Let your “New Home” Be a Perfect Match
By Liz Talley, Windermere Managing Broker, Greenwood Branch
The subliminal messages you get touring Seattle homes has a huge impact on how you select which one you want to buy. Have you noticed that some homes seem to say “sit down and stay awhile” while you’re looking them over? They feature spots to sit and read, or to enjoy a conversation, or to reenergize, be it on a cushioned window-seat or an inviting Adirondack chair near the entry. Other homes seem to feel utilitarian and rush you through them because they feel bland and not very special. I always gravitate towards the ones that are so emotionally inviting that buyers, agents, even the neighbors seem to want to linger.
As a buyer when you tour homes, ask yourself if you’d enjoy opening the door everyday and living there. Does it seem to fill your needs and are you comfortable with the energy in the home, the other properties around it, and how the light filters in the windows. Can you find a place to stash your Kayak or stroller? Is there a nice park nearby you could walk to or a bus stop that would get you to work if you chose to ride? All of these elements play a role in which home best fits your needs.
What is the secret to making some homes more inviting?
It’s actually how it looks, feels and smells that creates an overall inviting haven. Sometimes that fresh smell of hyacinths in the kitchen, or seeing a favorite cookbook sitting on the kitchen counter makes a connection and you can see yourself enjoying the place. The colors inside can always be changed but how the flow is in a home impacts how comfortable you are when you walk through it. If you are a tall person you might find yourself drawn to new construction, big boxy 1960’s homes and also possibly turn of the century Farmhouses with their high ceilings. If you love cozy nooks and window seats, the old world charm of a Brick Tudor or Craftsman Bungalow may be the home that speaks to you. How it is laid out and feels when you walk through it will send you a message and might suggest to you that this is your new abode. When it’s a match, you know it almost like a gut instinct. It just feels right, and that is something that can’t be determined seeing homes on-line. You must walk through the door to sense if the place is “home” for you, and it just takes a few minutes to know once you arrive.
Getting the house keys into your hands.
Once you’ve found the right place, how can you compete to buy it in this fast paced real estate market? Well first off, take the advice of your professional real estate agent who can help you craft a strong offer for the seller. If you’re able to be flexible and can allow the seller to pick the dates for closing and possession that is generally helpful. Having a solid earnest money check, in excess of 3%, is another way to show you’re serious about buying the home. Finally working with a local trusted lender that other agents have had a good experience with may give you an edge. We’ve all heard about submitting love letters to the sellers with offers, but they’re only credible if they are sincere so be thoughtful if you write one and have it focus on the seller and what they’ve created in their home, rather than the same letter you use on every offer you write which goes on and on about you.
If you’d like to learn how to improve the energy and feel in your new home I’d recommend doing a little reading on Feng Shui and the art of feeling relaxed in a home. Your favorite interior colors will make your furniture look perfect and sometimes installing new lighting and putting on a fresh coat of paint can lighten and brighten a home. If you’re picking one room to target for DIY projects, I’d recommend the kitchen since you’ll be creating meals there each day and it’s a great room to improve in terms of return on investment. Creating that special something is what I try to do with each listing before it hits the market, and I hope that these ideas and suggestions will help the right home find it’s way to you.