More than just real estate

Diary of a First-Time Homebuyer: Well Inspected

I think I can breathe pretty easy about the house now, because the home inspection went swimmingly yesterday! It was a cold, soggy morning for an inspection, but it was good to see how the house reacts to a few days of rainy weather. It turns out it reacts well! We spent almost three hours walking around the outside and the inside of the home, looking for imperfections or things that should be updated or brought to code. Luckily most everything the inspector pointed out were very minor issues – ones that would be cheap and quick to fix. The only major issue to come up was to make sure the electrical system was up to code, and that is something we’ve asked the sellers to do before they move out.

I actually really enjoyed the home inspection – the time went by so quickly, and I felt like I learned a lot about home maintenance – what’s a big deal, how much certain improvements cost and the life span of certain appliances. Our inspector was so nice, very helpful, incredibly knowledgeable and perfectly thorough. I was happy he pointed out even the smallest of things – it gave me peace of mind knowing he wasn’t overlooking anything. He actually said for the age of the home, most of it was in above-average condition. What I was most concerned with – the basement/foundation – was in especially good condition, with little sign of water leakage or cracking. (more…)

Diary of a First-Time Homebuyer: Celebration!

In my last post, I detailed just how tough the whole waiting process is during house hunting. Well…. After submitting the second counter offer, I didn’t have to wait long! In fact, about 10 minutes after the “waiting” post went live, I found out my offer was accepted! Everyone all together now: HAPPY DANCE! I was incredibly excited, and sort of in a state of shock – I couldn’t believe the sellers accepted so quickly, and at such a great price on the home! It was one GIANT step toward homeownership, and one I am wholeheartedly excited to to make.

But while my thoughts immediately slipped over to “let’s start decorating!” I needed to remind myself that just because the offer was accepted doesn’t mean it’s a done deal. In our contract, it was stated the home will need to be inspected within 10 days of acceptance of an offer. My Realtor provided me a couple of names of trusted, reputable inspectors and had me set up an appointment for this week. I’ll go on the inspection tomorrow, along with my Realtor and the selling Realtor, and see if any issues need to be taken care of before moving forward with purchasing the home. I’m looking forward to the inspection in hopes that I’ll learn a lot about house structure and maintenance issues, and I’ll definitely go with a camera in hand to take loads of photos to tide me over before our final walkthrough in May.

Keep your fingers crossed that the inspection goes well! (more…)

Diary of a First-Time Homebuyer: The Waiting Game…

Diary of a First-Time Homebuyer follows a 20-something in her search for the perfect starter home in Milwaukee. Through the process, she’s finding out it’s a little less “House Hunters” and a little more about the waiting game…

Well, last time I checked in I mentioned putting a hold on the house hunt until a fantastic opportunity presents itself. I felt like I’d exhausted all the options in the neighborhood I was looking in, save for two. On Tuesday, I went with my Realtor and took a look at two homes: One was spacious with a  great master bedroom, but a little more south than I’d like. The other, I’d written off completely because the square footage seemed small and the few photos of the interior they had online weren’t that impressive – but the location was great, so it was worth a look!

That home that I’d written off? It was so much better in real life – a true example of why you can’t judge a book by its cover… or its online photos. The interior was a little smaller than I’d wanted, but it was full of charm and very well taken care of. It also had a fabulous backyard that you don’t often see in the city of Milwaukee. It was the first home I’d really gotten excited about, so I decided that night to put an offer on it. (more…)

Homes are on sale – you just don’t know it

Desty Lorino is a real estate agent with over 20 years as a licensed professional. Desty is with the Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage’s North Shore office, located in Glendale, and prides his success on a high level of service and market knowledge. Today, he reminds us that the spring housing market is a great time to find a deal:

Our family is, self-admittedly, a coupon family, and with all of the coupons we get, we always seem to have a stack of 10 percent off offers from Bed, Bath & Beyond. One thing you’ll never see, however, is a coupon for 10 percent off a house. At least, you won’t see it in print — but it just may be on sale. (more…)

Diary of a First-Time Homebuyer: Tough Decisions

In my last entry, I wrote about seeing the top choice for my new home again and possibly making an offer. Well, I can tell you things didn’t go exactly as planned. I was completely excited about the possibility of putting an offer on a home, but also a little nervous about doing something so official. You know, something that required my signature – in ink. But I figured that’s how everyone feels going through the home buying process for the first time. Pulling up to the home, I was all ready for the next step. (more…)

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