Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 11/9/2014

What is your dream home? It is a water-front home, a cabin in the woods, a city apartment or a home on a cul de sac in a suburb? The phrase “dream home” means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Here are some things to consider when looking for your dream home: Square Footage Consider how much room you need in your home. Do you need a media room or a finished basement? Three decades ago the average home size was 1,645 square feet. Now the average home size has gone up to 2,195. Recent trends have shown house sizes again decreasing as buyers evaluate what they truly need. Floorplan Think about how you will use your home, will you be entertaining? Do you like your home with rooms that are intimate and have a traditional feel? Or do you prefer an open floor plan? The way you use your home will dictate the type of floor plan you ultimately choose. Extras What kind of extras are you looking for in a home? Do you want granite counter tops, high-end appliances, or other extras?  That will also affect price. Decide what you want and make sure it fits your budget. Landscaping The bigger the better may not be the case when it comes to a lawn. A big lawn means lots of landscaping. If you are willing to perform the necessary upkeep you may opt for a large yard; if not, your dream home may be a home with a smaller yard or even a condo. Location Choosing a neighborhood is important when picking your dream home. If you have a family or are planning one in the future you most likely will want to look at school systems.  Other considerations are commute time to work, location to stores, highways, the ability to walk to venues and public transportation.    





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 10/26/2014

You may have noticed that new homes are going up around town again. Along with the sale pending signs on existing homes builders are building again. A national index measuring builder sentiment rose in June to its highest level since May 2007. But is buying a new home right for you? Homebuyers trying to decide between new and existing homes have more choices than they have had in the past. The case for new homes: New homes come with builder warranties. New homes allow buyers to select colors and floor plans. New homes can be easier to insure. Some builders have their own financing divisions, so getting a mortgage from the builder may be easier than from a lender. New homes may have a resale advantage. The case for existing homes: Existing homes may offer more space for the money and a more convenient location. Existing homes can be 10 percent to 20 percent less than new construction for comparable square footage. Existing homes are in established neighborhoods. New homes can take several months or longer to build.      





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 9/14/2014

If you are thinking about buying a new home one thing that you should take the time to research is who your potential new neighbors might be. A great tool to know more about the area you are thinking about buying in is the Official Sex Offender Registry Site. This free service can locate registered sex offenders in any area. Click here to locate registered sex offenders in your area. Just enter an address and it will show a map. The site will show you photos (where available) addresses, convictions and other information about the offender. Also included are statistics on crime in the area. It is important to consider this when thinking about not only the safety of your family but also how this could affect the resale of the home.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 9/7/2014

When searching for your dream house a lot of emphasis is typically placed on the location, size, and style of the house; ensuring everything you desire is perfectly in place.  When buying a home you can't let your emotions cloud your sense of reason.  You need to carefully examine all factors closely and perform the due diligence necessary to ensure you are making the right decision. Read Through Recent Newspapers and Archived Articles: Local news papers and other publications are a great resource for the most current information.  Archived news articles on the other hand may alert you to past issues or on going controversy in the area.  A little extra time spent reading will pay off in a long run when compiling your pros and cons list. Talk To The neighbors: The residents of the neighborhood are the best source of first hand information.  Getting a feel for the neighborhood's demographic will help determine if it is the correct environment for your family. Confirm there is a neighborhood association or alternative platform to discuss the welfare of the neighborhood. Get Details On Recent Home Improvements: Home inspections will provide you with information on where improvements may be needed.  Determining the quality of the improvements that have already been completed is also important.  Ask to review receipts from previous renovations to help gauge the quality of the materials used and the longevity of the improvement.  For example, if the house was painted a year ago, and the receipt reveals a lesser quality paint was used, you can expect to re-paint in a year or so. Review Tax Records: A review of the past and present real estate tax records will provide you with a better understanding of the area's tax rate, and property evaluation.  It's good to know how regularly homes are evaluated and how often property taxes are increased. There is so much to consider when buying a home.  Be certain to take all factors into consideration when making your decision.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 8/31/2014

If you have a water well in your home or you are considering buying a home with a well there are some things you need to know. When purchasing a home with a well the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends an initial water quality test. The test should include coliform, bacteria, nitrates/nitrites, and pH. Additional recommendations for well testing include arsenic, lead, copper, radon, a gross alpha screen, and volatile organic compounds. While living in the home the well should be tested annually. If the home has a water treatment system, a test should be done on both the raw water coming into the house before the treatment system and after the water has passed through the treatment system. This will identify contaminants in the water and ensure the treatment system is functioning properly. If the home is being financed with an FHA or VA loan, the lender will most likely require a well test. The FHA Scan tests for coliform, lead, nitrates and nitrites. Prospective buyers should also hire an independent professional to have the water tested at a state certified lab. For more information on drinking water quality standards, visit EPA's website: www.epa.gov/safewater. In addition to a well quality water test, the mechanical workings of the water system should also be inspected also known as a quantity test. The pump, pressure tank, water treatment system, condition of the area around the well, and the well's proximity to potential contamination sources will all be examined.