Snow & Ice = winter weariness!

I honestly don’t know anyone over the age of 10 who is happy about all the snow we’ve

Hard to park for an hour if the space has snow piled in it!

received in 2014! The hardest thing is all the ice. I know the businesses are trying to clear their parking lots, but it’s just impossible to get rid of the underlying ice until we have a melt. Private citizens are doing the best they can too.  If you are within the city of West Lafayette, here are the guidelines for snow removal from the www.westlafayette.in.gov website.

“Property owners or occupants are responsible for clearing snow and ice from sidewalks that are adjacent to their property? Section 66.01 of West Lafayette City code requires that the owner or occupant of a property adjacent to a sidewalk removes snow and ice within six hours after daylight and after snow fall has ceased.

If you live in West Lafayette IN then you will need to clear your sidewalks. Or you will get a fine. Community service is a good thing.

Failure to remove snow and ice from sidewalks may result in fines and costs for clearing the sidewalks. Fines up to $50 can be issued to the property owner or occupant if a sidewalk for which they are responsible is not cleared. Also, failure to remove the snow and ice may result in the clearing of the sidewalk by the city and the owner being charged for the costs, which start at $80.

Enforcement priorities are elementary school routes first, followed by commercial and retail areas, and then residential neighborhood streets.”  Think spring everyone!!!

West Lafayette IN Home for Sale

Meg & Eric, Team Howlett, are your West Lafayette Real Estate Experts. Buying or Selling. We Help!

Meg, 765-414-6531, or Eric, 765-414-1795.  Please call us today to help you buy or sell your home.  We’ve been selling homes in the current conditions! We just harness up the Huskies and get to work! We are full time real estate agents and care for you!

West Lafayette IN is a sellers market

Moving to the West Lafayette IN area? Will you or your child be attending Purdue? Have you received a job offer from Purdue? Have you landed a position at one of Lafayette’s impressive manufacturing companies? Whatever brings you to West Lafayette, I’m sure you’ll find this an exciting community to live. If you need to be within the West Lafayette

There are many wonderful real estate areas in West Lafayette with beautiful homes.

School district www.wl.k12.in.us/‎ the choices for housing are quite limited. As of today (1/25/2014) there are only 18 houses for sale. That is an historically low number. 68 houses have sold in the last 6 months, meaning that there is only a 1.6 month supply of houses. Generally, if the market has less that a three month supply, it is considered to be a sellers market. The good news is that you’ll be able to see every available house in a day or two. The bad news is, well, that you’ll be able to see everything in a day or two!

Homes for sale in West Lafayette come in a wide variety from new to classic with hardwood floors. Call Meg 765-414-6531 to start your search.

The lesson to be learned here is that when a house is properly prepared for the market and priced right, it will sell FAST. There is no “low-balling” in the current market, unless a property is in bad condition or it is significantly over-priced. Team Howlett knows how to get houses ready for the market, with excellent pre-market advise, free staging and expertly accurate pricing.

 

Please call us for your real estate market review. Meg, 765-414-6531, or Eric, 765-414-1795.  We are here to help you!

 

Indiana water quality officially bumming you out?

So you moved to Indiana and after a month or two your glasses are covered with white

There is a way to keep your dishwasher sparkling without chemicals.

film. Your dishes feel chalky. You’re wondering if everyone has this problem or if you just have bad pipes. Oh…..it’s not your plumbing. Did you know that the Empire State Building was built with Indiana Limestone? Well, us Hoosiers are proud of that, but all that limestone in our soil leaves that horrid film on our dishes.

Team Howlett to the rescue! We have the solution and it is cheap.

Vinegar. It’s natural. It’s inexpensive. Use it!

And the winner is…..VINEGAR!

Yup, vinegar. We buy it by the gallon. Pour a tablespoon or two into your dishwasher every time you run it. It will not only keep your glasses shiny, it will actually remove any buildup that has occurred.  Cheers! Meg & Eric.

Glasses and dishes with no film. We can’t believe it. Try it!

First Time Home Buying Made Easier with Team Howlett

First time home buying can seem pretty intimidating for most people. It’s a big commitment and the most expensive purchase the vast majority of us will ever make. The good news is that Team Howlett can really help first time home buyers!

I really LOVE working with first time home buyers. All those years of being a music teacher

Meg really loves working with first time home buyers. Learn more about Meg & Eric.

and being a mom are skills that really translate well into taking good care of my younger buyers. I get very protective of my first time home buyers. I’m usually talking them out of a house! I certainly never have even remotely tried to talk anyone into buying a house.

Here’s my buying a house 101. The first step is to have a phone conversation with a reliable lender. You’re not applying for a loan at this point. Your credit will not be pulled. You will not be spending any money. You are just starting the conversation to see what you qualify for and what your approximate monthly payment would be. There are many good lenders out there, but here are four that I have loved working with.

 

  • Rob Roseboom
  • Lafayette Savings Bank
  • 765-429-2871
  • rroseboom@lsbank.com

 

School selection is a very personal criteria.

 

 

Lots of search criteria to think about: # Bedrooms, style, lot size etc.

After talking to a lender you are “pre-approved” or have found out what you need to do to get pre-approved. Then we go an find you a house. That’s the fun part! I recommend if you’re searching on the internet to use www.realtor.com or www.shook.com. Zillow and Trulia tend to be more inaccurate. Once you find the right home, then you make an offer. The offer is accompanied by an earnest money check that is usually about 1% of the sales price. The sellers can do three things with your offer. They can accept it, reject it or counter it. The most likely scenario is that they will

There are many wonderful neighborhoods to choose from.

counter your offer. If everyone comes to an agreement, then the house is “pending” and several important things need to happen. Any offer is contingent upon getting approval of your financing, having a home inspection and obtaining home owners insurance for the property. You’ve already talked to a lender, so that usually isn’t a problem. You’ll have to go through the loan application process, which frankly is a real pain, but since you already know you are pre-qualified, that usually isn’t an issue. Getting home owners insurance is a piece of cake too. The big problem is the inspection.

 

In Indiana, the buyers pay for a home inspection. That’s usually between 250.00 and

There are some beautiful classic Arts & Crafts homes for sale in both Lafayette and West Lafayette. We recommend inspection for both new and older homes.

350.00 depending on the square footage of the house. Once you get the report back we’ll go over it together. This is where my husband and business partner Eric really takes over. He built houses with his father in his younger days and spent years on a Submarine as the Engineer officer. He understands the systems of a house very well. What we can asked to be fixed are “material defects”. That means serious problems. Bad roof, unsafe wiring, leaking plumbing, wood rot, etc. We can’t ask for maintenance items like caulking the tub. Then we write up something called an inspection addendum and it’s like we’ve gone right back to the beginning of the transaction. The seller can agree to fix everything, agree to fix nothing or agree to fix some of the repairs. Once again, the third option is the most common. If you are not satisfied that the house is safe to move into or feel that the repairs are too expensive, you can leave the transaction and not buy the house.

 

Remember that earnest money I talked about? It will be a credit to you. Let’s say that you ask the seller to pay your lender closing costs. Let’s say you ask for 2,000.00 and the actual lender closing costs (appraisal, origination fee, etc) come to 2,200. Let’s say you put down 1,000 in earnest money. Well, 200 will go towards paying the rest of your closing costs and the rest will go towards your downpayment. You get this earnest money back if for some reason you fail to qualify. (someone loses a job before the house closes for instance) You get this earnest money back if the seller won’t fix needed repairs to your satisfaction. The only reason that you would not get it back is if you change your mind at the last minute. That is called defaulting. Then the earnest money goes to the seller to compensate them for being off the market.

 

In the end, you’ll find a place you can call home.

I know this is a lot of information. Please feel free to call me (Meg) at 765-414-6531 if you need clarification or have other questions.

 

Also visit www.teamhowlett.com to see my buyer video. It’s pretty much the same stuff, but clients seem to think it helps.

We’ll be right by your side every step of the way!!!!

Home Sellers Life Made Easier in West Lafayette / Lafayette IN

Eric and I are so beyond excited about the services we are now able to provide for our sellers. Uber-pumped! Free staging! Moving made easier! We can make this process so much easier for our sellers. We know how hard moving is…. wait a second…

Staged Living Room West Lafayette Home

Here is a nice example of a staged living room provided Free by Team Howlett.

Let me back up….. did I mention that Eric and I have been married for 30 years (this coming April 22, 2014) and have moved 14 times in those 30 years?! Can you say “Nightmare”?! Can you say “Um… Eric please remember that moving is not a vacation.”  Eric needed to go NROTC to pay for the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a Systems Science in Engineering undergraduate degree. His father is a carpenter. (By the way…..THANK GOODNESS his dad was a carpenter! What valuable skills he passed onto Eric!) Then Eric signed up for more time with the Navy so that he could get a masters degree from M.I.T. (You might have heard of that school…tech school…..It’s in the hamlet of Cambridge MA) I’m digressing….

Here’s our new fabulous plan for our sellers. If you are moving within Tippecanoe County, whether it’s West Lafayette or Lafayette, then we recommend that you get a home equity

Bedroom Staged in Another University Farm Home

Here is an example of a staged Master Bedroom. We like to stage the Dining Room, Living Room or Family Room, Kitchen, Master Bedroom and all bathrooms.

loan or a bridge loan and do not even CONSIDER moving until you have found the best home for you. If you find a house that really works for you, we recommend you buy it quickly. The best houses that are clean and priced right don’t stay on the market for more than a few days in our market, so put some cement around your knees and be ready to act fast! If you are a seller that is relocating out of state, it’s still best it you move. Keep your family together. We’ll take care of everything.

Team Howlett residential real estate really loves to work it’s magic. You, the seller, have everything out of the house. We will organize all the upgrades and repairs that need to be done. Um…. sorry…. that’s the “royal” we. Eric actually does most of this. If there is wallpaper that needs to be removed, if there is flooring that needs to be replaced, we will help you with this. Please understand that we are acutely aware of saving our sellers money and trying to get the best bang for the buck, so we only recommend repairs that we feel are absolutely necessary. We are in touch with amazing contractors that also share our view. Jeff Martin with Property Solutions comes to mind! Then we bring in brand new furniture, lovely decorative items and make your house look like something out a magazine! This is where I shine! I have seemed to channel my inner Adriana (my daughter)

Staged Kitchen in West Lafayette Home for Sale

Staging in the kitchen provides a pleasing livable look while being clean clear and organized. Again, all free by Team Howlett.

and I make the houses look great!  We usually stage the kitchen, any and all bathrooms, dining room, if there is one, the living room and the master bedroom. Let’s be clear that I absolutely hate shopping for clothes, but I love shopping for lovely items for my sellers.

So, we strongly advise sellers to move on with their lives. Take the kids, the toys, the dogs, cats, the parrot, certainly anything amphibian in nature, the precious moments collections, the velvet art collection, the creepy dolls with eyes that stare at you and threaten death the minute you drift off to sleep and start living in your new home. That way you never have to clean for a showing, leave for a showing, and the house is showing ready at all times. Real estate brokers love showing houses that are unoccupied, because it makes everything so much easier.

What we are now offering is a completely free staging program for all our sellers. Please call me to further explain our marketing plan. Please also feel free to visit www.TeamHowlett.com to learn more about me and my hubby Eric!

Talk to you soon,

Meg

765-414-6531

Fall Colors in West Lafayette / Lafayette Indiana

This photo doesn’t have anything to do with staging, but I thought we could use some of the beautiful colors as the days get shorter. Taken in University Farm, West Lafayette by Eric Howlett.