10 Steps to a Smooth Global Tansaction!
These questions will help you decide whether you’re ready for a home that’s larger or in a more desirable location. If you answer yes to most of the questions, you may be ready to move.
Have you built substantial equity in your current home?
Check your annual mortgage statement or call your lender to find out how much you’ve paid down. Usually you don’t build up much equity in the first few years of your mortgage, as monthly payments are mostly interest. But if you’ve owned your home for five or more years, you may have significant, unrealized gains.
Has your income or financial situation changed?
If you’re making more money, you may be able to afford higher mortgage payments and cover the costs of moving. If your income has decreased, you may want to consider downsizing.
Have you outgrown your neighborhood?
The neighborhood you pick for your first home might not be the same one in which you want to settle down for good. You may have realized that you’d like to be closer to your job or live in a better school district.
Are there reasons why you can’t remodel or add on?
Sometimes you can create a bigger home by adding a new room or building up. But if your property isn’t large enough, your municipality doesn’t allow it, or you’re simply not interested in remodeling, then moving to a bigger home may be your best option.
Are you comfortable moving in the current housing market?
If your market is hot, your home may sell quickly and for top dollar, but the home you buy will also be more expensive. If your market is slow, finding a buyer may take longer, but you’ll have more selection and better pricing as you seek your new home. Ask your real estate professional what they see happening locally.
Are interest rates attractive?
Low rates help you buy “more” home, and also make it easier to find a buyer for your current place.
Is the effort and cost of maintaining your current home becoming difficult to manage?
A REALTOR ® can help you decide whether a smaller house, condo, or rental would be appropriate.
Conduct a do-it-yourself home security check by walking around your house to assess what needs to be done to reduce the risk of a break-in.
A professionally installed and monitored home security system is a nice addition to your home’s defenses, but it shouldn’t be step one.
First, conduct your own home security check. After you’ve inspected your home’s doors and windows, make sure these essential steps are covered:
1. Keep your home well-maintained on the outside.
Burglars want an easy target. Stand on the street outside your house and ask yourself: Does my property look neglected, hidden, or uninhabited? A front door or walkway that’s obscured by shrubbery offers crooks the perfect cover they need while they break a door or window. To improve security, trim shrubs away from windows and widen front walks.
2. Install motion detector lights.
All sides of your house should be well-lit with motion-activated lighting, not just the front. Simple motion-activated floodlights cost less than $50 each, and installing them is an easy DIY job if the wiring is already in place.
3. Store your valuables.
Thieves want easy-to-grab electronics, cash, jewelry, and other valuables, though some are not above running down the street with your flat-screen TV. Most make a beeline for the master bedroom, because that’s where you’re likely to hide spare cash, jewelry, even guns. Tour each room and ask yourself: is there anything here that I can move to a safe deposit box? Installing a home safe ($150 to $500) that’s bolted to your basement slab is a good repository for items you don’t use on a daily basis.
4. Secure your data.
While you probably won’t be putting your home computer in a safe anytime soon, take steps to back up the personal information stored on it. Password protect your login screen, and always shut off your computer when not in use (you’ll save energy, too!) Don’t overlook irreplaceable items whose value may hard to quantify, like digital photos.
5. Prepare ahead of time in case the worst happens.
Take a photo or video inventory of items of value in your home, and store the file online or in your home safe.
Check that you’re properly insured for theft. Note that high-ticket items in your home office, such as computers, professional camera equipment, or other business essentials, may require an additional rider or a separate policy.
These tips will help you convince buyers your property offers top value for their dollar.
Amp up curb appeal.
Look at your home objectively from the street. Check the condition of the landscaping, paint, roof, shutters, front door, knocker, windows, and house number. Observe how your window treatments look from the outside. Something special—such as big flowerpots or an antique bench—can help your property stand out after a long day of house hunting.
Enrich with color.
Paint is cheap, but it can make a big impression. The shade doesn’t have to be white or beige, but stay away from jarring pinks, oranges, and purples. Soft yellows and pale greens say “welcome,” lead the eye from room to room, and flatter skin tones. Tint ceilings in a lighter shade.
Upgrade the kitchen and bathrooms.
These are make-or-break rooms. Make sure they’re squeaky clean and clutter-free, and update the pulls, sinks, and faucets. In a kitchen, add one cool appliance, such as an espresso maker.
Add old-world patina to walls.
Crown molding that’s at least six to nine inches deep and proportional to the room’s size can add great detail on a budget. For ceilings nine feet high or higher, consider dentil detailing, which is comprised of small, tooth-shaped blocks in a repeating ornamentation.
Screen hardwood floors.
Refinishing is costly, messy, and time-consuming, so consider screening instead. This entails a light sanding — not a full stripping of color or polyurethane — then a coat of finish.
Clean out and organize closets.
Remove anything you don’t need or haven’t worn in a while. Closets should only be half-full so buyers can visualize fitting their stuff in.
Update window treatments.
Buyers want light and views, not dated, heavy drapes. To diffuse light and add privacy, consider energy-efficient shades and blinds.
Hire a home inspector.
Do a preemptive strike to find and fix problems before you sell your home. Then you can show receipts to buyers, demonstrating your detailed care for their future home.
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By: Leanne Potts
Published: December 21, 2018
What's included in a home inspection may not be as important as what isn't.
A home inspection may feel like a final exam, but it's not quite so clear cut. Your inspector's report won't include a clear-cut A+ if a house is a keeper or an F if it's a money pit.
What is included in a home inspection report is a set of neutral facts intended to help you decide on a home's final grade.
Oh sure, a seasoned inspector will know if a home is a safe bet or full of red flags. But they're actually bound by a set of rules that limit what they can tell you.
Here's what they can't say:
#1 Whether They Would Buy This House
Here's the big one: Many buyers think an inspector will give them a thumbs up or thumbs down, but they can't. Giving real estate advice violates the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors' code of ethics.
Clues to look for: Count up your issues. "The average inspection turns up around 20," says Larry Fowler, a home inspector in Knoxville, Tenn., who has done around 10,000 home inspections in his 22 years in the business. “If there are more than 30 items, you may have a bad house," Fowler adds. "If there are fewer than 10 items on the list, you may have a bad inspector."
The bottom line is that every house and buyer are unique and what inspection results one person is fine with, another may not be. Confer with your agent once you have the report.
#2 If It Has Termites, Rats, or Mold
Yikes! You might assume this trio of homewreckers would be part of every house inspection checklist, but your inspector isn't licensed to look for them.
Clues to look for: Inspectors can note that those sagging floors are evidence of termites, or that shredded insulation is evidence of rats, or the black stuff on the walls is evidence of fungal growth. To turn evidence into proof, ask a specialist for a follow-up inspection.
#3 If the Pool or Septic System Are in Good, Working Order
Home inspectors aren't certified to inspect everything that could appear in any home. So for example, if there’s a pool, some may turn on the pool pump and heater to make sure they work, but they won't look for cracks or plumbing leaks. You'll need to find a pool inspector. In other cases, you may need a septic systems or wells expert, an asbestos or radon specialist, etc.
Clues to look for: Any special feature is your cue to find a specialist. "We're general practitioners," Fowler says.
And here's a bonus tip: Consider a home's advanced age a "special feature," as they're likely candidates for lead paint, asbestos, and other old-home hazards.
#4 That They're Making The House Look Worse Than It Is
Some inspectors make note of every tiny thing in a house, even inconsequential ones. Like chipped paint. Scratched windows. Surface mold in a shower. These folks are sometimes known as deal killers. “Some inspectors like to show they know more than somebody else," Fowler says. “It's annoying."
Clues to look for: If your inspector's report is pages long and full of items that won't hurt the value of the home, it's probably not a big deal. Sit down with your agent, and go through the report to determine which (if any) issues could affect your offer.
#5 If That Outlet Behind the Couch Actually Works
An inspector can only check what they can see without moving anything. This means the foundation could be cracked behind that wood paneling in the basement. Or the electrical outlet behind the sofa might not work.
Clues to look for: The inspector should note if they're unable to inspect something critical. Consult with your agent about what to do, such as asking the seller to take down the paneling or offering to pay to have it removed. Alternately, offer a lower price.
#6 Whether They've Inspected the Roof Closely
Some inspectors will climb up on the roof to look closely at shingles and gutters — but they're not required to. If it's raining or icy, or the roof is steep or more than two stories high, they can stay on the ground and report what they can see from there.
Clues to look for: They should note whether they walked the roof, but if it's not clear, ask. If they haven't, keep this in mind when evaluating their roof inspection report. They should still note any missing or damaged gutters or downspouts and the general condition of the roof based on what they can see from the ground.
#7 What You Should Freak Out About (or Not)
It's an inspector's job to find things wrong with the house. Big things, little things, all the things. It's not their job to categorize them as NBD or OMG. A checkmark next to a crumbling foundation will look the same as a checkmark next to chipped paint.
A few things you may find on an inspector's report that aren't a big deal:
Condensation in a basement or crawl space
Early signs of wood rot on trim
Cracks in bricks from the house settling
Faux stone siding that's been improperly installed
Radon levels below 4 pCi/L
These items, however, could trip your freak-out response (if you're not prepared to address them):
Standing water in a basement or crawl space
HVAC not working
Outdated wiring, especially knob-and-tube wiring or aluminum wiring
Old plumbing pipes
Radon levels above 4 pCi/L
#8 Who They'd Recommend to Fix It (and How Much It Will Cost)
Your inspector may seem like the perfect source of insider info on repairing issues they see all the time, but the opposite is actually true.
You don't want your inspector to make financial decisions based on their report. Think about it: If an inspector's buddy Steve gets a plumbing gig every time a certain issue turns up on a report, it gives that inspector some pretty big (and not cool) motivations to find that issue.
Even giving you a price range for the repair is off-limits. It's not their area of expertise, it creates a conflict of interest (they could be endorsing Steve's great deal, after all), and, perhaps most importantly, it's against the ethics rules.
Clues to look for: This is good home ownership practice. Try to price out every item on your home inspector's report, big and small. Do some research, and call three contractors or check out three retailers for the service or part needed to resolve each issue. You've got this, future homeowner!
Related: What to Expect During a Home Inspection
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Need some help after reading this post contact me - via email or phone - only a few clicks away!
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Here are 9 Tips for Buying a Vacation Home.
1- Expert Knowledge and Education - You want a professional to speak the language and understand the paperwork to your advantage to get you the best deal, avoid delays or pricey mistakes.
2- Marketing and search power – property marketing allows reaching a larger number of potential buyers – through a range of marketing practices and practitioner’s contacts. The REALTORs search power can go outside the online property search engines and avoid out of date information for their buyers.
3- Negotiation experience and knowledge in local real estate market.
4- Ethical Responsibility – Realtor in Florida adhere to a strict code of ethics to protect the public in all real estate transaction-related matters.
Travelling with a dog to Florida this winter? Here are some Pet-Friendly places and outings to bring your best friend while you are on vacation in Palm Beach County (Bring the leash and a doggy bag!):
1- Canine Cove At Burt Aaronson South County Regional Park in Boca Raton
2- Dog Park at Lake Ida at Lake Ida West Park In Delray Beach
3- Intracoastal Park In Boynton Beach
4- Lake Woof Dog Park located in John Prince Park in Lake Worth
5- Pooch Pines at Okeeheelee Park In West Palm Beach
6- Lilac Dog Park in Palm Beach Gardens
7- F.I.N.D. ParK in Jupiter
1- Peanut Island in West Palm Beach
2- Friends of Jupiter in Jupiter
3- Juno Beach Park in Juno
4- Bark Park Dog Beach in Boca Raton
5- Atlantic Dunes Beach in Delray Beach
1- Mizner Park in Boca Raton
2- City Place in West Palm Beach
3- Worth Avenue in Palm Beach
4- Downtown at the Gardens in Palm Beach Gardens
5- Harbourside Place in Jupiter
1- The Dubliner at Mizner Park in Boca Raton
2- Boston’s on The Beach in Delray Beach
3- Howley’s Diner in West Palm Beach
4- Darbster’s In West Palm Beach
5- Sailfish Marina in West Palm Beach
6- Dive Bar in Jupiter