Home Buyer Tips

We have the resources you need to find your dream property.

20 Steps to a Successful Home Purchase

If you’ve decided it’s time to buy a home, you may be a little overwhelmed about all the things you need to do and decide on. Here’s a handy list of steps you should take on the way to your new home.

1. Select a professional real estate agent, like me!

2. Investigate mortgage programs with a reputable lender

3. Get pre-approved for a loan

4. Develop a “needs and wants” list for your house, with your Realtor

5. Tour homes

6. Pare down your choices using your “needs and wants” list

7. Write a purchase offer for the home with your Realtor; review a good faith estimate with your lender

8. Negotiate the contract with the sellers

9. Sign the bottom line and start packing!

10. Deliver Earnest Money

11. Schedule a home inspection

12. Attend the home inspection

13. Negotiate defects found on home inspection

14. Order Appraisal; go through lender disclosures

15. Fix Appraisal-required Repairs

16.… Read More

Questions To Interview Any Agent

Can you give me some reviews of your work?

A great follow up to this is, may I call one or two of your former clients? I especially like to ask about intermediary sales—where the agent has worked with both buyer and seller. If those clients are happy, chances are integrity played a part.

How much real estate do you sell?

Ask if it is mostly residential and how their volume and number of transactions compares with the average area agent. We sold 9M last year with 56 transactions; ranked fourth and the biggest small firm. The average agent sold 8 units. This is really testing the agent’s area knowledge and selling aptitude.

What is your selling style?

This is to find out if they are a relationship seller, as we are. Someone who handles buyer, seller and even renting so we are here long after closing for YOU. Others are simply buyer’s agents and tend not to worry about… Read More

Insider Tips For Home Buyers

Teamwork Leads to Success.

You don’t ask a lawyer to fix a sink and you pay for what you get. Teaming with a true real estate professional and exceptional real estate lender makes all the difference in the world for a smooth and safe purchase. Buying a FSBO or a new construction home directly often mean you are putting yourself in a room with people who are very nice—nice and ready to promote their own interest. Your buyer’s agent’s job is to protect, promote and advocate for YOU. We’ll earn our commission and help your family’s financial future the best start we can. We absolutely never charge our buyers.

Vigilance.

I call it MLS vigilance. Our site has UP-TO-THE-MINUTE home search so you can watch for the best new listings. You work and have a life with friends and family. You need an agent who practices mls vigilance—monitoring continuously so you can stay on top of the ever changing market.… Read More

The Language of Real Estate

Real Estate Negotiation has a whole set of nuances but to get there, you need to speak enough real estate to shop.

Here are some of the most commonly used abbreviations and acronyms used in Casper, WY, Natrona County and Converse County.

* dk — deck
* gar — garage
* DR or FDR — formal dining room or separate dining room
* FP — fireplace
* HD or HDW– hardwood floors
* hi ceils — high ceilings
* HOA—home owner’s association
* HMS—one kind of Home Warranty
* BD or BR-Bedroom
* BA-Bathroom/s
* LR-Living Room
* lq-usually part of the phrase “extra living quarters”
* pcc or pbcc –paid closing costs and paid buyer’s closing cost as incentives
* pvt – private, often secluded or off the beaten path
* COV or covs—restrictive covenants in the district
* CA-Central Air Conditioning
*… Read More

Home Buyers: Finding A Neighborhood With Great Schools

In Natrona and Converse County, we are so lucky to have real estate near wonderful schools.

As a parent, I know how important it is to have your home convenient to your school and work locations.

We have school of choice here so if you go with public options, you have a relatively good chance of getting one of your top school choices.

I think there is no substitute for visiting a school during school hours to see how the staff and teachers interact with the kids.

Before you spend more time in the classroom, narrow your search by district. Casper, Evansville, Bar Nunn and Mills are part of Natrona County School District #1 while Douglas is Converse County District #1 and Glenrock and Rolling Hills are Converse County District #2.

Next, read the Reports and Reviews. You can email or call us for your accurate and detailed community report of the schools of your choice. The internet is simply… Read More

You Can Do It! One Income Home Purchases are COMMON.

Whether you are single, a single parent, or married with or without kids- buying a home in today’s market is a smart investment.

Don’t let the idea that you should have the perfect situation stop you from buying a home. Using just one income for your loan is very common. I think the only trick is to make a plan and stick to it.

When you’re saving on one income, planning for your initial down payment and for unexpected home expenses become very important.

As a Dave Ramsey Endorsed Local Provider, I love working with limits. I am a bit of a number’s nerd and would love to support or help create your household budget. From there, we can make your home buying dreams a reality!… Read More

10 Things Real Estate Agents DON’T want you to know:

1) If you hire a realtor; you can fire a realtor. Selling quotas and agency process color agent agendas. This means agent advice is often NOT in your best interest, educate yourself.

2) Realtor fees are negotiable. Did you know most are charging 6-7% in Natrona County? Some even with an extra transaction charge. Some even charge buyers! With the average sales price, the extra cost to you would be about $2000.

3) The list agent, especially on new construction, is often NOT your best agent choice. A buyer’s agent at a different firm is a great way to go: they’ll earn their commission. They know the short-cuts and misinformation that an intermediary or designated agent might not always share.

4) Buyer’s agents don’t always look at the re-sell factor. They don’t do it, so why do they care?

5) Trust, then verify: agents tend to talk before they know. Protect yourself by getting inspections, talking to your appraiser and… Read More

12 Ways to Lower Your Homeowner’s Insurance

1. Shop Around

Call at least three places and compare apples-to-apples coverage. Additional information on complaints and typical rates can be found at www.naic.org, The National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Financial stability can be checked out at www.standardandpoors.com.

2. Raise Your Deductible

Deductibles are the amount of money you have to pay toward a loss before your insurance company starts to pay a claim, according to the terms of your policy. The higher your deductible, the more money you can save on your premiums. Most insurance companies recommend a deductible of at least $500. If you can afford to raise your deductible to $1,000, you may save as much as 25 percent. I like to think, what can I fix for less than $1000 and only make a claim in serious need. Otherwise, both the home—and you will have a history of claims. Remember, insurance policies may have a separate deductible for certain kinds of damage such as flood, sewer… Read More

Making Your Home Ownership Resolution a Reality!

So if buying a New Home IS your New Year’s Resolution, it occurs to me that having a handy dandy check list to stay on track might be helpful. Whether it is your first, second or third home—here are my helpful hints.

1. Handle your credit.

Maybe you don’t have any credit issues – kudos to you! But let’s get real, this year will be a year in which many post-foreclosure, post-bankruptcy, post-layoff Americans will find themselves sufficiently recovered, post-recession, to get back into the real estate market and buy a home. If you count yourself among the large number buyers who experienced a financial glitch of any degree during these times, January is the right time to start pulling your credit reports and doing a damage assessment. Time to know, and plan an attack.

• Visit AnnualCreditReport.com (the only website through which you can access your government-mandated free reports) and order your own credit reports from all three reporting… Read More

Buyers! 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Offer

If Your New Year’s Resolution is to Buy a New Home-Read This!

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Offer

1. What are similar properties selling for?

A good agent knows the market and teaches you what your money can buy. Most of the time you will walk similar homes to get a feel for the market, and take a look at recent solds so you are confident in your market. I cannot stress enough that an experienced agent makes all the difference in the world. They can read beyond the basic home specs and look deeper. Often the condition of the home and its updates as well as the selling style of the list agent give the home price its context. Be sure to review the market and its trend with your experienced agent before making an informed offer.

2. What kind of shape is the place in?

Condition adjustments are more subjective and affect the kind of loan… Read More