Archive for the ‘home sales’ Category

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Change is good…let’s get into home design

February 29, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For years I have been writing about market conditions and lenders and the federal government’s role in real estate. I’m still going to do that but…I’m also going to start writing some hints and tips to help you get your home SOLD in these challenging times.

For starters – I recently had a homeowner approach me about selling their home inOrlando. They asked me to stop by to view their home. What did I find? A carport full of junk (think hoarder), dead grass and a very unappealing entry to this charming home.

I told the Sellers that before we did ANYTHING – they had to clean up the front, put in new grass and add some orange shutters, window boxes, and paint the front door, etc. In other words – create charm. They did so and sold their home quickly.

No matter how you live daily…you have to live differently when you are selling your home. A lovely and charming entry is going to entice people to look at the inside of your home. If a home looks neglected – Buyers won’t give it a second chance.

Today color is HUGE. The orange (think coral) shutters and window boxes made a giant impact on the Sellers’ home. They did not have to buy tons of new plants, just fill the window boxes and replace the lawn with new grass. The whole change was under $2,000 and they got it all back on the sale of their home. In fact, the Sellers wondered if they should sell once the house looked so cute.

Just like anything – first impressions count. Make yours memorable.

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Condominium or House? Which should you choose?

May 19, 2011

With our changing market, I have buyers who are entering the market with cash and looking for some good deals.

Their main criteria are what can I pick up for a GREAT price and which property will start bringing me instant income? Should they buy a house or a condo?

Usually that requires a long and detailed discussion but here’s is an abbreviated comparison.

If buyers want worry-free maintenance and ease of lifestyle then a condo is ideal. You move in and the HOA (through your dues) maintains the property. You never cut a yard; trim a hedge, paint, etc. It’s all taken care of you for a fee. Added to this is the fact that condominium residences (in Orlando) can often be purchased for less than a traditional home.

With a house you have to consider the cost of maintenance and care but you also have privacy. In addition, you don’t have to worry about the strength of the HOA and if the condominium project is strong and viable for the future resale purposes.

I think if I am personally given a choice, for investment/rental purposes a home is always stronger than a condominium. But for retirement/investment purposes – you may want to consider the condominium residence lifestyle.

Either way…it’s good to have options.

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New South Orlando Listing

December 17, 2010

Downtown Orlando – LAKEFRONT – three buildable lots or renovate home. Wonderful opportunity!

 http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/1808-Baylarian-Boulevard_Orlando_FL_32806_M56034-59641

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One is the loneliest number

December 15, 2010

 

 

It’s that time of year – the time when everyone starts bombarding your email with solicitations for SEVEN ways to get rich, SIX steps for a better year, FOUR ways to get your home sold, THREE things you need to do to guarantee sales success. You get the picture. 

I don’t know who started this trend but the minute I see a number associated with an activity – I just zone out. I find the whole thing a little hokey. You want to be successful? ONE THING – WORK hard. You want more money? Work hard. You want happiness? Work hard. It’s really just that simple. 

We live in a culture that wants quick fixes to all our problems. That is simply not how life works although it would be nice in theory. To make your life successful you don’t need SEVEN secret tips…you just need to put one foot in front of the other toward your goal and make it work. I promise this is true. 

I have one suggestion for you today – decide to be succesful and happy and WORK hard to make it so.

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Don’t worry…be happy

January 17, 2009

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A client asked me today when he was going to hear some good news. When was he going to hear something positive about the real estate market? He was tired of hearing that his home isn’t selling because no one is buying. I feel his pain.

But here’s some simple truths. There is good news. It’s the old silver lining in every cloud syndrome and I think it bears repeating.

1. THINGS WILL GET BETTER. Once we work our way out of this (and I think it will be sooner than later) – the housing industry WILL recover and we will have a stable and secure real estate market. Will it happen tomorrow? Unlikely.  But could it happen THIS YEAR? Very likely.

2. HOUSING IS STILL A GREAT BUY. Rates are ridiculously low and prices are even lower. If you EVER wanted to own a home – buy now. BUY…BUY…BUY. Homes are listed at crazy low prices. I can tell you this, investors are buying and they are going into the rental market. Smart people see the opportunities. Other people see problems. Be smart!

3. ENJOY YOUR HOME. Life is not only about the bottom line. If you loved your house before…you will still love it now even if it isn’t worth as much. It’s STILL YOUR HOME.

4. LEARN TO COPE. Life has its ups and downs. Good times and bad times. But hey…we are still here, we still have a roof over our heads and the sun will come up tomorrow. Enjoy.

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Renovations – Think Exit Strategy

June 8, 2008

Part 1 of 3 parts…

Lately I have been seeing a lot of homes that have been “renovated”. Unfortunately, they have been renovated to the taste of the current owner and not with an “eye” for future sale. It’s a rare breed of homeowner who understands the specifics of home renovation. Think EXIT STRATEGY. That is what most REALTORS understand…they hear what the buyers are saying behind your back when you are not home. That really cute, small colored, glass tile looks great now but no one wants to clean that grout and they aren’t into that cobalt blue color you selected. There are so many trends that are already tired and dated so you have to think classic style. I saw a kitchen recently and while renovated and pristine…the buyer had a hard time finding the refrigerator. The buyers passed…entirely too trendy.

So what works? I will address this in the coming days. But one thing is certain. Think bland. I know you hate it but white or beige sells. Think upscale and HIGH END, think art gallery chic. Yes, it is your home but you must always remember there will be a time for resale and buyers don’t want to re-do your styles. In the bathroom, marble still rules. In the bathroom, white still reeks of clean and neat. In fact, I have NEVER seen a white bathroom go out of style. Whirlpool tubs are not essential but a TUB and separate shower are a must have! Keep it simple, clean and functional.

There is a basic mating ritual that takes place between buyers and properties and you should not make your home so seller specific that buyers cannot see themselves in your home. As properties take longer to sell, today’s buyer does not want an excuse to walk away from your castle. Don’t make it easy for them. Go neutral and go sold.

 

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There’s NO down time in a down market!

May 30, 2008

Down time is not something today’s luxury real estate agent should think about…there is NO down time. I read countless articles and all of them try to tell us they have the “secret” or the “magic pill” for solving our real estate woes. Well news flash: it’s a tough market but there is a cure! It’s just that the cure is a little hard to swallow…

LOWER YOUR LIST PRICE. In the immortal words of my mentor, Roger Soderstrom, “Price solves everything” and you know what…he’s right! It’s time to wake up and realize we aren’t in real estate from years past…this is real estate NOW and FUTURE. It’s not bad. Heck, it’s not really that tough. It’s just a true market correction and time for people to position their homes for sale by pricing them properly.

Tough times no! Tough price breaks, maybe. But there is still a world of opportunity for buyers AND SELLERS in today’s market.

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Front Porch Wisdom

March 29, 2008

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It’s that time of year and the weather is just stunning here in Central Florida. Orlando greets spring with wind and warmth and oak leaves falling everywhere…it’s truly a breath of fresh air. But what spring always reminds me of is front porch living. When I was growing up – our front porch was a happening place. It is where all serious family discussion went down, it is where boys and girls held hands and fell in love, and it’s where life blossomed. My grandmothers, my aunts, my own home all had front porches and they were such a source of stability and of harmony and of hope. Sitting on a front porch swing is similar to having a welcome mat to the world. It harkens back to a time when people slowed down, when families sat down for dinner and when TV was not the center of the universe. Nature and swing-time on the porch was quite simply the best time of the day.  I remember when I was pregnant with my first daughter and they taught us in Lamaze to go back  in our minds to the most relaxing place in the world and all I could think of was that swing. Hours, and I mean hours of sitting with my Dad or Mom (or both) talking about everything in the world. Hours watching the leaves fall, the cars go by and the dogs sit in the yard. It was glorious indeed. I hope all of you will find time to sit on your front porch this spring and take a break. Believe me…it’s time well spent! 

PS: Front porches are STILL great selling features for any home!

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WEEKEND home projects

January 28, 2008

 

I find that most buyers today are looking for a home that they can move in without having to lift a finger to make any improvements. TV has brought us the designer dream homes, designing on a dime and trading houses. It’s a whole new world full of ideas for today’s homeowner. For the luxury buyer…there is always the hired help. For those of you who can’t afford hired help, here are some great suggestions for the weekend home repair warrior.

According to Cecilia Sherrard with RISMEDIA, the following are the top things you can finish over a weekend.

1. Replace Old Knobs and Door Handles. This is an easy, inexpensive way to dress up or change the look of doors, cabinets, and more. Many homes in the Cleveland Ohio area are older and have outdated hardware. These small changes can actually transform the look and style of your home. Whether you choose vintage glass, shiny metal or even rustic wood, installing these new knobs and handles can add to the value of your home, as well. Don’t overlook the hinges! If you can’t quite get to those now, but have a squeaky door, try spraying the hinges with a cooking spray like Pam. It works!

2. Install a Greenhouse Window. A beautiful addition to any room in the home, a greenhouse window will allow you to grow flowers, herbs and other plants even during the winter! Replacing a regular window with a greenhouse window adds dimension, light and display space while eliminating clutter. Available at home supply stores, they come with many options including granite finishes and glass shelves.

3. Paint, Paint, Paint! Painting can instantly change your home’s look and feel. Don’t limit your color change to just your walls – an updated color on furniture or cabinetry can really spice things up, as well. Play with new colors, patterns and techniques. Don’t be afraid of going bold; remember, if you don’t like the way the color looks, you can always paint over it! There’s a wall, trim or doorway in everyone’s home that could use some paint or freshening. Cheap and easy, get to work!

4. Replace Builder Lighting or Outdated Fixtures with remote ceiling fans. Not only will it save energy and keep your air circulating, it will add appeal, value and enhance the beauty of a room and pull your entire decor together from the floor up. Ceiling fans today are modern, fun, classy and relatively easy to install. They come with directions and there’s help online. If you purchase one in a home improvement store the sales people will help you as well! Make sure you call on their advice and expertise, that’s what they’re there for!

5. Work on your closets and cabinets. Most homeowners have secrets hiding in their closets and cabinetry. The closet is the least looked at part of the home and there we tend to find cracking or peeling paint, old contact paper and clutter! How about taking a few hours and organize, adding new shelves, hooks or hardware and giving yourself more room by throwing out or donating some of the items you think one day you’ll use but haven’t in a decade!

6. Don’t forget your home’s air quality. Change your furnace filter! You can add a couple of dryer sheets to the new one to add a cheap and whole-house air freshener. Remove your vents and soak them in a hot bleach bath while you vacuum inside to remove dust and build up. Clean the hard to reach spots in your home that you don’t get to often. Behind entertainment centers, baseboards, behind heavy furniture and under beds. Removing dust in the home can make it smell better and create a healthier environment!

These fun projects are a great way to pass the time this winter, not to mention the way they’ll quickly improve the look and value of your home!

For more information, tips, and ideas, see: YouShouldOwn.com.