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Category Archives: Home Buyers

The Top 4 Questions to Ask When Buying a Home with a Pool

Key Takeaways:

  • Pools are a highly coveted amenity, and having one of your own comes with quite a few perks.
  • Want to know the ins and outs of pool ownership? We’ve outlined some must-ask questions that every homebuyer should consider.
  • No matter what kind of home you’re looking to buy, you can always reach out to us for advice—give us a call to start your next chapter!

Here Are the Questions You Need to Ask Before Buying a Home with a Pool

If you’re in the market for a new home, a pool might be at the top of your wish list—and having one comes with quite a few health, entertaining, and financial benefits! However, before you commit to buying a home with this luxurious feature, there are some questions you might want to ask first.

Want to learn the ins and outs of buying a home that comes with a pool? Here’s everything you need to know. 

What are the most common types of pools?

Pool with deck and chairs

 

Generally, most pools fall into two categories: above-ground and in-ground. Above-ground pools cost less to maintain and are statistically safer. However, in-ground pools blend into your yard’s natural landscape, and because they’re permanent, they may increase your home’s value over time. 

Pools can also be subdivided into a number of other categories based on their materials (fiberglass, concrete, etc.), the type of water (fresh or saltwater), and styles (lap pools, infinity pools, or spas). It’s best to do plenty of research in advance and ask your agent for more details on a home’s pool.

What should I know about pool maintenance?

Cleaning a pool

 

In most cases, pools cost around $100 or more each month to maintain and can require an hour of work per week depending on the season. However, this number varies based on your location and whether or not you use a professional service.

As a pool owner, you’ll be responsible for cleaning any debris, adding pool chemicals, as well as maintaining the pump and filter. You may also want to periodically test pH levels, vacuum your pool, and use cleaners to shock the water.

Over time, your pool will require more expensive maintenance, especially if a part goes bad or there’s a problem with the overall structure. If you have any concerns, your agent can be a helpful resource as you weigh the pros and cons.

Should I worry about pool safety?

 

If you plan on having children or pets near your pool, you want to ensure that it has the latest safety features. Fencing, mesh covers, and pool alarms add another layer of protection for all ages. If a pool doesn’t already have these upgrades, you’ll want to factor in the cost of adding them. More costly gadgets—such as alarms and fences—will set you back a few hundred dollars. 

Will home inspectors check a pool?

Checking a pool's chemical levels

 

Home inspectors almost always check a pool during their evaluation. However, if they aren’t well-versed in the specifics of pool maintenance, they may miss some critical issues. If you have any in-depth questions about a pool’s condition, hire a professional pool inspector before the closing. They’ll go beyond a general checklist and give you a thorough look at any problems a pool might have. Most pool inspectors will also provide an itemized list of potential repairs that can help you negotiate the final price of a home.

Want to know some of the most common red flags inspectors might point out? Be wary of any cracks in the pool’s interior, foul-smelling or off-color water, clogged filters, or broken equipment. 

Ready to Have Some Fun in the Sun?

Pools can require some effort and money to maintain, but you simply can’t beat the benefits of having your own swimming space. If you’re dreaming of buying a home with a pool, we’d love to help you track down your perfect place! Just give us a call at The Bouma Group at 734-761-3060 or info@bouma.com to get started—we look forward to working with you!

Selling a home with a pool? Contact us to learn more about getting top-dollar in no time at all. 734-761-3060 or info@bouma.com.

4 Tricks to Buying a Home in a Crazy Hot Market

Key Takeaways:

  • Despite the ongoing pandemic, the real estate market is more competitive than ever before—and that means buyers have to do more to get their offer accepted.
  • Want to stand out from the competition and score the home of your dreams? Our four tips can help you achieve real estate success in no time.
  • If you have any questions about buying in today’s hot market, just give us a call for even more personalized advice!

The 4 Tips Every Buyer Needs to Know in 2021

If you’ve been house-hunting for a while, you’ve probably noticed that today’s real estate market is more than just a little competitive. Low mortgage rates, high demand, and dwindling inventory have created ideal conditions for sellers—but it’s still very possible to score a fantastic deal on a home.

Want to know the secret to buying a home in 2021? Here are four tips that can help you take back control in a seller-driven market.

Get your finances in order

Calculating mortgage payments

First and foremost, you need to get your finances in order before you even consider looking at homes. Start by paying off as much debt as you can and increasing your credit score. It’s also a good idea to keep track of just how much you have saved for a down payment. Sellers are more likely to choose buyers who can put down at least 20% or pay cash.

Want to strengthen your offer even more? Get pre-approved or attach a higher earnest money deposit to show a seller you’re serious about buying their home.

Know what you want

Buying a home is one of life’s most exciting milestones. However, it’s easy to get caught up in the little details—which is why it’s crucial to do your research in advance. Connect with a local agent early on to discuss your home-buying goals. A good agent will help you hone in on your budget, wants, and needs, as well as the right area or neighborhood.

Prepare for a bidding war

Negotiating a deal

According to a recent survey by Redfin, more than half of all buyers found themselves in a bidding war last year. And while the idea of competing against other home-seekers might seem overwhelming, there are a few things you can do to stand out.

If you’re trying to score a house with multiple bids, send in your best and final offer up front. You may also want to include an escalation clause, which automatically increases your purchase price by certain increments (like a few thousand dollars at a time) so you avoid getting outbid.

It’s also a good idea to consider homes below your budget, especially if you have your heart set on a popular neighborhood. This gives you some flexibility if you end up in a bidding war.

Appeal to the seller

Talking about real estate

Even if you find yourself in a bidding war, it’s still possible to come out ahead. Believe it or not, sellers don’t always choose the highest offer, even if it far exceeds the original asking price.

You can appeal to a seller’s peace of mind by limiting your contingencies, offering to pay closing costs, and letting them choose the closing date. Adding these extra bonuses might seem minor, but they can really impact a seller’s final decision.

Only Buy with the Best

Working with a top-notch agent can help you navigate 2021’s crazy real estate market with ease. So if you’re looking for some guidance, it’s time to give us a call at The Bouma Group!

Whether you’re at the beginning of the buying process or are already searching for a home, you can trust us to help you find your perfect place. Contact us today at 734-761-3060 or info@bouma.com to get started; we look forward to working with you!

What Makes Today’s Real Estate Market So Competitive?

Key Takeaways

  • This year’s housing market is shaping up to be the most competitive on record, but the pandemic isn’t the only thing influencing the national real estate boom.
  • There are actually quite a few factors contributing to today’s hot market, including unfettered buyer demand, historically low supply, and steady interest rates.
  • Have questions about buying a home in 2021? Get in touch with us for even more personalized advice.

3 Factors That Make 2021’s Real Estate Market More Competitive Than Ever

If you’re planning a move, you might be wondering how the real estate market will change this year—and the predictions are pretty eye-opening. Existing home sales are expected to increase by 9%, home prices could rise by a whopping 8%, and mortgage rates should stay well below 4% for the foreseeable future. Continue reading

3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Use Zillow to Search for a Home

Key takeaways:

  • For years, Zillow has been one of the most popular real estate sites for buyers, sellers, and daydreamers—but it might not be the most reliable option for serious house hunters.
  • If you want to shop the hottest deals and see homes before they hit the market, it’s better to work with a local agent.
  • Need help finding the perfect home? Reach out to us today to get a head start on your search!

Why Zillow Isn’t the Best Option for Serious Homebuyers

We’ve all probably spent more time than we care to admit scrolling through listings on Zillow. While this popular real estate website might be good for daydreaming, it’s not always the best resource for buyers who are searching seriously for a home. In fact, according to a report by the Washington Post, some of Zillow’s “listings” aren’t actually on the market at all, and they could potentially contain inaccurate information.

Looking to stay ahead of the competition in today’s fast-paced market? Here’s why you should work with a local agent instead…and maybe even avoid Zillow altogether.

Zillow’s information is often inaccurate

Searching for a home on a tablet

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Mortgages Made Easy: How to Choose the Right Home Loan

Key Takeaways:

  • As mortgage rates continue hovering near historic lows, many potential buyers are eager to make a move—but it can be hard to know which type of loan is best.
  • There are dozens of different mortgage options available today, and some even have low down payment or credit score requirements. This can help a variety of buyers finally achieve their real estate goals. 
  • Need help finding a lender or choosing the right mortgage for your needs? We’d be more than happy to offer a few recommendations.

Home Financing 101: The Most Common Types of Mortgages

Let’s face it—understanding mortgages can be the most complicated part of buying a home. Even experienced buyers sometimes have trouble deciding between lenders or shopping around for the best interest rate. And because there are so many options, it can be difficult to track down the mortgage that best meets your needs.

There are a variety of factors you should consider before committing to a loan, such as your income, debt, financial history, and how long you plan on staying in your new home. But if you play your cards right, you could end up scoring a great deal. Here are some of the most popular types of mortgages, as well as their pros and cons. Continue reading

The Holidays Aren’t Stopping Home Buyers This Year

The Holidays Aren’t Stopping Homebuyers This Year | MyKCM

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are behind us, yet finding the perfect holiday gifts for friends and family is certainly still top of mind for many right now. This year, there’s another type of buyer that’s very active this holiday season – the home buyer.

Each month, ShowingTime releases their Showing Index which tracks the average number of appointments received on active U.S. house listings. The most recent index notes:

“The Showing Index reported a 60.9 percent jump in nationwide showing traffic year over year in October, the sixth consecutive month to see an increase over last year.”

Here’s the breakdown of the latest activity by region of the country compared to this time last year:

  • The Northeast increased by 65.5%
  • The West increased by 64.7%
  • The Midwest increased by 55.7%
  • The South increased by 54.7%

Why is the traffic so active?

The health crisis definitely put home buying plans on pause for many earlier this year. Buyers, however, are in the market and making moves well past the typical busy home buying seasons of spring and summer.

One of the main reasons buyer traffic has continued to soar in the second half of 2020 is how dramatically mortgage rates have fallen. According to Freddie Mac, the average mortgage rate last December was 3.72%. Today, the rate is a full percentage point lower.

Bottom Line

There are first-time, move-up, and move-down buyers actively looking for the home of their dreams this winter. If you’re thinking of selling your house in 2021, you don’t need to wait until the spring to do it. Your potential buyer is very likely searching for a home in your neighborhood right now. Give us a call today at 734-761-3060 to talk about your home buying or selling options!

How to Sell Your Home (While Buying a New Home)

It’s a common real estate predicament: selling the home you currently live in while trying to buy a new one. So… what’s the most efficient way to go about it?

All in all, it depends on your situation. Are you willing to buy a second home without having sold your first one? Or are you relying on the payoff from your current home for the down payment on your new one? Are you relocating? Upgrading? Downsizing? Your reasons for selling will most likely dictate how you’ll go about the process.

So, here are four things to keep in mind when you’re buying and selling a home at the same time.

It’s All About Timing

Group of people consulting a calendar.What works best for you? If you’re selling your home because you’re relocating to a new area, it might make more sense to sell your current home first before buying a new home in a new market.

However, if you have enough money saved up for a down payment, it may be easier to buy your new home first, then sell your old home once you’ve moved to the new one. Continue reading

Busting the Biggest Home-Buying Myths of 2020

This year has been difficult for just about everyone, but if you were (or still are) thinking about buying a home in 2020, you might be feeling more than a little overwhelmed. An ongoing pandemic, the subsequent recession, and general uncertainty have forced many house-hunters to put their real estate dreams on hold. However, despite all these potential obstacles, homeownership is still a very attainable goal.

Don’t Let These Myths Keep You From Buying a Home!

Buying a home is a huge decision, and it’s one you shouldn’t make without careful planning. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation out there regarding the home-buying process and the real estate market as a whole, especially as the nation continues to navigate an unpredictable year.

Still unsure about making a move during 2020? Here are four of the most common myths that deter today’s buyers—and why you shouldn’t believe them. Continue reading

What Increasing Home Prices Mean for Today’s Buyers and Sellers

To say that 2020 has been a bit of a whirlwind would be an understatement. And as we get closer to the end of the year, many buyers and sellers are wondering if it makes financial sense to enter the market. Although the warmer months are typically considered the best time to move, buyer demand continues to surge into fall, while the available supply of homes just keeps dwindling. This has caused home prices to skyrocket to one of their highest points ever.

Need some advice before breaking into today’s competitive housing market? We have a few details to consider before making any big decisions.

Buying or Selling Soon? Here’s How Rising Home Prices Will Affect Your Move

Real estate has always been about supply and demand. For example, during the housing market crash of 2008, home prices plummeted partially because of low buyer interest. Today, though, we’re seeing the opposite—prices are increasing due to waning supply and rock-bottom mortgage interest rates.

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Buyer Beware: 6 Red Flags That Could Spell Trouble for Homebuyers

Picture this: you’ve found a seemingly perfect home in just the right neighborhood. It has every single one of your must-haves, plenty of space, and even all of the features you want. But on the tour, your agent spots a few big problems, like a crack in the foundation or signs of water damage. Should you walk away from what seems like your dream house?

Unless you’re looking to tackle a fixer-upper, you may want to proceed with caution if you run into any of these red flags during a showing.

Watch Out for These 6 Red Flags During a Showing

As you tour homes, it’s important to remember that a seller may not always disclose (or know) the whole truth about their house. If you ever have any questions about a home’s condition, make sure to ask your agent. They’ll often be able to spot problems that you may not see yourself, and they can also help you decide whether or not a certain issue is a dealbreaker.

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