Updated: Sunday, May 19, 2019
9 Practical Tips in Handling Plumbing Emergencies
Plumbing affects several areas in your home from the bathroom to the kitchen. Plumbing problems can arise suddenly, without warning. While some minor issues are easily fixed, some difficulties can quickly escalate into a major crisis that causes damage to your home. If this isnt taken care of immediately, you can suffer thousands of dollars in loss, with lasting consequences.
How can you potentially limit a plumbing disaster? Here are some helpful tips that you can apply to protect your home:
Shut off the Water
As soon as emergency strikes, turn off the source of water immediately. It can be as simple as turning off the valve at the base of your commode. However, if larger emergencies like flooding occur, turn off the main valve in your home. Most water valves usually have to be turned off clockwise.
Turn Off the Electricity
Electricity and water will always make a deadly combination. If there is any chance that the flooded water does come into contact with any electrical circuit, then, stay away from the leaking or flooded water. If you can reach for the main switch without touching any of the water, the better. The next thing you can do is to turn off the power switch and disable the circuits.
Check Your Water Heater
After youve stopped the flooding and flow of water into your home using the main switch, you will have to turn off your water heater as well. Its crucial to note that once the all the water in your home is shut off, there is a tendency that the pressure and the water levels inside your water heater will start to rise. This situation is potentially dangerous once the pressure increases above the heaters limit, the unit can burst, making the whole situation even more hazardous.
Wear Protective Rubber Gloves
For your safety and protection, wear rubber boots and gloves if the leak is contaminated by the sewage or is in a drain line. Even after the whole area is cleaned and dried, you still need to disinfect it after thoroughly.
Assess the Damage
Before you call a professional, try to asses the damage first. Providing the plumber with sufficient information over the phone gives them a good idea of the problem at hand. As a result, they can quickly fix the problem.
Open Drains and Spigots
You have to understand that there will still be water in the pipes even after youve turned off the main valve. To move this water away from your home, turn on spigots and open drains. Also, give the hose in your garden a few extra squirts to ensure that you clear out the water as well. If youre experiencing a small clog, open the drain using >
Avoid Using Chemicals on Pipes
Try not to use chemical cleaners in your pipes as it can make the situation worse. If youre experiencing a backed-up drain, avoid using a bottle of drain cleaner. Drain cleaners will erode the pipes, and if your home is older, this can cause lasting devastating effects. While these chemicals can usually wash away debris and dirt, they still cause significant problems. As an alternative, try using a plunger. If it still doesnt work out, its time to call an expert.
Handle Small Leaks
Small leaks are quite easy to identify. The best thing that you can do about it is to stop them as soon as possible. You can try stuffing rags and towels around the pipes. Also putting buckets under those dripping leaks can help as well. Let your plumber know about these leaks the moment they arrive so that they can be addressed in the safest order.
Call a Plumber
When youre facing a plumbing crisis, its essential to call a plumbing professional or a plumbing company. Doing so gives you peace of mind that your safety and the overall condition of your home is well-taken care. Call a plumbing company that offers 24-hour, emergency service. Try to give the plumber as much information as you can about what fixtures are affected and what you have done to fix or stop the problem.
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Garage Organization: A Chore No More In 5 Easy Steps
1. Plan of Attack
Dont enter alone. And use the buddy systemmdash;if for no other reason than you may get overwhelmed and lost in your own sea of debris. Friends, family, and the kids can all lend a hand to get the job done quicker and to help keep you on track: its easy to get distracted rooting through the objects of your past.
The first goal of any garage organization is to create more floor space, so thats where you should begin as well. Get all the knick-knacks, the holiday decorations, and any other indoor->
2. Divide and Conquer
Give each helper a section to cover. This should help the garage organization run smoother. And dont be clingy. If you havent used something in over a year, or if you forgot it even existed, its time to say goodbye. Give your stuff to charities, thrift stores, or maybe even make a trip to the dump. Or, better yet, make a separate pile for a future garage sale, allowing you to reap all the awards of your excavation. However, dont procrastinate on this chore either. Its easy to say youll have a garage sale and not follow through so as to keep putting off the inevitable. Then, divide up the remaining possessions into categoriesmdash;sports items, seasonal deacute;cor, gardening tools, car maintenance, etc.mdash;to help with the next step.
3. Get Vertical
Once everything is cleaned and categorized, now its time to rearrange. The best way to store your things is to make use of your vertical space.
- Get a pegboard for your tools.
- Put up some shelves for boxes.
- Heavy-duty hooks are great for shovels and rakes.
- Buy a magnetic strip for stray metal items, such as steel rulers or chisels.
If you have bikes, skis, or ladders, put them overhead in the rafters or if you have a drywall ceiling, once again, heavy-duty hooks are great for hanging these heavy-duty items.
Remember that a garage is mainly used to store or work on your car or other vehicles so make sure you clear enough space to make this possible. Garage car lifts provide a great way for you to store a vehicle whilst still giving you floor space to move around in. You can get 2 post lifts which make it easy to work on your car and 4 post lifts which allow you to store 2 vehicles in one space.
Once you have as much as you can off the floor, its now time to find additional storage. The easiest answer to this dilemma is a garage organizer.
- A multiple tier shelving unit is great for storing paint or varnishes.
- A cabinetry system for miscellaneous items is always handy.
- Maybe buy several Rubbermaid baskets to hang on the wall to help separate the recycling.
- Buy a crank to roll up that hose.
- Use garbage ties or bungee cords to keep your extension cords in line.
Whatever the need, investing in some form of garage organizer helps to maintain the floor space youve just created.
5. Items Big and Small Dont forget the little things.
If you save glass baby-food jars, clear film canisters, or milk cartons to be cut in half, youll now be able to store smaller items, such as nails, screws, or tacks. If these small containers arent see through, they can also be easily labeled with masking tape. Another alternative garage organizer is an inexpensive tackle box to help contain the confusion. But what if its your bigger items that are getting in the way? What if its the necessary tools, such as snow blowers, lawn mowers, or edgers creating the clutter? Then consider building an extra shed in the backyard or a lean-to against the outside of the garage in order to produce additional square footage.
Donrsquo;t Let It Happen Again
The main thing to keep in mind is never let it get to this point again. If you take these steps, you should be able to keep up with your garage organization in the future. This is not to say that you wont have some occasional maintenancemdash;some sweeping, scrubbing, or washing. But by simply taking the time to arrange the space, at least youll no longer dread entering into it.
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To Roommate or Not to Roommate? Things to Consider Before Bringing Another Person Under Your Roof
Defraying the cost of a mortgage is great, and, in some cases, taking in tenants can be lucrative, more than covering your entire payment and putting money in your pocket every month. But, inviting roommates into your home also comes with its share of potential downsides. Here are a few things you may want to weigh before you hand over the keys.
Say goodbye to your privacy
Having someone else in your home probably means you canrsquo;t walk around naked unless yoursquo;re in that type of thing. It also may mean there will be people making noise in the living room when you want peace and quiet or making a mess in the kitchen when you just want to make a sandwich.
About that messhellip;
Speaking of messes, how another person lives should be a consideration before you invite them to live in your home. Have you seen their current place? Did it lookhellip;normal?
If yoursquo;re a neat freak and your potential roommate like to leave behind items of clothing like breadcrumbs, you could have an Odd Couple situation. On the other hand, if yoursquo;re a little more casual about how you keep the house and your potential roommate likes things just so, you might end up feeling out of place in your own home.
Someone elsersquo;s romantic life
Arenrsquo;t you a little old to be living by the ldquo;sock on the doorrdquo; rule? Bringing in a roommate may mean compromising your privacy in even more egregious ways, or having to tiptoe around in order to avoid an uncomfortable run-in.
Ultimately, itrsquo;s your finances and credit at risk no matter who you invite into your home because itrsquo;s your name on the mortgage. If yoursquo;re taking in a roommate to help make your mortgage payment, you need to know you can depend on this person to pay his or her share. No matter how well you think you know this potential roommate, itrsquo;s imperative that you do a background check and check their credit. What you donrsquo;t know could hurt you.
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May Real Estate Roundup
Freddie Macs results of its Primary Mortgage Market Surveyreg; shows that "despite the recent rise in mortgage rates, both existing and new home sales continue to show strength ndash; indicating the lagged effect of lower rates on housing demand. This, along with improved affordability, should push housing activity higher in the coming months."
bull; 30-year fixed-rate mortgage FRM averaged 4.2 percent with an average 0.5 points for the week ending April 25, 2019, up from last month when it averaged 4.06 percent. A year ago, at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.58 percent.
bull; 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.64 percent with an average 0.5 points, up from last month when it also averaged 3.57 percent. A year ago, at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.02 percent.
bull; 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage ARM averaged 3.77 percent this week with an average 0.4 points, up from last month when it averaged 3.75 percent. A year ago, at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.74 percent.
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Are You Grown Up Enough to Be a Homeowner?
Do you know the true costs of homeownership?
Yes, you have a handle on what your principal, interest, taxes, and insurance are going to cost. But have you factored in the other costs? Homeownerrsquo;s association fees, tolls, gas, and other commuter costs, landscaping help, and increased utility costs could all add to your monthly expenses and push the affordability factor out of reach.
Are you aware of closing costs?
Many first-time buyers arenrsquo;t prepared to pay thousands of dollars on top of their down payment. Getting an estimate upfront is key to making sure you have what you need to close.
Are you being realistic about home appreciation?
Homebuyers love to look at home appreciation over a period of time and then use those numbers to project how much their home value will increase in the next few years. Itrsquo;s human nature. But it can also be dangerous if yoursquo;re counting on that appreciation to move up or on in a few yearsrsquo; time.
Itrsquo;s important to remember that the real estate market is cyclical, and, while short-term gains are great, historical long-term gains also make real estate one of the safest and most successful investment strategies. ldquo;Housing was the worldrsquo;s best investment over the last 150 years,rdquo; said Quartz.
If your home does increase in value, what will you do with the equity?
Hope your answer wasnrsquo;t, ldquo;Go shoppingrdquo; or ldquo;Buy a new carrdquo; That kind of thinking can get you in troublemdash;in fact, it did get a lot of people in trouble during the last downturn. Responsible use of home equity is key to remaining financially stable. When you use your equity for things other than home improvement, yoursquo;re increasing your monthly costs but not your home value. Now it costs more to live in your home, and itrsquo;s at risk if you get in over your head and default on your loan.
Are you planning to run out and furnish every inch of the home right away?
Doing so could put you several thousand dollars in additional debt just as yoursquo;re transitioning to homeownership. Financial experts recommend easing into your new home and making sure the monthly output is what you expect and can manage before taking on too much additional debt.
Do you pay your bills on time?
There are those of us who like to pay bills right when we receive them and those of us who pay them when we get a notification that wersquo;re about to incur a late fee. Wersquo;ve been both of those people. If yoursquo;re not used tomdash;or fond of or good atmdash;managing your bills, you may find yourself with no water or electricity. Investopedia has some great tools to help you get more organized.
How good are you at facing your issues?
We can procrastinate with the best of lsquo;em and we have. We can put off fixing a problemmdash;personal, professional, or otherwise and we have. We can wait too long to take care of a little problem in the house and turn it into a big, huge, much more expensive problem and we have. Being a homeowner means stepping up when the house needs you. And it will need you at some point. Are you ready to make it a priority?
Would you rather take a bucket list vacation or fix up your kitchen?
A trip to the see the Northern Lights would be amazinghellip;but would it be better than being able to run your hands over your new Quartz countertops every day? You may need to make some hard decisions as a homeowner. Whether or not itrsquo;s worth depends on how important the goal of buying a home is.
Do you have a solid support system?
Sometimes you just need someone you can vent to, sometimes you need someone to come fix a smoke detector 20 feet up thatrsquo;s going off in the middle of the night. If yoursquo;re used to living at home, where parents take care of everything, or in an apartment where you can call the manager, the realization that this is all your responsibility now can be a shock to the system. There are a few things you can do to make sure yoursquo;re prepared for whatever comes your way:
bull; Mine Nextdoor ahead of time for resources plumber, electrician, garage door expert you can reach out to when needed
bull; Find a good handyman as soon as you move in
bull; Meet and exchange contact information with your neighbors
bull; Consider getting a home warranty, especially if your home is older and yoursquo;re concerned about the large expense of a new hot water heater or air conditioning unit
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How Transit-Supported Development Could Solve Affordability Issues
A recent survey of young urban families in Canada found that proximity to public transit is one of their top considerations when purchasing a home. The survey found that 28 per cent of families rank transit-friendly neighbourhoods as a priority, while 17 per cent considered car-friendliness is a priority. Four per cent cited cycling-friendly neighbourhoods.
ldquo;Transportation and housing have always been inextricably linked. Investments into any transportation infrastructure, whether rapid transit, bus lines, roads or bike lanes, not only have a direct impact on a communityrsquo;s quality of life, but often, real estate values,rdquo; says Brad Henderson, president and CEO of Sothebyrsquo;s International Realty Canada, which conducted the survey with Mustel Group.
ldquo;The importance that many of todayrsquo;s young families are placing on neighbourhood public transit access when home buying reflects changing attitudes and values, the strains of cost of living, as well as improvements to transit infrastructure made to date,rdquo; says Henderson.
ldquo;These priorities also point to what this influential group of buyers will deem prime real estate locations in the future.rdquo;
The young families cited safety as the No. 1 priority for their neighbourhoods. Transit-friendly neighbourhoods were a priority for 30 per cent of respondents in Vancouver, 29 per cent in Toronto and Montreal and 21 per cent in Calgary. Having a location that was car-friendly was most important to Calgary residents at 20 per cent, followed by 19 per cent of Montreal families, 17 per cent of Toronto families and 13 per cent of Vancouver respondents.
Montrealrsquo;s families were most interested in cycling-friendly neighbourhoods at seven per cent, followed by Vancouver and Calgary at five per cent and Toronto at two per cent.
A shortage of housing options in Toronto and Vancouver, in particular, continue to price young families out of the downtown real estate markets and push them further to the suburbs. Several recent studies suggest that building more transit-supported development ntilde; homes within a 10-minute walk of public transit ntilde; could help provide more affordable housing options and >
A report from the Pembina Institute says that the population in the Greater Toronto Horseshoe Area is expected to grow by 110,000 people every year, to more than 10 million by 2041. The City of Toronto will get about 20 per cent of this growth, but the outlining suburbs will grow the most dramatically.
The Pembina report has three examples of how people living in transit-supported developments could save significant money.
A young professional making 75,000, which includes most first-time home buyers, could lower housing and transportation costs by 10 per cent to 11 per cent by getting rid of their car and taking transit instead, says the Pembina report. Families with a 120,000 yearly income could save 40 per cent to 45 per cent by moving from a detached home to a two-bedroom condo and from two cars to one, replacing that car with transit use. A retiree with a 25,000 income could go from a detached home to a one-bedroom condo and get rid of their car, resulting in a saving of 50 to 56 per cent.
A study by the Centre for Urban Research amp; Land Development CUR identified almost 200 existing or under-development major transit modes across Ontario. It says there is almost 1,500 square km of land within 800 metres of a major transit mode that could support more development.
ldquo;Outdated city bylaws protect much of it from higher transit-supported density development,rdquo; says CUR. ldquo;Carefully implementing as-of-right zoning along transit corridors is likely to be an effective action governments in Ontario can take to make room for additional housing supply.rdquo;
The study says, ldquo;A conservative estimate would suggest that re-zoning could encourage yearly construction around under-zoned transit nodes and lines by up to 25 housing units per square km at a minimum. That could translate into a minimum of 20,000 more units per year along transit corridors in Ontario,rdquo; says the CUR report.
The CUR and Pembina report both recommend that municipal bylaws and zoning be reviewed to allow for transit-supportive zoning.
ldquo;Public policy interventions are needed to ensure equitable transit-supported development, which means ensuring there are housing options to meet the needs of low-and moderate-income households,rdquo; says the Pembina report, adding that providing mixed-income housing near transit stations ldquo;can give families with low and moderate household incomes an equal opportunity to live near work or commute by transit, thereby saving money on both housing and transportation.rdquo;
Recently the Ontario government introduced a housing action plan that includes ldquo;making it easier to transform commuter parking lots at transit stations into places with homes and businesses.rdquo;
It says it has already introduced development plans for two Toronto transit hubs ldquo;and this is just the startrdquo;. But there has already been opposition to the governmentrsquo;s plan from municipal councillors, who say the plan is just a way for developers to make more money and wonrsquo;t provide more affordable housing.
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One Story or Two Story? The Advantagesand Disadvantagesof Each.
Are you open to either? Do you feel like the right home will ldquo;speakrdquo; to you regardless of the number of floors? Letrsquo;s take a look at some of the realities of living of both, with a few things you may not have thought of.
A one-story home may seem more expensive if itrsquo;s priced against a larger two-story home, but you have to take the price-per-square-footage into account to see the value. They typically ldquo;cost less per square foot to build,rdquo; said Bensonwood. ldquo;Thatrsquo;s because the most expensive elements of home-buildingmdash;excavation/foundation and rafters/roof installationmdash;are being built on a smaller footprint. Plus, yoursquo;ll have less roof area to maintain.rdquo;
Containing the mess
Kids may be more likely to keep their mess contained to the second level, where guests wonrsquo;t see it. When their rooms are on the main level, their stuff has a way of migrating into main living areas.
Stairs are dangerous
Yes, people do fall down the stairs. In fact, the National Safety Council ranks stairway falls ldquo;second only to motor vehicle accidents as a leading cause of accidental injury,rdquo; according to USClaims. Injuries can include bruises, sprains, and bone breaks, as well as more serious traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries leading to paralysis.
If the potential for injury is of concern, especially with young children, there are precautions you can take to make stairs safer, including carpeting the surface and making sure the area is well-lit.
The health benefits
Stairs give you a built-in butt workout, but theyrsquo;re actually good for the whole body. ldquo;Climbing stairs is a great form of cardio exercise,rdquo; said Truweight. ldquo;While climbing stairs, you work against gravity lifting your entire body. This activity strengthens your leg muscles making it a rather strenuous exercise.rdquo; It can also ldquo;improve your heart rate and healthrdquo; as well as strengthen joints and muscles.
Let the fresh air in
If you have a one-story home, you likely keep the windows locked up tight, especially at night. But therersquo;s a sense of security that comes from being upstairs. And, as Shayan Jalali, a sales associate for Keller Williams in Boston, said on Realtor.com, ldquo;A thief is unlikely to shimmy up your drain pipe just to check out your goods, and far less likely to shimmy down it with your flat-screen TV.rdquo;
You may be safer in an emergency
You should have an evacuation plan for everyone in the household to follow regardless of what type of home you live in. But, some buyers prefer to have a single-story because it can be easier to evacuate in an emergency.
ldquo;Unfortunately, natural disastersmdash;and some manmade disasters such as firesmdash;do happen,rdquo; said The Balance. ldquo;This can be a primary consideration depending on your location. You might have to think about the possibility of tornadoes in the Midwest, tidal flooding on the Eastern seaboard, or earthquakes in California. In any case, youll want to be able to evacuate your home quickly and efficiently under the worst circumstances, maybe even while youre still half asleep. This tends to be easier in a one-story dwelling.rdquo;
Bedrooms upstairs, gathering spaces downstairs. Thats the way it should be, right? Thatrsquo;s what many families lean towardmdash;hence the enduring popularity of these plans.
Young families arenrsquo;t the only ones who prefer single-story homes. If yoursquo;re approaching retirement age, you may be thinking about whether or not itrsquo;s smart to buy a home with stairs. The truth is mobility issues may be many years away or they may never affect you at all. There are also ways you can adapt a two-story home, like adding a chairlift or elevator. Or, you can choose a single story for your forever home and forgo the hassle or expensive renovations.
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Bitcoin vs. Property Investment: The Risks
However, if you are looking to invest some money but either have enough property already, or just fancy something a bit different, could Bitcoin be the answer yoursquo;ve been waiting for?
Investing in Bitcoin comes with a mighty element of risk, but then this could be true of investing in anything as you can never guarantee a positive return on that investment, no matter what yoursquo;re buying into or how calculated you think yoursquo;ve been with weighing up the pros and cons.
External factors in all investments
Bitcoin has been compared to commodities such as gold, but how does it compare to property? Is it really riskier that buying property?
All investments, whether it be cryptocurrencies, property or almost anything else you can think of, come with a whole plethora of external factors which cannot be controlled or predicted by you as the investor. Whilst you have some control over your investment, e.g. by deciding how much money you want to invest, and what you want to invest in, the truth of the matter is that no matter what you decide to invest in, there will always be factors that dictate changes that may affect your investment which you will not be able to prevent. In terms of property, such factors can include fluctuating prices of the property market, consumer demand and other costs associated with buying and letting property taxes, stamp duty etc.
So, with this in mind, is it less risky to invest in Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin?
Bitcoin: the additional risks
Unlike the physical commodity of property, the online based cryptocurrencies are far more exposed to fraud through hacking issues. Unfortunately, too many hackers are able to commit crimes when it comes to the theft of cryptocurrency, as letrsquo;s be honest, it is far easier for someone to steal Bitcoin off of you than it is for someone to steal an entire property from you, especially as a lot of the time you will not know that you have been stolen from until you next login.
With this is mind, many people would argue that investing in Bitcoin poses a far higher risk than property, although it must be bared in mind that with Bitcoin you do not have the other risks that come with investing in property, especially if you intend to rent this property out to tenants.
So, what should I invest in, Bitcoin or Property?
Ultimately, all investments carry potential risks, and there is not a clear answer to this question. In terms of both, ensure never to invest when the price is high, keep an eye on fluctuations and make your move when the time is right. Regardless of what you choose to invest in, remember that your security and the safety of your assets and investments should be the top priority. Carry out your own research and you will soon find that investment in property and bitcoin are just as risky as each other, it is simply down to the choice of the investor.
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Requirement Differences Between Conforming and Jumbo Loans
Yet while both are approved in much the same manner, there are some approval differences that need to be pointed out. This can be especially important if the sales price on a home is very close to either choice. Perhaps a home is listed at 600,000. With a 20 down payment the loan would be 480,000. With a 10 down payment, it would fall into the jumbo category.
One of the requirements >
It used to be, up until the late 1950s, that mortgage lenders would cap the loan amount at 80 or lower. This extra equity cushion was needed should the loan go into default. Foreclosing on a property is costly for the lender and without this cushion lenders could be automatically ldquo;upside downrdquo; with a property, losing money upon sale. This meant home buyers had to come up with more money for a down payment, meaning buying later after saving more or being kept out of the home buying process altogether.
PMI on the other hand offered a solution. PMI would compensate the lender the difference between the buyerrsquo;s down payment and 80 of the value. If the buyers put down 10, PMI would cover an amount that would compensate the lender the difference. Remember, PMI is indeed an insurance policy.
But there are no PMI policies available for jumbo loans, only conforming ones. This is a big requirement difference between the two.
This translates into a jumbo down payment of at least 20 of the sales price and borrowers with a 25 down payment get slightly better terms. There are programs where lower down payments are accepted but must be accompanied by secondary financing to keep the primary mortgage at 80 of the propertyrsquo;s value.
Debt ratios, the percentage of debt compared to gross monthly income, are also a bit more restrictive with a jumbo loan. Conforming loans can accept debt ratios approaching 50, which means total monthly credit obligations approach nearly half of qualifying monthly income. Note however, when a lender approves a loan with such ratios, there will be other compensating factors in the file such as high credit scores, a large down payment, significant cash reserves and other positive features. Jumbo loans on the other hand will ra>There can be other differences as individual jumbo lenders have the ability to require more documentation of income, employment and assets, but in general, these are the main difference you need to know about.
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How Much Does a Pool Add to the Sale Price of a House
Thatrsquo;s because whilst homes can appreciate in value, pools do not. A pool is like a motor vehicle ndash; once it has been used, its value starts depreciating, and a pool that is more than 10 years old would have almost no value at all in a real estate transaction.
Of course, there are exceptions to that general rule. A well-constructed concrete pool using high-quality materials in a high-end property, and which has been well maintained throughout its life, is still going to have value after 10 years.
Mr Pool Man, a leading supplier of high-quality pool pumps and filtration equipment, says the condition and quality of the pool fixtures and fittings that have been used also has a big impact on whether an older pool can hold its value. But the average quality pool in a suburban home is likely to depreciate at around the same rate as a motor vehicle ndash; a large drop in value the first year, and then steadily decreasing until there is not much resale value left at the end of a decade.
So the answer to the question as to whether the cost of installing a pool can be recouped in a property sale is almost certainly no.
As to the question of how much can be added to the sale price to reflect the value of the pool depends on a range of other factors aside from age:
Type of pool
Only professionally constructed in-ground pools with a shotcrete, gunite or tiled finish are capable of holding much value beyond 10 years. Even then, the value is going to be largely dependent on its condition and the quality of fixtures and fittings.
Any noticeable cracks in the surface of the pool - even without any evidence of leakage - is going to reduce its value.nbsp;
Many manufacturers of fiberglass pools claim their pools can hold their value as long as concrete pools. Technically that is true at least for the first 10 years, but in practice most homeowners donrsquo;t keep the water quality at an optimum level throughout the year, and this often results in premature discoloring of the gel coat finish on the fiberglass.
Any discoloring of the surface of the pool is going to result in the pool looking older than it might really be, thus having some impact on the amount that can be added to the selling price of the property.
Pools that have a vinyl liner are the cheapest to install and this is reflected in the fact that they have the lowest resale value. Vinyl liners have to be replaced every five years or so, so unless the liner has been fairly recently replaced, it is unlikely that the value that a buyer would place on this type of pool would be anything close to its installation cost.
After the age and the type of the pool, the factor that has the most influence on the extent to which the selling price of the property can be inflated to recoup some of the installation costs of the pool is whether the buyer is actively seeking to buy a property with a pool.
This is where the issue of how much to add to the selling price becomes very subjective because whilst some buyers ndash; families with children for example ndash; may be actively seeking a house with a pool, others may be ambivalent about whether the property has a pool or not.
In fact having a pool may even turn away some buyers who do not want a pool because whilst a pool may enhance the look of a house and garden, if the new homeowners have no intention of using it, they will need to still spend money on keeping it maintained to avoid it becoming unsightly with green algae.
Rule of Thumb
So with one of those factors being so subjective, how is it possible to estimate a figure to add to the sale price of the house to account for the value of the pool? A good rule of thumb is to work out what the cost of installing the pool represents as a percentage of the cost of building or buying the house. Generally that figure is around 10-15 percent. Then take half that figure and apply that percentage to what would have been the sale price of the house. So, for example, if the cost of building the pool was 12 percent of the cost of building the house, then increase the selling price of the house by 6 percent.
Of course, that price needs to be compared with the market price of similar properties that may have been sold in the same area, and for older houses with older pools, that figure may end up only being a starting point from which you will have to negotiate, but at least you will have a figure that represents the maximum likely return from a house and pool sale.
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Creating a Home Workout Space Without Sacrificing Style
The Workout Space
Maybe you have already thought about or tried a temporary workout space. This would be a multifunctional space like a yoga mat that can be set up in the living room then put away. Itrsquo;s quick and easy and there are plenty of workout routines that can be done in a fairly small space including lifting weights or doing squats and lunges. Afterward you can roll up the mat and put it away. Yoga mats have the added benefits of providing cushion on wood or tile floors and muffling the sound of your feet. If your mat or area rug slips, use rug grippers under them to keep them in place.
If you are able to set aside a space that can always be used as your gym, you can decorate it in a way that inspires a good workout. First, pick an open space such as an extra bedroom, loft, or patio that is low-traffic and uncluttered. Avoid putting objects here that are breakable or hazardous because you could run into sharp table corners or knock over vases during active exercises like jumping and dancing. Make sure that your area is light and well ventilated. Natural light is ideal but you can add other lighting to brighten it up. Keep a fan nearby or make sure your space has AC or windows so you wonrsquo;t overheat. If you want large exercise equipment, measure your space first to make sure you have room for it.
Stocking Your Home Gym
You will want to make sure you have everything you need but you can still add >
Give It A Theme
Try finding a theme to compliment your workout. For a bohemian yoga sanctuary, use a large tapestry in warm tones and add a few crystals, an oil diffuser, a salt lamp, or perhaps wicker storage units. You could create a more organic space with plants and a small, calming fountain or a few flowers. Conversely, you might not want this room to stand out so much. Make it flow with the rest of house more and still hint at its purpose with ballerina art by Degas, inspirational quotes, a cork board to post your goals, progress, and workout schedule, or even a bookcase if yoursquo;ve created a space that is >
Finding the right Realtorreg; to help you with buying or selling a home can seem daunting. Your best friends sisters cousin may be an agent referral but does that mean that theyre the right agent to fulfill your needs? Getting referrals from friends and family is great but sometimes those referrals dont work out and can lead to strains in >
Your family doctor or kids teacher required education to do their jobs. A good agent requires specialized training and knowledge for their job as well. Agents may have acronyms after their name on the business card which can represent a few different specialties or areas of expertise:
- SRES Seniors Real Estate Specialist - trained to assist buyers ages 50 and older to buy and sell a home.
- CRS Certified Residential Specialist - trained to help buyers in the home buying and selling markets
- ABR Accredited Buyers Representative - trained to represent buyers in transactions
- GRI Graduate, Realtorreg; Institute - the National Association of Realtorsreg; most comprehensive training on a broad range of subjects, including all the ones mentioned above
The right credentials will ensure that the agent has received proper training in the field to help you.
Experience and Referrals
A seasoned agent with an excellent track record is the type of agent that you would want to represent your sale. Someone who has been actively and successfully working in the local market for at least 5 years is a good suggestion. Also getting the detailed information on the agentrsquo;s experience and track record can be a key indicator to the type of success that you can expect. You can request a list of recent sales and client contact information from the agent to find out about past customer experiences. Finding out how long the properties were on the market is a great question to ask as well.
Passion For The Job
Finding an agent that loves what they do can make or break a sale. Their passion in the field and the reason for working in real estate can be a motivating factor to go above and beyond to help a client with the sale of their property. Ask your agent why they decided to enter this field to see if their values align with your own. If the agent is only concerned with walking away with money at the end of the day, then you know their love is not in what they do but the paycheck for their wallet.
One of the biggest things that anyone in the customer service industry can do is provide outstanding communication. This applies to buying home as well. The agent should communicate promptly whether its by phone, e-mail or mail. If a phone message is left with the agent, a return call should be expected within 24 hours or less. E-mails should receive the same turn-around time. Dont be afraid to ask the agent how promptly they return communication requests to set expectations from the beginning. If the agent does not meet the expectations, dont be afraid to discuss this with your agent and request improvements.
In line with communication, customer service is huge when it comes to buy a home. If youre selling a property and your agent is having an open house, find out what theyre doing to prepare for it. Do they advertise? Do they give you tips to help stage the house properly? Anticipating the needs of the buyer and seller and being attuned to their individual situation can show the difference between just a mediocre agent and an outstanding agent.
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4 Best Reasons Why a Power-Loomed Rug is the Smart Choice for Your New Place
Todayrsquo;s power-loomed rugs are designed with the same, intricately detailed patterns that yoursquo;ll find in fine hand-knotted rugs. Rug-makers have come a long way in developing power-looming technology, using computer-driven looms that control every aspect of the weaving process. Modern looms can incorporate many more colors and types of yarns than ever before, resulting in beautifully detailed patterns and a wide range of textures and finishes. From washed hues and distressed finishes to raised motifs and soft close-cut piles, power loomed rugs offer a treasure trove of decorative choices.
FAMILY AND PET FRIENDLY ndash; YES, A RUG YOUR DOG OR CHILDREN WONrsquo;T RUIN
One of the many benefits of a power-loomed rug is that theyrsquo;re durable; able to withstand the wear and tear of everyday family living within reason. Whether its dirty shoes, spilt juice or an overly-enthusiastic puppy, power loomed rugs made with synthetic yarns are easy-care and easy-clean. And, should your new rug become the victim of a mess of unspeakable magnitude, power loomed rugs are the most reasonably priced area rugs on the market, so itrsquo;s not like a ldquo;thousand-yearrdquo; spill will be ruining a costly family heirloom.
VARIETY AT A MODEST COST
Whether you want a rug that looks like a >
VERSATILE ndash; A RUG FOR EVERY ROOM
Power-loomed rugs are also made in a variety of designs, >
nbsp;Photos provided bynbsp;Safavieh. View additional rugs in this collection.
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Trespassers May Be Easier to Forgive than to Forget
Just Try to Keep Them Out
You can generally keep others from entering and using your property - but not always. In rural areas, trespass is usually someone either taking a shortcut over someone else or using anotherrsquo;s property for recreation, like hunting or ATVing.
Country-property owners normally find one of three types of trespassers:
1 Those who feel they have a right to be on your land even though they know they donrsquo;t;
2 Those who know better but trespass anyway;
3 and those who actually do have a legal right to be there.
Every State is Different
Each state defines trespass. Itrsquo;s generally understood to mean entering on or using land without the ownerrsquo;s consent.
But some states allow hunters to retrieve hunting dogs or pursue wounded game even if the landowner objects. And some states allow others to be on your land if you donrsquo;t do exactly what yoursquo;re supposed to do to keep them off.
Hunting seasons - like November for deer - bring a lot of people into Americarsquo;s woods and fields. Hunters are generally much better about seeking landowner permission than the casual city-visitor out for a country weekend. Hunters make a point of finding out who owns what, which lands are open and which owners will agree to hunting.
Trespass can be either a civil or criminal offense, usually a misdemeanor. When a landowner asks a law-enforcement officer to make an arrest, criminal law is being invoked. Civil trespass involves a landowner suing for damages arising from a trespasserrsquo;s acts.
Herersquo;s What a Landowner Should do to Control Trespass:
bull; Research your state law. Find out what a landownerrsquo;s rights are and what notice is required to place land off-limits.
bull; Provide notice. Landowners need to meet a statersquo;s notice rules for informing the public that uninvited visitors are unwelcome. This usually involves an oral or written request, public announcement and/or posting signs on the land.
bull; Written notice should state that the landowner wants no trespassing and describe the property covered.
bull; Put the word out locally. Ask your neighbors to help you get the word around, particularly if the property had been open. Take an ad out in the local newspaper just before hunting season.
bull; Post your boundary lines. Tack up ldquo;No-Trespassingrdquo; signs. Twenty-two states allow trespassing if land isnrsquo;t posted. Some demand that a landowner comply with fiendishly detailed posting rules, which may specify the size of the sign and its letters, spacing along boundary lines, sign height and colors.
bull; Say exactly what you mean. ldquo;No Trespassingrdquo; bars everyone; ldquo;No Huntingrdquo; only prohibits hunters; ldquo;Private Propertyrdquo; says nothing about keeping anyone off.
bull; Alaska insists that a posted sign state explicitly the specific prohibitions the landowner wants to prevent. Up there, if you donrsquo;t post against trespassers engaging in consensual >
bull; Consider something like: ldquo;No admittance is permitted to the property of ____ [include address and phone] by anyone without written authorization, except for fire suppression, law enforcement and emergency protection of life or property.rdquo;
bull; Trespassing and hunting. Hunters do not have the right to hunt on your land if you do whatever might be required to prevent it.
bull; Arizona, for example, allows hunters to enter private land for hunting unless itrsquo;s lawfully posted.
bull; Kansas allows trespassing by licensed hunters to pursue wounded game, except when the landowner instructs the hunter to leave.
bull; Michigan and Louisiana allow trespass to retrieve a hunting dog as long as the trespasser is unarmed. Virginia allows fox hunters and coon hunters to follow their dogs on prohibited land if the chase begins on other lands.
Plan ahead. What should you do when you catch trespassers in the act?
bull; First, ask them to leave and explain why. Call the sheriff if they refuse.
bull; Second, consider giving the trespasser a face-saving out. Suggest, perhaps, he didnrsquo;t know that your land was posted even though hersquo;s standing an inch away from your blinking, neon ldquo;No-Trespassingrdquo; sign thatrsquo;s larger than Andre, the Giant.
bull; Third, keep trespass in perspective. Trespassing doesnrsquo;t harm a landowner or his property most of the time.
What not to do. Landowners ra>
bull; Donrsquo;t manhandle a trespasser or ram his vehicle. Reasonable force might be justified if a trespasser physically threatens a landowner.
bull; Avoid fights with drunks and armed men in bad moods. If yoursquo;re threatened, walk away - after establishing that yoursquo;ve asked them to leave and getting their names or license-plate numbers.
bull; ldquo;Citizen arrestrdquo; does not generally apply since it prevents the trespasser from undoing his trespass by leaving. West Virginia, however, allows a landowner to assume the powers and rights of a game warden and personally arrest a hunter-trespasser and take him before a justice of the peace for trial.
bull; Donrsquo;t call a trespasser a liar to his face, especially in front of his fellow Trespassers. People caught at wrongdoing donrsquo;t like their integrity challenged.
bull; Donrsquo;t dig Burmese tiger traps to catch chronic trespassers unless you can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Burmese tigers are now fairly common on your farm near Altoona, Pennsylvania.
bull; Never sic your dog on trespassers, particularly one who likes his belly rubbed by strangers.
bull; Be consistent. Landowners should not allow themselves to be argued into granting access to their property. Exceptions establish precedents.
bull; Attractive nuisance. If you have a pond that has been the neighborhood swimming hole since before Columbus, you may have to install extra keep-out measuresmdash;like a fence and a locked gate. If a trespasser drowns in your attractive nuisance, you can be held liable.
bull; Donrsquo;t humor wise guys. Woody Guthriersquo;s ldquo;This Land is Your Landrdquo; contains an oft-unsung verse in which he rambles up to a ldquo;No-Trespassingrdquo; sign. Woody believed that its other side, which is blank, is the one made for you and me.
bull; Anyone who quotes this line is a trespasser who knows better. Inform him that yoursquo;ve written ldquo;No Trespassingrdquo; on the blank side as well hellip; with invisible ink, and kick him off.
bull; Trespass is always annoying but only occasionally dangerous. Most of us do it sooner or later, which is why forgiveness should be both accepted and extended.
Curtis Seltzer, land consultant, is author of How To Be a DIRT-SMART Buyer of Country Property.
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Planting Milkweed This Spring Could Help Save Monarch Butterflies
According to the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, ldquo;Californiarsquo;s monarch butterfly numbers are at an all-time low, having declined more than 85 percent from 2017,rdquo; said Newsweek. ldquo;This sudden drop comes after years of steady decline: A massive 97 percent of monarch butterflies have already disappeared since the 1980s. Back then, 10 million monarchs wintered in California. This year, the Xerces Society counted just 28,429.rdquo;
Experts say we could be looking at extinction of the species within the next two decades, largely because of diminishing landscapes and pesticidesmdash;if nothing is done. And thatrsquo;s where humans come in. If yoursquo;re already looking to do some planting in your garden this spring, consider milkweed.
ldquo;Monarch butterflies making their way back to North America from their winter habitat in Mexico follow a well-marked trail,rdquo; said Gardenerrsquo;s Supply Company. ldquo;These striking orange-and-black butterflies are looking for one thing: milkweed asclepias. And when you plant milkweed in your garden, its like rolling out a welcome mat for monarchs.rdquo;
There are plenty of plants that provide nectar for monarchs and hummingbirds, such as:
bull; Agastache lsquo;Avarsquo;
bull; Mexican Sunflowers
bull; Brazilian Verbena
bull; Dwarf Butterfly Bushes
But the key difference that makes milkweed so crucial to monarchs is that its leaves ldquo;are the only food monarch caterpillars eat,rdquo; said Gardenerrsquo;s Supply Company. ldquo;Monarchs butterflies lay their eggs on milkweed plants so the tiny caterpillars will have access to food the moment they hatch. The milkweed plant provides all the nourishment the monarch needs to transform the Monarch caterpillar into the adult butterfly.rdquo;
You can find milkweed that thrive in nearly any climate and sun conditions. But its critical to choose the right type depending on your setting, and your goals.
ldquo;When planting milkweed in your garden, itrsquo;s important to choose a species of milkweed thatrsquo;s native to your region whenever possible,rdquo; said Savvy Gardening. ldquo;Thankfully, there are several milkweed species that have a broad native range and are suitable for planting across much of North America.rdquo;
Savvy Gardening has a good overview of preferred species of milkweed for different settings, including:
bull; Swamp Milkweedmdash;It grows in saturated soils, but also ldquo;grows just fine in well-drained garden soil. Itrsquo;s clump forming, so unlike some other milkweed species, it doesnrsquo;t take over the garden with spreading roots.rdquo;
bull; Common Milkweedmdash;What used to be everywhere is less common today as a result of pesticides. ldquo;The large, round globes of common milkweed flowers are a favorite of many pollinators. But, this plant comes with a warning: It is an extremely aggressive spreader, forming large colonies that spread not just by seed, but also by underground roots called rhizomes. Yoursquo;ll want to give common milkweed plenty of room.rdquo;
bull; Purple Milkweedmdash;This can be harder to find, and also attracts bees.
bull; Butterfly Weedmdash;Unique for its orange flowers, ldquo;Butterfly weed doesnrsquo;t like to be transplanted, so starting from seed may prove more fruitful, though it can take years for a plant to go from seed to flower.rdquo;
bull; Showy Milkweedmdash;So named because ldquo;the flower clusters of showy milkweed look like groups of pointed starsrdquo; and has ldquo;spiky, pinky-purple blooms.rdquo;
bull; Whorled Milkweedmdash;This species of milkweed ldquo;has a soft, feathery appearance, and since it tops out at about 3 feet in height, it makes a great addition to a perennial border. The flowers of this species are a soft white with just a hint of pink at their centers.rdquo;
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Why Social Media Should Be Your Best Friend When House Hunting
Get to know your neighbors
You can learn a lot by spending time in the neighborhood where you are considering buying a home. But if you can get access to the neighborhood Nextdoor, yoursquo;ll get a behind-the-scenes peek at who lives there.
Keep in mind that every arearsquo;s Nextdoor is filled with the requisite wild animal sightings, landscaping gripes, and grumps who want everyone to slow down while driving and wait until after 10am to mow the lawn on Saturdays. But if therersquo;s something that stands out as a red flag, you might want to do a little more research into the place yoursquo;re looking to call home.
To know what happened in your house
Is it invasive to read through the timeline of sellers on Facebook or look through their Instagram feed? If they donrsquo;t have their social media pages set to private, you might be able to get some background on the house. Maybe they posted pictures of before-and-after renovations. Maybe the house had a flood or fire or some other issue that they havenrsquo;t disclosed. Maybe those countertops that you thought were real marble are really a 90 DIY paint-over-laminate situation. The more information you can gather about the house and its condition and its history, the more confident you may feel making an offer, or walking away.
To keep up with mortgage rates
Mortgage rates have been all over the place this year, rising one week and taking a surprising dip the next. Following a site like Bankrate or Nerdwallet on Facebook or Twitter can ensure that you know whatrsquo;s happening, so you can save money wherever possible when buying a home.
To learn more about real estate in your neighborhood
Nextdoor is also a great place to learn about homes for sale that may not be on the MLS and rentals. Both can potentially affect your decision to purchase a home there.
Homebuyers are going to look at Zillow, Redfin, and Truliamdash;itrsquo;s inevitable. But do so with an understanding of what yoursquo;re looking at. You can review actual home sales to compare prices in different areas. But trusting estimates on these sites that are typically many thousands of dollars off and not reflective of actual, current sales can be dangerous. Itrsquo;s best to trust the comparative analysis your real estate agent provides to you.
Full Story >
7 Tips To Help Your Family Survive A Summer Renovation Project
The following tips will help you and your family survive a summer renovation project.
Decide What You Will Keep
Before the start of a renovation project, take a close look at the belongings in the area that will be renovated. Decide which of these belongings you and your family would like to keep. Indecision on these matters can cause delays with your project. Anything you do not intend to use in the new place should be discarded or donated.
Find A New Parking Space
The contractor working in your home will need to come and go throughout the day. Your contractor will need to bring workers and materials to your home. You should make sure contractors and workers have easy access to your home. It may be necessary for you to park further away from your home so your contractor can have access to your home.
Protect Adjoining Rooms
Your remodeling project may affect rooms other than the room where the work is being completed. For instance, repair work and drilling in one room can cause items in adjoining rooms to become dislodged and suffer damage. You should declutter these adjoining rooms and place fragile items in a location they will be safe.
Provide Alternative Entryways
You should provide one point of entry to your home for your family and another for workers. You should make sure the entryway used for workers is free of toys, bicycles, and other things that will block the pathway of workers. Make sure the path available to workers provides them with access to the main electrical panel and shut-off valve for the water.
Remember To Enjoy The Summer
There will be times during the remodeling project that the best thing for you and your family to do is leave the home. The noise of repair work and the odors created by things like paint and floor finish will at times seem unbearable.
This would be a great time to enjoy the many great places to visit in your city or a nearby town. Home renovators in Utah can search for hotels in Utah to provide them with a place for their family to have fun and >
Minimize Dust Spread
There is a risk of dust spread throughout your home during a home renovation project. Your contractor will try to contain dust in the area where he or she is working but this will not always be possible. There are a number of ways you can help with this goal:
bull; Keep interior doors closed.
bull; Seal doors with painting tape or plastic sheeting.
bull; Protect stairs with runners or plastic sheeting.
bull; Replace HVAC filters both during and after the renovation project.
Protect Kids And Pets
Children are naturally curious and will be drawn to the site of the renovation project. Do not allow them in an area where work is being done. They should also not be allowed in a room where a renovation project is underway during non-work hours without supervision. The noise and new faces in your home will also cause your pets to become excited. They will also need to be kept away from the worksite.
Many families choose the summertime to schedule home renovation projects. While there are definite advantages to completing renovation projects during the summer months, there are also a few reasons for concern. The seven tips mentioned above will make a summer renovation project more manageable for your family.
Full Story >
Sellers: Adopting a Buyer Frame of Mind
Your real estate professional will help with this mental transition and ultimately yoursquo;ll benefit from embracing this shift. The sooner you let go of obsessing about ldquo;your homerdquo; and start concentrating on what buyers in this market and this price range will spend their money on, the easier and more lucrative selling your home will be.
Embrace The Buyer Perspective
You probably selected your listing professional and brokerage based on what you believe they know about getting you the best deal. During the listing presentation, they brought you up-to-date on current local buyer patterns. This was intended to demonstrate their understanding of local market trends and their knowledge of how to connect with qualified buyers.
Donrsquo;t be shy about returning to that conversation. Learn more about those shopping in your neighborhood for homes like yours. What exactly do they want and what donrsquo;t they want.
Whether your experts use the National Association of REALTORSreg;NAR annual Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report to illustrate selling points or statistics provided by their brokerage or Real Estate Board, you will learn a lot when you are introduced to the substance behind their marketing plan.
For instance, millennials represent a significant segment of buyers in many markets. If your real estate is already a millennial magnet, you and your professional team have a good chance of reinforcing this ldquo;hotrdquo; vibe. This marketing activity may materialize as an even great selling price with seller-favoring terms.
What can you do to help with Step One, which is getting buyers inside your real estate, so they can fall in love with the property?
The majority of todayrsquo;s buyers shop the internet before they contact a real estate professional. This means a stellar online presencendash;photos, videos, accurate informationndash;is essential to gaining buyer attention and enticing them inside your real estate:
bull; Videos and photos are only as good as the subject, so your help preparing your real estate to shine is vital. Curb appeal has to be there for a photo to capture this allure. A must-get-inside street face has to exist to have buyers click or swipe for more details on your real estate treasure. Think ahead if possible since some curbside beautification takes time. For instance, if you expect to sell in the spring, planting a lot of spring bulbs during the previous fall will be a great investment.
bull; No one knows your real estate as well as you do, so you may see linkages that wouldnrsquo;t occur to someone looking on. Suggesting benefits evident in other seasons may be useful content in marketing literature or during home tours. For instance, as the summer sun shifts between buildings, I can watch the sunrise from my front deckndash;one of my favorite ways to start the day. Whatrsquo;s special about living in your real estate?
bull; Most buyers would like a brand-new home, but they can only afford or find a resale. How can you make your home seem brand-new to buyers? Thorough cleanups, freshening up with paint, and repair of the unsightly all add up to a good first impression, inside and out. Yoursquo;ve gotten used to building defects, but friends and your real estate team will help you see the flaws if you have an open mindndash;buyerrsquo;s mindset.
bull; Most buyers are moving to get more space. Empty closets, storage areas, and the garage, so it is evident there is room to spare. Remove extra furniture and ldquo;stuffrdquo; so rooms are visibly larger. Listen to your real estate professional. Yoursquo;re going to move anyway, so get an early start.
bull; Staging of interiors translates interior potential into visual proof that this is exactly what buyers are looking for. Generating ldquo;Thatrsquo;s our >bull; Get used to the idea that you and your family will be inconvenienced. This starts before the house goes on the market and lasts until itrsquo;s sold. Everything is about selling the ldquo;buyers new homerdquo; to them.
Sellers benefit from understanding that negotiations for the sale of their real estate begin as soon as the listing is signed, not when an offer to purchase is presented.
bull; Your real estate professionalndash;your negotiatorndash;is steadily working toward negotiations. Generating offers to purchase is an important step along the way. Ask about their strategies for doing this.
bull; Because you are not a trained real estate professional, any conversation or email exchange you have directly with buyers could undermine your professionalrsquo;s selling strategies. Your casual ldquo;oh, sure, no problemrdquo; response to a buyerrsquo;s request for something or question concerning closing date or what yoursquo;ll include in the sale, may cut into your negotiating position on the big day. Usually, direct contact between buyers and sellers is kept to a minimum for that reason.
bull; Remove any ldquo;must keeprdquo; items like dining room fixtures, family heirlooms, or big screen TVs before the home is shown. Help buyers concentrate on what theyrsquo;ll receive, not get fixated on what they wonrsquo;t.
bull; During a showing or an open house, your attempts to ldquo;sellrdquo; a buyer on the attributes of your yard or living room may put-off the buyer. Since buying connections are emotional, it takes an expert at reading the signs to know what to say and how to say it. Get out of the housendash;you, your family, and petsndash;when your property is shown to buyers. How can they feel free to voice their feelings and visualize this as their home when yoursquo;re sitting right there? Or worse, if yoursquo;re along for the house tour?
bull; Prepare for offer presentation by working out what you could do to move quickly if the right price appeared. What dates, if any, are essential to you? Find out what moving after those deadlines would cost you. That knowledge may help keep closing date in perspective during negotiations.
If you are concerned that your real estate professional is not doing everything they said they would, when they said they would, call them on this. ldquo;Time on marketrdquo; is a crucial factor for achieving the best sale price. Wasting time means wasting your money.
Full Story >
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