Category Archives: Real Estate

homeforsale

Selling Your Home Before You Move

When you move across the state, or even across the country, you can give your family countless opportunities for growth and exploration. But before you pack up your things and call your local moving company, you need to sell your old home-and fast!

Unfortunately, selling a home takes time. Sometimes houses can stay on the market for months, or even years. If you don’t prepare your home for resale, you may deter future buyers and prolong that time.

So what can you do to speed the process?

Improve the look and feel of your residence with the following suggestions.

Make a Great First ImpressionEntryway

First impressions make or break sales. When people pull up to your driveway, they need to feel welcome and comfortable.

To create a positive experience, inspect your home’s siding. If you notice peeling panels or grungy stains, apply a fresh coat of paint before the showing. Also, a good wash can work wonders for the look of your home. Power wash the exterior to remove stains, dirt, and other buildup.

Trim the Trees

The quality of your surrounding landscape affects the overall appearance of your home. Stray weeds and dead grass will age your home and decrease its value. So trim the hedges and trees, mow the lawn, and add some flowers for warmth and beauty.

Set the Mood with Lighting

Lighting sets a mood and makes the details of your home easier to see. Ensure that each light fixture works well, and put in some new bright bulbs. Also, open curtains and blinds to let in more natural light. A bright home feels more welcoming and open.

kitchen appliances

Photo via http://bit.ly/118yly3

Clean the Kitchen

Many homeowners spend a great deal of time in the kitchen, so they often come to this room first when inspecting your home’s interior. Even if your kitchen isn’t roomy or gadget-filled, you can still impress buyers by keeping it clean and functional.

Replace burners that don’t work, scrub grease and smears off the cabinets, and update any worn appliances.

Follow Your Nose

The smells in a home do much more than influence aesthetic appeal. Odors relate closely to health and sanitation. When your buyers take that first whiff of your home, you want it to smell fresh and clean.

If your home smells musty, air it out for a few hours before your buyers come to view it. Consider burning some scented candles or spraying some air freshener, too.

blog.builddirect.com

blog.builddirect.com

Add a Personal Touch

Your home should put your buyers at ease, and adding your personal touch can do just that. Although you may feel tempted to pack everything away and let your movers handle the storage, place a few strategic pieces of tasteful décor throughout your home to bring out its best features.

Avoid displaying family memorabilia and photos, as these will make it look as though you still plan to live in your current home.

You want your home to look classy but open to future changes in design. And you want to leave enough empty space for your buyers to imagine their own furniture designs and layouts.

Remember a Little Goes a Long Way

Walk through your home as if you were doing so for the first time. Contemplate what features are most desirable for a new home and decide what needs a little loving care. A few repairs and upgrades can transform your home from a fixer-upper to a keeper.

You may need to spend a little extra money to create these finishing touches, but the payoff will be worth it when your buyers eagerly sign those papers for their new home.

homeforsale

5 Ways to Get Your Home Ready to Sell

Many times the hardest part of moving involves selling your previous home. The pressure of finding and persuading a buyer can become exhausting. Most often, you get one chance to make a positive first impression. So you have to make that moment count.

Help potential buyers feel welcome, safe and warm when they come to your home by using these tips.

Focus on Curb Appeal

The first impression often starts with the exterior of your home. Make sure your yard and front porch look as attractive as possible. You may need to plant fresh flowers, mow the lawn, and paint the door to create a beautiful entrance for potential buyers.

You may benefit from removing fencing around your yard. Most fences make yards appear smaller than they actually are. You don’t have to revamp your entire lawn, but focus on these hot spots to improve the overall aesthetics of your home.

Accentuate Your FoyerEntryway

You want potential buyers to step into your home and say “wow.” So start interior improvements in the foyer. Buyers often set their expectations for the home based on what they can see from the front door. Therefore, you have to make your foyer look bright and welcoming.

Consider applying a fresh paint coat, eliminating clutter, and cleaning the coat area. You may want to get a mirror or painting to create a focal point for this area. Then pick place a vase with flowers or bowl of potpourri to make sure your home smells clean.

These small additions help your home look both simple and sophisticated.

De-clutter

ghk-open-closet-with-clothes-0111-mdnA major turn-off for potential buyers is dirt. You want them to visualize their life in a place better than the one they currently have. Clean more than the day-to-day buildup. You will need to deep clean the carpets, repaint rooms, and store away or sell all unnecessary home pieces.

Every buyer looks for places that they can store their things. To make your home seem larger, remove half of your things from every storage area. Once you remove the items, organize the remaining items into neat piles. Buyers will look in closets and cabinets to determine the spaces available. Make sure your home looks as spacious as possible by de-cluttering every room.

Incorporate Natural Light

The lighting in your home can make a huge difference on buyer’s decisions. Fortunately, you can fix lighting issues easily and quickly. Wash your windows to give a clear picture of your view. Replace dark drapes with light colored window treatments.

Update light bulbs and consider adding overhead lights. As a rule of thumb, you should have 100 watts every square foot. You can also add floor lamps or task lighting to brighten your home.

Make the Kitchen the Highlight

Your kitchen can makitchenke or break the buyer’s decision. You have to make this room the highlight of your home. Otherwise, your potential buyer could knock down his or her asking price by thousands of dollars because he or she doesn’t like the kitchen. Even if you need to renovate the countertops, most homeowners get 85% return on the investment.

If you want to increase your chances to sell your home, consider updating the paint, countertops, and cabinets in your kitchen.

Use neutral colors so buyers have a blank canvas to envision their style in this space. If you have wiggle room in your budget, update appliances to give your kitchen a polished finish.

Once you have prepared your home to sell, take a moment to walk through the home as if it you were touring it for the first time.

This will help give you an idea of areas you can improve and add finished touches to the project.

King Park Indianapolis

The Secret of Moving to the Suburbs Without Losing the Perks of City Life

When you first moved to the city for college and stayed to build your career, you may have resolved never to leave. But now you’ve established yourself in your career and settled down to raise a family. At this stage in life, you’re not alone if you no longer view city life through rose-colored glasses. Gradually, you realize you’re tired of facing the realities of city life like:

  • Finding parking spots
  • Carrying groceries through streets and up flights of stairs
  • Dealing with noisy neighbors
  • Wrangling toddlers in small apartments with no yard space

Still, the city hasn’t entirely lost its allure. You hate to sacrifice what you love about the city just to overcome a few annoyances. Lucky for you, many suburban communities offer perks similar to city-dwelling but without the stuff that bothers you. If it’s time to consider a move to the suburbs, here’s how to do it without giving up what you love about city life.

Experience the Ambiance

The move from the city to the suburbs often causes people to wax nostalgic about the unique aspects of city dwelling. They don’t want to say goodbye to all-night take-out places, one-of-a-kind clothing boutiques, and well-maintained city parks. But, many suburban centers have similar perks. Plus, these sites are usually less crowded outside of city limits.

Make a list of your must-haves or nice-to-haves for a suburban community. Think rec centers, local theaters, concert venues, bars, nightclubs, or whatever else you typically do in the city. Then drive around and look for those options every time you go house hunting. Park the car and take a walk downtown. Go into the shopping mall. You might be surprised at the array of stores it offers. In short, be on the lookout for places that can become your new favorites.

However, be cautious about clinging too much to any one suburban downtown area. It’s only one factor in what creates a community’s atmosphere. Interact with the people you pass on the street. Many suburbs have replaced the isolated, city-life mindset with more neighborly patterns of interaction. Strike up a conversation with someone at the local coffee shop and ask about the area. Watch for friendly interactions among store clerks and customers to get a sense of the community atmosphere.

Visit Local Schools

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

In the city, a top school frequently means an expensive private school. But your kids can obtain a quality education at a public school in the suburbs. No wonder almost every family moving to the suburbs has “top-rated school system” at the top of their must-have list-even families without kids yet. As you evaluate area schools, examine these factors:

  1. Look beyond test scores. Kids are more than their test scores, and so are schools. Test scores are only an end way of measuring a school’s performance. Class size is a better indicator of how much personal attention your child will receive from teachers-smaller is better.
  1. Examine all grade levels. You might be making the move to the suburbs when your children are barely in preschool, but you could live in your new house until they head off for college. With that in mind, visit schools for all grade levels in the area. Make sure the middle school and high school options meet your education standards, too.
  1. Make sure your favorite extracurricular activities have community support. You can’t predict which hobbies your kids will adopt as they get older, but you can make a few good guesses. If you take your kids to the theater frequently, make sure the school district has a strong history of supporting the arts. If you attend sporting events, look for a school with an established sports program. You want your kids to have options when they start developing their non-academic skills.

Consider the Commute

For many people making the switch from city to suburb, the extended commute becomes a primary consideration. After all, what’s the point of finding a larger, quieter living space if you’re hardly home to enjoy it? For any community you consider moving into, think about these factors that will affect your commute:

  1. Public transportation. Does the thought of fighting rush hour twice a workday send your blood pressure through the roof? If so, look for a suburb with public transportation options built for commuters. Don’t just locate the local train station on the map. Actually visit it. You need to know about parking availability and overall convenience. You could even take a test train ride into the city to time the trip and gauge the crowds.
  1. Carpool lanes and toll roads. If you don’t mind driving, you’ll probably still want options to speed up your commute. When you make the hull out to the suburbs to house hunt, pay attention to the highway and calculate the cost of paying for less-crowded toll roads. Look out for carpool lanes. If you see any, ask around at the office if any co-workers would share the ride with you.
  1. Working from home. Increasing numbers of suburban dwellers have cut their commute down to the time it takes them to walk from the bedroom to the office-they telecommute. That might not be an option every day, but your supervisor might be willing to let you work from home a few days a week.

Finally, estimate how often you envision yourself heading into the city for reasons other than work. If you think you’ll visit it more than once or twice a month, look for suburbs just outside the main hub to cut down on your travel time. That way your favorite city spots won’t be too far away.

Your trek to the suburbs can yield many of the amenities that city life does. Use these tips to find the perfect community and home for you. Once you’ve found it, call a moving company to arrange moving your belongings. Get ready to make new memories that will last a lifetime in a space that won’t feel cramped as your family grows.

If you want to make the move from the city to the suburbs, a local agent  in your area will be able to assist you with all of your moving needs.

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Buyer Beware: Read This Before Buying a Flipped House

When relocating you will more than likely go through the process of finding a new home. Buying is a huge commitment, and it will be important take your time to ensure you find the perfect house for you and your family. During your search, you will most likely come across flipped homes for sale. A flipped house is a redevelopment of distressed or abandoned properties, fixing them up and selling them for a profit.

According to RealtyTrac, homes flipped in 2013 accounted for 4.6 percent of all U.S. single family home sales during the year, up from 4.2 percent in 2012 and up from 2.6 percent in 2011. There are a lot of people that are great at flipping houses, but there are some that do the bare minimum — mainly cosmetic improvements – to sell the house and make a buck. If you’re considering purchasing a flipped home, below are a few extra steps to ensure you purchase the best home for you and not one that was just cosmetically flipped.

  • Do your research.  Check online, ask your realtor and talk to the neighbors to find out about the house prior to the renovation. Realtors will have disclosers if the current owner received them, so make sure to ask for all documentation.
  • Hire an experienced home inspector and have your inspection done as soon as possible. A home inspector will be able to tell if the work on the house was complete and done properly.
  • Look for structural problems. Tip-offs include cracking in the exterior brick, evidence of tuck-pointing in the area, unleveled floors and bad finish work. If you suspect issues, consider hiring a structural engineer.
  • Check for permits on the house – unpermitted work is a bad sign. Make sure the permits were pulled and closed out properly with inspections done at completion.
  • Pay attention to details. Does the dryer and heater vent out of the house? Is there a new circuit breaker panel with a state inspection sticker on it? Ask to see the manuals of the new appliances as these should be on hand if they were recently bought. Check to see separate hot and cold knobs in the shower, this usually points to old plumbing.
  • Who worked on the house? Find out what contractors, plumbers, electricians, etc., that made improvements on the house and check their reputations online, such as the Better Business Bureau website and Angie’s List.
  • If you are considering buying a house that was up for auction, talk to your realtor about the risks. These are generally without warranty or any guarantee of clear title.

There is nothing wrong with buying a flipped house, but there are always some bad eggs in the basket.  It is important to do your research, pay attention to details, and, if all else fails, ask an expert before making a commitment to buy the perfect house for you.

References:
http://realestate.msn.com/blogs/post–5-questions-buyers-can-ask-about-a-flipped-home
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/buying-a-flipped-home-be-careful-2013-08-26
http://www.zillow.com/blog/problems-with-flipped-houses-78938/
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2014/07/how-to-spot-a-home-flip-money-pit/