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Are You Selling and Want to Increase the Value of Your Home? Try These 10 Tips

You’ve probably heard it a thousand times. “Now’s the time to sell,” or “it’s a seller’s market.” Maybe you’re just ready to make the most of your investment while the market is hot.  Whatever the reason, you probably have a list of home improvements you need to complete before listing your home. But how do you know what is a good investment for the value of your home, and what will be a waste of time and money?

 

The question is the same for many. What investments should you make to increase the value of your home? Well, grab a cup and coffee and take note of these ten easy tips.

 

1. Curb Appeal

 

First impressions are important. The last thing you want your house to be known for is the out of control bushes and patchy grass out front. Your front yard needs to be inviting and controlled.  Lucky for you, this is a cheap and easy fix. For the easier-to-tackle jobs, you might need to invest a weekend with some sweat and muscle, cleaning up your already landscaped yard. For those of you who have a yard that requires a bit more attention, hiring professionals to do the work may be the best way to go. Either way, a little attention will go a long way.

2. Paint

 

The color and quality of your exterior paint is huge. If you haven’t painted your home in the last 3-7 years, it’s probably a good time for a new coat. Not only will new paint give your home a brand new look, but it will also be one extra thing your future buyers can check off their list. Picking a color scheme can be challenging. Try looking up comparable homes that recently sold, to get some ideas of current trends and styles of houses.

2. Light and Bright Interior

Just like the exterior, the paint inside your home can make or break a sale. For some reason, paint is one of the biggest complaints buyers have. Not to mention, depending on the paint color, it might make your home appear smaller than it is. It’s smart to pick bright and neutral colors, which will not only help make each room look larger, but it will be easier for your buyers to picture your house as their future home.

4. Kitchen

People say that a kitchen is the heart of the home. No matter what the style of house, the kitchen needs to be a showstopper. Of course, if you have the means to do so, a full kitchen remodel would be nice, but it’s not required. You can still do some very inexpensive upgrades that will help bring up the value of your home. For starters, painting kitchen cabinets and adding new drawer pulls and knobs might be all that it needs to make your kitchen look new again. Just like your interior paint, try to choose a color that is both neutral and bright. Consider either a classic white or gray color.

5. Bathroom

Just like your kitchen, buyers want to see an upgraded bathroom. Buyers want a place where they can relax at the end of the day. If your budget allows you to do so, replacing toilets, vanities, and even old bathtubs can add value to your home. Updated flooring is important as well. Improve your larger bathroom by adding heated floor tiles for a more spa-like feel. If you already have a nice upgraded bathroom, sometimes just adding a fresh coat of paint, and changing out your dark colored towels for some nice white ones can do the trick. Also, try staging your bathroom with a cute basket filled with bath bombs, lotions, and candles.

6. Flooring

Although flooring can get costly, it may make or break your home sale. If you have out of date, stained carpet, you better believe buyers will keep walking.  Because the housing market is so competitive, it’s vital to take the time to update certain aspects of your home. If you have carpet that is in excellent condition, invest in a professional carpet cleaning service before you list your home.  If your budget allows, you might look into replacing your flooring altogether.

7. Cleaning and decluttering

Just like curb appeal, the cleanliness and organization of your home at showings is crucial. Take the time to go through your closets, dressers, and storage rooms and get rid of items you no longer need. Just because it’s in a drawer or hidden behind a door doesn’t mean people won’t look. You want your home to look cozy and lived in, but you still want it to be clean and inviting.

8. Staging

Staging goes hand in hand with cleaning and decluttering. Staging is key for a quick sale. Buyers want to see the potential of the home, which may be hard to visualize when the house is cluttered with over-sized furniture and tons of family photos on the wall. By removing unused furniture pieces and pictures from the walls, suddenly your home becomes more relatable for many different types of buyers. Head over here for more staging tips.

9. Let there be light

Changing out old lights and fixtures can also be a quick and easy upgrade. Take the time to inspect all lighting fixtures and make sure all your windows open and are clean. Another tip to remember is that high wattage bulbs will make small spaces feel larger while soft lighting brings warmth to any empty spaces.

10. Trust an expert

Sometimes it’s hard to make changes to something you love. This is your home after all. An outside perspective can help you get the most bang for your buck. A Realtor can help you with the decisions that matter.

 

We will walk you through this exciting process one step at a time. Head over to our blog to get other great ideas on selling your home, or contact our exceptional staff at Rebecca’s Realtor to set up a meeting.

 

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Kennedy Space Center: Educational Fun & Out Of This World Experience

Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral FL

Named after the 35th president of the United States, John F. Kennedy, The Kennedy Space Center (KSC) is one of NASA’s 10 field centers, and the premiere destination for space travel history and exhibits. The center is located in Merritt Island, northwest of Cape Canaveral, halfway between Miami and Jacksonville, and east of Orlando.

Since KSC became operational, it has played a pivotal role as a launch center and research facility for NASA. The world’s greatest launch operations, including Apollo, Skylab, and the space shuttle programs took place here.

A Brief History

In 1962, NASA requested to acquire land on Merritt Island in an effort to support their Apollo Lunar Landing Program. This land became what is known today as the Kennedy Space Center. What would follow is a series of historic events. Once NASA acquired the land, they immediately began putting up structures essential for their operations.

Some of the earliest structures to be built at KSC include the Headquarters Building (located in the industrial area), the Central Instrumentation Facility, and the Vehicles Assembly Building. From 1967 to 1973, there was the launch of the first manned and unmanned space flights from KSC.

In 1969, Neil Armstrong, together with his colleagues, launched to the moon from KSC. Since then, every manned space flight launched in the United States has taken place at the Kennedy Space Center.

Attractions

There are plenty of things to do and see at the Kennedy Space Center. Every year, around 1.5 million people visit KSC for a first-hand account of the history and future of space exploration. The center is comprised of a visitor complex, a launch complex, and an industrial area. Early space missions are available for viewing in the Early Space Exploration Area.

The center also hosts the historic Saturn V rocket, which was used during the early exploration of the moon, and capsules from the Apollo, Mercury, and Gemini era. One of the most iconic structures at KSC is the Vehicle Assembly Building, which is also the 4th largest building in the world in terms of volume.

In an effort to honor the crew members of Challenger and Columbia, who lost their lives in 1986 and 2003, KSC has designated an area in the Atlantis exhibit as a memorial. Other attractions at KSC include IMAX, NASA Rocket Garden, and the Hubble Space Telescope Exhibit.

Programs And Events

Special events regularly take place at KSC. Although NASA shut down its shuttle program in 2011, launches still take place twice a month at Cape Canaveral. Whether it’s a government satellite, or supplies going to the International Space Station, KSC provides the ideal experience and gets the job done.

The Center runs a five-day camp for kids to help them hone their skills in math, through activities that are focused on space exploration. Astronauts also frequent the space center to deliver special lectures and programs.

Shopping

The Kennedy Space Station has the largest space-related gift shop in the world. The shop has thousands of space-themed merchandise including pins, patches, autographed books, and other NASA collectibles.

While a good 3-4 hours away from Cape Coral, and other coastal areas of Florida, it is still a fun trip to take with family.

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Discover One Of Orlando’s Awesome Theme Parks: Universal Studios

universal studios, orlando fl

People who love amusement and theme parks are bound to have heard about Universal Studios in Orlando. This is because it is one of the most popular and most visited (with over ten million visitors in 2017) theme parks, both in the United States and in the world.

It prides itself on having unique and exhilarating rides and attractions, based on Universal Studios’ movies and television shows. It is a part of the Universal Orlando Resort and was opened in 1990. Here are the important details you need to know about this theme park.

Park Overview

Given that the park is set on a large piece of land, it has been subdivided into a number of themed areas. Some of the areas are named after various U.S. cities including New York, Springfield, San Francisco, Springfield and Hollywood.

The others are named according to the theme, which includes Woody Woodpecker’s Kidzone, Production Central, Diagon Alley and World Expo. In each area, you will find various rides, dining outlets, merchandise stores, character appearances, and other shows and attractions.

Rides

transformers ride, universal studios, orlando flAlthough most of the rides are based on Universal’s films, they have also acquired the rights to create rides that are based on movies by other studios. Some of the most popular rides presently include Hogwarts Express, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, E.T. Adventure, the Simpsons ride, Shrek 4D, Men in Black Alien Attack, and others.

Most of the rides were designed with the input of the movie producers or directors, and the actors also play a part in the rides. Most of them are appropriate for kids, as well as adults.

Characters

Other than the rides, visitors of the park can also interact with various characters from their favorite films. Kids and adults alike can enjoy encounters with minions, various Simpsons characters, the Transformers, Sponge Bob Square Pants, Shrek and the Donkey, Scooby-doo, and many others.

The characters are spread all over the park, with each area having its own designated characters. The characters provide great photo opportunities, and also say their famous catchphrases.

Events

Throughout the year, the park plays host to a number of events, based on the season. During Halloween, the park hosts Halloween Horror Nights, whereby guests can enjoy haunted houses, scare zones, and themed shows.

Music lovers can also enjoy the “Rock the Universe” event or the Summer Concert Series, which are both musical concerts that feature renowned artists. Other events include the Mardi Gras, a Celebration of Harry Porter, Macy’s Holiday Parade, and the Grad Bash.

Entertainment

At Universal Orlando, you can never run out of activities to do, no matter how many times you visit. There are many live shows that you can watch, including Fear Factor live, the Blues Brothers Show, A Day in the Park with Barney, among others. You can also visit the gaming arcades and play games based on popular shows and films.

There are play areas for kids, where they can play when taking a break from the rides. Other than the fun and photos, you can also buy quality memorabilia and souvenirs from the park’s many merchandise stores.

Film Studio

Other than a place for fun and entertainment, the park also features a working movie studio. Many television shows, movies, music videos, and commercials have been shot in the studio.

Nickelodeon has also shot its various shows in this studio. Total Nonstop Action Wrestling has produced their shows and pay-per-view events from there. The studio is a multipurpose area that can be used for other events that are hosted by the park.

Pricing

Like other theme parks, Universal Studios sells tickets for various packages, rather than individual activities. The pricing will normally depend on the time of year. Tickets are most expensive during Summer and Spring, since they are the peak periods, and they are the cheapest during the Fall.

The price varies, depending on the package you choose and the extras that are included in the package. For example, guests who want to stay at the park’s on-site hotels can pay one price for the hotel and the park combined.

A day pass will buy you access to various rides and attractions throughout the day. An annual pass with grant you access to the park at any time of the year. The price normally doesn’t include food, snacks, or merchandise. Most tickets are sold for groups, although kids will normally receive a discount. Now, get out there and have some fun!

If Orlando or Southwest Florida areas like Cape Coral sound amazing and you need a real estate agent, don’t hesitate to contact Rebecca today.

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Tips On How To Get A Discount When Purchasing A Home

Due to an increase in the number of people purchasing homes, the prices have increased significantly over the past few years. This means that if you want to purchase a home, then you have to part with more money than before.

The main question then becomes, is it possible to purchase a home at a discount in the current economy? If you’re looking for a real estate agent who knows Cape Coral really well, give Rebecca a call today. Back to the question at hand: This question can be answered by looking at the various tips that can help you buy a home at a discount.

1. Target Homes That Have Been Listed For Longer

For properties where the owners have been willing to sell for the past 7 or more years, they may have become impatient. Negotiating a discount for such a home is easy, because the owner is now willing to sell it as fast as possible. However, make sure that you do an inspection and research more information about the home to ascertain that everything is in order.

2. Home Selling On Short Notice

There are those homeowners who may be moving to a new location, or have built a new home and are selling the one they currently live in. Such individuals may be willing to sell these homes faster so they can move to the new place. They might, therefore, be willing to sell such a home at a discount. Again, it is important to do a background check on the quality of the home that is being sold to you.

3. Foreclosed Homes

When people default on their mortgage payments, the homes they own may be sold to recover the amount that they owe. If you attend such auctions with a down payment that is equal to the amount the defaulters have not paid to the mortgage providers, you are likely to get the home at a discounted price. Make sure that your bid can cover at least that amount.

4. Target New Homes

There are many companies that are constructing new homes to sell to new homebuyers. This has led to an increase in the supply of new homes. To sell faster, those who are constructing new homes are willing to sell them at a discount. To enjoy such discounts, as an aspiring homeowner, you need to target these specific new homes.

5. Analyze Different Deals

To get the best discount, do not just settle on one deal. Search around for people who are selling homes, look at the prices they are willing to sell those properties for, and the discounts they are willing to give. You can look at at least 5 such homes, and settle for the one that offers the best discount deal.

If it’s possible, pay for the home in cash. Mortgage payments attract interest rates that inflate the cost of the home. By purchasing a home in cash, you will end up paying less in the long run.

6. Approach Absentee Homeowners Privately

There are people who have two homes, or have inherited homes, and may not have any idea of what to do with them. Survey your preferred neighborhood for such homes, and ask the owners if they are willing to sell them. Certain people are often willing to sell the homes at a discount to any willing buyer.

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Learn About The Theme Parks Of Walt Disney World!

disney world theme park

The Walt Disney name and brand has been synonymous with the world of fantasy, wonder, and wholesomeness, for many generations all over the world. Back in 1971, the Walt Disney World Resort was opened to the public, with its headquarters in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Its aim was to bring the world of fantasy a little closer to reality.

The massive complex, spanning 27,258 acres, plays host to a plethora of attractions, including two water parks, twenty-seven themed hotels, a scattering of golf courses and, of course, its four celebrated theme parks. The theme parks are Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, and Animal Kingdom. Residents in nearby areas of Cape Coral, Ft. Myers, and all over Tampa love these theme parks as much as any visitor.

Let’s take a quick tour of these fan favorites, and see what Walt Disney World holds in store for any potential visitors.

Hollywood Studios

This facility was opened in 1989, as a fully functional film, animation, and television production studio, and also an operational theme park. It’s major inspiration was drawn from the imagined worlds of cinema, television, theater, and music, with special regard for what’s referred to as the “Golden Age of Hollywood” (1917 – 1960s).

Its most iconic structures, as the park stands today, are The Chinese Theater and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Back in 2016, the park was seeing 10.7 million visitors, all coming in to enjoy the six theme areas that are designed to reflect idealized versions of real locations found in Los Angeles and Hollywood, the nexus of cinematography for many decades of film history.

These areas are: Hollywood Boulevard (which mimics Main Street U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom), Echo Lake (which is best known for its Star Wars-themed attractions), Grand Avenue (whose main attraction is a 4D film attraction known as MuppetVision 3D), Pixar Place (which is heavily imbued with Toy Story-themed attractions and performances), the Animation Courtyard, Sunset Boulevard, and Toy Story Land (which is expected to open up in June of this year).

Visitors will be treated to daily live shows, featuring popular celebrities and characters, in addition to annual events.

Epcot

This theme park, originally known as the EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) Center, is dedicated specifically to celebrating human achievement, chiefly in the areas of international culture and technological innovations. It has earned itself the fond moniker of being a “permanent world’s fair”, owing to its global outlook.

It has two main sections: World Showcase (which hosts 11 national themes), and Future World (which hosts eight pavilions). Future World offers up the following attractions: Spaceship Earth, Test Track, Innoventions, Mission: Space, The Seas with Nemo & Friends, The Land, Imagination!, and the seasonal Festival Center.

World Showcase has pavilions dedicated to the U.S.A., Japan, France, Morocco, U.K., Canada, Mexico, Norway, China, Italy, and Germany. They are dedicated to showcasing these countries’ cuisine, landscapes, architecture, and streetscapes. Themed rides and attractions are also featured at the park, which welcomed 12,200,000 visitors last year.

Magic Kingdom

magic kingdomMagic Kingdom is dedicated to the world of fairy tales and the characters that live in them. Immediately recognizable to most visitors will be the Cinderella Castle, inspired by the 1950 film of the same name. The park has consecutively stood as the most visited park in the world, seeing more than 20 million visitors in 2017.

As its dedication plaque states, its aim is to provide a magic kingdom, where those who are “young at heart of all ages can laugh and play and learn together”. It features six main lands: Main Street U.S.A. (which features tributes to different stylistic influences from around the U.S.A.), Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland (which is styled as a carnival), Castle Courtyard, Storybook Circus, Enchanted Forest, and Tomorrowland.

Animal Kingdom

This zoological theme park is dedicated to animal conservation, which is something that Walt Disney himself considered to be of utmost importance. The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums gave the park accreditation, meaning it meets or exceeds expected quality standards in terms of research, education, and conservation activities.

One of the major draws here is the park’s iconic Tree of Life, which is an artificial, 145 foot tall baobab tree. Animal Kingdom features seven main areas: Discovery Land, Africa, Oasis, Pandora – The World of Avatar, Dinoland U.S.A., Rafiki’s Planet Watch, and Asia. All of these feature area-specific wildlife exhibits, landscape scenes, stylized adventure tours, and amusements.

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Home Design Styles To Look Out For In Florida

Architecture can be a fascinating sight, especially when it come to homes. The design of a home can say a lot about the owner, and architects go to great lengths to achieve the goal of appealing to the owners. Looking at a state like Florida, with its unique climate and even more unique cultures such, you can expect to find all manner of housing styles like in Cape Coral; Rebeccas Realtor can help you by answering any questions you have about the Cape Coral market.

Identifying and differentiating these might seem complicated, but it’s easy, once you know the general classification system. Here’s a short guide to the most common residential architectural styles found in Florida:

1. Federal Style

This style rose to prominence when people regained a fresh interest in the early Greek and Roman cultures. To spot the Federal style, look out for simple and unadorned wall surfaces, low-hanging gable roofs, and windows with multiple panes above the home’s entrance. It’s also common for them to have Palladian-style windows on the second floor of the residence, just above the front doorway.

2. Italianate Style

This rather flamboyant design style first made its appearance out in San Francisco, and then on the east coast, back in the late 1800’s. It’s easily recognizable by its eye-catching features which include elongated, narrow windows (which are often curved into arches), wall surface ornamentation, decorative brackets, low-hanging roofs, and the relatively rare cupola, or tower.

The elaboration of the window designs appears again with the columns, door frames, and supports. Just as the naming hints at, it’s a style that strives to be ornate, yet elegant.

3. Ranch Style

You’ll most likely encounter the Ranch style of home design in somewhat older, more affluent, or perhaps more remote locations of Florida. It became popular back in the 50’s and 60’s. Their designs follow closely with Craftsman, Prairie, and Spanish Colonial styles.

They are immediately recognizable by their single-story, pitched roofing, built-in garages, sliding doors that lead out onto patios, and wooden or brick exteriors. Usually, these homes will be asymmetrical in their design, and their roofs will be low-hanging.

4. Spanish Eclectic

This style is a fixture of the Florida architectural landscape that you cannot miss. It is an amalgamation of Byzantine, Moorish, Gothic, and Renaissance architectural design styles. What comes out of this mix usually features windows and doors with rounded tops, stucco walls, and low-hanging tile roofs.

Also look out for decorative tiling around the windows and doorways, scalloped windows and balconies, and the occasional bell-tower. It’s distinctive design has had long-lasting popularity, which shows all over the state to this day.

5. Contemporary

Just about everyone who lives in the United States has seen a contemporary-styled home, even if they weren’t aware of what it was called. These types of residences usually have tall and oddly-sized windows, minimal or no ornamentation, and are built using multiple materials such as stone, wood, and brick.

The combination of these characteristics makes them extremely eye-catching, whether or not you’re pleased by the effect. Their designers strive to incorporate the surrounding landscape into the look and functionality of the home itself.

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Want To Earn Income Investing In Real Estate? 5 Things You Need To Know

Real estate income investing has been around for ages. Why? Because having a piece of land has been one of the most steadfast ways to increase your cash flow.  From ancient history (when it was profitable to have a place to grow crops and raise livestock for income) to present day rentals, leases, and even modern farming, real estate has remained constant for income investing.

 

Are your wheels turning yet? Good. You should work smarter, not harder. Let’s continue with a quick guide to how to start investing.

1. What Is Real Estate Income Investing?

There are numerous ways to increase your cash flow when delving into income investing.  Knowing what options are available to you as well as having a good working definition of how to start investing will be your first key to success. Consider the three main ways to make money in real estate:

 

  1. Real Estate Appreciation:  This means that the property you purchase increases in value. It can be a bit tricky, though, and you will have to do your research. Is there a high demand for property in the chosen area? Will the property be attractive to potential buyers or renters? How much will it cost you to upgrade the property, if needed?
  2. Real Estate Related Income:  This is a method of investing by making commissions from buying, selling, or managing properties. Brokers, agents, and rental management companies utilize this form of income investing.
  3. Rental Properties:  Rental properties will generate a monthly income for you. Whether houses, apartments, condominiums, office buildings or retail properties, if you can keep them occupied, you can collect monthly income. Rental properties are the easiest way to get steady cash flow.

2. Investing In Rental Property

When it comes to owning passive income property, there are a few different options to choose from:

  • Residential:  People need homes.If you’re considering investing, this is a good place to start. First, buy a property in a desirable location, then rent the house at a rate which will bring in more than your monthly payment for the property. As long as you have tenants, you have a monthly passive income flow. Houses, apartments, and condominiums are great properties to start with when considering income investing.  
  • Commercial Real Estate:  This method relates mostly to office buildings.  You should consider the pros and cons. The good: You get long-term renters and steady cash flow, especially if you are collecting rents that are greater than the market value of the property.  The bad: You are locked into the lease as well, and may miss the return that would come if the market value of your property went up.
  • Retail Real Estate:  These are your standard shopping areas, strip malls, shopping centers, and malls. With this type of income investing, you can charge not only monthly rent, but a percentage of the store sales, which would be a great incentive for the lessor to make the property attractive to buyers.
  • Multi-use Real Estate:  This is for the income investor who wants to do it all with one property.  A multi-use property could have retail spaces, office space, and residential spaces. The beauty of such a location is that you have the potential for built-in customers on all levels.  

 

You may not be interested in just straight passive income. You may think of income investing as investing and buying trusts in properties. Well, guess what? There is something for you too.

 

3. Real Estate Investment Trusts (aka REIT’s)

For the business and tax structure minded investor, REIT’s are a good option. You can buy these trusts through custody accounts, brokerage accounts, and Roth IRAsMany people choose this manner of investing because of the potential tax incentives and the ability to invest in larger projects. REIT’s also help corporations get the funding needed, via investors, to afford sizeable real estate projects, such as luxury hotels and shopping centers.

 

For more information about REIT’s, visit Investopedia.  

4. Investing Through Home Ownership

Homeownership is the first way that most people start their income investing journey. It’s one property, easy to manage, provides a home for your family, and has good income earning potential. A home is not the same kind of real estate investment as a commercial property or apartment building.  You live in it, enjoy it, and use it for your personal life. You put money into it and at its best, it increases in equity.

 

There are many practical and money-saving reasons for owning a home. When you own your own home, you are not putting rent in someone else’s pocket. A home mortgage is often lower than rent because the owner will price the rental to make a profit. If you have a mortgage, you are saving the extra income that you would have been paying in rent.

 

Pay off your home before retirement, and you have options to get equity loans against your home for other things you want to do. Home ownership is a viable income investing opportunity, as it is a gift that keeps on giving.

 

I’m sure you are just about ready to make the call. Let’s look at one more very popular way to get into income investing.

 

5. Investing In Real Estate By “Flipping”

 

Flipping properties (or real estate trading) seems to be the rage right now. The property trader does the exact opposite of buy-and-hold investors. They look for undervalued properties that can be fixed up and sold in a few months for a profit.

 

The problem with using real estate trading as an income investment option comes when the property doesn’t sell quickly, and the investor doesn’t have the money set aside to continue to pay the mortgage on the property. So be smart if you choose to invest by flipping.

 

The information above is just a small bit of what the starting income investor needs to now to be successful. It’s easy to get started. If you would like more information on how to start investing, contact us.

 

 

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4 Major Factors To Consider When Buying An Older Home

old home repairs

Old houses are known to provide beautiful features, tall ceilings, and bundles of character that you will automatically love when you see them. They also provide a homebuyer with the potential to increase the value of the home, by renovating and repairing certain things.

Nevertheless, restoring an old house is an expensive and time-consuming exercise. For this reason, you need to seriously consider the decision to buy an old home. Here are some of the things to look at.

#1. The Investment Value

If you are willing to invest and put a lot of work into an older house, employ an architect who will give it a new face. While it will take a relatively long time to completely restore it, you at least have the guarantee of getting more equity from an old house. On the other hand, if you are purchasing a property that is in relatively fair condition, you won’t be required to do as many repairs to keep it looking nice.

#2. Include All Insulation Costs

As a general rule, when insulating an old house, you can either heat it from the outside (with the help of external insulation), or from the inside (with a dry coating). External insulation entails fitting a layer to the exterior part of the house and covering it with a weatherproof finish. This is the best practical remedy to this problem, which will allow you to prevent it from getting in the way of the internal features.

Nevertheless, you risk losing much of the external character of your house. On the other hand, you can do a dry lining on the interior walls and keep your external looks. The process entails fitting plasterboard to the walls to make them thicker.

insulating an old home

#3. Check Out The Lighting Capabilities

Irrespective of the age of the house you intend to buy, make sure that you look at the amount of light that penetrates in. Look at the direction in which the back garden is facing, since south or west are the perfect directions for acquiring all day and evening sunlight in your living room. You can also have a solution in case the rear of the house is facing north.

Obtain the access of easterly light in the morning, and westerly light in the evening, by orientating or adding windows to the side of the house.

#4. Schedule Your Time

The moment you have scheduled for the extension and renovation phases of your building process, you will need to determine how long the process will take. This can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months, based on the things that need to be done. If you decide to stay in a different house as the work continues, make sure you incorporate the expenses into your budget, since you will be required to pay rent.

Summary

While buying an old property can be a captivating proposition, knowing exactly what you are purchasing is imperative. This is because old homes are associated with many more problems than new ones. Provided you do your due diligence, you will get a home that serves you well for many years.

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Buyer’s vs Seller’s Market: 5 Reasons Why Now Is The Time To Sell

Are you contemplating selling your home in 2018?  If so, you’re probably going through a laundry list of things to do: should you paint the entire house or just the front door? Should you landscape the yard or let the buyer make it their own when they move into the house?

A Realtor can help you decide which of these things matter most. But first, one of the most important factors to consider when selling a home is what kind of housing market you are experiencing. What exactly does it mean to be in a buyer’s or a seller’s market, and more importantly, which are we in right now? Never fear; we’ve got you covered.

A buyer’s market is aptly named, as it’s the deal time to buy a home. Typically, there is an excess of homes on the market and not enough buyers to go around. This trend tips the negotiation factor scale to the one in the market to purchase–the buyer holds all the leverage because they have plenty of other options.

On the flip side, a seller’s market is one where the seller holds the cards. Favorable conditions for a market in the seller’s corner include low-interest rates, a strong economy or at least one on the upswing, and a shortage of homes for sale. At this point in 2018, we can put a checkmark next to each of these three factors. Add a couple more current trends to our list, and now is an excellent time to sell.

1. Interest Rates Have Dipped–For the Moment

Home sellers across the U.S. have enjoyed historically low-interest rates since 2011, but this won’t last forever. While rates are straddling the low to mid 4% range, for the time being, big name housing authorities such as Freddie Mac, National Association of Realtors, National Association for Homebuyers, and Mortgage Bank Association are predicting across the board that our luck may be running out. Rates are predicted to rise next year from a half to a whole percent. In fact, some of the least optimistic forecasts say rates will increase by the end of 2018.

Sellers and buyers are at an equal disadvantage when interest rates go up: buyers will back off at the higher interest rates, dropping sellers’ prospects of making a deal at the price they want to list. Savvy buyers will be looking to snap up their piece of the American Dream before the interest rate increases, so it is wise to act fast and get your home on the market now, preferably well before the end of the year.

2. The Economy Is Growing

Across the nation, we have rising wages, stock market jumps, and lower unemployment rates. 2018 is gearing up to be a healthy year for our American economy. Consumers, by and large, understand that economic health leads to more positive feelings, which leads to more spending, which leads to more Americans pouring back into our economy and housing market. With recent tax cuts leading to even more money in the pockets of American home buyers, this is the time to sell.

3. And So Is the Homeownership Rate

The homeownership rate saw a steady decrease across 2005 to late 2017, but by late 2017 it had finally begun to creep back up for the first time in over ten years. At this time in 2018, it’s still climbing. While we’re not at the rate we were over a decade ago, any amount of growth is good news.

And there’s even more good news: experts at Realtor.com predict that an influx of millennial first-time homebuyers will be ready to get in the game in 2018, potentially making up almost 50% of the home-buyers market. With optimistic home buyers flooding the markets, now is a great time to sell.

4. Inventory Is Low

The number of houses on the market is low, sending buyers scrambling to sign papers and accept terms on their dream home. While about 1 out of 3 optimistic Americans believe that the housing market 2018 will be better than it was 2017, the experts unfortunately disagree. Forbes predicts this low housing inventory crisis might actually get worse before it gets better.

A low inventory market drives house prices up and can make it a challenge for buyers to wheel and deal. Instead, buyers understand that agreeing to the listing price or even going higher, might be the only way to secure the deal on grabbing that dream home off the market. Sellers clearly have the advantage in this scenario.

5. The Timing Is Right

2018 is just starting to stretch its arms and get its kinks out, making this the prime time to sell, and real estate trends dictate that spring is considered the ultimate time of year to list your home. And it makes sense–we’re just past tax season, and people are still in the throes of New Year’s optimism with some extra cash to boot. Allergy season has its advantages: your blooming grass, trees, and flowers work to enhance your home’s curb appeal, making your house more likely to attract potential buyers. The housing market is partially driven by weather, after all, and it’s looking like sunny skies across the U.S. for the next few months. Seller, take heed.

Can’t sell in April or May? Don’t give up hope if you can’t get that “For Sale” sign out front just yet. The upswing for home buying generally stays strong through early to mid-summer, and in sunny climates like Florida’s, home buyers often keep on the lookout for a new home through fall.

Are you looking to sell in the Fort Myers or Cape Coral, FL area? You are doing so at the perfect time, with growth on the rise and our seller’s market in full swing. The hardworking team at Rebecca’s Realtor will expertly guide you every step of the way, ensuring your home selling experience is a breeze.

Call today to get in touch with Rebecca!

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7 Common Types Of Home Mortgages

Buying a home is a complex and tedious affair for most people, not only in finding the right home, but also on the right terms. It involves making a series of decisions before purchasing the ideal home.

One of those decisions has to do with mortgages, which are loans that are secured to purchase a real estate property or home. They provide financing options for prospective homebuyers, allowing them to come into legal agreements with banks or other lenders.

Mortgage loans are usually taken out by homebuyers who don’t have enough money to pay for the home in one lump sum. There is, however, several types of mortgage loans available on the market. Prospective buyers should analyze which one is best suited for their financial situation.

Choosing the wrong financing option could easily become an overwhelming debt situation for the buyer. Careful analysis of the available options, therefore, enables one to choose the most appropriate type of mortgage loan more wisely. Here is some more information on the types of mortgage loans to consider.

1. Fixed-Rate Mortgage

This type of mortgage is the most common one on the market. It involves the homeowner paying off the mortgage over a pre-determined period of time. It is usually spread over 10, 15, 20 or 30 years. The homeowner pays a fixed rate, in equal monthly installments, until the completion of the loan. This makes it a stable mortgage option. It is especially ideal when the interest rates (that are offered by banks or other lenders) are low.

Since it is spread over long-term periods, the monthly payments are significantly lower. However, for short-term payments, the monthly payments are relatively higher. Another important thing to note about this mortgage type is the interest rates. They tend to be higher for long-term payments and lower for short-term payments.

2. Adjustable Rate Mortgage

This is another common type of mortgage. It derives its name from the fact that the interest rates on the loan are adjustable. The banks or other lenders reserve the right to adjust interest rates, depending on the market fluctuations of prices. As a result, it has an unpredictability aspect, as the rates rise and fall time and again.

An adjustable rate mortgage usually features relatively lower interest rates. However, they sometimes rise to unsustainable levels when market prices rise. Also, homeowners tend to incur additional expenses, in the form of a penalty, if the loan is paid off earlier than the agreed-upon time.

3. Interest Only Mortgage

In this mortgage option, the buyer pays only the interest on the loan for the agreed pre-set number of years, and clears the whole amount at the expiration of the agreement. It is an ideal option for buyers with unpredictable incomes, and those expecting to come into a significant amount of money in the near future.

4. Hybrid Adjustable Rate Mortgage

Just as the name suggests, this mortgage option is a mix of the fixed-rate and adjustable rate mortgages. It involves two key periods; one in which fixed rates of interest apply, and the other period is the lender being able to adjust the interest rates according to the market fluctuations. This option is ideal for homebuyers who can handle inconsistent monthly payments in the adjustable period of the loan.

5. Balloon Mortgage

Balloon mortgages involve a few years of steady payments, followed by the completion of the outstanding balance in a lump sum. It’s ideal for homebuyers who are anticipating a significant growth in income over time.

6. Reverse Mortgage

This option is reserved for those over the age of 62 only. It involves an exchange of equity for regular payments from the bank or lender. Mortgages are a good financing option for buyers with insufficient amounts of cash for a one-time payment.

However, the several types of options available could be confusing for the buyers. It is important that, with the help of a professional, they analyze and reach an agreement on which mortgage option is well suited to their financial situation.

7. Federal Housing Administration Loan

This loan is provided by the Federal Housing Administration. The FHA protects the home buyer in cases of defaulting on payment. It involves an agreement that covers or insures the mortgage. It is advantageous to both the buyer and lender alike.

The buyer is able to get lower rates and smaller down payments, while the lender, on the other hand, is protected in case of defaulting payments. It is ideal for home buyers with low credit scores and first-time buyers.