5 Ways to Upgrade Your Bathroom for Under $50

Did you know that you can give your bathroom a well needed facelift without totally bathroombreaking the bank? By following these simple suggestions you will be able to update and essentially renovate one of your most used rooms. (and one of the rooms that potential buyers pay especially close attention to)

* Paint Your Cabinets: You are not doomed to have those light wood colored cabinets forever.  All it takes is a little elbow grease in the form of sandpaper and paint.  One of the most popular colors now is white or a light colored paint that not only modernizes but also makes the space appear brighter and bigger.

* Tile It: What is so great about tiling now is that you don’t need to go through the long, labor intensive process of actual tile but instead use the peel and stick tile.  The final result is almost eerily the same and the cost and work is much lower.

* Paint the Door: While you still have your paint supplies handy you may want to paint the interior door to the bathroom an eye popping color.  This gives the entire room a focal point and brightens it up.

* Change Your Lighting:  More specifically change the glass covering on your lighting.  This is an inexpensive way to purge your old looking bathroom and give it a modern makeover.

* Change Your Towels and Bathmats: This seems simple enough and you will be amazed at the overall change.  As a side note: even if your bathmats come with a fluffy toilet seat cover… don’t use it.  It makes the entire bathroom look very dated!

The Risks of Overpriced Homes.

Pricing a home right is so important when selling a home.

The way to be sure your home is priced right is to hire a local real estate professional to market and price your home. Local Realtors know what the realistic prices for homes should be. Their experience and knowledge allows you to be sure your list price will bring buyers. Overpricing your home prevents potential homebuyers from scheduling showings.

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So, what keeps potential buyers from making offers on overpriced homes?

Risk of Embarrassing the Homeowner. If your home is priced too high, potential buyers fear making an offer that is much lower than asking price will insult or embarrass you, the homeowner.

Assumption of Asking Price. Often, buyers make the assumption that you, the homeowner, know you have priced the home too high and won’t sell for less. So, they don’t even consider your home.

Other Offers Declined. Potential buyers may also have the misconception that you, the owner, have already turned down low offers. This is usually not the case, as overpriced homes simply don’t get offers.

Days on the Market Duration. Overpriced homes have a much longer length of days on the market than their competitors who accurately price their homes according to market value.

So if you’re in the market to sell your home, contact us and let us review your home, find comps in the area like it and be sure your home is priced right…to prevent losing the interest of potential buyers.

Mike Surber Joins The Real Estate Pros

The Real Estate Pros announces the addition of a new Realtor to its team. Based in Pendleton, Indiana, it is led by Keller Williams Indy Metro NE market center Top Selling Agent Heather Upton.

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Realtor Mike Surber, a lifetime resident of the area, having grown up in Middletown, brings 20 years of retail sales experience to the team. He enjoys the feeling of seeing a satisfied customer after a transaction has been completed. He also has a long-standing successful career built upon referrals from clients and looks to that wheelhouse for his Realtor success. He prides himself on having clients become friends. Mike enjoys golfing, sports, camping and family time. He has been married for ten years and has two children and a Bassett Hound named Fenway.

“I am delighted to have Mike’s sales experience and customer relationship expertise as an addition to our growing team,” says Upton. “Our team continues to grow to support the market demand. With the backing of Keller Williams, we implement technology and real estate savvy to redefine the home buying and selling experience for our clients.”

About The Real Estate Pros:
The Real Estate Pros is a real estate firm under the umbrella of Keller Williams Realty Inc. Based in Pendleton, Indiana, The Real Estate Pros primarily serves residents and homebuyers in Madison County. The company strives to offer its clients a unique approach to selling and buying homes with its focus on technology and expertise. For more information or to search homes for sale visit The Real Estate Pros at (www.pendletonhomesforsales.com).

About Keller Williams Realty, Inc.:
Keller Williams Realty Inc. is the largest real estate franchise company in the United States, with approximately 700 offices and 80,000 associates around the world. The company has grown exponentially since the opening of the first Keller Williams Realty office in 1983, and continues to cultivate an agent-centric, education-based, technology-driven culture that rewards associates as stakeholders. The company also provides specialized agents in luxury homes and commercial real estate properties. For more information or to search for homes for sale visit Keller Williams Realty online at (www.kw.com). For more information about KW Worldwide, please visit (www.kwworldwide.com). 

Get Pre-Qualified.

Pre-qualification is one of the smartest things you can do to help your home buying process run smoothly. Why?

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Getting pre-qualified is quick, easy and free…and it gives you an estimate in advance of what loan amount you will be able to borrow and determine the loan type that’s right for you. Pre-qualification can even be done online. The lender will review your finances and estimate the amount of loan for which you may qualify. This pre-qualification is not guaranteed or considered to be any type of loan commitment…it’s simply a tool for you to know your borrowing power.

In addition, loan guarantees are offered on a variety of government sponsored mortgage programs and enable mortgage lenders to provide USDA mortgages. What is a USDA home loan? Well, this type of loan assists borrowers who would not traditionally be able to get approved. This loan means zero money down allowing financing up to 100% of the home’s value. USDA loans also provide very competitive fixed interest rates (never an adjustable rate mortgage) and affordable 30-year loan terms. This fixed rate guarantees that your monthly mortgage payments will never increase with a USDA home loan. The only fee associated the USDA rural housing program is a small, one-time funding fee.

So, all this being said, pre-qualification before you shop allows you to budget early on, set your expectations on what you can afford…and what you might need to get out of your current home if you’re selling too. Once you create your budget and know about how much of a monthly house payment you can comfortably afford, your new home search will be more efficient. Knowing which homes are in your price range and the loan type you will need will save you time and allow your home buying expectations to be met.

If you’re in the search for a new home, I would love to help you! Contact me to get started today. I can help you not only sell your current home, but get you and your family into the home you desire!

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.

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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!

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.

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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!

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.

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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!