Real Estate Blog

Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you will make in your life, which is why it is so important to ensure that you are ready to buy a home. Ask yourself these questions before you even start looking for homes.

  • Can I afford it? A home costs more than just the monthly mortgage payment. Make sure you have budgeted for insurance, utilities, taxes, and maintenance costs.
  • Do I have money for a down payment? Most lenders require a down payment of at least 5 percent of the total value of the home.
  • How is my credit? You will have a hard time getting a loan if your credit score is below 620. If you do get a loan with a low credit score, it may require you to put down a larger down payment.
  • Am I planning on staying for a while? If you do
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An open house is one of the best ways to quickly sell your home. It allows many people to walk through the property and imagine themselves living there. Keep these tips in mind when having an open house.

  • Potential buyers want to be able to picture themselves living there. If you have anything controversial in your home, you may want to take it down. Keep a neutral environment to attract the interests of all different types of buyers.
  • Check the temperature. Make sure your home is at a comfortable temperature. It is better to heat or cool the home a couple of degrees more to ensure the HVAC system does not continually kick on.
  • Create a mood. Play soft music and turn on any water features or fire places around the home.
  • Play down the scent.
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After you find your dream home, it is important to make sure you get a home inspection before closing the deal. A home inspection can point out any problems with the home, both structural and cosmetic. While the seller may not want to pay for repairs to a home that they are moving out of, most buyers do not want to pay extra to repair a home they are buying, which usually leads to a compromise. Keep these tips in mind when purchasing a home after a home inspection.

  • There is no standard. Real estate contracts differ from area to area, so it is important for both the buyer and seller to carefully read the repair and inspection contingencies before signing the contract.
  • Contracts can benefit different sides. Depending on the contract, the seller can
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Whether or not you are planning to sell your home, adding to its value is always a good investment. The problem is, it isn't always easy to know where you should start, or what projects will add the most value for your money and effort. Here are some renovation ideas that may surprise you.

Here are two improvements that are relatively inexpensive, yet can make a huge difference in your home's perceived value. A new front door, and a new garage door. Neither of these are huge expenses, but they can yield a large return on your investment. Another addition that can add value is a new deck. 

A smart way to add value is a new HVAC system or new windows. These are expenses that a new homeowner wants to avoid. While a newly renovated kitchen or bathroom

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Which season is best for house hunting? While you can easily adapt to open houses held any time of year, summer offers a number of unique benefits.

Bring Along Kids

Get your kids excited about the new house to make the move easier on everyone. Getting their input on the yard or bedrooms is easier when school isn't in session.

Easier Relocation

School vacations also work well for relocating a family. Waiting until the fall means pulling your child out of school, disrupting their learning and making friends a lot harder.

Lush Surroundings

Who wants to view a bleak winter landscape? Admire the shade trees and blooming beds around a house during a summer open house. You get a chance to see the yard in its best state by shopping during the

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A beautiful backyard boosts the home's value and helps it sell quickly. For many houses that sit on the market, a yard makeover cinches a sale. Make small changes to improve how it looks without spending a lot.

Add Water

Freestanding water features improve the visual and auditory aspects of your space. Try a self-contained fountain with a solar charger for the pump to improve the area in just one day. 

Functional Changes

Lay in a brick patio, install a pizza oven, or consider an outdoor heater to make your yard more useful. Active families love to see useful features in the backyard. While a pool is a nice touch, an easier weekend project like an in-ground fire pit is also attractive.

Covers and Gazeboes

No one wants to get damp while

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We all have our Smartphones and all sorts of other smart technology.  Now it's time to bring our homes into the "Smart" age.  Home automation can be found in an array of devices.  Some you may not have even heard of as yet.

The Top Six Home Automation Devices You May Not Know About

1.  Nest.  The Nest will monitor your movements and will learn your routines.  It will then adjust the temperatures in a way that will save you the most money. 

2.  Kwikset Kevo.  The Kevo is a Bluetooth enabled lock that turns your iPhone into your house key (or a key fob if you don't have an iPhone.)  All you have to do is walk up to the door with your phone or key fob in your pocket and touch the lock with your hand and it will open. 

3.  Belkin WeMo.  This cool

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