Modeling to the Target Buyer

It is hard enough to part with a home you love without trying to imagine that someone will use it in a way you wouldn’t like. If you have the time and the luxury of seeking out a target buyer, then by all means, make the effort to do so. Some houses just suit particular people better. For example, if you own an urban dwelling with a concrete backyard and swimming pool, your realtor probably isn’t going to try and target buyers who are looking for a quiet country dwelling where they can garden all summer long.

 

Maximize Focal Points

 

If your home has specific features that make it perfect for a certain type of lifestyle, you will want to make those features stand out when you market to a specific audience. You might also ask yourself what you can add that would make it even more appealing. If your property has a greenhouse, will you be leaving any supplies so that the owner can use it right away? Those little things can let a buyer know they can start in on their hobbies immediately, without an added expense on top of a new home purchase.

 

Allow for Immersion

 

Some properties aren’t set up so much for hobbies as they are other elements. You will want to be able to immerse your guests in the experience so they can enjoy it with all their senses. Are you trying to demonstrate that your home is a quiet safe haven from the world? Offer a viewing when the neighborhood kids are at school or make sure to do most of the welcoming in the soundproof room. These are the details that can really capture a buyer’s attention. Make the most of them.

 

Avoid Advice

 

Just as much as you want to market to specific buyers, you also want to avoid leaving hints or advice. This is the start of a new journey for them so they will want to do it their way. In the meantime, you don’t want to have to think about them doing things differently than you would because that can limit your pleasure with the experience.

 

Best Season to Sell a Home

Knowing what the best season is to buy or sell a home is just the tip of the iceberg. Believe it or not, there are also best days to list a home or make an offer. Sometimes the best days to buy and sell coincide, but not always. That becomes important when you go from listing your home to shopping for a new one. It can also make a difference in how you or your broker or agent manages your sale or purchase.

 

Spring is the Busy Season

 

Hands down, spring is the busiest season to buy or sell a home. The weather is starting to warm up, but it is not so hot that people don’t want to get out and about. If anything, they are dying to get out of the house. However, this is also the season when your yard looks the worst because the snow just melted and revealed what was left after a long winter. Be sure to spruce things up a bit before you list your home.

 

January Starts Things Off

 

January doesn’t just start the new year, but is probably the best month to start making offers on homes. Most people are waiting for spring to arrive so they can get out and about in comfort. For a home buyer, this means that there is far less competition than there is going to be in a couple of months. For the home seller, it may bring some much needed relief after an expensive winter.

 

Tuesday and Thursday

 

Tuesday and Thursday have a special significance in the real estate world. The first Tuesday of the month is the day that many mortgage payments are due. That means it is a perfect day to make an offer on a house. The owner just made a payment that they really don’t care to make anymore, so they will be more inclined to accept and offer.

 

Thursday is the day to list a house. During the week, people are busy working and they may not have much time to patiently explore what’s for sale. Thursday posting will be listed as new listing over the weekend, so they are sure to get plenty of views.

 

The Last Minute Home Visit Survival Guide

Home visits are a welcome sign that your property is drawing prospective buyers. However, last minute visits are often a home-for-sale nightmare. When it is time to sell, but you need to still live there until it sells, buyers sometimes show up at inconvenient moments. There are survival tips to make the best of the situation, even on a moment’s notice.

 

Be open and honest, but smart: As the homeowner, the ability is there to not allow showings during different times of the day or to turn away last minute requests. Sellers are well within their rights to set boundaries with their real estate agents and request a few hours notice for showings. However, keep in mind that turning away a buyer is turning away a potential sale. Be honest with your agent about your expectations, but consider that there may be times when a buyer is available on short notice.

 

Start packing: In today’s market, there is a supply shortage of great homes. Do not expect your house to languish in the real estate market listings for months at a time. Packing all the items that are not completely essential for daily living will not only get a jump start on your move, but will greatly reduce clutter around the home. This leads to less last minute clean-up time and fewer moments spent scrambling when you get the call or an unexpected knock on the door from a buyer or her agent.

 

Clean as you go: Living a somewhat minimalist lifestyle while packing will make the constant clean-up a little easier. Not allowing the bathroom towels to be strewn about or the beds to remain unmade all day will make the last minute straightening go much more quickly and simply. It is worth the effort to not be caught off guard.

 

Arrange to have a quick get-a-way: Whether through an open arrangement with a neighbor or friend to pop by on short notice or a regular seat at the local coffee house: have places in mind to visit during showings. While it is tempting to want to be home when strangers are mulling through your halls, it is best to not be there. Buyers are going to be less candid about their opinions in front of the seller and will have difficulty picturing themselves as the owners with the current owner present. So, take some time for yourself. It will help you survive with style!

 

Tips for Hosting a Successful Open House

Once you have decided to sell your home, one of the first things your real estate agent will do is schedule your open house. An open house is a showing of your home and property where prospective buyers can drop by and visit during a certain day and time. This is a proven way to get buyers interested in placing a bid or offer on the house quickly. More offers lead to getting a sale close to – or even above – your listing price at closing. When the date for the open house draws near, there are some proven ways to prepare your home to look its very best.

 

Boost the curb appeal: Be sure that the lawn is freshly mowed if it is during the spring or summer months. Clean up any yard damage from play or pets, fix fences, or even hire a landscaper to spruce things up around the yard. Do not assume that a buyer will see the potential in your property; rather, show them an inviting entrance to a home.

 

Kick the clutter: Clean it up! Sellers sometimes think that a buyer will be attracted to a homey atmosphere. This is a common mistake. Prospective buyers aren’t interested in seeing how the current inhabitants live. Instead, a buyer wishes to envision him or herself living in the home. So, avoid excessive knick-knacks, store excess furniture and any valuables in a storage locker or friend’s home, and put fresh towels in the restroom. A professional carpet cleaning or a coat of paint can also go a long way towards impressing the next owner.

 

Make other plans: Owners, their children, and pets should not be present for the open house. Many sellers find this uncomfortable, as they worry about their belongings and wish to supervise or answer questions. While this is a perfectly normal way to feel, it does make the buyers less likely to make an offer. They will feel disinclined to voice their honest opinions of your property to the agent.

 

A successful open house can culminate in multiple offers and a faster sale. A great agent will help with tips specific to your home’s unique appeal and be your guide through the process.

 

Yes, You Can Get a Mortgage after Bankruptcy: Here’s How

Perhaps you think that you cannot get a mortgage after a bankruptcy but that’s not entirely true. It is still possible to get a mortgage after bankruptcy but it’s important to know what to do and how to do it properly. For example, you should first wait at least 24 months after your bankruptcy is discharged before you apply for a mortgage. You might be able to get approved for one before then but the interest rates will not be favorable to you.

So here are some tips to getting a mortgage after bankruptcy:

  1. First, you should review your credit report. The bankruptcy is going to show up and affect your score in a big way but it might not be as bad as you think. You should pull your credit report and track it regularly so you can see if there are any other things there that don’t belong and also that there are no creditors continuing to report the debts that you have covered in your bankruptcy. You need to report any mistakes or discrepancies so your report is always accurate.
  2. Always pay your bills on time. While this is just something that you should do anyway, paying on time shows that you are responsible with your finances and it helps show credit worthiness when you do attempt to apply for a mortgage.
  3. Your bankruptcy must be discharged before you apply for a mortgage. If you are still in credit counseling or a program that takes care of your finances for you, a lender will not be interested in speaking with you. So once you are properly discharged after the bankruptcy, you can begin looking at your options.
  4. Use secured credit cards. A secured credit card is a good way to rebuild your credit after a bankruptcy. It allows you to use your own secured funds to get a credit card that will then count toward your credit rating when you use it safely. You should not apply for too much credit at one time and you should only use a portion of your credit. Don’t max out your cards – even secured cards.
  5. Wait 2 years. Again, waiting two years after your bankruptcy can help you get a better rate with interest rates that are more favorable to you. You will save in the long run and it will be worth the wait.

Now that you have this information about getting a mortgage after bankruptcy, you’re ready to begin the home buying process. Talk to your real estate agent if you need a referral to a lender or if you need help narrowing down your options.

What Happens if I’m Renting and My Landlord Goes into Foreclosure?

What Happens if I’m Renting and My Landlord Goes into Foreclosure?

 

In the past, if you were renting and your landlord went into foreclosure, you could be immediately forced out of the home. However, times have changed and new laws make it possible for renters to live out their lease in most cases. In other cases, they may be able to recover costs from the original landlord.

 

Talk with Your Landlord

 

If your landlord goes into foreclosure and actually tells you about it, you may need to discuss other things, like utilities. If your landlord was taking care of the utilities as part of your rental agreement, you need to find out if that is still going to happen. Someone who isn’t making their house payment with your rent money may not be paying the utilities either. Try to get as much information as you can so you are able to plan ahead for the safety of your own family.

 

Thank You Obama

 

In 2009, President Obama signed an act to protect tenants from having their lives turned upside down if their landlord went into foreclosure. The Protecting Tenants and Foreclosure Act of 2009 was designed to give tenants a chance to recover from what to them may be an abrupt change.

 

The act basically states that tenants can live out their original lease undisturbed. Since some tenants live on a month to month lease, this could have meant that they had 30 days to move out. However, the act gives them 90 days to find a new home. The only exception is when someone buys the property with the intent to live there. In such cases, the tenant has 90 days, regardless of whether they live on a month to month lease or not.

 

Recovering Costs

 

Aside from potentially having to deal with a higher rent, moving itself is expensive. You may need to travel to investigate a potential rental, pay application fees, and rent a truck to move your furnishings. Renters can sometimes recover some of those costs by taking their original landlord to small claims court.

 

Naturally, while you are living in the rental, all of the details of the lease and your responsibilities still stand. It may be even more important to follow the lease to the letter in order to avoid being evicted because of your own folly. If this happens, you won’t be able to recover costs from your former landlord because you will have to move due to your own behavior and the details of the lease. Talk to a real estate agent about your opens if you do need to move. It may just be time to buy your own home!

How to Prepare for Turning a Home into a Rental

How to Prepare for Turning a Home into a Rental

 

If you have made the decision to rent out the home you are living in rather than living in it yourself, you have some prep work to do. Not only do you have to get the home itself physically ready to rent, you also need to prepare yourself mentally. Understand that they are going to treat your home differently than they will and make yourself come to terms with that fact. Use some of the tips below to make the whole process much easier and safer for you and your future tenant.

 

Decide How Involved You Want to Be

 

You don’t have to deal with tenants at all if you don’t want to. Instead, you can turn your home over to a rental agency or real estate agent who will collect the rent and make timely visits to ensure that the property is being taken care of. This helps avoid any issues with getting personally involved with the tenant or letting your feelings about the house get in the way of how you manage your business.

 

Safety First

 

You may want to check with a local lawyer or building inspector to learn exactly what the rental codes are and what your responsibilities are toward the tenant. Some states require that you furnish appliances while others don’t. The same is true of things like smoke detectors.

 

You most likely have the best interests of everyone in mind, so it won’t hurt to take a few extra steps. Make sure that the smoke detectors are adequate and in working order. Check the stability of any and all handrails. Install GFI sockets near the sink, tub, and washer.

 

Get Neutral

 

Neutral tones are fairly common in rentals because they work with just about any kind of décor. Brown carpet is the most common because it hides traffic paths and minor stains better than most other colors do. When it comes to the walls, stay with one neutral color. This will prevent you from having to match paints every time a new tenant moves in.

 

You may not be trying to offer a palace, but you expect your tenant to be timely with the rent, so give them something worth renting. Make sure everything is in working order and create a schedule for doing things like changing furnace filters. The more you invest in maintaining the home as a reliable landlord, the more likely you are to have tenants who will stay for long periods of time and pay their rent in a timely manner.

 

What is a Green Mortgage?

What is a Green Mortgage?

 

If you are buying a home or thinking about refinancing a home, you might want to consider using a green mortgage. This type of mortgage is sometimes called an energy efficient mortgage because of the nature of the loan. Whatever you might call it, it’s a great way to save money right off the bat, and even benefit from some of the tax breaks that come from going green in general.

 

Not a Renovation Loan

 

Usually, a mortgage covers the cost of buying a home just as it is. However, lenders have recognized that you may be more inclined to buy a home if you can turn it into something a bit closer to your idea of a dream home. Because of that, there are now mortgages like the FHA (203)k mortgage that allows you to borrow more than just the cost of the home. It allows you to borrow enough to make the changes you want to make. This makes it easier for homebuyers who may not be able to afford the cost of a mortgage with renovation costs stacked on top. However, these loans are not specific to energy efficient changes.

 

Green Mortgages

 

Unlike a renovation mortgage, a green mortgage focuses on making a home more energy efficient. This would include things like adding solar panels, point of use water heaters, more efficient insulation, energy efficient appliances, and just about anything else that makes your home more environmentally friendly and cost-efficient. One of the main differences between these loans and renovation loans is that green loans tend to help you save money because your home requires less energy to maintain a comfortable situation.

 

Tax Benefits

 

There are federal tax breaks for those who make their home more energy efficient. There may also be state tax breaks in your state. In either case, be sure to check the exact specifications so that you can benefit from these breaks. In some situations you may be able to claim the entire cost of installing new appliances, ceiling fans, insulation, and other energy efficient items.

 

Making sure you get the right mortgage for your situation is about more than just the interest rate. With things like a green mortgage in place, you can save money on more than just interest. You can reduce the cost of your utilities, lower your taxes, and still find an interest rate that is comparable to all other types of mortgages.