Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Oct. 16, 2019

Tips for selling your home in the Fall

Many sellers wrongly dismiss fall as a good time to list their home for sale, and while spring and summer are usually recognized as the best seasons to list, selling your home in the autumn has many advantages. Historically speaking, inventory is much lower once the cooler temps arrive, driving up demand for available homes. Despite the fact that the kids are all back in school, research shows that buyer demand is still strong during autumn. 

Ready to sell your home this fall?  Here are some tips that will help “pumpkin spice” up your spaces!

Create autumn curb appeal

There are a few important curb appeal jobs that should be completed when getting your home ready for the market in the Fall. Raking leaves, removing loose sticks, weeding flower beds, trimming bushes and shrubs, and aerating the lawn are all great tasks to complete to make sure your yard looks well maintained.

Once you’ve done all the dirty work, you can move on to creating that fall farmhouse look by accenting your porch with pumpkins, colorful wreaths and flower pots. Stay away from Halloween decorations such as cobwebs and inflatable displays as they can look tacky and make it hard for buyers to envision your home in other seasons.

Keep it warm and cozy

Be sure to check your HVAC system before it comes time to turn on the heater. Not only will this ensure that you and your family have heat once the temperatures drop, but your buyer will be asking the home inspector to look at your HVAC system before they make an offer.

In these cooler months, buyers are more likely to pay attention to other winterized aspects of your home like whether or not the windows in your house are insulated and if the fireplace is functioning.  

Get ahead of the game by considering a pre-listing inspection to rule out any potential red flags before you list your home for sale.

Appeal to buyers’ senses

A warm and cozy atmosphere will make a big difference to buyers during the cooler months. During open houses, fill your home with natural aromas of fall spices. Offer freshly-baked pumpkin goodies or apple cider for visitors.

Accenting your furniture with plush blankets and throw pillows will immediately add an element of warmth and comfort. Light your fireplace and make it to be the centerpiece of the room, allowing the potential buyers to visualize themselves relaxing and unwinding in the home.

Utilize autumn accent colors

A fresh coat of paint is always a great way to revitalize your home’s interiors, no matter what time of year you decide to sell. For the fall, stick to rich, yet neutral shades that make your space feel warm and inviting.

Try out caramels, creams, or browns on your walls and then add pops of color throughout with dark red and orange accessories.

Let there be light

As the days get shorter and daylight wears thin, it is important to make sure you keep your house bright throughout the day. Bring in floor lamps, brighter bulbs, and even landscape lighting for showings later in the day.

Landscape lighting can make your home shine even after the sun goes down by illuminating all it’s best features. Mirrors are also a great way to capture light and project it into darker corners. Placing a mirror on the opposite wall as a window will bring the natural light and fall foliage into your space. Mirrors have the ability to brighten up a room, creating additional luminosity and depth.

Original Article Posted Here

Posted in Sellers
May 1, 2019

FREE: Home Buyer Seminar

TO RSVP: Call Becky Elliott at 704.999.9474 or email at beckyelliott@remax.net

Posted in Buyers
April 16, 2019

How Cash-Strapped Consumers Can Become Homeowners – and Build Equity

Anyone who has saved for a down payment for a home knows it’s tough – especially for first-time homebuyers.

“Renting felt like such a waste of money and didn’t help us build our own equity,” said Jasmine Lucero, 21, of Denver, Colorado. “I knew owning a home was in my future, but convincing my fiancé, who is the mathematical, practical one, was the hard part.”

Lucero’s fiancé, Chace Malone, didn’t think they had enough saved for a down payment. “He was having a hard time with the thought of buying a new home with our upcoming wedding – he said it was too much to take on, too complicated and would stress us out.”

Lucero, who works as an administrative assistant at a RE/MAX office, and Malone are not alone. In 2018, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that for 13 percent of first-time homebuyers, the most difficult step in the homebuying process was saving for a down payment.  

But part of that difficulty may stem from not knowing what’s possible.

Some people have the misconception that a 20-percent down payment is required for a home purchase, when in reality, many home loan options exist that may be able to put consumers into a home for as little as 3 percent down. In fact, 77 percent of non-cash first-time homebuyers in 2018 purchased a property using a down payment of less than 20 percent.

“Mortgages are not one size fits all,” said Ward Morrison, President of Motto Franchising, LLC. “The right loan originator will understand your unique situation and work with you to find you the best option. Just like homeownership, the journey to a down payment looks different across the country based on local home prices, the types of loans you qualify for, competition and opportunities.”

Donna Deaton Headshot
Donna Deaton with RE/MAX Liberty in Ohio

Midwest: Educating First-Time Homebuyers

“It’s not uncommon for those in the mortgage and real estate industry to encounter first-time homebuyers who have questions about how down payments and mortgages work,” said Donna Deaton, Vice President of RE/MAX Victory in Liberty Township, Ohio. “Many homebuyers are shocked that they’re able to find loan options for as little as 3 percent down. Then they wonder why they didn’t start looking for a home sooner.”

Deaton added, “There may be options out there for almost every type of homebuyer. But buyers should prepare and do their research.”  She also pointed out that loan options available to first-time homebuyers can vary widely by state.

Deaton suggests that buyers looking in rural areas learn more about USDA loans with income and purchase price limits. Some of these products are designed specifically for homebuyers with low or moderate incomes.

In some areas, grants are also available to first-time homebuyers on a first-come, first-served basis and offered for a limited time or until the grant funds are exhausted.

West Coast: Having an Experienced Real Estate Agent in Your Corner

Alina Headshot
Alina Laguna with RE/MAX Futura in San Francisco

In San Francisco, many buyers struggle to save 20 percent down, especially with the market’s median sales price of $1.6 million. Buyers dreaming about owning a home in a competitive, highly priced market can gain an edge by enlisting the help of a skilled real estate agent with experience in the area.   

San Francisco-based agent Alina Laguna with RE/MAX Futura explained that many San Francisco renters are packing up and moving to East Bay. “Houses there are still going for $400,000,” she said. “Many people are exiting the San Francisco market to afford a home and, while the homes are more affordable, it’s also very, very competitive.” 

“I refer clients to an excellent mortgage professional who is very good at finding the right program for every single person,” said Laguna. “I had a client who had only 5 percent available for a down payment but had an excellent credit history with a very strong credit score. We submitted an offer with no contingencies, and it was accepted.”

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Phil Shell with RE/MAX Alliance in Colorado

Mountain States: FHA, VA and Other Loan Options

Across the Mountain West – including Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Idaho and Montana – home values continue to increase. The good news, though, is that inventory is finally bouncing back after being razor thin for years.

For RE/MAX Alliance owner Phil Shell, who has offices in Arvada and Golden, Colorado, it’s important to know a buyer’s profile. “If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you could consider a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan. It’s specifically designed to help with down payment relief and only requires a down payment of 3.5 percent. There are no income restrictions and generally no geographic restrictions for buyers, but you need a credit score of at least 580.”  

Shell added that if a buyer served in the military, the VA Home Loans program has a zero-percent down payment. “Nothing. Nada,” he said. “In some cases, the veteran can ask the seller to pay the closing costs during contract negotiations, allowing them to get into a home with absolutely nothing out of pocket.”   

In addition, there are many programs in most major cities, ranging from local municipal grants to programs through a state housing authority. These programs generally have income restrictions and, in some cases, are focused on certain geographic areas. They may also require potential homebuyers to attend education courses. It’s important to note that some grants and programs do require homebuyers to repay  the down payment assistance; it can be the equivalent of an interest-free loan for the down payment.

South: The Importance of a Good Lender

“How much home do I qualify for?” is the question most often posed to loan originator Karma Herzfeld with Motto Mortgage Alliance in Little Rock, Arkansas.

“I always answer that question with a question of my own. ‘How much of a monthly payment are you comfortable with?’” said Herzfeld. “Borrowers should do the math on how much monthly income they have left over after all of their expenses are paid each month. I can work with them to help them determine an amount.” 

According to Herzfeld, a simple monthly budget works. “I always recommend my borrowers make sure to include discretionary spending like medical emergencies, meals, entertainment and travel so that they don’t end up ‘house poor’ with most of their income tied up in monthly mortgage payments and nothing left for other things,” she said.

In general, Herzfeld estimates that less than 10 percent of her clients put 20 percent down on a home. “Usually, only second- or third-time homebuyers who have built up equity in their current homes put 20 percent down on a new home,” she said. “They’re able to use the equity in their homes to turn a profit and use that as a down payment on their next home.”

Buyers should keep in mind that mortgage insurance is often required when putting down less than 20 percent. Having good credit and verified income are also important for qualifying for loan options with low down payments.

After attending a first-time homebuying class, Lucero and Malone qualified for a conventional loan that only required a 1 percent down payment. “It wasn’t a difficult process – we had a great crew and it was very smooth,” said Lucero. “We are already talking about moving to a bigger house – we could take the equity in this house, use it as an investment property and give ourselves an upgrade.”

To view the original article, click here.

RE/MAX VISION is having first-time home buyer information sessions on Saturday, May 4 and May 11 from 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM at their office in Mint Hill. Partnered with Genene Watkins & Amy Laughinghouse of First Citizens Bank. Refreshments will be served and there will be a gift-card gift away.  Address: 7005 C Matthews Mint Hill Rd., Mint Hill, NC 28227. To RSVP, Call Becky Elliott at 980.207.3831 or email: beckyelliott@remax.net

Posted in Buyers
April 15, 2019

Trend Alert! Bathrooms with Black & White Hexagons

One of the trends predicted would get bigger in 2019 was the hexagon shape, and we’re happy to say that we were right — we’re seeing even more of them, especially in bathrooms! More and more customers are using black and white hexagons to put a spin on their own styles or to create their own unique designs.

This first bathroom by @blissful_design_studio features a contemporary design with a twist. In this well-lit space, the glass shower doors put the clean lines of Festival Metro White Matte Hexagon Porcelain Mosaic on display. We love how the dark grout brings out the shape of the hexagon tile while simultaneously complementing the dark fixtures of the vanity and the wood grain of the Mansfield Amber Wood Plank Porcelain Tile.

Anna (@annabode) set the stage in this retro-meets-minimalist bathroom with Uptown Antracite Hexagon Porcelain Mosaic. The softer shade of black and the matte finish cuts the otherwise harsh contrast between black and white tile, giving this bathroom a sunnier appearance where the midcentury modern vanity and antique bath mat can shine.

@moorehouseinteriors made hexagon tile rock for this bohemian-chic look. By choosing a black marble with white veining like in this Maravilla Sable Black Polished Marble Tile, they transitioned the otherwise ultra-modern geometric mosaic into a natural space. It’s the perfect accent for woodgrain shelving and green potted plants.

Combining mosaic stones of varying sizes and designs can put a twist on the hexagon look! David and William (@twinconstruction) selected Viviano Marmo Carrara Thassos Hexagon Waterjet Marble Mosaic and Maravilla Sable Black Hexagon Polished Marble Tile for this bathroom, using the hexagon shape as the main design focus. The contrasting styles of the mosaics create a unique transition from main space to shower space.

There are accent walls, and then there are accent niches. This cheeky little shower niche brings a smile to our face every time we see it. Honja K. (@mondaymondaycreative) used Festival Hexagon Porcelain Mosaic in black and white to create a small accent piece that has a lot of personality. It’s a simple yet significant way to brighten up a space (and someone’s day)! Those are just a few of our favorite bathrooms that feature hexagon tile.

 

Courtesy of Floor & Decor. Products Referenced are available on-line and in stores

Posted in Sellers
March 19, 2019

How much land do you need to build a house?

Record-low inventory of homes for sale is forcing some homebuyers to build their own homes, but they still need think about where they will build. Buzzfeed recently tested ordinary people on their real estate knowledge with some surprising results. Do you know how to calculate how much land you will need for that dream house and how much a parcel of land will cost? How many square feet are in an acre? Does your real estate knowledge stack up to the Buzzfeed challenge? Here are some real estate tips to better your score on BuzzFeed’s Regular People Take a Real Estate Exam.

DO THE MATH
The National Association of Home Builders reports an average cost of $85,139 for a buildable lot. Now’s the time to bust out that handy calculator. The percentage or ratio of the size of the building to the land on which it resides is called the “land-to-building ratio.” To arrive at the land to building ratio, divide the square footage of the land parcel by the square footage of the building. Here’s an example: 188,000 land square feet/43,500 building square feet = 4.32, defined as a 4.32:1 land to building ratio.

BUYING LAND
There aren’t many rules as to how much land one should buy to build – it really depends on the size of your home. The median lot size of a new single-family detached home sold in 2016 was 8,562 square feet, or just under one-fifth of an acre. Don’t forget to talk with your builder about how much space you want for a backyard, front yard, garage and fencing when setting the property lines before the building starts and make sure to leave enough space for the home’s utility grid.

TINY HOUSE LOT 
Even though the excitement for tiny homes continues to grow, most city zoning laws and building codes haven’t caught up to addressing the trend. The American Tiny House Association rounded up state regulations for most states or maybe you could petition your own city for tiny house-friendly zoning changes. The style of the tiny house – with wheels or on a foundation – will determine where the home can be located. If it’s on wheels – no problem. A tiny home on a foundation is a bit trickier. Most zoning and building regulations won’t allow you to buy land and build your tiny house on it. You’ll have to build an accessory dwelling unit (ADU), which means a secondary residential dwelling unit located on a single-family lot, often referred to as a carriage house, granny flat, mother-in-law suite or cottage.

Do you think you have what it takes to pass a real estate quiz? Test your knowledge with BuzzFeed’s Regular People Take a Real Estate Exam.

Posted in Buyers
Feb. 22, 2019

2019 Bathroom Trends

By Andrew Collins via renoassistance.ca

We asked our best bathroom design experts on what to expect for the upcoming 2019 bathroom trends and here are the top results!  Before renovating your bathroom, consider these 2019 bathroom trends: Water spaces, vintage vibes, wooden furnishing, Italian inspired accents and more… Looking to get with the times? Check out the best kept bathroom design ideas below.

1. Bathrooms are growing in size for optimal convenience and relaxation

Nowadays, the bathroom is not only used for hygiene, it’s also a place for beauty and relaxation. We need space to feel comfortable and fresh. So, why not expand it – if possible – by taking up some of the space from another room (e.g. an unused wardrobe). The expansion can also be in the form of clearing out space, such as moving the washer and dryer to a different location in your home.

If enlarging your bathroom is not possible, try to opt for ‘optical illusions’. For instance, tile your floor with bigger tiles so that the room looks bigger. Plus, bigger tiles mean less joints, which in turn means less dust accumulation. Not only will your bathroom look bigger, but it will also seem cleaner! What a great way to kill two birds with one stone!

2. Vintage wins for washroom decor

image source : Pinterest

A vintage design seems to be all the hype right now, even in bathroom decor. Vintage mirrors or unique light fixtures – that you can find at garage sales or thrift shops – can certainly bring an interesting vibe to your private haven. You can also re-purpose an old dresser into a vanity. The entire look can be brought together with patterned ceramic tiles, or even by making gold-toned plumbing visible. If vintage is your thing, this bathroom trend is definitely timeless.

3. Clean and original: the basic bathroom

image source : Pinterest

A clean and refined style remains a staple bathroom trend, no matter the time period. Of course, nowadays, these refined styles are little more contemporary and do have warmer tones. Earthy colours, grey tones, and white seem to be dominating this fashion. However, some are more daring and add a pop of colour or patterned tiles to bring a more contemporary look to their bathroom.

4. Beloved ceramics & marble, and their new friend: Terrazzo

image source : Pinterest

Ceramic seems to be everywhere you look when you walk into a bathroom – from the shower, to the floor, and maybe even the walls. Bathroom tiling has been a thing for quite a while. Though, people are now opting for tiles of various shapes, patterns, embossing – either multicolored or monochrome. They’re even doing some patchwork to bring originality to their personal oasis.

Besides ceramics and the occasional appearance of marble accents, there’s now a new kid on the bloc: Terrazzo! It’s a composite material consisting of marble, quartz, and other suitable material. From decorative accent pieces, to wall refacing, or even countertops or backsplashes, Terrazzo can be found a little bit everywhere! As for bathroom décor, this composite can be found mainly on shower floors – replacing the traditional porcelain tiling. This Italian style – with an infinite amount of color alternatives – definitely brings character to your bathroom!

5. Hot 2019 Bathroom Trend: Asymmetrical accessories

image source : Pinterest

You can oppose yourself to the monotonous vibe of your bathroom by playing with patterns on the floors or walls. You can also be original by breaking the linearity found in the bathroom’s furnishings. Asymmetrical shapes are becoming quite popular when it comes to the arrangement of cabinets, drawers and shelves. Though, be sure not to commit to this style too emphatically so as not to get bored too quickly. The best way to break monotony is to play with easy-to-replace accessories!

6. Functional Trend: A water space in your bathroom

image source : Pinterest

Creating a ‘water space’ is an increasingly popular concept. In this 2019 bathroom trend, both bathtub and shower are in the same open area of the bathroom. This innovative layout certainly allows the restroom to look much bigger than it is – with only a simple glass barrier, framed in either golden or dark tones, separating the water space from the rest of the bathroom.

7. Simple Storage: no more useless hoarding in cabinets

image source : Pinterest

Bathroom cabinets tend to accumulate a great number of unused products. Rather than adding storage to your washroom, why not simply keeping storage space you truly need. When’s the last time you really took the time to soak in your bathtub with all those fancy products, or even used that old hair straightener?

Get rid of all that storage and keep only the necessities. Perfumes and creams may suffer because of the humidity in the room, so be sure they are stored in an enclosed cabinet. However, open storage areas – such as hanging shelves – can be ideal for daily essentials, all while keeping your bathroom looking unencumbered.

8. A small bathroom with big expectations

image source : Pinterest

Does your powder room need a facelift? Many designers are taking on these tiny rooms as fun challenges – making them look much bigger than they truly are. Seeing as the surface area of a powder room is fairly small, you can budget in some more luxurious materials. Brightly coloured wallpaper, or even lining the floors, walls, and ceiling with he same ceramic tiles, seem to also be a hit for these tiny rooms. We’ve even found some ingenious sink and vanity combinations made of marble or concrete.

As for storage, make the most out of your space with by adding some cabinets or shelving at greater heights than you would in a bigger washroom. Why not take little bathroom and turn it into a personal passion project & start your bathroom renovation today?

9. A tech-infused bathroom

image source : Pinterest

As technology evolves, an increasing number of tech options are available for the bathroom. Mirrors with built-in LED lighting, motion detecting faucets, and even automatic temperature regulators are growing in popularity. As seen in some hotel bathrooms, mirror-integrated touchscreens are also becoming popular among the more tech-savvy population. Whether one wants to control lighting, view the day’s weather forecast, or simply impress their guests, technological advances are constantly offering new options. Would you hop on this bathroom trend?

Innovative heated towel racks are also being used nowadays – as opposed to radiators – to dry towels, as well as warm up the room. They also save space and keep the bathroom looking clutter free! We suggest hanging one above the bathtub for easy-access and to exploit an area of the room that often goes unused.

Small luxuries should never be neglected. As the say, the devil is in the details…

10. Wood for your relaxation haven

image source : Pinterest

Setting a warm and neutral tone to your bathroom, wood has become increasingly present in this private space. Although not the most popular material for a wet room, more and more people are going for made-to-measure vanities and other furniture pieces for their bathroom made of wood. Consider using white for the wash basin to create a more zen and Scandinavian sleek design.

You can also integrate a hardwood floor to create an interesting contrast with the usual materials found in a bathroom – such as tiling. This different set of materials ends up turning a usual monochromatic colour scheme even more relaxing and warm. Wood comes in all kinds of tones and varieties, allowing you to customize your bathroom to your personal preferences.

Contrary to many people’s beliefs, this material breathes quit well and naturally absorbs moisture, making it a great option for the bathroom. However, it is necessary to wipe down any excess of water to avoid the wood’s deterioration over time.

 

Posted in Market and Trends
Feb. 12, 2019

This Is How Often You Should Check Your Credit Score

 BRITTANY ANAS

(Image credit: WAYHOME studio/Shutterstock)

There have been two points in my adulthood when I monitored my credit like a hawk: When I was preparing to buy my house, and when I was going through a background investigation for a government security clearance.

Keeping my credit score stable, or even bumping it up, was the name of the game as low-interest rates and, potentially, a job were at stake. (I’m not giving away any government secrets! While the background investigation form doesn’t ask specifically for your credit score, it does inquire about situations affecting credit, including accounts in collections).

Admittedly, I was way overzealous, checking credit-monitoring sites almost as often as I was Facebook notifications. But, it got me thinking: How often should I really be checking in on my credit scores?

The short answer, according to credit experts: Every 30 days or so. But, like most things, there are some nuances you should be aware of.

Here’s how to strike the right balance when it comes to keeping tabs on your credit score (and some helpful tips to better inform your credit-checking missions):

What’s a good credit-checking routine?

By law, you’re entitled to view your credit report once a year on annualcreditreport.com—and while you’ll see information from three major bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) on the report, it doesn’t contain your actual three-digit score. To supplement your free, annual report, you can check your score with credit cards and their associated banks as well as third-party apps and websites. (These are the free, credit-checking sites experts favor).

“A good rule of thumb is to check your credit at least once a month,” says Keri Danielski, consumer finance expert at Intuit Turbo and Mint. “Checking your credit score is important because it indicates your creditworthiness, which can impact how creditors view you when you apply for a loan, and what rates and terms you’re eligible for.”

Also, Danielski points out, one in five Americans has an error on his or her credit report, according to a 2012 Federal Trade Commission report. So, it’s a good idea to keep tabs to make sure your score isn’t taking any unwarranted hits. The sooner you notice the mistake, the quicker you can dispute it.

Typically, lenders report to credit bureaus once a month, so there’s really no reason to check your score more than every 30 days, says Maggie Germano, a Washington, D.C.-based financial coach for women.

You should also check your credit report (the one on annualcreditreport.com) a couple of months before making any major financial purchases, like buying a car or a home, says Brittney Mayer, credit strategist at CardRates, a credit card comparison site.

“This allows you to spot any potential red flags before you endure a hard credit check from the lender,” she says.

If you notice, say, an unpaid collection account, you’ll want to get that to “paid” status before shopping for a mortgage, and it’s helpful to be upfront with your lender about the blemish on your credit report.

You should also keep a closer eye on your credit reports if you’ve been the victim of fraud or identity theft to make sure that any accounts that need to be addressed or removed are handled properly, Mayer says.

How much does credit fluctuate in a month?

It’s tempting to frequently check your score every time you get an email from a free credit site with a subject line like “New Score Alert.” We get it!

But your credit score is likely fluctuating some throughout the month, depending partly on when your creditors report to the credit bureaus.

It’s common for scores to go up or down 10 to 30 points within a month, says Kimberly Palmer, credit card expert at NerdWallet, a personal finance site.

“Credit scores are constantly fluctuating in reaction to different events for example,” she says “If you apply for a new credit card, your credit score can take a temporary dip. Similarly, if you close a longstanding credit account, it will also go down temporarily. If you pay off a big chunk of debt so you have a lower debt utilization ratio, then your score will go up.”

If something major happens, such as filing for bankruptcy, your score could fluctuate even more, Palmer says.

Also worth remembering is that each credit bureau is an independent, for-profit company with its own database, says James Garvey, CEO of Self Lender, a start-up that gives consumers credit-building loans.

“Many financial institutions report their data to just one or two credit bureaus, and this is why FICO scores can fluctuate depending on source of the credit history,” he says.

Based on these fluctuations, it’s a good idea to check your score at the same time each month. That way you get an apples-to-apples comparison of how your credit score is performing on a month-to-month basis. Don’t stress about the ups and downs that can occur throughout a 30-day cycle.

One final note about free credit-monitoring sites: “They tend to get their money from advertising credit cards,” says Germano.

Credit cards can help you build credit, but they can also be dangerous if you can’t afford to pay them off in full every month, she points out.

“My advice would be to turn off any email notifications that don’t have to do with your personal credit score,” Germano says. “Try not to be tempted to open a credit card that you don’t need, just because one of these sites is encouraging you to.”

So, how often do you check your credit?

(Credit: apartmenttherapy.com)

Posted in Buyers
Feb. 7, 2019

10 Things to Do Before You Sell Your House

1. Welcome buyers. Make your front door visible and accessible to buyers. Paint the door, clear debris and clutter from the walkway and yard, mow the lawn and prune hedges. Pot or plant colorful annuals and perennials to attract attention from the street. Fix broken screens, doorbells, roof tiles, shingles and outdoor lighting, and replace your doormat. Exterior defects can make a poor first impression on buyers.

2. Make it sparkle. Cleanliness implies a home has been well taken care of, so deep cleaning can win points with buyers. Buyers scrutinize homes, especially kitchens and bathrooms. Recaulk and repaint to give these grime-prone rooms a fresh and clean look. Clean rugs and carpets to eliminate unsightly stains or dinginess and eliminate odors. Tidy each room, including cabinets, closets and the garage, before showing. And if it seems daunting to do all that cleaning yourself, consider hiring a professional cleaning company to take care of all of it for you.

3. Start packing. Cramped and cluttered rooms turn buyers off and make your house look smaller. A home packed with your personal belongings also makes it difficult for others to envision living there. Start by storing away excess furniture, toys and personal decorations, such as family photos. Pack up things you don’t use on a daily basis, and put them in storage or ask a friend to hold onto them. Decluttering your house also gives you a head start on your move.

4. Paint wisely. A well-done, no-frills paint job is all you need. Put a fresh coat of paint on white or beige walls, and repaint walls that have eccentric or unconventional colors. Nature- and spa-inspired neutral colors, such as taupe and subtle gray, are the best choices. Definitely don’t forget the trim and molding either. And a fresh paint job on outdated or worn cabinetry goes a long way, too.

5. Fix the small stuff. Repair or replace broken or outdated hardware throughout your home. You can install new door handles, faucets, towel bars and curtain rods – fixtures that are readily visible to homebuyers – rather inexpensively. New hardware in the bathroom, kitchen and on windows and doors also improves the functionality and safety of these components.

6. Update lighting. Replace decorative light fixtures that no longer fit your home’s cleaner, fresher look. Install new bulbs with the appropriate lighting for specific areas of your home. For example, ambient, low-key lighting fills a room, whereas directional or task lighting works better in areas like a reading nook. Use accent lighting to highlight focal points in a room, such as the artwork above a mantle, to draw buyers’ attention to certain selling points.

7. Frame windows. Ensure you have the right window treatments, which enhance natural brightness and boost the appearance of a home. Window treatments also can impact a room’s temperature because they reduce or increase the amount of light entering the space. Adjust window treatments appropriately when showing your home in the mornings, afternoon and evenings.

8. Set the table. Fresh, decorative flowers in the kitchen or on the dining room table are always a nice touch. Also, keep place settings handy for your tables so you can quickly set them out right before showings or an open house. Pull out all the formal stops for a dining room, and keep the table casual in the kitchen.

9. Hide unsightly everyday items. Don’t leave children’s toys and pet belongings out in the open during showings and open houses. Move litter boxes, pet dishes, toys, animal crates and kids’ entertainment to less conspicuous areas of the home, such as an outdoor storage unit or garage before each showing or open house. Also think about where you can store things like dirty laundry and dirty kitchen sponges.

10. Don’t forget the back. Keep your backyard looking spacious and functional. Plant or pot colorful flowers and keep the landscaping trimmed and neat. Consistently pick up after your pets so buyers feel comfortable touring the yard.

Find a RE/MAX agent who can help you every step of the way.

Posted in Sellers
Jan. 26, 2019

We're Hiring!

 

Now Hiring Real Estate Professionals!

We are looking for highly motivated, top-performing individuals to join our team! You must be a multi-tasker, possess outstanding verbal & written communication skills, display professionalism and be detail oriented.

Duties of the roll include:

Meeting w/ potential clients wishing to buy or sell their home

Assessing property values through market analysis

Negotiating top-dollar terms for clients

Effective/frequent communication on daily/weekly basis

Ongoing monitoring of current market conditions/trends

Applying a consultative sales approach

 

Who we are looking for should be:

Willing & able to address conflict/concerns & provide favorable solutions

Possess a desire for excellence

A self-starter, motivated

Believer in personal development & open to learning on the job

Exceptional organization & scheduled routines

 

Benefits:

Autonomy & flexible work schedule

Top of the Line Brand Recognition

Coaching / mentorship

Marketing tools from #1 Real Estate Company in the World

Fantastic commission split with no cap

Fun, café-style office environment that is easy to access

 

Qualifications:

Currently hold, or actively working to acquire a real estate license

Excellent computer skills

No real estate experience required, but welcome

 

https://www.joinremax.com/minthillremax

 

Posted in Careers
Jan. 26, 2019

Buying a Home Young is the Key to Building Wealth

Homeowners who purchase their homes before the age of 35 are better prepared for retirement at age 60, according to a new Urban Institute study. The organization surveyed adults who turned 60 or 61 between 2003 and 2015 for their data set.

“Today’s older adults became homeowners at a younger age than today’s young adults. Half the older adults in our sample bought their first house when they were between 25 and 34 years old, and 27 percent bought their first home before age 25.”

The full breakdown is in the chart below:

Buying a Home Young is the Key to Building Wealth | Simplifying The Market

The study goes on to show the impact of purchasing a home at an early age. Those who purchased their first homes when they were younger than 25 had an average of $10,000 left on their mortgage at age 60. The 50% of buyers who purchased in their mid-twenties and early-30s had close to $50,000 left, but traditionally had purchased more expensive homes.

Buying a Home Young is the Key to Building Wealth | Simplifying The Market

Many housing experts are concerned that the homeownership rate amongst millennials, those 18-34, is much lower than previous generations in the same age range. The study results gave a great reason why this generation should consider buying instead of signing a renewal on their lease:

“As people age into retirement, they rely more heavily on their wealth rather than their income to support their lifestyles. Today’s young adults are failing to build housing wealth, the largest single source of wealth, at the same rate as previous generations.

While people make the choice to own or rent that suits them at a given point, maybe more young adults should take into account the long-term consequences of renting when homeownership is an option.”

Bottom Line

If you are one of the many young people debating whether buying a home this year is right for you, let’s get together to discuss your options!

Posted in Buyers