Last Day of School!

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Well readers, yes, it’s been a while since my last post. It’s been a busy spring with open houses, parties, graduations, etc. It’s the last day of school in our town. From some, it’s the closing of one chapter, and beginning of another. 

Summer is often one of the busy times for home selling and buying as families try to transition between the school years. One of the most frequent questions on the minds of parents is how to determine if the school system is “good”. It’s really subjective, as families have different needs, priorities and values for how to grade a school system.
I cannot tell you which school systems are “the best”, “most challenging”, etc. What I can do though, it cite sources for you to be able to research which areas you deem to be most preferable in your home search.
In each of these cases, these websites are great for anyone! Families, Young professionals, retirees.
This website offers information for real estate, demographics, crime, public school ratings. The website also has a map feature, allowing you to also see how neighboring towns rate as well.
Niche offers a variety of information including school ratings and cost of living. It also offers information for young professional and retirees. Niche has filter feature, allowing you to drill down areas based on your personal preferences. There is also information for colleges and universities as well!
Great Schools is another site, specific to schools within a given district. They offer personal reviews from parents, students and the community that have experience with the school and the school system in general.
In each of these cases, the websites offer information how, and when they obtained their data and the sources. They also provide information regarding the interpretation of the data.
Happy Summer to all.
If you are thinking of buying or selling, give me a call.

My Dream Home or Yours?

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Buying a home is an exciting process. For me, there’s nothing more exciting than daring to envision a new future with the prospect of a new home. For some, the process is easy, major factors are agreed upon and it’s smooth sailing. For others, however, it’s difficult to determine how to navigate where you ultimately are headed when there is a difference of opinion.

I will admit, my husband and I had very different visions for our dream home. He is ultra-modern, new construction, white and gray tones throughout. I, on the other hand, love the antique farm home, cast iron tubs and soap stone sinks. The older the house, the better with all the character and charm. When it came down to it, if we ever wanted to actually own a house, we were going to need to compromise, especially for the sanity of our real estate agent at the time.

Here’s how we did it:

I created a house hunting checklist to cover all the major qualities and features we were looking for in a home. There was a space for wants, needs and those features that were not appealing to us. We each filled one out.

After that, we compared lists, those items that we automatically agreed on, went automatically on the final copy.

Next, we focused on the areas that we didn’t agree on, but each of us felt there was “wiggle room”. For example, I wanted 4 bedrooms, he felt we could get by on 3 bedrooms. We agreed with a “Need 3, Want 4” approach. We were open to any home that had a minimum of 3 bedrooms.

After this, we tackled those areas that we sore spots for us, basically areas where our views were on opposite spectrums. This was the hardest. First, we prioritized what was important for the remaining items. For him, the age of home was most important, I felt strongly for the number of levels. We literally started bargaining “I’ll give you X if you give me Y”. It worked for the most part. In some cases, we agreed to be open to homes with specific features, but reversed the right to veto, if it looked like it was going to be too much of a compromise on the other person.

Even after all the talking, we still ran into some issues here and there. As we searched, our home search evolved. In some cases, we realized certain features just might not be possible, unless we were willing to increase our price, change our preferred moving date, or changed our search location. It was these factors which helped us determine what we needed now and what we could add to make it our own later. The Central Air issue is a good example of this. My husband wanted to have central AC, the problem was we couldn’t find a home that has this feature when combined with some of the other requirements. After enough searching, he was willing to forgo the requirement as long as we found a home where we could install it at a later time.

In the end, neither one of us fully got what we wanted. However, with a checklist, organization and some bargaining, we found something we both knew we could appreciate together.

I’ve included a copy of a sample checklist. Please email me and let me know your thoughts!

If you, or anyone you know is looking to buy or sell, please let me know. I’d love to help.

Happy House Hunting!