Jennie Herazo's Blog
Buying a home is a very detail-oriented process, and there's a lot of important things you can overlook if you're not organized.
Home buyers generally have the opportunity to do a last-minute inspection of the premises to make sure everything's up to standards prior to closing on the property.
A real estate buyer's agent can accompany you on the final inspection or provide you with advice on what to look for.
If you've already visited the home a couple times and had the house professionally inspected, you're probably well-acquainted with any major malfunctions, flaws, or repair issues. In many cases, home buyers may reach an agreement with the seller to fix, replace, or make allowances for mechanical or cosmetic problems. While real estate negotiations and sales agreements are as varied as the people and properties involved, there are typically dozens of things buyers need to check on before they sign the final documents and accept ownership of the property.
Final Walkthrough Tips
As you're doing the final walk-through of the house, it's necessary to remember or have notes on the condition of the home when you last looked at it. You'll also want to have a clear idea of what appliances, fixtures, and window treatments are supposed to be remain in the house after it's been vacated by the seller. Depending on how close your final walk-through is to the actual closing, that has probably already happened.
If there's anything missing that the seller agreed to include in the sale, then that's an issue you'll want to discuss with your real estate agent or attorney. Any property damage that may have resulted from moving furniture and other belongings should also be discussed before final papers are signed. The same thing would apply to landscaping changes that appear to be inconsistent with the sales agreement. Your buyer's agent and/or lawyer can serve as intermediary in getting these issues clarified and ironed out.
To make sure your final inspection is thorough, it's a good idea to have a "final walk-through checklist" to help keep you organized and focused. You'll want to take a last-minute inventory of items that are supposed to be included with the property sale, such as appliances, lighting fixtures, furnishings, window treatments, children's play structures, hot tubs, and anything else that was agreed to in the sales contract.
Other items you'll need access to may include garage door openers, manuals for appliances and mechanical systems, warranties, invoices for repairs made, and remote control devices for things like ceiling fans, alarms, and other systems.
Your checklist and final walkthrough should focus on a variety of items, including the working condition of appliances, the electrical system, plumbing fixtures, and the condition of walls, floors, ceilings, doors, windows, and landscaping features. For a complete checklist, look online or consult your real estate agent.
It's imperative that you clean up your home appropriately whenever a member of your household has had the flu to prevent other members of the house from getting sick too. Not just that, a germ-free home also provides some form of protection for everyone. To clean thoroughly, you will need cleaning supplies like disinfectant and sanitizing solutions. You may either decide to make your own at home or purchase one from the store, but remember not to mix disinfectant with any other cleaning products to prevent the rise of toxic fumes.
Cleaning The Bedroom
It’s very likely that the sick individual spent a lot of time in the bedroom, so this is one of the first places to which you should attend. Remove all bedding entirely and throw it in the washing machine, under the highest setting as they’ve usually had the closest contact with the body. The mattress should also be aired out to get rid of sweat stains and odors.
Cleaning The Bathroom
Using a disinfectant, wipe down your entire bathroom including the bathtub, toilet handles, sink and shower handles, door knobs, light switches, and any other commonly shared areas. Do this regularly throughout the period of the illness and after. You should also switch out the hand towel every day or have designated paper towels for everyone. Everyone's toothbrushes should be sanitized in a solution of hydrogen peroxide and water, but discard that of the convalescent should.
Cleaning The Living Areas
It's very advisable that you cover all your furniture and upholstery with washable blankets during the sickness time, to prevent cross-contamination. Otherwise, you might be dealing with more germs than you thought. Wipe down the living room area such as the floors, chair and sofas, side stools, phones, remote controls, board games and any other thing that has been in contact with the sick person.
Cleaning Other Parts of the House
Also disinfect the parts of the house that you don’t pay much attention to on a regular basis such as the handrails, doorknobs, computers and video game consoles, light switches, etc. If the sick individual spent much time in the kitchen, disinfect it thoroughly. Kitchen utensils and plates used by the individual should always be washed at the highest setting of the dishwasher or disinfected when washing by hand.
Keeping your home germ free at such a time like this might seem like lots of work so soon after an illness, but the rewards are definitely worth it. Ask your real estate professional for a housecleaning referral if you don't want to do it yourself.
During a location search for a new home, you may have come across the term “live-work” in the descriptions of potential living spaces, even when those spaces differ widely from one another. While many buildings market themselves as live-work, the definition for just what that means can vary from building to building.
Some examples of such buildings include:
- A building that is primarily residential but has no restrictions on working from home. This might be any type of residential building or neighborhood including condominiums, townhouses, flats and single-family dwellings.
- Or, it might be a storefront that allows for walk-in customers or clients, and public parking access, with an adjacent living space above or in the rear of the property. These live-work spaces more commonly resemble historic family-run markets or bodegas.
- Other live-work spaces are zoned for more hazardous or commercial activity. These can include artists’ lofts, recording studios, and other creative spaces.
- Some locations are part of urban renewal or gentrification efforts to make residential use of a former industrial area. Allowing residents and businesses to co-exist in such facilities can bring a vibrant vibe to a formerly decaying area. Living spaces surround joint workspaces and common areas.Each different type of live-work housing opportunity has different zoning and residential restrictions and regulations and may or may not have access to residential services such as nearby schools, parks, libraries or grocery stores.
Why choose a live-work space?
Originally made popular by artists’ communities, the live-work concept gave creative people a place to work, with a built-in support community. Some urban areas even have protective zones for artists that impose conditions and restrictions meant to keep the housing affordable for the artist community.Another group to which the live-work concept appeals are entrepreneurs looking for incubators for brainstorming. The concept is that living close to their workspace doesn’t interrupt the flow of ideas that could contribute to their next start-up.
Finally, employees that telecommute or work virtually often look for properties with access to commercial high-speed Internet not available in regular residential area. Because they spend their days working alone, having other telecommuters nearby to gather and share life with keeps them encouraged and connected to a community.
Some live-work residents like being near to other entrepreneurs whose services and products are complementary to facilitate collaboration on mutual projects.
Will it work for you?
Live-work spaces in warehouse conversions and lofts may be near functioning factories, railroad tracks or other noisy industries. Some people thrive on the noise and energy of an active area or busy shared spaces. Others like to step out their doorway to automatic social opportunities. If your needs include quiet space or low levels of background noise, however, this type of live-work space may not be for you.
Before you dive in, spend time meeting your potential neighbors, to get a feel for living and working there.
If your house is already on the market, you're probably familiar with the hectic process of getting it in presentable condition for the next showing.
Since there are so many things to remember, it can be helpful to create a "pre-showing checklist" you can refer to whenever you need it. Your reliance on the list will probably diminish over time, but it can be a good way to become more organized, focused, and efficient.
Even the simple action of writing down your priorities will make an impression on your mind and help reinforce your memory of what needs to be done prior to a showing or open house. Here are a few tips for staying on track, simplifying the process, and remembering important tasks that are all-too-easy to forget.
Stay One Step Ahead of Dust
Ideally, every room in your house should be dusted at least once a week, but that chore often tends to get postponed, overlooked, or just plain avoided! The problem with not dusting on a regular basis is that it tends to accumulate and get worse. What often occurs to home sellers is the sudden realization -- typically, just before walking out the door prior to a scheduled house showing -- that there's a thick layer of dust on your window blinds, baseboards, or book shelves.
If you're literally minutes away from a real estate agent showing up at your front door with clients, it's generally too late to do anything about the dust accumulations. However, if you've tackled those issues a day or two before they're walking up your front pathway, you can put your mind at ease that you've conquered the "grunge factor"! If you happen to have a housekeeper handling those details, it might pay to casually remind them to do an extra-thorough job on those dusty, grungy areas.
If you have kids (and even if you don't), dirt, finger prints, and hand smudges can often be found around light switches, cabinets, and door areas. While that might be the last thing you think about when preparing your home for a showing, it could be one of the first things potential buyers notice. Although perfection is an unrealistic standard to aspire to, "the devil is in the details!" In other words, it can be the small, easily overlooked details that undermine your chances for making a great impression on prospective buyers.
A Word About Mouse Traps
Whether you live in a mansion or a bungalow, nearly all homeowners occasionally have problems with mice sneaking into their basement, garage, or attic. Sometimes the little critters even find their way into your main living area (eek!). That's why it makes sense to set up a few mouse traps in areas where mice are most likely to enter. Mouse traps come in a variety of designs, some of which are better for homes with pets, children, or squeamish adults!
When it comes to preparing for a house showing, it's always a good idea to check mousetraps for "victims" that may have sprung your devices. Ideally, mousetraps shouldn't be placed in conspicuous spots, but you definitely don't want buyers to see dead mice anywhere in your house. Granted, live ones are worse, but -- in either case -- any infestation (or the perception of one) could be a deal breaker!