Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Landscaping to increase the value of your home

When people decide to put their home on the market, they ask themselves all kinds of questions:

How will I attract potential buyers?
How can I anticipate what people will be looking for?
Is my home too outdated?  Too modern?  Too specific to my tastes and style?

The truth is, it's almost impossible to anticipate what will attract every potential buyer, since each of them will have different interests and qualities they are seeking in a home.  A good real estate agent will help you assess your home and make adjustments that will increase the "show" factor, and he/she may even recommend that you invest in some small improvements to attract potential buyers.

Still, there are general things every home seller can do to increase the likelihood that potential buyers will request a showing. Because, let's face it, booking the showing is the first, most important step, and the only way you will be able to turn those potential buyers into actual buyers by wowing them with all your home has to offer.

One of the easiest, most basic, least costly ways you can increase your property's value and show factor?  Landscaping.  After all, your home's exterior is your first impression, and, as we all know, you only get one chance to make that work.  Get it right, and people will remember.  Get it wrong, and ... yeah ... they'll remember that, too.

Watch this video for some great tips and ideas about how to quickly and easily increase the value of your home with some basic landscaping and exterior improvements.

Monday, September 1, 2014

How I got here and what I'm doing now

I first became interested in real estate when I decided to become a home buyer. Feeling uninformed and confused about everything from financing to market value to disclosures and contracts and insurance binders, I couldn't even focus on how many bathrooms I wanted in a home, or whether a yard was a "must have." Still, as soon as I walked through the front door of the condo I ended up buying, I knew I was home. It included everything I did want, and many things I didn't even know I wanted until I saw them. And despite my usual wait-and-think-about-it approach to most things, I was eager to make an offer that day. Which I did. I was fortunate enough to find a real estate agent was very helpful, and I was blessed to work with an experienced, talented attorney who is highly skilled in property law, so I felt like I was ahead of the game in some respects. But as the days went by, I began to feel less like a participant in a voluntary transaction that I had initiated, and more like I was being dragged along by a runaway process that I was struggling to understand.

It helped that I had been reading a lot about real estate, and had decided to take the 75-hour online course designed for real estate agents, so I could feel as informed as possible about my own circumstances. Then a recent conversation with my family, in which they suggested I think about selling real estate, came back to me, and suddenly the idea not only made sense, but seemed like a fantastic fit for me. If I was struggling with the process and feeling overwhelmed and anxious about all the steps and requirements, despite working with a broker and an attorney who were on top of everything and who were communicating with me every step of the way, how must others feel when they are going through this? Even more important, how many people believe that they can't navigate this complex process and forego the incredible opportunities of home/property ownership altogether?  Fear and misinformation have a way of keeping us stuck in places we don't want to be, and of convincing us that we are incapable of moving forward.

Yet here I am, several months and a NYS real estate license later. I am not only a home owner, I am eager to help you meet your needs and achieve your goals, whether you are thinking about selling or buying or both.  And believe it or not, I not only believe that you can do this, I believe that I can help you do it without all the stress and anxiety that often accompany real estate transactions. After all, this isn't rocket science. It's real estate. (If you happen to be a rocket scientist, let me know and I'll come up with a different analogy just for you.) The bottom line is, you don't have to do this alone, you simply have to find a real estate agent and the right combination of professionals who can guide and inform you along the way. Fortunately, I come equipped with referrals to mortgage brokers. attorneys, inspectors, appraisers, and insurance companies and I would love to help you assemble a team, and to work as your partner in this process.

I look forward to hearing from you, and I encourage you to follow Welcome Home for regular updates. I've also made it possible for you to connect with me on Facebook and Twitter for more information about general real estate tips and ideas. Finally, please leave comments and feedback whenever you'd like, and ask questions either in the comments section or via email on my "Contact Me" page.  And if you know of anyone else trying to find a real estate agent, feel free to share my information with them as well.

As always, thanks so much for stopping by.

Take care,