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The Rewards of Remodeling a Fixer-Upper

Buying A House? 3 Tips To Help Ensure You’re In The Right Neighborhood

Posted by on Jan 6, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Buying A House? 3 Tips To Help Ensure You’re In The Right Neighborhood

When you are house hunting, you know that you want the perfect home. You need a home that is large enough for your family and you want one that looks nice as well. However, you also want to ensure that you purchase a home that is in a nice neighborhood. The question is how do you go about evaluating a neighborhood to ensure that it is right for you? Here are a few things that you need to look at when determining whether the location is ideal for you and your family: Schools It doesn’t matter whether you currently have children, are expecting children, or plan to have children in the future, you need to make sure that you consider the local school district during your house hunting process. There are numerous ways you can get the data you need on the schools in the area. First, you can tour the school yourself by calling the main office. You could also head online and check out the school’s website. Thanks to today’s tech-driven world, you could also check out an online website known as where you can find information on schools in the school district provided by none other than parents themselves. Crime Rates Regardless of whether you have children or not, crime is always something that you need to check into. While you can get some of this information by searching online, the best source for this type of information is the local police station. Make sure to also get information about registered sex offenders living near the home that you are interested in purchasing, especially if you have children. You can get this information, along with photographs often times, by going online to Activities and Amenities Whether you are a single individual, a young couple, a retired couple or a family with children, you need to make sure that you check out all the local activities and amenities that are nearby the neighborhood. For example, families with children may need to make sure that there are karate or ballet lessons, parks, libraries, etc. nearby, while a single individual may be more interested in an active nightlife with pubs, restaurants and bars. If you have a dog, you might want to make sure there is a local dog park. For retired couples, it may be a good idea to ensure your neighborhood is actively engaged in senior citizen events.   The aforementioned items are just the beginning of choosing the right neighborhood. A realtor from a place like Fischer Homes can assist with ensuring that the neighborhood is best-suited for you and your family before you go through with a home...

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Preparing For An Open House

Posted by on Jan 4, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Preparing For An Open House

Selling your home can be stressful, but you can help your real estate agent help you by making sure your home is in tip-top shape before potential buyers come for a showing. Here are five areas to address before the first open house. Clean Like Crazy Your home needs to be immaculate. If buyers see that you haven’t kept up with the basics, they will be skeptical as to whether or not the bigger routine maintenance and repairs projects, like changing the furnace filter, were taken care of. Dust, polish, wash, scrub, and shine. Don’t forget the little nooks and crannies, the woodwork, and the windows. If you don’t have the time to tend to the deep-cleaning projects, hire someone to do it for you. Pay special attention to the bathroom and kitchen. No one wants to buy a home with someone else’s nasty mess. De-Clutter Every Room Prospective homeowners want to picture themselves living in the house. If it is full of your stuff, it’s hard to visualize their stuff. Jam-packed rooms also appear smaller than rooms that are sparsely furnished. Take down the wall of family pictures and children’s drawings. Go through closets and cupboards and drawers. Get rid of any over-sized furniture. Remember, you have to pack and move everything to your new house eventually, so carefully consider what you really want to haul around. Donate stuff, sell things, and rent a storage facility for anything you won’t need while you try to sell your house. Lighten And Brighten Up The Place Take down heavy, room-darkening drapes. Open the (newly cleaned) blinds. Replace missing or low-wattage light bulbs. When it comes to homes for sale, show off how much natural light comes into the house. A dark house feels depressing and oppressive; a bright house feels cheerful and energizing. Make The Home Smell Nice Before every showing, simmer some cinnamon sticks, pure vanilla, and orange rinds on the back of the stove for an hour or two. Avoid cooking bacon, garlic, or anything else that will stink up the joint in the days leading up to an open house. Light a candle that has a fresh-smelling fragrance. Rearrange The Furniture Create usable conversation areas in the main living rooms. Think about how each space could be used, not just how you use it, and go with what you think will appeal to the typical buyer. Arrange the furniture you have kept to maximize the features and space of each...

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Looking For A Fast Home Sale? Proactive Tips To Make It Happen

Posted by on Dec 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Looking For A Fast Home Sale? Proactive Tips To Make It Happen

With the holiday season winding down, your thoughts may already be racing ahead to the things you hope to accomplish in 2017. Selling your home may be one of the entries on that list. If your home is one of the more than 5.46 million homes expected to be placed on the market this year, you may already be worried about the competition and wondering what you can do to make the selling experience the best it can possibly be. While you cannot control many factors within the real estate market, such as the number of homes for sale, there are some specific steps you can take to make your home as competitive as possible and greatly enhance your chances of getting it sold within your planned timeframe. Prepare the home before putting it on the market Sellers who are hyper-focused on getting their home sold quickly often make the mistake of putting their home on the market in as-is condition. But rushing to market without taking the time to deep clean each room, refurbish tired paint or flooring, take care of needed repairs, and get rid of excess clutter can cause prospective buyers to lose interest and choose to view other homes instead. Taking a few days, weeks, or even a month or two to make sure that your home is immaculate, tastefully decorated, and pleasing to look at before putting it up for sale will save you valuable time on the market and help ensure that the offers you receive are within an acceptable range for your home. Make sure your home is always available to be shown to prospective buyers Motivated buyers often want to move very quickly, and if a home they want to see is not available for viewings, they will often move on to other homes for sale that they are able to successfully view on short notice. Sellers who want to sell quickly should take steps to make sure that their home is available for showing with little or no notice. To do this, take a few moments before leaving home each morning to pick up stray socks, load the dishwasher, and make sure the kitty litter box is freshly cleaned. Taking time to attend to tasks like these will make it much easier for you to say yes when an agent wants to show immediately and increase your chances of pleasing the prospective buyer and getting the offer you want. Price the home properly for the local market Pricing your home correctly is a critical part of catching the interest of the largest pool of prospective buyers and getting them to want to see your home. Before choosing a listing price for your home, have your real estate professional prepare a detailed comparative market analysis (CMA) using comparable homes in your area that are currently listed for sale or under contract and those that have recently sold. This type of information will help you price the home as accurately as possible to improve your chances of selling it quickly and for market...

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Going To An Open House? Always Check These Items Before Showing Interest In A House

Posted by on Dec 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Going To An Open House? Always Check These Items Before Showing Interest In A House

Preparing for an open house can be nerve-wracking if you’re in an area where houses sell quickly. However, you do need to take time to look at the house carefully — if you try to put down an offer immediately because of competition, you could end up with a house that is not terrible shape and that does not offer what you want. When you inspect a house during an open house, you have to ask several questions and look at various features. Here are some features you should check out before you express interest. If these don’t meet your needs, it may be a good idea to move on to the next showing. Water Pressure Turn on faucets, and if possible (and with permission), flush the toilet. Not all houses will have the same water pressure, but if the water flow coming out of faucets seems to be a lot weaker than you’re comfortable with, or it comes out with such force that you find it difficult to control the flow, it’s a sign that there’s either something very wrong with the plumbing in the home, or the local water supply is unreliable. It’s possible that a plumbing problem might not be enough to turn you off buying the house — after all, plumbing can be fixed — but if the local water supply is weak and barely delivers water to the house, that is a major issue that can have adverse effects on your quality of life. Window Views Sometimes you get lucky and find a house with spectacular views out of one of the windows. If you find that with this house, that’s a plus. But you should be more concerned with whether the windows in the home overlook, or look into, places you don’t want to see. Your neighbor’s bedroom, for example — you don’t want to see what goes on in there, and that also means the neighbors can see into your bedroom. Storage Space — for Everything It’s one thing to proclaim you’ll cut down on what you buy and reduce what you have. It’s quite another to have to do that because the previous owners of the home and the architects all decided you didn’t need closets or cabinets. Check out the storage space in the home, from bedroom closets and kitchen cabinets to hallway storage and garage shelving. Don’t worry about there being merely less storage than you’d like; you can always buy extra. But if there’s almost no storage — if the bedroom closets are laughably small, for example — then you would have to provide a lot more than you might be willing to pay for. That could be a real problem should you buy the house. There are obviously more items you need to look at when you buy a home, but these are some of the things that can be real dealbreakers for people. It’s better to start looking at other homes for sale rather than to put money down on one that doesn’t really fit your needs. A real estate agent like those at Mark Fox Company will be able to help you locate additional listings and open house...

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Buying Land To Build A New Home? 2 Things You Should Do First

Posted by on Dec 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Buying Land To Build A New Home? 2 Things You Should Do First

If your realtor has found the perfect land for you to purchase to build your home, you need to do some things before you sign the papers. Your realtor is your best resource on this information. It can still be helpful to learn a little about them also. Keep reading so you will have the right land to build your new house on. Land Survey One of the first things you should do is to hire a land surveyor. This is especially true if you are purchasing a few acres. The surveyor will determine the exact amount of land you are buying and what the property lines are. Knowing the property lines are important as you do not want to build anything that goes over these lines. If you do, the other landowner adjacent to your property could make you tear the structure down no matter if it is a fence or a new barn. If there are any property disputes in the future, such as if your neighbor claims they own part of your land, you can show them the paperwork from the land survey to prove you own the land. These surveys can be used in a court of law. The surveyor can also determine if there are any restrictions on the property you are buying. For example, there may be building restrictions that you must follow and local authorities may have building restrictions on structures that can be built on the property.  If you violate a zoning restriction, there could be heavy penalties and local authorities may sue you. Talk with a land surveyor in your area to learn much more information about how they can help you. Soil Test You need to make sure you are building a home on the right type of soil. Some soils are very strong and have no problem supporting the weight of something as heavy as a home. Other soils, however, are weak and compresses even under light loads. If there are a lot of houses around you that are standing this means your soil is likely good. You should still have it tested to be sure. A geo-technical and structural engineer can test your soil for you. If the soil is found to be weak, the geo-technical and structural engineers can show you many ways you can still build your home. For example, steel reinforced concrete footings can be used when laying the foundation. The structural and geo-technical engineer can go over this information with you in much more detail. Talk with a realtor like Steve Cohn – Keller Williams Realty – Petaluma about these professionals and they can get you in touch with the right...

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3 Practical Tips For Buying A House Without Breaking Your Budget

Posted by on Dec 15, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Practical Tips For Buying A House Without Breaking Your Budget

Buying a house can be a costly event that you should not rush into. If you long to own a home but want to make sure you are financially smart about this purchase, you will need to prepare for it and make good decisions. Here are three practical tips you should follow as you begin preparing to buy a house. Pay off the debt you have If you currently rent a house or apartment, you are probably used to the way the expenses work relating to your rental property. You will pay your monthly rent and the utilities, but that might be all you have to pay. When you own a house, you will also be responsible for insurance, taxes, maintenance, and repairs. While you may be able to plan for some of these things, there may be others that pop up out of nowhere. To make sure you are financially smart about buying a house, it is best if you can pay off all the debt you have before you buy a house. This primarily includes all the credit card debt you owe, but you may also want to get other debts paid off, such as student loans or car loans. Figure out how much you can afford The second practical tip to follow is determining how much of a house you can afford, and you can use a mortgage calculator to do this. A good rule of thumb is to make sure the house payments you have are equal to 25% or less of your monthly income. For example, if you earn $5,000 a month, you should make sure the house you buy will have payments of $1,250 or less per month. Choose a 15-year loan instead of a 30-year loan If you can buy a house and repay the loan in only 15 years, you will cut the time in half of what it would be with a normal 30-year loan. This will help you pay your house off faster, and it will result in paying less in interest over the loan. If you combine this principle with spending 25% or less of your income on your mortgage payment, you will be able to buy a house the smart way. As you get ready to buy a house, you may want to call a real estate agent to help you locate homes that fit into your budget amount. Contact a company like TW Homes to learn...

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Should You Buy An Otherwise Nice Home With Termite Damage?

Posted by on Dec 15, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Should You Buy An Otherwise Nice Home With Termite Damage?

Have you stumbled upon the house of your dreams, only to find that it has termite damage? This can be a frustrating scenario for a house hunter. On one hand, you don’t want the home you adore to slip away, but on the other hand, you’re not sure you want to deal with an insect problem and possible structural damage. Here’s what you need to know about buying a home with signs of a past or present termite problem. Termite infestations are “treatable” This is not a permanent condition. Pest control companies have become better and better at treating termites over the years. While you may need to schedule ongoing visits with an exterminator if termites are prevalent in the area, they should be able to keep them at bay with the right mixture of pesticides and a few preventative measures on your part. (This may include keeping moisture under control and avoiding storing wood on your property.) If the homeowner claims the problem has been treated, you’ll want to verify In many cases, if you are looking at a house on the market, the homeowner will tell you that they’ve had the infestation taken care of and that the termites are gone; all that remains is the damage they caused. You’ll want to verify whether this is the case. Otherwise, if you buy the home with an active infestation, more damage may be done between the day you make your offer and the closing date. Have a home inspector take a look at the home and confirm that the termites have indeed been eradicated. They can also let you know how extensive any termite damage is so that you have an idea of the amount of money you’ll have to spend on repairs. You can also look for signs of an active termite infestation yourself. If you see frass (hard, tiny pellets of black feces) near the chewed wood or trails of moist mud across it, these are indications that the termites have not yet moved on. You could make an offer contingent on successful extermination If you find that the termite infestation is still active, one option is to make the homeowner an offer contingent on successful extermination. What this means is that you agree to pay a certain price for the home after either they pay to have the infestation addressed. You’ll wait a pre-determined period after the extermination to verify that the insects have been eradicated, and then the sale will be completed. With this method, you’re protected from actually buying a home with an active termite infestation. Do keep in mind, however, that it will still be up to you to fix any damage they’ve done. Keep this in mind when deciding on a fair price for the home. See a website such as for more...

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Things You Want To Consider When Looking At Apartments For Rent

Posted by on Nov 30, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Things You Want To Consider When Looking At Apartments For Rent

When you are ready to start looking at apartment rentals, you will want to make sure that you are considering the following points. This is the best way to ensure that you are going to end up with the ideal apartment for your needs. Security Issues You will want to make sure that you and your family will be protected as much as possible while you are living in the apartment that you pick out. Therefore, one of the things that you will want to consider is whether or not the parking area is nicely illuminated at night. This is especially important if you are living in a large apartment complex or in a city where there are a lot of people that could be walking around at any given time. Another thing that you might want to consider is whether there are quality locks on the entry door for your apartment. You want to make sure that it will not be overly easy for someone to simply kick in the door to your apartment. The Lease Agreement It is vital that you are taking the time to make sure that you are truly understanding the lease agreement that you are being asked to sign. If you are having trouble understanding any part of it, you will want to have a lawyer or at least a paralegal review it for you. They will be able to thoroughly explain everything to you, especially the most important aspects such as late payments, cost-of-living increases, security deposits, and whether there is a large penalty if you were to need to end the lease earlier than expected. If you are not able to afford to hire a professional to review the lease for you, you may have a friend or family member that is familiar with lease agreements, and they may be able to assist you.  Nearby Attractions Since many apartments tend to be on the smaller side, you might really want to make sure that you are getting out of the apartment more often. This way, you are not going to be cooped up in there all of the time. Therefore, when you are looking through all of your options for apartments to rent, you are going to want to consider whether or not there are some attractions in the area that you would like to take advantage of. By considering those things, you will have a much easier time searching for the perfect apartment for yourself and your loved...

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What Mistakes Should You Avoid When Buying A Luxury Home?

Posted by on Nov 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What Mistakes Should You Avoid When Buying A Luxury Home?

Buying a luxury home is a high-end real estate investment that takes time and effort. Regardless of whether you are buying a penthouse or mansion, there are certain mistakes that could lead to less-than-desired results. To help you avoid this, here are some mistakes that could occur and what you need to do to avoid them.   Having Unrealistic Expectations One of the biggest mistakes that homebuyers in the luxury market make is having unrealistic expectations. It is important to have a list of amenities and features that you want in your home, but you also need to understand that there is a possibility that you will not find a home that meets all of those needs.   Before shopping for your new home, take the time to think about those amenities that you and your family need. The needs should consist of realistic deal breakers that could eliminate a home from your list of potentials. You can then begin to focus on wants. The wants will give you the flexibility needed to consider more homes for purchase.  Not Calculating Property Taxes Since you are in the market for a luxury home, chances are the home will be in a neighborhood that has high property taxes. Although the mortgage and insurance of the home are in your price range, the property taxes could make it unaffordable.   To avoid this, you need to take the time to research the property taxes for the home. You can contact the tax assessor for the area and find out what the taxes have been in the past and how much they generally increase over time.   Failing to Make an Offer Based on Comparative Value Even if you have the funds available to pay the listing price for a home, you should never buy it according to that price. The listing price is often more than the actual market value of a home. By paying the listing price, you could be considerably overpaying.   Work with a real estate agent to learn what the selling and listing prices for home in the area that are comparable to the home you want to buy. You can use those numbers to shape a fairer offer that could potentially help you save thousands.   An experienced real estate agent can help you pinpoint other mistakes that you should avoid while shopping for a luxury home. To avoid wasting time, enlist an agent early in the process so that you can avoid time-wasting steps. Contact a company like Zicka Homes to get...

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Inexpensive Tips to Prep Your Home for Sale

Posted by on Nov 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Inexpensive Tips to Prep Your Home for Sale

Selling your home on a tight budget may mean that you can’t spend too much cash on staging it so that it is appealing to buyers. That doesn’t mean there is nothing that you can do, though. The following are several inexpensive and relatively simple things that you can do to make your home more attractive to house hunters. Tip #1: Lead with the nose A pleasant and homey scent goes a long way to making potential buyers feel instantly welcomed. The best scents are those created naturally. If you have the knowledge and the urge, consider baking bread or cookies on days that there are showings scheduled. Another options is to simmer a pot of cinnamon sticks and orange peels for a pleasant scent. In a pinch you can use essential oil warmers, just avoid some of the cheaper oils because they don’t smell as pleasant. Tip #2: Focus on the foyer One of the first impressions of your home is the foyer or entrance way. If you have a tight budget, this is one of the main places to invest. A new entrance rug, fresh paint on the walls, and pot of bright flowers create a welcoming entrance. At a bare minimum, make sure the entrance way is kept perfectly clean so that your first impression counts. Tip #3: Creative curb appeal Curb appeal is another important aspect of drawing in buyers. Brightly colored flowers can go a long way toward distracting from minor landscaping problems. If you have time and a green thumb, the cheapest option is to grow annual flowers from seed. If you have shorter notice, purchase six packs of inexpensive annuals, such as pansies. You can fill garden beds and planters with these flowers. If you are short on pots, spray paint mismatched pots or large containers, such as plastic ice cream tubs, empty paint cans, or five gallon buckets, complementary colors. Tip #4: Scrub it down What you can’t do in terms of upgrading you can still improve with a thorough cleaning. Make sure every tile, light fixture, and appliance is scrubbed down and sparkling. Move out everything that you can live without during the selling process so that the home is uncluttered and appears spacious. Invest in a thorough carpet cleaning, and toss inexpensive slipcovers over furniture that looks dingy. A clean, brightly lit home can overcome a lack of expensive staging. For more help, contact a real estate agent in your...

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