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Four Tips For Selling Your Home Quickly

Posted by on Sep 2, 2015 in Blog, Real Estate | Comments Off on Four Tips For Selling Your Home Quickly

If you are hoping to sell your home with a quick turnaround time, you can make it happen. If you can be flexible and do a little work on your end, you can increase the chances that your home will sell. Here are four ways to get your home ready to sell quickly. 1. Move Out and Stage Your Home Staging your home will let buyers know that moving in can be immediate once closing occurs. Sometimes owner-occupied homes can scare away potential buyers because you might need more lead time to move out. Real estate agents will also be able to show your home day and night which will bring in more potential buyers. 2. Make Your Home Move-In Ready If there are areas of your home that scream ‘fixer upper’ that would be easy to remedy, it is a good idea to do so. Some potential home buyers want a home that is move-in ready so that they don’t have to deal with renovations. Even if items in your home are older, as long as appliances and the overall features of your home are functional this can make a difference. 3. Pick the Right Season If you can be flexible on the time of year that you are selling, you will have better luck in the spring and summer months. If you want to turn your home around quickly because you will be renting while your home is staged, the time of year can make a dramatic difference. Homes look better when the sun is out and landscapes are green. Families also look during the spring and summer in order to be settled for the following school year.  4. The Right Advertising Once your home is listed, it is worth inputting your home into a search engine and ensure it is on all major real estate sites. Photos are important so that those looking online can get a feel for your home before they see it in person. A website dedicated to your home will bring in interest and will showcase your home in a better light. Check with your realtor about setting up additional advertising that can be linked to major real estate sites. The limbo of having your home on the market can be stressful. If you don’t want to have a drawn out selling process, taking the advice of your realtor (like those at Century 21 Reward Realty) is important as well. If you can put some work into your home selling efforts ahead of time, your home should garner more interest and hopefully bring in offers...

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Why You Should Hire A Real Estate Agent When Selling A Home

Posted by on Oct 13, 2014 in Blog, Real Estate | 0 comments

Selling a home can be a time consuming and stressful event, but it is well worth the effort when it is done properly. Some people consider trying to sell their house as “for sale by owner” in order to save money on real estate agent fees, but hiring a real estate agent to sell your home is usually worth the cost involved. If you are unsure about hiring a real estate agent, consider the following reasons why having a buyers agent is a good idea: An Understanding of Your Local Real Estate Market Real estate conditions fluctuate constantly; one month it may be a sellers market and the next month it could be a buyers market. A real estate agent will understand what is going on in your area and can help you price your property correctly. The price you ask for your home greatly impacts whether you get multiple offers or your house sits on the market without a single showing. Real estate agents know how to do an in-depth custom market analysis to determine what comparable homes in your area are selling for, so you can set the perfect price to attract buyers. Custom Marketing Plan Experienced real estate agents know the ins and outs of selling a house. In most cases, it takes more to sell a home than just putting a “For Sale” sign in the yard and making an MLS (Multiple Listing Service) listing. Before hiring a real estate agent to sell your home, ask about the marketing plan they typically use. A good real estate agent will be able to thoroughly explain each step that he successfully uses to get homes sold.  Negotiating Expertise Many real estate deals are all about negotiation, whether it is on price or concessions that the buyer will ask the seller to make. If you work with a good real estate agent, someone who is very experienced in negotiation will be working on your behalf. Your real estate agent will speak with the buyer’s agent to work out a deal that is fair to you and nets you the most money possible. A Person Who Sees Your Home Through a Buyer’s Eyes Your house may be perfect for you, but there may be things about it that are off-putting to buyers that you are not even aware of. A real estate agent knows what buyers are looking for, and your agent will make suggestions in regards to what changes you may want to make in your home to make it more marketable. A lot of changes may be cosmetic, such as repainting walls, changing fixtures, or making repairs, but they can pay off when you start getting offers on your home. Contact a group like RE/MAX Coast Mountains for more...

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An In-Depth Look At Quartz Countertops

Posted by on Oct 9, 2014 in Blog, Real Estate | 0 comments

Granite countertops have always been a big draw for homebuyers thanks to their upscale looks and unparalleled durability. However, newer materials like quartz are quickly becoming a popular alternative to natural stone for a variety of reasons. The following takes a look at what the quartz countertop has to offer the savvy new homeowner. The Engineered Stone of Choice There’s a good reason why quartz countertops are often called “engineered stone” – it’s a unique blend consisting mostly of ground quartz with small quantities of pebbles and semi-precious stones thrown in. The mixture is topped off with epoxy and polymers and fused under intense heat, forming a countertop surface with the same hardness as granite. Manufacturers can subtly change the quartz’s appearance based on the way it’s ground. For instance, finely-ground quartz offers a smooth appearance, whereas coarse ground quartz yields unique speckling. Since quartz’s color is easily influenced by the soil it’s found in, it’s not uncommon for manufacturers to source the mineral from all over the world. Quartz Countertop Benefits There are plenty of reasons why quartz countertops make an impressive alternative to the typical granite countertop found in most homes: Unlike granite, the quartz countertop is non-porous, giving it natural stain-resistance properties. Surface stains are easy to remove as long as non-abrasive cleaners are used. Since bacteria and mildew can’t penetrate through the surface, the quartz countertop offers naturally antimicrobial properties. Quartz countertops won’t chip or crack as easily as their granite or concrete counterparts, thanks in large part to the hardened resin. This also gives the material scratch-resistant properties. Quartz countertops are available in a broader range of colors than their granite counterparts. Many people enjoy the look and feel of a quartz countertop, as it lacks the aesthetic harshness commonly found in most styles of granite countertop. As an added bonus, quartz countertops don’t require the annual resealing that’s expected of granite and other natural stone material. Things to Look Out For While there’s plenty to love about quartz, you should also be aware of its downsides: Most quartz countertops lack granite’s heat resistance. For instance, extreme heat differentials caused by placing a hot pot directly on top of the countertop can cause it to crack. Use of abrasive cleaning pads and chemicals to clean can cause the countertop to wear out faster. The spectacular look of the quartz countertop has made it a welcome addition in a wide variety of homes. It also offers a pleasant surprise for the prospective homeowner in search of a place to call their...

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5 Lavish Features To Look For In Luxury Apartment Rentals

Posted by on Oct 9, 2014 in Blog, Real Estate | 0 comments

If you’re willing to splurge, you can live the lap of luxury in an upscale apartment rental. Not only are luxury apartments beautiful inside and out, they also offer superior convenience and an extravagance you can’t find in your average rental unit. When apartment hunting, consider what lavish features are offered, such as the following: 1. Spacious Layout Just as important as the overall square footage is how that space is divided up.  Small rooms can make an apartment appear crowded and cluttered. Larger rooms offer more space to move around, arrange furniture, and entertain guests. Consider your furniture when searching for apartments, as this can make a big impact on the final look. 2. Upgraded Appliances When you rent a luxury apartment, you expect the best in terms of appliances. The refrigerator, oven and dishwasher should show minimal signs of wear and tear. All appliances should be safely installed and in good working order. Apartment rentals that offer newer, energy-efficient appliances are a bonus that you shouldn’t overlook, as energy-efficient models can save you money on your monthly utility bills. 3. Ample Storage Sufficient storage space is crucial for a neat, well-organized apartment. Many renters desire large walk-in closets that provide enough room for clothing, shoes and accessories. Coat closets near the entrances and a closet in the bathroom can also be luxurious features for apartment dwellers looking for more space to keep organized. Also consider how much cabinet space you have in your kitchen for dishes and food. 4. Well-Maintained Grounds Does your luxury apartment offer landscaping services to ensure that your home maintains great curb appeal? Many upscale apartment rentals keep impeccably groomed flower beds and shrubs, mowed lawns, and plowed roads and sidewalks during the winter months. You’ll never have to worry about picking up a rake or pair of pruning shears when you choose a rental that offers these grand features. 5. Community Amenities As a resident of a luxury apartment rental, you’ll have the opportunity to share a variety of upscale amenities in the community. Some communities offer fully-equipped fitness centers, pools and spas, while others offer spacious sundecks, community halls where you can hold events, and extra security features for those who like their privacy. If you’re considering renting a luxury apartment, consider what features are included in your rent. For a selection of luxury rental condominiums in your area, visit The...

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Need A Storage Unit So You Can Declutter? Here’s What You Can’t Put In Storage

Posted by on Oct 9, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

A storage unit comes in handy when you finally decide to get rid of the excess clutter in your home. If you have a safe place to send your things, it reduces some of the stress of having to throw everything out you no longer use or need. You’ll eventually have to deal with what you put in storage, but in the meanwhile, you’ll have much more space in your home. Before you start carting things off to a storage facility, you need to understand what can be stored and what cannot. This is what you should know. Vehicles And Automotive Parts If you need to store a car, be sure to call the facility first to learn the regulations you have to follow. Your car will probably need to be licensed and insured, so you won’t get by with storing an old clunker that isn’t street legal. You may not be able to store tires, or there may be a limit on the number you can put in storage. That’s because it costs so much to dispose of them, and the facility doesn’t want to pay the cost if you abandon your storage unit. Also, motors and gas tanks will need to be drained of gas and oil before going into storage. Weapons And Explosives You can’t store anything that could possibly explode or accelerate a fire. This includes firearms and ammunition. You won’t be able to store your hunting gun collection or antique firearms. Fireworks are not permitted either. In addition, you can’t transfer old paint cans, propane tanks, motor oil, or compressed gas from your garage to a storage unit. If you need to get rid of items like those, call your local sanitation department for instructions on safe and proper disposal. Perishables You can’t really use a storage unit to store your doomsday supplies, unless all you have is canned food. Food that can spoil or decompose is not allowed because it attracts pests. That means you can’t store large sacks of rice, boxes of cereal, or even dog food. Food that needs to be refrigerated or frozen is prohibited as well. Although you can store a freezer or refrigerator in your storage unit, you won’t be allowed to plug it in and store food inside. While you can store just about any kind of furniture, clothing, and paper products, you want to make sure everything is dry when you store it. With high temperatures and poor air circulation, mold may grow and destroy your documents or clothes if there is anything wet or damp inside your unit. For more help, contact a company like Centre Avenue Self-Storage with your...

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A Career In Real Estate Has A Brighter Outlook

Posted by on Oct 8, 2014 in Blog, Real Estate | 0 comments

The real estate market took a tremendous blow during the downturn of the economy. Many homeowners not only found themselves upside down in their homes, but due to job losses, often found themselves with mortgages that they could not afford. Basement bargain prices, along with a glut of foreclosed homes on the market, made it hard for a motivated seller to sell, and tightened lending practices made it hard for buyers to buy. Fortunately, much of this has already turned around, and there are signs that the real estate market will continue to recover and grow. If you are looking for a change in careers, you may want to consider real estate. Mortgage Rates Continue To Be Low With a 30-year fixed mortgage continuing to hover around the 4%, and a 15-year fixed hovering around the 3.25%, mortgage rates are very affordable. While these rates are variable, and some analysts were predicting that they would rise, they have remained steady during 2014. No one knows what they will do in the future, but as long as they remain low, they will make home ownership more affordable. Reduced Inventories Low prices, reduced interest rates and an influx of interested buyers have reduced the amount of inventory in many of the housing markets. While there continues to be some great buys to be found by buyers, this is a great thing for sellers. The less inventory, and the greater the demand, translates to higher selling prices. Housing Prices Continue To Rise While some homeowners may find themselves still slightly upside down, they should not be as bad off as they have been. Housing prices, and values have rose steadily in the last year. It is estimated that these prices will continue to improve in the upcoming year. More Buyer Competition The combination of the first three points has led to an increase in the amount of competition among buyers in premium markets. While this may not be seen in every community, it is not unusual for multiple offers to be generated in hot housing markets. Higher Rents In many areas the cost of rent is rising faster than the home prices. Combine this with more jobs, and people returning to the job market, there is a greater urgency for people to purchase a home. With higher rent prices, it simply makes more sense to invest in something you will eventually own, than to continue to pay for something that you have no equity in. The housing market is on the road to recovery. Although, it may not be running a very fast race in some markets, it is continuing to be steady. It will be an interesting time to have a career in this field. Click here for more information on your potential in the real estate...

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Renting An Apartment? Here Are Some Ways To Make It Feel Like A Home

Posted by on Oct 8, 2014 in Blog, Real Estate | 0 comments

There are many times in life when renting an apartment makes better financial sense than buying a home. For instance, when you first move to a new city, it’s a good idea to get a good feel for all the neighborhoods before you decide where to settle down permanently. Plus, apartment life has its perks. Some communities offer outstanding amenities such as business centers, swimming pools, and exercise facilities. However, one drawback to apartment living is being restricted in altering the décor of your new place. Here are a few things you can do to personalize your space and make it your own. Paint The Walls Apartment communities tend to paint the apartments between tenants so they appear fresh. If you time it just right, you may be able to request the color paint you want rather than settle for boring white. If your apartment has already been painted, then talk to your landlord about your options. You may get permission to paint the walls any way you want as long as you return them to white before you move out. Whatever you do, get permission from your landlord before altering your apartment with paint or anything else. Decorate The Walls If painting is not an option, you can still customize the walls in various ways, especially if you have an artistic flair. You may not be allowed to hang anything that requires nail holes, however there are other options to try. You can use double-sided tape and sticky hooks to mount photos and knick-knacks to your wall. Removable contact paper works great for creating artistic designs on an otherwise boring white expanse of wall. Cover The Floor Cover your standard brown or beige carpet with a brightly-colored area rug. If you have artistic flair, you can create your own floor cloth instead. This involves using fabric paint on a sheet of canvas to create a pattern that is uniquely you. If your apartment has a worn wood or ugly vinyl floor, you can place sheet vinyl or vinyl squares on top of it as long as you use temporary adhesive and are prepared to remove all traces of it when you’re ready to move. It’s a lot of work, but worth it to live in a place with beautiful floors, even if they are temporary. Install Unique Window Treatments Get rid of your boring floor-length drapes and cover your windows with privacy paper instead. Get the kind that peels off easily. You can turn your windows into stained-glass look alikes. If your apartment is short on windows and you have little natural light, try making a fake window. Do this by mounting mini blinds on the wall that have LED lights attached to the strips. Hang curtains around the blinds and you have an instant window with additional lighting for your space. You will probably spend at least part of your life living in various apartment rentals, but that doesn’t mean you have to stifle your creativity when it comes to décor. Even if you have a strict landlord, you can find ways to temporarily decorate your space, and turn your apartment into a true home. For more help, contact your local home contractor such as H & R...

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How To Prepare Your Home For A Refinancing Appraisal

Posted by on Oct 6, 2014 in Blog, Real Estate | 0 comments

Refinancing your home can be beneficial if the interest rates are lower than when you originally took the loan out and if you have improved your credit score since your original loan application. Oftentimes, when you refinance a home, you must have an appraisal performed, such as by Appraisal Solutions Inc. Here, you will learn how to prepare for the home appraisal to achieve the best results. Inside the Home Inside your home must be clean and in great condition. Complete the following tasks to get the interior of your home ready for the appraisal. Scrub the carpeting Polish wood floors Clean tile grout Paint walls and ceilings if needed Clean light fixtures Remove clutter Remove hard water and rust stains in the bathroom and kitchen Doors and windows must be cleaned and frames painted if needed Organize closets and cupboards Replace the furnace filter Outside the Home The exterior of your home will require a great deal of preparation for the appraisal. The tasks that should be completed outside include: Repair peeling paint – Do not allow the peeling paint on your home to remain. Spend the time needed to scrape away peeling paint and apply a fresh coat of paint. If you do not have the time, energy, or desire to complete this task yourself, hire a painting contractor to do it for you. This type of project can bring a nice return on the investment. Clean the siding – Wash away dirt, mildew, and algae that may be growing on the siding. This can be completed by pressure washing the siding carefully. Clean the gutters – You do not want leaves hanging over the sides, plants growing out of the gutters, or dirt overflowing from them. Tend to the landscaping – Weed the flowerbeds, trim the hedges, shape the trees, remove dead plants, add mulch, trim the edges, and add a few plants to plain landscaping. The curb appeal of your home will have a huge impact on the appraisal, so make these changes to improve the curb appeal. Repair the lighting – Replace any light bulbs that are burned out and repair any fixtures that are broken. Clean the deck, porch, or balcony – A quick wash with a pressure washer and a fresh coat of sealant can go a long way in improving the appearance and appraised value of the home. The appraiser’s first impression of your home can have a huge impact on the way the rest of the appraisal goes. Spend the time to prepare your home for the appraisal and you will have a better end...

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2 Things You Should Discuss With Your Mortgage Broker

Posted by on Oct 6, 2014 in Blog, Real Estate | 0 comments

For most people, the purchase of their first home can be an overwhelming and stressful experience. In addition to finding the perfect place, you also have to face huge financial responsibilities and difficult questions. Fortunately, the mortgage broker at your local bank or credit union might be able to answer most of your questions. Here are a few topics that you should discuss with your mortgage broker, in order to get the best deal. 1: Your Debt-to-Income Ratios Believe it or not, making a bunch of money every month isn’t enough to qualify you for a mortgage. In order to determine your ability to make your payments, lenders will use mathematical formulas to evaluate your debt ratios. Here are a few different things that they will look at before they lend you a few hundred thousand dollars. Front-End Ratio: To figure out how much a mortgage would affect your typical budget, banks calculate the housing expense that you could afford. In general, banks multiply your annual salary by .28, and then divide that total by 12. This means that if you make $60,000 per year, banks figure that you could probably afford to spend about $1,400 each month on a mortgage payment.  Back-End Ratio: When it comes down to it, the money that you owe creditors can affect your ability to pay your mortgage on time. Lenders usually require your bills from other obligations to total less than 36% of your monthly income. For example, if you pull in $4,000 a month and you pay more than $1,440 in monthly bills, you might not be able to get a good deal on a mortgage. When you meet with your mortgage broker, be completely honest when you discuss your budget. The calculations and guidelines that the bank uses can help you to sign up for a mortgage that you can actually afford. 2: Your Credit Score Although interest rates can vary considerably depending on the lender that you use or the status of the economy, the fact of the matter is that your credit score can significantly alter the total that you end up paying for a house. A great credit score can help you to get the best available rates, while a bad score can affect your ability to get a mortgage at all. Talk with your mortgage broker about your personal interest rate, and what you might be able to do to improve it. Sometimes paying down credit cards or writing to an old creditor might be able to bump up your score, so that you can get a better rate. As you discuss your finances with your mortgage broker, remember that they are only trying to help you. Try not to get offended over their honest advice, and take their recommendations to heart as you prepare to purchase your first home. For more help, contact a company like McLandress James Mortgage Broker with your...

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How To Remove Unwanted Animals From Your Home

Posted by on Oct 3, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

When you have unwanted animals living in your attic, you need to know a few basic facts for getting rid of them. This information will help you remove these animals and prevent them from making your house into their home. Find the Entry Points Before you can remove any unwanted animals from your home, you need to find out how they are getting in. Once you find these locations, you can block the entrances so they can no longer use it as a doorway into your home. When searching for their entry points, you want to look at your entire roofing system. Larger animals like opossums and raccoons will create holes by pushing up your shingles or pushing an attic vent to the side, which gives them an entry point into your attic. Another method for finding their entrances is to look for dark yellow stains around the exterior of your home. These stains are usually urine or body oils that these animals excrete. These animals use the bodily fluids to find their way around your home by using their sense of smell. Use Live Traps To get these animals out of your home, you want to use traps with a one-way door. This is a good option for larger animals, since they can enter but cannot leave the trap on their own. Using bait that appeals to the specific animal can be the best way to get them into the trap. For example, you can use baits like peanut butter, eggs or canned pet food to catch an opossum that is living in your attic. While marshmallows are a better option for raccoons, because they resemble small animal eggs and the raccoon enjoys the sweet taste of the marshmallows. Wildlife Relocation Once you catch the animal, you need to relocate it to a new home. Unless you have extensive training with handling wildlife, you want to hire a wildlife removal company, such as The Animal Movers Inc. These companies have trained technicians that can relocate the animal to a safe location. The problem with trying to relocate the animal on your own is that some species like raccoons become highly aggressive when caged. Raccoons for example will try to bite or scratch you through the cage. Additionally, the wildlife technician will also have the ability to locate any nest that the animal created inside your home. Locating the nest is essential if you catch a female, since she may have babies still living in the nest that rely on her for food. When you have unwanted animals living in your home, you need to know how to get them out safely. With this additional information, you will have a better chance of catching them, so they can be relocated to different...

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