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6 Lessons Monopoly Can Teach You About buying a St. John’s home

monopoly

Some may love playing Monopoly and some may hate the game. Either way there are some valuable lessons we can all take away from the game. Here are 6 lessons Monopoly can teach you about buying a St. John’s home.

Patience

So your family has decided to play Monopoly? Refill your beverage, grab a snack and change into comfortable clothes. You’re going to be there a while.

LESSON: Buying real estate is a process. There’s pre-approval for a loan, interviewing agents, searching for homes, submitting an offer, maybe submitting another offer, the home inspection, the appraisal, and final loan processing before you get the keys. Needless to say, buying a home can take some time. Instead of getting frustrated, focus on all of the great reasons you decided buying a home was right for you. Staying in close communication with your agent throughout the process will help, too.

Neighborhood matters

Everyone starts the game with one corner in mind: Boardwalk and Park Place. The highly priced properties have the best returns on investments, and the players who snag them first tend to do well in the game.

LESSON: Location is often a major consideration in real life as well. Home values, your lifestyle and so much more are factors in your neighborhood choice. Work with your agent to learn all you can about the neighborhoods that pique your interest.

Keep an open mind

Baltic and Mediterranean Avenue have a bad reputation because they’re the cheapest properties on the board, but they also present opportunity. Add a few houses and hotels and your return could be bigger than the one on nearby Connecticut Avenue.

LESSON: Keep an open mind when looking to buy a home in St. John’s. An up-and-coming neighborhood may have appeal you didn’t see before, and more value for your budget.

Be prepared

You’re a Monopoly mogul! You have a handful of desirable properties and a steady stream of income from your houses and hotels. Then comes the Chance card: “Make general repairs on your property – for each house pay $25, for each hotel pay $100.”

LESSON: You never know what card you’re going to draw. But unlike Monopoly, the real world has home insurance available to help you prepare for unexpected repairs and disasters. A variety of plans, customizable to any budget, are available. Some homebuyers also opt for warranties covering potential appliance issues after move-in.

How to win a bidding war

Trading properties keeps Monopoly exciting. And there are no strict rules as to how a seller determines to accept an offer. Sibling rivalry, bribes involving candy or even business sense can play into a player’s decision.

LESSON: Sellers don’t always accept the highest offer. Writing a letter about why you fell in love with their home can sometimes sway their decision in your favor.

The importance of strategy

Monopoly is a game of strategy, but few players are inclined to study ways to win. What if you had a coach sitting next to you, advising how much to bid for a property, where to look next, and whether or not mortgaging a utility to buy Boardwalk is a smart idea? You would be unstoppable!

LESSON: Buying a home is an infrequent occurrence; for some it happens only once in a lifetime. Wouldn’t it be helpful to have someone on your side who was up-to-speed on laws for your state, knew which neighborhoods would best fit your lifestyle and offered to help you navigate a bidding war? That’s the value an experienced agent provides.

We’d love to help you when buying a home in the St. John’s real estate market. Contact us. We are ready when you are!

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Buying a home? How to make sense of a real estate transaction

selling your home in st. john'sHave you ever tried to make your way through a maze at an amusement park or farm field? If you don’t know the layout, it’s probably going to take you a long time to find your way through.

You’ll hit a lot of dead ends, go around in circles a few times, and maybe even become frustrated before you finally find your way out.

The same can be said about buying or selling a home in St. John’s.

Real estate transactions are probably not something you do every day, so you’re not as familiar with their “layout”. As a result, the process of preparing your home for sale, getting it listed, dealing with viewings and buyers, and negotiating offers can potentially be very stressful… so stressful, in fact, you might be discouraged from making a move!

That’s why finding a REALTOR® who knows you the St. John’s real estate market is so important.

We know the maze and can guide you through it. Let us answer your questions, show you how to make the process less stressful (and even fun), and can help ensure everything goes smoothly.

Want to talk to a REALTOR® who specializes in the St. John’s real estate market?  Contact us! We are here to assist you when buying a home or selling a home in the St. John’s real estate market.

Click here for a list of homes for sale in the St. John’s area.

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Home Inspection Clause

Should you include a home inspection clause?

Say you’re viewing a home and are impressed with how it looks. The walls are freshly painted. Everything seems bright and new. You’re considering making an offer. Should you include a home inspection clause?home inspection clause

Then, while standing on a mat in the kitchen, you hear a squeak below your feet. You lift the mat and see that some tiles are broken. Obviously the mat was there to, literally, cover up that defect.

A few broken tiles are not a big deal. But now you’re thinking, “What else might be wrong with this house?”

There’s no reason to worry that every home will have maintenance issues hidden from view. However, it’s smart to do your due diligence to ensure the home you’re considering is truly as good as it looks.

One way is when you make an offer on a home, it’s a smart idea include a Home Inspection clause/condition in your Purchase and Sales Agreement.  A professional home inspection will check the home out from top to bottom. This inspection will ensure that the property doesn’t have any unexpected “issues”. After all, you don’t want to buy a home only to discover that the roof needs to be replaced, immediately, for thousands of dollars.home inspection2

It’s also smart to ask questions. Find out the age of certain features, such as the roof, furnace, and appliances. Ask about any recent renovations, and determine whether they were done by a professional or by the homeowner.

Most importantly, work with a good REALTOR® who can provide you with information on the property that you would have difficulty getting on your own. Your REALTOR® has a stake in making sure you buy a home with your eyes wide open — knowing all the potential maintenance issues you’re likely to encounter.

In the end, a professional home inspection gives you peace-of-mind and protects your investment. So getting one is highly recommended — even for recently built homes.

A good REALTOR® can recommend a trusted home inspector for you. One example is HouseMaster

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Closing Day Terminology You Should Know

You have an accepted offer on your new home, completed the home inspection and received your clean letter of finance.  Now what?

Sometimes it’s just a simple as waiting for the all important closing day to arrive.

Closing day should be an exciting time for you. After all, you’re moving into your new home! The last thing you need is to be confronted with something you don’t understand to make the day stressful.

So here is a quick list of common closing day terminology you should know.

Final Walkthrough – On closing day you and your REALTOR® will do one final walkthrough the house just to make sure it’s in the same condition as the day you wrote your offer. This is typically done first thing in the morning and the house will generally close closer to 5pm

Disbursements –  This is the allocation of funds to the appropriate parties, such as the Vendor. Your lawyer will take care of this for you.

Possession – This is the moment on closing day when you are legally able to take possession of your new home. It’s usually when your REALTOR® or lawyer hands you the keys.

Title –  This is a legal document that identifies the property and its owner.

Closing costs –  These are expenses, excluding the selling cost of the property, that are due on closing day, such as legal fees, reimbursement for pre-paid utilities, utility deposits, insurance, and taxes.

Closing adjustments –  These are expenses pre-paid by the seller that need to be reimbursed on closing. Typical examples of this would be your property taxes or oil remaining in an oil tank.

Remember this is your important day.  Relax and embrace the huge milestone in your life!

Having a good lawyer, mortgage professional and REALTOR® will help make the day go smoothly for you and your family.

Speaking of a good REALTOR®, you have three here at your disposal?

Contact us today for all your St. John’s Real Estate needs.