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How to Avoid Buyers Remorse

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A recent survey of homebuyers who purchased a home in 2021 and 2022 found that 72% had buyer’s remorse. Thirty-one percent paid over asking price, a median of $65,000; 36% made offers without seeing the home; and 43% made concessions to sellers such as waiving a home inspection.

If you’re planning to buy a home in 2023, how can you avoid buyer’s remorse syndrome?

Get prepared. Research neighborhoods and types of homes so you can find a home you’ll be happy with for years to come. You’ll need earnest money, a down payment, moving costs, utility deposits, unexpected repairs and replacements and more. Talk to your lender and get pre-approved for a loan, so you’ll know the ceiling of what you can comfortably afford. Be clear about your needs and dealbreakers so your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional can help you search for the right property.

Buy within your means. While you peruse homes online, shop within your budget. It does no good to look at homes you can’t afford or that aren’t the best fit for your household. If you need to consider fixer-uppers, make sure your mortgage loan can cover necessary improvements. Be aware of all the costs, including taxes, HOA fees, mortgage insurance, moving, etc.  

Ask for seller concessions. Sellers in many markets are lowering their prices, agreeing to fix or replace expensive appliances or operating systems, paying the buyer’s closing costs, and other concessions. All you need to do is ask. 

Please contact me at with questions or for more information.  Your Forever Agent.

Sellers: Don't be surprised by repairs

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Repairs or replacements that the homebuyer requires to be completed before closing on the sale of your home can blindside you if you’re not prepared. While any unforeseen expenses are an unwelcome surprise, you’ll still have to fix the problems or risk letting your buyer out of the contract and having to disclose the problems to future homebuyers.

Homebuyers have the right to have the home they’re buying professionally inspected. The purpose of the inspection is to inform the buyer as to the condition, age and likely lifespan of major systems and appliances in the home. As a contingency in the contract, the buyer has the choice to proceed with the contract or ask the seller for repairs or replacements. This is fair because many issues with a home can’t be seen with the naked eye. An inspection gives a rough idea of future expenditures; if there are more problems than the buyer is willing to allow, the transaction will be in jeopardy. The buyer can’t help but wonder what other problems may come to light about the home.

Your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional knows that the less the buyer finds wrong, the smoother the transaction will be. Before you put your home on the market, hire a licensed home inspector to alert you to unknown problems and repair or replace them so the buyer has no misgivings. You’ll also be able to ask a higher price for your home when it’s in pristine condition. 

Please contact me at with questions or for more information.  Your Forever Agent.

Keep Heating Costs Down This Winter


In fall 2022, the National Energy Assistance Directors Association warned that heating costs will be the highest in 10 years as households pay nearly 18% more this winter. Between the 2020-21 and 2022-23 winters, home energy costs increased by 36%. What can you do to stay warm and save energy costs?

The National Resources Defense Council advises that you check your home for air leaks:

  • Nearly one-third of a home’s heat loss occurs through windows and doors.
  • Air can leak through electrical outlets, baseboards, and attic hatches.
  • Caulking leaks can save the average household up to $166 per year.
  • Weather-stripping windows can save up to $83 per year.

Next, check your energy usage habits: 

  • Lowering the thermostat by 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 hours at night can save as much as 10 percent on your heating bills.
  • A smart thermostat saves about $180 per year in energy costs.
  • Just one LED bulb can save you $50 over its lifespan. Multiply that by the average number of light sockets in a home – 40 for a savings of $900.
  • A gaming console uses at least 10 times more energy to stream a movie than a Roku box or smart TV app. suggests lowering your water heater from 140 degrees to 120 degrees to save as much as $400 annually. Keeping a fan running clockwise pushes warm air near the ceiling back into the room. And don’t forget to close the fireplace hamper when not in use.

Please contact me at with questions or for more information.  Your Forever Agent.

How To Care For Your Home's Fixtures


If you’re like many first-time homeowners, you may be watching your pennies by using the same cleaner on all your countertops, stainless appliances, porcelain sinks and tubs and other fixtures. But you can easily strip finishes, set stains and make other mistakes by using the wrong product. Here are some inexpensive and proven old-fashioned solutions for cleaning your surfaces.

A gentle diluted dishwashing liquid or soap and water will clean anything well, including wood cabinets. Just be sure to rinse and dry the surface with a soft cloth to prevent streaking. Don’t use bleach, glass cleaner, or abrasive cleansers on any countertop. recommends using cutting boards, spoon rests, and trivets to protect your surfaces from accidental knife cuts, stubborn food stains, and heat damage from pots and pans.

Countertops - For granite, quartz, soapstone and marble countertops, don’t use acidic (lemon, ammonia) or abrasive cleaners, bleach or glass cleaner. To attack stains, make a paste with baking soda and warm water. Apply and let it sit for five or 10 minutes, then rub the paste gently into the stain. Gently rub in a little mineral oil occasionally to make the finishes last longer.

Stainless appliances – Soap and water work best. After drying with a soft dishcloth, apply a little mineral oil to cut down on streaking and fingerprints.

Porcelain sinks and tubs – Bleach strips porcelain finishes, so use hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar to clean without scrubbing. For stubborn stains, use a little Naval Jelly and rinse thoroughly afterward.

Please contact me at with questions or for more information.  Your Forever Agent.

Can The Seller Break a Purchase Contract?


It’s a common scenario in a hot market – the buyer has their next home within their grasp, but then the seller backs out of the contract. How can this happen and what can buyers do about it?

Home sellers back out of signed contracts because of a higher offer, higher appraisal than the buyer’s offer or a financial or emotional problem, such as job loss or the death of a family member, according to Some sellers simply have mixed feelings about moving or resent the buyer’s demands.

If a seller wants to back out, there are three ways to do so without expensive consequences.

  1. If the buyer fails to perform, such as not being able to obtain financing, failing to provide a deposit, or missing the closing date. However, the seller should have a provision in the contract regarding notice to the buyer to perform and then comply with those provisions to get away without penalties.
  2. If a written contingency hasn’t been met by the buyer or if the seller included a contingency on being able to buy another home, but they’re unable, they can walk away from the purchase contract.
  3. Last but not least, the contract should include an attorney review clause. They may find something in the contract that allows the seller to bail out.

Otherwise, the seller may be ordered by a court to pay the buyer a large amount of money or make the seller follow through with the sale.

Please contact me at with questions or for more information.  Your Forever Agent.

Advice for First-Time Homebuyers


First-time homebuyers are discouraged by high home prices, higher interest rates and continuing inflation. According to the National Association of REALTORS, by mid-2022, first-timers made up only 26% of all homebuyers, the lowest number in 41 years. The age of first-timers rose from 33 to 36, an all-time high, while their median household income slipped to $71,000 from $86,000 year-over-year. 

To help you get into a home of your own and start building equity, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professionals provide the following advice to first-timers:

  1. Get educated. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae offer no-cost learning modules that help first-timers qualify for some loans, pay lower down payments, qualify to buy with lower income or lower credit, get help with closing costs or down payment assistance, and more.
  2. Get into the market. You can’t build equity if you don’t own a home, so it’s better to purchase something now even if it isn’t your forever home. There will always be a market for starter homes, so you would do well to buy a smaller, older home in a less expensive location. The most first-timers ever recorded purchased homes in small towns (29%) and rural areas (19%).
  3. Get comfortable with compromises. Your first home doesn’t need to be your dream home, so choose the one you can live with for the next five years or so, suggests com, to make up closing costs, transaction fees, etc. You can always improve the features and condition of your home later on.
Please contact me at with questions or for more information.  Your Forever Agent.

Property Management for Second Homes


Property management and home watch companies offer a wide range of services for second-home owners. From routine maintenance to concierge services, they can protect your property from potential problems during your absence and make it turn-key ready for your visits.

Costs vary among providers depending on the types of services you want, the frequency of inspections, whether you have a swimming pool or other water features, along with the size and location of the property. 

The inspection you’ll most likely need is monthly testing of all appliances and systems in the home, including alarm system, air conditioner and plumbing to make sure they’re working properly. The property manager will also notify you of signs of wear so repairs can be made.

Concierge services can include hiring and supervising housekeepers, landscapers, pool cleaners and repair professionals. Property managers can accept deliveries for you, forward your mail and prepare your home for your arrivals with groceries, fresh flowers and ironed linens. If you rent your second home annually, including short terms and peak seasons, your property manager can advertise the property for rent, vet renters, collect payments, and clean up the home when guests depart. 

A written contract should detail exactly what the property manager is to do as well as fix the fees for the term of the contract. To find the best property manager, ask friends and neighbors who they use, or contact your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional for referrals. Interview several property managers to compare prices and services.

Please contact me at with questions or for more information.  Your Forever Agent.

Home Decorating Trends Making a Comeback


Sooner or later, all interior design trends change, and often in the opposite direction. After years of cool minimalism, homeowners are turning toward warmer, cozier colors, fabrics, and wall coverings to maximize comfort. So what’s old but new for home décor in 2023?

Greens and other warm neutrals

Colors come in two ranges – warm and cool, and warmer colors are seizing the moment away from greys and pure whites. Golds and avocado greens from the 1960s and 1970s revolutionized kitchen appliances making complementary autumn colors like oranges, tans and browns wildly popular. If you like the look of clean look of white and grey, but want trendier colors, try cream, beige and other earth tones instead. 

Texture everywhere

Texture gives neutral colors like beige, stone and greys more interest. Not since interior designers Dorothy Draper and William Haines popularized “Hollywood Regency” in the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s, has opulent maximalism been revived as well as it is today. recommends getting the glamorous look with gold or shiny metallic accents pieces, jewel tones such as emerald green, mirrors with speckles and sparkle, a touch of Chinoiserie fabric on chairs or in wallpaper, and crystal chandeliers. Plaster, a lime-based putty, adds depth to colors and textures. You can achieve this look with special paint finishes.

Wallpaper scenes

In the 1920s, wallpaper was the ultimate status symbol, according to Murals and larger repeat prints give interiors unique personality, texture and color. And unlike removal in the past, today’s wallpaper is peel and stick.

Please contact me at with questions or for more information.  Your Forever Agent.

Risky Loans Tempt Homebuyers


As mortgage interest rates rise, homebuyers like you may be wishing for easier, cheaper loans to obtain, but any loan that isn’t conventional or government-guaranteed could put you at greater financial risk. Remember the Great Recession of 2008? It was the first and only time that unsustainable mortgage loans resulted in a nationwide housing crisis.

National Association of REALTORS chief economist Lawrence Yun says that rising yields in U.S. Treasuries explain why mortgage interest rates are exceeding 7% for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.

In response, borrowers are returning to adjustable-rate and hybrid loans, interest-only loans, and 2-1 buydowns. The danger for borrowers is much higher mortgage interest rates and bigger mortgage payments when the loans reset. However, borrowers can save money if they choose the right loan product and correctly estimate how long they’ll occupy their homes and refinance or sell their homes - before rate adjustments get too high. 

Fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) have the same interest rate for the life of the loan. Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) adjust periodically with caps on how often the rate can change and how much higher the rate can go beyond the initial FRM rate. A hybrid loan has an initial fixed rate for a term of one, five, seven or ten years, then converts to an adjustable rate at the end of the term. Typically, homeowners stay for about 10 years before selling, so a 10-year term allows them to enjoy the benefits of a FRM at a much lower cost.

Please contact me at with questions or for more information.  Your Forever Agent.

Housing Outlook 2023


What will the new year bring for homebuyers, homeowners and home sellers? Lower or higher home prices? Higher or lower mortgage interest rates? Or a continuation of the overheated pandemic-inspired housing market?

There’s no question that the blistering housing market of the past three years was hard on homebuyers. By October 2022, the average mortgage interest rate for a 30-year fixed is 7.24%, more than double the 3.22% level in January 2022.

According to Fannie Mae, the combination of high inflation, monetary policy tightening, and a slowing housing market is “likely to tip the economy into a modest recession in the first quarter of 2023.”

Many economic forecasters believe housing prices will decline, but that homebuyers shouldn’t fear buying during a declining market. Morgan Stanley predicts a 7% dip in home prices for 2023 that would return housing prices to where they were in January 2022 – 32% higher than prices were in March 2020 when the pandemic began. Economists with Goldman Sachs and Moody Analytics are predicting 5% to 10% declines in home prices, based on lack of homebuyer affordability, slowing housing sales, fewer mortgage applications and a looming recession, however mild. reports that the Federal Reserve’s overnight rate hikes have raised mortgage interest rates, pushing affordability to new lows, but that a recession could bring interest rates down again. That combined with softer homebuying demand due to inflation and sellers lowering their prices would make spring and summer 2023 great times to buy a home.

Please contact me at with questions or for more information.  Your Forever Agent.

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