Travis Levi | Silver Spring Real Estate


When you’re buying a home, there’s a lot of excitement that surrounds the search and purchase of the property. In the process of buying a home, however, there are many things that buyers forget to take into account during their search and budgeting. Below, you’ll find some information to help you be prepared as a buyer to consider your home purchase from all angles without missing a beat.  


The Expense Of Closing Costs


Remember that closing costs will be somewhere in the 3-5 percent range of the purchase price of a home. Amidst all of your savings, you’ll need to consider this a part of your expenses. Closing costs need to be paid upfront in most cases. You can roll your closing costs into the financing, but it depends on the circumstances. There are no guarantees that the lender will agree to it. Your realtor can also sometimes negotiate for the sellers to pay the closing costs, but in a seller’s market this is quite rare. Be prepared with your closing costs and understand how much you’ll need to spend so that you have an appropriate amount for the downpayment and the other expenses that you’ll incur during the process of buying a home.  


The Cost Of Maintaining A House


Many buyers forget about all of the costs that they will need to pay for after they finish buying the house. In addition to a monthly mortgage payment, you’ll need to pay for things like utilities, routine home maintenance, furnishings, and more. If you completely deplete your savings for the purchase of the home, there’s not a whole lot of wiggle room for you to pay for additional needs in the house. 


The Cost Of Furnishing And Decorating A Home


You may move into a home with a few pieces that you have previously owned. You could also need a lot of things from a bed to a sofa. All of these items can add up. You may even have to worry about little things like window shades, curtains, lamps, light bulbs, and more. 


Home Repairs Can Cost A Pretty Penny


If something needs to be done in your home, the repairs can cost you quite a bit. If you’re not paying attention during the home inspection, you’ll be in for some surprises. That’s why you need a good realtor to help you through the process. A new roof can cost thousands of dollars. New appliances are an expense you should plan for. Other major work that needs to be done around the house can also dip into your savings significantly. As a buyer, you need to be prepared for any of these expected or completely unexpected costs.           



If you plan to sell your home, it often is a good idea to learn about property showings. That way, you can prepare for showings and boost the likelihood of a fast, profitable property selling experience.

Now, let's take a look at three things that sellers need to know about home showings.

1. A showing may make or break the house selling journey.

As a house seller, you only get one chance to make a positive first impression on a potential buyer. And if your home fails to impress a buyer, this individual is likely to move on to other residences.

By taking care of your home, you can make it easy for a buyer to fall in love with your residence during a showing. In fact, completing home maintenance tasks can make a world of difference in the eyes of property buyers.

Mowing the front lawn and trimming the hedges can help you bolster your residence's curb appeal. Meanwhile, removing clutter, vacuuming the rugs and scrubbing the floors enables you to improve your home's interior. And if you perform these home maintenance tasks prior to a showing, you can help a buyer envision what life may be like if he or she purchases your residence.

2. Even an unsuccessful home showing provides a valuable learning opportunity.

If a home showing fails to result in an offer to purchase your home, there is no need to worry. A home seller should view each showing as a learning opportunity and use it to find ways to upgrade his or her residence.

Remember, there is always room for improvement, especially when it comes to differentiating your house in a competitive real estate market. And if you take a buyer's feedback after a showing to heart, you can use this feedback to explore innovative ways to improve the look and feel of your home.

3. A home seller should strive to be flexible with property showing requests.

Ultimately, a seller may receive home showing requests on short notice. And in these instances, it helps to accommodate buyers' requests.

If a seller is willing to temporarily vacate his or her house to accommodate a last-minute showing request, this individual can make it simple for buyers to view the residence without delay. As a result, this seller can show his or her house to many potential buyers to speed up the property selling cycle.

As you get ready to show your residence to buyers, it usually helps to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can teach you everything you need to know about the house selling journey and ensure you are fully prepared for any challenges that may come your way. Best of all, a real estate agent will do everything possible to help you promote your residence to dozens of prospective buyers so you can maximize your home sale earnings.

Hire a real estate agent today, and you can start showing your residence to potential buyers.



While it's not always possible for conditions to be "perfect" when a real estate agent is showing a home for sale, things usually go more smoothly when homeowners are not present.

There are several reasons for this, including the fact that the family's presence at a real estate showing may make the prospect feel self conscious and uncomfortable.

Among other things, the potential buyer may feel like they're intruding and being an imposition. Some buyers also find it harder to concentrate on the many details they need to focus on to evaluate the home.

The ideal scenario happens when house hunters are able to picture themselves as the future owners of your home -- perhaps imagining what it would feel like to cook dinner in your kitchen, entertain guests in your living room, and relax on the back porch. However, when you and your family are there, it makes it more difficult for them to conjure up those images in their mind. So, to the extent that it's possible, it's often a good idea to take the kids out for ice cream or go on a short trip to the mall when a showing of your home is scheduled.

Granted, it may be a little inconvenient -- especially if the visit was set up at the last minute -- but you don't want to unintentionally dissuade someone from making an offer on your house. You never know what might "upset the apple cart!" There's a lot at stake and every prospect is a potential buyer.

Ideally, prospects should feel unpressured, unhurried, and free to express their opinions about what they're seeing. If they feel like they have to weigh their words carefully and be discreet about every reaction, then their discomfort may spill over into their feelings about the house, itself. Since buying a home is often an emotional decision, any negative feelings in the prospect could potentially derail the chances of a purchase offer being made.

Real estate agents not only serve as knowledgeable "tour guides" and objective sources of information for house hunters, but they're also there to accentuate the positive and minimize the negative aspects of a property. One of their main objectives is to put prospects at ease and help them appreciate all the desirable aspects of your home.

There are dozens of details, property features, unique attributes, and flaws that potential buyers are trying to assimilate and remember, so the fewer distractions there are, the better! That's why it makes sense to keep the atmosphere as uncomplicated as possible. It can be a bit of a delicate balance for real estate agents to maintain, but most have the training, experience, and finesse to keep things on an even keel and moving forward!



Bring new life to your bedroom without completely redirecting. When we are tired of our existing decor it can feel like we need to start completely from scratch to obtain a whole new look. But before you begin hauling off your bed frame to the second-hand shop consider these small changes first: 

Add a variety of textures via linens, upholstery, accents. Look for soft items made up of furs, textured weaves, linens, and velvet. Add interestingly woven baskets, stone, glass and polished wood. This mix will work together to create a visually interesting dynamic no matter the color palette of your room.

Install a different style of window treatments. Let more light into a room with sheer panels. Whites and creams always make for a classic look. However, if you are looking to really shake things look to other colors either as a solid or in patterns. A popular trend at the moment is upgraded solid panels. From patterns to bamboo and even embellishments you will have plenty of options to create unique-to-you treatments.

Create a statement wall without making a commitment with removable wallpaper. Since they are peel and stick they are easier to install than traditional wallpaper. They also give you the freedom to go bold with your pattern or color of choice. So why not reach for the more daring print?

If you want to add a bold print but wallpaper isn’t for you find a pattern you love on a duvet cover. They are easy to swap out as much as you’d like and can also be a great way to add more texture to your space. For example, you could add a pintucked satin or an inviting quilt with a pattern sewn throughout. It will certainly take center stage and make a statement as the focal point of the room.

Create more light in your space by installing a large mirror. Hung or leaning against a wall it helps to open up the room and allow light reach more of the room. If you have several closet doors consider installing mirrors as paneling for a chic, new look. Or create ambiance with paper lanterns. They create a soft, calming light that is perfect to read by at the end of the day.

Since these changes are so easy to make, some a matter of a few minutes, you can create subtle changes throughout each season. Swap out decorative pillows and throws, for example, for patterns and hues that still match your existing decor but better suit the mood of the season. Darker hues paired with creams and beiges create a cozy space in winter with creams or beige. And brighter cheery hues against a crisp white pop and bring energy into the room for Summer.



For the most part, it’s safe to say we all know to come prepared when buying an older home. But did you know that the buying process of a new construction home comes with its own quirks? The customization and relationship with the builder through the process makes for a unique experience when buying a new construction home.

Here’s what you need to know:

Some developments have site registration policies. This means that they require you to come with your agent for at least the first couple visits. Don’t be caught off guard. When planning your viewings be prepared to work with your agent's schedule as well as your own.

Instead of asking to lower the cost ask when negotiating ask the builder to pay closing costs or to include upgrades. You’ll have an easier time getting a yes to these requests as builders don’t like to lower costs and gain a reputation for doing so in the process.

New construction homes aren’t a final product when purchasing. Because of this, it’s critical to get details on paper to protect yourself during the buying process. Details to include are how the home will be finished, any and all timelines, and what will happen if, for whatever reason, the home is not finished in time. Get all of this in writing to create a binding contract.

Ask questions! When touring the model house be sure to ask what comes standard and what is an upgrade. Get costs of upgrades that catch your eye so that you can plan your budget. When planning this budget you will also want to leave wiggle room as this will be a quote and not final cost. Your agent can help you create a list of common features that are standard and/or upgradable as well as ballpark costs.

Budget Tip: When deciding on upgrades know which are easier to have done during construction. Prioritize those over those that can easily be done after. Think upgrades that include wiring or getting into walls and ceiling for whatever reason.

New construction homes often come with a warranty. It’s important to know what this covers and what it doesn’t. Understand your cancellation rights and hire a real estate lawyer to review contracts and any important documents.  

Research the builder and if possible talk to other residents in the neighborhood. Ask them about their experience both during the buying process and living in the development afterward.

One thing that often catches home buyers off guard is when the builder requires you to get pre-approved by their lender even if you use your own lender. This is to safeguard themselves by ensuring you pass their lenders requirements for a safe investment. It’s also important to keep in mind that you may even get better rates and fees from the builder's lender.