Monthly Archives: February 2016

4 Smart Ways to Increase Your Resale Value

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Home sold with high resale because of home improvement projectsAnyone (or almost anyone) can add a bedroom feature wall or paint a wall. While those home improvement projects can make your home look better, they don’t necessarily add value to your home at resale. If you want to add property value to your home, being smart with your home improvement budget and invest your dollars in ways that pay you back at your home sale with a high sales price.

Kitchen

This home improvement project comes with a disclaimer: you can get as much as 90% plus from this investment IF your updates are reasonable for your area. What does this mean? If you invest $70,000 in your kitchen, you may not get all your money back at resale if the improvements are too much for your neighborhood. To avoid this common error, contact a real estate agent to get a free analysis and selling price for your home—with and without a kitchen upgrade.

Bathroom

The same rule for kitchen also applies to your bathroom upgrade: bathrooms sell homes, but to get the most for your money, keep your remodeling project budget in line with property values in your area. While you may want granite counter tops, just know that you might not get back your full investment.

Finishing a Basement or Attic

Adding square footage to your house—economically—is a sure way to add value to your home. That’s why finishing your basement or attic, especially if you are adding a bedroom to your attic space—is a good home improvement investment with a high return.

Wood Floors

Believe it or not, adding wood floors to your home can add value. While you won’t see the 90% return that you can get from a kitchen, you may see a higher resale value. It is important to note, though, that you can’t expect to see that same bump in resale from laminate, tile, or vinyl floors.

Want to avoid other common home seller errors? Read our blog post to help you prepare your home for sale. To get top dollar when you do, contact a top local real estate agent to come out and give you an idea of how much your house would sell for, and where to invest your money to increase that amount (it’s free!). They’ll help you decide where to invest your home improvement budget wisely—so you can see those dollars pay dividends at resale.

6 Common Mistakes Home Buyers Make

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key words sale home property and how to avoid home buyer mistakesThere’s a lot on the line when a home buyer looks for a new home: finances, emotions, having a roof over your head. If you’re like most home buyers, you’re looking for more than just a roof over your head when making  the biggest purchase of your life: your home purchase. You have must-haves for your home purchase, like a big yard (or no yard), deck, prime location—or maybe it’s a small must-have like the counter top material.

Ignoring the finance preparation

To get the best mortgage rate, and to make sure you have all financial ducks in a row, start preparing your finances for your purchase before you make the home purchase. Small steps, like knowing your credit score, lessening your debt load, and saving up for a down payment can make your transaction smoother and easier before and after your purchase.

Getting in over your head

Speaking of after your purchase, don’t overextend yourself when buying a home. Make a detailed budget of expenses (both present, future and unexpected), and choose a payment that fits within your budget. Don’t assume that you can take on more debt load or that your current debts are going to decrease in the future. If you are buying a fixer upper, have a clear idea of the cost to remodel your home—and if you have the funds to do it.

Not having an approved budget when you start your home search

dollar sign to get ready for buying a homeWhile those online mortgage calculators can seem very handy when setting your budget, only a lender can give you a final approved budget for your home search. Choose your lender carefully (we’ve given you tips to help you select the right lender in our recent post) and start compiling documents for your pre-approval such as past tax returns, pay stubs, and bank account statements. The exact documents your lender requests is dependent upon your financial situation, but the hassles of gathering a few documents is worth it so you have a set idea of how much house you can afford in your home purchase.

Trusting the biggest purchase of your life to a friend-of-a-friend

A good real estate agent is invaluable during a real estate purchase. Not only can an experienced, local agent help you find homes in an ideal location, but they can help you spot red flags, give you advice that could make or break your deal, and negotiate a fair price for your new home. For all those reasons (and thousands of dollars more), contact a real estate agent that matches all these criteria.

Falling in love with a house before the home inspection

Proceed with caution, especially if you don’t have room in your budget to make thousands of dollars of repairs. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you, so you overlook any issues with a potential home that could bankrupt you. Hire an experienced home inspector to inspect your new home, and base your final home purchase decision on their report. Even a house that looks beautiful can have hidden issues that could cost you thousands later.

Being unrealistic

Homes cost money, so don’t expect to get everything for nothing. Many first-time buyers want to check off all the boxes on their must have list for nothing, or think that they can low ball home sellers to get a deal during their home purchase. The fair selling price of a home is determined by comparable home sales in the area, and not by what you want to pay. How do you know what that price is? Just ask your real estate agent for a full analysis of local sales.  They’ll help you determine a fair price and guide you through your home purchase without making common home buyer mistakes.