LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION will always be important in REAL ESTATE  home selection! As Joanna and Chip Gaines say, they look for the worst house in the best neighborhoods to do their “FIXER UPPER” magic.  You can change a lot of the cosmetic features of a home but you can’t change the location. I LOVE HOMES!

After being in and out of real estate in 3 different states since 1994, I have had a few observations along the way. A lot has been learned about making a house a home. I consider myself to be someone of pretty good taste in home decor and perhaps a knack for knowing what is classic style. During my real estate career, I loved helping BUYERS SEE THE VISION for how a house can be a home. Maybe knock out a wall, put an archway there, and a little paint. When SELLING HOMES I enjoyed the home staging process to make the home more appealing to the most people. Sometimes after creating a more functional space they would say, “ I really like it this way and now I don’t want to move”! It is easier to be objective about someone else’s space than our own. Personally I love home and my environment is very important to me.  It is fun  pulling it all together with the old and the new.

Over the years in this business I never pushed people to buy something they didn’t love. Sometimes as a listing agent, I would wonder why the sellers previous agent didn’t discourage them buying that house. Every home has its redemption though, you just have to find it and capitalize on the positives and hope they outweigh the negatives. I once sold a home to a couple in a great neighborhood, however the home had a steep driveway. I discouraged them, and had to INFORM them that it would take longer to sell when that time came. Sure enough, they were transferred in 2-3 years, I reminded them of what I told them, they remembered and it took a few price reductions and time.

Also, the insistence that husband and wife are always on the same page with the house they select is paramount. My job was to point out the features, benefits and drawbacks of the homes I showed. Sometimes people would not see the OBVIOUS, because looking at a lot of homes is overwhelming.  My favorite times IN THE BUSINESS was when my clients found the right house for them to call home!  Sometimes it is easier than others to read exactly what buyers are looking for in a home as far as style they like? Or, they might say,” I will know it when I see it”.  The number of BR’s  BA’s they need, school district, kitchen, FR size are pretty easy. Another big thing is, can they afford what they really want? Never encouraged folks to buy at the top of their price point, leave some cushion. The ratios are there to protect people from themselves in addition to loan risk for the institution. And, do they have to sell that current home in order to buy the next one?

Homes located at the bottom of a hill are not appealing because of the gravity flow of water. Which way does water flow up or down? You guessed it -Down, under your house and into the crawl space and garage causing a host of future possible problems. Once the crawl space gets and stays wet you can experience mold and wood rot. Once you get wood rot, you might experience some structural issues. And last but not least termites. They live on rotten wood. With all the water in our area, the termites are well fed. Another not so good location of a house, in my opinion is a corner lot. A lot of people don’t like them, because you automatically loose some privacy. However, if you wanted a larger lot, building a fence and not planning on moving any time soon, it might be the perfect.

Then there is the functional obsolescence- garages that are not large enough to fit 2 cars. I just experienced that with  clients last summer. If you build a home with a 2 car garage it should fit 2 reasonable sized cars? Hence, when SUV’s first came on the scene a lot of garages weren’t adequate.  But even before that we had VAN’s. Those people expected to be able to park their cars in their garages. This is where we see builders under $450,000 generally scrimping on garages.

Another thing is the positioning of the homes on the lot. Sometimes you get a huge front yard and tiny backyard. Today’s kids play in the back yards with their dogs in fences. Cul-de-sacs are great, but you are sometimes so close to your neighbor in the front yard that you can tell what color eyeshadow she has on when she gets out of her car. Backyards in cul-de-sacs are great though because they are usually very private and large. 

ATTENTION Real estate agents, I would love to write your promotional copy for your real estate business! 

Leslie Pearce