How a Quality Realty Service Gets Good Reviews

Good realty services aren’t just a fixture of the local business scene, they will also be among the most highly reviewed real estate companies in the area. Glowing reviews, such as those attained by Coastal Realty Services, are not by chance, however—the company will have worked hard to distinguish themselves. So what makes a quality company so different? Here are three ways a company stands above the competition:

Coastal Realty Services -- couple with realtor

By helping to educate customers

Part of a real estate company’s job is to make sure that buyers and sellers are informed, and yet this is the part that trips up so many companies. Sellers need to learn about the market so that they understand what other houses they will be competing with, as well as what market factors (like interest rates and the number of homes available) will affect their sale. Buyers, on the other hand, need to be informed about many of the same factors, but from the perspective of setting a realistic budget and narrowing their search in the appropriate neighborhoods or types of homes.

Ultimately, both buyers and sellers are better able to navigate the real estate process and will feel more comfortable every step of the way if their realtor is working to actively help them become educated as they go. A number of reviews of quality companies specifically mention how agents go out of their way to help clients understand the market and the process. These companies will also keep a frequently updated blog of resource articles to help clients understand every aspect of their purchase or sale.

By knowing the market better than anyone

The bottom line is that a realtor’s ability to deliver value for their client depends on how well they know the market. Locally rooted real estate agencies tend to have a better knowledge of neighborhoods, local economic conditions, and properties available than other companies do. Similarly, more experienced real estate agents will be able to offer more insight and help a client make smart choices along the way. A quality company checks both of these boxes. They’ll often be a local family-owned business that knows the area well and has been in continuous operation for many years.

By offering more

These companies don’t just buy and sell homes; they also offer services such as property management, rentals, and recommendations for inspectors and handymen. That means that they routinely help customers rent properties that aren’t ready to be sold, find rentals in-between houses, and improve homes for sale to get the best price for them.

What do you look for in a realtor?

5 Essential Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

Looking to buy your first home? Congratulations! Becoming a homeowner has been a cornerstone of the American dream for a long time now. While buying a home is certainly an exciting milestone, it can also be a bit overwhelming at the same time. Between looking at homes and determining affordability, balancing work and caring for your family, it can be difficult to know exactly which steps to take.

While buying a home can feel like a lengthy process, it will be worth it when you can officially call yourself a homeowner. To help make everything less daunting, the professional staff at Coastal Realty Services reviews five vital tips to help you.

1.  Get Pre-Approved for a Loan

mortgage application

Before even starting to look at homes, you should get an idea of how much a lender will be willing to give you and, thus, the type of price range you’ll be looking at. In this instance, you will have to apply for a loan. Monthly income, student loans, employment, and any debt you have (among other factors) will impact how much a lender will offer. A lender can also help determine the type of loan and interest rate that is best for you based on your situation. A pre-approval will open the door for you, as sellers will see that you are ready to buy.

2.  Determine the Type of Home That Suits Your Needs

Are you looking for a single-family home, a townhouse or a multi-family home? You have many options when searching for a property, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Look around to find a home that is ideal for your family size and which also fits your budget.

3.  Know What Features You Want

In addition to the type and size of the home, determine what features you’d like to have. These include basic desires like a good neighborhood, as well as smaller details such as a garage. You should retain some flexibility in the process, since finding that ideal home that has everything you could dream of can be difficult. You can prioritize the features in order of importance to make the decision easier.

4.  Find an Experienced Real Estate Agent

Buying your first home can be complex, so it’s recommended that you hire an experienced real estate agent. The agent will assist you throughout the process, locating homes that meet your needs and are within your price range, and visiting and inspecting the homes. They will provide their experienced and professional advice with regards to the home and help you choose the one that’s best for you.

5.  Don’t Ignore Closing Costs, Property Taxes, and Homeowner’s Insurance

When you buy a home, keep in mind that the mortgage is only one piece of the entire cost. You also have closing costs, property taxes, and possible homeowner’s association fees to pay for, as well as homeowner’s insurance. Make sure you know how much all of these will cost so that you are financially prepared when you decide to buy.

Finding the Best Real Estate Agent for Your Needs

bestrealestateagent

There are few life decisions that are more important and stressful than deciding to move. Whether you’re heading to the next town or across the country, moving to a new home or apartment can be difficult. After all, if you’re relocating to a new area, you probably don’t know a lot about it and there are certain things about the neighborhoods and homes that you will need to be aware of. Luckily, you can hire someone to help! A qualified realtor could make the home search a lot easier and less worrisome. However, you don’t want just anyone helping you find a home (or sell your current one), so make sure to follow these tips to find the right realtor for your needs.

Find an agent who knows what you’re looking for

You’re hiring someone who will be the source of inside information on your next home, so they need to be familiar with the area that you’re actually moving to. Don’t hire someone a friend recommends because they helped them find a home a few towns or states over – they won’t know what the neighborhoods are like, where the good schools are, the direction the property values are going in, etc. Also, make sure to find an agent who is an expert in the kind of property you’re looking for; if you want to buy a home by the beach, you should look for an agent who specializes in coastal realty services and not urban areas.

Talk with recent clients

If your real estate agent is as good as they say they are, they will have a list of happy former clients to use as references. Contacting these people is one of the easiest ways to learn about a real estate agent’s suitability. They will be able to share the success they had finding a living situation, as well as any reservations that they may have had about the process.

But don’t just trust the references the agent gives you! Double-check by looking for independent online reviews from other people who used their services. If you find a lot of negative testimonials and unhappy people, steer clear!

Check the agent’s credentials

All real estate agents have different specialties, and even real estate agents who sell any property that comes their way will pick up a few certifications to make themselves more desirable to potential clients. If you’re serious about buying a home, check to see if the agents you’re interested in have any kind of certification. An agent with a CRS (certified residential specialist) completed extra training in selling residential real estate.

When looking for a new home, you need all the help you can get, and the right real estate agent can really make the difference. What else do you look for in a real estate agent?

4 Tips for Choosing a Vacation House

homeOwning a vacation home is everyone’s dream, but hunting the right one down can be tough—especially if it’s your first time. Instead of searching blindly or settling for something that isn’t quite right, here are four tips that will help make it easier to nab you the getaway you deserve:

  1. Location is more important than amenities – We’re not suggesting you get a hut with no electricity (unless that’s your thing). But the fact of the matter is that a vacation home is far more enjoyable when it’s in a great location, and this should be your number one priority in your search—even more so than what amenities it has. Bear in mind that your family will likely only use the place for short periods, so having one bathroom instead of two or no washer/dryer may not be that big of a deal. Plus, it’s a lot easier to upgrade the property than it is to change locations. And a vacation house in a great locale will appreciate substantially over the years.
  2. Do your flood homework – An inspection and some basic research is part of buying any property, but make sure to look into disaster history in particular with a vacation home—especially past flooding in the area. Many vacation homes are located near the ocean, pristine lakes or rivers large and small, and these areas will often be in flood plains. Find out how often flooding happens, how high the water gets and how likely it is that your cottage will be flooded. Also, you may be required to get flood insurance for the property, so take that into account.
  3. Know what you’re looking for and stick to it – This seems like a basic thing, but it’s easy to forget. What do you want? A reclusive retreat with no one around for miles? A stroll of less than 20 steps to the beach? Being close to restaurants and night life? Know what R&R means to you and only look at vacation houses that match your vision.
  4. Put your vacation property to work – If you’re not using this property year-round, consider renting it out when you’re away. You can do this long-term, like an apartment, or short-term as a vacation rental. Hiring a property manager allows you to outsource the work, but will also raise your overhead. If you live in the area and can personally manage the property, sites like AirBnB offer an easy way to list it for vacationers.

One of the best ways to make sure you get the vacation home of your dreams is simply to find a realtor you can trust. Follow the tips above and look for a coastal realty service with good reviews, and you’ll be relaxing in a hammock in no time!

 

De-Stress the Moving Process with These 4 Tips

boxWe all know how fun and exciting it can be to move into a new house, city or both. Everything from new adventures and places to visit to fresh faces and relationships are awaiting you. Despite these advantages, however, moving is a notoriously stressful experience for almost everyone. Not only do you have to gather all of your things, pack them up, deliver them to a new place in one piece and then finally decide where everything is going to go and unpack everything.

Based on a recent survey by the moving company MayFlower, 41% of respondents say that packing is the most stressful part of moving. Whether you are packing with the help of friends or using a professional moving company, there are ways to make the process less stressful . . . here are four of them:

  1. Start early – Chances are good that you’ll have at least a month before your move, so don’t wait until the last minute to start packing. Alison Schwartz, from Move.com, recommends starting the process at least four weeks prior to the event.
  2. Get prepared – Nothing prolongs and makes the moving process more stressful than having to stop and run out for more supplies like tape or boxes. Before packing, take inventory of the size and quantity of your belongings to get a good sense of how many supplies you will need. Sell or give away anything that you don’t think you will use at the new house.
  3. Pack Methodically – Start early and work room by room to stay organized. If packing becomes overwhelming, set small goals; for instance, plan to pack a room a day or (if you have enough time) a room a week to keep the stress levels in check. Make sure to clearly label each box with a list of what’s inside and which room it should be dropped off in.
  4. Time Your Move to Save More – Whether you are hiring a moving company or riding solo and renting a truck, the time of the year, month, and week can determine many of your costs. June and July are typically the most expensive months to move and should be avoided, if possible. And, as you might expect, weekdays are typically less costly than busy weekends. Also, move in the early or middle parts of the month, since many others will be aiming for the end of it.

With these tips in mind, you can take the stress out of moving and turn it into a timely, manageable process. By utilizing some clever, time-saving tips and choosing a trustworthy realtor like Coastal Realty Service, your moving day can be a memorable, positive experience rather than a nightmare.

House Hunting: The Ultimate Guide

Finding the next place to call home can be a hard task to accomplish especially since there are so many choices on the market. There’s the house with the gourmet kitchen, the one with the big back yard and the other one with the gorgeous master suite. You can quickly become swept away from one specific feature that it could down play the important things on your list. It’s important to set your priorities right off the bat so you can look at the big picture: a home that has everything you need and want.

1. Make A List. Before you start house hunting, make a list that can set your priorities of what you need. Do you need two bedrooms, three bathrooms, a garage or a big back yard? Whatever needs you have, write them down and place them at the top. Be sure you include the needs and wants of others who will be living with you so you can have input from the whole gang. After you have your master list complete, highlight the ‘must-haves’ so when you see some houses without your ‘must-haves’ you can narrow down your search.

2. Comparisons. Since you have your list completed, you may have found some potential houses that meet your needs and wants. When this happens, compare them side by side to make it easier on you. Whichever house has the better features and amenities, get rid of the latter. This process may happen quite a few times but keep in mind, you want the very best. Don’t forget: when touring a home, if you immediately fall in love with a home, take a step back and re-evaluate everything! Give yourself ample time to soak everything in before jumping in.

3. Inspect. Let’s say you found a home you absolutely love. This is the time to go through your list all over again. Instead of walking through the house as a potential buyer, grab your pen and go through the house like an inspector. Take your time analyzing everything all over again. With this being said, check out the property at different times of the day and notice the way it looks. Is the neighborhood buzzing with people? Is it noisy? Finding the answers to these questions are important because the atmosphere may be different than when you first saw the property.

4. Consult. If you find a home that fits your needs and budget, reach out to your realtor for further help. They can help seal the deal and get you in your next home; whether it’s in a coastal area or inland, Coastal Realty Services can give you the extra assistance you need no matter where you are house hunting.

Home Buying Tips

shutterstock_166947962Did you know that the fall season is one of the best times to buy a home? There are a few reasons why people tend to buy homes in the fall, but mainly it’s due to the fact that there are more homes on the market leading to more price competition. It works out in the consumer’s favor because there are plenty of homes to compare side by side. Comparables are the best thing to have when looking for a home; they can potentially drive down the purchase price of a home you are considering for purchase.

Another reason why the fall is a great time to buy is because homeowners with children are often looking to sell their homes quickly. Parents want their children to adjust to new schools as early in the year as possible; if their house is still on the market when the academic year starts, those houses become aggressively priced so they can move on to another place and have their children begin at another school before the year progresses too far. Additionally, people start to think about the year-end tax breaks around September-October. Owning a home can yield great dividends when it comes to tax returns, prompting more buyers during the fall.

Things to Consider

Since you will have plenty of options on the market that could suit you, consider looking at homes that are energy efficient. Keep in mind that owning a home is a long-term investment and the purchase price isn’t the only associated cost. You will have utility bills, water bills, gas bills – you name it. Finding a home on the market that has energy-efficient appliances or are of newer construction will save you money in the long run. Buying a newer home will also help prevent having to replace big ticket items like an air conditioner or water heater, at least for a few years.

After you have narrowed your home search, begin getting your finances together so you can have a game plan ready when it’s time to put in an offer. Consult expert real estate agents for the best advice like the ones at Coastal Realty Services. Reviews of the neighborhood you are considering can help; by seeing what community amenities, if any, are present in the area, you can write an offer that reflects the real value of the home without going overboard. After all, it is your money and the next place you might call home!