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Great #RealEstate Accounts To Follow On Twitter

great twitter people to follow

Great #RealEstate People To Follow On Twitter

As much as some like to claim Twitter is no longer relevant compared to other social media platforms most active users know that is far from the truth.  Twitter still has many active users with plenty of information to share. This list represents some of the top real estate related bloggers, social media experts and all around great people and companies to follow on Twitter.  Not only are they sharing their own informative well written content they are sharing great real estate articles, tips and tricks from many different sources thus truly embracing the social nature of Twitter.  If you are not following any of the accounts below be sure to add them to your feed and you won’t be disappointed!

1.  Bill Gassett.  One of the top 5 RE/MAX agents in MA for the last decade. Social media/SEO junkie. Maxrealestateexposure.com

2.  Kevin Vitali.  Tewksbury MA- Realtor. Serving the Merrimack Valley home buyers and sellers.  MerrimackValleyRealEstate.com.

3.  Chris & Karen Highland.  Frederick MD Realtors, Agent/Owners with eXp Realty.  FrederickRealEstateOnline.com

4.  Michelle...

What Must You Disclose When Selling A Home?

What Should Home Sellers Be Disclosing When Selling Their Home?

What Must You Disclose When Selling A Home?

Many states require the home seller to fill in a property disclosure form to help buyers understand the condition of a home.  Lack of disclosures or intentional non-disclosure of material facts can lead to lawsuits and in the extreme can even lead to the home seller being forced to buy the home back from the buyer.  So what exactly must a homeowner disclose to buyers on a home disclosure form and what are the consequences for a lack of disclosure?  This article explores the answer to those questions below.

What Is A Residential Property Disclosure Form?

Most states offer some sort of standard residential home disclosure form.  In that form homeowners are able to make note about the condition of things in their home like the roof, foundation, water issues, mold issues, who supplies the water, how is waste water handled, the HVAC system and more.  The disclosure form is sort of like a biographical disclosure of a home listing out the condition on all the important aspects of a home that a buyer would like to know about.  Many home inspectors will review the residential disclosure form to give them an idea of any potential areas they should focus on while inspecting.  

Who Has To Fill Out The Disclosure Form?

While every state has their own laws (and their own forms) on who should be filling out the disclosure form when selling a home there are some general rules that can apply.  If the home seller has lived in the home and is currently living in the home they should be filling out the disclosure form.  If the home seller...

Major Issues To Be Aware About In A Home Inspection Report

Major Things To Be aware About In A Home Inspection Report

Major Things To Be Aware About In A Home Inspection Report

An inspection report on a home or investment property provides a general opinion on many conditions and factors of the property.  The inspection report is not the final word when it comes to the condition and many inspection reports will state that a professional should be brought in to further evaluate a particular condition.  That language is critical for home buyers to pay attention to since only through the opinion of a professional contractor can the true condition be known.  This article explores those inspection areas where getting extra input is valuable.

Why Another Opinion May Be Needed

Since home inspectors are more general specialists in terms of the home, they do not hold themselves out to be experts in all of the systems of the home especially when some of those areas require licensing to work as a contractor.  Examples of licensed contractor professions include plumbers, Heating Ventilation and Cooling (HVAC), and electricians.  Licensing requirements vary state by state and certain other contractors may also require licensing.

Home inspections can make or break a sale.  A home in great condition with very few problems to make note of will let buyers rest assured they are getting a good home with very little to address prior to move in.  Homes with major issues can break a deal if the home buyer and seller cannot agree on repairs, can’t agree on a price reduction to account for the repairs, or the buyers are just plain turned off by the problems.  A home inspection is the starting point...

How Do Real Estate Agents Get Paid?

How Do Real Estate Agents Get Paid?

How Do Real Estate Agents Get Paid?

In many lines of work or professions employees get paid by the hour and may get some work performance incentive bonuses as well.  Many sales people on the other hand may make a small hourly wage but rely more on commissions that are earned upon closing of the sale.  Other sales people are strictly commission based which means they only bring in a paycheck upon the closing of the sale.  A majority of real estate agents in the US are paid on a commission only basis which means until they help a client buy or sell a home they do not earn any pay.  This article looks in depth at the ways how and how much real estate agents get paid when representing clients.

Some Of The Not So Common Ways Real Estate Agents Get Paid

There are some companies who pay their real estate agents on an hourly basis.  Companies that primarily deal with leasing of property have more incentive to pay their real estate agent employees on an hourly basis since more of that job entails showing vacant rental units to prospective tenants and screening them for suitability.  These agents usually work directly for a company whose primary business is the managing of rental units.  

There are other real estate companies who pay agents on an hourly basis to handle things like showings and listing appointments.  While not very common these types of real estate companies are exploring different business models of serving their clients.  Whether these business models survive the long term is a topic for another discussion but one possible result of hourly real estate agents is they don’t have as great of an incentive to learn the full depths of different...

Who Pays For Pest Control Treatment?

who pays for pest control

Who Pays For Pest Control Treatment?

Pest control treatment can be either a one-off thing that does not cost much overall or something that is expensive and requires multiple treatments due to the type of pests involved.  This article explores who should be paying for pest control treatment.  In the case of a home for sale or in the case of a landlord/tenant matter the answer of who pays for pest control treatment will vary.

When A Home Is For Sale

In the case of a home up for sale the most common pest treatment that is called for after a home inspection has been conducted is treatment for wood damaging insects (WDI).  Termites are one of the more common WDI, live in the ground and will find their way into homes where they will make a meal of any wood products they come into contact with.  Wood support beams, basement joists, framing 2x4s and more all make a great place for termites since they like to eat dead wood which is what is found in many homes.  Treatment for termites can be relatively expensive (compared to other type of insect treatments) though it is a one-time treatment that should last for a couple of years.  Subsequent treatment may be required or the homeowner may want to consider installing termite bait stations which can keep them away from the house.

If termite damage is discovered during an inspection the home buyer can request the home seller to pay for treatment to stop further infestation in the home.  Sometimes the treatment of the termites will be required by the lender in order for them to approve the mortgage loan as the lender does not want to finance a home that may fall apart due to termite damage.  Generally in these cases the seller will be the one paying for the treatment.  If...

7 Great Tips For Getting Your Luxury Home Sold

7 Great Tips For Getting Your Luxury Home Sold

Luxury homes are targeted at a different buyer’s market when it comes time to get listed for sale.  Luxury home buyers in general can be savvier and understand the implications of finance in terms of what they will be paying for a house.  Just because a luxury home buyer can afford to pay more for a home does not mean they are willing to overpay for a home.  Luxury home sellers need to be positioning their home to sell and this article focuses on the top means to help get a luxury home sold quickly.

Set The Right Stage

If a luxury home already has great up to date furniture and has been recently updated with new carpet and fresh paint it may be good to go.  On the other hand more homeowners keep their home in a shape that is suitable for their needs.  When putting any home on the market the homeowner must consider the needs of the typical buyer who will be interested in their home.  As a result a neutral stage does best in the buyer’s mind since they can envision themselves in the home that much easier.  A neutral stage means a de-personalized home, neutral paint colors, and neutral flooring selection.  Luxury homeowners should be removing items like family photographs, trophies and other things that make a home look unique to the homeowner and allow buyers to focus on the home itself.

Staging includes making sure furniture looks nice and excess or old furniture should be moved to storage so buyers can see the actual size of a room rather than get distracted by the furniture.  Luxury homeowners need to declutter their closets as well so that the buyers can see how much space the closets do have.  Furniture should be made to make a room look inviting and sometimes the...

Understanding Risk When Investing In Real Estate

Understanding Risk When Investing In Real Estate

Understanding Risk When Investing In Real Estate

More investors are considering real estate when it comes to investing their hard earned money.  Some investors are looking for a better return on investment through higher yields as compared to other investment vehicles or they think real estate is a great and easy way to invest based on investment seminars or real estate investment websites where everyone is sharing their success stories.  Investing in real estate can be a great way to own some land and build long term wealth.  The caveat though is real estate investing is more costly than other investments (buying stocks) and if not done properly can quickly lead to an investor feeling financial pain due to mistakes made.  This article will explore some of the different types of real estate investment risks there are so potential investors can make fully informed decisions.

Risks With Buy and Hold Investing

One of the most common real estate investing method is the buy and hold method where investors purchase real estate with the goal of long term appreciation in value of their investment and receiving regular income from renting out the property.  With this type of investment investors will either purchase turnkey rentals (ready to rent out) or look for the value add opportunity where work must be done to the building in order to boost rents.  Buy and hold rental investments can include office space, residential space, commercial retail space, and warehouse space.

Legal Violations With Residential Real Estate

Higher risk comes from residential rentals due to the fact...

Podcast #3 Topic: What Does a Title Company Do

title insurance podcast

What Does a Title Company Do?

For this podcast I sat down with Chris Finney owner of Finney Law Firm and Ivy Pointe Title.  During our conversation we discussed what does a title company do, title work, covenants, title insurance, the real estate closing process and more.  This podcast is helpful for those about to purchase or sell real estate by showing you what to expect during closing, and how the title company helps you get your your home bought or sold!  I hope you enjoy the podcast and find it informative.  Please also consider sharing with those who may find it useful.

Watch (listen) on YouTube

Feel free to ask any questions via the comments section below or to email either Chris or myself.  Also if you have any ideas for future podcast topics you would like to see let me know!

You can connect with Chris on Facebook via Finney Law Firm, Facebook via Ivy Pointe Title, Twitter @FinneyLawFirm, Twitter @IvyPointeTitle, and Google+,

You can connect with me on ...

Podcast #7 Topic: Home Staging And Selling Your Home

Podcast 7 Home Staging

For this podcast Home Staging And Selling Your Home I sat down with Jo Potvin, Owner of Design To Market Home Staging. During our conversation we discussed home staging, quick staging tips, the benefits of home staging and more. This podcast is helpful for those about to sell a home who are wanting to learn about how to best position their home to sell.  The podcast was named one of the Top 5 Podcasts For Home Buyers by Investopedia.

I hope you enjoy the podcast and find it informative.  Please also consider sharing with those who may find it useful.

Listen via YouTube:

You can connect with Jo Potvin on Facebook,

You can connect with me on FacebookPinterestTwitterGoogle+LinkedIn, and Instagram.

About the author: The above Podcast ...

Tips For Selling A Home As-Is

Tips For Selling A Home In As-Is Condition

Tips For Selling A Home As-Is

Selling a home as-is means the homeowner is not wanting to prepare the home for sale and usually that they will make no repairs for anything discovered during a home inspection.   There could be any number of reasons for selling a home as-is such as the home is an inherited home and the current owner does not have the time to get it sell ready, the homeowner may not have the financial means to prepare it or the homeowner prefers to let the buyer deal with updating the home.  Whatever the reason may be selling a home as-is can be done and this article takes a look at the best methods to do so.

Proper Pricing When Selling As-Is

When selling any home the price set for the home is a strong indicator of whether or not the home sale will be successful.  Overpricing a home is a sure fire way to make sure buyers steer clear of seeing the home and many will not even consider making an offer for fear they will be wasting their time.  It is even more important for the owner of a home being sold as-is to make sure their home is properly priced to reflect the amount of work that needs to be done.  Most home buyers are looking for move in ready homes and are ready to pay for that.  Those same home buyers may consider a home that is not move in ready providing that it is priced accordingly.

The as-is home can be bought using rehab mortgages that cover the purchase of the home as well as making repairs and updates to the home.  The home will still need to get inspected and appraised and the appraisal is where a...

Fun Christmas Time Activities To Do In Cincinnati

FUN HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES TO DO IN CINCINNATI

Fun Holiday Activities To Do In Cincinnati

Take a look at some of the fun things to do during the holiday and Christmas season in the Greater Cincinnati area.  If Christmas markets, holiday light shows, and great food and drink are what you crave then check out some of the things to do below.

Coney Island Christmas Night of Lights

The Coney Island Christmas Night of Lights features over one million lights synchronized to Christmas music that viewers can hear through their car radio.  The light show is approximately 2.5 miles and is enjoyed from the comfort of your car as you drive through the path.  Great for all ages and runs through the beginning of January.

...

Great Local Cincinnati Charities To Know About For #GivingTuesday

giving tuesday cincinnati charities to consider

Great Local Cincinnati Charities To Know About For #GivingTuesday

After Thanksgiving comes Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and then Cyber Monday.  Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday are all about buying something at a discount or buying local in anticipation of the upcoming holidays of Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, Festivus and more.  Another day for consideration is #GivingTuesday.  With #GivingTuesday the idea is to contribute some money to a charity of your choosing so those who are in need can benefit as well from the holiday season.  Being a personal fan of local charities I have compiled a number of local charities in this article that operate in both the Greater Cincinnati, Ohio area and Northern Kentucky.  Take a look at the great things these local charities are doing and consider donating to them or becoming a volunteer.

La Soupe

La Soupe located at 4150 Round Bottom Road Cincinnati, OH 45244 and helps people get nutritious meals.  Founded in 2014 by Chef Suzy DeYoung the goal of La Soupe is to repurpose excess food (that would otherwise be thrown out) to create tasty and nutritious soups and meals for those in need.  Currently La Soupe rescues approximately 5000 pounds of food per week and with that is able to feed 2000 children in and around the Cincinnati area.  La Soupe recently sent 23,000 pounds of food to assist with hurricane recovery efforts in Houston, Texas.

Not only does La Soupe give soup to those in need they also sell their soups to anyone wanting to buy their delicious soups.  So in case you want to make a donation in person be...

Should You Buy A Home Directly From The Listing Agent?

Should You Buy A Home Directly From The Listing Agent?

Should You Buy A House Directly From The Listing Agent?

Sometimes home buyers think they can get a better deal or get a leg up on the competition by dealing directly with the listing agent of the house.  What ends up happening though is the buyer instead ends up overpaying and/or ends up getting a poor deal since they did not have anyone representing their best interests.  The listing agent represents the seller and while it is possible for the listing agent to represent both parties in a transaction by doing so they have to be more neutral in a deal which results in no one really being represented at all.  This article explores further why it is not a good idea for home buyers to go directly to the listing agent when trying to buy a home.

Representation

In the typical home buying transaction a seller will have their own agent and the buyer will have one as well.  Each side being represented by their own agent then have their own best interests brought to the negotiating table.  If a buyer’s agent happens to learn the seller is divorcing and needs to sell their home fast then that is something important that the buyer’s agent should share with the buyer.  On the other hand if one agent is representing both the seller and the buyer they must take a more hands off approach and if that agent knew the seller was getting a divorce and that would factor into negotiations they would not be able to tell the buyer that.  

Maybe the buyer believes they can represent themselves on their own without the need of an agent and use that as the reason for talking directly to the listing agent.  In that case so long...

Podcast #13: Commercial Lending and Real Estate

podcast 13 commercial lending and real estate

For this podcast about commercial lending I sat down with Angie Hoffman at U.S. Bank.  During the podcast we discussed investing in real estate, commercial lending, and how commerceial mortgages can help investors.  If you want to learn more about commercial loans this is a great pdocast for you.

I hope you enjoy the podcast and find it informative.  Please consider sharing with those who also may benefit.

Listen via YouTube:

You can connect with Angie on LinkedIn.  You can reach out to Angie for more information on their lending products by emailing her at angela.hoffman@usbank.com.

You can connect with me on FacebookPinterestTwitterLinkedInYouTube and Instagram.

About the author: The above article “Podcast #12:  Hard...

Selling Your Home For Sale By Owner

selling your home fsbo

Selling Your Home For Sale By Owner

Selling a home for sale by owner or FSBO means the homeowner is wanting to put their home on the market and try and find a buyer without the help of their own real estate agent.  Homeowners may be willing to work with an agent who brings a buyer or they may not instead preferring to work with a buyer who has no agent.  Oftentimes buyers who come with their own agent may already have an agreement in place to pay their agent so the seller does not need to be concerned with paying a commission on their side.  Whatever the reason may be for selling FBSO this article provides some tips and insights so homeowners can have a successful sale.

Preparation Is Important

Regardless of whether a homeowner is using a real estate agent or planning to sell for sale by owner getting a home properly prepared is critical.  A majority of home buyers are looking for homes that are move in ready.  A move in ready home is one where buyers don’t have to change carpet, don’t have to paint walls and may have to do as little cleaning as possible.  The best way to have a move in ready home is to use neutral paints on all walls, install new carpet and refinish hardwood floors with a modern color stain.  The instant buyers walk into the door of a home for sale is when they will start judging the quality of the home.  If walls are painted in bright non-traditional colors or the paint is worn and faded buyers may not be interested in what the home truly offers.

If the home requires repairs or updates those should be done prior to listing the home for sale.  Holes in walls, pet damage, windows that don’t open or won’t stay open, cracked...

Tips For Avoiding Bad Home Contractors

tips for avoiding bad contractors

Tips For Avoiding Bad Home Contractors

When the home is a castle making sure that home is in tip top shape or looks great is essential for both keeping the occupants happy and for retaining the value of the home. Homes require routine maintenance and updating to keep everything in good working order.  Deferred maintenance can quickly turn a great home into something that is unlivable.  Using the wrong contractors can result in overpaying for a job or worse having the contractor create more problems than what were to be fixed  This article provides tips for homeowners to find the best contractors to keep their home in tip top shape.

Search More Than Traditional Sources For Information On Contractors

One tried and true source of information on contractors is reviews on various review and social media sites.  Facebook, Google, Yelp, Better Business Bureau and more have reviews for contractors.  Keep in mind though those reviews should not be the first and only stop when researching a contractor.  Positive reviews can also unfortunately be bought by contractors to make themselves look better when in fact they have a poor track record.  Reviews also can be left by family and friends who have only seen the contractor’s best quality work and may have not seen the other clients they left hanging by not completing the job they were hired to do.

Contractors may even offer referrals from past clients as a way to show that people are happy with the work they do.  While past client referrals can be helpful they also can be faked or the contractor can pick from the very best jobs they did for client referrals, conveniently...

Great Things To Do In Cincinnati During The Fall

great things t todo in the fall in Cincinnati

Great Things To Do In Cincinnati During The Fall

The weather may have finally cooled off a bit but that does not mean there is nothing to do.  In fact quite the opposite there are plenty of things to do for those who live in and around the Greater Cincinnati area.  Fall time activities abound in Cincinnati as this article explores.

Fall Fruit Picking

Want to pick your own fresh fruit from the tree?  Be sure to check out these farms to get apples or pumpkins.  Earlier in the season is better in order to get a good selection.

A&M Orchard

Located in Midland, Ohio this orchard is about a 40-50 minute drive from Cincinnati.  A&M Orchard have a wide variety of apples to pick from as well as a pumpkin patch for picking out fresh pumpkins.  They also sell apple jams, cider and more in their store.

Tuken’s Orchard & Farm Market

Located in West Alexandria which is about one hour north of Cincinnati and directly east of Dayton Tuken’s Orchard & Farm Market offer a variety of apples to pick and fresh vegetables grown locally on the farm.  Tuken’s also features a critter corral where visitors can see and interact with farm animals.

McGlasson Farms

Located in Hebron, Kentucky McGlasson Farms is less than 30 minutes away from Cincinnati depending on your location.  They feature live music performances by local bands, apple and pumpkin picking as well as fresh cider and donuts.

...

Things To Consider When Looking At Long Term Vs. Short Term Rentals

What to consider when buying short versus long term rental property

Long Term Rental Vs. Short Term Rentals

With the popularity of sites like AirBnB and VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner) real estate investors have some options when it comes to considering how they want to operate their residential rental units.  Short term rentals offer benefits such as faster and more frequent payment of rent but have downsides such as the requirement to fully furnish rental units and very frequent need for cleaning due to high tenant turnover.  Long term rentals give investors the ability to ensure a steady stream of income with the right tenant and only having to do maintenance when something within the investors control needs repair.  There are other considerations to take in mind between short term and long term rentals as this article explores.

Which One Will Make More Money?

The answer to that question is it depends.  Real estate is all about location, location, location and the location dictates the price and rental rates for real estate.  In locations where there is high demand for areas that tourists like to visit and stay near the demand for long term rental may not be as great.  Long term renters want to avoid the hustle and bustle of tourist areas unless they happen to work for one of the tourist attractions and want a short commute.  On the other hand tourists may not be willing to pay value going upas much if their location is farther away from the sights they want to see.  As a result investors will need to consider location as part of their purchase decision if they are considering one type of rental strategy...

Advanced Security Tips For Protecting Your Home

advanced security tips for protecting your home

Advanced Tips For Securing Your Home and Personal Identity

A home is a person’s castle and protecting the home is a top priority.  Beyond just protecting the home physically homeowners should also look at protecting their home and themselves from digital thieves who don’t even need to enter a home to steal.  A lost credit card number or worse a social security number can lead to long term issues.  This articles provides some advanced tips for securing one’s home both against physical intruders and against those who want to steal your information.

Home Alarm

Having an alarm installed is one great way a homeowner can protect their home especially if the alarm is monitored.  A monitored alarm means if the alarm is triggered the monitoring company will first call the homeowner to check if everything is ok or if they are not able to reach the homeowner they will call the local police department.  The police will then come out to check on the home to see if there is an issue.  

Home alarms can also be unmonitored where the only warning they provide is in the home through the use of a siren and/or lights.  Monitored home alarms systems usually require a monthly fee for the monitoring service and with monitored service the homeowner may be eligible for homeowners insurance discounts.  There are many do it yourself (DIY) home alarm kits like Ring, Simplifi, and more where installation of the security devices and keypads are easily done by the homeowner.  For the homeowner who prefers to have...

Things To Consider Before Downsizing

things to consider before downsizing

Things To Consider Before Downsizing

Whether you are an empty nester looking to reduce your footprint or just don’t want a large house downsizing may be a great way to save money and be more stress free by not having to deal with the extra expenses.  Smaller homes can mean smaller mortgages and smaller utility bills. Depending on the new location too more opportunities may open up to live in an area that is more walkable or that may have close by shopping thus making the home more convenient.  Whatever the reasons or desires for downsizing homeowners need to consider a number of aspects to make sure the decision is right for them.

Declutter

When going from a larger house to a smaller house the first consideration to be made relates to how much stuff one will be taking to the smaller house.  Furniture, kitchen wares, decorations, and other household items can easily be downsized since a smaller house will not have the space for all those items a larger house does.  Before even listing the larger house for sale the homeowner should sell or giveaway those items that are not needed or will not fit in the new house. 

Heirloom items can be passed onto children or other relatives who can make better use of them. Money obtained from selling collectibles that others may not have the appreciation for can be put to better use by the homeowners themselves.  As many who are downsizing are also close to retiring if not already retired extra money in a bank account from selling off excess items can make a great travel fund or home for salerainy day fund for future use.

...

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