How much do I really need to buy a house? If you've been thinking homeownership should be your next major goal, this is an important question to ask upfront. All too often, potential home buyers indulge in magical thinking, convincing themselves they will figure it out as they go along, and that the hidden costs that start popping up along the route to home purchase are no big deal — when in fact, they can be a deal-breaker.
Flowers, gardening, graduations, Memorial Day Weekend. All are things that identify with the month of May. In May, people are finally ready to move forward with warmer weather, leaving the cold, snow, and grey, rainy days in the dust. It's time for warmth, sunshine, and bright sunny skies.
For many, the time to either downsize or get more space has been swirling around in a lot of people's heads. They have been thinking of it and kept saying that you would "wait until spring." Well, guess what? Spring is here and now is the time to finally start your new adventure by selling your current home.
So how do you even start this whole process of preparing your house to be sold? It sounds petty tiring right, especially if you don't even know where to start! How about letting the experienced Realtors at First Choice Realtors help you out! We want to help you get the upper hand on preparing your home to be put on the market.
We know you love your current home and have likely made a lot of great memories in it. Maybe you grew up in it, raised a family in it or have spent precious time there with friends and family.
With so many memories attached to your home, it can be easy to believe that your home is worth more than it actually is. A common mistake that homeowners make when they sell their home is over-valuing it and pricing it too high. Our experienced Realtors at First Choice Realtors can help you determine how to price your home. They'll consider recent home sales and current market conditions to figure out a good price point to attract buyers and bring in offers.
Our agents at First Choice Realtors are also great listing agents who will work hard to sell your house! We would not only handle you listing agreement, but we would also help you create your agenda to promote and then show and sell your home. In addition, we will make sure your home doesn't spend too much time on the market.
The first step is to de-clutter and de-personalize your home. That flowery wallpaper in your master bedroom that you applied yourself may years ago is so pretty, right? You may adore it, but will your buyer? Perhaps removing that paper and having a fresh coat of a new neutral paint color will give that room an entirely different feel and look. You should remove distinctive personal touches in your home too, like bright painted rooms and mementos. By doing this, it will allow the potential buyer to envision themselves in your home which often will lead to a higher selling price and less time spent on the market.
Some other additional tips are to re-decorate with as much generic appeal as possible. Use neutral colors on the walls. Use modern furniture, which gives it a fresh, young look. Pack up your family photos (which may make you feel sad, but you can put them back out in your new place.) Remove clutter from counter tops in the kitchen, to create a bigger room feel. Open all your shades, blinds, or curtains to allow the natural light to shine through. Declutter all rooms as possible, especially bedrooms. Remove all Nic knacks, your kids' toys, and any clothing that may be laying around or in baskets. Keep them hidden neatly in a closet until potential buyers leave. Basic cleaning helps too: run the sweeper, have absolutely no dirty dishes in the sink, clean all the counter tops, bathroom sinks, tubs/showers and the toilet. Hang fresh towels. Clean your windows. Light a candle or have essential oil misting to make your home smell clean and fresh. Have animals? A must is to clean the kitty litter box and please tie any animals outside. Or, put in the basement during a tour of your home.
Touch up additional rooms with a fresh coat of paint. Make sure your kitchen appliances work. If your oven, stove, dishwasher, or refrigerator don't work, please try to get it repaired before your home gets shown.
Bathrooms and kitchens are some of the most important rooms in the home. Clean, updated bathrooms are an absolute must. If any of the plumbing is leaky, schedule necessary repairs immediately. Fresh towels hung add a nice touch too.
Lighting can be a powerful asset when you sell your home – because it can change how a room looks. If your light fixtures aren't updated or energy-efficient, they can make your home look older and smaller. Soft white LED light bulbs are more affordable than ever before and can make your home feel cozier than fluorescent lights. No one wants a dark depressing home.
Roofing problems? This can be expensive to repair. A roof with leaks or missing shingles is likely to scare away many buyers. If you do have the money to repair the roof, it's best to do so before you list your home. If you don't have the money, you can still list your home, but make sure you disclose your roof's condition to the buyer well before closing.
So, now that we are aware of what to do in the interior of the home, let's talk briefly about your home's exterior. After all, it is the first thing they see when they pull up and curb appeal is very important to a potential buyer. A mowed lawn is a must and please make sure you prune your bushes and pull any weeds. Clean out leafy gutters and either wash your outside with warm water and a garden hose or get it power washed in advance. If your front door is peeling with paint, is dirty, or has dirty windows, please consider cleaning it up. As a bonus, try putting flowers or a pretty planter near your front door along with a welcoming "welcome" mat.
All it takes is some effort you your part to make your home desirable to others. Call First Choice Realtors today and let's get you started!
It's high time to get going with your gardening preparations for spring. The first frost-free date is May 9, so you've got some time to get things just right in your garden while the weather is cool.
April and Spring always flood me with wonderful, happy feelings and full-blown sensory overloads. Maybe it's the smell in the air that is finally fresh or the spring flowers popping through the ground, being in their glory after being covered by ice and snow for the past three months. Maybe it's the sight of trees blossoming after looking dead and gray all winter. Maybe it's the sounds of birds chirping away and being busy preparing their nests. Maybe it's the green onions I pull from the ground and chop up in my salad to eat. Fresh & delicious! It's a new beginning and I love it.
Spring always makes me think of my childhood memories of my home and finally being able to go outside and play after being cooped up all winter. Spring was the time my grandfather tilled and planted his garden in the little space we had in our backyard. Spring was the time we did our annual spring cleaning, starting in the upstairs rooms and making our way to the basement area.
Walls and woodwork were scrubbed, windows were washed, closets were cleaned out and floors were swept (back then we had carpet in every room, unlike today where most rooms are wood or vinyl). It was exhausting, but at the same time exhilarating!!!
The best part for me was my spring bedding was washed and put on my bed and the heavy blanket and quilt from winter got washed and put away until the next winter season. It usually took us several days to finish our annual spring cleaning, but once we did, it was spectacular! The smell of Murphy's oil soap was everywhere!
After the inside was done, it was time for the outside. Porches were cleared of winters leftovers and the furniture were brought out of hibernation. Once it was all cleaned, we all then sat on the porch drinking homemade iced sweet tea and talking and laughing with each other. Such great memories I had of growing up in my home.
At First Choice Realtors, we want to help you find the perfect home to make your memories in! If you are young (or even older) and starting out, we want to help you make your first home perfect for you and we will help you with every aspect of the process. We will help you with financing ideas and explain to you the programs that are available for the first-time buyer.
So, isn't it time for you to start making memories in your own home? Call one of our experienced Realtor's today and let's meet and discuss your expectations you want in a home. Once we find out your desires, we can help match you up to homes that will meet your desired needs along in your specified budget amount. We are looking forward to hearing from you and helping you make wonderful, lifelong memories.
If you're dreaming of bringing out your inner Joanna Gaines and orchestrating your own renovation, you may be ready to launch yourself as project manager for your latest home from Wheeling homes for sale or Moundsville homes for sale. What will it take to be successful?
Our real estate agents have heard the stories and know the score, so here they are with some suggestions that can make your life a lot easier with your next project. Follow us as we work our way through the details.
First Things First
Can you afford a project manager? If so, do consider hiring someone to take over your renovation. However, it may be you want to learn how to be a project manager. Maybe you've got the renovation bug, and you're eager to see if your creativity and innate design sense are up to the mark. That's great. The only thing to remember is, it takes more than creativity and imagination to be a successful renovation project manager. Above all, you need to be organized and a stickler for details.
Planning Your Project
Make a list of all the things you want to do with your project, and then sublists where you go into detail. Share lists with your contractor and subcontractors.
You'll also need a floor plan and 3D renderings. You could hire a freelancer to do it for you, say, from a company such as Fiverr.com. However, the freelancer may charge big bucks for limited renderings, although it's certainly cheaper than the services of an architect. You'll also likely be given 1 or 2 revisions, and will maybe be charged for changes. If you need to see lots of designs and layouts, a free app like Arcsite, where you can get all your floor plans, cabinet layouts, and measurements, maybe a better deal. There's also Planner 5d, where you can make beaucoup 3D renderings for free.
A contractor should be able to get needed permits. Regardless, you should find out what your city and county requirements, and make sure your contractor doesn't renege.
Biggest Projects First
Start with the biggest projects, which involve renovations so that the house won't fall in on you, such as roof replacement or repair, repairs to the foundation, correcting water infiltration, and installing or repairing windows and siding.
Plan for Demolition
You may need to demolish parts of the house. If you're moving out of the house during demolition, demolish all that needs to be demolished; if you're staying in the house, go slower. Be sure to rent a waste container.
Call an expert if your demolition involves asbestos.
When to Get Expert Help
If you're doing structural changes, and your skills are sufficient to move load-bearing walls, move doors, frame new windows or whatever, good for you. Otherwise, hire someone with expertise.
Updating the Essentials
While the walls and ceilings are open during demolition, it's a good time to install HVAC ductwork and for plumbers and electricians to update plumbing and electrical wiring.
Open walls offer a perfect opportunity to add insulation. Add it in the attic as well.
Drywall and Fine Carpentry
Close up walls with drywall, to which you will apply compound, then let it dry. Sand it, and you're ready for painting.
Final projects that will await you or subcontractors:
Need advice on managing your home renovation? Contact us today.
On March 17, hordes of green-clad people of Irish descent — as well as a good many wannabes — will celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Although originally the day denoted in the Catholic Church to remember the monk who Christianized the Irish people, today's celebration is more the product of American marketing than a somber religious feast day. Nationwide, pubs will be transformed by the serving of iconic Guinness stout, Irish dancing and singing, and the all-pervasive "wearing of the green."
Should I buy or build my home?
The month of March is to be celebrated simply for the fact that it brings us such goodness!! We start the season of Lent, we celebrate Cinco de Mayo with delicious food, we drink green beer on St. Patrick's Day (well, some of us do), we get to enjoy the return of longer daylight hours and we celebrate the first day of spring. Even though there are some March's when we get a curve ball thrown to us, with a late snow or frost, we still love March!
March also brings a time for renewal. You are ready to move on and change things up with a new house. Or you want to completely start from scratch and build your own dream house. You want to add your personalized touches and have your house exactly the way you want it.
If that's your dream, here are some of the benefits of building your own home.
It's brand new. Nothing has been used or touched! The odds of you needing to make any repairs within the first few years are slim to none, which gives you a longer time to settle in and enjoy your home without the worry of making repairs or things breaking.
You can customize your own home. You are getting exactly what you want and have total control over the design. You get to customize the floorplan in a way that makes sense to you and your family.
You avoid the bidding war. When the market is hot, homes can sell quickly, making the home-buying competition fierce. Sometimes finding a home that has the features you want can be very difficult and frustrating. And then, when you do find it, you might end up on the losing side of a bidding war. But when you build a home, you never have to worry about outbidding other buyers or the stress that comes from home shopping.
It's really move-in ready. Even the most move-in ready house may still have a couple things you want to change, even if it's just the color of the walls. But when you build a home, it's exactly how you want it. This means you can sit back and start enjoying your home from day one.
You can build with better technology. You can add security measures to protect your family that will be built in and designed to the features you want!
You can build an energy efficient home. By building your own home and depending on your budget, you can bring top of the line energy savings into your home and customize it in a way that focuses on what means the most to you.
You can build a house that's on top of the trends. By building your own home, you get modern trends and cutting-edge styles to choose from. You get to pick the style you want, down to the smallest details. Your home is picture perfect from day one.
Current on codes. Building codes change over time. With a newly built home, you know you're up to code and nothing has been grandfathered in.
Cost efficient. While it typically costs more in the beginning to build a home, you may recoup those expenses quickly and see a bigger payoff in the long run. When you build a house, there are no costly repairs for appliances, updates or remodeling. Add to that the annual savings you'll realize with newer, more energy efficient appliances and construction techniques, and you've got some real financial benefits.
The feeling you'll have. There's nothing quite like knowing that it's all yours and no one has lived there before. You get to start fresh and feel like everything in the home has your stamp on it. And it's all been customized, just for you. This is perhaps the biggest one of all the reasons to build your house.
So, if building your home seems ideal to you, and you don't have your property purchased yet, the next step is to contact one of our local, experienced realtors. They can meet with you and discuss your building dreams. They can find the area you are interested in and provide you with properties that are available. They can help with other needed information too such as the school district you would be building in, information about the neighborhood, churches in the area, and other valuable information you may need to know. Let us help. It's what we do best. Let us be your First Choice!