Deb Evans ABR,CSG - ERA Key Realty Services



Posted by Deb Evans ABR,CSG on 3/3/2020

Your ultimate goal as a home seller is to make your residence as desirable as possible to potential buyers. If you transform your house into a must-buy, you could reap the benefits of a quick, profitable home selling experience.

To better understand how to enhance your residence before you list it, let's take a look at three tips to help you transform your home into a must-buy.

1. Upgrade Your House's Interior

Consider how buyers may perceive your residence as soon as they walk through your house's front door. Then, you can prioritize home interior upgrades.

By cleaning each room of your house, you can enhance your residence's interior. If you need help with home cleaning, you can always hire professionals to assist you, too.

Also, it may be beneficial to add a fresh coat of paint to the walls in your bedroom or other areas of your house. Because if you can make it easy for buyers to fall in love with your home's interior, you could speed up the property selling journey.

2. Perform Home Exterior Repairs

Curb appeal may play a key role in your home selling experience. If you residence boasts outstanding curb appeal, you may be able to differentiate your home from other available houses in your city or town.

To improve your residence's curb appeal, you may want to repair or replace any damaged home siding. In addition, mow the lawn and trim the hedges, and you can show off the true beauty of your house's lawn.

You may want to remove any lawn ornaments or decorations from outside your house as well. That way, buyers may be better equipped than ever before to envision what life may be like if they purchase your residence.

3. Eliminate Clutter

Clutter may fill up various rooms throughout your home. If you want to achieve the best-possible home selling results, now may be a great time to eliminate as much clutter as you can.

If you have items you no longer need, you can always sell these items or give them to friends, family members or local charities. On the other hand, if you have assorted personal belongings you want to keep outside your house, you can rent a storage unit.

As you get set to embark on the house selling journey, you may want to hire a real estate agent. With a real estate agent at your side, you can transform your residence into a must-buy in no time at all.

A real estate agent understands all aspects of the home selling journey. He or she will offer tips and recommendations to help you promote your residence to dozens of prospective buyers. Plus, a real estate agent is ready to respond to any of your home selling concerns and questions.

Allocate time and resources to upgrade your home, and you could generate lots of interest in your residence as soon as you list it.




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Posted by Deb Evans ABR,CSG on 2/25/2020

If you have always wanted to own a second home in the mountains, near the beach or just about anywhere else, now may be the ideal time to transform your dream into a reality. The housing market offers many opportunities for property buyers even those who already own a residence. If you understand what it takes to navigate the homebuying journey, you could quickly and effortlessly purchase a second house that matches or exceeds your expectations.

Ultimately, there are lots of things you can do to streamline your search for a second residence, such as:

1. Get Your Finances in Order

If you still have a mortgage on your current residence, there is no need to stress. In fact, by consulting with a mortgage specialist, you can evaluate your home financing options as you prepare to search for a second house.

Mortgage specialists are available at banks and credit unions, and they understand the ins and outs of home financing. Thus, mortgage specialists can help you analyze your current mortgage, establish a homebuying budget and determine the optimal financing option for a second house.

Of course, if your current house's mortgage is paid in full, mortgage specialists can still help you get ready to launch a search for a second residence. If you collaborate with mortgage specialists, you can get the help you need to immediately obtain financing to acquire a second house.

2. Narrow Your Home Search

You know you want to buy a second house now, you just need to hone your house search based on your individual needs. If you focus on residences in a select group of cities and towns, you may quickly discover a wonderful house that you can enjoy for years to come.

As you consider potential cities and towns where you want to purchase a second home, think about your short- and long-term goals, too. By doing so, you can boost the likelihood of finding a second house that will suit you perfectly both now and in the future.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

For those who want to acquire a second home sooner rather than later, hiring a real estate agent is a must. Because if you have a friendly, knowledgeable real estate agent at your side, you can minimize the risk of encountering roadblocks that otherwise could slow down your homebuying journey.

A real estate agent is happy to teach you about the housing market in your preferred cities and towns. Plus, he or she can offer expert recommendations about how much to offer to pay for a residence you want to acquire. And if you have concerns or questions as you pursue a second home, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them right away.

Take the guesswork out of finding and purchasing a second residence use the aforementioned tips, and you could speed up your search for a second house.




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Posted by Deb Evans ABR,CSG on 2/18/2020

Photo by Christian Heitz via Pexels

Sometimes, small town life is just what you crave. If you’re considering a move and want a community with that feel, there are several in the East Coast that deliver it beautifully. From New York to Pennsylvania, here are some of the top small towns that you need to see for yourself.

1. Thomas, West Virginia

The beautiful Main Street of Thomas, West Virginia, is the highlight of life here. With a population of just around 600, this is the essence of a small town. Its location in the Allegheny Mountains means beautiful views from nearly every corner. You’ll love the vintage record store, coffeehouse, brewery, and many antique shops, as well as the quiet that comes from living in a historic mountain community.

2. High Falls, New York

If life is taking you a bit farther north, consider this town of 627 people. High Falls has the vintage stores you expect in a small town, and also has a growing list of attractions for foodies. Get your fill of comfort food at Kitchenette, a popular local restaurant, and enjoy life in a town where you can truly know all of your neighbors, and know them well.

3. North Adams, Massachusetts

If you’re looking for small-town living but want something a little larger than 600 people, consider North Adams, Massachusetts. With a population of over 13,000, it offers quite a bit more in terms of amenities, but it still maintains a small-town feel. This community is home to the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, and since the museum’s opening it has grown into a cultural center in the state. Artists feel right at home, and art lovers will appreciate the many galleries that showcase the work of local talent.

4. Lititz, Pennsylvania

Home to just over 9,000 people, Lititz, Pennsylvania, calls itself the coolest small town in the country. Residents appreciate the mature trees that line its streets, and visitors come to shop at antique shops and boutiques while dining at exceptional restaurants. Only in Lititz can you cozy up to an old soda counter and order your latte in old-fashioned style.

5. Stowe, Vermont

If you’re going to visit Stowe to check it out, visit in the fall. Brilliant colors make this small community in the Green Mountains transform into an artist’s paradise. You’ll also appreciate the boutiques for shopping and the locally-owned restaurants. Stowe has a population of around 4,400 people, so it’s not a tiny town, but not overly large either.

Whether you’re looking for a tiny, tranquil community or one that’s on the smaller side, but still large enough to offer some amenities, you’ll find something to fit your needs along the East Coast. Check out these five, and figure out where you feel at home.




Tags: Travel   small town   relocation  
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Posted by Deb Evans ABR,CSG on 2/11/2020

A buyer's market typically is a dream come true for those who want to find a high-quality and affordable house. In fact, there are many things you can do to capitalize on a buyer's market to ensure you can purchase a house that you'll be able to enjoy for years to come.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get the most out of a buyer's market.

1. Narrow Your Home Search

Consider where you want to live and what you want to find in your dream home you'll be glad you did. If you hone your house search, you can avoid wasting time and resources on homes that fail to meet your expectations.

As you evaluate potential home destinations, think about your day-to-day activities. For example, if you work in the city, you may want to search for houses that are in or near the city itself. On the other hand, if you have kids, you may want to explore residences near parks and other family-friendly attractions.

In addition, it often helps to make a list of home must-haves. Once you know what features you want in your dream home, you can conduct an in-depth search to discover a house that will suit you perfectly.

2. Get a Mortgage

A mortgage is crucial, particularly for individuals who want to take advantage of a buyer's market. Because if you enter the real estate market with a mortgage in hand, you can map out your home search based on your budget.

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage generally won't take long. Banks and credit unions are happy to teach you everything you need to know about home financing and help you select the right mortgage. Furthermore, these financial institutions employ mortgage specialists who can respond to your home financing concerns and queries.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you want to streamline your search for a home in a buyer's market, you should work with an expert real estate agent. That way, you can receive homebuying tips and recommendations you may struggle to receive elsewhere.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to complete a successful house search in a buyer's market. As such, he or she will work with you to make your homeownership dream come true.

For instance, if you want to purchase a top-notch house as quickly as possible, a real estate agent can help you do just that. Or, if you want to buy a house at a low price, a real estate agent can help you discover a terrific residence that matches your pricing expectations.

As you get set to enter a buyer's market, it helps to prepare as much as you can. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can simplify your home pursuit in a buyer's market. As a result, you can find a wonderful residence that is sure to serve you well both now and in the future.




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Posted by Deb Evans ABR,CSG on 2/4/2020

Image by skeeze from Pixabay

For those who embrace a sense of nostalgic charm, older homes have an undeniable allure. The yesteryear designs and attention to detail are often absent in new construction. As attractive as the idea of living in a glorious Victorian or period home may be, it’s also imperative that you take an extra-long look at older homes. While it’s true that many homes age like fine wine, some can turn to vinegar as well. Consider answering these three things before putting down 20 percent, securing a mortgage, and signing off at the closing.  

1: Older Homes Enjoy Better Quality Construction, But . . .

There’s a funny thing about the word “but,” that should prompt potential homeowners to sharpen their focus. It’s generally true that many older homes were routinely constructed with sturdier materials that are now considered “high-end.” In fact, structures built from the 1860s to 1920 employed lumber that is both thicker, and stronger by the square inch. The reason is that older homes utilized “slow-growth” timbers. Today’s wood generally comes from “fast-growth” trees. The wood density is vastly stronger in slow-growth, which is one reason many have stood the test of time. Now here’s the “but.”

Your ability to find slow-growth lumber would take a Herculean effort. That’s why it’s essential to understand that you may not be able to restore an older home to its original glory, only emulate it.

2: Homeowners Insurance Can Be Tricky With Older Homes

Take a moment and think about how you plan to approach your homeowners insurance to satisfy the lending requirements. Most people want to secure the least expensive policy, as long as it covers total replacement costs in the event of a natural disaster or fire. Therein lies the rub, “total replacement costs.”

A substantial difference exists between current building costs, and the revenue required to build a new version of your period home. The lumber already mentioned may not exist, and its modern-equivalent is generally considered a high-end material. Now add in unique architectural attributes, and you likely have a structure with a replacement value that far exceeds the average new construction costs.

In terms of your homeowners policy, it’s up to you to secure a quote from a construction outfit that specializes in older homes. Using that measure, your premium is likely to uptick. But unless you get full coverage, the coverage is likely to fall far short.

3: Older Homes Are Less Usually Expensive

Whether you have a passion for older houses or just want to purchase the maximum affordable living space, there’s plenty of good news. It may seem almost counterintuitive to old-home lovers, but the market tends to devalue them, much like automobiles. That depreciation can be a substantial perk as long as the house remains structurally sound and relatively unblemished.

Most people come to the real estate market with a set spending budget. The older home can deliver increased living space as well as a robust ambiance for less than its new-home counterpart. For those who simply adore older homes, it’s a lot like buying a fine wine or rare painting at a discount. What’s of primary importance when purchasing an older home is to follow through with a determined inspection that identifies any potential issues and conduct thorough due diligence before closing.




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