Money Musts Before You List Your Home

If you’re planning to sell your home, you want to make your next move a fit for your life. A financially smart decision. The home of your dreams, but with a sound financial plan in place. Now is the time to do some money management to review your financial health.

Image

Get a credit status check-up. It’s just so important. This is the time to uncover any credit snags, bills that need whittled down a bit, or settle up any errors on your credit report. Sometimes rebuilding or repairing credit situations can take months, or even a year, so the sooner you begin this work, the better. Many free credit report checking services are available online. Your mortgage broker can also be a great resource in reviewing your credit situation.

Determine your housing budget. Look at it from a standpoint of what your mortgage payment will be. Maybe your new job or raise is the kickstart to a move, which is great…but don’t forget to factor in how much you’ll potentially net on the sale of your current home. You’ll need cash to close on your next home, pay property taxes, insurance, utilities, HOA fees (sometimes neighborhoods have Homeowners Association annual dues), moving expenses, and more.

WIth this, rely upon me, your Realtor, to give you price point options to fit your needs. Partner with a mortgage broker who can help explain financial scenarios based upon purchase price, down payments, monthly mortgage and taxes. Also, seek input from a tax advisor who can review your income tax outcomes from the move and a financial planner who give you an expert opinion on your financial health and help you plan for the future.

Get inspections. You know a potential home buyer will get a home inspection. So why wait? Even though you may feel as though you know your home well, a home inspections can prevent any inspection surprises. It also allows you to make repairs before you list your home and prevent any negative property condition reports. Also, as your Realtor, I can aid in the preliminary escrow report so you know of any outstanding liens.

Prepare a financial plan. As a seller, you need to factor in the average 5 – 6% of the purchase price to cover the listing agent’s work and the buyer’s agent as well. Build in a home repair budget to get your home ready-to-list. Whether it is a collection of small updates, or a hefty repair you know needs done to pass inspection, plan ahead for those expenses. Be sure to project other costs of selling your home such as property transfer taxes, buyer’s home warranty and other costs that are covered by home sellers.

Get your financial health picture as you plan to list your home. Be a smart seller. This work in preparation to list your home will pay off! As your Realtor, I will sit down with you and discuss these things and help you. Contact me today to help you get started in listing your home!

Get Your Home Show On.

Bust out of the winter blues boredom and head to the State Fair Grounds for the 2014 Indianapolis Home Show.

home show two

This year’s home show debuts Friday, January 24th and runs through Sunday, February 2nd.

Get inspired to kick off some interior design and renovation projects, soak in the sights of summer with lush landscaping in several areas of the show and even tour the centerpiece home within the show!

Opening day, Friday the 24th, is Hero Day…paying tribute to our heroes. And, all military personnel and veterans, police and fire department staff enjoy FREE admission all day Friday! Tuesday, January 28th is Senior Day. Ages 65+ can enjoy half off admission price! (Valid ID required to receive discounts for these special days)

The centerpiece home, by Fischer Homes, is a two-story, featuring four bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths and boasts 4,000 square feet of living space. Want to get some home decorating ideas? This home has been beautifully decorated in what has been called a “Fresh Urban” theme.

Want to feel a bit of spring and summer out of this winter weather? The Home Show has an exhibit called “Greenery Galore!” which features 25,000 square feet devoted to landscaping and garden (located in the West Pavilion). Give your winter blahs a shove off with beautiful floral variations from roses and lilies to dahlias and jasmines.

Enjoy the Butterfly House, which will not only include beautiful butterflies to give us hope for summertime, but will also be regulated at a balmy 80 degrees!

Many celebrity guests and experts will be on hand. Kevin O’Connor, who is currently hosting DIY Network’s series This New House, will be at the show on Saturday the 25th. HGTV’s Kimberly Lace and Todd Davis will also be in attendance as well as guest chefs, gardeners, TV hosts and personalities. Click here for the schedule on celebrities and experts at the show.

Hours are 11 to 9 on weekdays, 10 to 9 on Saturdays and 10 to 6 Sundays. Adult tickets are $13 (or earn a $2 discount when you purchase tickets online) and $3 for children ages six to twelve. Click here to visit the 2014 Indianapolis Home Show website for all kinds of details on this annual event to get you inspired in and around your home!

Author James Alexander Thom at the Library!

World-renowned author, James Alexander Thom, will be at the Pendleton Community Library this coming Saturday, January 25th at 2 p.m. The featured discussion will be regarding his most popular historical fiction works, Follow the River. Take part in this rare opportunity!

Image

Be sure to come by the library early to enjoy Native American drumming from 1 to 2 p.m. Register by phone, (765) 778-7527, in person at the library circulation desk, or by clicking here. Barnes & Noble will also be on hand to sell books written by James Alexander Thom.

Enjoy!

Ready to List Your Home This Winter?

As a seller during the winter, there are typically less homes on the housing market so your competition will be significantly less than during the warmer months and the market will offer more serious buyers prepared to make a purchasing decision sooner than later.

coming soon IMG_0828

Here are some tips to make your home offer-ready:

It’s all about the first impression. It is important to keep your home easy for potential buyers to access and inviting once they step inside the front door. Most importantly, keep the snow and ice cleared on your driveway and the sidewalks approaching the front door. Curb appeal is trickier with dormant grass, snow and the lack of color from flowers and plant materials. Make sure your front door gives an instant “welcome home” impression with a great paint color, a beautiful wreath and welcoming doormat.

Make it inviting. When you begin staging the inside of your home for buyers, think of it as welcoming them to your home as guests at a party. Make sure your thermostat is set to a warm temperature so potential buyers feel comfortable. Consider setting the formal dining room table with place settings and glasses, a nice centerpiece and flatware. Add some color with fresh flowers in the kitchen and make sure there’s a pleasant aroma within your home. You may not have time for a plate of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, but popular candle scents are cinnamon, apple pie or cider and vanilla. Keep it simple, though…and limited to one room. Too many fragrances will make the buyer feel as though you are masking an unpleasant odor from pets, smoke or musty areas. Have the carpets cleaned and replace any curtains, carpets or rugs that need it.

Cozy it up a bit. Toss warm throws across the sofas and master bed, hang a plush robe in your bathroom and put together a grouping of soaps and washcloths like a hotel or spa. Turn on soft jazz or classical music. Light a gas fireplace or candles if you the timing of the showing permits.

Take down the holiday decor. Now that the holiday season has passed, put away the decorations.

Keep it bright. Since daylight hours are minimal during the winter season, take advantage of natural light hours for showings when possible. In addition, wash your windows and leave curtains and blinds open to allow as much daylight as possible to illuminate your home. Turn on all the lights when expecting a showing and use high-wattage bulbs to help with the darker winter days.

Protect your home. To keep your carpets and rugs clean during wet and snowy seasons, you may ask potential buyers to remove their shoes or use “booties” to cover their shoes. Buyers will view that positively…that you respect your home and want to keep it clean.

If you’re ready to list your home, contact me for a FREE home market analysis!

Tired of Being Stuck Inside on the Never-Ending Winter Break?

Fishers if featuring a free and family-fun activity tomorrow! Break loose from the house, shake off that cabin fever and take a quick road trip to Fishers for this one-of-a-kind event!

Image

Just a quick drive south on I-69 from Pendleton, Fishers Nickel Plate Amphitheater will be featuring the Fishers Ice Festival tomorrow, Saturday, January 11 from 5 – 9 p.m. Professional ice carvers will be stopping by for this one-night only event.

The Amphitheater is located off of 116th Street, just west of I-69, in the Nickel Plate District. If you know where the Fishers Train Station is, you’re there!

This event is absolutely free and is fun for people of all ages. Hopefully the warmer temps and rain won’t damper this unique event!

Snowed in? Thinking of moving? Shop Here!

If you’re snowed in and thinking of moving, we have several ways to shop for a new home right now!

Image

Love to shop from your laptop or computer? Easy. Click here and you’ll be directed to my web site which features my listings and those around town (or in the market of your choice). Get your home browsing without leaving home…in the comfort of your slippers and PJs.

Prefer using your smart phone to shop for homes? Great! Download my mobile app (oh and enter to win $50,000!) and you can shop for homes from the palm of your hand. This easy-to-use app allows you to shop for home listings by location, price point, square footage, number of bedrooms, and more. Be sure to enter my agent code KW2GG5QRP to be entered to win $50,000! (This contest runs now through March 31, 2014). You can even contact me directly from the app.

Are foreclosures your thing? Sign up to receive a FREE list of foreclosed homes in the area…including HUD, Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac foreclosures. Click here to sign up now.

While Pendleton is my niche market and hometown, I serve real estate needs in surrounding areas also…all with the backing of Keller Williams Realty, the largest real estate franchise in North America! I would love to help you in your new home search!

Happy home shopping!

And, The Snow Is Here! Protect Your Home.

Well, this snow is beautiful to look at (especially from a cozy, warm home), not so much fun to drive in, but fun for kids to play in while on winter break! While we aren’t able to change the winter weather and snowfall, we can do some due diligence to protect our homes from some of winter’s biggest threats.

Image

Heavy snowfall like we are having (and expecting next week) means both accumulation as it falls to the ground and as it melts when temperatures rise. Freezing temps can also lead to frozen pipes and other challenges within your home.

Here are some winter home safety tips and helpful reminders:

– Remove snow from basement stairwells, window wells and walls. As the snow melts, it could lead to water damage and moisture intrusion within your home.

– Keep your attic well-ventilated, and at a temperature close to the outdoor temperature to reduce the risk of ice dams. If ice builds up and prevents proper draining, the water is forced under the roof, into the attic or down your home’s walls.

– Be sure exposed pipes are wrapped with proper insulation and keep cabinet doors open to allow warm air from your home to circulate around the pipes.

– Have a slow trickle of water drip from your faucets which are connected to pipes that run through unheated or unprotected spaces.

– If you use a space heater within your home, be sure it is on a level, hard surface and that any flammable items are at least three feet away (think paper, clothing, bedding, curtains, rugs, etc.) Be sure to turn them off before leaving the room or going to bed.

– If you are using a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away – things such as paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs. Always turn off space heaters when you go to bed.

– Use a glass or metal fireplace screen to catch any sparks or logs that may fall. Make sure fireplace embers are out before going to bed.

– Should the power go out and you use a generator, do not operate it inside your home, even your basement or garage.

Stay safe everyone!