Friday, January 23, 2009

Help Me Help You

Was it Cuba Gooding, Jr. in Jerry Maguire who said that? Dunno. Anyway, it reminded me of something.

Read a short article today in a Woman's Day-type magazine about things you can do to make your doctor's visit more efficient and effective. Over the years, I've developed a similar "article" which I email to folks who find me via this blog. The below is pretty much straight out of that email.

Buyers who have the answers to these (or most of these) questions firmly in mind are ready to go house shopping efficiently and are likely to find The One more quickly and with less frustration.

  • How long have you been actively looking for a home? How much longer do you want to spend looking?

  • Have you been looking online only, or have you been to open houses?

  • If relocating to Phoenix, do you plan to find a house first, or a job first? The Valley is ginormous, and the rush hour commute from Northwest to Southeast corners could easily be 2 hours.

  • How long do you think you’ll own?

  • House, condo or patio home? What’s your tolerance for yard work?

  • What size home is ideal to you?

  • Are you OK with an older home, or do you feel more comfortable with newer construction? Keep in mind that in the metro Phoenix region, “old” homes were built 30 to 50 years ago, not much more.

  • Do you have pets that we should consider when looking? Or hobbies that require unique storage space?

  • What does “fixer-upper” mean to you - paint & carpet, or replacing drywall & cabinets?

  • Is a private pool in your own private backyard a must? A nice thing? Or out of the question?

  • Is our first meeting a buying trip or looking trip? The answer will help me prep the most pertinent info for you.

Please note that the purchase contract used by all Arizona Realtors requires buyers to submit proof of their ability to pay when they make an offer. Getting a mortgage? You’ll need a Loan Status Report (LSR). Talk to any lender for about 15 minutes and you’ll get one; have them send it to me. Paying cash? A copy of a bank statement will do. I do require that buyers have this proof of ability to pay before we get in the car to go looking at houses.

I’m bound by the Realtors’ Ethics Code of confidentiality and a duty to protect your financial best interests.

I’m also bound by federal Fair Housing law. I can’t say “this is a bad neighborhood” or “this is a good neighborhood.”  But I can and will say “If you have concerns about that neighborhood, you should drive or walk through it on different days of the week at different times and see what you think. Meet some neighbors if you can. When all else fails, trust your gut.”

Don’t forget you can check out various neighborhoods online. See the links on our Moving page.

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