The walk-thru stage of home buying, The final walkthrough isn’t just to check if the sellers have removed all items from the home or check the condition. When a buyer does a walk-thru of the home they are buying, prior to closing, they may see some things they were not expecting, So its good to be prepared. In this video: I will be showing the perfect walkthrough checklist so you don’t forget anything by the time the sellers have handed over the keys and cover those things most people don’t even think about when they walk around one last time. Below the video, I will have a checklist PDF that you can download for free to take with you the day you do your walk-thru.
It’s Take A Tip Tuesday! Do you know how to be a home buying detective? I have told you in previous videos that are ways for a home buyer to do their own due diligence when buying a home. But what does that really mean to you as a buyer buying a home in an area that you have had your eye on? In this video, I will be showing you how to be a home buying detective and find out all the things you need to know before you sign a purchase contract when buying a home.
🕵🏽♂️Look at the tax records online! This is a great way to know how much the sellers purchased the home for. In Ascension Parish, you can even see how much they financed the house for. How is this helpful to you? If you know that they want $250,000 for there home and they only purchased they home 3 years earlier for $180,000 you know they have wiggle room to negotiate for less than the asking price. Knowledge is POWER!
🕵🏽♂️Check the local sheriff’s website: A quick Google search and a few keystrokes away from knowing if there are any predators that live close by to the home you’re researching. Even if this isn’t a personal concern for you for many it is and one day you’ll want to sell the home you are thinking of buying and the next buyers may find this to be a very big issue causing your home to stay on the market for longer than you are expecting.
🕵🏽♂️Call your local homeowner’s insurance company and ask for a CLUE report? Whats a CLUE report? This is a report that can tell a potential buyer how many insurance claims were made on the property for the past 5 years, the dates those claims were made, The type of loss, how much was paid to settle the claim or if the claim was denied this information can be extremely helpful in discovering hidden problems, before you sign on the dotted line
🕵🏽♂️Ask The Sellers some Great Questions: I know that I have said in a past video what things a seller should keep tight-lipped about but no everyone is going to take my advice so ask them. “Why are you moving?” “What’s your bottom line?” “How quickly are you looking to move?” “How do you like your neighbors?” “Do you have any crimes or break-ins in the neighborhood” “Do you have receipts of all the repairs you have made in the past?”
Loose lips sink ships as one customer told me in the past. The home sellers answers could be a great way for you to feel out how stuck they are in their price and how quickly they are ready to fly the coupe.
🕵🏽♂️Go to the home at peak hours: To really investigate a neighborhood and your possible future neighbors go to the house during the times when people are leaving and coming home from work. Is there a bunch of cars parked on the road blocking the streets up? Also, drive around and check the yards, Are they maintained? You’re not buying just this house you are also buying the neighborhood as well.
🕵🏽♂️BONUS TIP!!! I have said it before but bears repeating again, Talk with the neighbors!! You will be surprised at the great tidbits of information they will give you about the home you are t
👀If you’d like to watch more videos 📹about buying a home🏡, here is a very useful playlist: https://bit.ly/2wkl3n3https://bit.ly/2wkl3n3
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🏡To search for homes in the Baton Rouge and Ascension Parish Area:
📨If you have any questions about buying and selling your home feel free to reach out to me at any time by email or any respectable time by phone📱. All my contact information is listed below.
#Realtor #homebuying #tips
My name is Kristina Smallhorn, Your Real Estate Whisperer and I tell you all this “Because YOU Matter”
EXP Realty, LLC
2900 Westfork Dr.
Baton Rouge, LA 70827
225-412-9982 ext 149
#realtor #homebuying #tips
Kristina Is a Licensed Realtor® with The Greater Baton Rouge Board of Realtors@ in the State of Louisiana. License #0912122918
It Is Take a Tip Tuesday and being prequalified and preapproved are not the same thing when getting a home loan. There is a big difference between being pre-qualified and pre-approved. If you are wanting to write offers on homes even the most inexperienced realtors know the difference between a pre-qualification letter and a pre-approved letter. So which one do you need to start a home search? When do you need a pre-qualification letter and when do you need a pre-approval letter when buying a home? and whats better pre-approved or pre-qualified?
In this video, I will cover those burning questions so you will know what letter you need when starting your next home search.
***If you are buying your first home you may be interested in checking out my video https://bit.ly/2OoaLut
So whats the BIG Difference in a pre-qualification letter and pre-approval letter. I recently got into an argument with a real estate agent about this, I knew it was time to explain this in a video. I figured if she was confused by the difference than many buyers and sellers may be as well. If you are starting your home search and you are unsure how much of a home you can afford you will want to reach out to a trusted lender, (if you do not have one I can get you a complete list of lenders I have used over the past 10 years) and find out how much home you pre-qualify for this is a very general amount and not set in stone. This letter is just a guideline to help you budget for your home when you first start thinking about buying.
For home sellers I would not accept an offer with a pre-qualification letter because they buyer has not given the lender enough information to get a pre-approval letter. The lender has only received a possible buyers’ basic information and hasn’t gotten the full picture of the buyer finances. They are only going by what the borrower says about their monthly paycheck, credit report and outstanding balances and knows a little about the buyers’ job history.
So why is a pre-approval letter is better? If you are a buyer the lender verifies the borrower’s information and documentation to determine exactly how much it would be willing to lend to that borrower. If you are a seller this letter lets you know that the buyer has taken the proper steps to purchase your home at the price offered and they will be able to close if nothing changes in the time your home is under contract.
In closing, if you are shopping for a home and just need to know around about price to start looking at homes online a pre-qualification will work just fine. But if you have selected a realtor and are seriously shopping homes to write on offer on you will definitely need a pre-approval letter to make your offer stronger than the person who has a pre-qualification letter especially if you are in a strong market that has bidding wars if you like to see the video about bidding wars click here https://youtu.be/DtiAbq5nlIM
I hope you found this video about the difference of pre-qualified and pre-approved when buying or selling a home if you’d like to read more real estate buying and selling tips you can visit my blog at yourrealestatewhisperer.com
If you’d like to watch more videos specifically about buying a home here is a very useful playlist. https://bit.ly/2myd6Go
If you don’t want to miss important tips so you can be a real estate home buying ninja, please consider subscribing https://bit.ly/2MEztWK
To get a copy of my FREE buyers’ e-book you can download it here: https://bit.ly/2LdyEqt
If you have any questions about buying and selling your home feel free to reach out to me at any time by email or any respectable time by phone. All my contact information is listed below.
My name is Kristina Smallhorn, Your Real Estate Whisperer for Ascension Parish and I tell you all this “Because YOU Matter”
EXP REALTY, LLC
2900 Westfork Dr.
Baton Rouge, LA 70827
225-412-9982 ext 149
#realtor #home #tips
Kristina Is a Licensed Realtor® with The Greater Baton Rouge Board of Realtors@ in the State of Louisiana. License #0912122918
Last week I told you about bidding wars (To Read That Article https://bit.ly/2LoaC7X ). This week I will be telling you when is the right time to lowball an offer on a home. This video will provide 5 useful tips to know when the perfect time is to lowball an offer on a house. There is often real estate lowball offer mistakes people make when making an offer and know how to construct your offer in a way not to offend the sellers by providing facts to why you made the lowball offer in the first place can be the reason why you win the deal of the century.
The first tip to consider if you are going to home buying with the idea you are going to lowball every home you make an offer on is not to be picky. DO NOT ask for items that are not important to the structure of the home, like washer, dryer, and refrigerator, Do not ask for lawn maintenance or items to be removed. Basically, you are purchasing the home as in the condition that it’s currently in and not anything more than that.
The second tip that can work in your benefit is knowing if the home you’re considering lowballing is grossly overpriced. Many sellers will have illusions of grandeur when it comes to pricing their home. If you can prove with comps that the home is overpriced to the seller they may see things your way.
The third tip that’s important to know when giving a lowball offer is to see how many times the home has been on and off the market within the last couple years. This could be a sign that the seller is in financial trouble and needs to get out. Check with your Realtor to see if the home has been put up on the sheriff’s sale website for delinquent payments or back taxes. This information could help leverage your lowball offer.
the fourth tip is to talk with the neighbors, neighbors love to dish out any secrets the sellers may not have disclosed that wouldn’t be pertinent to the structure of the home like a divorce, loss of a job or financial issues. Sometimes the neighbors can be the sellers biggest nightmare but a lowball buyers dream!
The fifth tip is to take a good look at obviously outdated items in the home to leverage your lowball offer. If the carpet is old and smelly, the kitchen looks like it from the set of the Golden Girls and every room needs a fresh coat of paint add up the cost to have those items that need remodeled and show the seller why your lowball offer was made. This could be the tip that seals the deal.
I hope you found these tips useful if you like to watch more video tips on buying your next home, check out my home buying video playlist here. https://bit.ly/2sw5Pu1
If you don’t want to miss any tips on buying and selling your home so you don’t leave money on the table at the closing time click here https://bit.ly/2sHfDRr
Nobody wants to be a bidding war loser. When making bidding war offers you want to come on top. The best offers during a home bidding war are the ones that don’t ask for extra items like, refrigerator, washer, and dryer. The trick to winning a bidding war on a home isn’t just asking for the “extras”, it’s also what loan you chose, how long will it be until you close and the way you construct your purchase offer in a way that is the strongest to the seller’s eyes but not breaking your budget for a home. This article will show you 5 tips to making your bidding war offer stronger so you won’t end up being a bidding war loser.
Do not ask for extras like refrigerator, washer, dryer and silly items that are cosmetic like asking for the home to be painted. Nothing will make a seller pass over your offer like asking for extras that have nothing to do with the value of the home.
Up the amount of your deposit, normally in the state of Louisiana, the deposit amount is pretty minimal to the amount of the home. The typical amount is as little as 250-2500 depending on the price of the home. If you’re in a bidding war you may want to consider upping that amount to 2500-5000 so the sellers know you are a serious buyer that has skin in the game.
Decrease the number of days for inspection. When you write a purchase offer most ask for a 10 day inspection period. If you reduce the number of days for inspection to 5 days your offer may look stronger to the seller due to the fact it will be fewer days off the market if the buyer will be removing the offer after the inspections are completed. With that said many realtors may suggest a pre-inspection prior to writing an offer if you use this tactic you may lose precious days that someone else can beat you to the punch to make an accepted offer and you will never get a chance to make yours.
Consider a different loan type. If you are not paying cash and you have not chosen a loan package you will need to discuss with your lender the best option for you to get the loan closed fast but still has your best interests.
Go with your highest and best offer with the first offer you come in with. This is not the time to test the seller on there willingness to come down in price. If you are serious make your strongest offer the first offer you make.
It doesn’t hurt to add a little human emotion to your offer, sometimes we forget that families are involved so if you add a letter stating why this home is so important to you, this may be the deciding factor when it comes to a bidding war.
There are many homeownership mistakes that happen when you buy a house. Often people unknowingly do more damage to their home when they believe they are doing the right thing after they buy a house. In this video, I show some of the biggest mistakes that homeowners make.
Have you ever been in a bathroom that had a weird black line around the bottom edge of the mirror? There is a reason for that, it’s from an overuse of cleaning products and moisture getting behind the mirror allowing it to lose its reflection and cause that yucky black clouds. The solution, just be aware when you are spraying your mirror to not use too much product and when getting out off the shower make sure to wipe down the mirror so no moisture gets trapped.
Another mistake in home ownership is using bleach on everything. I know I love bleach but it can really do damage on some of the most expensive things in your home like granite countertop (did you know that it will strip the sealant right off of stone?) Also, never use bleach products on vinyl it could possibly yellow or stain it. Another area to avoid bleach is wood flooring, it too can strip the finish off the flooring making it pretty expensive to restore down the road.
I’ve been to enough home inspections to know that many homeowners make the mistake of using the wrong kind of caulk in certain areas of the home. They make different kinds a caulk for a reason and make sure you are buying the right kind for bathrooms and outside windows. Not all caulk is made the same.
Over sealing countertops is another costly mistake homeowners make. I know you think you’re doing the right thing by applying it often but if do it too much it will cause a milky white film that can be tough to remove and repair. To test to see if your countertops are ready for another spray of sealant, just drip a few drops of water on the countertop and see if it beads up if it doesn’t its ready for a treatment.
So when was the last time you had your HVAC system look at? So many homeowners ignore this maintenance requirement. When I represent the buyer I always ask for it to be done and inevitably the homeowner hadn’t had it done the whole time they had lived in the house. The cost of this is too inexpensive to ignore and can help stretch out the time for replacement.
Do you have any home ownership tips? Be sure to comment them below, They make it in my next video.
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My Name is Kristina Smallhorn, Your Real Estate Whisperer For Ascension Parish, And I tell you all this “Because YOU Matter”
Kristina Smallhorn is a licensed REALTOR® with the state of Louisiana in The Greater Baton Rouge MLS, license # 0912122918,eXp Realty LLC,2900 Westfork Dr. Suite 401
Baton Rouge LA 70817, Cell Number: 225-246-1812, Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149
Wiring Fraud Alert!!!!! Don’t Let These Hackers Steal Your Down Payment! Watch The Video To See How You Can Protect Your Money!
Wiring Fraud Alert For Home Buyers has become a real problem over the last couple of years. Imagine having your life saving for a down payment for your new home being stolen from you just days before the closing. It’s been happening all over the country even in Ascension Parish. The scam works like this, the hackers get a hold of either the title companies email account, the realtors’ email account or even the home buyers email account after one of these accounts are infiltrated the hackers sit and wait. They monitor the activities of all the parties involved in the transaction days beforehand they inform the buyer that wiring instructions have changed and they need confirmation they received the message so they can send the new instructions. These criminals are clever, by this time they have copied or even cloned the email addresses of the parties involved they really make these emails look very official. Buyers are of course in a panic and rush to there bank to give them the new wiring instructions, but the thing about it is, they just lost all their down payment and very little can be done to get that money back.
There are some ways to protect yourself. One is to change your email password often and have two code authentification. If you do get an email asking to change wiring instructions prior to closing make sure to call your REALTOR® to verify the title companies phone number. Never follow the phone number that is posted in the suspicious email. Lastly, Instead of wiring the funds, if possible, just go down to your bank and get cashiers check, it may take a little more time but could save you tens of thousands of dollars.
It’s Take A Tip Tuesday and in this weeks video, I discuss 5 big things that people should know when buying a home. Whether this is your first home or tenth home, these tips should always be helpful. In Ascension Parish, we have lots of people moving in and out an all around but people seem to forget what needs to be done when buying a home. Below I’ve listed 5 key tips to remember.
I must say this about 1000 times in my past videos and I know if you have been following me for awhile I may sound like a broken record but I’m telling you, people jump the gun when home shopping and tend to forget all about being “pre-approved” prior to their home quest.
Size Doesn’t Matter!
This is another thing that some people can get hung up on. They want a HUGE home but did you know that if you have the largest home in a neighborhood you will get a lot less per square foot than your surrounding neighbors. Bigger doesn’t mean better and maybe an unwise investment.
Shiny New Toy Syndrome.
Imagine walking into a home that has all the bells and whistles, super thick granite, custom cabinets and all upgraded modern appliances. It’s your dream home but it’s over the budget you set for yourself. Delayed gratification can be better in the long run, especially for your wallet as well. Don’t get stuck with a home that you can barely furnish because you had to have the newest, latest and greatest.
Budget For Other Costs.
When you go on sites like Realtor dot com, Trulia, and Zillow, they will give you an estimated mortgage payment. Many of these sites do not factor in the other costs, like escrows, insurance, and taxes. Make sure you have more money set aside for these items.
Hire An Inspector.
I can’t say this enough, even if you are buying a brand new home you should have it inspected by a professional. Even though the new home has to pass building code inspections things get missed and the inspector you hire is looking out for your best interest. (To Read More About Inspections Click Here 3 Myths About Home Inspections)
I hope you found these tips useful If you’d like to read more about buying homes in the Ascension Parish Area, please download my free e-book https://goo.gl/ux3mYz. If you like to search for homes in the Ascension Parish Area Click Here. To watch all my tip videos please subscribe to my YouTube Channel by Clicking HERE!
Your Real Estate Whisperer
eXp Realty LLC
2900 Westfork Dr. Suite 401
Baton Rouge LA 70817
Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149
Kristina Smallhorn is a licensed REALTOR® with the state of Louisiana
Ascension Parish Coffee Talk is a weekly show featuring nothing but the people and businesses here in Ascension Parish. This week I thought it would be a great idea to meet up with one of the many great builders here in Ascension. Mike Smith of S&B Construction tells us a little about his company and all the subdivisions he has been building in. Some of them I’m sure you have driven past, like Oakland Crossing, Maplewood Estates, and Oak Alley Estates to name a few.
I met up with Mike at his newest fully constructed home that happened to be in the Parade of homes this year, Oakland Crossing in Prairieville. Mike takes the time to give us a small tour of the home showing the features that his company S&B Construction offers as a standard. Many builders would consider these items as an upgrade but S&B Construction likes to go above what others call “standard”. Each room in this spec home looks anything but spec, from the high-end appliances with standard wine chiller to the extra care to add detailed herringbone accents in the flooring, more details flow throughout the home including tongue and groove ceilings under the porches, with their signature outdoor kitchen. You can see why people would want to see more of this home in Ascension Parish.
My name is Kristina Smallhorn, Your Real Estate Whisperer For Ascension Parish, And I Tell You All This “Because YOU Matter”
(Your Real Estate Whisperer)
Office 2254129982 ext#149
eXp Realty LLC.
2900 Westfork Dr.
Baton Rouge LA 70817 Kristina Smallhorn is a licensed REALTOR with the state of Louisiana, USA.
Do You Know You CouldFreeze Your Ascension Parish Property Tax Assessment?
A few weeks back I was sitting in a closing with an older couple who were selling their home here in Ascension Parish and moving closer to their children. When the closing attorney was getting to the part about property taxes, he said something about their frozen property taxes.
I had never heard of this before and was a little disappointed with myself being a REALTOR® in Ascension Parish I should know something about it. I leaned into the table and asked the listing agent across from me “Did you know about this, frozen taxes?” She shrugged and said “No”. After that, I felt a little better but wanted to know more so I can tell the people of Ascension Parish about how they could save money.
So what is “Freezing Your Taxes?”
Homeowners who become 65 can permanently freeze their assessments if they have an adjusted gross income below the scheduled amount. How much is that amount? When my parents went to the tax assessors office in Ascension Parish it was $72,000.00. The woman at the office was extremely friendly and was really willing to answer all my parent’s questions about their property taxes.
So How Do I Go About “Freezing Them?
It is simple to apply. You must go in person to the Ascension Parish Tax Assessors office with a copy of your latest tax return and your driver’s license. You only need apply once, as you do not have to reapply every year.
The special assessment is permanent as long as you continue to qualify: That means you continue to own and reside in your home. In addition, your adjusted gross income cannot exceed the scheduled amount and the value of your house does not increase more than 25% due to any new construction.
If the owner dies, the special assessment passes to the surviving spouse who has minor children or who is 55 or older and meets the other qualifications. Veterans who are at least 50% permanently disabled also qualify to for the special assessment freeze.
In Louisiana, a property is reassessed every 4 years, so don’t wait to freeze your tax assessment.
If you do qualify this could save you money in the future. Please share this information with anyone you know that could possibly qualify. I want everyone in Ascension Parish to save money, Why? “Because YOU Matter”