Monday, March 5, 2012

So what is the best thing to look for in a house?

So what is the best thing to look for in a house?

Many of us fail to look at our lifestyles before we get caught up in the price of a home that we are considering buying. And believe me there is a real headache in selling a home that no one wants to buy for the same reasons you want to sell it. So here is a short list of things to look for in a house that the majority has been asking for.

First, think open. Nobody likes walls. Fewer walls mean more natural light. Of course you can consider a project to remove a wall or two but you may have to scrape the ceilings and re-spray them to help them blend in with the walls you removed.

Next, think large windows. Again, the more natural light that enhances your living environment, you won’t have to be taking those vitamin D pills to brighten your mood artificially.

And last on my short list is a room with a view. If you can enjoy one room for it’s view, you might just spend most of your time there. Everyone needs some place where they can retreat and recharge. If you can’t afford the view, then allow some budgeting for artwork and lighting that lifts your spirit on a daily basis.

So there it is, as easy as 1-2-3, openness, windows, and view. Some other things worth looking for is larger bedroom sizes and a nice kitchen. Happy house hunting!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Why have a Realtor® anyway?

Why have a Realtor® anyway?
Recently I attended a meeting with the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors® and the question was asked of local Realtors®, “What is the most valuable thing we can provide to our clients?” So before I answer the question, ask yourself “Why have a Realtor® anyway?” It's like the question "Why did we fight the North Koreans in the Korean War?" he picture above is the Memorial to the Korean War in Washington DC. There is a good answer to both questions but you have to dig a little for the answer. 
About the Korean War:

History from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:
"On June 25, 1950, the North Korean offensive started from four locations across the 38th parallel into South Korea. In 41 days the South Korean and American forces would be driven back into the Pusan perimeter, just a few miles from the southern shore of the tip of South Korea. In August reinforcements from the Eighth Army and Marine Corps would arrive.
By the end of September the Eighth Army would break out of the Pusan perimeter while Infantry and Marine Corps landed at Inchon and liberated Seoul, the capital of South Korea.
Three months later Marines, forward details from the Army and other British, French, Turkish, South Korean and other United Nations forces would stand at the Yalu River, the border between Korea and China, thinking the war was nearly over.  Soon after reaching the border, a force of 300,000 Chinese troops who had moved into North Korea during the UN advance and concealed themselves in the mountainous terrain, attacked the UN forces from the rear. The UN forces would soon be fighting their way back to the coast to be taken off by the Navy or to secure positions in the south. The next 2½ years of the conflict would become trench warfare or battles for hilltops fought back and forth across the 38th parallel.
During the war several decisions were made that would set the course of World history. Prior to the conflict America was disarming from World War II, ignoring the communist threat. After the North Korean invasion, President Truman set the doctrine that no country would fall to communism. It marked the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union and established our industrial base for the next 50 years. "
So about the Realtor® - is it my ability to market your property?  The number of year’s experience I have? You can look up homes on the Internet by yourself, can’t you?  So just what is the value of a Realtor®?
It is for information, and information is power. Especially when it comes to negotiation. You need someone who can navigate through the waters of buying or selling your home so that your emotions don’t affect the outcome of the deal. Things like having a poker face when it’s appropriate and being personable when you feel like walking away from a deal.  A seasoned Realtor® can bring you to the one goal you have set out to accomplish in the first place and that is to purchase or sell your home at the best possible price.
A Realtor® can listen to your questions and find you the best answers without having to dig through countless web pages. A Realtor® can make you aware of issues you may face after a transaction before it’s too late.
The Realtor® is a process expert as well. You will need someone who will keep you on a time line concerning inspections, contractor quotes, contract time frames, having everything done for closing, and working with other professionals like closers, loan officers, brokers, city officials for tax records, land records, and utilities, and probably most importantly, working with the other Realtor® because you need to be represented to have an outcome that meets your best interests.
So please don’t make the mistake of thinking you’ll get a better deal if you just go to an open house and find a Realtor® of the house you want to buy. Always have a Realtor® represent you because the Realtor® at the open house represents the seller, not you, if you are buying. And if you are selling, find a Realtor® that you trust. A poll was taken of the top ten people you trust – and unfortunately Realtors® did not make the list. I want to change that. And that can only happen if you are heard. And that’s why one of the most important things a Realtor® can do for you is listen to you so they can help you get what you want most. Of course along the way, you may change your mind on a few things as you become more aware of what is on the market. But generally you know what you like and dislike. Finding a home can be a lot less stressful if your Realtor® knows what you like so they can work in that direction for you. 
So why the connection with the Korean War? I was just thinking about my dad who fought for our country in the Korean War and I never really understood the reason for the war. My dad suffered a lot of mental anguish over the things he saw there and I just had to know that it mattered for our country to be involved in that war. So I had to search for the answer. I'm glad he served our country and that we all benefited from the outcome.