A Day in the Life of a Main Line Realtor®-Part 23: Main Line Information for Home Buyers
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 good 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 from others about the Main Line area. Much of it was correct, such as “the schools are great, right?” Some of it was a bit wrong, such as “there are all these little towns all strung together on a train line to the city, right?” Both expressed concern about real estate taxes being high or not being assessed fairly. Those are legitimate complaints that will be hopefully rectified when the counties reassess taxes as they are planning to do, so that newer homes do not bear the brunt while older homes get a break. I explained that it does factor into our home searches, though, as the renovated older homes do tend to have lower taxes and can be a bargain as a result. I told them that what we want is the best schools but the lowest taxes—not always possible, but a goal.
As always when I have out-of-town clients, I wish there was a good Main Line map to hand out, but we Main Line Realtors® usually have to rely on internet maps that do not show all the features I think are relevant. Where are the schools for each neighborhood located and how are they rated? Which neighborhoods have sidewalks? Which are close to the train without being too close? Where do all the young families live? Or 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 built shoddily or with troublesome stucco? How long is the commute to work from a particular neighborhood? Because our roads were built years before roads in newer communities in the west, for example, it can take as much time getting to the main route to work as it does once you are on it. So being close to the major arteries is a real plus for someone who has to work far away from the family or for long hours each day.
The interview process over now, we are embarking on the next step of looking at examples of houses and neighborhoods to get a first read on what is important to each of these new clients. After that, the task is to home in on the style and area that best suits them and then, assuming it is not for sale now, 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.