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8 in 10 homeowners expect the value of their homes to go up either "a little" (55 percent) or "a lot" (26 percent) in the future.
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It’s no secret: it’s a seller’s market. Inventory is low, and demand is high! Therefore, sellers have a huge advantage. However, there are still homes that simply do not sell. Why? Well, mostly for two reasons: 1. It is priced unrealistically or 2. The listing is unappealing. Realtors will be able to make sure your online listing is tip-top, but if you are a FSBO, or if your home just doesn’t seem to be moving, your listing might need work. For tips on things to avoid, read this post by Colleen Egan at Trulia Pro:
-Bad photos or no photos- Photos are everything when it comes to making a first impression on potential buyers, so hire professionals to take sharp, high-resolution listing photos from multiple, flattering angles.
-Embellishing- avoid the white lies.
-Error- riddled listing copy- be sure to proofread!
-Zero social media presence- use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to your advantage.
Let’s be honest: if you’re looking at a home and thinking of buying, you want to be able to picture yourself in it! If the home you’re looking at has tons of family photos, pet items everywhere, and “unique” decoration, it will make picturing you and your family there very difficult. So, as a seller, it’s your job to “depersonalize” your home. This will help get your home sold faster, and also help with the moving out process. Check out this article at Connecticut Coast Homes for tips on making your home show worthy:
-Declutter- it makes buyers less anxious, makes your home look like new, and eases the packing process.
-Pack up or hide away all: toys, kids items, craft supplies, family photos, clothing, personal mail, and bathroom products. Clean off the fridge as well.
Imagine a posh hotel room and remove anything from the bedrooms that you wouldn’t find in one. This goes for the bathroom and the rest of the house.
These are so cute! Perfect for a teen’s room, or a holiday party.
When I was a kid, I feel like our neighborhood was extremely close. My parents were close friends with almost all our neighbors, and we would have people over almost every day. I played in everyone’s yard with all the pets, and it was safe and fun. Block parties were a weekly occurrence. I would help my neighbor Sherry decorate her yard for Halloween while listening to spooky Loreena McKennitt CDs. My best friend lived down the street, and I’d ride my bike to her house almost every day. Now, I feel like the whole “neighborhood culture” thing is gone.
Though it might just be where I live, I’ve noticed it in many of my friends’ neighborhoods as well. People keep to themselves now. Maybe it’s because of new technology (why go to your neighbor’s house when you can stay in and watch Netflix on your iPad? Why try to make new friends when you can just text your old ones and tell them to come over?), or maybe it’s something else. Either way, I kind of miss that feeling of community that I had when I was younger. Living in a good neighborhood is one of the top things that most people look for when buying a home, and I don’t blame them. Living in a beautiful mansion isn’t worth it if you have neighbors that you can’t stand. So, how do you know if a neighborhood is a good one? Check out this post by Bill Gassett at Max Real Estate Exposure for tips:
-Look for a neighborhood with a good school system
-Sidewalks, street lights
-Proximity to restaurants, stores, etc.
-Low noise level
-Neighbors themselves- talk with people to see if you have a good first impression. Ask them if they like the neighborhood.
So, you’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage. You’ve found a Realtor, and they’ve found you your dream home. After an intense bidding war with two other buyers, you came out on top! Congratulations, your offer has been accepted! The home is almost yours. So…what now? Well, your agent will be able to guide you through all the closing processes- but here’s a quick rundown of what will happen from ProfessorBaron at Zillow:
-Your home is now in Escrow. Many items still need to be reviewed, discussed and inspected as you move forward in the process. Here are several that you’ll encounter for the next 40-50 days until you finally close escrow.
-Home inspection, negotiations
-Property and liability insurance
-Sign documents, fund down payment, verify GFE
You may save lots of money in the short term by renting instead of buying, and that’s great if it fits your lifestyle needs. However, one of the biggest downsides to renting is the lack of customization it allows. Sure, you can put out a few candles and -maybe- hang up a picture or two, but you can’t make any real changes to your space. Again, if you are minimalist type person, this may be totally fine with you. However, when I lived in a dorm and an apartment, I felt absolutely stifled. My space has to represent me! It has to be beautiful, creative, inspiring, and refreshing. Plain, off-white walls, fluorescent lights, and linoleum floors just don’t do it for me. That’s why I love this post by Dabney Frake at Apartment Therapy. It has a list of temporary, removable décor products that renters can use:
-Double sided carpet tape- for temporary flooring
-Wallpaper lining- apply it before putting up wallpaper, and it makes it strip right off when you need it to. Great solution for when you want to make regular wallpaper temporary.
-Peel and stick tile sheets
-Window film- for privacy, decoration, or both!
-Command wall hooks- hang art and photos and leave no trace (or holes)
Don’t get me wrong, I love my neighbors, friends, and family- but living with them all under the same roof? Not sure if I could do it!
Since the collapse in 2008, the housing market has been steadily improving year after year. 2014 showed us that the buyers are back- big time. New mortgage regulations in banks, unemployment decreasing, and government programs like FHA loans have seriously boosted competition and helped to restore the market. And 2015 looks like it will be even better for buyers and sellers alike. Check out this article by Robert Dietz at US News for the forecast of the coming year in real estate: we can expect more first time buyers, more renters, more new home construction, higher home price appreciation, and continue to see low mortgage rates. Click here for the full breakdown.
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