6 First-Time Home Buyer Mistakes


SA Realty Watch Group
Keller Williams Realty
210-232-2310 Cell
License # 525639

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Ask the Agent
What Is Title Insurance?

When you prepare to close on your new home purchase, title insurance will be an important item on your settlement statement. If you have a loan, then prepare to see two line items for title insurance costs. These one-time up-front costs are a form of indemnity insurance to protect you and your lender from financial loss that may come from title defects. You or the seller will pay for standard title protection, while your lender will require you to pay for increased coverage based on the loan amount.

Title insurance protects against ownership issues that may arise from unknown title defects, past unrecorded liens and encumbrances, right-of-way easements, and matters coming from false and illegal documents associated with ownership interests of others.

Even if you pay cash for your home, obtaining title protection is recommended. Buyers and sellers can negotiate as to who will pay the fee for one of the most important closing costs items of any home sale.

Don’t Make These 6 Mistakes as a
First-Time Home Buyer
Experience will be your best ally when it comes to avoiding pitfalls when buying your first home. We are here to help you avoid these most common mistakes:

1. A real estate agent who doesn’t have your best interests at the forefront or the right tools and resources to assist in getting the job done effectively likely won’t produce good results. Be selective in choosing who will represent you.

2. Relying on a lender just because of a past banking relationship may not yield the best rate and terms for your loan. Explore the competition.

3. In a hot seller’s market, hesitating to put in an offer on a suitable home could mean losing a rare buying opportunity and creating uncertainty when it comes to future prospective properties.

4. Not staying within your budget and moving forward with a higher-priced home can cause you to have to pinch pennies to make ends meet, triggering unnecessary anxiety.

5. If you are in the midst of a seller’s market and you have not been preapproved for a loan, your offer is in a very weak position. You risk losing every buying opportunity until you do get preapproved.

6. You will miss valuable buying opportunities if you make your home search parameters too broad. Don’t spend too much time looking at properties that really aren’t for you. Narrowing down what features of a home are on your bucket list will allow you to home in on those properties from the start.

We are here to ensure you have a smooth home-buying experience. Call or email us and let us help you avoid these mistakes and other potential pitfalls.

Want to Sell Your Home Fast? Get My Free Guide

Preparing your home for sale can make the difference between getting the price you want – or ending up disappointed.

Discover some easy things you can do by requesting my free guide, “50 Tips to Prepare Your Home for a Speedy, Top-Price Sale.”

Just reply to this email and I’ll send it right out to you.

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Melbourne Residents Send Love Letters
to Their Favorite Trees
The citizens of Melbourne, Australia, have long had a strong bond with nature and the outdoors. Pre-COVID, many a Melburnian could be found soaking up the city’s glorious flora and fauna amongst the city’s 70,000 eucalyptus, oak, and elm trees. When local city services launched a novel way for inhabitants to easily report problems with trees, dangerous branches, and storm damage in 2018, they could never have imagined the response that ensued.

Planners initially came up with the idea to assign each tree its own email address so that passersby could easily send reports. But some residents saw an opportunity to commune with nature by sending emails directly to the trees themselves! Dubbed “tree-mails,” the messages expressed adoration for the trees’ beauty, declarations of love for specific trees, simple greetings, and existential dilemmas.

One example reads, “My dearest Ulmus. As I was leaving St. Mary’s College today, I was struck, not by a branch, but by your radiant beauty. You must get these messages all the time. You’re such an attractive tree.”

Over the years, the endearing exchanges have endured. Local Jane Evans reflected on the cultural phenomenon with the Good News Network on Earth Day back in April 2020. When she realized an elegant jacaranda tree from her area was missing, she looked it up in the database, sent it an email, and was thrilled to receive a personal response. Apparently, the tree lived on in spirit, thanked her for her well wishes, and even told her a joke.

Let’s Connect

Wondering What’s Happening in
Your Neighborhood?
How has the price of your home changed in today’s market? How much are other homes in your neighborhood selling for? Do I need a house inspection? These are all critical questions that shouldn’t be overlooked when thinking about buying or selling your home.

Whether you’re curious about prices in your area, whether it’s an excellent time to sell, or just need an expert to answer your questions, I can give you the tools and offer guidance through the entire buying or selling process.

Let me know how I can help by simply calling or emailing to set up a time to connect. I won’t waste your time – I’ll just give you the honest facts about your home, its value, and what’s happening in your neighborhood.

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Maple Cinnamon Apple Sweet Potatoes
Apples, sweet potatoes, maple syrup, and warm spices are the perfect flavors to keep you cozy this winter. This super simple and hearty side dish is a breeze to prepare and will have your kitchen smelling oh so delicious!

Serves 6

• 2 large apples, diced medium
• 2 large sweet potatoes, diced medium
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Preheat oven to 400° F.

Combine the apples, sweet potatoes, olive oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl.

Toss well to coat the apples and sweet potatoes with the oil and spices. On a large baking sheet, spread in an even layer.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the sweet potatoes and apples are tender.

Remove from oven and drizzle with maple syrup.

Serve hot.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Decluttering and Downsizing
Even if you are not moving, one of the more challenging parts of home ownership is keeping your home clutter free, knowing how to downsize your spaces, and knowing how to practically reduce the number of your belongings. This guide will help you improve your skills so you can get the job done with the outcome you planned for.

Once you know why you need to declutter and downsize, how you do so will make more sense. Take a moment to realize the mental and physical benefits of the task at hand. Create a mental picture of what end result you wish to achieve. Hold on to that idea and enjoy the process.

Start with items that no longer have meaning to you or are no longer functional. They will be the easiest to discard and will create your decluttering mindset and enable you to keep going.

Next are the things that still bear a bit of a question mark as to whether they stay or go. These items may be duplicates of things you have kept “just in case.” Analyze their real value, rarity, and usefulness. Doing so will answer the question of whether they are worth taking up precious space.

The final step would be to address those pieces that still stir memories. It is hardest to declutter the photos and heirlooms that stir your emotions, especially if they’ll make you feel guilty if you choose to part ways. Consider scanning old documents and photos. Friends and relatives may feel honored if you pass on small collectibles. Some items can also be repurposed to start new lives in your newly created spaces.

It is a learning process to successfully declutter and downsize. Stay focused on your mission. We have guided many clients through the process and can do the same for you.

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Here’s How to Cultivate Your Creativity
January is International Creativity Month, a time we collectively acknowledge those who work in creative industries and how various creative infrastructures foster new ideas for the betterment of all. It’s also a chance to ignite the latent creativity within. Here are a few tips to help get that fire burning:

Before picking up a paintbrush or pencil, you may need to break out of a fixed pattern of not believing you’re capable of creating in the first place. Replace closed-ended statements such as “I can’t” or “I don’t know” with “I have what it takes” and “There’s always a way.” These creative mantras will allow inspiration to bubble up to the surface naturally and spontaneously.

Finding a creative outlet may seem like a daunting task, but it’s as simple as opening a box of crayons and sitting down with a coloring book. Give yourself permission to play rather than focusing on the discovery of talent or the pressure of the perfect end result. Enjoy the process of self-expression and its stress-relieving benefits. You may need to explore a few different techniques before you find one that suits you, so don’t go overboard buying the latest kit or supplies.

Remember that creativity isn’t confined to the fine arts. It can be anything that excites you, invigorates you, or offers you a simple moment of joy. Beyond painting and writing, a whole world of creative pursuits exists. You could knit while watching old movies, get groovy during an online dance class, or cook up a storm in the kitchen. Be kind to yourself when things don’t go to plan. In the wise words of Bob Ross, celebrate the “happy little accidents” that occur as you navigate the lifelong journey of inspiration.

This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter. This newsletter is not intended to solicit properties currently for sale.