Monthly Archives: March 2017

Is spring the best time to buy a home?

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brick home for sale in spring“When is the right time to buy a house?” “Is spring the best time to buy a home?”  When temperatures rise so does the interest from home buyers—and the amount of questions about when is the right time to purchase a new home.  The answer to this question is not as cut and dry as it seems (or as most buyers want to hear).  Here is the complete answer for anyone looking for the ideal time to purchase a new home. (If you have any other questions, we’d be happy to answer those questions too.)

Pros

Buying a home in spring comes with a list of advantages.  Traditionally, more homes come on the market in spring so buyers have more homes that fit their criteria.  In Wisconsin, it’s easy to see why: spring weather is better (translation: not snowy and freezing) so more buyers are willing to venture out to find a new home.

Spring is also the ideal time for families who want to be in their new home before the new school year.  Starting the home search spring gives families ample time to put their existing home on the market, close on the new home, and register in the new school district before the first day of school.  When kids are involved, it’s easier for everyone in the family when they don’t have to bundle up before every home showing.

For home buyers, there is also some reassurance in shopping for a new home in the spring.  It’s easier to see the home you are touring (including the blemishes) when it’s not covered in a blanket of snow.

Cons

Because spring is such a hot time for home buying and selling, market prices tend to be slightly higher simply because of supply and demand.  Because there is more activity, there tends to be more competition for a property.  Put simply, more buyers mean more offers on a desirable property and a higher purchase price than during fall or winter.

Takeaway

Your answer to this question is going to depend on the circumstances and reasons you are purchasing a new home.  If you want to be in a home in a new school district, the time to buy is spring or summer.  For a shopper looking for the ultimate bargain, fall and winter are the best times when inventory is low and the competition is minimal.  If you want a lot of options, spring is traditionally when a lot of new homes are put on the market.  To find out exactly what the state of the local market is right now, contact a local real estate agent to find out when is the best time to buy a home in your area.

7 Home Projects that Increase Your Asking Price

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home with dollars for roof and walls that can get full asking price at saleNot every home needs a complete gut job to fetch a high resale price when you put it on the market.  A few select home projects can get you that dream asking price at sale—or at least closer to that target asking price.  The best way to decide where to put your remodeling dollars to get more funds when you sell? Ask your real estate agent.  An experienced real estate agent should be able to give you recommendations that help you choose the right project (or projects) from the list of remodeling projects that can increase your resale price.

Front Door

A new front door makes complete cents (pun intended) as a home project that can make an impact on your home sale.  Why? Your front door directly contributes to your curb appeal.  Plainly put, it’s the first part of your home that potential home sellers see when they come to your home.  A door that’s falling apart or fading is not going to get home sellers in the door—or make them question the quality of your home before they’ve even stepped in.

Bathroom Update

Bathrooms and kitchens sell homes.  That’s why an outdated bathroom with pink toilets or a vanity with degrading vanity doors should be at the top of your list of home projects.  In neighborhoods where vintage and historic homes are valued, classic floors and tiles should be cleaned and preserved.  A mint green shower surround, however, can be swapped out with a look that potential home buyers want to pay for.  Often, your bathroom can be updated (if the layout is functional) affordably if key parts of the room are in good condition.  A new vanity, counter top, shower surround or tile, light fixture, and mirror—whatever is needed—can make your bathroom look like a new room.

Kitchen Face lift

Remodeling your kitchen for sale should be done with caution.  As much as a gourmet kitchen would sell your home, investing too much in your kitchen face lift can leave you at a financial loss; you may not recoup every dollar at the home sale.  If your cabinets are in good shape, new counter tops, floors, and a back splash may be the only projects needed.  Cabinet boxes in good condition can be refaced or the doors can be painted to make your kitchen look ready for the new owners.

Finished Basement

Another bedroom, family room, or media room adds to your overall square footage and makes your home more appealing to potential home buyers.  Additional square footage adds to your asking price, and is an excellent selling point when you put your home on the market.  Just like with your kitchen remodel, make sure you only spend what you can recoup at sale.  Your real estate agent can give you recommendations on what basement renovations can get you the most bang for your buck.  As you select the flooring and décor, make sure you make neutral choices that the next homeowners won’t have to change after sale.

Deck/Patio

Almost everyone enjoys a good grill out from time to time, which is why outdoor space is highly sought after by most home buyers.  Make sure your deck or patio is in good repair and ready for sale by asking your real estate agent to connect you with a home inspector that can give your home a pre-listing inspection.  If your deck or patio is in good shape, use a power washer to make sure it’s clean and ready for sale.

Attic Bedroom

Additional bedrooms can get you a higher asking price at sale, as long as the bedroom is legal and of quality construction.  Finish your attic to add another bedroom to your listing and additional square footage that sells your home.  Make sure your attic has adequate head space, and add a bathroom if it is easy (and cost effective) to run the plumbing.

New Floors

Dirty carpets, damaged wood floors, and worn hard floors can send potential home buyers to the door and make them wonder how much it is going to cost them to replace.  If your buyers are adding up the cost of projects during the showing, they may offer you less than asking so they have funds for projects.  Have your carpets shampooed or replaced if they are in terrible shape.  Refinish any wood floors that are stained or faded so your home looks move-in ready and worthy of a full-price offer.