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1320 Sunset Way Blvd - Kent - 09/30/09 03:23 PM
Delightful! Two story foyer, great room, spacious eat-in kitchen, charming dining room, large master bedroom with sitting area, second floor laundry room plus basement laundry area, wonderful finished basement with full kitchen, full bath, family room and office. Oversized deck and great yard. (0 comments)
Selling My Own Home - 09/30/09 02:58 PM
Finally the big day has arrived after 7 months on the market I finally received an offer on my condo. After carefully going over my closing costs and mortgage amount, I call with my counter offer and yes it was accepted. I have to say I was lucky to receive a nice offer and I made a nice counter back. I feel so lucky. Now the hunt begins for a new home, while hoping my home inspection goes well, and getting my preapproval ready from my lender. I knew to bring in 2 years of tax returns, 2 months of all (0 comments)
Searching for a New Home via Your Realtor - 09/26/09 08:22 AM
Here in Ohio and other states as well, you can ask your realtor to set up an automatic search for you. I ask my buyers what criteria they are looking for in a new home and then I can set up a search for them on the computer. Then whenever a home with their criteria is listed or has a change in price they get an email with all the details. I get an email also. It is especially great when a home with a good price is listed so we can go out and look at it right away. Since (3 comments)
Racoon in the Wall - 09/25/09 02:07 PM
One of the strangest things I have seen while showing a home was finding a dead animal in the wall. I unlocked the door to a vacant home and proceeded my buyer into the home. At the end of the kitchen was something protruding from the wall. My buyer said what is that and I walked down to take a look. It was winter, so there was no smell. When I got closer I could see the fur and part of the body had pushed a hole in the drywall. It must have fallen down in between the walls and then (2 comments)
How Do You Get Ahold of Your Realtor - 09/25/09 09:21 AM
One of the important questions to ask a realtor that is going to work with you whether you be a buyer or a seller is how easy is it to get a hold of them. Will they give you their cell phone or will they give you a voicemail number to leave a message and then they will call you back. To me being able to reach your realtor quickly is very important. I carry my cell phone with me everywhere and I also get emails directly to my phone. Obviously, realtors can't work 24/7 and buyers and sellers have to respect realtor's (2 comments)
First Time Homebuyers - 60 days to Countdown - 09/25/09 09:08 AM
First time home buyers thinking of buying a home and receiving the $8,000 home buyer's credit remember that Thanksgiving is at the end of Nov. Title companies and the county courthouses where the deed files are closed or closed for half days around the holiday. Don't wait until the last minute to write up an offer. Also remember that underwriters are being a little more picky about have documentation. So sometimes when your mortgage loan goes to underwriting for final approval, the underwriters ask for more documentation and this slows the closing process down. Don't be stuck at the last minute (2 comments)
Here is the before picture sent to me by my seller. She packed up all of her stuff stacked the boxes in one corner and turned it into a bed. I did a blog on this before but didn't have the before picture. When talking to her today, she said she had the before picture and wow what a difference she made staging her bedroom and the cost - $0.
Sellers - Don't Smoke in Your Home - 09/25/09 08:44 AM
As I mentioned yesterday in my blog about pet smells, the next most disgusting smell to buyers is cigarette smoke. Most of my buyers will imediately turn around and leave if they smell cigarette smoke when they walk in the front door. If you smoke, please smoke outside. You may need an air purifier to help get rid of the smell in your home. You may need to get your carpets cleaned to get rid of the odor. You may need to clean your furniture if the smell is in the furniture. Wash all bedding. In some extreme cases, the walls (4 comments)
Does Using a St. Joseph Statue Help Sell Your Home? - 09/25/09 08:31 AM
In today's buyer's market, sellers are trying everything including using a St. Joseph Statue. As many of you know rumor has it that if you bury a St. Joseph statue in your front yard, it will help your home sell more quickly. The best story I have heard is about the seller who buried St. Joseph in his yard and presto the house across the street sold. He had buried the statue facing the other home. He dug the statue up and the reburied him facing his home and a week later his house sold. I have a seller who asked (3 comments)
Two Mortgage Lenders I recommend - 09/25/09 08:04 AM
Having a good mortgage lender can make all the difference in making your home sale process easier and more likely to close on time. Especially today with underwriters being very carefully to have every document possible, it is really important to have a lender who is knowledgeable about his industry. I recommend Dennis Belline at Howard Hanna Mortgage Services. I use him, not because he is affiliated with Howard Hanna, but because he is so knowledgeable. When he gives you a preapproval letter you have a 99% chance of getting your loan approved. He makes sure you bring in all the (1 comments)
Staging Your Home Qtip Clean - 09/25/09 07:52 AM
When you are staging your home to sell the most important thing to do is make sure your home is CLEAN. I showed a home yesterday. The carpet was dirty, there were cobwebs everywhere. There was a food odor lingering in the air. When my buyer was in the kitchen there were dark spots on the floor and when we looked to see what it was, we saw dirt. It looked like holes in the vinyl flooring. Ok, so we were grossed out and moved onto the next home. The home itself was a nice size and had some possibilities. Guess (2 comments)
Pet Smells and What to Do About Them - 09/24/09 01:18 PM
One of the biggest drawbacks to looking at a home is a pet smell. If you have a pet smell in your home it is imperative to get rid of it. First find out where the pet odor is coming from. If it is the animal's bedding or kennel, clean it with a good cleaner and then once dry do the smell test. One of my favorite cleaners is Oxiclean. It really works well for me. Sometimes I will use a cleaner such as Mr. Clean or Lysol and then spray with Oxiclean and then rinse and wipe down. I also (5 comments)
This room was filled with boxes, the seller stacked all the boxes and put an air mattress over the top of it, then put a bedspread over the air mattress. Fresh paint on the walls and a picture on the wall complete the clean look of this room. The only problem is the seller is tempted to sit on the bed. This staging fix cost nothing but the time to set it up.
What Flowers Can Do To Attract Buyers - 09/23/09 11:33 AM
I was out showing a home to my buyers and took a picture of a flower bed in front of the home we were looking at. The color of the flowers made the home look more inviting and cheerful. A few well placed annuals can brighten up the front and even the back of your home. Many people drive by homes before they look at them and seeing flowers out front will show them that you take good care of your home and that you love your home. Even a couple of pots of colorful flowers on the front steps will make (0 comments)
In my last blog on making the outside of your home look fresh and bright, I mentioned painting the trim on your home. As you can see by the picture, the person who painted this trim didn't do a neat job. Too bad they didn't wipe up the paint when it was wet. Now they will have to find some kind of paint solvent to try and get it off. I showed this home to my buyers and they noticed this right away. There were more paint splatters than in this picture. Already before we even went in the (0 comments)
Real Estate Agents Work For Free? - 09/22/09 09:50 AM
Many buyers and sellers think that real estate agents are rich and drive around in their leather interior Lexus cars. We do work for free if we don't sell your home or complete your home purchase. We only get paid when your home closes or files with the county court house. I have spent countless hours showing homes to buyers who finally decide they don't want to buy a home right now. I have spent countless hours working with a seller who after months and months of trying to sell their home give up and decide to stay put. I make (3 comments)
Built in 1952, this updated home offers newer carpet, windows, roof, furnace and central air. With approximately 1,464 square feet it features three bedrooms, a possible fourth bedroom or office, one and a half baths, an inviting living room accented by a wood burning fireplace, a first floor family room, charming dining room, delightful kitchen-appliances included, and a finished basement. The attached two car garage, landscaped backyard and patio complete this wonderful home.
Flipping A Home - How To Sell After You Fix it Up - 09/15/09 12:57 PM
You bought a cheap fixer upper home. Hopefully, you did your homework on selling price, cost of fixing up the home and did a home inspection. Now that you are finished with all the work you are almost ready to sell. Without going out and spending money to rent furniture there are a few things you can to "Stage" your home. Put new towels in the bathroom. Put a vase of flowers in the Kitchen. If possible bring in a small table with a couple of chairs, in case buyers want to sit and talk. Make sure you have at the (0 comments)
If They Like my Home They Will Write an Offer on My Overpriced Home, NOT - 09/15/09 08:27 AM
One misconception that many sellers have is that they think buyers will come in with an offer, even though their home is listed too high. First some buyers won't even look at your home because it is now out of their price range. They won't write an offer because you are 10% or more higher than the price they would write an offer on and the buyers don't want to insult you. Even I tell them to write an offer not more than 10% off the purchase price. In almost every case where my buyers came in at 10% under the (4 comments)
I've Found a Home But it is out of my Price Range - 09/15/09 08:15 AM
This typically happens when you don't see your dream home in your price range. You start looking just above your top price and presto there is a home you love. If you aren't too far above your top price there is one technique I use with my buyers. First discuss this with your realtor or me. Decide how high above your top price you can look without being too high to make a reasonable offer on a home. Then when you find your dream home, write the best offer you can. I usually present these offers to the selling agent starting (2 comments)
Four Things To Know When Writing an Offer - 09/15/09 08:07 AM
You have been searching for that perfect home and finally you have found it. You are ready to write an offer on it. Hopefully you will be using me your expert negotiator, to help you along the way. First, you need your preapproval letter from a reputable lender that is known to the local realtors. Second, you will need to discuss your starting price in the negotiation process. You can do this one of two ways. One is to offer a great price and hope the buyer will accept it or two, start with a low price and be prepared to (1 comments)
Exciting News for FHA Condo Buyers and Sellers! - 09/14/09 11:23 AM
As I mentioned in my blog this morning FHA is radically changing the rules on condominium finance effective October 1. These changes have been delayed until November 2. So if you are in the market to buy a condo you have a little extra time to find that perfect condo. There are lots of great deals out there right now. I am familiar with many of the condo developments in Stow, OH and also in Cuyahoga Falls, OH, so email me or call me to see one now. (1 comments)
Three Home Inspectors in Stow Ohio I Recommend - 09/14/09 09:22 AM
I have worked with many home inspectors over the years. I usually recommend three of them. Amchek Home Inspections - Mark Damon and Ed DelFerraro. Phone number 330-289-7620. www.amcheckinspections.com. Iron Dog Home & Horticultural Inspections - Bryan Taylor. Phone number 330-688-5549. www.ohiomolddog.com Bryan also does mold testing and mold remediation. Superior Home Inspections - Tony Tilenni. Phone number 330-633-3735. www.superiorHI.us I can also recommend other inspectors I have worked with, if you let me know who you are thinking of using I will let you know if I have worked with them. (0 comments)
Free Storm Water and Sanitary Inspections in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio - 09/14/09 09:09 AM
The City of Cuyahoga Falls offers free storm water and sanitary inspections to buyers when they purchase a home in Cuyahoga Falls. The city sends a worker out who puts a tiny camera down to check to make sure the sewer lines and storm water drains are not blocked. The down side to this inspection is if the city finds any problems they must be corrected by the seller or the buyer if the buyer buys the home. If you don't have the money to pay the city will put the bill on your taxes to be paid over time. I (2 comments)
A Quick Tip on Staging the Exterior of Your Home - 09/14/09 09:03 AM
Paint your front door! Be sure to use a neutral color. I have driven down the street and seen a bright orange door, a purple door and a screaming red door. While you might love these colors, do not use them when selling your home. Also put a eye catching wreath on your door. Make sure it is seasonal. A Christmas wreath will not attract positive attention in June. Put a couple of pots of flowers by the door as well. Mums looks especially nice this time of year. I have seen some huge pots of mums at the store and (1 comments)
Property Disclosures How to Fill Them Out - 09/14/09 08:57 AM
When you sell your home you need to fill out a Property Disclosure Statement. In Stow, Ohio it is a four page form. It asks questions about water intrusion, roof leaks, hazardous materials, water and sewer systems, mechanical systems, zoning/code violations and and questions about assessments. Many sellers worry about writing down too much information about problems they have had with their home, but the best advise I can give you is to write down every possible problem and what you did to fix it. Once you have an accepted contract on your home the buyer is going to do a (0 comments)
FHA Condo Loans Running Out of Time - 09/14/09 08:48 AM
The big news for condo owners and buyers is that FHA is going to revamp the way they do condo loans and starting Oct 1st, 2009 FHA will not do condo loans. If you are thinking of buying a condo you only have a couple of weeks left to buy, if that. One of the lenders I use told me that the FHA loan doesn't have to close by Sept. 30th but it does have to have an FHA case number assigned by Sept. 30th. Time is running out so don't delay buy that condo today! After that at least in Summit (0 comments)
Short Sales When Buying A Home - 09/10/09 09:55 AM
Several of my buyers have looked at homes that were "short sales". A short sale is a sale where the seller owes more money to the bank than they are selling their home for. For example, they owe $120,000 and are selling their home for $100,000. I have been involved in a number of these sales. They usually take a long time to close and if you, the buyer, can wait it out you can end up with a nice home. First the bank has to approve the price and this can take a few weeks to a few months. It (1 comments)
Real Estate Bargains in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio under $100,000 - 09/10/09 09:29 AM
Right now there are 45 homes for sale in Cuyahoga Falls Ohio under $100,000. There are so many great deals for buyers and investors. I can remember when working with a buyer 3 years ago, we couldn't find anything under $100,000. Homes are selling. Some homes are such great bargains that they are only for sale for a few days. There are 25 pending sales. Some of the homes are bank owned and some are short sales. I am experienced in working with both of these types of sales. Please contact me for a full list of homes for sale and (0 comments)
Stow Ohio Real Estate Bargains - 09/10/09 09:14 AM
Did you know there are 11 homes for sale under $100,000 in Stow, Ohio? Who said all the bargains are gone. Some of these homes need work and some of them are bank owned. In the last 6 months 34 homes have sold under $100,000 and there are 6 pending sales. If you are a first time home buyer time is running out to take advantage of your $8,000 tax credit. If you are an investor, Stow is a great community to have a rental. For a complete list of homes for sale in the price range please contact me and (0 comments)
Buyers Beware When Getting A Preapproval Letter from a Lender - 09/10/09 09:01 AM
I recently worked with a buyer who said they had a preapproval letter from a lender. I had not heard of the lender, but there are a number of small reputable lenders out there. We found a home the buyer loved, wrote an offer and it was accepted. Then came the time when we were waiting for the final loan approval. We waited and waited. Then the underwriters ask for the buyers tax returns. I know the lender should have asked for 2 years of tax returns before they gave the preapproval. Unfortunately the buyer had not saved copies of his (2 comments)
Staging the Outside of Your Home On A Budget - 09/09/09 12:48 PM
Here are some tips for staging the outside of your home. Of course, adding flowers to the front walkway is always a top tip. Use one or two colors. Make sure the front of your home is manicured. If necessary cut down overgrown shrubs. If you can't replant new shrubs use taller annuals. Keep the grass cut and neat looking. A little fertilizer will really green up your yard and make the grass look spectacular. Be sure to edge the grass at the sidewalk. Nice and neat will catch their attention. Make sure your mailbox looks nice. Even an inexpensive mailbox, (0 comments)
Staging Your Home On A Budget - 09/09/09 12:27 PM
Here are a few tips on Staging Your Home to Sell if you are on a budget. Even a few little things can make your home look sharper.
Make sure all your light bulbs are working. Use higher watt bulbs to make your rooms look bright and sunny. Empty out your closet. Pack away extra clothes and shoes. Make that closet look bigger and neater. In the bathroom get some new plush towels that go with the color of the bathroom. Don't use them just have them there for showings. Make sure the shower curtain is new or newer and (2 comments)
Cut Electric Bills by up to 90% by Using These Home Office Tips - 09/09/09 10:33 AM
The biggest tip I have learned about recently is: unplug your cell phone charger from the wall when not in use. The charger still uses electricity while plugged in even if your phone isn't plugged in. This is true with a/c adapters for your laptop too. It is better to turn off your computer when not in use. I thought it was better to leave it on at all times, but that is an old belief but isn't true with today's computers. Turn off your computer and also turn off the power strip when not in use. Energy Star office equipment (2 comments)
Being A Seller in Today's Market - 09/08/09 01:44 PM
I can use myself as an example and one of my sellers too. It is tough especially when the offers you get are so low. Many buyers think they should start 20% below asking price, so my seller on his $100,000 home gets an offer of $80,000. I don't know how buyers could seriously think that my seller could go so low. Sellers can't give away their homes, especially if they have a big mortgage. I always tell my sellers to come back with a counter offer and he did. Unfortunately, the buyer would only go up to $88,000 and so (0 comments)
How to Save on your Energy Bills - Sealing Air Leaks in your Home - 09/08/09 01:16 PM
Air leaks into our homes during the summer and winter. One way to cut back on your energy bills is to test your home and find out where air is coming into your home. You can do this by holding a lit incense stick near any window, door, electrical box or outlet, ceiling fixtures, openings to the attic, duct work, dropped ceilings, chimneys/fireplaces and even plumbing fixtures. If you find any air leaks: Start by weatherstripping or caulking the areas where the air is coming in to your home. You can use foam gaskets behind outlet and switch plate covers. You can (1 comments)
Insulation: Great Tips for Saving Energy Costs in your Home - 09/03/09 12:25 PM
One way to save energy is to check your home's insulation. You want to protect it against air leaks and control moisture. Check insulation in your attic, ceilings, exterior and basement walls, floors and crawl spaces to see if it meets the R-value in your area. The higher the rating the better. Use higher density insulation on exterior walls and in cathedral ceilings. Check recessed light fixtures but don't put insulation right next to them as that might start a fire. Check to see if it is designed for direct insulation contact. Ventilation helps moisture control, so be sure to have (0 comments)
Selling My Home - 09/02/09 12:43 PM
Ok, so my condo has been on the market since Feb. I have kept my home in show ready condition. After starting to feel really discouraged that it wouldn't sell this year, I have 2 possible buyers. Now I am on pins and needles waiting to hear if they are going to write an offer. I know that the FHA condo loans will no longer be available starting Oct.1, 2009, so this is it. Either I sell this month or may have to wait til next year or at least until FHA does condo loans again. I know that condo buyers (0 comments)
5 Energy Efficient Tips for Your Home - 09/02/09 12:15 PM
We would all like to save money on our energy bills. Here are a few inexpensive tips on cutting back on your utility bills: One is replace your regular light bulbs with fluorescent bulbs. Replace the 5 most frequently used bulbs, if you don't want to replace all of them. Two is wrap the hot water pipes with insulation and wrap the hot water heater with an insulating blanket. Three is get flow restrictors for your shower heads. That can cut the flow of water by 40 to 60%. Four is use aerators in your faucets. They will lower the gallons (0 comments)
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