Kristine M. Hansmann's Blog
One aspect of house hunting that some prospective home buyers overlook is security. Perhaps it's because they're looking at homes in "nice neighborhoods, where you shouldn't have to worry about that sort of thing happening." Maybe another reason they're paying little or no attention to security issues is that they're more preoccupied with the layout of the kitchen, the size of the backyard, and the condition of the master bathroom.
Even though there are dozens of details to compare and think about when you're house hunting, security features are important enough to include in your checklist. By letting your real estate agent know that home security is a high priority for you, they'll hopefully point out security features that they notice and perhaps ask the listing agent for any additional information on things like installed alarms systems, deadbolt locks, or security lighting on the property.
As a side note, if the present owner has recently installed an extensive security system in the house, you can also use that as an opportunity (excuse) to inquire about crime in the neighborhood and whether there have been any recent incidents in the area. Additional research may need to be done to ferret out that information.
As you check out different houses that your buyers' agent shows you, here are a few security-related checkpoints to keep in mind:
- Do the doors look solid and are they secured by deadbolt locks?
- Do first-floor windows have functional and securely locking mechanisms?
- Are there any outside floodlights, lamp posts, and/or other forms of illumination around the house?
- Are there any overgrown bushes next to the house that could conceal a burglar's attempt to enter the house through a window?
- Are there any fences on the premises that might discourage a burglar from entering the property?
- Do the main entrances have locking storm doors that provide an extra layer of security?
- Are there any other security vulnerabilities that you or your real estate agent think need addressing, either now or in the immediate future?
When you do find the ultimate house for you and your family, it's always a good idea to change the locks on all external doors as soon as possible. You never know how many duplicate keys have been circulated over the years to contractors, neighbors, cleaning people, pet sitters, house sitters, and family members. One way to take control of your new home's security situation is to make sure there are no extra house keys floating around in the hands of people you don't know.
Let's face it – purchasing your dream home may prove to be an uphill climb, particularly for a homebuyer who fails to prepare accordingly. Lucky for you, we're here to help you make your homeownership dream a reality and ensure you can discover your ideal residence in no time at all.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get ready to pursue your dream house.
1. Establish Homebuying Criteria
Finding your ideal house can be quick and easy if you establish homebuying criteria before you launch a home search. In fact, with homebuying criteria in hand, you can narrow your house search and speed up the homebuying journey.
To create homebuying criteria, you first should think about cities and towns where you want to live. Next, analyze houses in your preferred cities and towns and consider home must-haves and wants. Once you know exactly what you want to find in your dream house and where you want to reside, you can schedule home showings and move closer to finding your ideal house.
2. Get Pre-Approved for Home Financing
Homebuyers rarely have all the money they need to buy a home. Thankfully, banks and credit unions offer a wide range of mortgage options to make it simple for homebuyers to purchase residences. And if you meet with banks and credit unions, you can review your mortgage options and get pre-approved for home financing.
Obtaining a mortgage may help you streamline your house search because it enables you to establish a homebuying budget that you can use to hone your quest to find your dream home. Perhaps best of all, getting pre-approved for a mortgage may help you resist the temptation to spend beyond your means to purchase your ideal residence.
3. Hire a Real Estate Agent
Navigating the housing market on your own can be challenging for first-time and experienced homebuyers alike. Fortunately, real estate agents are available who can help you take the guesswork out of pursuing your dream house.
A real estate agent is a housing market expert who understands what it takes to complete a successful home search. He or she will meet with you, analyze your homebuying goals and map out a homebuying strategy. Then, a real estate agent will work with you to help make your homeownership dream come true.
As you conduct your home search, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about new residences that become available in your preferred cities and towns. He or she also will set up house showings and offer insights into the local real estate market. Furthermore, if you find your dream house, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase this residence. And if your homebuying proposal ultimately is accepted, a real estate agent will guide you through the final stages of the homebuying process.
Start your search for your dream house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can boost the likelihood of a successful homebuying journey.
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If you recently purchased a home in a new city or town, you may need to act quickly to ensure cable services are installed immediately following your move. Lucky for you, we're here to help you assess cable services providers so that you can find one that exceeds your expectations.
Now, let's take a look at three best practices as you evaluate cable services providers.
1. Think About the Services That You Will Need
Many cable services providers are available, and no two services providers are exactly alike. As such, you'll want to examine which cable services that you need, along with which services that you can live without.
For example, a hardcore football fan likely will need a cable services package that makes it easy to watch plenty of pigskin action. On the other hand, a political news follower may want a cable services package that delivers up-to-the-minute Capitol Hill news coverage.
Ask each cable services provider about the packages that it provides, along with which channels are included in each package. That way, you'll be better equipped than ever before to make an informed cable services purchase decision.
2. Consider Your Budget
Cable services packages may vary from basic packages that include a handful of channels to complete bundles that feature thousands of channels. Meanwhile, cable services providers offer packages at different price points, and you'll want to find a package that guarantees you won't have to break your monthly budget to afford cable services.
In some instances, cable services providers offer discounts to customers who sign multi-year agreements. Keep in mind, however, that if you sign a multi-year agreement, you're committed to the terms of this pact for a few years. And if you need to break the agreement, you may be hit with a cancellation fee.
Furthermore, many cable services providers offer internet and phone services. If you decide to combine your cable services with internet and phone offerings, you may be able to receive a discounted bundle rate.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
Separating one cable services provider from another can be difficult, particularly for those with limited time and resources at their disposal. If you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can gain expert insights into different cable services companies and boost your chances of making the best possible selection.
A real estate agent is happy to connect you with top cable services providers in various cities and towns. By doing so, this housing market professional can ensure you can seamlessly set up cable services at any address, at any time.
Let's not forget about the support that a real estate agent can provide throughout the homebuying journey, either. A real estate agent can schedule home showings, negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf and much more.
There is no need to worry about getting the best cable services at your new home. Use the aforementioned best practices, and you can should have no trouble finding a top-notch cable services provider prior to moving day.