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7 Things To Avoid After Applying for a Mortgage!

by Melissa Dierks

Congratulations! You’ve found a home to buy and have applied for a mortgage! You are undoubtedly excited about the opportunity to decorate your new home! But before you make any big purchases, move any money around, or make any big-time life changes, consult your loan officer. They will be able to tell you how your decision will impact your home loan.

Below is a list of 7 Things You Shouldn’t Do After Applying for a Mortgage! Some may seem obvious, but some may not!

1. Don’t change jobs or the way you are paid at your job! Your loan officer must be able to track the source and amount of your annual income. If possible, you’ll want to avoid changing from salary to commission or becoming self-employed during this time as well.

2. Don’t deposit cash into your bank accounts. Lenders need to source your money and cash is not really traceable. Before you deposit any amount of cash into your accounts, discuss the proper way to document your transactions with your loan officer.

3. Don’t make any large purchases like a new car or new furniture for your new home. New debt comes with it, including new monthly obligations. New obligations create new qualifications. People with new debt have higher debt to income ratios… higher ratios make for riskier loans… and sometimes qualified borrowers no longer qualify.

4. Don’t co-sign other loans for anyone. When you co-sign, you are obligated. As we mentioned, with that obligation comes higher ratios as well. Even if you swear you will not be the one making the payments, your lender will have to count the payment against you.

5. Don’t change bank accounts. Remember, lenders need to source and track assets. That task is significantly easier when there is consistency among your accounts. Before you even transfer money between accounts, talk to your loan officer.

6. Don’t apply for new credit. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a new credit card or a new car. When you have your credit report run by organizations in multiple financial channels (mortgage, credit card, auto, etc.), your FICO score will be affected. Lower credit scores can determine your interest rate and maybe even your eligibility for approval.

7. Don’t close any credit accounts. Many clients have erroneously believed that having less available credit makes them less risky and more likely to be approved. Wrong. A major component of your score is your length and depth of credit history (as opposed to just your payment history) and your total usage of credit as a percentage of available credit. Closing accounts has a negative impact on both those determinants of your score.

Bottom LineAny blip in income, assets, or credit should be reviewed and executed in a way that ensures your home loan can still be approved. The best advice is to fully disclose and discuss your plans with your loan officer before you do anything financial in nature. They are there to guide you through the process.

 

Source: mykcm.com

 

If you're looking to buy, sell, or invest in the Phoenix or surrounding area, CALL The Regal Team Today.

 

Melissa Dierks, Owner of The Regal Team of Keller Williams Professionl Partners

Certified Military Residential Specialist

Direct: 623-229-0154

Email: melissa@theregalteam.com

3 Tips for Making Your Dream of Owning a Home a Reality [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • Setting up an automatic savings plan that saves a small amount of every check is one of the best ways to save without thinking much about it.
  • Living within a budget right now will help you save money for down payments while also paying down other debts that might be holding you back.
  • What are you willing to cut back on to make your dreams of homeownership a reality?

The famous quote by Walt Whitman, “A man is not a whole and complete man, unless he owns a house and the ground it stands on,” can be used to describe homeownership in America today. The Census revealed that the percentage of homeowners in America has been steadily climbing back up since hitting a 50-year low in 2016. The homeownership rate in the first quarter of 2018 was 64.2%, higher than last year’s 63.6%.

Homeownership: "A Man Is Not a Complete Man, Unless He Owns a House" | MyKCM

Chief Economist, Dr. Ralph McLaughlin, in his VUE Blog gave these new homeownership numbers some context:

“The trend is clear: the homeownership rate has been ticking up for five consecutive quarters, and the number of new renter households has fallen for four consecutive quarters. Owner-occupied households grew by 1.345 million from a year ago, while the number of renters actually fell by 286,000 households. 

The fact that we now have four consecutive quarters where owner households increased while renter households fell is a strong sign households are making a switch from renting to buying. This is a trend that multifamily builders, investors, and landlords should take note of.” 

 In a separate article comparing the rental population in America to the homeowner population, Realtor.com also concluded that the gap is now shrinking:

“The U.S. added 1.3 million owner households over the last year and lost 286,000 renter households, the fourth consecutive quarter in which the number of renter households declined from the same quarter a year earlier. That could pose challenges for apartment landlords, who are bracing this year for one of the largest infusions of new rental supply in three decades.” 

 America’s belief in homeownership was also evidenced in a survey conducted by Pew Research. They asked consumers “How important is homeownership to achieving the American Dream?”

 The results:

 

  • 43% said homeownership was essential to the American Dream
  • 48% said homeownership was important to the American Dream
  • Only 9% said it was not important

 

Bottom Line

Homeownership has been, is, and always will be a crucial part of the American Dream.

Source: Keeping Current Matters and additional source links above

If you're looking to buy, sell, or invest in the Phoenix or surrounding area, CALL The Regal Team Today.

 

Melissa Dierks, Owner of The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

Certified Military Residential Specialist

RE/MAX Hall of Fame

Direct: 623-229-0154

Email: melissa@theregalteam.com

Home-Buying Millennials Face Fresh Set of Struggles

by Melissa Dierks

An astounding 98 percent of home-buying millennials surveyed for the report are being kept out of the market, with barriers including credit (cited by 26 percent of millennials), a down payment (31 percent) and prices (40 percent).

Given the hurdles, millennials are compromising on their wants: 84 percent, for example, would give up a feature in their home so that they could buy in their desired location, the report reveals. (The No. 1 do-without feature? A garage, followed by a kitchen that has been updated.) By comparison, just 25 percent of boomer buyers and 35 percent of Generation X buyers would do the same. Strikingly, 24 percent of millennials would accept a higher crime rate in exchange for their ideal property.

The majority of millennials (89 percent), similarly, would give up a feature of their neighborhood so that they could buy their desired home, like activities (e.g., block parties), good schools and proximity to restaurants and shops. Only 15 percent of boomers and 22 percent of Gen Xers would follow suit.

“For millennials, the dream of homeownership is alive and well, but with prices going up and inventory continuing to shrink, this new generation of buyers are facing more obstacles than any other demographic,” says Cheryl Young, senior economist at Trulia. “With tight budgets and fewer choices on the market, most millennials are forced to make trade-offs, and are more willing than other generations to give up home and neighborhood features in order to find their ideal home.”

Aside from the concessions, many millennials are having to put off their search, the report shows. More than three-quarters (79 percent) have delayed their plans to purchase—a higher rate than both boomers (48 percent) and Generation Xers (64 percent). Across generations, however, the obstacles overlap: a not-so-distant 32 percent of Gen Xers and 36 percent of millennials delayed due to the down payment, and an almost-identical 26 percent of Gen Xers and 27 percent of millennials held off due to prices.

Beyond costs, millennials are postponing a purchase for fear of “not having a stable job”—a byproduct of coming up in the recession. Debt, however, is less of a roadblock; just 9 percent of millennials say student loans are stopping them.

Despite the hurdles, 86 percent of millennials are planning to purchase, and, of those, 35 percent are aiming to do so in the next year, and 57 percent are hoping to in the next two years, according to the report.

“In markets where the economy and job growth are thriving, we may see some of these financial challenges start to dissipate as millennials mature into their careers,” Young says. “If anything, millennials can hold out hope that the encouraging housing starts we saw in 2017 can lead to some relief in the starter home segment.”

Source: rismedia.com

If you're looking to buy, sell, or invest in the Phoenix or surrounding area, CALL The Regal Team Today.

 

Melissa Dierks, Owner of The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

Certified Military Residential Specialist

RE/MAX Hall of Fame

Direct: 623-229-0154

Email: melissa@theregalteam.com

Mortgage Rates Jump to 4-Year High

by Melissa Dierks

After mostly stagnant activity levels in recent weeks, mortgage rates are back on the move. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to its highest level since January 2014 this week, also seeing its largest weekly increase since February of this year, Freddie Mac reports. 

Average mortgage rates were higher across the board too, posting weekly increases to not only the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage but also to 15-year and 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages in mortgage rates for the week ending April 19: 

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.47 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 4.42 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.97 percent. 
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.94 percent, with an average 0.4 point, rising from last week’s 3.87 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.23 percent. 
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.67 percent, with an average 0.3 point, increasing from last week’s 3.61 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.10 percent. 

Source: Freddie Mac

If you're looking to buy, sell, or invest in the Phoenix or surrounding area, CALL The Regal Team Today.

 

Melissa Dierks, Owner of The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

Certified Military Residential Specialist

RE/MAX Hall of Fame

Direct: 623-229-0154

Email: melissa@theregalteam.com

Getting Pre-Approved Should Always Be Your First Step

by Melissa Dierks

In many markets across the country, the number of buyers searching for their dream homes greatly outnumbers the number of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search.

Even if you are in a market that is not as competitive, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing if your dream home is within your reach.

Freddie Mac lays out the advantages of pre-approval in the ‘My Home’ section of their website:

 “It’s highly recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-approved before you begin house hunting. Pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford and can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.”

One of the many advantages of working with a local real estate professional is that many have relationships with lenders who will be able to help you with this process. Once you have selected a lender, you will need to fill out their loan application and provide them with important information regarding “your credit, debt, work history, down payment and residential history.”

Freddie Mac describes the ‘4 Cs’ that help determine the amount you will be qualified to borrow:

  1. Capacity: Your current and future ability to make your payments
  2. Capital or cash reserves: The money, savings, and investments you have that can be sold quickly for cash
  3. Collateral: The home, or type of home, that you would like to purchase
  4. Credit: Your history of paying bills and other debts on time

Getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and it often helps speed up the process once your offer has been accepted.

 Bottom Line

Many potential home buyers overestimate the down payment and credit scores needed to qualify for a mortgage today. If you are ready and willing to buy, you may be pleasantly surprised at your ability to do so.

 

Source: https://www.mykcm.com/2018/04/16/getting-pre-approved-should-always-be-your-first-step/

 

If you're looking to buy, sell, or invest in the Phoenix or surrounding area, CALL The Regal Team Today.

 

Melissa Dierks, Owner of The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

Certified Military Residential Specialist

RE/MAX Hall of Fame

Direct: 623-229-0154

Email: melissa@theregalteam.com


Source:  Keeping Current Matters and additional source links above

10 of the hottest interior trends for Spring Summer 2018

by Melissa Dierks
Spring/Summer 2018 trends

Yes, it's still dark and dingy, but we have so much colour and texture to look forward to this spring and summer. 

Ice-cream pastels, glittery golds, indigo blues and super zingy colour pops, these are all trends for this year. Below, we show you our favourites and how to put them together in your home. 

1. EMBELLISHMENTS

Global Traveller range, Sainsbury's Home
SAINSBURY'S HOME

Macrame, fringing, tufting, tassels and feathers – you name it, it's here for this season and you'll see it on cushions, wall hangings, throws, rugs and accessories. This trend will add a wonderful handmade quality to each room, beautiful tactile cushions on the sofa and a sumptuous throw with tassels on the bed, and a wall-hanging or two on plain walls to add interest. 

2. ICE CREAM COLOURS

Valspar, from B&Q
VALSPAR

Gelato colours are going to be a huge trend in both interiors and fashion this year, but there's no reason to wait until spring, start investing in key pieces now and get ahead of the crowd. 'Choosing your favourite flavour of ice cream can be a bit like choosing your favourite paint colour,' explains Kasia Wiktorowicz, marketing communications manager, Valspar. 'So why only choose one when you can have them all, in a perfect palette of ice cream colours. You can even mix up paint colours to suit your tastes and match accessories by using our in-store colour matching technology.' Introduce these pretty colours on a single wall or multiple if you feel brave, and accessorise with pastelhued vases, dining chairs and tableware.

3. GEOMETRICS

Wall&Deco Wet System 16 - Batik, £156 per sq m, West One Bathrooms
WEST ONE BATHROOMS

Although we did see geometrics in 2017, it was mainly on cushions and rugs. This year it's all about tiles, wallpaper and art. Seen here is a bold design being used to striking effect, no, it's not tiles, it's actually a specially designed decorative membrane that is so watertight it can also be used directly on the walls of a shower or as a kitchen splashback.

4. FOLIAGE AND MORE FOLIAGE

Green sofa and greenery - plants

With increasing news of health benefits, the humble houseplant is fast becoming the must-have buy for our homes. And it seems the more the merrier, so pop down to your local garden centre and invest in some stunning plants. Place them in each room, use hanging plants for shelves and mantelpieces and some lovely leafy beauties for bare corners and coffee/side tables. Team them with some lush green pieces like this charming armchair, stylish pendants, a textured rug and some stripy green cushions for added interest. 

5. INDIGO BLUES

Indigo blue flowers, vase and backdrop
MARKS & SPENCER

As an antidote to the pastel tones, another colour trend is inky blues. If painting a whole room in one of these shades seems overwhelming then simply accessorise instead with vases and flowers. Pick different shapes in a mixture of styles, so some coloured glass and others embossed stoneware, like these seen here. Vary the heights and widths to create an interesting display. 

6. OMBRE

Holly double bed frame in pumice soft textured weave, £975, Button & Sprung
BUTTON & SPRUNG

Meaning 'to shade', this season you're going to see ombre in many different ways, from fabrics to cushions, rugs to bedding, and in a painterly watercolour style on lampshades, artwork and furniture. If you don't feel brave enough to try it yourself on walls, then source a wallpaper instead. Once you have chosen your colourway, co-ordinate your accessories to complement the wall colours using a mix of plains and prints. 

              7. GLITTERY GOLD

Swoon Editions
SWOON EDITIONS

Last year the metallic trend started to filter through into paints and metal finishes, this year gold is the key colour. Softer than silver, it brings its own elegance together with a sense of decadence. You'll see gold detailing like door knobs and handles, gold lamp bases and picture frames. We love this sideboard, mirror and pendant, the dramatic dark walls show them off to perfection and the bold electric blue chair adds a classy pop of colour. Sam Baldry, head of design at Swoon Editions, says: 'Mango wood furnishings with brass and gold leaf accents are an increasingly popular choice for the style-savvy customer. For a more subtle take, gold accessories are a sophisticated yet understated addition.'

8. COLOUR POPS

Colourful bedroom, Amara
AMARA

'Bold pops of colour is one of the strongest trends coming through for us this season. For A by Amara's SS18 collection we've focused heavily on a variety of strong shades that we feel will transform any living space and help reflect a personal style,' explains Sam Hood, founder and creative director of Amara. This trend is all about mixing bright colours together. It's strong, but easily manageable if you have one or two main colours to start with that 'ground' the rest of the look. For example, as shown here, it's the blue bedding and the neutral walls. The cushions, rug and curtains bring a zingy element to the scheme as well as the yellow light and the orange panel. Use textures to layer the look and don't be afraid to team patterns and stripes together. 

9. TROPICAL

House of Fraser - outdoor living, tropics
HOUSE OF FRASER

Punchy brights teamed with gold are the key to this happy trend. It will work both inside and out. To recreate this look layer different coloured linen tablecloths and use darker shades for the tableware. Choose tropical leaf print cushions to add a decorative touch. Jakki Pay, design director of fashion & home at House of Fraser, says: 'I love tropical prints – there's really no better way to create that summer party mood, and this season there are some brilliantly bold ones to choose from. Palm motifs are always popular and our in-house design team has scaled them up to create some really striking abstract prints. Pick out vibrant pinks and blues and you've created a tropical paradise in your back garden.

10. SHIMMERY FLOORS

Carpetright Westex Ultima Twist carpet in Scotch Mist, £41.99m2 (2)
CARPETRIGHT

A new concept for carpets – shimmer! Perfect for spring and summer, this new range has an iridescent finish that catches the light and can be teamed with shimmery wallpapers and decorative paint effects. This pretty blush rose colour is perfect for this new season and looks great with grey and pale blue. 'The trend for iridescence continues this spring and it's proving to be an adaptable decorating style. The combination of blush, grey and lilac tones with metallic and shimmering finishes offers a modern feel with the perfect balance between sophistication and vibrancy,' explains Jemma Dayman, buyer at Carpetright.

Source: housebeautiful.com

If you're looking to buy, sell, or invest in the Phoenix or surrounding area, CALL The Regal Team Today.

 

Melissa Dierks, Owner of The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

Certified Military Residential Specialist

RE/MAX Hall of Fame

Direct: 623-229-0154

Email: melissa@theregalteam.com


Source:  Keeping Current Matters and additional source links above

Just when you thought the housing market couldn’t get any hotter, the prospect of rising mortgage rates had buyers even more frenzied in March, according to a report out Friday. 

The monthly survey of real estate agents from Credit Suisse showed that an index of buyer traffic around the country rose 2 points to 50, on a scale where 50 indicates a neutral reading. As always, there was great regional variety, but as Credit Suisse put it, agents’ commentary “remains centered on pent-up demand, especially in more affordable price points, given the persistent inventory shortage.”

The threat of rising mortgage rates is also starting to be felt. That “got many buyers off the fence,” as one survey respondent in Houston said. In 36 metro areas Credit Suisse surveys, 23 said incoming rate increases were motivating buyers. Still, as one Seattle real estate agent put it, “Rate increases are causing a sense of urgency, but there is not enough inventory to sell.”

And Credit Suisse also made note of a theme that’s starting to gain as much traction as the notion of scarce inventory: “In several markets spanning the Southern U.S., agents noted in-migration – driven by employment and lifestyle changes – is supporting ongoing gains in traffic as we move into spring.” That’s a theme MarketWatch has covered recently. 

ReadAmerica’s new great migration in search of lower property taxes

And for buyers who can’t move across the country for more reasonable prices, Credit Suisse’s survey found more house-hunters going back to a tried-and-true way of landing more affordable housing. What they call “a greater willingness among buyers to move further out to the periphery” was known as “driving until you qualify” a decade ago. 

Here are some selected local highlights from the March survey, along with Credit Suisse’s proprietary traffic index data for each.

City Traffic index Comments
Boston 36

“Continued shortage of available inventory is leading some buyers to abandon their search.” 

“Rising prices and the uptick in interest rates are pushing the bottom tier out of the marketplace.” “Buyers looking at homes in further out areas in order to compete with rising rates.” 

Chicago 38 “First-time and move-up buyers are coming on strong while the luxury buyers are languishing.” 

“Buyer optimism amidst low levels of inventory.” 

Denver 46

“Prices being bid up well beyond the list price.”

Fort Myers 50

“Clients appear to feel more confident in the economy.” 

“Colder weather in the Northeast states driving more snowbirds to the area.”

Houston 54

“Continued corporate relocations to the area.”

Inland Empire, California 25

“Rates causing buyers to purchase smaller or older homes, or move further out.” 

“Buyers will purchase what they can afford given rising rates; homes will be smaller and locations outside of previously considered areas.”

Jacksonville 75

“Good economy and still affordable price points.” 

“Corporate growth in the area.”

Las Vegas 38

“Open house traffic much higher than last year and more interest in entry level homes.” 

“People moving to the county in droves!” 

“Higher prices and shortage of available inventory.”

Miami 30

“Lenders tight on buyer qualifications and property conditions.”  

“First-time buyers concerned over rising rates although higher end buyers more motivated to purchase.”

Minneapolis 63

“Clients that have been dragging their feet now cannot afford as much.”

Nashville 21

“More people moving into the area.” 

“Seeing an increase in seller paid closing costs and additional financial assistance on behalf of buyers.”

New York-Northern New Jersey 47

“Many buyers interested in purchasing homes outside the state, in places like North Carolina.”

Phoenix 71

“Buyers willing to go further out to get a larger home.”

Raleigh 67

Lack of inventory and frenzied buying.” 

“Some buyers moving towards variable rate mortgage products offered by credit unions.”

Sacramento 77

“More people and companies moving to the area.” 

“Buyers are lowering their expectations, sacrificing either square footage or location to meet price points.”

San Antonio 60

“Retirees looking to move to the area due to the climate and the fairly low cost of living.” 

“Buyers qualifying for lower amounts.”

San Diego 46

“Buyers more concerned with HOA fees than rates.” 

“Seeing movement to lower priced areas if anything is available.” 

“Buyers willing to move further from the city.”

Virginia Beach 50

“Large influx of low quality new construction which is outperforming the sales of existing homes.” 

“Buyers having sticker shock over rising home prices.”

If you're looking to buy, sell, or invest in the Phoenix or surrounding area, CALL The Regal Team Today.

 

Melissa Dierks, Owner of The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

Certified Military Residential Specialist

RE/MAX Hall of Fame

Direct: 623-229-0154

Email: melissa@theregalteam.com

Source:  Keeping Current Matters and all references above

What to Do With All That Stuff

by Melissa Dierks

piles of household stuff
 

It seems everywhere you turn, there’s a new message on the many benefits of decluttering. One of the trend’s best-known spokespersons is Marie Kondo, whose first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,extolls the virtues of having fewer belongings and more space to showcase the things that spark joy.

A more sobering aspect of this movement has been revealed more recently in the form of “Swedish Death Cleaning,” which involves getting rid of anything you don’t need any more so as to relieve others of the task of discarding it after you’ve passed on. Margareta Magnusson, author of The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Make Your Loved Ones’ Lives More Pleasant, says the practice offers a soft underlying message of care for one’s heirs.

Truly effective—and lasting—decluttering is a multistep process. The elements will vary depending on each client’s situation, but here are tips on how you as a real estate pro can help them reduce the stress of the task. You may even find them helpful for your own space.

1. Consider the downsizers. Whether you’re helping them buy or sell, clients who are hoping to reduce the amount of living space they require may look to you as a cheerleader and adviser. They may find it tempting to put off those difficult decisions about what to keep and what to ditch until after the move, but if you can help them focus on what realistically can fit in their new home, that could save them significant money in moving costs, according to Barry Izsak, an organizer and moving expert based in Austin, Texas. This is an especially important factor for those moving long distances. Such clients may also need to be reminded to think about the climate they’re relocating to. Snowbirds are not likely to need an extensive winter wardrobe and should retain only a few items for visits back North or travel to cold-weather locations.


2. Know when to suggest professional help. Homeowners who can’t handle the task on their own should consider bringing on a certified member of the National Association of Professional Organizers or someone with many years of experience, says Izsak. As the former president of NAPO, he says the national hourly rate typically charged by members hovers between $50 and $100. Rhea Becker—who, as the Clutter Queen, offers organizing services for homes and offices in Boston—says many of her clients appreciate how professionals speed up the process by keeping them focused on maximizing profits and avoiding digressions over each object’s history. “With a professional, you have the best chance to cut the time and get some money on the table since they know what will sell,” she says.

3. Assemble a toolbox of local resources to share. Whether or not your clients decide to bring in a professional, it helps to categorize each item in a given area into one of five groupings: keep, store, sell, donate, or toss. Izsak says the litmus test he uses and shares with clients is to save an object only if it fits one of these three criteria: It’s useful, beautiful, or loved. Becker suggests homeowners snap photos of favorite items that are difficult to part with to give them a visual memory they can retain rather than keeping the item itself. Here’s specific help you can offer them for each pile:

  • Sell. Midcentury modern furniture and contemporary art both appeal widely to buyers of all ages, especially if they’re good quality and in decent condition. Create a list of estate sales specialists and consignment shops in your area that are known for fair dealing. However, be aware that many services that do the work of selling take a big cut, often half the sales price. If your clients are inclined to try to sell items themselves, suggest they try eBay for the best prices. However, if they’re not willing to go through the trouble of shipping sold items, encourage them to post goods on hyperlocal online sites, such as neighborhood Facebook groups or Craigslist.
  • Donate. Remember the adage, “One person’s trash is another’s treasure.” Suggest to older clients that they first ask their children to claim beloved items from their childhood. Becker says it’s important to set a time limit for those who are interested to pick up what they want. Donations is another area where you can be a hero by compiling a list of trustworthy sources in your neighborhood for your clients. Take note of what charities will accept and when, and even which ones will pick up donations, saving your clients time and hassle. Some charities have gotten choosier about what they accept. For instance, many won’t take mattresses, box springs, pillow cases, or sheets. Real estate salesperson Christopher Flores with Keller Williams Larchmont in Los Angeles suggests a local halfway house that helps troubled young adults stabilize their lives as a great destination for used goods. “That way they provide furniture and clothing they don’t need to those who may have nothing,” he says. Remind sellers that they may be able to secure a tax donation from the IRS if they contribute to a qualified tax-exempt organization. Because of recent changes in the tax code, it’s best for clients to keep detailed notes of what they donate and to consult their tax adviser for the exact percentages they will be able to write off.
  • Toss. While clients may be able to deposit a fair amount of stuff in their garbage cans for pick-up or take unwanted items directly to their local dump, they may save themselves some work by calling a local trash-hauling company or 1-800-GOT-JUNK, which operates nationwide. You can be a resource for clients by noting how much junk haulers charge and if there’s any products they won’t take. Homeowners can also consult HomeAdvisor’s list of trash-hauling service providers by ZIP code. Also, it’s important to be aware of laws governing trash. Some municipalities also allow homeowners to leave stuff by the curb with a sign “please take me,” while others levy fines for such activity. A more organized version of this idea comes in the form of local Freecycle chapters, part of a grassroots nonprofit where local people post stuff for free pickup in their own towns to help keep usable goods out of landfills.
  • Store off-site. It may be tempting to store certain household items off-site. Because the self-storage industry is growing, most neighborhoods or towns offer multiple choices. In fact, 84 percent of all U.S. counties have at least one self-storage facility, according to the Self-Storage Association. Suggest clients pick one that offers locked, insured, climate-controlled cubicles, which they can access whenever they want. Prices can vary widely. A storage facility in Staatsburg, N.Y. offers a 5-foot-square cubicle for $45 with a discount for college students. Michael McAlhany’s Units Moving and Portable Storage, headquartered in Charleston, S.C., charges an average of $140 a month for an 8-foot-by-16-foot unit in 14 states across the country. His company will bring a portable storage unit to a home or apartment, so owners can pack there rather than transport everything to the facility. However, remind clients that this isn’t a great long-term solution, as months can easily extend into years and even decades. “Often storage is a matter of postponing the inevitable. It’s better to get rid of whatever you don’t need,” Izsak says.

If you're looking to buy, sell, or invest in the Phoenix or surrounding area, CALL The Regal Team Today.

 

Melissa Dierks, Owner of The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

Certified Military Residential Specialist

RE/MAX Hall of Fame

Direct: 623-229-0154

Email: melissa@theregalteam.com


Source:  Keeping Current Matters and additional source links above


5 Home Improvement Personality Types

by Melissa Dierks

A homeowner’s personality can have a big influence on their behavior when it comes to home improvement projects, according to a new survey by the Home Projects Council, a group of home improvement experts that aims to help homeowners improve their property values. 

The Home Projects Council identified the following five home improvement personality types: The Sensible Improver, the Project Planner, the Reliable Renovator, the Visionary, and the Extrovert. 

To identify the personality types, the council gave more than 1,100 homeowners a personality test along with a survey about their recent or planned home improvement projects. 

“It is very common to segment home improvement attitudes and behavior by demographic factors, but by using a well-established model of personality, the Big Five, we were able to confirm a direct relationship between home improvement and personality types,” says Fred Miller of Consumer Specialists, who conducted the research.

Source: Home Projects Council

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Melissa Dierks, Owner of The Regal Team of RE/MAX Professionals

Certified Military Residential Specialist

RE/MAX Hall of Fame

Direct: 623-229-0154

Email: melissa@theregalteam.com


Source:  Keeping Current Matters and additional source links above

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