Archive for category Moving

Checklist Before You Buy

Finding a home that you can see yourself in for the next five to twenty-five years is a great feeling. Don’t let that feeling cloud your judgment and leave you with unexpected issues after the closing.

Here are a few things to consider before you buy:

1. Talk to a lender. It’s important to choose a lender who you are comfortable with. We have many fine local lenders and I can recommend a few if you do not already have one. Your lender will help you understand what your total monthly home cost will be. Total monthly payments will include your monthly mortgage payment, any possible homeowner association fees, utilities, taxes and insurance. Make sure the total cost fits in your budget.
2. Evaluate possible repairs or immediate improvements. In your purchase negotiation you may decide to ask the seller to repair them. If the seller agrees to repair or improve any item of the home, be sure to incorporate that into your sales contract.
3. Hire a local expert who understands the area to do your home inspections. Consider attending the home inspection.
4. Become familiar with all the vital systems that connect to the house (electrical, plumbing, heating, sewer, and water.)
5. For example, there are many different types of heating systems, and public sewer and water systems are very different than having your town well and septic system. Investigate each of these systems.
6. Get to know the neighborhood. Drive around and get a feel for what it would be like to own a property in the area. Be sure and investigate the Homeowner’s Association.
7. Know the local political landscape. Are there any issues that you should know about? Make sure that you understand how utilities, schools, and public services are funded.
8. Ask for a utility history. Confirm that your budget will match what your new home is going to cost on a monthly basis.
9. Research the Treasure Valley area to understand its economy, climate, and other variables that will be part of your long-term life style.

If you’re considering a move, or hear that any family, friends, neighbors or colleagues are, please feel free to contact me.

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2609 Terrace Way, Boise, Idaho

Don’t miss this great opportunity to live on top of the hill. This home is over 3600 Sqft & has just received new kitchen cabinets,granite counter tops,stainless steel appliances,new bathrooms,hardwood floors,exterior paint,& added a 4th bedroom. This home offers several living areas up or down & you have amazing views from the covered patio.It offers something for everyone in the family. It is in a great neighborhood & is close to everything downtown Boise has to offer & in a great school district.

Get more information here!

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No Money Down Home Loan

The Good Credit Rewards Program through Idaho Housing offers a 2nd mortgage for your down payment.

Income limits apply since it’s through IHFA.

Fixed 30 year loan program – NO balloon payment, ARM, rate adjustment, etc.

Borrowers must contribute $500 towards the transaction of their own funds (can be gift funds from a family member)

Borrowers can’t have more than 3 month payments in liquid assets at the time of closing as this loan is based on need.

Borrower must take IHA’s First Time homebuyer class (this can be done online for $50 per person).

If you are interested in this type of loan and want to be prequalified, please let me know. I will be happy to refer you to a qualified and reputable lender that can help.

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Rockwell Village Floor plan

Here is one of the great floor plans by Cotner Building Company!

You can get more information on Rockwell Village, located in Nampa, Idaho, by clicking here.

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Ten Important Questions to Ask Your Home Inspector

1. What does your inspection cover?

The inspector should ensure that their inspection and inspection report will meet all applicable requirements in your state if applicable and will comply with a well-recognized standard of practice and code of ethics. You should be able to request and see a copy of these items ahead of time and ask any questions you may have. If there are any areas you want to make sure are inspected, be sure to identify them upfront.

2. How long have you been practicing in the home inspection profession and how many inspections have you completed?

The inspector should be able to provide his or her history in the profession and perhaps even a few names as referrals. Newer inspectors can be very qualified, and many work with a partner or have access to more experienced inspectors to assist them in the inspection.

3. Are you specifically experienced in residential inspection?

Related experience in construction or engineering is helpful, but is no substitute for training and experience in the unique discipline of home inspection. If the inspection is for a commercial property, then this should be asked about as well.

4. Do you offer to do repairs or improvements based on the inspection?

Some inspector associations and state regulations allow the inspector to perform repair work on problems uncovered in the inspection. Other associations and regulations strictly forbid this as a conflict of interest.

5. How long will the inspection take?

The average on-site inspection time for a single inspector is two to three hours for a typical single-family house; anything significantly less may not be enough time to perform a thorough inspection. Additional inspectors may be brought in for very large properties and buildings.

6. How much will it cost?

Costs vary dramatically, depending on the region, size and age of the house, scope of services and other factors. A typical range might be $300-$500, but consider the value of the home inspection in terms of the investment being made. Cost does not necessarily reflect quality. HUD Does not regulate home inspection fees.

7. What type of inspection report do you provide and how long will it take to receive the report?

Ask to see samples and determine whether or not you can understand the inspector’s reporting style and if the time parameters fulfill your needs. Most inspectors provide their full report within 24 hours of the inspection.

8. Will I be able to attend the inspection?

This is a valuable educational opportunity, and an inspector’s refusal to allow this should raise a red flag. Never pass up this opportunity to see your prospective home through the eyes of an expert.

9. Do you maintain membership in a professional home inspector association?

There are many state and national associations for home inspectors. Request to see their membership ID, and perform whatever due diligence you deem appropriate.

10. Do you participate in continuing education programs to keep your expertise up to date?

One can never know it all, and the inspector’s commitment to continuing education is a good measure of his or her professionalism and service to the consumer. This is especially important in cases where the home is much older or includes unique elements requiring additional or updated training.

 

Article from hud.gov.

See original article here.

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Boise, Idaho – There’s Something for Everyone

Idaho is a great place to live, particularly the Treasure Valley area.  Living in Boise, Meridian, Nampa or any of the surrounding cities is perfect for people who like to get out and do stuff.  You have the convenience of a city within minutes of Idaho’s pristine wilderness and recreational paradise.  Below is a list of some of the great activities available in the area.

 

  • Skiing & Boarding
  • Fishing
  • Swimming
  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Horseback Riding
  • Floating the River
  • Hot Air Balloon Rides
  • Hiking
  • Givens Hot springs
  • Zoo
  • Discovery Center
  • Parks
  • Idaho Aquarium
  • Botanical Gardens
  • Vineyards
  • Ice Skating
  • Libraries
  • Museums
  • Idaho Shakespeare Festival
  • Farmers Markets
  • Batting cages, go karts (Wahooz Family Fun Zone)
  • Bowling
  • Laser Tag
  • Natural Attractions (Sand Dunes, Balanced Rock, Boise National Forest, etc)
  • Farm to Market Tour (Click Here for More Info)
  • Whitewater Rafting & Kayaking
  • Golfing
  • Lakes & Rivers

 

Those in search of ‘classy’ entertainment will be happy to know that Boise has a symphony, an opera and plenty of theatres and dance companies.  Boise is a beautiful city that offers something for everyone. If you want the arts and culture Boise has it. If you want outdoor adventure Boise has it.  With all of the smaller towns around Boise you can live in the country while still taking advantage of opportunities in the city.  It really does have something for everyone.

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Tips for Showing Your House

When you show your home, you want to engage the buyer emotionally because the decision to buy is based more on emotions, and less on logic. Give the buyer permission to say, “Yes, I want to buy this home,” by staging, accentuating your home’s positive attributes, and do not draw any attention to the negative aspects.

Check the Temperature.  Now is not the time to worry about your utility bill. If it’s cold enough to wear a sweater to stay warm, turn on the heat.  If it’s warm outside, turn on the air conditioning.

Many people are allergic to certain scents and deodorizers, so don’t spray the air or plug-in air fresheners.

If you have seasonal photographs showcasing flower gardens, leaves bursting in color or a snow-covered lawn twinkling from street lights, then display them in a prominent position.

Open all the window coverings to let in light.  Turn on every light in the house, including appliance lights and closet lights.  Brighten dark rooms with few windows by placing spot lights on the floor behind furniture.

Leave doors slightly ajar.

The best way to entice buyers to linger and notice even more details about your home is to offer them food. You don’t need to cater a lunch, but finger sandwiches, cookies, soft drinks, water, desserts, all are welcome.

De-Personalize.  Pack up those personal photographs and family heirlooms. Buyers can’t see past personal artifacts, and you don’t want them to be distracted. You want buyers to imagine their own photos on the walls.

De-Clutter! Clean off everything on kitchen counters. Rearrange Bedroom Closets and Kitchen Cabinets. Neatly stack dishes.

Turn coffee cup handles facing the same way.

Hang shirts together, buttoned and facing the same direction.

Line up shoes.

Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces of furniture that block or hamper paths and walkways and put them in storage. Since your bookcases are now empty, store them. Remove extra leaves from your dining room table to make the room appear larger. Leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room’s purpose and plenty of room to move around.

Remove/Replace Favorite Items.  If you want to take window coverings, built-in appliances or fixtures with you, remove them now.  Pack those items and replace them, if necessary.

Consider painting your walls neutral colors.  (Don’t give buyers any reason to remember your home as “the house with the orange bathroom.”)

Make Minor Repairs.  Replace burned-out light bulbs.  If you’ve considered replacing a worn bedspread, do so now!

Make the House Sparkle! Clean out the refrigerator. Vacuum daily. Wax floors. Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures. Replace worn rugs. Hang up fresh towels.

Clean and air out any musty smelling areas. Odors are a no-no.

Plant yellow flowers or group flower pots together. Yellow evokes a buying emotion. Marigolds are inexpensive.

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Trump your techno-fears

Taken from BankRate.com’s list of “12 Reliable Real Estate Tips”:

“Hire a listing agent steeped in mobile platforms. Sellers and buyers are routinely using Facebook and other social media to sell and seek, not to mention dozens of online selling sites. Some owners are even making YouTube videos to showcase their homes, making it easier to quickly link to potential buyers via email. There’s also an abundance of smartphone apps cropping up to review real estate listings and refine searches. ”

Mike Fitch is an E-Pro and works with many social medias including Facebook and Twitter.  Give him a call today to see how he can help you sell your home or help you find the perfect home for you!

 

 
Read more: 12 Reliable Real Estate Tips For 2012 | Bankrate.com http://www.bankrate.com/finance/real-estate/12-real-estate-tips-2012-1.aspx#ixzz1iQAdzRPl

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Get a Deal Buying a Home in the Winter

Buying a home when others typically don’t can mean a bargain.

 

A home buyer may assume that the best time to buy a home is during the spring and summer. This seems like it makes sense because so many people list their homes for sale during the warmer months. However, buying a home in the winter can be a way to save money on your home purchase.

Hot times … seller’s market
Almost everyone buys a home in warm weather. It just seems to be the common sense time to buy and sell. Parents do not want to disrupt their kids’ school year, so they wait until summer to move. Yards look better, trees and shrubberies have leaves—the warmer months just seem made to help a house look its best. However, you can make a savvy move by shopping for a home in the winter months.

Cold weather … buyer’s market
Precisely because the spring and summer seem such a good time to buy and sell a house, the winter can offer a better chance to save money. The warmer months are considered a seller’s market. There may be a time crunch. Buyers may be trying to get into their homes before the school year starts. On the other hand, the winter months can be considered a buyer’s market. People who list their homes in the winter probably have a reason why they have to move. Perhaps a job transfer dictates their timeline. The added pressure can mean potential savings. Since there are not a lot of buyers during the winter months and the seller needs to sell at that time, the seller may be more open to negotiation.

If you are a buyer trying to buy a home in winter, don’t be afraid to be bold in what you ask for. You may want to offer a few thousand less on the price or ask for more inclusions. Because there just are not a lot of other buyers out there, the seller may be more willing to give. However, make sure you are reasonable. The seller can always wait for the next buyer if your demands are too high.

If you do decide to try to buy a home in the winter, you may have less selection, but the trade-off is more opportunity to negotiate on price. It can be a great way to buy more for less.

 

Article from lendingtree.com

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Moving? Tips for Packing.

Nine tips to make sure your valuables come out of their boxes in good shape.

by Adam Bluestein

Use the right size boxes.
Put heavy items, like books, in small boxes; light items, like linens and pillows, in bigger ones. (Large boxes packed with heavy items are a common complaint of professional movers. They not only make the job harder but also have a better chance of breaking.)

Put heavier items on the bottoms of boxes, lighter items on top.
And if you’re loading the truck yourself, pack heavier boxes first, toward the front of the truck, for balance.

Don’t leave empty spaces in the boxes.
Fill in gaps with clothing, towels, or packing paper. Movers often won’t move boxes that feel loosely packed or unbalanced.

Avoid mixing items from different rooms in the same box.
It will make your packing quicker and your unpacking a lot easier, too.

Label each box with the room it’s destined for and a description of its contents.
This will help you and your movers know where every box belongs in your new place. Numbering each box and keeping an inventory list in a small notebook is a good way to keep track of what you’ve packed―and to make sure you still have everything when you unpack.

Tape boxes well.
Use a couple of pieces of tape to close the bottom and top seams, then use one of the movers’ techniques―making a couple of wraps all the way around the box’s top and bottom edges, where stress is concentrated.

If you’re moving expensive art, ask your mover about special crating.
Never wrap oil paintings in regular paper; it will stick. For pictures framed behind glass, make an X with masking tape across the glass to strengthen it and to hold it together if it shatters. Then wrap the pictures in paper or bubble wrap and put them in a frame box, with a piece of cardboard between each framed piece for protection.

Bundle breakables.
As you pack your dishes, put packing paper around each one, then wrap bundles of five or six together with more paper. Pack dishes on their sides, never flat. And use plenty of bunched-up paper as padding above and below. Cups and bowls can be placed inside one another, with paper in between, and wrapped three or four in a bundle. Pack them all in dish-barrel boxes.

Consider other items that will need special treatment.
Vansant says his movers treat TVs like any other piece of furniture, wrapping them in quilted furniture pads. He points out, however, that plasma TVs require special wooden crates for shipping if you don’t have the original box and can be ruined if you lay them flat. If you’re packing yourself, double-box your TV, setting the box containing the TV into another box that you’ve padded with packing paper.

Find more moving tips at http://www.realsimple.com.

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