The First Things to Do After You Move Into Your First Home

Locate your home’s main water shutoff valve.

Know where your main water shutoff valve is in case you need to shut off the water to your entire house.

Almost all homes have one main shutoff valve directly before the water meter and another directly after. Where the meter is located depends on the climate in your area. In cold climates, the meter and main shutoff valves are located inside, usually in a basement or other warm area to prevent freezing. In milder climates, the meter and its two shutoff valves may be attached to an exterior wall or nestled in an underground box with a removable lid.

 

Locate the electrical panel.

Find the electrical panel so you know where to shut of the power to you whole house or an individual circuit in the case of an emergency.

You’ll usually find the main circuit breaker panel—a gray, metal box—in a utility room, garage or basement. Don’t worry about opening the panel’s door. All the dangerous stuff is behind another steel cover. Behind the door is the main breaker for the entire house (usually at the top of the panel) and two rows of other breakers below it, each controlling individual circuits. If you’re lucky, there will be a guide that indicates which outlets and receptacles are served by each circuit.  The City of Moberly requires this guide be labeled by which room each circuit serves.

 

Replace the furnace filter.

One of the fastest ways to create problems with a forced-air heating and cooling system is to forget to replace the filter. Locate the furnace filter and buy replacements if the previous owners didn’t leave you a stash. Replace the filter (and get in the habit of doing it every month).

Make one room a sanctuary.

You won’t be able to make all of the home improvements you want to make right away and it’s best to live in your home for at least a couple of months before starting any major projects. Something that seems like a must-do when you first move in may quickly fall to the bottom of the wish list after you’ve actually lived in your home for awhile.

So, choose one room that doesn’t require too much work and make that space your new-home getaway. You’ll have a place, in your colors and style, where you can relax and dream about the day when every room in your home is just the way you want it.

If you have young kids, it might be best to set up their room first to give them a semblance of “home.”

 

Meet the neighbors.

It’s wise to reach out and extend a friendly gesture to your neighbors as soon as possible. You want to know those around you so that everyone can look out for each other. It’s hard to know if a situation is suspicious if you don’t know the people involved. Establishing yourself in your neighborhood can also give you access to inside information, like who’s the best plumber in the area and which roofing company to avoid. Even if you’re an introvert, you’ll be happiest if you’re in good standing with your neighbors.  Be especially sure to meet those with vegetable gardens…who knows, maybe they will share tomatoes?  LOL

 

If you don’t have keyless entry, hide a key.

If you don’t have keyless locks, be sure to hide a house key so you don’t get locked out. Consider a location other than under the welcome mat, like in a garden hose or under a flower pot.

June Is National Homeownership Month. Here’s An Interesting Take On It

This piece is a self-explanator­y stand-alone piece. But I feel like I should mention this… Read it all the way through. At first it might sound negative. It isn’t. Trust me, there’s a lot of copywritin­g skills in this one. This one is meant to get into the minds of people who are not convinced buying a home is worthwhile­. Anyone else posting about June being Homeowners­hip Month is NOT going this route. This will set you apart.

 

Are you aware that June is National Homeownership month?

Probably not. Because you’re too busy working to afford the home you live in, whether you rent it or own it.

Why should you care?

If you poke around and read anything you can find about it, you’re being urged to recognize and celebrate the benefits of homeownership.

That seems kind of a weird thing to ask you to do. Do you really have the time or care? What’re you supposed to do, throw a party? Sit alone and contemplate it? Invite some friends out for coffee and chat about it?

You’ve got to figure that the people who actively promote it probably have their reasons and motives for pushing it. (You know, like real estate agents, mortgage lenders, and the government.)

It makes you wonder…

Why do they push it, other than to make money?

Is it really the “American Dream”? Or is it just a packaged ploy?

Is it all it’s cracked up to be? What about all the people who were recently hurt by the housing market and getting in over their heads?

What about the economy and jobs? What about making enough money to even afford a house?

And, what about all the headaches and worries that come with homeownership?

Are you being sold on something unachievable, or not even all that desirable?

Maybe you shouldn’t own a home

OK, first off…

Homeownership is not for everyone.

There always seems to be this push to increase the percentage of homeowners. It gets wrapped in reasons why it’s good for you, your community, the country as a whole…maybe even the whole universe.

Pushing to increase the percentage of homeownership for the sake of statistics and percentages is wrong.

Lots of people shouldn’t own a home. Maybe some people shouldn’t even be allowed to own a home even if they qualify financially. That’s what leads to problems, because it’s a responsibility not everyone can handle.

Besides, if everyone owned property it wouldn’t be as special. As coveted. As much of a dream.

So, if you do question whether homeownership is “worth it”, maybe it isn’t the worst thing. Maybe you shouldn’t own a home.

It’s easy enough to let the people who really want to own property, and believe in the value of it, own all of the real estate.

Just don’t buy any…

Let them enjoy the “pride”

One of the catch phrases you’ve probably heard is, “There’s pride in homeownership.”

That’s kind of the cover-all reason given as to why more and more people should own their own homes.

You can’t entirely diminish the fact that there is pride and value in owning real estate. There is.

Nor can you entirely diminish the actual benefits of ownership, like building wealth, tax incentives, and not throwing money out the window and building someone else’s wealth.

But there’s certainly an inability for some people to buy real estate. Some people will never achieve homeownership.

And there’s certainly risk and worry involved. Not everyone can handle that.

It’s certainly understandable that lots of people shy away from buying real estate so soon after the real estate bubble burst, and the slow recovery. Some people are still recovering financially. Some people watched their parents struggle and worry, only to lose their home.

But for those who can and do own real estate, there is pride. And there’s appreciation.

Because while not everyone should own real estate…at least now everyone can.

You get to choose, not be chosen to own land

It used to be only a select few who could own land.

Now almost everyone has the right to own property…if they want to and have the ability.

This isn’t the feudal system where there are only a handful of Lords who’ve been granted a piece of land to look after by a King. (Side note: Do you think any Lords ever questioned the value of owning land?)

You can choose to be the lord of some land. You just have to want to, and be financially qualified to.

While you don’t have to be “chosen”…nobody’s giving it to you either.

So, if you can financially afford to, there should be some pride and appreciation in owning a little (or large) piece of this planet, with a “castle” to call your own.

So, when you do decide to buy some real estate, you should enjoy the pride, appreciation, and respect for the right and privilege to do so. You are essentially choosing to be your own land Lord.

There are places in this world you still can’t. So, imagine that. Imagine not having the choice.

Is it worth you recognizing and celebrating?

With all that in mind, is National Homeownership Month more meaningful to you?

Does it put homeownership in an objective light? Is it appealing to you? Does it make you want to own real estate? Does it make you want to own more real estate if you already own some?

Don’t get swept up in the hype of homeownership month, or anyone just trying to persuade you of the benefits of homeownership, no matter what month it is.

The best way to figure out if you should be a homeowner is to speak with a serious, objective real estate agent. One who takes counseling clients more seriously than pushing the pride of homeownership, just so they can make a sale.

Give me a ring if you’re looking for some good, objective counsel. I’d love to be part of that round table.

Jane Loeber

Broker/Owner

Moberly, MO

660-651-9106

We laugh. We work hard. We make families happy. We sell homes!
Office phone number: 660-263-3393 Advantage Real Estate Moberly, MO

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5 Adjectives You Should Look For In Your Real Estate Agent

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Who you choose to represent you when you buy or sell your home is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make during your move. Your real estate agent can make the process easy, quick, and painless – or long, expensive, and painful.

Here are 5 adjectives you should for in your real estate agent if you want to get the most out of your sale or purchase:

1. Tenacious

Real estate is a tough world. There are seemingly endless challenges to navigate: the house you love was snatched up by someone else, someone put a bid in on your home and then pulled out at the last minute, there’s issues with the neighbors or zoning or construction. That’s why you need a real estate agent who is tenacious, never gives up, and doesn’t stop until you have successfully bought or sold your home.

If you work with a real estate agent who gives up when things don’t go as planned, you’re never going to buy or sell your home. The best real estate agents are the ones who not only have plan B, but plan C, D, and E ready and waiting. When things fall through, they don’t let it get them down. They keep pushing and coming up with creative solutions to close your real estate transaction – no matter what.

2. Honest

Honesty is always the best policy, but it’s especially important when it comes to real estate. You need to be able to trust your agent: to negotiate the best deals, to tell you the truth about your properties, to give you the right advice when it comes to buying or selling. If you work with an agent who bends the truth, withholds information, or – worst case scenario – flat out lies, you’re going to end up losing time, money, and patience throughout the process.

3. Savvy

There’s a lot to know in the world of real estate, and as a buyer or seller, you probably aren’t aware of about 95% of it. Your real estate agent should be savvy, smart, and able to help you navigate everything you don’t know about real estate.

Look for an agent that can walk you through the entire process from A to Z. You want someone who is an expert in your area, who specializes in your type of transaction (buying or selling), and who can break down complex real estate jargon into easy-to-understand terms so you know exactly what’s happening at every stage of your purchase or sale.

4. Persuasive

Every great real estate agent has the heart of a salesperson – and the persuasive skills to match. There are tons of instances in which you’ll need your real estate agent to turn on their persuasive charm. Real estate agents have to use persuasion to negotiate the best offers, to convince sellers to accept your bid, to convince potential owners that your home is the right buy for them. If your real estate agent doesn’t have any sales skills, the buying or selling process is going to be long, drawn out, and never get to the close.

Look for a real estate agent that could sell ice to an eskimo; if they can do that, they can buy or sell your house.

5. Thorough

Buying and selling property is an involved business: there are papers to sign, inspections to schedule, documents to process. You want to work with a thorough, detail-oriented real estate agent who will ensure that every i is dotted and t is crossed.

In addition to managing the transactional portion of your real estate venture, you want a real estate agent who’s so thorough they ensure that YOU don’t forget anything on your end. A thorough real estate agent will come armed with a checklist of not only what they need to do to process the purchase or sale, but what you need to do on your end in order to tie up any loose ends.

It’s easy to spot a thorough real estate agent. Do they send you calendar reminders for home showings? Is their day planner meticulously organized? Do they jokingly refer to themselves as “type A?” If so, you’ve got a winner.

The right real estate agent is essential in making the process of buying or selling a home quick, easy, and a financial win. And when you lock in a real estate agent with all of these adjectives, you’re well on your way to real estate success.

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