Home Buyers Help and Hints
1. What Type of Home Fits You Best?
Before you begin to look for a home, you need to have an idea of what kind of neighborhood you want to live in and the style of house you want. The great neighborhoods of St Louis have something for everyone and as a top Realtor here in town I look forward to helping you explore the great variety!
Some Key Questions to Ask Yourself
Are you looking for a home, condo, loft, town-home -what suits your lifestyle?
Do you want a walk-able urban setting -or is more green grass right for you?
Where do you work -what locations might be better for your commute?
What do you like to do in your spare-time -perhaps you want to be close to Forest Park?
2. Night Owls Welcome
Real estate never sleeps. If you're trying to buy a hot property, you have to move quickly, or you could possibly lose it. I'll stay awake for you and I am a full-time Realtor®
3. Sometimes You Have To Compromise
When you are looking at a home, it is good to have a wish list, but keep in mind that compromise is the name of the game. I have plenty of handymen & licensed contractors we can use to customize your new home and meet most of your wish list!
4. Not Your Style
Don't judge a book by its cover. Same goes for a home. On the outside curb appeal can be improved and new plantings can hide a lot of outdoor architectural issues on a house and you will be living inside the home. Speaking of inside Judy has wonderful experience and vision when it comes to renovating outdated spaces and floor plans. She is always happy to help guide new home owners.
5. Get All Your Ducks In a Row
Properties in good shape are rare, and they don't stay on the market for long. I can help you be ready to make the best offer -including great lender recommendations- to obtain loan pre-approval letters that must accompany contract offers.
6. Home + Investment
When it comes to investing, the best places to invest are in an up-and-coming area - or buy the smaller, less updated home on the block... then you can even put in some sweat equity to bring up the value. Many neighborhoods, municipalities, & towns include great pockets of potential upswing value and overall the market is very stable.
7. Location, Location, Location
You have to see past the junk and see the potential. The key is that you can change the interior but you can't change the location! My first home was in Manhattan Mews on Laclede and with just a few bathroom updates I was able to really capitalize on my investment when it came time to sell. Judy renovated numerous homes throughout St Louis and would be happy to share her advice and stories!
8. Looking For New Construction?
There is plenty of new home / infill + condo, & town home construction taking place in St Louis. Keep in mind brand-new condos have great new amenities and features but tend to be smaller, sometimes no larger than one bedroom, while older units typically have more square footage. Looking for new construction in some of the more established neighborhoods is going to translate to infill construction and there are many areas ripe for this king of redevelopment. Just let me know if you are interested in new construction - a good agent on your side is key to making the process go smoothly.
9. Condo / Villa - PUD - Coop
Many of the in-demand homes are condos / villas and some are even Coops. Some "neighborhoods" made up of single family town homes but run more like a condo using a Planned Unit Development (PUD). A condo is great in that there is an association that coordinates the majority of the maintenance and such cost are spread-out among several homeowners - one thing to keep in mind is that by participating on the condo board - you get to have more input on key decisions.
10. St Louis = Complex Market
Judy and I know the pitfalls and benefits of all the neighborhoods, municipalities, and towns + key buildings and complexes here in town. Some condos have more tenants than owners - some are working to overcome budget shortfalls - some have Special Assessments right now. While many neighborhoods are so popular that extra attention must be paid to stay on top of the newly listed homes and help you make the most competitive offer to get you your new home!
11. Tiny Living
We have all heard the buzz about "Tiny Living" and buying in many of the close-in neighborhoods might mean you might have to similarly compromise on space. But rest assured with IKEA in the neighborhood and HGTV showing us the way - we can make any home work for you.
12. Living In The Middle
There are many attached villas and side-by-side town homes in certain areas of town. Don't automatically dismiss a middle-unit town home or villa. They are often less expensive than an end unit and have features such as skylights to mitigate light concerns + you have two other neighbors helping heat and cool your home.
13. Here For You
Feelings often take over the first time you go through a house, but the second visit allows time to do a thorough inspection led by your head, not your heart...
14. Home Inspections
Home inspections are an important part of the process - we have many 100 year old + homes and condos in St Louis. A good inspector is going look past the visible surface to the infrastructure, inspecting plumbing and looking for faulty fixtures and waste lines. They check electrical systems to make sure they aren't overloaded or a safety hazard. They also look at possible structural problems like the foundation, walls and floor joists.
15. Final Word
The internet can only take you so far on your search. Do some preliminary work but then call me and I can help customize & narrow down your search - saving you stress, time, and potentially money. I am here to help you through the whole process!