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interior design tips

8 Interior Design Tips to Increase Your Home’s Resale Value

1000 500 Sam Radbil

Good interior design can not only attract buyers but also boost the value of your property.

Buyers today are very savvy when it comes to their investments, so you need to be smart and knowledgeable when it comes to renovations and improvements. If you want to sell your home fast and reach a price that’s satisfying for everyone, here are a few interior design tips to keep in mind. 

Increase space

black wooden coffee table near white couch

While the size of your property definitely affects the value, the way your home feels also counts. The key to maximizing your visual space lies in natural lighting, mirrors, tidiness and furniture. Start by reimagining your window treatment, adding a few larger mirrors to the space, minimizing clutter and floating your furniture (especially storage pieces). This will make your rooms look bright and airy and open up a lot of floor space. 

Also, a modern buyer can never have too much storage, so it’s important to improve your storage space and adapt it to different uses. If you can, impress your buyers with practical under-the-stairs storage and built-in shelving. 

Repaint 

Pain is one of the most cost-effective home improvements, so don’t hesitate to repaint your entire interior.

A new coat of paint will make the rooms look fresh, attractive and modern and that will bring a lot of value to your property. Just remember to keep the color scheme neutral and modern, so that it attracts a large number of people. 

Give the kitchen and bathroom a makeover

Brown and White Wooden Kitchen Island

Every single upgrade to your kitchen will bring a hefty ROI. No matter if your target audience is into cooking or not, you need to make this space lux, practical and well-lit. The kitchen is used for food prep, eating, drinking and storage, so people spend a lot of time in it—it needs to be as attractive as possible. 

Besides the kitchen updates, bathroom makeovers also bring a great return on investment. And, since they are often very small, relatively cheap improvements go a long way.

If you don’t want to tackle tiles and larger fixtures, you can repaint the space, refinish surfaces, modernize lighting and update hardware and still achieve a big effect that will boost the value of your home. 

Replace soft flooring

Nothing will turn off buyers faster than shabby soft floors. If you have work out or stained carpets, area rugs and runners, make sure to replace them as soon as possible. A new, clean and modern rug will be inviting for people and encourage them to feel warm and at home in your property. So, make sure to opt for something high-quality and exclusive, especially if you go for wool or some other natural fibre.

New Zealand has amazing flooring solutions and if you search for quality rugs in NZ online you’ll find a variety of quality products that will make your home look attractive for all types of buyers. Adding just one quality rug will compensate in case you don’t have a choice but to leave the rest of your floors bare, as it can provide a whole new perspective for a potential buyer.  

Improve the master bedroom

Buyers want to see a large, comfortable and functional bedroom. So what you can do is build a spacious walk-in closet—this addition will boost the value of any home. It’s a luxury you can afford, especially if you find an affordable solution, and no buyer will be able to ignore it.

Additionally, add interest to the room with an attractive bed. If you want to add drama to the space, check out luxurious upholstered beds which will leave a big impression with their aesthetic appeal and boost the value of your property. A good focal point like a lux bed will bring a great ROI. 

Be energy-efficient

two black suede armchairs during daytime

If you want to attract well-paying Millennial buyers, you need to pay attention to eco-friendliness. While you can improve insulation and add water-saving landscaping, an easier path is to work on your energy-efficiency.

Replacing regular bulbs with LEDs, investing in a few Energy Star appliances and installing solar panels can be a very cost-effective move that will boost the value of your property and attract energy-savvy buyers. 

Improve natural lighting

Plenty of natural light will make your interior look larger, reduce energy usage and improve the mood of potential buyers, so make sure to maximize sunlight.

Custom glass windows and doors will open up space in a very effective yet non-invasive way. Investing in larger windows (especially if they offer a beautiful nature view) and better doors can be the right move for all sellers looking to raise the value of their property. However, this is not a cheap improvement, so keep that in mind. 

While not all home improvements can be recouped when it comes the time to sell, these aforementioned ones give you the best chance to achieve a good ROI and end up with a satisfying value of your property. Smart interior design will catch the eye of well-paying buyers and give you an opportunity to raise the price of your home.

tech for home sales

4 Types of Real Estate Tech Tools That Help Sell Homes Faster

1000 500 Sam Radbil

Embracing real estate technology has really boosted the industry, a perfect example of the benefits of quality tech in an industry. In fact, real estate is one of the fields that saw an increase in tech tools, which can improve and streamline entire processes. The pandemic pushed us toward mass digitalization even faster.

Now, using real estate technology tools during the process of selling a home can help you create better rapport with your client by inspiring trust and encouraging engagement.

Innovation happens all the time. But, in order to properly utilize the tech tools available to you, you must be knowledgeable about what you use. For instance, avoid utilizing every new app or feature that makes enticing promises. Rather, research the most efficient real estate technology tools and incorporate them seamlessly into your process. To get you started, here are four tools that work well together to help you sell a home faster. 

Online Platforms for Real Estate Technology

The most important step in completing a transaction is the buyer’s ability to find and access your product in the first place. Nowadays, if your home isn’t listed online, it will probably take longer to find a buyer. Listing your property online saves time and extends your reach, while also increasing your credibility as a seller.

Therefore, it’s essential to find a trustworthy online platform that offers benefits to both you and your potential buyer. 

Virtual Tours

person holding gray video camera near green leaf plant during daytime

Real estate technology in the form of virtual tours has been beneficial to both industry professionals and their clients during the quarantine.

Plus, as social distancing remains critically important, offering a virtual tour can enable the client to see the home much better than pictures alone. Virtual tours also allow for mobility and freedom of movement, thereby allowing the potential buyer to view it anytime and anywhere. 

Especially if your client is moving from another state, virtual tours can also reduce the need to meet in person and, therefore, cut down on costs and time associated with transportation. This type of tour, in particular, has been especially useful for the rental side of real estate.

For instance, someone looking to relocate from Wisconsin to Minnesota can browse Minneapolis apartments and find a perfect fit without any commute. This works for selling homes, too, as clients can check out Minneapolis homes for sale from wherever they are. As a result, buyers are able to significantly reduce the time they spend attending open houses to narrow down their options.  

In addition to virtual tours, you might consider adding floor plans that will help your clients understand the flow of the property in a single glance. This revolutionary floor plan software is easy to use and it generates a professional 2D floor plan with less than 5 minutes of work. Just to be precise, by work we mean that you’ll have to scan the property with your mobile’s camera – simple as that.  Hence, you’ll not only capture higher quality leads but will create a memorable experience for your clients, all thanks to the virtual tours and floor plans.
Digital flyer real estate text message marketing is another great option for letting prospective buyers virtually view a listing. It texts property information to them when they request it and also notifies the listing agent by text and email they have a lead.

3D Staging

beige couch and armchair

Virtually staging as a real estate technology tool your home is a great option because it’s much less expensive than actually renting furniture and creating the display. Furthermore, the flexibility that comes with 3D staging is also worth noting because when you’re selling a house, you’re also selling a potential lifestyle. Therefore, you need tools to help you personalize the home and create different stories. 

Similar to real-life staging, you can even work with a company that specializes in 3D staging to help you paint the perfect picture for your potential customers. Plus, tools like this can assist you in highlighting the best features of the home and exploring different scenarios. Best of all, you don’t have to pay anyone to help you move the rented furniture or hire a cleaning company to clean up after you remove the furniture. Clearly, 3D staging is a more efficient and profitable tool all around.

Digital Paperwork 

person using MacBook Pro

One aspect that can truly make a difference is offering your clients the option to complete paperwork digitally, and a secure real estate platform or portal can make this possible. Especially in recent months when contact and exposure were reduced, companies and sellers working with digital paperwork have had an advantage. 

However, this option is ideal outside of the context of the pandemic, as well, because it reduces costs for both sides, it makes the entire process more efficient and faster, and it reduces waste. As long as you’re using a secure platform, there’s no reason not to implement digital paperwork — at least in the earlier stages of the process. 

These innovations and tools are truly only the beginning. The implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) will also change the industry and these processes. However, the relationship between sellers and buyers or agents and renters remains at the core of the process.

It is a business for and about people. As such, the goal should be to instill trust and show your open-mindedness and acceptance of innovation — and technology can do just that. 

First Time Homebuyer Basics in 2020

1000 500 Sam Radbil

Buying a home can be nerve-racking, no matter where you live. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer in Maryland where there’s no county with an average list price under $100,000, or a contract for deed buyer in Minnesota, this is expensive too as a first-timer.

While going through the home buying and mortgage process, you’ll encounter both big price tags and unfamiliar situations. 

Cities all across the country have tight and complicated real estate market which may seem impossible for a first timer to succeed on their own. However, there’s more to buying a home than picking your favorite listing and moving in. It’s important to understand all the steps of completing a real estate purchase in any city, as well as what to look for when buying, what questions to ask, understand the hidden costs, and how to close on it.

white and brown house during daytime

Too often, people rush into homeownership because it’s seen as a sign of adulthood and financial responsibility. They fail to realize the commitment and responsibilities that come along with owning a home. They fail to realize that homeownership is not a guaranteed good investment. Take it or not, people are currently in the business yet their finances are not the best. 

Now, what are the things you should consider when buying your first home?

Personal Finances

Being able to purchase a home means you know what you can afford. You can determine this based on your finances. Always try to keep track of your credit score and work towards improving it as much as you can. The greater the score you get, the faster you’ll be approved for a loan. You as well need to consider how much you need for a down payment. Homebuyers are expected to put up between 5 and 20 percent of the price of a property as a down payment. As a potential homeowner, saving for a down payment should be your top priority.

Study your Mortgage and Down Payment Options

You can always find different mortgage options out there. Each comes with different combinations of pros and cons. As a first-time homebuyer struggling to get the best down payment, you should understand that the amount you put down will have an impact on your monthly mortgage and interest rates. If you are interested in the smallest rates possible, you can go for a 30- years fixed mortgage program. You can also go for a 20 or 15-year fixed loan if you can afford larger monthly payments. Try playing with various mortgage calculators online to see what fits you.

Find an Experienced Real Estate Agent

With your list of priorities and pre-approval information in hand, speak to a real estate agent who can help you find a home. As a first-time homebuyer, you need someone experienced by your side to guide you through the process. An agent can facilitate negotiations between buyers and sellers and show you properties that fit your budget and meet your needs.

Go shopping for your first home

After avoiding every possibility of financial disaster by understanding every available mortgage and down payment option, you can now go for house hunting, your real estate agent can be very helpful at this stage. Searching for a home at this time will be the perfect move as you already know what you can afford from your credit report. Your credit report is needed by a lender to determine what type of property you can afford.

Save for Closing Cost

You will work with your lender and your real estate agent to ensure that all of the relevant paperwork for your purchase is in order. Along with your down payment, you’ll be required to pay for closing costs. You must be wondering what this is for and how much it is maybe? Closing costs generally vary within 3-4% of the property purchase price.

black Android smartphone

These fees pay for important steps in the home-buying process, including:

  • Appraisal
  • Home inspection
  • Credit report
  • Attorney
  • Homeowner’s insurance

person sitting on chair holding iPad

So, no matter when you plan on purchasing your first time, be sure that you’re well aware of all of the extra costs and what you’ll really be spending. For more info, please contact us whenever you’re in need of homebuying advice.

real estate virtual tours

Selling Homes During Coronavirus: 7 Tips for Virtual Tours

1000 500 Taylor Witt

It’s no secret that the nation’s housing market has ground to halt. Sellers are wary of letting strangers into their homes, and buyers are afraid to venture out. In fact, many sellers have simply removed their homes from the market as they are waiting for things to improve before relisting; or they’ve opened up to the idea of real estate virtual tours.

That said, mortgage rates, however, are at historic lows, and buyers with safe jobs and excellent credit scores are in a great position to acquire the property. If you do need to sell your home during this unprecedented time, this is an excellent target market, and by using virtual tour real estate technology, you can move your property. We’ve compiled seven tips that will help you go virtual, so let’s take a look:

Facetime

The time for real estate virtual tours is now. Anyone that is interested in buying your home will have a cell phone, and the easiest way to do a virtual tour real estate showing is by utilizing Facetime. The prospective buyer can not only have an up-close and personal look at your property, but any questions that arise can be instantly answered. And, since no Internet connection is required—although Wi-Fi calling may make for a more seamless presentation—Facetime has been shown to be a great—and free—resource.

two men in suit sitting on sofa

Skype

Facetime is great for real estate virtual tours, but what else? Think of Skype as enhanced Facetime. You do need to download the app, but you can have multiple parties on the phone, and they can be located anywhere. While facetime is very easy to use, first-time Skype users are encouraged to view a short explanatory video.

man and woman siting on sofa chair inside room

Facebook Live

Facebook is continuously trying to monetize its platform (great for real estate virtual tours), and for many years the company has been striving to create a useful home sellers’ marketplace. Prospective buyers have been able to use private messaging to contact real estate agents regarding showings, and now sellers’ agents can put together a nice video that does a great job of showing a home.

person holding gray video camera near green leaf plant during daytime

Facebook Live also allows Realtors to save their virtual tour real estate videos, and these can be shown on their company websites and distributed on social media networks. Some agents are also using these videos to help qualify prospective buyers.

YouTube

YouTube has come a long way form the platform that enabled silly home videos. YouTube is now the second-largest search engine in the world with over three billion monthly searches, and in addition to allowing buyers to find properties for sale by search, savvy Realtors craft great videos that showcase homes for sale. Buyers are then emailed or texted a link that puts the property for sale right in front of them instantly.

Youtube in smartphone

Periscope

This is another virtual streaming app like YouTube, but video creators sometimes take this a step further and add local neighborhood points of interest that can give the prospective buyer an intimate feel for the surrounding area even though they may be thousands of miles away.

shallow focus photography of man holding video camera

Don’t Forget the Landscaping

Curb appeal is still very important, and even more so if would-be buyers are looking at your property virtually. Why? Because they can still do a drive-by:

  • Without putting themselves at risk,
  • without even getting out of the car,
  • and without you even knowing it.

You don’t want to have spent time, effort and dollars to make a great interior video and have your work negated by a scraggly weed-filled lawn accompanied by overgrown foundation plantings. Therefore, take some time to work on the landscaping, and if you can’t do it yourself, search online and find a company that is still doing outside work. You can pay with a credit card and you don’t have to meet anyone in person.

black pruning shears beside green gloves

Do Some Research

Finally, before blindly picking a virtual tour option, do some work and find out what methods have worked best for sellers that have unloaded a home during the coronavirus pandemic. What worked for them could work for you, so again, get into it and do some research!

Again, this is a crazy time, but it doesn’t mean that homes will not sell. Buyers are out there looking for bargains and mortgage rates are at historic lows. Do everything you can to make sure that anyone that is looking to buy a house is aware that your property could be a great option.

mortgage after bankruptcy

How Will Filing Bankruptcy Affect My Mortgage?

1000 500 Sam Radbil

You are overwhelmed with debt and you have a mortgage to pay. 

What do you do?

The next step you take to resolve your financial difficulties (yes, you still have a life after bankruptcy) largely depends upon the type of debt you have, your income, and what you want to do and can do with your secured collateral.  

Remember, your mortgage is a secured debt, meaning that it is secured by your real property and that if you default on the mortgage, the mortgage lender can seize the property through a foreclosure action. Further, the mortgage lender can sue you for the account deficiency following the sale of the property at sheriff’s auction.

Here are five common scenarios that feature different treatment of your mortgage depending upon the rest of your financial situation. 

You have fallen behind on your mortgage and you do not have enough income to make your monthly mortgage payments, much less repay the mortgage arrears.

In this case, you have the option to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a 4-6 month liquidation process by which you disclose your income, expenses, assets, and debts. The court determines that you are unable to repay your unsecured debt (like credit card or medical debt) and you receive a discharge of that debt – meaning, you are no longer personally liable for that debt.

When you file a bankruptcy case under Chapter 7, you have two options regarding your mortgage and your home:

You can Enroll in Your State’s Mortgage Modification Program

Most states offer Chapter 7 debtors the opportunity to request a mortgage modification through their bankruptcy filing. This brings the mortgage lender to the table in that the lender is required to participate. Be advised however that no lender is required to give you a modification if a feasible modification just cannot be reached, considering your past-due mortgage debt and your current income.

You Can Surrender Your Real Property

If you know that no matter what mortgage modification is offered you will be unable to afford to pay your monthly mortgage payment, you can “surrender” your property in your Chapter 7 filing and have the underlying debt, the mortgage, discharged as unsecured debt. 

“Surrendering” your property means you walk away free and clear, owing nothing. It also means that any foreclosure proceedings or scheduled sheriff’s sales are “stayed” or stopped by the bankruptcy filing’s “automatic stay,”, giving you a few months to live in the house without paying the mortgage and to save money for whatever future housing arrangements you are considering.

You have fallen behind on your mortgage but you have enough income to pay the monthly mortgage payment if your unsecured debts are discharged

In this case you might consider filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition. Chapter 13 is a repayment plan over 3 or 5 years, and will allow you to repay your mortgage arrears over time as long as you can start making the monthly mortgage payment in full and on time as well.

At the end of your Chapter 13 plan you will be current on your mortgage and you will receive a discharge of any unsecured debt, like credit card debt and medical debt. Some past due income tax can also be discharged, under certain conditions.

You are current on your mortgage but have overwhelming credit card or medical debt, and do not have much equity in your home.

In this case, Chapter 7 will really help you.  If the equity in your home is less than the state or federal exemption (meaning, the Trustee cannot seize your home and sell it for the benefit of your creditors), then filing Chapter 7 will not affect your mortgage at all – simply keep making the monthly mortgage payment in full and on time throughout your Chapter 7 case.

What Chapter 7 can do for you is get that unsecured debt discharged, as long as you income-qualify to file Chapter 7. If you make too much income to qualify to file Chapter 7, you can file a Chapter 13 case and repay a small amount of unsecured debt to your creditors, and have the remainder discharged at the completion of your plan.

You are current on your mortgage, have overwhelming unsecured debt, and have a lot of equity in your home.

If you have equity in your home that exceeds the applicable exemptions, things get tricky. If you have overwhelming unsecured debt, the bankruptcy court will consider that equity the means by which you can repay your unsecured creditors. 

Considering this, how can bankruptcy help? You can still file a Chapter 13 case, and a calculation is made of the unexempt amount of equity in your property. That amount must be paid, proportionately, to your unsecured creditors, as the amount they would have gotten had you filed Chapter 7 and the Trustee seized and sold your home for the benefit of your creditors. 

The amount of nonexempt equity in your property will be divided by 36 or 60 months (your 3- or 5-year Chapter 13 plan), and with the addition of the Trustee fee, you will pay that amount to the Trustee every month and the Trustee will make proportional distributions to your unsecured creditors.

This way your home is protected, and you just pay your monthly Trustee payment and continue to pay your monthly mortgage payment in full and on time throughout your Chapter 13 case.

You are current on your first mortgage, have a second mortgage, and have some unsecured debt you are struggling to pay.

If your first mortgage is greater than the current market value of your home, then you can “strip off” that second mortgage as unsecured and have it discharged in a Chapter 13 case.

Yes, you read right.  Here is an example:

John and Mary own a home currently worth $225,000. They took out a second mortgage many years ago when the home was worth $280,000, but property values have fallen since then.  Their first mortgage balance is $212,000 and the second mortgage balance is $38,000.

John and Mary are “underwater” on their first mortgage in the amount of $13,000. For this reason, they can file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition and strip off their second mortgage as unsecured and have it discharged. As a bonus, they can also have their credit card and medical debt totaling $22,000 discharged. Filing Chapter 13 saved John and Mary $60,000!

Wrapping It Up

In conclusion, what happens to your mortgage after bankruptcy depends upon which Chapter you file under as well as your income and your goals in filing the case.

Speak with a bankruptcy attorney about the facts of your particular situation so that you can decide for yourself the best course of action.

first time homeowner checklist

An Essential Checklist for New Homeowners

1000 500 Sam Radbil

You are in! You have managed your finances; you have jumped through the hoops – and now you are living in your first home

It is exciting, maybe even daunting.

Here we take you through the essentials for your new home – what you will need versus what you desire. 

It doesn’t matter who you are, what age you’re making your first purchase, what your financial situation looks like, or anything else … this checklist can be helpful as a first-time owner.

Whoever you are, here is the list of essentials you should collect.

The Cleaning Collection

As dull as it sounds, before you move to your new place, you will need cleaning products and equipment. If this is one stress too many, you could always order the following items online and have them delivered to your new home on the day you move in.

First, you will need a vacuum cleaner – preferably a high-powered device.  Before you start to place your furniture in the home, you will want to make sure you have vacuumed everywhere. Your moving team will have tracked in dirt, and you will want to make sure you start your time in your home with it looking its best. There are some great deals on CraigsList and other online sites. If you have hard floors, you might want to get a broom and dustpan instead. You will undoubtedly need a mop and bucket.

Then, you will need a variety of sponge cloths, rags and squeegees.  You will want to wash down the counters and clean the bathroom. You will struggle to keep your mirrors; shower doors and windows clean without the right tool for the job.

Finally, pick up a range of cleaning fluids and sprays for the different parts of your home. You will need bleach, oven cleaner, washing up liquid, washing powder and many more. Check out the aisle at the supermarket to get a full idea of your cleaning needs.

Furniture Items

Rented accommodation often comes with some basic furniture. However, you will want to start adding to this furniture to help you make the place your own. 

Although you will have a bed, sofa, table and chairs and other such essentials, you may be missing some of the more comfortable and stylish items that will help you feel at home. You should add to these pieces over time and not think you need to interior design the whole space from the start. Once you have the essentials and a few pieces that make the home yours, the rest can come over time.

Small beginning points could be a lovely rug, or a favorite chair – maybe even a bookcase with some of your favorite books.

If you are moving into your bought home for the first time, these little luxuries may need to wait while you acquire the essentials such as a bed and a sofa.

Bathroom Details

Like your cleaning products for the house, some bathroom items will need to be available from the moment you move in. You will be embarrassed if you are caught short without loo roll – for instance. You also need to think about small things like a shower curtain, a bathmat, a storage rack for your toilet rolls – along with a toilet roll dispenser.  

You should also remember your towels and your soap and soap dish – you will be glad of these after a dirty day moving furniture. You will eventually want to stock up and have about three towels per person – along with a few extras for your guests.

The Electrics

You will need items you didn’t even realize you needed before. The most common problem facing new home movers is a lack of extension cables, lightbulbs and cables for TVs – such as your HDMI cable. The small things that magically appeared in your parents’ home that helped you charge your phone and your laptop – are now yours to buy.

Something small like a cord organizer could be a lifesaver when you are moving in. Neatly setting up your cables from the start will save you a lot of untangling.

Finally, and when you come to relax you will be glad we mentioned it, stock up on packs of AA and AAA batteries for the remote control for your TV and satellite box.

Overall, there are a ton of things you’ll have to do when you finally get into your first home. But this is a checklist that can set you on the path to enjoyment as soon as possible in your new digs!

Homeowners Guide to Using & Installing a Central Vacuum System

1000 500 Sam Radbil

Are you a homeowner thinking to purchase the best central vacuum? If you’re looking to upgrade the cleaning of dirt and debris in your home, this is for you.

Well, after this decision you need to dive into this guide for selecting the right central vacuum for your place.

You need to realize that there are several sorts of models and each of them owns different features for fulfilling a particular need thus you need to decide according to your requirement. This article covers some of the important information which is vital for you to take in before heading right away for the purchase. 

Getting the Right Installer

Many first time homeowners just focus on finding the correct central vacuum system and in that race, they always tend to ignore the right installer. There can be a high probability that you are confused about the type of installer which will fit your need, in that case never shy away and ask your family and friends. You need to ask around with your friends who already own the right installer.

In short, never ignore the potential of referral and their recommendations in a purchase decision. There can be a high probability that you are ignoring longevity but consider this factor when purchasing the central vacuum.

There can also be the case that the referral method just never works for you. Well, in that case, you need to dig deep into the local search and find the installer online. Read several reviews before making up your mind or settling for the perfect fit. 

Home Needs

You can not purchase a central vacuum without understanding the need for your house. You need to choose a perfect installer and after that ask the company to visit your place. You need to get the assessment from the company and ask that that which installer will be perfect for your house. 

System Fit

Certain things need to get considered before getting the actual central vacuum. You, along with the installer, must be able to figure out a method of hiding the tubings. The other locations which need your attention are inlet valves and dust canister. 

System Size

The next important and vital thing is the match. Your house together with the system must have perfect coordination. Bear in mind that your installer should take the size of your house, the floors and the number of rooms in the account as one needs to ensure that the central vacuum could work at an optimal level and reach every small space. The suction also needs to get determined according to the type of house you have. You might be aware that flooring also plays a huge role in the determination of the right central vacuum as there are different ones for carpet and different ones for tiles. 

Maintenance

If you are questioning the maintenance cost of a central vacuum cleaner then rest assured that it is much cheaper than alternatives, as you will have to get only certain parts replaced and that too once in about ten years. Make sure you do your research when looking at this method for your newly purchased home.

Key Benefits of Using Property Management Software

1000 500 Sam Radbil

If you think managing real estate is easy, then you have not met an agent yet. With so many properties to sell, their marketing, their management, and vacancy allocation, it gets tougher than.

If you would have joined the property management business a decade ago, all your hairs must have turned white due to the burden of work.. But with the advent of technology, it has become easy. As innovations have made every aspect of life mechanical similarly it has transformed real estate as well. With the introduction of this property management software, it is no longer a complex task to be a property manager.

Moreover, with the surge in the real estate business, this software has become a necessity. As you can see, in 2018 US homeowners bought existing homes of 5.34 million and 667,000 new houses.

Thus according to the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials approximately 2 million realtors facilitated these sales. So think for yourself how they managed it. Just imagine the number of homes per realtor! Do the math and you will understand why realtors require technology to help them? So this boom in the estate business led to realtors increasing their efficiency as workload expanded via property management software. From mobility and multi-tasking to versatility, security, and financial benefits, this software is changing the game for realtors. Here is why you should adopt them too:

1. Multi-Tasking Becomes Easy 

If you are a property manager or realtor, you must know how many things are there to handle. It might look like a desk job from far, just some selling and marketing, but apart from that, it has many hidden obligations as well.

Not only do you have to reduce vacancies promptly, but you also have to schedule maintenance, collect payments, comply with numerous regulations, and negotiate between parties, etc. moreover, if the properties they are dealing with are not in a centralized location, the workload is compounded and even more difficult to manage. In the past, all of this cannot be done single-handedly as managing everything at once led to blunders. Multi-tasking was not an option as even a slight mistake due to tasks getting muddled up could cost a lot. Well, previously the obvious solutions were to hire assistants or to contract out work. But all of these were costly and also lead to communication problems and dependency.

They also lead to dissatisfaction in many cases. But with free property management software you no longer need to delegate or contract out. You can manage all the work yourself with ease. The tasks that were all muddled up before, confusing can now be organized. They can be finished on your own promptly. Multi-tasking not only becomes feasible but also improves overall efficiency and quality as the realtor supervises the work him/herself.

You can use them to set up a portal where you will receive notifications of any request or pending task so that you can work on them competently. You will not miss out on anything as all data will be accumulated and organized on this software. You can even track everything by just clicking the right way round!

2. Economical

As we mentioned above, property management software removes middlemen. Realtors no longer need to hire assistants or pay to contractors to manage properties.

They can just purchase this inexpensive virtual assistant which eases the workload for them. Not only is the cost reduced in terms of money, but also errors are reduced as this technological innovation is extremely efficient. There are no time lags, miscommunication, or dissatisfaction. You can manage properties, anywhere and anytime which makes tasks easier and quicker to accomplish. This reduces costs thus increases profits by a large margin!

3. Mobility

Software these days does not require technical rooms. They can be used from anywhere. These features make it especially helpful in the real estate business as realtors are always on the run. So the mobility factor makes property management software and an ideal solution for working with various tasks off-site. Moreover, this mobility also saves time and reduces stress as problems can be highlighted at any time from any location can be resolved in an appropriate manner

4. Faster and Secure Transactions

Even if you manage the tasks on your own, and have no problems surviving the burden (which is quite unlikely); then even the time of payments will make you dive deep into stress. You may pass the work management but transaction management will definitely give you a headache without software. It is the payment receiving aspect where many realtors face problems. This is because both keeping track of rent payments and a money collection is a major hassle.

If manually done there are huge prospects of fraud as well as misappropriation. Contraction out money matters is also a risk. So the property management software comes to rescue here.

With it, transactions become both fast and more secure. This is so because the middle party is removed, and you have to directly deal with your clients. Moreover, the money is directly transferred through portals, such as credit cards, e-checks, PayPal, etc. Not only is it beneficial for you, but it also makes your clients happy as they have the convenience of paying you anytime from anywhere.

5. Maintaining Accounts

Realtors are professionals who deal with property. So they might not necessarily be good with numbers. Even if you are excellent at selling homes, and managing property, you will lose out if you do not match the numbers. Thus, if you are amongst those that struggling with Excel spreadsheets and accounts and people are robbing you off then a sigh of relief.

This software is a perfect solution for you as it eases all your financial complexities. You no longer have to update these mind-blogging accounts which you dread. This is because the property management software features an integrated system that gives you an advantage of automatic updating.

All you have to do is add the amount once and the rest of the changes are left upon this beautiful scientific discovery. So once in your life, you can thank those software geeks who have created this wonderful tool that makes your life hassle-free. Furthermore, the accounting benefits are not over yet. This software also helps in tracking and reporting thus you can keep a better hold over your performance and profits. Lastly, critical financial data is available at one click via this software too.

Conclusion

So the verdict is that those who have moved to it have been smart. They have heavily benefitted from this quick, economical, and effective creation. For those who are still in the thinking process, be quick as you are losing out a lot! This is because this property management software brings with it a plethora of benefits.

We have only highlighted a few major ones as we will need a whole book to compile them all! Thus getting it now will be the cleverest move you will make this year for both your peace and your business!

The Key Steps to Buying a House in 2020

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If you need to relocate because of a job change, or if you have to downsize, you may not have the choice of whether to buy a home this year or not. You may have always owned your home, you may feel that any housing dollars that are not building equity are merely wasted, or maybe you just don’t like renting. Since you are committed to buying property, we will analyze the trends that can make 2020 a more or less favorable year to make your purchase and the clear steps to buying a house.

Interest Rates

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Unless you just won the lottery, you’ll have to take out a mortgage loan to finance your purchase.

Since the Great Recession and housing meltdown that began in earnest in 2009, mortgage interest rates have fallen to slightly below four percent. President Trump knows that the state of the economy could determine his reelection, and he has been using his influence to keep interest rates low. Many pundits feel that the stock market will stay steady or keep climbing for the rest of the year and that interest rates will remain at historic lows.

If that happens, it will be advantageous to buy a home in 2020—at least from an interest rate perspective.

Steps to Buying a House: The Pricing

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The steps to buying a house can be confusing, but pricing doesn’t have to be. Rapidly rising housing prices are the rule in many United States areas with some municipalities reporting double-digit price increases. Since 2009 there have simply been less homes on the market because many homeowners are staying put, and when supply is stretched by demand, home prices rise. If the economy stays strong—and again, Donald Trump understands this well—home prices will continue to rise. 

Following these steps to buying a house at the top of the market is not your goal, but no one can tell when that top will occur. If you bought at the top of the market in Austin, TX in 2009, you’re in a different spot than if you had bought at the top of the market in Milwaukee, WI. 

When the recession was deepest, an Austin, TX downtown condo purchased for $155,000 might have temporarily lost up to $20,000 in value, but today that condo is worth $265,000. Some $120,000 Milwaukee condos quickly lost half of their 2009 value and have not recovered, so your equity positions in a recession are in a large part determined by where you buy.

Steps to Buying a House: Qualifying for Financing

Steps to Buying a Home and Interest Rate Information

So far 2020 has been a great time to get a mortgage. Rates are low and although it may never be as easy to get a mortgage as it was in 2007, it’s easier now than it was in 2011. Lenders aren’t quite as strict, and some are beginning to place less weight on commonly held debts like student loans. Unless a 2009-like bank crisis quickly appears—which is unlikely—2020 will continue to be a great year for obtaining financing.

Steps to Buying a House: The Technology

If you are considering new construction, 2020 is an excellent time to get into the housing market. New homes are smart, and from lighting to HVAC to security, the smart tech should be built into any new home you are considering. The best are fitted with fully automated systems available on a single device that allow you to control your new home from anywhere.

Steps to Buying a House: The Taxes

There is a cap on mortgage interest deductions that was not in place a few years ago. Also, the IRS says, “Your deduction of state and local income, sales, and property taxes is limited to a combined total deduction of $10,000 ($5,000 if married filing separately). You may be subject to a limit on some of your other itemized deductions also.” And while it may have been more advantageous to purchase a home in the past, we don’t foresee more generous real estate related tax deductions appearing again any time soon.

What about Cheaper Platforms?

The trend toward selling homes on national platforms like Redfin and Zillow with smaller commission costs will continue. CBS MarketWatch warns consumers that “there’s a drawback for consumers who do choose to go this route though: There’s a decent chance that the seller will offload their home for less than they would have gotten by offering it on the open market.” While this can be bad for the seller, it can be great for the buyer.

Always remember that sometimes external factors should not be the main reason you buy a home at a particular time. Even if the economy is in terrible shape, you may need to relocate and purchase a home. And, you may have to buy at the top of the market if it is absolutely necessary that you move. In these cases, understand that you should not look at your home as your primary investment, and you should then view your loan payment as a mere constant—the monthly amount it costs you to provide shelter for you and your family. 

If you are having problems qualifying for traditional financing, talk to our team at C4D. We are experts in getting good people into quality homes even if you have some credit issues.

Contact us today!

Home Staging Tips

Essential Home Staging Tips for a 2020 Sale

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Home staging is the process of preparing your house for viewings.  The better you are at creating the right impression, the quicker you will sell your home.

This is more than just making sure it is tidy, though this helps.  You are using all the advice and expertise available to showcase the strengths of your home – and seek to subtly hide any weaknesses.

What is Home Staging?

Home staging is more than putting your house on your market.  By staging your home, you understand that you are opening your home to strangers and you hope to get them to part with hundreds of thousands of pounds.  Consequently, you need to make the house look appealing and you need to sell a lifestyle to the visitors.  

As well as minimizing your possessions, cleaning up and generally making it look desirable, you need to add a few flourishes precisely as an actor would do during a play.  You want to use strategies that will evoke the emotions of your potential buyers. It’s important to work with your realtor to make these important decisions on staging, but let’s get into a few tips.

The Essential Home Staging Tips

The are many strategies for making your home more sellable.  Here are a few critical tips to get you started.

  1. Know your market.  You need to consider who will want to buy your home and maximize its appeal to this group.  If you are going to appeal to those who are city dwellers but are looking to relocate to the suburbs – how can you create a sense of a rural ideal they will have imagined? If the likely buyers are a family with children, then you need to show them where the kids will play safely.
  2. Remove the clutter. Decluttering is more than just tidying up. You need to clear out the messes that you have in your home. Your buyer will be looking for a sense of space and will need the room to see where they can place their furniture. The more things you have scattered around the room, the more it will look too small for the potential buyer. You may also want to buy someone in to do a deep clean of your kitchen and bathroom. The return on the investment of a deep clean of a bathroom is said to be huge during the sale process.  
  3. Add some homely touches. Although you want to offer something of a blank canvas, you also need to make the place seem like a home.  Real estate agents do not like selling empty properties, as it takes too much imagination for the visitor to see themselves living in the empty rooms. You could add some nice cushions on your bed, a few paintings to make a space feel bright, and then, you might suggest how the buyer could sink into this room after a hard day at work.
  4. Refresh the paintwork, clean the floor and wash the windows. First impressions make a significant difference to the buyer.  We all know curb appeal is huge for this matter. That said, when you enter the home, the walls are big sprawling spaces that have a considerable impact. Try to remove any scrapes or splashes of mud with a quick dab of paint. You should also make sure the floors are as clean as possible, as again, they have the most significant first impression of the viewer. Washing the windows is also essential. If light pours into your home, it will look more spacious – plus everything looks better bathed in natural light. Hiring a window cleaner could pay dividends in the speed of the sale as well as the amount offered on your home.
  5. Highlight how space is used. There are oddly shaped and weird spaces in everyone’s houses – it might be a space under the stairs or a small utility room. If you can show how the buyer could use this area of your home, you should show clearly how every inch of the space is useful. For example, you could quickly put a wine rack under the stairs and maybe use some form of quirky storage for shoes in the utility area. Your role is to demonstrate how your home can work for them.

The Key Message

Of course, you need to clean your home to make it easy to sell.  However, you are also presenting a lifestyle to the buyers.

Your job when staging your home is to give them a nudge towards a way of living that they desire. Maybe you should consider baking bread or putting out fresh coffee; make it memorable. This is the same principle but extended. Make it feel like their future home.