Create a House Hunt Checklist

 The Home

Space is one of the first things people notice when touring a home. Are there enough bedrooms to accommodate the household? How spacious are storage closets? Square footage and the practicality of the floor plan are elements that demand major consideration. Is there a garage or a basement? These are some standards you should have set in your head before beginning your home search, but it doesn’t hurt to add these elements to the checklist. After you’ve evaluated the space, take time to note the condition of the home. Some suggest breaking it down further into interior and exterior conditions. Look specifically for dampness and odors, age and condition of the roof as well as the functionality of gutters and downspouts. Finally, don’t forget to make note of extra perks such as a fireplace, great landscaping, fences, a patio/deck, and sun screens as well as overall energy efficiency.

The Neighborhood

One of the most common things homebuyers look for in a neighborhood is safety. Individuals want to feel secure in their new surroundings. How close are you to police and fire stations, the hospital or schools? Does the neighborhood provide trash services? Don’t forget to investigate these issues by creating a physical or mental checklist.


Location, location, location is becoming a greater concern for many homebuyers. When looking at a home, take the time to figure out how far you would be from the grocery store, shopping, highways, local amenities, etc. These are just some things you want to ask yourself as you evaluate the location of a home.

Take the time to look at all aspects of the property and surrounding area-from the actual structure to the neighborhood, and location will help you make a more accurate and informed decision when choosing a home.


June Pending Home Sales Rise

Joan’s Real Estate Corner… June Pending Home Sales Rise

For the second consecutive month, pending home sales figures have increased. According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) all regions are showing “strong double-digit” gains over last June and the index itself was up 2.4 percent for the month.

Pending sales are a healthy 19.8 percent above June 2010’s numbers. The Midwest has seen the largest rebound from 2010, increase 26.4 percent from last June. The Northeast followed at a 19.4 percent increase and the South gained 19.1 percent. The West was up 16.4 percent.

According to the NAR, “Existing-home sales this year are expected to total 5.0 million, slightly higher than 2010. Similarly, little change is forecast for aggregate home prices with several indicators, including NAR’s median prices, showing recent signs of stabilization.” Read more

Joan’s Real Estate Corner… 1 Million Foreclosures Delayed Until 2012

Syndicated from Daily Real Estate News | July 14, 2011 |

An estimated 1 million foreclosure-related notices for defaults, auctions, and home repossessions that should be filed by lenders this year will be pushed back until next year, according to the latest report by RealtyTrac.

While the delays could give home owners more time to catch up on their payments and try to avoid foreclosure, housing experts warn this means the looming shadow inventory of distressed properties likely will continue to plague the real estate market even longer. Read more

Joan’s Real Estate Corner… Moving Advice: Happy Pets

Transitioning to a new home and routine can be difficult for many pets. The stress and worry can cause out of character behavior, as well as lowered immune responses.

In order to ease your pets into a move, it’s important to consider what makes them feel safe, secure, and stable.

First, if you are moving out of the area, be sure that your pet is current on all of their vaccines and treatments. Refill any prescriptions and consider microchipping your pet, as moves are a common time that pets become lost. Read more

Joan’s Real Estate Corner… What’s In, Out of Smaller Homes?

Buy a super-sized, outdated home today and you could have a tough time selling it when it’s time to move on.  By 2015, new homes will be 10 percent smaller, greener and packed with more technology and “universal” features than today’s homes, according to a new study by the National Association of Home Builders.

Read more

Joan’s Real Estate Corner… Should I Accept This Offer?

Today’s market can be a difficult one for many sellers to navigate. And while your real estate agent can advise you, the ultimate decision of what offer to accept is entirely up to you.

This decision can come with quite a bit of pressure. Even in the most favorable of markets this can be a difficult time. How do you know when to accept an offer?

Here are some questions to consider.  Read more