Posts

Image
FIVE WAYS TO INCREASE THE VALUE OF YOUR BASEMENT The basement is usually an afterthought in homes, especially if it’s not already finished when you move in. The lack of natural light compared to the ground floor and above doesn’t always make for the most inviting space. However, there are plenty of ways to improve your basement that will both increase your home’s value and give you more space to enjoy.  1. Home theater: Basements can be the perfect space for a home theater, as they already have little lighting and offer ample space and an escape from summer heat or winter cold. A TV mount and some simple built-in seating can be accomplished for under $2,000.  2. Play room: Kids have a tendency to scatter their toys all over the house. Creating a playroom helps keep the mess confined to one area, plus basements often offer great storage capabilities. Just update the space to make it kid-friendly with features like egress windows, carpet, and a safe, finished staircase.  3. A bar: Grownups …
Image
THE TRUTH ABOUT VIEWING HOMES ONLINE It’s easy to get sucked into looking at home listing after home listing online, drawn to the stunningly filtered photos of manicured lawns, sharp-looking kitchens, and giant bedrooms. Although this is a great place to begin, it’s important to keep in mind that all may not be as it seems. Here are our top tips to avoid getting duped by listings online. Photos don’t always capture the full picture. Real estate photographers are very good at highlighting the best features of the home and often use wide angle lenses to make spaces appear larger than they really are. But, be aware that there may be less photo-worthy features they aren’t displaying. Don’t forget to look at the property features listed below to gather a better idea of what the home has to offer. Ensure you are looking at current listings. Nothing is worse than falling in love with the perfect home, only to check out the listing date to find it was posted two years ago. Make sure you use websi…
Image
5 HARMFUL HOMEOWNER HABITS TO BREAK Negotiation is a subtle art in real estate, but skilled negotiators can usually find some common ground that satisfies all parties. On the other hand, using the wrong negotiation tactics can sink a deal pretty quickly. Here are some negotiation tactics buyers (and real estate professionals) should avoid: Lowball offers: Going far below market value when you make an offer damages your credibility as a buyer and can be insulting to the seller. The seller has a range in mind that they’ll accept, and if you’re not even approaching the low end of that range, they won’t even consider the offer.Incremental negotiations: Don’t continue to go back to the seller with small increases in your offer ($1,000 or less). The constant back-and-forth can grow tiresome and lead the seller to consider other opportunities.“Take it or leave it”: Try not to draw a line in the sand with your initial offer. The seller can get defensive and consider other offers if you immediat…
Image
WHAT AFFECTS PROPERTY VALUES? Some the features that increase property values are obvious—like a remodeled bathroom, a modern kitchen, or a sought-after neighborhood. But here are a few features and circumstances you have not have realized can affect property values.  1. The neighbors: Not every neighborhood or community has an HOA that can keep the neighbors from going overboard with decorations or neglecting to care for their home. Homes adjacent to crazy neighbors can potentially be undervalued.  2. Trendy groceries and coffee: Recent statistics suggest that if your home is a short walk from popular grocery stores like Whole Foods or coffee chains like Starbucks, it can actually appreciate faster than the national average.  3. Mature trees: A big beautiful tree in the front yard is enviable, and it’s not something that can be easily added to any home. Homes with mature trees tend to get a little boost in value.  4. Parking: This isn’t too much of an issue if you live in the subur…
Image
THE BEST SMART HOME FEATURES Home technology has greatly improved over the last few years, improving functionality and energy efficiency. But some smart home features carry more value than others. Here are the features that will not only help you enjoy your home more, but will also make the home more appealing when it’s time to sell. Nest Thermostat The Nest Thermostat is controlled with your smart phone, and it learns the schedule of the home's occupants. It adjusts the temperature according to your schedule, which saves on energy costs, since heating and cooling will be reduced when appropriate. The Nest Thermostat has earned glowing reviews and almost universal praise, so it’s one of the surest bets for your home. Automatic Lighting Lighting is an overlooked part of home security—leaving the lights on in the evening can deter burglars, because the lights suggest someone is home. With automatic and smart lighting systems, you can program your lights to come on in the evening, or …
Image
THREE WAYS TO EASE YOUR FEARS ABOUT MAKING A MOVE With low inventory in many markets throughout the country, many homeowners are afraid to sell their homes because they’re concerned that they may not be able to find a new one. This can be a real problem, but if you are seeking to sell—whether to upgrade or find a new neighborhood—there are a few ways to combat the low inventory. 1. Look to buy first
In most markets it is a real mistake to put your home up for sale before you start looking for your new property. Identify the geographic area where you are interested in buying. Even if you don't see anything on Zillow, it doesn't mean you can't or won't find the right home. 2. Think outside the box
Be proactive! Keep in mind that there are probably many people like you who want to make a move but are afraid as well. Have your real estate agent send a letter to the neighborhoods in the geographic areas where you want to live. The letter should be heartfelt and personal while …
Image
BEFORE YOU TAKE THE PLUNGE WITH A FIXER-UPPER, THINK ABOUT RESALE VALUE We’ve all watched the HGTV programs that show a run-down old house transforming into a dream home. Tackling a big renovation project on an outdated property can indeed pay off big—both with the home of your dreams, and with a return on investment. If resale value is a primary concern, consider these factors as you’re making your fixer-upper plans. Is the price right?
How much can you invest in a home beyond the sale price while staying in line with the value of homes in the neighborhood? You don’t want to improve a home to the point that it’s worth far more than the norm for the area. You’ll enjoy the property while you’re living there, but if you ever decide to sell, your ROI could be limited by the market value of nearby houses. Low cost, instant equity
There are a lot of low cost and DIY improvements that will add equity almost immediately, such as rehabbing the landscaping and adding fresh coats of paint. These im…