Tag Archive for realty

Improvements That Increase Your Home’s Value

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This year, if you’re looking to increase the value of your home but are unsure what home improvements to make, think curb appeal.
According to a recent report from Remodeling magazine, curb appeal projects, such as changes to windows, siding, and doors, lead to a higher return on investment (ROI) than interior improvements.
Over the past 30 years, Remodeling has compared the average cost of improvement projects with their value at resale, based on the experience of real estate professionals. The magazine’s 2017 Cost vs. Value Report supports the generally held opinion that today’s home buyers, while still enthusiastic about the bells and whistles, want to ensure their homes are structurally sound with all systems functioning efficiently.
Remodeling’s projects include a basement remodel, an entry door that was replaced with 20 gauge steel, and the addition of stone veneer. All of the 29 projects tracked returned on average 64.3 cents per dollar spent.
Among the trends, the higher return of curb appeal projects and projects that required the replacing of windows, doors, etc. Replacement projects generally scored higher than remodeling projects; the ROI of replacement was 74% and of remodels was 63.7%.
As in the previous year, adding loose fill insulation to the attic returned 107.7% and was the only project on the list whose value exceeded its cost. Steel door replacement and addition of stone veneer also paid off, at 90.7% and 89.4% respectively. Interestingly, these are among the cheapest projects, although their costs were up over the previous year.
Those who want to tackle an interior project might do well to consider a basement remodel, providing it’s done well; a high-end basement remodel was perceived as high value, returning 7.4% more than the same project last year, while a mid-range basement remodeling project only increased in value by 3.3% over the previous year.
Something to consider when you’re planning your next home improvement project.
 

Home Shopping? Ask the Right Questions

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When shopping for a new home, it’s easy to fall in love. You can find yourself dazzled by the sprawling backyard, trendy kitchen, or sky-high ceilings, and want to make an offer right then and there.
But it’s important to take a step back and take the time to evaluate the perhaps less-exciting details. These often overlooked details may ultimately lead to significant, costly issues. Here’s what to look for and how to get beyond the WOWs:
  • Windows: Does every window open? For emergency reasons, every room needs a window that can be opened. Do they close and lock securely? Is the glass intact? Is there a tight thermal seal (which is important to regulate temperature)?
  • Flooring: Look for cracks, stains, holes, and warping. Ask if there’s another layer of flooring under carpet, tile, or laminate. Is the floor level? If not, it might be an indication of water, or worse, structural problems.
  • Basement: That beautifully finished basement could be hiding a plethora of problems, from leaks to mold to holes to critter infestations. Use a powerful flashlight to carefully examine corners and walls and look behind and under finishings.
  • Roof: Roof replacements are costly. Find out when the roof was last addressed, and whether it was a patch or a replacement. Look for signs of damage from the street.
  • Neighborhood: Look beyond the obvious into the details: Is local traffic a nightmare in rush hour? Is there reliable transit nearby? Is the home near green space, schools, and recreational facilities?
  • Parking: If the house doesn’t have a garage, will the driveway accommodate your vehicles? Is there good on-street visitors’ parking?
Even after you’ve checked the details, make your offer contingent on a home inspection. A reliable home inspector can dig deeper into the details. Isn’t your peace of mind worth it?

What A Beautiful Outside Can Do For Your Home’s Inside

GRH_BlogPost_How Great Landscaping Says Come Inside

Creating an inviting landscape not only ensures a positive first impression with buyers, but may also increase your home’s value and lead to a quicker sale. You don’t have to spend a lot to make big improvements in your home’s curb appeal. Keeping your lawn manicured – mowed and edged – and trimming bushes and trees is an inexpensive way to make a positive impression on buyers. You’ll also want to remove any dead or diseased plants and ensure beds are weeded and freshly mulched.

Before beginning any landscape project, make a plan. And if you live in a neighborhood with restrictive covenants requiring approval by a landscape committee, be sure to follow proper procedures to avoid spending money on projects that you may be forced to undo later. A project plan will also help ensure that you make wise choices and stay within your budget.
Use color and depth to create visual interest, and select a variety of plants that bloom or change color throughout the year so your yard will be attractive regardless of the season. If your yard is open to your neighbors’ yards, a street, or public areas, consider screening to create a more private space. This can be accomplished naturally with evergreen trees and bushes, or with an attractive fence.

Sometimes what you remove from a yard can be as important as what you put in. If the front of your home is obscured by overgrown trees or bushes, remove them or trim them back to help buyers get a clear view of your home. Remember that the goal is to create a welcoming first impression that says, “Come in!”

Trends in Landscaping:

  • Low maintenance vegetation: less lawn to mow, helps keep weeds in check.
  • More trees: enhance beauty and provide shade.
  • Decks, patios, and terraces: an outdoor living space for entertaining and relaxing.
  • Outdoor lighting: provides enticing views of your home and landscaping at night.
  • Irrigation system: costs more but simplifies lawn care and is attractive to buyers.

Agents: Learn How To Boost Your Referral Network

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This featured Article from Realtor Magazine by Ian Grace covers how you can grow your referral network to expand your reach and market. As a registered agent with Guidance Realty you are already one step ahead. Our program’s premise is to help build your referral network and increase your closings. Read more

Is a Condo or Townhome Right for You?

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Buyers from many walks of life are discovering the advantages of condo and townhome living.

Whether you’re a first-time buyer looking for an affordable way to own a home, a busy professional with little time to devote to home maintenance, or an empty-nester who’s “right-sizing,” a condo or townhome may be a good choice for you.

Advantages

  • A condo or townhome is very low maintenance; landscaping and maintenance of the exterior structure are typically handled by the homeowners’ association (HOA). This is attractive if you’re not “handy” or if you have a busy lifestyle that doesn’t leave much time for home maintenance.
  • Many communities offer amenities such as pools, tennis courts, clubhouses, and walking trails, which may not be available with many detached homes.
  • Newer construction offers greatly improved sound barriers and fire walls.
  • The proximity of neighbors may give owners a greater sense of security.

Disadvantages

  • HOA dues increase your monthly outgoings and can rise in the future as maintenance and repair costs go up. Increases or decreases in HOA fees usually must be approved by the HOA, but check the community bylaws before making an offer to purchase a condo or townhome.
  • HOA covenants and by-laws may restrict the way you can use or improve your property. Again, be sure to read them carefully before making an offer.
  • Available parking for guests may be limited.
  • Typically, there is less storage space than in a detached home.

Before purchasing any home, consider the potential for resale. So, begin your search at Guidance Realty Homes to spot that perfect condo or townhome in the community that’s right for you. Also, to determine if the property you’re considering is a good investment, ask about the condo/townhome market in your area. If you’re looking to purchase in Orlando, Florida, Maryland and NY Metro, well you’re in luck because Guidance Realty Homes’ buyers receive a commission rebate of the purchase price by using our agents. Not only that, buyers can also receive an additional $350 appraisal credit when financing online with Guidance Residential. 

 

 

4 Creative Marketing Strategies for Real Estate Agents

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For many realtors, the notion of marketing is simplistic. On the digital side of the spectrum, there are resources like Zillow, Trulia and Guidance Realty that enable agents to successfully connect with interested buyers and renters.

And on the physical side, agents can often get by on nothing more than excellent networking skills and referrals from past clients.

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6 Criteria in Evaluating Your Next Agent (Part 3)

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Summary: In Part 1 & 2 we shared 4 behaviors that would add meaningful value to your home search, in this post we will share the final 2 behaviors, providing a comprehensive rubric to evaluate your real estate agents.

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6 Criteria in Evaluating Your Next Agent (Part 2)

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Summary: In Part 1 we shared two behaviors (dedication and flexibility), that would add meaningful value to your home search. In this post we have added two more behaviors, check them out below.

1 Dedication

Finding a full-time agent is a foundational first step in the evaluation process. Someone who is only working in the field part time can only focus part of his or her energy on your needs. And in an industry that requires agility and speed to successfully sell or purchase a home, anything less than full-time focus simply will not cut it. Read more

Is the Housing Market Turnaround the Real thing?

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Ever since the recovery began in 2009, a weak housing market has held back the U.S. economy. The first rebound in home prices was lackluster and after only a year was followed by another dip. But the recent upturn in home prices looks like the real thing. One clear sign of a turning point: Read more