RE/MAX Advantage I



Posted by RE/MAX Advantage I on 8/6/2020

Curb appeal, the illusive secret weapon that enamors potential buyers from afar and draws them into your home. There have been several attempts to nail down the “secret formula” for curb appeal.

In reality, the best approach to improving your home’s presentation from outside is to take the time to consider what fits.

In this post, we’ll give you some budget ideas to help you find the curb appeal boosters that will match with your home.

1. Fresh paint

One well-known curb appeal strategy is to repaint some of the notable components of the outside of your home. The places that have to most impact?

  • Front door - a front door that pops, but that also fits with the style of your home and complements its main color will make your home stand out from the neighbors.

  • Shutters - repainting your shutters is another inexpensive area to add some color to your home. However, be wary of choosing bright colors for your shutters if they’re going to clash with or disrupt the overall style of your home.

  • Mailbox - a neglected, dented, and a dirty mailbox is a huge turn off for potential buyers. Buying a new one, or adding a fresh coat of paint to your old one that matches one of the highlight colors of your home, can be a great way to add a sense of continuity to the exterior of your house.

2. Sparse decorations

Just like the inside of your home, less is often more when it comes to decoration. There are a number of things to add to your yard that will improve its overall presentation. But, just be sure that it doesn’t appear out of place or tacky. A single, small, and brightly colored bird house in a tree is usually a safe bet.

3. Simple landscaping

There’s no need to hire contractors for elaborate landscaping or to purchase expensive plants and shrubbery. A well-manicured yard is enough to make your home stand out. And, remember that potential buyers will most likely be looking for a home that is low-maintenance. A simple lawn and walkway say just that.

Also be sure to trim and prune your current trees, bushes, and flowerbeds. You might find that a cleanup is all they needed to be impressive once more.

4. Pressure washing

Most of us grow accustomed to how our home looks and might not notice the accumulation of dirt on the siding. By hiring or renting a pressure washer for a day, you’ll be able to update a number of aspects of curb appeal. From siding and decks to walkways and driveways, you can cover a lot of square footage with a pressure washer.

One note on pressure washers: the better ones can be dangerous. That means hiring a professional could help get the best results for your money. Also, while you can buy a pressure washer, you might find that for the amount you use it, it’s easier just to hire or rent every few years.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by RE/MAX Advantage I on 7/30/2020

Photo by Mohamed Hassan via Pixabay

It’s part of the American DNA to want to own a home. It can be your immense joy or become a nightmare if you don’t avoid some of these first-time buyer lapses in judgment.

What to Avoid

  • Overbuying. The mantra used to be “buy the biggest house you can afford.” After all isn’t bigger always better? The challenge is that affordability is subjective. If you’ve never owned a home, you don’t know the intangible costs. A bigger house has more space to live, but it also has more space to heat and cool. A large yard is fantastic for the kids, but it comes with landscaping and maintenance responsibilities. Go big if you like, but do it with your eyes wide open. Ask your agent to help you determine ongoing costs for the homes you visit in your quest.
  • Buying just to buy. Yes, that down payment is burning a hole in your virtual pocket. You want it invested in property so that you can get on with the business of living. But unless you have a time-restriction on funds that need reinvesting, take your time to get what, and more importantly, where you really want. Visit neighborhoods during the day on different days, in the evening and on weekends. Drive around the nearby streets too. This will help you get more of a feel for the overall area.
  • Becoming emotionally attached to a home you don’t yet own. When you’re shopping for a home, it’s easy to find “THE ONE” that checks all your boxes — except the budget box, or the timeline box, or the practicality box. When home stagers’ do their job well, you’re guaranteed to have an emotional reaction to a house. Their entire goal is to trigger your emotions so that you “have to have” that house. But emotions can be fickle. What you love today in this house could be the thing you despise in 10 years of living there. It’s essential that you spend time with your buyer’s agent to determine the non-negotiables you want for your new home.
  • Entering a bidding war. When you have unlimited funds, perhaps you can afford to pay more for a home than the market price. But lenders limit the size of a mortgage based on a lot of factors you may not be aware of in the housing market. Just because the price of a house goes up doesn’t mean you can get a loan to cover the full difference between what you pay and what the market says it’s worth.

Most of all, don’t buy without representation. Your expert buyer’s agent knows all the ins and outs of the local market and can steer you clear of pitfalls, potholes, and potentially poor choices. They negotiate on your behalf and represent your (not the seller’s) interest in those negotiations. Rely on them to show you homes that fit your list and check your boxes without breaking the bank or putting you in an overstretched situation.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by RE/MAX Advantage I on 7/23/2020

Houseplants may seem like a strange thing to bring into your home. Plants belong outside, don’t they? Plants and people actually have a relationship where they need one another. Plants produce much-needed oxygen for humans. Humans release carbon dioxide, which plants need to perform photosynthesis. Plants should be placed throughout the home, especially in bedrooms, to release fresh air throughout the night when sleeping. Essentially, the right plants in your home can help to improve your overall health and well-being. 


Increases Humidity


Many people complain of having dry air in their homes. Plants actually release about 97 percent of the water that they take in. This moisture is released back into the air and increase the humidity in the air. This means that putting several plants together can really help to increase the moisture levels in a room. Having a more moist room helps to keep respiratory symptoms from flaring up as well as decreases the number of colds, dry skin flare ups, and other ailments associated with dry air.     


Natural Air Purifiers


Plants are natural air purifiers. They remove toxins from the air and even get rid of a large percentage of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These compounds can be found in everything from paint to newspapers and textbooks. VOCs are actually transformed into food for the plant. 


Just How Many Plants Should You Have?


To improve your health and the air quality in your home, you’ll want to place plants about every 129 square feet. For air purification purposes, you’ll want to place about 16-18 plants in an 1800 square foot space. This may sound like a lot, but if you consider spreading plants throughout your home, you'll fill the quota fairly quickly. Larger plants can also be used, placing one or two per room to fill this suggested requirement.  



Best Houseplant Choices:


  • Gerbera daisy
  • Spider plant
  • Boston fern
  • Philodendron
  • Snake plant
  • Peace lily


These plants all have different benefits but most are best known to purify the air, improve happiness, and increase well-being.

If you don’t have a green thumb, you should definitely get one. Most houseplants are not that hard to take care of. It’s easy and fairly inexpensive to equip your home with a good number of houseplants. The greenery will also add to the ambiance and decor of your home’s overall theme. Every room, including the bathroom, can benefit from these plants. Think of houseplants like another member of the family- one that gives you oxygen and clean air to breathe!       


 





Tags: decorating   houseplants  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by RE/MAX Advantage I on 7/16/2020

Photo by Charles Thompson via Pixabay

A vast majority of homebuying  transactions rely on the buyer qualifying for a mortgage through a bank. After all, most people don't have enough cash lying around to buy a home outright. Nowadays, you have more options with different types of lenders and alternative financing companies where you can seek pre-approval online. But sometimes even these options don't work out, as pre-approval doesn't mean you're actually going to get the underwriter at the lender to approve you.

This could make you consider other alternative options like seller-financed mortgages.

What is a Seller-Financed Mortgage and How Does It Work?

As the name implies, you are financing your purchase with the person or company selling the home instead of taking out a mortgage with a lender. It's a private transaction where you, the buyer, make an arrangement with the seller to buy the property.

The seller draws up a promissory note that details the terms of the mortgage: interest rate, payment schedule, and the consequences if you default on the mortgage. In most cases, the seller then finances the sale for a short term, usually five years, with a balloon payment at the end of the period. However, the promissory note can be sold at any time to another financing company: sellers don't necessarily need to wait for the buyer to refinance with a more traditional lender.

Why Would I Consider a Seller-Financed Mortgage?

There are situations that make it difficult to work with a traditional lender, such as:

  • Self-employment / entrepreneurship
  • Foreign employment
  • Frequent job changes, or you haven't held the same job long enough
  • Poor or no credit
  • Tax-related issues
  • Debt-income ratio is too high

Sometimes, these situations can be incredibly frustrating when you know you'd be able to afford the mortgage payment or it's even far less than market rent where you want to buy! Alternative lenders may have options but sometimes even they don't want to lend to the self-employed or borrowers with high student loan or credit card debt.

This makes seller financing a more viable option when you can demonstrate your ability to make payments but are having trouble with the traditional channels.

What are the Key Pros and Cons of Seller-Financed Mortgages?

The down payment, interest rate, and other terms are more flexible although they may not necessarily be better than what you would get with a bank. There are also no points, PMI, or origination fees which can save money upfront and over the life of the loan.

Closing is also much faster, easier, and cheaper because there's no loan officer or underwriter involved. 

However, the seller may not always confirm they're able to finance the sale. If the seller has a mortgage, most of them have a due on sale clause that forbids them from selling the home without paying off their mortgage balance first. If the seller still does this without paying off the mortgage first, your new home could get foreclosed on.

The homebuying process can be a difficult undertaking, but we're here to help you find the best options so you can buy your dream home as quickly as possible. Reach out today to learn more!





Posted by RE/MAX Advantage I on 7/9/2020

Your kitchen floor is what makes a statement in your home. The floor of the kitchen sets the design tone for the entire room. The choices for your kitchen floor are seemingly endless with tile to hardwood to everything in between. While the kitchen floor may not be on the top of the list during your kitchen remodel, it should be. These floors take quite a beating due to food being dropped, entertaining, foot traffic, and just overall frequent use. The flooring of the kitchen will help to pull the look of a room together and help to add value to your home. The floors should help accent the counters, appliances, and cabinets. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the most common kitchen flooring materials with some advice on how to choose what’s right for you

   


Stone Or Tile


These choices are perfect especially if your kitchen is a heavily traveled area. Let’s face it, most kitchens are where people come in and out, looking for food! Your decision will depend on where your kitchen is to the relationships of the main entrance to your home. 


Cork


This is a durable material that’s quite versatile and available in a variety of colors to suit your style. The great thing about cork is that it is water-resistant and it reduces noise from impact. This could be a great choice if you have children who love to run around and you also have a need for a quiet space upstairs. 


Wood Floors


Wood is to kitchen flooring what granite is to kitchen countertops. Wood just makes a kitchen feel classy. It’s great under your feet and durable at the same time. Wood can withstand heavy traffic, water stains, food spills, and more. You can even go for a less expensive alternative that gives the same look and benefits of wood for less.


Vinyl Flooring


If you’re on a budget, vinyl kitchen flooring is the way to go. these floors offer a variety of styles and color choices. The material can be purchased either in tile or sheet form.


Laying Down The Flooring


One of the biggest mistakes that homeowners make is not hiring professional help when needed to install things in the home. This applies to flooring as well. If you don’t feel comfortable laying down tile, or whatever type of flooring you choose, call the people who know how to do it best. Improperly installed flooring can lead to bumps, cracks, and the need for yet another new floor much sooner. It could be worth the extra investment to hire professional help to install your new kitchen floor.







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