First Time Home Buyer Mistakes

It has been less than 5 months that I’ve been a Realtor, yet I’ve done over one million dollars in transactions. I have loved every second of it so far, and have learned a lot already, too.

One thing I’ve noticed is that first time home buyers often make the same mistakes. Here are some that I try to help my clients avoid:

Expectations too high — A lot of the time, buyers have unrealistic expectations on the home they can afford or the area they can live in. This isn’t at fault of their own usually, I blame TV mostly, hah. Sometimes it can be a bit of a reality check when we first start home hunting and they realize they’re not going to have a jacuzzi tub with a fireplace in the middle of their guest bathroom, but they soon learn that we can find something amazing that meets their needs (and most of their wants).

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Probablyyyy not going to be your first home, people. But you can maybe afford the cute dog on the lawn.

Expectations too low — And at the other end, I find a lot of my buyers don’t realize they’ll even qualify for a loan, sometimes with no down payment upfront or closing costs at the end! A lot of people seem hesitant to even talk to a lender (it’s totally free) and find out how much house they can afford. They are usually pleasantly surprised once they’ve taken the step to talk to someone. Don’t count yourself out of the home buying game, even with bad credit, until you’ve talked to someone. And if you’re out? Remember, that’s just temporary.

Calling any ol’ agent — Listen, I love my industry and know some really amazing agents in it. But there are also some that seem to need more training, more education, and maybe a little prayer, y’all. This is probably the biggest investment you’ll ever make in your life. Don’t call someone on a sign on some impulsive Tuesday. Call several people based on recommendations or your own research into them, and really get a feel for their personality. You will spend a decent amount of time with this person – it is imperative you like and trust them.

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“Yes, Hi. I saw you on a sign and your blazer was really something. I’m going to trust you with all my monies now.”

Moving too slowly — It is important to take your time looking at properties, researching what neighborhoods you like, and really understanding the home buying process. That being said, it’s also important that once you start working with a Realtor, you are focused and ready to start moving forward in your journey. Some people will take longer than others, but you need a goal and someone who helps you break it down into parts and keeps you organized. At the end of this journey is a prize unlike any other! Keep at it.

Moving too quickly — As a young home buyer, I had a Realtor rush me through the process once. I’ll never forget how intimidated and uncomfortable I felt. She didn’t have my best interests at heart. No one should be pushing you. You don’t want to regret your home or your purchase. You really want to think about it, map out the pros and cons, and understand what’s happening from start to finish. There is a balance on going too slowly or going too quickly, and a great Realtor will help you find it and stay comfortable, confident, and excited. I’m the great Realtor, if you didn’t catch that. 😉

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Mistakes or not, first time home buyers have so much to look forward to, the biggest being a brand new home to call their own. Working with them has been a blast… I have laughed so much more than I knew possible in the last few months. I love my clients, and can’t wait for 2017! Follow me on Facebook to see what I’m up to in the new year!

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Kelli & Jordan with Elliott in front of their beautiful new home

Buyer Testimonial

Four transactions down and many more to go! WOW! my career as a Realtor in Lexington, KY is just getting started, but it also feels like I’ve been doing this forever in a (very cliche) way. I think networking is the key aspect of my job as an agent, and that is something I’ve been strong in for many years in direct sales. It makes things sweeter when you love networking because you love people.

People and their stories make my participation in their journey a blessing for me, and I also love the light-heartedness behind our interactions with each other. Life doesn’t have to be so serious.

I do things right but I’m not stuffy, and I hope that when I serve my clients, they smile and laugh a lot. It’s about more than paperwork, after all.

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See an adorable video of Kelli & Jordan moving into their new place on my FB page:

Home in Kentucky

Favorite Movie Homes

There are some amazing homes featured in movies, but I have my favorites. All of these are homes I would live in, easily, with my #1 being my favorite house of all time! What are yours?

5. Home Alone – 1.5 million dollar home: This is where I want to celebrate Christmas, every Christmas, for the rest of my life.

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4. Beetlejuice – A set and a soundstage: Tall, strange, and country with a bit of dust… something about the attic makes it fabulous. Even if it was just a set. Tricksters. 

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3. Mrs. Doubtfire – San Fransisco mansion: I love the exterior of this house, and the setup of the kitchen makes it good for entertaining. Don’t catch your bosom on fire, though!

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2. The Notebook – Plantation home: There’s something romantic about historic homes, with huge porches. Ryan Gosling being inside of them? Bonusss!

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1. Casper – Whipstaff Manor, inspired by Antoni Gaudi: Whimsical curves, stained glass windows, a foyer worthy of a ball. I even love the creepy basement with the mad genius features. Put this one on my wishlist!

 

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Helping Children Change Schools

Changing schools and locations can make children anxious, lonely, and fearful. Caregivers might wonder how to make this transition easier for their family, and there are some great tips on helping your children feel confident and calm about this upcoming change!

1) Talk to them about what they’re going to miss at their old school. Instead of trying to “make it better” right away, let them get it all out. Listen. Acknowledge what they’re saying and validate them, “Yes, it can be scary having to make new friends.” Practice empathy with them.

2) Buy them a journal. Have them draw pictures or write words about this experience from start to finish. If they aren’t naturally inclined to writing or drawing, help them with prompts on the tops of pages. Some examples? “Draw your new school,” or “Write what qualities you’ll look for in your new friends.”

3) Read topical books together with your younger children. Here are some recommendations up through sixth grade: Best Moving Books

4) Get them involved in a sport or school-related club or activity as soon as possible. Socialization can be the toughest part of a move, and this will help them ease into a new circle of friends. Bonus? It helps you meet new people, too. I know you’re a little nervous too. We’re all nerds at heart, after all.

5) Spend time as a family as much as possible, even though the move might be stressful on you, too. Enjoy a movie night in your new home, go check out some local businesses and then rate them together, and spend extra time talking at the dinner table and bedtime. You could always go see what Pokemon you can catch in your new neighborhood as well! haha. Reassure your child that they are supported in this big transition. And you should know that soon you’ll all adjust and you’ll be just as attached to your new place as you were to the old one.

Thinking of you! You got this.
-Kalen

Top Reasons to Move to Lexington Kentucky

Woodford Reserve Horse Ranch, Versailles, Kentucky

1) We have the traditional southern charm with a forward-thinking community. We take pride in our values and progress here.

2) People are incredibly nice. The friendliness level is often times the most surprising thing to people from other states.

3) Local coffee and food are incredible. Check out places like Cup of Commonwealth, North Lime Donuts, West Sixth Brewing, Coles 735 Main and so much more.

4) There is a ton to do around here! Bourbon Trail, horse racing, UK basketball games, Raven Run hiking trail, various playgrounds and pools, the Henry Clay Estate, and the Kentucky Theater, for example. More things to do in Lexington, KY.

5) Shopping is insane! We have Fayette Mall with stores like Forever 21, Apple, LUSH, Macy’s, Michael Kors, Williams-Sonoma, and Victoria’s Secret. Then there’s Lexington Green where you can shop Anthropologie, Joseph-Beth Books, Charming Charlie, and White House Black Market. On the other side of town is Hamburg, come see places like At Home, Buy Buy Baby, GameStop, Express, Pet Smart, Lane Bryant, Pier 1, and Regal Cinemas (with reclining seats – yassss)!

6) SCHOOLS. The city is full of great schools. Parents are involved, children thrive, and school personnel are focused and caring. Higher education? Check out University of Kentucky, Bluegrass Technical College, or Transylvania University.

7) Downtown life is diverse. The heart of our city, you’ll find local businesses, the farmer’s market, parades and special events, Triangle Park, an incredible library, and crazy nightlife whether you’re into local music and chilling or dancing all night.