Posted in Real Estate

The Renovations That Provide The Best Return On Your Investment

The Renovations That Provide The Best Return On Your InvestmentRenovating a home is not only a way to increase the family’s standard of living but it can also be seen as an investment. There are multiple ways for someone to increase the value of their home and renovations are one of the most straightforward. At the same time, some investments offer a better return than others.

Those who are thinking about selling their home in the future should strive to get every dollar possible. Renovations can make this happen.

Garage Door Replacement

When people think about renovations, they don’t often think about the garage. Some people don’t even include their garage in their square footage because it might not be heated; however, replacing the garage door can provide a major investment return.

In some cases, the value of the garage door itself may double with a simple replacement. While some people dread the prospect of replacing a damaged garage door, even upgrading a working one can lead to a significant return!

Manufactured Stone Veneer

Stone is a popular building material because it provides a sleek look in addition to being versatile. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that a stone veneer will also provide a major investment return. For those who spend around ten thousand dollars on a stone veneer, the value of this investment may nearly double. This provides a great way to not only upgrade the home but also increase its resale value.

Entry Door Replacement

A home’s doors are incredibly important because not only do they a measure of security but also they also draw someone’s eyes. Replacing an entry door may provide an investment return of close to 90 percent. Because this job can be handled quickly by a trained professional, this can be a quick upgrade for those looking to boost the value of their home before selling it.

Plan for Warm Weather Renovations

With the weather starting to heat up, many individuals and families are looking to plan their renovation projects for the summer. Think about the projects wisely as they can have a significant impact on the value of a home. Renovations should be viewed as investments as well as upgrades for the family’s standard of living. 

Posted in Real Estate

The Importance of Pricing Right when Selling a Home

The Importance of Pricing Right when Selling a Home

One of the first decisions you will need to make when selling your home is what price you want to sell it for. This is also one of the most important decisions you will make. Here are some reasons why the first listing price affects the entire outcome of their home sale.

A Too-High Price Can Exclude Your House

Some home sellers mistakenly think they should grossly overprice their home in order to leave plenty of room for bargaining during the negotiation stage. While a certain amount of bargaining does often occur, falsely inflating the value of your home inadvertently excludes your property from online search results.

It is estimated that 80% of homebuyers search online for houses to buy. Those buyers enter price search parameters that they feel they can comfortably afford. If you overprice your house, your listing won’t even show up in the search results of people who likely would be able and willing to pay you the actual value for your home.

Essentially, you are removing your house from their radar screen, making it invisible to an entire group of qualified buyers.

Properties With Price Reductions Appear Distressed

Another reason it is important to price your home correctly is because if you overprice your home and then have to drop the price due to a lack of interest, your house now appears to be a distressed property.  When you see items heaped together in a bin with “price reduced” on the side, don’t you assume they are damaged goods.

It is the same with a house listing that’s labeled “price reduced.” It does not matter if your house is a mansion. With a price drop, buyers will automatically assume something is wrong with it.

The Appraisal May Ruin Your Deal

Even if you succeed in luring someone who’s willing to overpay for your house, you still need to go through the appraisal process so your buyers can secure financing. When the appraisal comes back with a much lower figure, the buyers will have difficulty obtaining a loan because lenders won’t pay over-market prices. Your whole deal could fall apart at the last minute due to a failure to price right when selling your home.

Real estate agents make pricing suggestions based on hard data, like recent comps in the neighborhood. Your best bet is to rely on your real estate agent for advice about pricing your home right to sell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Real Estate

The Advantages Of Using REALTORS Vs. For Sale By Owner

The Advantages Of Using REALTORS Vs. For Sale By OwnerFor Sale By Owner (FSBO) at first glance seems like it might be a good idea. After all, in an FSBO transaction, there is the saving of the commission that a real estate agent earns. Does that mean there is more for the homeowner from the FSBO sale? Not always.

One explanation for this is that FSBO homes may get less attention in the marketplace and therefore may receive fewer purchase offers.

Consider The Value Of Time

A professional worker who earns $150 per hour does not save money by doing the janitorial work accomplished by paying someone else $15 per hour. In the same way, there is a cost of trying to sell your home on your own that isn’t necessarily money out of your pocket.  Selling a home in every case takes a significant amount of time and attention to manage the process efficiently.

A REALTOR® spends time, energy, and money promoting the properties listed for sale. The real estate agent may help stage the home to get a better sales price and conducts the open house events. They also coordinate showings with other agents and prospective buyers to facilitate the sale of the home. This coordination can sometimes take months of time investment.

Consider The Value Of Professional Representation

It is easy for an amateur to make costly mistakes in a real estate transaction. A real estate agent working in a professional manner may lower the risk of these mistakes. Using a handmade FSBO sign in the front yard does not have the same impact as a professional one.

A REALTOR® pays a significant annual membership fee to belong to the multi-listing service (MLS). A property put up for sale on the MLS system, immediately notifies all the other members in the system that the property is available. A listing agent splits the commission with the agent that brings the buyer. Being on the MLS system means reaching all the agents that may represent thousands of potential buyers. A sign in the front yard has very little impact compared to this.

A real estate agent also markets properties on the Internet through a professional website, presence on social media, and various other paid advertising methods. They take attractive photos and videos of the property to use for marketing purposes. Putting these online attracts attention.

Without the help of a real estate agent, the homeowner needs to make all these marketing efforts and pay for them.

Closing The Sale

A real estate agent does all the grunt work that is necessary to work with the buyer, the escrow company, and the title company in order to have a smooth closing of the transaction.  A good agent helps to eliminate potential problems before they arise. This only comes through the experience gained in selling many homes over time.

Conclusion

For the vast majority of homeowners, with little or no experience marketing home for sale and closing a real estate transaction, working with a real estate agent is usually a better idea than trying to go at this alone. A REALTOR® does not get paid unless the home sells, so they are highly motivated to sell the home and close the transaction as efficiently as possible.

Posted in Real Estate

The Healthy Home? Selling The Wellness Value Of A Home

The Healthy Home? Selling The Wellness Value Of A HomeA study by the World Health Organization says that 90% of our health comes from where and how people live. Homeowners are paying more attention to wellness. These considerations extend to the home that they want to buy. Do you want to get a great price when you sell your home?

Go green and go healthy.

Going Green

Homebuyers are looking for more than just a quality home in a safe neighborhood. They also appreciate energy efficiency.

Energy efficiency includes new appliances that use less electricity, smart-home technology that manages usage and climate zones, and better insulation as well as new windows and doors. It also includes having a solar energy system to reduce monthly electricity costs.

Wellness Living

Wellness amenities include special lighting, sound systems, interior climate monitoring, plus air and water filtration systems. Newly-constructed homes are being advertised as being more healthy and perhaps extending the occupants’ lives. Older homes can be retrofitted with wellness systems to increase habitability and make them attractive to buyers.

Here are some wellness systems to consider:

  • Water Purification — Pure water for drinking and ice cubes with soft water for other uses is high on the list of priorities. The best water purification systems have micro-filtration combined with activated carbon filters. They are able to remove up to 99.999% of any contaminants.
  • Air Filtration — Hospital-quality air-filtration systems with HEPA filters remove dust, allergens, pet dander, bacteria, mold, and contagious airborne viruses.
  • Climate Monitoring — These advanced smart home systems constantly test the interior air for contaminants. The system will inform homeowners if any toxic chemicals are detected.
  • Circadian Lighting — Advanced lighting systems provide full-spectrum lighting that comes on automatically to mimic the natural light cycles of sunrise and sunset. These systems are especially helpful to improve the moods of occupants in areas that have dreary outside weather
  • Soothing Sound Systems — Sound systems can be fine-tuned to emit white noise and noise-cancellation frequencies to provide soothing sonics for interior spaces.
  • Home Gym — Having an exercise room with large windows and a nice view of the garden is a real plus. This room can also serve as a space for meditation.
  • Sunroom — A sunroom is an excellent choice for a home addition. It can be used to relax and get some vitamin D from the sunshine as well as be filled with living aromatic flowers for quality aromatherapy.

Summary

Having a home that is designed to both be energy-efficient and improve wellness is a trend that helps sell them as a wonderful living space that promotes holistic living.

Posted in Real Estate

Pros And Cons Of Completing Home Renovations Before Selling

Pros And Cons Of Completing Home Renovations Before Selling

Whether you originally bought a fixer-upper or you’re just a homeowner who wanted to update their house, chances are you have seen your share of home renovations. Home renovations have the potential to greatly add to the value of your property, but they can also add to your own quality of life. Hopefully, you have completed your home renovations and gotten plenty of use out of them before listing your home for sale. 
If not, you may find yourself wanted to move before all the renovations are complete. What’s the best course of action? Should you put the time and money in to finish? Or should you cut your losses and list the home for sale? What are the pros and cons of completing home renovations before selling?
Pro: The Home May Sell Easier
Your real estate agent will be happier if your home is fully renovated. That’s because they know that the home may sell easier in a fully renovated condition. Of course, you could get a prospective DIY homebuyer eager to put their own “stamp” on the home, but that is nothing you can count on.
Con: You May Not Recoup The Extra Expenses
Not all home renovations equate to value-added improvements that you can count in your wallet. If your renovations are small things like replacing door hinges, patching a hole in the plaster, or stripping outdated wallpaper, you are unlikely to see an equal increase in what you can get for your home sale.
Pro: There Will Be Less Explaining
If you have finished the renovation, you have nothing to explain and no excuses to make to anyone. In the renovated condition, the home is what it is. Even if a prospective home buyer does not happen to like the new paint color you have chosen, they still can?t complain that it is old or worn looking. 
Con: You Will Need To Delay Your Listing
Home renovations can take up a lot of time, as you may know, if you have done a lot of them already. You will have to delay listing your home, which in turn will mean putting your moving plans on hold for what could be an extra month or two. Depending on your future plans, this could impact your child’s school entry date and more.
No one will force you to complete half-finished renovations. But consider these pros and cons before deciding how to proceed.

Whether you originally bought a fixer-upper or you’re just a homeowner who wanted to update their house, chances are you have seen your share of home renovations. Home renovations have the potential to greatly add to the value of your property, but they can also add to your own quality of life.

Hopefully, you have completed your home renovations and gotten plenty of use out of them before listing your home for sale. 

If not, you may find yourself wanted to move before all the renovations are complete. What’s the best course of action?

Should you put the time and money in to finish? Or should you cut your losses and list the home for sale?

What are the pros and cons of completing home renovations before selling?

Pro: The Home May Sell Easier
Your real estate agent will be happier if your home is fully renovated. That’s because they know that the home may sell easier in a fully renovated condition. Of course, you could get a prospective DIY homebuyer eager to put their own “stamp” on the home, but that is nothing you can count on.

Con: You May Not Recoup The Extra Expenses
Not all home renovations equate to value-added improvements that you can count in your wallet. If your renovations are small things like replacing door hinges, patching a hole in the plaster, or stripping outdated wallpaper, you are unlikely to see an equal increase in what you can get for your home sale.

Pro: There Will Be Less Explaining
If you have finished the renovation, you have nothing to explain and no excuses to make to anyone. In the renovated condition, the home is what it is. Even if a prospective home buyer does not happen to like the new paint color you have chosen, they still can?t complain that it is old or worn looking. 

Con: You Will Need To Delay Your Listing
Home renovations can take up a lot of time, as you may know, if you have done a lot of them already. You will have to delay listing your home, which in turn will mean putting your moving plans on hold for what could be an extra month or two. Depending on your future plans, this could impact your child’s school entry date and more.

No one will force you to complete half-finished renovations. But consider these pros and cons before deciding how to proceed.

 

Posted in Real Estate

How to Pack Weird Shaped So They Are Free From Damage

How to Pack Weird Shaped nothey Are Free From DamageIf you are like a lot of homeowners who have just sold their homes, packing up to move is the least enjoyable aspect of the whole thing. Packing is always time consuming, but it is worse when you have weird shaped items to pack. Sometimes the most commonly used items end up being difficult to pack.

Here are some tips for how to handle it.

Think Outside The Box

Many weird shaped items either do not fit inside a standard sized box or they will rattle around and get damaged. Try to think of unusual packaging materials that might fit the bill, such as egg cartons, cardboard paper towel tubes, insulated coolers and even file cabinet drawers. Often, you will be able to fit a odd or strangely shaped item into one of these. 

  • For instance, sharp knives can be tucked into paper towel tubes. Fold the two ends down and tape shut. 
  • Your kids rock or shell collection can be packed inside egg cartons, layered with newspaper and taped up.
  • A delicate light fixture such as a small chandelier can be packed into an insulated cooler and surrounded with Styrofoam peanuts.

Deal With Sporting Goods And Gardening Equipment

Sporting goods pose a particular challenge when packing. If your family engages in water sports, archery or other activities, you will be wondering how to pack things like fins, a crossbows, skis, and other expensive but weirdly shaped equipment. Here are some ideas.

  • Pack snorkeling and scuba gear into a large, new, plastic trash barrel. The fins will be able to fit on end so they get warped, and there will be plenty of room for masks, snorkels and scuba tank, if necessary.
  • Use a specially designed television box to pack a cross bow and arrows or any other item that?s flat and wide.
  • Ski poles will fit nicely into a bicycle box (along with the bicycle). You can get one from a local dealer or buy one from the moving company. Secure the poles with a zip tie first. 
  • Wrap up garden shovels and hoes with a zip tie and pack them into their own bicycle box. You can use the same box to pack rolled up tents, sleeping bags and other camping gear. 

You can see that with a little ingenuity there is always a way to pack weird shaped items. Be forewarned though – the stranger the item, the more creative you may have to get!

 

 

Posted in Real Estate

5 Tips For Getting A Job In A New City When You Relocate

5 Tips For Getting A Job In A New City When You RelocateDid you just move into a new city? Transitioning to a new city is hard enough, but when you also need to find a job, it can be even tougher. Since everything is a bit new to you, there are definitely some strategies to implement that will make your job hunting easier. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

1. Let People Know You are Looking For A Job

Everywhere you go, spread the word that you are in the market for a new job. In general, people love to help out other people. Someone you speak with will surely know of a job opening; either where they work or someplace else. 

2. Be Ready With Your Business Card

Once you start having conversations with people about needing a job, they will want to know what you do and how to contact you. Have some attractive business cards printed up with your contact information and area of expertise.

The more of these you can get into circulation, the higher your chances of finding a job sooner rather than later. 

3. Use Your Existing Network

Check back in with your network where you used to live and see if anyone knows someone in your new city. You might be surprised to find out how vast a network of connections can be. If you can make a new connection in your new city through your old network, they may be able to introduce you to potential employers in the area where you now live.

4. Go Through The Employment Agency

Employment agency work can sometimes transition into permanent positions. Working through an employment agency will not make you wealthy, but it can help to pay the bills until the time you can find a job that fits with your career goals.

Plus, employment agencies can often put you to work the very next day or the next Monday. It is a temporary solution, but a worthwhile use of your time.

5. Spend Time Getting To Know The Locals

Some cities are known for being harder to find a job as an outsider. A local reference can help you to pass the test and get an interview. Get to know some locals who might be willing to vouch for you as a local reference. 

These five tips will help you get a job in no time in your new city. Remember, your first job in your new city might not be your dream job, but at least it will get you in the door.

 

 

Posted in Real Estate

What Does It Mean To Have A Cash Buyer?

What Does It Mean To Have A Cash Buyer?Every now and then when a person is selling their home, a cash buyer comes into the equation. If you have listed your home for sale and your real estate agent has informed you that a cash buyer is interested, you will want to understand how this affects the potential sale. 

What Is A Cash Buyer?

A cash buyer is a buyer who will not be applying for a loan to buy your house. They already have the financial resources available to make the purchase without external loans.

Cash buyers do not necessarily have the whole amount in cash sitting in their savings accounts, though. They may have the money tied up in a retirement account, stocks, bonds or other commodities. 

Is A Cash Buyer Desirable?

There are many benefits to having a cash buyer. For one, the deal will not fall apart for lack of financing because cash buyers do not need financing. As long as your real estate agent verifies the legitimate ability of a cash buyer to purchase your home, a cash buyer is very desirable.

What Does The Real Estate Agent Do With Cash Buyers?

Cash buyers should submit their financial records to your real estate agent so your agent can confirm that they have the money available to pay without financing. Proof of funds might be a recent bank statement, financial records from stock holdings or something similar.

If a cash buyer refuses to submit proof of funds available, then you and your agent should assume that they may not be a genuine cash buyer.

What Are The Risks With Cash Buyers?

Sometimes a buyer comes along who claims to be a cash buyer but is not. Maybe they intend on getting private financing, or they do not want to be bothered with a pre-approval. For whatever reason, it is essential for your agent to get proof. Otherwise, a non-cash buyer who pretends to be could derail your sale.

For instance, you might have entertained other offers if you had known that person was not really as liquid as they claimed.

Your real estate agent will cover your interests if a cash buyer comes along. Just know that if you do have a genuine offer from a cash buyer, your closing will likely be very smooth.

 

Posted in Real Estate

How To Keep Your Pet Safe When Moving

How To Keep Your Pet Safe When MovingMoving with pets can be strenuous, especially for the pet. Oftentimes pets might even go missing on moving day or shortly before or after. Many pets, such as dogs and cats, are sensitive and acutely aware of when big changes are taking place within the home.

They might even sense the need to escape the source of stress by running away. Here are a few safety tips for moving with your pet.

On Moving Day

While movers are busy moving furniture and boxes, frightened cats or dogs might run out the door and go missing. On moving day, keep your pet secured in a separate room where they cannot escape. A bathroom is ideal since it will not have furniture or boxes that the movers need to get to.

Place a sign on the door to alert the movers that the pet is in there, and not to open the door. Make sure to put food, water, bedding (and a litter box if necessary) inside the room so your pet is comfortable.

While On The Road

While driving to your new home, your pet may experience fear and/or stress from being in a moving vehicle, especially after a stressful day of moving house. Cats in particular are sensitive to the unusual sensation, and may try to hide under a seat of the car or even crawl up under the dashboard. Prevent this by purchasing a pet carrier and placing it on the floor of the back seat. This will keep the carrier from tipping from excess movement or sharp turns.

If you prefer to keep your pet unenclosed, make sure they have a collar and leash on. When you open the door they may try to escape and the collar and leash will help prevent this. 

In The New Home

When you finally move into your new home, keep your pet indoors for between a few days and a week. This allows your pet to relax and build an understanding of the new environment.

If you let your pet outdoors too soon, they may get lost or instinctively try to go back “home” to the old house. 

These few tried and tested tips will ensure your pet is safe on moving day and throughout the move. Once you arrive safely in your new home, your pet will soon be able to enjoy it just as much as you!

 

Posted in Real Estate

Should You Buy A Fixer Upper?

Should You Buy A Fixer Upper?If you’ve expressed any interest in buying a home that you can work on, your real estate agent may present you with one or two fixer upper properties for your consideration. Fixer upper homes can offer good value for certain kinds of homebuyers.

But not everyone should buy a fixer upper. Here are some considerations to keep in mind.

There May Be Unforeseen Conditions

Until you actually get in there and start renovating, you cannot know exactly what is behind those walls. Fixer uppers could have unforeseen conditions that could blow away your renovation budget.

If you do decide to forge ahead with an offer, consider hiring a structural engineer, a pest control technician and a mold expert to carefully inspect the property first.

Will You Be Able To Live There During Renovations?

Sometimes a fixer upper requires a complete overhaul. Other times there are a few inhabitable rooms you can stay in while completing the rehab.

Consider whether you and/or your family can be comfortable during the work, or if you will need to rent an apartment or stay with family.

This will heavily impact your fixer upper experience.

How Handy Are You – Honestly?

This is the time to be really honest with yourself. How much of the work can you actually do? Are you a wannabe handyman, or do you truly possess the skills and experience to complete quality work? If everyone you know is astonished that you want to work on a fixer upper house, it is a smart idea to take stock of your abilities. 

Can You Afford To Hire Workers?

Just because you buy a fixer upper does not mean you have to do the work yourself, either. Maybe you have the money to hire a contractor or workers to get the job done. If hiring others is part of the plan, make sure you budget accordingly. Do not forget to budget for the unexpected because with a fixer upper, you can expect the unexpected.

Finally, if the only house you can afford is a fixer upper and you really want to buy now, then maybe you should go for it. After all, when you finish the rehab, you could be in a position to take some equity out of the house after a new appraisal.

For the right person in the right circumstances, a fixer upper can be a viable choice.