The current spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and the efforts to contain it have impacted almost all aspects of daily life – and real estate transactions are no different. Yet despite current circumstances, real estate agents are still seeing sellers and buyers move forward with their plans in what is historically an active spring market. “Precautions have changed, and people are doing life differently, but the demand and decision to buy a home is currently still very strong,” says Kerron Stokes, Manager of RE/MAX Leaders & Team Leader of Resource Group in Centennial, Colorado. “Our team has taken on two new listing clients and three new homebuyer clients this week, and have new buyer consults set up next week as well.” Yet even with willing sellers and eager buyers, the current U.S. government guidelines recommend social gatherings be limited to fewer than 10 people – among other safety measures – which means selling a home this spring may look differently than in years past. “It’s going to require being creative and innovative, but there are still ways for real estate agents to interact with listing clients and potential buyers by leveraging technology,” Stokes says. Ready to sell? Keep calm and log on.With COVID-19 at the forefront of many sellers’ minds, for the time being, many home tours will start online. But according to Stokes, that’s nothing new and can be a powerful tool in marketing a home to buyers. “A lot of these virtual tactics are things we’ve already been deploying for 5-6 years for clients who can’t be in a physical space,” Stokes says. He cites investors, or potential buyers that work irregular hours, as an example. “We’ll FaceTime them at work so they can ask questions about the property.” According to Ryan Smith, …

SELLING A HOME DURING UNUSUAL TIMES Read more »

Finding a property that takes into account your lifestyle, location preferences and budget can be no small undertaking. Buyers must know what to prioritize, what to budget for and what to compromise on when it comes to finding the right home. Here are some tips to help you find the best one for you: Attend Open Houses The key to finding out what best fits your lifestyle is seeing as much inventory as possible. The advantage of working with a real estate agent is that they will show you different properties and neighborhoods you might not have considered. That’s where open houses offer a lot of value. Typically, every weekend there are dozens of open houses. The only thing you have to lose is time. The more you see, the more you realize what you do or don’t like, and it might open up some other avenues that you might not have thought of. Location Matters – A Lot What are you willing to tolerate when it comes to commute to work, shopping or entertainment? If you’re living in an area where the walk score is high, you’re going to spend less time in a car. Having to get in your car for a long period of time twice a day is an added stress some would prefer to do without. Some aspire to live close to their workplace, while for others, it’s less of a priority. What’s more, some younger buyers without kids really get into the vibe that comes from downtown living, while others aspire to a quieter existence in the suburbs or exurbs. Regardless of personal preference, it’s a good idea to test out the commute before making an offer. What’s traffic like at rush hour? You really have to go …

HOW TO FIND A HOME THAT FITS Read more »

Buying a second home is a great way to lock in a great vacation spot and earn some extra rental income. However, there are also some financial realities that many homeowners aren’t aware of before they purchase their second home.IRS Limitations If you rent your second home more than fourteen days a year, the IRS qualifies that home as a rental/investment property. As such, the income you gain from your home is taxable. Your second home also won’t qualify for the same deductions as your primary home.Risk & Liability It’s easy to overlook problems like leaks and water damage in a home that goes unoccupied for long periods of time. Empty homes are also more likely targets for vandalism. Hiring a property management company to keep an eye on the home can help ensure you catch potential problems before they get out of hand. Other Expense Expenses such as home insurance, security monitoring fees, and running utilities can add up in your second home. On top of these costs, you have annual maintenance costs and repairs that will inevitably pop up over the years.Understanding the expenses involved with owning a second home is an important part of purchasing your next home! That way, you can make a plan. Vacation rental services like Airbnb make it easy to cover the costs of owning a second home or even profiting from it. You can also use remote monitoring technology, such as video doorbells, access control systems, and environmental monitoring to minimize the risk of missing important developments while away from your home.Buying a second home is a great investment, but one that you need to be well informed about before you commit yourself. For more information about buying a second home or an investment property, give …

3 Things to Consider Before You Buy a Second Home… Read more »

Are you planning to add or replace a deck this year? Before you stock up on lumber, here are some details you should address to ensure your deck will improve your home’s value and curb appeal. DesignWhat you plan to use your deck for will have a big impact on other considerations you’ll need to make. Will your deck include a grilling station? A hot tub? Built in benches?SizeChoosing the right size deck to fit your needs and visually balance the home can be tricky. As a general rule, the deck shouldn’t be more than ¼ the size of your home. There are of course exceptions to the rule, especially if you’re planning on having a large number of people on your deck at the same time. Materials A lot of time and resources go into making a deck, so you want it to last a good, long time. Be sure to use materials that are durable, safe, and easy to maintain. Consider the different pros and cons of various kinds of wood, pavers, stone, vinyl, PVC, and composite materials.  Labor Finding a qualified deck builder or backyard contractor can make a big difference in the quality of your deck. Do your research beforehand to ensure your contractor is licensed and insured. You’ll also want to check their testimonials to be sure the people they have worked with in the past were happy with their results and experience. Budget Be upfront with your deck builder about your initial budget and how flexible it is. Your final cost could change based on the design, size, and materials you choose. Be ready to discuss and revise your budget before the building process begins so that there are no surprises during the construction phase.

After years of careful planning, searching, and saving to buy a home, it’s normal to take pride in your home. However, that doesn’t mean you plan to stay in the same place forever, and you can’t control who your neighbors are and whether or not they maintain their home. If you’re getting ready to list your home and the condition of your neighbor’s home is negatively impacting your own home value, here are some steps you can take. Talk to your neighbors.Your neighbor may want to improve their home’s exterior but may not have the time, tools, or know-how necessary to accomplish their tasks. Consider offering your neighbor your lawn mower, ladder, or some of your time to help them. Consult your HOA.If your neighborhood has a homeowners association, there are most likely covenants and restrictions which dictate acceptable standards for the exterior of your neighbor’s home. If you suspect your neighbor is in violation of these standards and don’t want to be the person to alert them, notify your HOA. Speak to housing code enforcement. Even if your neighborhood doesn’t have a HOA, if your neighbor has an overgrown lawn or abundant yard debris, they may be violating local housing codes. Contact housing code enforcement to see what guidelines are being abused and what steps can be taken to address problems with your neighbor’s house/yard.Selling your home when you live next to difficult neighbors can add to an already stressful process. However, the final results will be worth it. Once you’re ready to start looking for your next home, I can help you identify bad-neighbor warning signs to help you avoid a similar situation in the future.

FRESH PAINT One of the easiest ways to give your house an updated look is a fresh coat of paint in a vibrant color. For bedrooms, living rooms and family rooms, go with a flat, matte, or eggshell finish. For the kitchen, bathroom, and other high traffic areas, select a semi-gloss for easy cleaning. Big box hardware stores will offer the best price on paint and supplies. For instance, if you are looking to transform a living space, you can likely do so for less than $100 for an average size room. You can also paint furniture and other home accessories to change the look of a room. If you have lamps that don’t match your new décor, consider spray painting them with a high quality (yet still inexpensive) glossy spray paint. It can save you from having to purchase new lamps! WINDOW TREATMENTS Curtains and window treatments can be expensive, but they do add that cozy factor to any room. Mini blinds and vertical blinds, while functional, aren’t in style at the moment and can quickly date your décor. There are several retailers that offer ridiculously affordable curtains and window furnishings. With a little bargain hunting, you can update up to 4 rooms in your house for under $200 by shopping at Tuesday Morning, TJ Maxx and online at Amazon.com. Tuesday Morning is your best bet for hardware too—it offers a wide selection of curtain rods at very affordable prices. AREA RUGS Perhaps new carpet or flooring isn’t in your budget, but you can easily update the look of any room with a stylish area rug. By adding a little pop of color in an area rug, you can change the feel of the entire room. For stylish and colorful rugs, again, check …

Affordable Ways To Add Value Read more »