Getting into Real Estate

Buying An Older Home? Make Sure That Your Home Inspector Checks These Things

Posted by on 11:56 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Buying An Older Home? Make Sure That Your Home Inspector Checks These Things

When you’re in the market to buy a home, opting for an older property can be appealing. Old homes can have unique designs that you find endearing, as well as a coziness that isn’t prevalent in some newer homes. While you might be dreaming of taking ownership of a house that has caught your eye, you should always make sure to hire a home inspector first. The inspector will check a wide range of things to ensure that the house doesn’t yield any unpleasant surprises. Where older homes are concerned, it’s a good idea to have the home inspector look a little more carefully at certain elements. Here are some examples. Insulation Old homes can use a variety of materials for insulation, including some that may not meet modern building codes. When an inspector checks a newer home, he or she typically doesn’t look into the insulation situation. In an older home, doing so is vitally important. Make sure that the home inspector has a plan for assessing the insulation in the home. He or she can’t simply cut a hole in a wall to check, so it will be necessary to check in the attic and look around in the basement for signs that the home’s insulation meets approval. Electrical Your home inspector needs to also carefully inspect the electrical system in the home. In older homes, wiring may not meet modern safety standards, which can leave you with an increased fire risk. The inspector can assess the electrical system by checking out the circuit panel and noticing signs that the home’s wiring is either new or old. Additionally, the inspector may even wish to remove a wall outlet cover or a lighting fixture to check the condition of the wiring behind it. Sewer Pipe A problem with an old home’s sewer pipe can be costly, as well as pose a major inconvenience to you and your family. To minimize the risk of such a problem cropping up once you own the home, make sure that your home inspector will check the sewer pipe. The inspector can’t dig a hole in the home’s yard to check the pipe, so he or she will have to rely on technology. In many cases, the inspector can use a thin camera on a cable that is passed down through a toilet to capture footage of the condition of the sewer pipe. If problems are evident, this information can be shared with the current homeowner, who may wish to excavate to determine the extent of the situation before selling the home. Talk to a real estate agent, like Mattox Realty, for more...

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4 Things To Examine When Renting An Apartment

Posted by on 10:53 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Things To Examine When Renting An Apartment

If you are looking for an apartment to rent, you will probably pay close attention to certain details in the unit, but there may be other things you forget to examine in the apartment. Some of the things you will naturally look at might include the size, condition of the bathroom, and layout of the unit, but here are four things you might not think to look at while you shop for an apartment to rent. Water pressure Water pressure might not seem like an issue to you as you shop around for an apartment, but it can be an issue if you live in a unit that has really low pressure. To get an idea of how the water pressure is in an apartment, test each faucet. If possible, turn a faucet on and then flush the toilet to see how the flushing toilet affects the pressure of the water coming from the sink. The way the toilets flush Another good thing to examine is the way the toilets flush. If the apartment you are looking at has good water pressure, then the toilets will probably flush alright; however, there is still a chance the toilet may not flush well. This is something that is good to know before renting an apartment, and you can check it out by flushing it to see how well it works. You may also want to example the plumbing by the toilet and by the sinks just to make sure there are no drips. Appliances Taking a close look at the appliances is also a good idea. The unit will probably have a refrigerator and stove, but that might be all. You should see if it has a dishwasher if this is important to you, and you should also see if there is a microwave. If there’s no microwave, you will have to supply your own. In addition, look to see if the unit has a washer and dryer. If it does not, ask if there are laundry facilities within the building. Small defects in the unit If you really like a unit you see, make sure you thoroughly look for any defects in the apartment. This is especially important if you end up renting it. You should fill out a move-in form that includes a list of any defects you find. This will protect you when you move out of the apartment in the future. Renting the right apartment may take some time, and it is important to know what to look for when you are searching for one. To learn more, contact a real estate agent to help you locate apartments for...

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Don’t Exaggerate These Things When You List Your Home For Sale

Posted by on 10:18 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Don’t Exaggerate These Things When You List Your Home For Sale

When you’re putting together the real estate listing of the house that you’re selling, you want to include words and information that make the home come to life for prospective buyers. While the photos will also be useful, the best listings are those that clearly describe the home in an enticing manner. Your desire to craft an effective listing, however, can make you prone to wanting to exaggerate a little. It’s best to avoid doing so. Skilled buyers and their agents will be quick to catch these exaggerations, which may make them feel that you’re a dishonest seller. This could cause them to take their business elsewhere. Here are some things that you shouldn’t exaggerate. Square Footage It’s generally a poor idea to exaggerate anything that can be measured in a matter of minutes. While you might be tempted to make any of the rooms in your home sound larger than they are, experienced real estate agents will quickly be able to tell whether a room is 150 square feet or 110 square feet upon stepping into it, for example. Furthermore, real estate agents commonly carry tape measures with them, which means that they can quickly measure the walls of the room and determine its true square footage. Distance To Major Destinations Real estate listings will commonly include the driving time to major destinations, such as the city’s downtown, the nearest interstate exit, or a large shopping mall. You may wish to decrease these distances in your listing to make the home’s location seem more desirable to prospective buyers. For example, if it’s seven minutes in normal traffic to the interstate, you might feel that saying the distance is four minutes is a good idea. However, people can easily drive these distances and see for themselves. It’s effective to be completely honest — and to list the distance in miles, rather than in minutes. Features In The Home Descriptive wording can make the features in your home come to life, but you want to be sure that your wording isn’t prone to exaggeration. For example, if you have outdated appliances that will be included in the sale, avoid the urge to call them “retro” or “vintage.” In reality, they might be inefficient and unreliable, and the prospective buyer will quickly see this. If a bathroom is small, don’t call it a “relaxing oasis.” Instead, focus on its benefits, such as its radiant floor heating, for...

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Four Signs You Should Think Twice Before Buying That Home

Posted by on 12:37 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Signs You Should Think Twice Before Buying That Home

When it comes to house hunting, whether or not a home is a good choice is often a matter of preference. For instance, you might think that the small bedroom is cute, while for another home buyer, the size might be a deal-breaker. However, there are certain factors that are almost certainly signs that a home is a bad buy for anyone. If you come across any of these signs when looking at a home, just say “no thank you” and move on to the next one. The roof is sagging. A few missing shingles is one thing; this can certainly be fixed by replacing or repairing the roof. A roof that appears to be sagging is quite another issue. By the time a roof actually starts to sag, the wooden underlayment has begun to break down and decay. Not only is replacing the underlayment extremely expensive, but there’s probably a lot of water damage in the attic from water that has been seeping in for the (likely) many years that the roof hasn’t been doing its job. You see mold in the basement. If the basement is moldy now, when the homeowners are trying to present the home in the best light, you can bet it will stay moldy when you move in. Installing a dehumidifier and replacing all of the mold-covered drywall might help.  However, hoping these repairs will be effective is taking a big chance.  You’re better off just walking away rather than possibly being left with a home with mold that causes respiratory and other health issues. The pipes are lead. Lead pipes were used for many years, but they are not safe since they cause some lead to flow out in the water. This could cause lead poisoning if you drink the water for long enough. Most homes that once had lead pipes have already had the pipes replaced, but there are still some homes out there with lead plumbing. Having a home repiped costs many thousands and takes a long time, so just walk away from this one rather than risking your health or emptying your wallet. Old, outdated electrical systems. Take a close look at the fuse or circuit box before you buy a home. Do you see any frayed wires or wires that do not lead to anything? Is the fuse box rusted and in overall poor condition? These are signs that the electrical system is outdated and in need to repair — if not a total replacement. An outdated electrical system is a fire hazard, so don’t buy this home, let alone spend any more time looking at it while the power is switched on. For assistance finding a good home for sale, talk to a professional like Houlihan Lawrence....

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Housing As A Real Estate Investment: The Choices You’ll Make

Posted by on 10:38 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Housing As A Real Estate Investment: The Choices You’ll Make

Housing can be a great option for investing in real estate. But to make the best purchase decision, you and your real estate agent will need to go over a few key points to find a property that fits your needs. Here are some things to think about.  What Types of Areas Should You Look In? You might have thought mostly about investing in property in your home town. However, there are likely to be housing markets in the country that could be even more profitable than your own. You might want to have an agent present you with some alternative communities to look in when choosing your housing properties.  It’s also important to strike a balance between buying property in an area that’s already popular and choosing a location that’s up-and-coming. With the up-and-coming location, you can benefit by paying lower amounts for the properties up front and then having your investment increase. However, there’s more risk in doing so, because the properties that you choose might never become a bustling area. On the other hand, a property in an established area is more costly, but it’s less of a risky choice at the same time.  How Many Tenants Do You Want? There’s also a balance to be found in the number of tenants. With multiple tenants in separate units, you can charge more for a similar number of square feet. However, with more tenants, there comes more upkeep. It’s up to you do decide how much time and effort you want to invest into the property. Single family homes often make a great real estate investment for the first-timer; it’s easier to get your bearings on the process when you only have one tenant and one vacancy to plan for.  How Much Do You Want to Invest in Improvements? No property that you purchase is going to be perfect, and there are often opportunities to fix up your housing in order to charge more for rent. For instance, you can increase the rental amount by adding community amenities such as a communal BBQ, patio, or hot tub. It’s worth discussing with your real estate agent how much of your budget should be set aside to invest in renovating the property and adding features.  No matter what property you choose, it’s important to get a thorough evaluate of the potential from a knowledgeable real estate agent. They will be your guide to choosing a property that will bring in returns without being an investment...

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Tour The Neighborhood To Look For These Things When House Shopping

Posted by on 10:05 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tour The Neighborhood To Look For These Things When House Shopping

When you’re in the real estate market to buy a home, it’s important to think not just about the house itself, but also about the community in which it’s located. When you first learn about the real estate listing, you can do some research online to learn about what schools, stores, and other services are available in the neighborhood. However, there’s nothing better than taking some time to travel to the neighborhood in question and either drive or walk through the area to look for some visual signs of either a good area or a bad area. Here are some important things to be on the lookout for. Upkeep Of Other Homes It’s useful to look around the neighborhood and determine how other homeowners take care of their homes and yards. Seeing positive signs, such as manicured lawns and homes that do not show obvious signs of neglect, indicates a pride of ownership. This can help keep the average house value in the neighborhood high, which is ideal if you end up buying a home and moving in. You don’t want to be in an area surrounded by neighbors who do not perform any upkeep on their homes, as this could affect your home and property value. Presence Of Children Another factor to watch for is the presence of children. If there are lots of kids in the neighborhood who are frequently accompanied by parents and appear to be engaging in constructive behavior, such as playing sports in the park or riding their bicycles, it’s a good sign. Conversely, if you see teenagers loitering — and signs of the loitering, such as litter and vandalism — it could be a sign that youths in the area have little parental supervision. You might wish to think twice about moving into such an area, given the risk of damage to your home or vehicle. Number Of Homes For Sale As you travel throughout the neighborhood, try to get a sense of how many homes are for sale. While there’s no magic number that should alarm you, it may be a concern if it appears that an abnormally high number of homes are on the market. In this case, you’ll want to talk to your real estate agent to determine potential reasons. For example, if there are problems with the ground water in the area, many homeowners may be fleeing — and this is likely a sign that you won’t want to buy your home in this...

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Reasons To Hire A Home Stager Before Putting Your House On The Market

Posted by on 9:51 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Reasons To Hire A Home Stager Before Putting Your House On The Market

When you decide that the time is right for listing your home on the real estate market, one of the best moves that you can make is to call a staging professional. This person can visit you and evaluate the overall appearance of each of your rooms — and then develop some ideas on how to make the rooms stand out more. Stagers are valuable because they have access to a broad selection of home furnishings. This means, in many cases, that you’ll be able to rely on these items instead of having to go out and buy items for the staging process. Here are some specific reasons that you’ll want to hire a home stager. You’ll Get An Honest Assessment About Your Home Many people find it challenging to be neutral about their homes, which could be detrimental when attempting to sell. For example, you might feel that your cozy couch is perfect for the family room — but overlook the fact that it doesn’t really match everything else and appears significantly outdated. A home stager will give you a neutral, honest, and experienced assessment about your home and then take charge in rectifying any problems that could scare prospective buyers away. You’ll Potentially Sell Your Home Faster When a home stager beautifies your home in a variety of ways, you’ll often be able to sell the residence faster. When the interior decor of a home is amateur and outdated, it can be difficult for prospective buyers to see your home in a positive light. This can cause some people to forgo seriously considering making an offer, even if the home would have actually suited their needs. The transformation that a home stager can accomplish will make people see your home in a different light — and this can encourage people to submit an offer promptly. You’ll Have A Head Start On Moving If the home stager wants to make a significant number of changes inside your home, you’ll need to get rid of lots of your possessions. The logical choice is to store them at a self-storage facility. This requires a bit of up-front work, but will make your moving day easier because you’ll already have things packed and ready to be relocated. If you pick a self-storage business near where you plan to buy your new home, the process of moving these things into the home will be quick and easy. For more information, contact local professionals like EXIT Lakes Realty...

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Want to Start and Raise a Family? Look for Specific Qualities to Buy The Right Home

Posted by on 8:48 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Want to Start and Raise a Family? Look for Specific Qualities to Buy The Right Home

As long as you and your spouse are healthy, you should not have to worry about limitations with starting a family. It is possible to have a child in a studio apartment, a one-bedroom condo, or a two-bedroom home. The options are endless, but you may feel most comfortable with owning a home. After you have saved enough money to buy a home and raise a child, you may start to look at various houses for sale. It is best to look for qualities that will give you complete confidence when it comes to having kids. Close Proximity to Schools Being close to an elementary school, middle school, and high school is ideal for a family. If they are all close enough, you could have your children walk to school from as early as kindergarten. In the beginning, you can accompany your child or collaborate with other parents nearby to share the responsibility. But your kids will eventually be able to walk to school on their own in the morning. This is perfect because it saves you a lot of time by not having to go through the usual traffic that schools have in the morning. You also make it easier for your kids to build friendships because they can walk with other students. Prioritizing homes on streets that are in between all three schools will give you the best results. Distance from Busy Streets Although computers and consoles make it easy for kids to have endless entertainment indoors, they are still likely to play outside at some point in time during their childhood. It is best to look at homes that are far away from busy streets, as you do not want to put your kids into unnecessarily risky situations. Deep into residential neighborhoods are ideal because most vehicular traffic comes from residents. Avoiding corner properties is also helpful, as it reduces the traffic right outside of your home. Fully Paved Sidewalks It is important to make sure your kids have fully paved sidewalks to walk on. Not having any sidewalk at all can be dangerous because it forces them to walk on private property or close to the street. You can even take it as far as prioritizing areas with sidewalk programs for maintaining sidewalks. When homeowners only must pay for materials, they are more likely to be prompt about repairs. These areas will lead to safer walking opportunities for your kids and reduced expenses for you as a homeowner. Getting these qualities with the home you buy will help you start a family with...

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Four Ways Technology Can Help You Through The Home Buying Process

Posted by on 12:36 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Ways Technology Can Help You Through The Home Buying Process

If you are on the market for a new home, working with a real estate agent can help streamline the home buying process. New technology can also make the entire home buying process more efficient. Here are four technology-based tools you should be using when searching for and buying a new home. 1. Map and Direction-Based Sites Having a good navigation tool on hand when traveling from open house to open house is always a great thing, but there are other things that mapping sites can do for you as well. Mapping programs can help you vet potential neighborhood congestion before you fall in love with an area. By inputting your routes to and from work, most mapping sites can bring to light high traffic zones and rush hour peak times. You can then decide if an area will be worth the commute or not. 2. Demographic Data Sites While a neighborhood might look great on a sunny weekend afternoon, you might not know much else about an area, such as crime rates, school district rankings, or property taxes. This demographic information can be pulled online and is worth reviewing rather than going into a purchase blindly. If you can weigh the pros and cons of an area with all of the information that is available, you can make a smarter purchase when you are ready. 3. MLS Listings It is worth it to review major real estate sites to see what is up-and-coming in your neighborhood. You can get started on your search by comparing pricing and receiving notifications of new open houses. The thing is, these online resources might not capture all homes on the market and might not have up-to-the-minute information. Your real estate agent will have access to the most comprehensive data through MLS listings, and can share homes with you that are narrowed to your interests. 4. Document Review and Signing Software While the final closing documents will need to be signed in person with a notary in most cases, there are plenty of other preliminary financial, contract, and inspection-based documents that can be signed through online programs. Before you sign, be sure your real estate agent is available via phone in case you have any questions. These days, technology can give potential home buyers more overall control and information when it come to the house hunting process. Be sure to use technology available in order to give yourself a better chance of finding your dream...

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Want To Flip Houses? 3 Things You Should Always Look For As A Real Estate Investor

Posted by on 10:10 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Want To Flip Houses? 3 Things You Should Always Look For As A Real Estate Investor

Purchasing a house as an investment is a whole different animal than purchasing a house in order to make it your home. The things that matter greatly when picking out a home don’t matter so much when you’re trying to make an investment. However, some things you absolutely have to look for and get right if you want to make money on your investment. More than one investor has seen their profits go down the drain by failing to look at property as a real estate investor should. Following are three things you should pay attention to. Comps The first thing you want to do when any property catches your eye is to check out the comps in the neighborhood. Comps are prices that neighboring houses that are similar to the house under consideration have sold for recently. The goal of looking at comps is to see if there’s profit to be made or not. If houses are going very cheap or if property values are declining in the area, it’s probably not a good idea to invest in the property. However, if the comps show that there is a lot of room to make a profit, you may want to find out more about the property. Price In order to make a profit, you have to get the house for a great price. Once you know what you can sell a house for, you have to subtract what you’ll pay for the property, the money spent on any repairs, and holding costs. To make sure you have enough wiggle room to do all of that, you may have to purchase a distressed property that doesn’t show well and needs a lot of work. It will be very difficult to find a bargain that’s priced low enough to work as an investment. Bones If the numbers are right, it’s time to inspect the property. Ignore cosmetic issues. Pay attention to the bones of the home. Is the foundation solid? Is the home well built? Also, be sure to inspect big ticket items, such as the roof, furnace, and electrical system. Extensive repairs in these areas can really cut into your profit margin.   As you can see, there are several things you should consider when purchasing a property in order to resell it for a profit. Remember, you’re not looking for a home, you’re looking for a smart investment. The numbers must add up to a profit for you. For more information, contact local professionals like Keller Williams Realty River...

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