All About Buying Sale Homes

When homes are listed as short sale homes they are usually the ones that is on the path to becoming a foreclosure home and the lender wants to sell the property, maybe even at a loss. This may sound like a good idea as you may be able to get an excellent home at a fraction of what it would cost if it was being sold on the regular market. As with anything, there are always pros and cons.


• The current lender and owner are both looking to make a quick deal because both parties involved are finding themselves in a difficult financial situate. There are many real estate agents that will list which homes have a short sale agreement so it is makes it easier on the buyers who are looking for a short-sale. Potential buyers can look through the list to see where the homes are located that are on the list and find one for the best deal.
• Such a house can cost a buyer ten to thirty percent less that the true market value of the home. It will let the buyer buy a larger home with less money.
• The pro of the legal process taking some time is that the mortgage company wants to move quickly in selling the home and will process the paperwork fast.


• The lender may take some time to respond to an offer on a short sale home. This happens more frequent when short sale homes have more than one mortgage on it. When this happens each of the lenders have to agree to the short sale offer. When short sale homes are selling at a huge discount the lender may be less inclined to sell. They can wait until it goes into foreclosure and receive the property so they can sell it for what they want. Doing it this way they can potentially avoid losing any money.
• The legal paper can be extensive on such types of homes, which can be both a pro and con. The con is that the home can be tangled in legal limbo so the time to process it and be ready to take possession can take some time. The homeowners that are living in the home may not be will to give the lender the information they need so this could extend the process of getting the home.

One of the big pluses of looking at short sale homes is that you can possibly stretch your home budget a little farther and get more house than you thought you could but then it can take some time before you can take possession of it and move in to the home.

All About Buying an Older Home

When looking at houses for sale some prefer newer homes but some prefer the charm of an older home. If you are considering purchasing an older house for sale there are pros and cons of doing so.


• Architectural details-in some of the older homes for sale you may be able to find some of the intricate woodwork that was carved out or crafted manually by carpenters as was done decades ago because there were none of the modern tools carpenters use today. This makes the architectural work irreplaceable and unique. There are no two older homes that will be similar in their style and look. Older homes are meant for those that enjoy the artisanship of that time.

• Cost-effective-the one reason that older homes are relatively cost-effective is that you can get more square footage for a better price that you would pay for a new home with the same amount of square footage.

• Bigger yards-when older and newer homes for sale you will most often find that the older houses have a bigger yard. This extra space can give you more room for a garden, to put in a swimming pool, and pets and children have more room to move and play. With larger yards, your neighbors are not right next to you as many new homes are.


• Cost of refurnishing and repairs-sometimes an old home was not maintained properly by the owner so this could mean that you will have to spend more money for refurbishment and repairs. One example is if you bought an older home in a costal area you may have to replace rusty pipes. If it has been awhile since the roof was replaced or check then you may have to put on a new roof. In such homes many times, wallpaper was used instead of paint so you may have to peel layers of this off in order to paint the walls. There may also be weak spots in the floors that you have to repair. You may also have to upgrade appliances.

• Safety and health concerns-if there are no smoke alarms installed you will have to install them. You may also have to have an older home re-wired, which should have been pointed out during the home inspection. There is also no way to determine if the older house is mercury-/lead-/asbestos-free.

When considering buying an older house for sale make sure that you have it inspected before signing the final papers. See what is wrong and then decide if you want to tackle these problems or find another house for sale. An older home may have charm but it could also be expensive to repair.

How To Get Successful Open House

Having an open house is one way for your real estate agent to show the house to several potential buyers at the same time. It can be the difference between receiving few to no offers to having several offers on your home. Before staging and having an open house, you, as the owner, should box up and store most of your personal items like pictures of the family, special heirlooms, etc. This is so the potential buyers can picture themselves living in the home.

When staging an open house look at any problems spots from the buyer’s perspective. If the walls are painted a color that only you might like or that a potential buyer might find unattractive then you should paint the walls a neutral color or some type of off white. This way they can picture the room’s walls painted in a color that they like and would go with their decor that would be in the room.

You should plan fixing areas of the home that seem outdated. One example is kitchen cabinets that may be painted an ugly color or the knobs are mismatched, discolored, or even missing you should replace the knobs with something attractive. You could even remove the paint if you want and re-stain the cabinets a wood color. Make sure that the countertops are not stained or chipped.

Make sure to fix any minor repairs such as a step that is loose on the staircase leading to the basement or outside, a leaky faucet, missing railing on the stairs, etc. You do not want someone to fall and get hurt. Seeing little things like this can make some buyers feel that more things could be wrong with the house and decide not to make an offer on it.

The next step is to pack away any unneeded furniture or items. You should store them away with your personal items. You should keep the furniture to the basics in each room to allow the buyer to imagine their furniture being in the room. You do not have to change the entire layout of the furniture in the room but you might want to rearrange some of it to give the room a more spacious look..

The last thing to do a few days before the open house is make sure that the home has curb appeal. You want to make sure that there are no children’s toys in the front yard, that it is mowed, any bushes are trimmed and neat because when a potential buyer goes to an open house the first thing they see is the front yard and the front of the house. You could also have a small potted plant on the porch.

Before Buying a Lake Home

Bumper-to-bumper traffic. Heavy travel schedule. Job stress. The proverbial ‘rat race’. Ugh. These are just some of the reasons that people dream of owning a lakefront home or cottage, a getaway within a couple hours drive time, where they can unwind from the stress of the work and the city, and have fun. Jet skis, fishing, sun tan lotion, barbecues, and crickets. Ahh!

For those folks looking to live the lake property dream, it’s important to know that there’s more to consider about buying lakefront property than just drive time and whether the water’s wet. In fact, doing a little homework ahead of time will pay huge dividends down the road, maximizing the likelihood that the lakefront cottage may stay in the family for generations to come.

Taking some time up front is critical when it comes to buying lakefront property. It doesn’t take long, but there are some important things to consider. You don’t want to make the mistake of moving too quickly and regretting your purchase.

To help you, we’ve put together this quick read – a primer of sorts.

So, what are those key things to consider?

Well, there are a number of them. Some are about you, and some are about the lake and the property itself. And it’s helpful to be familiar with them before you start looking at properties. That way, you can have yours eyes open to the full range of considerations from the outset.

Let’s start with you. These are the primary questions to ask before you begin your lakefront property search:

What do you want to do at the lake?

This is a simple question, and it may be the most important, so it’s worth taking some time to consider.

Do you want to waterski and jet ski? Do you envision floating around on a pontoon? Is fishing important? Are you a kayaker? A birder?

Do you care what other people do? For example, do you want an all-sports lake, or do you prefer a quieter, no-wake lake?

2. How big of a lake are you looking for?

Size matters. Among other things, it will impact the types of activities you can do. For instance, just within 2-3 hours of Chicago, in southwest Michigan, there are lakes ranging in size from less than 50 acres, to the 2,680-acre Gun Lake. That’s a big range.

3. How close do you want your neighbors to be?

Would it matter if they’re close? Or would you prefer to have more open space between you and your neighbors? Naturally, some lakes are more populated than others.

What kind of lake home do you want?

4. How far are you willing to travel?

Most people have a desired drive time of less than two hours. Does that describe you too? Or are you open to traveling further? Your travel time will define a radius, within which will be your search area.

Now let’s move on to the lake and the property. Let’s say you’ve found the place that seems ideal. Congratulations! But before you move too fast – and you may need to move fast – these are important things to consider:

5. How deep is the lake?

The relevance of this question is that water clarity is a key sign of a younger lake, and is naturally more popular for swimmers, while older lakes will have less clarity, and those nutrients make them more popular for fisherman.

6. What’s the beachfront like?

Is it a sandy bottom or have more clay? Is it weedy or have lily pads? The beachfront will impact whether you can have a dock, and influence what type of dock makes the most sense.

7. Does the property you’re looking at have its own private beach, or is it a common beach?

There are advantages and disadvantages to both, but most importantly, you want to know the details that relate to the property you’re considering buying before you buy it.

8. Is the property in a homeowners association?

It’s not uncommon for lake properties to be in neighborhoods with private roads, and sometimes with other common areas. You’ll want to know these details ahead of time, before making an offer. It’s always a good idea to be comfortable with any by-laws or covenants of the homeowners association before making a purchase.

9. Is there anything of note about the lake?

Does it have a reputation, good or bad? Does it have characteristics that are likely to influence property values?

There are other things to consider, but these are the highlights.

The bottom line is that it’s important to have a good conversation about these things before even looking at individual properties. And later, when you’ve found a place and want to make an offer, be sure that offer includes contingencies that allow you to do your full range of due diligence before closing.

Get Help!

Find an agent that truly understands lake properties – if they don’t know enough about all the unique details that come with the lake lifestyle, they can’t adequately represent your best interests. Do your own due diligence to find an agent with the necessary knowledge.

Take into consideration the full range of questions, do your homework and be careful to do your due diligence. Of course, in that regard, it’s also important to work with a qualified and competent Realtor. With proper planning, you’ll make a great decision, and then it’s good times, here we come!