As an Eastside Realtor, the most important part of my job when representing buyers is to ensure that my clients have all of the information they need to make a smart decision. This involves much more than hiring a home inspector and reviewing reports; I believe that home buyers need to do an “emotional inspection” as well. Beyond the physical condition, how do we know we have found “The One”?
Here are some tricks of the trade from The Property Shop LA:
1. As soon as we are seriously interested in a new listing, we immediately research public records. If the seller purchased the home six months ago and wants out, it could be a red flag, but it also could be something as simple as a job transfer. Remember, it is our job to amass as much information as we can, as soon as we can. Part of being a smart Realtor and home buyer is simply knowing what questions to ask.
2. Do a driveby at a variety of times. I’m always amazed by how few buyers actually do this. Neighborhoods feel very different on Sunday at 2 pm than they do Friday night at 10 pm. Check it out and make sure you are comfortable. You may find that you prefer a lively street to a dead-quiet cul-de-sac in the hills of Mt. Washington, or vice versa.
3. Talk to neighbors and the mailman. Yes, the mailman. No one knows a neighborhood more intimately and is a better source of the information that we won’t get anywhere else. I know it can feel awkward knocking on strangers’ doors, but most people love to talk. During a recent transaction in Highland Park, the neighbor told us excitedly that she had plans to tear down her home and rebuild completely from scratch. Good to know … especially if you are noise-sensitive or buying a home for its amazing view.
4. If you commute to an office (a shrinking minority it seems these days!), do a test drive during rush hours. You may adore a home, but if you work in Santa Monica, you may be too exhausted from fighting traffic to enjoy it. Make sure the home is practical for your day-to-day lifestyle. Where do you shop? Where do you eat out? It seems obvious, but a home should enhance your quality of life and work for how (and where) you really live.
5. Unless you are purchasing an investment property to sell quickly, try to envision your life on a five-year horizon. A hillside home with wraparound decks can offer spectacular views and sexy architecture, but may not be The One if kids are in your future. Similarly, if you are buying solo and spend more time at work than you do entertaining at home, the gorgeous Craftsman with lush landscaping and pool may be more maintenance than you bargained for.
Connect with us and check out our blog for Eastside home buyers and sellers at www.ThePropertyShopLA.com – we’d love to help you win your perfect home in 2013!
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