WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Real Market



Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Real Market on 1/17/2020

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 Photo by Engin Akyurt via Pixabay

When you choose a private community, you likely do so because of some of the more visible amenities -- the pool, tennis courts and clubhouse are difficult to miss. Which amenities matter most to you -- and which are just nice additions? A look at some of the potential private community amenities and what they do for the community can help you determine your personal "must have" list. 

5 Amenities Every Private Community Needs

Swimming Pool: One of the most visible and used amenities for any private community is the swimming pool. If you dream of lounging by the pool in summer, want the kids to have swim lessons and want a place to hang out on the weekends, a pool is likely on your list. Ideally, the pool will be large enough to serve the community -- a small pool will not be enough for a large neighborhood with lots of families. 

Clubhouse: It is often a focal point of the community, and when used the right way, can be an incredible asset. Before you make a decision, you should know what the clubhouse can be used for. Are residents able to book it for parties, hang out and read or use gym equipment for the HOA fees the community assesses, or is there an extra cost for access? A community with a good, accessible clubhouse offers a true asset for entertaining and will enhance your enjoyment of the space.

Landscaping and grounds keeping: Most residents don't realize how much behind the scenes work goes into creating a striking and welcoming living space. From adding seasonal plants to trimming grass and maintaining the public areas, a private community should have its own dedicated landscape team or a commitment to providing these services. 

Security: Whether your community is gated or not, having a security patrol on the premises can help make you feel more secure at home and prevent crimes in the neighborhood. A manned security booth and regular patrols can give you peace of mind and allow you to enjoy all the community has to offer. 

Playground: If you have kids now or they are in your future, then a playground that is well designed and made from the latest materials is a must. Even if you do not have kids, a playground can help cut down on the number of kids roaming the neighborhood and on wear and tear of other public areas. An appealing and welcoming play space is a plus for anyone in the community and will help if you decide to sell your home later. 

The best private community amenities make residents feel safe, enhance the look and feel of the neighborhood and provide additional perks and things to do for the people who live there. Make sure you spot the accessible amenities of any community you are considering and that the neighborhood you choose has the items that matter to you most. 

 





Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Real Market on 1/10/2020

Not all smart home devices are created equal. If you wind up paying a high price for a smart home gadget you do not need, you risk wasting precious time and resources.

Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to make informed smart home device purchases, such as:

1. Consider Your Smart Home Device Needs

The needs of one property owner for a smart home device may vary from those of another.. If you consider how you can use different smart home devices, you can boost the likelihood of making smart home gadget purchases that will serve you well for years to come.

For example, if you find your electricity bills are on the rise, investing in smart light bulbs may prove to be a great choice. These light bulbs can help you optimize your house's electricity consumption and lower your electricity bills.

On the other hand, if you are concerned about home security, a smart house security system may be an excellent investment. This security system can help you simultaneously safeguard your residence against theft and lower your home insurance rates.

2. Perform Comprehensive Research

New smart home devices are becoming available every day, and as such, determining which ones are right for your house sometimes is difficult. If you perform in-depth research into the smart home devices at your disposal, you could find gadgets that you can enjoy day after day.

Conduct online research into assorted smart home devices – you will be happy you did. Once you learn about different smart home gadgets, how they work and their benefits, you can choose the right devices for your residence.

Also, it may help to consult with family members and friends as you assess myriad smart home devices. If a family member or friend recently purchased a smart home device that works perfectly, for instance, you may want to consider buying the same gadget for your house.

3. Evaluate Your Budget

As more smart home devices are released, the prices of various smart house gadgets are falling accordingly. Yet it is still crucial to evaluate your budget closely before you make smart home device investments. If you understand exactly how much money you can spend on smart house devices, you can take steps to get the most out of your available finances.

Don't forget to shop around for smart home devices, too. Online and brick-and-mortar retailers occasionally offer sales on smart home gadgets. Thus, if you search far and wide for smart home devices that fall in line with your budget, you could avoid spending too much to acquire top-notch smart house gadgets.

As you get set to invest in smart home devices, it generally pays to be diligent. If you take an informed approach to smart home device shopping, you can find gadgets that will deliver long-lasting benefits. Best of all, you can use assorted smart home devices to lower your electricity costs, secure your residence and much more.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Real Market on 1/3/2020

Photo by Olya Adamovich via Pixabay

You’ve decided to start the process of buying a home. Congratulations! Now it’s time to figure out how much money you have, and what you can afford. The goal is to avoid purchasing more home than you can afford, but those variables change. In September 2019, the average price of a new home was almost $363,000. As an average, that may sound a bit steep, especially if this is your very first home.

A home may be one of the largest purchases you make. That’s why it’s important to go in with a clear head and everything aligned. Here are a few tips on learning how to budget when you’re preparing to purchase a new home:

  • Start with the 25% rule

Your mortgage should not be more than 25% of your gross income each month.

  • Consider every source of income you have. That means if you have 2 paychecks each month, each one should be included. If you have side work, that should also be included. That will encompass your total monthly income.
  • Write down your monthly expenses and make sure you leave nothing out. That means your donations to charity, student loans, transportation/gas, movie night, coffee and everything else you spend on a monthly basis.
  • Once you have these figures, subtract the expenses from the income. That will help you determine the max you will be able to pay for your mortgage. It’s also important to have a place to set aside some money for repairs. As a homeowner, things happen.

Any existing debt you have should be eliminated if you can afford it. The lower your debt to income ratio when you start the process, the better off you will be. Additionally, you should save as much as you can for a potential down payment. Depending on the loan, that will be 10 to 20%.

The figures you come up with will give you a good idea of where you stand and is a good starting point for your initial meeting with a mortgage broker. It’s also a good idea to review the types of loans that you may qualify for and look at the requirements. That will give you a general idea of the amount of money you will need to come up with for a viable down payment.

Although things may seem complicated, once you get started, everything should fall into place. Your real estate agent or mortgage broker will be able to provide more insight once you get started. Take your time and don't rush the process. It will be worth your while in the end.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Real Market on 12/27/2019

Putting your home on the market is a life-changing decision and, for some people, it may involve conflicting feelings.

Ideally, all members of your family should be on board with the decision to sell. If you, your spouse, or your kids are ambivalent or even against the idea of moving, it could send a negative message to prospective buyers, estate agents, and others. Helping your family stay positive and motivated can ensure that everyone is pulling in the same direction.

A common stumbling block for many sellers is the inclination to attach too much sentimental value to their home. While you may associate your home with fond family memories, years of hard work, and thousands of dollars in home improvements, your actual selling price should be a reflection of market conditions and the price comparable houses in your neighborhood recently sold for.

Based on a comparative analysis, your real estate agent can help you come up with a realistic asking price that will reflect both its market value and major improvements you've made in recent years. Although remodeling your kitchen or bathrooms will not provide you with a dollar-for-dollar return on investment (ROI) when it comes time to sell, prospective buyers will be much more attracted to a home that's been updated and well maintained.

When selling your home, perhaps the most important principle to keep in mind is that "You don't get a second chance to make a great first impression." By minimizing the negatives and making the most of your home's attributes, you'll be increasing the probability of selling your house within the shortest period of time

Keeping your home meticulously clean for every showing can often be a challenge, but it's a goal worth striving for. Other ways to make a favorable impression on potential buyers is to focus on maximizing your home's curb appeal and minimizing clutter -- both inside and out. While it may seem like a tall order to declutter your home, keep your lawn looking manicured, and apply fresh coats of paint where needed, you'd be surprised at how much you can accomplish by setting your mind to it. One simple but effective strategy for getting things done is to create checklists of priorities, projects, and important tasks that need to be completed. When you commit goals to writing and review your priority list every day, you'll tend to be much more organized, action oriented, and focused.

Although a lot of people take a sense of humble pride in saying that their home is "a work in progress," once it's on the market, you need to have as many of those rough edges smoothed out, as possible! Putting your best foot forward for every showing could make the difference between a fast sale and a house which lingers on the market for months!





Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Real Market on 12/20/2019

Deciding to put up a fence on your property may seem like a simple decision, but there are a lot of things to consider before hiring a contractor to get it done.

One question to ponder is whether your neighbors might be offended or annoyed by the sudden appearance of a fence near the edge of their property. The answer to that question would partly depend on your relationship with your neighbor, the size of your lot, and whether the fence is tasteful or an eyesore. The problem with that standard is that "tasteful" is in the eyes of the beholder!

Tall fences can and sometimes do have a way of changing the look and feel of your immediate neighborhood, so the installation of a fence could potentially cause resentment from other property owners. The decision to put up a fence on your property is a personal one, but there's also a lot of value in maintaining friendly neighbor relations. (It can be a delicate balance!)

One Step at a Time

In some places, local ordinances or Homeowner Association rules may impose restrictions on fences and other structures. Many towns and municipalities require that you (or your contractor) obtain a building permit before putting up a fence, so a quick phone call or email to the appropriate local official can shed light on requirements, restrictions, and other assorted rigmarole!

Since the cost of installing a fence can easily run into the thousands, it always pays to get a few estimates and proposals from reputable fence companies. Other decisions include choosing the best height and composition of the fence. Fencing materials range from metal and chain link to vinyl and wood. Composite fencing materials are also an option.

Your choice will depend on a lot of factors, including cost, durability, maintenance aspects, and appearance. Online information, free brochures, and meetings with contractors can help you learn more and make an informed decision.

Once you've moved beyond the potential issues of installing a fence on your property, there are several distinct advantages to fencing in your back yard.

  • Enhanced privacy: While "privacy" can mean different things to different people, a tall fence offers an immediate solution to a variety of privacy-related problems. 
  • Pet containment: If you don't always have the time or energy to take your dog(s) for a walk in the neighborhood, it's a major convenience to be able to let them out in a contained area to relieve themselves and get a little fresh air. It can also be a good way to keep them safe and out of trouble!
  • Wildlife barrier: Although there are often gaps at the bottom of fences that prevent fences from being completely wildlife-proof, a properly installed fence can drastically reduce the chances of wildlife sneaking their way into your back yard. Whether you want to protect your vegetable garden or pets from wild animals, a solid fence can be the barrier that you need.
  • Increased security: While fences are not always an impervious barrier to burglars, trespassers, and other intruders, it does provide some protection from those potential threats.
If you're searching for a new home or looking to improve your existing property, the right kind of fence can provide you and your family with a myriad of benefits.







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