Real Estate

5 Tips to organize your kitchen like a professional chef

If your kitchen were designed by a professional chef...

With the holidays upon us, you may find yourself spending more time in the kitchen than usual. House Logic interviewed two renowned chefs to find out how they set up their own home kitchens. Their tips are easier than you might think! Here's what they had to say...

 

Check out the full article here. Want to design your own dream kitchen? We can help with that! Take a look at new construction opportunities in your area.

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8 Costly Home Selling Mistakes To Avoid

The housing market is on an upswing as spring ushers in a new batch of homes for sale. Before you list your property for sale, take a look at this list and avoid these common pitfalls. 

 

1. SELLING YOUR HOME ALONE. 

There are a plethora of details involved in selling a property...there's a reason Real Estate Professionals are licensed! Trying to navigate the complexities on your own is a recipe for disaster. The facts don't lie; homes listed without licensed representation spend more time on the market and sell for less. Save yourself the stress, and get every penny you can for your home...enlist professional help.

2. MISPRICING YOUR HOME.

Finding the correct asking price without overpricing or underpricing your home is crucial. You want to attract potential buyers without selling yourself short. Your agent will go over comparable homes in the area that are currently on the market, as well as ones that have recently sold, to help set the ideal price for your home. 

3. NEGLECTING NECESSARY REPAIRS.

Take care of repairs before potential buyers have the chance to notice them. If you wait, you run the risk of recieving lower offers, or having buyers ask for credits to complete the repairs before closing. Your home will be more attractive if buyers don't see it as a project. Your realtor can assist you in pointing out any potential problems and giving you contact information for specialists to assist.

4. NOT KEEPING YOUR HOME IN "SHOW" CONDITION.

Buyers want to picture themselves living in your home and unfortunatley, your family photos and knicknacks take that ability away. Pack up anything that creates clutter to create more open space in your home. You want buyers to think back and remember what your home looked like, not the pile of dirty laundry or the dishes in the sink.

5. LISTING A VACANT HOUSE.

While your space shouldn't be cluttered, it also shouldn't be completely bare. If you've already moved, consider leaving a few pieces of furniture behind to set the stage of how the home could look. 

6. LETTING YOUR EGO GET IN THE WAY.

When it comes to negotiating, keep your head in the game. Buyers will most likely try to bargain...do not take it personally. Remember, this is a business transaction and both parties are looking for the best possible outcome. Look for a win-win scenario.

7. NOT DISCLOSING EVERYTHING.

Many sellers have lost big money by not being forthcoming about all property imperfections. Being upfront with potential issues will prevent many potential issues that could arise later in the transaction. You don't want a deal to fall apart at the last minute because of something simple that could have been taken care of early on.

8. USING SUB PAR LISTING PHOTOS.

Too many listings are uploaded with dark, crooked, blurry or otherwise unappealing listing photos. With over 90% of buyers beginning their home search online, it is CRITICAL that your home looks picture perfect on the web. You and your agent need to work together to take the best listing photos possible; as a seller, make sure to have your home spotless and neat before photos are taken. Take a look at your agent's current listing photos and examine the quality. If you have concerns, bring them to your agent's attention! Showcasing your home in the best possible light is of the utmost importance. 

Home Buyers Series: How To Avoid Paying Too Much Vol. 5

 

Shop with your head, not with your heart.

What type of home is right for you? This is one question you need to begin answering before you step foot into a home for sale.

Remember the 'Wants' and 'Needs' list you made a few weeks back? It's time to pull that back out and look at it after each home you visit. Check off what items the home fulfills and soon enough you'll find the most logical choice. Be sure to go over this list with your agent as well - the unbiased feedback from a third party can often times help resolve uncertainties. As you begin looking for homes, don't forget the purpose of your list. Shopping for a home is an emotional process. Following your heart will cost you money; using your head will save it.

Home Buyers Series: How To Avoid Paying Too Much Vol. 4

 

Use your agent to narrow the prospect field.

Buying a home involves making many choices--often overwhelming and confusing decisions, the least of which is where to start. If you're thinking about buying, you've no doubt already begun looking through the pages of home magazines and searching through web sites. It doesn't take long before the rows of tiny house photos blur together. How can you be sure you've seen all the homes that may fit your needs? A good agent brings to the table an in-depth knowledge of the current housing inventory in their area, and continually updates that knowledge by touring homes as they are placed on the market. This is to your advantage. Trying to personally see every available home that might fit your needs would be an overwhelming process. If you are thorough in communicating your needs and what you can realistically afford, then your agent can help you narrow down the list of prospective homes to those that best suit your needs. This will save much time and energy. When the time comes to settle on one home, you can do it with the confidence that you've made a well-informed choice.

Home Buyers Series: How To Avoid Paying Too Much Vol. 3

Location

Location, Location, Location.

You've heard it before--the three most important things in real estate are location, location, location. Virtually no other single factor has a bigger impact on the desirability and resale value of your home to be. No home is an island, and the value of yours is affected by the homes that surround it. Your first consideration is the neighborhood. If you're not familiar with the area or community you're moving into, talk to a real estate rofessional who has experience there and can point you in the right direction. Then visit those neighborhoods at various times of day and observe the homes carefully. Look also for things like traffic congestion, intrusive sounds or annoying smells. You may find the perfect home, but if the neighborhood has problems, your investment won't be worth much when it's time to sell. Also, remember that extremely large homes surrounded by smaller ones tend to appreciate less than a large home among other large homes. Conversely, the smallest home in the neighborhood tends to be "pulled up" by the others.

 

Home Buyers Series: How To Avoid Paying Too Much Vol. 2

 

Shop for a mortgage before you shop for a home.

 

Being pre-approved for a home loan before hitting the market is the smart way to shop for a home. It tells sellers that you're a serious prospect, and you know in advance the maximum mortgage you can afford. Make sure you get a commitment in writing. Many buyers make the mistake of learning what they qualify for without getting a written pre-approval letter from their lender. The good news is that it's easier than ever to qualify for a home loan, and there are many good loans to choose from. Visit our Concierge Page for a list of respected mortgage lenders in our area who would be happy to get you started.

Home Buyers Series: How To Avoid Paying Too Much Vol. 1

Needs V Wants

Know what you're shopping for before you start.

Before you begin shopping for your next home, you should understand that there are two homes out there vying for your interest--the one that meets your needs and the one that fulfills your 'wants'. Ideally, you'd find a home that satisfies both. But, in reality you're going to find yourself confronted with choices. Do you choose the three-bedroom home with room for your family to grow, or the one with the big backyard and deck that's perfect for entertaining? Is having a big kitchen more important to you than a few extra rooms?

When you start shopping, you're going to find homes you fall in love with for different reasons. That's why you should list the features you want before you start shopping. Make a list with two categories--"Needs" and "Wants"--and prioritize the items you come up with. Understanding what you really need as opposed to what you'd like to have will help you keep your priorities straight as you shop around.

Don't let emotions cloud your judgment. Satisfy your needs first. If you find a home that meets your needs and fulfills some of your desires, great! Jump on it. The important thing is to know the difference before you get caught up in the excitement of the hunt.

VA Loans Provide Accessible Financing For Veterans

 

If you are a Veteran, you should know about the special mortgage benefits available to you through the VA Financing Program. Take advantage of this program! It's designed to make purchasing a home as affordable, and accessible as possible.

Here are the four biggest benefits of financing with a VA loan:

1. No Down Payment! This is HUGE, and certainly the defining benefit of the VA program. Instead of having to pony up the usual minimum down payment of 3.5-5% Veterans are given the opportunity to finance the entire cost of their home.

2. No Mortgage Insurance. Conventional borrowers who cannot afford at least a 20% down payment will be required to purchase mortgage insurance which can easily tack a couple hundred dollars onto their monthly mortgage payments. VA loans do not require mortgage insurance as they do not require a down payment. There is an upfront fee, however, that can be completely financed. If you were wounded during service that fee will be waived entirely.

3. Flexible Requirements. The VA program is designed to get Veterans into homes. With that in mind, normal requirements are suspended or made much more achievable. For example, a Veteran will receive full financing even with a credit score 100 points lower than what a normal borrower could get away with. Veterans can even secure financing if they have very recently gone through bankruptcy, foreclosure or a short sale. If you think you're situation puts you in too tough a spot to receive financing - think again! Please visit a lender to find out how they can help.

4. Closing Cost Limits. Unfortunately closing costs can never go away entirely, but the VA puts a cap on what Veterans are allowed to pay. They even make it possible for sellers to pay ALL of the buyers closing costs AND up to 4% of the loan amount in concessions. Keep that in mind when you and your Realtor negotiate the contract!

Thank you for your service. Visit our Concierge Page for a list of lenders we trust and work with regularly to help guide you through the mortgage process.