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Real Estate Report

The house is all yours!

You just closed and the house is now yours. There will be plenty of time to enjoy what you have worked so hard to attain, but before you settle in, there are some items you should check off your list. Let’s start with the walls. Before you move in, freshen up the paint since it will be easier to get the job done without all your personal belongings in the way. And don’t forget to do the ceilings as well. Most people only do the walls and leave the ceilings since they are usually white. Even if the walls were ...

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Getting your deposit back

You’ve found an apartment that suits your needs and decide to move in. But before the landlord hands you the keys, you’re going to be asked put down a security deposit. In theory, your deposit will be returned when you move out, so long as you don’t damage the property while you’re renting. To ensure that reality synchs up with theory, you need to protect yourself from the start. Step one? Familiarize yourself with landlord-tenant laws in your community and be sure to read the entire lease carefully. All leases should have an end date. Unless you notify your landlord ...

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Mining for revealing realty data

  Most buyers today are savvy when it comes to basic data like days on the market and the difference between list and sold prices, but digging a little deeper could give you the edge needed in today’s market. Let’s start with the inventory for the area you’re targeting. Look at the trend over the last 12 months, how many have sold? How many have been listed only to be removed from the market without selling? This will help you determine if you will have plenty of options to choose from or end up in a possible bidding war. Next ...

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Winter maintenance tips

  If you own property, it’s essential that you keep it in good condition, especially if you have tenants. They will expect you to stay on top of repairs and maintenance issues so no problems arise during their lease. Jack Frost has arrived and all the leaves have fallen from your trees and bushes. This is a good time to trim off any dead or overgrown branches. Be sure to cut them back from any structures on the property to prevent water runoff and possible damage such as a branch falling through a window or even worse the roof. Speaking ...

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Saving up for your down payment

  As the new year dawns, you may be considering purchasing your first home or even investing in a second property. If so, the biggest challenge you may face is coming up with the down payment. There are many different loan programs that offer different down payment options. The most common are the FHA loan program, which offers down payments as low as 3.5 percent, and the conventional program which many times requires 20 percent down. But don’t be daunted. For some, buying a home will cost less per month than renting, especially with today’s interest rates. And truth be ...

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Improving your appraisal

  When selling or refinancing a home, problems often arise during the appraisal process. If the appraised value is lower than it should be, it will seriously effect your bottom line and it could kill the deal entirely. Appraisals are often based upon recent sales prices of comparable homes in your area, and most appraisers are in your home for only a few minutes. The best thing a homeowner can do to get the highest appraisal possible is to make sure that you’re well prepared before the appraiser walks in the door. Be sure the appraiser knows the neighborhood. This ...

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So you’re about to move in

    So you’ve closed on the home of your dreams and you’re all ready to move in right away! Prior to the big day, though, there are a few things to take care of in order to assure that your home is ready for years to come. The most important item, which I suggest to all my clients on day one, is changing the locks! You really don’t know who has had a copy in the past in addition to the previous owners. At the same time, reprogram any garage door remotes. This can usually be done right from ...

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The pros and cons of homeowner associations

  Many times when you purchase a home within a “community” there is a homeowners association. A majority of the time they are condominiums or townhomes within a subdivision or a gated community, but that is not always the case. Before purchasing one of these types of properties there are several items to consider. First, let’s talk money; Homeowners associations usually have association dues. These dues are usually paid on a monthly basis but some collect on a semiannual or annual basis. Some complexes will provide amenities for your dues. The most common are exterior insurance, lawn care, snow removal, ...

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Homebuyer turn-offs

  When selling your home, you only have one chance to impress a buyer. Many times, a buyer will not return due to an issue that can easily be resolved pre-hand. Don’t lose a potential buyer for something that can be easily corrected. The first thing a buyer will notice with the very first step they take into your home is the aroma of the air inside. Cigarette smoke inside of a home can be an immediate turn off. The smell of the smoke could attach itself to your walls and carpeting, forcing a buyer to repaint the home or ...

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Laying the groundwork

  If you’re a first-time buyer or you’re upgrading to a new home, here are several steps to prepare yourself for the journey. It’s never too early to start doing your research and plan accordingly. Whether it’s via the internet or by taking a late night drive through a desired area. Some websites sites, including mine, offer buyers detailed information on school districts, taxes, dining, parks, and much more. Also make sure to assemble a capable team that includes a Realtor, loan officer and attorney, along with a home inspector. A Realtor can assist you in finding homes along with ...

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