Thanksgiving Dinner at NVCS

ThanksGiving Article

Posted on November 22, 2017 at 10:34 pm
Gordon Myers | Category: Uncategorized

Buyers Checklist – 10 steps

1. Figure out how much house you can afford.

  • Calculate your monthly income and debt.
  • Check your credit report and FICO score.
  • Use FrontDoor’s mortgage calculator.
  • Figure out your down payment.

2. Get pre-approved for a mortgage.

  • Choose a type of mortgage.
  • Speak to at least five lenders and mortgage brokers.
  • Shop for the best interest rates and programs.

3. Determine what you want and need in a home.

  • Choose a location (downtown, urban, suburban, rural).
  • Choose a type (single family, townhouse, condo, loft).
  • Choose a price range.
  • Choose a size.
  • Choose an architectural style.

4. Research your target neighborhoods.

  • Look online for information on schools, crime rate, traffic and zoning.
  • Determine your work commute.
  • Scout local amenities, such as parks, shops and restaurants.

5. Work with a buyer’s agent who knows the neighborhood.

  • Get referrals.
  • Consider working with an exclusive buyer’s agent.
  • Interview at least three agents.
  • Look for experience and good chemistry.

6. Search for homes in the MLS and For Sale By Owner (FSBO).

  • Browse listings online, including FrontDoor.com.
  • Ask your agent to set up tours of homes that fit your criteria.
  • Check local newspapers.
  • Pick up flyers and attend open houses.

7. Research each home you want to buy.

  • Ask your agent for comps to estimate the property’s fair market value.
  • Ask the seller’s reason for selling.
  • Review all property disclosures.
  • Find out about liens, easements or other restrictions.

8. Make an offer and negotiate.

  • Determine the purchase price.
  • Include contingencies, such as financial, inspection or purchase.
  • Spell out any special requests and repairs you want included in the sale.
  • Determine an earnest money amount.
  • Define a move-in date.
  • Once both parties agree to the terms, sign the Purchase and Sale Agreement.

9. Finalize the deal.

  • Get the house appraised.
  • Get a professional home inspection.
  • Consider getting specific inspections for structural engineering, roof and termites.
  • Use the appraisal and inspection reports to re-negotiate if necessary.
  • Choose a home insurance company.
  • Complete the loan process with the lender.
  • Do a walk-through inspection prior to closing.
  • Set aside cash for the closing costs and down payment.

10. Close the purchase.

  • Review the settlement document at least 2 days before closing to see how funds will be collected and distributed.
  • Get a cashier’s check for the amount you need to bring to closing, including the down payment and closing costs.

 

(Courtesy HGTV)

Posted on November 14, 2016 at 3:35 pm
Gordon Myers | Category: Uncategorized

Homeless ThanksGiving Drive

Donation Flyer

Posted on November 11, 2016 at 11:56 pm
Gordon Myers | Category: Uncategorized

Glossary of Real Estate Terms

Amortization. The liquidation of a financial obligation, such as paying off your mortgage in regular installments over the specified term of the loan. Each month the amount of interest you pay decreases and the amount you pay toward the principal increases.

ARM. (Adjustable Rate Mortgage). A mortgage in which the interest adjusts periodically. For example, a 5/1 ARM would adjust annually after the first five years.

Appraisal. A written opinion of your home’s value given by a professional appraiser. Usually based on an evaluation of comparable properties in the neighborhood.

APR (Annual Percentage Rate). This is NOT the interest rate on your mortgage. It is a rate created according to a government formula designed to reflect the actual annual cost of borrowing. It is always slightly higher than the stated interest rate. The APR includes the interest rate, points, broker fees and certain other charges the borrower is required to pay.

Assessed Value. According to a public tax assessor, the value of your property for purposes of computing your property taxes.

Bankruptcy. A legal procedure whereby individuals can restructure or relieve themselves of debts. Filing for bankruptcy could affect your ability to obtain a mortgage or other types of credit at a favorable rate.

BPO. (Broker Price Opinion). An estimate of value as determined by a real estate broker or other qualified professional. Not the same as an appraisal.

Biweekly Mortgage. You make half your mortgage payment every two weeks instead of a whole payment once a month. So instead of making twelve monthly payments each year, you make thirteen. The extra payment goes to reduce your principal, which allows you to pay off your mortgage much faster.

CC&Rs. Covenants, conditions and restrictions. These are rules, usually instituted by a homeowner’s association or planned community. These rules establish the rights and obligations of the property owners.

Cap. Adjustable Rate Mortgages have variable interest rates, which are usually limited to certain amounts and time periods, such as how much the loan may adjust over a six month period, an annual period, and over the life of the loan. These limitations are known as “caps.”

Cash-out Refi. When you refinance your mortgage at a higher amount than what you currently owe with the intention of taking money out for personal use, it is referred to as a “cash out refinance.”

Clear Title. A title that is without defects, free of liens or legal questions as to who owns the property.

Closing. The formal process in which everyone involved in a real estate transaction conclude the details and sign documents related to a sale or mortgage.

Closing Costs. There are two types of closing costs: “non-recurring closing costs” and “pre-paid items.” Non-recurring costs are any items which are paid just once in the process of buying the property or obtaining a loan. “Pre-paids” are items which continue or recur over time, such as property taxes and homeowners insurance. A lender must provide you as a borrower with a written Good Faith Estimate of such costs, which they must issue to you within three days of receiving your loan application.

Cloud on Title. A claim, lien or any condition which interferes with clear title to a property until it is disproved or eliminated.

Commission. Realtors, loan officers, title representatives, attorneys, escrow representative, and others involved in real estate transactions earn commissions for their work. The commissions are paid out of the fees paid by the seller or buyer as part of the purchase transaction. Realtors generally earn the largest commissions, followed by lenders, then the others.

Comparable Sales. Usually referred to as “comps,” these are recent selling prices of similar properties located in a similar market.

Contingency. Any condition that must be met before a contract is legally binding. For example, the purchase of a home may be contingent on the buyer selling his or her current residence. Home buyers often include a contingency that specifies that the contract is not binding until there is a satisfactory home inspection report from a licensed home inspector.

Deed. The legal document transferring title to a property.

Default. Failure to make the mortgage payment when it is due. For first mortgages, if a payment is 30 days past due, the loan is considered to be in default.

Due on Sale Clause. A provision in the mortgage that allows the lender to demand repayment in full if you sell the property.

Earnest Money. A deposit you would make as a potential home buyer to show that you are serious about buying the house.

Equity. The difference between what you owe on your mortgage and the fair market value of your home.

Escrow. Situation in which an impartial third party acts as an agent for both buyer and seller or for both borrower and lender. This agent carries out instructions, delivers papers and documents, and disburses funds.

Fair Credit Reporting Act. A consumer protection law which regulates the information that credit reporting agencies can disclose and outlines procedures for correcting errors on your credit report.

Fair Market Value. The highest price that a buyer would pay, and the lowest price a seller would accept.

Fannie Mae. FNMA (the Federal National Mortgage Association) is a Congressionally chartered, shareholder-owned company that is the nation’s largest provider of home mortgages.

FHA Mortgage. A mortgage that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), an agency of the Federal government. Both FHA and VA-insured loans are generally referred to as “government loans.”

First Mortgage. The loan that is in the priority position among all loans recorded against a property. The first mortgage holder will always be paid first when a property is sold.

Fixed-Rate Mortgage. A mortgage in which the interest rate does not change during the entire life of the loan.

Foreclosure. If your mortgage is in default, you lose your ownership rights, usually through a forced sale of your property at a public auction. The proceeds of the sale are then applied to your mortgage debt.

Government loan. A mortgage that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or the Rural Housing Service (RHS). Mortgages that are not government loans are known as conventional loans.

Grand Deed. A written document that transfers title to real property from one person to another.

Grantee. A person who acquires an interest in real property by deed, grant or other written document.

Grantor. A person who transfers an interest in real property to another person by written document.

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). A mortgage loan, usually in line behind the first mortgage. It allows you as a borrower to obtain cash against the equity in your home, up to an amount set by the lender.

Home Inspection. Buyers often include a satisfactory home inspection as a contingency when they make an offer. A licensed professional evaluates the structural and mechanical condition of a home and provides a report.

Homeowners’ Association. A nonprofit members’ organization that manages the common areas of a planned unit development (PUD) or condominium.

Homeowner’s Warranty. An insurance policy, often requested by homebuyers, that will cover repairs to items in the home that might break down within the first year after purchase. The buyer usually expects the seller to pay for this coverage as a condition of the sale.

HUD-1 Closing Statement. Provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Also called a “settlement sheet.” This document provides an itemized listing of the funds that are paid by both the buyer and seller at closing. These items include real estate commissions, loan fees, points, and initial escrow (impound) amounts. The totals at the bottom of the HUD-1 statement show the seller’s net proceeds and the buyer’s net payment at closing.

Interest. The cost you pay to borrow money. It is the payment you make to a financial institution for the money it has loaned to you.

Joint Tenancy. Ownership where each party owns the whole property; ownership is not divided or separate. In the event that one party dies, the surviving partner owns the property in its entirety.

Judgment. A decision made by a court of law requiring the repayment of a debt. The court may place a lien against the debtor’s property as collateral for whomever the judgment is owed to.

Jumbo Loan. A loan that exceeds government (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) loan limits, currently at $417,000. This is also sometimes called a nonconforming loan. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae loans are called conforming loans.

Late Fee. A penalty imposed by the lender if a borrower fails to make a scheduled payment on time, usually within 15 days of the due date.

Lease-Purchase Option. An alternative that allows home buyers to lease a property with an option to buy it within a specified period of time. Each month’s rent payment may include an additional amount which can be applied toward the down payment on a specified price.

LIBOR. The London Interbank Rate is an index used to determine changes in the interest rate for adjustable-rate mortgages It is based on the average interest rate at which international banks lend to or borrow funds from the London Interbank Market.

Lien. A legal claim against a property that must be paid off when the property is sold. A mortgage is considered a lien, but a lien may also be placed by a mechanic or contractor who has done work on the property and not been paid.

Lifetime Cap. For an ARM (adjustable-rate mortgage) (ARM), the cap is a limit on the amount that the interest rate can increase or decrease over the life of the mortgage.

Loan. A sum of borrowed money that is generally repaid with interest.

Loan-to-Value (LTV). The relationship between the loan amount and the value of the property, expressed as a percentage of the property’s value. For example, if your home is worth $100,000 and you have an $80,000 mortgage, your LTV is 80%.

Lock-In. An agreement by lender to guarantee the borrower a specified interest rate for a certain amount of time (the lock-in period) at a certain cost.

Market Value. The current value of your home based on what a purchaser would pay, sometimes determined by an appraisal.

Maturity. The date on which the principal balance of your loan becomes due and payable.

MLS (Multiple Listing Service). A clearinghouse where real estate brokerage firms who are members regularly and systematically exchange information on real estate property listings. They also share commissions with members who locate purchasers. The MLS for any geographic area is usually operated by the local real estate association. Because of the Internet, the MLS system is now available nationwide through the portal, www.mls.com.

Modification. A situation in which a lender will agree to modify the terms of your mortgage without requiring you to go through the refinance process. This might include changes to the interest rate, loan balance, or loan term.

Mortgage. A loan that uses your home as collateral. In some states the term mortgage is also used to describe the document you sign to give the lender a lien on your home. It also may be used to indicate the amount of money you borrow, with interest, to purchase your house. The amount of your mortgage is usually the purchase price of the home minus your down payment.

Mortgage Broker. A financial professional who originates loans by bringing borrowers and lenders together. Mortgage brokers generally have pre-established relationships with a number of different financial institutions and know how to match up lenders and borrowers successfully.

Mortgage Insurance. Insurance that protects lenders against losses caused if a borrower defaults on a mortgage. MI typically is required if the borrower’s down payment is less than 20 percent of the purchase price.

Negative Amortization. An increase in the balance of a loan caused by adding unpaid interest to the loan balance; this occurs when the payment does not cover the interest due.

Net Worth. The value of your assets, including real property, personal property and cash, minus your total liabilities.

No-Cost Loan. You may hear commercials where lenders offer loans that you can get for “no cost.” You should ask if this means there are no “lender” costs associated with the loan, or if it also covers the other costs, such as title insurance, escrow fees, settlement fees, appraisal, recording fees, or notary fees. These are fees you would normally pay when you are buying a home or obtaining a loan, but they are not charged directly by the lender.

No-Points Loan. Most lenders offer loans with “no points.” However, the interest rate on a “no points” loan is generally a quarter percent higher than on a loan where you pay one point up front.

Note. A legal document that obligates you repay your mortgage at a certain interest rate and over a specified period of time, such as 15 or 30 years.

Notice of Default. A written notice you receive from your lender indicating that you are in default on your loan and that they may take legal action.

Offer. A formal bid to purchase a home made by a prospective home buyer to the home seller.

Open House. A public event where the seller’s Realtor invites people to view the property. You don’t need to have a Realtor in order to attend an open house.

Origination Fee. An amount paid to a lender that covers the costs of processing a loan application. The origination fee is usually stated as points–one point is one percent of the total mortgage amount.

Owner-Occupied. When used in loan documents, indicates that the property is your primary residence, not an investment or rental property.

Partial Payment. A payment that is less than the monthly amount due on a mortgage loan. Lenders often will not accept partial payment but may be willing to negotiate during economic hard times.

PITI. An acronym that stands for the four primary components of a monthly mortgage payment: Principle, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance. Your monthly payment to the lender generally includes all of these.

Point. A point is one percent of the total amount of the mortgage.

Power of Attorney. A legal document that authorizes one person to act for another. A power of attorney can give someone complete authority or can be limited to a specific act and/or period of time.

Pre-Approval. Generally means that a borrower has completed a loan application and provided financial documentation to a lender. The lender has reviewed the application and approved a specific loan amount. A pre-approval usually assumes what the interest rate might be when the loan closes, as well as estimates for property taxes, insurance and other costs. Pre-approval applies only to the borrower’s financial qualifications. Once a property is selected, it must also satisfy the requirements of the lender. Not the same as pre-qualification (see below).

Pre-Payment. Any amount that reduces the principal balance of a loan before it is due. You might pay off a mortgage because you sold the property, or because it went into foreclosure. In either case, prepayment means you paid the loan off before it was fully amortized. Some mortgages have a pre-payment penalty written into the loan documents.

Pre-qualification. A loan officer’s written opinion of your ability to qualify for a home loan. The loan officer will ask questions about your debt, income, and savings and may also review your credit report before writing such an opinion.

Prime Rate. The interest rate that banks charge to their best customers. Changes in the prime rate are widely publicized in the news media. The prime rate is used as the index in some adjustable rate mortgages and in home equity lines of credit.

Principal. The amount of money you borrowed or the amount of your loan that you haven’t yet repaid to the lender. This does not include the interest you will pay to borrow that money.

PUD (Planned Unit Development). A housing project or subdivision that includes common areas that are owned and maintained by a homeowners’ association and used by the individual PUD unit owners.

Purchase Agreement. A written contract between the buyer and seller stating the terms and conditions under which a property will be bought and sold. This would typically include the sale price, down payment, earnest money deposit, financing, closing date, occupancy date, length of time the offer is valid, and any special contingencies.

Qualifying Ratio. Formula used to determine whether you can qualify for a mortgage. There are two ratios: The “top” ratio is your monthly housing costs (principal, taxes, insurance, mortgage insurance, homeowner’s association fees) as a percentage of your monthly income. The “bottom” ratio includes housing costs as well as all other monthly debts, such as car payments and credit card debt.

Radon. Lenders in some areas will require a test to determine if this toxic gas is present in the soil on your property. Radon can contribute to cancer and other illnesses.

Rate Cap. A limit on the amount your interest rate on an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) can increase or decrease during the adjustment period.

Realtor®. A real estate agent, broker or associate who is an active member of a local real estate board that is affiliated with the National Association of Realtors.

Recorder. The public official who keeps transaction records that affect real property. This individual is sometimes known as a “Registrar of Deeds” or “County Clerk.”

Refinance. When you obtain a new mortgage and all or some portion of the proceeds is used to pay off the prior mortgage.

Repayment Plan. An agreement you make with a lender to repay delinquent installments or advances.

RESPA (Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act). This Federal law requires lenders to provide you as a borrower with a list of costs related to your loan prior to closing. The lender must also provide information during the life of your loan about servicing and escrow accounts. RESPA prohibits kickbacks and unearned fees in the mortgage loan business.

Right of first Refusal. An agreement that requires a property owner to give another party the first opportunity to purchase or lease the property before he or she offers it for sale or lease to others.

Sale-leaseback. An arrangement where a seller deeds property to a buyer for some financial consideration, and the buyer simultaneously leases the property back to the seller.

Second Mortgage. A mortgage that has a lien position second or subordinate to the first mortgage.

Secured Loan. A loan that is backed by property as collateral, such as a house or a car.

Servicer. A financial firm that manages loan servicing activities, including collecting mortgage payments, paying the borrower’s taxes and insurance and managing borrower escrow accounts.

Settlement. The process that occurs when a loan transaction is completed. At this time, the mortgage documents are signed and then recorded, funds are disbursed, and the property is officially transferred to the buyer. In some places this is referred to as closing or escrow.
Survey. The precise measurement of a property, made by a licensed surveyor, showing legal boundaries of a property and the dimensions and location of any improvements.

Sweat Equity. When the borrower contributes labor or services instead of cash to cover part or all of the down payment for the purchase of a property.

Termite Inspection. Required in many parts of the country before a property can be sold. The is inspected to determine whether it has termite infestation or termite damage.

Third Party Origination. A process by which a lender uses another party, usually known as a mortgage broker, to completely or partially originate, process, underwrite, close, fund, and/or package a mortgage.

TILA (Truth-in-lending Act). A Federal law requiring lenders to fully disclose, in writing, all the terms and conditions connected to a mortgage, including the annual percentage rate (APR) and other charges.

Title. A document showing the right to, and the ownership of, property. A title or deed is sometimes shown to prove you have ownership of land.

Title Insurance. An Insurance policy that protects both lenders and homeowners against legal problems with the title.

Title Search. The process of checking public records to ensure that the seller is the legal owner of the property and to see if there are any liens or claims against the property.

Underwriting. The process a lender uses to determine if a loan can be approved. It involves evaluating both the property itself and the borrower’s credit and ability to pay the mortgage.

Uniform Residential Loan Application. A standard form, used by all lenders when you apply for a mortgage. You will need to provide information about your income, assets, liabilities, and a description of the property you plan to buy, among other things.

VA Mortgage. The Veteran’s Administration is an agency of the Federal government that guarantees residential mortgages made to eligible veterans of the military services. The guarantee protects the lender against loss and thus encourages lenders to make mortgages to veterans.

Walk-through. A provision in a sales contract that allows the buyer to inspect the property being purchased immediately before the closing, usually within the 24 hours of closing.

Warranty: A written guarantee of the quality of a property and the promise to repair or replace defects free of charge.

Courtesy: Winning Agent

Posted on October 26, 2016 at 9:49 pm
Gordon Myers | Category: Uncategorized

7 Reasons Why You Need A Realtor to Sell Your Home

Why You Need A Realtor
As the housing market continues to provide opportunities for buyers and trauma for sellers, the temptation to go it alone is strong. People on both sides of the equation think they can save money by doing it all themselves. While this strategy works in some situations, there are seven good reasons why hiring an experienced Realtor can be a smart financial decision.

1. A Realtor understands you.
It’s the Realtor’s job to listen to what you say. Every buyer and seller has a wish list. But the savvy Realtor will also read between the lines and know the difference between “have to have” and “nice to have.” He or she will not waste your time showing you homes that are out of your price range or preferred area. If you’re a seller, the realtor will not bring you a buyer who’s unqualified or otherwise unsuitable for your property.

2. A Realtor is a teacher and a coach.
When you start working with a Realtor, his or her first step should be to educate you. What are the market trends? What’s selling (or what’s not)? The volatility of today’s market means that circumstances are changing on a daily basis. A good Realtor keeps up with trends, prices, and regulations. He or she knows how much of that you need to know and keeps you informed. When the actual purchase process begins, the Realtor will guide you through the tricky maze of offers, counter-offers, and the fine points of negotiating that can add dollars to your bottom line.

3. A Realtor is a trained negotiator.
You walk in the front door and you’re in love. It’s the perfect house, the prettiest yard—even the dog will love it. Someone needs to keep a clear head here, and that’s what Realtors are trained to do. They practice their negotiating skills on a daily basis, which you probably do not. A good Realtor will see that you pay a fair price for your dream home. From the seller’s point of view, the Realtor can protect you from making costly mistakes, like the impulse to accept the first offer you get, fearing you may never get another. Realtors provide a critical buffer between sellers and buyers.

4. A Realtor sees things differently, including the house.
If you’re selling, the Realtor will advise you how to maximize your home’s potential with a coat of paint, a vase of flowers, or a bit of landscaping. If you’re buying, the Realtor may help you see the Cinderella potential in an Ugly Sister bargain of a house. In either situation, the advice of a good Realtor can put extra dollars in your pocket.

5. A Realtor knows the territory.
Realtors generally work within the boundaries of a limited market—a neighborhood, an area, or a town. Or they may specialize in a specific type of property, such as condos, single family homes, or historic properties. They know what’s currently on the market. They know what’s new, what just sold, and for how much. They can advise sellers on setting an attractive listing price and coach buyers in making a reasonable offer.

6. A Realtor is a skilled interpreter.
Have you seen the mountain of paper that is produced by a single real estate transaction? Are you really going to read all that, and if you do, will you understand it? You’re dealing with purchase agreements, disclosures, and a dozen other things required by state or federal laws. A good Realtor knows what each document says and even more important, what it means. One mistake could cost you thousands. The Realtor will keep you from missing a critical step, and will see that everything is signed, sealed, and delivered on time.

7. A Realtor puts you first.
A home is quite likely the priciest asset you will ever own. Whether you are buying or selling, it’s bound to be an emotional experience. The Realtor has a duty to protect your interests, first and foremost. The Code of Ethics of the National Association of Realtors says: “When representing a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant, or other client as an agent, Realtors pledge themselves to protect and promote the interests of their client.”

Courtesy: Winning Agent

Posted on September 26, 2016 at 9:50 pm
Gordon Myers | Category: Uncategorized

Ready, Set, Sell: Checklist for Home Sellers

You want to sell your home in the shortest possible time for the highest possible price, right? Of course that is every seller’s goal and it’s your Realtor’s goal as well. So here’s a handy 7 Additional Quick Fixes To Make A Great First Impression When Selling A Home you need to do to make that happen.

Follow the 50% rule. Look at every flat surface in your house and take at least 50% of the items away. This goes for kitchen and bathroom counters, desktops, bookshelves and dressers. Maybe you do use that blender/toaster/coffeemaker/radio every day, but for now, keep it out of sight and get it out only when you need it.
50% your closets too. If stuff tumbles to the floor every time you open a closet or a cupboard, you won’t impress your buyers. An overstuffed closet tells a buyer that you don’t have enough storage space. So get out the packing boxes, pretend you’re moving next week, and streamline every space. The buyer needs to know there’s plenty of room for his (or her) stuff.
Don’t get personal. When a buyer walks through your front door, you want her to imagine herself living in your home. This won’t happen if the walls are covered with family pictures and the refrigerator door is decorated with childlike Picassos. Add these items to your packing list. Let the buyer see a clean slate, ready for her to add her own personal touches.
Brighten up. Walk through your home after dark and on a cloudy day. Does it look bright, cheerful, and welcoming? Start by getting some brighter light bulbs to shed some light on those dark corners. Make sure there are no burned out bulbs anywhere. Check the porch lights and outdoor lighting as well.
Show me the money. Realtors and builders alike will tell you that you’ll get the most bang for your buck by investing money in your kitchen and bathrooms. So whatever you have to spend on a pre-sale facelift, that’s where your money should go. If your bathroom vanities look shabby and dated, a couple coats of semi-gloss enamel in one of today’s “in” colors is a great place to start. Add some drawer pulls to kitchen and bathroom cupboards. Replace faucets with brushed nickel or bronze. New stainless steel appliances in the kitchen will give it a real “wow” factor.
Do a painting. As part of your facelift plan, painting the interior walls is a great investment. Ceilings should be white because it makes the rooms seem larger. But keep white paint off your walls and go with a warm neutral (pale yellow, rosy beige or taupe) instead. Stark white walls are cold. Even if your home is very contemporary, you still want to reflect a degree of warmth and coziness.
Check for hidden problems. Often it’s the things you can’t see that will trip you up. So keep an eye out for problems that aren’t immediately obvious. For example, if the storage space under your stairs smells musty, air it out and add some room freshener. Make sure there are no signs of mold or mildew anywhere. Look around the baseboards and the outside of your home as well for signs of termites or other pests. Make sure there are no dripping faucets or leaks under the sink. And check to see that your smoke detectors are working.
Add the unexpected touch. When you’re ready for that first open house, make sure you appeal to ALL the buyer’s senses. Put out some fresh flowers or plants. (Hint: orchids are not expensive and they last a long time.) Avoid candles, which could create a fire hazard. Instead, use essential oils with scents that create a mood. Lavender is relaxing, rosemary is stimulating, and jasmine elevates the mood. Citrus scents are always fresh and clean. Of course if you want to pull out all the stops, bake some chocolate chip cookies and leave them on the counter. But please, no onions or fish smells left over from last night’s dinner.
Homes do not sell themselves. It takes planning and effort on your part, 7 Reasons Why You Need A Realtor to Sell Your Home, to turn your property into a showplace. The payoff is the look on that prospective buyer’s face that says, “I want this one!”

 

Courtesy: Winning Agent

Posted on August 26, 2016 at 9:53 pm
Gordon Myers | Category: Uncategorized

Eight Tips for Adding Instant Curb Appeal

When home buyers drive your neighborhood, or when Realtors are previewing for their clients, what do they see? You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so make sure your home has the The Wow Factor: Seven Quick Curb Appeal Tips that makes people go “wow.” Take a walk around your property right now—front to back. Pretend you’re a prospective buyer. Do you like what you see?

Here are eight quick tips for creating a visual impression that makes them want to see more.

  1. Start at the door. Get out your paintbrush and spruce up the front door. A bright color will attract attention from the street, if that fits with your overall exterior. Replace doorknobs and hinges with something new and shiny. A seasonal wreath on the door adds a welcoming touch. If your screen door squeaks or sags, get a new one or just remove it to make an attractive door more visible.
  2. Under pressure. Rent or buy a pressure washer and go over the entire exterior, top to bottom. Pay special attention to any white or light-colored areas, which tend to collect dust and dirt. Use it on porches, stairs and decks. And by the way, power washing is equally effective on concrete, and can really lighten up sidewalks and driveways.
  3. Spit and polish. Anything that’s metal on the outside of your home should sparkle and shine. Start with the house numbers. A good metal polish might work, but if not, replacing them is relatively inexpensive. Exterior light fixtures should all be working order and should shine brightly, both in daylight and dark. Check for burned-out bulbs while you’re at it. How’s your mailbox? New owners might appreciate one of the new models with a security lock.
  4. Hide the kids and dogs. You want your home to have the broadest possible appeal. Not all prospective buyers have children so if you do, it’s best to keep the evidence out of sight. Put away the bikes and balls. If you have play equipment such as swings or a basketball goal, remove what you can or move items to where they are less visible. Be sure someone in the family is assigned to pick up after Fido and Fluffy too.
  5. Plant a garden. You don’t have to have a green thumb to add seasonal color to the outside of your home. Think containers. Placing a few colorful pots on the front steps or by the door is a great place to start. Visit your local nursery and buy whatever is in season. Replace as needed—nothing dead or dying, please! Keep the grass mowed and edged too.
  6. Light up your life. Good exterior lighting improves both appearance and security. In-ground spots can accent landscape elements or the house itself. Make sure the front walkway and drive are well lit. If wiring is not an option, solar fixtures are relatively inexpensive and easy to install, although they may not be as bright as wired fixtures.
  7. Look out the window. Or in, which is what your prospective buyers will be doing. While you’re power washing, make sure the windows get their share. Use an inexpensive vinegar and water spray, and wipe down with old newspapers. Give them the same treatment on the inside and the whole house will sparkle.
  8. Shutters are a plus. Shutters add a cozy feel, so if you don’t already have them, you might consider installing some. If you have shutters, reattach anything that looks saggy. Make sure they are freshly painted. Depending on your home’s exterior, choose a contrasting color that stands out. Dark green looks great with yellow or cream. Black is great on stone or brick, and white is almost always a good choice.

And even if you have to spend a few dollars for professional help, the investment will pay off by attracting more buyers more quickly.

 

Courtesy: Winning Agent

Posted on July 26, 2016 at 10:05 pm
Gordon Myers | Category: Uncategorized

Making the Right Move: A Checklist for Homebuyers

Whether you are a A Case of Cold Feet: How to Handle the First Time Homebuyer or an experienced homeowner, buying a new home is always stressful. Here’s a handy checklist of six things you can do up front to make the process a lot easier. Before you start packing, here’s what you need to do.

Prepare a budget. You need a clear picture of your family’s finances before you even think about calling a Realtor or applying for a mortgage. List all your monthly fixed expenses, such as car payments, current rent or mortgage, utilities, school tuition, and loan payments. Add categories for other expenses such as food and entertainment.
List your debts. If you have existing credit card debts, student loans or other debts that require regular monthly payments, get them down in black and white, so you know exactly how much you owe. Figure out your debt ratio. There are plenty of online calculators that will do this for you. You need to know two ratios. Your housing debt expenses (including taxes and insurance) as a percentage of your gross monthly income should be 25-28%. Your installment debt ratio (credit cards and other consumer debt) should be around 10-15%. Your total debt to income ratio should not be more than 40%.
Get pre-approved. #1 and 2 above are important because you want to get pre-approved for a loan before you start shopping. This is an important safeguard, to keep you from falling in love with something you can’t afford or can’t get a mortgage for. Be sure you understand the Mortgage Pre-Approval – Don’t Overlook The Importance. Getting pre-qualified means that you give a lender your overall financial picture, including your debt, income and assets. The lender evaluates this information and gives you a ballpark figure of the mortgage amount for which you could qualify. Pre-qualification can be done over the phone or on the Internet, usually at no cost.Pre-approved, on the other hand, means that a lender evaluates your debt ratios, your credit report, and your overall ability to repay a loan and says, “Yes, I would loan this buyer X number of dollars to buy a home.”
Make a list. Before you begin working with a Realtor, you need to make a two-column list of needs vs. wants. Be sure you know the difference! You need three bedrooms. You want a swimming pool. You need to be very upfront with your Realtor about exactly what constitutes a deal-breaker in your purchasing process. If more than one person is involved in making the final decision, be sure that you are more or less in agreement about needs and wants. If one spouse wants a short commute and the other has visions of a country estate, you could have a problem. Resolve these issues ahead of time.
Find a Realtor. Once you’ve done your homework, it’s time to start looking. You want to find a Realtor who represents you and puts your interests first. The best way to find a Realtor is to ask friends and family for recommendations. However, if you are new to the area and don’t know anyone, you may need to visit several firms and interview several Realtors. Chemistry is important. You need to look for someone who is committed to meeting your needs and who knows the area and price range you’re looking in.
Ask the right questions. When you are talking to prospective Realtors, don’t be afraid to ask probing questions. And expect to get frank, straightforward answers. Here are a few to get you started:
How long have you been in real estate?
Do you represent both buyers and sellers?
How many buyers are you currently working with? How many sellers?
How many homes did you sell last year?
How familiar are you with the neighborhoods we are considering?
Buying a home could well be the single most important decision you will ever make, both financially and emotionally. However, if you do your homework and prepare thoughtfully for the process, it can also be a fun and rewarding experience. Happy hunting!

 

Courtesy: Winning Agent

Posted on June 26, 2016 at 9:52 pm
Gordon Myers | Category: Uncategorized

How To Maximize Your Selling Price With Low-Cost Cosmetics

Your house is going on the market. Of course you want to sell it for the most money in the least amount of time. But you don’t have a lot of time or money to invest in home improvements. Here are half a dozen quick fixes–things you can do in less than a day–that will add pizazz to your home and dollars to your bottom line.

Posted on May 26, 2016 at 10:07 pm
Gordon Myers | Category: Uncategorized

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