Friday, October 11, 2019 / by Lisa Hodge
Before you list your home for sale, it’s time to do a little work around the house – to prepare and make sure your home is seen in the best possible light. These “must-do” items are about showing your home to buyers as one which is cared for and ready for them to add their own brand of home to the space. Taking a little time up front can mean thousands of dollars as buyers start writing their offers.
3 MUST-DO’S BEFORE LISTING YOUR HOUSE FOR SALE
Declutter, Depersonalize and Clean – This is the time to take spring cleaning seriously, in any season. Clear out all unnecessary items from the home; closets, drawers, extra clothes, old unwanted furniture. Donate to charity, hire a dumpster or rent a storage space; buyers will look in every space and open all drawers and cabinets, make sure your home seems spacious. Spend some time to depersonalize by removing excessive pictures and hide heirlooms. Finally, deep clean every space top to botto ...
Thursday, October 10, 2019 / by Lisa Hodge
If you are a first time home buyer, or even a repeat buyer, you quickly realize that real estate has a language all its own. Understanding some of the lingo can help you navigate the process a little easier. By learning a few critical terms, you will be in a better position to ask the right questions and make the best decisions.
Buyer’s Market – Where the amount of listings outnumber qualified buyers.
Seller’s Market – Very few desirable properties listed for sale.
Contingencies – Specific conditions included in offer to protect the buyer against unexpected situations, such as inspection, loan approval and appraisal value.
Earnest Money – Money deposited when the offer is accepted. Subject to any contingencies, this money protects the seller from a buyer who simply changes her mind.
Escrow Agent – A neutral 3rd party who manages the paperwork in a state where attorneys are not used to conclude the contract.
Closing Costs – ...
Wednesday, October 9, 2019 / by Lisa Hodge
A small kitchen doesn’t have to mean dark or cramped, you can maximize a small kitchen by using these clever tips. From tricking the eye to great ways to get extra storage, these easy design ideas will help you love your small kitchen.
Tone on Tone Colors Scheme – Trick the eye by using subtle variations of the same color palate.
Strategic Shelving – Add a shelf above the backsplash to add room for spices or décor; place on a wall to display glasses or dishware and gain extra storage in the process.
Design with an Island – If possible, open a closed off kitchen to the family or breakfast room, use an island as double duty by adding a breakfast bar on one side and sink, dishwasher and storage on the other.
Tile a Whole Wall – Consider making a blank wall a focal point by tiling the space floor to ceiling. Glossy tile brings interest and light to the kitchen.
Big Style Elements – There is no need to shy away from large fixtures ...
Tuesday, October 8, 2019 / by Lisa Hodge
A down payment is the amount of cash a home buyer puts toward the price of a new home. It accomplishes a few things; first it reduces the amount of money you need to borrow and it reduces the risk the lender takes in loaning the money. By reducing the risk, the borrower will typically get a better interest rate on the loan and increase the amount of home they can buy.
How Large a Down Payment Do You Need? The amount of down payment needed depends on the type of the loan, the lender and the property price itself. While most of the 0% down home loans of the last decade are gone, Veterans can still purchase a home loan with no down payment. Other programs include FHA loans with as little as 3.5% down. Conventional loans typically require a 20% down payment, but some allow as little as 5%.
Is it Better to Make a Larger Down Payment? In addition to the down payment, buying a home also requires cash for closing costs and some reserve savings to guard against unexpected fi ...
Monday, October 7, 2019 / by Lisa Hodge
Now that the warm summer months are behind us, it’s time to prepare for winter. Regardless of whether you expect to see sub-zero temperatures this season or you live in one of the warmer climates, preparing your home for colder weather can save you money and hassle this winter. So before you dig out your fall sweaters, take a weekend and prepare your home for the cold weather to come.
Save Energy — Fall is a great time to seal drafts in the home which can suck energy out. Check around doors and windows and replace worn weather stripping and caulking. If you use your fireplace for warmth during winter, this is the right time to have the chimney cleaned and checked for safety. Arrange a furnace tune up complete with replacing the filter and vacuuming the vents to make sure you are warming your home efficiently.
Outdoor Tasks — Before the chill turns to freezing, head to the yard to winterize the exterior of your home. Check gutters for clogged leaves ...