Tips For Selling Your Home

Unlike other things that you may own, you can never take selling your home lightly.  A house is a big commodity, one that is worth a lot of money.  Before you even think about selling your home, you should put a lot of thought and consideration into it.  Although you may want to sell your home – you should make sure that you do it the right way.

The first thing you should do when you are thinking of selling your home is to hire yourself a qualified real estate agent who knows the neighborhood.  An agent who knows your neighborhood will know the ideal price for your home, and help you sell it at the ideal price.  If your home is priced right for the neighborhood, chances are it will sell.  If it is priced too high, you might not get any offers or anyone interested in buying the home.

Once you have a real estate agent, you and your agent will need to develop a strategy.  You’ll need to decide on the price and how long you will leave it on the market before you think about a reduction.  You’ll also need to discuss his commission as well, which will help to avoid any misunderstandings in the future.  If you talk about these types of things when you first start out selling your home, you’ll find the entire process to go much smoother.

In some cases, you may run out of time before you are able to sell your home.  In this situation, you may want to rent out your home.  When you rent out your home, you may also be able to strike a deal with renters that your home is available for showing.  To make the house accessible to potential buyers, you may want to offer your renters a lower price.  This way, they will be more inclined to make the house available for potential buyers.

Keep in mind that selling your home will take you some time. You can also sell it yourself if you prefer, without a real estate agent.  This can save you quite a bit of money as well, as you won’t have to pay a real estate agent.  If you are planning to go this route, you should make sure that you know the value of your home and you know the neighborhood.  You can put a “for sale by owner” sign in the yard, and list your home in local newspapers, and on the Internet as well.  This way, you’ll get your home out to the market of potential buyers.  Homes that are for sale by the owner are always great for buyers – as they can deal with the owner directly and not have to worry about dealing with any real estate agents.

Choosing Your Real Estate Appraiser

If you have been thinking about purchasing a real estate property for personal use or as an investment, you’ll need to hire the services of a real estate investor.  If you play to finance your home through a bank or other lender, you’ll more than likely need to get the property appraised first.  Banks and most lenders want to know the value of the home for your protection, as well as make sure that the home they are financing is worth the total amount that you take on the loan.

In most cases, the appraisal indicates that the home does indeed meet or exceed the asking price.  In some cases however, the appraisal will come back saying that the home is worth less than the selling price.  If this is the case, the buyer normally has to either drop the deal or try to negotiate with the seller to get a price that meets the appraisal.

For those very reasons, a real estate appraiser is very important.  When you are dealing with a home, one appraisal can make a deal or break it.  Even though you may not be financing your purchase through a lender or the bank, you should still make an effort to get the home appraised and find out the true value.  You should also make a point to find the best appraiser that you can afford.  If you hire an appraiser who isn’t that experienced, you’ll pay for it later when you discover that the property isn’t worth what you paid for it.

A real estate appraiser will go through the home performing an evaluation, and then provide you with a written evaluation after he has gathered all necessary information.  Appraisers will also take into consideration the replacement costs as well.  There is a lot of work involved with appraisals, which is why it’s so very important that each step of the process is performed correctly by a qualified real estate appraiser.

If you have a real estate agent, he or she will more than likely be able to make a recommendation.  Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean the recommendation is the best; it’s just someone who your agent works with.  To ensure that you get the right appraisal on your home you’ll need to find yourself an appraiser who is capable of completing the job.

When you look for your real estate appraiser, you should look for someone who comes highly recommended.  You can ask family and friends for their opinions, or search local papers, even the Internet.  If you take your time and search for the best real estate appraiser that you can find – you’ll normally get an appraisal that is right on target.

What Seniors Need to Consider Before Buying

When searching for a home to spend their golden years in, Seniors need to consider a great many options before they should make a final decision. What can this independent living community offer for me and my partner? Your golden years should be spent in the kind of comfort and care that you deserve, so it’s important to do your research before settling on an option that you may be stuck with for several years.

Hospitality
The concept of helping active seniors after they retire is nothing new, but when searching for the right independent living community, you’ll want to make sure that they have the right sort of help available to you when you need it. Some places offer 24 hours a day assistance with your basic needs or any maintenance that may be needed.

Licensed Home Care Services
Some seniors who need medical attention might want to make sure that their independent living community comes with a licensed home care service that they can call on if need be. Most independent living communities do come with available nursing or services that help with home care needs, but not all independent living communities do. Check with each one and get a cost breakdown of how much each service will cost. You don’t want to be surprised by an unexpected bill that you didn’t know about when you signed up.

Community building activities
Active seniors need activities! Look for places that offer a full calendar of events – that is, things beyond bingo on Wednesday nights. The more engaged a community is, the more value you will get out of your time at the independent living community. Look for activities that fit within your lifestyle. Some independent living communities offer activities that take them off the grounds, while others stay focused on a more close in approach, utilizing the natural grounds around them for ways to entertain their residents. The more active a community is, the more varied your choices, and the better your value.

Amenities
It’s important for many seniors that the independent living community they are going to purchase in has a wide variety of amenities available to residents. Depending on your lifestyle and habits, you may be looking for one that has tennis courts, golf courses, gyms or swimming pools. Other amenities include a nice clubhouse for afternoon gatherings and available space for parties. Beware, the more amenities a community has, the more expensive it will be. If you’re on a budget, find a place that has a nice balance of available amenities that you think you will use on an at least weekly basis. There’s no sense in paying extra to live in a community that has a pool if you never use it.

On the flip side of that, don’t price yourself out of a property just because it doesn’t have one amenity that you thought you wanted. If a place has all the things you want besides one, it’s worth thinking about joining a gym, or nearby clubhouse that does offer the amenity that you can’t do without.

When considering where to spend their golden years, seniors need to come up with a solution that fits both their lifestyle and future needs. Research and shopping around is crucial to making the right decision. However, what it really comes down to is finding a place that makes you happy. There’s no reason to spend your golden years in a place that is not up to your standards or is without what you’ve always seen yourself retiring with. Like anything else in life, the harder you work to find the right living space for you and your partner, the better off you’ll be!

Mortgage Loan Types: The Pros and Cons of what to use

As a home buyer, you have probably been spending quite a bit of time trying to figure out what type of mortgage loan is best for you financial situation. There are several different types of mortgage products available, each with its own unique advantages and disadvantages. Thoroughly researching the different mortgage loan types that can help you make an informed financial decision.

The most common type of mortgage loan is the fixed rate mortgage. With this type of mortgage, your interest rate is locked for a certain period of time – some mortgages offer fixed rates for as little as three years, while others may provide the same rate for the duration of the loan.

The main advantage of a fixed rate mortgage is that you will know how much you will need to budget, with little variation. If you get a 30 year fixed mortgage at $1,500 per month, you can be sure that your mortgage payment will be close to this amount until you pay off the loan or sell the house. While taxes and insurance may vary a bit from year to year, your mortgage payment will usually not vary by more than about 10 percent.

The disadvantage of this type of loan is that if interest rates fall, you will be paying a higher rate than necessary. It is possible to refinance a fixed mortgage to obtain a lower interest rate, but keep in mind that you will be required to pay closing costs for the refinanced loan, so you will want to make sure that your interest savings will justify these costs.

Another popular mortgage product is the variable rate loan (sometimes called an adjustable rate mortgage). The interest rates for these loans vary from year to year, so your mortgage payment may fluctuate dramatically.

These loans are attractive to home buyers because they can often be obtained at lower interest rates than fixed loans. However, you need to be prepared for the uncertainty that comes with this type of loan, because if interest rates rise substantially, you may end up paying more each month than you would have with a comparable fixed mortgage loan.

The third common type of loan is the interest only loan. With this type of loan, you only make interest payments for a set amount of time, usually seven years, and your principal balance remains the same during this period. An interest only loan can be a good way to save money during your first years of home ownership, especially if you have unsteady income or you anticipate that property values in your area will continue to rise. However, if things don’t work out as planned, you may find yourself struggling to make your mortgage payments at the end of the interest only period. If this happens, you may need to refinance the mortgage or sell the home at a loss to avoid substantially higher payments.

Real Estate Agents Explained

One of the most common misconceptions about Real Estate is that if I don’t use a Real Estate Agent, I’ll save money. While I can understand why people may think that, it just hasn’t proved to be the case. Here are the flaws in the thought process.

Sellers-Here are the FACTS

1. When you try to sell your home without representation, most people are going to offer you less since they assume you don’t have to pay a commission. You end up netting the same or less and have to do all the work yourself.

2. Your home doesn’t get the exposure that an Agent provides. This translates into a longer time on the market which increases your holding costs.

3. You either:

a. Overprice your home, which extends your time on the market, increasing hold cost. Then if you are able to find someone (also unrepresented) to buy your house the price-it falls apart at the end due to appraisal issue of financing issue

b. Underprice your home leaving thousands of dollars on the table that an agent could have saved you.

 4. Do you really want to allow complete strangers with no pre-qualification and no history into your home? Safety concerns alone should be a reason to list with an agent.

5. You won’t have the forms, experience, and knowledge to protect yourself.

Do you really think an Office Supply type contract is going to help you in today’s tumultuous market?

How are you going to make sure a buyer can actually get to the closing table?

We have seen many sellers get their home under contract, waited 60 plus days for the buyer (who also doesn’t know or understand the process) only to
find out they were not qualified from the beginning.

So those are reason’s a Seller should use an agent to represent their interest. So in our next post, we are going to share about it from the buyer’s side. Looking for a great agent to represent you in the sale of your home? Call Mark Lackey at 404.886.8789 today for your free evaluation!

Designed for the Active Retirement

Retiring comfortably is the goal of every single American. Our golden years are there so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor and remain engaged with the community at large. Comfortable living during retirement often used to mean retiring to a place where you couldn’t be sure of the quality of life or service. That’s why the need for

Fortunately, your options for where you can live during your retirement have never been better. The reality of an aging population and oncoming demographic shift as the Baby Boomers begin to retire has forced many retirement communities to retool their communities into a place that people feel comfortable calling their home.

Atlanta is on the forefront of this shift and the demand for excellent housing for seniors has already begun. The Atlanta Regional Commission began designing Life Long Communities (LLC) – places where older adult seniors can find a high quality of life, independence and access to good transportation. Over the next twenty years, Atlanta’s aging population (those people over 65) will more than double, and integrating senior’s needs into the community is crucial to meet Atlanta’s changing population needs.

Life Long Communities are designed with three major goals in mind:

Promoting housing and easy transportation access and options

Encourage residents to engage in a healthy lifestyle

Expand information and access to crucial services for all residents

The new housing units are designed specifically for people to live for many years with an aging adult’s needs in mind. Each home is designed by having the bathroom, bedroom, kitchen and entertainment areas to be located on the first floor, as well as have specific instructions on where entrances can be placed, and the size of the doorways large enough to accommodate a clear passage of at least 32 inches. Other standards call for having at least one no-step entrance into the dwelling.

All things are taken into consideration with Life Long Communities including in-home care, and the ability to help evaluate your needs and conduct an in-home evaluation.

Finally, faith based options are also important to those seniors living in ARC designed Life Long Communities. Many people often have concerns that where they live won’t have sufficient spiritual options for them to explore.

 

Rent & Grow Rich: Guide to Passive Income Book Launches

Mark and Anne Lackey launch their new Kindle book today on Amazon. They have helped hundreds of people achieve their goals of financial freedom through rental real estate. In their book Rent & Grow Rich, they share their proven method to acquiring a 5 digit monthly income stream through rental real estate. Whether you want to pay for a child’s education, retire, or quit your J.O.B. (just over broke)- they have a strategy for you.

You won’t want to miss out on this easy to read & understand book, so check it out today on Amazon:

Things to Look for When Buying a Home

When you are buying a home, you may look for several features, such as a charming neighborhood, great curb appeal, or spacious rooms. However, there are several other factors you should consider when buying a home, to make sure that you and your family will be happy with your investment for years to come.

First, you should look at the exterior of the property, including the siding and the roof. Does the siding look worn, or in need of paint or repairs? Are the roof shingles securely fastened? Do you notice any sagging in the home’s roof? These items can represent major repair expenses, so you will want to look closely at them to make sure that you will not have to spend thousands of dollars in maintenance costs after you move in.

Second, you should look at the condition of appliances and mechanicals. Are the refrigerator, garbage disposal, plumbing fixtures, and furnace in good working order? Also, have these items been recently updated, or does the house come with older models that may need to be replaced within a few years?

Third, pay close attention to the ceilings, particularly on the top floor. Discolored, cracked, or sagging ceilings may indicate that the roof has leaked – again, representing a major repair expense. Cracks in the ceiling or walls may also indicate structural problems with the home, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars to remedy.

Finally, take a look at the neighborhood surrounding your home. Have the neighbors kept their homes’ exteriors updated? Are lawns and landscaping properly maintained? Do the neighbors feel comfortable letting children play outside? The condition of your neighborhood can be an indicator of whether your home will increase in value.

If you have doubts about the features of your home or the condition of your neighborhood, it is a good idea to consult with an experienced real estate agent, who can help you determine if a particular home is a worthwhile investment.

What You Need to Know When Working with Contractors

If you are buying properties for renovation and resale, or a homeowner who is getting a home ready to put your home on the market, you will likely have to deal with contractors during your home’s renovation. While hiring contractors can save you quite a bit of time and help you get your home on the market more quickly, there are a few steps you should take to make sure your contract work goes smoothly.

First, develop a written work plan with your contractor. The work plan should state, in detail, the work that is to be done, the timeframe for completion, and the price that is to be paid for the work. This helps ensure that you and your contractor know exactly what you expect. It’s also a valuable document to have in case the contractor does not complete the work correctly.

Second, pay only for progress. Some contractors will ask for some or all of the fees up front. It’s important get clarity of what you are paying for if you agree to an up-front fee, because it will be difficult to get this money back if the contractor does not complete the work to your satisfaction. Often, you can negotiate a series of smaller payments as portions of the work are completed – this benefits both you and the contractor, because you are more likely to see progress, and the contractor can recoup expenses as the work is being done. We will pay for the materials directly and then do progress payments for the labor.

Finally, make sure that any changes are made in writing. If your contractor needs to extend a deadline, substitute building materials or fixtures, or make any other changes, it’s not enough to rely on a verbal agreement. Your contractor must be willing to commit to all changes in writing.

Other items to consider is making sure that the contractor has the proper credentials as well as insurance – liability and worker compensation. When working with contractors that don’t have the proper credentials and insurance, you put yourself and your home and assets at risk.