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Tips For Selling Your Home In The New Year

Tips For Selling Your Home In The New Year Many people think that selling a home after the holidays and during the Winter season is a bad idea. Most people are not in the home buying mood, because they are thinking about the holidays.

Also, buyers will think that you are desperate and they will give you offers that are less than list price.

Advantages Of Selling Your Home Now

However, there are some advantages to selling your home over the holidays and into the new year. There will be less homes on the market, so there won’t be as much competition.

Also, buyers will likely be on their holidays from work, so they will have much more time to view properties and look around at homes.

Another factor is mood – buyers will generally be feeling more cheery and relaxed over the holidays, which will result in them being more likely to make the decision to buy a home.

A home can have a really romantic and cozy feeling during the winter season, which could make a buyer fall in love with it.

When You Are Selling Your Home During The Winter Season, Here Are Some Tips To Keep In Mind:

  • Choose a good real estate agent who will be able to communicate with you well and find the right buyers for your house.
  • Price the house realistically. This time of year, it helps to be competitive. You might even get buyers competing, which will push the price up as they bid against each other.
  • Give your home a little makeover so that it gives a great first impression. Touch up the paintwork, rearrange the furniture and remove clutter.
  • Giving a sense of airy lightness is important, especially in the winter months. Make sure that your windows let in plenty of natural light.
  • Be flexible. You might need to be able to accommodate last minute viewings or viewings at strange times, so keep your schedule open.
  • Have your moving company chosen and ready to go in advance, in case there is the possibility of a quick sale.

These are just a few tips to keep in mind for selling your home over the holidays. For more helpful tips, contact your trusted real estate professional.

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12 Trick-Or-Treating Safety Tips

12 Trick Or Treating Safety TipsGone are the days where parents sit at home while their costumed children run around the neighborhood alone. These days, most small children are walked door to door by family. While there is relatively little mischief they can get into under their parents’ watchful gaze, below are even more trick-or-treating safety tips for an untroubled, fun and haunted evening.

  1. Light Them Up – Put reflective tape on your children’s costumes and bags so drivers can identify them easily. It’s dark out there!
  2. Plan A Route – Hit up familiar homes and don’t go too far from your house in case a small one gets tired or needs to go to the bathroom.
  3. Stay Out Of The Street – Keep kids on the sidewalk and be sure to look both ways before crossing the street.
  4. Take Stranger Danger Seriously – Don’t go into any dark, unfamiliar homes or get into cars with strangers.
  5. Hem Long Costumes – After purchasing a costume, make sure it’s at least three inches above the ground, so your little ghost won’t trip.
  6. Be Cautious Getting Ghoulish – Test makeup on a small portion of your child’s skin before putting it all over his or her face. Also, be sure to remove it before bedtime.
  7. Pack Away Pointy Toys – Make sure your children’s swords, knives and axes are short, flexible and made of foam.
  8. Wear Comfy Shoes – Avoid princess shoes with heals or anything that’s not flat and comfy for your tot. You don’t want them to trip in the dark.
  9. Watch Out For Flames – Keep flammable costumes away from any open-topped glowing pumpkins.
  10. Pretend You’re At The Pool – Walk; don’t run.
  11. Put A Spotlight On Those Monsters – Carry a flashlight so that no one trips.
  12. Check Out The Treats – While this might seem paranoid, just quickly double-check the treats to make sure none have been tampered with or could pose a choking hazard.

Having your little witch in the emergency room instead of indulging in a late night sugar rush could put a damper on the entire holiday. So follow the 12 trick-or-treating safety tips above to help your child enjoy a hauntingly fun and safe Halloween.

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Your Home List Price, Should You Lower It?

Your Home List Price, Should You Lower ItAre you trying to sell your home and finding that it is not selling very well? This might be due to a number of reasons that you can’t control, such as its location or the fact that the home layout is somewhat unusual.

If you are struggling to sell your home, there is one factor that you can alter that might change things – the price.

Many homeowners are reluctant to lower the price of their home, because it feels somewhat like a defeat. However, while you want to make as much money from your house sale as possible – it is better to sell your home at a slightly cheaper price than to let it sit on the market for a long time.

Have You Had Many Lookers, But No Buyers?

If you have had many people come to look at your home, but no one has placed an offer, this might be a sign that your price is too high. These lookers might be interested in your home, but are waiting for the price to fall before they would consider buying it.

How Long Has Your Home Been On The Market?

Has your house been on the market for more days than the average for your particular neighborhood? If it has, this might be due to the price. Letting your home sit on the market for a long time is not such a good idea, because buyers will start to wonder what is wrong with it. This can turn people off and delay your sale even further.

Do You Have A Deadline?

Perhaps you have a job offer in another city or you have already purchased another home, so you need to sell your house ASAP. In this case, dropping your price a little bit can be a great way to generate buyer interest and get the home sold. Remember – it doesn’t matter how much you need the money, a home is only worth what the buyer is willing to pay for it.

These are a few situations where you might want to consider reducing the price of your property. To find out more about selling your home, contact your trusted real estate professional.

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Remove Those Pet Odors With These Quick Tips

Remove Those Pet Odors With These Quick TipsYou might love your furry friends, but are their pet odors turning off potential buyers when you are trying to sell your home?

Many cat and dog owners are around their animal companions so often that they become immune to the smell and don’t notice it in their home, so you might not even realize that your home smells of pet odor.

However, when you are selling your property first impressions are very important and if a potential buyer gets a whiff of pet odors when they walk in the door this can really make them lose interest in your property.

Ask your real estate agent for an honest opinion. If they say that you have a problem, here are some ways that you can freshen up your house without getting rid of Fluffy or Fido.

  • Air everything out. Open up all of the windows to let the fresh air come in from outside and sweep away all stuffiness and smells.
  • Wash the floors and the walls with vinegar, floor cleaner or an odor-neutralizing cleaning product. You can find pet-specific cleaning products at pet supply stores.
  • Pet smells can seep into fabrics, so steam clean or dry clean your fabric drapes and upholstery.
  • Washing blankets and bedding in a mix of laundry detergent and a quarter cup of apple cider vinegar can help to remove the smells.
  • Before showing off your home, have your carpets professionally cleaned so that all of the deep-down dog hair and cat dander will be removed.
  • When potential buyers come over, you can place potpourri or scented candles around the room in strategic locations. However, be careful that you don’t go overboard as some people are sensitive to strong perfumes.
  • Keep your pet contained to one section of the house to make cleaning easier and keep the rest of the house smelling fresh. If at all possible, have your pet stay with a friend when the home is being shown.

With these tips, you should be able to present a fresh-smelling first impression to anyone who comes to view your home. For more information about selling your property, contact your trusted real estate professional.

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A Few Reasons Why That Extra Bedroom Might Be Worth It

A Few Reasons Why That Extra Bedroom Might be Worth ItSo you are looking at buying a home, but you are wondering whether or not it is worth it to pay a little extra for a home with one more bedroom.

It’s a tough decision to make, especially when balancing other factors such as location and the other features of the home. However, having one more bedroom than you think you need could end up being a good thing for a number of reasons.

Expanding Family

Perhaps you only planned on having two children, but a third one might come along as an unplanned surprise… will you have enough room for everyone?

One of your children’s friends might have a bad home situation and need a place to crash for a while. One of your elderly parents might need to live with you for a while.

There are many situations when the family living under your roof might expand, (even if it’s just having guests over the weekend) so make sure that you have the space to accommodate.

A Home Office

If you are working from home or have your own business, a private space in the home to work can be worth its weight in gold. It’s really difficult to be productive when you are trying to work at the kitchen table with the rest of the family buzzing around you, so turn your extra bedroom into a home office.

Rental Income

An extra bedroom might be a great source of income, especially if it can be turned into a basement or attic suite. As long as you don’t mind the responsibility of being a landlord, you could rent out the room to a tenant and let their rent help you cover the mortgage payment.

Resale Value

Buying a slightly larger house with one more bedroom means that the home will be easier to sell in the future. This is especially true if all of the other homes in the area have similar amounts of bedrooms.

These are just a few reasons why an extra room can really come in handy. If you want to know more about home buying, you can contact me, your trusted real estate professional.

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5 Cool Ideas For Green Home Remodeling

5 Cool Ideas For Green Home RemodelingEvery home seems to have a never-ending remodeling list. As you consider tackling your next project, it usually pays off if you also think about helping the environment.

Green remodeling can last longer, utilize recycled materials and typically end up saving you money in the long run. Below are several environment-friendly ideas that will have your neighbors green with envy.

1. Rain Gardens

Rain gardens are shallow depressions in your yard planted with native shrubs and flowers. When there is a large rainfall, all the water rushes along roadways picking up dirt and pollutants along their way to drainage systems and eventually rivers and streams. Rain gardens catch water run-off, which reduces the street flooding and makes for cleaner water sources.

2. Reclaimed Hardwoods

Using reclaimed wood is all of the rage right now – and it’s easy to see why. Reclaimed wood helps the environment by being recycled from other structures. Turning an old barn into your new hardwood floors not only saves trees and looks great, but is an interesting conversation point.

3. Paper Covers Rock

Most kitchen remodels usually include the discussion of to go with granite or quartz countertops. However compressed paper or glass surfaces are actually better for the environment. Instead of harvesting natural resources, you’ll be recycling resources that have already been used.

4. One Shower Head

It’s tempting to use multiple showerheads and powerfully flushing toilets. However, reducing your water usage saves you money. Install low-flow water fixtures and limit yourself to just one fantastic showerhead in each bathroom. You’ll help the earth and your pocketbook by saving water.

5. Passive Solar Design

Solar panels are a great way to trap the sun’s energy and reduce your utility bills. However, if you’re not ready to directly tap into the grid, then there are ways you can remodel your home using a passive solar design. Concrete floors and thick concrete, brick or plaster walls soak up the suns rays during the day and release them at night when the temperature drops.

Going green doesn’t have to hamper your lifestyle or your home’s design. With the five green remodeling ideas above, you’ll add value to your home, help the environment and put money back in your bank account.

 

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What Happens If You Find Your New Home Before You Sell Your Old One?

What Happens if You Find Your New Home Before You Sell Your Old One?What happens if you find the dream property that you want to buy before you have made the sale on your old property? Ideally you would have sold your current home before you buy your new property.

However, sometimes the transition doesn’t work out that way. You don’t want to give up the purchase if you have found a bargain on your dream home, so is it possible to buy the property before you have closed on your current residence?

The answer is yes, it is possible. You will need to use a financing option that will allow you to secure your next home before you have sold your existing property.

Getting A Bridge Loan

One option is a bridge loan. This is designed to wrap your payments for your current home and your future home into one loan, which can last usually between six and twelve months.

This type of loan usually involves a small fee and you will also be responsible for the closing cost on the mortgage on your next home.

Borrowing From Your 401K

Another option that might work is to borrow from your 401K, if your company allows it. In this situation, you will be able to borrow the money and then repay it right away when you sell your home. Of course, make sure you find out the rules on this first so that you are not at risk of incurring any penalties with the IRS.

Taking Out A Personal Loan

Another possible option is to take out a personal unsecured loan. Keep in mind, these types of loans usually have high interest rates and they will only last for a few years. Also, you will need to include the payments that you are making on that loan when you are qualifying for a mortgage on your next home.

Advantages To Buying Before Selling

One thing to keep in mind is that if you buy a new home before selling your old one, you will save yourself from a period of transition when you are between homes. Also, you will only need to hire a moving company once and you won’t have to put anything into storage, which will save you money.

For more information on how to make the best transition into your new home, speak with your trusted real estate professional today.

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Home Builder Confidence Highest Level In Nearly 8 Years

Home Builder Confidence Highest Level In Nearly 8 YearsThe National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported Thursday that its Housing Market Index rose three points to a reading of 59 for August.

Confidence among builders is likely growing in connection with stronger housing markets and high demand for homes. These conditions are being driven by short supplies of homes for sale in many markets.

Builder confidence in current market conditions rose by three points to a reading of 62, while builder confidence in market conditions within the next six months rose by one point to a reading of 68. Confidence in buyer foot traffic was unchanged from July’s reading of 45.

Readings above 50 indicate that more builders surveyed view housing market conditions as positive rather than negative; there was some concern that the high builders’ confidence reading could trigger the Fed to announce the tapering of its $85 billion monthly purchase of Treasury securities and mortgage-backed securities.

Housing Starts Driven By Apartment Construction

Housing starts rose in July, but were led by the volatile apartment sector rather than single- family homes.

On Friday, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported 896,000 housing starts on a seasonally adjusted annual basis. This reading fell short of expectations of 915,000 housing starts, but exceeded June’s reading of 846,000 housing starts.

Starts for residential buildings with five or more units rose by 20.90 percent year-over-year while construction of one of one-to-four family residential buildings fell by 2.20 percent. Demand for rental properties and a shortage of available single family homes was seen by economists as contributing to increasing multi-family housing construction.

Analysts said that some home builders may be holding back on single-family home construction due to increasing materials and labor costs, but this doesn’t reflect the record level of builder confidence reported in the NAHB Housing Market Index.

Building homes at less than optimum capacity isn’t good news for the shortage of available single-family homes. Rising mortgage rates are also a concern for home builders, as fewer borrowers may be able to qualify for mortgage loans needed for financing home purchases.

Building permits numbers were also released on Friday, and presented a more positive picture than housing starts. July’s reading for building permits issued rose by 2.70 percent in July to an annual reading of 943,000 permits against expectations of 953,000 permits issued and exceeded June’s reading of 918,000.

Building permits issued provide an indication of future housing starts.

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Quick Tips To Beat The Heat And Save On Your Electric Bill

Beat The Heat With A Programmable ThermostatSummer always brings with it a hard choice: Do you turn down the thermostat to stay cool and resign yourself to high power bills? Or, do you sweat it out to save some dough?

If you’ve been struggling with this dilemma, don’t fret.

With a programmable thermostat, you can beat the heat and save money, too. They are easy to install and can save you over $100 a year.

The key is that they have different temperature settings for certain times of the day. The latest models can be self-installed, are easy to program and can be controlled over the Internet.

Save Energy

This is obviously the biggest perk. Not only are you helping the environment, you’re also helping your monthly budget.

You can preset the thermostat to adjust the temperature when you’re away from the house, so you’re using less energy. Then it can kick back on just before you arrive home.

Save Money

You’ll immediately see a difference in your utility bills when you set your programmable thermostat to turn off for eight-hour periods while you’re at work. Every little bit counts!

Save Yourself The Frustration

If you’re going to be home early from work or are arriving back from a week long vacation, don’t worry about coming home to a sweltering sauna of a house.

Most modern thermostats allow you to access their controls online through a computer, or even your smart phone. With the touch of a button, you’ll arrive to a perfectly comfortable home.

Save Even More

Below are a few tips to keep bills down and your thermostat running efficiently.

  • Make sure you place the thermostat away from air vents, open doorways and windows with direct sunlight.
  • Try to set temperatures for longer increments, such as when you’re at work or while you’re asleep.
  • Every time you hit the buttons you’re using more energy.
  • If your thermostat runs on batteries, change them once a year.

Don’t waste any more energy! Make the investment in a programmable thermostat and start saving this summer. The convenience and lower utility bills will make you glad you did.

For more tips on home maintenance and savings, reach out to your trusted real estate professional today.

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A Few Red Flags To Look For When Buying Real Estate

A Few Red Flags To Look For When Buying Real Estate

If you’re looking to purchase real estate, keep in mind that the homes you are considering might be in need of repairs or improvements.

In a recent study done by a major home inspection company, at least 40 percent of previously owned homes on the market have at least one serious issue or defect.

When buying real estate, you should have a professional inspection performed on the property to look for any issues that might not be visible to the untrained eye.

It’s better to identify this damage before you buy so that you are not stuck with budget-busting renovations.

Below are a few major red flags you should look for when buying a home.

Foundation Damage

Look at the slope of the yard. If the land slopes towards the house, this could be causing water to run down into the foundation, which will result in moisture damage. Take a look at the foundation for any bulges or cracks that could indicate serious issues.

Faulty Wiring

Your home inspector should be sure to check the electrical wiring — especially if it is an older house. If there are any flickering lights, circuits that don’t work, or warm outlets, these are telltale signs of wiring issues that might be expensive to fix.

Ceiling Stains

This is usually a sign that something in the house is leaking. Ceiling stains are common underneath bathrooms when a toilet, shower or bathtub has a leak. A leaky roof could be an even more expensive repair.

When you are negotiating to buy a house and damage is discovered, you can either change your mind about the sale or renegotiate for a lower price that factors in the cost of repairs. Either way, it is always worth having the home professionally inspected to identify red flags and avoid any surprises.

Please call me, your trusted real estate professional for more information about buying your next Parkland home.

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