Chapter 1.-A Talking it up. Once the journey begins in looking for your new condo/townhome…it is very much like looking for your next car. If you’ve got Honda on your mind, you look at every one you see…you compare styles and years, used and new…and it is as though that is the only car you can see. Until someone tells you about Toyota and another voice says Chevy and still another says Mazda. Whoa! Lots of incoming.
Sometimes, it’s like that with the condo/townhome hunting process. People tend to love being involved and/or knowing about real estate. They have stories about their neighbors, their aunt, their own buying and selling…not to mention the great deals that tend to get a little embellished the more often the story is repeated. That’s real estate.
There is the actual physical property and then all of the various loan information. Probably made more simple with all the sub-prime focus. With few exceptions, I have been a proponent of the the thirty year fixed because in NC there is no pre-payment penalty and the interest rates have been so low…it is cheap money. And by being somewhat conservative, because we never know what will happen for sure, that commitment is like an insurance policy.
And after the “real? in real estate, the money matters, the data sheets from the Internet begin piling up and the mention of forms for everything. I honestly believe that if you are a careful person you can get through this alone or with your partner without an angel's advocate. In this age of Buyer Brokers however, wouldn’t it be great to have an experienced ally, a seasoned guide, especially when the seller pays for your broker in most cases? And most often there is no price break for you if you are shopping on your own, or purchase from a seller marketing the home by themselves. This is not a promo to engage a Buyer Broker, it is simply a commentary. Our book is after all about YOU.
Looking for Real Estate. 87% of folks looking to buy or sell use the Internet. 67% still drive the streets. I,too, use both methodologies.. When looking for a buyer or a seller, I perform my due diligence on the web. What a fabulous gift the Internet is to those of us who used to spend the better part of our days in our cars. When I finish my web work, I hit the road. I look at condominiums/townhomes from the outside, the neighborhood, the surrounds, common areas, the roof, the general condition. Many I can check off before I make an appointment to preview. You can do the same as well if you have the time. A good time to double back and check a complex you like is on the weekend or in the evening. You can get a sense of the rhythm of that neighborhood and complex when most everyone is home. And as you get closer to making your selection, talking to the folks on the street and in the complex is also a good move.
How quickly can all this take place? Very quickly. The looking and the canvassing are narrowed down by your choices on-line. Some of my folks have already looked up deeds, tax information and comps. Most buyers and sellers are very savvy and enjoy the process.
A good client is like a good dance partner…the process becomes fun because you are both involved in gathering and sorting and making the decisions. The older I get, the more I know, I like hearing other folks’ opinions, and I enjoy sharing information and learning from my folks as well. I think once real estate was rather proprietary and the information was in many ways closed. Now with the Internet, people can learn the process, be more informed and be more secure in their decisions.
All good stuff!
Lynnsy Logue, The Real Estate Lady and Condo CanDo in Charlotte, NC