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Even With Credit Issues, Home Ownership Can Still Be Possible

by Melissa Dierks

22 February, 2014

images-1Discouraged because you have been told “NO” when trying to qualify for a home loan?

DO NOT LOSE HOPE!
The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals works with some of the most aggressive lenders in town who have incredible programs!
CALL OR EMAIL US TODAY TO DISCUSS YOUR OPTIONS!
(623) 643-1092      OR      Info@theregalteam.com

Should You Wait Until Spring to Put Your Home on the Market?

by Melissa Dierks

13 February, 2014

Put Your Home on the MarketTypically the end of the Holiday season and New Years signal the advent of Spring, so putting your home on the market around the time of the Spring Equinox might be the perfect option for you. Markets vary, so only your local professional real estate agent can advise you on what is best in your area, but there are some reasons you might want to put your home on the market BEFORE the first day of Spring.

Here are some reasons why you may want to consider selling now rather than waiting:

While some analysts tout Spring as the best time of year to sell a house, these same analysts advise buyers to make an offer on homes in January and February. With lower inventories available, homebuyers looking for a deal in the cold of winter may find what they are looking for in your home. Those with early tax refund checks may be ready sooner than others to snap up a good deal.

Homebuyers care about finding the right home in the right place for the right price at the right time for them. According to a National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) study, homebuyers want energy efficient appliances, windows and other features that permanently lower utility bills; extra storage and organizational features that include a laundry room, linen closet in the bathroom, a walk-in pantry and extra storage space in the garage.

To sell your home in midwinter, consider staging that takes weather into account.

  • Make sure the walks and entryways are free of snow and debris. Take the time to clear off the patio too. You may not use it in winter, but your buyer needs to know it is there for the summer. Winter patio use is gaining popularity too!
  • Keep your home warm and cozy. Now is not the time to worry about heat costs. If buyers are cold and uncomfortable, they will not stay long enough to experience your home’s special features.
  • If you have a gas fireplace, light it. Consider placing a grouping of candles in a wood fireplace and lighting them while the house shows. (NOTE: some buyers may be allergic to smoke from wood-burning fires, so consider not a lighting wood fire unless it is integral to heating your home).

Since daylight is at a premium in winter, try to have your house shown during daylight hours. Make sure your windows are clear and free of winter grime and window treatments are clean and dust-free. If your house must show after dark, make sure to turn on every light in the house and yard so that your home is warm and inviting.

Add a Romantic Touch to Your Open House

by Melissa Dierks

11 February, 2014

Romantic Touch to Your Open HouseWhen staging your home for an open house, consider connecting to the season, holiday or local events to give your home that memorable “I see myself living here” quality. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, consider adding a vase of roses to the dining room. Even a single red rose or a spray of baby’s breath in a vase on the master bathroom vanity will make a subtle impression. A simple glass of red tulips can chase away the winter blues, giving a warm, inviting feel to your open house. Grow a red or pink amaryllis in the kitchen window. Its blooms will last for several weeks, adding a cheery, festive look to your kitchen’s décor.

Place a decorative jar of bath salts on the edge of the tub to evoke a spa-like feeling and some decorative flower pedal soaps in a dish by the sink. According to US News, a subtle vanilla scent leaves a pleasant memory with your open house visitors and a single scent, rathern than a complex mixture of scents, has been shown to assist in decision-making by a Washington State Universtiy study.

Consider setting the dining room or kitchen table with bright red or deep pink placemats or tablecloth and contrasting floral or geometric napkins. Set with a mix of whimsical red and white plates for a romantic touch. Adding a few romantic touches needn’t cost very much. Simple thrift store finds may give your house that extra something that says “home” to a young couple just starting life together or empty-nesters wanting to re-capture those youthful feelings as they downsize.

If your colors are neutral, a simple red pillow on a sofa or the master bed or a coffeetable book with a red cover can give the atmosphere a lift. Red is an important feng shui color, so a touch of red in the south, southwest or northeast corners of a room or the home may generate feelings of happiness and joy. Give your kitchen a boost of healthful atmosphere with a simple bowl of heart-shaped red delicious apples or red bell peppers.

In any case, make sure not to overdo the decorations. Your understated additions should attract pleasant thoughts, not overwhelming ones. Your professional real estate agent can help you determine what works best in your market, so call today for a consultation.

Do I Need to Paint the Whole House White?

by Melissa Dierks

6 February, 2014

Paint the Whole House WhiteYou are getting ready to paint a home you know you will sell within a couple of years. Chances are, a helpful family member or friend reminds you that to sell, everything should be painted white. After all, a buyer needs a neutral “clean slate” to look at.

Just the thought of all those white walls and ceilings gives you the feeling of a fog machine at a rock concert, so what do you do? There are several options other than white or off-whites to give a room a neutral look. In fact, many times a little color is better than white.

Here’s why: White is not white is not white, meaning that there are dozens of variations on white that can make or break the look of your walls. Some whites reflect light more warmly or coolly than others do. If you choose the wrong white, your home will seem harsh and stark rather than warm and inviting. White also reveals flaws and cracks in drywall, shows up patches and nail holes and shows dust and dirt more easily than other neutral colors.

In addition to that, a 2004 survey conducted across seventeen countries revealed what white is the world’s least favorite color.

So, which colors should you use? Nature inspired neutrals include soft earth tones such as some warm reds, tans and browns, greens, and other muted tones. Coffee colors, ranging from light latte to deep mocha or espresso, are both popular and excellent complements to hardwood flooring and tile.

The same survey that put white at the least favorite, shows blue is the most popular color in the world. So, adding a pale sky blue can soften a stark room. Blue also lends a hint of sophistication and evokes feelings of summer days spent at the beach.

Similarly, sage and mossy greens add a hint of a cool forest and gives walls a calm, soothing and stress-free quality.

One way to give your home depth and dimension is to use various shades of the same color— deeper in an alcove, lighter or darker on the ceilings. Contrasting colors enhance a large room, but might break up a small room, so consider painting the trim just a shade darker than the walls instead. Use a deeper shade or complementary color to highlight a particular architectural feature, or alternate warm and cool colors to make a room appear longer or wider. Using a color similar to the view outside the window can bring the outside into your home and perceptually enlarge your space.

Just remember that when it comes to selling your home color can be your friend. Call your local real estate professional to learn about trending color schemes in your area.

Mortgage Rates and Housing Prices Expected to Rise in 2014

by Melissa Dierks

3 February, 2014

Mortgage Rates RiseEven though 30-year fixed rates dropped in the first half of January, many analysts expect fixed mortgage rates to go up somewhat in 2014, but to top out at around 5%. What this means for buyers is that while higher than 2013′s historic lows, the rates will remain favorable and predictable for homebuyers.

What is less predictable is the potential rise in home prices. In fact, a Fannie Mae survey shows that more than 90% of the nation’s consumers believe that home prices are likely to rise and that potential buyers should start looking sooner rather than later. Nationwide, home values rose as much as 10 to 20% last year and many consumers expect at least another 3 percent rise in the coming months. One factor driving home prices up is the lack of available inventory. Many homeowners have placed their homes on the market, but according to the Fannie Mae survey, at least 33 % are under the impression that this climate is great for placing their homes on the market. If inventory rises, prices may remain stable for awhile, giving buyers the opportunity to solidify their financial situation, set a budget, gather their down payment, double check their credit report and get preapproval for a loan.

Another potential driver of home prices is the cost of materials for new homes and remodels. The aftermath of disasters such as Superstorm Sandy and various wild fires has pushed the price of lumber up more than 5 percent overall last year. Labor cost increases due to changes in many state minimum wage laws and immigration rules, as well as rising insurance costs affect materials costs too. For sellers, this means placing your home on the market now has to potential to get it sold faster, and at a moderate price increase. As interest rates go up, however, prices will correspondingly come down to adjust to buyers’ debt-to-income ratio. To set the appropriate price on your home, work closely with your professional real estate agent.

Your neighborhood comparables and the “mood” of the housing market in your area, along with the input from your agent will help you determine the best price for your situation. Remember, the mood of the market includes more than the national reports tell you. Your market is made up of a combination of the local jobs report, home inventory, interest rates, local school popularity, which neighborhoods or home styles are trending, and the community’s perceived desirability of your address. Your professional agent stays abreast of this information and works with your to set the right price for your home.

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Melissa Dierks
The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals
7111 W Bell Road, Suite 101,
Glendale AZ 85308
Direct: (623)229-0154
Office: (623)643-1092
Fax: (623)201-7562

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