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Tips for Buying a House in the Fall

Surprisingly, fall is a great time to buy a home. There are still homes on the market which did not sell during the summer months, some at deep discounts. There are also homes newly listed by sellers trying to beat the slower winter months. At the same time, there are fewer buyers out searching, which makes it the perfect time to buy a home.

• Fall home buyers should be ready to move when they find the right home and at the right price. Get prequalified so that you can jump at the right opportunity.

• Notice the imperfections. With windy or rainy weather, homes can show their scars. Look for evidence of water intrusion and evaluate the yard debri...

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The Cost of Home Staging

Have you wondered if you should consider professional staging for your home before you list it for sale? Most of us have wandered into new home developments and enjoyed the ambiance of a perfectly styled model home. Of course we would all like our homes to give that same impression to potential home buyers, but what would that cost? Understanding the options available to you for staging can help you decide what, if any, professional staging makes sense for you and your budget.

What is Staging?

First it’s important to understand what professional staging includes. The best answer is, “it depends”! Staging can be as simple as a consultation or as invol...

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What Does “Move-in Ready” Really Mean?

If you’ve been searching for a new home no doubt you’ve seen the term, “move- in ready.” This description sounds very appealing, but understanding what it actually means is important so you have the right expectations when arranging your home listing tour.

First it’s important to remember that the descriptions in real estate listings are written by the listing agent or broker. There is no set industry standard for what agents can say in their listings. While there are guidelines and rules which prevent blatant lying, most home buyers have become aware of the fluffy language used to market a home for sale.

The me...

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3 Must-Do's Before Listing Your House for Sale

1. Before you list your home for sale, it’s time to do a little work around the house – to prepare and make sure your home is seen in the best possible light. These “must-do” items are about showing your home to buyers as one which is cared for and ready for them to add their own brand of home to the space. Taking a little time up front can mean thousands of dollars as buyers start writing their offers.

2. Declutter, Depersonalize and Clean – This is the time to take spring cleaning seriously, in any season. Clear out all unnecessary items from the home; closets, drawers, extra clothes, old unwanted furniture. Dona...

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Most Popular Community Amenities

Crafting the perfect lifestyle is about more than just the size of the kitchen or the space in the backyard. The community in which the home is located is almost as important to quality of life as the home itself. As more and more properties are developed in master planned communities, the home buyer is accustomed to considering neighborhood amenities as part of the package. Here are the most popular amenities.

 Parks and Green Space – Topping the list of desired amenities is green space. Studies show that as home buyers seek smaller square footage, they also are seeking outdoor space from the neighborhood.

 Trail Systems – Along the same lines...

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Say What? Home-Buying Lingo You Should Know

If you are a first-time homebuyer or even a repeat buyer, you quickly realize that real estate has a language all its own. Understanding some of the lingo can help you navigate the process a little easier. By learning a few critical terms, you will be in a better position to ask the right questions and make the best decisions.

• Buyer’s Market – A real estate climate where the number of listings outnumbers qualified buyers.

• Seller’s Market – A real estate climate when there are very few desirable properties listed for sale.

• Contingencies – Specific conditions included in an offer to protect the buyer a...

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Maximizing Space in a Small Kitchen

A small kitchen doesn’t have to mean dark or cramped, you can maximize a small kitchen by using these clever tips. From tricking the eye to great ways to get extra storage, these easy design ideas will help you love your small kitchen.

• Tone on Tone Colors Scheme – Trick the eye by using subtle variations of the same color palate.

• Strategic Shelving – Add a shelf above the backsplash to add room for spices or décor; place on a wall to display glasses or dishware and gain extra storage in the process.

• Design with an Island – If possible, open a closed off kitchen to the family or breakfast room, use an island...

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Down Payments Explained

A down payment is the amount of cash a home buyer puts toward the price of a new home. It accomplishes a few things; first it reduces the amount of money you need to borrow and it reduces the risk the lender takes in loaning the money. By reducing the risk, the borrower will typically get a better interest rate on the loan and increase the amount of home they can buy.

How Large a Down Payment Do You Need?

The amount of down payment needed depends on the type of the loan, the lender and the property price itself. While most of the 0% down home loans of the last decade are gone, Veterans can still purchase a home loan with no down payment. Other programs include FHA loa...

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What Type of Mortgage is Right for Me?

When our parents were buying their first home, there was one way to finance the purchase. You would walk down to the corner bank and ask for a 30-year mortgage. Today the average homeowner moves every 5-7 years. Depending on your needs there are a number of mortgage options you might consider, each with its own advantages and disadvantages, spending some time to understand the options is the best way to choose the right loan for your needs.

While loan programs and terms vary, the most common are:

• Conventional - A conventional loan is normally still designed to be paidoff in 30 years with equal monthly payments during the term of the loan. There ar...

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Why do Homes Listed with Professional Real Estate Photos Sell Quicker and For More Money?

If you are planning to list your home for sale, you probably already know that you need to prepare your home for the market. The point is to create the most attractive, welcoming version of your home to entice buyers into the home and
encourage offers. Your listing needs attention also! Professional photography is the best way to attract those buyers and to ensure you get the best possible price in the shortest timeframe.

Most buyers now start their home search online. Online listings with professional photography receive significantly more views than those without. Buyers tend to linger on the site long...

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