Interactive Map Search

Use our Interactive Map Search tool to view properties directly on the map. Easily view listings in your favorite neighborhoods.

Search

Follow Me on You Tube.. New Videos EVERY Monday!
SubscribeToMyChannel

What's Your Home Worth?

Are you thinking of selling your home? Get a free evaluation and market analysis of your home with absolutely no obligation.

Get Valuation
 
What Questions Should Home Buyers Ask?

You love the neighborhood, the large backyard, the wood floors and it has all the things on your wish list..
But before you make an offer on this home, there are at least 8 questions you need the answers to first,  to make sure your dream home is truly ideal!


1.How Long has the Home been on the market?

A glimpse into the past can help you determine if you’re paying a good price. Your realtor should provide this information for you.
Has this seller had this property on and off the market more than 3 times in the past year? If so, have your Realtor find out why. The answer may determine the sellers level of motivation.
 The longer the home has been on the market, the more likely it is  overpriced or have some other problem.
If you are financing your new home, your lender will order an appraisal of the home. So making a realistic offer based on comparable sales, is better than potentially getting into a situation of over paying. Unless of course, you absolutely HAVE TO HAVE the home and you are prepared to come to closing with additional money if the home does not appraise for your contractual price.
I talk about these situations and more in detail in my earlier video..The good news is..There’s usually always a remedy that makes both the buyer and seller happy!

2. What are the utility costs? 

When buying a house, you’re probably not thinking about how much the utilities are each month…But you should ask!
You need a good idea how much, on average, you need to budget for these added homeowner costs.
Most utility companies will give you the last 12 months of monthly bill amount or at least a yearly average. If you’re buying a home in the greater Lakeland area, I put a link below to all the local utility companies for your convenience..Just keep in mind, that the current owner may have a different lifestyle than yours..For example: Do the sellers have a lot of children, and you don’t?...Their water and electric bill may run a bit higher than a family of 2…But you’ll be able to get a good idea, on average.

3. How old is the roof?

Every year, Remodeling Trends publication puts out a list of the most and least cost efficient home improvement projects.

The cost of roofing replacement is climbing, but returning a slightly lower value.

A roof is expensive. You don’t want to be stuck replacing the roof in a couple of years, so find out how old the roof is. This will give you a good idea of how long you have until the roof must be replaced. And make your offer with this in mind.

4. What problems has the home had in the past?

Unless you plan to buy a house as a project home, you don’t want a property with a lot of problems. You want to be able to rule out homes with major issues.
The sellers may have filled out a Sellers Disclosure, declaring everything they know about the home…But please Do not rely on this!
Of course you’re going to get a professional home and termite inspection. This will ultimately tell you the truths about the homes’ condition..
But this is done AFTER you get into contract..
So Ask if the home has had any past pest infestations,  like termites. If so, When was the home treated?  and is there a transferable bond to you, as the new owner?  
You should also ask about broken pipes, past fires or mold and mildew damage.

If a home deal seems too good to be true, and you’re not in the market for a fixer-upper, ask what’s wrong with it!

5. How much are property taxes?

By now, you might notice that being a homeowner comes with a few additional costs. One of those costs is property taxes.
Two things: If your home purchase is going to be your primary residence, it’s VERY important that you file for your homestead exemption. Other wise you will be paying A LOT more in property taxes.
AND If you are financing more than 80% of your purchase price, your property taxes with be escrowed into your monthly payment.. Again, it’s super important to file for your homestead exemption, or you may see your Mortgage payment increase!
Buying a home in Polk County??, I’ve included a link on the FREE checklist below.
This link will take you to the Polk County Property Appraisers TAX ESTIMATOR site, where you can type in the property address and purchase price, and calculate what Your property taxes will be.


6. What’s the sewer situation?

If the property is not on city sewer, then it has a septic system. Maintaining a septic system adds another minimal cost.
Ask when the system was last pumped, and how old is the drain field? And has the system ever backed up?
You’ll want to have a complete septic inspection done in order not to get saddled with having to replace the septic system.

7. Is the electrical up to code?

Ask about the electrical system when you buy a house, too. Today’s electronic lifestyle means more plugs are needed.
Check for adequate outlets, and make sure the electrical system can handle your usage.
Also, if the electrical system is outdated, you may not be able to obtain a binder for homeowner insurance. Not to mention the costs of having to overhaul the system. Again, your offer should reflect this.

8. What warranties are still in effect?

Your Homebuying checklist should include a question about warranties.
Is the HVAC system still under warranty? What about the appliances in the home?
From the roof to the water heater, you want to know what’s still under warranty. Ask for the records as well, and keep them all in a safe place.
For your convenience, I put a link to my FREE checklist titled “Questions Every Home Buyer Needs to ask”..
On it, you will also find additional links to help you make the very best and informed decision when making the most important (and expensive) purchase of your life!
Im Lisa Kelly, Lakeland Homes & Lifestyles with Premier Realty.. I hope you found this video helpful and if so, Hit Like, and leave me a comment. I’d to hear about your Home Buying experience so far!
 

Contact Me

 

What my clients are saying  

My experience while purchasing my first home was the best experience I've ever experienced. With Lisa's guidance it was a stress free experience. She made sure I was comfortable and understood every step. She gave her opinion from the heart. You can tell she genuinely wanted you to have the home you desired. She is very personable and that's great when you are purchasing a large investment. I am forever grateful of her help. So if you are looking to have a wonderful experience while purchasing or selling any property Lisa Kelly Realtor is the way to go.

 

~ Candace Engram

Candace Engram ????? 18 weeks ago My experience while purchasing my first home was the best experience I've ever experienced. With Lisa's guidance it was a stress free experience. She made sure I was comfortable and understood every step. She gave her opinion from the heart. You can tell she genuinely wanted you to have the home you desired. She is very personable and that's great when you are purchasing a large investment. I am forever grateful of her help. So if you are looking to have a wonderful experience while purchasing or selling any property Lisa Kelly Realtor is the way to go.

 

~ Candace Engram

Greg Raymond ????? 43 weeks ago Finding and buying the right house can be a difficult and daunting process. When my wife and I found our home online, we needed someone local to the property to assist us as we were out of state. Lisa came recommended by a local acquaintance and she was quick to respond to our call. She was collaborative and professional throughout the process, and was attentive to our needs and questions through closing. I would certainly recommend her!

 

~ Greg Raymond

I had such a positive experience working with Lisa. Not only is she a complete professional, but such a compassionate human being. Her knowledge guiding me through the Florida real estate process was so helpful as a first-time Florida homebuyer. She was always prompt and responsive while going above and beyond. She attended all key inspections in person and kept me informed throughout the entire process. If you are looking for a great real estate experience, look no further. Lisa is your gal to get the job done. I will definitely be working with her again in the future.

 

~ DJ Bradley

I had such a positive experience working with Lisa. Not only is she a complete professional, but such a compassionate human being. Her knowledge guiding me through the Florida real estate process was so helpful as a first-time Florida homebuyer. She was always prompt and responsive while going above and beyond. She attended all key inspections in person and kept me informed throughout the entire process. If you are looking for a great real estate experience, look no further. Lisa is your gal to get the job done. I will definitely be working with her again in the future.

 

~ DJ Bradley

We can’t say enough good things about Lisa Kelly! From the moment she stepped through our front door, she demonstrated all the characteristics you want in your realtor: integrity, friendliness, optimism, thorough knowledge of her field, state-of-the-art technical savvy, unflagging energy and sensitivity to all our own needs and feelings. Our house sold in four days and we are certain this success was largely due to Lisa’s skill and hard work. We highly recommend Lisa Kelly to anyone looking for a top notch realtor!

 

~ Tom and Kim Manske

We can’t say enough good things about Lisa Kelly! From the moment she stepped through our front door, she demonstrated all the characteristics you want in your realtor: integrity, friendliness, optimism, thorough knowledge of her field, state-of-the-art technical savvy, unflagging energy and sensitivity to all our own needs and feelings. Our house sold in four days and we are certain this success was largely due to Lisa’s skill and hard work. We highly recommend Lisa Kelly to anyone looking for a top notch realtor!

 

~ Kim Manske

Kim Manske ?????Aug 21, 2020 We can’t say enough good things about Lisa Kelly! From the moment she stepped through our front door, she demonstrated all the characteristics you want in your realtor: integrity, friendliness, optimism, thorough knowledge of her field, state-of-the-art technical savvy, unflagging energy and sensitivity to all our own needs and feelings. Our house sold in four days and we are certain this success was largely due to Lisa’s skill and hard work. We highly recommend Lisa Kelly to anyone looking for a top notch realtor!

 

~ Joanna Grizzard

Sidney Wyland Lisa Kelly was our realtor that helped us with our move from Utah to Lakeland. She is a very good resource for us in Lakeland and helped us buy our new home. We found Lisa on the internet. She has helped us with all the contacts and scheduling to insure all things here went smoothly. The closing on our home was completed on time which was very important as we had are household goods being delivered from two different states. She also continues to be there for us for any referrals or help we may need here locally. I would highly recommend her to anyone buying a home.

 

~ Rick and Sidney Wyland

Just wanted to thank Lisa for a job well done. I worked with Lisa on 2 of our homes this past year. We sold one in June and another late in the year. Everything went smooth and all details were handled in a very professional manor. Thanks again Lisa; nice working with you. Lee Brown

 

~ Lee and Frankie Brown

We had been looking for a new home for about three months. We changed Realtors and began working with Lisa. She showed us a couple of places. We talked about limits on price and location. We looked again on a couple. We did not care for those. She emailed us about a home that was being restored for a flip. We met her at our current home. We liked the location and made an offer which was accepted. She did a great job getting the seller to accept and a wonderful job from there. The closing took about fifteen minutes. We have been very happy from that day on. Patricia and Bill Crabb

 

~ Bill and Patricia Crabb

We had been looking for a new home for about three months. We changed Realtors and began working with Lisa. She showed us a couple of places. We talked about limits on price and location. We looked again on a couple. We did not care for those. She emailed us about a home that was being restored for a flip. We met her at our current home. We liked the location and made an offer which was accepted. She did a great job getting the seller to accept and a wonderful job from there. The closing took about fifteen minutes. We have been very happy from that day on. Patricia and Bill Crabb

 

~ Bill & Patricia Crabb

Just wanted to thank Lisa for a job well done. I worked with Lisa on 2 of our homes this past year. We sold one in June and another late in the year. Everything went smooth and all details were handled in a very professional manor. Thanks again Lisa; nice working with you. Lee Brown

 

~ Lee & Frankie Brown

01/03/2017 - shunter317 Bought a Single Family home in 2016 for approximately $175K in Lakeland, FL. Local knowledge: Process expertise: Responsiveness: Negotiation skills: Lisa is an exceptional agent as she knows real estate law and the local market. She communicates and is extremely responsive to her clients questions and needs. She walked us through a complicated contract. We consider Lisa a new friend.

 

~ What Others Had to say

Highly likely to recommend 08/09/2016 - HappyBuyerNEOH Bought a Single Family home in 2016 for approximately $225K in Lakeland, FL. Local knowledge: Process expertise: Responsiveness: Negotiation skills: I highly recommend Lisa Kelly! She was awesome to work with through the whole process. Her communication and promptness went above and beyond my expectations. Working in the mortgage industry, I see all types of realtors, if you want a genuine, awesome, go getter- she is your girl!

 

~ What Others had to say

Highly likely to recommend 10/27/2014 - jessbparker Bought a Single Family home in 2014 for approximately $75K in Auburndale, FL. Local knowledge: Process expertise: Responsiveness: Negotiation skills: I cannot say enough about Lisa Kelly. She helped my husband and I buy our first home when we had limited funds and difficult circumstances. She is extremely knowledgeable about homes, market, taxes- anything you could want to know. She is also an excellent advocate for her clients during negotiations, which really came in handy when you're a nervous first-time home buyer.Less

 

~ What others had to say

Highly likely to recommend 02/22/2014 - par167 Bought a home in 2014. Local knowledge: Process expertise: Responsiveness: Negotiation skills: Lisa Kelly is the hardest working woman I know! If you are in the market to buy or sell take it from my personal experience she delivers results!In Polk County or anywhere else for that matter you will be hard pressed to ever get better service. Paul Renner.....

 

~ What others had to say

Highly likely to recommend 02/25/2012 - user027478 Bought and sold a Single Family home in 2011 for approximately $275K in Lakeland, FL. Local knowledge: Process expertise: Responsiveness: Negotiation skills: Lisa is the most professional realtor I've ever worked with... she's direct, honest, highly-knowledgable, very responsive and a consummate professional. She played fundamentally important roles in helping us to sell our house in a tough market. She's a hard worker and also gave us great advice and we were able to sell after listing for about 30 days. She then helped us find and close on our dream home. Her persistance and negotiating savvy helped us buy a house that was not a very convential listing. If we'd had an average realtor, we'd have been a lot less successful with both our deals. I'd recommend Lisa to anyone who wants to work with a genuine professional. She could write a book on what it takes to be an outstanding service provider.

 

~ What others had to say

02/09/2012 - Alyson7707 Bought a Single Family home in 2009 for approximately $125K in Bartow, FL. Local knowledge: Process expertise: Responsiveness: Negotiation skills: We absolutely loved our experience with Lisa.. She is incredibly knowledgeable and dedicated to finding the home of your dreams. We couldn't be happier with the home she found us or the time we spent with her--she made the experience exciting and easy. We do not hesitate to recommend her to friends and family and will absolutely work with her in the future. Thanks again Lisa! -Michael & Alyson Elrod

 

~ what others had to say

Highly likely to recommend 02/08/2012 - AimeeWeed Bought a Single Family home in 2010 for approximately $100K in Auburndale, FL. Local knowledge: Process expertise: Responsiveness: Negotiation skills: Lisa was always quick to respond to my questions. I honestly think that my family and I would not be in this wonderful house without her hard work. She is honest, not afraid to give her opinion in a helpful way, and she is very knowledgeable in all aspects of her job.

 

~ what others had to say

Wonderful wonderful experience. Lisa is what I call a dream maker. I had the dream, and she made it a reality.Lisa's hard work, her quick response, her compassion in knowing I was a single mom purchasing my first house, has earned my loyalty in using her as my realtor for life.

 

~ what others had to say

Highly likely to recommend 03/09/2011 - reedswife11 Bought and sold a Single Family home in 2011 for approximately $75K in Lakeland, FL. Local knowledge: Process expertise: Responsiveness: Negotiation skills: This woman is amazing, we have run into every road block imaginable and she has negotiated our problems quickly and effectivly everytime. Always available and Always puts her clients first

 

~ what others had to say

More Reviews

Want to Know How Much Your Home is Worth?

Get Your FREE Home Market Analysis Report Right Now!

YES, SHOW ME NOW
G-YV0FBRN5V5