What Are Some Hot Trending Luxury Home Features
Whether you own a luxury home and want to make sure it is the best it can be, you are shopping for a luxury home and want to have the latest features in the home you buy, or you want to elevate your current home with some luxury features this article looks at some of the hot luxury home trends that are in demand now. Whether it be the latest and greatest in smart home technology, premium finishes or open floor plans, luxury homes set the trend for what all residential real estate aspires to. As features make their way into luxury homes many home builders and remodelers quickly get to work to figure out how to make those features available to anyone and everyone who would want it. This article explores some of the hot luxury home trends that are available now and in demand.
Gourmet or Second Kitchen
Whether they like to cook or not luxury homeowners and gourmet kitchens have a tendency to go hand in hand. Gourmet kitchens are setup with premium appliances, efficient and easy to use cooking and preparation spaces in mind. While the gourmet kitchen setup might be appealing to the professional chef many luxury homeowners opt for the gourmet kitchen in order to add to the appeal of a home that has it all. Gourmet kitchens will have oversized refrigerators, heavy-duty stoves with multiple burners, multiple ovens, warming drawers, multiple dishwashers, wine chillers and more.
In luxury homes where there is plenty of space to expand a home’s footprint (suburban areas versus urban areas) many luxury homeowners are opting to have installed a second full kitchen. These...
Why Homeowners Should Get Permits When Doing A Home Remodel or Addition
Many homeowners as well as homebuyers may not know the about the requirements for obtaining permits when improving their home. Whether the homeowner is moving internal walls or adding on an addition to a home many local governments require the homeowner and their contractor to obtain the proper permits prior to having the work done and require periodic inspections as the work is completed. Some contractors and homeowners may be tempted to do certain work without permits in order to save money and time. Failure to get the proper permits could result in the homeowner requiring to undo certain work or face steep fines and inspections in order to verify the completed work. This article explores the permit process and explains the importance of it to homeowners, buyers and more.
Why Do You Need A building or construction Permit?
Most local governments have some sort of building department who is responsible for issuing permits for new construction as well as re-modeling and home addition construction. The building departments monitor construction and home re-modeling in order to make sure homes and other buildings comply with existing zoning laws and meet the required safety standards. For instance adding a second kitchen to a home could be in violation of zoning laws where the reason for the additional kitchen is to turn a single family home into a two family home and where the home as currently situated is zoned for only single family residences. As a result a permit request...
Smart Tips For Your Next Move
After the purchase or sale of a home comes the challenge of moving from or to a new home. There are a number of different approaches to take with the move but the initial prep work prior to the move can make the difference between having a move that is easy versus a move that could be very stressful. This article looks at the different options for moving, offers tips on preparing for a move and provides some advice on how to avoid some common moving scams.
The Move Yourself Option
Depending on how much stuff you have to move this can always be a cost effective option. If you plan on buying new furniture and belongings at your new home then you can sell, donate or throw out stuff you no longer want so as to reduce the amount you yourself have to personally carry. If you are just moving clothing, kitchen ware and little less else then one person could handle the entire move on their own. On the other hand if furniture is involved you will need help to move the larger pieces of furniture safely. Enlist the help of your friends and make sure you plan the move ahead of time. Inventory all your heavy items and keep an inventory list of everything boxed up and tag the boxes accordingly so you don’t have to tear open every box just to find your coffee maker after you move in.
Sometimes it is easier to move the heavier items at the start of the process since that is when you will have the most energy to do so. Moving a very large dresser after you have moved 20 heavy boxes puts you at greater risk for dropping the dresser due to fatigue thus possibly causing damage to the dresser or worse injury...
What Are Agency Relationships In Real Estate
Due to the complexity of real estate transactions many states have adopted laws regarding the agency relationship between a real estate agent and the client. All too often lines can get blurred as to who an agent is representing when there are multiple parties involved in a real estate transaction. Generally in most states a real estate agent works for a broker who is the one setting the terms of the relationships with clients. The real estate broker can impose on their agents the rules with which how agents can represent real estate buyers and sellers provided for under the state laws they are bound by. The agency relationship between a client and their agent governs how the agent is to treat their client and this article will explore agency relationships further.
Agency Disclosure And State Laws
Often states have agency disclosure rules that require home sellers or buyers to sign a document that explains how an agent will be representing them during the real estate transaction. The document to be signed by the buyer or the seller basically describes real estate agency relationships in detail. While the document is full of legal language and may look like some sort of contract, the document is not a contract and the signature is only indicated receipt. The buyer or seller client in most cases do not have to sign it they choose not to, and in many states the real estate agent only need make a note that the form was presented but client refused to sign which will be kept in their brokerage records. Signing merely acknowledges the client was informed about real estate agency...
How Real Estate Agents Should Be Representing Their Clients
Real estate representation can be one of those tricky things as many homebuyers and sellers do not understand how real estate agents are supposed to represent their clients. Real estate agents owe certain duties to their clients that are required under state laws as well as local and national ethics rules. These duties are meant to protect clients and give them the confidence that their best interest is being taken to account when the agent is carrying out tasks on behalf of their clients. This article explores what those duties are and provides some examples of agents upholding those duties for their clients.
Duties To A Client
The basic duties owed by a real estate agent, also known as fiduciary duty, to their client includes the duty of loyalty, confidentiality, obedience, candor/disclosure, reasonable care and diligence, and accounting. These duties are required through state laws and are also a part of the Canon of Ethics that every Realtor is bound to. Not every real estate agent is a Realtor and is not required to be. Those real estate agents who wish to use the title of Realtor must join a local Realtor association and join the National Association of Realtors. Some local boards and multiple listing systems (MLS) to which real estate agents can join in order to market their client’s real estate may be required to join the local and national Realtor association groups as part of membership requirements.
With the duty of loyalty the real estate agent is required to put their client’s...
5 Important Home Buying Pitfalls To Be Aware Of
When buying a home there are a number of problem areas homebuyers can spot off right at the get go and know that the home may end up to be more trouble (or cost) than it is worth. By understanding these problem areas and either avoiding the home or making an offer according to the current condition homebuyers can save themselves some extra expense from having to fix certain issues. This article explores five common pitfall areas homebuyers may encounter and what the downsides of those problems can be.
Every home is built on some sort of foundation. Whether there is a basement underneath the home or a slab, the foundation is what holds a home up and holds it in place. The foundation in combination with the land around it dictates how the foundation will standup throughout time. Homes built into hillsides or areas with a lot of surface or sub-surface water flow are more prone to foundation issues.
Common foundation issues include settling, cracking, shifting and more. Most home foundations do settle minor amounts over time mainly due to the total weight of the home. As long as the settling is minor and even there should not be much cause for concern. Where the home settling is more than normal during a short period of time or happens unevenly then without costly repairs the structure of the house will begin to suffer. Shifting foundations where the basement walls are collapsing inward or outward can also subject a home to major damage. Until secured in place with additional supports those shifting walls...
Tips For Saving Up For A Down Payment On A Home
Many may dream of owning a home but feel like they could never come up with enough money to make the down payment and pay for closing costs. Saving up for a down payment on a home can seem like a huge task especially with the day to day bills and living expenses getting in the way. As the saying goes where there is a will there is a way and if you want to buy a home there are plenty of low down payment options available. With the right plan you can save enough money for a down payment and start to enjoy the benefits of homeownership.
How Much Down Payment Is Needed To Buy A Home
In some cases homes can be purchased with no money down. If you are a veteran or qualify for a Veteran’s Administration (VA) loan due to being in the armed services you can purchase a home without any down payment at all. Even if you are not a veteran you can purchase homes in certain rural areas using the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) mortgage loan that also provides for no money down loans. While the USDA mortgage does have certain income limits the VA loan does not. For the USDA mortgage the income limits are different based on the size of the household.
Other federally backed mortgages like the FHA loans allow for homes to be purchased with as little as 3.5% down. So on a $100,000 home 3.5% down means only having to come up with $3500 for the down payment. Even with the $3500 down requirement some buyers...
How To Deal With Offers When Selling Your Home
When selling a home the ultimate goal is to get an offer from a buyer that meets all the requirements of the homeowner. Depending on the market type, whether a seller’s market or a buyer’s market, the offers may not be at the asking price. Homeowners have a number of options for dealing with offers when they come in and this article explores in depth what homeowners can do when they do receive one or more offers on their home for sale.
How Will Offers Be Presented?
In order to be legal and enforceable in court all offers for real estate must be presented in writing. Most states consider electronic versions of the forms to be considered “in writing” and even the digital signatures that go along with the electronic forms are acceptable. The buyer can present verbal offers to the seller and the seller can even accept a verbal offer verbally, but until written down the offer and acceptance is not valid. A court of law would not find an enforceable contract where there is only verbal offer and acceptance. So the best bet is to make sure there is a written contract that covers the terms of a verbal offer.
Sometimes buyers just want to test out the waters and see if the sellers would be willing to accept an amount offered verbally. They may send an email or have their agent send an email or make a phone call to see if the seller would take a certain amount to sell their house. Even if the seller states yes they would, until the offer is reduced to writing with signatures on the offer documents it will not be valid as noted above. Email, text messages, social media messages and...
Tips For Dealing With Problem Tenants
So you decided to rent out your home or purchased a residential multi-family building with the goal of earning some extra income from real estate but somehow ended up with tenants who are either not clean, always late on their rent or something else. What are some of the more effective ways to deal with the problem tenants so that they don’t leave your rental house or rental unit in a total disaster? This article explores how to best deal with problem tenants and protect your investment.
Spot Problem Tenants From The Start
One of the easiest ways to deal with problem tenants is not rent to them from the start. Property owners who are managing properties on their own should be thoroughly screening tenants based on the rental applications they submit to you. Full credit checks should be done, criminal history background checks, and even checking out the potential tenant’s current living situation. Is the potential tenant living in a clean apartment or does it look like a tornado went through their home? Trash in the wrong places, dirty clothing, not cleaning up after pets who made messes indoors all can attract pests that can lower the value of your investment and make it more costly to fix once the problem tenant leaves. If a tenant is not living cleanly in their current home chances are they will not be any cleaner up just because they move into your rental.
Credit checks can be important since it shows a tenants ability to handle money. If a tenant has a low score due to too many credit card accounts, too many...
Should I Stage My Luxury Home When Putting It Up For Sale?
Luxury homeowners may wonder if it makes sense to stage their luxury home when putting it up for sale. For homes in need of it, staging of a home can boost buyer interest and can result in a better or faster offer on a home than one that is not staged. The primary benefit from staging comes from the fact that the product being sold (a luxury home in this case) has its presentation elevated in order to make it more appealing to luxury homebuyers. Just as with anything to be sold and that requires great marketing, a better looking home will sell easier than the same home if it were not staged. To determine whether staging is right for your luxury home it helps to start with exploring what home staging actually is.
What Is Home Staging?
Home staging covers a variety of aspects of a home. It can address paint colors, furniture choice as well as placement, décor pieces, wall art and more. The goal behind home staging is to make the home more appealing to home buyers. While most of the furniture and staging items used during the process of selling a home will not stay with the home the idea is to give homebuyers a better idea of the potential of the home and make it look more appealing at the same time. Home staging calls for neutral colors so that buyers are less distracted by colors that don’t meet their expectations and instead lets them envision the home as they would be living in it. ...
Pros and Cons Of Different Types Of Investment Real Estate
When it comes to investment real estate there are a number of different options to choose from. Real estate investors can buy single family homes, multi-family homes, and residential properties classified as commercial in order to build an income stream to meet their investment goals. Each type of real estate investment has associated with it different positives and negatives and this article will explore those in detail.
Single Family Residential Home
One of the most common building types available and usually the easiest to purchase is the single family home. A majority of the residential properties on the market today are single family homes. With a single family home an investor is getting a property where generally one family will live and pay rent for. Some larger single family homes can be converted into multi-family homes in order to increase the amount of renters in the property but for this to happen the investor will need to comply with local zoning and building codes. Some areas may only allow single family residences and would refuse to authorize any segmenting of the home in order to add rental units.
The biggest advantage of buying a single family home is the fact that if an investor decides they no longer want to be in the residential investment business they can easily sell a single family home to another investor or to another buyer who is looking to live in the home themselves. Provided there are no tenants in the home, a single family home can appeal to both investors and owner...
Guide To The Home Inspection Process When Buying A Home
An important part of buying any home is the home inspection process. During the home inspection home buyers get an in depth look at the home and the condition of various parts of the home. Homebuyers will learn if certain aspects of the home are in need of repair and which parts of the home are working fine. Through the home inspection process homebuyers ultimately learn if the purchase they are about to make is a sound purchase or one that should be reconsidered. This article explores the home inspection and how it can impact the purchase of a home.
How To Choose A Home Inspector?
Just as important as the home inspection is, it is also important to pick a qualified home inspection professional. In many states home inspectors are required to be licensed and in order to get licensed have to at least pass a test if not also have met some educational requirement and/or home inspection training requirement. Working with a licensed home inspector is a great way to make sure an inspector has met some minimum requirements.
In the situation where a state currently has no licensing requirements to be a home inspector (Ohio for example currently does not require licensing for home inspectors) then it is best to look at the training the home inspector has received and for any certifications they may also have. The International Association Of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI for short) represents one of the largest home inspection certification organizations in the United States. InterNACHI is a voluntary organization that trains and certifies home inspectors. There is...
Why Investment Property Owners May Want to Consider Selling Their Investment Property
With real estate prices increasing all over the United States many investors are seeking lower costs investment properties in a number of cities in Ohio. Notable cities in Ohio that these investors are looking at include Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati. These investors are looking for lower costs properties with a good history of rents in order to better invest their money than they can in high real estate cost areas like Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY, Seattle, OR, Las Vegas, NV and more. As a result investment property prices in the Cincinnati, Ohio area are at multi-year highs and Cincinnati investment property owners might find it advantageous to sell their properties now while the prices are high.
What Are Some Of The Reason For High Investment Property Prices In Cincinnati, Ohio?
Cincinnati has long been known as having great overall affordability. In fact in 2017 US News & World Reports rated Cincinnati as the 14th most affordable city to live in the US. Not only is the cost of living low in general the real estate in Cincinnati is more affordable than in many other major metropolitan matters. As a result for out of state real estate investors looking to buy properties for a good price and still get a good rate of return, Cincinnati has become one of the go to markets and the prices have gone up as a result. Even with the cost of property management deducted from rents it still makes sense for out of state...
DIY Projects To Do And Ones To Avoid When Getting Your Home Ready To Sell
As the weather starts to warm up and the real estate season starts to heat up homeowners may be wondering what they can start doing in order to get their home ready for sale during for the spring market. In many areas the spring season represents the time when the most buyers are out looking for homes. By starting the preparation process now prior to the peak selling season homeowners can position themselves to be ready during the prime selling period of the year.
Indoor Preparation Tips
If the weather is still cold in your area or there is still snow on the ground then prior to it warming up it is a good idea to tackle indoor projects in order get the home ready for sale. While curb appeal is important to address the interior is just as important to work on as well.
Painting your home with fresh neutral colors is a great way to update the look of a home real quickly and allow buyers to see the home for what it is. Dull paint and dirty walls will never impress any buyer as compared to a home with a clean well done paint job. If you are up to the task of painting your home on your own this is one Do It Yourself (DIY) task that can save you some money. Of course buyers are looking for a paint job done properly so make sure the painting you are doing is as close to perfect as possible. That means all trim must be painted with trim appropriate paint and colors, walls and ceilings must be properly painted and no paint bleed is seen (i.e. paint from the walls is accidently running onto...
What Are Fixtures In Real Estate?
A critical part of any real estate transaction is the actual fixtures within the home that are required to stay with the home after closing. There have been many lawsuits filed on the basis of a homebuyer seeing something in a home prior to making an offer or prior to closing and then not finding that specific item or finding a cheap knockoff after closing. Home sellers should understand what a fixture is when selling a home and be ready to disclose up front if certain fixtures will not be remaining with the home. Homebuyers as well should understand what items are considered fixtures and what items are not so that in the case something is not really considered a fixture the buyer requests that item stay as part of the sale or is aware the item may not be there after closing.
Simply stated a fixture is something that is physically attached to a part of the home that is supposed to stay with the home after the sale has been completed. For example a chandelier attached to the ceiling in a dining room or foyer area is considered a fixture and should stay with the home after the sale. Bookshelves that are physically attached to walls is another example of a fixture that will generally stay with the home. Everything else that is not affixed is considered personal property of the seller and generally does not stay with the home unless specifically requested in the purchase contract.
When it comes to wall mounted TVs the TV itself is not considered a fixture but the actual wall mount that holds the TV to the wall is considered a fixture. Same goes for mounted speakers unless they are...
Dealing With Mold When Selling A Home
Mold is a naturally occurring living substance that exists everywhere in nature and its purposes is to decompose organic matter. The organic matter is a food source for mold. Whether you think you have mold in your home or not the fact of the matter is you do have very small quantities of mold in your home. Mold in low quantities is generally not cause for concern. When mold accumulates in large quantities then humans and household pets can suffer ill effects from it. This article explores mold in the home and how it can affect the sale of a home.
What Causes Mold To Grow Out Of Control
As mentioned above mold is found pretty much everywhere and as result is present in a home usually in very small quantities. Certain conditions in a home can cause mold to grow uncontrollably which then may require professional treatment and cleanup in order to get rid of. One of the most common ways which allows mold to get out of hand is water leaks, especially in areas where there is little to no air circulation or the water leak is continuous thus providing mold a constant supply of water.
As the water leak begins to saturate carpets, walls, wood and more mold spores can attach themselves to those items and will start to grow uncontrollably. Especially for items with organic matter in them (wood and drywall) the mold will begin to not only eat away the surface of the wood but will also embed themselves in the wood themselves making removal of just the mold alone almost impossible.
Mold will cause even worse damage to drywall and carpet since the carpet is much more porous allowing the mold to thoroughly get into any tiny space or gap of the...
How Buyer Feedback Can Help Home Sellers
A crucial aspect of selling a home is paying attention to the feedback provided by homebuyers and their real estate agents. After every showing real estate agents are usually sent an automated email, which asks for their opinion on a number of things with regards to the house they have just seen. While the email goes to the homebuyer’s agent the information provided to the home sellers can come from both the buyer as well as the buyer’s agents. The buyer’s agent provide feedback based on what their buyers tell them about the home or the buyers can directly provide the feedback if the email is forwarded to them.
Sometimes the buyer’s agents ignore the emails since they may have gone through multiple homes in one day and the buyer’s comments and thoughts can blur together in the mind of the agent. Other times due to the buyers visiting so many homes the agents may provide generic comments about the home that don’t give the homeowner much to go on other than the buyers may or may not be interested in their home.
The helpful buyer’s agent will provide detailed comments and thoughts based on what their clients felt and what the agent also sees. Regardless of what level of commentary is provided home sellers still can use any feedback provided to guide them towards making adjustments in the home’s price, marketing strategy, presentation or more. Failure to take into account buyer feedback can lead to a doomed sale with no offers coming.
Buyer Feedback On Home Pricing
One of the most important aspects of putting a home on the market for sale is ...
What Is Earnest Money In A Real Estate Transaction?
Whether you are buying or selling a home chances are the question of earnest money will come up. Earnest money is not required as part of a real estate transaction. A contract to purchase a home requires and offer, acceptance (by both parties) and valuable consideration. The act of offering to buy a home with money (financed or cash) is the valuable consideration. Earnest money is part of the overall valuable consideration but on its own is not a requirement.
What Is Earnest Money?
The word earnest means “serious in intention, purpose, or effort;”. The earnest money part of an offer to purchase a home shows that the buyer is serious and willing to commit funds towards the home purchase. Generally there is no set amount that buyers should give as earnest money and customs may vary from state to state as to how much should be given. Some areas may suggest giving one percent of the total purchase price as earnest money whereas others may have a custom of giving a couple of thousand dollars or more based on the value of the home being purchased.
When an offer to purchase a home is written the homebuyer has the ability to specify the amount of earnest money to be provided as part of the offer. Generally the earnest money check will be collected and deposited right away upon acceptance of the offer. The earnest money can be deposited with either one of the real estate brokers who are party to the transaction and goes into their trust account. The earnest money can also be deposited with the closing/title company’s escrow account. ...
How Will The New Tax Changes Impact Cincinnati Real Estate?
The recent changes to the tax law will have an impact on Greater Cincinnati, Ohio and Northern Kentucky real estate and real estate in other areas as well. The law makes changes to the tax deductions homeowners and property investors can use. This article explores what the changes are and how they may impact real estate owners in general. As this covers the changes more generally it should not be relied upon for tax advice. Everyone’s tax situation when owning a home is different and for specific tax information related to your situation you should speak with a local tax professional for guidance on what works best for you.
Changes In Mortgage Interest Deduction
Prior to the change in the tax laws married homeowners filing jointly could deduct mortgage interest for mortgages up to one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) in value. A non-married individual or married filing separately could only claim mortgage interest deductions on a mortgage amount of no more than five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000.00). Any interest amounts paid above those limits were not deductible.
Under the new law the mortgage limit is now seven hundred fifty thousand dollars ($750,000.00) for married homeowners filing jointly and three hundred seventy five thousand dollars ($375,000.00) for single filers. Therefore if a married couple have a total mortgage amount in excess of $750,000 they can only deduct interest that goes up to the $750,000 limit. Any...
Great Real Estate Blogs From 2017
With the increase in social media use and the sharing of videos, pictures, audio podcasts and more there is still something to be said for the written word. Whether the reader wants to read something on the bus while headed to work or is taking a quiet break to catchup on the news humans like to read to gain their knowledge. There is no rewinding or fast forwarding to get to the good part of an article. It is all just there for the reader to absorb. Hence I put together this list of great real estate blog articles from 2017 that are must reads for the homebuyer, home seller, home owner and more. Not only are the articles great but the bloggers who wrote the articles also know quite a bit about real estate and are happy to share their thoughts with readers. Check out all the articles in the post below and be sure to read the other great articles from the bloggers mentioned here.
Do You Know What Dual Agency Is?
One of the best blogs of 2017 was Bill Gassett’s article on dual agency. For those who are not familiar with the term, dual agency in real estate is when one agent represents both the buyer and seller in a transaction. Frankly, dual agency is one of the worst things possible for consumers. The only person who benefits from dual agency is the real estate agent who makes a double commission. Whether you are a buyer or a seller when you agree to dual agency you lose the person you hired to represent you!
Here is an example. You hire the best agent in town to sell your home for you. Your confidence is real high in hiring this agent because they are extremely knowledgeable and know they will have...