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Posted by CENTURY 21 Annex Realty on 8/7/2020

If you intend to sell your house, you'll need to put together an engaging home listing. By doing so, you can increase the likelihood that homebuyers will want to check out your residence in-person something that eventually may lead to a home sale.

It is important to do everything possible to differentiate your home listing from others. This will boost your chances of a fast home sale, along with raise the possibility of receiving a home offer that matches or exceeds your initial expectations.

Ultimately, there are several things that separate an ordinary home listing from an exceptional one, and these include:

1. Home Location

All home listings include details about a home's address. However, only the best home listings highlight information about where a residence is located relative to popular landmarks and attractions.

For example, if your house is located near some of the state's top schools, you may want to include information in your home listing about your home's proximity to these high-quality schools. With this information, your home listing may stand out to parents.

On the other hand, if your residence is just minutes from an amusement park, gym or other popular local attractions, you should include this information in your listing as well.

2. Home Upgrades

If you upgraded your house's heating system or installed new windows only a few years ago, it may be worthwhile to incorporate this information into your home listing.

Remember, as a home seller, you'll want to provide homebuyers with as much information about your residence as you can. And if you include details about assorted home upgrades, you can show homebuyers that you've allocated significant time and resources to improve your residence.

3. Home Photographs

When it comes to home photographs, there is no need to settle for "basic" pictures. Instead, a home seller should look carefully at home photographs and incorporate only those that showcase the true beauty of a residence into a home listing.

In many instances, a homebuyer will examine home photographs before he or she decides whether to continue to read a home listing. If a homebuyer is turned off by home photos that make a residence look small or cramped, he or she may move on to other home listings.

For home sellers, it is paramount to clean and declutter a house before you take photos of it. This will ensure your residence looks pristine both inside and out and guarantees that your home photos can make a distinct impression on homebuyers who view your home listing.

Lastly, if you need help preparing a home listing, a real estate agent can provide expert assistance. This housing market professional can collaborate with you as you put together a home listing and offer plenty of tips and recommendations along the way.

Take the guesswork out of crafting an effective home listing consider the aforementioned home listing items, and you can create a home listing that helps you stir up significant interest in your residence.




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Posted by CENTURY 21 Annex Realty on 7/31/2020

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

One of the most important factors of the home buying experience is the mortgage loan you undertake. With at least eight different types, there are five that are the most common. The following types of mortgage loans are the ones held by most homeowners in the United States. 

1. Conventional Mortgage

A conventional mortgage is the standard mortgage that comes to most people's minds when they think about qualifying for a loan. Distinguished because of their fixed interest rate and consistent monthly payments, conventional mortgages are available in terms ranging from 10 to 40 years with 15 and 30-year loans the most common. 

2. Adjustable-Rate Mortgage

An adjustable-rate mortgage might also be referred to by its acronym: ARM. There are a number of different types of ARMs but their basic premise is the same. The interest rate tied to the mortgage fluctuates according to factors like changes in the cost of borrowing money and other economic factors. The 5/1 loan is a common type of ARM. The interest rate charged on the loan remains the same over the first five years of the loan. For the remaining 25 years, the interest rate can change. 

3. Interest-Only Mortgage

An interest-only mortgage can be a valuable economic tool but it's best undertaken by those who understand its implications. During the first 5 or 10 years of an interest-only mortgage, you can opt to pay only the interest on the loan. You aren't obligated to pay only the interest during that time. After the first 5 or 10 years, the loan is treated like its a conventional mortgage. 

4. VA Loans

VA loans are backed by the federal government, overseen by the Department of Veteran Affairs and don't require a down payment. These loans are limited to members of the military. In some cases, spouses can take advantage of VA loans. 

5. FHA Loans

Backed by the Federal Housing Administration, FHA loans include mortgage insurance that is built into them. This helps protect the lender in the event that the home buyer cannot repay the loan. FHA loans also have lower down payments which are designed to help more people purchase a home.  

In some cases, a seller might not want to participate in a particular mortgage loan. Your real estate agent is a great source of information about mortgage options, check with them for more guidance.





Posted by CENTURY 21 Annex Realty on 7/24/2020

Photo by Paul McGowan via Pixabay

Already a homeowner? Planning to sell in a few years? Sometimes the most sensible investment on the table is the property you already own.

Why Invest In Your Own Property?

Some investors think of each residence as a sort of long-term flip: buy a home, live in it for a couple of years to avoid capital gains tax, improve it as they have the capital and inclination, and turn it around for a profit when they're ready, usually 3-4 years later. And for a huge number of millennials, moving every few years has become de rigeur: occupy a home for a few years, then follow the job market wherever it takes them. Today's young professionals are often on the move.

Whether the long-term flip lifestyle appeals to you or not, it makes sense to improve your home's value as much as possible while living there--especially if you're looking to sell in the next few years. 

Fix What's Broken 

Step 1 is the least appealing item on our list, but it's probably the most important. Before you renovate the kitchen, install crown molding or hire a landscaper to work their magic on the yard, you need to fix what's broken.

Hit it all in this step--both large things and small. Make sure your electrical systems are up to code. Non-GFCI outlets in the kitchen or bathrooms? Replace them now. Gutters falling apart? Take care of it. Water heater has just about the same capacity as your kitchen sink? Replace it. Basement drainage issues? Fix them. Make a checklist of known issues, both big and small, and work through them. Your family will thank you, and your future self will thank you. 

Consult Professionals 

This is where it comes in handy to have a home inspector on your Christmas card list, but it's not necessary. If you live in an older home and/or don't have much experience with home repairs, consider paying a home inspector to come in to do a walk-through and give you advice on things that need to be addressed.

A home inspector will be able to tell you what could become an issue during the inspection process once you have an offer on your home. You might not choose to address everything on their list, but you'll have an idea of a place to start--and an idea of the most pressing issues you're dealing with. 

 

Don't Over-Invest

Before pouring your money into upgrades, make sure you know that cap rate for the homes in your neighborhood. There's a point where upgrades just stop paying off, and you don't want to exceed it. Instead, look at comparable homes on the market on your street or in your neighborhood. Go to a few open houses, even. Get a feel for the minimum standards that these homes meets.

Hit the Minimum Standards for Your Area

In some neighborhoods, a dirt yard is totally normal and not necessarily worth improving (unless you just want to). In other neighborhoods, you'll be expected to have sleek new stainless steel appliances at a minimum. This is a great starting point. Bring your home up to or just above minimum standards, because that's what buyers will expect. 

Kitchens, Bathrooms, Flooring & Paint 

As you've probably heard, investing in the kitchen and bathrooms almost always pays off. It probably goes without saying, but if you're planning to sell soon, don't invest in personal-preference renos--like rearranging the kitchen (unless it's a major dysfunctional problem) or building in a new fireplace. Instead, update/upgrade what's already there. Upgrades that can make a huge difference include: 

  • Having cabinets painted/refinished and hardware updated
  • Reglazing kitchen or bathroom tile to bring its look into the present century 
  • Replacing flooring with the standard for your neighborhood
  • Finishing a partially-finished basement or loft space 

Throughout the upgrade process, keep the style neutral to appeal to the widest variety of homebuyers. Love bold wall colors? That's fine, but unless you live in a remarkably artsy, hipster neighborhood, plan to paint a toned-down gray or beige before you put your home on the market.

If you're on the fence about paint and flooring, those are projects that can be put off until right before you move out. They're also the two most powerful ways to transform your home's aesthetic. 

Obviously the changes you make will have everything to do with the projected sale price--and the caps for your neighborhood. All improvements should take this into consideration, and you'll be off to the races when you decide it's time to put your home on the market. 




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Posted by CENTURY 21 Annex Realty on 7/17/2020

Receiving multiple offers on a residence is a home seller's dream come true. However, if a home seller faces a tight deadline to review several homebuying proposals simultaneously, making the right decision may prove to be exceedingly difficult.

Ultimately, evaluating multiple home offers at the same time can be quick and seamless here are three tips to ensure that you can review various home offers and make an informed decision.

1. Consider the Homebuyer's Perspective

Although you probably won't be able to find out the identity of a homebuyer who submits an offer on your home, you may be able to learn about the homebuyer's perspective if you study a home offer closely.

For example, a homebuyer who wants to close on a residence as soon as possible may face a time crunch. And if this buyer has fallen in love with your home, he or she may do anything possible to acquire it.

On the other hand, a homebuyer who submits a lowball proposal may be looking for a bargain. Therefore, this home offer may fall far below your initial expectations, and you should not hesitate to decline or counter the proposal.

2. Analyze the Housing Market

Operating in a buyer's market or a seller's market may dictate how you proceed with multiple offers on your house.

If you've listed a house in a seller's market, the number of homebuyers likely exceeds the number of first-rate houses that are available. As such, you may want to accept a home offer in a seller's market only if it matches or exceeds your expectations.

Comparatively, if you're working in a buyer's market, there likely is an abundance of high-quality residences and a shortage of homebuyers. Thus, you may be more inclined to accept a home offer that nets you the biggest profit even if the home offer falls shy of your initial home selling expectations.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you're unsure about how to approach multiple offers on your home, it certainly pays to consult with a real estate agent. In fact, a real estate agent can help you examine various offers and decide which home offer if any is right for you.

By hiring a real estate agent, you'll gain an expert ally who will support you throughout the home selling journey.

Typically, a real estate agent will learn about your home selling goals and ensure you can set a competitive price for your residence. He or she also will host home showings and open houses, negotiate with homebuyers on your behalf and do everything possible to help you get the best price for your home, regardless of the real estate market's conditions.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is prepared to respond to your home selling concerns and queries. And if you have questions about a home offer, your real estate agent is available to respond to your questions at any time.

Take the guesswork out of evaluating multiple offers on your home use the aforementioned tips, and you can determine the best course of action based on the home offers at your disposal.





Posted by CENTURY 21 Annex Realty on 7/10/2020


Nothing completes an open floor plan better than open shelving. Open shelves present everything for the world to see. They transform what may be a cluttered, dark, hidden space into one that becomes a place of not only function but of style. 

Open shelving complements the Minimalist, Industrial or Scandinavian Modern styles. But depending on how you arrange on those shelves, it can also work with those who love something more cozy like Rural or French Country. 

On the other hand, open shelving isn't for everyone. Some prefer the convenience and privacy of tucking items away behind closed doors. They feel less need to continually ensure everything looks beautiful on those shelves. And if you live in an arid climate, doors protect dishes, cans and boxes of pasta from the dust that tends to settle.

Doors vs. shelving? That's the question you'll need to ask yourself before making a change. But if you're ready to transform your cabinets to open shelving, here's how it's done.

Clear Your Cabinets

Get everything out of the way. That includes removing those doors, which should simply require a screwdriver. Already, you'll begin to see your open shelves taking shape.

Fill Any Holes

You won't need them since you're not replacing the doors. Fill any holes with wood filler. If these look uneven, hand sand them. But paint will cover up most of the imperfection.

Remove Center Braces

A cabinet with more than one door will likely have a piece of wood where the two doors come together. You don't need it. Remove it with a saw and hammer. 

If you find any nails or staples left behind, you may need to pry them. But sometimes you'll find they've been driven in too far. If there's nothing that the claws of a hammer can grasp, force the nail back through the wood. It should only take some careful whacks to the sharp side with your hammer. 

Paint Your Shelves

You choose the color. But why stick with one? Open shelves are the perfect opportunity to add contrast. Try painting the inside a dark color like navy, black, dark gray or red. Then paint the outside a complementing light color, pale gray or white. 

Whatever you do, don't forget to seal the paint with a polyacrylic. It reduces the risk of water damage and strengthens the paint so that it's less likely to chip or fade.

Let It Dry & Organize

Don't place anything on the shelves for at least 48 hours. But once that timer dings, you're ready to assemble. If you have more dishes than you can presentably place on the shelves, ask yourself if you need them. Less is more on open shelving.

We hope you enjoy your new open shelving. To learn more about home maintenance and design, follow our blog.




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