Today’s Buyer – Connestee Falls Realty http://www.connesteefallshomes.com Brevard, NC - Live Where You Play! Fri, 23 Feb 2018 16:59:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/cropped-CFR-Favicon-32x32.png Today’s Buyer – Connestee Falls Realty http://www.connesteefallshomes.com 32 32 WILL THE STOCK MARKET AFFECT YOUR HOME PURCHASE? http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/will-stock-market-affect-home-purchase/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/will-stock-market-affect-home-purchase/#respond Mon, 12 Feb 2018 15:46:30 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6367 SOURCE:  Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com “The wild stock market of the past week has sent some into a panic and caused many others to take a closer look at their financial picture.  But what is the stock market’s impact on real estate, and should you worry if you’re getting ready to buy a new home? …

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SOURCE:  Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com

“The wild stock market of the past week has sent some into a panic and caused many others to take a closer look at their financial picture.  But what is the stock market’s impact on real estate, and should you worry if you’re getting ready to buy a new home?  Not much at this point, and not really, say financial experts.

So why isn’t a 1,175-point drop – the largest single-day dip in history – not a concern?  First, because most financial experts saw some sort of correction coming because of the robust market over the last two years (and, as many expected, the market bounced back with a 567-point gain on Tuesday, although there could be more volatility in the short term.)

“The stock market has been on a roller-coaster ride since late last week, with a historic one-day plunge in trading, and a ripple effect that struck the rest of the globe Tuesday.” said Inman.com. (https://www.inman.com).  But most economists will tell you the historic highs over the past two years were bound to result in a correction of sorts as investors reckon with the possibility of inflation and rising interest rates.”

Second, and most important to home buyers, is the fact that any potential impact on real estate is expected to be nominal.  “Real estate professionals, and potential home buyers and sellers aren’t immune to the fears that reverberated across trading floors on Friday and again on Monday, they said, “but analysts say the effect on home prices, sales volume and trading activity will be minimal and temporary.”

PLAY THE LONG GAME….Of course, the stock market isn’t one size fits all, and, depending on where your investments lie, you may, understandably, be worried.  Economists and fnancial planners have generally had similar advice to “average investors” wondering how to respond to the stock market’s volatility.  Think about your objectives and “Stay Put,” says CNN Money (http://money.cnn.com).  It’s all about playing the long game.

“Are you saving for retirement?  A future home purchase?  If those goals are more than 10 years away, you probably don’t have much to worry about.  While it’s hard to ignore the noise when the market experiences a dark day, It’s important to take the emotion out of trading.”

WHAT DOES ALL OF THIS MEAN FOR REAL ESTATE?   That depends on what aspect of real estate you’re talking about.  Publicly traded real estate-based companies including “Realogy, Zillow, Redfin, News Corp, and Re/Max “posted modest losses between end of trading on Thursday and Monday’s close,” said Inman.  Real estate investors also felt an immediate pinch.  “The plunge also resonated through real estate investment trust stocks, resulting in a 2.9% drop in the FTSE NAREIT All Equity REIT Index Monday” said BISNOW (http://www.bisnow.com).  But National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT) economist Brad Case said the 2.86% drop in the All Equity REIT index, though sizable, will be short-lived.”  The potential for dipping consumer confidence can have a far greater impact on the overall economy and, specifically, the real estate market.

“Consumer confidence is a major consideration when people purchase durable goods and real estate” said ZACKS (https://finance.zacks.com).  “Few people are likely to commit to a big mortgage payment if they feel that their economic future is uncertain.  When the stock market retreats and the value of portfolios declines, investors are impacted psychologically.  Even if the portfolios are in IRA’s which will not be touched for years, people’s confidence is shaken.  Loss of confidence can spread like a virus, affecting others who have not been financially hurt but have nevertheless become unnerved.”

Which leads us back to the overall economy.  U.S. Jobs data released last week showed that “wage growth is picking up,” said CNN Money.  Even small upticks in mortgage rates haven’t slowed down the real estate market, especially in light of consistent news about rising rents across the country that can make owning a home more affordable than paying someone else’s mortgage in many cities.

The stability of real estate as an asset should shield the industry – and those who are looking to be a part of it, even as stocks rise and fall.  “Back when the internet bubble burst in the year 2000, during that period, that’s when the housing market began to steadily rise.”  National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun told Inman.  “That means that as people felt their financial assets to be very volatile, people were looking for more stable assets, which they perceived that real estate could provide.”

SOURCE:  Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.      IMAGE:  Pixabay

All opinions are those of Jaymi Naciri/realtytimes.com and cited sources.

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SEVEN LIGHTING TRENDS FOR 2018 TO UPDATE YOUR HOME http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/seven-lighting-trends-2018-update-home/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/seven-lighting-trends-2018-update-home/#respond Wed, 31 Jan 2018 15:00:46 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6352 SOURCE:  Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com “If there’s one thing that can make your home look dated lit’s lighting.  Old fixtures, out-of-style chandeliers and lighting that detracts from instead of highlighting key feature in your home can make it look drab or overdue for updates….The good news is that changing out or adding new fixtures can…

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SOURCE:  Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com

“If there’s one thing that can make your home look dated lit’s lighting.  Old fixtures, out-of-style chandeliers and lighting that detracts from instead of highlighting key feature in your home can make it look drab or overdue for updates….The good news is that changing out or adding new fixtures can be an easy fix that gives your home some new sparkle.   AND, there ARE affordable options!

Here are some big trends to keep in  mind:

1.  MIX AND MATCH.  For a stylish, eclectic look, give your pendant lighting some flair by mixing it up.  A row or cluster of pendants is a classic look, but you can mix things up.  Try hanging different colors or sizes of the same pendant light, or use a consistent color palette in an array of different shapes.

2.  LARGE FIXTURES.  Scale is always an important factor when designing a space, but modern lighting trends are veering toward larger fixtures that also make a larger impact.  Your aim may be to create a WOW impact and attract instant attention.  More than lighting, these fixtures act as centerpieces.  Some are ornate, and focus all the attention in a space on the fixture.  Large pendant lighting fixtures can be used over the kitchen island, over the dining table, at the foyer and along exterior footpaths, among other areas.

3.  HIGH IMPACT CHANDELIERS.  Beyond scale, chandeliers for 2018 are also focused on exciting shapes.  The starburst type, known as the “Sputnik”, has been trending for several years but has origins back to the 1950s, when the Sputnik space launch inspired an obsession with all things space-related….The classic setting for a Sputnik light is in a  mid-century modern room.  You will commonly see it with brass arms, paired with medium-toned woods and retro colors such as aqua….it’s a playful, punchy addition to a well-composed living area.  Today, this style is being embraced in all kinds of spaces and being created in all kinds of styles, materials, and prices.  As the retro look starts to make a comeback, it’s no surprise that the starburst is the hot item to have in your home this year.

4.  SMART LIGHTS.  There are several products you can buy today that go beyond your typical light bulb and that integrate smart technology into your lighting.  This trend will continue to grow as more variety is offered, but for now, the Philips Hue bulbs are the best ones you can buy because they are reliable, consistent, easy to use and work remotely.  You could go for color-changing bulbs, which are a little more expensive, but there’s also the option for the simple white bulbs, which are much cheaper and could offer a better option for those looking to set up their entire home.  They are dimmable and can be controlled remotely with the Hue app.

5.  GLASS BUBBLES.  Whether they cluster or cascade, glass bubbles bring a whimsy and wonderment to any space.  Expect to see both clear and iridescent colored versions this year.

6.  METALLICS.  We could have specified brass or gold to any number of other metallic finishes here because there are several that are trending individually.  And, the truth is that it’s hard to go wrong today with any of them.  Soft gold falls somewhere in the middle of brushed silver and brushed gold.  It borrows the soft matte finish of both while bring out the warmth and mellowness of gold.  This also means that it can blend in with almost any kind of decor from modern urban to farmhouse.  Can’t choose just one?  The rules of interior design are meant to be broken and when done right the results can be inspiring and stunning.  Mixing metallic design elements either within a single lighting fixture or within a larger design environment, is a great way to break the rules and create a harmonious visual plane at the same time.  In 2018, gold, silver, brass, rose gold, copper and other metal lighting fixture elements can all work together to create an intentional and thoughtful look within a designer space.

7.  VINTAGE LIGHTING.  Going vintage with your lighting is a great way to bring character to a space, and homeowners are gravitating toward vintage-style fixtures, such as aged copper pendant lights as an stunning focal point for their living spaces and kitchens.”

SOURCE:  Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.    IMAGES:  Pinterest

 

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2018 KITCHEN TREND: BLUE AND GREEN CABINETS http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/2018-kitchen-trend-blue-green-cabinets/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/2018-kitchen-trend-blue-green-cabinets/#respond Wed, 10 Jan 2018 14:44:57 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6326 SOURCE:  Excerpts from an article by Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com “Feeling blue?  You’re about to!  Blue is one of the hottest colors for 2018 when it comes to the kitchen – and that goes for green as well.  After years of white everything, expect to see some deeper, moodier shades in your chef space.  …

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SOURCE:  Excerpts from an article by Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com

“Feeling blue?  You’re about to!  Blue is one of the hottest colors for 2018 when it comes to the kitchen – and that goes for green as well.  After years of white everything, expect to see some deeper, moodier shades in your chef space.

 

House Beautiful says that “blues and greens emerged as “go to” color choices for cabinetry in 2017.”  They are being mixed with other colors, complementing wood stains or even being used as the dominant color alone.  Blue cabinets manage to attract attention with their cool color and clean lines.

You can also leave the cabinets a more neutral color, and pick a rich blue for your range and hood for a show-stopping look.

Designers and homeowners started flirting with dark green cabinets last year, and 2018 is the year the color is expected to become more widely embraced.  If you’re afraid that a hue so deep will make your space feel dark of small, white walls and counters, plus mixed metals, keep it feeling chic and open.  Green cabinets also are the perfect foil for generous slabs of marble.  You can also get a modern look that weaves in the green without going full blast by using a two-tone approach.  Green bottom cabinets and islands ground the space, juxtaposed against white uppers and backsplash.”

SOURCE:  Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.  IMAGES:  pinterest.com, elledecor.com

 

 

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2018………PAY ATTENTION!!! http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/2018-pay-attention/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/2018-pay-attention/#respond Mon, 08 Jan 2018 17:26:29 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6321 SOURCE:  Excerpted from an article by PJ Wade for realtytimes.com We may have a tricky year ahead of us, so what’s the best and easiest strategy for consistent success in 2018?  PAY ATTENTION!  Start the year with or without New Year’s resolutions, but commit to success this year by paying attention…. To how well informed…

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SOURCE:  Excerpted from an article by PJ Wade for realtytimes.com

We may have a tricky year ahead of us, so what’s the best and easiest strategy for consistent success in 2018? 

PAY ATTENTION!  Start the year with or without New Year’s resolutions, but commit to success this year by paying attention….

  • To how well informed you and information sources you really on really are.
  • To what’s really going on around you — real and fake, and
  • To how you react to what’s going on around you —  online and off.

Whether you are a real estate owner or a wannabe, 0r whether you intend to buy or sell in 2018, so much is shifting in real estate, in the economy, and everywhere else that nothing should be taken for granted or assumed in 2018.  Concentrate on getting the facts, not just someone else’s biased view of where advantages lie for you.

  • A LOT CHANGED IN 2017 A ND THE FULL IMPLICATIONS OF THOSE CHANGES WILL CONTINUE TO EMERGE IN 2018.  Pay attention to ramifications and compromises, subtle and otherwise, attached to changes in everything from tax law and net neutrality to technology’s continued re-write and disruption of much we’ve taken for granted.  Real estate ownership will be impacted by changes to tax law, estate planning, resulting neighborhood development, and interactions between these and many more variables.  Where will advantages lie for you?  Changes in the business world may directly or indirectly influence job or retirement security for your family.  This in turn may impact qualification for financing, mortgage renewal, and real estate affordability.  Projected reductions in funding and donations for social and community support programs and organizations may have widespread impact in neighborhoods, community development and in education.  These shifts may reduce location benefits, which in turn can affect real estate value.  How will your location be affected in 2018?
  • WHOEVER OR WHATEVER YOU BLAMED FOR DISTRACTIONS IN 2017 WILL BE WITH YOU IN 2018 AND MIGHT EVEN BE WORSE.  There are only so many hours in the day, and only so many $$$ in your paycheck.  Distractions that erode concentration on your needs and goals, and distractions that feed impulse spending will be expensive in many ways.  Pay attention to what takes you off point, off track, and off goal to ensure you stay in control.  You may blame others for distracting you, but it’s your powers of concentration that should be continually honed and improved to keep you ahead of the pack.  Saving for a down payment, home renovation, or to pay down an existing mortgage requires a written budget strategy to guide you toward clearly defined results.  Paying monthly condominium fees, mortgage payments, or heating bills is exhausting when approached as mont-to-0month catch-up.  Shift your focus to cutting costs and increasing income long-term and you’ll move beyond a monthly survival perspective to establish a constructive, long-term frame of reference for success.  Steady, dramatic increases in online shopping over the 2017 holiday season mean many households may be combining the impulse spending facilitated by credit cards and click-here shopping carts to undermine their budgets even more dramatically than ever.  As the volume of online shoppers increases, convenience, cost saving, and product satisfaction may be compromised – so it’s only the novelty of online shopping that addicts.  What’s all this got to do with achieving your core real estate ownerhship goals?
  • SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF WHAT YOU BELIEVED YOU KNEW IN 2017  ABOUT REAL ESTATE. FINANCE, HOME SECURITY, MORTGAGES, WORK, AND THE INTERNET WILL BE OUT OF DATE IN 2018.  Pay attention to which laws, regulations, services, and real estate expenses have actually changed – not just been endlessly, sensationally rehashed in the media  and online.  Accurate information and clever strategies are gold……Tweets, posts, and other online content arrive in increasingly overwhelming rates and volumes, leaving less and less time to uncover facts and realities and to actually learn and think about relevance to you.  From shopping or applying for a mortgage to searching for a new home or viewing property, virtual video and online content bring these and other real estate activities onto your laptop and your mobile phone.  Is this distance learning leaving you better informed and smarter real estate-wise than face-to-face meetings with real estate experts and hands-on location and property investigations?  Searching out professionals who keep up with change within their profession is a challenge.  How do you make sure you receive the professional advice you need to interpret changes from your real estate point of view?…”

Connestee Falls Realty provides you with expertise on our area of greatest interest – the Brevard area in general, and Connestee Falls in particular.  IT’S OUR THING!  Let us help you make sense of all your real estate questions and needs  in 2018!

SOURCE:  PJ Wade for realtytimes.com    

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WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR HOME ISN’T SELLING http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/home-isnt-selling/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/home-isnt-selling/#respond Wed, 20 Dec 2017 16:28:20 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6306 SOURCE:  Excerpted from an article written by the Realtytimes.com staff. “When sellers start the home-selling process, no one wants to think “What would happen if my home doesn’t sell?”  Before you panic, recognize that there are many things that you can do so you don’t wind up in that position. Understanding the real estate market and…

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SOURCE:  Excerpted from an article written by the Realtytimes.com staff.

“When sellers start the home-selling process, no one wants to think “What would happen if my home doesn’t sell?”  Before you panic, recognize that there are many things that you can do so you don’t wind up in that position. Understanding the real estate market and the value of your home will help you avoid this dilemma.

  1. The first key point is to get educated about the market.  Read your newspapers, online real estate sites, and consult with the best experts in real estate for your area to determine the sales price.  While all that may seem basic, you’d be surprised how many sellers rely on emotion to dream up a selling price for their home.  Some have done little, if any, research on even their own neighborhood.  Their strong ties to their home cause them to imagine that their home should sell for the price they want.  Or they base the selling price on how much they owe which is, of course, of no significance to buyers.
  2. Fix up your home.  Most buyers don’t want to purchase a big list of fixes in order to live in the home they just bought…yet some sellers think that it’s a waste to spend money on a home that they’re moving out of soon.  This is quite a predicament.  Both sides have valid point, but buyers might be in a stronger position on this one.   Yes, if the buyer wants the home badly enough, they might agree to buy your home, but it’s guaranteed you’ll take a financial hit as the buyer will want to discount the price for the problems that need fixing.  In the end you might have to fix the issues before the sale anyway.  So, starting with a house that is in relatively good order is the best way to begin.
  3. If you need to sell your home, don’t pull it off the market because you think the season isn’t right.  Buyers who need to buy a home  will keep hunting through all the seasons.  There may be slow times, but if people need a house, they’ll keep looking even in unlikely times.
  4. Consider incentives.  You can make your home more appealing by tossing in some incentives.  It’s best to speak with your Realtor about which incentives are best to offer.  Even practical incentives can help get buyers to your home to view it.  These incentives can help encourage the buyer to move forward, especially if other challenges arise.
  5. Stage your home.  This is not the same thing as fixing up.  Fixing up  includes daily maintenance and repairs.  Staging your home involves using experts to make your home showroom-ready – like a model home.  If you’re serious about selling, then it’s worth at least having a consultation with an expert in the industry.  They are trained to stay on top of the trends that have mass appeal.  They offer a fresh set of eyes on your home.  They may point out something that you never noticed before because you’ve been living in your home for a long time.  They look at your home from an outsider’s perspective and that’s exactly what you need.  Taking time to at least consult with experts allows you to gain knowledge and information about your home and the market place.  What you do with that information is up to you, but it may just be the difference between a FOR SALE sign and a SOLD sign hanging outside your home.”

SOURCE:  realtytimes.com

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2017 HOMEBUYER SURVEY HAS VALUABLE INFO… http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/2017-homebuyer-survey-valuable-info/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/2017-homebuyer-survey-valuable-info/#respond Wed, 22 Nov 2017 16:02:11 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6286 FOR AGENTS AND SELLERS… SOURCE:  Excerpted from an article by BOB HUNT for realtytimes.com “One of the most useful research projects of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) is their annual survey of homebuyers and sellers.  It is particularly useful because it shows sellers and their agents what works and what sources buyers use to…

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FOR AGENTS AND SELLERS…

SOURCE:  Excerpted from an article by BOB HUNT for realtytimes.com

“One of the most useful research projects of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) is their annual survey of homebuyers and sellers.  It is particularly useful because it shows sellers and their agents what works and what sources buyers use to find their new homes.

This is the 30th year that NAR has conducted an annual survey of those who have purchased and sold their homes.  The most recent became available in November of this year, based on answers to a 131-question survey sent to a random sample of 145,000 consumers who purchased a home between July 2016 and June 1017.  After accounting for undeliverable surveys, there was a 5.6% response rate.

In 2016, first-time buyers constituted 32% of the market, the lowest participation rate by first-time buyers since 1987 (30%).  This year, the first-time buyer rate was 34%  Geographically, the  highest percentage of first-time buyers was in the northeast (43%).  Over the years, the historic norms for the country have been in the 40% range.  As more low-down-payment mortgage programs come into the market, there may be a good chance of turning to these norms.

The most useful info for sellers and their agents came from the section on the home search process.  Recent trends continue.  86% of buyers said that they used the internet during the search process.  In 2003, that number was only 42%.  This past year, 55% of buyers used a mobile or tablet application…a newer and growing phenomenon.  68% of buyers said they frequently relied on a real estate agent for information.

Forty-two percent of buyers went to the internet as the first step in the home search process. 17% contacted a real estate agent first, and 6% began by driving through neighborhoods looking for homes for sale.  Driving around can be an option, because half the homes purchased were within 15 miles of the buyers’ previous residence.  Interestingly, 8% of buyers began the process by going to a bank or mortgage company.

Buyers use multiple sources of information in the process of looking for a home.  The most used sources are websites (95%), and real estate agents (89%).  Mobile or tablet apps have replaced yard signs as the third most used source.  Only 15% indicate they used newspaper ads as an info source, and only 2% garnered info from television.

Certainly the most relevant source has to do with where they actually found the home they ultimately purchased…this year that source was the internet (49%).  Next was agents, at 31%.  This is not to say that buyers actually bought their home through the internet.  The typical scenario is that a consumer sees the home on the internet, and then contacts his or her agent.  **88% of those who used the internet to search purchased their home through an agent.**

The differences in a little more than a decade are fascinating.  In 2001, 48% of buyers learned about their home through a real estate agent, and only 8% found their home on the internet.  The times – they have changed!

Some things, though, remain the same – or close to it. In 2001, yard signs persist as sources, but at a much lower percentage.  Print media may not be dead, but it has shrunk to insignificance…”

SOURCE: Bob Hunt for realtytimes.com.  The 2017 Profile of  Home Buyers and Sellers (https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics/research-reports/highlights/from-the-profile-of-home-buyers-and-sellers) shows what works, and is a valuable resource.

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SAVVY BUYERS SEARCH OUT FIXER-UPPERS! http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/savvy-buyers-search-fixer-uppers/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/savvy-buyers-search-fixer-uppers/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 15:40:02 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6200 Excerpted from an article by PJ Wade for realtytimes.com “Instead of shopping for your dream home, why not search out your dream discount? First-time buyers, even experienced buyers, can be distracted by the superficial….enticed to pay more for dream-home fantasies or, encouraged to walk away from a hidden gem… Buy a home which was cleverly…

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Excerpted from an article by PJ Wade for realtytimes.com

“Instead of shopping for your dream home, why not search out your dream discount?

First-time buyers, even experienced buyers, can be distracted by the superficial….enticed to pay more for dream-home fantasies or, encouraged to walk away from a hidden gem…

Buy a home which was cleverly staged and marketed to make buyers rush to put in an offer, and you may be paying more for the hype and a distracting “veneer.”  Dismiss a property because it needs work and TLC without assessing its true value, and you may lose a lot more (a house you can really make your own).

A “visual disaster” (or fixer-upper) could be a solid, well-located home that  is structurally sound and in relatively good condition, but – and it’s a big but – it looks (and possibly smells) bad – and is selling at a significant discount.  Smart sellers and their real estate agents know the magic of fresh paint, the allure of staged interiors, and the appeal of cosmetic make-overs.  They understand which current “hot” features for which buyers are willing to pay more.

Buyers who would prefer to invest their money in the best possible location and a solid, sound structure,. – not superficial trimmings and flash done to someone else’s taste and standards – may benefit from shopping for a fixer-upper.

CAUTION:  Thorough home inspection, ideally by a structural engineer, is essential to verify the home is structurally sound without any super-expensive repair necessary.  Other experienced “eyes” – contractors, designers, renovation-experienced property owners, your real estate professional – will also be helpful when viewing these homes.

Tasteless decor, scary color schemes, extreme pet smells, overwhelming clutter…these are just a few ugly turnoffs that discourage buyers.  For savvy home buyers, these negatives may signal hidden value and money-saving opportunity.  Also, these properties may have been on the market for a long time, so there could be more room for negotiation.

Buyers who are ready to contribute “sweat equity” to their purchase can end up thousands and thousands of dollars ahead.  “Sweat equity” involves getting your hands dirty to uncover good bones and hidden value, or paying a professional to do the necessary design or physical work, or a combination of both approaches.

…New owners can decide to live with some or all of the “problems” for awhile – then hire professionals to make the necessary changes.  Having lived in the home awhile, owners discover what will really work for them.

Here are a few common visual disasters to keep an eye out for:

COLOR ME CRAZY…Learn to visualize beyond crazy decor to discover value.

TIRED AND SEVERELY DATED…a “refreshed” property – scrape away the grime, deal with paneling overkill, paint with your color choices, and refinish floors or add new carpeting – can really sparkle!

STINKY PREMISES…Animal smells and discoloration from long-term smoking are two definite buyer turn offs.  Many buyers can’t get past a dirty property.  Remove the carpet and have the building professional sanitized or tackle some cleaning yourself.  There’s value under all of that ugh.

WHAT-WERE-YOU-THINKING???-DESIGN…If it’s one bad feature and the home is otherwise sound, get a couple of quotes on fixing the problem.  Your real estate pro will understand how your offer can reflect this extra cost – either a lower offer price and you pay for it, or ask the seller to make the repair or at least share or credit you the cost.

STREET-SIDE UGLY…If the yard is a mess and the property is unappealing from the curb, many buyers will stay in their cars.  Concentrate on where the value lies:  location and structural soundness.  Get a quote or two on improving landscaping or correcting the street face to back up your offer price.  Later, you can decide how much to do yourself.

TALK TO YOUR REAL ESTATE PRO, FRIENDS, FAMILY, AND LOCAL CONTRACTORS TO GET A FEEL FOR WHAT MAY WORK IN YOUR AREA. 

COLLECT A FEW BALLPARK QUOTES FOR PAINTING, CLEANING, AND OTHER POSSIBLE UNDERTAKINGS TO GET AN ACCURATE FEEL FOR COSTS BEFORE YOU START LOOKING AT PROPERTIES. 

PULL TOGETHER A TEAM OF EXPERIENCED PEOPLE YOU CAN CALL ON FOR KNOWLEDGEABLE INPUT, SO YOU’LL BE READY WHEN A POSSIBLE FIXER-UPPER/GOOD VALUE APPEARS.”

SOURCE:  PJ Wade for realtytimes.com   IMAGE:  Pinterest

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BUYING A VACATION HOME: THE QUESTIONS BEFORE PURCHASE http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/buying-vacation-home-questions-purchase/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/buying-vacation-home-questions-purchase/#comments Mon, 17 Jul 2017 13:58:55 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6165 SOURCE:  Amin Dabit for realtytimes. “Whether it’s an oceanside bungalow or a mountain cabin, many people dream of buying a vacation home.  Financial advisors call a purchase like this “lifestyle investing.”  Like any investment, buying a second home comes with both benefits and potential drawbacks, so it’s important to consider how a vacation home fits…

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SOURCE:  Amin Dabit for realtytimes.

“Whether it’s an oceanside bungalow or a mountain cabin, many people dream of buying a vacation home.  Financial advisors call a purchase like this “lifestyle investing.”  Like any investment, buying a second home comes with both benefits and potential drawbacks, so it’s important to consider how a vacation home fits into your long-term plans before taking the plunge.  Are you ready to pull a trigger on that property in your dream location?  Read on…

TAKE A CLOSE LOOK AT YOUR FINANCES.

Before even looking at listings, it’s important to assess your finances.  To determine whether you can actually afford a vacation property, consider the following:

  • How strong is your income stream?  Will it hold up during an economic downturn?
  • Will you be able to write off some, or all, of your mortgage?  The IRS caps write-offs for mortgage indebtedness at a maximum of  $1 million between your primary and qualified second home.
  • Will you need to finance the vacation property?  If so, keep in mind that banks are quite strict on limiting borrowers for a vacation property to a 42% debt-to-income ratio or less.
  • What is your current asset allocation?  It’s typically not a good idea for anyone to have more than 50% of his or her net worth in any single asset class, especially one like real estate, where leverage is usually a big factor.  You don’t want to be overexposed if the housing market turns.

Sit down with an advisor and answer these questions.  If you still think a vacation home makes sense, keep reading.

RETIREMENT RETREAT OR RENTAL INCOME?

Once you’ve determined that a vacation home is economically feasible, the next big question to think about is how you want to use your vacation property.  Are you planning to rent it out, fix it up and sell it, or retire there?

If you’re thinking about becoming a landlord, make sure the home has rental income potential. (If you’re buying into a community with a POA, check the community’s policy on rentals.) If you’re looking to eventually profit from a sale, are you prepared to own the home for five years?  You’ll likely want to keep it for at least that long in order to amortize the high transaction costs associated with buying a vacation property.  On the other hand, you may see the home as part of your retirement dream, which makes it more of a lifestyle decision than a purely financial one.

MAKING THE MOVE.

Once you know what you’ll use your home for, it’s time to figure out where to buy.  Anyone who has ever bought a house has heard the adage about the three most important factors:  “LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.”  This is even more critical when buying a vacation home.

First, look closely at the local market.  As the Great Recession showed, real estate doesn’t only rise in value.  An array of factors can drive a local market up or down, including major employers coming or going, damaging weather events, etc.  By working with an agent knowledgeable about the area, you can get a good idea or market activity and pricing trends.

It’s important to analyze the pros and cons of the kind of community in which you want to live.  As you scout locations, be sure to consider the distance from your primary residence to your vacation home….the average vacation homebuyer purchases a property that is median distance of 200 miles from their primary residence.  How often will you be willing to make that drive…and have you factored in the costs associated with the journey?

THE FINAL DECISION.

Once you know where you want your vacation home to be, you may be faced with the choice of buying a pre-existing home or building a new home.  While many experts consider location to be the most important factor for buying a property with long-term appreciation potential, expanding a property gives you another way to make money, as the ultimate sale price can be significantly more than the construction cost of an expansion.

However, this approach isn’t without its downside, as expansion projects can often take longer and cost more than expected.  There are also tax implications, to consider.  Before beginning a home investment process, you should run realistic worst-case cash flow numbers to see how long you can survive before your money runs out.  Having two years in cash flow is a good guideline.

Another option is to buy an older home, then remodel or renovate.  While a renovation or remodeling likely won’t get you a huge return on investment when you sell, it can save you money by allowing you to buy a less expensive home and then proving it over time as opposed to shelling out more money up front.  Renovations can also enable you to charge more if you choose to rent out your home.

While buying a vacation home can be a dream come true, it’s important to look at it with clear eyes, just as you would with any other investment.  Make sure to do extensive research and think hard about why you’re making the purchase before signing on the dotted line.

SOURCE:  Amin Dabit/realtytimes.com  IMAGE:  Local photo of one of our famous Brevard-Area white squirrels enjoying his vacation “lounging platform.”

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HOW TO SELL YOUR HOME FAST! http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/sell-home-fast/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/sell-home-fast/#respond Wed, 28 Jun 2017 16:19:26 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6151 Excerpted from – SOURCE:  Trulia/Angela Vogel Daley “…Putting your home on the market can be stressful.  Week after week of showings require your house to be PRESENTABLE AT ALL TIMES.  Not to mention to hassel of vacating at a moment’s notice.  If you have pets or children, that stress is multiplied.  But buyers will be…

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Excerpted from – SOURCE:  Trulia/Angela Vogel Daley

“…Putting your home on the market can be stressful.  Week after week of showings require your house to be PRESENTABLE AT ALL TIMES.  Not to mention to hassel of vacating at a moment’s notice.  If you have pets or children, that stress is multiplied.  But buyers will be most interested in your home during the first few weeks it’s on the market – so you need to hit the ground running and sell before your listing grows stale.  To sell a home quickly, it needs to show well, be marketed well and be priced correctly…If you need to sell in a hurry, these tips can help you get offers more quickly…

  1.  Get a storage unit.  Don’t shove everything into the closet while de-cluttering.  Opt for a storage unit to house things you won’t need while your home is on the market.  General rule – Get rid of 1/3 of your stuff.  If you don’t use it everyday, store it.  Holiday decorations, baby gear, seasonal clothes – all can go to storage.  BONUS:  If you choose a portable unit, it can be transported to your new home, making moving day a cinch.
  2. Hire a professional to stage and photograph your home.  A professional stager sees your  home from a buyer’s perspective – and understands how to highlight its strengths and soften its flaws.  Your buyer’s first impression will be the listing photos, and the more the better.  Enlist a good friend to go through your home with fresh eyes to offer their perspective on de-cluttering, and then the agent can go through fro a marketing standpoint.
  3. Find the right real estate agent.  What really matters?  A track record of sales that proves they know how to sell your house.  Familiar with your neighborhood.  Good, professional photos.  Good marketing.  Social media exposure.
  4. Promote it yourself.  Get the word out yourself using personal social media and sending the listing page to family and friends.  You never know what these personal contacts may turn up.
  5. Remove personalized items.  Removing personal photos or memorabilia will allow the prospective buyers to imagine themselves living in your house and make it easier to focus on the home’s highlighted features.  Also, don’t distract from the home itself with art, which could be unappealing to the buyer.
  6. Make small upgrades.  Don’t go overboard on major remodels.  Chances are, you won’t get your money back.  Focus on small upgrades, particularly in the kitchen and bathroom, where you’re most likely to see a return on your investment.  New sink and cabinet hardware in the kitchen, light fixtures, shower curtains, nicer hand towels in the bathrooms – all inexpensive but can instantly transform your space.  If you can afford it, ditch your old appliances and spend $3,500 on a new stainless steel appliance suite.
  7. Light it up.  A dark or poorly lit home feels damp and depressing.  Brighten it up by using natural and artificial light.  Get high wattage bulbs.  Turn lights on before showings.  Open curtains and blinds.  A fresh coat of paint where needed makes things brighter.  A light, neutral gray provides a softer, brighter palette, making rooms look larger.  A deep cleaning also helps.
  8. Amp up the curb appeal.  Curb appeal is EVERYTHING.  The exterior is typically the first thing a buyer sees in person and on listing sites.  Tidy up the yard.  Trim landscaping, refresh mulch, edge the lawn.  Pressure wash the house.  Fresh coat of paint on doors and shutters.  Polish kickplate and door hardware.  Clean up cobwebs or bird droppings.  Flowers near the entryway add a hint of color.
  9. Sell at the right time.  Spring and Summer are typically the best time to sell your home.  But be aware that increased inventory means spring and summer buyers can afford to be pickier – so make sure your home is in tip-top shape.  You also need to price your house right – just because you want to sell for a certain amount doesn’t mean your home is worth your magic number, unfortunately.  Do your own research about area comps, get listing price suggestions from your agent – and listen to your agent when it comes to negotiating.”

SOURCE:  Angela Daley for TRULIA.  IMAGE:  athomesense.com

 

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LANDSCAPING TO IMPROVE RESALE: AT DIFFERENT PRICE POINTS http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/landscaping-improve-resale-different-price-points/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/landscaping-improve-resale-different-price-points/#respond Tue, 30 May 2017 14:25:19 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6080 SOURCE:  realtytimes.com “As the weather starts to heat up, so too does the housing market.  Spring is an optimal time to get your house ready to sell.  The first thing that potential buyers will see of your home is the landscaping, so make a great first impression with beautiful outdoor spaces.  An investment in landscaping…

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SOURCE:  realtytimes.com

“As the weather starts to heat up, so too does the housing market.  Spring is an optimal time to get your house ready to sell.  The first thing that potential buyers will see of your home is the landscaping, so make a great first impression with beautiful outdoor spaces.  An investment in landscaping can help sell your home faster and for more money.  There are simple projects at every price point that can help you achieve great curb appeal.

INEXPENSIVE: 

  • Keep the lawn well manicured.  In Spring, your lawn is given a boost by Mother Nature.  Wet, mild spring weather will help the lawn stay green with less effort – but be sure to mow and edge it often.
  • Keep your yard weed-free.  May not cost much, but will require some time and effort.  A weed-free yard will help potential buyers feel confident that the home is well cared for.
  • Add flower pots near your front door.  A splash of color in the yard is a great way to highlight your home, especially if you don’t have much extra money for more extensive landscaping.

MODERATE:

  • Add outdoor lighting.  Outdoor lighting has become a trendy feature that buyers have embraced.  It can add interest to your yard, highlight areas of landscaping, and make your home stand out at all times of the day.  Solar lights are particularly easy to use because they will recharge during the day and automatically come on in the evening to illuminate your home
  • Install curbing/edging.  It  helps the landscaping appear crisp and clean, and makes your lawn easier to mow and trim.
  • Hire a law or pest control company.  It is important when selling a home to make sure that there aren’t any obvious problems.  Dead or patchy lawns, or pest problems like spiders, mice, etc. will need to be gotten under control, but may be beyond the scope of the individual homeowner.  Professional services may be limited to a one-time visit that can quickly improve the chances of selling your home.

HIGH-END:

  • Create outdoor living areas.  If you have money to  invest in your home, high-end landscaping projects can increase your bottom line and draw attention from buyers looking for upgrades.  An extra living area outside is a huge attention grabber that attracts buyers.  This could range from simple patios staged with outdoor furniture, to screened-in porches, to full outdoor kitchen areas.  Depending on your location, these upgrade projects may or may not be worth the investment, so do your research before proceeding.
  • Replace or update fencing.  Fences provide a safe place for children and pets and also given homeowners a feeling of privacy, so they are highly sought after.  Fencing is also one of the first things people see when coming to your home.  If your fence is an eyesore, it would be worth the effort to have it replaced or fixed up.  New fencing is quite expensive, so first determine if your fence can be spruced up with some nails and a new coat of paint.
  • Hire a professional landscaper.  If you are serious about creating a stunning yard, you can make your  home one-of-a-kind.  A landscaper can help you add impressive things like paving stone walkways, decorative retaining walls, and water features.  These projects definitely increase home values, but it is always good to know what the market will support in your area before moving forward.

No matter how much money you have to invest in your home’s landscaping, there are projects you can do this Spring to improve your home’s curb appeal and get it noticed by buyers.

SOURCE:  Daniel M. Christensen for realtytimes.com  IMAGE: Pinterest

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