The warm weather that occurred early in the season probably gave many of us a false sense of security, such that we may have put off the pre-winter inspection. The good news is that it’s not too late; and you should check out your home’s roof, gutters, and the surrounding grounds after the blizzard – even if you’ve already conducted a pre-winter inspection.
Pricing a home for a sale is not always easy. There is an abundance of empirical research that has confirmed the many variables that affect sales price. Some influences are manageable and some are not. The top factors to consider when pricing your home to sell include location, condition, features, and timing.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (avma.org), 36.5 percent of households own a dog and 30.4 percent of households own a cat, and many households have other types of pets. Of course having a dog or cat can fill many needs, such as companionship, security, socializing, and even fitness. However, selling a home where a pet lives can be tricky.
According to the Corelogic Insights blog, the volume of distressed home sales is declining. Consider that during the peak of distressed sales, which occurred in January 2009, the volume of distressed sales nationally comprised 32.4 percent of total home sales. Compare those figures to Corelogic’s December 2 report, which indicated that nationwide distressed sales volume accounted for about 10 percent of all home sales during September 2015. However, distressed sales volume varies from state to state; Maryland recorded the highest volume of distressed sales (20.7 percent) among all states during September.
It didn’t seem that long ago when feng shui was important to almost every home buyer and seller. And if Google Trends is an indication of relevance, the diminishing number of searches for feng shui over the last decade indicates reduced interest. Perhaps the bursting housing bubble shifted everyone’s attention; buyers’ were determined to get distressed properties at a deal, while sellers were determined to get a model home look through staging. Although seemingly having lost significance in the housing market, feng shui is once again becoming a top concern for buyers and sellers.
TV shows such as Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures may have glamorized the paranormal, but they may have also made us more aware about the possibility of other-worldly activity in our homes. Increasing reports of ghosts and other phenomenon are due in part to the proliferation of video cameras that document anything living or dead; however, it must be said that many videos asserting ghost activity are very good hoaxes created with readily available professional editing software. Regardless if you’re a believer or not, everyone has an opinion on haunted houses.
I talk to lots of people while at open houses. You shouldn’t be surprised to hear that although some express concerns about increasing home prices and their ability to buy a home, many also express their exasperation with increasing rents. And although home prices and ability to get a mortgage are among top concerns for home buyers, according to Realtor Magazine (Top 6 Home Buyer Concerns, realtormag.realtor.org, August 24,2015); buyer apprehensions have not changed much over the years. There is always a group of buyers who fuss over home prices, down payments, and mortgages. So much so, that it seems as if it is a permanent part of the housing landscape.
You’ve seen the commercials promoting the benefits of the FHA reverse mortgage for seniors. If you’re 62 years of age or older and have equity in your home, it may seem attractive to get a mortgage that converts your home’s equity into cash and eliminates existing mortgage payments. However, the ads don’t tell you the entire story. In fact, the FHA reverse mortgage, also known as the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), is probably the most misunderstood mortgage program available today.
The Bulletin of Photography Volume 15 (published in 1914) includes an article about Des Moines, Iowa real estate agents contemplating a “scheme” of photographing homes. The photographs were to make touring homes easier for busy clients; agents were to have four photographs per home in their exclusive portfolios. Real estate photography has come a long way since 1914. Today, home sellers expect dozens of high resolution pictures and even video to market their homes. In addition to the typical media array, some agents promote aerial photography to capture different perspectives of large estates, farms, and acreage.