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Displaying blog entries 391-400 of 404

Escape From Your Home with a Vacation Property

by Melissa Dierks

6 December, 2013

your home in the woodsFeeling the need to get away from your home for a while? Perhaps the winters are too harsh or you have a child in college a few states away. Maybe you just want to get a head start on retirement plans. If either of these scenarios sound like your situation, it may be a great time to consider buying and owning a second home. This is a great time to buy, as mortgage interest rates are currently very low. There are also many other advantages to keeping your home and purchasing a second one.

If you choose a popular destination, vacation homes usually do a great job of retaining their value. You also get all of the tax benefits of home ownership and have the possibility of accruing rental income if you choose to rent out your home when you are not using it, making a vacation home very convenient.

If there is a vacation spot you are sure to come back to time and time again, like a beach or ski resort why not have a spot to call your own? Your second home can also be great for family gatherings and reunions. You may want to consider fractional ownership where you go in on a vacation home with a few other couples and share it throughout the year. Your local realtor can help you begin the search for a fun and exciting second home.

Celebrate Thanksgiving Stylishly in Your Home

by Melissa Dierks

26 November, 2013

playing games in your homeThanksgiving traditions in your home can create some of the best memories for years to come. We can all think back to our childhoods and remember certain foods, dishes, games, or ways to give thanks. We grasp onto the wonderful memories and may try to forget the ones involving sketchy green Jell-O with mayonnaise in it. You may continue some of those same traditions in your home, or decide they are not really your style and search for new traditions to start with your own family.

Ideas to Encourage Fun in your Home

  • Plan a special breakfast to eat every Thanksgiving morning while watching the parade on television.
  • Bring out special Thanksgiving decorations and dishes to make the day unique.
  • Start a special way for your family to express what they are thankful for.
  • Perhaps your family could find a service project to participate in on or near Thanksgiving to give back to the community, or open your home to those without family in the area.
  • Choose a game or activity that everyone participates in after the meal.

Laughter is one of the best sounds to hear in your home. Even though laughing may be a little hard on a full stomach, it is worth the effort to find traditions that spread joy in your home.

Considered Making Your Home in Two Houses?

by Melissa Dierks

Buying a second property as your home Even if you love your home and have not thought about buying a second one, you may reconsider after learning about the tax breaks available to those who own a second home. Many politicians and celebrities use their ownership of several homes to ease their tax burden and so can you! Buying real estate is good for the economy on all levels, so our government grants some special tax breaks to encourage this behavior. Low interest rates may make this option even more viable, too!

If you do not rent out your home, or your second home, all interest up to $1.1 million can be deducted from your income. If you decide to rent out your home, things change a bit and you have to report that income. However, if you rent out your home for fourteen days or less, it does not count. You could rent your home out for $30,000 for one week and the IRS would not care. It only counts past that fourteenth day.

In addition, you can deduct the property taxes from each and every home that you own. Lastly, owning a second home can allow you to reside in a state with more favorable taxes. As long as you live in a state for over half of the year, you can file your taxes in that state. Enjoy weekend getaways and tax breaks if you consider buying a second home and smile as you make your purchase.

Clearly Seeing Windows in Your Home

by Melissa Dierks

updating the windows in your homeUpdating the windows in your home can be a big investment. However, it can be a great way to improve your energy efficiency, especially as cold weather approaches. Here are a few things to consider as you weigh updating the windows in your home.

If your home is older and you have wooden windows, you probably spend a lot of time and money keeping them up. Wood can rot and also needs to be painted on a regular basis. If you haven’t been able to keep up with the maintenance requirements of wood windows, the exterior of your home may look rather shabby. Cheap windows installed in some newer homes can also start looking worn in a short time, as well.

In either case, updating the windows in your home can give the exterior a fresher and more attractive look. Often older or low quality windows are not very energy efficient. If you are losing heat or cool air through gaps in the window frames, new windows can really help. Modern windows have better insulation to keep out the weather and better regulate the temperature of your home. They’re also better able to keep out noise.

Another important consideration when updating the windows in your home is security. Old windows are often hard to lock and easy to break. Newer windows have better security latches that are likely more durable and harder to break. However, regardless of security, strength and functionality, the look of the window may be your biggest concern, so make sure you choose one you like!

Downsizing Your Home – Moving To a Condo

by Melissa Dierks

Choosing Your Home or CondoA condominium can be a great choice if you are considering downsizing your home. There are special rules that apply to condos, though, so be sure you know exactly what they are before you buy your condo. A good real estate agent should be able to show you the rules before you get too deep in your property search.

Pay Attention to the Details in Your Home Search

One of the real benefits of living in a condo is that upkeep and maintenance are taken care of by the property management or condo association. Residents in the complex pay monthly fees for these costs, a portion of which is placed into a savings account for future repairs.

Be sure to check the financial records of the condo association to ensure that they are putting some of the monthly fees into savings for big repairs like a roof replacement. This is especially important in an older complex, where rules may be a bit more lax. You’ll also want to review the complex’s insurance policy, too. Actual buildings and exterior walls are usually covered, but you’ll want to know if the belongings in your condo are, too, or if you need an additional policy.

Find out what exterior maintenance jobs are covered by your condo association and if there are rules about exterior decorations. Some places are very strict, and you don’t want an unhappy surprise if you love to decorate for holidays. Read all community rules very carefully.

Two things that can make or break living in your condo are the manager (if applicable) and the homeowners association (HOA). A professional, on-site manager is a must in a large condo complex. You want to be sure that repairs will be done quickly and well and you will also want to do a little digging if it’s a new development. Find out and research the developer. Talk to potential neighbors about the HOA, too. It should be a resource for keeping the complex running smoothly. If not, move on.

If you do your research and find a quality condo complex, you’ll be sure to enjoy your home for as long as you choose to live in it.

Color the Path to Your Home with the Right Umbrella

by Melissa Dierks

brighten your home with umbrellasFall is right around the corner, and that means rain will be hitting near your home. While the earth can use all the moisture, the gray skies can get a little wearing. Brighten your rainy season and your home with a few fun umbrellas. If you come into your entryway or mud room and see a bright umbrella and rain boots, you’ll be more likely to skip outside for a little puddle jumping. That’s a whole lot more fun than trudging through the puddles with a black umbrella and galoshes.

While an inexpensive, dark umbrella from the drugstore will get you through a few storms, you’ll probably have to replace it a few times if the rainy season lasts very long. Why not invest a little more and get something that will last and cheer you up at the same time?

There are umbrellas for every style and taste. Many gorgeous, bright umbrellas, including the rainbow color wheel umbrella are available from MOMA on Amazon.com. Many of them are perfect for the artist in your home or anyone who needs something cheerful on a gray day. Marimekko makes umbrellas with bright colors and bold patterns, too. They’re perfect for adults or kids.

To make a rainy day a fun day for the kids in your home, find a color changing umbrella. MOMA has several with splotches that change from white to red, orange, green, yellow, blue, and purple when wet. Keep your eyes open for fun umbrellas to lift your spirits and improve the look of the mudroom in your home.

Communicate More Easily About Your Home with Houzz

by Melissa Dierks

questioning how to redo your homeAs you’ve thought about your home and its many needs, chances are you’ve visited Houzz.com. Design ideas for both inside and outside your home abound at Houzz and luckily they have now added a “Real Estate Agent” category!

This is good news for you and your home because it gives you an easier way to communicate when it comes time to buy or sell your home.

Perhaps you are in the market to buy a home… simply show favorite home ideas to your real estate agent to see if any similar properties are currently for sale. You could also show your ideas and ask how they compare to your price range.

As a home seller, you can use the millions of photos and idea books to decide quick fixes to get your home ready to be placed on the market.

With photo spreads, both buyers and sellers benefit. There is no longer the need to labor over how to express yourself with words when it comes to explaining a home look. You can even see post renovation shots that are similar to projects you are considering for your home. However, viewing some the pictures may have you reconsidering whether or not you really want to buy or sell your home, too!

One other benefit you’ll find on Houzz is the compilation of excellent contractors and renovators found there. Many have uploaded projects and idea books in the Houzz galleries, too, complete with reviews on their services, to give you a very clear understanding of how each one works.

Houzz reports that 10% of Houzz home owners and 50% of Houzz renters plan on buying a home in the next 2 years. Additionally 10% more will be building a custom home, according to the 2013 Houzz & Home survey. Using Houzz as a tool may make the buying process smoother in ensuing years. If you’ve had a positive experience explaining your home needs through photos, please let us know.

Don’t Forget To Inspect Your Home in the Excitement!

by Melissa Dierks

inspections in your homeFinding the right home, your home, can be an exciting time.  So exciting that sometimes home buyers forget some essential steps.  One of those steps is completing your home inspection.

Before the sale is closed and the deed transferred, you will need to have a professional inspection done anytime you purchase a home.

A full report can be completed in about two hours and will leave you with peace of mind and an awareness of potential issues in your future home. You may even choose to have a professional licensed in asbestos, lead, chemicals, mold, mildew, or pests inspect the home, too, to notify you of any unknown dangers.

Your home covers  the basics concerning:

  •  
    • walls
    • ceilings
    • floors
    • your roofs
    • firewalls
    • windows
    • your foundation and slab
    • electrical power
    • water supply and pressure
    • gas lines

Landscaping, walkways and driveways will also be evaluated.An inspector will note grading and drainage.  Any exposed general framing in beams, attics, roofing, HVAC and plumbing systems will be inspected, as well. Generally speaking the age and condition of roofing materials, plumbing and rain gutters will be noted, too, giving you an idea of your home’s maintenance history. Water heaters, fireplaces and the sprinkler systems, if applicable, should also be evaluated, as should appliances, alarms, and smoke detectors being left in the home to ensure a safe move-in.

Choosing to Improve Your Home

by Melissa Dierks

remodeling tips for your homeIf you want to make improvements to your home, you may want to take a second look at Houzz.com. Cited as a source for inspiration and collaboration and research for home owners everywhere, Houzz is also a source for hiring local contracting professionals, too.

With more than sixty categories of home related projects to choose from, including interior remodeling contractors and outdoor living space professionals, Houzz is more than just a place to get great ideas for your home. Houzz is also a great source for you to find the interior designers, architects, and landscapers for your home who created and constructed those designs in the first place!

Increased home values often result in homeowners deciding to make changes in their homes, whether due to a potential sale or just a quality of life improvement, and technology makes this process so much easier.

“Homeowners and professionals alike are telling us that they are moving forward with more building, renovation and design projects this year,” said Liza Hausman, VP Community at Houzz. “Houzz provides homeowners with the absolute best resource to find the right professional for their project.”

As a homeowner, ideas for improving your home may come in many forms, but Houzz.com is definitely a resource to be considered. Another resource to consider when determining whether a home improvement will add to your home value is your local real estate expert. If you would like some tips on projects that will help to increase the resale value of your home, please give me a call!

Competing Against Multiple Offers For Your Home

by Melissa Dierks

Multiple Offers On Your HomeHome buyers everywhere are bemoaning the lack of inventory and if you happen to be in the market to buy your home, there are a few things you should know.

When you find the perfect home, make an offer.

Don’t wait, don’t bargain.

Offer your best possible price and a high deposit with all your personal details, including a fantastic story about why you want why you NEED that house to be your home!

You see, the offer you write may be your ONLY chance to win the home, your home, and you want to give it your best shot.

In a housing market, like ours, where inventory is low and homes are only staying on the market for a short amount of time, multiple offers are being submitted on each home. Most are near or at asking price and some are beyond it.

Home sellers need to evaluate several offers and if yours is one of many (your agent should be able to tell you if other parties have indicated interest), it needs to stand out. That’s where your story comes in (along with your best price offer and earnest deposit).

3 Steps to Writing the Best Offer For Your Home

 

  1. Offer up as much cash as you can in the form of an earnest deposit with the best possible price you can pay.
  2. If you need lending, get pre-approved and formalize it by including a letter from your lender as part of your offer.
  3. Write a from the heart appeal that explains your feelings about the house and why you need their home to be your home. If you have a good personal story, share it as well. Some home sellers are motivated by more than price and if they can “see” you in the home, it could make a difference.

Displaying blog entries 391-400 of 404

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Photo of The Regal Team Real Estate
Melissa Dierks
Keller Williams Professional Partners
7025 W Bell Road, Suite 10
Glendale AZ 85308
Direct: (623)229-0154
Office: (623)643-1092
Fax: (623)201-7562

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