Monday, April 29, 2013

Your're going to LOVE your home! PROJECT #4

In true spring fashion, we will talk about getting outside!

Project # 4:  Extend your living areas outdoors. Create an outdoor oasis!

by +Sarah Marrinan - Keller Williams Premier Realty 

The National Outdoor Kitchen and Fireplace Association pegs the average cost of an outdoor kitchen at $12,000 to $15,000 on average – so, if you can cut costs, find appliances on sale or do some of the work yourself, you might just be able to get one in your own backyard for the $10,000 price point.
Elaborate set ups sound like too much for your budget?  Even just a simple paver patio with a BBQ frill and umbrella table will create an extra living space to enjoy!

Outdoor kitchens can be as simple as a table and grill, or as complex as having wood-burning ovens, refrigerators and big-screen televisions.

Whatever route you go, the appliances are likely to be the single most expensive line-item of an outdoor kitchen. If you can tolerate the high-class problem of bringing your food from indoors, you can very cost-effectively create an outdoor living room complete with weather-proof furniture and lighting, in your backyard instead.

The major remodeling return-on-investment indices don’t track the return on outdoor living spaces, but experience tells me that well-executed outdoor kitchen and living rooms are both extremely fun to live with – and extremely desirable to the buyers to whom you will eventually be marketing your home.

Do you have a great outdoor space?  Please share a photo with us!

**Looking for tips on getting your home ready to sell?  Call me at 651-964-0289 for a personal consultation!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

How do I know if I am ready to buy or sell a house?

Getting your money matters in line before buying and selling real estate will help ensure the process is less stressful and you make the best decision for your current situation and your future.
Two comon real estate regrets for buyers are:
  • they wish they had put down a larger down payment on their home, and
  • they wish they had been more financially secure before they bought a home. 
So how does this apply in terms of financial preparations for home buying? Do more than the bare minimum to qualify for the sort of home you want when it comes to saving up the minimum down payment for your desired purchase price, getting credit boosted as much as possible and making sure we have all documents lined up for a lender’s underwriter. 

View home buying as an opportunity to take a deeper look into your finances and make an ongoing, lifelong commitment to good financial pricipals and planning.
This means:
  • keeping a current budget and creating a financial plan that includes not just your mortgage and other living expenses but also carves out sufficient resources for saving, investing and other things that represent your values and are important to your future, and
  • staying accountable to these values and your plans, even through the process of becoming a homeowner.
So how does this apply in terms of financial preparations for home selling? Know the expenses involved in selling when it comes to fees, taxes, home repairs, moving, etc. and what your bottom line is financially.

If you are considering selling you home, it's a good time to evaluate:
  • what items are in need of immediate repair/updates?
  • what do you like and dislike about your home?
  • why do you want to move?
  • how is the market in the area where I am living now vs where I want to be?
  • where will you live when if home sells?
  • what happens if you don't move in the next 1 year? 5 years?

There are many books, resources and financial professionals who can help you ensure that you execute home ownership in a way that is ultimately beneficial to your financial well-being and not harmful to it.  This includes timing your real estate transaction to align with when you’ve achieved certain financial goals (savings, reduced debit, credit improvement, etc) or have cultivated particular financial habits (follow a budget, goal setting, etc). 

Once you have a financial picture and are ready to make a move, it's time to find a real estate agent that will help you get access to the best values and negotiate the best terms and/or get your home sold for the most money, in your desired time frame and hopefully with the fewest amount of headaches possible. 

Buying and selling real estate is a process and for most people, the largest financial decision they will make in their lifetime. Seeking professional advice and assistance will help you navigate through.

Monday, April 15, 2013

You are going to LOVE your home! PROJECT #3: Curb Appeal

Make your house scream "Welcome Home!"

Here is Project #3 in my list of things you can do if you’re in your home and planning to stay put for a while:

by +Sarah Marrinan - Keller Williams Premier Realty 

1. Crank up the curb appeal.
We usually talk about curb appeal in the context of sprucing your home up to prep it for sale but there’s just something about loving the way your home looks when you drive up to it day after day, or when you have people over, that dramatically increases your enjoyment of home.

Depending on which projects you’d like to do and whether you’re interested in doing any of the work yourself, you can crank up your curb appeal for just a few hundred dollars or a few thousand. Here are a few vision-starting curb appeal-boosting projects to consider:

Exterior paint or power wash
Paint or install a new garage door
Paint or install a new front door
Paint or install new trims (shutters, eaves, etc.)
New exterior hardware (door kickplate, mailbox, house numbers, etc.)
Exterior or landscape lighting
Front yard landscaping spruce-up or makeover
Curb appeal is one of the most cost-effective home improvement projects for homeowners who are staying put in terms of life-improving bang for the home improvement buck.

Stay Tuned for more tips!

**Looking for tips on getting your home ready to sell?  Call me at 651-964-0289 for a personal consultation!

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Monday, April 8, 2013

You are going to LOVE your home! PROJECT #2: Get Rid of A Wall

Unfortunately, what too many of us do is wait until we can save up or pull out tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to make a major move: build on an addition, gut and remodel the kitchen, turn the basement into a media room extraordinaire. And many times, that means we never do the project, or we only do it when it’s time to sell and move.

The fact is, there are numerous remodeling projects that can crank up your enjoyment factor at home, for under $10,000... and many smaller projects for under $1,000.

Here is Project #2: Get rid of a wall.

by +Sarah Marrinan - Keller Williams Premier Realty 

The #1 remodel fantasy of homeowners to be: knocking down a wall. In my experience the wall home buyers-cum-owners love to hate the most is the one between kitchen and dining room, far and away. Opening a kitchen and dining room into one larger, brighter space holds particular appeal for those who enjoy gathering family and friends to entertain at their homes, without isolating the cook/host.

The next most common wall people crave to eliminate is a wall between two small bedrooms. Agents and appraisers will tell you that turning two small bedrooms into one poses the potential to decrease the resale value of a home – and that’s true. But if you’re not planning to sell anytime soon, it might be worthwhile doing it anyway, especially if it renders two barely usable rooms into one user-friendly space. And in fact, this wall is often relatively inexpensive to remove – and to replace, if you decide to do so. Check with a reputable local contractor to consult on how such a project can be planned and executed efficiently.

Stay Tuned for more tips!

**Looking for tips on getting your home ready to sell?  Call me at 651-964-0289 for a personal consultation!
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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Analysis Paralysis

Ever get that feeling like you have so much information you can't make a decision?

Maybe you are experiencing "analysis paralysis," where you constantly pursue and analyze information and never make a decision. 

It's always good to be informed but we shouldn't use the abundance of information or the constant pursuit of new information as an "excuse" to not make a decision. This inability to make a decision is likely causing more anxiety than any informed decision you may make.

Remember that no one ever has all the answers. Once you know the critical details, take action!

Monday, April 1, 2013

You are going to LOVE your home! PROJECT #1 of 10

For all the focus we real estate agents put on buying and selling (because it's what we do), the truth is that for most of your life as a real estate consumer, you’ll be a homeowner. And because your home is so much more than just a transitional asset, a widget to be traded and tweaked only for financial reasons, it makes sense to spend some portion of your time, energy and money making it really work for you.

Let's hit up Spring Fever head on with PROJECT #1

by +Sarah Marrinan - Keller Williams Premier Realty 

Build in organizing systems.
If you have $10K in hand to make your home more ‘you,’ consider having custom organizing systems built into your closet, office, pantry or garage, tailored to your family’s stuff and needs. The range of pricing here is vast, depending on whether you buy an off-the-shelf closet organizer at the home improvement store and install it yourself or call California Closets out to measure your shoes and sporting goods and input them into a custom design, complete with hydraulics.

Make it reasonable to start. Pick the two places you use the most (say your kitchen and entry way) and tackle those first. Hire someone if you need help finding the most efficient organization plan. The relief you will feel having a place for everything and everything in its place will be exhilarating!

Do you have a great resource for getting organized?  Please share!

**Looking for tips on getting your home ready to sell?  Call me for a personal consultation!