Posted on 20. September 2011 03:09 by qmiskini


The search for the perfect home begins with painting a mental picture of your perfect home and then writing down your wants, wishes and needs – the special criteria that add form and color to that picture.  With that initial inspiration comes some key steps in the search.

Step 1: Find a Realtor who can offer you a variety of specialized services, each crafted to help you achieve your home buying goals.  That Realtor should have a Team of specialists available who can provide input and service each step of the way. And that Realtor should be able to offer you a HomeHunter Service ® that can provide you with a well-defined daily list of homes in a variety of categories like foreclosures, pre-foreclosure short sales, retail listings, special distress sale categories like estate owned properties and off market properties from all the realtors and for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) properties. This video can help you define the list of essential services your Realtor should provide.

Step2: Meet with a Lender to pinpoint just how much you can afford to pay for your perfect home. Knowing your price threshold will help you determine many of the wants, wishes and needs on your list of criteria, and will save you time by not searching out homes that are above or below your price.  Knowing the essential services your Realtor’s team can provide and having access to Lenders to confidentially discuss your finances and your ability to receive a home loan is a critical early step in your search for the perfect home. This video will help you with a check list of important service criteria you need to consider.

Step 3: Write down your criteria.  Meet with your Realtor and write down what you want your home to provide so that your HomeHunter ® searches focus on properties that match your vision of that perfect home.  This is when you begin applying form and color and shading to that picture.  Which area of your community do you want to live in?  East Cobb – Marietta or West Cobb – Powder Springs? Marietta or Woodstock? They are right next door to one another but in different counties. Are schools important? If so, you need to research schools for academic and resource standings. Are the neighborhoods or sub divisions you may be considering on the school bus routes? What style of home do you see in your picture? Contemporary or traditional? Raised ranch or 2-story? Lots of trees and grass or a small, easy to take care of home-site? How many bedrooms and baths? How about a master bedroom on the main level… or do you prefer to have all he bedrooms upstairs? Where should the laundry be; upstairs with the bedrooms or near the kitchen?  There are dozens if not more large and small criteria items your Realtor will help you sort through until you have a clear pleasing picture of your perfect home.

Step 4: Start to drive through neighborhoods with homes that peak your interest. Are they close to transportation, highways, schools, shopping? Do you like the sub division recreational area – pool, tennis, more? Or does that even matter to you?

Step 5 Preview homes with your Realtor. Walk through them and take notes. What do you like and not like. Which of your criteria worked on paper but not in reality?  On paper having the master bedroom on the main level and away from the children sounded good.  But in reality, you are more comfortable with all the bedrooms on the same level.  You won’t really know that until you visit homes with master bedrooms on the main level and homes with all the bedrooms grouped together.  Now your search matching locations, price, style neighborhood and home amenities and your feelings about the homes you are visiting begin to add clarity to your picture.  Once the picture becomes clear, you’ll be surprised how much easier the search becomes.

It all begins with painting that mental picture of your perfect home and then finding the right Team to help you find it, buy it and enjoy it for years to come.

Because selling or buying a home is a process and a journey, not an event, you will want to subscribe to our free video e-mail series for home sellers and buyers. For access to the complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home selling or buying decisions you can CLICK HERE ==èSPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS and ask for the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks.  Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line and let us know if want the home seller or home buyer series. 

If you just want to see what other homes in your area are selling for by searching the MLS CLICK HERE =èSEARCH THE MLS FREE

Or contact us directly for free, no obligation information at


Posted on 13. September 2011 03:24 by qmiskini


Developing a strategy for buying the right home is both an art as well as a science.  The art is understanding your wants.  The science is identifying your needs.  Combining the two provides a picture of the right home for you.

Here is a short primer on some of what your Realtor and their Team will help you identify to get you started on the path to successful home buying.  It all starts with writing it down.  You can call it the wish list, the want list, the need list.  But it’s really all three.

Start with the most important first step you can take – meeting with a Lender to get pre-approved for a home loan.  Your Realtor will have home loan specialists on their Team who can offer a menu of options for loans.  They can provide you with information about the various programs offered, whether or not you qualify for special programs like 203K FHA renovation loans, what you must do to qualify for a home loan, and how much of a home loan can you afford. With a pre-approval letter in hand, you now know what price home you can purchase.

Next you will begin putting all of your specific criteria on paper, developing an image of the size, style and location of the home that fits all your specific criteria. For example, you may want a home in the Walton High School District in Marietta GA, or you want to live in the Milton GA or Alpharetta GA community. You like the schools, but how long will your commute time be to work? How many bedrooms will you need? How about a basement – will storage or expansion be important to you?  Big lot and back yard – room for the kids to play, love gardening? How about a master bedroom on the main level vs. all the bedrooms upstairs?  And you’ve only just begun.  Here’s where working with your Realtor to develop that list in order to generate a daily HomeHunter ® Service list of homes pays off.

Knowing your budget will also help you focus your wish, want and need lists.  For example, a $225,000 budget will buy a newer construction 4 bedroom, 2.5 Bath home on a full basement in the Sprayberry High School District of Marietta GA, but perhaps a somewhat older 3 bedroom, 2 bath home in the Walton High School District of Marietta GA.  Are you handy?  Will taking on a lower priced foreclosed property in Alpharetta GA needing fix-up work to make it your dream home help you bridge cost vs. size vs. location issues?   Or, is new home construction in a new home community in Woodstock GA a better choice for you?

As you can see, wandering through the maze of options available is not the best way to find the right home in the best location at the lowest price with the least hassle.  Engaging a Realtor with a Team of specialists who can help you focus on the best properties for you – those that meet the important criteria you identify -  will not only simplify your search, it will go a long way toward making it more memorable and enjoyable experience.  To help you get started here’s a brief video – How To Make The Most From Your Home-Buying Experience that will outline the process we’ve been talking about.

Because buying or selling a home is a process and a journey, not an event, you will want to subscribe to our free video e-mail series for home buyers and sellers. For access to the complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home buying or selling decisions you can CLICK HERE ==èSPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS and ask for the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks.  Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line and let us know if want the home buyer or home seller series. 

If you just want to start out by searching the MLS to see what types of homes are available in your projected price range and area of preference CLICK HERE =èSEARCH THE MLS FREE



Posted on 5. September 2011 08:36 by qmiskini


Working with a Real Estate Team when you are buying a home – whether it’s your first or the next - your relationship with your realty “team leader” should not be an adversarial relationship. Trust between you, the Client, and your service team leader – your Realtor – should be the first aspect of the relationship to be established.  Yet that often seems to be the most difficult and elusive part of the relationship to establish.

For the Client, this as an unusual, often daunting process, fraught with shifting emotions and financial ambiguities.   Since most Clients only buy or sell one or two homes in their lifetime, and usually years apart becoming comfortable, no less schooled in the current market conditions, financial and credit requirements, home valuations, location concerns and so many more items on an ever-growing and increasingly complex check-list of do’s, don’ts musts and must not’s, means you must find a professional to educate and guide you. .. a professional you can rely on and trust. 

For the Realtor this is their business…and in order for your Realtor and their Team  to be successful in helping you achieve your goals and dreams, he or she not only needs to provide you with all the education, resources and a team of experts to support your needs, they also need to help you become comfortable in revealing both what you think and feel about the process and the outcomes you are experiencing.  And that takes trust.

To start with, education and patience is key.  Your Realtor has to provide you, not just with a list of homes to go and see, but with a step by step process and plan for helping you determine what price, style, condition, location and dozens of other large and small criteria options are needed to create a picture of the home that will truly fit your home-buying needs. 

Very important from the start is your Realtor’s ability to help you establish your unique criteria using such programs as a HomeHunter ® service to help you begin framing your wants, needs and goals.  For access to a complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home purchase you can CLICK HERE ==èSPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS and ask for the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks.  Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line. 

If you just want to start out by searching the MLS to see what types of homes are available in your projected price range and area of preference CLICK HERE =èSEARCH THE MLS FREE

Remember, buying a home is a process, not an event.  Finding a Realtor to help you step through the process  – one you can trust – will go a long way toward achieving your goals.


Posted on 3. September 2011 07:56 by qmiskini


Experienced Buyer’s Agents hear this one all the time from their Clients: “We’ve looked at so many houses today, this is the last one, and it’s not very pretty, let’s just call it a day and start again tomorrow.”  Any Realtor who is an advocate for their Client, especially those who have shown thousands of homes and sold many hundreds of homes knows that you should never judge a book by its cover.   A property that you may not think, from the outside is “cute’, or ’pretty” or “elegant,” may have all the attributes you are seeking on the inside; and because it may not be the “prettiest” home on the block, may be far more negotiable in price.  And if you don’t like the home’s color, or the porch is ugly…there’s rarely anything about a home that cannot be changed to suit your individual tastes.

As is often the case, when you open the book’s cover and peer inside at the pictures and words… you discover a story well worth reading.  For example, one of our in-town Clients had very definite views on what they were looking for.  They were at the end of a long day, having seen nearly 20 homes that did not suit.  This last home didn’t have any of the street view attributes they were looking for and they decided to just pass it by.  In their carefully customized HomeHunter ® daily list of the hottest new listings, it looked, on paper, that it had nearly everything they wanted – space, renovated and updated features, right neighborhood, close to favorite shops and restaurants… but a lack of curb appeal turned them off.  It was the last property on the list on a long day of disappointments.

“We’re here,” urged their Realtor, who had heard this refrain before.  Tired, grumpy, disappointed, hungry are all symptoms of frustration, and work against tenacity and judgment, two important attributes Realtors hope to imbue in their Buyers… or that their Buyers come already equipped with.  “Either way,” she urged with the bribe, “I’ll buy the snacks to tide us over until dinner…”

Long story short, inside it was everything - from the front entry to the back fence - they were looking for!  The last home at the end of a very long day at the end of an even longer search turned out to be exactly what the Buyer was searching for.  Offer made, terms negotiated, inspections, appraisal, closing… MOVE IN DAY– WOW “WE LOVE IT – WE’RE SO HAPPY!”  Even the “boring” front, with just a few touches, now ranks high on their “I Love My Home” list.

So don’t give up, and don’t judge a book by its cover… because more often than not, sometimes the last is the best!


Posted on 2. September 2011 02:45 by qmiskini



For years they dreamed of leaving the suburbs and finding the “perfect” cottage in one of the Atlanta “In-Town” neighborhoods.  Where walking was not just a form of exercise but an opportunity to stroll over to a great bistro, an iconic neighborhood art gallery or just shop a supermarket without having to get in their car, drive several miles and then hunt up a parking spot somewhere vaguely in proximity to the store’s entrance.  This year, as their last child was leaving for college, the chance to embrace that dream became real.

Now, facing the reality that the time to move into town was at hand, they needed a plan.  Step 1, find a Realtor who could help them organize a search for their dream home, and help them prepare and then sell their current home in the burbs.  Step 2, working with their Realtor: develop a plan for narrowing their searches – which neighborhoods in-town best fit both their “wish-list” and needs.   Step 3, begin working with a Lender to determine just how much they could afford to spend on their dream.   Step 4, get their current home on the market and “hit the bricks”… start driving through in-town neighborhoods, start looking at homes, start focusing their vision of what really is the perfect cottage in the perfect neighborhood.

Pouring through the daily hot-list of the newest properties to hit the market provided to them by their Realtor through their unique computerized HomeHunter ® Service, they quickly began to learn which neighborhoods provided good value for the asking price, and which neighborhoods did not.  By both driving neighborhoods and also previewing homes with their Realtor, they began to narrow their focus, and determine what features and benefits the home, the street and the neighborhood would best suit their wants and needs.

In the meantime, using a plan provided by their Realtor, they prepared their home so that is was “show quality,” meaning it looked good from the street and lived up to expectations on the inside too.  These days, unless a Buyer is shopping for a distress sale property like a foreclosure or pre-foreclosure short sale where the Buyer expects to purchase at a discount and expects to fix and clean the property, a non-distressed property has to not only be priced competitively but has to be in “move-in-condition.”  Along with a massive marketing plan they developed a pricing plan in order to find the price point where the market positively equated the home’s price with the home’s value and benefits.  Once there, despite the so-called “awful” market, their home showed consistently and shortly received two offers. With a bound agreement in hand, they and their Realtor shifted into high gear.

“We looked at nearly one hundred houses, but with our Realtor’s guidance, we didn’t panic.”  And then, as if it had been waiting for them all along, the “perfect in-town cottage” appeared on their daily HomeHunter ® feed.   And indeed it was perfect.  Recently beautifully renovated, located on a street where walking everywhere was a joy and not a burden, plenty of space for living and for working at home and priced within their budget.  Visit it once…”oh joy!”   Visit it again to be sure it felt just a good on a second look.  “Let’s come back again tomorrow, taking time to stand in each room, get a feeling for the space, the light, the lot.”  Room enough for visitors to stay the weekend?  Enough space for the dogs?  Yes, yes…Yes!

Ok Realtor - make the initial offer…negotiate terms and price… inspections, appraisal, organize a myriad of details… coordinate both closings. 

Dreams do come true – if you have a plan, and have a Real Estate team to help you work for them. 

Having that Urban Christmas is a dream no more!