Why Do I Need a Home Inspection?

Janet discusses the importance of home inspections with Eric Corder of Cornerstone NW Inspections.

SimonsI am passionate about Real Estate and eager to answer all of your real estate questions! Text or Call me at 360-880-2356 or email me directly to ask about Buying, Selling or Investing in today's Real Estate Market - serving Lewis County & Thurston County, WA.

Janet Simons | Certified Residential Specialist | Real Estate Broker
Mountain Valley Real Estate

5  Mistakes Sellers Make While Negotiating

You have decided to put your home on the market with high hopes of getting top dollar & a quick sale. These are the goals of most sellers!

NegotiationUnfortunately, listing your home for sale is just the start of what can become a long and unpredictable process. Often, negotiating can be the key in speeding up or slowing down the process of selling your home.

Negotiating is one of the most crucial steps in determining the success or failure of the deal. It has a direct impact on how quickly your property sells and your return on investment (if any) you will see. Without an open mind, a Seller may stall or impede the progress in reaching a closing of the sale.

It’s important for both buyer and seller to come away from the negotiating table feeling like it’s ended with a Win/Win. When negotiations are handled by competent real estate professionals who remain emotionally un-attached, everyone can come away feeling victorious. Here are 5 negotiating mistakes often made by sellers.

Inconsistency between Reality and Expectations

Almost everyone takes pride in their home. That is why we tend to overlook and forgive its little flaws. Sometimes these little imperfections remind of us a certain event, (like teething marks on door frame) and we become attached to them.  Don’t let your sentiments blur your vision. Home buyers will be examining your home with a critical eye using these against you when negotiating. Put yourself in the buyers shoes, honestly look at your home, you know its positive assets and its setbacks. This will assist you in determining a fair market price.

Keep in mind buyers are the ones who determine the demand, so stay flexible. Whether you like it or not, buyers often have the last word, even more so when its a “buyers market” .  Remember, your expectation of what you “NEED” out of the sale may not align with actual market value.

What’s next ?

As a seller, there are a few things you can do to educate yourself on current market conditions. Hire a trusted local Real Estate Professional that is knowledgeable about the area and comes with references & recommendations. Have your agent prepare a Comparable Market Analysis (CMA) then drive by & view the properties used in this analysis. Don’t let your desires be the guide in determining the price of your home, instead let your decision be data based. Once a listing price has been established, you may find that you can’t afford to sell right now, if that’s the case renting may be an option or waiting until market conditions improve.

Never Underestimate the value of a Good Real Estate Professional

A good real estate broker can provide you with a clear understanding of current market conditions adding an invaluable resource during the negotiation process. Occasionally sellers tip their hand, divulging too much information, or decline a reasonable offer because emotions get in the way. By letting your broker lead the way, they can help you avoid making costly mistakes & sabotaging the chances of selling your home. They do this for a living, they are professionals, and should have your best interests in mind during any discussions they have on your behalf.

What to look for in a Broker?

Choose your broker wisely! Picking the wrong broker can cost you time & money. Check their track record of successfully negotiating sales through to closing, it should be proven and verifiable. They should be familiar with their market area & know the conditions effecting the market. Consider their background, are they educated & experienced in negotiations? Find out their marketing plan both on and offline. Check to see if the broker holds any designations such as GRI (Graduate of Real Estate Institute) or CNE (Certified Negotiation Expert). Some brokers have obtained additional education & training to enhance their abilities to assist their clients.

Us vs. Them Attitude

NegotiatingDuring the negotiation process, it’s important to rely on your brokers knowledge & experience but also think for yourself, create  your own mindset. Emotions can run high during this process, try not to let those feelings take over and cloud your good judgement or impair your ability to make decisions.   Placing yourself in the buyers shoes can help, be empathetic to their point of view. This doesn’t mean you have to concede to their demands, it just provides the opportunity to see what’s truly important and opens up a fair “Give & Take” dialogue during the negotiation process.

What Can You Do?

Try to recognize the needs of the other party and understand their position. You’ll easily find a solution that will satisfy both parties when you know what’s important to them. This also helps change your attitude, acting antagonistic will get you nowhere fast.  Simply having the buyer believing they are on  equal footing & feeling that you are on their side positively impacts negotiations. Often just taking interest in the motives of the other side may end up with stunning results.

Be Careful rejecting too quickly

If the offer you receive is less than satisfying at first sight, the initial tendency is to outright refuse it. Stop right there, take a deep breath & let your emotions subside. Don’t feel pressured to respond right away, this doesn’t have to be a fast deal.

At this stage, seek the council of your broker, this is a good time to re-evaluate current market conditions & then formulate an effective counter-offer.

Many buyers make ridiculously low offers as a result of not understanding current market trends. Don’t take this personally, even a low ball offer opens the door to find common grounds. Without an offer, there are no negotiations.

Let the professional handle the negotiations, work with your broker to come up with a reasonable counter-offer. This shows the buyer you are serious about selling your home but not willing to accept an unreasonable price.

Final Thoughts

NegotiationWith so much on the line, negotiating can be an intimidating process. Let your real estate broker put their expertise to work for you, they understand the nuances of the local market. This is the time to rely on your broker & let them professionally handle the process, the results should be an acceptable sales price with terms you are comfortable with.

There really is no substitute for using an experienced real estate professional!

SimonsI am passionate about Real Estate and eager to answer all of your real estate questions! Text or Call me at 360-880-2356 or email me directly to ask about Buying, Selling or Investing in today's Real Estate Market - serving Lewis County & Thurston County, WA.

Janet Simons | Certified Residential Specialist | Real Estate Broker
Mountain Valley Real Estate

5 ‘No Brainers’ on Why you do a Pre-Inspection before your Sell or Buy your Home

In this crazy Market, some buyers are doing everything they can to make the best offer possible. In some cases, that means waiving their inspection of the property to sweeten the deal.

Fact is, some buyers feel this is necessary when buying a home. However, you probably wouldn’t buy a car without making sure it was thoroughly checked out…so why would you buy a home without “Kicking the Tires” first?

Have a Pre Inspection Done On Your Home

pre inspection done on your homeIf you know you’re going in to a multiple offer situation, you tend to look at what concessions you can make to give your offer that fighting chance to catch the attention of the sellers. Very often, the fist concession is to waive your inspection. This gives the seller one less thing to worry about and one less thing to get in the way of the seller doing any more work on the home. 

This also means any previous problems with the home are now your problems when the deal closes.

As a home buyer, these are stressful times…but they really don’t have to be! Doing a pre inspection on your home (your potential new home I should say) is not only a smart financial move but it can put to rest any fears of underlying issues the home may have that you don’t or can’t readily see. 

Sellers Too Can Benefit from Having a Pre Inspection Done on Your Home –

Even in this market, with homes ‘flying off the shelves’, home owners can still do something to make the real estate transaction go smoothly as well as have written proof the home is in sound condition so the home buyer can’t come back later with a grievance. 

The other side of all this is with a pre inspection done on your home, the bank and the appraiser will have a very hard time ‘making waves’ or demanding something be fixed as a condition of the loan prior to closing. You have an inspection report in hand…and that can be a nice insurance policy if and when you need it!

Take the guess work out of all this with these 5 simple reasons why you do a pre inspection on your home

  1. Know What You’re Actually Going to Pay After you Pay for the House – Pre Inspections help determine any deferred maintenance issues for the buyer. Ideal for those who are going in this deal with limited funds to make repairs after closing.
  2. Walking Papers – Having a Pre Inspection done on your home gives the buyer a reason to walk away from a potential offer with confidence. If there are too many items to fix or the home is just in rough shape, it’s better to know about it before you commit to a purchase and sale agreement. 
  3. Seller…fix those small items before you go to market – Taking a $100 problem and fixing it keeps the $1,000 problems from ruining your sale. Simply put, don’t give the buyer a reason to say ‘NO’…and they won’t! You may also find more willing buyers who want to make an offer based on your willingness to disclose you’ve had the home pre inspected and willing to let them see the report.
  4. Buyers…make your offer stronger to the sellers – As I mentioned earlier, the waiving of an inspection contingency is something of a common tactic these days to sweeten the deal. However, doing a pre inspection gives you the confidence knowing what you know about the condition of the home.
  5. Lastly, pre inspections are a great way to start the transaction on a good note – If a seller or a buyer have full knowledge of what they are getting, there is less confrontation or nasty negotiations later. Not all markets are so smokin’ hot and it’s a very smart idea for the sellers to have this ‘Ace in the whole’ to help in the overall marketing of their home.

I hope this little tid bit of information was and will be helpful for you if you are in the real estate market to buy or sell. And if you, or someone you know, is considering buying or selling, please feel free to give me a call…I’m always honored to work with you!


SimonsI am passionate about Real Estate and eager to answer all of your real estate questions! Text or Call me at 360-880-2356 or email me directly to ask about Buying, Selling or Investing in today's Real Estate Market - serving Lewis County & Thurston County, WA.

Janet Simons | Certified Residential Specialist | Real Estate Broker
Mountain Valley Real Estate

Your Simple Guide to Buying a Home

Before you get started, do some homework. This handy Buyers Guide to buying your home will show you some things to keep in mind as you are hunting for that home of your dreams.

[wpspoiler name=”How Much Can You Afford” ]How much house you can afford is largely dependent on how large a mortgage (basically, a home loan) you can handle.

Start your research by using a simple mortgage calculator to see whether you can afford to pay the monthly mortgage on the kinds of houses you have in mind. You may even apply for a mortgage at a lender before you start looking for a home. This is called getting pre-approved for a loan; it will tell you exactly how much you can afford and may make the closing process go faster.

But, remember that owning a home involves more than a monthly mortgage. You’ll also have to consider money you’ll need to have at hand when you make an offer, when you close on a home and on a monthly basis after the home is yours.

Payments you may have to make when you submit an offer and at closing include:

Earnest money, usually 1% to 5% of the cost of the house, which you pay as a deposit on the house when you submit your offer. It is your proof that you are a serious buyer

Down payment, usually 10% to 20% of the cost of the house, which you must pay at closing

Mortgage insurance, paid by borrowers making a down payment of less than 20% Closing costs, usually 3% to 4% of the cost of the house, to pay for processing all the paperwork

Don’t forget the day-to-day expenses you may incur once you own that home.

This includes:

  • Utilities
  • Homeowner or condo association dues
  • Property taxes
  • City and/or County taxes

Apply to the old rule – You don’t want to be house rich but pocket poor!
[/wpspoiler][wpspoiler name=”Shop for a Home” ]House hunting can be both exciting and frustrating. Most home buyers see roughly 15 houses before buying one. To make the search easier and faster, nearly half of all house hunters today begin by browsing for properties on the Internet, using web sites like this one.

The internet is a quick way to see whether the houses that are currently available meet the following critical criteria: in the right location, with the right features and at the right price. If you find after your internet search that few properties meet with your expectations, you may want to readjust your criteria change the location, features, price to increase your chances of finding a house that works for you. If you have any difficulties in this initial search, feel free to contact me for assistance. Homes can become available instantly and your agent is always the most current resource for literally up to the minute new home listing information.

Once you know what you want, where you want it and what you can afford, its time to see the houses for yourself. To help stay focused, bring with you a checklist of things that you’ve decided ahead of time are important qualities of your future home.

This might include:

  • Is there enough room for you to grow in?
  • Is the house structurally sound?
  • Is the house in move-in condition or will it need work?
  • Is it close enough to everyday needs, such as grocery stores, schools, work?
  • Will you feel safe here?
  • Do the appliances that are part of the sale work?
  • Is the yard right for your needs?
  • Do you like the floor plan?
  • Is there enough storage?
  • Will you be happy in this house in winter, summer, spring, fall?
  • You may also want to take some exterior and interior photos of each house you visit so that you can keep track of its pros and cons.

You certainly want to be happy with your new home but try not to get paralysis through analysis…
[/wpspoiler][wpspoiler name=”Find a Real Estate Professional” ]While you’re not required to use a real estate professional, it is a good idea.

A professional has access to a network of contacts and can draw from extensive market knowledge to help pinpoint the right house for you quickly.

A professional also can help you structure your deal to save money, explain the advantages and disadvantages of different types of mortgages and guide you through the paperwork.

And best of all, our professional services are at no cost to you![/wpspoiler][wpspoiler name=”Research Different Mortgages” ]There are a variety of mortgage types available today, each with advantages and disadvantages depending on how long you plan to live in the home, the financial marketplace and your income potential, among other things.

A fixed-rate mortgage is the most common. In a fixed-rate mortgage, your interest rate and payment stay the same for the life of the loan. An adjustable-rate mortgage usually starts out at lower interest rates and lower monthly payments than fixed-rate mortgages, but your rate and monthly payments may rise and fall based on a financial index.

There are also several government mortgage programs available, including FHA mortgages, which are designed to help people who might not otherwise qualify for a loan.

You may also have a choice in loan terms. There are 30-year loans and 15-year loans.[/wpspoiler][wpspoiler name=”Making an Offer” ]When you’ve found a house you really want, its time to make the offer. How much you offer may depend on a number of factors:

  • Is the asking price fair? Here’s where the legwork you put in while shopping for a home pays off. Decide whether this house is priced right or out of line in the current marketplace.
  • Is the house in good condition? Is this house in move-in condition or will it need a lot of work? Take any costs of improvement into consideration when deciding your offer price.
  • Has it been on the market long? Usually the longer a house has been on the market, the more likely it is the owner would accept a lower offer. Or maybe its just overpriced for the market.
  • Is it a sellers’ or buyers’ market? If the houses you’re interested in are being bought as soon as they’re listed, that means you’ve got a lot of competition from other buyers; offer accordingly. If houses aren’t selling fast, you may have more leverage in negotiating a lower price.

Once you’ve determined how much you’d like to offer, work with your real estate professional to submit the proper information. This includes:

  • A complete, legal description of the house
  • The amount of earnest money you’re paying
  • The down payment and financing details A proposed move-in date
  • The price you’re offering
  • A proposed closing date
  • The length of time your offer is valid
  • Details of the deal

This can be just the beginning of the negotiation process. The seller has three options: accept your offer, counter your offer or reject your offer. Let your real estate professional advise you on the best way to present your offer for a good outcome. [/wpspoiler][wpspoiler name=”Begin Contingency Period” ]When your offer has been accepted, the contingency period begins. This is time that allows you to obtain financing, perform inspections and satisfy any other contingencies of your purchase agreement.

Obtaining financing might include loan approval, which will include an appraisal of the property. Also be prepared to make your down payment, which is usually due several days before the close of escrow.

Now is the time to schedule a professional inspection of the property; it is one of the best safeguards you can take before buying. A home inspector should check (and may give you a rough price for repairs on) the electrical system, plumbing and waste disposal, the water heater, insulation and ventilation, water source and quality, pests, foundation, doors, windows, ceilings, walls, floors and roof.

Keep in mind that the inspector isn’t there to tell you whether you’re getting a good deal. He or she is there to give you an educated and professional opinion on whether the house is structurally and mechanically sound and fill you in on any repairs that are needed.[/wpspoiler][wpspoiler name=”Buy Homeowners Insurance” ]A paid homeowners insurance policy is required at closing.

Often a real estate professional will help make sure your insurance company and your title officer are working together to put your policy in effect by the close of escrow.

But, if you get your insurance agent involved early in your home-buying process, he or she may also help point out ways to help keep your insurance premiums lower.[/wpspoiler][wpspoiler name=”Complete Settlement or Closing” ]When the property you’re buying has been inspected and you’ve had your final walk-through of the property to see that all contingency conditions such as final repairs made by the seller — have been met, its time to face the final paperwork.

You will be signing loan documents and closing papers, paying the balance of your down payment and closing costs.

This is the day you get the keys to your new home. Congratulations![/wpspoiler]


SimonsI am passionate about Real Estate and eager to answer all of your real estate questions! Text or Call me at 360-880-2356 or email me directly to ask about Buying, Selling or Investing in today's Real Estate Market - serving Lewis County & Thurston County, WA.

Janet Simons | Certified Residential Specialist | Real Estate Broker
Mountain Valley Real Estate

10 Tips to Buying a House

The top 10 things you need to know when buying a home.

buying a homeIt’s always a great experience buying a house when you know what you need to know. Although this is old hat to some, being a new home buyer could leave you with a lot of questions about the process. 

I’ve taken the time to jot down my 10 must know tips before you consider buying a home. It also bears noting, things are always changing and evolving in the real estate industry so this list will most certainly grow.

So, let’s take a look at some helpful tips I always impart to every prospective home buyer.

1. Don’t buy if you can’t stay put.

If you can’t commit to remaining in one place for at least a few years, then owning is probably not for you, at least not yet. With the transaction costs of buying and selling a home, you may end up losing money if you sell any sooner – even in a rising market. When prices are falling, it’s an even worse proposition.

2. Start by shoring up your credit.

Since you most likely will need to get a mortgage to buy a house, you must make sure your credit history is as clean as possible. A few months before you start house hunting, get copies of your credit report. Make sure the facts are correct, and fix any problems you discover.

3. Aim for a home you can really afford.

The rule of thumb is that you can buy housing that runs about two-and-one-half times your annual salary. But you’ll do better to use one of many calculators available online to get a better handle on how your income, debts, and expenses affect what you can afford.

4. If you can’t put down the usual 20 percent, you may still qualify for a loan.

There are a variety of public and private lenders who, if you qualify, offer low-interest mortgages that require a small down payment.

5. Buy in a district with good schools.

In most areas, this advice applies even if you don’t have school-age children. Reason: When it comes time to sell, you’ll learn that strong school districts are a top priority for many home buyers, thus helping to boost property values.

6. Get professional help.

Even though the Internet gives buyers unprecedented access to home listings, most new buyers (and many more experienced ones) are better off using a professional agent. Look for an exclusive buyer agent, if possible, who will have your interests at heart and can help you with strategies during the bidding process.

7. Choose carefully between points and rate.

When picking a mortgage, you usually have the option of paying additional points — a portion of the interest that you pay at closing — in exchange for a lower interest rate. If you stay in the house for a long time — say three to five years or more — it’s usually a better deal to take the points. The lower interest rate will save you more in the long run.

8. Before house hunting, get pre-approved.

Getting pre-approved will you save yourself the grief of looking at houses you can’t afford and put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house. Not to be confused with pre-qualification, which is based on a cursory review of your finances, pre-approval from a lender is based on your actual income, debt and credit history.

9. Do your homework before bidding.

Your opening bid should be based on the sales trend of similar homes in the neighborhood. So before making it, consider sales of similar homes in the last three months. If homes have recently sold at 5 percent less than the asking price, you should make a bid that’s about eight to 10 percent lower than what the seller is asking.

10. Hire a home inspector.

Sure, your lender will require a home appraisal anyway. But that’s just the bank’s way of determining whether the house is worth the price you’ve agreed to pay. Separately, you should hire your own home inspector, preferably an engineer with experience in doing home surveys in the area where you are buying. His or her job will be to point out potential problems that could require costly repairs down the road.

Buying a home is a process…knowing what you need to know if vital to making the process work!

I hope you were able to take away some good information from today’s post. If I can elaborate on any of my top 10 items above or answer any questions on something you think I may have missed, do not hesitate to contact me at the information below…and happy home hunting!!!

SimonsI am passionate about Real Estate and eager to answer all of your real estate questions! Text or Call me at 360-880-2356 or email me directly to ask about Buying, Selling or Investing in today's Real Estate Market - serving Lewis County & Thurston County, WA.

Janet Simons | Certified Residential Specialist | Real Estate Broker
Mountain Valley Real Estate

Are Your Home Buying Expectations Too High?

Fraught with just about every emotion under the sun, home buying can be easy…OR IT CAN BE HARD!

The Highs and Lows of Home Buying

Home BuyingI have a dear friend who has been known to say, “The anticipation of an event is often times greater than the event itself.” Which I’ve come to completely understand.

So often, the idea of buying a home, touring every weekend through open house after open house and even the idea of where to put ‘your’ sofa are wonderful feelings. It’s the expectation after a while that this home buying thing is a ton of fun and oh so carefree.

Those feelings are soon replaced with ‘tasks’ and ‘chores’ like trying to get all your documents together for your home loan, spending days running around trying to get offers and counteroffers signed around and dealing with inspection reports, deadlines and addenda’s!

The reason all this craziness is so…crazy is simply because you didn’t have THE TALK with your real estate broker.

Having THE TALK With You About Home Buying Expectations

If you’ve purchased, or sold for that matter, a home recently…you have at least one story to tell about your experience.

Every so often, I will hear one of my buyers say, “I wish I would have known that.” And, even a seller will say to me, “Our Agent never told us about this when we bought the house.”

It’s not enough to assume the buyer or seller who is entrusting their greatest financial asset knows what you know! In this Go-Go world, it’s important to take the time to understand the layers of “what-ifs” and “should of seen that coming” well before these things become an issue.

Spending the proper amount of time going over scenarios that may arise…because they have and I want you to know about them, is time very well spent. Letting your clients visualize an instance that may come up makes them forewarned and forearmed for what might happen during the transaction. The most important part of this process is when things go smoothly, your clients will attribute it to them having THE TALK more times than not.

Let’s put THE TALK in a Football context. Take the game between our beloved Seattle Seahawks and those poor Green Bay Packers for the 2014 NFC Championship. I’d say that was a game that many thought the Pack were going to win easily. I know some folks; die hard Seahawks fans, actually left the stadium after Russell Wilson threw his 4th interception.

Could anyone on the Packers sideline know what was about to happen in the last 4 minutes or so of that game…NO WAY! There isn’t a player on either team that will ever forget what happened at the end of that game. Yet, there wasn’t a single play that couldn’t have been defended differently had the Packers been better prepared. They let their expectations of going to the Super Bowl get in their way of preparing for the greatest comeback I’ve ever witnessed. OK, I’m getting carried away here.

Simply put, I’ll venture to bet that for as long as any member of the Green Bay Packers continue to play, they will always be forewarned and forearmed that ‘things happen’. And to go from the high’s of thinking you were going to the Super Bowl to the low’s of losing that and more…in less than 5 minutes.

My point is THE TALK is having a conversation about ‘things happening’. You don’t need to necessarily know what or how ‘things happen’ but that helps. No, it’s about helping the buyers take off their rose colored glasses to know this may not be as smooth as they had expected. I’m not talking about scaring you or being a pessimist. In fact, those who know me know I’m the eternal optimist! But, I’m also pragmatic and I think having all your ducks in a row doesn’t always prevent things from not going exactly to plan!

Expectations need to be established, understood and in some cases even tempered so a mole hill doesn’t turn into a mountain. THE TALK should always include ‘what-ifs’.

Home Buying is Fun When You Know the ‘What-ifs’

Take the time to interview your real estate broker and ask a lot of questions…I mean a lot!!! Find out what they know and don’t know. And be realistic that the experience may not always match the expectations and setting those expectations with goals and facts rather than hopes and dreams will always make the home buying process more fun. 


SimonsI am passionate about Real Estate and eager to answer all of your real estate questions! Text or Call me at 360-880-2356 or email me directly to ask about Buying, Selling or Investing in today's Real Estate Market - serving Lewis County & Thurston County, WA.

Janet Simons | Certified Residential Specialist | Real Estate Broker
Mountain Valley Real Estate

How Much Does it Cost to Buy a Home

Let’s Take a Look at What it Cost to Buy a Home

The cost to buy a home is not limited to the number you offer or what you see on the flyer! And while most home buyers are very savvy when it comes to ‘crunching the numbers’ when it comes to the month to month requirements of home ownership, the conversation of what will it cost to buy ‘YOUR’ home should be had long before you head off to the closing table!

Whether you’ve purchased real estate in the past or are looking to become a homeowner soon, knowing exactly what it cost to buy a home can be a real eye opener if you don’t know the right questions to ask…or more importantly, who to ask!

Who is the best to help me understand how much it cost to buy a home?

Although your REALTOR® or just your agent (Yes, there is a difference) is arguably your first line of defense when it comes to protecting you and your investment, they may not always have the exact answers to your financial questions and the overall cost to buy a home.

This is not to say he or she is not educated or a wealth of knowledge and information about the home buying process and market conditions. But, sometimes the best professional to know what you’re exactly going to pay…to the penny…is a member of your team that you may not even know!

Meet the Team

Of course your REALTOR® is the best resource for the obvious cost to buy a home such as the cost of an inspection. But, getting to know who is handling your title and escrow for instance, can be a excellent resource for knowing where all those closing dollars are being spent.

Having a knowledgable person who is handling your closing paperwork will allow you to get a strong indication of your overall ‘Out of Pocket’ expenses that are not usually discovered or talked about during the flurry of activity of buying a home.

Below is a quick breakdown of who and what are involved in the transaction when figuring the cost to buy a home: 

  • Appraisal
  • Homeowners Association
  • Insurance Binder
  • Well and Septic Inspection
  • Lender
  • Credit Report
  • Private Mortgage Insurance
  • Title Policy
  • Escrow Fee (Closing Costs)
  • Property Taxes
  • Utilities (Gas, Phone, Sewer, Water, Garbage, Cable, Internet, Alarm System and good old fashioned Electricity)
  • Moving Expenses
  • Rekeying your doors

Knowing the cost to buy a home after you bought the home

The above list may be something many buyers have planned for. But, what about all those ‘goodies’ after you close? These are expenses new homeowners can put off but it’s not long before you have to address certain items to insure your largest investment keeps its value.

  • Paint – You will ultimately want to put your own ‘stamp’ on your new home. Best way to do this is with a fresh coat of paint. An expense that can be put off but your heart wants what your heart wants and sooner than later…you will want to paint believe me!
  • Windows – Upgrading your windows to a more energy efficient system is a common first expense. This can save you hundreds if not thousands in energy bills in just the first few years of homeownership and money well spent!
  • Landscaping – I’m not talking about a complete redo but you will want to maintain your lawn and pretty flower beds and that takes a lawnmower, flower food and more than likely, a whole bunch of new flowers and pretty pretty’s from your local home and garden center.
  • Appliances – This can wait but it’s not a bad idea to at least have a budget for a dishwasher or dryer just in case the worst happens and they conk out on ya!
  • Furniture – Also considered more of a luxury than a necessity but you know as well as I do that you never have enough furniture to fill up your new home!

Of course the one cost to buy a home you NEVER have to concern yourself with…

You never pay your REALTOR® a commission when you buy your home! That’s right…some buyers are unaware that the cost of working with an experienced and knowledgable Real Estate Professional like myself is absolutely FREE TO YOU!!! 

To learn more about the cost to buy a home or a more in depth breakdown of what I’ve covered here, please contact me directly at the information below and I’d be honored to answer all your home buying questions!



SimonsI am passionate about Real Estate and eager to answer all of your real estate questions! Text or Call me at 360-880-2356 or email me directly to ask about Buying, Selling or Investing in today's Real Estate Market - serving Lewis County & Thurston County, WA.

Janet Simons | Certified Residential Specialist | Real Estate Broker
Mountain Valley Real Estate

What is a Home Inspection? [Video]

Curious how a Home Inspection works?

What does a Home Inspection cover and more importantly, how does a home inspection protect you as a home buyer?

Janet interviews Loren Howard of Ground Zero Home Inspections to get the down and dirty of the Home Inspection process.
Loren offers us some great insight on what he looks for during a standard residential home inspection as well as what the home buyers should be aware of and how the home inspection contingency is written into the purchase and sale agreement to protect them if the home inspector should come across anything wrong with the house.

We hope you find this video helpful when time comes to hire your own home inspection.
If you have any questions on this or anything related to your Real Estate Purchase and Sale, please feel free to contact Janet Simons at 360-880-2356

SimonsI am passionate about Real Estate and eager to answer all of your real estate questions! Text or Call me at 360-880-2356 or email me directly to ask about Buying, Selling or Investing in today's Real Estate Market - serving Lewis County & Thurston County, WA.

Janet Simons | Certified Residential Specialist | Real Estate Broker
Mountain Valley Real Estate