Category Archives: Buying a Home

What does Back to School mean to the Real Estate Market?

It’s that time of year when kids fill their backpacks and wave goodbye to Mom and Dad as they board the school bus or are dropped off in the carpool lane. Summer vacation for the most part is over.  The last thing on most family’s minds is packing and moving.

Typically, when school starts, the housing market slows down, but with this tumultuous market, it is hard to predict.  Many are still looking for homes in this seller’s market.  If there is a lull, it will be short-lived.  After Labor Day there is usually an uptick as it is the unofficial start of the fall season. Sellers and buyers will now want to buy and close quickly to get settled before the holiday season.

It is still a good time to sell as there is still a shortage of inventory.  If you have a plan in mind as to where you’re going to live once your home sells.  Many sellers have gotten creative.

Here are some possible solutions:

  • Do you have rental property? Many sellers are moving into one of their rentals until they can find their next home
  • Do you have vacation property? Same scenario.
  • Move in with relatives.
  • Find a short-term rental – Those who do have rental property who are willing to take a month-to-month lease situation are offering this alternative until the sellers can find their next home.
  • I’ve even seen some move into their RV or houseboat until they find their next home. You might have to store your household belongings for a while, but if you do, consider using a pod, that way you don’t have to have a moving company move you twice.
  • Buy before you sell. Some have taken their equity out of their current home and used it as a down payment on the new home.
  • New Construction. When the new home is move-in ready, then you list yours.

In this area, the market is extremely hot, because of the great schools, which is great.  The good news is homes bring a premium price tag.  The bad news is, it makes buying a home in the school district you want a little challenging, but not impossible.  Another reason you need a seasoned agent.

If you’re thinking about selling or buying, give me a call and let’s devise a plan that will work for you and your family.

Marie Dinsmore

The Dinsmore Team

Experience, Passion, and Commitment to Excellence!

Prepping Your Pet for Your Big Move

Your moving day is set and it’s time to start preparing. As you’re making your lists and checking them twice, don’t forget to factor in your 4 legged family members.

Moving can be stressful for all of us, but pets often experience stress that they can’t communicate leading up to a big move. Our pets are perceptive, and they notice when big changes are happening, but they don’t understand why we’re packing up. Then, once you’ve arrived at your new home, they have to get comfortable with new sights, sounds, and smells before they can settle in. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to help get your family pet get ready for a big move and reduce their stress.

Here are some tips for making sure the process goes smoothly.

Medical records. When moving to a different city or state, one of the main things you need to take into consideration is finding a new veterinarian that is the right fit for you and your pet. If you have family or friends in the area, ask for recommendations or do your own research by reading reviews and news articles. Once you find one, contact your current vet to initiate a transfer of medical records. Then schedule a “get to know you” appointment shortly after your move.

Have Collars and Paperwork Handy. While you’re preparing, it’s also a good idea to have all paperwork and contact information handy. Make sure cats and dogs are wearing a collar with your phone number on it, as well as their rabies tags and any other relevant information. If there is a mishap during your move and one of your pets escapes through an open door, you want to be able to find them. If they aren’t already microchipped, now is a good time to have this simple procedure done.

Don’t Overfeed. Some animals have a tendency to overeat when they are stressed, especially if they believe you are going to be leaving them alone for a while. Make sure to watch your animals in the days leading up to the move and avoid overfeeding them. Cats especially are likely to get sick from stress and anxiety if they have overeaten and then gone for a car ride. Dogs are somewhat less likely to react negatively in the car, but each pet has its own limits.

Transportation. Whether it’s a short drive or a long plane ride, the safest way to relocate a nervous pet is with a crate.  However, if you’re in a hurry on moving day and you shove your pet into a crate and slam the door, you’re only going to make matters worse. Instead, you need to bring the crate inside your home several weeks in advance so they can smell it and explore it in a low-stress environment.  For most pets, this is a foreign concept, and they require time to get comfortable with it. Start acclimating your pet as early as possible and use comfort items like treats and favorite toys and blankets to make the experience is a positive one for your pet.

Prepare a Place for them. Pad your moving schedule with ample time to get your dog or cat acclimated to their new home. Cats and dogs react to new spaces differently, but when it comes to moving day, you’ll probably want them out of the way while you finish unloading the furniture and heavy boxes. The easiest way to manage this is to have food, water, and their favorite toys already set up in a spare bedroom or bathroom so you can open their crate and let them explore in a quiet corner of the house. Once all your other furniture is moved in, you can open the bedroom door and let them see more, but the first few hours should be quiet and calm. Once all the moving of furniture and boxes is done, make sure to clear anything that could be dangerous and block off areas as necessary then let them free to get a lay of the land on their own.

Walk Through the new House with Your Pet on a Leash. Your pet picks up on many sounds and smells that you can’t. As a result, they may react to certain scents left behind by the previous owner, or new sounds from the HVAC unit or neighborhood traffic. The best way to handle this introduction is with a leash so your pet can explore without getting beyond your reach. Help them explore inside the house, room by room, and set clear boundaries if they are not allowed in certain spaces. Likewise, walk the front and backyard slowly with a leash attached so you can inspect the fence and handle any interactions with wayward animals or children.

All of these tips will help your pet handle move-in day as peacefully as possible. Just remember, your pet will likely need a few days to adjust to the new space, and having plenty of familiar items and toys around can help them make that adjustment.

Hope you found these tips helpful.

Sincerely,

Marie

The Dinsmore Team

Experience, Passion, and Commitment to Excellence

Fees to be Aware of When Purchasing a Home

Purchasing a home is arguably one of the biggest financial decisions you will make in your lifetime. As you start your hunt, don’t forget there will be other costs associated with your purchase than the price of the home. This is valuable information, especially for first-time homebuyers. These are all good reasons to hire an experienced Real Estate Agent to help navigate you through the process, plus the fact of multiple offers and homes now selling above listing price.

Here are 5 fees to keep in mind as you begin to budget.

  1. Home inspection. This is a crucial step in the home buying process. The findings that come from the inspection can help you negotiate price and repairs. Generally, you can expect to pay between $300 to $500 depending on the home and the location.
  2. Title services. Title services encompass the transfer of the title from the seller and a thorough search of the property’s records to ensure to no one will pop up with a claim to the property. Additionally, you may need to buy title insurance which will protect the lender or your investment in the home.
  3. Appraisal fee. Before getting a loan, you will likely be required to get an appraisal of the home to determine its estimated value. This will be conducted by a third-party company and the cost can land anywhere between $300 and $1,000, depending on the size of the home.
  4. HOA fees. Many communities have a homeowners’ association that enforces monthly fees. This money is used for general maintenance and updates to areas like pools, parks, and more. Typical HOA fees are around $200 per month.
  5. Taxes. The taxes each buyer pays at the closing table differ, but it is not uncommon for it to be up to two months’ worth of county and city property taxes. Additionally, there may be taxes for the transfer of the home title.

I would be happy to talk with you as you prepare to buy or sell and devise a plan to help you transition as smoothly as possible.

Sincerely,

Marie Dinsmore

The Dinsmore Team

Experience, Passion, and Commitment to Excellence

Feeling Grateful

Despite such a challenging year of 2020, with the Pandemic, low inventory of homes, etc. we are very honored to have been among those achieving the Circle of Excellence Award from the 400 North Board of Realtors.

While it’s an honor and I’m very grateful to receive these accolades, honors, and awards, it’s not necessarily my goal that I set out to achieve each year. My goals are to give my clients the best possible service possible, whether it is to help them list, stage, and get the best price for their home or to find them their perfect new home.  My passion is helping people.  As a result, by providing this high level of service, I have many repeat clients as well as referrals of friends and family over my 19-year real estate career.  For this, I am truly grateful for their trust and confidence.

One of the other ways I service my clients is my knowledge of the market.  I ensure I am well versed in all matters of real estate.  As a realtor, we are tasked each year to accomplish so many education units.  I typically go beyond what is required.  I have been certified in negotiating, probate, distressed property, luxury home market, iRep Pro, etc.  So, please know whatever someone’s real estate needs are, I will always do my very best to deliver the ultimate service experience.

For a list of certifications and awards, please see our ‘About’ page.

In Appreciation,

Marie Dinsmore

The Dinsmore Team

Experience, Passion, and Commitment to Excellence

Top Tips for House Hunting Online

Hunting for a new home online is a great place to start your new home search, but it should not be your end all be all.  One of the services that I offer my clients is providing them with the most up to date current listings of the homes that meet their search criteria.  I have access to and can send the notice of a new listing within 15 minutes of it going on the market.  And some I even know about as ‘Coming Soon.’  I can also research the ones of interest prior to the showing to find out if it truly meets all the checkboxes before we schedule a showing for you.

Good listing agents are excellent at highlighting the best features of the home, but keep in mind there may be more than meets the eye. To make the most of your time and efforts and gather a well-rounded picture of home listings online, keep the following three things in mind.

  1. Stay up to date. When you start your search, make sure you find a site that pulls up-to-date listings directly from the multiple listing service (MLS) where real estate agents actively post their most current homes for sale. Many online resources update less often or fail to remove listings that are off the market, making it more difficult to sort through the clutter. The service I provide will provide the most up to date information.
  2. Pictures can be deceiving. Real estate photographers are experts at showing a home in the best possible light. Many use tools and strategies to boost appeal, such as a fisheye lens to make areas look larger and creative editing to make colors and textures really pop. But often listings will not contain photos of unappealing parts of the home, like small closets or outdated bathrooms. When you wonder why there are not certain photos of key points of the home, it’s usually because that’s what they don’t want you to see.  Some research on my part often uncovers that and eliminate wasted time of going for a showing.
  3. See it to believe it. Once you find what appears to be your dream home online, call me to schedule a showing. You want to take the opportunity to vet the home in person and explore every part of it before beginning the offer process. I will help you cover all your bases and will ask questions you may not have thought of.

Yes, inventory is low and the market is very competitive right now, but I can save you time, energy, and frustration by being your source for your new home search.  Provide me your wish list and I’ll set up for you to receive a notice when your dream home comes up for sale.

Marie Dinsmore

RE/MAX Around Atlanta

Experience, Passion, and Commitment to Excellence