real estate: Home Buying Tips: Additional Inspections, Reports, and Requests - 11/06/16 09:49 PM
Be aware that a rural property will not have standard public utilities, but instead it may have a septic tank, a water well, solar panels, wind turbines, a satellite dish, and a propane tank for fuel.  Be prepared to ask for (and pay for) an inspection of each item.
If it’s a brand new house, or a newer building, ask the seller for blueprints, floor plans, building specifications, architectural, structural, and mechanical plans.  Older houses probably won’t have that available, but when there have been add-ons, you should ask for remodeling plans and copies of permits.
Get appliances warranties and manuals from the … (0 comments)

real estate: Discuss the Price and Terms of the Offer - 09/16/16 01:59 AM
Let's talk about what is going to be in your purchase contract.  Every contract has 2 parts:  The first part is the price, and the second part is the terms, which is everything else besides the price.  So remember that price is only PART of the offer.  When you and the seller don’t agree on price, you can always change the terms to get them to agree to your price.  And they can always give you “concessions” such as a credit (money allowance) for the closing costs.  Remember, it’s all negotiable!
Discuss the following with your REALTOR®:
 What price do you think is … (0 comments)

real estate: Which Title or Escrow Company Do You Prefer? - 09/01/16 01:27 PM
Do you have a specific title or escrow/settlement company that you prefer to use?  If so, be sure to let your REALTOR® know.  Most buyers will defer to their agent’s recommendation of an escrow company with whom she has developed a good working relationship.  In some states, the escrow/settlement company is known as a settlement company.  In other states, an attorney’s office handles all the closing funds and paperwork, instead of an escrow/settlement company.
Your REALTOR® may recommend that you use the seller’s choice of escrow/settlement and title company.  The seller may have already started a file at an escrow company; for … (4 comments)

real estate: Want a FREE home warranty? - 08/18/16 11:52 AM
As we discussed earlier, everything is negotiable!  One thing you always want is a home warranty.  Why not get one FREE from the seller?  After all, the sellers do not want you to have any problems with the house after you buy it.  It is to their advantage to pay for your new home warranty!  Ask the seller to pay for a 1 year home warranty policy.  Your agent can request this warranty in your offer.
After it expires, you can pay the annual fee to renew it each year.  You will find a home warranty very handy and, most importantly, it … (5 comments)

real estate: Buy Your First Home: Tips on Writing an Offer - 08/10/16 11:41 AM
Return to the REALTOR®”s office or stop at a coffee shop to write your offer.
The office may be a long distance away, so may stop at a coffee shop or diner instead.  Besides, all this house hunting has made everyone hungry so maybe you’ll get a bite to eat while writing up your offer.
Or you can go back to your top property if it’s vacant
Instead of stopping at the office, you can just go back to your top #1 property if it is vacant, and write the offer there.  It’s a great feeling to be sitting inside your new home while … (4 comments)

real estate: Swimming Pool and Spa Lingo - 07/30/16 07:31 PM
Photos at https://www.pinterest.com/realtyproadvisr/spas-pools/
Warm weather makes sparkling backyard pools attractive to buyers.  A home with a swimming pool and spa is attractive because it is perceived as success, envisioned as family fun, and desired as the home ownership dream of many buyers.  Depending upon the regional weather and the community expectations of the neighborhood, a pool may even be expected as a necessary amenity.
Parents may purposely seek a house with a pool because it gives the children something fun and healthy to do, but also it attracts the neighborhood children too.  The kid with the swimming pool becomes popular because everyone else wants … (8 comments)

real estate: Taking Care of Your Home - 07/30/16 12:41 AM
Neighborhoods with high rates of ownership are more stable, have less crime and better schools.  Why?  Because home owners CARE.  They have a vested interest in their community.
Important things you can do to take care of your new home include:
Regular preventive maintenance to avoid things from breaking Repair things immediately when they break Get electrical and plumbing done by a professional Keep it clean and organized This home is your children’s future.
You want to keep your home in great condition.  It is where you live now and where your family can live for many future generations.  It is your family’s … (3 comments)

real estate: Protect Your Largest Investment: Meet with a Financial Adviser - 06/19/16 11:34 AM
A great financial advisor can help you look at your overall budget and recommend strategies to help you increase your income, protect your assets, and plan for the future. Some financial planners also advise you regarding life insurance, estate planning, and investing in securities. Look for a professional whom you can trust. Check out our web site for tips on how to interview and find a great financial advisor.
The main tip I would give you for hiring a financial planner would be to select a professional with a CFP designation (certified financial planner), or possibly even a chartered financial counselor (ChFC) … (4 comments)

real estate: Tips on Ordering Home Inspections - 06/08/16 10:40 AM
A physical structural inspection is a critical part of your home purchase. Here is what you need to know about ordering a home inspection:
Your REALTOR® will help you order a home inspection and schedule it There may be other reports you need also The reports must be completed within the inspection timeframe required by your offer Review the results of these inspections with your REALTOR® If you want the seller to repair anything, you must ask for it in writing before your contingency period expires Read more in our book, "Buy Your First Home", http://tinyurl.com/nrvmgc7.
(5 comments)

real estate: The Final Sale Price May Be Negotiated Even Further - 06/02/16 03:43 PM
Depending upon the results of the home inspection and other reports, you may want to modify the price and terms.  Maybe you had a home inspection, and discovered some items that need to be fixed.
So your REALTOR® sends the seller a Repair Request asking for those items to be fixed.  This is another point of negotiation.  Just when you thought you were done, the seller comes back with a revision to the repair request.  It means you need to negotiate further.
Until all parties agree on all terms of the purchase, there still is room for negotiation.  So, be prepared to go back to … (1 comments)

real estate: Order Appraisal - 03/23/16 01:50 PM
What is an appraisal and why is it important?  Facts you should know about appraisals.
An appraisal is an opinion of the home's value. It is not “fair market value”. Your mortgage lender requires an appraisal and will approve your purchase based on the appraised value. The appraisal must be completed within the timeframe required by your offer. If the appraised value of the home is lower than your agreed purchase priced, you can ask the seller to lower the price or you can cancel the contract (assuming the appraisal was a contingency). If the appraised value is higher than the … (3 comments)

real estate: Hiring a Quality Home Inspector - 03/10/16 04:58 PM
Would you ever buy a used car without having your mechanic inspect it, test it, and check it out completely?  No, you would get it inspected by your trusted mechanic, because you want to ensure that your car is in good condition before you pay for it and drive it off the car lot.
Well, your house is an even bigger investment than a car, is it not? Naturally, before you commit to a purchase that is hundreds of thousands of dollars, you want to know your new home's structural condition.
Your REALTOR® will recommend ordering a professional home inspection from a reputable company. … (2 comments)

real estate: Tips on Hiring Lenders - 03/08/16 07:55 PM
Almost all first home buyers will acquire a mortgage loan to help them purchase their new property.  A few first home buyers will purchase with all cash, and no mortgage financing.  But in high-cost areas like the California coast, it’s usually necessary to get a mortgage loan.
Referral from your REALTOR®
Now we are going to interview mortgage lenders to find a great professional who can help you get qualified to purchase your new home.  You are going to ask your real estate agent whom she would refer to you.  That is always the best place to start.  Why?  Your REALTOR® serves many … (3 comments)

real estate: To Be a Home Owner, You Must Take Action - 03/04/16 01:23 PM
Education and knowledge are great, but they are worthless if you do not take action.  I have seen some prospective homebuyers who were afraid to take that next step to home ownership.  Maybe they were scared to step out of their comfort zone, or maybe they did not think they would qualify.  We are going to equip you with the tools and resources you need to succeed, and there is no excuse NOT to follow your dream of homeownership.  Then make an action list for you and your family to move on to the next step.
The most important thing is to … (4 comments)

real estate: Your Home is not an ATM - 02/26/16 08:41 PM
Remember that your home is also an asset.  It’s real property which can appreciate (go up in value) and also depreciate (go down in value).
However, you should not view your home as an investment.  In other words, if the value increases, do not, and I repeat DO NOT, refinance or get a HELOC loan to tap into the equity and pull out money.  Refinance only to get a lower interest rate and do not take cash out.
The housing crisis that began in 2006 was caused, in part, by the rapid appreciation of real estate, and homeowners pulling out their new-found equity. … (3 comments)

real estate: Family Stability - 02/20/16 02:05 PM
One of the importance of home ownership is family stability.  You know you and your family will be living in one place for a long time.  If you have children in school, you know they are not going to have to change schools just because your landlord gave you a notice to move.  Children thrive when they know they have a stable home to come back to every day.
Once you get to know your neighbors, you and your family will feel safe in the community.  In a great community, kids play together and neighbors look out for each other.  A good neighborhood … (7 comments)

real estate: A Prayer Of Thanks Comes From A Grateful Heart - 02/11/16 07:28 PM
Opening the front door with your own key and walking into your home for the first time is an incredible moment that you will remember forever.  If you and your family are people of faith, give thanks to God for making your dream possible.  Never take success for granted.  If ever there was a time for rejoicing, praising, and worshipping, this is that moment!
Many new homeowners will take a moment in their new house to kneel with a prayer of thanks and dedicate their new home to God, who made this home possible for their family.
When we moved into our new … (5 comments)

real estate: The Dramatic Effect of Stairs and Staircases - A Flight of Fancy? - 01/27/16 05:53 PM
By Regina P. Brown
Photos at https://www.pinterest.com/realtyproadvisr/stairs/
Picture a gracious lady in a stunning evening gown slowly descending a magnificent staircase, pausing for effect at just the right moment. Wouldn’t you agree that a luxurious winding staircase broadening to a grand foyer can lend ambiance to your listing. Buyers crave the look that evokes a classic Hollywood movie scene unfolding in their new home.
Does your new listing boast the “stairway to heaven”? How do you highlight in your advertisements? Stairs are classified by their path and direction. In today’s topic, we show you 4 types of staircase flights: straight, landing turns, curving, and winder. … (20 comments)

real estate: How to Select a Real Estate Agent to Work for You - 01/19/16 10:38 PM
You have your choice of top real estate agents.  There are so many real estate agents!  So how do you choose the best one for you?  Remember our formula:  Research 5, interview 3, and select 1.
Find out about the business professional with which you will be working closely.  Is this a person you want representing you?  Do you trust him or her to negotiate on your behalf?  Find out his or her communication and working style.  If you are tech savvy, you will be best suited by selecting an agent who also is tech savvy.
Find out each agent’s reputation in the … (7 comments)

real estate: Number Your Favorites - 12/02/15 12:02 PM
Your “winners” list will include houses that are in good condition, fit your price range, and meet 85% of your “wish list” criteria:
Number the houses (1, 2, 3, etc.) according to which ones you like the most.
Now that you’ve spent an entire day house hunting, or maybe even a couple of weekends, it’s time for you and your wife or husband to discuss which house you’re going to write an offer on.  What are the pros and cons about each house?  Which do you like better than the others?  If you cannot agree on your top choices, can you agree on … (0 comments)

 
Regina P. Brown, M.B.A., Broker, Instructor (MBA Broker Consultants) Rainmaker large

Regina P. Brown

M.B.A., Broker, Instructor

Carlsbad, CA

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Top California Broker and Realtor Regina P. Brown writes articles and blogs about local real estate trends, houses for sale, and tips for home buyers.


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