Being a first-time homeowner is a unique experience. Compared to renting, you now have much more on your plate if you want to keep your home in tip-top condition. There’s a lot to remember that comes with the responsibility of homeownership, and some of the smaller seasonal to-dos and maintenance items can easily slip your mind.
Of course, unexpected emergencies will always arise, but if you follow this seasonal checklist, you’ll be as prepared all year long.
Winter RemindersA few reminders for the winter season:
When searching for a home, one can often be caught up looking for the perfect home, while forgetting about the neighborhood. The “perfect” home will not be too perfect if the neighborhood is not right for you. Because we know you want the best of both worlds here are 3 things to keep in mind while searching for that perfect neighborhood.
1. Musts and MaybesWhen searching for the right neighborhood, make sure you to keep your priorities straight. Comfort and security are necessities. Although that neighborhood with the gorgeous swimming pool may seem nice, the noise that accompanies it during the summer might drive you insane! Be sure to list your top priorities out before personally visiting the neighborhood.
2. Visit NeighborhoodsAfter you have written your list out, make sure to visit the neighborhood in person. Although it is more convenient to do a map search or search the neighborhood on the internet, there is a lot that can be missed or purposefully disregarded on the internet. Although a neighborhood might have been lush and covered in beautiful St. Augustine grass a year ago (as seen on the internet), local construction might have made it a wasteland of dust and nails. Sight, smell, and sound should all be taken into account while visiting the neighborhood.
3. Family is most importantFor those with families, crime statistics and school districts are of utmost importance. Although that commute to work may be a hassle to drive every day, worrying about whether your family is safe and secure will cause significantly more stress in your life. Because of this, be sure to check crime stats online, as well as look for visible signs of criminal activity such as graffiti and alcoholic containers littered around the neighborhood.
4. Ask local real estate agents for recommendationsFinally, you may be asking yourself, where do I start when looking for a neighborhood? The best place to start is calling a local real estate agent in the location you are looking at and asking for their opinion on recommended neighborhoods based on your lifestyle.
When you put up your home for sale it's going to interest people into viewing your home from the inside. The "For Sale" sign itself could attract people to want to tour your home with dishonest intentions. There are ways to take precautions so your belongings are less likely to be stolen or broken during your home selling process.
Here are some tips:
1) Stow your valuables-Secure items that you find to have sentimental or monetary value. This could be thing such as mail, diplomas, wedding photos and things like that. Don't put your stuff in the position to be taken if you really want to keep it around. Some people put really valuable items in vaults or under other forms of lock and key.
2) Don't give away hints- Don't give hints as to why you're selling your home or how urgent your situation is to tell your home. If your buyer is aware of this information then it could give them incentive to pay less than the asking price or to not buy at all.
3) Protect your personal information- Identity theft is one of the most common and most difficult crimes to deal with. Make sure your information is in a secure place during these tours.
4) Install a security system- This would serve a purpose of your own safety. If something were to go wrong on one of your viewings then it might be helpful to have security system and security camera to ensure your safety better. You are inviting strangers into your home that you know nothing about and it is good to be prepared for the worst.
5) Have viewings during daytime - This is something else that will ensure your safety more. It is just safer in general to do things like this during the daytime when it is light outside. You are also more alert during the day time and can most likely pick up on signs of skeptical behavior from your viewers. Also everything just looks bigger and brighter during the daytime anyways.
6) Make appointments mandatory and don't do them alone- When you are selling your home it is important that you meet up face to face with whoever you are going to be potentially getting into business with. You don't want to sell your home to someone that you have never met in person before. This can prevent unwanted complications. Also when you are doing meetings or viewings make sure to have someone there with you for each of those things. It's important to have an extra set of eyes on the same scene so things are less likely to be stolen and your belongings will be more safe.
7) Have someone to check in with- This may seem a little extreme but it could be very beneficial. Have someone to check in with an inform about all your meetings and important information. Also it would be beneficial to write down license plate numbers of your viewers just in case you need them for the future.
8) Don't ask your viewers not to touch anything- This could potentially make your viewers desire to touch everything or steal your belongings. It's better to just be relaxed and to examine the situation carefully without letting your potential buyers knowing that you are doing this.
If you are working with a Kelly Ann Cameron make sure to talk to them for additional advise and suggestions!
About to sell your home and need some quick easy ways to boost it’s value? Or maybe the neighborhood you live in has gone down in value?
Whatever the case is, here are 10 easy ways to improve the value of your home.
1. Open Up Space
-Whether knocking down a small wall or removing that kitchen island, opening up space in your home will make it more inviting and pleasing.
-Untrimmed trees, bushes and overgrown lawns can hide the beauty of your home and take away from the value of it. Buyers will instantly be turned away from your property if the outside is not appealing.
-Adding lights to accent the inside and outside of your home will not only increase the value, but also allow the seller to clearly see all areas of your home. Natural light works great too for those spaces you opened up! '
4. Maintenance and Care
-Make sure when you see a need or fix to take care of it immediately. Sometimes ‘small fixes’ turn into a weekend of work which will be hugely inconvenient if you’re trying to sell your home that day.
5. Invest in Energy Saving
-Investing in solar panels or replacing those ancient heating/cooling units will improve your property and make you seem more appealing to your potential buyers.
6. Front Door = First Impressions
-Giving your front door a fresh coat of paint, adding potted plants and a welcome mat will improve the value of your home by making the buyers FEEL like it is their home.
7. The Ground You Walk On
-Floors are something easy to forget, but make sure they are clean and without ‘squeaks.’ If their condition is terrible, then replacing them might seem expensive, but will ultimately improve the value of your home.
8. Bathroom and Kitchen upgrades
-A fresh layer of caulk, cleaning grout, removing rust stains, updating doorknobs and even buying a new toilet seat will GREATLY improve the value of your home!
-Those small divots, chips and fading paint can create a less welcoming environment for your potential buyers. Putting on a fresh layer of paint can add greatly to the value!
10. Get rid of Question Marks
-Broken items or strange things about your home can sometimes be the ultimate deciding factor for your buyer. Fixing those minor things can improve your value.
Whether you’re selling or just trying to improve and maintain your home, make sure you’re doing it right!
Questions or concerns or need someone to help with these decisions Call Kelly Ann Cameron 210 859 4700
When it comes to adding value to your home, some renovations can be more helpful than others. Deciding which projects will add the most value to your home is crucial for those on a budget and looking to maximize selling value. We did some searching and found the five best renovations with the highest return on investments (ROI).
Replacement Vinyl Siding:Although this doesn't sound like a major renovation, a $9,000 replacement of siding can $8,000 to the asking price. This results in an 89% ROI.
Major Bathroom Remodel:Many consider redoing a major bathroom as one of the best renovations you can do. A $13,000 renovation can get a return of $11,000, which is 85%.
Vinyl Window Replacements:This is not as easy to notice as the others, but the increased energy efficiency adds lots of value to potential buyers. A $10,000 replacement can have a return of around $8,500, which is an 85% ROI.
Major Kitchen Remodel:One project that comes as no surprise is to remodel the kitchen. By updating this focal point of the home, it usually generates a return of 81%.
Roof Replacement:This remodeling project adds major curb appeal to your home. According to ISoldMyHouse.com, replacing your roof can have a 75% return on investment.
Things to Keep in Mind: When it comes to deciding which project to undertake, consider the potential buyer's preferences. By transforming a room into an art studio, you limit the chances that the potential buyers will also want that kind of room. By sticking to the basic, functional rooms like the kitchen or a bathroom, you are more likely to see a positive price increase.
Selling your home can difficult sometimes, but can be even more challenging if you do not make a good first impression on your buyers. To avoid having your potential buyers be turned away from your home just at the first impression.
Here are four great ways to keep your potential buyers from turning away from your home!
1. Make an Enticing ExteriorThis includes:
• Moving all toys, bicycles and any other non-essentials away from the house
• Clean the windows until they sparkle
• Check your roof to see if it needs repair, even if it’s only for how it looks
• Adding embellishments like a welcome mat, wreath, or a potted plant
• Give your front door, garage door and gutters a fresh coat of paint
• Make sure the address number is in place and polished
2. Shape up the InteriorAfter the buyer has been welcomed by the exterior, they will move into the house where it should be also neat, orderly, and organized. Everything should be in it’s place and cleaned thoroughly.
• Clearing clutter and moving furniture to storage if you have too much
• EVERYTHING should be organized and in it’s place; kitchen, bedrooms, even the garage
• Clean, clean, clean. From smudges on the walls to that small space you could never reach before behind the washer.
• Check your fireplace and remove any ash build-up
• Candles, potpourri, table centerpieces and freshly hung towels add great aesthetic appeal
3. Check on Evening AppearanceOne thing many sellers do not think about is how their home looks during the evening.
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
• Make sure the walkway is well-lit and house numbers are visible
• Outdoor lighting enhances the home’s appearance. Consider adding accent light around the outside if you haven’t already.
• Leave lighting on inside in key areas and make sure all of your light bulbs have been recently replaced.
4. Make Necessary RepairsMake absolutely sure that every appliance, door hinge and facets are working properly.
Check these following things:
• Cabinet doors should close properly
• All faucets should be drip free
• Doors well-oiled and open smoothly
• All appliances (if being sold with home) work properly
Need a realtors guidance for more great tips and ideas to improve your curb appeal?
What exactly is a seller's disclosure form?
A seller’s disclosure form is an opportunity for the buyer to learn about know damages to the property while also providing insight to the seller’s experience in it. This form includes the seller’s knowledge of the condition of the property as of the date signed by the seller. The form is not a warranty of any kind by the seller and is not a substitute for any inspections or warranties the buyer may wish to obtain. The form will indicate what items the property has but not does not mean they convey such as appliances. Disclosure forms reveal things such as any physical defects to the house along with hazards such as lead paint. It is the buyer’s responsibility to find out any past damage inflicted to the house.
Seller’s disclosure forms can reveal things such as:
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