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The Rewards of Remodeling a Fixer-Upper

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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Averting Rental Risks: Use 3D Vision When Seeking Residential Property Management

Posted by on Nov 14, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Averting Rental Risks: Use 3D Vision When Seeking Residential Property Management

Residential property managers have two basic functions. They protect the value of your property, and they minimize your exposure to risk.  Almost anyone can collect rent checks and handle common, low-level handyman issues. When you make the decision to trust your real estate investment to a property management team, you realize you need more protection. Here’s how you know a management company takes risk management very seriously: Documentation One of the most important aspects of risk management is the paper trail. Every transaction with a renter, agent, municipal authority, utility company, and repair service must be documented and easy to find.  Ask a potential property management firm how they handle such records. Do they know how long your state requires you to keep tenant and residential maintenance records? Do they have backup files of key data stored offsite from their offices?  The right proof will shelter your rental business from risk. No proof at all makes you look guilty. Ensure you and your management team stay on top of all records. Discernment It’s always cheaper in the long run to hire licensed and bonded contractors and to pay extra to receive expert advice. A competent residential property management team will have a host of resources to consult when there’s a problem or a new project being planned. When selecting a property management team, ask to see their list of preferred vendors and contractors. A quick search will let you know if they hire credentialed professionals. Property managers often hire licensed and bonded engineers to oversee any major building, renovation, or maintenance projects. This makes financial and risk-management sense, even if hiring an engineer is pricey. That’s because the engineers will develop plan specifics, collect bids, and organize the projects. They will follow a checklist to mitigate any risks at the site. They also accept liability if anything goes wrong. Great property management companies have their own repair and service teams, but they also know when a project will require more precise direction. They protect you by consulting the experts before taking huge risks. They know when to scrap a dangerous feature and when to insure an attractive one. Discipline Running a residential property management firm is exciting, fast-paced, and busy. Managers must keep occupancy rates high, ensure resident satisfaction and retention, fulfill unit service requests, and ensure energy efficiency of units. They must manage revenue, preventive property maintenance, and employee relations. Despite these and many other responsibilities, your property management company should have regular business hours where contact with staff members is assured. There should also be a 24-hour emergency contact and a guaranteed response time for complaints and requests for service. Look for a residential property management team that’s diligent about following up with residents and contacts. A social-media-savvy management team is ideal but a less social team is fine if they have the wok ethic, experience, and diligence to keep you, your residents, and your property safe from...

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A Few Things To Know About Buying Rural Land

Posted by on Nov 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A Few Things To Know About Buying Rural Land

If you’re tired of cramped city life and dream of moving to the country, you have the perfect chance to buy vacant land for sale and build a custom house. Your search for a quieter life can be focused mainly on the land, and plans for the house can come later. However, buying undeveloped rural land is a little different than buying a vacant lot in a subdivision. Here are some things you want to think about. Have The Land Surveyed A survey is important because it visually defines the borders of the property with markers. You may view a plat of the land, which is a depiction of the plot on a map, but often the borders don’t match up exactly with the real land. If there is a fence, creek, woods, or road near the border, you’ll want to know for sure if it is on the property for sale or if it belongs to a neighbor or the state. Another important reason to have a recent survey done is to determine the risk of flooding on the property. The survey determines the elevation of the plot of land, which makes it easy to determine if it will flood when there are heavy rains. Check For Road Access One problem you could run into with rural land is access to the property. If you buy a plot that is landlocked by neighboring owners or state-owned land, then there is a risk you could be blocked from your land if you don’t have a legal easement. If the property has a current easement, which grants the right to drive over a neighbor’s property to get to the land, make sure it is transferable. If there is no easement in place, don’t rely on a friendly agreement with your neighbor to get one. Instead, you’ll need to work with your real estate agent and attorney to draw up a legal agreement that grants you a transferable easement that allows you to cross neighboring lands to bring in utilities and put in a road. Learn About The Land Rights Before you fall in love with a beautiful plot of land and start building your new home in your imagination, it’s best to do some research on the rights that will be granted along with the land. For instance, you want the right to put in a well so you won’t have to haul in all your water. However, if the property is in a watershed area, you may not be allowed to drill a well or access water from a stream that flows through the property. You may need to block your animals from using the water too. You’ll also need to put in a septic system, so make sure you’ll be able to get permission from the county to do so on that particular piece of land. If you’re buying a large piece of land that has part of a woods or forest on it, you’ll want to know about the timber rights. The last thing you want to learn is that a timber company has the legal right to remove trees from your land in upcoming years. The same applies to mineral rights. If someone else holds mineral rights to your land, they could potentially come in and...

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Ask Your Real Estate Agent These Questions About Your Marketing Plan

Posted by on Nov 4, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Ask Your Real Estate Agent These Questions About Your Marketing Plan

One of the benefits of enlisting the help of a real estate agent when you wish to sell your home is that he or she will develop a marketing plan to present to you. This plan will lay out the steps that the agent will take to create a buzz that will help to sell your home quickly and for as much of your asking price as possible. It’s in your best interest to take an active role in the creation of this plan. You can do so by asking a lot of questions about the plan’s contents before it’s drafted up; this will show the agent that you’re interested in the process and serious about selling. Here are some questions to ask about the marketing plan. How Often Will There Be Have Open Houses? Open houses are an integral part of selling your home, as they give many prospective buyers the chance to tour the residence in a short window of time. Asking this question should initiate a discussion about open houses. There’s no universally “right” answer to this question, but you should hear a plan to have open houses regularly. Ideally, there will be a combination of evening and weekend open houses. This will allow people who have different schedules to find an open house available to them. How Vigilant Will You Be About Advertising? You should expect that any reputable real estate agent will use a host of advertising methods, but it’s useful to ask about the agent’s approach to getting the word out about your home. In addition to traditional and online advertising, you want to hear about a plan to spread the word to fellow agents who represent buyers. For example, the agent can outline a plan that includes him or her sharing the particulars of your home with a wide network of other real estate professionals. At What Point Would You Change The Advertising Approach? You might not want to think about the possibility of your house generating little interest, but this is always a risk. Your agent should be able to give you an estimate as to how long the house will take to sell; this data can be gleaned from neighborhood trends. If you eventually reach this tentative date and the house still hasn’t sold, you want to know how the agent will change the marketing approach. For example, he or she might advocate paying to have the home professionally staged and new interior photos...

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Talk To Your Agent About These Topics When Dealing With A Short Occupancy Date

Posted by on Oct 31, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Talk To Your Agent About These Topics When Dealing With A Short Occupancy Date

Upon selling your home, you’ll often have a period of several weeks or even multiple months to pack and vacate the residence before the agreed-upon occupancy date. This is the date on which the house keys are turned over to the new owner. Occasionally, however, you’ll end up dealing with a short occupancy date—perhaps a buyer has submitted a higher offer but needs the home sooner. A short occupancy date can involve a bit of scrambling on your part, but your real estate agent can help you with the necessary arrangements. Here are some things to discuss when you’re facing a short occupancy date. Short-Term Rental Accommodations One of the challenges that a short occupancy date causes is that you may have to move out of your home before the closing date on the home you’re buying. This can leave you without a home for a period of time. While you may simply be able to live with family members, you can also talk to your agent about helping you secure short-term rental accommodations. You won’t want a 12-month lease; you’ll need somewhere that you can live for a significantly shorter period of time. In some cases, your agent may be able to secure you a spot in an apartment or condo for just a few weeks. Rental Facility For Possessions In many cases, you’ll need to store your possessions if you end up moving into an apartment or condo, or move into a relative’s house. Ask your agent for help with securing a short-term rental of a unit at a self-storage facility. You’ll need to make sure that the unit is large enough to hold the majority of your possessions, and the agent can help with making this size estimate. Many real estate agents also have box trucks that you can use to transport your possessions, thus saving the cost of renting a moving truck. Renegotiation Of Your Move-In Date You can also rely on your real estate agent to see if your move-in date for your new home might be negotiable. For example, if it’s a month away and your current home’s occupancy date is two weeks away, your agent may be able to negotiate with the selling agent to see if your move-in date can be brought forward a bit. Even bringing it forward a few days can be enticing when you’ll be living in a rental unit or with...

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Benefits Of Partnering With A Real Estate Agent When Buying A Home For The First Time

Posted by on Oct 27, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Benefits Of Partnering With A Real Estate Agent When Buying A Home For The First Time

Many people who have been through buying a home multiple times are so acquainted with the process that they simply contact the listing agent and prepare and offer. When you’re in the market for the first time, however, this isn’t an approach that you want to take. It’s highly advantageous for first-time home buyers to seek the help of a real estate agent. Doing so not only provides you with peace of mind in a number of ways, but also makes the process quicker and easier while generating less stress. Here are some specific benefits of hiring an agent when you’re a real estate novice. The Referral Of Industry Experts For a first-time buyer, it’s daunting to arrange the sizable team of industry professionals that is needed to actually complete the purchase. At minimum, you’ll need a home inspector, a lawyer who specializes in real estate, and a mortgage provider. It can be a time-consuming process to seek out these experts on your own, perhaps speaking with multiple people in each field to find someone you wish to hire. Your real estate agent has a team of experts that he or she commonly works with. This means that the agent can easily refer you to this group of individuals and contact them on your behalf. Expertise On Your Side When you browse a home, either during an open house or a scheduled viewing, it can be daunting to take in everything and evaluate it as you try to make up your mind. Your real estate agent can provide you with a significant degree of expertise — for example, he or she can point out things that would ideally need to be fixed before you close on the property. This expertise can save you heartache and money. The agent can also steer you toward neighborhoods or specific areas within the city that are conducive to your family’s needs. For example, a house near a bus stop for your commute to work or a house near a park for your children. Experience With The Offer On your own, it’s easy to struggle with the negotiation process when you submit an offer. When you aren’t experienced in this area, you may have trouble getting the home for the price you want. It’s comforting to have an experienced real estate agent handle this process for you. You and the agent will discuss what you feel is a reasonable offer, and then he or she will take care of presenting it — and negotiating — on your...

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3 Crucial Steps To Purchasing A Home Quickly

Posted by on Oct 20, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Crucial Steps To Purchasing A Home Quickly

The process of finding the perfect home can be a very exhausting and time-consuming. However, it is also one of the most important steps that you will take in your life. For that reason, it is crucial that you get some advice that will help you along the way in your pursuit of your dream home. This will also help speed up the overall purchasing process and possibly even help you save some money. 1. Know What You Are Looking for in a Home Before you ever decide to even start looking at houses, you need to first know what it is that you even want in a home. This is going to help cut down on the time that you spend searching for home tremendously. While compromises are often necessary, you shouldn’t have to force a home purchase, as this will simply turn into a huge disaster. Make a list of what you want and what you don’t want in order to make the house hunting journey a lot easier and faster for yourself and everyone else involved. 2. Enlist the Help of a Professional Real Estate Agent If you want to be able to buy a house quickly, then you must have a good realtor by your side. He or she will be able to help you find the house that you are looking for based on the specifications and desires that you provide to them in addition to doing it fast. In many cases, a real estate agent can show you homes that haven’t even been put on the market officially. This gives you the first chance at snapping the house up before anyone else. 3. Get the Property (Once Located) Inspected Since buying a home is a huge investment, you need to make sure that you aren’t wasting your money on something that isn’t worth it. Therefore, you need to make sure you are purchasing a home that doesn’t have any significant damage or major malfunctions. In order to do this, you need to have a thorough home inspection performed on the home. More often than not, this will require multiple inspectors checking the home, including plumbers, electricians, etc. to ensure that are no issues that will cause you problems in the foreseeable future. If they give you the green light, you can move forward with closing and start thinking about how you’ll decorate the interior. Making a home purchase is a life-altering decision. When you start the search knowing what you want in a home, finding an experienced realtor and getting a property inspection, you will find that house hunting and buying can be done with minimal stress and in a timely...

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Housing The Future — Buying A Temporary Home For Your College Student

Posted by on Oct 13, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Housing The Future — Buying A Temporary Home For Your College Student

If your child is headed off to an out-of-town college, you’re probably thinking about ways to reduce the costs of the next four years or more. Since room and board can be some of the most expensive parts of the college experience, minimizing these expenses can give you a big financial boost. This is why many parents consider the advantages of buying a house or condo for their student to live in while attending classes. But, is it right for your family? Here are 4 ways to find out. How Long Will You Keep it? Obviously, the goal of a college housing unit is to keep it for at least four years of schooling. However, if your child isn’t fully committed to completing their education at this particular school, you may not want to risk having to sell the house early. Selling early can mean losing money and adding stress to your life, so it’s worth discussing as a family before buying. On the other hand, if you have multiple children who will probably be attending the same university, you may be able to make use of the house for a decade or more. In addition, will you want to keep the home as an investment property or sell it and get out of the landlord business?  Will There be Roommates? Unless the unit is a one-bedroom town home, condo, or apartment, you will likely have space to take in an additional renter or two. This can help your bottom line tremendously, since their rent payments can pay some or all of your mortgage. But, it will require you to be a more official landlord, file taxes on the income, and treat the roommates as paying customers. If you decide to include other students in your home, be sure to sign a lease with each of them and talk with a tax professional before starting.  How Responsible is Your Child? If you buy a home that’s far away from where you live, your child will need to be the primary caretaker for the house and property. This calls for a young person who will be reliable about noticing and reporting problems, doing regular maintenance, and avoiding unnecessary damage to the house. It’s a good idea to realistically assess how likely it is that your student will be a good “renter” and keep the property in good order. If you’re not sure, you may want to talk with your real estate agent about other low-maintenance housing options or property management services.  Who Will Own it? Some parents may see this as a good chance to get their child’s credit off to a healthy start and give them some money in the bank. Some banks offer special mortgage loan programs to help students get a loan with a co-signer. And the appreciation on the home can be the start of a solid nest egg when they graduate. However, co-signing on any loan carries risks, so be certain that your own finances can handle the possibility of any losses.  By answering these questions before you talk with a real estate agent, you can determine what type of housing — if any — you want to buy for your college-bound kid. And then, you can make the best choice possible for the entire family. Contact a real...

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