Lynn D'Avolio
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage | 801-597-2857 | lynn1@soldbylynn.com


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 7/25/2017

When you drive through a new housing development does it seem like all of the homes are enormous compared to when you were growing up? You're not alone. In fact, over the last 40 years, average home sizes have increased by over 1,000 square feet. In other words, you could fit an entire small house inside of the amount homes have grown in size.

Why do Americans love huge houses?

It's counter-intuitive that home sizes should keep growing larger. Bigger houses mean higher prices, more maintenance, and more expensive utilities. To understand why, we need look no further than the automobile industry. In spite of the fact that larger vehicles cost more to buy, use more gas, and do more harm to the environment, people still buy bigger and bigger trucks and SUVs. There are a few reasons why. One is that they can afford to (or they can at least afford the payments). Another reason is cultural. For the most part, bigger meant better in American culture--until recently. Recently, many Americans have begun saying they would prefer smaller sized houses. That desire hasn't entirely caught up to the people building the homes, however. And even as simple living trends and the "tiny house" phenomenon gain traction, building contractors still stand the most to gain from large houses and the people with the money to build houses continue to build big to stay aligned with the other homes in their neighborhood. There are other obstacles in place for people who want a smaller house. Some counties around the U.S. now enforce minimum square footage requirements to uphold the building standards of the area. So, people hoping to move to a particular suburban area but don't want a huge house might be out of luck.

How big of a home do I need?

There are a lot of things to consider if you're buying a home. Size and cost often go hand-in-hand, but even if you can afford a larger home, do you really need the space? Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine how large of a house you really need:
  • Do I or will I have a family? Kids need space. They need bedrooms and places to play. The size of your family is going to be a huge factor in choosing the size of your home.
  • Do I need all this stuff? Many people use their homes like storage containers. Think about the last time you moved and what you brought with you. Now determine how often you used the things you brought. Odds are you have a lot of items just sitting around taking up space that you don't really need.
  • Do I have hobbies that take up a lot of space? Woodworking, working on cars, playing drums... these are all examples of hobbies that call for some leg room.
  • Am I a dog person? Just like kids, pets tend to take up some room. Larger dogs and energetic dogs require more room, both outside and inside the house.
  • Do I have time to keep up with the maintenance? Bigger houses means more windows to clean, more toilets to scrub, more grass to mow... you get the idea. You might find that you'd rather have a beautiful and well-kept small home than a hard-to-maintain huge one.





Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 5/30/2017

When you buy a home, you may wonder what the benefits of having your own realtor to represent you are. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you probably will have a lot of questions. If you’re a second-time homebuyer you may still have a lot of questions! Buying a home can be a long, tedious process. It’s very helpful to know that you have a knowledgable realtor by your side to represent you and help you through the home buying process. If you’re looking to buy a home in a tough market, hiring your own realtor to represent you as a buyer is especially important. 


First, you should consider interviewing some prospective buyers agents in your area. Maybe you can get recommendations from friends and family as well. Learn what you can expect from a top realtor who will represent you as a buyer. 


Honesty Is The Best Policy


Your agent should be completely honest with you. While they can’t tell you what you personally want in a home, they should give you every last disclosure. No agent should put a home value or their own commission above their clients. This means that there’s strict documentation that realtors must follow including a code of ethics and standards for practice. A realtor must uphold these promises.  


Judging honesty in a realtor can be difficult. An honest real estate agent will help you through the home search process, for example. This is a good place to start. If the realtor points out some of the potential issues that you may have as a buyer in a home, you can see that honesty is one of their main policies.


Good Communicator


A realtor should be in frequent communication with you. Even if your home search isn’t active, they will check in, and see where you’re at in the process and if your needs have changed. 

Your realtor should alert you if offers have been made on properties that you’re interested in as well. Your buyer’s agent should reply to texts, e-mails, or calls within a short time frame of receiving them. Having a realtor that’s on top of things for you is important when it comes to buying a home since, without their help and information, the perfect home could slip through the cracks for you.                  


Knowledge Of Rules, Regulations, And Best Practices


Your buyer’s agent should have extensive knowledge of the real estate rules and regulations that are within your state. Each state has different practices when it comes to buying a home. Hiring a buyer’s agent is especially helpful if you are unfamiliar with a state or city. Your agent will be well-informed on all of your responsibilities as a buyer, as well as how and when you should complete these tasks and signings throughout the entire home buying process.





Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 5/16/2017

For homebuyers, finding a dream home may require many days, weeks or months. However, when the big day finally arrives, you'll want to submit the right offer to ensure you can secure your ideal residence quickly.

Unfortunately, making the right offer on a home can be tricky. If you submit a proposal that is far below a home seller's expectations, you risk missing out on your dream home entirely. Or, if you submit an offer that is above your comfort level, you may wind up paying more for a house that it is actually worth.

So what does it take to make the right offer on a home? Here are three tips that every homebuyer needs to know to ensure he or she can submit the perfect offer on a residence.

1. Use Housing Market Data to Your Advantage

The internet is a powerful tool, particularly for homebuyers. And if you search for housing market data, you should have no trouble finding the information that you need to submit an offer that matches your budget and satisfies a home seller's expectations.

For example, a homebuyer who finds a two-bedroom home that he or she would like to buy should consider the prices of comparable houses in the area. Also, be sure to look at what other homes in the same neighborhood may be worth and tailor your offer accordingly.

A wealth of real estate market data is readily available across the web, and homebuyers who use this information to their advantage can submit a reasonable offer on a house at any time.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Although you may submit the best offer for a home, there is no guarantee that a home seller will accept your proposal if you lack the necessary financing. On the other hand, a homebuyer who receives pre-approval for a mortgage may be able to stand out to home sellers, and for good reason.

With pre-approval for a mortgage, you may be able to move through the homebuying process faster than other potential homebuyers. Thus, a home seller may choose your offer over others, as he or she will be able to minimize the risk that a deal could fall through due to a homebuyer's lack of financing.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of both seller's and buyer's markets. Therefore, this real estate professional will offer tips and insights to ensure you can submit a fair offer on a residence.

Remember, your real estate agent is happy to help you in any way possible. And with this professional at your side, you can gain insights into the home seller's perspective. Plus, your real estate agent will be able to negotiate on your behalf to help reduce the risk of overspending for a house.

Find a real estate agent who boasts years of industry experience, and you can reap the benefits of unparalleled support throughout the homebuying journey.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 4/11/2017

The process of buying a house can be long and difficult. Whether you’re coming from an apartment or another home, you’ll want to time your purchase and move-in so you’re not paying for two homes at once.

What’s more, there are several steps required in the homebuying process, all of which you’ll have to give yourself enough time to complete.

In this article, we’re going to talk about the timeline leading up to buying a home. We’ll discuss how to figure out the amount of time you’ll need, and give you some advice on how to be ready sooner.

Prerequisites to buying a home

Before you consider purchasing a home, you’ll need to make sure your personal and financial life are ready for this commitment. Depending on what type of loan you are hoping to get, this could include saving as much as 20% of the cost of the home for a down payment.

Buying a home also usually requires good credit. If you have some issues with your credit history, you’ll want to take time to improve your score so that you can get a better interest rate on your mortgage.

Once you’ve settled on moving and have a general location, it’s a good idea to get pre approved for a loan.

Preapproval

Getting pre-approved for a loan is beneficial for a few reasons. First, it will let sellers know you’re a serious contender for buying their home.

Second, it gives you one fewer thing to worry about when it comes time to make an offer on a home that you’re interested in.

And, finally, pre-approval gives you a ballpark figure of the type of homes you can look at, saving you time when you’re shopping around for a home by avoiding properties that are over-budget.

The pre-approval process ranges from lender to lender. It can take as little as three days if you provide all the necessary information immediately. However, in some instances it can take weeks, especially if there are problems with the documents you provided to the lender.

Time before closing

If you’ve spent a few weeks viewing homes and considering your mortgage options, you’re likely getting ready to make an offer on a home. On average, this can take anywhere from 30-60 days.

The “contract to close” period can vary based on the type of loan you’re receiving and the underwriting process involved in that loan. USDA-guaranteed loans, for example, require added underwriting and processing time.

How to close sooner

So your lease ends in a few months and you want to make sure you’ll be in your new home before you have to move out. There are a few ways you can save time when buying a home.

First, make sure you provide your lender with everything they need to pre-approve you for a loan. Getting pre-approved quickly will save you a lot of time that is otherwise wasted while sitting around waiting for pre-approval.

Next, work with a real estate agent to find homes within your budget that are ready for move-in. Finally, be reasonable with your offer. Sellers, too, are typically on a timeline and will want to work with someone who is going to do their part to make the process as efficient as possible. 




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Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 2/7/2017

Let's face it – buying a home can be difficult, especially if you are forced to negotiate with a stubborn home seller. Fortunately, we're here to help you simplify the negotiation process and ensure that you can secure your dream home quickly.

Here are three tips that will enable you to avoid stressful negotiations with home sellers:

1. Do Your Homework

If you submit a fair offer on a home from the get-go, you may be able to avoid a stressful negotiation altogether. As such, perform plenty of housing market research before you submit an offer to ensure that your proposal will meet a home seller's needs.

Examine the prices of comparable houses in your city or town prior to submitting an offer on a residence. This will allow you to understand whether a home seller's asking price falls in line with similar properties in the area. It also enables you to browse the real estate market and ensure that you are ready to submit an offer on a particular residence based on what's available elsewhere.

After you do your homework, submit a competitive offer on a home. If the offer meets the home seller's needs, he or she may accept it immediately. Or, if the home seller issues a counter-proposal, you can always decline the counter-offer and check out other properties.

2. Don't Lose Your Cool

A negotiation can be frustrating at times, but a patient homebuyer will be able to remain calm, cool and collected at all times.

During a negotiation, it is important to remember that both you and the home seller have similar goals. Ultimately, both parties want to reach a fair agreement, one that satisfies the needs of all parties involved. And if you can find common ground with a home seller, you may be able to streamline the negotiation process.

If you feel like your emotions are getting out of control during a negotiation, take a break. Remember, you can always go for a walk on your own and hang out with family members and friends to alleviate stress. After you perform a stress-relieving activity, you may be able to return to the negotiating table with a fresh outlook as well.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to negotiating with a home seller, there is no reason to conduct a negotiation on your own. Instead, hire an experienced real estate agent, and this professional will negotiate with a home seller on your behalf.

Your real estate agent will keep you up to date about whether a home seller accepts, rejects or counters your offer on a house. He or she also will offer expert recommendation to help you secure your dream home at a price that matches your budget.

Employ a real estate agent to help you manage negotiations with home sellers – you'll be glad you did. Your real estate agent will help you avoid stress throughout negotiations, and as such, make it easy for you to obtain your dream residence.




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