Deb Evans ABR,CSG - ERA Key Realty Services



Posted by Deb Evans ABR,CSG on 9/17/2019

Having equity in your home is an incredibly valuable thing. It allows you to borrow against your house and shows that the value of your investment is rising. Equity defined is the difference between your home’s value and the amount you still owe on the home. Equity allows you to move forward with other properties and sell your current one. 


As you pay down your mortgage, your equity increases. There is, however, always a risk of an equity slide where values drop a bit. There are a few ways that you can help your home’s equity value to increase faster.


Pay Towards The Principal


The first few years that you’re a homeowner, you’ll be paying a lot towards the interest and only a little towards the principal value of the loan. The quicker you pay down your home loan, the faster you’ll increase the equity of your home. Check your budget and see how much extra you may be able to pay. Then, talk with your lender to see if there are any pre-payment penalties. 


Complete Home Improvement Projects


You may not know that many home improvement projects can increase the value of your home substantially. There are many projects that you can complete in your home that won’t break the bank yet will give you a significant return. You can start simple, or think big. Some of the best home improvement projects that will add value to your home include:


  • Complete kitchen remodel
  • Replacing countertops
  • Refinishing cabinets
  • Installing new appliances
  • Replacing garage doors
  • Bathroom remodel
  • Putting on addition
  • Landscaping renovations


Any of these home improvement projects can add value to your home, bringing the equity value of the home up. Even if you’re not planning on taking out any equity in your home for some time, any improvement projects that you choose to do are beneficial for both you and how your home affects your finances.  


Increase The Amount Of Your Downpayment


You can increase the value of a home before you even buy it. If you put the traditional 20% down on a house, you’ll build equity a bit faster than if you put down a lower amount such as 3% or 5%. If you have already purchased your home, you can ask your lender to do what’s called a cash-in refinance. This type of refinance is where you bring cash to the refinancing closing table in order to lower the balance of your mortgage.   





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Posted by Deb Evans ABR,CSG on 9/10/2019

You may have noticed significant changes in your neighborhood. Younger couples and young professionals have been moving in around you. Along with them, you see a few new restaurants, coffee shops, or co-work spaces have popped up in the area. As you become aware of the increased attraction of your community to younger buyers, you might consider selling your home under a potentially upgraded resale value. So, how do you know what attracted these young folks to the homes in your neighborhood? You purchased yours some years ago and are trying to compare the value you saw to the new perception. If this seems to fit your situation, these tips below and a consultation with your local real estate agent can help you properly determine what these new buyers’ value in a home and what you can do to most appeal to them if you want to resell. 

The first thing to remember is you can't put Millennials into any specific box. This generation spans two decades of people with entirely different upbringings, social circumstances, technology, and more! Take a look at your home and neighborhood with your agent and find what features to highlight or improve before you sell. 

Low Maintenance.

Many young buyers want to own their own home but have active lifestyles or work-life and not much time to take care of the house. Some are well-adapted to technology but may not have learned the skills to care for property or a home. When considering upgrades to your home, consider replacing wooden siding with a fiber cement-style or sturdy new exterior technology that mimics wood but won’t need repainting. Think about replacing your lawn with a low maintenance xeriscape and extend your backyard patio to allow for more outdoor living space and less lawn care. Make sure your roof is up to par and won't need attention in the near future. Look for ways to minimize the work necessary to make the home easily maintained. 

Functionality. 

Consider the vast array of lifestyles pursued by Millennials today. With so many interests, endeavors, and hobbies young buyers are not necessarily looking for a traditional home set up—though they aren’t not-looking for it either. Open floor plans and easily changeable spaces are essential to your potential buyers. They may have aspirations of a home business or hobby or host different clubs and activities that require more than the standard living or dining spaces. Find ways to open up the home and allow for easy furniture changes. Look for opportunities to improve built-in storage to require less standing furniture in each room—hallway cabinets, built-in shelving, etc. If you can make your home appeal to the different living space needs of this eclectic buyer group, you can improve your sale prospects. 

Entertaining. 

One desire of new home buyers that hasn't changed much from generation to generation. Many new home buyers have high aspirations in the realm of entertainment. Depending on your home's layout and style you won't be able to appeal to all entertainment goals, but you should look for ways to highlight and improve some key areas of the home — first, the kitchen. Young buyers no longer use formal dining rooms for entertaining guests. Many want an open kitchen with plenty of seating and counter space, and an ability for the host to entertain while cooking. Look for ways to upgrade your kitchen, add an island and wet bar area and move the party into the kitchen space. A great patio is another way to attract buyers. Extend your back patio to allow for more seating area or install a great built-in grill to be the center of entertaining. Take a look at your space to find how you can upgrade different parts to show your buyers the possibilities: sitting area, grill area, possible hot tub area, space built for outdoor games and more!

If you hope to sell your home soon, and you think you see a new market in younger buyers, get with your local real estate agent to make a plan to attract these buyers to your home’s value.





Posted by Deb Evans ABR,CSG on 9/4/2019

Classic Village Colonial set off street with large level fenced in backyard. Dining room with built-in china cabinet leads into generous sized living room both with hardwood floors. Large entry way with original "Craftsmen style" woodwork. Hardwoods continue upstairs to the three bedrooms and office or sitting area with stairs leading to walk up attic for possible future expansion. Close to shopping with easy commutes to Rte 495 or T-Station in Franklin.

More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts




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Posted by Deb Evans ABR,CSG on 9/3/2019

One of the most famous books around, with over 18 million copies in print, and that holds the title as the longest running "New York Times" bestseller ever, is What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Now in its fifth edition, this pregnancy bible walks parents through what to expect during the nine months leading up to and including delivery.

Buying a home is nearly as momentous as having a baby, and yet, most potential buyers don’t really know what to expect when closing on their home purchase. In fact, knowing what to expect is even more urgent because closing happens in a much shorter time-frame, in as little as 12 days in some cases.

So, what should you expect?

The one part those home-buying reality shows leave out is the closing. So, to many buyers, it remains a mystery until they're in the middle of it. Even real estate professionals get nervous about closing. It's the moment where anything can go wrong, and everything can go right! It begins with mountains of papers to sign and ends with a handful of keys in exchange for a lot of money. So just what is closing and what should you expect?

“Closing” is short for closing the deal or completing the transaction. During closing several significant things happen: Title of your home transfers from the seller to the buyer; the proceeds of the sale (everything remaining after any seller’s fees are paid) distribute to the seller; and if financing the home, the buyer signs the mortgage note, pays fees, insurances, taxes, and real estate commissions. A lot of things happen at closing, so give yourself plenty of time to understand each aspect of the process if it’s your first time around.

At the time of closing, your agent and your loan officer will inform you about what you need to bring to the meeting. Bring identification, so have your driver’s license or passport on hand. You’ll need a cashier’s check for your down payment and the closing costs that appear on your HUD-1 Settlement Statement. This three-page document outlines exactly what your obligations are at closing and in the future. In addition, small items crop up at closing that might need additional funds (furniture you requested the seller leave behind, extra propane or heating oil you're buying directly from the seller) and last-minute requests. 

You'll be signing lots of papers. These legal documents obligate you for many years to come, so make sure you understand them. Also, make certain your name is spelled correctly on every page and every addendum. If you're purchasing with a partner or spouse, make sure the legal designation is as you want it. Changing it later may be difficult.

Recognize that while you may have a close estimate of closing costs, you will not know the exact amount until the day of closing, so round up a bit and have extra funds on hand. Sometimes you can swing a deal for the seller to pay all closing costs, but you’ll still be liable for pro-rated taxes, association dues, insurance, and other buyer obligations.

Don't be surprised by fees. Ask your agent to go over all the charges with you so that you know which ones you pay for and which ones the seller pays for.




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Posted by Deb Evans ABR,CSG on 8/27/2019

There is no feeling like the one associated with buying a house. If you know how to navigate the homebuying journey, you can boost the likelihood of enjoying an unforgettable property buying experience.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you seamlessly navigate the homebuying journey.

1. Create Homebuying Criteria

For those who want to enter the real estate market, it generally is a good idea to establish homebuying criteria. That way, you can focus on properties that match your expectations.

Think about the features you want to find in your dream residence. For instance, if you want to own a house that offers a spacious backyard, you can narrow your property search accordingly. Or, if you want to purchase a residence close to some of the nation's top schools, you can hone your property search to a select group of cities and towns.

You may want to conduct extensive housing market research too. Because the more you know about the local housing sector, the better equipped you will be to find a home that you can enjoy for years to come.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

If you want to buy a house, you likely will need a mortgage. Lucky for you, banks and credit unions are available nationwide, and these financial institutions can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage.

Meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. By doing so, you can learn about all of your mortgage options and select a mortgage that corresponds to your finances.

Also, if you are uncertain about how a mortgage works or require other home financing insights, reach out to a bank or credit union for support. Banks and credit unions employ courteous, knowledgeable mortgage specialists who can teach you everything you need to know about home financing. As a result, you can work with these mortgage specialists to make an informed home financing decision.

3. Employ a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a must-have, particularly for an individual who wants to minimize stress during the homebuying journey. In fact, this housing market professional will do whatever it takes to help you find a terrific home at a budget-friendly price.

With a real estate agent at your side, you can streamline the homebuying journey. A real estate agent will help you establish realistic expectations for a home search, set up house showings and keep you up to date about new residences that become available in your preferred cities and towns. In addition, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive offer to purchase your ideal residence. And once you are ready to close on your dream house, a real estate agent will make it simple for you to do just that.

As you get ready to pursue your dream residence, it helps to prepare as much as you can. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you should have no trouble enjoying a fun, exciting homebuying experience.




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