Time to dust off some of my basic Main Line Realtor® skills, such as teaching home buyers about an area they know nothing about. It happens that I have 2 new clients moving here from other places with no real knowledge of the Main Line area other than its reputation. It was interesting to see how similarly the interview process went for each set of potential clients—although they were very dissimilar in their needs and wants.
The first few minutes were spent telling me what they had heard about the Main Line. Some of it was spot on: “the schools are great, right?” Some was a bit off, such as “there are all these little towns strung together on a train line to the city, right?” Both expressed concern about real estate taxes and assessments – legitimate complaints that will be hopefully rectified when the counties reassess, so newer homes do not bear the brunt. I explained that tax rates do factor into our home searches, and that renovated older homes tend to have lower taxes and can be a bargain. I told them that we’ll seek the best schools and the lowest taxes—but that it’s not always possible.
I wish there was a good Main Line map showing all the important features, like the schools for each neighborhood – and their ratings? Which neighborhoods have sidewalks? Which are close to the train without being too close? Where do all the young families live? Where are there lots of retired couples who love to socialize and travel? Which communities were built in a decade where construction quality was excellent – and which were not? How long is the commute from a particular neighborhood? On the Main Line, it can take as much time getting to the main route to work as it does to travel it. So proximity to major arteries is a real plus if you have a long commute.
With the interview process over now, we embark on the next step: looking at examples of houses and neighborhoods, to get a first read on what matters to each new client. After that, we try to home in on the style and area that best suits them. And if it is not for sale now, we wait for that perfect house to come on the market. I can’t wait to get started—not because I want the process to be over, but rather because I so enjoy it.
There is no doubt about it – there’s a comfort in staying in a home you’ve lived in for many years instead of moving to a totally new or unfamiliar environment. There is, however, new information that suggests this might not be the best option for everyone. The familiarity of your current home is the pro of aging in place, but the potential financial drawbacks to remodeling or renovating might actually be more costly than the long-term benefitsRead More
Which month do you think most people who are considering buying a home actually start their search? If you’re like most of us, you probably think the surge happens in the spring, likely in April. Not anymore. According to new research, January 2019 was only 1% behind February for the most monthly views per listing on realtor.com.Read More