Y’all know that we’ve bought and sold a few homes over our designing career right? We’ve also been fortunate on selling them fast because we know how to stage, we try to maintain a home in the most tidy way we know, update the heck out of each home and we’re great on negotiating with homeowners easily on repairs needed, etc.. Cuz let’s face it, over all the homes we’ve owned, the majority have been older homes, even one from the 1800’s.
However, this property has been a true roller coaster ride on contracts but we’re hanging on that ride!
After I wrote the last blog post, the first contract terminated. They decided they wanted to be closer into the metropolitan area. (we’re the opposite, we keep moving further out cuz we’ve lived in Austin over 23 yrs and happy to get out of the congestion) But I think anyone new to Austin doesn’t understand that part until they experience it. (and we’re partial to our exemplary Lake Travis School District!)
So, the next day after the first contract fizzled, we were excited because we had a back up offer come in. Yay! However, they had an Inspector do another report (cuz we had an initial one done by first buyer and it wasn’t too bad). With the new inspection, this guy pointed out everything you can imagine. Let’s just say he probably added to them backing out somewhat. And/or it’s just not meant to be. Because of both of these contracts falling through, I thought it would be good to write a blog post about what I know from buying and selling, for what it’s worth.
Here’s my first point on buying a home:
1) if you have that “oh my gosh” feeling the first moment you walk inside the prospective home, then it’s probably the one. (or for my hubby, he knew on this home the instant he was in the driveway that it was for us, seriously!) BUT, it can’t be just for the wife…it’s gotta be that “oh my gosh” feel for the hubby too. Cuz a good marriage is when both are happy campers in the same house. Trust me on this one. We bought a home yrs ago that I loved but my husband wasn’t thrilled about the hood from the beginning. We finally moved and it was good for all. Lesson learned, it’s gotta be the right fit for both.
2) Don’t buy a gorgeous home that you think you can afford, but haven’t really put ALOT of thought into the tax bill at the end of the year, OR the HOA fees. We custom built a “McMansion” years ago, in a posh hood that we thought we had to have. Well, every December when that tax bill came around it hurt, alot. Lesson learned, live within your means. Figure your tax bill up until the kids need to go to college. Then hey, figure your college bill needs. We’re sending our 3rd child to college next year. Luckily we’ve saved, but if you don’t put away money now for your kids’ college, then trust me, you will be in for a major wake up call when they’re going to college. (I say this, because the majority of our house lookers are young families)
3) when eyeing a property, budget your window treatments, yard guy, new furniture, etc…and if you’re like us, then take into account you’ll probably want to add on /remodel.
4) when you read an inspection report, remember that not all things on that report are really that bad and if you’re buying an older home you’ll have a long list of negatives….an inspector’s job is to point out EVERY negative thing he can cuz he’s liable! However, seller’s half the time don’t even know some of that stuff needed to be fixed or was hazardous. Give your sellers time to fix them or have the give you a monetary allowance to fix them later, or use that money to buy a new sofa!
Now, a few points on selling your home:
1) Don’t wait until Mr. Inspector makes his negative list for your buyers. Schedule your own Inspector when you market your home. Doing so, gives you time to address what he’ll find beforehand! If not, you might scare off new home buyers that aren’t used to old homes and all the issues that just come with a home’s age. They’ll race down to the next hood with the brand new homes fast, cuz your Inspector will scare them away from an older home!
If Steven and I flew everytime we had a mile list of inspections from old homes, we wouldn’t have bought so many of them. However, we’ve always been like Joanna & Chip Gaines and loved taking an older home and making it more beautiful. We all know that Chip and JoJo don’t balk at the inspection report.
Now, honestly, I’ve never hired an Inspector before selling. After this last Inspector ripped our house apart on every detail though(things that truly made a few of us laugh), we decided it’s best to get an Inspection first from now on. Then someone like that guy won’t have so much fun writing all that stuff. You want to make his job tough! We’ve got subs lined up this week doing all this stuff around house showings. Do it before you market your home so you don’t drive yourself and your realtor bonkers.
2) Stage it right. So true, and if you’re not savvy on how to do this, then hire a stager. Worth every penny.
3) Don’t rush to take the first contract. If you have time to wait, then have patience. Other contracts will probably come and go. Don’t think it’s a done deal when you have that contract and start packing! You have to really wait until the Option Period is up. Then you can safely pack. Then you really have to wait until the closing happens and the ink is dry to move those boxes yall.
As we speak, we actually have offer #3 on the table from apparently a sweet couple. However, we have anxious out of towners coming this week, along with an appt this afternoon. So, we’ll see how they pan out before signing on this one. We’re just a lil gun shy and want to be 100% sure it’s the right one to sign. I’m thankful the Austin market is a good one, it just gets tiring showing the house and living in perfect-ville everyday. If you’ve had a home on the market , then you understand my grief! Self-inflicted wounds, I know.
Cheers for the new week. Stay tuned and I’ll let you know next week what happens. Until then I’ll try to practice what I’m preachin’….oh yeah,I’m supposed to be patient I said.
In between that time, I need to show yall some great new stuff we’ll be carrying in the studio. Follow along on IG or FB and I’ll have updates this week.
p.s. I apologize if I didn’t return your call last week. I had two inquiries on one day, both were accidentally deleted from my cell phone. If you’re one of those, please contact me through my website “contact us” page.