Tuesday, April 14, 2015

19 Tips To Be a Genius When Buying a Home in Gardner, Kansas - Gardner, KS. Real Estate

19 Tips To Be a Genius When Buying a Home in Gardner

When you’re buying a home in Gardner, it’s easy to get emotional and lose track of reality. Before you buy a home in Gardner, follow these 19 tips.

  1. Explore Gardner at different times of the day and week, First! - The first step in the process before buying a home in Gardner is to explore the area. The quiet street that you discovered during the day may turn into the rush hour congestion center after 3 or become the noise haven for all of the kids after school. Equally, the quiet park next door may turn into the a noisy ball field with lights on until 11:00 at night. Who really wants the glow of lights penetrating the drapes and blinds when the kids are trying to go asleep?

  2. Research the Area - Sure the neighborhood you are looking at seems peaceful and quiet but if a factory moved down the street, would the peacefulness be lost? A newly erected high-voltage power line coming down the backyard may also not be enticing. Checkout the city council reports, local newspaper and contact the city for proposed projects in the neighborhood. Request a NAR RPR of the area to get a feel of the neighborhood. To get a feel of Gardner, checkout the links I have gathered at Gardner Links.

  3. Get a feel of the neighborhood - Before you decide on the neighborhood, reach out to residents of potential neighborhoods you are interested in and ask them about the pros and cons of the neighborhood. If you are working with a REALTOR who lives in Gardner, they will be able to help you get started.
  4. Explore the area - If you are new to the area take a walk on the trails, visit Celebration Park, or take a drive west of 183rd & Center. Get to know the area and discover what you like and dislike. Yes, there is an airport off of 175th & Waverly, but it is a low traffic airport. Many of the people who live around the Gardner Airport kind of like the airplanes. Some people choose not to look at areas on South Moonlight due to the early morning congestion on the train tracks. If you like evening walks, sure you could choose almost anywhere in Gardner, but doesn’t a home backing up to the walking trail seem enticing? For more about Gardner, Checkout my list of Things to Do in Gardner.

  5. Know the Real Estate Stats - What is the real estate trend in the area? Are homes selling fast or slow? What is the median sales price? Is it a buyer’s market or a seller’s market? If you ask most REALTORS they will say it is a seller’s market and can’t tell you much beyond that. First, not all neighborhoods are hot and selling fast. Is is important to know what is hot and what is NOT and why they are Hot or NOT.  You can buy off of emotions or off of facts. Why do some people look like geniuses when they buy and other home buyer’s don’t? They hired someone who is much more than a part time tour guide. It is important to know the area real estate statistics.

  6. How Organized is the Neighborhood? Some neighborhoods like Genesis Creek, Aspen Creek and Waverly Pointe have subdivisions that have neighborhood homes associations, neighborhood pools and neighborhood parks. Some neighborhoods offer very little to the residents. Neighborhoods that are more organized will have block parties, holiday events and a neighborhood newsletter. What is important to you?

  7. Choose a REALTOR - Sure you can choose a part time professional who is working on a real estate team, but why when you can choose a veteran who works full time? A full time professional will not be working around another work schedule to handle your needs. If you think it doesn't matter, wait until you miss a couple of homes and then lose a couple of homes when negotiating. A full time professional really makes a huge difference.

  8. Choose a Mortgage Officer Wisely When Buying a Home in Gardner - First ask your REALTOR for a referral for a Gardner Mortgage Officer. Well established REALTORS will be able to guide you on choosing the correct mortgage officer. Why is it important? A good loan officer who works the Gardner area, understands options like the zero down USDA Mortgage Loan and the Direct USDA Mortgage Loan. Every month USDA mortgage loans fall through because the mortgage loan officer chosen by the buyer does not have experience in closing USDA mortgage loans.

  9. Reconsider the Bells and Whistles - Are you sure you want the pottery barn colors, new carpet or granite counter-tops. Look past the sparkle of the bells and whistles and make sure the bones of the house are in good condition. A house can run well without granite counter tops, new carpet and pottery barn colors. It will not run well with a leaky roof, broken down furnace or a condenser unit that quit working.

  10. Searching for Homes for Sale in Gardner - Sure you can use REALTOR.com, HomeFinder.com, Zillow.com & Trulia.com, but don’t get upset when you’re late to the home. These real estate portals are good to view homes on the internet and to discover what you want. When you’re serious about finding a home you need to be notified of new listings immediately. You can use a REALTOR’s public IDX mobile app or you can have a REALTOR set you up on a private search on the Heartland MLS and have homes sent to your inbox immediately as they are posted for sale on the MLS. For a list of websites to search homes for sale in Gardner, go to my list of sites at Search for Gardner Homes for Sale.

  11. Ok, You Have Chosen the Home and Reviewed the Seller’s Disclosure, Is that All You Do? Of course not. The seller’s disclosure is a guide and should create a series of questions that need to be asked. Ok, so you notice that there is a stain on the ceiling and it was noted on the seller’s disclosure. Don’t stop there. Ask the seller what steps were taken to repair the leak and was there a stain sealer used for painting the ceiling. Equally, if you notice that not all of the windows we're replaced, ask why. Was it because of the cost or are the other windows operated efficiently. A thorough inspection upfront may relieve some potential headaches later.

  12. What About Value of the Home - Sure you could hire an appraiser to help you establish a value of the home. Most Gardner homebuyers do not choose this because it is a long, costly process. An easy way to find out the value is to have a REALTOR pull up comparables of neighboring homes. By reviewing comparables, you will get an idea of what comparable homes are selling for in the area.

  13. Hire a Very Good Inspector - Did you know that some inspectors are looking to please the seller and REALTORS and will offer a light inspection. Their purpose is to not rock the boat and kill the deal. Many real estate estate agents recommend these inspectors. They also feed off of a home buyer’s thirst for saving cost and will offer the inspection at a lower rate. Is that what you really, want? A good inspector will have an impressive background like an engineering degree and years of experience with a professional certification. A true home inspection will give you a picture of the true condition of the home. You don’t want to buy a money pit, right? Hire a very good inspector. For a list of common inspections, go to my list of Typical Gardner Home Inspections.

  14. Request Documentation of Repairs - So you found repairs that needed to be made and you renegotiated with the seller to have the repairs completed prior to closing. Before closing you should get documentation of the repairs. If the cost to complete the repairs is a few hundred dollars and the anticipated cost were around $1500, be forewarned that the seller either used cheaper materials, hired a contractor who cut corners or hired a contractor who is not standing behind their work with a warranty. If I got a dollar for everytime a short cut was done completing repairs I would be a multi-millionaire. Examine the receipts of the repairs prior to closing and request the written transferable warranties.

  15. So You’re Thinking of a Few Remodeling Projects After Closing - You don’t like the small shower, smaller stove or lower ceiling in the basement. Ask the seller why they were done that way in the first place. Maybe the seller discovered a costly structural impediment that prevented it to be done in a more appropriate manner. Wouldn’t you like to know about possible hiccups upfront.

  16. Ask for Copies of Past Utility Bills - You might like the soaring ceilings and the wall of glass on the rear, but if they windows are not energy efficient the monthly heating and cooling bills may be too high for your monthly budget. A glimpse at the utility bills will help guide you to what to expect when you move in. Of course, if a family of seven lives in the home and they crank the heat up the utility bills may be really high. So take that into consideration. Energy efficient windows, furnace, and extra insulation really do pay for themselves.

  17. Be Careful of Low Tax Bills - If the seller has lived in the home a short period of time and they bought it as a foreclosure, there is a chance that the home has not be re-appraised by the county. Once the home is re-appraised, there is a good chance that the taxes will increase. In addition, after a sale in Gardner, the county appraiser is alerted and will most likely adjust the assessed value.

  18. Are there any Potential Issues? The seller should disclose any potential zoning issues, potential easements, liens and related restrictions. Often times I have found that many sellers don’t mention potential problems because they are not aware. Check with the city; as well as, have a title company research any potential defects. Getting to closing and finding out that there is a zoning issue or that the seller needs to bring money to closing could delay closing.

  19. Remember the 10 Commandments when Obtaining a Home Mortgage

The 10 Commandments of Buying a Home

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