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December 2020

How to Approach Selling a Luxury Property in a Difficult Market

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Placing a luxury property on the market is a lot different to listing a less expensive one. Just fixing the main cosmetic issues won’t necessarily address the concerns that prospective buyers may have in this higher price range. Here is how to approach selling a luxury property in a difficult market. 

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Choose the Right Season to List Your Property

A waterfront property that’s listed when the weather is blustery with sand blowing up into the air isn’t going to be well received by potential buyers. Similarly, homes that look delightful with the fall colors may not be as attractive in springtime. 

Choosing the best season to list the property is half the battle. Failing to take this into consideration could lead to the home getting poor reception. Then, when the listing has been up too long, it becomes harder to sell as people start to question what’s wrong with it. By listing at the right time, you can avoid these potential pitfalls. 

Deal with Realtors That Already Handle Luxury Homes

While a newer realtor may be interested in picking up the listing and running with it, that’s not always the best move. It’s also an issue if your home sits in one price bracket, but they’ve only previously handled smaller transaction values.

Their contact list is likely to be limited to the lower end, which likely will restrict the interest they can generate and offers they can procure. 

Get the Staging Right

If the home has recently been renovated, but it’s not seen plush furnishings added or finishing touches made, that could be a problem. Plans may have caused you to make a late decision to put the house on the market even though it’s technically not ready to show. 

One way to get around this is virtual staging. This is the idea of replacing photographic visuals with a mixture of real shots of the interior coupled with imaginative staging elements. This is done by removing objects from the image and adding in furnishings digitally to complete the final presentation. 

Virtual staging is an affordable way to provide excellent new visuals without the need for physical staging. At a time when some sellers wish to limit the number of strangers visiting their homes, technology has come to the rescue. 

Accept Price Guidance from an Experienced Realtor

When selling a luxury piece of real estate, you may have a price in mind. Nevertheless, what your home can command currently on the market may vary markedly from your golden number. 

It’s important to listen to an experienced realtor on pricing. They have access to recent comps in the market. Even without those, they should have a good idea about valuations. When they advise what they feel the home is worth, asking them to list it significantly above this level risks the home going unsold.  

In a difficult market where homes aren’t selling as quickly, and prospective buyers are making lower offers, patience is required. Also, listen to the realtor because they usually know their job well, and given that they stand to gain from the sale too, they’re unlikely to steer you wrong.

outdoor entertaining area

How to Create a More Useable Outdoor Entertaining Area

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Do you have yard space that is rarely used and that you don’t really see as living space or entertaining space? Is your backyard often just an afterthought that doesn’t really change the way you enjoy your home? If you’ve answered yes to these questions, it could be time to reimagine the way you see and use your outdoor space. A backyard not only gives you your very own slice of nature, but it can also provide the perfect entertainment area.

Seating, Patio, Furniture, Outdoor, Home, House, Garden

Here are some ways you can create a more useable outdoor entertaining area and stop letting that space go to waste.

Ensure You Have Ample Seating

The first thing you’ll want to address is seating. It’s hard to entertain if there is nowhere to sit. Be sure you give thought to the ideal amount of seating when buying furniture. Ideally you want to go as big as the space and your budget will allow, as you will always find enough bodies to fill those seats when entertaining.

Shade Should be Considered

While it’s lovely to sit out in the summer sun, there are days when it will just feel too hot and be too much. This is why you also want to think about a shade element in your design. You can opt for something simple like an umbrella that fits in the center of an outdoor table, or buy an over-sized freestanding umbrella that you can move around. Then again maybe you want something more substantial such as a retractable awning installed on the house.

Address Outdoor Storage Needs

In order to ensure you have as much space available to entertain, you need to also address outdoor storage. Basically you want to be sure that all the “clutter” and items you aren’t using are out of sight and out of mind, rather than scattered around the yard. Using attractive outdoor storage not only addresses the issue of where to store items, but does so in a way that makes it feel as though it’s part of the design concept.

Some examples of attractive outdoor storage can include built-in storage structures, under deck storage, outdoor furniture that doubles as storage (lift up tops on tables, side tables with cupboards, a lift up top ottoman and so forth), and even a full outdoor kitchen complete with plenty of built-in storage.

Think About Outdoor Games and Entertainment

Now that you’ve got the perfect area for seating, you may also want to think about those more active gatherings. Backyard games and activities can be the perfect way to entertain outdoors and spend time with family and friends. 

For those who want to take things to the next level, consider installing a hot tub, or even an above-ground or in-ground pool.

Rather than let that outdoor space go to waste, why not use these tips to create a more useable outdoor entertaining area that may quickly become your new favorite spot to hang out.

The Best Type of Fence for a Rural Property

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Choosing the right fence is a very important decision for any homeowner. It will affect things such as privacy and security.

Cost and maintenance is another thing you’ll have to pay special attention to. And, before you get a fence for a rural property, you have to factor in things like esthetics and what kind of weather conditions you’re dealing with. Let’s take a look at some of the best types of fences for rural properties.

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Vinyl Fences

Vinyl fences tend to be popular in small urban homes where privacy is important, but they work on larger properties as well. What makes vinyl fences so great is that they can handle pretty anything you throw at them. They can survive any climate and don’t require much maintenance either. They’re very easy to clean, durable, and they also look great.

Wood

Wood is usually what people think about when they want to fence farmland. Wood is affordable and has a great natural look to it, which makes it a perfect choice if you want to indicate your property line. However, while wood looks great, it demands a lot of care, so you will need to stain it and paint it regularly if you want to expand its lifespan. When properly treated, a wooden fence can last up to 20 years.

T-Post Fences

These are the best options if you’re looking for something affordable, reliable, and convenient. What makes these so great is how easy they are to install. These can range from 4ft to 8ft. They are usually sold in sets of 5 and you can install and move them yourself. All you need is a sledgehammer and a t-post driver. 

Though they are convenient, they are not the most esthetically pleasing, and if you want something that looks nice, then wood would be a better option. But if your goal is just to mark your property boundaries, then they’re a good option to try.

Welded Wire

Welded wire fences are another very popular choice for many reasons. They come in different mesh opening sizes but are not as strong as woven wire fences. This means that they require a little bit more attention and they’re not quite as durable. They are still a good option if you want to keep livestock that doesn’t lean on the fence. 

Woven Wire Fence

If you need something a little bit sturdier, woven wire fences are a better option. These are great for their durability. They are one of the best options for livestock and are particularly great for goats. It’s also a very versatile type of fence that can handle all kinds of conditions. It’s fairly affordable and doesn’t require much maintenance, which is always a bonus when you have livestock to take care of.

These are some of the best fence types if you want to secure your rural property and land. We suggest that you speak with an expert today, so you can look at your options more in detail. 

contract for deed financing

Should You Consider Contract for Deed Financing in 2021?

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Interest rates are at record lows. Housing prices are at record highs. Multiple offers are the norm in some cities. You really want to buy a home, but the last time you tried to get a mortgage, you were denied. Worse, with COVID-19, a weakening stock market, an uncertain future, and post-election trauma, lenders are clinging to tight underwriting standards.

If you have a low credit score combined with some serious recent credit dings, conventional financing could be very difficult to obtain. Let’s look at some alternatives that can get you into your own home in 2021, including contract for deed.

Find Someone to Cosign

person in orange long sleeve shirt writing on white paper

If you can’t qualify for a mortgage, find someone that can. This might be a relative, a friend or even your employer. A person with excellent credit that will agree to be on the hook for your mortgage can be the answer to your credit difficulties. Rocket Mortgage puts it best as they say, “When someone cosigns on a mortgage loan, it means they agree to take responsibility for the loan if you default. Cosigning on a loan isn’t just a character reference.

It’s a legally binding contract that makes another person partially responsible for your debt.” Just make sure that your prospective cosigner understands their legal obligation.

Think About a Duplex

white and red house

Sure, you want a single-family home, but checking out a multifamily situation might be an eye opener. With a duplex you can rent the other side of your home and possibly collect up to half—or even more—of your monthly mortgage obligation. If you can show that you only need to come up with $1000 of your own money to make your $2000 monthly mortgage payment, you may be able to qualify without a cosigner.

The Simple Dollar expounds on this as they mention, “One reason buying a duplex is such an appealing idea is that there’s a lower barrier to entry than if you were buying a free-standing rental property. We already mentioned how you typically need at least 20% to put down on a single-family investment property, but the rules are a lot different if you’re buying a property to live in yourself.”

Don’t Leave Deals on the Table

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Research all of the financing avenues that may be available to you. If you are a veteran, for example, you can get a no-money-down mortgage even in you have a very low credit score. VA loans are great if you are a first-time home buyer.

In addition, bet you didn’t know this, courtesy of the USDA:

“The USDA Loan is a mortgage option available to some rural and suburban homebuyers. USDA Home Loans are issued by qualified lenders and guaranteed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). USDA Home Loans are particularly favorable to those living in rural or low-income areas. USDA Loans offer $0 money down, lenient eligibility requirements and competitive interest rates – due to the loan being guaranteed by the USDA.”

Rent-to-Own

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In states that allow it, you might want to look at a rent-to-own deal. In these situations, someone that owns a home free and clear will rent it to you and apply part of your monthly rent to a future down payment. At some time, you will be able to purchase the home from the owner, and many times the owner will act as the bank and finance the property. While this arrangement does work for some, there is room for difficulty with this arrangement. Sometimes unscrupulous owners will enter into a deal they know will be difficult for the tenant to keep, i.e., an inflated monthly payment, and if a late payment occurs, that can be quickly followed by an eviction. In these cases, all down payment money is usually lost, and the owner then looks for another victim.

Contract for Deed

person writing on paper

If your credit is just not up to par, if you can’t find a co-signer, if duplexes aren’t your thing, and if rent-to-own sounds too risky, consider contract for deed. In some states like Minnesota, contract for deed deals have been utilized for years. The Morris Law Group explains the process well:

“Instead of purchasing a home with a mortgage, the buyer agrees to directly pay the seller in monthly installments. The buyer is able to occupy the home after the closing of the sale, but the seller still retains legal title to the property until all payments have been made under the contract; actual ownership passes to the buyer only after the final payment is made. Contracts for deed have long been a financing option for property transactions between family members or friends. Some nonprofit housing organizations also use them to help low-income families find a path to homeownership.”

The C4D Crew takes this process a step further as they will work with you when you find a home you want to buy. C4D will buy the home you are interested in, and then they will sell it to you on a contract for deed basis. You don’t have to find a free and clear home, nor do you have to convince a reticent homeowner to enter into a contract for deed deal. These guys do it all.

Of course, your credit will need to be checked, but C4D understands that bad things happen to good people and they can look past issues like tax problems, divorce, job loss, and even a recent bankruptcy.

Yes, if you can find traditional financing that’s great!  But if you can’t, and you want a legitimate way to own your own home, you really need to consider contract for deed financing.

Best Ways to Get Your Home in Sellable Condition in a Hurry 

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As anyone who’s worked in real estate can attest, the home-selling process is not always an expedient one.

With real estate currently being a buyer’s market, homebuyers have become more selective than ever, and if a property doesn’t meet their criteria, many of them will walk away without a second thought. Furthermore, depending on how popular a state, city, township or neighborhood is, a home sale can take months – at minimum.

Needless to say, this situation is hardly ideal for sellers looking to relocate in a hurry. So, if you’re hoping to find a buyer for your home in a timely manner, you’d do well to put the following tips to good use.

Fix Outstanding Cosmetic Issues 

When it comes to home-selling, first impressions are vitally important.

Since many buyers decide whether they want to look at a home’s interior based on the appearance of its exterior, sellers would be wise to remedy any outstanding cosmetic issues before placing their homes up for sale. For starters, if your home’s paint-job has seen better days, having the exterior repainted is likely to be a worthwhile investment.

Secondly, you’ll need to keep your gutters clean. If your home’s gutters have become bent, worn-down or outright broken, take this opportunity to replace them. When addressing cosmetic issues, give your driveway and walkway a good once-over. Should you come across any stains or cracks, start cleaning and/or patching. If either area has accumulated a significant number of cracks, it may be time to repave. Additionally, any problems with your roof should be addressed in advance of the house is shown.  

Cosmetic issues don’t just apply to the house itself. For example, if your front yard is in a state of disarray, take care to get things in order before showing your home to potential buyers.

This means keeping your lawn mowed, trimming any shrubbery and cleaning up any kids’ toys after every outdoor play session. Furthermore, if your yard features a garden, make sure that it’s well tended-to throughout the home-selling process. Keep in mind that colorful flowers can be a great vehicle for getting eyeballs on your home.      

Replace Outdated Appliances 

Outdated appliances are a huge turn-off for some homebuyers and the prospect of having to replace old appliances factors heavily into their decision making. As such, if any of your home’s major appliances are on their last legs, it may be a good idea to replace them in advance of selling your home.

This will help imbue the property with a modern, cutting-edge feel and assuage the anxieties of buyers who don’t want to spend money on new appliances. Additionally, if upgrading certain appliances proves financially strenuous, consider altering your asking price to include the money you spent. 

Repair Outstanding Electrical and Plumbing Issues 

You’d be hard-pressed to find a homebuyer willing to invest in a property with outstanding electrical and plumbing issues. Even if you agree to deduct the cost of essential repairs from your asking price, most buyers are likely to walk away. Furthermore, outside of house flippers, placing a home with said issues on the market is unlikely to attract many prospective buyers.

With this in mind, make a point of repairing any electrical or plumbing issues before putting the property up for sale. Depending on the scope of the problem(s), this is liable to prove expensive. In order to pay for the repairs in a timely manner, you may need to borrow from a retirement account or Roth IRA. To get a solid idea of how much your IRA stands to accumulate, use a Roth IRA calculator

If you’ve ever sold a home, you’re likely familiar with how slow and drawn-out the process can be. Depending on where you live, the state of the market and the general condition of your property, the selling process can play out over a period of months – if not years.

However, if you need to relocate in an expedient manner for personal reasons or a career opportunity, you may not have the luxury of sitting on a property that won’t sell. Sellers looking to increase their odds of finding buyers in a timely manner may be well-served by the previously discussed pointers.