Baby, baby, baby!

Baby, baby, baby!
Baby, baby, baby!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had folks tell me they’re expecting a child and need-a-house-right-away! Schools are a big part of the decision-making process when families are searching for a home.
Having her first baby motivated my sister to move into a larger place, and when this little stinker (pictured) was born last month, the place they’re living in now has further proven to be a good decision. Moving out of the city and into the suburbs is a popular move for many growing families.

Would you rather pay more for a home in a reputable school district or opt to send your children to private schools?

Highest Bidder Not Always the Winner

Soon we’re closing a purchase on a home that brought in almost 30 offers within the first week. We priced it according to the local market and the offer we accepted was without the road-blocking contingencies of loan or appraisal.
The risks of accepting a higher offer was explained to the sellers. Although the offer accepted was still well over the list price, we made sure that buyers had enough money in the bank to make up the difference in case the appraisal did not come in at the offer price.
A few years ago I paid $6000 more than the asking price because I WANTED that property! Serious buyers are willing to offer more in order to get what they want. Others refuse to pay more than the appraised value, often times due to lack of additional funds in the bank.
Either way, real estate is an investment. You have to pay to play!

Haste Makes Waste

“Those who are prone to bouts of spontaneity are subject to being bit in the butt.”
Who has fallen in love with a property very quickly only to find out after buying it that it isn’t what you bargained for? It seemed to have all the right stuff — location, strong bones, aesthetically pleasing characteristics, comfortable dimensions, etc.
Real estate investments are just that: Investments.  Whether it’s a property that we intend to occupy forever or one we intend to keep as a short-term wealth-building exercise, some investments are worth their weight in gold and the life experience of the home-buying and home-maintenance adventure.
Five years ago, I bought my 1926 house on a whim as incentive to work harder, figuring a heftier mortgage would do the trick. There was only one neighborhood in the entire city that held my interest. It was the Historic Prospect Hill, which has been home to former mayors, Major League baseball kin, doctors, lawyers and judges.
Leading up to being in escrow by day, I was the analytical real estate professional about the purchase and what I’d offer. At night, however, I was emotional and quite girlie about the more romantic notions of living under the Prospect Street veil and in a home that felt so “me”.  Purposefully, I mentioned nothing about the purchase to those were likely to be judgemental about where I’d buy and what I was buying. Within a few days I was in escrow.
When you bought your home(s), were you satisfied with the reports supplied by the seller? Were you well aware that what you were buying wasn’t perfect and bought it anyway? With one home I purchased, I knew exactly what I was getting into, although I did find out later that there were important things about which the seller was dishonest. But I loved it so it didn’t matter much to me…
I’ll never regret the decision to buy the home I’m in now. Only an act of God will cause me to part from the lovely structure. It has been the source of intense joy and shelter and mystery…

Landlords & Tenants From Hell

Let’s be fair here. Not all landlords are slumlords, and not all tenants are deadbeats. Being a landlord is now a tangible reality for many folks due to very affordable home prices.
Owning rental property is a step to long-term wealth and financial security, but at what cost? While property managers add an extra expense to rental property ownership, is it worth this added expense in order to protect the investment?