Friday, August 30, 2013

Three Must-Dos for Selling a House

Three Key Tips for Selling Your Home

Knowing the value of your house and exercising patience and restraint are key. A good real estate agent can help you determine the market value of your home but you may want to go a step further and get your home appraised as well; it’s worth the $250 to $500 price tag. In a good market, the sale price may be above the appraisal with the right buyer. In a weaker market, the sale price may be around or below the appraisal figure. Either way, you can use it to defend your equity.

Remember, patience is key. Yes, it's true there is concern that homes can go “stale” after being on the market for too long, meaning they are no longer attracting interest from buyers. But a stale sale usually results from a seller overvaluing his or her home. The opposite can also occur: in a rush to sell a home, or to sell in time so as to move into a new house, a home can be undervalued.  This is another reason the appraisal and your real estate agent are important.

A home inspection is also important in avoiding complications during your sale. The buyer will get an inspection, but discovering problems during a pre-sale home inspection allows you to have more control over how to handle them. If your home inspection does uncover problems with your home, it’s essential that you familiarize yourself with your state’s disclosure laws to avoid future litigation. Generally, they require you to disclose the presence of any hazardous materials in your home or significant flaws in construction. If you’re unsure of what you have to disclose, consult a real estate agent, attorney or your local housing authority.

Finally, try to put your home on the market before buying a new one unless you are qualified and can afford paying two mortgages or your first home is own free and clear. If you do end up finding a house that you can’t wait to buy before selling your own, you can ask your lender for a bridge loan. A bridge loan is a special type of loan that, if you have enough equity in your current home, allows you to pay the down payment on a new home. You may also be able to get a home equity loan in order to help with the dual mortgage payments. Please consult a lender (or attorney) for further information.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Free real estate app. Go get it!

It is just this easy.
Go to your App Store or Google Play and search KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY
Download the App
Enter My Code: KW1Z62GIH as your local agent so you can email me directly from the app.


Friday, August 23, 2013

What color should I paint my ___________ ?

Whether you are getting ready to sell your house, just bought a new home or you just need a change in scenery, painting is a great way to freshen up a room or create a new feel in a room.  But how do you choose the right color?  A good place to start is knowing what "impression" each color makes. 

Keep in mind, darker colors, for example, will make a room look smaller, but they also make a statement, are more dramatic, and can be a great option for a room that doesn’t need to feel roomy. Lighter colors are just the opposite.

Happy painting!


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Are foreclosures worth the headace? Problems with the Property

Let's start with The Bottom Line
There is a deal to be had in foreclosures, but you should know what you are getting into ahead of time and choose your property carefully. Don't overlook the fundamentals that make a property desirable just because the purchase price is a bargain.

Here are some problems these properties commonly possess and the difficulties you may encounter in purchasing a foreclosed home.

Problems With the Property
The most important thing to understand before jumping into the foreclosure market is that these properties were given up by owners who couldn't afford the payments anymore. In these cases, the house is often poorly maintained - after all, if the owner can't make the payments, he or she is likely falling behind on paying for regular upkeep as well. In addition, some people who are forced into foreclosure are embittered by their situations and take out their frustrations on their home before the bank repossesses. This often involves removing appliances and fixtures, and sometimes even outright vandalism. After the occupants leave, foreclosures sit abandoned, often inviting criminal activity.

Maintenance and Cleanliness of a Foreclosed Home

Maintenance and cleanliness can be a problem in foreclosure properties because of the circumstances under which the previous owners moved out, and because of the time the house may have sat empty. Some of the main concerns include:
•Lack of Cleanliness
Bank-owned properties are sometimes disgustingly dirty because of time spent sitting empty, intentional neglect by the previous owners or occupancy by vagrants. When the place is locked up with no air circulating for months, built-up dirt can cause the entire home to smell.

•Bad Renovations
The previous owners that were foreclosed on may have made changes to the home without getting the proper permits or hiring good labor in order to save money. A common example is finishing basements or updating kitchens. These renovations may create headaches for the new owners with city government officials due to the lack of proper permits.
If the previous owners started the renovation and then fell on hard times, there may be partially finished work in the house.  Also, if any repairs were made, they may have been done by the owners themselves or other people who may not necessarily have done the work correctly.

•Lack of Basic Maintenance
If the previous owners couldn't afford their mortgage payments, you can bet that they also could not afford to make even minor repairs.   And if they knew they were losing the house, it's most likely they were treating it poorly.

•Personal Property Left Behind
Sometimes foreclosed homeowners get locked out of the property before they can move their belongings, and in some cases they just do not take everything with them. Many real estate owned (REO) properties are emptied by a management company but some contain furniture, trash, clothes and other items that you will be responsible for disposing of when you become the property's owner.

•No Electricity
With no one living in the home, the electricity may be off unless the bank has intentionally kept it on. With no electricity, it can be hard to see what you are buying in some rooms, particularly basements and windowless bathrooms.

•Water Damage
A small leak under the kitchen sink can lead to a mold problem, and a roof leak or burst pipe can lead to major water damage. With no one around to take care of small problems as they occur, small problems can turn into big ones, and big problems can turn into disasters.

•Dead or Overgrown Yard
Depending on the climate where the home is located, the lawn and landscaping may be totally dead or extremely overgrown. Banks usually do not pay for gardeners to maintain the yard.

Unfortunately, there is even more to consider than these items... Please see the links below view Foreclosure Headaches on this blog to continue reading!

Is purchasing a foreclosure a good deal in 2015?

Still interested in buying a foreclosure? Search for foreclosed homes to purchase

So, how about a SHORT SALE?

Is there a perfect house out there?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Homebuyer Checklist: Easy as 1,2,3

Many buyers "just know" when they find the right home because they have done their research. And while it’s necessary to read up on everything you can before you begin searching, it’s also important to have a quick-to-access home buyer’s checklist so be sure to print this out and keep it handy or pull it up on your smart phone.

One: The Home

Things to look over and ask about for each house that you look at:

  • Year built (Lead Paint?)
  • Size/Square footage
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Number of full baths
  • Number of half-baths
  • Kitchen layout/size/storage
  • Condition of walls (interior) 
  • Closets/storage space
  • Basement – any strange odors? mildrew or mold?
  • Fireplace
  • Exterior appearance (condition of outdoor walls, overall appearance)
  • Age and condition of roof
  • Front and back lawn areas
  • Deck/porch/patio
  • Fence
  • Garage
  • Windows/screens
  • Utilities: Gas, Electric, Cable TV/Internet
  • Private Well? Septic?

Two: The Neighborhood

Things you will want to ask about, look into, and research about the neighborhood you move into:

  • Appearance/condition of neighboring homes
  • Demographics of the neighborhood
  • Parking
  • Safety
  • Police and Fire Protection
  • Pet restrictions
  • Parks/recreational facilities
  • Traffic issues

Three:  Community

It’s important to live in an area where you not only love your house, but you feel at home in the community. Here are some things you’ll want to ask about:

  • Schools (Reputation of school district, Private school locations (if you’d prefer), Age/condition of schools and buildings, Test scores of current students, Quality of teachers and educators, Play areas/playgrounds, Class sizes, Curriculum, School safety)
  • Religious community centers (churches/synagogues/etc)
  • Shopping centers/grocery stories
  • Proximity to your place of employment
  • Hospitals
  • Doctor and dentist locations/quality
  • Parks and recreation
  • Restaurants
  • Entertainment (movie theaters, shopping malls, etc)
  • Airport
  • Proximity to highways
  • Public transportation – bus? metro?

Ready to search?

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