Dear Future Home Sellers…

If you are currently selling your home, or plan to sell your home in the future, I ask that you please take a moment to read this letter.

Dear Future Home Sellers…

I am writing to you based on my current experience as a home buyer. Have you asked yourself the important questions as you prepare to sell your home?

Are you sure now is the right time to sell your home?

Do you just want to find out what your home would sell for?

Are you considerate of your future buyers?

Are your expectations realistic?

Are you absolutely sure you are ready to sell your home?

Why do I pose these questions? Well, because the home owner of the home we were beginning the process of purchasing has decided to not sell her home for unrealistic reasons. Also, she was utterly inconsiderate. She might have ruined our opportunity to find the right home for us. Let us start with the first questions…

I know that the market is changing and you might be considering a move. Maybe to another city. Maybe to downgrade. Maybe to upgrade. What ever your reason may be, I understand the hesitation. You don’t want to sell too soon if you can get a higher sales price a little bit down the road. You also may not want to miss the opportunity to get a fair/high sale price if the market take a dip. So, are you sure now is the right time to sell your home? The answer is a bit easier than it seems. Do your research! Your local newspapers and news stations should be reporting on your area’s housing market. Many areas around the country are still experiencing slow markets, while other are booming with sale prices increasing almost monthly. Look online for homes in your area that are for sale. Find something close and comparable to you. Also, if you still have an open loan on your home, find out your balance and see if selling your home is worthwhile.

Are you still wavering on whether or not you should sell your home? Do you just want to find out what your home would sell for? If you just want to see some real numbers before making your decisions, and don’t trust your own research, seek professional help! No, I don’t mean a therapist. Realtors and real estate agents are always available to review your property. Why would they be so willing to help you if you are not sure if you are ready to sell? First, you’re a potential client. If they provide you with excellent service and assistance you now have a contact you have confidence in. Second, referrals referrals referrals! If you tell your friends, family and coworkers about the amazing assistance of a real estate professional, you could be the source of future clients! Realtors and Real Estate Agents have the tools and experience to help review your property and give you a reasonably accurate estimate of the estimated sales price.

Now you have all of your information and want to sell your home. Great! Now, what is your timeline? Do you need to sell your home in less that 3 weeks? Do you not mind waiting 3 months for the perfect offer? How responsive do you plan on being? Are you considerate of your future buyers? How is this all related? Easy. There are many different types of home buyers. Foreigners with cash offers, investment seeking individuals/businesses, regular financing home buyers, and first time homebuyers. Think about your buyers for a second. Do you realize that you aren’t changing just your life, but possibly making (or breaking) the lives of others? The home owner of the home we just had an offer accepted on (and contract signed) was always SO SLOW in responding. We saw the home over a weekend and had an offer to them Monday morning. We asked for a response by Wednesday, but we didn’t hear a peep. On Thursday the listing agent contacted our agent to state that our offer was one of two “remaining” offers that the seller was considering. We were advised that we would have an answer by Friday. Guess what. NO response on Friday. The seller was inconsiderate enough to have another open house thinking we wouldn’t find out. Honestly, if the seller would have been upfront with us and said that they wanted just one more open house to see if more offers came in, we would have understood! They were seeking the best offer. At the same time, my fiancé and I could have considered searching for homes. But no. We waited patiently. I guess the open house wasn’t as successful. On Monday we were notified mid-day that our offer was accepted. Yet, it took the seller two days to get us a signed contract. My fiancé and I were OVER THE MOON. We were making plans for our first home and scheduling all of the inspections. Now, two days after receiving the contract and 13 days since the open house the seller has decided not to sell us her home. Reason to follow. The important thing to note is that if the seller was honest from the beginning, we would not have lost two weeks worth of house hunting. Prompt and honest responses only help everyone.

Now, let me ask you… Are your expectations realistic? What do I mean by realistic? Basic common sense. That is what I mean. If all of the comparables in your area have your home “expected” to appraise at $240,000 and you have a listing price of $260,000, do you think it is REALISTIC that you will have a seller willing to pay $275,000 for your home? A full $35,000 over the anticipated appraisal amount? That is almost 15% higher than the value of the home! How does that make financial sense for your buyer? Don’t let greed ruin a great opportunity. I am not saying to walk away from profit. But at the same time, don’t expect to find a buyer willing to drastically over pay for the value of your home. Realistic expectations from the beginning will only help with the communication and speed of the process.

You’ve done your research, you decided that you want to sell, and you have worked out your timeframe and expectations.. Are you absolutely sure you are ready to sell your home? Do you have any hesitations? Is there anything that would stop you from selling? Is there a minimum price that you will not go below when considering offers? Share all of these things with your listing agent! This helps to weed out the bad offers from the good. What ever you are unsure about can burn a deal.  Be ready to make these big decisions!

Your decisions and how you handle selling your home affects many people around you. Take your time to make sure you are completely confidant with selling your home and the terms of the sale.

Taking all of this information into consideration can help you get the price you want, and avoid the heart ache that buyers like myself went through.

Wishing you all of the best,

Angie

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OFFER ACCEPTED!!

Offer Accepted

What a difference a few hours can make! I’ve basically been sitting around all day at home with a cold… In the afternoon I asked my fiancé to take me to Walgreens… In the middle of an aisle (while looking for a replacement for my mom’s snack, which I took the last of) I got the best text message and email ever.

OFFER ACCEPTED.

It took only those two words for me to yell… Well, more like squawk for my fiancé! “ACCEPTED! ACCEPTED!!! BAAAAAAABE!!! THEY ACCEPTED OUR OFFER!!!!”

I made a mini-scene in the middle of the store, but I have been desperately waiting to hear/read/see those words.

I can’t describe exactly how I feel. I am beyond ecstatic, but at the same time we need to get down to business! Inspections, appraisals, etc… This is just another step to our dream of owning our first home… and I am SOOOO ready!!

The Offer – Part 2

I’ve previously written about an offer that I put on a home… Our offer was declined. Here was the logic that my fiancé and I had when we walked away and didn’t provide a second offer…

The home was listed at $265,000… The market comparables had the property appraising in the $220’s or $230’s. Our financing is appraisal contingent, which means that if an appraisal came in below the contract price, we would be paying the appraisal price. The owner of the home felt that it should be sold at $265,000 – and did not want to risk the appraisal contingency.

My fiancé and I have to be smart with the major investment. It isn’t just the monthly mortgage amount that concerns us, but the value of the home in the future.

9 days ago my fiancé saw a home that was perfect for us… And we sent the owner an offer that same day. The home has a yard that we adore, a wonderful layout, and it needs almost no work! We were notified mid-week that we were one of the last two offers being considered (from many offers).  We negotiated some of the terms, and want to help the seller if they are willing to help us!

The waiting game has been excruciating. We love this home more than the last… We are hoping that today is THE day we receive good news. I’m asking everyone to please cross your fingers and send positive vibes our way…

Today could be the day of our dreams…

The Stigma of Seeing a Therapist

Today I shall be seeing a therapist for the first time ever. I say that statement without shame and without worry. Sadly, there seems to be a stigma with admitting that one sees or will be seeing a therapist. Honestly, I don’t see why.

If a friend came up to you and said, “I think I might be having some blood pressure issues, I am going to make an appointment to check it out”, you would probably commend that friend on taking care of their physical health and seeking treatment.

I believe the same support should be given to those who seek assistance for their mental health. A person does not have to have a mental disability or a personal, catastrophic tragedy to seek out the assistance of a mental health professional. With the varying types of mental health professionals there are varying degrees of need for such support.

The stigma of seeing a therapist comes in when people start making assumptions and judgements. People assume that you might be “crazy” or have a mental illness. People assume that you are having some catastrophic personal crisis. People assume that only “weak” people need to see therapists. After those assumptions are made, then people start to judge.

I, personally, am seeking therapy for how I am managing stress. I’ve written about it already… My hands are absolutely full house hunting, wedding planning, working, and trying to manage my personal relationships. I have noticed that in the last 4 weeks or so I am not managing my stress in any manner that is considered healthy. My sleep is suffering. My emotions are on the worst imaginable rollercoaster. My fiance and I are not communicating as well as we usually do.  I become upset much more rapidly than normal. I feel as if I am not understood by those around me.

I know that with everything on my plate right now, and the negative way I am handling the stress, that this is a prime opportunity for me to speak to someone about how I am managing everything. Sometimes, you need to hear things from a neutral third-party. Sometimes, a person can give you some insight into your personality and your interactions with others that you may not have noticed.

There is nothing wrong with a bit of mental health self-improvement. We do self-improvement in SO many aspects of our lives. Work, physical health, financial, etc… Trying to become mentally healthier only helps to improve us as people overall. What we can learn can help provide a positive affect on the rest of our lives.

So today, I shall go into my first therapy session with my head held high. I don’t care about any assumptions or judgements made against me. I know that I am going to be doing something positive. It is time for a little “me” time…

Goodbye 20’s… Some Thoughts for Those in Their 20’s…

Bye20s

For the last 10 years I have relished the fact that I could say I was in my twenties…

Being in your 20’s has always come with the assumption that they are the greatest years of your life. ESPECIALLY the first half of your 20’s. For some people this is true. It is usually a time where one is more carefree… There is the partying… Staying out late… Less responsibilities… More fun… Our 20’s are considered the PRIME of our youth…

…I see it differently now… Quite honestly, I feel as though my BEST years have been ages 28 and 29… and it is just rolling into my 30’s. I am loving my life, who I am, and the journey ahead of me. I get to redefine what being in my 30’s will mean! It doesn’t mean that I am “old” or “older”… I can still have the same FEELING of my 20’s, but with the growth and rewards of maturity of my 30’s. As I look back, I can see what I did right and what I did wrong. I want to share those thoughts with anyone in their 20’s…

Our twenties are the time where we decide who we are as individuals.

Our twenties are a time to learn life’s lessons and to find our identity. I can’t express enough how important it is to FIND who you are in your twenties. Don’t imitate another person. Don’t be greedy of another person’s life. You need to be positive, find what makes YOU happy, find what makes YOU a good person, and build a life around that!

Our twenties are a time where we set the foundations for our future.

Be financially wise.

I wish I would have learned this lesson a bit earlier in my twenties. I only really took control of my finances in the last two to three years. At about 27 years old I took control of my credit history and made it my mission to improve my credit history and score. Just last year I finally learned how to properly manage my income and how to actually SAVE money. If I would have started this process just a year or two sooner, I would already be a homeowner. My delay was due to my lack of saving and the time it took to improve my credit history. Don’t make this mistake. You don’t HAVE to buy a house at 25 years old… But if you are in control of your finances at that age, you will be ready to go once the time comes!

Learn your life lessons now.

Actually LEARN them. Don’t become blind to your situations. We all experience heart ache. We all learn that we make mistakes. There is NO excuse to repeatedly make those mistakes. When it comes to love, when you know who YOU are, you will know who the best person for you is. I am so glad for the heart aches I have experienced. I have learned that I need someone who makes me as much of a priority as I make them. I can’t sacrifice my happiness for the convenience of someone else. I have learned that I must respect the people closest to me. I need to honor the part they play in my life. I can not be selfish and do what I want without considering how it will affect other people. I also need to be the example of what I consider to be a “good person”. There are NO excuses to repeat mistakes after a lesson is learned. That is stubbornness. You will not move forward, improve or excel in life if that is the case.

Always goals.

Don’t live  a stagnant life. Always set goals and have aspirations… Then, work towards them! They can be career goals, personal improvement goals, health/fitness goals, financial goals, personal hobby goals… Always be working toward something positive! That is a way to truly enjoy and make the best out of life. When you finally take a look back at all that you have achieved it will make you feel confident and satisfied!

Be positive and ENJOY life.

I’m not going to preach about being all happy-happy-joy-joy. That is just common sense. We all have our good days and our bad days. Your goal is to make the good days outnumber the bad. We don’t know how long we have on this Earth.

At my uncle’s funeral the priest said something that has stayed with me ever since… Live every day as if it were your first day, your last day, your only day.

 

The Offer

Symptoms: Headache, anxiety, stress, nausea, nervousness, checking email every 2 minutes, checking voicemail every 5 minutes, hot flashes, mood swings, more anxiety, and constantly checking the time…

Diagnosis: Home Offer Panic

Cause: Placing an offer on a home!

This weekend was an emotional rollercoaster. We are still early enough in our house hunting process, as we have only been at this for about a month. In this time span we have visited a dozen properties, spent HOURS online visiting Realtor.com, and had several conversations with our wonderful realtor.

I’ll admit it. I have a PARTICULAR vision for my first home. There is a certain part of South Florida that I would like to live in for multiple reasons. The area just works. It is right. That area is also VERY hot right now from a real estate standpoint. I was basically told that they home I wanted, in the area that I wanted, at the price that I wanted, didn’t exist. My reaction was strong. I cried. I was angry. I KNEW that what I wanted was attainable.

Then came Sunday.

Our realtor took us to see 3 properties. ALL of them viable options. The first one, however, was special. From the moment we walked in… it just felt right. I saw how it could be my home.

Yesterday morning we officially submitted an offer on the home. As of yesterday, I am a BALL OF NERVES. My stomach is in a knot. I feel queasy. I can’t walk around without my cell phone. Honestly, I am just NERVOUS. I am trying to keep myself busy, but my mind still wanders back to our offer.

I am hoping for the best. I am trying not to keep my expectations too high.

This could be a heartbreaking day. This could be the day I have dreamt of for years…

Positive Thinking: Packing…

Packing

When I started the mortgage approval/home buying process 9 months ago, I never thought it was going to be easy… The NACA program helped my fiance and I learn to budget, save and eventually become approved for a mortgage. The day we found out we were approved I cried. I was so happy and felt such a sense of accomplishment…

After a day of letting the joy sink in, it was time to get real.

The real estate market is PERFECT if you are selling a house, not if you are buying! People are starting to buy homes again. Foreign investors have CASH to buy homes. Competition is high. Prices are rising. It also doesn’t help that I live and am house hunting in South Florida. Values are rising again.

The house hunting process is stressful. Each week I learn more and more, but as of right now I have not found a home. Tomorrow makes four weeks since my fiance and I were approved. I didn’t think I would find a house right away, but now I really want to feel the success of putting an offer on a home and having it accepted.

In the next 36 hours my fiance and I are scheduled to see between 5 and 8 homes. Last night, I became a bit antsy. I grabbed an empty box and started packing. I decided to have a new motto: “If you pack, the house will come.”

Yes, it is very Field of Dreams-ish. (A fantastic movie by the way. Doesn’t hurt that I have always had a crush on Ray Liotta.) What is important it the hope and positivity in that statement. There are no buts, ifs, maybes, or hopefullys. It is a definite statement. I’ll keep the positive attitude, and I’ll keep packing…

Project Last 29 of 29… Recap of Days 28-26 To Go…

Here I am on a Monday recapping a great weekend! I keep counting down the days until my 30th birthday and I am seeing the AMAZING and POSITIVE things that are happening to me daily!

Here is a summary of just some of those amazing things…

Angie - Kitchenaid

28 Days To Go
This day was filled with a work triumph and a wonderful gift. I had an incredibly stressful day at work and the stress was focused on one account in particular. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to come through with a quote for the account, but with TWO minutes left in the day the quote came in. I left ecstatic!
As soon as I pulled into the driveway at home UPS was ROLLING engagement gifts into my doorway. As you will see from the photo above I was in LOVE with my Kitchenaid Stand Mixer. My mother has one and I have repeatedly said that when I moved out I would miss her Kitchenaid mixer and double ovens the most!
27 Days To Go
Two words: HOUSE HUNTING.
Saturday was a dream come true. Literally. I have always dreamt of being a homeowner, and I have spent MONTHS trying to get myself in a financial position to become one. Saturday just showed that with hard work my fiance and I can do anything. We learned a LOT on our house hunt and are looking forward to the search!

26 Days To Go
With 26 days left until my 30th birthday I spent the day running errands, taking care of my “to-do” list, and spending a bit of time with family. It was a busier Sunday than I anticipated and I ended up going to bed HOURS later than I had wanted to… Yet, this day felt like a success. It was a great feeling to see so many things checked off of my list.

Project Last 29 of 29… 29 Days to Go!

Today was a big day for my fiancé and me…

8 months ago we committed to working on our finances, becoming more fiscally responsible, and to become homeowners. We both live with our respective families. The time had come to make the leap into moving in together and have the responsibility of a mortgage.

With the help, structure and guidance of the NACA program…

Today we received our mortgage qualification approval.

It is one sheet of paper that changes our world. We have worked so hard for today. We can see in our near future that we will be FIRST time homeowners!

This is a FANTASTIC achievement for us just before my 30th birthday… And one helluva way to start my Project Last 29 of 29!

Project Last 29 of 29!

Last29of29

When I first had the idea to create a blog I wanted to find a way to express myself, document my ideas, and to help make myself a better person! I looked into the not so distant future and gave myself a goal of getting myself on track to be a better my by my 30th birthday.

Wedding planning, a busy work schedule and preparing to purchase my first home has consumed me the last few months. I didn’t really pay attention to the calendar until yesterday when I realized just how near my birthday is!

In 29 short days I will be 30 years old.

Before, turning 30 was a horrifying thought. An indication of aging and leaving the land of youth. Today, I couldn’t feel more different. 30 isn’t the punishment I expected. 30 is going to be my BEST year.

Yet, the last bit of my 20’s should be celebrated as well… For that reason, I will be celebrating the Last 29 of my 29! I will make sure that each and every one of my days includes some time of milestone, celebration, excitement or special meaning. Later today I will be posting today’s Last 29 of 29 tribute… I will be receiving something at a meeting this afternoon that I have DREAMT of for years, and have diligently worked with my fiance to obtain since July of last year.

Stay tuned. I can’t wait to share these 29 with you!