Our Real Estate Blog
- The age of the roof: There are a lot of variables, when it comes to the life expectancy of roofing materials. With harsh weather conditions -- including sweltering summer days and annual ice buildups -- Mother Nature subjects your roof to a lot of wear and tear. If it's been more than 20 years since your roof was last replaced, the shingles are probably starting to show visible signs of deterioration. That's definitely not a selling point for prospective buyers. What house hunters do love to hear is that the roof is relatively new and has been replaced within the past five years. Although prices vary and can run higher, roofs typically cost at least $10,000 to replace. Many potential buyers would be turned off by the prospect of having to shell out that kind of money after they close on the house. Others might use that as a bargaining chip to get you to lower your asking price. In either case, an old roof puts you at a disadvantage.
- Completed remodeling projects: Although some home buyers thrive on the idea of renovating a property themselves, most would prefer an updated home. Recently remodeled bathrooms and kitchens will make your house much more appealing and marketable to would-be buyers. If those closely scrutinized rooms look dated or poorly maintained, you can be sure that will negatively impact the selling price and/or the amount of time your house stays on the market.
- Mechanical and electrical upgrades: People like to hear about improvements like a new central air conditioning system, a furnace replacement, or an upgraded electrical panel. These can all be major selling points, especially among prospective buyers who have had trouble with any of these vital systems in the past.
- Miscellaneous: Other features that could help sell your house may include energy-efficient windows, new flooring, lighting, security systems, room additions, a new driveway or walkways, a finished basement or attic, basement waterproofing, new siding, fencing, patios, porches, and landscaping improvements.
If you have hired a realtor to help you sell your home, you have already taken care of a good amount of the job that needs to be done to get the home sold at the right price. There is one important thing that you need to tend to as a seller- that’s getting your home ready to be shown. Once the home is on the market, your realtor will work with you to schedule open houses and times for the home to be shown privately. Whether you only have a few hours or a day or two to prepare for a home showing, there are a few certain areas that you need to tend to in order to help your home appear clean and tidy to impress buyers.
It doesn’t take very long to sweep down your hardwood and tile floors. After you do this, run over the floors with a mop to remove any stains that may be present on the floor.
The Dust Rag Is Your Friend
If you have time, you can do a deep clean of your home. It also doesn’t take a long time to go over the surfaces of your home with a duster. Getting up the dust will not only make your home smell fresher, but it will appear cleaner as well.
Make The Beds
Your mother told you for years that you need to make your bed in the mornings. She was right. Beds that have been made look much more presentable and homey than rooms with bedding strewn around. If your bedding is looking less than inviting and you have some time before your showing, you may want to pick up some new bedding. The small details are so important when it comes to selling your home, and making the home look inviting is one of them.
Clear The Clutter Out
Whether it’s piles of clothes on the floor, dirty dishes in the sink, or papers on the counters, clean it up! While you want to give prospective home buyers an idea of what it’s like to live in a place, the home doesn’t need to look “lived in.” Try and get rid of the personal traces that you leave behind as you prepare to sell your home. As a bonus, you should also make sure the trash is empty and fresh.
Vacuum The Rugs
Running a vacuum over your rugs can really help to freshen the home. If you have pets, this will help remove the odor that animals leave behind. It will also provide a fresh surface for anyone who is touring your home to walk on.
Turn On The Lights
When you leave the house for a showing or open house, definitely make sure that all of the shades are open and the lights are on. A bright home is an inviting home.
Although statistics may not be reflective of your individual real-estate buying habits, the "typical" homeowner tends to stay put in their home for around a decade -- give or take.
One of the few "drawbacks" of being a long-term homeowner is that, over time, you tend to forgot many of the details of the home-buying process.
However, an advantage of buying a home in the Internet Age is the availability of instant information on everything from interest rates and real estate agent reviews to house hunting tips and choosing a moving company.
Your Real Estate Journey
Buying a home can be an extremely satisfying experience... or it can be filled with frustration and disappointment. However, by having a basic understanding of how the house-buying process works, you'll be more effective at preparing yourself for what's to come, anticipating what you need to do, and creating a clear picture in your mind of your requirements and ideal living environment. As various thought leaders have said over the years: If you're not clear on what you want, you'll probably end up with something else!
The cornerstones of a successful real estate search are knowing your credit score, having enough money on hand for a sufficient down payment and closing costs, enlisting the help of an experienced real estate agent, and being proactive about meeting with mortgage bankers and shopping for a competitive interest rate (and terms).
Staying organized, creating priority lists, and continually educating yourself about the nuts and bolts of buying a home will help ensure that your real estate experience will be a positive one. Even though there may be a few bumps and detours along the way, taking the time to be organized and well informed will help you stay on track and produce the type of results you and your family are looking for.
Although it does pay to read articles from credible online sources, you don't have to achieve "expert status" as a house hunter and real estate buyer. If you choose your real estate agent with care, they should be able to provide you with the expertise, advice, and professional guidance you need to clear the hurdles and make it all the way to the finish line!
How does one choose a great real estate agent? The ideal way is to get a referral from a trusted family member, friend, coworker, or neighbor. If someone you trust can attest to the service level and results a particular real estate agent has produced, then chances are good that your experience would be comparable. If more than one person you know recommends a top-notch agent, then that creates a "multiplier effect." In other words, it increases the likelihood that you'll be satisfied with the service and results this agent provides. If you don't know anyone personally who has worked with a great agent, there are well-known websites that post reviews, years of experience, and relevant sales information on licensed real estate agents.
If you decide that moving on your own isn’t for you, you need to find and hire good movers to get you from place to place. You can start with a simple internet search, but you need to find the right movers to be able to get dependable service. Below, you’ll find some tips to help making the process of finding a moving company that much easier.
Get Quotes From A Few Companies
Get quotes on prices from a few different moving companies. Don’t just go with the first company that you find. Do a bit of research and even see if you can get some type of a background check on each company that you get a quote from. This way, you’ll avoid any nightmare stories from your move.
Have A Mover Do An Assessment
Your movers should come and visit your home before you move. Will they be packing for you? Do They need a larger size truck? If the moving company comes to make an assessment of the home, they will know what needs to be done when moving day arrives. Make an inventory list of everything in your home so that you’ll know what you have to take with you. You’ll also know what you have in your new home once you get there. This can really help streamline the process.
Price Isn’t Everything
The most expensive mover may not provide much more services over the least expensive moving company. Sometimes, it’s better to pay a bit more if you get additional services like boxes or packing. If a quote is much lower than you think it should be, then you probably should be a bit cautious of hiring the company.
Look For Reputation
You need to be aware of the reputation that a moving company carries with them. If you’re moving locally, you can usually go with a local company that has some good reviews. If you’re moving across states, try and find a larger company that has a lot of experience and a reputation built up for those types of long-distance moves.
You’re paying a lot of money to hire a moving company and have a right to know exactly what you’re paying for. Make a list of questions to ask each company. Find out their protocols and understand how your things will be treated. You want to know that your items will be in good hands. Some things you’ll want to know about each moving company:
- What kind of insurance do you have?
- What types of fees do you have?
- What’s the timeline for my move?
- Have all your movers undergone background checks?
If the company tends to avoid certain questions, you should beware. With a little research, moving both near and far will be a breeze.
If you’re thinking about buying your first home, it’s good to be close to a city that has all of the amenities and characteristics that you want out of life. However, recent economic growth and an increasing wealth divide has made some cities and their suburbs expensive and overcrowded.
Fortunately, there are several cities and metropolitan areas across the U.S. that are currently experiencing both job growth and a cultural rejuvenation. In this article, we’ll cover the top 10 up and coming cities to move to.
1. Colorado Springs, CO
An hour drive from Denver and two hours to the mountains, Colorado Springs is a rising alternative to the Denver Metropolitan area. It is home to several high ranking colleges and the unemployment rate is low. Best of all, Colorado Springs is a highly affordable place to live.
2. Portland, ME
Portland is a small coastal city but is packed with restaurants and the arts. It’s proximity to the ocean and affordability make Portland a great place to move to. There’s also a thriving do-it-yourself scene, an emphasis on green living and repurposing old infrastructure.
3. Indianapolis, IN
Indianapolis combines affordable living with in-demand amenities like shopping, professional sports teams, and highly sought colleges. It’s also home to the biggest sporting event in the country, the Indianapolis 500 auto race.
4. Nashville, TN
Nashville and its surrounding suburbs are experiencing growth and demand for their rich musical culture and history as well as their affordability and short commute times. Residents of Nashville often rank it as being a great place to live, and if you trust anyone it should be the people who are there 365 days a year.
5. Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids has the industry and infrastructure of a large metropolitan area but maintains the affable nature of a small, midwestern town. Grand Rapids is known for its large public waterway on the Grand River as well as its close proximity to Lake Michigan.
6. Houston, TX
Just an hour’s drive to great beaches on the Gulf of Mexico, Houston boasts a beautiful skyline and a rich cultural heritage, especially when it comes to food. Houston is also the home to several national companies and homes in the area are relatively affordable since Houston wasn’t largely affected by the housing crisis.
7. Raleigh, NC
The Raleigh metropolitan area is home to several competitive research universities and the population is booming with nearly 80 people migrating to Raleigh each day. Affordable housing and a stable but increasing job market make the Raleigh metropolitan area a highly desirable place to live.
8. San Jose, CA
Silicon Valley shows no signs of slowing as major companies like Google, Apple, and Facebook, continue to expand. One problem residents of the area will face is growing real estate prices and a shortage of housing, but living in both a technological and a natural paradise might be worth it for the right people.
9. Sarasota, FL
Beautiful beaches and year-round warm weather attract retirees to Florida each year. But Sarasota also offers a large and growing job market in healthcare, tourism, and hospitality.
10. Salt Lake City, UT
Salt Lake City is within driving distance of several national parks, holds close proximity to mountains, and is nearby Utah’s Great Salt Lake, the largest salt lake in the Western Hemisphere. Salt Lake City has a growing job market, a low unemployment rate (2.8%), and low average commute times.