There’s a lot of waiting in real estate. You’re aware of that if you’ve bought or sold a house. As a Realtor, I wait for signs, photos, appraisers, inspectors, clients, lenders, other agents and closings. Today, while I’m waiting for you to call, I’ll practice a few affirmations – Realtors are big on affirmations. I may (will) twist them a bit to suit my purpose.
1.) I am the architect of my life (are you thinking about new construction?); I build its foundation (no cracks, please) and choose its contents (built-ins?).
2.) Today, I am brimming with energy (plumbed for gas in the kitchen) and overflowing with joy (immediately upon closing).
3.) My body is healthy (though a bit tired); my mind is brilliant (I’m definitely bright, but I don’t know about brilliant!); my soul is tranquil (that might be a stretch – I really need to hear from a lender).
4.) I am superior to negative thoughts (always – no matter what the inspector says) and low actions (unacceptable).
5.) I have been given endless talents which I begin to utilize today (Lord, I hope I started before today!).
Tis the season – for home maintenance. Every season is the season for home maintenance. No matter the time of year, there are always chores to do around your home. For those of you who enjoy checking things off lists (I do, I do), or who like to follow a schedule (my dear spouse), perhaps you’ll find this helpful. The sprinkler system has punished us for our neglect. We’re more attentive now!
Rake leaves and aerate the lawn.
Have forced-air heating system inspected by a professional. Tip: schedule an inspection in late summer or early fall before the heating season begins.
Check fireplace for damage or hazards; clean fireplace flues and have a professional inspection.
Seal cracks and gaps in windows and doors with caulk or weather stripping; replace if necessary.
Swap old, drafty windows for more energy-efficient models.
Touch up exterior siding and trim with paint.
Inspect roofing for missing, loose, or damaged shingles and leaks.
Power-wash windows and siding.
Remove leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts.
If you’re looking for a home or about to sell one, you know that monthly mortgage interest rates are a key factor in housing affordability. But what makes rates go up or down? What national economic indicators affect the interest you’ll pay?
The information out there can be confusing. Should you pay attention to stocks, T-bills, bank rates, short-term rates, crystal balls or the Federal Reserve? Unless you’re a financial professional, all the data can make your head spin.
Here is the one interest rate indicator that will tell you where mortgage rates are headed: Bonds. Bonds, bonds, bonds. Specifically, bonds called mortgage backed securities, or MBS.
When you build a new home there must be a lot for construction. That’s basic. How much does the lot cost? I’ve heard buyers say their lot was included with the purchase of their home. Nope. Not true. Never, ever. The cost may be minimal, but there is a cost. Why would you pay more – or less – for a specific lot?
1) The View – Water, city, mountain, park, golf course – these are a few examples of lot views that would command a premium price. Is there a landfill, factory, or what would be considered a nuisance across the street? No premium!
2) Traffic – A busy road behind or in front of your lot would decrease the value of your property. The lot is cheaper. Homes are usually more difficult to sell when built on a busy thoroughfare. Sometimes builders offset the location by increasing the lot size as well as setting a lower price.
3) Proximity – Is your site near the park or pool? The value of a lot so located depends upon your preferences. Many people don’t want to live next to high traffic areas and a pool in summer is definitely high traffic in Texas. Others are thrilled with the convenience. Personal preference plays an important role in the home buying process. In a neighborhood, proximity to the pool or park may or may not be considered valuable. Depends on the neighborhood involved. Just remember the same feature you fall in love with may not be desirable to others when you put your home on the market in a few years.
4) Convenience – This is not the same as proximity (meaning simply ‘near to’). Proximity to a golf course or a lake, especially if the neighborhood was built specifically for the use of these amenities is a convenience and a lot located nearby would probably be considered premium, with the price adjusted accordingly.