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Home improvements that increase home value

When granite countertops or shiny, stainless steel appliances beckon homeowners from the display areas of home improvement stores, it’s tempting to gear remodeling thoughts toward the items that will add flair and decorative appeal to a home. Even though most improvements add some measure of value, deciding which are the best investments can be difficult. Return on investment, often referred to as “ROI,” varies depending on the project. Frequently, the projects that seem like the best investments don’t bring the greatest rate of return, while those that seem like smaller projects bring substantial returns. Real estate professionals routinely weigh in with their expert advice, and homeowners can couple that advice with Remodeling magazine’s annual “Cost vs. Value Index” to reap the greatest financial impact from their renovations. The following were some of the projects that garnered the greatest ROI in 2015. Open the door to improvement. Region by region across the United States, installation of a new steel door on the front of a home can have a large impact on the resale value of a property. The ROI ranges from 123 percent at the highest, to 86 percent at the lowest – which is still a considerable investment return […]
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How to save enough for a down payment on a house

A home is the most costly thing many people will ever buy. The process of buying a home can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. One way to make the process of buying a home go more smoothly is to save enough money to put down a substantial down payment. Saving for a down payment on a home is similar to saving for other items, only on a far grander scale. Many financial planners and real estate professionals recommend prospective home buyers put down no less than 20 percent of the total cost of the home they’re buying. Down payments short of 20 percent will require private mortgage insurance, or PMI. The cost of PMI depends on a host of variables, but is generally between 0.3 and 1.5 percent of the original loan amount. While plenty of homeowners pay PMI, buyers who can afford to put down 20 percent can save themselves a considerable amount of money by doing so. Down payments on a home tend to be substantial, but the following are a few strategies prospective home buyers can employ to grow their savings with an eye toward making a down payment on their next home. Decide when you want […]
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3 tips to prepare to sell your home

According to Realtor.com, spring is the busiest and best season to sell a home. While a good home can find a buyer any time of year, homeowners might find the buyers’ pool is strongest in spring and into summer. The reasons for that are many, ranging from parents wanting to move when their children are not in school to buyers wanting to move when the weather is most accommodating. Because spring is such a popular time to sell a home, homeowners who want to put their homes on the market should use winter as an opportunity to prepare their homes for the prying eyes of prospective buyers. The following tips can help homeowners during the pre-selling preparation process. 1. Address the exterior of the home. Winter can be harsh on a home’s exterior, so as winter winds down, homeowners who want to sell their homes should make an effort to address anything that might negatively affect their homes’ curb appeal. A study of homes in Greenville, S.C., from researchers at Clemson University found that the value of homes with landscapes that were upgraded from “good” to “excellent” increased by 6 to 7 percent. If it’s in the budget, hire professional […]
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How to tame indoor home odors

A clean home interior can make a strong first impression on prospective buyers, but only if that home is accompanied by pleasant scents. Odors can make a strong impact on buyers’ perceptions of a home, including its level of cleanliness and upkeep. Although dirt and other grime can contribute to the odor of a home, additional culprits can contribute to foul smells as well. Everything from pets to the foods cooked in the kitchen to the hidden presence of mold can impact air quality and odor inside a home. Fortunately, there are ways to remedy stinky problems and come away with sweet-smelling solutions. It’s important for homeowners to realize that foul air inside a home can be the result of poor indoor air quality – which can be a health hazard. The United States Environmental Protection Agency ranks indoor air quality as a top five environmental risk to public health. EPA studies found indoor air pollutants were generally two to five times greater than outdoor pollution levels. In some cases, indoor air pollution was 100 times greater. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission says the following can contribute to poor indoor air quality and also to some interior odors: […]
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Realtors: a great solution for home buyers

Research, visits, negotiations and paperwork: buying a property can be complex, especially for first-time buyers. To avoid making mistakes, you’re much better off using the services of a realtor who will protect your interests. After all, this is a major investment you’re about to make. Doing business with realtors has many advantages. They handle all legal aspects of the complex real estate transaction and accompany you through each step of the buying process. In addition to receiving expert advice, you will be able to take advantage of their wide network of contacts in order to find the other professionals whose services you need, such as a building inspector, a notary or lawyer or a mortgage broker. It also makes finding the perfect home easier. Realtors have access to numerous tools for finding the property that best meets your needs. They ensure that you have all the documents necessary to evaluate the property, including the complete listing, the property survey or certificate of location and tax bill. Their neutral perspective could also be valuable when you fall in love with a property that isn’t really what you’re looking for. They’ll help you think twice before you make a decision. Because of […]
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Five good reasons to sell through an agent

When homeowners decide to put their property on the market, they are faced with the decision to use the services of a real estate agency or not. Are you hesitating? Here are five reasons to entrust the sale of your property to real estate professionals. Knowledge of the market. Fixing a home’s selling price is a difficult exercise. In addition to being neutral—your emotions could distort your assessment of the real value of your home—realtors know the market in your area as well as comparable properties. This allows them to decide on an appropriate selling price. Home staging. Through their experience and expertise, realtors can advise you on what improvements should be made to your home before it’s put on the market, as well as the best ways to make it look as attractive as possible. Besides, they’re sure to have some home staging professionals among their many contacts. The listing. Photos, description, certificate of location and inspection report: a realtor makes sure your sales listing is complete. Marketing. By using the services of a real estate agency, you give more visibility to your property and you can let skilled professionals handle the marketing. Your chances of selling quickly are […]
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