Water Features Enhance Home Appeal

With the summer months pushing temperatures over 100 degrees in some areas and humidity leaving drips of perspiration on people’s brows, it might be time to consider a water feature to help enhance your home’s appeal.

I’m writing this from the desert and everywhere you look, flowing, glistening, and pleasant-sounding water pours from fountains on commercial and home properties. It’s alluring, welcoming, and calming. When it comes to selling your home, a water fountain can help to create a peaceful and enjoyable experience. It can also help to drown out noisy children playing nearby. Read more

If You Want to Sell Your Home, Don’t Make These Mistakes!

I usually write about the things you should do when you want to sell or buy a home. Sometimes there are suggestions mixed in about what not to do and that’s the foundation of this week’s column. It’s pretty easy to get caught up in looking forward to where you’re going to relocate next when your home sells. However, let’s not put the cart before the horse-Most of the time sellers-need or want to sell their current home in order to make that transition into the new one. Read more

What Is Your Home Worth?

Market value is the main concept you must understand when determining the value of your home. But what is it and how can it help you price your home?

What is market value?

Market value is the amount prospective buyers are willing to pay at the time homeowners are ready to sell. The best way to find out the market value of your home is to ask me for help.  You will be able to decide what the best price for your home is by allowing me to provide and discuss with you a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA).

What is a CMA?

The CMA will include homes in your area that are currently on the market, expired from the market, pending a sale and already sold within the last three to six months. Of course, the best indicator of your home’s value is the price for similar homes in your area that have already been sold. The comparison is based on the proximity to your home and the similarity of characteristics such as lot size, square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, etc. Read more

Five Things Buyers Should Avoid Before Closing on a Home

Joan Byrnes-Closing checklist
Joan Byrnes-Closing checklist

Nothing is certain in the home-buying process until the keys are in your hand. There are still hurdles to jump before it’s yours, and your actions from start to closing can create slowdowns and even halt the sale. If you’re thinking of buying a home soon, here are the top five things not to do before closing on a home:

1. Don’t make a major purchase. While you might be imagining a new car to fit nicely in your garage, hold off. If you’re depending on a mortgage to move in, it’d be smart to wait until after closing for that car. An increase in your debt to income ratio reduces the amount of monthly income available for your mortgage payment.

2. Don’t change jobs unless it’s necessary. Lenders like to see a consistent job history. They aren’t usually as nervous if you change jobs within the same field, but it’s better to stay put until the new home is yours.

3. Don’t let your emotions take over. Keep a cool head during the entire home-buying process, especially during and after a home inspection. Be realistic. No home is perfect, especially older homes. Decide what type of repairs you can realistically tackle and then stick with the decision.

4. Don’t become best friends with the seller. It’s important to be friendly, but don’t get into too many long discussions with the sellers, because personality conflicts often cloud judgments. Remember, this is their home. A casual statement about ugly carpet might be enough to keep the seller from negotiating with you about repairs or other issues that crop up.

5. Don’t ignore lender requirements. Know what is expected of you and take care of it. That’s something you must handle yourself. Answer lender questions and provide required paperwork as quickly as possible — moving into a new home depends on it.

For more information on how you can make the buying process a seamless transaction, contact me today.

Joan Byrnes, SRES
Realty One Group

Turn Your Home Green

It’s time to give back to our planet. Whether you are looking to save money, become a naturalist or are anxious to have the cutting-edge technology, follow these simple tips and help make our world a better place.

Buy new light bulbs
When it’s time to buy light bulbs, opt for the premium fluorescents. They will shine a pure-white or buttery-golden light and can cut your electricity bill by 5%. These bulbs can range from $3 to $12.

Have a barbeque
Outdoor grilling doesn’t just result in a tasty burger – it’s also good for the air. Outdoor grills use less energy that your electric kitchen stove and also keep heat out of the house; therefore, lowering air conditioning costs. Choose a grill that uses propane or natural gas because they emit 5.6 pounds of carbon dioxide per hour whereas a charcoal grill emits 11 pounds!

Brew coffee with an energy-efficient coffee machine
The energy-efficient coffee machines brew coffee at the exact temperature recommended for coffee; therefore, it doesn’t waste any extra heat and you’ll never have burnt coffee again!

Buy a flat screen monitor
The old, bulky monitors not only take up space, but they also increase your electric bill. You’ll save money by switching to an LCD flat-panel model because a flat screen uses as little as a third of the electricity as the conventional tube-based models. You should also consider this when shopping for large-screen TVs – the savings are in the LCDs and rear-projection models because they use less than half the energy of plasma TVs.

Clean-up with recycled papers towels
Next time you’re in the paper good aisle, throw the recycled paper towels into your cart – they’re cheap and environmentally-friendly.

Become an expert recycler
Local recycling practices may vary, but there are a few universal rules that you can follow. First of all, shopping bags never go in your recycling bins. Look on the bottom of your plastic items for a number and only put the items with a one or two in your bin. Second, don’t put light bulbs, broken glass or bits of food into your bin – they slow up the process and make waste professionals feel like they’ve been tossed to the curb.

For more home-owning advice or for Sun Lakes real estate needs, contact me at your earliest convenience.

Joan Byrnes, SRES
Realty One Group