Great Tips For Improving The Curb Appeal Of Your Home
Curb appeal generally means how a home looks while seeing it from the street. A home’s curb appeal is one of those things that a home has or either does not have. While technically there can be an in between status of curb appeal where it is not completely bad that is not what makes buyers stand up and take notice. Homes with great curb appeal present well in photographs which do grab the attention of homebuyers online as well as in person when they come to visit. This article will help you learn how to boost the curb appeal of your home so everyone takes notice.
Cleanliness Of The Landscape
One of the easiest things to do with your yard to improve your home’s curb appeal is make sure it is clean. What that means is making sure no dead plants or trees are present anywhere in the yard. Trash as well should be picked up otherwise the home may have more of an abandoned property look than one of a lived in and cared for home. Often times the trash may not necessarily be the homeowners doing as based on the traffic from the street others may throw trash onto the property for “convenience” sake. Regardless of who put the trash in the yard in the first place the homeowner still should strive to keep the yard clean as that adds to the appeal of a home.
Especially right after winter time or during periods of drought grass, bushes, shrubs, plants and trees may die out. Leaving the dead vegetation in plain view is a major detractor of curb appeal. Potential homebuyers may think since the homeowner did not care enough to clean up their yard how must the...
4 Things That Can Sap Your Cash Flow And Your Wealth
There are a number of factors that can affect your cash and wealth position. One of the big things that can have a great impact on your cash and wealth is real estate. Real estate can both positively and negatively affect your ability to build wealth and can be a slow grind on your finances if you are not careful. It is your wealth that will sustain you when the economy is down and will keep growing when the economy is great. This article explores some of the major expenses that can quickly sap your cash flow and hurt your overall wealth position.
What Is Wealth And Cash Flow
Cash flow is a term often used in real estate investor circles to describe how much money a rental building is bringing in after all expenses have been paid. Cash flow for an individual is similar in that it is how much money are you saving at the end of the month after all bills have been paid. Wealth is the accumulation of resources including cash. So if you do have a positive cash flow at the end of the month overtime as you accumulate that cash (whether as plain old cash, investments in stocks, bonds, real estate or something else) you build wealth. Now keep in mind if you have more debts than you have cash or assets that does not necessarily mean you have much wealth. The type of debt is also a big factor. More credit card debt is not a good thing. Debt that was used to purchase investment real estate is not a bad thing so long as the cash flow from the real estate can keep up with all the expenses.
Things That Can Destroy Your Cash Flow And Wealth
Owning More Home Than You...
Tips For Hiring The Best Contractor For Your Home
When it comes to home improvement or home repair hiring the right contractor can mean the difference between getting a quality final product or possibly losing money and having to find someone else to complete the work. Some unsavory contractors are more than ready to collect money upfront and promise to complete the job only to never show up again. Other contractors may stick around to do the work but after everything is completed the quality of their workmanship is revealed to be not that great. So how are homeowners able to find the best contractors who will do a good job and won’t take the money and run? This article explores the topic in detail.
Determine Your Actual Needs First
Determining your actual needs first can help you narrow down the type of contractor you need to get in touch with. Does your home need plumbing work like installing a new toilet or are you looking for new lighting to be installed in your kitchen? Sometimes the work one contractor does will also require another contractor to fix up. For instance many electricians will need cut into drywall in order to run wires, switches and fixtures. Once done most electricians are not able to make the drywall repairs nor offer painting services so that will require a call to one or more additional contractors. Similar would happen in the case of a plumber who had to cut into drywall in order to access the pipes behind the wall, they may not have the skill set...
What Is A Notice Of Sale?
Homeowners who fall too far behind in their mortgage payment may find a Notice Of Sale or Notice Of Sheriff’s Sale mailed to them or posted on their front door. Often times the mortgage companies will attempt to contact the borrower and make arrangements for the mortgage to be paid back with some different terms that make it easier for the borrower to pay. On the other hand some lenders due to lack of ability or resources do not do or say much of anything until the late payments are sufficient enough to file for foreclosure which results in the Notice of Sale of Notice of Sheriffs Sale. Even when such notices are delivered to a homeowner there still may be a few options homeowners can consider in order to prevent their home from being sold out from underneath them.
What Is A Foreclosure?
Foreclosure is a step lenders take to obtain possession (title/ownership) to a house so they can sell the home and attempt to recover money owed to them under a mortgage. Foreclosures happen generally only after the homeowner has stopped paying on their mortgage and has not attempted to work out something with the lender. As the foreclosure process is expensive for both the lender and the homeowner it is better for the homeowner to try and sell the home well before the foreclosure process has started. With easy credit and easy money for buying a home sometimes homeowners get in over their head and end up in a house poor situation. Especially where some major repairs have been deferred...
Tips For Selling Your Luxury Home Safely and Securely
When selling a luxury home there is the chance you will get people who are interested in the home that are not qualified nor are they interested to buy the home but instead due to curiosity have a desire to tour what a luxury home actually looks like. Even more so if the owner is a local or national celebrity the desire becomes even greater for those who wish to see how that celebrity lives rather than any true interest in buying the home they live in. This article explores some of the ways luxury homeowners can help ensure those who come to see the home have an actual interest in buying the home and can afford it.
Require A Mortgage Pre-approval Letter Prior To Showings
This is one of the sure fire ways to make sure only those who want to see your luxury home can actually afford to purchase the home if they like it. While pre-approval letters are not 100% guaranteed in that buyers have been known to lose their pre-approval status prior to closing based on things they do they do serve as a good guide that the buyer who has a pre-approval letter for your million dollar luxury home can indeed afford to purchase it and therefore should be allowed to view it. This will keep non-serious buyers and those just wanting to tour luxury homes for the sake of saying they have been in a luxury home from wasting a home seller’s time. Home sellers have to go through a lot of preparation work in order to make sure their home is presentable to buyers so that the buyers leave impressed. Getting a home ready for buyers who are touring...
How Is The Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Real Estate Market Doing For Residential and Investment Properties?
The real estate market in general all over the United States has been experiencing gains with houses in and around many large cities selling at a quick pace once they hit the market. The Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky markets are no different and have been seeing rapid sales of homes in areas where demand is high. Residential and investment property have been seeing brisk sales and price gains over the past few years. Even with the increase in mortgage interest rates the market has not slowed down much.
Residential Real Estate In The Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Markets
The Greater Cincinnati, Ohio and Northern Kentucky markets generally go hand in hand with each other and many residents of Northern Kentucky commute daily into Cincinnati as well as vice versa. The south east portion of Indiana is also considered part of the Greater Cincinnati tri-state area and is connected to the region by the I-275 loop which goes through all three states. On the Indiana side homes tend to have more land available there and the area is not as densely populated as the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas are.
The Greater Cincinnati, Ohio consists of Hamilton, Clermont, Warren and Butler counties. In Northern Kentucky Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties are the northern most counties closest to Cincinnati. Due to more land availability new construction homes are more readily available in the Clermont, Warren and Butler counties as well as in Boone and Campbell counties. Hamilton and Kenton county being more established...
Common Expenses New Homeowners Need To Plan For After Buying A Home
Many first time homebuyers in the excitement of getting their first home may not be aware of some common expenses they can expect with the purchase of a home and could neglect to budget for that. Some of those expenses like closing costs are an absolute requirement that must be paid otherwise the homebuyer will not be able to close on their home and move into it. Other expenses may vary but do need to be considered by the homebuyer so that they have the money ready to do certain things when the time comes.
One major expense of purchasing a home, and that is usually due right up front upon the final transfer of a home, are closing costs. Closing costs represent the fees associated with getting a mortgage and registering the new house in the buyer’s name. If the buyer is using a low down payment or zero down payment mortgage they may be in for a surprise if they don’t have enough money to pay for closing costs. Even with a zero down payment mortgage (VA, USDA) the homebuyer may be required to bring a check to the closing table in order to pay for the closing costs. If the buyer cannot pay for the closing costs they cannot complete the sale for the home.
The money used to pay for closing costs also generally must come from income sources of the homebuyer and cannot come from credit cards or other forms of loans. Gifts of money from parents or other relatives can be used to pay closing costs but the lender will generally want to trace...
What Does It Mean That A Home Is Available For Short Sale And Should You Buy Such A Home?
Ever run across a home listed for sale and the words in the marketing remarks mention short sale? Often times there is no room to explain what a short sale is or what it involves so homebuyers may be left confused by the term and unsure if they should consider buying a short sale home or not. This article explores what a short sale home exactly is and discusses whether homebuyers should consider purchasing a home that is being sold as a short sale.
What Does Short Sale Mean With Regards To Selling A Home?
A short sale is the process whereby the mortgage lender agrees to allow the homeowner to sell their home for less than the amount that is owed on the mortgage. A mortgage lender does not have to agree to any sale of home unless they are getting paid in full everything owed to them. Mortgage lenders generally have a first position lien (generally the highest priority in rank unless taxes are involved) meaning they must be paid off first with the proceeds from any sale.
A homes value may be less than the amount of the mortgage due to factors such as a decline in the overall value in a neighborhood, the homeowner owing more than the home is worth (this is not as common as it was in the past when lenders allowed 125% mortgages but can happen with multiple loans like a regular mortgage and home equity loan), a condition issue with the home or the land, lack of upkeep or something else. Where the homeowner plans up making up the difference between a ...
What Sorts Of Environmental Issues Can Affect Your Home
When you own real estate you own a piece of land that really cannot be moved. As a result when certain environmental hazards present themselves it is not as easy as jumping in a car and driving off to avoid the hazard. Instead with land being locked in place it is subject to whatever happens to come by. As a result environmental issues can have a great impact on real estate affecting everything from its value to its livability. This article explores some common environmental issues that can affect real estate and what if anything can be done about it.
While most don’t think of air pollution as something that can affect land it can. Directly air pollution can affect the health of those living on the land and can affect vegetation on the land as well. If someone wanted to farm the land yet the air pollution resulted in chemicals being deposited on the land (think airborne soot or aerosolized droplets of chemicals that eventually settle on the ground) could have a huge impact on any animals or vegetation on the land used for farming. The quality of the soil and the health of any farms animals will slowly go down over time.
Unfortunately there is no cost effective way to avoid air pollution with regards to real estate. Humans could attempt to seal up their home air tight and install air filtration systems so that outdoor air pollution effects are minimized but the expense to do so would be quite high. Additionally the residents would be forced to confine themselves indoors almost 24 hours a...
Why Do Homes Return Back To The Market After Having Accepted An Offer
Once a homeowner has accepted an offer on their home there is still a process to undergo before the actual transfer of ownership takes place. There are a number of contingencies that must be met prior to closing where the actual ownership of the home is transferred to the buyers. Once an offer is accepted the status of the home in the Multiple Listing Service is usually changed to “Pending” to reflect that an offer has been accepted and closing is waiting on certain things to happen before it finally can close. This article explores some of the common reasons a home may fall out of pending status and come back to the market for sale.
One of the more common reason a home falls out of contract is due to inspection issues. A majority of homebuyers opt to have a home inspection performed after an offer is accepted. A home inspector will inspect a home to check for any major issues and provides a report to the buyers detailing the overall condition of the home. Some of the common major home inspection issues uncovered can cause a buyer to walk away from their purchase if they feel the cost of dealing with the issues are too high and/or they could not come to agreement with the seller to either have the seller make repairs or reduce the price.
In some situations like foundation or structural issues, roof in need of replacement, mold issues or more homebuyers may feel like...
Real Estate Investment Scams To Be Aware Of
With interest rates as low as they are and mortgages easy to obtain to buy real estate many people are considering real estate as an investment. While many invest successfully in real estate when they work with the right team there are others who are not so fortunate and may end up losing quite a bit of money due to scams that seek to steal money from real estate investors. This article looks at some of the common real estate investment scams and provides advice and guidance on how to avoid them.
One of the more common scams involving investment real estate are lending scams. Due to higher requirements for down payments and limited ability to finance investment properties that need rehab with conventional mortgages many real estate investors turn to alternative lending resources in order to seek financing. Many of these alternative lenders may do not have the same standards for property condition as a conventional lender would and are willing to offer lend additional money with the loan for which the investor can improve the property and thereby improve the value of the property as well. Often times these loans come with higher interest rates and shorter payback periods than conventional mortgages will offer.
Scams with these types of loans are more frequent since a majority of these lenders do not have to be licensed and are not vetted by any state or national agency since the money they lend is not a conventional mortgage loan that has licensing requirements. Sometimes called private money lenders or hard money lenders these lenders use money from private individuals to fund the loans they are making. While...
The Best Marketing and Staging Tips For Selling A Luxury Home
As with anything luxury related everything about it must be truly elevated in order to be considered luxury in status. Luxury homes are no different and the marketing and selling of a luxury home likewise needs to be elevated so that the buyer knows the home they are considering purchasing is truly worthy of luxury status. Any lack in the presentation of the luxury home can result in the home sale falling flat and not getting noticed by the right buyers which will then require the home seller to resort to more drastic actions in order to get sold. This article explores what is needed in terms of marketing and staging for a luxury home to see the best results.
The Basics Of Selling A Luxury Home
Before one considers selling their luxury home they need to start with the basics that are within the homeowner’s control. The primary areas the homeowners need to consider are the presentation of the home and the price. Presentation is always critical since regardless of the price a home that is outdated, shows signs of wear and tear, looks like a “project house” will not make the best impression on buyers who ultimately will be the future owners of a home. Project houses mean the new owner will have to invest in updates and upgrades in order to bring the home up to current standards and that usually means the project home better have a discount to reflect the investment the new owner will have to make. No discount will mean no sale since buyers can find plenty of other properly priced homes that are in up to date condition.
Homeowners should look...
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 kitchens are not kitchenette’s but instead...
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 to add a second kitchen so a home can hold two...
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 to you or those helping you. Make...
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 relationships and the form itself generally...
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 interests before their own. If an...
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 can keep moving until the wall completely collapses. ...
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 may be eligible for local grants from state and local governments...
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 similar means of communications would not be considered a binding...