Let’s face it moving is no fun even if you do it for a living. Since most of us don’t I’ve put together a few tips to help the move day go a bit less stressful.
Get things organized ahead of time
Don’t wait until the last minute to pack up, unless you’re in a rush, that is. Likely, you have somewhere between 30 and 60 days to plan and organize to ensure moving day runs smooth. Make a to-do list and prioritize your tasks by what can be done beforehand and what has to be done within certain windows.
Communicate with your movers
Boxes are great but should not be packed too heavy. When you do need to box a heavy object or over pack a box a bit too heavy, make sure and tell your movers. They will be able to handle it appropriately and load it on the bottom.
Keep an open line of communication with your moving company as they have certain requirements or would prefer you to pack things a certain way or tag the boxes and inventory your items.
Plan the day with the Landlord or Realtor
It’s always best to talk with your point contact of your new residence either the day or a few days before the planned moving time. As with anything there are many things that can come up to delay the process. You may run into last minute paperwork or the key not fitting the locks, who knows right. The last thing you want is a truck full of stuff and movers waiting around, with nowhere to put the stuff.
I guess the moral of the post is plan prepare and communicate with your moving company. I hope this helps a bit and we hope you have a great day moving!…
We often overlook the plumbing systems within our homes taking them for granted. This is especially true when we are getting ready to sell a home. While on the flip side, when we get ready to buy a home we look for these simple final touches. Here are 3 things you should consider doing before listing your next home.
When you walk into your home do all the faucets look old, rusted or just out of date? This small detail can really set your home apart. On the market today are some great faucets with sleek modern style. Some of which even have technology built in to where you can touch them to turn on/off rather than use the handle o
Replace your old Fixtures
Shower heads are another great item to replace. They tend to wear out overtime leaving them grimy and clogged. We know one of the first things a buyer checks is the shower and how the water flows. Let your next buyer be overly impressed with a new modern shower head.
Consider giving your Kitchen and Bathrooms a face lift and install new faucets and fixtures throughout.
Typical Water Heaters last around 15 years. This should be one of things you check when buying a home so you can avoid any additional costs near your purchase date. Although a new water heater is not all that expensive, you will want to install as efficient of a unit as possible.
Some options out today include Tankless Water Heaters which can dramatically decrease the energy usage as the water is heated on-demand rather than being stored and kept at a certain temperature.
Boilers can be a good option depending on your home. Some boiler systems are designed not only for hot water but to heat the home as well.
No matter what you decide to utilize make sure its efficient and has a decent lifespan.
Hard water? If this describes your water supply or the water running out of your faucet, don’t worry it might be easily fixable.
In many regions, the water is hard and contains a lot of minerals making it difficult to drink. Worse off drying your skin out and making it very uncomfortable.
Water softeners are an addition you can install to almost any water heater. They allow you to condition the water before use. Essentially, they hold water softening pellets, which soak in and treat your water before it’s distributed through your plumbing system.
For the small investment you make into a water softener, it just might set your home apart from the other dozen the buyer has looked at.
These tips were brought to us by one of the best Boise Plumbers, Plumbing Solutions of Idaho. If you need plumbing related in the area we highly recommend Rusty and his team.
We plan to be updating our blog more frequently as we get into the Spring with more real estate tips and tricks, so check back soon!…
Thanks for checking back in, we have covered some great topics so far to help you in the selling of your current home. Along with some essential buying tips as you look to purchase your next home.
As you continue down the home buying path, hopefully you have a great real estate agent to help you though the process.
Another key aspect to this process is finding the right Mortgage Broker or lender to work with. Not all lenders are equal, some are mere employees of banks etc. while an independent Mortgage Broker provides more personalized education and advocacy as they help you find the perfect loan.
We wanted to cover some of the basics around mortgages and the options available to help you start the education process.
Mortgages are essentially a loan is structured in this formula, PITI (Principal, Interest, Taxes, Insurance) at a certain length of time.
There are several lengths these mortgages can come in some with a set interest rate the entire length of the loan. The most common are below
30year fixed mortgage allows for typically a lower interest rate which does not adjust for the length of the term.
15year fixed mortgage, which allow for you to gain equity quicker, but holds much higher monthly payment. Will have a lower interest rate than a 30 year which is often attractive.
ARM or Adjustable Rate Mortgages may start for the first number of years at a set interest rate, then adjust for the remainder of the term.
Having a good Mortgage Broker on your team will help you navigate this process for your personal situation. They should be hands on and consultative, getting to know you and your current situation. The customer service should be responsive and educational, keeping you informed at every step aong the loan process.
Talk with your real estate agent and see if they have a good recommendation for a local Mortgage Broker. If you live in the Las Vegas area, we recommend checking our friends out at www.homeloansoflasvegas.com who have helped us a number of times.
Buying a house is a process from deciding which neighborhood, school district or distance to live from work. All the way through securing financing, making an offer, closing the sale and the move-in.
We hope this blog has helped you along the way and look forward posting again here soon.…
It’s important to keep your home looking its best while listed. Most homes are listed for a few weeks while other for a number of months until the right buyer comes along. When that buyer does come along you want to attract the best price possible, right? Well there’s a number of things that can affect the price some such as the local market you cannot control. However, others aspects such as appearance and functionality, you absolutely can and should keep up to date.
Think of it like a used car purchase. Two identical cars made the same year, same model and same options. Both look excellent at first glance and it’s kind of a toss-up. Then upon further inspection you notice the interior of car “B” has a dirt ring around the floor board, Car A does not. Furthermore, Car “B” has a little rust on the calipers and other small wear signs throughout. Car “A” has complete records and very minimal signs of wear and tear. Even if car “A” cost 10-15% more than car “B”, most people are going to pay the premium for car “A”.
Our homes are no different, there are options for buyers and given everything else relatively equal it’s the details of your home that get you the best price and ultimately a sold house. These three home maintenance tasks can often be overlooked but leave a huge impression on the prospective buyers.
Interior and exterior paint should be touched up if not repainted. It’s difficult to repaint the home not knowing the likes/dislikes of the future owner. So if you do repaint go with a very natural color and white interior walls.
Another more cost effective option is to clean your interior walls wiping them don with a damp cloth. Then simply touch up the trim and smudges throughout your home. On the exterior walls I would recommend pressure washing the ome and then again giving it a once over with the touch up brush. Very simple and quick for anyone to accomplish, even hiring out for these projects are far less than a repaint. The difference in appearance will be many times that of any associated cost.
Your roof is one of the most important element of your home. They should be maintained properly, repairing shingles and ridge caps as needed. The roof should be clear of all moss and debris. When moss build up on the roof it can cause the shingles to fail and ultimately allow water into your home. It’s fairly extreme to see that kind of damage but it does happen and it’s a concern for buyers.
The rain gutter system is often the most overlooked elements of your home. Yet, one of the best areas to set your home apart. The function of the gutter system is to allow water a place to go as it runs off your roof. When gutters are properly maintained they can extend the life of your roof and minimizes roof repairs and leaks. I prefer to use a gutter company such as Gutter Boise, wo ensures your gutters are cleaned and look amazing. If repairs are needed a professional can handle those with the proper experience and equipment. Trust me, if repairs are needed its best to handle those before the home inspection.
A properly maintained gutter is also a great sign to a potential buyer that you took proper care of your home in every detail. Gutters are also a great area for little money to give your home some character. Gutters are rather boring, I get it, but by simply installing gutter chains you now have a differentiator. Some gutter chain or rain chain setups are very creative and can bring additional character.
The devil is in the details, as they say and is true in so many ways. Home improvement or repair records are excellent details to prove you’re not the devil, lol. Only people who care for their assets keep records on file. Again looking back at a used car deal, the car with records is going to win. Most people want to know as much about a home as possible. Rightfully so as the price of a home is significant and people want to protect their investment. Good clear records help potential buyers feel more comfortable with the home and typically offer more than for a home without good records.
If you lack proper records, take the time to dig up receipts and repair invoices for as far back as you can. Go with the mantra some is better than none, but sincerely dig up as many as possible, showing the buyer that you did take proper care of your home.
Selling a home is a big task and takes effort to get the best possible price. These three tips are a great starting point but are non-comprehensive. Please check out our former blog posts for more ideas. As well keep your eye open for future posts designed to help you sell your home. …
Increasing the attention to your home sale is vital to a timely and reasonable offer. The more eyes on your home the better, right?
Well over 70% of shoppers consider Curb Appeal to be important. The old “keeping up with the Jones” mentality, possibly? Really, who wants to move into a house with a ton of work to do outside, while their busy unpacking and setting up the interior.
Landscaping plays a big part in the first impression of your home. With the proper landscaping and maintenance plan you will attract more potential buyers. It’s so important, I would recommend hiring a professional with the proper equipment and expertise to help you through the process. If hiring someone isn’t what you had in mind. These three landscaping tips will help set you apart in the market with little money and a little sweat equity, as they say.
It is important that all your trees are trimmed, clear of dead or diseased limbs or leaves. The shrubs should be pruned, neat and orderly. Some people like the sculpted shrubs in the front entry. Depending on the neighborhood, value of the home and your experience I would probably lean towards a few sculpted shrubs in the entry.
Beyond trimming the trees and shrubs make sure your other plants and flowers are clipped of all dead and diseased foliage. The Lawn should be mowed and edged. I can’t stress the edging enough! This is like the period on a sentence it just finishes the job. It can be easily accomplished with a string trimmer or edging machine. Simply go around the perimeter trimming a clean straight line between the grass and the adjoining landscape or sidewalk. Use your string trimmer to cut all the grass in those hard to reach places, the mower may have missed.
Having a trim landscape is a huge starting point and will absolutely attract a few more eyes to your property! Clean:
Once everything is trim you want to be extra picky and ensure a clean landscape. I mean every weed pulled, every leaf picked up. The flowerbeds or bark dust areas should be clean and looking fresh. The driveway and any concentrate or paver’s should be pressure washed with the joints cleared out, bringing it back to life. I mean go through your property and clean everything, especially in the front yard, as it attracts most people.
Sounds like a lot of work, it can be, but the payout is worth it! Beautify:
Now that your Landscape is trim and clean it’s time to beautify the property. The time of year and your budget will dictate a little of what you can do. I would recommend some Bright Annuals along the entry and a couple Japanese Maples as you enter the driveway. With enough time and preparation, you could plant some really nice bulbs below the front windows, potted annuals would look nice as well. In the winter I would still recommend some potted plants if at all possible.
Beyond adding some color and texture to your yard I would absolutely spread some new ground cover. Rather that’s bark dust, river rocks or mulch. New ground cover is going to help reduce the weeds, and make the color and textures of your yard Pop!
These seem like rather straightforward things and they are absolutely! They work and have helped sell many homes. It can be done on a budget and you can do it yourself. I would recommend hiring a professional for anything you don’t feel comfortable with. The curb appeal of your home is too important to effect it negatively!
These tips where brought to us by our friends at Boise Lawn Experts, who help many realtors with Lawn Care in Boise, ID. Preparing and Creating Attractive looking homes for their clients.…
Being in the military, you have to get used to moving around alot, so you gain alot of knowledge in the real estate game. I was stationed in fort hood and thought id be there for a while, but after a couple of years, i was being sent elsewhere.
If your like me, you always have your ducks in a row when moving to and from a new place. Below is some tips that you want to keep in mind when you have to sell your home and move.
Remove emotional attachments.
When selling a house, you must stop thinking of it as your ‘home’-it has become a neutral real estate property rather than something you used to live in. Many housing experts attribute long periods of unsuccessful resale efforts to a seller being unable to separate their emotional attachment to the old house they used to live in.
Make the house completely neutral.
An attractive house for a buyer is one that they can see themselves living in. As such, if you leave old furniture, family wall photos and personalized decor in the house while potential buyers are visiting, it’s hard for them to ‘make it theirs’ in their mind. Make sure the home is completely anonymous so that the widest spectrum of buyers will be enticed.
Pay attention to fixtures.
Often times house buyers will be completely turned off from a viable new property when they go to open cabinet and notice something ‘off’ about it. The best way to counter this is to buy new handles, fixtures, and knobs for everything in the kitchen area and the bathrooms. This simple tactic could be the difference between an impressive open house showing and an underwhelming one.
Have everything in good running order.
Make sure everything in the house is in good working order, from the appliances to the plumbing and even the water pressure. Make sure there isn’t anything a buyer would find disappointing, as most buyers will inevitably ‘tinker’ with the water faucets, toilets, light switches, and random appliances just to make sure there are no glaring maintenance issues.
A well-lived-in house might require a thorough painting job before being presentable. If there are excessive scuff marks on the walls from kids or any kind of water damage, it won’t be very attractive for potential buyers to see. Ensure the asking price can remain high by repainting (and repairing as necessary) wherever faded colors or dirt has accumulated, and also try to keep colors white (again, neutral).
Have presentable floors and carpets.
There’s nothing as undesirable for buyers as walking into a new home where the carpet smells old and musty, or the floor tiles are stained and cracked. As a house seller, take the time and effort to replace old carpeting/floor tiles that has seen years of use. Again, keep the color of the new carpets/floor as neutral as possible. I found the best carpet cleaner in killeen and had them clean the carpets as well as the floors to give it that new look!
Make sure doors and windows work.
Nothing more embarrassing for a real estate agent who is giving buyers a tour of a home than to encounter a ‘tough’ door or window. If the buyer has to use extra effort to open a window or a door, that is a big negative towards them being impressed. Make liberal use of WD40 for the creaky, difficult-to-open windows, doorknobs and hinges prior to an open house.
Control the odor.
Many houses that have difficulty being sold may have an unusual ‘odor’ that stems from a previous occupant smoking in the house frequently, or owning pets. There is probably no ‘best’ long-term solution to this (without spending excessive amounts of money in remodeling efforts), but at the very lest use carpet freshener during open houses, and air fresheners combined with open windows (if selling during the spring/summertime).
There is a lot to be said about low budget real estate. This is property that is often searched for by landlords and investors because of the income potential. A good piece of low budget real estate can bring you income in many ways.
Low budget real estate is the perfect property for real estate flipping. It is generally a piece of real estate that is in need of repair and maintenance. These can be picked up at extremely reduced prices because of their poor condition. Once they are cleaned up and repaired, the buyer can then sell the property for a profit. When flipping these properties, you should do a fair amount of financial analysis to be sure you are not going to waste all of your profit potential on the repairs and improvements. If the property needs extensive repairs, you should probably skip it and move on to the next deal. You also need to take into consideration the time it takes to make repairs. Profitable flipping requires that you get the required repairs done in a timely manner to avoid paying unnecessary mortgage costs.
Low budget real estate is a dream come true for real estate wholesalers. They can simply purchase that property at it’s reduced rate and add their cut to it before selling it to an investor. If you can find a piece of property that is cheap enough, you can sell these rather quickly. Often wholesalers will have a buyer lined up before even purchasing the property. This method can earn you a few thousand dollars profit in just a day or two. This is some of the easiest money you can make in real estate because you aren’t putting any work into the property. You simply buy buy the property or put it under contract and sell it as is.
Landlords have a special advantage with low budget real estate. You can get a really good deal on a rental house in need of repairs. The benefit of this is that any repairs you make can be written off on your taxes. This can create a unique situation where you can actually take a loss even if you made a profit from your renters. This often happens when you combine your depreciation, interest and expenses on your deductions. Depreciation is often the largest deduction that you can take because it includes the entire cost of the building plus any major repairs that you made for the previous years of ownership.
There are other more obvious benefits to buying low budget real estate as a rental property. One is that if you can get the property at a low enough cost, you can make a monthly profit from the rent. If the rent value is higher than your mortgage payment, you have cash flow each month. This is free money just for letting someone else pay your mortgage. Speaking about mortgages, another good thing about rental homes is the fact that your mortgage is not coming out of pocket as long as you have a tenant in the property.
Don’t hesitate to look at low budget real estate properties when seeking to invest. These can sometimes bring the highest profit margin.
A written proposal is the foundation of a real estate transaction. Oral promises are not legally enforceable when it comes to the sale of real estate. Therefore, you need to enter into a written contract, which starts with your written proposal. This proposal not only specifies price, but also all the terms and conditions of the purchase. For example, if the seller offered to help with $2,000 toward your closing costs, make sure that’s included in your written offer and in the final completed contract, or you won’t have grounds for collecting it later.
REALTORS have standard purchase agreements and will help you put together a written, legally binding offer that reflects the price as well as terms and conditions that are right for you. Your REALTOR will guide you through the offer, counteroffer, negotiating and closing processes. In many states certain disclosure laws must be complied with by the seller, and the REALTOR will ensure that this takes place.
If you are not working with a real estate agent, keep in mind that you must draw up a purchase offer or contract that conforms to state and local laws and that incorporates all of the key items. State laws vary, and certain provisions may be required in your area.
After the offer is drawn up and signed, it is usually presented to the seller by your real estate agent, by the seller’s real estate agent, if that’s a different agent, or often by the two together. In a few areas, sales contracts are drawn up by the parties’ lawyers.
What is in an Offer?
The purchase offer you submit, if accepted as it stands, will become a binding sales contract (known in some areas as a purchase agreement, earnest money agreement or deposit receipt). So it’s important that the purchase offer contains all the items that will serve as a “blueprint for the final sale.” The purchase offer includes items such as:
address and the legal description of the property
terms: for example, all cash or subject to you obtaining a mortgage for a given amount
seller’s promise to provide clear title (ownership)
target date for closing (the actual sale)
amount of earnest money deposit accompanying the offer, whether it’s a check, cash or promissory note, and how it’s to be returned to you if the offer is rejected – or kept as damages if you later back out for no good reason
method by which real estate taxes, rents, fuel, water bills and utilities payments are to be adjusted (prorated) between buyer and seller
provisions about who will pay for title insurance, survey, termite inspections, etc.
type of deed to be given
other requirements specific to your state, which might include a chance for an attorney to review the contract, disclosure of specific environmental hazards or other state-specific clauses
a provision that the buyer may make a last-minute walkthrough inspection of the property just before the closing
a time limit (preferably short) after which the offer will expire
contingencies, which are an extremely important matter and that are discussed in detail below
Contingencies – “Subject to” Clauses
If your offer says “this offer is contingent upon (or subject to) a certain event,” you’re saying that you will only go through with the purchase if that event occurs. Here are two common contingencies contained in a purchase offer:
The buyer obtaining specific financing from a lending institution: If the loan can’t be found, the buyer won’t be bound by the contract.
A satisfactory report by a home inspector: for example, “within 10 days after acceptance of the offer.” The seller must wait 10 days to see if the inspector submits a report that satisfies the buyer. If not, the contract would become void. Again, make sure that all the details are explicitly stated in the written contract.
You’re in a strong bargaining position, that is, you look particularly welcome to a seller, if:
you’re an all-cash buyer
you’re already have a preapproved mortgage and you don’t have a present house that has to be sold before you can afford to buy
you’re able to close and take possession at a time that is especially convenient for the seller
In these circumstances, you may be able to negotiate some discount from the listed price.
On the other hand, in a “hot” seller’s market, if the perfect house comes on the market, you may want to offer the list price (or more) to beat out other early offers.
It’s very helpful to find out why the house is being sold and whether the seller is under pressure. Keep the following considerations in mind:
every month a vacant house remains unsold represents considerable extra expense for the seller
if the sellers are divorcing, they may want to sell quickly
estate sales often yield a bargain in return for a prompt deal
This is a deposit that you give when making an offer on a house. A seller is understandably suspicious of a written offer that is not accompanied by a cash deposit to show “good faith.” A real estate agent or an attorney usually holds the deposit, the amount of which varies from community to community. This will become part of your down payment.
Buyers: the Seller’s Response to Your Offer
You will have a binding contract if the seller, upon receiving your written offer, signs an acceptance just as it stands, unconditionally. The offer becomes a firm contract as soon as you are notified of acceptance. If the offer is rejected, that’s that – the sellers could not later change their minds and hold you to it.
If the seller likes everything except the sale price, or the proposed closing date, or the basement pool table you want left with the property, you may receive a written counteroffer including the changes the seller prefers. You are then free to accept it, reject it or even make your own counteroffer. For example, “We accept
A real estate agent can help you understand everything you need to know about the home buying process.
Not all real estate licensees are the same; only those who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS are properly called REALTORS. They proudly display the REALTOR trademark on their business cards and other marketing and sales literature.
REALTORS are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. REALTORS® subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate. An independent survey reported that 84% of home buyers would use the same REALTOR again.
Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments of most people’s lifetime. Transactions today usually exceed $250,000. If you had a $250,000 income tax problem, would you attempt to deal with it without the help of a certified professional accountant? If you had a $250,000 legal question, would you deal with it without the help of an attorney? Considering the small upside cost and the large downside risk, it would be wise to work with a professional REALTOR when you are buying a home.
If you’re still not convinced of the value of a REALTOR, here are more reasons to use one:
Your REALTOR can help you determine your buying power – that is, your financial reserves plus your borrowing capacity. If you give a REALTOR some basic information about your available savings, income and current debt, he or she can refer you to lenders best qualified to help you. Most lenders – banks and mortgage companies – offer limited choices.
Your REALTOR has many resources to assist you in your home search. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your agent to find all available properties.
Your REALTOR can assist you in the selection process by providing objective information about each property. Agents who are REALTORS have access to a variety of informational resources. REALTORS can provide local community information on utilities, zoning, schools, etc. There are two things you’ll want to know: First, will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell?
Your REALTOR can help you with negotiations and inspections. There are many negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or appliances. The purchase agreement should allow time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.
Your REALTOR provides due diligence during the property evaluation. Depending on the area and property, this could include inspections for termites, dry rot, asbestos, faulty structure, roof condition, septic tank and well tests, just to name a few. Your REALTOR can assist you in finding qualified responsible professionals to do most of these investigations and provide you with written reports.
You will also want to see a preliminary report on the property title. Title indicates ownership of property and can be mired in confusing status of past owners or rights of access. The title to most properties will have some limitations; for example, easements (access rights) for utilities. Your REALTOR, title search company or attorney can help you resolve issues that might cause problems at a later date.
Your REALTOR can help you understand different financing options and identify qualified lenders.
Your REALTOR can guide you through the closing process and make sure everything flows together smoothly.
Narrow your home search by identifying neighborhoods that are right for you. This helps keep your search focused and efficient. Your local REALTOR can offer neighborhood information to guide you in your search.
When evaluating a neighborhood you should investigate local conditions. Depending on your own particular needs and tastes, some of the following factors may be more important considerations than others:
quality of schools
proximity to schools, employment, hospitals, shops, public transportation, prisons, freeways, airports, beaches, parks, stadiums and cultural centers such as museums and theaters
Neighborhood Search Strategies for Limited Budgets
If you’re a first time-buyer with limited financial resources, it’s wise to buy a home that meets your primary needs in the best neighborhood that fits within your price range. You can maximize your home purchase location by incorporating some of the following strategies into your neighborhood search:
Upcoming neighborhoods: Look for communities that are likely to become “hot neighborhoods” in the coming years. They can often be discovered on the periphery of the most continuously desirable areas.
Check for planned future development such as additional transit; new community services such as pools and theaters; and chain stores planning to move in.
Look for a home in a good neighborhood that is a bit farther out of the city. If commuting is a concern, purchase a home that is close to public transportation.
Neighborhood demand: Look at the neighborhood demand by asking your real estate agent whether multiple offers are being made, whether the gap between the list price and sale price is decreasing and whether there is active community involvement. You can also drive around neighborhoods and see how many “sale pending” and “sold” signs there are in a particular area.
Co-ownership: Look into purchasing a condominium or co-op, rather than a house, in a desirable neighborhood. This way you still may be able to purchase in a prime area that you otherwise could not afford.