Sunday, December 2, 2012

HOW LONG WILL IT LAST!! - In your Home

Schedule of Normal Life
"The Old House Web'

Plumber_

Where did my value you......

Appliances

Life Estimate in Years
Dishwashers
5 to 12 years
Disposals
5 to 12 years
Washers and dryers
8 to 12 Years
Water heaters
8 to 12 Years
Refrigerators
15 to 20 Years
Stoves
15 to 20 Years


Gutters and Downspouts
Copper
Life Estimate in Years
Galvanized
15 to 20 Years

Life of home if well-maintained
Heating and Air Conditioning
Life Estimate in Years

Warm air furnace
8 to 12 years
Heat pumps
8 to 12 years
Air conditioning compressors
8 to 15 years
Gas chillers
8 to 15 years
Hot water boilers
30 to 50 years

Plumbing

Life Estimate in Years
Gas hot water heater

8 to 12 years
Electric hot water heater
10-15 years
Private disposal systems (septic)
15 to 25 years
Galvanized water pipes
30 to 50 years

Roofs

Life Estimate in Years
Selvage or asphalt roll

12 to 20 years
Wood shake and shingle
15 to 20 years
Asphalt
15 to 20 years
Fiberglass
15 to 20 years
Asbestos shingle
30-50 years
Slate
40-75 years

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Holiday Housekeeping and Your Home

Have-someone-else-clean-your-house-this-season
Is a clean house on your list for Santa this year? If not, it may be worth considering since time just seems to evaporate this time of year.  Between attending community and work socials, school events for children, and family gatherings, it seems there is little chance to enjoy the season while still keeping up with tasks related to maintaining your home.

Perhaps you feel guilty having someone else clean your home.  If this is the case, consider the many other jobs you outsource during the holidays, from dining away from home to babysitting or gift wrapping services, and recognize that it is allowable to treat yourself to a more relaxed and festive end of the year, through hiring someone to clean your home for you this December.

Some Tips to Consider When Hiring Someone to Clean Your Home

  • Ask for a Referral – Whether you hire based on a recommendation of a good friend or your Realtor, quality matters in housekeeping so you want to make sure someone you trust feels confident in the ability of your cleaning crew.
  • Define the Tasks – Depending on your home, the amount and type of cleaning will vary.  Be specific about any requests related to vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, dusting, dishwashing, window cleaning, laundry services, bed making, and other tasks so that your needs will be met accordingly.
  • Consider the Details – Ask about bonding, licensure, screening, and training and be present at the first cleaning to ease your comfort level, if needed.  Point out areas needing special care or that will not be accessible and offer explanations, as warranted.
  • Determine Price & Supply Needs – Negotiate the price of your cleaning prior to the work being done.  Keep in mind that you have several options, from one-time service to weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, and live-in cleaning options and will typically see a discount in rates with more frequent cleaning.  Also ask if you need to provide anything (vacuum, cleaning supplies, etc), since many services bring their own supplies.
  • Ask for Clarity – Once you’ve determined the work to be done and agreed on a price, ask what you can expect.  Will you be having one person or a crew cleaning your home?  Will they return on the same day and time each visit?  Will the crew rotate or can you expect to see the same cleaner(s) each time?  How is payment to be made and do you need to be present while the cleaning is being done?

Then, sit back and relax knowing that one of the stresses of the holiday season has been delegated.  Go out and have some fun and then enjoy returning to your home, your newly cleaned and sparkling home, that is!

Holiday Housekeeping and Your Home

Holiday Housekeeping and Your Home

Friday, November 23, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

6 reasons to GOOGLE your address!!

YOUR ADDRESS

 

 

There are at least 6 compelling reason to Google your own address- especially if it is an address your are thinking of renting, buying or selling. Smart home owners would do well to search for their address too and here is why….

 

1) To see if Megan’s Law Registrants live nearby – Safety first folks. Megan’ Law requires law enforcement authorizes to make information available to the public regarding registered sex offenders in their neighborhood. Nearly every state that has a Megan’s Law-type sex offenders registry has on online version that serves up the names and address and sex offenders history and even photos. Check it out for your state at MEGAN’S LAW or for Utah at UTAH SEX REGISTRY

 

 

2) To find Crime reports and Data for your home – Cities, county and state law enforcement agencies all post crime date online, But GOOGLE searches for your address or city and “CRIME REPORT” is most likely to turn up your local police or sheriff’s offices crime report. If you are moving to a city or even a state where your are not completely familiar, doing a quick search on Google holds the potential to reveal some disturbing or comforting crime activity information

3) To detect scammer how are trying to sale or rent your home – Internet scammers have taken to ripping off house information and putting together fake listings, offering other peoples for rent and even for sale with a lease to own option. The offer list the home with with cheap and easy terms, then ask the would be buyers or renters to please wirer or send the deposit money over seas, where the fake sellers can get it while they are traveling- you guessed it – Nigeria. These scams come to light only when the new renter start stopping my the home and peeking in the windows.

4) Checking out the values in your neighborhood to possible help with your taxes - In real estate the value of your home is driven mostly by the value of those home in your neighborhood that are similar to your also known as comps. (In some now disclosure state this maybe   more difficult) This could give you a good reason to know what your neighbors home sold for. If you see a pattern of homes selling for lower then yours homes assessed value, you can use these comps to petition your county to lower your own property taxes

5) To see your homes property records – Its a story as old as homes, well as old as websites that displays homes records and listings. Your homes records online are populated from the public records about your home. which are either  so old they don’t include upgrades and additions that have been done over time, or they’re just flat out wrong for a number of reasons. If you Google your address and find that your home description is riddled with errors, contact your county public record agency to correct them, this is particularly important if you are planning on selling your home anytime soon

6) To see home Home’s GOOGLE street view – When your selling your home its especially critical to see everything that prospective home buyers may see. That means checking out how your home listing looks on all online real estate sites. One thing homes savvy buyers is the Google map street view of the homes they maybe interested in prior to going to see the home for themselves. If you are unfamiliar with this Google attached a camera to the top of a car and drove down almost every street in America. Now Google uses can have an over head view along with a street view of the homes. That a look for yourself at GOOGLE MAPS this will blow your mind

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Get Multiple Offers on Your Home

multiples offers on your homeYou may have been talking with a neighbor or simply heard a snippet on the radio or television, but suddenly you are aware that right now is a “seller’s market.” Thoughts of an instant million dollar sale of your home or timing the selling of your home may be coursing through your brain and if so, you should consult with a knowledgable real estate agent to get the inside scoop. Many areas are experiencing low home volume and high demand which could place your home for sale in prime position.

As a home owner, you may not understand the technicalities behind multiple offers and so working with a local real estate agent can provide you with the much needed guidance you’ll require to navigate your home sale. There are some simple steps that can aid you in getting multiple offers and the basics are outlined below.
<h3>Sell Your Home For More Money</h3>
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<ul>
    <li>Stage Your Home for Sale - In a “seller’s market,” potential buyers know they need to act fast to put in an offer on the house (or houses) they like. Make sure yours is on that list by tending to every detail, cleaning well and listening carefully to suggestions made by your real estate agent.</li>
    <li>Spread the Word - From hosting a Broker’s Preview to the open house and other advertising, make sure that your home for sale is being properly promoted. Attention must be drawn to your home in order for it to be seen and offers to be submitted. Give your home the promotion it needs or find a real estate agent who will, so you can wait for the offers to roll in.</li>
    <li>Ask for a Lockbox - To have multiple offers, multiple people need to view your home (in staged condition) at all times. Realize that getting your home sold quickly will likely mean a bit of inconvenience for you in the short term. The sooner you accept an offer, however, the less time you’ll need to spend adjusting your lifestyle.</li>
</ul>
If you need more advice or simply want a real estate agent you can trust with your home, please don't hesitate to call.  Lori Fleming  your Weber, Davis, Morgan and Box Elder agent.  I'd love to get you multiple offers!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Turn of the Century!! Willard Utah

Flyer_front
Turn of the century fully remodeled red brick farm house with easy access to school shopping, Willard Bay and I-15

Home offers 3 bedrooms 2 baths bright open kitchen with center island and all new appliances.

All new windows, wiring, plumbing sitting on over 1/2 acre corner lot in Willard. Dont let this one get away Home wired with Cat 5 and coax wiring

Call today for your private showing Lori Fleming Golden Spike Realty 801-940-9560

For more photos CLICK HERE

How Much Should You Spend on Your Home Purchase

Buying a home starts with determining how much house you can afford. While it’s important to be careful of buying more house than you can afford, changes in the mortgage industry make doing that nearly impossible these days. Recent restrictions on debt to income ratios, required documentation, and loan to value amounts have established industry standards that aid in preventing homeowners from buying more home than is affordable. While restrictive, these requirements can put your mind at ease as a homeowner, knowing that you are not in over your head in the purchase of your home. With that in mind, the key in home buying is to buy as much home as you can afford! Interest rates are at their lowest in decades and home values are still in question in many areas, allowing you to enter low on both counts and possibly purchase your home for much less of a monthly payment than you would normally expect. As values begin to return, interest rates may start to increase, too, allowing you less home for the same monthly amount. According to West Coast-based Mortgage Banker Ken Starks, “At this point in the market cycle, interest rates are as low as they EVER have been, and real estate values appear to have fallen all they will fall in many markets across the country." Starks added, "These two factors alone combine to create the buying opportunity of a lifetime with the possibility of excellent long term real estate gains and long term low payments.” As a potential home buyer researching loan products, there really are not many options commonly chosen these days. Most home buyers choose a fixed rate 30 or 15 year mortgage. This week's average rates for both fixed rates are under 3.5%, according to the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey®. Specialty products and adjustable rate mortgages are still offered at times, but generally only to individuals with high net worth and disposable income (who really don’t need the loan). Many new home buyers turn to FHA loans as they allow more flexibility on down payments, credit scores, and debt to income ratios. While FHA loans may initially seem to have more fees, a good mortgage company will work with you and often absorb that cost to get you the right loan, so don't be afraid to compare rates when buying your home. If you are considering buying a home, consider the additional guides below when determining your price point and work with an agent who knows your area, to find you the best home that delivers value, in your budget and in the best location.

  • Stay within the income guidelines, having only 30% of your income being related to housing costs (including HOA fees if applicable).
  • Keep your TOTAL debt under 40%.
  • Read the fine print. If you are withdrawing from a savings plan (such as a 401K or IRA) for your down payment, be aware of any penalties or restrictions before you count on the money and plan accordingly.
  • Plan on something going wrong and maintain some savings. Many new homeowners find themselves challenged when disaster strikes. Whether the trouble results from a natural disaster or one that’s man-made, reserving at least 3 months of expenses in a savings account, will help you to weather the storms of life, and enjoy your home long-term.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Loving Your Home Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive

What can I do to get my home ready?” This question is often posed when someone is ready to sell a home, but it doesn’t have to be. Making your home repairs and upgrades as needed can actually lead to a happier home owning lifestyle and will also mean that you are ready to go, when and if, it is time to sell your home.

Home improvements can be costly, but they don’t have to be. There are many projects that can be done inexpensively and relatively quickly that will deliver huge value.

Take for instance, paint.  Painting a room or the front door of your home instantly brightens that space and can bring a smile to your face whenever you enter the area. While painting can be labor intensive, the actual material cost is quite low, with a gallon of high quality paint costing less than $35.

Painting the outside elements of your home, whether it’s the trim, stucco or fencing, will bring that same joy every time you return or leave your home, as well. And, for exterior walls, painting may actually be more than you need – it’s amazing what power washing can do to illuminate your home! The same could be said for installing additional lighting to your landscaping. Small exterior painting and lighting projects can be done for under $350 and deliver results you can instantly see!

Perhaps you feel the interior of your home is dated and cramped and would prefer a more open design. If so, you can take on a slightly bigger project and remove a wall or convert an existing wall to a half wall. Check with a contractor to make sure you aren’t removing a bearing wall beforehand, as that could result in a more costly project than originally intended. Another option would be to build or install built in organization systems in your home so that you have more “homes” for your stuff, or better yet, just reduce the amount of stuff you already have. The adage “less is more” will really have you appreciating the space created through clutter removal.

Installing new windows, a tank-less hot water heater, an outdoor eating area, and adding insulation or other energy efficient home items can also improve your satisfaction as a home owner and increase your home’s perceived value when it’s time to sell. These upgrades may initially cost more, however with rebates and available tax credits, may be a very worthwhile expense for your home.

No matter what projects, if any, you decide to do with your home, the key is to enjoy it.  Enjoy it now, enjoy it later, and enjoy the memories that owning your home will allow you to create in the far distant future.  Your home is part of living the American Dream and you need to make sure your dream is the best it can be!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Too Big? Too Small? Choosing the Size of Your New Home

Tumbleweed-tiny-house-an-option-for-your-new-home
Trends in home buying are based on averages, the medium between extremes. Today’s economy has spurred the need for downsizing and created a market for the so called “tiny home.” However it wasn’t too long ago when every new home buyer was searching for the perfect “McMansion.” Deciding the size of a home, especially your new home, is a very personal decision and many considerations should be taken into account before your purchase.

Ask Yourself the Following Questions When Buying Your New Home

  • What are your needs in your new home?
  • Do you need space geared to a family or is studio living more your speed?
  • Is a guest room (sewing room, office, you fill in the blank) a necessity on a short or long-term basis?
  • Do you prefer a one-story or two-story home?
  • Do you enjoy cleaning house or prefer a minimalist approach?
  • What’s more appealing to you – functional space or white space?
  • What’s your lifestyle and how will it play out in your home – more formal or more casual?
  • How do you feel when entering friends’ homes?  What impresses YOU?

Asking these questions can more easily direct you to options you may not have contemplated initially when searching for your new home.  Take some time and consult with a real estate agent who knows your area so that when it is time to buy, you can focus on what matters most to you in your new home, other than location, of course.  To see the latest trend in “tiny homes,” visit the Tiny House Blog here.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Selling Your Home This Holiday Season?

Holiday-doors
Traditionally the holiday season is not the best time to sell your home due to tight schedules, weather conditions, and overall busy schedules. However if you still would like to sell your home before year-end, there are some things you can do to make your home outshine other listings.

You may even find that the holiday season makes for a better sale as only serious buyers are spending the time to view your home due to all those demands. Your buyer could also have goals or timeframe deadlines they are trying to meet with regards to the end of the year, giving you a more solid escrow, as well.

 

Suggestions to get your home ready while still enjoying the holiday season:

 

  • Warm up your home and your buyers with freshly baked treats, a comfortable thermostat, and a few well-chosen decorations.  Remember the “less is more” phrase and keep surfaces clear when possible.
  • Only use the best photos in your online and paper advertising. When it’s cold out, more buyers shop from home and only venture out if they REALLY like what they see.
  • Maintenance of your home is critical at this time. Many potential buyers may “drive by” and you need to make sure their first impression leads them to want to know more.
  • Use a real estate agent who knows your area. An agent who specializes in relocation could be key, as well, since job transfers often create end of the year buyers. Give me a call to see how quickly we can get your home sold!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Protecting Your Home From Winter Storms

Your home and rain guttersCooling weather trends bring with them rain and snow and can also result in damage to your home. Now’s the time to consider making needed preparations to your home, from roof repairs and securing insulation to cleaning the rain gutters to make sure your home is safe to weather the storms. Surprisingly, clear rain gutters can do a lot to help your entire home, by protecting windows and doors, siding and even your home’s foundation from too much concentrated moisture.

Clearing your gutters of leaves and other objects requires the use of a ladder, so if you are afraid of heights or cautious about your abilities, you may consider hiring a handyman to complete this task. For those of you who enjoy the adventure of home repairs, however, clearing your gutters can be relatively easy if you follow the tips below. Or for a quick video

  • Use a safe and solid ladder to reach your gutters. You will need to move the ladder frequently (do not try to stretch to reach far areas while standing on your ladder).
  • Wear protective gear, such as goggles and work gloves – you never know what you’ll find up there!
  • Use the right tools. A small hand shovel (even a plastic sand shovel) and bucket or disposable bag should be sufficient. You can also use a scrub brush as needed.
  • Test it out. Once the gutter is clear, use your garden hose to have a practice storm and track the flow of water racing through your cleaned rain gutter.
  • If all is well, your work is complete. If not, look closely at your drain pipes to make sure they are not clogged, as well, or evaluate is your gutter slope needs to be adjusted.

Clearing your rain gutters should be done at least once a year, depending on where your home is located. If you find your gutters require care more often, you may want to consider purchasing covers for them.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Create the Best Jack-O-Lantern for Your Home

Halloween-pumpkin-carving-ideas-80-554x370
As the days count down to Halloween you may find yourself trying to determine the best way to enliven your porch pumpkin.  While many techniques have been developed for jack-o-lantern carving and design, the following basic principles can guide you to well-lit spooky success as you entertain trick-or-treaters who visit your home and neighborhood.

Choose Your Pumpkin - Traditional jack-o-lanterns are round, but you may want a flat pumpkin or one that’s been scarred if it works better with your overall design.  Variety is rampant in pumpkins these days, allowing you to get just the right style and color for your home.

Carving Prep – Before beginning your project, gather your materials from around your home, from knives and scoops to newspaper and patterns, so that you can create quickly and avoid making a big mess.  Prior to carving your pumpkin face or design, you’ll need to create a cap or lid by cutting a circle/zigzag shape around the stem at a slant so you can scrape and scoop out the pumpkin insides.  Another option is to cut from the base to avoid interference with a patterned pumpkin.

Determine Your Design - Choose from a combination of basic shapes or explore using paper to create a stencil pattern once you begin designing the look of your jack-o-lantern.  Once your stencil is in place, use a pushpin to transfer the design from paper to your pumpkin and then carve by following the pin pricks.  You can also draw directly on your pumpkin with a washable marker and carve on the lines.  Carve the smallest areas of your design first as they can be tricky and if you mess up, you’ll be able to modify your design if needed.  When your carving is complete, simply wash off any remaining marker to see your finished product.

Choose Your Light - While a candle will definitely contribute a more eerie glow, if you have small children or pets, it may be wiser to use LED lights for your jack-o-lantern.  Disposable glow sticks are a possibility, too, if you prefer to try out differing colors at little expense.  Either way, make sure your pumpkin is well lit on Halloween, so that little goblins and ghouls will know that they can visit your home for a special treat.

Wahoo I love Halloween. and when buyer a house you don’t need to be scared I am here to help.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A housing boom could be coming, some experts say - Oct. 12, 2012

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The long-battered housing market is finally starting to get back on its feet. But some experts believe it could soon become another housing boom.

Signs of recovery have been evident in the recent pick ups in home prices, home sales and construction. Foreclosures are also down and the Federal Reserve has acted to push mortgage rates near record lows.

Obama's economy: A snapshot

A look at where the economy stood when Obama took office and what's changed since.

But while many economists believe this emerging housing recovery will produce only slow and modest improvement in home prices, construction and jobs, others believe the rebound will be much stronger.

Barclays Capital put out a report recently forecasting that home prices, which fell by more than a third after the housing bubble burst in 2007, could be back to peak levels as soon as 2015.

"In our view, the housing market had undergone a dramatic over-correction during the prior five years, resulting in pent-up demand for housing purchases that would spark a rapid rise in housing starts," said Stephen Kim, an analyst with Barclays, in a note to clients.

In addition to what Kim sees as a big rebound in building, he's bullish on home prices, expecting rises of 5% to 7.5% a year.

Related: Where housing is most (and least) affordable

Construction is expected to be even stronger, with numerous experts forecasting home construction to grow by at least 20% a year for each of the next two years. Some believe building could be back near the pre-bubble average of about 1.5 million new homes a year by 2016, about double the 750,000 homes expected this year.

"We think the recovery is for real this time around," said Rick Palacios, senior analyst with John Burns Real Estate Consulting. "If you look across the U.S. economy right now, there are only a handful of industries looking at 20-30% growth over the next 4-5 years, and housing is one of those."

Home builder stocks are up 162% in the last 12 months, led by a 250% jump at PulteGroup (PHM). Other leading builders including DR Horton (DHI), Toll Brothers (TOL), KB Home (KBH) and Lennar (LEN) have all seen their stocks more than double over that time. New orders at publicly-traded builders are up 30% since January, according to Kim.

Related: Is buying rental property now a sure bet?

Palacios said stocks in other sectors, from manufacturers of drywall to flooring to kitchen and bath fixtures, have all more than doubled as well this year.

The housing rebound can have a ripple effect that could help get the entire economy growing at a much stronger pace, which will add to more demand for housing.

"That turn in the [housing] market is occurring now and it should become a boom by 2015. It will be powerful enough ... to lift the entire U.S. economy," said Roger Altman, chairman of Evercore Partners and former deputy Treasury secretary, in a column for the Financial Times.

Altman said he expects housing will add 4 million jobs to the economy over the next five years, as pent-up demand for home purchases drives building and and home prices higher. To top of page

First Published: October 12, 2012: 1:01 PM ET

This is great news we have all been waiting for

Friday, October 12, 2012

Survey Says… Good Time to Buy or Sell Your Home

Fannie Mae just released the results of September’s National Housing Survey which delivers good news if you are trying to sell your home or buy a new home. Americans at large are feeling positive about the housing market and economy in general.

“Consumers are showing increasing faith…” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist of Fannie Mae. “Home price change expectations have remained positive for 11 straight months, and the share expecting home price declines has stabilized at a survey low of only 11 percent. Furthermore, the Federal Reserve’s latest round of quantitative easing has caused a large drop in mortgage rate expectations. Friday’s September jobs report, including the strong upward revisions for prior months, a sizable increase in earnings, and a sharp decline in the unemployment rate, should provide further impetus for improving consumer confidence in the housing market.”

With future expected moderate increases in home prices and current low interest rates, nineteen percent of survey respondents agree that “now is a good time to sell” the highest rate since June of 2010 and sixty-nine percent said they would buy if they were going to move. Seventy-two percent of survey participants stated that “now is a good time to buy.”

On a grander economic scale, forty-four percent of survey respondents also felt that their personal finances were seeing improvement and seventeen percent reported a significant increase in their household income in the last year. Despite the improvement, however, thirty-four percent of the 1,000 survey participants still reported significant increases in household expenses.

To find out more details and see graphs of the survey results, please click here.  If you would like to hear what these statistics mean for you and your home, please give me a call!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Creating Art Displays in Your Home

If you’ve ever remodeled or purchased a new house, you know that blank walls in your home can seem daunting. While furniture and other items can add warmth to your home causing the wide wall expanse to diminish, there is definitely a need to add some excitement to your walls to make the house seem like your home. As you decide the types and medium of art you introduce into your home, consider your home’s location and style, along with the following tips.

Artwork Should Complement Your General Theme - Consider your furniture before hanging your prints and paintings. While you want variety in your displays, you also need some cohesiveness. If your frames or artwork “fight” with the furniture in the room, guests may feel unsettled. Period-style furniture (ie. modern, Victorian) is best paired with matching artwork.

Use a Variety of Sizes - You can add visual perspective through the use of small and large art. A framed collection of art brought together through a common message such as frame color or subject can also be quite interesting visually.

Do Not Overdo - In most cases, a few well chosen pieces will have more impact to viewers than many.

Consider Texture and Form - Variety plays a role here, as well. Too much of the same type of art can detract from your home. Make sure you mix it up by including works of art of differing textures and mediums.

Love Every Piece - Despite the advice given above, the key element in displaying any art in your home is that YOU love it. If your chosen pieces reflect your values, attitude, and dreams, then your viewers will recognize the connection and enjoy your displays.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Your Nascar Realtor from Utah

Your Nascar Realtor from Utah

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Your Home For Sale – Does It Need A White Picket Fence?

Many of us grew up hoping we’d one day own the perfect American suburban dream, a home with a white picket fence. And, there is a certain charm and warmth that comes with a house lined with pickets. However, when you look at fencing today and the options available for your home, there is a lot more to choose from and so you can and should shop around!

First of all your fencing should be determined by your lifestyle needs and surrounding area. Are you located on a sprawling ranch or nestled between lofts in the city? Your fencing may need to be dictated by those factors, in part.  Do you have a need to keep animals in or out? If so, special electric dog fencing, a solid wall or deer fencing may be essential for your home.

Next, you should consider the overall look and feel of your home and landscaping. Your fencing should blend with your existing structure, unless you purposely choose a more distinctive look.  Keep in mind that the height of your fence will matter, as well.  Remember, the fencing is more than just a barrier against the outside world, it also sets the tone for the look and feel of your home.

Make sure you evaluate the type of materials that would be best used in terms of maintenance. Lattice and wood fencing will require more regular maintenance than vinyl, metal mesh, wrought iron or post and rail options, but may be your best choice if expense is an issue. The more decorative the fencing, the higher the cost, generally speaking.

Obviously privacy and security are always considerations when it comes to your home and fencing, so it’s important to make sure you feel comfortable with your chosen materials and design. Take the time to carefully evaluate local resources such as your neighbor’s fencing choices and your local home improvement store to gain a good understanding of what is available to you before making your decision. Sometimes a combination of fencing types is the best way to ally all your concerns and create beauty in the fencing of your home.

Untitled

Many of us grew up hoping we’d one day own the perfect American suburban dream, a home with a white picket fence. And, there is a certain charm and warmth that comes with a house lined with pickets. However, when you look at fencing today and the options available for your home, there is a lot more to choose from and so you can and should shop around!

First of all your fencing should be determined by your lifestyle needs and surrounding area. Are you located on a sprawling ranch or nestled between lofts in the city? Your fencing may need to be dictated by those factors, in part.  Do you have a need to keep animals in or out? If so, special electric dog fencing, a solid wall or deer fencing may be essential for your home.

Next, you should consider the overall look and feel of your home and landscaping. Your fencing should blend with your existing structure, unless you purposely choose a more distinctive look.  Keep in mind that the height of your fence will matter, as well.  Remember, the fencing is more than just a barrier against the outside world, it also sets the tone for the look and feel of your home.

Make sure you evaluate the type of materials that would be best used in terms of maintenance. Lattice and wood fencing will require more regular maintenance than vinyl, metal mesh, wrought iron or post and rail options, but may be your best choice if expense is an issue. The more decorative the fencing, the higher the cost, generally speaking.

Obviously privacy and security are always considerations when it comes to your home and fencing, so it’s important to make sure you feel comfortable with your chosen materials and design. Take the time to carefully evaluate local resources such as your neighbor’s fencing choices and your local home improvement store to gain a good understanding of what is available to you before making your decision. Sometimes a combination of fencing types is the best way to ally all your concerns and create beauty in the fencing of your home.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Political Signage and Your Home

political signage and your homeAs we get closer to the next election, political opinions are being a little more freely discussed no matter where you live in the U.S.  Issues and debates are sure to bring out even more exposure to political discussion and are likely to bring that conversation to your home. You may even start to see signs go up in your neighborhood supporting specific measures, parties, or people.

Did you know that certain governmental jurisdictions have laws in regards to political signage that affect the neighborhood surrounding your home?

In 1994 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that outdoor political signs are protected under the First Amendment speech rights, however, some states have enacted laws to define that protection a little more clearly.

In California, for instance, a law was passed last January that allows renters the ability to display political signs under six total feet without penalty from property owners on elections, recalls, public offices, or community issues in the ninety days leading up to an election.  There are specific instructions relating to multi-use residences, as well, so it’s good to be aware if you plan to place political signs near your home.

In Wisconsin, you can show political signs around your home, but placing signage on highways will result in fines if they are deemed a safety issue for motorists.  In some states, like New York, you may need to file an application or permit prior to placing your political sign. Other states and individual cities, such as Provo, Utah, allow signage on private homes and vehicles with the owner’s permission but restrict the placement of handbills on vehicles, which is good to know if you are involved in a specific campaign.

The point is to be aware and informed.  Use your first amendment right of expression to its fullest, but make sure that you are complying with local regulations when using your home as the canvas.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Decorating Your Home For Fall

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There’s a crispness in the air as autumn approaches, pulling to the mind images of goblins, ghosts and ghouls and memories of sweet and wholesome treats. This time of year is one where cobwebs on your home, be they spun from nearby spiders or purchased from a local craft store, have a tendency to be in vogue. As you think up ways to make your home more festive this season, keep in mind that simplicity and detail can go a long way to creating a look that’s spooky for visitors without being considered scary.

Some easy ways to manufacture a ghoulish look can be found with just a few basic items. Consider taping some dark colored transparent “spooky” fabric to your front door to darken up the look of your home a bit. A few rubber bats or ghosts hung just right in the eaves or a lone creature or skeleton leaning over a balcony can create a spooky element to any home in a flash, too!

If you want to add a little more menacing decor to your entrance, consider webbing, plastic fencing, tombstones or skulls. A crafty and cute touch can be had with an assortment of miniature pumpkins or carved, lit jack-o-lanterns, as well. As you prepare the entrance to your home, consider who your visitors will be and how you can add to their fun. Perhaps a candy jar or motion detecting decoration is just the right touch to add some fright.

On the night of any gathering in your home, consider renting a fog machine or playing a bit of scary music to add to the intrigue and mysteriousness as guests enter your home. Plan for games and stories and use lighting that will enhance the mood in your home, as well. You’ll find that simplicity will allow you to embrace some traditional fright into the decor of your home and still provide for plenty of tricks and treats.

Also stand by for my 31 days to  HALLOWEEN 2013 with ideas of things you and your family can do everyday of the Month of October!

Friday, September 21, 2012

3 Buyer Questions and Winning Answers to Move Them Off the Fence

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Since I deal with homebuyers on a regular basis, I frequently hear the same three queries. Each person may frame them differently, but at core, they all are asking the same three questions.

Here are some suggestions on how to handle these questions to help your buyers address the real issue, “Is now a good time to buy for me?

Question #1: I heard prices may continue to fall – why should I purchase a home now?


The answer: Price is not the only consideration.

Even though the market is going UP in many places, some are still worried about a potential collapse. Homebuyers worried about falling prices need to think about the total cost of their loan and the interest rates that drive them. Buyers who try to second-guess the market may end up paying much more over the long run.

For example, a buyer who purchases today for $375,000 with 20% down will have a mortgage of $300,000. If they lock in at a rate of 4% fixed for 30 years, monthly payments will be $1,432.25 and the total cost of the loan will be around $515,610.00. *

If the buyer holds off and prices drop five percent, he or she could save about $70 per month. However, if the prices drop five percent and interest rates climb just one percent, that waiting buyer will pay about $97 more each month and $35,168 more over the life of the loan.

I’ve seen so many buyers try to second-guess the market and fail. And there is always a price tag associated with that failure – sometimes a hefty one.

Tip: If you want to do this calculation for your buyers, you don’t have to be a loan expert. Download Trulia’s new free Mortgage App for the iPhone and iPads and check out the mortgage calculator.

Question #2: If I buy now, when can I expect to see appreciation?

The answer: Be brutally honest, no one really knows. Initial projections showed appreciation could start nationwide in 2014. Recently this date was pushed back to 2016 and anyone currently watching the market knows that in many places prices have actually started going up in the past few months. The problem is, we don’t know how long this growth will be sustained.

Historically, buyers didn’t purchase homes because of the potential for appreciation in value. Freedom from tyrannical landlords was at the top of the list.

Unfortunately, after the housing collapse that began mid-2006, the idea of appreciation is now firmly cemented into most homeowner’s minds.

Buyers whose primary goal is potential appreciation need to sit with you and write out a list of buying “Pros and Cons” to help make the decision – and, price appreciation shouldn’t be on the list.

Question #3: “Is it better to rent or buy?”

The answer: It totally depends on WHY you are buying.

If your buyers can make their projected mortgage payments and the monthly bottom-line is their focus, recent research shows it’s 45 percent cheaper to buy.

If you’re working with house hunters who are looking for short-term gains or quick profit, tell them they shouldn’t bother.

For buyers looking to be free of rental restrictions and petulant landlords, want the ability to renovate to their heart’s content, want to benefit from the significant income tax deductions and can afford the monthly payments, it’s a great time to buy.

Ultimately, the decision to buy is a big one and there’s no blanket answer for the house hunting masses. The best thing any agent can do is give their clients the truth and show them the decision to buy is (and has always been) personal.

Save yourself some time. Incorporate these suggestions into your responses when you’re first meeting to help your buyers make the hard call.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Consider Hiring a Handyman for Your Home

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Perhaps you have some home projects you just can’t find the time (or inclination) to start. With the holidays coming up, it may make sense to hire a handyman for smaller tasks. Do you have someone you already use or are you stumped wondering where to turn? No matter the answer, these tips can help you find someone in no time!

Decide on Your Project - Smaller repair projects are perfect for a handyman. However if you want a remodel, plumbing, or electrical work done, it may be best to turn to a contractor licensed in that field of work.

Ask Around - Your neighbors and friends are great sources for referrals on home repairs. As a real estate agent, I also work with many contractors and handymen and can give you some ideas, too, on who to contact, depending on the scope of your project.

Determine the Cost - Find out how much the work will cost before it’s started. Sometimes services are billed hourly with you supplying materials, sometimes hourly plus parts, and oftentimes you can agree on a lump sum to make it easiest.

One Project at a Time - Your handyman may have many talents, but you’ll want to test his skills before laying out too many projects in the beginning. On the other hand, creating a a small package deal may work to your financial advantage. If he has good or great recommendations and provides financial incentive for a multi-layer job, it may be worth considering.

Hopefully these ideas will help you as you find ways to spruce up your home and glide easily into the holiday season. If you need suggestions on who to call for referrals or other home related needs, please keep me in mind.  You can always consider me your source for advice relating to your home and the local real estate market.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Home Buying Made Easier with Low Interest Rates

Better Home Buying with Low RatesToday’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS) compiled by Freddie Mac showed a slight decrease or stay in mortgage rates. If you are in the market to buy a home, now is an excellent time to lock in a great rate for purchasing a home.

Continued low interest rates create more opportunities for home buyers who can qualify.

  • A 30-year fixed-rate mortgage currently averages 3.55% (with an average 0.7 point) in comparison to last week’s 3.59% and the 4.12% fixed rate mortgage offered at this time last year.
  • The 15-year fixed rate mortgage remained the same, at an average 2.86% (with 0.6 point), versus the 2011 15-year fixed rate of 3.33%.
  • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage was down slightly, as well, averaging 2.75% (with 0.7 point) instead of last week’s 2.78% and last year’s 2.96%.
  • The 1-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgage dropped a bit, too, coming in at 2.61% (including an average 0.4 point), rather than 2.63% one week ago and the 2.84% seen in 2011.

Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac Vice President and Chief Economist explained, “Mortgage rates were little changed over the holiday week amid mixed economic data releases. Although consumer spending rose 0.4% in July, representing the largest gain in five months, the core price index was unchanged suggesting little threat of inflation. Consumer confidence picked up slightly in August according to the University of Michigan, but remained below this year’s peak in May. And the manufacturing industry contracted for the third consecutive month in August.”

So, taking all that into consideration, now may be the perfect time for you to sell or buy a home. Call or email me to find out the latest news, get pre-approved, or find out about available homes for sale in our community. I’d love to help you with your real estate needs!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Is Condo Life Right For You?

Perhaps you’ve looked over the housing market and have sticker shock. Maybe the idea of maintaining a backyard has you running for cover or you just want to keep things simple.

Whatever the reason, if you have decided that you are interested in a owning a smaller, more easily maintained property, you may be investigating condominiums.

Buying a condominium is a bit different from buying any other types of property, and has both advantages and disadvantages. To start the process of determining if condominium life is right for you, there are some important questions to ask.

Namely, for starters, what is a condominium?
A condominium, commonly referred to as a condo is a single unit on a multi-unit property where individual units, including the land beneath them, can be purchased with the overall maintenance expense of the entire property shared.

How are the shared expenses handled?
Typically decisions affecting the entire “condo complex” are made by a Condo Association which holds regular meetings for board members and owners. As such each unit owner is subject to rulings established by that association. A Declaration or the Bylaws often referred to as CC&Rs dictate and help to determine how maintenance issues are addressed. As a prospective condo owner, associated maintenance fees and projected increases, assessments for the reserve fund, and insurance fees are items that you should learn about prior to your purchase.

Do I pay homeowner’s insurance?
In terms of insurance, typically condo owners are responsible for the contents inside their individual dwelling – from walls and floors to cabinets and doors. Each condo association has an individual declaration which is a legal document that will spell out the details so that you can have a clear understanding . Typically condo owners can remodel and change interior surfaces at their discretion. Exterior modifications, however, generally need to be approved (or denied) by the Condo Association Board.

Anything else I need to know?
It is also helpful to consider homeowner statistics in the “condo complex” before finalizing your purchase. Knowing the percentage of properties that are “owner-occupied” and the amount of owners that are current on their dues can have impact on your future home and financial security. You may also want to ask questions regarding timeframes of major upgrades, like pool or clubhouse renovations or roofing needs and the ramifications of those on association members, before making your purchase. Speaking with other residents that live near the condo you are considering, can help you find out the inside scope about that particular property and help you to read the “fine print” in the association agreement, too.

As you make your condo purchase, there is a lot to consider, aside from the points listed above. Give me a call to discuss what other “need to know” items you should add to your list or to see some properties that are available now. I’d love to help you find a home you will love!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Why Your Real Estate Business Needs Online Reviews

by Brandon Barker on Jul 17, 2012

The business of real estate is staying ahead of the competition — for clients, for inventory, for marketing space. And traditionally real estate agent marketing has involved print material (brochures, fliers, yard signs) and more recently social media marketing (blogs and Facebook) to promote your real estate business and reputation. But Realtors need to quickly embrace one of the most powerful real estate agent marketing tools in the web 2.0 era: The client review. You see them everywhere — products, restaurants, businesses and services — and you can read a ton of them on ReachFactor.

Real estate agent reviews create an excellent after-sale line of communication with your clients in addition to being excellent real estate agent marketing tools. Giving clients the opportunity to comment on your skills, service and experience shows them that you appreciated their business, care about their opinion and want to improve the way you do business. Overall, it’s a good first step in solidifying your long-term client relationships.

In a recent article on AGBeat called 5 Reasons Realtors Should Embrace Online Ratings, reviews, author Marti Trewe writes,

“In a recent survey… home buyers revealed that the number one reason that they would choose to work with a Realtor is if that agent had authentic online reviews from past clients. And consumer studies back that up, showing that when a service or brand is reviewed by consumers, it gives them a definite edge over their competition – for services with online reviews the ‘look to book’ ratio is 4 times better, and they boast a 12.5% higher conversion rate than those without.”

As Mr. Trewe points out, clients trust the opinion of other clients more than traditional marketing, making the embrace of online reviews a pretty important move for any real estate agent. The truth of the matter is, you’re getting Googled and so is your competition. Grabbing your share of the client review market, and using a service like ReachFactor that will make those reviews searchable, is a great way to stand out and give your business some online pulse.

But what about negative reviews? No matter. According to the article, “According to a recent study, 68% of consumers trust reviews more when they see both good and bad scores – and building trust with the consumer is what online reviews are all about.”

For more insight in how to respond to negative reviews, click here: The Right Way to Respond to Negative Feedback.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Selling Your Home – Paint Choices Matter

Selling your home and choosing paintWhether you love the home you live in or are planning on selling your home in the next few years, exterior paint plays a huge role in the overall look of your home. In a home for sale, it can mean a difference in price and how many offers you receive, too.

Obviously when selling a home, the goal is to take more conservative approach with overall color, although trim and accents can be a little more daring.  When considering your paint choices, it’s wise to view the neighborhood “palette” as a whole rather than starting with paint chips in a home improvement store. Your house should be distinct yet complimentary.

With that said, it’s incredibly difficult to visualize an entire house color, trim included, with just a square of paint on a strip of paper. Oftentimes homeowners find the most long-lasting happiness in their color choice when they find a home painted the color they like and find out (by asking) the actual name of that color.

Another common method for visualizing your home in a new color is to take a digital photo of the home’s front and back exterior and upload it to one of the many paint websites available on the internet. Choose a home with similar structure and trim to yours and use the “paint feature” to experiment different looks.

Once you’ve found a paint scheme you like, buy some sample paint and apply it to various areas of your home exterior and view throughout the day to see how it looks in different light. If after a few days, you determine that the color is perfect, hire recommended professional painters (call me if you need a suggestion) and start the process of beautifying your home!

More Interesting Exterior Paint Facts to Consider When Selling Your Home:

  • White (and varying shades of white) is THE most popular exterior color of homes. Other popular choices are grays and earth tones with white trim.
  • Exterior paint can be used to attract attention to your home’s architecture or natural tones can actually allow it to blend with your landscaping, so determine what "look" you want to achieve before settling on colors.
  • Paint colors have had huge variances in color over the years and if you own a historic home, whether colonial or designed by a specific architect, it is helpful to reference the original color when making restorations.  You can consult the National Trust for Historical Preservation for information on specific genres.
  • Nowadays, doors are used as an accent feature in many homes, so may want it to be an area you consider in your overall scheme, as well.  Often doors are a different color from the house and trim.
  • According to Homewyse.com, the 2012 national cost to paint your home averages from $1.08 to $1.43 per square foot, and you can visit their website for a tool on local estimates for your area.  The forecasted cost includes preparation, painting, general debris cleanup, final touches, and any tools or supplies needed on the job. You should also plan on an added cost of about 15% to cover contractor project management, as well.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Links & Tees – Buying a Golf Course Home

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August is national golf month and brings with it beautiful weather and prime conditions for hitting a few rounds. If you happen to join in a game of golf, you may begin to wonder about the homes lining the fairway. You may even daydream about the joys of living on the course, in an exclusive, gated community only steps away from hitting the links day in and day out.

Golf course living can be filled with gorgeous views, relaxing evenings, and moments of perfect solitude.  If you are tempted by the idea of golf course living, the following considerations can help you decide if a golf course home is the right choice for you.

Resale Value - In general, golf course homes, especially those near the green or tee box boast a higher sales price in comparison to homes off the course.  However, each course is unique and you need to know the course and future landscaping and building projections to understand what location is best for your golf course home.

Watch those balls! -  First and foremost, realize that life near the fairway is not necessarily one of privacy and safety. Flying golf balls and loud weekend crowds along golf cart paths are something to consider when seeking a golf course home. Consider your own game of golf and where your errant balls might land and make sure your potential home is not in line as a target.  If you are looking for a lower priced golf course home, however, you might consider a deal on the fairway and embrace it as adventurous.

Association Rules -  Make sure that you know the rules of your chosen golf course community before making an offer.  Bylaws may restrict landscaping features and netting, allowing only approved fencing or walls, or dictate the plants you use in your backyard.   Special assessment clauses may apply as well.  Save disappointment by knowing about these BEFORE you buy your golf course home.

Pesticide Use - If you are sensitive to chemical sprays or afraid of unusual wildlife, you may want to consider a home a few streets away from the green.  Golf courses are well-maintained in part by pesticides and may be a concern if you have pets or small children.  Also, coyote, geese, deer, and other local critters seen on the golf course may cause you concern, too.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Useful Tools When Buying a Home - What about Schools

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Wait - was that a school bell that just sounded?

If you live near a school, you may already be hearing the ringing of the bells as local schools gear up for students to arrive. While school may not be in session this week, those bells signal that it’s time to prepare. Time to sharpen the pencils, search out the best in backpacks, and make some plans for the new year.

Students and parents know a brighter future follows preparation, and the same can be said when buying a home. Do you have the tools you need to know if your new home is the best you can afford?

Is there a school where you can learn how to buy a home?

I’m sure you could find them - the internet caters to all needs these days - however, your best choice is to do a little research and then choose to work with a real estate agent that KNOWS your area, someone like me. Knowing your neighborhood means being aware of similar property values, market trends, crime statistics, and the local schools. When you trust your agent to help you in determining home pricing and neighborhood values, you'll find the home buying and selling process much easier. Real estate can be tricky and you'll be ahead of the pack if you rely on your agent to share their knowledge of the town you are exploring.

If you want to do your own research on any area, here are some resources for you to consider.

In particular when evaluating a neighborhood, consider the school district and the individual school. School statistics change year to year, but general trends can be determined.  If you have a family you’ll of course have different needs regarding schools than someone who is retired, however the tone of the school often matches the neighborhood and community values, so it’s wise to take a look. The amount a school district or individual school spends per child, the teacher turn-over rate, and parent satisfaction ratings can all provide you with information, along with traditional API scores.  Schools can have an affect on the long-term sales of a home and your happiness with your community at large.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

GREAT NEWS.....Utah foreclosure rate drops to 26th in Nation

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SALT LAKE CITY — SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Utah's foreclosure rate is the 26th highest in the nation after posting a more than 70 percent drop in activity since last July.


Data released Thursday by RealtyTrac Inc. shows that one in 1,284 Utah housing units saw a foreclosure filing in July. That's 11 percent down from June.


Utah foreclosure filings have been dropping quickly in the past few months. In April, the state had the 7th highest foreclosure rate - with one in 419 homes seeing a foreclosure filing.


Nationwide, foreclosure activity is down slightly. The number of default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions was down 3 percent from June and 10 percent from last July.


California, Arizona, Florida, Georgia and Illinois had the highest foreclosure rates in the nation in July.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Night

Whether you are a long time resident or have just moved into a new home, doing your part to be enhance your neighborhood and build friendships on your block will increase your personal happiness with your home.

Being a supportive and caring neighbor can be as simple as creating conversation or lending a hand with a garbage can or newspaper.  However, you can also show appreciation with sharing your talents in the garden or kitchen.

Are you aware that August 8th is a national holiday? Officially declared, “Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Night,” this is the perfect chance to get to know your neighbors!

Whether you bring over some of your garden’s treasures or just a few freshly baked muffins, you definitely have a reason now to open conversation and get to know the people living on your block. If you’d rather share the wealth anonymously, the feelings of goodwill will still remain, but why not adopt this as a chance to make a new friend?  I bet just reading ”Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Night” made you smile, and it’ll make your neighbors grin, too.

There are a wealth of  zucchini recipes online or you can use your tried and true favorites.  Of course, just dropping off the squash with a note works, too!  Have fun being a good neighbor and let me know how it goes and how many people you meet!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

I’m Just Buying A Home, Not Training for the Olympics!

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Buying a home is not as easy of a task as most people would imagine. It takes time to determine not only what you want and where you want it, but also what you can afford.

After those two tasks are nailed down, time, research and organizational know-how are required to ensure a stress-free and seamless transaction for both home buyers and sellers. That's why you need an experienced and knowledgable real estate agent Lori Fleming.

I know it’s hard to believe, but as a real estate agent, I don’t just sit around eating bon-bons, sorting paint chips, and watching television. In fact, I’ve probably seen less Olympic events than you this summer! Instead I work hard to ensure that I am helping my clients in the most and best ways imaginable. In some ways, you might even say that being a real estate agent is like becoming an athlete!

I Train Every Day - I am constantly on the look-out not just for homes, but also for tools to make the buying and selling process easier on my clients. I seek out real-time marketing information I can share with you on my blog but also in person as I consider your individual needs. I use technology to make sure I keep up my edge and am aware whenever a new listing or open house is available in your neighborhood. It’s my job to know your area and I can’t do that without a daily commitment to myself AND to you!

I Start with The End in Mind - I set goals, personally, professionally, and also as your advocate in real estate. Whether you are searching or selling in a specific price range or are more concerned with architecture, I make delivering on your real estate dreams my goal. I love to win and while I may not get a medal to hang around my neck, I take great pride in knowing that I accomplished something profound when I see your real estate needs met. Seeing a happy new home owner or satisfied home seller makes my day!

I Set Specific Targets - Just as Olympians use determined focus and endurance to train for their events, I do the same when meeting your real estate needs. As your agent, I can outline the specific steps we will take to find you a home or get your home sold, or both. Details matter in real estate transactions and I will make sure you understand the importance of each. We will develop timelines, as well, to make sure that expectations are met for you and for me. As we reach the targeted steps throughout the process, you will feel confident and secure and relaxed, knowing that we are on track. If something unexpected occurs, we will easily redirect it and/or modify the targets as needed, to keep focus on buying or selling your home.

So, no, you're not training for the Olympics when you buy or sell your home, but I may as well be! I want you to reach your highest real estate goals and to do that, I need to be at the top of my game. So ask me about my training, my credentials, and how well I know your area - let me show you how I'd compete if real estate was an Olympic event. Together, I know we'd bring home the gold!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Fannie Mae Reports Optimism in Home Buying

Home Buying & Selling NewsYou may have noticed more “for sale” signs around your neighborhood of late and that is a sign of change – of positive change – according to Fannie Mae! The housing market is showing definite signs of improvement which is good news, regardless of whether you are a buyer or seller.

The Fannie Mae Economic & Strategic Research Group reports a “modest growth” trend through the rest of 2012.  Despite an uncertain job market and lowered consumer spending in the first quarter, the group is still forecasting a 2% increase in the gross domestic product growth projection, which is excellent for real estate and for you, if you are interested in buying or selling a home!

Fannie Mae’s Chief Economist Doug Duncan reported that, “Despite signs of deteriorating momentum for economic activity, housing continues to be a bright spot as news from the housing market has been relatively upbeat, presenting a rare upside boost to the economy.” The report went on to state that home sales have increased 9% in the last year and that single family homes are selling for 20% more than they did in 2011.

Combining those statistics with the National Housing Survey released last month, which showed greater confidence in homeowners about the real estate market, means that a turn-around is in progress. In fact, those polled showed a 6 percentage point increase in their desire to buy, an all-time high as compared to normal poll statistics gathered over the last two years.  Visit Fannie Mae online to access the survey results and see other recent reports on the housing market.  Or call me to learn more about how I can help you with your individual home needs.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Your Home & the Start of School

School supplies are showing up on the shelves of stores everywhere reminding everyone that the final days of summer are edging closer.

With that in mind, it’s a good idea to evaluate your home to make sure you are organized and prepared for the approaching business that may soon impact your days. Even if you do not have children in school, shortened daylight hours and changing traffic patterns can affect your neighborhood and home life, giving you a reason to pause and consider changes you may want to incorporate now.

Home Improvement Projects

With extended daylight hours, now is the time to evaluate your home and complete any DIY projects you’ve been contemplating. Summer time schedules are a bit more open, typically, allowing you more freedom to work on your project AND recruit friends who may be available to help, too. Finishing projects up now will create more peace in your home throughout the rest of the year, including those busy first weeks of fall and keep you smiling through the holidays.

Conquering Home Calendars & Paper Chaos

With sales on school and office supplies, now is the time to make headway on your paper projects. Whether you need a new wall calendar or a dry erase board, or are looking for that special desktop accent to spark creativity in your home office, you can save time and money by shopping now while inventory is high and sale pricing is available. Perhaps with the additional daylight hours of summer, you can even spend some time scanning and/or discarding the papers piling up on your desk, too!

Regardless of the projects you embark on as you enjoy the lingering days of summer, mental preparedness is one of the keys to a good transition. If you have school-aged children, start coaching them now on sleep and eating patterns to ensure that your family is ready for the transition to a new schedule. But don’t go overboard....  After all, summer is not over yet!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Home Buyers & Sellers – How Quickly Can You Move?

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Often when I speak to someone who wants to sell their home, they have an immediate need. The same is true for home buyers. When they are ready, no time is fast enough for finding a home!

How long do you think it should take to sell a home? How long do you feel the buying process should take? Many home buyers and sellers may guess at that number, but did you know that you can actually view it from a statistical standpoint?

When a home is listed for sale, that time begins to be calculated using “Days on Market” or DOM. This factor tracks the time from the home’s first entrance into the MLS until an offer has been made and accepted by the seller. Once an offer has been accepted, the home’s status changes to a pending versus active status.

If a home has been on the market for a longer period of time, sellers may be more willing to negotiate on price, so that number can be very helpful to buyers. It is possible to remove a listing for a variety of reasons and then re-list it as a new listing, so checking the history of a property listing is valuable, too, to make sure the DOM status is accurate.

The DOM figure can be a helpful guideline to home sellers, as well, but only in a very general sense. Property condition, location, interest rates and other market factors can result in increased and decreased DOM statistics, so it’s a tough stat to base your plans on.

If you are curious about a home for sale, or would like to sell your home, please contact me to see how we can decrease your DOM and help with your real estate needs. Let’s determine how quickly YOU can move!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Credibility Matters in Real Estate

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When buying and selling a home, it is important to trust the team that will represent you, from your real estate agent to the escrow officer and mortgage broker. Checking on certifications or credentials can bring peace of mind and help you as a consumer feel more “at home” with the real estate professionals with whom you will work.  The proper credentials and strong professional knowledge base can also make your real estate transaction flow more smoothly.

Perhaps you found me through a positive referral from a friend, so feel like you are in safe hands – that’s great! However, even with the best recommendations, it’s still wise to be aware of credentials, distinctions and designations that help to develop my integrity and credibility as a real estate agent. Through your discovery, you may even become aware of additional tools that I can offer to you, along with feeling like you and your property needs are in capable hands.

One of the most important things you should be aware of is my knowledge of your area. This is my home town. I know all about this area, as you’ll notice on my active website and social media pages. I am active in my local community and can provide you with a list of referrals, from satisfied customers to service providers. Use the pages of my website, like the about page or specific community pages, as tools to give you information about the community, but also about me as a professional. Reference my blog to gain a better understanding of my knowledge of the local area and the real estate industry at large.

Secondly, I hold several designations that are valuable in the field of real estate. You’ll notice the “R” symbol after my name, designating me as a Realtor. Realtors abide by strict industry standards and a code of ethics and that symbol indicates that I am a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Other designations you may see can vary from agent to agent, and here are several to consider. Please ask me about my specific credentials and designations so that you can feel comfortable knowing that I can meet your real estate needs.

  • Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR)
  • Accredited Consultant in Real Estate (ACRE)
  • Accredited Seller Representative (ASR)
  • Accredited Staging Professional (ASP)
  • Certified Short Sale Seller (CSSS)
  • Counselor of Real Estate (CRE)
  • Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)
  • Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE)
  • Certified Internet Professional (e-PRO)
  • Graduate Realtor® Institute (GRI)
  • Quality Service Certification (QSC)
  • Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES)