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Monthly Archives: May 2012

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5 Things to do Before Listing Your Home

Deciding to list your home for sale is a momentous time. Take a moment to look over these tips for what every seller should do before they put their home on the market.

Organize Your Paperwork: Every homeowner should have a detailed list of all past repairs, updates, and upgrades they’ve made. This will help your agent know what should be mentioned on the MLS. Did you put on a new roof in 2010 or install a new water heater in 2009? These are great selling features because they mean less work in the future for the prospective buyer.  Also included in this list should be any home warranty information. These warranties will most likely transfer with title of the home.

Get Ready to Declutter: Even before you’ve officially listed your home for sale, you should start getting rid of things you don’t need. Starting now will mean a more thorough and less rushed job of clearing things out.  Having a yard sale is a wonderful way of making a little extra pocket change while reducing the amount of things you’ll have in your home during showings and that you’ll need to pack up and move. It’s a win-win!

Clean, Clean, and Clean Some More: Dirty homes are a real buyer turnoff. Now is a great time wash down walls, spruce up paint, and give your entire home a thorough cleaning. Do your carpets need refreshing? Consider renting a carpet shampoo machine or hiring a professional carpet cleaning company to come in and revamp your carpets.  Chances are buyers will ask for this anyway come closing time.

Get an Inspection: Having a pre-sale inspection can mean identifying problem areas. Perhaps you’re unaware that your foundation needs repaired. This will severely affect your listing price. It’s best to be prepared and realistic in today’s market.

Make Repairs or Get Estimates: Your inspection will likely leave you with a list of repairs, large and small, that need made. Keep in mind that prospective buyers will also get an inspection of your home and will find these same issues. You may wish to go ahead with large repairs. If not, be sure to at least get estimates so you are fully prepared for negotiations (you’ll know what the real cost should be) or so you can provide the estimates for buyers.

Start Staging: Staging is like prepping your home for its first date. You want to have it clean and well-dressed. This means turning up the curb appeal with neat landscaping, fresh paint, and flowers.

Congratulations on deciding to list your home for sale. Be proactive about making a good first step by following these tried and true tips

 
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Great Kitchens Sell Homes

May 14th, 2012 by gaelite

The kitchen is the most important room to stage in your home. Potential home buyers will want to view it void of unnecessary countertop appliances and clutter. By showcasing your kitchen in the best possible light, you can potentially sell your home faster and increase the closing price.  Even in a slow real estate market, making your kitchen attractive to a buyer could make the difference.

Clean up the kitchen

Studies have shown that one of the dirtiest places in the home is the kitchen. Before you list, pull out those rubber gloves and give everything a good scrub so that the kitchen sparkles. Replace unsightly floor tiles, or in a worst-case scenario, consider a complete floor makeover. Pay special attention to the cabinetry; in older homes, it is common to see cracks in the beaded caulking between the ceiling and the trim above the cupboards. For less than $10, you can buy a pre-mixed tube of crack filler and make it look like new. Also, to give the kitchen an inexpensive facelift, consider replacing the fixturing – an affordable way to give doors and drawers a second wind.

Clutter is a kitchen killer

Kitchens are the focal point of almost every home. A great rule of thumb for the staging of a kitchen is to leave no more than two appliances on your counter. After you have uncluttered the kitchen counter, brighten and soften the space by adding some fresh fruit, new dishtowels, a cookbook, and plants or flowers.

Modernizing today will help you sell tomorrow

Modernizing your kitchen can help you sell your home for years to come. Renovating your kitchen now will let you enjoy new appliances while boosting the value of your home for the future. While you may want to take specific appliances with you, stainless steel can make almost any kitchen sing. Another way to add value to your kitchen is to install concealed appliances – hiding the dishwasher and fridge, for example, can really spice up your kitchen for buyers. Also popular are dual microwave/convection oven (prices can vary between $200 – $900 for higher-end stainless built-ins) – another appliance quickly becoming a staple in most modern kitchens.

If you can’t replace appliances, be sure to have them repaired and cleaned. It’s also a good idea to clean your fridge and stove, as buyers will almost always open oven and fridge doors.

Lighting

Take the time to make sure all the existing light fixtures have working light bulbs. Make sure the blinds are open on all the windows and, if required, add a small table lamp or two to accent a dark corner.

… And the kitchen sink

Another kitchen remodeling idea is to upgrade your “sinkware.” New faucets, soap dispensers and sinks (whether you are reglazing or replacing altogether) are affordable ways to give the kitchen an immediate facelift. Don’t forget, buyers love to turn on the kitchen faucet when touring a home.

The kitchen is the most important room and biggest selling feature in your house. Staging it properly can make every potential buyer say, “this could be my kitchen.”

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Five Musts Before You List Your Home
by Carla Hill

Deciding to list your home for sale is a momentous time. It means you will be moving on to a new stage of life, no matter if you’re moving up or sizing down. Take a moment to look over these tips for what every seller should do before they put their home on the market.

 

 

  • Organize Your Paperwork:Every homeowner should have a detailed list of all past repairs, updates, and upgrades they’ve made. This will help your agent know what should be mentioned on the MLS. Did you put on a new roof in 2010 or a install a new water heater in 2009? These are great selling features because they means less work in the future for the prospective buyer.

    Also included in this list should be any home warranty information. These warranties will most likely transfer with title of the home.

     

  • Get Ready to Declutter: Even before you’ve officially listed your home for sale you should start getting rid of things you don’t need. Starting now will mean a more thorough and less rushed job of clearing things out.

    Start with one closet and work your way through the entire home. Sort items to toss, keep, sell, and donate.

    Having a yard sale is a wonderful way of making a little extra pocket change while reducing the amount of things you’ll have in your home during showings and that you’ll need to pack up and move. It’s a win-win!

     

  • Clean, Clean, and Clean Some More: Dirty homes are a real buyer turnoff. Now is a great time wash down walls, spruce up paint, and give your entire home a thorough cleaning. Do your carpets need refreshing? Consider renting a carpet shampoo machine or hiring a professional carpet cleaning company to come in and revamp your carpets.

    Chances are buyers will ask for this anyways come closing time. You’ll beat them to the punch and have a shiny, sparkling home to show for it.

     

  • Get an Inspection: Did you think inspections were only for buyers? Having a pre-sale inspection can mean identifying problem areas. Perhaps you’re unaware that your foundation needs repaired. This will severely affect your listing price. It’s best to be prepared and realistic in today’s market.

     

  • Make Repairs or Get Estimates: Your inspection will likely leave you with a list of repairs, large and small, that need made. Keep in mind that prospective buyers will also get an inspection of your home and will find these same issues. Head them off at the pass and do some fixing up. You may wish to go ahead with large repairs. If not, be sure to at least get estimates so you are fully prepared for negotiations (you’ll know what the real cost should be) or should you can provide the estimates for buyers.

     

  • Start Staging: Staging is like prepping your home for its first date. You want to have it clean and well-dressed. This means amping up curb appeal with neat landscaping, fresh paint, and flowers. It means rearranging furniture and removing clutter.

    Congratulations on deciding to list your home for sale. Be proactive about making a good first step by following these tried and true tips.

Published: May 10, 2012

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Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 12.  Remember Mom and let her know how much she is loved AND appreciated.

Do you know how Mother’s Day got started?

The modern holiday was first celebrated in the U.S. in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother. She then began a campaign to make “Mother’s Day” a recognized holiday in the US. Although she was successful in 1914, she was already disappointed with its commercialization by the 1920s. Jarvis’ holiday was adopted by other countries and it’s now celebrated all over the world.

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Must-Haves When Going Green

May 10th, 2012 by gaelite

Clean up your cleaning habits with seven supply switches to make your home a greener scene. Linda Mason Hunter, author of Green Clean, offers some easy ideas that anyone can add to their cleaning routine.

Many of the cleaning supplies you use at home are very harmful for the environment. Living Green means making sure the products you use are environmentally friendly. The stores are flooded with “green” cleaning supplies. That’s a great thing, but it can also be a bit overwhelming. How do you know what you really need? Here are some items that offer a shot of green to your cleaning supplies. Tune into a few keywords to help make your shopping easier.

Paper Products

When shopping for paper goods, choose those with the highest “post consumer waste” content you can find, either unbleached or whitened without chlorine.

Candles

Replace paraffin candles, which are made from crude oil, with cleaner-burning soy or beeswax ones.

Trash Bags

Select biodegradable trash bags or those made with at least 65 percent recycled content.

Lightbulbs

Compact fluorescent bulbs use one-quarter the energy of incandescent bulbs and last 10 times longer.

Cleaning Stuff

Buy prepared basics or mix your own environmentally friendly cleaners using common, natural ingredients such as vinegar and baking soda.

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Amid mixed housing data and 15-year homeownership low, questions persist. Did the housing market simply turn into another cul-de-sac?

By Tony at MSN Real Estate May 1, 2012 12:36PM

Shaun Donovan, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, said today that the U.S. housing market has “turned a corner.”

 

His comments at a Bloomberg-sponsored conference echoed those of the National Association of Realtors, which said last week that lower inventories may create “more balanced conditions” and a rise in home prices.

 

The most recent housing data show that pending home sales in March — or homes under contract but not yet closed upon — were at their highest level since April 2010, spurring optimism for more closings in coming months. Sales of existing homes were up 5.2% from March 2011, and new-home sales were up 7.5% in that time. Zillow and the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index also reported new post-boom price bottoms in their latest reports.

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Renters More Optimistic About Buying

A PulteGroup survey of renters says more expect to buy homes in the next two years.

By: Teresa Burney

They may have watched the value of their parents’ homes soar then crash. And, chances are, they know someone who is losing their home to foreclosure. Still, the hope of homeownership is alive among people who rent and want to buy, according to a recent survey by PulteGroup.

The home builder’s survey results showed that 60% of renters who say they want to buy a home in the future have increased their intent to buy compared to a year ago. And 61% of that group says they plan to purchase a home within the next two years.

It also indicates that homeownership continues to be as much an emotional desire as a practical one. Nearly half said they wanted to own a home because they would like being able to call themselves homeowners.

At the same time, 44% still said they thought buying a home is a good investment. And then there were the practical respondents, 36%, who said they wanted to own a home for more space. The percentages were similar across the country.

The results mirrored PulteGroup’s on-the-ground anecdotal information. “We are seeing a renewed sense of optimism, especially from young professionals and young families visiting our communities nationwide,” Deborah Meyer, PulteGroup senior vice president, said in a news release of the results. “In fact, in the first quarter of this year, sales and traffic for our Centex homes, which cater to the value-conscious and first-time buyer, saw a significant improvement over last year—yet another sign of an improving housing market.”

But the survey, which PulteGroup conducted with Russell Research, also identified deterrents to buying that these want-to-be owners say they face. The first is an age-old problem that pre-dates the housing recession. Just over half, 54%, said they don’t have enough money for the down payment.

A few other perceived barriers to buying a home also showed up in the survey. Just over a fourth thinks that renting is cheaper than buying, and just under a fourth are still worrying about their jobs.

The research company conducted online surveys for two groups, one that focused on current renters only and another completely random sample of people that included both renters and homeowners.

The results were similar in the two groups. In the random survey group, 65% of the renters said they plan to buy a home in the future and, of that 65%, 61% plan to buy in the next two years.

Teresa Burney is a senior editor for Builder magazine.


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President of Perry Area Chamber of Commerce at home in midstate

 

By ANGELA WOOLEN — awoolen@macon.com

 

stacy_campbell

 

New Perry Chamber of Commerce President Stacy Campbell, right, holds a meeting of the organization’s Governmental Affairs Committee Wednesday. BEAU CABELL — bcabell@macon.comBuy Photo

PERRY — Stacy Campbell returned to her roots.

For eight years, she was the director of sales and marketing for the Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon.

Now she is the president of the Perry Area Chamber of Commerce.

After moving to Oklahoma City to follow the hockey career of her husband, Ryan, the Montezuma native always knew she would end up back in Middle Georgia.

“As soon as hockey was over, we knew we wanted to come back,” Campbell said.

The couple met when Ryan Campbell was playing hockey for the Macon Whoopie and Campbell was a sports marketing intern from Mercer University.

They have resided in Warner Robins since returning.

Campbell wanted to raise her son Brody, who is 14 months old, in the same kind of small-town atmosphere she was raised.

“I appreciate it since I lived in Oklahoma City,” Campbell said.

In her new role at the Perry chamber, which officially began April 9, she has many ideas on how to continue to promote the city.

Her first order of business was attending her first Dogwood Festival last weekend.

Campbell said she sampled something from each food vendor and talked to numerous merchants about the festival experience.

What Campbell would like to see going forward is an expansion of the festival to include a Friday night kick-off event as well as other events in the city, not just downtown.

“My brain goes in a lot of different directions,” she said.

Through the various meetings she now attends, where her desk calendar is full of blue ink and times, Campbell is still trying to get acclimated to the city’s ideals.

The city has created a branding for itself, calling itself “Perrydise.”

After two weeks, Campbell agreed. “It fits,” she said.

To contact writer Angela Woolen, call 923-5650.

 

BUYING A HOME WON’T GET MUCH CHEAPER

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By CNNMoney

 

 

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By Les Christie

Buying a home may never get any cheaper than this. Several housing experts are predicting that this year will be the last chance for bargain hunters to cash in on the best deals of the weak housing market.

With home prices down 34% nationally since 2006 and mortgage rates at historic lows, homes have never been more affordable — but it won’t stay this way for much longer.

Stuart Hoffman, chief economist for PNC Financial Services, said he expects home prices to flatten out by the third quarter and start climbing by next year.

A number of factors will help bolster the housing market, he said, including a decline in the number of foreclosures and continued job growth. In addition, homebuyers will have better access to mortgages as they get their finances in order and improve their credit scores.

“This is a strong indicator that we will start seeing home price indexes, like the S&P/Case-Shiller, start to report home price increases this summer,” he said.

Prospective homebuyers who’ve been sitting on the fence shouldn’t worry if they aren’t quite ready to make the leap. Analysts are predicting that the initial price gains will be modest, at least, in most markets.

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