Things You Do not Want to Miss When Buying Brand-New Homes

Economists are predicting that 600,000 brand-new homes will be sold this year. If you’rein the market for a new-construction home there are several things that you have to keep in mind. Paying attention to these tips could save money and aggravation.

Have a pre-drywall home inspection. A typical buyer of a new home may think, “Aren’thome inspections only for older, existing homes?” While not getting a home inspection before buying an existing home is a bad idea for a number of reasons, it’s also not a good idea to avoid an inspection when buying a new house.

There are two types of new-home inspections: pre-drywall and final walk-through. First, if you’re buying a home that is being constructed from the ground up, it’s a good idea to get a pre-drywall home inspection. A pre-drywall inspection helps a buyer be sure about electrical outlets, cable and internet access lines and other electrical features, such as ceiling fans and entertainment systems.

If you’re paying to have additional electronic features installed in your home, a pre-drywall inspection helps ensure that they’re in place. Better to

How to Get Good Inspection at Your Home

If you’re like millions of people who will move into a new home this year, chances are the home you move into won’t be a new one. According to data from the National Association of Realtors, in 2016, approximately 700,000 of the 6.1 million homes sold were new. That means nearly 90 percent of home buyers moved into a home that someone else had already lived in, and as a result, may be taking on problems that they didn’t know about.

A good way for home buyers to be aware of potential problems with a home – and gauge the potential costs – is to have a home inspection. A home inspection by a certified professional provides a bit of assurance regarding the home’s quality and the effectiveness of its key systems like air conditioning, heating, roof and more.

Having a home inspection in hand provides you with an estimate of what may need to be repaired or replaced, enables you to prioritize those items and creates the opportunity to budget for those future costs.

According to the American Society of Home

When Is the Best Time of the Year to Relocate to a New City

The U.S. Census Bureau reported in November that the rate of Americans moving hit an all-time low in 2016, with 11.2 percent moving to a new home and just under 2 percent making a significant move to a different state, region or country.

Fewer people may be choosing to relocate to avoid escalating home prices and rental rates or because they have stronger job stability than previous years. But that doesn’t have to stifle your ability to move to a new city – whether it’s for work, school, to be closer to family or to embark on a new adventure.

And when you decide to move, every market throughout the country has real estate agents trained to assist clients who are relocating to the area and can help you find your next home from a distance.

“A month to three months gives us enough time to work with them,” says Michelle Chicago, a Realtor for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff in Chicago.

You should also plan ahead when it comes time to physically move. It’s best to book a moving company with a minimum of a month’s notice during summer, says

From now on fix the house for the summer

As spring weather ushers away the final storms of winter, now is the time to get busy with home repairs and improvements. Though many homeowners tend to begin home improvements when summer arrives, you can save time and money by starting them now.

If you wait until summer, expect to get in line behind the multitudes of other homeowners doing projects around the house. Contractors will be swamped with work, which usually means higher rates and longer waits for their services. Home improvement centers become jammed with do-it-yourselfers. And the ticking clock swings into motion – a major summer project that runs longer than expected can scuttle vacation plans and lap over into fall.

Getting a head start, on the other hand, allows you to get competitive bids from contractors who are eagerly seeking work, navigate the aisles of the home improvement centers without crowds and take the time you need to do your project right.

You can also benefit by attacking problems while they’re still fresh in your mind and solving issues before they get worse. Last but not least, doing projects now that involve getting your house and yard in shape for recreation and entertaining will increase your family’s enjoyment –

5 Tips for Effective Real Estate Photography

In today’s era of real estate marketing, the internet is the undisputed champ. Whether it’s on social media, the local multiple listing service or real estate information sites, the key to making your house stand out from the competition is through the visuals presented by photographs and virtual tours.

For decades, curb appeal has been referred to as essential to creating a positive, lasting first impression. But today, buyers won’t even get in their car to come see your home if they aren’t excited by what they see on the internet. Just like Tinder, they’re likely to swipe left in search of a better, more alluring option if they aren’t excited by what they see.

But what really matters to you isn’t that your house looks pretty, it’s that you see the positive effect on your selling process. Chicago-based real estate and business photography company VHT Studios reports homes shown with professional photography sold 32 percent faster.

So what can you do to ensure those pictures tug at the heartstrings of potential buyers, get them to schedule a showing and make that offer as quickly as possible.

Hire a professional. Let’s be honest, there is no bigger turnoff

How to Sell a Teardown Home

The time has come to sell your house, but after more than a few years living there – and a little wear and tear – it doesn’t exactly look like the freshly flipped homes or renovated beauties you’re seeing listed online.

To appeal to the widest range of buyers, you might want to make some updates, freshen up the yard and stage a few of the rooms. But you’ve seen properties in your neighborhood bought up by builders and demolished for new houses to be built. Maybe selling your home as a teardown would save you the effort of fixing it up, while getting you into your next house sooner.

Particularly in popular neighborhoods and areas where undeveloped space is limited, purchasing existing property for the sole purpose of building a new structure on the land is fairly common. In many cases, developers and building companies will redevelop multiple properties in a neighborhood, knowing buyers will eat up new, bigger homes where midcentury ranch houses once stood.

But with real estate inventory tight nationwide and many buyers looking to renovate existing houses that need work, is selling your home as a teardown the best decision for your bottom line? Here are four things to think

Ways to Maximize Multiple Offers on Your Home

In today’s fast-paced seller’s market, an aggressively priced property can often fetch multiple offers, spurring a bidding war between homebuyers. As the seller, this is an extremely fortunate position to be in, but one which may prove more confusing than expected.

It’s easy to assume the offer with the highest net profit will be the one to accept, however there are many aspects to evaluate which will contribute to the offer’s strength. Here are five strategies to maximize multiple offers on your home.

Ask for highest and best. Once you recognize you’ll be entering into a multiple-offer situation, have your agent notify all buyer’s agents to submit their client’s highest and best offer by a specific deadline. By doing so, you force all potential buyers to lay their cards on the table and show their hand. They’ll view it as a hot property, and be less likely to hold anything back.

But doesn’t this take the negotiation out of it? Only at this point in the transaction, and that’s OK. Negotiating opens up the possibility for a consensus to not be met, and the deal to fall apart. At this point, you’d have to go to the second best

Make The Ideal Outdoor Kitchen For You

Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July – the season for outdoor entertaining is upon us. Bags of charcoal will flow, barbecue flames will leap and meats will sizzle as outdoor cooking heats up this month and blazes through the summer.

Outdoor cooking has become an all-American pastime. According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, 75 percent of U.S. adults own a grill or smoker. No doubt this popularity stems from the simple fact that many people prefer the flavor of foods that are grilled or smoked – types of cooking you can’t typically do indoors. And, of course, people enjoy the ambiance of al fresco food prep and dining.

For many homeowners, outdoor cooking has gone beyond the basic barbecue. For some, the art of outdoor grilling has become a passion. Along with this passion, the simple barbecue has been replaced by something much more substantial: the outdoor kitchen.

Outdoor kitchens run the gamut, from simple and utilitarian to palatial. Some are small brick edifices with a grill in the center. Others are stone and stainless steel cooking centers that include countertop, cabinets, sink, gas cooktop, refrigerator, dishwasher and more. Some even

How to Stick to Your Kitchen Remodeling Budget

You’re finally going forward with a project you’ve been planning for years: remodeling your outdated kitchen.

You’ve saved money, and you know you’ve got enough stashed away to pay for the job – or do you? A kitchen remodeling budget can quickly spiral out of control if you’re not careful.

“First of all, you’ve got to have a very clear plan, and you can’t deviate a lot,” says Hooper Patterson, an interior designer in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Remodeling magazine’s 2017 Cost vs. Value Report pegs the cost of a major kitchen remodel from $49,560 to $62,150 in a midrange house, estimating that homeowners recoup only 63 percent of that investment when they sell. Costs could exceed $100,000 in a high-end home. HomeAdvisor reports that most of its readers spent between $12,707 and $33,012 to remodel their kitchens. This is clearly not a job you want to mishandle.

If your kitchen budget is $20,000 and you end up spending $40,000 – or running out of money halfway through the job – you’re going to be in trouble.

Sticking to your budget starts with planning, to make sure your budget is realistic. Toni Anderson of Orlando, Florida, has remodeled three

Set Mood During an Open House With the Right Lighting

When a home is on the market, it’s all about creating a light and bright feel throughout the space to welcome buyers. A home seller can do this in a number of ways by utilizing natural light, painting and adding more indoor lighting.

The more light bouncing around each room, the bigger the home will appear, and since buyers are purchasing square footage it’s important to make sure you’re showcasing the illusion of maximum space.

Natural light provides several benefits when showing off a property while keeping money in your wallet. Sunlight, rather than light from a fixture, can save on energy costs and boost a buyer’s mood when walking through the home. Start by assessing the natural light in each room of the house:

  • Does the room feel dark or light?
  • How many windows do you have?
  • How many doors?
  • Would it make sense to update either of these or add skylights?

Here are a few tips on how to intensify a natural light source to appeal to buyers touring your home.

Trim bushes and trees. Overgrown trees, bushes or shrubs in the yard can immediately put a dark cloud over a property. Trim hedges and prune branches away from the

Things to Consider If You’re Selling a Luxury Boston Home

Boston ‘s high-end real estate market runs the gamut from meticulously restored historic houses to amenity-rich modern condos in brand-new buildings, which can make figuring out how best to sell your luxury property a bit confusing. This is when finding the right agent can mean the difference between getting a good deal and getting a great deal.

Michael Harper, an agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Boston Commonwealth Avenue, says, “Selling a luxury home is not like selling any other property.”

U.S. News asked some of Boston’s top real estate agents what makes the luxury home market unique and what sellers need to do for a seamless sale.

Luxury, defined

Tracy Campion, principal and owner of Campion & Company Fine Homes Real Estate, defines luxury by quoting one of the real estate industry’s most repeated maxims: “Location, location, location.”

After that, she adds, “The quality of construction, the design of the property, the appearance. We’re lucky enough in Boston to live in historic neighborhoods. There’s Back Bay, Beacon Hill, the South End, but you can go all over the city. There are also new high-rises and brand-new buildings.”

Harper agrees that location is key, and

Summer Home Improvement and Your Family Will Love You

Thanks to summer’s long days and fair weather, home improvement projects are in full swing. Hammers are banging, power saws are screaming and lawnmowers are sputtering as homeowners busily spruce up their homes and properties.

Home projects can also provide a chance for family togetherness. You can even include small children in certain projects as long as you keep them safe throughout. Doing projects together with you helps your children learn, contribute and gain a sense of accomplishment.

In most regions, summer is the best time for improvements – especially outdoor ones. While it’s important to repair damage or make improvements to increase resale value, the outdoor upgrades listed below are all about fun. Here are a few summer projects that lead to family fun and summer enjoyment:

   Build a Garden Shed or Clubhouse

Building a garden shed can accomplish several goals. Primarily, of course, you end up with a garden shelter that can store tools and equipment year-around, taking the strain off your garage.

But another perk worth considering is this: If you complete the shed early in the summer, your kids can use it as a clubhouse, playhouse or fort for the rest

Home Decor Startup Trends to Watch

Home decor is quickly becoming an “it” industry in 2015. Once dominated by big-box retailers and independent interior designers, the home decor industry is undergoing a sea change and a few innovative startups are leading the charge.

Home furnishings shoppers used to start with the likes of Ikea, graduate to, say, West Elm and eventually dabble in Williams-Sonoma or Restoration Hardware. Now with tools like Pinterest and design blogs providing endless inspiration and access, there are a lot more choices, variety and experimentation.

And creating a coherent, polished yet personalized aesthetic no longer requires an expert eye, bundles of free time or a hefty disposable income.

Entrepreneurs have entered the decor game and things are heating up.

Home furnishings is a $79 billion industry, according to IBIS World as of December, and that space is attracting innovators and investors alike.

Last month housing starts reached their highest level since 2008, according to the Department of Commerce, demonstrating growing consumer confidence and a renewed interest in home investment.

Regardless of whether a startup targets the hands-off shopper looking for convenience, the indecisive decorator looking for professional guidance or the consumer trying to save a few dollars, the home decor industry is changing quickly. As the category flourishes, several trends are emerging. Here

Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a House

When you’re buying a home, a lot can go wrong. Your seller, the lender, the appraiser or your real estate agent could do something to inadvertently sabotage the purchase of your new home. And, yes, even you could make a mistake. Homebuyers make plenty of them.

And in today’s homebuying market, where demand is high and supply isn’t, you can’t afford to make any mistakes. This doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what could go wrong, but if you’re looking to buy a house, do what you can to avoid making these classic homebuying blunders.

Not having your financing ready when you make an offer. If you want a house, and you love it, you don’t have any time to waste, says Ryan Critch, chief executive officer of Ocean400 International Realty in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

“In today’s environment if you love the house, don’t leave without putting in your offer, or the next family will,” he says. “Countless times over the last year families have experienced heartbreak by thinking about it. Get your offer in fast, and think about it during the negotiation.

How to Reduce Pain When You Sell a House

When it comes to pain and stress, selling your home ranks right up there with divorce and changing jobs. It doesn’t matter if you are selling your starter home or if you’ve been through this before, expect a lot of pain and frustration as you trudge through the process. And if you have a mortgage or a reverse mortgage on it, it will definitely make the process longer.

But take a deep breath and consider these six ways to help you reduce the pain when it’s time to sell your home.

1. Never hire a relative or friend to list your home.

Similar to starting and growing a business with a good friend or your brother-in-law, avoid this at all costs. There is just too much at stake and you shouldn’t have to be “PC” during the long selling process. The journey from listing to closing is tough enough without adding more tension into the equation.

Since you are paying this person to sell your home, you have every right to certain expectations and requirements. You are entering into a business arrangement that by its nature needs to be impersonal.

2. Don’t take anything personally.

Whatever you do, don’t get

How to Buy Real Estate With No Money Down

I think that we all find ourselves getting stuck finding money, I mean we all think we have a good deal, we all think that we have the knowledge, but when it comes to the money we find ourselves short. Our friends and family are telling us no, the banks tell you no, and most of all you say no to yourself. Without a target, you won’t get anyplace. You look at your first deal based on the money you have, and many of you give up on the real estate game because you don’t have any money. When you get started you don’t have any money, right?

Let me tell you there is no such thing as no money down. No bank will lend you money with no money down, and no seller will carry a note without you putting some money down even if it’s a promise to do money in the future. There is no such thing as no money down because the money is going to come from somewhere. It’s money down if you’re going to have to do something if you have to exchange something with the person giving you something. If

How to Avoid Disappointment About Your New Home Condition

When you’re about to close on your new home, few things can bring your mood down from the clouds. One exception, of course, is when your new home is left in a subpar state.

“Nothing can dampen a buyer’s enthusiasm for the sale like walking in and seeing it empty and dirty,” says Donna Cox, a real estate associate broker with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Rand Realty in Nyack, New York.

When sellers move out of a property, it may be a bit of a mystery as to how neat they’ll leave each room, whether there will be marks on the walls and if they’ll surprise you with an empty nook where the refrigerator used to be.

Fortunately, a typical part of real estate transactions is the final walk-through, which typically occurs within 24 hours of the scheduled real estate closing and serves as a final check to ensure the property has been vacated and left in proper condition.

To avoid letting your emotions get the best of you, it’s important to manage your expectations and take all steps possible ahead of time to boost your chances of a positive walk-through and a smooth closing.

Clarify what’s attached. When you tour

Trends Kitchen Design

The model homes of builders are known for showcasing the latest interior design trends in trying to appeal to home shoppers. So what’s trending when it comes to the kitchen?

PulteGroup’s Interior Designs Team is merchandising about 425 model homes in 2016. The kitchen is a big area that gets a lot of the design team’s focus too.

“Today’s home buyers are willing to spend more in the kitchen – from energy-efficient appliances to quartz countertops,” says Janice Jones, PulteGroup’s national vice president of interior design. “We continuously conduct consumer focus groups to best understand what they want in their kitchens and are constantly refining our kitchen designs and its elements to ensure it delivers on functionality, creative design and easy maintenance across all our buyer groups.”

Jones cites five kitchen trends in 2016 that they are reflecting in many PulteGroup model homes lately. These trends also can serve as inspiration for home owners planning renovation projects or wanting ideas for easy updates, Jones notes.

1. Contrasting materials

Materials are getting mixed in the kitchen. Contrasting colors and styles are combined to create a more unique space. For example, mixed marbles and metals

Some Seller Mistakes That Could Drop Sales on Your Home

Selling a home may seem like a simple process. You clean it up, show it to a few people and one of them buys it. The trouble is that the process is actually much more complicated, with legal and practical considerations you may not know much about. Sometimes, sellers make simple mistakes that could cost them big, even after the sale is complete.

When selling your home, avoid these common seller mistakes.

Setting the Listing Price on Subjective Terms

Some homeowners think that the most objective term to use for the price is the amount they paid for the property, plus the cost of improvements, in addition to the real estate agent’s fees. That list pricing rationale is not objectivefrom a buyer’s perspective – and has little to do with actual market value.

Testing the market by pricing high, is potentially the most costly seller mistake. Avoid playing games with pricing. Set it right from day one!

The listing price for a home must be based on a consideration of the present market value, which is typically estimated by a comparison of recent home sales & current listings for similar homes. While this may not mesh well with your expectations for the home, if

Staging To Sell Your Home

So you’re thinking of selling your home, and you want it to be presented in its best possible light to potential buyers.  You’ve probably heard this before, but the way you live when your house is for sale is NOT the way you normally live.  I mean, who do you know that has zero appliances on their kitchen counter?  Or absolutely nothing on their bathroom counters except for a stack of perfectly rolled up hand towels and a basket of twigs and berries?  Unless you’re friends with a professional decorator, the answer is NO ONE.  Staging your home to sell is for one purpose and one purpose only – to make it sell!

You don’t have to hire a professional home stager and buy all new furniture to get the look buyers love.  I’m going to go beyond the obvious tips about staging your home to sell that you’ve all heard before – clean like a crazy person, pack up half of your clothes to make the closets look bigger, put away all the knick knacks and clutter, clean off the counters, and stick any extra pieces of furniture that make your rooms look small out in the garage