Things to Know Before You Decide to Sell Your Home and Buy Another One

When you decide to sell your home, the next decision is where you will live. If you decide to buy another home, you must consider how you will make the transition. Three things will impact your choices and make the process either more difficult or easier when handled correctly. Know Your Budget You must know how much money you have to put on a new place to live. If you’re currently paying a mortgage, do you have money to take on a second payment? Many lenders won’t approve you for a loan unless your income has increased substantially or your current payment is low.   Know the Market If you’re counting on the sale of your home to pay the down payment of a new home, you’re going to need to have a pretty good idea how much your property is worth. Will the purchase price pay off the mortgage with enough left-over to pay down on a new home? You also have to know the lowest price point you’re willing to take if the buyer doesn’t offer full asking price. When considering the market, you want to know how it is in the area where you’re selling and the area where you want to buy. A buyer’s market will benefit you where you want to buy, but you want a seller’s market in your current neighborhood. The type of market for the area will impact how much negotiation room you have and how fast homes will sell. Know Your Options  Choosing to sell one home and buy another isn’t a straightforward process. You have multiple options for how...

…What Is a Smart Home? It’s 2016: You Should Know by Now.

  The Future is Coming Sooner than Expected.   It’s 2016.  The new year means a lot of different things for real estate professionals:  it’s a time to send out all your “happy new year” emails, brush up on market trends and stats, and check predictions for the new year.  One thing we didn’t expect:  It’s a time to brush up on real estate tech. Imagine waking up in bed and hitting the alarm.  After peaking out your window, it’s looking a little gloomy outside.  You yell out loud “Amy, is it going to rain today?” A voice replies “Yes, rain is expected in your city today; average temperature in your area will be 61 degrees.”  Pretty informative:  but “Amy” isn’t the name of your wife or daughter; it’s the name (which you can change) you’ve given your smart house, a Siri-like technology built into your ceilings and walls, created to streamline how we live at home. Coldwell Banker Real Estate polled 4,000+ Americans last year, revealing that just about half of Americans plan to purchase some form of smart home technology in 2016, or own smart home tech already.  The survey also showed that if they were planning on selling their homes, more than 50% of Americans would purchase and install smart home tech in their home if they thought it would help them sell faster.     What Do Smart Homes Do?   The term “smart home” covers a variety of technologies.  Smart home entertainment systems, like speakers and televisions, are usually voice activated throughout your home.  By simply saying aloud “Amy, play christmas music”, your home would...
5 Ways to Improve Home Value in a Bad Neighborhood

5 Ways to Improve Home Value in a Bad Neighborhood

Having the nicest house in the neighborhood may seem like something to take pride in, and in some ways it is- but when it comes to selling your home, it’s the last thing you want.  The value of a house is partially based the value of others in the neighborhood, meaning that if you’re at the top of the list, then there’s nowhere else to go… but down.   If you’re in a similar situation, it’s not the end of the world- there are still things you can do to squeeze as much value as possible out of your home.       1. Show Your House at the Right Time of Day Some neighborhoods look better at certain times of the day than others- it’s important to keep this in mind when you schedule times to show your home.  If your home is on a busy street, try to avoid early morning and evening showings when the neighborhood traffic would be most noticeable.  If some of the other properties in the area have negative curb appeal- but traffic and safety aren’t a concern, try to schedule showings in the evening.  If you’re unsure when the area looks best, step outside during different times during the day and try to make an educated decision.  2. Pick the Correct Agent Some people thing agents are like soul-mates- there’s an agent for every home out there somewhere.  There are agents out there who specialize in complicated or hard to sell properties.  While it’s safe to assume that every agent will always try to the best of their abilities, it’s worth looking for one...
7 Ways to Get Your House Ready For The Autumn Market

7 Ways to Get Your House Ready For The Autumn Market

  Autumn truly is a beautiful season.  The changing leaves paint a beautiful picture across the treetops; and lots of people go on walks or drives in their neighborhood specifically to enjoy the gorgeous blend of colors.  Eventually though, these leaves will start to fall- leaving the trees barren and every house in the neighborhood with both gutters and a yard full of leaves. Fall and winter problems don’t end there- to truly prepare a home for the dropping temperatures and the lead-in to winter, there are a lot of home maintenance tasks to take care of that can prevent serious problems down the road.   Here are a few essential tips to truly keep a home market-worthy as the leaves start to fall:       Keep the yard raked.  This one is obvious.  Leaves covering the surface of your lawn over time will keep what little daylight is left from reaching your yard, resulting in brown grass earlier than you would expect.  Autumn is also a great time to aerate your lawn to get more moisture into your roots.  If you want nicer grass outside, this is your last chance before the winter.     It’s important to keep downspouts and gutters unblocked by debris.   It is tedious, but it’s time to break out the ladder and gloves and get your hands dirty.  If your property rests under a larger canopy of trees, installing a gutter guard may be a valid option.     Take a good long look at the roof.  Shingles may need to be replaced if they are curling or crackling- and if there is...