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Posts Tagged ‘house buying’

Photo by hownowdesign via Flickr

So, Joe and I are finally thinking about settling down. Like “really” settling down. Like “buying a house” settling down. As of now, we are still very much in the tourist phase. We haven’t been pre-accepted for a loan or anything like that; I am checking out books from the library to learn about this daunting process. Note: local library, please buy some new house-buying books. Huge numbers of books about flipping and no-down-payment loans are not so applicable in the market right now!

The other thing I have been keeping my eye on are the MLS listings for our region. A few months ago I signed up with a service that emails me daily the new house listings in our area (actually three counties, as we aren’t sure exactly where we want to live yet.) An MLS is basically a database for brokers to list real estate. I find it incredibly handy, as I love to research, and it really gives me a feel for the types of options in our area, and lets me see what is really available, and what is in our price range. Now, MLS listings are generally for other brokers to reference in order to refer buyers to properties. But there are many options now for buyers to peek at what’s available, too.

So, with this in mind, I have a list of MLS listing pet peeves, things in listings that just turn me off big time! A lot of these have to do with photos.

  • Photoshopped images of the property. Eh, I don’t mind a little bit of color correction, sharpening, etc. But really, if you are photoshopping all sorts of text bubbles over the photos of the property, I am going to think that this is a rink-a-dink operation.
  • Badly taken images. If I can’t make out what you are trying to show, it is a bad picture, and don’t put it in the listing!
  • Photos of strange details. When half the pictures are of the new fixtures added to a property (sink faucets and new stainless steel fridge, I’m looking at you) it makes me think that someone did a cosmetic update to a house, but left the important stuff (roof, HVAC, etc. ) alone because it is more expensive to update.
  • No pictures of the kitchen. Especially when there are pictures of seemingly every other space in the house. Even more if I can see one tiny corner of the refrigerator in the picture of the dining room. For me, the kitchen is one of the most important parts of the house, and if the listing isn’t showing it, I automatically think it must be an absolute mess.
  • Spelling mistakes in the listing. Seriously, please just run spell check, or even just re-read what is written to make sure spell-check didn’t skip something. “Close to shoppin” “kitchen updatee” “walking closet” just scream “we don’t care!”
  • The listing is in all capitals. Which looks better: “Three bedroom, two bath townhouse with lake views,” or “THREE BEDROOM, TWO BATH TOWNHOUSE WITH LAKE VIEWS.” I think this is supposed to be attention getting and it is, but not in a good way. It reminds me of shady tv ads that play during the day for “liquidation sales” with “iPods for $20!” Not good.
  • Too-wide exterior shots. If I am looking at a listing for a townhouse, I would like to know which one in the row of six it is.
  • Drawings instead of photos. This is fine for new properties, but if the house was constructed in 2001, a drawing of the elevation is not adequate.
  • Using wide angle lenses. Yes, I understand that you want to show as much of the room as possible. But it’s just freaky and it throws off the scale entirely. “Is that bed really that close to the closet. The room must be tiny. But hey, the bedside table is ¾ the size of the bed…oh! Wide angle lens!”
  • No pictures at all, only description is: “A must-see property.” That tells me almost nothing. Also, when you say “must see” does that mean “must see” in terms of “wow, this is great!” or “must see” as in”holy cow, how can people live in such a horrible, mold-filled, flooded property! I can see the sky through the ceiling! There is a frog crawling over my shoe. And tell me again why this house costs $140,000?
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