Newsletter: February 2015

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Consumers Show Confidence in Housing Market

Rising home prices are providing both household wealth and rising confidence for many of today’s homeowners, allowing them to renter the housing market with conviction.

Floor War

Alternatives like bamboo and cork are becoming increasingly popular, but for most homeowners installing new flooring in a home they’re moving into, selling, or renovating, the choice comes down to carpet versus hardwood. To help you decide which is best fit for your lifestyle and circumstances, let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks of each.

The Rewards of Resale

Should you buy a resale home or build/buy new? Deciding isn’t a matter of which is inherently better, but of which is better suited to your particular needs and wants. Let’s look now at the benefits of buying a resale property.

Overpricing Implications 

Overpricing their home is the biggest mistake sellers make, though many don’t fully understand the implications of doing so. Here’s why overpricing is so problematic.

Inspection Initiative

Some say it’s really the home inspector that sellers should be concerned about. Don’t get caught by a big surprise –examine (and repair as needed) these major components before listing your house.

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Newsletter: January 2015

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Positive Consumer Sentiment Prevails

As 2014 began to wind down, consumer confidence appeared to strengthen, with survey results showing U.S. consumer sentiment rising in October to the highest in more than seven years.

Makeover Motivation

Welcome to the New Year!  Is it time your decor got a new look?  Here are some great reasons to take on a redecorating project in 2015, be it a whole-home makeover, or a one-room revamping.

Animal House

They may be our best friends, but when it comes to selling our homes, pets can be little saboteurs.  Don’t let them put buyers off — pet-prep your property before it goes on the market.

Don’t Delay

Finding just the right home can take long enough — once your offer’s been accepted, you don’t want any delays.  What can you do to avoid hurdles that could slow you down as you sprint towards closing day?

Energy Efficient Enticements

Lower utility bills, better resale value — it’s no wonder why buyers are increasingly interested in energy-efficient features.  But which ones are particularly popular with house hunters?

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Newsletter: December 2014

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Ho, Ho, Hold the Decorations

If you have just moved to a new suburban community or planned unit development, you may now be a member of a homeowner’s association, or HOA.  Since HOAs create and enforce the community rules and regulations, you’ll want to find out if they have any restrictions surrounding the display of holiday decorations before going to the effort of putting them up.

Paint and Paper Prep

You’ve finally found the perfect print or paint color and are itching to give that room a facelift!  Not so fast, though — surface preparation is the key to being happy with your results; as such, problems like the following need to be addressed before you go applying that wallpaper or fresh coat of paint.

If I’d Only Known

Buying a home can seem a complex and often confusing business  These are four aspects of the process buyers wish they had better understood before they purchased their homes.

Staging Services

If you’re a seller who’s written off the idea of hiring a professional stager due to price, think twice!  Stagers offer a variety of services, so you can spend as much or as little as you like.

Survey Says

Property surveys aren’t just for when disputes between neighbors arise.  Below are a few other occasions when having a survey performed is well worth the (modest) expense.

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Newsletter: November 2014

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Time to Go Shopping?

The holidays are almost here and you may have a long list of people to shop for.  In fact you may spend hours looking for the perfect gift for that special someone.  But how much time do you spend looking for that perfect mortgage?  Considering it’s the largest financial transaction you’ll probably ever make, the answer is likely, “nowhere enough time”.

Happier Holidays!

For many of us, the holiday season can be as stressful as it is happy.  But the good news is that you always know when it’s coming, which means you can prepare and plan for a holiday that’s more joyous for you — and less taxing on you — with these tips!

Back for Seconds

Especially in hot markets, buyers can feel pressure to make snap decisions.  Taking the time to view potential properties a second time can be invaluable in helping buyers avoid making a decision they will regret.

Pricing Dos and Don’ts

Establishing an asking price is a seller’s most critical decision.  These pricing dos and don’ts can mean the difference between a speedy sale and a listing that lingers.

Audit Season

Want to make money and make your house a more comfortable, eco-friendly place to live? If your answer is yes, your first step is an energy audit.

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Newsletter: October 2014

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Consumer Confidence Soars

Based on The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, Americans are feeling very positive about the economic forecast.  In fact, consumer confidence in July 2014 hit its highest level since October 2007!

A Clean Sweep

While just about everyone enjoys a clean house, there are precious few who enjoy the work involved.  Even the most hygienic of homeowners would rather spend their time doing something else.  Make cleaning your home an easier, faster and less unpleasant process with these tips.

Getting Settled

Moving day has come and gone; you’ll be unpacking and decorating for months.  In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to make your new house feel a little more like home.

Leave It

Much is said about what should go when you list your home — clutter, odor — but what should stay.  Here are some things a savvy seller might consider leaving in their for-sale home.

Ask Away

Attending the home inspection is a great opportunity to learn more about a house you intend to buy.  Here are some questions well worth asking during the inspection.

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Newsletter: September 2014

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Moving On

Americans are constantly on the move, and according to the latest Census Bureau study, the reasons are as varied as the movers themselves.  However, two common reasons for moving that most people can relate to include relocating for an easier commute and moving to access cheaper housing.

Over the (Conventional) Counter

Granite may have the grandeur and laminate may be low-cost, while man-made corian and quartz counters make for a beautiful and practical presentation, but if you’re thinking about installing new counters in your kitchen or bathroom, why not think outside the box?

On the Upswing

Buying in an up and coming neighborhood is a savvy move that can really pay off.  But how do you find such an area?  Here are some tips to help you identify neighborhoods on the upswing.

In or Out?

When a home sells, which items stay and which go?  That’s one of the most contentious issues between sellers and buyers.  Here’s how to avoid confusion–and possibly litigation.

Window of Opportunity

After that new house officially becomes your but before you move into it, if possible, is the ideal window of time in which to take care of not only cleaning the place, painting the walls and finishing the floors, but also these other chores.

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Newsletter: August 2014

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Positive Housing Activity Forecast

Although the severe weather patterns experienced at the start of this year directly impacted housing activity, the forecast for the rest of 2014 and into 2015 suggests an uptrend, based on healthy underlying housing demand.

A Palatable Pallette

Few things have a greater impact on the atmosphere of a room than the color of its walls — maybe that’s why picking paint colors can feel so daunting.  But with the help of these tips, you will be able to pick your paint colors with more confidence and get results you can happily live with for longer.

File Under “To Buy”

Make homebuying less stressful — get organized!  Create a homebuyer’s file in which you can gather together all the paperwork and information you’ll need throughout the homebuying process.

Let Me Take Care of That!

Deciding to sell is a big decision, not only financially, but emotionally.  Because of that, some sellers have been known to unconsciously thwart the efforts of the very real estate professional they’ve hired to sell their home.  For the best results, please note the following seller guidelines, and entrust the home selling to your Realtor.

Outdoors, Improved

While kitchens and bathrooms are still tops when it comes to home improvements, homeowners are increasingly realizing the benefits of outdoor living spaces.

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Newsletter: July 2014

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Buy With Confidence

The lack of housing inventory and the resulting anxiety that comes with wondering if they will ever find the right home is making some homebuyers jump onto ay available property on impulse, without considering some of the basic home-buying guidelines.  Take a moment to remind yourself of these buying parameters.

Finishing Touches

Furniture is a practical necessity, but it’s through our accessories that we really express our style and personality, make our living spaces utterly unique and “complete” our environments. Here are five home décor accessories that are essential for turning any house – or condo – into a home.

Best Ignored

No property is perfect – each one you come across will have its flaws, but while some are justifiable grounds for crossing a home off your list, others aren’t. Here are four things that shouldn’t be dealbreakers.

Stay For A While!

The less time buyers spend in your home, the less likely they’ll be to purchase it.  Create a welcoming atmosphere — one that encourages buyers to linger long enough for a good look around your home — with these tips.

The Green Advantage

Making eco-friendly improvements to your house is obviously good for the environment, but what’s in it for you?

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Newsletter: June 2014

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Looking Forward to a “Booming Future”
There are many areas of the country where the obstacle in the real estate market isn’t a lack of buyers, but rather a lack of inventory, specifically in the single-family home category. As discouraging as this may be to young families hoping to score a home similar to the one they may have grown up in, it’s certainly no cause for despair, only a recommendation for those potential buyers to pack a little patience for the time being.

Socket Science
Replacing your burnt-out lightbulbs has become a more confusing task of late, not just because of recent legislation that means some products will no longer be available, but because of the dizzying array of new products on store shelves. Below is a guide to help you find the right bulb for the job.

Balancing Act
Buy before selling or sell before buying? That’s the dilemma every homeowner must eventually face. The former choice is often the more problematic one for the following reasons.

Safe Summer Fun
Whether you’re outside spending quality time with the kids or entertaining friends, make summer fun at your house safer for your family and your guests with these tips.

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Newsletter: May 2014

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Market Maintains Positive Trend
There is a lot of positive movement in the U.S. housing market as it continues to recover and strengthen.

On the Straight and Narrow
While rooms themselves are paid plenty of attention when it comes to decorating a home’s interior, the spaces that connect them often go overlooked. But with the following tips, your hallways can look just as well appointed as the rest of your home, and be more functional, too.

Escape Clause
Contingencies may allow you to cancel your purchase contract in the event certain conditions aren’t met. Let’s look at some of the contingencies included in some purchase offers.

Private Matter
Now more than ever, privacy is a top-of-mind concern for many – protect yours when selling your property by following these tips before opening your door for showings and open houses.

Garden Variety
Just as your home’s interior can have a style that reflects your tastes and personality, so can your landscaping. Which style suits you best?

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