I know many of you are always on the lookout for fun Saturday activities for the kids to do! This Saturday you will have no trouble at all finding something the whole family is sure to enjoy because the Pendleton Community Library is hosting a Halloween themed magic show at 10 am Saturday morning (Oct.25th). During the show children will be asked to join in on the fun and all children will receive a prize for participating. Halloween refreshments will also be served. After the show is an ideal time to check out everything else that our amazing library has to offer! Hope to see you there!
As beautiful as the fall leaves are and as much as I enjoy the crisp autumn air and sipping on hot cider I can’t help but look at these as just a precursor to the cold weather that is headed our way. And while I have already drug my sweaters out of storage and stashed an extra set of gloves in my car it is also time to get my house ready for the inevitable cold, snow, and falling temperatures. Here are a few tips that I have picked up over the years for getting your home winter ready.
* Protect Your Pipes: This should be done even before the first frost. Simply remove your garden hose from the spigot and then locate and close the shut-off valve (usually located in the garage). You also will want to keep the outside spigot open to allow it to drain.
* Inspect Your Outlets: Behind the outlets in your wall there is very little (if any) insulation which can allow a draft to flow through these areas. The simplest and most cost effective solution is to remove the cover plate, add an insulating gasket (usually costs about 10 cents) and then reattach the cover plate. It is as easy as that and can save on average about $30 per year on your utility bill.
* Clean the Chimney: This should be done regularly if you use your fireplace but I highly recommend hiring a trusted professional to do this job. Not only is this a basic home maintenance issue but keeping it clean of soot and debris helps to protect you from house fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
* Insulate Basement Pipes: Wrapping hot water pipes found in the basement or crawl space with insulation can save you money on your utility bill as well as help the shower heat up quicker in the winter.
* DON’T Cover Your AC: Many places sell covers or products to “help protect” your exterior AC compressor but in actuality these products lead to rust and potential animal infestations. These units are built to withstand the elements.
* Get Your Trees Pruned: It is ideal to have your trees trimmed up before the snow hits. By doing this you can help reduce the possibility of over-grown or dead limbs being covered in ice and snow crashing down. This is especially essential if any of these limbs branch over your house, driveway, or power lines.
* Fill In All Gaps: Keeping the outside weather outside is the key to keeping your house snuggly and warm. The best way is to seal up any and all cracks or gaps leading to the outside with an insulating spray. Check your attic, basement, around windows and doors, and outlets.
I think it is common knowledge that listing your house in the spring time is the most popular time but did you know that fall listings can be just a successful. Think about it… most people who are house shopping want to make sure they have found their new home before the harshest part of the winter hits. This ensures that those buyers are more serious, make quicker decisions, and want to speed the process along just as quickly as you, the seller, does.
Curb appeal is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of selling a home. If you can’t get them interested from the outside there is not much of a chance they will even take the time to see the inside. And really, what better backdrop can you have to your home than the deep, rich, and beautiful colors of the fall leaves. You can’t buy this type of home staging!
The fall weather also helps to encourage potential home buyers to set up roots. With the chill in the air the desire to nestle into a cozy, warm home is almost instinctual. Increase the appeal by lighting a fire in the fireplace, baking a batch of cookies, and adding warm, earth tones to the interior of your home. All of these will help the buyer feel at home and comfortable.
If you are considering selling your house soon but thought you should wait until spring… don’t! We can help you figure out the best home selling plan, price, and timeline. Feel free to contact us with any questions! We look forward to hearing from you!
It’s probably not too often that you see a blog about a blog…. rather ironic really. But what I really wanted to convey with this is the usefulness of our two blogs “Pendleton Real Estate Pro” and “The Real Estate Pros“. Both blogs address the big questions that many of you have for realtors such as “Qualities and Traits a Realtor Should Have“, “The Benefits of an FHA Loan“, and “Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a House.” In addition to tips and tricks in real estate we also cover local events, spotlight local businesses, and even include fun and creative recipes, crafts, home decorating tips, and talk about our love for our four-legged friends as well. These blogs can be an excellent resource for anyone looking to buy or sell a home as well as any current home owners or those living in the Pendleton/Anderson area. Be sure to check out both blogs and feel free to ask us as many questions as you like!
Choosing the right realtor is almost as important of decision as choosing the right house for your family. The difference between the wrong realtor and the right one may be thousands of dollars lost during the sale, months of sitting and waiting for your house to sell, or in extreme cases loss of your home due to financial hardship. That is why we have compiled a list that we feel that every realtor should strive to achieve and we feel that we meet and surpass many of these requirements. Our south Madison County market can be a competitive yet exciting market and we feel that with each home sold or bought we are gaining even more experience and insight into what makes a successful real estate agent.
* Reputation: Nothing, not even advertisements, commercials, or signs speak louder than word of mouth reputation. That is why asking around to your friends and neighbors is a great idea when seeking out an agent. We feel very confident in our reputation due to our diligence in the process and overall determination to ensure our customers satisfaction. We encourage you to poll our customers and see their responses!
* Online Presence: I’m sure that this comes as no surprise that real estate methods have changed drastically since the internet has become commonplace. With that being said we have prided ourselves in staying ahead of the curve when it comes to online advertising, use of social media platforms, staying in the know of current trends, and being fluent in new technology. All of these help to contribute to the overall success of our team.
* Being Local: When searching for a home in a specific area or town you want your agent to be familiar with not only the homes but the heart of the town. You want someone who can tell you that this particular street will be closed during parades or that this particular neighborhood has lots of kids, dogs, etc. Being immersed in the town of Pendleton and all that it has to offer allows us to serve you, our consumer, to the fullest extent and bestow upon you the knowledge of the town that we have picked up along the way.
* Experience: This one is simple, you want someone that knows what they were doing. Many of us on the team have years and years of experience and can help guide you seamlessly along the process. We have worked hard and dedicated ourselves full time to the real estate business so as to better accumulate more and more experience/knowledge.
* Busy… but not TOO Busy: You kind of have to question a real estate agent that is not very busy or has very few listings. This is because it’s either he/she is not fully dedicated to the process or their poor reputation has finally caught up. A steady stream of clients and houses is the ideal situation that a realtor would be in and very much represents our day to day business. You also do not want a realtor that is too busy to properly handle your transaction. We feel that we have found the perfect balance. We have a fully staffed team that includes job specific titles such as operations manager and marketing manager to allow our agents to focus on those more important things such as YOU!
Before we delve into the benefits that come along with an FHA loan we should first cover what exactly an FHA loan is. Essentially an FHA loan is a mortgage that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration. The thing that makes FHA loans different from many other loans is that the borrowers are required to pay for mortgage insurance which protects the lender from a loss if the borrower defaults on the loan. In doing so this allows the FHA lenders to offer more benefits because they are at a lower risk.
Another benefit that comes with using an FHA loan is that you don’t have to have perfect credit. In fact, a score of 580 or better is usually all it takes to qualify for an FHA loan. Additionally, for those borrowers with a score under 500 have an opportunity to under certain circumstances get a loan for “nontraditional credit history” on a case by case basis. It is worth checking out your options for loans.
The down payment for FHA loans are lower than many other similar loans as well. On average an FHA lender only requires a down payment of 3.5%. Additionally, with FHA loans the closing costs may be covered. This is because the FHA lenders allow home sellers, builders, and lenders to pay some of the closing costs.
FHA loans are especially popular for those buyers that need to do essential repairs to the home they are buying. The advantage of this type of loan (called a 203K) is that the loan amount is based on the projected value of the home after the repairs are done.
Last but certainly not least, FHA loans have a financial hardship relief allowance. Some loan servicers can offer some financial relief to FHA loan holders who have suffered a financial hardship in the form of temporary forbearance, lower interest rate, or deferral of part of the loan. Check with your lender for any of these options.
For all of you moms, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, etc. you know how expensive having a child can be. The diapers and formula alone can wreak havoc on your bank account. Then comes all of the clothing needs, toys, shoes, seats, and strollers. As a mom myself I don’t even want to think about the amount of money I spent on each of these items to only use some of them once or twice. That is what makes Three Little Monkey’s such a wonderful and cost saving store. In addition to their amazing, clean, brand named, and organized selection of clothes ranging from new born all the way up to tween, they have toys both new and used that the kids are sure to love. Their selection of pre-owned strollers, carseats, bouncers, bath-tubs, and more is always changing. They even have a maternity section for those moms-to-be. The best part is as your child outgrows a toy, clothing, or accessory you can set up an appointment to potentially sell the items to them on consignment. There really is no better, more cost effective way to shop for your little ones! Be sure to follow them on Facebook to see new items they receive or specials they may have!