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Past Articles:
GETTING YOUR HOME READY FOR SPRING

By: Karen Behfar



After treacherous (or not-so-treacherous) winters, spring is a welcome guest in anyone’s home. There is some maintenance that goes into preparing a house for the changing of seasons, both indoors and outdoors.

Checking your gutters, washing exterior windows, reducing allergens, cleaning the grill, and readying the garden are all things you can do to prepare for the season of new growth. Now that the snow has hopefully stopped, making sure that gutters and windows are clear of debris is a safe bet. Ideally, you will also be able to use the grill soon, so checking to make sure it is ready for use will come in handy when you want those burgers to cook just right.

The downside of spring is the allergies that accompany the seasonal shift. Keeping mold, pollen, and dust mites away from your home will help make the sniffles more bearable. Removing clutter, cleaning the air, reducing the amount of dust from carpets and other fabrics, as well as landscaping smartly, will all contribute toward a fresh spring home.

Unexpected Situations and Pitfalls When Buying a Home

Buying a new home can seem intimidating, but with the right guidance, the process can go a lot smoother than you might imagine. Buying and selling houses will likely be the largest monetary transaction you will ever make, so avoiding the classic first-time buyer mistakes time and time again is important.

The main areas to feel confident in are your budget, research,
and commitment.

Budget –It is important to have a hard line of what you are willing to spend, and to not exceed that, or to figure out a plan to cover the rest. Try not to be influenced by the market, and keep in mind it is more about the value of the home to you than it is the actual price tag. Do not be afraid to check out cheaper options if the homes meet your basic needs. Picking the right mortgage for you is a huge part of being able to afford the kind of home you want. Using an independent finance broker can help out with this step, but ultimately you are the one in the driver’s seat making the final decisions with your money. I like to advise clients who are unsure of the price range or who are looking for a home in the range of 800K- 1.5 million to sit down and calculate monthly mortgage payments. Working backwards will really help in the long run.

Research –Having the right real estate agent can help tremendously in this area, especially when it comes to explaining the contract of the biggest sale of your life. Understand that there are protection clauses to protect your interests, but also that there are limitations that are not bendable. Additionally, doing research on different types of homes and areas and educating yourself on prices and the market will save you much trouble. For example, understanding that a typical 20x100 lot home isworth X and if renovated has a different price, or that a four bedroom with a private driveway is X price. Just having an overview of the market before throwing yourself in will greatly benefit you.

Commitment –Is it the right time for you to buy? Are you committed or “just looking”? I find that those who are really committed always find (with patience and prayers of course!).

Umbrella
Insurance

Home and auto policies only cover up to certain
limits for liability and one should consider getting an umbrella insurance policy to have more coverage over the two policies.

For example, standard home insurance doesn’t offer coverage for jewelry in the event of a fire or theft. By scheduling your valuables on your home policy, you will have coverage in event of fire or theft, and even if you lose your precious ring on a vacation.

Real Estate Fun Fact:

Did you know that
the word “spring” has been used for
the season since the 16th century and that the earliest known use of the term “spring cleaning” was in 1857!