Frequently Asked Questions
I’m new to the real estate process. How can you help to make sure I understand what’s going on?
We keep you informed every step of the way and map out all expectations so there are no surprises. We will keep track of all important deadlines and make sure all parties to the process such as your lender and Title Company(or closing attorney) are all on the same page. We try to make the process as Stress Free as possible so that you can concentrate on preparing for your new home or selling your home fast and at full value. It’s our goal to make sure you achieve the lifestyle you deserve.
What makes you different from the other Realtors in your market?
We always have your goals in mind every step of the homebuying process. We emphasize the importance of taking decisions that will ultimately lead you to the lifestyle you want, need, or deserve! We truly do want to be your Realtors for life. We want to exceed your expectations and justify your confidence in us so you can without hesitation…recommend us to family, friends, and colleagues.
Which customers are you best suited to help?
First and foremost….we want to help nice people! The customers we help are second home buyers, retirees, and many younger professionals who are planning for retirement and want to get their piece of the pie before being priced out of the market. All of our customers are lifestyle driven…for example, some want the waterfront experience, some the golfing lifestyle, resort style living, or the island life…..however you define the next phase of your life, we are the Lifestyle Locators.
How and why did you get in to real estate?
After relocating from Southern Maryland in 2001, we owned and operated a few The UPS Store franchise locations. We had at this point owned retail operations for almost 15 years and had always had a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Leading up to the Great Recession years (2007 to 2009) and the bursting of the housing bubble, real estate was a hot topic affecting almost everyone in some way. We became more and more interested in the local real estate market and the market in general. We saw firsthand the effects of the many foreclosures and bankruptcies affecting our community. We had many boxholders at the UPS Store and had opportunities to engage many different people from all walks of life, discussing how they were affected. After all, for many homes in the area, these were second homes and the first to be let go when an owner could no longer afford them. I started reading, learning, and consuming all that I could regarding market behavior, real estate trends, processes,….anything real estate related. I quickly got licensed and dove in, during a time when agents were leaving the industry in huge numbers. Beth continued to run our stores a few years and then became licensed a few years after I did, and we haven’t looked back. We became proficient at helping customers with short sales and avoiding foreclosure. We also established strong relationships with local banks and were entrusted to handle many area REOs. We love helping people, what we do, the challenges, and find the overall experience very rewarding.
I’ve had a negative experience in the past. Please tell me how you will keep me informed about the process and how often I’ll get those updates.
First, we find it most efficient and effective to communicate with our customers using their preferred mode whether it be phone call, texting, emailing or dare I say snail mail. In many instances especially when time is of the essence, multiple modes may used in order to ensure that our customers receive information in a timely manner. For instance, an email with an attachment may be sent and then followed up with a simple text to let customer know they have an email waiting. This may be a bit redundant, but is effective.
Our follow up is relatively frequent and we are always available should you have questions or need any additional information. We have systems in place, ensuring you know what you need to know when you need to know it!
What type of home will be best for my lifestyle, house or a condo?
House? Condo? If the Suit and the Lifestyle Fits, Buy It!
Buyers have more choices before them, and their investment seems likely to grow whether they choose a single family home (SFH) or condo. But once again, we return to the age-old question buyers face: “Do we go for a single family home or a condominium?” This is not unlike comparing apples to oranges. The critical factor in the decision making process is actually the homeowners themselves, their preferences and lifestyle. Buyers with the most difficulty deciding are normally SFH owners, so we’ll look at it from their perspective.
Take, for example, the issues of privacy and autonomy. Folks who’ve spent their lives in single family homes will have to make a huge adjustment when going into a condo. The grandkids and dog can’t be running carelessly around the yard anymore, and there may not even be a yard. You have to be quieter and more considerate, as there is less distance between neighbors. And you have less freedom to make changes to your home. For someone used to calling the shots, this is challenging.
And speaking of the dog…can you have one? Many condominium associations do not permit certain pets or certain sizes. If you’re not willing to part with Fido, you may have to forego some choices. And how’s the parking? Can you and your spouse each have a car? Space for guests? If not, is there nearby? What about laundry facilities? Can you have your own machines? Is there a laundry room? Is it well maintained with modern machines.
How about storage space? Inside the condo, outside on the balcony, a whole separate building? Downsizing from a house with an attic or shed or spare room for Grandma’s steamer trunk and your photo albums can be emotionally stressful, forcing you to abandon possessions whose true value is only then realized.
On the other hand, there are many advantages to condo living. For example, if you want to take a trip, just lock the door and go. That kind of freedom doesn’t come with a house. And then there’s the ease of maintenance. Everything outside is done for you, and some of the inside stuff too. A condo can be easier to get into than a house, as well, and cost less to insure. Utility costs will also be less. And then there’s the social aspect: if you like to socialize, there will be more opportunities in condominiums.
Chances are you will have at some point in your life lived in a SFH and be aware of the pros and cons not discussed above. All else equal, a SFH will usually appreciate faster than a condo. And when it comes time to sell, it’s easier to differentiate a house from the competition. Plus, if you want to rent out the house, you won’t find the same restrictions you will in a condominium complex, like short, fixed rental periods. And unlike with condo living, SFH owners can pick their own service professionals, negotiate rates and form long-term relationships.
Tuck this answer away for when the time comes to choose your next abode. It is not a simple matter nor an easy decision. Use these questions and points to reflect on your lifestyle, on what’s important to you, on what you hope to be doing in your new home. Picture yourself living in each and do this imagination exercise often. Choose the abode that suits you best, because it is, after all, an extension of who you are, and you have the opportunity to choose the lifestyle you deserve.
I am interested in living the golf community lifestyle, do I have to join the club if I buy a home in the associated community?
Great question! Short answer — it depends. There are some communities in which it is mandatory to join the private club if you purchase a home in that particular community. You may only have to be a social member, but will be required to join. With this, of course, will come other possible requirements such as dining minimums or service fees. Another increasingly popular type of golf community is a bundled community in which the golf membership is bundled with the home purchase and transfers automatically should you sell down the road. This is a potentially a much better situation than being stuck with a private equity membership should you decide this community is not the right fit. There are many area golf course communities, however, that are semi-private or associated with public courses having no such requirement. Have a specific course in mind? Let us know, we are familiar with all the local clubs and we let you know what is required so you can decide which lifestyle would be the best fit.