House Buying and Selling Tips You Must Know

The must-read tips for house buying and selling. Get the scoop on finding the right real estate agent and home for you with UpNest online. AD #AgentsCompete

 

House Buying and Selling

The Tips You Must Know Before You Start

 

So, you are thinking about moving? Looking to buy or sell a house? Or just gathering information for future plans? I have some must-read tips that will help you find the house of your dreams with a real estate agent that is a proper fit for your needs and SAVE you TIME and MONEY.

Acquaint Yourself with Real Estate Terminology:

How will you know what is going on, if you do not understand the words and exactly what they mean? Do not be afraid to stop and ask for explanations. Check out this glossary of Real Estate Terms, Definitions & Dictionary — it is an invaluable resource.

Do Your Homework:

House buying and selling is not something most people do every day. So, it is important to really prepare yourself as best you can in order to get the most out of the deal. Don’t rush, DO some research.

  • Know the Hidden Costs
    Be aware that the price of the house does not include all of the costs. You will have added expense for Land Transfer Fees, Mortgage Costs, Home Inspection, Home Insurance, Title Insurance, Legal Costs, etc. Another thing to consider in the price department is how much you will be paying in Property Tax. You cannot go off what the previous owner is paying.
  • Know the State of the Market
    The state of the real estate market will vary according to the area. Find out if it is a seller’s market or a buyer’s market where you are looking to buy or sell a home. A Buyer’s Market is one where inventory lingers and sellers must get serious about price reduction, credits, and throw-ins or incentives. A Seller’s Market is when inventory remains below demand. Sellers enjoy control over prices and terms.
  • Establish a Price Range
    Buyers, get pre-approved for a loan. What is your monthly income? Make a list of your recurring monthly bills such as car payments, life insurance, etc. How much money do you have for a down payment? Then, you can factor in the research you have done with the hidden costs and the state of the market to determine a price range. Have a workable range, as different properties will have their own added operation costs.

Hire the Right Real Estate Agent:

Let’s face it, most likely, you are not an expert in house buying and selling. The purchase of real estate is a big deal, don’t blow it or make costly mistakes because you do not know the ins, outs, and legalities of the business. Hire a qualified professional. But how do you know if a real estate agent is right for you? Here are some things to consider:

  • Check online Marketing Material and Listings
  • Pay close attention to Photography, Video, and Descriptions (are they accurate, complete, complimentary but not exaggerated)
  • Check profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media. Read reviews. Get a sense of who the agent is and how they work.
  • Narrow your search to three agents and meet with each, in person ideally.
  • Ask for Sales Activity Reports, Existing Listings, and Time on Market Averages, plus the Local Requisite Comps.

UpNest

UpNest is an awesome online resource for finding the right agent for your needs. It takes the pain and complication out of the process and helps you find a qualified and trusted local real estate agent. Plus, with UpNest, agents actually compete for your business, which means lower commission rates and thousands in savings for you!  Take a look at this quick, easy and FREE online tool

All you need to do is answer a few questions on UpNest and they will get you started in the process of finding the right realtor for you.

  • Don’t hire a luxury home agent when you are looking to buy a farm. Make sure your agent is knowledgeable and experienced in your market, your needs, and your wants.
  • An experienced real estate agent will know the best times for Open Houses, and how to initiate a Price War if your market allows.
  • Never consent to a listing contract longer than 90 days in a seller’s market — you can always extend.

Learn the Community:

  • Get to Know the Neighborhood
    You are looking to live here and maybe raise a family here. Drive around the surrounding areas. Where will your do your shopping, get gas, find restaurants, go to the doctor or hospital? Where are the schools, and how are they rated? How are the roads? What route will you take to get to the highway, and how far is it?
    Actually, WALK the neighborhood prior to making your purchase. Learn about the noise, traffic, and density of the community. You will be surprised how much more you can learn about the area by walking it rather than driving past. Get to know the locals, they will give you the inside scoop.

Consider the Costs of Owning and Operating the Property:

Different properties have different operation and upkeep costs. Know what you are getting into, especially if moving from city to country or vice versa. Research costs of maintenance and repairs, or added insurance costs. Some things to keep in mind:

  • HOA Fees
  • Sewer vs. Septic Tank
  • City / Municipal Water vs. Well Water
  • Utilities – electric and /or gas, internet capabilities
  • Private Road – maintenance and upkeep
  • Fire Hydrants – is there one on the property or nearby
  • Generator
  • Creek, Pond, or any other water source on the property

You need to know if utilities are at the property ready for use, or if you will need to pay to have them brought to the property.

NEVER Skip the Home Inspection or Survey:

You want your house buying and selling to go smoothly and not have any problems when you move into your new home. The inspection and survey are vitally important whether it be a new-construction home, remodeled, or a fixer-upper.

  • The Home Inspection will point out things you need to know. The seller will usually take care of any issues prior to your purchase. Be sure all required permits for the property are in order. ONLY make an offer SUBJECT on your approval of home inspection.
  • A Survey tells you the exact borders of the property. You do not want to find out that a fence, shed, or a portion of your house is sitting on your neighbors land. Knowing the correct borders will help you plan and develop your property, and save time and issues in the future.



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Top 10 Posts of 2015

Top 10 Posts of 2015

The Year in Review

 

Before I unveil the Top 10 List of posts written during 2015, I want to give you just a brief update to close out the year. 2015 brought a lot of changes not only to my life, but to the blog as well. Surviving the struggles has made Rory and I even stronger and happier. In these difficult times, we found courage, tenacity, and a new family that embraced us with open hearts and arms. Luke is a rock and a Godsend, and we are enjoying building our new life together as a family.

As for the blog, Life With Lorelai grew by leaps and bounds. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • LWL is now earning money. I have thoroughly enjoyed taking on sponsored posts, and working with different brands and networks to bring you fabulous recipes, DIY projects, and more. I look forward to continuing those relationships in the New Year, and engaging new alliances along the way.
  • We’ve connected with other bloggers in the form of Regular Contributors and Guest Posters. This has been especially fun to share with you.
  • The Home Matters Linky Party is thriving! The weekly link-up grew from a high of 82 links to a record high of 699 links. If you haven’t had the chance to stop by and check it out, please do–the Door Opens every Friday. You will find a wide variety of fun and inspiration concerning all things Home Matters. Will we break the illusive 700 link mark in 2016?

And, now, onto the Top 10 Posts of 2015

Counting down to the post that takes the top spot…

Kitchen Cabinets – DIY Upscale

 

12 Tips On Choosing The Right Paint Colors

 

January 2015 – Gratitude, Promise & Memories

 

Watermelon, Blueberry & Feta Salad Recipe

 

Sidewalk Chalk Tutorial

 

Caramel Creme Pie Recipe

 

Sports Button Display – DIY

 

Banana Pudding – An Easy Old-Fashioned Recipe

 

Haunted Mirror – A Halloween DIY

 

Drum Roll, please… the Top Spot

Italian Stuffed Chicken Recipe

 

Be sure to visit these Top Posts of 2015. Is your favorite in the Top 10?

I wish everyone happiness, health, and a multitude of blessings. Cheers!

Happy New Year 2016!!!

 

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Fresh Nectarine Pie With Lattice Top Pie Crust

Well, It’s Confession Time…

Cake has never been a favorite of mine (sorry to all you cake lovers out there), but it has to be a really great cake for me to be enthused.

So, my mother and/or dad used to bake me a pie every year for my birthday. When I was growing up, we had a nectarine tree in the backyard, and with my birthday in August it was perfect timing for fresh nectarines. My mom and dad created this recipe, and it has been my favorite ever since.

Enjoy with me a slice of the most delicious birthday pie…

Fresh Nectarine Pie

Non-Soggy Pie Crust

  • 2 1/2-Cups Flour
  • 1-Cup Crisco
  • 1 Egg
  • Milk
  • Dash of Salt

Put egg in a measuring cup; add Milk to make 3/4 cups; blend together. Combine shortening, flour, and salt in a bowl until it is the consistency of corn meal. Add milk and egg mixture; blend. Separate into three balls and chill in the refrigerator until ready to use. Roll out on a floured board with a floured rolling pin.

Yield: Three, single pie crusts.

Pie Filling

  • 1 Pie Crust, plain
  • 4-Cups Fresh Nectarines (about a dozen), sliced
  • 3/4 Cups Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Nutmeg, ground
  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Egg, slightly beaten

Directions

Prepare Nectarines: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Rinse nectarines and use a paring knife to slice an “X” in the bottom of the fruit. Drop the “X’d” nectarines into boiling water for 3-minutes; remove promptly. You will see how the “X” has swelled slightly. Allow the fruit to cool enough to be able to handle them.

Starting from the “X”, peel the nectarines. Using the paring knife, cut nectarines from the outside to the pit. Do this all the way around the nectarine making thin slices. Then you can start pulling the slices away from the pit. As you can see from the above photo, the slices fall off easily. Let nectarines stand for at least 15-20 minutes. They will release juice.

In a large bowl, blend Sour Cream and Egg. In a separate bowl, mix Sugar, Flour, Salt, and Nutmeg. Stir dry ingredients into sour cream mixture. Drain juice from nectarines, add to the sour cream blend, and combine.

Line pie pan with pastry; prick the bottom and sides with a fork for venting. Cut remaining pastry into thin strips for making a lattice top for the pie.

Pour pie filling into pastry shell, make lattice top. To make the lattice top, I start by placing strips of pie dough parallel across the pie. Then I peel back every other strip and lay a strip of pastry dough going across. Replace the peeled back strip on top of the dissecting strip to make a basket weave pattern. Then peel back the set of strips you did not before and lay another pastry strip. Alternate the process all the way across the pie. Trim the edges of the latticework to fit the pie. Cover pie crust EDGE ONLY with Crust Protectors (Use foil to make a small. loose tent if you don’t have any).

Bake at 425° F, about 40-45 minutes.

Yield: One, 9-inch pie

NOTE: I usually get two pies from this recipe by adding a few extra nectarines.

Let the pie cool before serving. When pie is cooled through, cover and store in refrigerator.

5 from 1 reviews
Non-Soggy Pie Crust
 
Non-Soggy Pie Crust - perfect for anything you use pie crust for.
from:
Type: Pastry
Serves: 3 Crusts
Ingredients:
  • Non-Soggy Pie Crust
  • 2 1/2-Cups Flour
  • 1-Cup Crisco
  • 1 Egg
  • Milk
  • Dash of Salt
Directions:
  1. Put Egg in a measuring cup.
  2. Add Milk to the egg to make 3/4 cups, and blend.
  3. Combine Shortening, Flour, and Salt in a bowl until it is the consistency of corn meal.
  4. Add milk and egg mixture, blend.
  5. Separate dough into three balls and chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  6. Roll out on a floured board with a floured rolling pin.
3.5.3208

5 from 1 reviews
Fresh Nectarine Pie With Lattice Top Pie Crust
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A delicious summer pie filled with the fresh flavor of nectarine.
from:
Type: Dessert
Serves: 1 - 9" Pie
Ingredients:
  • 1 Pie Crust, plain (See my Non-Soggy Pie Crust recipe)
  • 4-Cups Fresh Nectarines (about a dozen), sliced
  • 3/4 Cups Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Nutmeg, ground
  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Egg, slightly beaten
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 425° F

    Prepare Nectarines:
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil.
  3. Rinse nectarines and use a paring knife to slice an "X" in the bottom of the fruit.
  4. Drop the "X'd" nectarines into boiling water for 3-minutes; remove promptly.
  5. You will see how the "X" has swelled slightly. Allow the fruit to cool enough to be able to handle them.
  6. Starting from the "X", peel the nectarines.
  7. Using the paring knife, cut nectarines from the outside to the pit.
  8. Do this all the way around the nectarine making thin slices. Then you can start pulling the slices away from the pit.
  9. Let nectarines stand for at least 15-20 minutes. They will release juice.

    Making the Pie Filling:
  10. In a large bowl, blend Sour Cream and Egg.
  11. In a separate bowl, mix Sugar, Flour, Salt, and Nutmeg.
  12. Stir dry ingredients into sour cream mixture.
  13. Drain juice from nectarines, add to the sour cream blend, and combine.
  14. Line pie pan with pastry; prick the bottom and sides with a fork for venting. Cut remaining pastry into thin strips for making a lattice top for the pie.

    Putting the Pie together & Making the Lattice Top:
  15. Pour pie filling into pastry shell.
  16. To make the lattice top, I start by placing strips of pie dough parallel across the pie.
  17. Then I peel back every other strip and lay a strip of pastry dough going across.
  18. Replace the peeled back strip on top of the dissecting strip to make a basket weave pattern.
  19. Then peel back the set of strips you did not before, and lay another pastry strip.
  20. Alternate the process all the way across the pie.
  21. Trim the edges of the latticework to fit the pie.
  22. Cover pie crust EDGE ONLY with Crust Protectors (Use foil to make a small. loose tent if you don't have any).
  23. Bake at 425° F, about 40-45 minutes.
3.5.3208

 

 

And now for a little more confession… As you can see, I didn’t use my Crust Protectors. I baked this at Luke’s house and didn’t have them with me. It was late, and I didn’t think to use foil. I also took the lazy way and used store bought pie dough—don’t hate me, please.

Oh well, the pie still tasted AMAZING! Fresh Nectarine Pie is a perfect dessert for Summer/Fall, so refreshing and delicious. It makes a yummy breakfast too.

What is your favorite Birthday Dessert?

Do you have any special pies that you make?

 

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~Lorelai

 

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