REAL ESTATE TIPS: Should You Be an Aggressive or Cautious Home Buyer?

Cautious Home Buyer - gay couple - Deposit Photos

If you are thinking of buying a home, some of your friends may have told you that you have to throw caution to the wind and just go all in. Or you may have heard of friends that bought a home and had to spend lots of money after the fact to repair things they didn’t know were wrong, and want you to be a cautious home buyer. How can you as a buyer feel protected yet also assert yourself in a competitive market? 

That’s where your agent comes in to help. The buyer agent will call the listing agent and find out what is important to the sellers. It is important in these transactions that both sides are aware of what is important to each side of the transaction. There are situations where more money is being offered to a seller, but what they really want is a one or two week or a one month rent-back so they can have time to get all the moving parts together and move on to their next home. Some of my clients once won an offer situation because they wanted to renovate and update the home, not demolish it like a developer wanted to do.  

A good agent knows the tools in their belt to keep their buyers confident in their purchase and assertive in a competitive market. Pre-inspections, negotiating techniques, and sometimes just a good reputation can go a long way.  A good agent wants to make their clients happy but also wants to make sure they stay happy long after they have moved into the house.

Full Story From the Washington Blade

Freedom From Housing Discrimination – The Washington Blade

Freedom From Housing Discrimination - Deposit Photos

June 19. Freedom Day. Jubilee Day. Cel-Liberation Day. It commemorates the end of slavery when on June 19, 1865, Union general Gordon Granger finally made it to Galveston, Texas to read federal orders from 1861 announcing that all previously enslaved people were free. It is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.

Yes, this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation that became official on Jan. 1, 1863. The Proclamation had little impact on Texas due to the minimal number of Union troops there to enforce the new order. With the surrender of General Lee and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally numerous and strong enough to overcome the resistance.

On this year’s June 19, and with the world focused on equality for all, it is important for us also to talk about housing discrimination and equality in the home buying process. Despite being given the freedom from slavery in 1865, it wasn’t until 1968—52 years ago—that the Fair Housing Act was passed.

The Act, in simplest terms, protects people from housing discrimination when they are renting or buying a home, getting a mortgage, seeking housing assistance, or engaging in other housing-related activities. It prohibits discriminating against someone based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and/or disability.

Housing discrimination can come in two forms—direct and indirect. Direct is purposefully and impermissible basing the sale on a protected class/characteristic. Indirect is unconsciously applying a requirement or rule in the sale or rental of housing.

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The Buying & Selling Roller Coaster

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One thing that has become evident to me in my role of a real estate agent over the past five years with so many of my clients is that I am not just handling paperwork and negotiations. I’m part therapist, part friend, part negotiator, part paperwork handler, and part creative idea generator.

In some cases I have spent more time listening to my clients vent or talk about their day and what goes on at work or about family members involved in the transaction than the actual paperwork took time to be completed. I can be asked questions as varied as what color tile to put in a bathroom, what kind of countertop should be installed, who the heck does this other agent think they are, how much should we escalate over the sales price, and “should I even consider putting in another offer? I feel so defeated.”

I have had clients refer to me as their “brother” or “cousin” and I have gotten to know my clients’ parents, siblings, best friends, and other assorted family and friends who are going to chime in with their opinion on the situation. Today I helped a client navigate the moving truck parking permit process in the District of Columbia, which involved multiple phone calls, missed connections, meeting at the police station to print them out and many texts and messages.

Full Story by Joseph Hudson at the Washington Blade

Home Downsizing Dilemmas – Washington Blade

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As a first-time buyer, you may have looked to your parents for down payment assistance, advice on what to look for in a home or as an extra sounding board during the process. As your parents get older and look to downsize their home, they may turn to you for the same support. 

Aging adults often need help with home downsizing so they can move into a more manageable home size, transition to an assisted living facility or relocate to a retirement community. When that time comes, you can return the favor your parents did for you and help them through their selling and buying experience. Trust me, they will need you.

It can be very emotional for older adults to leave the place they’ve lived in for years, raised their family in and have so many memories wrapped up in.

I’ve worked with numerous aging adults and parents. They have lots of questions, can get confused by the decisions to make, need questions answered more than one time and generally are overwhelmed by the financial decisions and emotional toll of home downsizing. So remember to pack your patience as you help them pack their belongings. 

Full Story From the Washington Blade