Choosing the Right Community for You

If you are buying a home, one of the first things your real estate professional will do before taking you on home tours is interview you to determine the type of house you want such as a 2,000-square-foot four-bedroom, split-level with a formal dining room and two-car garage. But just as important is the type of community you want to live in. Knowing what your requirements are will help narrow your home search and save time.

To expedite the house-hunting process, start by making a list of the dream home factors that are most important to you and your family’s lifestyle. Consider style, location, proximity to work and schools, yard size, children in the community, and of course, price.

Price and location generally are the key factors you’ll use to identify the communities that best suit you. If you are moving within the same city, you may want to start your community search by getting in your car and exploring. There are also resources on the Internet that let you compare communities.

You’ll want to ask yourself critical questions, such as: Do you dream of something quaint and charming that can only be found in an older area? Or, do you prefer everything new? Are you willing to sacrifice size and space for architectural detailing? What about drive and commute time to the office and schools? Will you forgo the number of bedrooms and a big yard for proximity to a lake or other recreational areas?

Whether you have children or not, buying a home in a community with good schools is important. It not only adds value to your property, but also is an attractive feature when and if you decide to sell. There are plenty of resources available to get information about schools within the communities you are considering. Various Internet sites offer school reports and profiles. They provide statistical data such as graduation rates, college-bound percentages, and standardized test scores. You can also learn about special programs the schools offer. In addition to these reports, many schools have their own Web sites you can peruse. And of course you can always talk to people in the area or take a tour of the school.

Additional factors you’ll want to consider during your community search are crime, recreational activities, proximity to shopping and restaurants, and other specific family needs.

Once you’ve narrowed your search to two or three communities that fit your price range and lifestyle, make comparisons of price and sales activity. Your real estate professional can help you determine which communities are most sales-worthy at present, and which are more likely to continue to be.

There are many factors involved in selecting the right community for you and your family. Discuss your options with your real estate professional. This will provide the information he or she needs to help you find property listings to tour. Remember, a targeted approach to house hunting is less time consuming, less expensive and more efficient.

The Calling Card That Can Sell a Home

300px Home Buyers   Town Street   geograph.org.uk   1531557 The Calling Card That Can Sell a Home selling articles

 

Your yard is your local home’s calling card. A dated or overgrown yard can be a huge turnoff to potential buyers – just as an appealing one can trump other objections.

Landscape designer Cynthia Bee knows this well. “Landscaping often makes the difference,” she says, “between a prospective buyer getting out of the car for a closer look or simply driving on by.”

The same goes for Internet prospects as they scan through listings in search of a SoCal’s home to buy. An unappealing yard can detract from your all-important curbside glamour photo — and cause them ‘to drive on by’ your listing. The backyard is not as important in attracting buyers, but often proves vital in holding their enthusiasm.

To help sell a home in Stevenson Ranch this spring, right now is prime time to consider some yard-focused dos and don’ts:

DON’T allow ornamentation designed to create character — that ‘character’ may be hard for prospective buyers to see past. In this category are mirrored globes, plastic fauna, and (definitely) gnomes of all varieties.

DO consider maintenance issues when you plan front and backyard updates. To sell a SoCal’s home that appeals to the widest swath of prospects, avoid intricate garden plantings that shout, Weed me! Water me! Trim me!

DON’T let original planting design make an otherwise appealing property feel dated. It used to be considered elegant to have flat-toped and rounded bushes alongside pathways – but that was the 50’s. Today, the vast majority of buyers appreciate the natural look (and native plants).

DO consider who your likeliest prospects will be – and how your yard will fit their family. If you are going to sell a home with four bedrooms, a back yard with plenty of playing space for the kids is a good idea.

Sometimes it can be the smallest details that determine how quickly you sell a SoCal’s home. It’s my job to help in figuring out which and what those are likely to be. If you are getting ready to sell a home in Stevenson Ranch, I hope you will call me to put my knowledge to work!