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Real Estate Tips

November
8

If you own a White Mountains home or a Lake Regions home, you know that winter in New Hampshire is nothing to be taken lightly. Snowfall can reach staggering heights. The cold is the kind that compels you to stay in with a book and a cup of hot tea. While it's always important to winterize your New Hampshire home, prepping for cold weather is especially critical if your property is vacant for all or part of the winter. Here are five steps to take right now.

1. Get a Home Energy Audit

Before you can winterize your New Hampshire home, you need to know where the vulnerabilities are. A home energy audit is an inspection that focuses on energy loss and efficiency in your home. Your HVAC contractor can perform a home energy audit for you. Once you get the report, you can choose to have the HVAC company take care of relevant issues, do them yourself, or a combination of both solutions. Either way, a home energy audit will give you measurable data you can use to ensure your home is maximizing energy use.

2. Insulate Pipes

Frozen pipes are the bane of homeowners in New Hampshire. Act now to make sure your pipes don't freeze while you're sleeping, away for the weekend or even at work. It only takes a few hours for pipes to freeze when temperatures suddenly drop. Pick up specially-designed pipe insulation foam at any hardware store. The foam—which looks like a slim pool noodle—has a slit that runs its vertical length. At home, just cut to fit and slip onto pipes. This DIY project will take you only 20 minutes to half an hour. Make sure you include those rarely-seen pipes beneath kitchen and bathroom sinks. Be certain to insulate all pipes, not just cold water pipes. If the furnace goes out, all the pipes in your home may be running cold water.

3. Turn Off Lines to Outside Spigots

Most homeowners in New Hampshire have one or more outside spigots for sprinklers, garden hoses and an outdoor shower. Whether you have a White Mountains home or a Lake Regions home, check around the perimeter of your house and locate the outside spigots. If these freeze up over winter, you could face expensive plumbing bills. Turn off the lines to the outside spigots, allow the spigots to drain thoroughly and then make sure each spigot is fully shut off.

4. Shore up the Entire Home

There are lots of small steps you need to do, too.
  • Replace the batteries in your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.
  • Have the chimney swept and confirm that the flue closes tightly.
  • Check the dates on your fire extinguishers and replace as needed.
  • Reverse blades on ceiling fans so heat is brought downward.
  • Install a programmable thermostat.
  • Clear the gutters of fall debris. Blocked gutters can cause ice dams that can lead to leaky roofs.
  • Have furnace inspected and replace furnace filter.
  • Insulate water heater with a specially designed water heater blanket.

5. Block the Leaks

Even a brand-new White Mountains home or Lake Regions home may need to have some leaks blocked in readiness for winter. Areas to check for leaks include windows, doors, holes around pipes (especially beneath the kitchen sink), and around baseboards. Depending upon the area where you find drafts, use an assortment of insulating supplies like rubber gaskets, spray foam, door sweeps and heat shrink plastic. Your home will be safer and more enjoyable when you take the time to winterize it. If you have yet to invest in a New Hampshire home, don't wait. There's never been a better time to escape to the White Mountains or the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. Contact us today for more information about home ownership in New Hampshire.
May
24

Any season of the year is a great time to spruce up your New Hampshire Lakes Region home. When summer comes, however, the warm sunshine awakens an urge to redecorate brisker than the breeze coming off Lake Winnipesaukee. It's easy to shop local to find home furnishings for your Lakes Region home. You may need to furnish an entire house or just a room—or you may want to update lighting or refresh outdoor furniture. From Center Harbor to Wolfeboro, we did the homework and found seven home decor resources to meet your needs. If finding a Lakes Region home is the first item on your list, we invite you to contact us and browse our New Hampshire waterfront homes for sale.

American Cottage, Gilford

9 Gilford East Drive Gilford, NH When Jodi and Kevin Sleeper moved American Cottage to 9 Gilford East Drive, they transformed a former car dealership into a showroom stocked with furnishings, unique lighting, and thousands of handmade rugs. Located off Lake Shore Road in Gilford, American Cottage carries U.S.-made furniture for every room in the house in a wide range of styles from rustic to country modern. Award-winning designer Jodi Sleeper can create a custom piece built to your specifications.

Cottage Surroundings, Wolfeboro

68 Center Streeet Wolfeboro, NH Cabin and cottage style brings the outside to the indoors at Cottage Surroundings. This home decor store based in Wolfeboro sources furnishings from around the country and their own manufacturing facility. Their Lakehouse Decor collection includes lighting, pillows, and irresistible reproduction and custom signage, all of which can give your home that Lakes Region style.

Cozy Cabin Rustics, Meredith

312 Daniel Webster Highway Meredith, NH This family-owned company based in Meredith, Lincoln, and Plymouth places a dual focus on rustic and comfortable. Their collection covers bedrooms to home office to outdoor seating. Cozy Cabin Rustics also carries a full line of mattresses for homebuyers who need to furnish a new lake home.

Green Mountain Furniture, Ossipee

1050 Route 16 Ossipee, NH The Kendall family opened Green Mountain Furniture in 1975 in an 800-square foot space. Today the company sells New England-style furniture from a 60,000-square foot showroom and warehouse. They can help you furnish every room of your home and also carry a wide variety of mattresses.

Harris Family Furniture, Plymouth and Laconia

460 Union Avenue Laconia, NH 485 Tenney Mountain Highway Plymouth, NH In business since 1965, this family-owned furniture company has a total of four locations: Plymouth, Laconia, Chichester, and North Conway. Delivery is offered free of charge to New Hampshire customers. With a full line of traditional furniture styles, you can furnish an entire home, including beds, mattresses, home office, and outdoors.

Home Comfort, Center Harbor

38 Plymouth Street Route 25B Senters Market Center Harbor, NH Home Comfort offers furniture and decor as well as a team of interior designers who can help you choose window treatments and flooring, consult on kitchen design, and select furnishings and lighting. Owners Ann Elliott and Luke Dupuis started the business in 1996, bringing a background in project management and interior design to whole-house renovations or room-by-room transformations.

Ippolito's Furniture

193 Daniel Webster Highway Meredith, NH With free delivery with any $500 purchase, furniture for indoors and out, and full line of mattresses, Ippolito's offers a range of styles form classic to contemporary. Ninety percent of the furniture they sell is U.S.-made with the remaining 10 percent coming from Canada and Norway. First opened in Meredith in 1977 with 8,000-square feet of furniture, today Ippolito's showrooms cover 60,000 square feet.
February
15

Many homebuyers think that there are just three steps to buying a home. Look at houses, find a house you like, and buy it! While the process boils down to those essential outcomes, buying a home involves quite a few more steps. The transaction can be overwhelming and complex, but if you have an advance understanding of what's involved, buying a home can be less stressful. The very first and best step you can take? Educating yourself on the homebuying process. The next best step? Working with a Peabody & Smith REALTOR® who can assist you step by step throughout the process is important as well.

1. Line Up Financing

Once you've made a decision to buy a home, first and foremost you need to address your financial situation. Make an appointment with a lender. They can help determine how much of a loan you can afford, what types of loans you may qualify for, and can get you a pre-approval to get you started on your search for a home. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage allows you to set a budget and zero in on only those homes that you can afford to purchase.

2. Determine What You Need and Want in a Home

Now that you know how much home you can afford, you should sit down and identify your actual needs in a home. If you are purchasing with a spouse or partner each of you should separately sit down and make a list of all "must haves." Compare your lists, discuss the differences, and come up with a joint list that you can both live with.

3. Research Communities

If you are moving to a different area, it will be important to research the communities in the area that you are moving to. If you have children, you may want to contact the schools and find out about the programs that they offer. Find out which communities fit your wants and needs and make sure to visit them. We have some resources that will help you research communities. New Hampshire Communities Our community profiles include a brief overview of home types and community amenities. You can see a map with active listings, too. Plus there's a link to see all home for sale in that community. It's a one-stop shopping hub. 

4. Target Your Property Type

You will also want to be sure you know what property types you are interested in. Property listings derived from the MLS, or multiple listing services, are generally categorized into the following types:
  • Single-family
  • Condo
  • Townhouse
  • Multi-family
The property-type decision may be comparatively easy to make. But there are many subtypes after that, especially in central New Hampshire. Do you want to buy a lakefront home? A home near a lake? A home in the White Mountains? Knowing what you want locationally can help speed the search process. New Hampshire Waterfront Homes for Sale We developed this feature especially for homebuyers interested in lake properties. You can browse by lake location. This is one of our favorite buyer tools—it can save you some serious time if you're looking for homes in the New Hampshire Lakes Region.

5. Do Some Market Research

As a buyer, you'll compete with other buyers in the market. Doing a bit of market research will help you negotiate the best price on the home that you find to purchase. Your REALTOR® is the most valuable source of help for this step. It works like this:
  • Look at properties that fit the description of the property you have identified as what you are looking for.
  • Identify those that have sold, those that have expired, and those that are actively on the market.
  • This data will tell you what other buyers have been willing to pay for similar homes (the solds), what prices other buyers have rejected (the expired), and what is currently available on the market. This is an important step in understanding and being able to negotiate a price on the home that you find to purchase.
Interested to see homes we've recently sold? You can see them on our Just Sold page. 

6. Start Looking at Homes

Now you are ready to start looking. Starting your search online will help you to identify properties that may fit your criteria and eliminate those that don't.

7. Schedule Home Viewings

Once you have picked out a list of properties that you think are appropriate, it's time to make appointments to see them. Your REALTOR® will make the appointments for you and show you all listings no matter who the listing agency may be.

8. Evaluate Each Property

After each showing, you should take the time to evaluate the property that you have just viewed. When you are in the process of looking, especially if you have scheduled several showings on the same day, one home can blend into the next. Be sure to take the time after looking to make notes. Write down the positives and the negatives. Bring your smartphone and take pictures so the property is clear in your mind. Once you start looking at properties you may need to reevaluate your wants and needs.

9. Decide Which Home Best Meets Your Needs

The next step is potentially the hardest one of all—DECIDE which home meets your needs.

10. Make an Offer

Next, your REALTOR® will help you to write up an offer and negotiate the price with the seller. Be prepared for the possibility of a counter offer, or counter offers.

11. Conduct Inspections

Once you and the seller have agreed on price and terms of the sale, you will need to conduct your home inspections.

12. Follow Up on Inspections

Your inspections may be satisfactory or they may reveal a defect or defects that you had not anticipated. Should something unexpected arise from the inspection, you may then need to negotiate with the seller on the repairs of those conditions. Just a word of caution, not all sellers are prepared or are willing to pay for repairs.

13. Review and Follow Contingencies

You must make sure that all contingencies, or stipulations, of your contract have been met. There are some very strict deadlines on a Purchase and Sale Contract. Make sure that you follow those dates. Once all contingencies have been met, it is time to arrange for the move.

14. Close on the Property

The final act is to close the deal and move in!

Don't Miss These Key Steps

The biggest mistake homebuyers make is skipping Steps 1 through 5. Knowing how much you can afford and having a good idea of what you are looking for will help eliminate wasted time looking at homes that you cannot afford. If you are looking in an unrealistic price range, the houses you actually can afford may then seem completely inadequate after looking at the higher priced homes, and you may feel let down and frustrated. Set your expectations realistically by doing your homework ahead of time! Buying a home, especially your first home should be a fun and rewarding experience! Be prepared and enjoy! Image By: ccPixs.com
February
1

What is current use? This is one of the questions that we get almost daily. So have you ever wondered what current use is? I have a link here to the state's "A Laypersons Guide to Current Use." The very basic answer is this: It's a break on your taxes for open land that is not being used. Essentially, there is a tax lien on the property when the owners have not developed the land for use. Once the land is taken out of current use tax status there is a 10% one-time fee, of the "full and true value." Let's start with the why it was created. In the late 60s, the legislature was looking at ways to ensure that the beauty of our wonderful state was preserved and not over developed. One of the issues that faced some landowners were the taxes. And being able to afford the taxes so they did not need to break up the land to pay for taxes or reduce the tax burden. The law, RSA 70-A was passed on July 1, 1973 to help preserve our forests and farmland. RSA-70-A Current Use Application With about 60% of our state's privately-held land in current use, that comes out to be around 3 million acres of land in the Current Use status.

Current Use FAQ

Can I post my land if I have it in Current Use?

Yes, you can. Very little actually is posted. You will not receive as large a discount if it is not kept open for use without fee for fishing, hunting, snowshoeing, skiing, and nature observation. You will want to talk to your town office about a recreational use discount.

What if I want to build something on the land that is in current use?

If you decide that you do want to use the land there is a one-time 10% penalty of the "full and true value." And that is determined by the town the land is a part of.

Can we use the land once it is in current use?

Yes. You can hike, hunt, fish, explore, and enjoy the land.

How many acres are required to qualify for current use?

Typically, it's 10 acres of land that is not being used. So nothing can be built on the land. To include your driveway and septic to your home. In some instances smaller parcels could take advantage of current use. Typically that would be land that is wetlands or agriculture land.

What if I want to build on the land or use it for something other than farming or recreation?

Once work begins for future building, that is when the property that is being developed will be taken out of its current use status and the one-time tax fee will be assessed by the town and due.

What if the land is separate tax parcels?

As long as they are contiguous. It does not matter if they are in different towns, counties or even if there is a road going through.

And how besides the obvious financial benefit does this benefit the owners?

One of the requests that we get from people looking to relocate in this area is "I want it to abut the National Forest." Ultimately they are looking to have land that isn't getting developed as their neighbors. So having those 27,000 landowners with collectively 3 million acres preserved, this helps property values as well. Not to mention that we are keeping and preserving natural habitat for our game and non-game animals. Ultimately, there is a lot to the law itself. And you should consultant an attorney if you should have any questions.
May
7

For those who want a specific home, whether it's an incredible view of Mount Washington, a private cabin tucked away in the woods, or a great one-level home, building lets you have exactly what you want. Follow the lead of many of our buyers and take the alternative route of buying land and building your new home or vacation getaway cabin. Land parcels for sale in the White Mountain towns of Bethlehem, Carroll, Franconia, Littleton, Sugar Hill and Whitefield (all short driving distances from Bretton Woods  and Cannon Mountain currently total about 150 properties, ranging in price from $15,000 for just over 2 acres in Bethlehem to $350,000 for lots at Bretton Woods. And more than half of the listings are on for less than $80,000. Here's a sampling of some of the properties currently available:

305 Jefferson Road in Whitefield, MLS #4633178 building

Jefferson Road, Whitefield, MLS #4675368 building

Lot #11, Woodcrest Lane, MLS #4662515 building

This is a great opportunity to build on affordable acreage close to skiing at Bretton Woods and Cannon Mountain, incredible hiking in Franconia and Crawford Notch state parks and a myriad of other outdoor recreational activities just minutes away. To learn more, give us a call at 603-444-1294 or send us an email at carolk@peabodysmith.com! We are happy to help!
April
20

seller pays closing costs What does it really mean when the buyer asks a seller to pay closing costs? Let's say that the buyer is putting in an offer on a $200,000 home and they are going to make a full-price offer and ask for the seller to contribute to the closing costs. A few things to consider is what is allowed with the loan product. Each loan is a bit different in what they allow. And this should be confirmed prior to submitting the offer with the loan officer. But remember, that making a "full-price offer" and asking for closing cost is not a full-price offer. The reason for that is this—because the buyer is asking the seller to take a reduction in price so the buyer can finance their closing costs. This ends up meaning the seller really isn't paying the closing cost in the end. The buyer is paying their own closing costs by financing them. The highest allowed "seller contribution" I am aware of is 6%. Here's how the math would break down on this "full-price offer." Buyer offers the seller: $200,000 with a 6% contribution from the seller for closing costs. $200,000 x 6% = $12,000 $200,000 - $12,000 = $188,000 The buyer may be making a "full-price offer" at $200,000 but by asking the seller to take $12,000 less than what they are offering the home at. This ends up computing to an offer of $188,000. For some buyers, they may really need to finance the closing costs, and this option allows them to do this, while also allowing the seller to obtain their goal of selling their property. For buyers though, it's important to remember there are things that can and cannot be included in closing costs. And how that is worded in the Offer/Purchase & Sales agreement will make a difference, in addition to what the loan product will allow. There are many great ways to help buyers and sellers negotiate and work out these details—and it helps to have an agent work through this with both parties. I am ready, willing and able to help you navigate these questions and negotiations. Any of our full-time Peabody & Smith Realty agents are ready to help. Feel free to give us a call or email us at info@peabodysmith.com to learn more.
March
16

spring real estate season Wintry weather may still linger in New Hampshire, but the calendar says that spring—and the spring real estate season—is fast approaching. We've pulled together some exclusive Peabody & Smith resources especially for homebuyers and sellers in the White Mountains and Lakes Region. In Northern and Central New Hampshire, we specialize in helping you sell your home, purchase a new one, or find that special vacation home. Whether it's a waterfront home on Squam Lake or a ski home at Bretton Woods, we are ready to help you.

Peabody & Smith Homebuying Resources

Search for New Hampshire Waterfront Homes for Sale

Find your perfect lake home in Northern and Central New Hampshire from our hundreds of real estate listings.

Subscribe to Market Reports

Track the market and sign up to get market reports delivered to your email in-box.

Frequently Asked Questions About Homebuying in New Hampshire

We created this guide using actual questions our agents have received from customers and clients. You'll find information about renting vs. buying, down payments, closing costs, and seller behavior. Even if you've been through the homebuying journey, you can always learn more.

Do's and Don'ts of the Home Buying Process

Peabody & Smith Sales Associate Angela Spencer shares some tips to help you successfully navigate the process of buying a home. First on her list: Get your financing in order.

Common Questions From Buyers – Answers from Nikki Barrett

Peabody & Smith Managing Broker Nikki Barrett answers 10 key questions about homebuying, from how long it takes to make a purchase to how much money you need for a down payment.

Finding Information on School Districts

We offer some ways you can research school districts in New Hampshire.

Peabody & Smith Homeselling Resources

White Mountains Home Selling Guide

Our comprehensive online guide steers you through the homeselling process from choosing a listing agent to getting to the closing.

What Is My New Hampshire Home Worth?

Peabody & Smith Sales Associate Angela Spencer takes an in-depth look at the different factors and perspectives that affect home value.

Spring Cleaning Checklist for Home Sellers

Your Peabody & Smith real estate agent has the expertise to help your home stand out to prospective buyers. Take these 5 steps to get your home ready for the spring selling season.

5 Ways to Add Curb Appeal to Your Home

Your home may have every top amenity on the inside, but prospective buyers may pass by if exterior appearances are neglected. These 5 tips will improve your home's curb appeal.

10 Things To Do To Prepare Your Home for Sale

Short and sweet, here's the top 10 things to do to get your home in shape and ready to list.

Top 5 Tips for Selling Your New Hampshire Home

From making strategic updates that appeal to younger buyers to using digital selling techniques and more, learn about best practices for selling your New Hampshire home.  
March
2

[caption id="attachment_4805" align="alignnone" width="700"]home staging Staging details create a welcoming sanctuary in this Lake Winnipesaukee Adirondack-style home in Meredith, NH. This 5-bedroom home is set on 2.5 acres with easy access to New Hampshire's largest lake.[/caption] In today's real estate market, home staging is a topic that gets plenty of attention. Search for the term on Google and you'll get over 11 million results. Home staging involves making a house more appealing to potential homebuyers in order to sell at the best price. Staging a home certainly can be effective selling strategy, and it's one that our agents recommend. Your real estate agent is an excellent resource on how to stage your home, with an emphasis on the "your." Here's our take on what's fact and myth about how to stage a home.

Fact: Lighting Plays a Key Role in Home Staging

Proper lighting can help potential buyers see inside White Mountains homes for sale, but you can also use lighting to convey the feelings that will anchor a prospective buyer to your home instead of another house they're viewing. The kitchen and common living areas should be brightly lit with fresh bulbs. Bedrooms and bathrooms do well with ambient lighting.

Fiction: You Don't Need to Stage an Empty House

Empty houses are actually most in need of staging, and the easiest to stage. You don't have to go all out, but a few key items will help a lot. Depending on your house, your agent might recommend a stocked bookcase, a stack of firewood by the fireplace, supplies for hot cocoa on the kitchen counter, and some cozy throws tossed over the back of a rocker or settee. See the point above about lighting, which empty homes need applied with a practiced eye.

Fact: Staged Homes Can Sell for More

In a recent National Association of Realtors survey on home staging, about one-third of buyer's agents said staging a home increased the dollar value offered between one and five percent. Buyers' agents surveyed said that one key factor in staged homes was that they make it easier for the potential buyers to envision themselves in the listed property. From the homebuyers' perspective, staging the living room was found to be most important, followed by staging the master bedroom and kitchen.

Fiction: You Can Do Staging Yourself

If you've watched DIY real estate shows, you may be convinced that you can handle your home staging yourself. In reality, unless you're an interior designer or a professional real estate home stager, all you'll actually accomplish is a thorough decluttering. While decluttering is important, it's not the same as staging. Staging involves carefully planned setting up of furniture, accessories, lighting, and layout. For best results it's always recommended to rely on a professional stager or your real estate agent. Contact us today to speak with an experienced agent who can help you sell your home quickly at a great price.
February
15

alphabet soupYou may have noticed the "alphabet soup" after some of our agent's names and wondered, "What do they mean?" Well, I did too when I first saw them. Each one is a different certification or designation the agent has achieved – classes or seminars and tests that was taken to further our skills as real estate professionals and members of the National Association of Realtors®. Here are some of the designations I have and what they mean to me, and how they can help you: ABR – Accredited Buyer Representative. This was a two-day class that helped to hone my skills in helping buyers navigate the process of purchasing real estate. To receive the designation I had to successfully represent 5 different buyers, complete 16 hours of class time and take additional certification classes. What this means for both buyers and sellers is that I have gained additional skills and approaches to help successfully negotiate the process. MRP- Military Relocation Professional. This certification was a six-hour class with test, additional webinars and successfully represent a Veteran in a sale. VA loans have lots of in's and out's and do's and don'ts. I have also taken a class with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® for MOM – Military on the Move. I am prepared to help Veterans find homes that will not only meet their wants and needs but also to qualify for the VA loan requirements. PSA – Pricing Strategy Advisor. This class was a six-hour class with a test and webinars. My list to sell ratio for my career has consistently been higher than the state average. This year it was 98.5%. And that means for my sellers I have helped guide them to not only price their property but also to help negotiate to within 1.5% on average of the asking price. This will help me to not only price a property to sell quicker, it will also help guide buyers to negotiate a fair market price or better. RENE – Real Estate Negotiation Expert. This certification was a two-day class. This helps me to successfully negotiate with techniques and options to help either buyers or sellers to get the deal that makes the most sense for them. RSPS – Resort and Second-home Property Specialist certification. This six-hour class required passing a test and taking several webinars. One of my favorite parts of where we live is that there is so much that brings people to our area. And helping them not only learn about why we have such a beautiful place to visit but also to live. Purchasing a second home or a home in a resort area has a special set of things to consider and to navigate. In the end, I believe that by continually furthering my education, and seeing my fellow agents achieving designations as well strengthens what we can offer to both our clients and customers. We have a strong, capable team prepared to assist you!
August
24

Have you found yourself wondering about the whole home buying process?  You are not alone.  It is an exciting process.  And it's easy to get caught up in it.  From my years working as a real estate Sales Associate for Peabody & Smith Realty, there are some do's and don'ts….

Do: Get your Financing In Order, First

When buying a property, it's important to get your ducks in a row.  And the very first duck that has to be in line (and stay in line) is the financing piece. It's really helpful to go and talk to a bank first. There are a lot of reasons why: you may think you are all set and it will be no problem.  You are probably right; however, a good real estate agent is going to help you to get this in place first. And because most sellers only want to have people that are truly ready to buy their home touring it. It takes a lot to live in a home and have it looking its absolute best for showings.  And that can be especially tricky if there are folks who may work from home, or have children and pets in the home! One of the other biggest reasons is that the house you are considering today and intend to make an offer on tomorrow, someone else could have done the same thing a few days ago.  And you may never get an opportunity to put in an offer.  And if you are in a position of multiple offers you want to be able to make the strongest offer possible.  Which means that if you are competing with cash, pre-approved or pre-qualified offers and you don't have a pre-qualification your offer will likely drop down in the list, if considered at all. Ok, so now that we've covered that piece, let's say you have your pre-approval (which is always the preferred option.  This means that the bank has really looked at all your information and confirmed yes you can afford this much of a loan) now what…

Do: Make A Priorities List

Now you want to figure out what you really want and what is most important. Is it more important to have the location you want or is it more important to have more acreage?  Is it more important to have 3 bedrooms or 4?  And if you are buying a home with someone else… have a discussion so you are somewhat on the same page. Make a list and prioritize it.  What is a deal breaker for you? So now you have your wish list for your new home as well as the one you want to see …. So now what?

Do: Make Some Time for a Drive-By

One thing that will save lots of time is do a drive-by.  You have your list of priorities and potential properties that you are interested in. So, hop in the car and drive by them.  Sometimes a picture may not show you the neighbor's house next door – the one where you can reach out and share the sugar without even leaving your kitchen.  Or maybe you didn't realize there is a brook nearby and it's a popular swimming hole – and you don't like swimming. Maybe those examples wouldn't bother you but you get the idea.  But you should just simply drive by the homes. Let me just add these items though: don't drive in the yard even if you can't see the house from the street.  Don't get out and walk around the house.  Try to remember, this is still someone's home and just because it's on the market it does not mean that it is not private property.  Some people can get quite protective of their homes.  And it could be scary if the homeowner has a teenager at home or a babysitter and strangers are outside walking around their house. At this point, you've done the drive-by and were respectful of the homeowner. You've decided, you like the location, you like the look of the neighborhood, you want to see it… so now what???

Do: Call Your Agent & Set Up Scheduled Showings!

Call the agent you have been working with to have them set up times to go and see the homes on your list. (And remember, don't judge a book by the cover…that's why sometimes you see, "Must see Inside!" in the remarks about the property!) We wish you all the best as you start your home buying journey, if we can be of any assistance, don't hesitate to reach out to us!

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