5 Ways to Know You Have Found the House of Your Dreams

You’re looking for a house. Not just any house, but THE house. You’re first house, maybe your last house, the house you’ll have Thanksgiving in, maybe the house you’ll bring your first child home to. You are looking for a place to hold years of memories. Maybe it’ll even be a part of a story that sounds like-“ Hey remember when you lived at that house? The one with…” It can be intimidating if you look at it that way, and a lot of people do. Which is why a lot of people question when they have found the house they are looking at. Here are some ways you can be kind of sure that this is not just any house, but your house.

1: You forgive the flaws.
There is no lying about that. Nearly every house on the market will have something wrong with it. This could be  the older sewer, or the furnace on its last leg or the leaky faucet in the upstairs bathroom. If you are able to overlook these sometimes bigger issues then it is a possibility. If you are willing to even do the work or put in the money to upgrade it to what you want it to be, than it is probably the house you’ve been waiting for.

2: It meets your checklist we talked about a few posts ago
Remember when we gave you the advice to sit down and write what you absolutely needed in your house? If the house you are looking at meets all of that criterion chances are you may have found it. You and your partner or whomever you are buying with need to be happy when you are all moved in and you look around. It needs to be a place you look forward to going to after a long day. If the house your looking at meets all of those little things you aren’t willing to budge on- it should be seriously considered.

3: You can picture what it will look like
if you walk into a house and look at it and imagine what it will look like with all of your things and personal touches added- that is already a good start. But if you like what you envision than that is a fantastic start. You don’t want to buy someone else’s house- you want to buy your home. Can you see how you’d arrange the furniture, what you’d do with the backyard, what holidays may look like with your family? If you like this vision, and it is affordable for you- than you may have just opened the door to your new home.

4: You feel the flutters
Anyone who has bought a house remembers what it was like to walk into the house of your dreams. You feel nervous, excited, and joy all at one time. It can be quite overwhelming. That feeling travels all through your body and you get that feeling of “YES!”. However- just because you feel that does not mean it is the right house. Does it meet your criteria? Can you afford it? Don’t be stuck being house-poor. Life is more than just your house. But that feeling is a great thing! If it happens, you may have just found your home- but be smart about it.

5: You already feel pride in it
After the initial showing and a few days down the line you are going to think of the houses you have already looked at and there will be some that stick out. If there is one in particular you can’t wait to show pictures of to your mom or your best friend- this is great!  It means you’re excited about it and there is nothing to be embarrassed about when it comes to it. There are a lot of factors that go in to finding a house that is perfect for you. Location, home features, landscaping- and so many more. If you aren’t embarrassed about any of them then it may be the house for you.

Finding a house is the beginning of a new chapter in your life. It can be fantastic! Hopefully some of these tips will help you make you your final decision. Both you and whomever you are buying with should be happy with wherever you choose! If you are looking to find the house of your dreams, just give us a call at 768-1177. We are opening doors all over western NY, let us help you open yours!

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Things To Do Before a Home Inspection

Buying and selling a house is exciting but is almost just as equally stressful. By the end of the journey most people just want to be done with it! The home inspection is no exception- it can be one of the most nail biting experiences of the entire process. There are some ways to make this part a lot easier on yourself. It doesn’t even take much! Most of the tips we have listed won’t take you more than a day to do or get together. Believe us-you’ll thank yourself when it’s all said and done. Here are some tips to make your home inspection go smoothly:

1: Give Access
Frankly put- if the inspector cannot get to what they need to, they can’t check it. Removing stuff out of the way of sinks, hot water units, furnaces, drain clean-outs, etc. can make their lives a lot easier. If they can’t get to certain spaces it may look bad to the buyer.

2: Do your repairs before the inspection
A lot of times, it is easy to forget to do certain things around the house that you have become blinded to. For example- the kitchen sink is usually slow to drain but that has not bothered you in months, but it will both the inspector and the potential buyer. Unclog any drains, fix any leaks, tighten up those few loose valves etc. Another good tip- check the batteries in your smoke and CO detectors! Just testing them to make sure they work can help you out too. Check the towns code just to be sure you have the right amount of detectors before you have the inspection done- sometimes it may vary from town to town. If there are a few minor things around the house that are not done it could potentially make the inspector think there are so some serious issues they may be missing.

3: Do some preventative maintenance
Just getting a few things cleaned and tuned up will mean a lot to the inspector and the potential buyer. Getting your HVAC system tuned up and cleaned and changing the filter means that you are still keeping up with the appliances in your home even though you may be leaving soon. Leave the receipts on the counter to show that you have kept up with these things. Getting the gutters cleaned or having the hot water tank checked as well will also help.

4: Clean the Home
Make no mistake- potential buyers would rather buy a home from someone who is neat and tidy over someone who is messy and even dirty. Wouldn’t you? If a home is neat and tidy it is usually a sign that the current owner takes a lot of pride in their home and they care about it. Making sure the home is clean for the inspection will give the impression that you care about what happens to it. It is a good way to start off the inspection process.

5: Leave the house
There is almost no reason for you to be there during the inspection process. Inspections can take a long time and the inspector has to do a lot of things- go up on the roof, turn the AC or furnace on full blast, open cabinets, the list goes on. You standing there watching them can make them nervous or hesitant to do certain things. It is also a time for the potential buyer to be there and able to speak freely without fear of offending you. A lot of time and money goes into buying a house, and it is a huge investment. The buyer has the right to be fully aware of what they’re getting into. Most home inspections take a while- so be sure to schedule for at least 3 hours away from your house.

6: Leave Any Receipts There
If there are things you have invested in during your time in owning the home it is important to let the inspector know. For example- if you have put in a new sewer then make sure the inspector is aware of it. That way, on the write up they can make it known that the sewer was replaced a few years ago so there is no need to check certain things. Any maintenance done to HVAC systems or replacements should be included there as well. It not only makes their life easier, but also builds the value of your home.

Home inspections determine a lot and they can be nerve wracking- there is no doubt about that. A lot goes into them. But following some of these easy tips can help. Buying and selling a home is a big milestone in anyone’s life and there is no reason to make it harder than it needs to be. We all wish you the best of luck in it and we hope we helped! For more tips on buying or selling just give us a call. We are opening doors all over WNY, and we would love to help you open yours. Just give us a call at 768-1177!

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5 Tips to Make the Buying Process Less Stressful

Buying and selling a house is one of the most stressful things someone can do in their lifetime. So much goes into it- the timing, the planning, etc. Everything needs to be planned perfectly and if one person does not hold up their end the entire thing could fall through. On the plus side, there is a few ways to not have to do this when looking for a house. For those of you that are about to, currently, or thinking of going on a house hunting journey these four tips should really help.

Tip 1: Decide What Your Requirements Are
Buying a house is one of the biggest and most important purchases a person will make in their lifetime. That being said, you want to love it, and if you’re moving with a partner you want them to love it too! Even when you’re even kind of thinking about it- nothing is set in stone, sit down with whomever you are moving with and think about what you want. How many bathrooms? Do you want a pool? How many bedrooms? Will you have a lot of people coming to visit? What size? What area of town? There’s a lot of decisions that are going to be made during this conversation. Write down and list the absolute minimum requirements for your future dream home. This will help the buyer’s agent find a home that you love too. It is important to get a house that you’re happy about, your partner is happy about, and that is functional for your lifestyle.

Tip 2: Get Pre Approved for a Mortgage
There are a lot of positives on getting pr eapproved for a mortgage. Number one on the list: it helps you to know your budget. One of the worst things is finding a house, falling in love and figuring out it’s just not in your price range. Getting pre approved can help get rid of that. It helps you know exactly how much you can borrow, and know your mortgage payment. Secondly, it also helps in the negotiating process. The seller will actually figure that since you are pre approved your offer is good and a sure thing. Because you’re pre approved, the seller will take your offer over other peoples because it adds a level of certainty.

Tip 3: Don’t Rush the Process
The second you decide you want to buy a house, start getting ready to buy a house. Give yourself enough time to do everything you want to do. Nobody wants to buy a house they kind of like, only to find the one you love days later. Give it some time to find exactly what you want. Start exploring your options early on, as this can help you minimize stress. The feeling of urgency is one of the number one reasons this process can be so stressful. Avoid that by giving yourself ample time to figure out what is perfect for you and your family.

Tip 4: Plan your viewings
Instead of having 15 different viewings all on different days, see if it’s possible to block off hours for multiple viewings in one day. Trying for weekdays is also good as less people go for viewings during the week. Your agent is also going to be able to give you more of their attention.

Tip 5: Get an Agent
Getting an agent is one of the most important parts of the process. Agents know the process like the back of their hand. They can help you navigate the market and decide what works and what doesn’t. They are there to carry most of the workload during the buying process. They are there to make it as easy as possible for you. An agent can be one of the best tools you can have. They are there to advise you on what to do, how much to offer, and answer any of your other questions. Finding an agent you can trust, rely on, and call with any new information is important. Lastly, they have access to newer listings before other people do- which means they can find your dream house faster than you can sometimes.
Hopefully using these five tips will help to ease your buying process and make it less stressful for you! Remember that at the end of it will be exactly what you wanted- the house you need for this point in your life. No matter what happens, house hunting is quite the adventure. We wish you all the luck with it. We do like being a part of the adventure however. Red Door of WNY is opening doors all over WNY! Give us a call or stop in and we can help you open yours!

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4 Famous Houses in Buffalo

I think we take Buffalo for granted. This place has seen a lot of history! From the Erie Canal, to the burning of the city, to being called New Amsterdam for a little while- this place has been around for quite some time. Walking around the city will show you just how long it’s been around. We have some of the oldest buildings and a lot of new ones too.  This doesn’t change the fact that we have some pretty cool houses around you. Today, we’re only going to talk about 4.

1- Darwin D. Martin House Complex, Frank Lloyd Wright
125 Jewett Parkway & 118 Summit Avenue, Buffalo NY 14214
Constructed in 1903-1905, this complex consists of multiple structures. It is from the ‘prairie house’ style portion of his early, much celebrated career. It has 394 art glass windows just to give you a brief idea. It is most famous for the Wright style of horizontal lines and sharp angles and ranks among his most famous works. Frank Lloyd Wright designed the six structure property for a very wealthy and prominent business man, Darwin D. Martin. Over time, parts of the complex have been demolished, but there are still a few original structures standing. The complex is now going through a complete restoration. Cool thing about this place- it has the home of the famous ‘Tree of Life’ stained glass window. Go check it out- there are tours going on there all the time!

2- Birge- Horton House, Green & Wicks Architectural Firm
477 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo NY 14202
This was built by one of the most famous Buffalo Architects- E.B. Green. It was originally built in 1895 for Henry M. Birge and his wife.  They would come to own a dry goods store, but then change focus to wall paper. Soon, they would be the largest producer and distributor of wall paper in the nation under the name of M. H. Birge & Sons after he took his sons, Henry and George in as partners to the business. The business eventually closed down as wall paper lost popularity in the late 1980s. The house itself is Georgian-revival style and it is four stories tall. It was the last home constructed during the row-houses era, which is a type of house unique to Buffalo. In 1906, Katherine Pratt-Horton would end up living there, eventually buying the property in 1920 from Fanny Birge- wife of Henry Birge. After she passed away, the home was inherited by the Daughters of the American Revolution- the current owner.

3- Robert T. Coles House and Studio
321 Humboldt Parkway, Buffalo NY
Robert T. Coles is one of the most famous people that Buffalo has ever produced. He is credited with designing the Merriweather library, U.B.’s Alumni Arena, the John F. Kennedy Recreation center, and many more. The studio was built in 1961 and designed by Coles to be his primary residence and studio. It has been his home with his wife Sylvia for over 50 years now. The house is modern style and it is an L-shape. It is a single story home with two units connected by a small hallway. At the time of its construction, it was considered one of the most modern designs ever. Looking at pictures of it, the home looks so liberating. I feel at home just looking at it.

4- William Dorsheimer House
434-438 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, New York
This is actually the first property designed in Buffalo by H.H. Richardson. This house would actually lead him to even more important and prestigious projects because of how well-received it was. It would actually lead him to getting the commission for the Richardson-Olmstead Complex.  The home was built and designed between 1869-1871, and is three stories tall with a simple design. The home was built for William Dorscheimer, a wealthy Buffalo lawyer. He would go on to become a politician and later a journalist. The house is now used for commercial purposes.

Just walking around this city can lead you to a multitude of places to look at and enjoy. There are so many famous and historical houses in Buffalo, 4 is just scratching the surface. Who knows? Maybe the house you live in will one day become famous too! At Red Door of WNY, maybe we can help you find that house. We’re opening doors all over WNY! Let us make your dreams come true!

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