Select Page

by | Jul 10, 2017 | Relocation |

Throughout my corporate career, my wife and I relocated several times across the country. Each home we bought was an adventure and a learning experience! Here are just a few of the lessons that have shaped my perspective on real estate today:

"Kathy and Allison in our first home in Houston, 1979"

Do Your Homework

We were naïve and dazzled by the setting of our first house, in Houston, with serene, towering trees and pretty brick patio—plus it was affordable! After moving in, we found the patio was not quite low enough—heavy rains brought water seepage that we had to fix with a French drain.

A long-planned parkway, supposedly dormant, later loomed to divide the neighborhood. A little extra research with the help of a REALTOR® will help ensure the house you are buying is exactly what you expect it to be, with no looming surprises!

Don’t Rush Into Buying

Years later, after a single house-hunting weekend in San Antonio, we bought a house in a gated community close to my office, near a golf course and similar to styles we liked back East. A closer inspection might have pointed up some vulnerabilities. It doesn’t rain there often, but when it does it can really rain. While we were out of town, a lightning strike destroyed the chimney, admitting torrential rains before repairs were finished. Mold resulted from another leak in the tile roof/stucco exterior, and a Juliet balcony was not built correctly (more leaks). Proper home inspections, structural testing, and land surveys, all coordinated by your agent, will create peace of mind. While accidents (and lightning strikes) happen and time frames may be rushed, it’s best to know you have checked all of your boxes by fully inspecting the home and property before closing the deal.

Look Down the Road

Our Richmond house came with a pool that we weren’t seeking but thought was an added benefit. As much as we originally liked the pool, maintenance proved to be a chore. Ultimately, the only regular user was our golden retriever!  It’s easy to be attracted to a specific amenity or trendy design. But having the foresight to consider how much you’ll use that feature and whether it’s worth paying a premium for is very important in a home search. You may love it today, but will you love it tomorrow?

These are lessons I believe buyers should take into account before making an offer!

"Our Golden Retriever, Missy, loved to use our pool and was it's only regular user!"

Questions about Relocation?

Ask me today!

About Al Rankin.

Al Rankin is a full-time sales associate of the Inside the Beltline office.

Al has a broad background in branding, communications, marketing support and public relations, plus extensive involvement in community affairs. Over a long career, he led corporate communications for major companies in Texas and the mid-Atlantic region. Al brings valuable understanding of the needs of both buyers and sellers, because his home-owning experience includes numerous relocations.

Since moving to Raleigh in 2006, Al has served on boards of two key non-profit organizations, and has been a founder and co-leader of a career transition support group that has helped equip thousands of participants to search more effectively for jobs in today’s environment. He and his wife have two adult children in the Triangle area.

Al is a member of the Raleigh Regional Association of REALTORS®, the North Carolina Association of REALTORS®, and the National Association of REALTORS®.

Fonville Morisey Realty has 11 sales offices, with over 850 associates and employees throughout the Greater Triangle region.  FM offers mortgage, insurance, property management, title services, real estate education courses and relocation services through its divisions and partners. For more information about Fonville Morisey Realty, visit