HomeSmart Evergreen Realty
Tricia Ebert & Ernie Sheesley, Realtors®

7 Steps to Home Ownership

by Tricia Ebert, Realtor®, CSA®, ABR®, BPOR®, CDPE® 


Last week we discussed where to find where your dream home in terms of the city and neighborhood. Now we'll deal with finding you the type of home you want!


(4)  Zeroing in on your dream home: In order to find your ideal home, you need to get clear about not just the neighborhood you like, but also what you want and don’t want in a house. What are the minimum numbers of bedrooms and bathrooms you can live with? Do you have to have a fireplace or can you live without it? What about a pool? If you’re looking at condos and townhouses, what is the pet policy? Does the Homeowners Association limit pet ownership to small dogs and cats only, and you have 3 large German Shepherds? That could be a problem.


       What condition do you want your house to be in? Can you afford to remodel a fixer-upper? How good are you at remodeling and repairs? Do you have the skills to do some of the work yourself? Or do you need to find a house that’s “move-in ready” where it’s already been remodeled and updated?


       What about the style of the house? Do you love Spanish style architecture or hate it? Do you like traditional style houses? What about English Tudor? One story or two? If you have knee problems, you don’t want to buy a two-story house. Do you like older houses or newer ones? How big a yard do you want? Are you planning to grow a vegetable garden? Do you need a fence to protect your cat or dog from roaming the neighborhood? Are you good at landscaping?


       All of these details, if figured out in advance, will help tremendously when looking for a home. One way to flesh out these preferences is by looking at houses on the Internet. Slog through 10 to 15 houses and look at all the pictures. Which ones look good and feel good to you? Which ones don’t?


       If you can’t figure this out in advance, you will quickly figure it out when you physically go to properties with your Realtor. Be sure to take notes about each house you see, making sure to write down what you like or don’t like about each house. If you’re not sure you’ll remember all the details, you can snap some pictures along the way. I suggest taking a photo of the street sign and the number on the front of the house first. This will help you identify each property when you talk about it later. After you’ve taken photos of each room, you’ll know you’re looking at a new property when you see a new street sign and number on a house.


       It can also be helpful to bring a measuring tape with you to see how big the rooms are. If you have a king size bed with two large nightstands, a large dresser and chest of drawers, it might be hard to tell if a bedroom will be large enough for all that furniture. If you measure it, then you have that information when you’re looking at the pictures you took and the notes you made. Of course, furniture can be sold and new furniture can be purchased, but if you love your living room or bedroom set, you probably want a house where you can easily fit your furniture.


Next week:  We'll discuss what to do when you've found "the one." Similar to the way you feel when you meet someone you really like and want to get to know better, you'll know when you've found your dream home. Step 5 is about what actions to take next. See you then! :-)



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What my clients are saying  

"When my wife and I separated, we of course needed to sell our house. It was a very tough time for both of us. But despite our stress and grief, Tricia was really great understanding our difficult situation, and was able to work with both of us to satisfy our needs. We had to sell the house as fast as possible and get the most possible from the sale. Tricia was able to accomplish both! She is VERY knowledgeable about the market, and treats each sale (both buying and selling) as if it is her own home. It made our difficult situation less stressful knowing she was taking care of us. We are both very grateful she was there for us. Tricia is the best!"


~ M., Burbank, CA

Tricia is a great person to work with. She was very familiar with the process, and she was very patient. Tricia did help us find the right townhouse for us. Highly recommended!


~ Aristos & Suzanna Theoharides, Burbank, CA

Tricia is AMAZING! We had to do a short sale with our property, and Tricia's expertise made the process so easy, and dare I say, even enjoyable! We will definitely work with her again and refer her to everyone we know who needs a knowledgeable, patient, and professional agent.


~ Bowe & Gina K., Burbank, CA

I love Tricia! She really helped me through everything. Very knowledgeable and thorough. So glad she was on my side!


~ Mari Helgeson, Hollywood, CA

I call Tricia my Angel. She genuinely cares about her clients and goes out of her way to help them. She helped my family do a short sale on our house, and we felt completely taken care of throughout the process. I highly recommend Tricia to all of our friends and family.


~ Fides D., Van Nuys, CA

Tricia is truly a hands-on Realtor whose attention to detail takes the stress out of house hunting. She has helped me buy two properties over the years, and I would recommend her to anyone looking for a real estate agent. Tricia is hard-working, caring, and guides her clients through the buying and selling process step-by-step. A consummate professional!


~ Kari Wahlgren, Burbank, CA

Tricia: Impeccable professionalism, humor and good spirits. Constant cheerleader and positive force of nature. Not only our Realtor but our teacher, our guide, our guardian angel. We feel so fortunate that Debi found you and led us to you. You encouraged us from the get go. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you. It goes without saying but, we could not have done it without you! Hugs and Happy Dancing!


~ Sarah & Chad Wiley, North Hollywood, CA

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