Friday, April 27, 2012

House hunting

For the past couple of months we've been house hunting. We always knew this day was going to come even when we bought our house in 2005. However, we didn't figure on having twins, leaving us to have to accelerate our plans. So now we are in the market for a bigger house and have been looking and looking and looking with no success. Until you have kids and start planning for them to start school, you never really think of school quality. I mean everybody knows that PG County schools aren't the best but it's shocking how bad most of the schools are (especially middle and high schools). So we had to rule out PG county from the very start, leaving Howard and Montgomery countries. For example, it's common to see schools in those 2 counties to have a score of 10 out of 10 while 3 and 4 are the common scores for PG schools.

Apart from the school issue, another trend I've noticed is that some people (a lot more than one would think) really don't put much effort into selling their house. For example, if you are trying to sell a house for almost half a million dollars, you should at least have pictures with decent resolutions. If I had $1000 for every house that I saw with really crummy pictures, I would have enough to pay cash for our next house! For copyright reasons and because I really don't want trouble, I can't post pictures here. But please if you are selling your house, make sure you have high quality pictures.

Second, please don't try to fool prospective buyers by taking pictures from difficult angles because you are trying to hide a non-flattering aspect of your house. Again, I can't tell how many houses we saw where the picture was drastically different than reality. If there are lots of trees in your backyard, don't frame your pictures to hide the trees. All that does is make me curse you when I drive out there and have to turn around after 5 minutes because your backyard is a mini rain forest. Or because I encountered Bambi and his family grazing in your backyard.

Third, if your house doesn't have a particular feature, please point it out in the description. If your master bath has a shower only, do us all a favor and mention it. Don't make me wonder because your pictures have been cleverly framed and your description is vague.

Talking about high resolution pictures, don't list your house for $450,000 with no pictures! Or with 1 picture. It's 2012 and high resolution digital cameras are way too common that the "no pictures yet!" excuse doesn't wash.

Finally, even if you are trying to short sell your house please put some effort into making the house presentable. And work with your neighbor that likes to leave junk in his yard. We literally drove up to a house and I said to Realtor "hell no, I am not living next to a junkyard!"

Tuesday, April 17, 2012