortgage can be quick and easy too. Meet with banks and credit unions, and these financial institutions can teach you about a broad array of mortgage options. Next, you can choose a mortgage and kick off your home search.

3. You can find an expert real estate agent to help you along the homebuying journey.

If you plan to enter the housing market, you may want to hire an expert real estate agent sooner rather than later. With an expert real estate agent at your side, you can streamline the homebuying cycle.

A real estate agent knows exactly what it takes to purchase a superb residence at a price that fits your budget. He or she first will learn about your homebuying goals and provide insights into the local housing market. This housing market professional then can customize a home search to ensure that you can achieve your desired results.

Let's not forget about the comprehensive support that a real estate agent delivers throughout the homebuying journey, either. A real estate agent will set up home showings and offer homebuying recommendations at each stage of the homebuying journey. And if you discover your ideal residence, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive offer.

There are many great reasons to plan ahead for the homebuying journey. And if you start planning today, you may be able to enjoy a stress-free homebuying experience.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Michelle Gillespie on 12/9/2018

Whether youíre a first-time homebuyer or youíre upgrading to a larger house to fit your familyís needs, itís vital to understand just how much house you can afford before you start shopping for homes.

When planning for your future home, there are two main things you need to figure out.

  • What is a smart amount to spend on a home for your budget

  • What are the key features in a home that will give you the most benefits for the cost

These two questions may seem simple, but there are quite a few factors that should go into determining each one.

So, in todayís post, Iím going to walk you through the process of determining what kind of house you can afford so you can make the best home buying decision for you and your family.

A smart home buying budget

To create an effective budget, youíll need to gather some information and possibly create a spreadsheet with Excel (or a free alternative like Google Sheets).

On your spreadsheet, youíll first want to add up all sources of income that your family has. This is the easy part for most people who only have one or two sources of income based on a salaried job.

Next, is the hard part--expenses. We canít just use your current expenses to determine the new budget because we have to account for changes in several areas.

If you arenít sure of the cost of living for the area you hope to move to, try plugging it into this cost of living comparison tool to see get a better idea of the cost of things like transportation, childcare, groceries, and more.

Likewise, itís also a good idea to assume youíll be paying more in utilities if youíre hoping to move into a home that is larger than your current home. Keep in mind, however, that different houses have different levels of energy-efficiency, so itís a good idea to also ask the seller of the homes youíre interested in to determine what your costs might be.

Now, subtract your expenses from your income. The amount remaining should easily cover whatever mortgage payment you receive along with, ideally, 20% of your income going toward savings.

Deciding what you need in a home

The second part of determining how much house you can afford is to find out exactly what youíre looking for in a home. The number of bedrooms, bathrooms, location, the size of the backyard; all of these are questions that have a monetary value.

So, to really answer this question youíll need a strong understanding of what you and your familyís goals are for at least the next 5-7 years, if not longer.

Once you have your long-term goals and a good understanding of your budget, you can start safely shopping for homes with a clearer idea of the type of home youíre looking for and just how much home you can afford.




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Posted by Michelle Gillespie on 11/11/2018

Let's face it Ė no one wants to deal with a long, arduous homebuying process. Fortunately, we're here to help you simplify the process of acquiring your dream residence.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to ensure you can enjoy a hassle-free home shopping experience.

1. Consider What You Want from Your Dream House

What separates an ordinary house from a dream residence? The answer to this question varies depending on the homebuyer, and how you answer the question may dictate your homebuying success.

If you enter the housing market with a list of home must-haves, you'll be better equipped than other property buyers to streamline the homebuying process. Thus, you should think about your home must-haves and wants closely.

Differentiate home must-haves from wants Ė you'll be glad you did. For example, if you have kids, you may need to find a house that's located near top schools. On the other hand, you may want to own a home with a swimming pool. But if you find a top-notch house that offers plenty of great features but lacks a swimming pool, you might not shy away from submitting an offer on this residence.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

If you enter the real estate market with a mortgage in hand, you should have no trouble finding a house that won't force you to break your budget.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you'll want to meet with local banks and credit unions. These lenders can outline the mortgage approval process and provide you with a variety of mortgage options.

Furthermore, if you have mortgage questions, banks and credit unions are available to provide expert responses. These lenders employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage professionals who can help you make an informed mortgage decision.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to buying a house, it pays to receive comprehensive assistance. Thankfully, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals can help you acquire your dream house in no time at all.

A real estate agent understands the challenges commonly associated with buying a home. However, this housing market professional also knows exactly what it takes to overcome myriad homebuying challenges.

For instance, a real estate agent will negotiate with a seller's agent throughout the homebuying cycle. By doing so, a real estate agent can help a buyer get the best price on a residence without the hassle of a stressful negotiation.

Let's not forget about the extensive homebuying expertise that a real estate agent possesses, either. A real estate agent understands all stages of the homebuying process and is happy to share his or her insights with a property buyer. Therefore, if you ever have homebuying questions, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them.

There is no need to deal with an anxiety-ridden homebuying process. Take advantage of the aforementioned homebuying tips, and you can keep things simple as you go from homebuyer to homeowner.




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