Blog :: 2013
- Meet with a Rehab Loan lender and get pre-approved. There are a few different programs out there, but a common one is the FHA 203K loan.,
- Selectyour home, write an offer and obtain quotes from a general contractor for the updates that you are interested in making. Of course different rehab loans have different guidelines on what can or must be updated and if there are any limits, so reviewing those details with your lender prior will be anecessity!
- The quotes will be submitted to your lender, and those estimates, along with the purchase price of the existing home, will be what the finished project needs to appraise for to obtain loan approval.
- Close on the home and then the work begins with an initial disbursement of the funds to cover the updates. Usually in just 1-2 monthstime, the work will be completed and the final disbursement is made to the contractor.
- One out of three home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems
- December is the peak time of year for candle fires in the home.
- How many of us put that tree close to the fireplace or woodstove - One out of every six Christmas tree fires are caused by this!
- And here's the scariest - one out of every 40 home Christmas tree fires result in a death, compared to one out of 142 in structure fires.
- MAKE SURE YOUR SMOKE ALARMS ARE WORKING! You should do biannual inspections regardless, but before that tree goes up, make sure your smoke detectors are operational.
- Water that tree! The difference between what happens when fire breaks out in well-watered tree versus a dry tree is alarming - watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=RNjO3wZDVlA
- Unplug lights and blow out candles BEFORE leaving the home - do not leave them unattended!
- If you are connecting multiple strands of twinkle lights, make sure to connect them to an outlet via an extension cord.
- If you do have candles going continuously, make sure they are on metal bases that are sturdy and if deep enough, filled with water.The flames should be enclosed inglass.
- A pellet stove has come a long way aesthetically. They used to resemble giant boxesbut now it's sometimes hard to tell them from a wood stove when you enter a home and they come available with or without a viewing window.
- Pellet stoves burn pellets, either made of wood or special fuel composites. The pellets come in 40 lb. bags and must be stored in a dry place.
- The stove produces dry radiant heat and can be controlled by thermostat when the hopper is full of pellets. In many cases a pellet stove is more efficient than a fireplace insert.
- When selecting a size for a pellet stove, the higher the BTU the better, andmake sure tobuy one appropriate forthe square footage you are looking to heat.
- Installation guides andsafety codes are similar to wood stoves, althoughsome pellet stoves can be direct ventedoutside and not need a lined chimney, or only needa shorter chimney to do the job. Pellet stoves also must haveelectricity to operate.
- Pellet stoves do require cleaning and removal of ash, but the volume is less than with traditional wood stoves.
You de-clutter, sign your listing agreement, have wonderful pictures taken and put your house on the market. You ask your agent foran Open House right away and bake the brownies. Two hours lateryou are toldthe property was not sold and the brownies weren't eaten because no one showed! WHY?
The real estate market is ever changing. People are busy and free time is a coveted treasure. Having an un-scheduled Sunday afternoon to drive around and look at open houses is a luxury many of today's buyers do not have. More and more buyers are looking to the internet to preview and prioritize their time in viewing properties. With virtual tours, digitaltown records,and 360 degree images, buyers can get a tremendous amount of information on line.
Open housescanwork and should not be completely taken off the table, but sellers need to be realistic about what to expect.
First, make sure the home is priced well. If you're over priced, thenthe open house is just missing the target completely.
- Consider having the open house targeted toa group of people. For instance maybe inviting all the neighbors so they can spread the word, or a book group you belong to. Many agents will choose to host a Broker Open House where agents from that geographic areaonly are invited to come preview your home usually duringa weekday whilethe seller is at work.These Broker Open Houses are a great way to get realistic feedback on your home from other professionals!
- Nationally, less than 7% of homes are sold through open houses,as stated in arecent article from the American Homeowners Association.
- Lastly, wait at least 2 weeks before hosting your open house. If your home is priced well, you'll have some activity as soon as it goes on the market. If it doesn't sell right off, then you should be able to glean some good information on why buyers aren't acting and can incorporate that information into your open house. Maybeproviding money back at closing for new carpet, or changing the layout of a living room to make it feel more open could impact a buyer's experience at your open house.
So keep baking the brownies but keep in mind these helpful notes when asking your agent for an open house! We're all here to work together toget your home sold!
If you have purchased a home recently and you discovered that the town you live in has your property's assessed value at GREATER than what you paid for it, there is a chance you can get your property taxes reduced.A few localtowns did their periodic assessments at the height of the market, so some buyers are purchasing homes in this current market with tax assessments at much higher values.Now every town in Vermont does things differently (we all know that!) but the process is generally quite simple. 1. Contact your town treasurer to find out the how and when to file a grievance. Many towns do it in the spring, others are on-going. 2. Contact the Realtor you used and ask them to provide you with a few comparables - these are homes that sold around the time you purchased yours that support the reduced assessed value you wish to obtain. For instance, if you purchased a home for $350,ooo and the tax assessment is at $425,ooo, you would want to have some property closures of similar style homes that fall into that $350K range. 3. Make sure to have a hard copy of your purchase and sale contract and any closing documents - some towns will request that. Some towns will also request a letter in writing stating what you are looking for, or possibly have a form for you to fill out, but that's about it. Let us know if you've had experience with this or have anything to add!
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