Know What You Want and Can Afford in a New Home

by John Baer 01/12/2020

When you decide to make an offer on a home, your mind may be flooded with dozens of questions and concerns -- several of which may involve money matters, while others are about the condition of the house.

However, if you've had the house professionally inspected and made sure your income is sufficient to absorb monthly expenses, than you've already taken steps to prevent or at least minimize future challenges.

Since buying a home is such a big investment and there are so many emotional factors that could influence your decision, it's essential to stay focused, adhere to a budget, and be aware of what you need in order to be satisfied with your purchase.

The Financial Side of Things: Even though a mortgage broker or loan officer may approve you for a large mortgage, only you can determine whether you'd be comfortable making those monthly payments. In  addition to the cost of your mortgage, property taxes, and school taxes, there are also other expenses to consider and include in the equation. If you're moving into a larger house, for example, the cost of heating and/or cooling your home may be higher than you're used to. Poorly insulated houses can also have a negative impact on home energy costs.

Another key factor to think about when you're figuring out the affordability of a potential new home is property maintenance, the cost of HVAC service, and miscellaneous expenses, such as appliance repairs, plumbing leaks, and electrical services. Some neighborhoods, residential developments, and condos also require a monthly Homeowner Association (HOA) fee, which can potentially put a burden on your cash flow situation. A good rule of thumb, of course, is to avoid spending beyond your means. While nobody would dispute the logic of that advice, it's often a lot easier said than done -- especially on an ongoing, consistent basis.

Non-Financial Priorities: The only way to know what you truly want and need in a new home is to clarify your goals, requirements, and wishes. Making lists, discussing it with your partner, and visiting lots of homes for sale will help give you the ideas, the inspiration, and helpful points of comparison you need. Online real estate listings and home improvement websites can also provide a wealth of practical ideas.

In addition to having enough bedrooms and bathrooms to meet your family's needs, it's also important to feel comfortable with the quality of the school district, the amount of noise in the neighborhood, and the traffic level on nearby streets. Proximity to recreation, shopping, and other amenities can also make the difference between your ideal home and one which doesn't quite make the grade. Privacy (or the lack, thereof) is also a major issue which can impact your satisfaction with a real estate purchase. While it's good to approach home buying with a sense of optimism, the best time to weigh all the pros and cons is before you sign the final papers at the closing table!

About the Author
Author

John Baer

Attentiveness, Honesty and Integrity, Concierge Service. That’s what you’ll get with John Baer.

John has more than 40 years’ experience meeting client needs and providing clients concierge services.

He is a Seller Representative Specialist (SRS). Fewer than 2.5% of all New York State real estate agents have earned this designation.

He is a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) and has been providing service excellence to seniors for over 40 years. Fewer than 2% of all real estate agents nationally have earned this designation.

Home Buyers: If you want to buy a home, John will first listen to your needs in order to better understand your goals and objectives so that he can identify all available homes that meet your criteria. As part of this process he will help you understand the communities and market trends. He will assist buyers with negotiations, locate the right home for the right price, inform about mortgage opportunities, and suggest reliable household service contractors. John approaches his buyers as his clients, working with them, on their timeline, as their personal real estate consultant from day one. And, he is with his clients through the closing and beyond, in short, you, the buyer, are a client for life.

Home Sellers: If you are a seller and want to sell your home in southern Westchester, John can tell you what it is worth. Zillow.com and Trulia.com may be the starting point for many sellers, but they are hardly the last word in reliability. If you really want to know what your home is worth, you need an experienced agent; one who knows the ins and outs of individual neighborhoods; and one who can explain to you why one home sold for more money than the one down the street. John is that person. John will provide the home seller a thorough market analysis and detailed marketing plan that will maximize your showings and sell your home. With his expert eye, John will guide you and help you ready your home for the maximum impact. All in all, John will apply his skills to sell your home. And, he will be with you through the closing and beyond. With John, you are a client for life.

John primarily represents sellers and buyers in Scarsdale, Edgemont, Hartsdale, New Rochelle, Ardsley, Harrison, and White Plains neighborhoods. Although John works with buyers and sellers of all ages, he is certified as a Seniors Real Estate Specialist assisting older homeowners so that they can painlessly deal with the unique issues of selling their homes and moving on to their next residence.

John, who has a Masters degree from Columbia and a doctoral degree from New York University, is associated with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, a real estate brokerage network built for a new era in residential real estate. The network, which is among the few organizations entrusted to use the world-renowned Berkshire Hathaway name, brings to the market a definitive mark of trust, integrity, stability and longevity. Established in 2013, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices was already named "Real Estate Agency Brand of the Year" by consumers in the 26th annual Harris Poll EquiTrend study of the largest real estate networks. 

John Specializes in Working with Senior Home Sellers

John is a Certified Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES). Only a very small percentage of real estate agents have earned this designation.

Are you over the age of 50 and considering selling the family home? This is where John’s expertise comes in. He has worked with and provided seniors outstanding service for many years, and they have benefited from his experience, knowledge and marketing savvy.

Those qualities, along with a special knowledge of managing the sale of a home for those over the age of 50, is what John can bring to your next real estate transaction.

John is particularly skilled in assisting seniors with emotional challenges senior clients face when they sell a long-held family home.

As a SRES designee, John not only can create a customized approach to marketing and selling your property, but he can also work with you to explore your housing options to ensure that your next home best serves your current and future needs and concerns.

John has special knowledge about everything from de-cluttering your home and identifying senior move specialists to reverse mortgages and renovating a home to incorporate safety and security features that will help seniors “age in place”.

John also helps you steer clear of loan schemes and scams that victimize aged 50+ borrowers.

And when you need help from other professionals, John can tap his network and put you in touch with qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs and other experts.

The bottom line is, John has extensive resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

So, if you are age 50 or older and thinking of buying, selling, renting or relocating, do yourself a favor and contact John for specialized help with your real estate transaction.

John has earned the Seller Representative Specialist (SRS) designation

The Seller Representative Specialist (SRS) Designation is the premier credential in seller representation. It is designed to elevate professional standards and enhance personal performance. The designation is awarded to real estate practitioners by the Council of Real Estate Brokerage Managers (CRB) who meet specific educational and practical experience criteria. Only 2.5% of New York State real estate agents have earned this designation.

John, as a SRS designee is a member of an elite group of trained seller client advocates that know the importance of the home seller’s specific needs by using Seller Counseling Sessions to ensure all needs are addressed. John concentrates his efforts on his client’s ultimate goals to ensure his client is at the center of the sale. He is extensively trained in a wide variety of marketing methods to uniquely promote his client’s property to the widest range of prospective purchasers.

John understands that negotiation skills is critical to a successful transaction and is trained to ensure the home seller receives the best possible outcome during negotiations of the sale. 

As a SRS designee, John adheres to the highest level of professional ethics and business practices in delivering service excellence with integrity. He is uniquely qualified to exceed his client’s expectations and earn the home seller’s trust. John knows the importance of staging his client’s property for best results. Staging is a critical component, along with accurate pricing, to attain desired results within a timely manner.  He has an advanced level of understanding on how to collaborate with a variety of cooperating agents of all skill levels in the marketplace to insure that the ‘best’ buyer has an opportunity to purchase his client’s property.

  A Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Realtor

John elected to join Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices because of the real estate agency’s integrity, professionalism, innovation and highest standards of work. This is why Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices was named “Real Estate Agency Brand of The Year” and “Most Trusted Real Estate Brand” in 2018 in the Harris Poll EquiTrend Study. This is the second year Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices has received Brand of the Year since receiving the award in 2014.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Westchester Properties, formally Prudential Centennial Realty which has been providing real estate services in Westchester since 1981, is now the principal Berkshire Hathaway real estate office in Westchester. It is part of the nation’s second largest real estate network. John chose to join Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices because the network is built for a new era in residential real estate, and is among the few organizations entrusted to use the world-renowned Berkshire Hathaway name which brings to the market a definitive mark of trust, integrity, stability and longevity.