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10 TIPS FOR FINDING THE PERFECT HOME 
By: Heather Horstman













There is a lot that goes into deciding which house to buy. Money factors in, location factors in and most of all you want to love the place you will eventually call home. Here are ten tips to help you find the perfect home!

 1. Put your roots in the ground: When looking for a home you want to pick a home that you could see yourself living in for many years, at least 5-7 years ideally. 

 2. Leave room for growth: Because you’ll want to stay in one home for several years you want to find a place that can adapt as your life changes. For instance you might have a new baby or if your child moves back home after college. Leave options open for those family planning moments, and even if you don’t have it in the budget to get a home big enough to fit those future needs you can look for one that will allow you to build on in the future.

 3. What can’t you live without: Write down the features you require in a home, such as number of bedrooms and bathrooms, garage, formal dining room, family room and living room or great room, and the size of yard. These should be the items you absolutely cannot live without.

 4. Check the surroundings: You aren’t just buying a home to live in when you pick a house out you are also choosing a neighborhood to live in. For instance It is preferable to buy a home that is in an up-and-coming or well-cared-for area. Homes in areas that are declining may lose value and never recover. Looking into the school systems and the crime-rate are also important factors.

 5. Keep it in the budget: Understandably you want the best thing that your money can buy. However when buying a house you will need to check your finances, including looking towards current and future expenses, and don’t exceed that. It’s better to buy a home that you can easily afford than one you have to work to find money for. 

 6. Don’t limit yourself when looking: Make sure that you are seeing as many different homes in your price range as possible and don’t limit yourself to just old or just new, look at both. 

 7. Location matters: A house that is located on a busy street might be bothersome as a homeowner than one that is located inside a quiet neighborhood. Not to mention that when it comes time to re-sell your home will most likely be worth more if it’s located in a quiet area opposed to a busy one.

 8. Pick your "type": There are many different types of homes out there, so figure out which type best suites you whether it’s a single-family-home, a condo, a townhome, etc. You’ll want to pick a type that works with your lifestyle and your future plans. For instance a single-family-home will have to be maintained by the homeowner while a condo will have someone else to look over all of those needs.

 9. Distinguish important from not so important: A small thing that can be fixed shouldn’t detract you from buying a perfectly good home. For instance you might go into a home and not like the paint, the cleanliness or the carpet but those are not things that are permanent so it’s something you should be able to look past. On the other hand you might be able to put a marble in the middle of the room and have it roll, you might have a slab issue and that would be something that would be something you wouldn’t want to have to deal with. 

 10. Look to the future: Although you want to look at your house as a home first and not an investment you should put some thought into how easy or difficult it might be to resell the home eventually.

 Take these things into account as you look for a new home and remember nothing is more rewarding than finding the perfect home!
5 WAYS TO MAKE THE OUTSIDE OF YOUR HOME APPEAR MORE SPACIOUS WHEN SELLING  
By: Simon Woodard 












1. Clean out the Garage
We often think that the garage is a great place to store all the items that we rarely if ever use, reasoning that we will eventually get around to doing something about them. Well now is the time, every extra item that we place in our garage makes it look more and more cramped, so organise all those items and clear out the junk. It will leave your garage looking big and spacious. Now there will be plenty of room for the potential buyers to imagine having their car parked safely inside.

2. Organise Your Deck Area
Outdoor furniture, pots, plants, toys even items that you were planning on finding a spot for are common appearances on decks. This leaves the presentation of the house looking messy and uninviting. So get rid of the miscellaneous items and straighten the furniture. Cut back overgrown plants and arrange the pots in a way that will draw the eye to feature areas. If you have a BBQ, clear off the grease on and around it. Potential buyers can now imagine entertaining their friends and family in the well arranged outdoor living area.

3. Tidy the Lawn
Depending on the season it might not take long for our lawn to grow back after a mow, so make sure that you regularly keep it in check. Mowing the lawn the day before will leave that freshly cut grass smell lightly lingering in the air without the stickiness that comes with a recently mown lawn. All grass clippings should be moved well away and make sure any stray clippings are swept off paths and driveways. The result will be a yard that no longer looks oppressive but open, well cared for and presentable as an entrance to your home should be.

4. Clean the Windows
Free flowing light lifts the mood of the house and opens up even small spaces. But dirty windows can restrict the flow of light and dull the atmosphere. Windows are easy to clean with the right tools. A little bit of dish washing liquid can help lift oil marks that may have been left on the windows by pets or wandering hands. After washing the window, squeegee off in one fluid move to ensure that minimal streaks are left and then wipe the edges of the glass with a clean cloth. Make sure the seals, frames and flyscreens are wiped clean as well. This will make a huge difference at opening the home up and joining your indoor and outdoor living spaces.

5. Clear the Entrance Door
If you have a path leading up to the front door, either from the front fence or the driveway then keep it clean and clear. Line the path with some well placed plants and fix any unstable pavers or rickety steps. Keep the entrance door free of obstacles and unnecessary items. Additionally if the age of the door is evident just from looking at it then a fresh coat of paint will make it feel welcoming.
10 HOME BUYING TRICKS FOR A CRAZY MARKET  
By: Mike Caulstera 












Can buyers do well for themselves in a sellers market?

Currently, a number of big metro areas like Austin and Houston are experiencing a sellers market. The higher prices, low inventory, and heavy competition between buyers can understandably make buyers reluctant to try to purchase a home now.

But just because it's a sellers market, doesn't mean that there aren't strategies you can use to find a beautiful house within your budget. The following are 10 home-buying tricks for a crazy market:

1) Mail homeowners a letter, even if their home isn't on the market. If you see a home you really like, you may want to take the chance of mailing a letter to the homeowners, introducing yourself politely and expressing appreciation of their home and your willingness to purchase it. Be sure you're coming across as professional, courteous and trustworthy. Some homeowners will ignore such a letter, but there's a chance that others will get back to you if they've been thinking about selling their home.

2) Develop a knowledge of the area. If you already live in the vicinity, you may have an easier time familiarizing yourself with the neighborhood you want to live in. For example, you can find out if there are any empty-nesters or senior citizens who are thinking of selling, and you can hear other information through word-of-mouth. If you live too far away, it's especially important to have an agent on your side who knows the area inside-out.

3) Look into pre-market listings. One example is Zillow's Make Me Move list. There's of course no guarantee that you'll find a home by doing this; just because a home appears on this kind of list, doesn't mean that it will available for sale soon (and owners may always change their mind about selling). But maybe you will spot an opportunity.

4) Look into For Sale By Owner (FSBO) listings. FSBO listings involve homeowners who are trying to sell their home without an agent. If you go this route, you may find some homes at relatively lower prices, though this isn't a guarantee. Also, you'll need to make sure the seller is on the up-and-up with all disclosures that need to be made.

5) Look into expired listings or listings that have been withdrawn. There are a number of reasons for why the listing for a home expires. Checking out these listings might be a good way to find out about homes that owners would still like to sell.

6) Don't overlook estate sales. You might find out about estate sales in the area and attempt to reach out to the parties involved before they list the property.

7) As much as possible, get everything prepared. Check that your credit is good and that you have the money you need. Try to get pre-approval for a mortgage. Define your limits, including the maximum you'd be willing to hand over for a down payment and what you'd be willing to negotiate on. In a sellers market, homes can get sold extremely quickly. If you find a home you like, you want to be ready to pounce.
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BUYING YOUR DREAM HOME: 5 STEPS
By: Leigh Emery

















With the housing market in a state of shock, and jumping through the necessary hoops to get that crucial mortgage being hard, buying your dream home may feel like it’s at an unattainable reach. Think again.

 Here are the 5 most important step you can start taking today to achieving your dream and purchase that home. All these factors presented are of fundamental importance but when followed will place you firmly on the path to success.

 1. Shape up financially
 Shake off the burden of debt as quickly as possible. Plan how you will get debt free or at a minimum only have a small bank overdraft (with low interest rate). Always start by paying off the debt with the highest interest rates. Have completion date and stick to it.

 Learn to budget, how to stick with it, and start using one today. Make saving an essential part of the budget. The two easiest ways to save money is to get debt free and learn to spend less, consider doing both.

 2. Location
 Using websites online you can quickly find the crime rate, the average wages, and the change in house prices over the last five years. Certain areas or streets perform better than other, research more why this has occurred in those areas. 

 Take time to drive around the neighbour to get a feel for the area. See if you can locate a good school (within walking distance), supermarket and local convenience store (check the hours) and of course you can check things like play parks, pubs etc too! See how many house look abandoned or in a bad state. Lastly, how far are you from the office? How easy is it for you to get the train (if you work away a lot) or to the shops? 

 3. Let the Hunt Begin
 Search high and low for properties on the market; make a list of what takes you’re fancy and what rubs you up the wrong way. 

 When you have a list of what features you are looking for and potential neighbours, then you are ready to find estate agents and let the house hunting begin! Stay focus on what you are after and your price range. 

 4. Find a Mortgage
 Study the types, feature and interest rates currently available on mortgages. Do not rely on the mortgage lender to give you advice, make sure you know all the facts for yourself. Remember it’s their job to sell products. Also when comparing mortgages and their terms, do check how they compare online. 

 5. Buy
 As this is a long term purchase, do not get caught up with short term ideas or see this purchase as a quick way to make money. With that in mind, make sure you pay a fair price and have the confidence to ask for a discount if needed. 

 Trust the information presented in the home survey, and weigh up if you can afford to take major problems should any arise. In these situation it good to know you can walk away.


Let our staff, associates and partners help you find that perfect dream home.  Our staff and associates will help you every step of the way to service your property needs.  We have access to homes and houses in a wide variety of prices and in many area's.  Let us Help You.  Its FREE!  Just Call Us Today and find out how easy it is.  Our telephone is at 727.808.9233  

Thank You!

JW Davis - Real Estate & Property Specialist