What do you want in your home?…somewhere to raise a family, plant a garden, watch birds nest in nearby trees, a place of tranquility and pleasure?
You are embarking on the investment of your lifetime, the culmination of your hard labor, a sanctuary for you and your loved ones where memories will last a lifetime.
What is it that you need to know before you begin this journey?
Let’s explore together some important aspects of buying Annapolis Real Estate!
Why should I buy?
You have probably already listened to friends, family, and coworkers tell you about joys and woes of home ownership.
As with everything else, the more you know, the less scary the prospect is.
Here are reasons why you should consider buying a home.
- Pride of Ownership – “is the number one reason people want to own their own home. When you own your home you can do whatever you want: paint anywhere, any color, turn up the volume, attach any fixtures, and decorate completely to your liking. You experience a sense of stability and security for you have made an investment for the present and the future.
- Appreciation – Although real estate is somewhat cyclical, over the years it has consistently appreciated. Your home is still a hedge against inflation.
- Mortgage Interest Deductions – “Home ownership is a terrific tax shelter and our tax rates favor home owners. As long as your mortgage balance is smaller than the price of your home, mortgage interest is fully deductible on your tax return. Interest is the largest component on your mortgage payment.”
- Capital gains exclusion – “As long as you have lived in your home for two of the past 5 years, you can exclude up to $250,000.00 for an individual or $500,000.00 for a married couple of profit from capital gains. You do not have to buy a replacement home or move up. There is no age restriction and the over 55 rule does not apply. You could sell every two years and pocket your profit (subject to limitations) free from taxation.”
- Stable monthly housing costs build equity “As your principle payment amount increases, so does your equity. You as a homeowner can borrow against your home’s equity for a variety of reasons such as home improvement, college, or even starting another business by borrowing through a home equity loan at a much smaller interest rate that is tax deductible.
How do I know what I want?
Being restricted by a price range does not mean that you can’t afford to get what you want in your house. You need to consider your desires, needs, hopes, and dreams for your home. Define these home buying qualifications and write them down. Consider the following:
Location and neighborhood
- Suburbs or country
Pro: generally less expensive, more for your money
Cons: far from city offerings
Pro: close to city offerings, many period homes offer distinctiveness in style
Cons: noisier, higher crime, more expensive
- Busy street-
Pros: often much cheaper,
- Cul de sac
Pros: number one choice of buyers with children
Cons: less privacy, neighbors know more about you
- Corner lot
Pros: larger lots, fewer neighbors, more visibility
Cons: more traffic, more vulnerable to vehicles jumping the curve, more shoveling in winter
Type of Home
- Single family
Pros: good appreciation, opportunity for gardens, more privacy, quieter
Cons: more expensive, more maintenance
- Condo, townhouse
Pros: less expensive than single family homes, fewer repairs, lock n go lifestyle, no yard or exterior maintenance
Cons: less privacy, noisier, common walls, ceilings, floors, sometimes no private yard or balcony
Number of Stories
- Single story
Pros: easier to clean, easier for medical issues
Cons: noisier , more of lot absorbed by living quarters, safety could be compromised
- More than one story
Pros: more living space on same foundation, less noise if entertaining on lower level while other family members are resting
Cons: lots of stair climbing, difficult to maintain consistent temperature, more water leaks likely
- Split level
Pros: often less expensive if purchased with lower level unfinished, higher ceilings appealing, downstairs family room separates noise levels from upstairs, more square footage on same size lot as ranch
Cons: less storage space, kitchens tend to be smaller
- Number of bedrooms
Pros: common minimum 3 with new parents having them all on one level
Cons: 2 bedroom appeal on 1st time homebuyers, singles, or seniors.
- Number of bathrooms
Pros: More than one bath preferred. One bath cheaper
Cons: Don’t pass up one bath home if there is room to add a second on your own. Sometimes it costs less to put in an extra bath than buy a two-bath home
- Square footage
Pros: larger space offers more room and costs less per square foot
Cons: Don’t be misled. Layout is more important than square footage. Well designed smaller spaces can appear larger.
- Bonus rooms
Pros: extra space for media room, art studio, playroom, den, study
Cons: more expensive
How do I look for a home?
Almost 80% of home searches begin on the internet. Homebuyers can search through hundreds of online listings, virtual tours, and photographs, as well as aerial shots of neighborhoods and homes. Define your goals (see next section below) and have a good idea of the type of home and neighborhood you desire. Make a list of everything that you want in your home so that when you reach my office, you are well on your way to home ownership.
It should not take long for you to find your home with my help for I will listen to you wants and needs and arrange to show you only those homes that fit your particular parameters. These are all homes that I have previewed before showing them to you, as neither one of us has time to waste.
A home inventory can be a great help in reviewing the homes that you have seen:
- Bring a digital camera to each home and begin a series of photos with a close-up of the house number to identify where each group of home photos start and end.
- Take copious notes and pictures of unusual features, colors, and design elements.
- Pay attention to the home’s surroundings. What is next door? Do you like the location? Is it near a park?
- Immediately after leaving the home, rate it on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest.
- After touring homes you will instinctively know which one or two you would like to buy. I will take you to them again so you can see them with a much keener eye, noticing elements that may have been overlooked the first go-around.
- I will then find out more about the seller’s motivation and double-check that an offer has not been made – making sure that the home you have chosen is available for your purchasing.
- You will then make your offer based on all of the information I can give you and you have gathered in your inventory.
Why choose me as your real estate agent?
As a top selling agent I will guide you through this entire process from viewing homes and financing, to making sure the final contract is in your best interest and you are completely happy with your decision.
I will insure access to all of the homes available for sale in the Annapolis and surrounding areas. My expertise of this locale should be invaluable to you, not just in terms of real estate findings, but also neighborhoods, schools, the local economy, and community outlooks. By having years of experience selling throughout Anne Arundel County, I am very familiar with the varied towns and neighborhoods and can offer my own unique perspective to your search.
It is important that you have a real estate agent whom you can trust and count on to be there for any question or concern, all walk-throughs and inspections, and assist with negotiations and contracts.
Allow me to be your representative in this life-changing decision. I will make certain that you know everything there is to know about the property you are buying, before the purchase is made. I, Warren Prins, want you to have your dream home, a place that meets and even exceeds your expectations. Together, we can make it happen.