Relocating? What Are Your “Must Haves in a New Home?”

When considering the next home you will live in, perhaps spend the rest of your life in, what are the “must haves?” You have probably lived in several if not many homes during your life as a renter or homeowner and there were probably items from each house that you wanted in your next house.

I was showing property to a couple last month and I was so pleased that the wife seemed to know EXACTLY what she wanted. She referred back to her present house about some things that she had there that were not in the house I showed her that she seemed to just LOVE and must have!

sunsetAs we spent time in the house I was showing her the list kept getting longer and longer. When we ended up in the back yard looking up in the sky, using her compass on her phone, I started to understand that she wasn’t being realistic if she thought she was going to have a sunset every night miles from the beaches in Sarasota, Florida. After trying to explain to her why she won’t have a sunset every night since the sun moves across the sky during the year I realized that we needed to sit down and prioritize her list so that she could stay focused and not miss the opportunity that she was really looking for.

Does the fact that there is no ironing board in the laundry room kill the deal? That’s an easy fix. Are the bedrooms too small because the builder squeezed 4 bedrooms into 2,000 square feet kill the deal? Could be because that is not fixable.

Consulting with my customer and determining what is important is my first task. Discussing what they liked about previous homes is a good start but if someone is retiring to Sarasota or downsizing it is more important to talk about lifestyle and what it is that will change most drastically. If a retiring couple want a more active lifestyle with less time spent in maintaining a home then a maintenance free community may be the ticket. If the couple enjoy gardening and entertaining then a free standing single family home with a yard and parking may be more important than access to community amenities. Do Grand kids visit all year long? Then guest rooms must accommodate and be of a good size. Does Joe want all the toys he never had as the family grew and priorities changed? If so he will need that 3 car garage or at least an oversized 2 car garage.

Assisting with making that list of “must haves” requires some careful listening and some on target questions that many Realtors don’t’ take the time to ask. Why open a can of worms right? Well, no. If crucial steps are missed in the consulting process when looking for a new home in Sarasota, Florida then the customer may not feel confident about closing the deal even after a choice has been made, deposits received, and the inspections start. You are far into the deal and then….the buyer changes their mind…after all the work has gone into the process.

Here are a few questions that a home buyer looking to relocate to Sarasota or downsize must ask themselves or the Realtor must bring to mind for the buyer:

  1. What is the vision or goal that your new location or home brings to mind?
  2. What is most important about that vision or lifestyle that you have in mind?
  3. How will you feel once you have achieved that goal?

If your next move is due to a big change in lifestyle then it is more about the lifestyle than the house first of all. Keep in mind that your Realtor should understand and respond with your end goal in mind. A reminder to stay focused on the vision is needed sometimes.

And remember: My Work Style = Your Lifestyle. Get started with the right questions answered first. Give Susan Phelps a call at 941-726-2227.


Projects to Spruce Up Your Landscaping to Increase Curb Appeal

Mulch makeover: Fresh mulch is used in Sarasota, Florida for moisture retention and eye appeal. It will liven up your flowerbeds and areas around trees. Landscapers and garden centers sell mulch in bulk or by the bag. The most standard bag size is 2 cubic feet. Bulk mulch sells by the cubic yard, which is equal to 13.5 standard-sized bags.

If your yard is like many in Sarasota that are xeriscaped and rely on mulch to control weeds then mulch is your best tool. Mulch can be sourced from different types of trees some of which offer insect control too, like mellaleuca.
Most landscapers say buying in bulk is cheaper in the long run, even with delivery fees of about $50. Many landscapers will also install it. If you’re going to spread it yourself, have the load dumped onto a tarp for easier cleanup. You can also reach out to your favorite arborist and ask to have their excess mulch from chipping trees dropped in your yard.

Cut corners (and curves): Edging a flowerbed or tree or the edge of your yard can create instant curb appeal. Go here for some ideas that fit a budget.
Following the shape of the bed, cut into the surrounding lawn about 6 inches with a shovel or other sharp tool. For a clean look, create some separation between the soil or mulch and the edging material. Or keep a stand-alone edge sharp by going over it with a shovel or other tool every few months. This keeps the grass from growing into the bed.

Green up your grass: Well, if you have grass… Don’t cut too close to the ground, roots may die. Set your mower height so your lawn is trimmed to a minimum of 3 inches. That will encourage thicker turf that resists crabgrass, among other benefits.

plug2Zoysiagrasses (Zoysia spp.) are an alternative for other grasses that are hard to grow in Sarasota, Florida. They provide attractive turf and in recent years, dramatic improvements in zoysiagrass have been made by turfgrass breeders. These improvements include insect resistance, accelerated establishment, and overall performance. Zoysiagrasses are adapted to a variety of soil types and have good tolerance to shade, salt, and traffic. They provide an extremely dense sod that resists weed invasion, but certain pests can be problematic.

Call Susan Phelps, at 941-726-2227 for a recommendation for a professional if you are too busy to get your projects going.