Monthly Archives: March 2013

Let Me Think About It Is No Longer An Option

 

 

Buyers need to be aware that the local Cleveland real estate market has dramatically changed over the last 3-6 months.

There is limited inventory and a large pool of buyers just waiting to pounce on the right home. Therefore, buyers need to decisive and act quickly or lose out.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK UP FRONT

We are by no means suggesting that buyers should make hasty decisions. Buying a home is a huge commitment and shouldn’t be taken lightly. We are simply encouraging you to be ready to write an offer once you do find that one special home.

The most important thing you can do is get pre-approved.  I constantly bring this up with buyers  both local and those relocating to the area.  The bottom line is that if you aren’t pre-approved, you risk losing out on a home.

Also, try to identify what you want in your next home. For some people, this is easy. They already have very specific criteria and may even have their eye on certain neighborhoods. However, for other buyers, they simply don’t know what they want.

This is more common with out of town buyers who are just trying to get a feel for the area. I certainly don’t envy them. In addition to the pressure of having to start of new job in a city they don’t know, they also have the unenviable task of buying a home. Making a list of what you want is very important.

YOUR MUST HAVES AND WANTS

Try this exercise. Take a piece of paper and write down the features that your next home absolutely positively must have. Does it have to have a certain number of bedrooms and baths? Does it have to be in a neighborhood vs. on a main road? Does it have to be located within a certain distance of work? Make sure all decision makers are in on the conversation so that everyone is on the same page.

Now write down the “wants”, things that your home doesn’t have to have, but it would be nice if it did. While you may not need a 3 car garage, wanting one is ok.

Please keep in mind that regardless of price point, you are not going to get everything you want. You can still get a great home that will make you happy, you just need to be realistic and a little flexible in today’s market.

IF IT FEELS RIGHT, BUY IT

Once you start looking at homes, you will be able to quickly figure out what you don’t like. This is a big part of the process, eliminating suburbs and areas that simply won’t be a good fit for you. Then, hone in on the areas you really like.

One thing you want to avoid is feeling pressure to buy a home simply because you need to move in quickly. The last thing we want to see is someone buying the wrong house. If it doesn’t feel right or you have to try to convince yourself to buy a particular home, then it probably isn’t “the one”.

The spring market is just around the corner and new homes are coming on the market every day. So be patient but smart. Get your financing in order, learn the market and when you see something you really like, buy it before someone else does.

The days of thinking things over for a few days are behind us and those who hesitate may lose out on the home of their dreams.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS

The above information is compliments of The Schuman Team, Amy and Dan, of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. They specialize is luxury homes, relocation, and first-time buyers.

They can be reached at 216-346-3235 or 216-403-9189 or via email, danschuman@howardhanna.com or amyschuman@howardhanna.com.

The Schumans service the following Cleveland area suburbs: Aurora, Bainbridge, Bay Village, Beachwood, Bentleyville, Chagrin Falls, Cleveland Heights, Gates Mills, Highland Heights, Hunting Valley, Lakewood, Lyndhurst, Mayfield Heights, Mayfield Village, Moreland Hills, Oakwood Village, Orange, Pepper Pike, Shaker Heights, Solon, South Euclid, University Heights, Westlake, Woodmere.

Let Me Think About It Is No Longer An Option is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent.©March, 2013

Relocating To Cleveland – The Quick Guide

RELOCATING TO CLEVELAND – THE QUICK GUIDE

 

So, you are relocating to Cleveland. There are probably a lot of things going on in your mind right now about your big move, and your stress level is likely through the roof. Don’t worry,  I was in your shoes 16 years ago and things have worked out great for me here, and they will for you too.
You just need to take a deep breath and read through our quick guide to Relocating To Cleveland. We offer some helpful tips to help get you started. If you would like even more information, you will want to check out our Ultimate Guide To Relocating To Cleveland. It’s a little longer to read, but well worth it.

A LITTLE ABOUT CLEVELAND

Since Cleveland is going to be your new home, you might as well accept it and learn a little about our great Midwestern city. First off, Cleveland is known as being a big city with a small town feel.  The people are friendly and there is a lot to do all year round. We have a great Art Museum,  lively Theater District , great zoo, and Cleveland is also home to 3 major sports teams and numerous minor league teams as well.

Here is our list of the top 5 things that are great about Cleveland:

1. Community – Cleveland is a “small big city” where people can move here and quickly feel like they belong.

2. Cost of Living – Where else has so much to offer and such incredibly affordable housing! The choices are unlimited and the prices are right.

3. Culture at your fingertips – You don’t have to drive far to access a myriad of excellent museums, theater, or our world class symphony.

4. Fine Dining –  Iron Chef Michael Symon’s amazing restaurants are only the beginning. We’ve discovered great places to eat in every neighborhood, both East and West sides.

5. Schools – The Northeast Ohio area has some of the top rated schools not only in the state, but the country.

So now that you have learned a little bit about our town, on to the task at hand, your upcoming relocation to Cleveland.

STEP 1 – ADDRESS YOUR HOUSING NEEDS

A major step in the relocation process is finding a place to live in Cleveland. Do you want to live on the East side or West side? Are you going to rent or buy? What can you get for your money here in Cleveland?

Cleveland has some great housing options, but you’ll need someone to guide you through the process. You need to find yourself a great real estate agent, someone you feel can help you not only with housing, but all the many other things that come with a major relocation, such as finding good doctors, schools, and contractors. Your agent will be a main source of information and guidance during your move, so do your research and choose wisely.

 

STEP 2: WHERE TO LIVE

The first thing you need to decide is if you are going to live on the East Side or West side. In Cleveland, people typically live and work on the same side of town, rarely venturing to the other side. You need to keep this in mind if you have friends or family on one side of town and choose to live on the other as you may not see them very often. That is why deciding where to live is a very important decision.

The East and West sides are different yet do share some similar characteristics. They both offer older and newer housing, moderately priced and luxury homes as well.

For those who like the water, there are more suburbs on the West side. However, there are more luxury homes and estates located on the East side.

 

SCHOOLS

Also, if you have children, you may want to look into the different school systems and find one that is the best fit for your family. Then, you can find housing located within that particular school district. You’ll be happy to know that some of the best public schools in the state can be found right here in the Cleveland area.

 

Overall, there are a lot of great options of where to live in Cleveland. The most important thing is to become educated about the different areas of town so that you can be comfortable with your final decision.

 

STEP 3: THE BIG MOVE

We are not going to get into a lot of detail here regarding the actual home buying process, as we have a “Complete Guide To Buying A Home In Cleveland” that thoroughly covers the entire process. Our focus here is to prepare you for the move as we want you to be organized, as this helps alleviate stress levels during such a big transition.

One important thing to remember, especially if your move is related to your job, is to keep all records and receipts regarding the move as many expenses can be tax-deductible ( consult your accountant for details ).

PRIOR TO MOVING

Here is a helpful list of tips to consider PRIOR to moving:

1.      Make sure your personal items are properly insured during the move

2.      Have legal, medical, and insurance records in a secure place.

3.      Get medical records for yourself, children, and pets. This includes dentists, orthodontists, optometrists and veterinarians.

4.      Make travel arrangements for your pets.

5.      Have all computers backed up prior to moving them.

Now, for the move. At this point, you should have already contacted a moving company and the date should be scheduled. It is important to note that you want to be extra careful to make sure your new home is accessible to you prior to scheduling the moving date.

In Ohio, the closing date is not always the same as the transfer date, the day you actually get the keys and become the owner of the home. Therefore, communication with your agent and the title company are critical to avoid any last minute headaches.

MOVING DAY

Here’s the big day you’ve been waiting for, moving day. This is a very exciting yet stressful day, so being organized and prepared will help. Here are some things that you should have with you:

1.      Phone numbers of real estate agent, title company, and moving company.

2.      Map of the local area, although a GPS will help as well.

3.      Sufficient cash or travelers checks

4.      Enough clothes, toiletries and medicine, if applicable, to last a few days, in case the movers are late.

5.      Personal items that are not replaceable should be kept with you as well.

It may also be wise as a back up to have the name and number of a local hotel, once again, just in case the movers are delayed.

Congratulations again on your upcoming move to Cleveland. With a little help and a positive attitude, this could be the best thing that ever happened to you. Good Luck!

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS

The above information is compliments of The Schuman Team, Amy and Dan, of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. They specialize is luxury homes, relocation, and first-time buyers.

They can be reached at 216-346-3235 or 216-403-9189 or via email, danschuman@howardhanna.com or amyschuman@howardhanna.com.

The Schumans service the following Cleveland area suburbs: Aurora, Bainbridge, Bay Village, Beachwood, Bentleyville, Chagrin Falls, Cleveland Heights, Gates Mills, Highland Heights, Hunting Valley, Lakewood, Lyndhurst, Mayfield Heights, Mayfield Village, Moreland Hills, Oakwood Village, Orange, Pepper Pike, Shaker Heights, Solon, South Euclid, University Heights, Westlake, Woodmere.

Relocating To Cleveland – The Quick Guide is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent.©March, 2013

 

Buying A Bank Owned Home – The Pros, Cons, and Reality

 

 

Many buyers hear about all the great deals that people are getting on foreclosed homes, and they want in on the action. The problem is that there are downsides to everything.

Before making a rash decision to go out and buy a bank owned home, you need to first consider the pros and cons:

 

PROS

1.    Getting A Home For Below Market Value – Who doesn’t want a deal, right?

2.     Less Competition – A lower pool of buyers have the ability to finance and then put money into a home to fix it up. This could be a good opportunity for the right person, and especially critical as we head into a possible seller’s market.

3.     Great Opportunity– A foreclosed home may be the only way for someone to afford a particular neighborhood or suburb.

4.     Return On Investment  – Buyers who buy a bank owned home and fix it up can end up with a large amount of immediate equity.

5.     Alternative To Building – Building a home takes time and is not always a feasible option for everyone. Buying a bank owned home and fixing it up to your specific tastes allows you to get the end product that you want, without the cumbersome process of building.

 

CONS

1.     Money – It takes money, sometimes a lot of it, to fix all needed repairs that are typical in a bank owned home.

2.     Risk – Foreclosed homes don’t have property disclosures, so you don’t know what you are getting.

3.     Neglect – Bank owned homes have been sitting vacant, sometimes for years. The lack of maintenance may lead to unanticipated problems down the road, some ending up to be costly.

4.     Time Is Money – Buying a bank owned home often requires a huge investment of your valuable time. It can be like having a second job.

5.     Financing – Some banks won’t lend on a home if it is not in decent condition. This would require a buyer to pay cash, or get a specialized construction loan, which is not always feasible.

 

THE REALITY

The biggest problem we see is buyers jumping head first into buying a foreclosed home without giving it much thought. Many have heard success stories about people buying a bank owned home and assume they can easily do it too.

I have no doubt that a ton of people are successfully buying bank owned homes for 5%, 20%, or even 50% below market value. However, there are risks involved and they need to be considered.

Unless you have experience buying and fixing up homes, the process tends to catch most buyers off guard. They often fail to properly calculate the amount of money needed to improve the home, which can lead to their financial downfall. This is especially true for first-time buyers.

A bank owned home can be a fantastic opportunity to get the home of your dreams at a great price. You just need to consider the pros and cons to make sure it is the right thing for you.

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS

The above information is compliments of The Schuman Team, Amy and Dan, of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. They specialize is luxury homes, relocation, and first-time buyers.

They can be reached at 216-346-3235 or 216-403-9189 or via email, danschuman@howardhanna.com or amyschuman@howardhanna.com.

The Schumans service the following Cleveland area suburbs: Aurora, Bainbridge, Bay Village, Beachwood, Bentleyville, Chagrin Falls, Cleveland Heights, Gates Mills, Highland Heights, Hunting Valley, Lakewood, Lyndhurst, Mayfield Heights, Mayfield Village, Moreland Hills, Oakwood Village, Orange, Pepper Pike, Shaker Heights, Solon, South Euclid, University Heights, Westlake, Woodmere.

Buying A Bank Owned Home – The Pros, Cons, and Reality is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent.©March, 2013