Are you ready to list your home for sale? One of the first questions you might have is, “how
can I maximize my home value?” Every seller wants to get the best possible price for their
home; fortunately there are ways to make sure your potential buyers see the true value of
your property and allow you to receive top dollar when you sell.
Clean, declutter, depersonalize – The first thing every home seller needs to do is take a
critical look at the home and clear out the distractions. Cleaning the home/yard is a
must. Remove anything that can draw a buyer’s eye away from the beauty of the home.
Redecorate – Professional home stagers will often advise clients to remove and/or
replace furnishings. Even if you love oversized furniture, it can make the room look
small; consider renting more neutral pieces during the listing.
Perfect Condition – No home is perfect, but before you list take care of deferred
maintenance issues. Replace missing roof tiles, repaint any area that is worn or dirty,
and re-sod your lawn; remember; buyers want to know the home has “good bones.”
Update carefully – It’s not important for home sellers to have the latest countertops or
custom bathtub to get a good value for their home. Often the home
updates/improvements sellers undergo cost more than they would lose in sales price
without them. If your home is very dated, consider a seller credit instead to allow the
buyer to choose their own upgrades.
Homes retain value based on a few factors; the location, the condition and the features.
Before you list, speak with your agent, friends and family – then make any necessary repairs
and changes to ensure you get the best value for your home when you sell.
Before you start searching for your new home, the first step is to speak with a lender and
determine your budget. This is being pre-qualified for a loan. Once you find the right home,
then your lender will order an appraisal of the property and complete your financing. If this is
your first home purchase, or if it’s been awhile since you’ve purchased, understanding how to
prepare for the qualifying process is the first step to success.
What do I need to qualify for a home loan?
When preparing for your meeting with the lender gather all the pertinent documentation and
bring them with you. The lender will want to see 2 months of employment pay stubs and bank
records as well the past 2 years of tax returns. After reviewing your income and savings, the
lender will also order a credit report which shows all your recurring debt and payment history.
This will be used to determine your ability to pay the proposed mortgage.
How does credit, down payment and income affect my ability to get a loan?
There are a variety of loan programs available. From 0% down VA loans to traditional 20%
down loans, your lender will review all your options with you so you can determine the best
program. Some government guaranteed loan programs, such as the VA or FHA, are more
lenient with your credit score requirements as well as other qualifications, such as savings and
Qualifying for a home loan might feel overwhelming, but your lender can walk you through the
process and requirements. After learning your options, you can make the best financial
decision for your new home loan.
Congratulations, you have multiple offers on your home listing. It’s exciting to hear that you
have a choice in buyers. Yet how can you make sure that you choose the right offer? With
varying sales prices and terms, comparing offers might be harder than you expected. Still – it’s
a great problem to have.
If you find yourself in a multiple offer situation, the first step is to meet with your agent to
discuss each offer in detail. What are the actual differences? It’s easy to see what price they
offer, but what about the other items – the terms, the financing, the contingencies.
Sales Price – This is the easiest to compare. Start with the sales price and then check to
see if they are asking for extra concessions; these could include seller credits or paying
for closing costs.
Terms – Determine when the buyer intends to close and when they want occupancy.
Financing – Financing can vary dramatically and affect your decision in choosing a buyer.
For instance, a buyer who offers a slightly lower price but is going to put 50% down
might be a better offer than someone using a FHA, 3.5% down loan which could be
harder to close.
Contingencies – Most offers come with contingencies for items such as inspections,
appraisal, loan approval and more. An offer with less contingencies, or shorter time
frames to remove them, could be a better offer than others.
Working with your agent, consider all the elements which go into an offer; then you’ll be in the
best position to determine the best option for your financial goals, timeframes and needs
Selling your home? Every seller wants to make sure they sell their home for the best possible
sales price. Getting top dollar for your home is not as complicated as you might think. By using
a simple negotiation strategy, you can make sure receive the best price for your home listing.
The first step in a negotiation strategy begins before you even list your home. Choosing the
right real estate agent and listening to their advice regarding home value is important. Choose
a realistic list price; over-pricing to “test the market” is not only a waste of time, but as the
listing ages on the market, buyers are more likely to write lowball offers.
Once you receive and offer; review and respond to all reasonable offers. Never assume that a
buyer isn’t serious just because the offer is lower than you’re willing to accept. Make a
reasonable counter offer; if you are motivated to lower your price, you can, but if not,
countering with a full price number is acceptable also. Just make sure your price is fair for the
actual value of the home.
Consider compromising on terms. Often you can negotiate a higher sales price if you are
flexible on other terms. Does the buyer need extra time to close/move? Would they like to
have the garage shelfs or patio furniture? Win-win situations do not have to involve
compromising on price.
All negotiations are different, but by setting the proper stage and calmly navigating through
offers, you can make sure you sell your home for the best possible sales price. Getting top
dollar for your home is a simple strategy of fair pricing and unemotional negotiations.
Many home sellers are not aware of the wood stove laws in Oregon. The law began in August 2010 and was put in place to protect citizens from uncontrolled wood smoke pollution. The Oregon Senate Bill 102 says no person may sell, offer to sell or advertise to sell a used, non-certified woodstove. Non-certified woodstoves (including fireplace inserts) are older models (mostly pre-1985) that have not been certified by the DEQ or the federal Environmental Protection Agency to meet cleaner-burning smoke emission standards. . Most DEQ woodstoves will have a certificate on the back to show if it is certified. Many times, you can look up your make or model online to see if it is approved. There is also some that are antiques that are exempt of the law. If you’re thinking of selling don’t remove your woodstove without talking to your agent first, especially if this is your only source of heat. As a real estate licensee I can inspect or evaluate a wood stove but I can direct you to contractors who can. Also, when you remove it you may need a certificate showing it was properly disposed of.
Have questions a great source is https://www.oregon.gov/deq/Residential/Pages/Woodstoves.aspx
You have read all the advice on moving with pets, and you have plans in place to make the transition as easy as possible for your dog and/or cat. We will call them Butch and Fluffy (Butch is the dog). The big moving day has arrived and Butch and/or Fluffy are freaking out. And since our pets are more important than life itself, we can’t have them going bonkers, can we? So, here are some good ideas for making your pet (and you) feel at home after a move.
First, make sure your new place has been thoroughly cleaned, especially if it belonged to another pet. Your animal DOES NOT want to smell anybody else in the new place. If this is impractical, put down puppy pads for both cats and dogs. Your house will look awful, but since you have not yet unpacked, it probably does anyway.
Prior to your move, do not wash animal beds or blankets. The funkier they smell, the better, in your pet’s opinion. By the way, moving the animal stuff is a great moving day task for kids.
Next, supervise. Dogs run and cats hide. A dog can easily get lost in a new, unfamiliar neighborhood. As soon as possible, preferably the day you move, take Butch out for a nice walk. Butch will take cues from you, so the more relaxed and pleasant you are, the more relaxed and pleasant Butch will be. (This is where tranquilizers come in – for both of you.)
For cats, it is a good idea to keep Fluffy in for a few days, and expect lots of hiding. Make sure you know all of the new house’s nooks and crannies and make sure they are safe for your pet to hide in – you do not want Fluffy getting stuck inside a wall or escaping from a crawl space. Make a nice bed (with water and maybe even a litterbox) inside one of the closets. If Fluffy wants to stay in there for several days, let her. If you have a multiple cat household, you may need to temporarily give up more than one closet. Hey, you are too tired to unpack anyway, right? Who and what is more important, Fluffy or your shoe collection?
It goes without saying that you will need to use the same food and water bowls for Butch and Fluffy. Put food and water down as soon as you get into the new place. Do not worry if they do not eat for a day but make sure they stay hydrated. Put them in about the same place that they were in your old place – kitchen to kitchen, laundry to laundry, etc.
Here is a favorite trick, although it has an ick factor. On moving day, take the sheets off the bed in the old house and then put the very same sheets back on the bed in the new house. Bring your pet to bed with you. Nothing will be as comforting for your pet as being safe and warm with their human and being surrounded by familiar smells.
Keep the same routine – same daily activities at the same time, same leisure activities, at the same time – and soon Fluffy and Butch will have their comfortable routines set, too. And they will be as happy in their new home as you are
Some people don’t think buying a home makes sense. They feel like renting is a smarter move.
On the other hand, some people think renting doesn’t make any sense.
For the most part, arguing it one way or another is about as useful as arguing politics or religion — whatever “side” you’re on, you have your point of view, feelings, and reasons.
But there are also people who are open to debate. If that’s you, read on. This will give you some food for thought and help you make up your own mind about whether it makes more sense to buy a home or rent one.
At least you have the option
Picture living back in Medieval times.
Only a few people are allowed to own land, and you’re not one of them. You can live on a lord’s land, but you’ll have to give him a certain percentage of whatever you grow or raise.
How do you feel about that? Are you OK with that? Is it fair? Probably not…
So, look at it this way: At least now you have the option of buying property. Whether or not you want to exercise that right is your choice.
And it is a choice. You can also decide that you’d rather not own the property you live in. You can certainly still rent from a landlord. (Although they probably won’t accept bushels of wheat, baskets of vegetables, or a goat as payment. You’ll need to somehow convert that to cash money.)
But owning property isn’t for everyone. It comes with responsibilities, risks, and limitations that not everyone is cut out for.
Both come with responsibilities, risks, and limitations
Many people who claim renting makes more sense feel that way because:
They feel like values are too high. (Unaffordable.)
They feel like it’s too risky. (The market could crash. Values could go down.)
They could lose their house (if they lost their job and fell behind on mortgage payments).
There’s a lot of cost to maintain a house. They don’t think they can afford a home. No money down. There are many first time buyer programs for zero to little down https://www.rd.usda.gov/
It will “tie them down.” (They won’t be able to move to the coast of Costa Rica and surf for 7 months.)
All of those are valid and possibly true reasons for not buying a home.
But did you know there are tax benefits to owning a home? https://www.realtor.com/advice/finance/tax-benefits-of-owning-a-home/
Sorry I go off track a little!
However, renting also comes with responsibilities, risks, and limitations:
Rents aren’t necessarily more affordable than buying a house, and they can go up over time (and probably won’t go down). Conversely, the value of a home you own will most likely go up over time, even if it does go down.
There’s risk that a landlord could not renew a lease and force you to move.
While you aren’t usually entirely responsible for maintenance, you can be held responsible for things that break or get damaged. You may also be responsible for some upkeep and maintenance costs.
You don’t have much say in what gets done around the house or apartment. You’re at the mercy of a landlord doing something (or allowing you to do something to it).
A lease can tie you down as much, if not more, than owning a house that you can choose to sell or rent out if you want to move at some point.
Obviously, this isn’t a complete comparison list of risks, responsibilities, and limitations. There are certainly more we could get into. It’s just to make a point, which is…
Whether you buy or rent a home, you will have risks, responsibilities, and limitations placed upon you. The only true solution is to live for free in your childhood home forever and ever — and even that probably isn’t entirely “free” or without responsibilities and limitations.
You can’t live somewhere entirely for free, but…
…what you can do for free is figure out whether you should buy a place to call home, or rent one instead. The link below may help you decided.
I was surprised to find out children with lead poising may not ever show symptoms. It is so easy for a child to get lead poising. See this article on Lead Base paint. https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/healthy_homes/healthyhomes/lead.
If you are buying a home prior 1978 make sure you receive a copy of the lead base brochure. http://www.oregon.gov/ohcs/hd/hrs/cfcreserv/home_lbpaintbrochure.pdf