Pages Navigation Menu

The Rewards of Remodeling a Fixer-Upper

Four Ways To Sell A Great Home In A Shabby Neighborhood

Posted by on Sep 29, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Ways To Sell A Great Home In A Shabby Neighborhood

When your home looks lovely but the houses around it leave a lot to be desired, finding a buyer can be a bit of a challenge. Some buyers shop by neighborhood, and if your neighborhood is not on their radar, they may never even come across your home. Others may not even come in to see the home after driving down the street and assuming your home will be like the others they see. However, there are ways to make a good home in a bad neighborhood more appealing to buyers. Here are some ideas to get you started. Only post “open house” signs in better sections of town. If you post “open house” signs in more dilapidated areas of the neighborhood, those who see them will assume your home needs work too. If you put them in better sections of town, you’ll attract buyers who are looking in those better sections. You may tempt them to make a short drive over to your home because they assume it’s comparable to those in the area where you’re advertising. Don’t put too much money into improvements. You may have to lower your asking price a little to attract a buyer. It’s a harsh reality, but it is a strong possibility. This will hurt a lot less if you have not put so much money into pre-sale improvements like painting and re-doing your landscaping. If your home is already one of the best in the neighborhood, it should still look attractive to buyers without these improvements. And you’ll be able to accept offers that are a little lower than what you’d want to get if you had to spend on upgrades. At least make sure the homes next to yours look presentable. Messy yards a few houses down are one thing. A messy yard right next to yours is quite another. While you cannot renovate the whole street, you can offer to help your immediate neighbors tidy up their landscaping. It’s amazing what some weed killer and some potted annuals can do for a yard. At least your home will be one in a line of three that look presentable. Show the home at the best time of day. If you’ve lived in your home for a while, you probably know the time of day when the neighborhood has its best “vibe.” There are probably certain hours when neighbors are more likely to be loudly partying on porches or when kids are likely to be running in the streets. Try to schedule showings outside of these hours when the neighborhood is calm, quiet, and more appealing. For more information, visit websites like...

read more

First-Time Home Buyer? 5 Tips To Buy Quickly But Wisely

Posted by on Sep 23, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on First-Time Home Buyer? 5 Tips To Buy Quickly But Wisely

Buying your first home during a tight market can be a confusing, disheartening experience. In a market where homes are selling fast and high, you don’t have the luxury of playing catch up. You must be ready to go and able to pounce on the right house. If you’re in this position, here are 5 tips to help any first-time buyer get their dream home. Know Your Credit. Start your home search by making sure your credit is up to the task. Review your report using a free site like Scour the reports to ensure that nothing is incorrect or outdated, and get anything corrected that needs to be. This may take time — and even a little extra if your credit isn’t as good as you want it to be — so start 6 months to a year before going home shopping.  Understand your Cash Flow. Assessing your income and outgo on a monthly basis is a key to knowing how much home you can really afford to buy. Try tracking your expenses and budget for at least 6 months before talking with a banker — ensuring that you truly understand what you want to spend on a home. In addition, add a cushion in your budget for miscellaneous home expenses like taxes, insurance, HOA expenses, home repairs, and maintenance costs. With these numbers in mind, decide on a realistic house-buying budget. Think Long Term. While you may be looking at a “starter” home as a first-time buyer, there are solid financial reasons to look beyond that. When you plan to resell the home, you will want it to appeal to new buyers. So, think about what your pool of potential buyers will want. If it’s a family home, for example, research the schools in the area and try to buy a home with sufficient bathrooms and a good backyard for kids. Think about your own future needs, too, just in case you end up in this home for longer than planned. Make a List. Looking at homes is a daunting process, so give yourself the benefit of forethought. Make a written list of your (and your partner’s) priorities, items that need to be investigated, and things to avoid, then carry that checklist with you when touring homes. Having your needs and wants written down can help you objectively evaluate homes.  Look Beyond the Visuals. Homes for sale are usually either carefully staged or left as the homeowner is living in them. Either way, you should train yourself to look beyond the way things are placed in the home. This may mean seeing the home’s potential past clutter or poor furniture arrangement. Or, it may mean checking things out behind well-staged layouts (like ensuring functional outlets or space for more normally-sized furnishings).  By following these few basic guidelines, you can help make sure that you find the right house for you or your young family. And the end result will be a house that you can really call...

read more

Want To Get More Involved In The Church? Make This A Focus When Buying A Home

Posted by on Sep 15, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Want To Get More Involved In The Church? Make This A Focus When Buying A Home

Getting involved in the community can be accomplished in many ways. If you are a person of faith, you may be interested in making this happen by getting involved with the church and its activities. But there are a few barriers that can prevent you from being able to fully dive into a commitment like this. Where you live plays an essential role because you might not live close to the church that you want to contribute to. When you are going through the process of becoming a homeowner, you will definitely want to take your strong desire to get involved with the church into consideration when looking at properties. Closeness to Your Desired Church If you live in the general community of where you want to buy, you may have already found your church. Each church has a different set of people that volunteer there and participate in local events. They also have their own ways of sending messages and carrying themselves as an organization. So you may not be interested in making a switch to another one when your beliefs are already aligned with a church. It is ideal to prioritize homes that are close to or in the same neighborhood as the church you go to. Open Floor Plan for Gatherings Hosting your own social events is a great way to bring people from the church together. While there will be events that the church puts on, you may want to organize a way to stay social outside of church. If you are interested in hosting some or all of these events, you will want to have a fitting house. The best layout is a large, open floor plan that allows everyone to comfortably spend time in the primary living spaces. A decent-sized kitchen is also helpful for when you think you may be feeding dozens at a time. Community Service Opportunities The church appreciates when you spread their message, so you should look for these opportunities. Some prime examples are rescue missions or shelters where you can help those in need. These places are typically always looking for volunteers that can help on a consistent schedule or on a one-time basis. It may be true that exercising your faith may not revolve around buying a home. But you can greatly enhance your ability to partake in the church by making it a priority during the house hunting process. Work with a real estate agent to find the perfect...

read more

Self-Care Tips To Make Selling Your Home Less Stressful

Posted by on Aug 30, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Self-Care Tips To Make Selling Your Home Less Stressful

Selling your home can be a smart move for your financial future, but it is a big undertaking. CBS reported in a poll that buying or selling a home was the #1 most stressful life event for some people. Yes, that even in came in over a death in the family. However, if the stress and worry over selling your home is making you put it off, there is good news. It doesn’t have to be that way. Take these steps to take the pressure out of the home selling process. Practice Active Listening on Yourself According to Psychology Today, practicing active listening can be a powerful tool for communication. When you practice active listening on others, you rephrase what they have told you in your own words to show that you have heard and understood them. When you do it to yourself, simply address the difficult time or difficult emotions you are feeling. Word it in a way that connects with your inner self. For example, if you are getting stressed out about the idea of moving, you may want to tell yourself, “It’s tough to think of selling a house when the next step is moving into a new place all alone.” Calling out your sad thoughts and fears for what they are can help you deal with them. Enlist the Help of a Good Real Estate Agent A real estate agent can take over a lot of the everyday activities involved with selling your home, which can take a huge load off your mind and eliminate a lot of the responsibilities you would otherwise home. Get started on the right foot with a real estate agent by being very open and honest from the very beginning. Let your realtor know what you need help with and how much you want to be involved in the process. Visit websites like to get started. Make An Action Plan Having a clear plan in place for what you plan on doing during the home-selling process can help you set those fears aside. An action plan can and should include things that you will do for yourself as you move along the steps of selling your house. Focus on the present as much as possible and be mindful of the good things that are taking place even when life may be in flux during a move. Finally, keep in mind that you need to keep your eye on the final result. Once you sell your home, you will have cash in hand and the freedom to purchase another home if you desire. When you see that selling your home is a single step in the greater picture of your life, it can seem less overwhelming and simply like a thing on your “To Do” list that needs to be...

read more

Essential Questions To Ask When Exploring An Open House

Posted by on Aug 30, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Essential Questions To Ask When Exploring An Open House

Going to open houses is a smart thing to do when you are seeking a new home. It allows you to assess what local properties have to offer without any pressure to commit to buy. When you come up with prepared questions before visiting each open house, you can really make the most out of the visit by learning specific details that may make or break your interest in a property. Consider these essential questions. What Are Issues That May Come Along with the House? Nearly every house will have its issues. That’s just the nature of wear and tear on homes as time marches on. Legal obligations require a seller to disclose code violations or structural problems in a house. In fact, you could even ask for a written version of this disclosure from the seller. However, a real estate agent or seller may elaborate more in person. It doesn’t hurt to ask. After all, a resistance to talking about this issue can be a red flag, so you can learn a lot from asking it. Why Is the Property for Sale? This is a fair question, although it may unnerve the seller or real estate agent a little at first. Although it may seem intrusive, the answer to this question can reveal things that may cause you to back off from a property or long to find out even more about it. Some sellers may try to put a spin on the reason that a property is for sale, but some will level with you. Sometimes a house is for sale simply because the lives of the home owners have changed, and it may be available at a price that’s lower than a typical asking price if the owners are in a hurry to move. What Can You Tell Me About the Neighbors? While many people just ask details directly about the house, a very important part of the experience of owning a home is the lifestyle you’re creating within it. Neighbors can add something great to your life, or they can make life more difficult. You cannot control who moves into a neighborhood, but you can control whether you buy a home around neighbors who are troublemakers. Also, finding out about the ages, families, and lifestyles of neighbors can help you identify a place where you and your family are likely to fit in. Finally, keep in mind that, when you see a house up close and personal, you may be inspired to pose additional questions to the sellers or real estate agent. Go with what you feel is best in the moment. Whatever you do, don’t shy away from asking the things that can help you decide whether a home is the right fit for your wants and...

read more

About Selling A House & Buying A New One

Posted by on Aug 24, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on About Selling A House & Buying A New One

Are you tired of your large family living in a house that does not have enough space? It might be worth giving some consideration to moving and buying another house. You can actually put your current house up for sale to get money towards one that is bigger. It is wise to go through the selling and buying process will help from a real estate agent. Take a look at the information in this article to learn about the type of assistance that a real estate agent can offer. Stage the Current House Before You Move A real estate agent can walk around your house and figure out what should be done to attract buyers. He or she might suggest that you organize in a certain way to add more appeal. For instance, if you have a lot of furniture in a small living room, removing some will make it appear larger. The agent might also suggest that you make necessary repairs to the house before it is shown to potential buyers. Adding curb appeal is one of the things that should be done as well. Place Ads to Attract a Buyer After your house is ready to be shown off, a real estate agent will post classified ads online and in the local newspaper. Your house will also be placed in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) database. The great thing about the MLS database is that it is commonly used by brokers and real estate agents when searching for houses to present to clients. Your house will likely attract potential buyers in a timely manner. Show You Houses That Can Accommodate Your Family While you are waiting for your current house to be sold, a real estate agent can show you houses of interest to buy. The houses may or may not be within your budget. However, if you are shown houses that are higher than your budget, it is likely because the agent believes that a better deal can be negotiated. Houses that sits on the market for a while are good for negotiating better deals. Make Sure Closing Goes Well with Both Houses Once your current house has been sold, a real estate agent will help you switch the title over to the buyer. He or she will also make sure that you are paid before the title is handed over. If you find a house that you want to buy, the agent will make sure you are dealing with the owner. The title to the property will be investigated to make sure no one else has rights to the house. Contact a real estate agent if you decide to sell your house and buy a new...

read more

3 Mistakes To Avoid When Building A New Home

Posted by on Aug 16, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Mistakes To Avoid When Building A New Home

For many people, building a new home is the fulfillment of a dream. However, mistakes made before and during construction can put a damper on high spirits. To protect your investment, here are some common mistakes made when building a home that you need to be on the lookout for. Failing to Ask About the “Change Order” In the process of building your home, it is possible that the builder could encounter an issue that requires a modification to the original plans. When this happens, it could result in the home being more than the estimated price. Before signing a contract with a builder, it is important that you understand the “change order” process. In other words, you need to ensure that the builder notifies you before any changes are made to the building plans and that you have the right to object, especially if the changes are going to significantly increases costs. Asking for Changes When you make changes to the plan, it can complicate matters. After the home is designed, there is a lot of work that goes into ensuring that it is built as planned, including getting the approval of an engineer. If you decide later that you want to change something in your home, it could increase the cost of building it. For instance, if you decide that you want to move a wall, the builder has to ensure that the supports are in place for it, the new wall has to be added to the plans, the engineer has to sign off on it, and the new plans have to be re-submitted to the city. In addition to this, the builder now has to secure more materials to complete the addition. If you are unsure about the design of your home, wait until you are committed to the plans to start construction. If not, you could face additional expenses. Forgetting to Plan for the Future One of the biggest mistakes you could make when building your new home is failing to plan for the future. For instance, having a two-story home with the master bedroom on the top floor sounds like a smart move now, but, as you get older, climbing the stairs might become challenging. Ensuring there is a room that can serve as the master bedroom in the future on the bottom floor would make sense. Work with the builder like Adobe Homes Florida to find a design for your home that is fitting for you and your family now and in the...

read more

Looking To Buy A Home? Make Your Home Offer Stand Out With These 3 Tips

Posted by on Aug 5, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Looking To Buy A Home? Make Your Home Offer Stand Out With These 3 Tips

If you’re currently on the market for a new home, it’s important to understand what sellers look for in an offer. Below are three tips that will help your offer to stand out and make it to the top of the seller’s pile. Get Preapproved for a Mortgage If you’re looking to purchase a home, you may think that being prequalified for a loan is enough. While prequalifying does show homeowners that your financial situation is in good standing, being prequalified by a mortgage lender is not a promise that you will receive that money. Instead, if you’re serious about standing out to home sellers, go through the process of getting preapproved. Including the preapproval letter in your offer will show sellers that you’ve already got the financial backing for the home purchase and the money is, essentially, as good as gold. If the seller chooses you, having a preapproval letter can also mean that the seller won’t be waiting as long on the mortgage approval as they would be with a buyer who was only prequalified. Be Flexible on the Closing Date For many people who’re in the process of selling their homes, they’re usually also in the process of buying another. This means they may need some flexibility when it comes to closing the deal. If you know the seller’s new residence won’t be ready for another 60 days, it can mean a lot to them if you specify that you don’t mind closing in that time period. Being flexible can go a long way, and it may even get you the house over someone who offered more money. Why? Because no one wants to go through unnecessary difficulties, such as finding a residence for a month while waiting for their new home’s closing date to arrive, and may take less difficulties over more money. Include a Personalized Letter to the Seller For many homeowners, selling can be emotional. A heartfelt letter that gives the homeowner a glimpse into who you are may be just what you need to make your offer stand out. Selling a home can be a very emotional process, so giving the seller the opportunity to learn more about who you are and how you’ll care for the home may put them at ease and place your offer at the top of the pile. You don’t have to go into too much detail, but a handwritten note with a small introduction and a short list of what you love about the home can really mean a lot to a seller. If you’re looking to buy, there are a number of ways you can make your offer stand out to buyers. To learn more, consult with a real estate agent...

read more

3 Finishing Touches To Ensure The Success Of Your Estate Sale

Posted by on Jul 27, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Finishing Touches To Ensure The Success Of Your Estate Sale

If you are holding an estate sale because you are downsizing significantly and want to get rid of your belongings quickly, there are a few finishing touches you can do after you hire an estate sale service to assist you to ensure that your estate sale is the success that you are hoping for. #1 Use Lots Of Signs If you really want to drive home the sale, one of the best ways to do so is by putting up lots of signs in your neighborhood directing people to your estate sale. This will make it easier for people who are planning on going to your estate sale find your home, and will help draw in people who are just passing by. Before you put up signs, check with your city office and see if there are any regulations that you need to know about concerning lawn signs. Some cities limit the number that you can place or the size of the signs. Ask neighbors and area businesses if you can place signs on their property. Promise to come pick them up and remove them when your estate sale is over, and back up that promise by providing each location where you place your signs with your business card. Put up estate sale signs on every corner going into your neighborhood. Put them out up to a mile away from your home. Make sure that the signs are facing the road and test them out by driving by to make sure that they are visible. If your signs contain arrows pointing potential buyers in the direction of your home, make sure that they are all orientated correctly. You may want to check the orientation of any arrows on a daily basis during your estate sale to ensure that they didn’t get moved or turned around. #2 Make Your Home Visible Next, you need to make sure that your home is visible. You don’t want people to follow your signs but be unable to find your actual home. Put up extra-large signs in your front yard that mark your home as the location of the estate sale. You should also put out some bouquets of balloons to help identify your home and draw people in. If your home is located down a long driveway, make sure that the entrance to the driveway is clearly marked, as well as any turn-offs along the way so that people can feel confident they are going to the correct home. #3 Have A Greeter Finally, assign either yourself or another family member to open the door and greet potential sellers as they arrive. This will further establish that potential buyers are at the right home for the estate sale. It will also establish a level of professionalism with potential buyers, as well as openness. Potential buyers may feel more invested in shopping for what they want and asking questions when you greet them with a smile and welcome them into your home. By following the three tips above, you should be able to make your estate sale stand out above the others and be a success.  For more help, contact a company like EXIT Lakes Realty...

read more

Three Tips for Selling Your Home in a Transitional Market

Posted by on Jul 21, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Tips for Selling Your Home in a Transitional Market

When you are trying to sell your house, it’s important to recognize which type of market you are in. There are two major types of markets in real estate, buyer’s and seller’s. The first advantages buyers while the second advantages sellers. However, in between these two waves, there is a transitional market. Selling your house in a transitional market can be confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips to help you. 1. Figure out where the market is going and where it has been. To successfully navigate a transitional market, you need to figure out where the market has been and where it is going. Namely, is it transitioning from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market or vice versa? Once you determine the direction, you will need to act accordingly. For example, if the market is shifting to a seller’s market, wait a few months before listing your house if you can because you’re likely to garner a higher price if you wait until the market benefits sellers. Alternatively, if the market is transitioning to a buyer’s market, price your house carefully, market it aggressively, and be ready to sell its most compelling features as if you were in a seller’s market. 2. Be attentive to fair market value. With buyer’s or seller’s markets, prices tend to go up and down precipitously depending on supply and demand. However, in transitional markets, prices tend to stay closer to their fair market value (FMV). That means if you have a recent assessment from the property tax assessor, from a lender, or from any other type of property-value assessor, you should take that price into consideration when determining what price to assign to your home. Negotiations tend to stall during a transitional market, as neither the buyer nor the seller has the clear advantage, and as a result, you should just set the price at what you want. If you set it too high in hopes of getting more money, buyers may just find another real-estate option to explore, and they may simply overlook your property. 3. Work with a real-estate agent. Finally, whether you are navigating a transitional market or a buyer’s or seller’s market, you should consider working with a real-estate agent. They can help you figure out the nuances of the market in terms of pricing. They can also help you market your property and connect you to prospective...

read more