Posted by Marie Presti on 1/26/2020

You honestly may not get the chance to deep clean your home very often. When you do clean your house, there are a few places that are harboring many germs that are easily overlooked. Below, youíll find some of the dirtiest areas in your home that need to be scrubbed well.


Handles And Knobs In The Kitchen


Youíre handling everything in the kitchen from dirty dishes to raw meat. After touching these items, youíre grabbing drawers, refrigerator door handles, oven doors, and more. All of the bacteria that is on your hands is transferred to these items. You should scrub these areas down on a weekly basis with a simple vinegar and water solution.


Your Computer And Accessories


If youíre like most people, you spend a lot of time at your computer. You eat drink, talk on the phone, and everything else right in front of your computer. Itís a good idea to rid the bacteria that are collected all over your computer and accessories. You can detach the attachments from your computer a dab them with a mild soapy water solution, or just wipe them down with a pre-moistened anti-bacterial cloth. 


The Toothbrush Holder


You use your toothbrush to clean your teeth, but do you ever clean the place where it sits? You can quickly place your toothbrush holder in the dishwasher once a week, or sterilize it with hot water and soap. As a bonus, you should clean your toothbrushes by boiling them in water for a few minutes. 


The Handrails And Doorknobs 


Everyone uses the railings on the stairways, but itís a good bet that no one cleans them very often. You can use a simple hot water and vinegar solution to scrub railings and doorknobs down. Wipe them dry, and theyíll be as good as new with less germs. 


The Light Switches


As you go in and out of rooms, you probably donít think of cleaning off the light switch panel. Germs are easily spread there as people go in and out, turning a light on just to wash their hands. Vinegar and hot water will do the trick here as well. Just wipe switches down with a cloth soaked in the solution and pat dry. 


The Sinks


While you may wipe down around your sink often, the faucet and surrounding areas may need a little love. Faucet handles should be scrubbed on a daily basis with hot soapy water. As a bonus, if you want to make your sink shine, create a paste with vinegar and baking soda. Once you scrub it on the faucet, rinse off for a fantastic shine.     



         




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Posted by Marie Presti on 1/19/2020

Homeowners put a lot of time, money, and effort into maintaining, updating, and decorating their homes. So, when itís time to sell it can be frustrating to receive a lowball offer on your home.

Many sellers arenít sure how to react to a low offer. However, with so much at stake itís important to go into selling your home with a plan.

In this article, weíre going to talk about how to handle a low offer on your home so that you can capitalize on even the less-than-ideal prospects when selling your house.

Every offer deserves a polite response

So, youíve gotten an offer on your home that you consider to be way too low. The first thing you need to do is to detach your emotions from the situation so that you can formulate a polite, but appropriate response.

It is the custom of many people around the world to negotiate. And one common practice in negotiation is to start with a low offer. Therefore, donít be offended if you receive an offer that is low as it likely isnít meant as an insult to you or your home.

We understand that selling can be frustrating, so if you need to vent, talk it over with your family or agent. Together youíll be able to get past the initial frustration and come up with a quick, practical response to the offer.

Counter the offer anyway

Even if you think thereís a small chance that the prospective buyer will raise their offer to fit your requirements, itís still worth providing a counter offer. This will make it clear to the buyer that you have received their offer and considered it.

Failing to provide a counter offer could mean you miss out on a serious offer in some cases, so itís worth the small amount of time it takes to provide.

Donít waste too much time negotiating

So, youíve sent a counter offer and have received a response that still isnít getting anywhere close to what youíre looking for. Now what?

In this situation, itís best to send a concise and cordial message to the buyer that you wonít be able to adjust your offering price any further and then thank them for their time. After this point, it likely isnít worth your time to continue negotiating.

Low offers can be helpful

If youíre getting a lot of low offers and none in the range you hope for, it could be time to reconsider a few things. You might want to try a new approach, such as staging the home or highlighting certain details that you may have missed. If your listing photos arenít up to par you can upload new ones that are higher quality with better lighting.

Next, see if the comparable listings in your area have gone down in price. A substantial change in the local market since the time you listed your property is, in some cases, enough to influence the offers you receive.




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Posted by Marie Presti on 1/12/2020

If you intend to list your house in the weeks or months to come, it usually pays to assess real estate market data. In fact, there are many reasons why you should conduct housing market data analysis, and these include:

1. You can learn about the ins and outs of the real estate market.

Let's face it Ė navigating the home selling process can be difficult, regardless of whether you've sold houses in the past or plan to list a home for the first time. Fortunately, housing market data can help you better understand the real estate sector, increasing the likelihood that you'll make informed decisions at each stage of the home selling journey.

Remember, evaluating the prices of available houses in your area, finding out how long these residences have been listed and reviewing other pertinent housing market data can make a world of difference. If you use this information to understand the current state of the real estate market, you can boost your chances of enjoying a fast, profitable home selling experience.

2. You can determine a competitive price for your house.

What you originally paid for your house is unlikely to match your home's current value. Luckily, you can analyze real estate market data to find out how your house stacks up against the competition and price your residence appropriately.

Look at the prices of local residences that are similar to your own Ė you'll be glad you did. If you study this pricing data closely, you can narrow the price range for your house. Then, you can establish a competitive initial asking price for your house.

3. You can reduce the risk of encountering home selling pitfalls.

Want to avoid setting an initial home asking price that is too high or too low? Or, do you want to ensure that your house is buyer-ready from the moment that you add it to the real estate market? If you evaluate housing market data, you can obtain the insights that you need to avoid potential problems during the home selling journey.

Lastly, if you need extra help as you prepare to sell your house, you may want to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can provide you with a wealth of real estate market data and offer expert home selling recommendations. That way, you can optimize the value of all of the housing market data at your disposal.

Let's not forget about the comprehensive assistance that a real estate agent offers as the home selling journey progresses, either. A real estate agent will help you list your house, promote it to the right groups of buyers and negotiate with a buyer's agent on your behalf. And if you ever have home selling concerns or questions, a real estate agent will gladly respond to them.

Take a data-driven approach to selling your house Ė perform real estate market data analysis, and you can gain the home selling insights that you need to succeed.




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Posted by Marie Presti on 1/5/2020

Image by Paul Brennan from Pixabay

Have you always wanted to design your dream home at a location of your choosing? If so, buying a plot of land to build your customized home on is probably your best option. Before getting started, you'll want to do your due diligence to ensure you're making a smart investment.

Find a Property to Build on

The concept of customizing your home is an ideal one, but the reality of finding the perfect plot isn’t so simple. You can check listings, but there are several other ways to find ready-to-build-on land.

  • Ask locals about available land in the community you’re considering.
  • Look at expired and withdrawn land listings.
  • Ask your real estate agent about land purchased by previous clients but never built on.
  • Investigate classified ads to find sellers listing property independently.
  • Check realestatesales.gov to see if the government is selling off repossessed land.
  • If you find land approved but not yet suitable for build, you’ll also want to take clearing and grading the land into consideration.

    Understand Local Zoning Laws

    Some municipalities are stringent about how land can be used. Before you buy, it’s critically important to understand local building restrictions and zoning criteria. Any number of scenarios might prevent you from building your home. Here are just a few.

  • Property is zoned for agricultural or commercial use.
  • Size of the house you plan to build exceeds the maximum size septic tank allowed to be built.
  • Parcel of land is designated an environmentally-protected parcel (i.e. wetland).
  • Someone other than landowner owns mineral or timber rights.
  • Easement or access rights are attached to the land.
  • Be certain to understand every possible building restriction or zoning requirement before you purchase land. It would be disastrous to discover you can’t build your dream home the way you planned.

    Utility Hookups

    Does the land meet local criteria or have the right terrain for these necessities to be installed? Utility hookups are a detail you don't want to overlook—ensure you'll have access to water, sewer, electricity, natural gas and Internet. If no public water or sewer lines exist, you’ll need to learn about wells and septic tanks.

    Understanding the Financials of Buying Land

    Obtaining funding to buy land is a little different than taking out a mortgage to buy an already existing home. You’ll typically have a few options including paying in cash or getting a loan. Types of loans include land or lot loans, construction loans and seller-backed loans.

    These loans are usually short-term and involve high-interest rates because lenders generally perceive land purchases a riskier gamble than home purchases. As with any major purchase, carefully evaluate your financial situation and consider future expenses and other contingencies before committing to a loan to purchase land.

    Building your home on a plot of land takes additional planning because there are numerous details to explore before you can even begin to get started. While building a home is a more complicated process than buying an existing one, customizing a new home is a far more fulfilling investment for many people.




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    Posted by Marie Presti on 12/29/2019

    When youíre looking to sell your home for a great price, there are a few things that you can do to give the sale an edge. All of the ideas youíll find below are inexpensive yet effective for sprucing your home up fast.


    Hide And Brighten What You Can


    Do you have an old, lumpy sofa, an old, unsightly lamp, or a scratch on the wall? You can easily cover these things up without making any major changes. Use a slip cover, some touch-up paint, or even new bedding to help brighten any room or furnishing. You could even consider adding new window treatments or additional lighting to assist in giving your home a refreshed look. As a rule of thumb: If it looks old and you canít remember when you last replaced the item, you should probably replace it.    



    Use Paint Strategically


    With the right paint, you can accentuate or downplay the features of a room including fireplaces and windows. Portions of the room that would otherwise be lost can be highlighted with the right use of color. 


    Make The Room Seem Larger


    Do you have low ceilings or small rooms? You can make the room seem larger just by making use of vertical lines or using the higher spaces in the rooms of your home. Easily mount shelves on your walls in order to store things to give the room the illusion of having more space.


    Deep Clean


    Your home can look like a new place when you take the time to deep clean the area. Donít miss out on any part of any room. Use a little elbow grease and pay attention to neglected areas like the pantry, laundry room, and refrigerator. Get rid of any odors in the home. Potential buyers will definitely notice if things donít smell right upon entering the house. You can use natural cleaners made of baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice in order to freshen up everything from rugs to toilets. This stage of the makeover process may take you some time, but itís definitely worth it. 


    Donít Forget The Little Touches


    Adding in little things before an open house can also make a big difference. Put some fresh flowers on the table. Light some candles. Fluff the pillows. Take the time to remove unnecessary items from the counters and tables as well. The less cluttered the home looks, the better. Buyers like open spaces, but they also like to be able to see themselves in the space and you can help them to do just that.              

        





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