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Tag Archives: Buying a Home

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.

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.

Continue reading

The Top 10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Buyer’s Agent

When buying a home, who you choose to work with matters more than you think. Finding the right buyer’s agent can make or break your entire experience, so it’s important to interview a few candidates before settling on “the one.” Not sure where to start? Here are a few must-ask questions to consider before you pick your buyer’s agent.

How long have you been an agent?

Agent and client talking at a table

Unless you mesh well with a newer agent, it’s usually better to go with someone who has at least a few years of experience under their belt. They’ll have the knowledge you need to navigate the ins and outs of the entire buying process. Continue reading

The Pros and Cons of a Buyer’s Letter: Standing Out in a Busy Market

Imagine, after weeks of searching, that you’ve finally found your dream home. It’s in the perfect location with the right features and exactly the amount of space you need. But after requesting more information, your agent informs you that there are already several offers made on the house. How do you stand out in a busy market and snag your dream home?

When buyers are looking to make a lasting impression on sellers, they often opt to submit a letter to the seller. In fact, a recent study found that buyers who submitted letters were 9% more likely to have their offer accepted.

A Buyer’s Letter can work both with you and against you, so it’s important to understand what they are and when you should use one. Continue reading

Is a Home Inspection Really Necessary? Why You Shouldn’t Skip This Important Step

Picture this: you’ve finally found the home of your dreams. It’s got all the features you’ve been searching for, and it’s in the perfect neighborhood. There can’t possibly be anything wrong with it…right?

Though technically optional, a home inspection is highly recommended by most realtors, as it can save you thousands of dollars—or even prevent you from making a costly mistake all together. Here are some reasons why you need a home inspection before you move in—even if you don’t see anything wrong on the surface.

You Could Avoid Expensive Repairs

Person making repairs with an electric drill.

This is probably the biggest advantage of a home inspection. Certain problems can cost thousands to fix and may not be immediately visible. Wondering what kind of issues a home inspector can find and how much they’ll cost? Here are some of the biggest issues uncovered during home inspections (and typical costs to fix): Continue reading

The 5 Most Important Things to Do After Buying a Home

So, you bought a house. First of all, congratulations! The search is over, no more weekends filled with open houses and showings, and you can finally breathe a sigh of relief. Phew.

But your work isn’t quite done yet. Once you buy a house, there are a few things that need to happen before and after move-in day. Check out our list of to-dos, and get prepared for what comes after closing—trust us, your future self will thank you.

Do a Deep Clean

A vacuum.

When you first buy your home, there won’t be any heavy dressers blocking off corners, couches and beds to clean under, or stacks of boxes covered in cobwebs in the attic. Your house will never be this empty again—well, until you sell it, that is—so take advantage of the wide-open space.

Whether you want to hire professional cleaners or DIY, you should pour some serious TLC into your new house. Dust, vacuum, mop, scrub, polish—look up a few cleaning checklists for inspiration—and put in some elbow grease. Continue reading

Home Buying 101: The Service Providers You Need for Your Home Purchase

Home Buying 101

When it comes to buying a home, there are more things to consider than you may realize. After all, it’s a lot more complicated than walking into the grocery store to buy a gallon of milk!

Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases the average person makes. As such, you can expect there to be a lot of preparation, negotiation, and paperwork involved. In addition to obtaining a mortgage and signing the paperwork, there are a number of other tasks that need to be completed before you can open the doors to your new home.

Here’s a quick crash course in Home Buying 101: what service providers you need to hire while purchasing your new home.

Mortgage Lender

Man and a woman speaking with a bank lender holding pens.Ideally, you should start talking to lenders before you even begin looking for homes—and get pre-qualified for a mortgage as soon as possible.

Pre-qualification involves reviewing all of your finances, including income, expenses, and savings, with a lender.

Then, the lender will do some math and let you know exactly how much the bank is willing to loan you.

From all of our years of experience, we suggest using a local lender. Contact us for a list of the best in the Ann Arbor area. Continue reading

So, What Does a Realtor Actually Do for Home Buyers?

If you’re actively looking for a new home to buy, it may be tempting to try and do it yourself, without a Realtor. After all, the agent isn’t really working for you, right?

Two-story suburban home made of brick and stucco.There is a common misconception that real estate agents are only working for sellers, but that couldn’t be further from the truth!

When you’re buying a home, a real estate agent can help you make the right financial decision while maintaining your sanity.

Real estate agents live and breathe real estate, so they know how to navigate the market unlike anyone else.

The Right Buyer’s Agent Will Make All the Difference

An experienced Buyer’s Agent will keep you on top of the market, show you hard-to-find homes for sale, negotiate your buying terms, handle the bulk of your paperwork, and more. And it won’t cost you a penny!

In fact, here are the 4 things real estate agents do to eliminate stress from your home-buying process. Continue reading

Whose Mortgage Are You Paying?

Renting vs Buying…Either Way, You’re Paying Someone’s Mortgage

Man Paying Someone Money for Rent or Mortgage

Should you be renting vs buying? There are some people who have not purchased homes yet because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.

As Entrepreneur Magazine, a premier source for small business, explained in their article, “12 Practical Steps to Getting Rich,”

“While renting on a temporary basis isn’t terrible, you should most certainly own the roof over your head if you’re serious about your finances. It won’t make you rich overnight, but by renting, you’re paying someone else’s mortgage. In effect, you’re making someone else rich.”

Christina Boyle, Senior Vice President and head of the Single-Family Sales & Relationship Management organization at Freddie Mac, explains another benefit of securing a mortgage vs. paying rent:

“With a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, you’ll have the certainty & stability of knowing what your mortgage payment will be for the next 30 years – unlike rents which will continue to rise over the next three decades.”

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ which allows you to build equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee the landlord is the person with that equity.

Interest rates are still at historic lows, making it one of the best times to secure a mortgage and make a move into your dream home. Freddie Mac’s latest report shows that rates across the country were at 3.94% last week.

Bottom Line

Whether you are looking for a primary residence for the first time or are considering a vacation home on the shore, now may be the time to buy. Let’s get together and talk about your options and see if buying is better than renting for you! 734-761-3060 or info@bouma.com. Start your home search here!

The 5 Greatest Benefits of Homeownership

The 5 Benefits of Homeownership You Need to Know!

Homeownership is Worth Celebrating

Recently, Freddie Mac reported on the benefits of homeownership. According to their report, here are the five benefits that “should be at the top of everyone’s list.”

  1. Homeownership can help you build equity over time.
  2. Your monthly payments will remain stable.
  3. You may have some tax benefits.
  4. You can take pride in ownership.
  5. Homeownership improves your community.

Let’s expand on each of Freddie Mac’s points:

Homeownership can help you build equity over time.

Every three years, the Federal Reserve conducts a Survey of Consumer Finances in which they collect data across all economic and social groups. The latest survey, which includes data from 2010-2013, reports that a homeowner’s net worth is 36 times greater than that of a renter ($194,500 vs. $5,400).

In a Forbes article, the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun reported that now the net worth gap is 45 times greater.

Your monthly payments will remain stable.

When you purchase a home with a fixed rate mortgage, the majority of the payment (principle and interest) remain constant. On the other hand, rents continue to skyrocket. Your housing expense is much more stable if you own instead of rent.

You may have some tax benefits.

According to the Tax Policy Center’s Briefing Book -“A citizen’s guide to the fascinating (though often complex) elements of the federal Tax System” – there are several tax advantages to homeownership.

Here are four items from the Briefing Book:

  • Mortgage Interest Deduction
  • Property Tax Deduction
  • Imputed Rent
  • Profits from Home Sale

You can take pride in ownership.

Most surveys show that a major factor in purchasing a home is the freedom you have to design the home the way you want. From paint colors to yard accessories, you don’t need a landlord’s permission to make the house feel like a home.

Homeownership improves your community.

The National Association of Realtors recently released a study titled ‘Social Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing.’ The study explained:

“Homeownership does create social capital and provide residents with a platform from which to connect and interact with neighbors…Owning a home means owning part of a neighborhood, and a homeowner’s feelings of commitment to the home can arouse feelings of commitment to the neighborhood, which, in turn, can produce interactions with neighbors.”

Bottom Line

There are many benefits to homeownership, in addition to these top 5. Have you been considering purchasing a home, but aren’t sure where to start? Check out our state-of-the-art home search here. If you’re ready to get out and view a few homes, contact us at The Bouma Group, Realtors today at 734-761-3060 or email info@bouma.com and we’d be happy to help!

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