We Bust the 3 Biggest Myths About Selling Your Home in the Winter

This is part one in a three-part series about selling your home in winter.

canstockphoto5310529Sleigh rides, twinkling lights, and hot cocoa by the fire are all things that come to mind in the winter. Putting your house on the market? Not so much.

But waiting until spring to list your home is a big mistake.

It’s a common myth of sellers that they think no one buys a home during the winter,” says Real Estate Agent Ryan Ivie. “I’m constantly telling sellers that it’s actually a great time to sell because that’s when inventory is lower, meaning less competition.  I’ve seen plenty of homes, especially higher end, sell in the middle of winter.”

If you’re ready to move out and move on, don’t let winter stand in your way. This can be an ideal time to get your house on the market. If you’ve been on the fence about listing during the dark, snowy days of winter, let us put your mind at ease.

We’re busting the biggest myths about selling your home in the winter months—check out the home-selling truth below.

 

Myth #1: No one’s looking for a house in the winter.

It’s true that there may be fewer buyers during winter months, but the ones that don scarves, boots, and stocking caps to see your house are serious about finding their dream home. You’ll save yourself an endless parade of window shoppers and capture those who are ready to buy now.

Mythbuster Reality Check: There ARE fewer homes for sale in the winter (and that’s a good thing!).

There might be fewer people looking, but there’s also a limited number of homes for sale in the winter. That means you have less competition. And less competition means you have a better chance of selling your home at or near asking price—and doing it faster than you would if every home on the block had a For Sale sign in the front yard.

 

Myth #2: The holidays are the worst time to show your house.

Actually, your house might show better during the holidays. Lights, wreaths, and a fresh blanket of snow can help your house look more inviting. All those special touches help invoke nostalgia, plus it’s easier for people to envision their own future holiday gatherings when they see how warm and cozy your house already is.

Mythbuster Reality Check: Putting up a few lights is easier than weeding the flowerbed daily.

When your house is on the market it needs to look its best ALL THE TIME. During the summer that means regular weeding, mowing, and edging. In the spring you have to combat unpredictable weather and the unattractive reality of mud and dead plants that haven’t yet come back to life. But in the winter a few twinkling lights and a nice snowfall give your home an instant facelift that doesn’t require you to break a sweat.

 

Myth #3: Nobody wants to move in December.

December is a busy month full of shopping, parties, decorating, and creating magical memories. It’s easy to assume that no one has the time (or the desire) to try to fit househunting into that mix. However, there are a couple reasons that buyers may be extra-motivated this time of year. Some people are under an end-of-the-year deadline to buy a house for tax reasons. Others may be looking for a fresh start at the new year, or need to move for work.

Mythbuster Reality Check: People often NEED to move in January.

The first of the year is all about new beginnings, and employers are no exception. January is one of the biggest months for relocations, which means everyone who needs to move their family for a job is looking for a place to call home. So, while it may be true that folks want to pack up the moving van after the holidays, they need to find and buy a house before.

 

Get Ready to Sell Your Home This Winter

If you’ve been letting these myths stand in the way of hanging out that For Sale sign, it’s time to bust those misconceptions. If you’re serious about selling your home, why not get started now? You could start your new year off with a successful sale and a brand new dream home for you and your family.

 

This is the first in a three-part series about selling your home in the winter. Don’t miss this golden opportunity to capitalize on this overlooked selling season and stay tuned for our next two installments!

Tell-Tale Signs You’ve Outgrown Your Home

canstockphoto7138312Once upon a time, Realtors came up with the term “starter home” to describe houses perfect for newlyweds and small families. Although these starter homes are great, families quickly outgrow them due to various reasons. Whether you’re out of storage space, feeling cramped or just need a change of pace these are the tell-tale signs that it’s time to move on.

New Additions

Often families outgrow their homes because they are expecting little bundles of joy. The addition of children or even pets can easily begin bursting the seams of your perfect newlywed home. When bedrooms have filled up and toys have taken over the entire house it’s time to upgrade to a larger a home.

Aging

Outgrowing your home usually sounds like you need more space, but sometimes you might benefit from downsizing. As couples age and their children leave the nest, a home that was once the right size might become too large and difficult to maintain. Choosing to downsize into a more comfortable space could also help stretch retirement dollars.

Not enough space

As a family grows in numbers so does accompanying furniture collections. Families often opt for over-sized pieces of furniture to accommodate everyone in the home plus guests. These large pieces of furniture take up a lot of space. They easily start to crowd a home and make it feel cramped or small. Many consider upgrading to a larger home to accommodate them and all of their belongings.

Complicated Entertaining

Many families like to entertain their friends and loved ones. For these families entertaining becomes a big factor when deciding to upgrade and purchase a new home. As you grow, you may end up hosting a large holiday party and the need for more space will become more imminent. It might be time to move on if you find out that your current home doesn’t share you sense of hospitality.

Your Finances are in order

Many families move on simply because they are in a better financial situation to do so. A recent job promotion or inheritance can allow you and your family to purchase a larger home or move into that perfect neighborhood. Your improved finances provide the opportunity to live comfortably and enjoy the space that you worked so hard to earn.

7 Tips for Moving into Your New Home

move-2481718_640Adjusting to new life changes and getting back into a normal routine presents challenges. Which is even more true for adapting to a new life in a new house. Whether it is a preowned home or new build, this list will help smooth the transition of your life’s most significant change: moving into a new home.

  1. Change the locks

When the closing is over and you have gotten the keys to your new house, it’s time to buy and install new locks on all exterior doors. Previous owners, realtors and anyone that provided maintenance on the house could all have a set of keys to the current locks.

  1. Change your address

First start by contacting the local post office and ask what you need to do for a change of address. Next contact all creditors, magazine subscriptions and anyone else that you could miss an issue or bill.

  1. Set Up Utilities

This can be as simple as contacting the previous owners for the utilities companies’ contact information when you’re moving into a preowned home. You will want to have the basic services in your name before you move in these include electricity, gas, water, sewer, garbage, cable, internet and possibly telephone.

  1. Locate Necessary Features (main breaker, water shut offs, smoke detectors, etc)

In case of an emergency, you need to know where the main circuit breaker is located along with the location of the water shut offs. Make sure that you understand the labeling on the breaker. Label it yourself before moving in if it is unlabeled.

  1. Clean, Clean and more Clean

One you have the utilities turned on, you are ready to start freshening up your new home. Some folks may leave the home clean for you and some may not. In either case, it’s always a good idea to wipe out cupboards, sweep and mop floors, wash the windows and baseboards.

  1. New Paint

Once you have everything spic-and-span, you can apply a fresh coat of paint. This will be much easier to do before all of your furniture and belongings are moved in. Remember that you can always hire professionals if you are short on time.

  1. New contact information

When you are all done prepping and moving into your new home you can send out new contact information to family and friends. You also can invite everyone over for a house-warming party to show off your new home!

All About Purchase Agreements

The purchase agreement is a legal arrangement between a potential buyer and the property’s owner or seller. To streamline the process, it is best to keep records of everything and to stick to a pre-determined schedule.canstockphoto434622small

Escrow                                                        

An unbiased third party such as a title company or an attorney will be selected to act as the closing agent. The unbiased agent holds all funds in escrow and researches the complete record history of the property. This ensures that the title in question is free and clear of restrictions.

Inspections

Once the seller accepts your offer you will need a licensed property inspector to check the property for issues including the roof, structure, HVAC, plumbing, electrical and more. One of two things can happen depending on the outcome of the inspections. If each step in the process is successfully met, you move to closing or after review request for renegotiation of terms and price can be made.

Appraisal

After the inspections are met and you move closer to closing, your lender will require an appraisal to help determine the amount you can borrow to purchase your home. Appraisers are specialized in determining the value of properties based on a combination of square footage measurements, building costs, recent sales of comparable properties, operating income and more.

After the appraisal is completed successfully completed you can close.

Closing

Finally, the closing agent will furnish all parties with a settlement statement that summarizes the details of the purchase agreement. All parties including the closing agent will read and sign the documents and this completes the process.

After closing is complete you will need to get all home services installed and utilities turned on or switched over to your name. Now you are all set to move in to your new home!

Seniors, Leave Out These Essential Items During Your Move

Move

Blog provided by: Jim Vogel jim@elderaction.org | http://elderaction.org/

Approximately 90% of seniors say they want to age in place, which means they don’t want to relocate to a nursing home or retirement community as they grow older. If you’re part of that statistic, you may feel sadness, apprehension, or even anger when it’s time to leave your current home. These emotions are usually normal, and a compassionate medical provider can help you cope with them if they become severe. You may also find that you can reduce your risk of having a negative experience during the transition by leaving the following items out and available for use during your move. If you’re working with professional movers, be sure to let them know that these items should not be packed.

Vitamins and Prescription Drugs

Approximately 1 out of 2 Americans take at least one prescription drug a month, and more than 10% of them take at least 5 prescriptions on a monthly basis. Many men and women also choose to supplement with vitamins on a regular basis.

If you take vitamins or prescription medications, you may experience unpleasant side effects if you fail to take them during your usual dosage schedule. Depending on your condition, you may even put your life in danger. Each year, around 45,000 uninsured individuals pass away due to a lack of medical care, so it’s important to follow your doctor’s recommendations for prescription medications and vitamins.

Carry your prescriptions in a purse, backpack, or small suitcase so that they do not get lost in a pile of moving boxes. You may also want to keep the following essential items in your bag:

  • Blood pressure cuff
  • Over-the-counter medications for headaches or allergies
  • Thermometer
  • Bandages, gauze, and ointment
  • Syringes for insulin or similar medications

Not sure what to pack? Divide a sheet of paper into 3 categories so that you can track the items you use daily, weekly, and monthly. Make sure all of the items on your list remain unpacked so that you have easy access to them after your move.

Medical Mobility Equipment

As you navigate your new home, you may find it difficult to get around. There may be uneven flooring or a cracked patio, or you may notice your kitchen tiles are more slick than those from your previous home. Falls are the primary cause of serious and fatal injuries for senior citizens, so it’s vital that you take steps to protect yourself in your new home. Leave out items that can help you get around safely, such as a walker, wheelchair, or cane.

You may also want to ask a trusted friend or family member to visit your new home before you get there. Your loved one can check for potential safety hazards and install any necessary safety equipment, such as a wall bar or temporary ramp. Some moving companies also help with tasks of this nature, so talk to the specialists who are transporting your housewares to see if they have any suggestions.

Toilet Paper

The average person uses the bathroom 6 to 7 times a day. If you take diuretics or consume a lot of water, you may visit the bathroom more often than that. Think about how often you usually use the restroom, and leave out enough toilet paper to get you through the first week or two at your new home. You will probably need several rolls.

You may also want to bring some hand soap and a towel for your bathroom. If you place these in the same bag as your prescription medications, make sure you carefully seal the soap so that it doesn’t spill. You may find it helpful to place the soap in a separate bag that’s sealed at the top, and then stick that bag inside of another bag. This helps prevent leaks from damaging your other items.

Small Mementos

What are some special items that remind you of happy moments from your life? Looking at these items may help feel more comfortable in your new home. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Photos of friends, family, or other loved ones
  • Small items from anniversaries or birthday parties
  • Awards or certificates
  • Collectible trinkets

Arrange these items on shelves or counters right away so that you don’t feel like a stranger in your new home.

Moving to a new home can be stressful, especially if you didn’t want to relocate. Keep the essential items above in a special place rather than loading them in the moving truck so that you can access them immediately.

Image via Pixabay

Blog provided by: Jim Vogel

jim@elderaction.org | http://elderaction.org/

Prepping Your Home for Summer Vacations

Summer vacations are a time when families start enjoying their year and try to take advantage of a well-deserved rest. One needs be aware of many scenarios that may affect their summer holidays for the positive or negative. accessories-84528_1280

This article highlights things families can do in order to prepare their homes for the summer holidays. There are countless things families and households can do in order to fully enjoy their vacations. Some of the top must do preparations are listed and explained below.

  • Check Appliances: One of the first and foremost actions families must take is checking any and all appliances that may have some characteristics that may be of hazard. Appliances like refrigerators, washing machines, etc. should be checked and rechecked and then with accordingly. These machines have a tendency to act abnormally and we recommend you unplug all such items when leaving for a summer vacation.
  • Clean Home: No one wants to return to a home that is unclean and full of dirt. So households should make sure that the house should be given a good wash and cleaning in order to come back to a clean and uplifting home.
  • Arrange for Pets: Many families tend to leave their pets for someone to care when on a summer vacation. Detailed arrangements for the pet should be made and its caregiver should be informed of any special needs the pet may require.
  • Spray: Many unwanted creatures and insects usually show up when a house is vacant for a certain period of time. Families should be very aware of this fact and spray adequately for their eradication before leaving for a summer vacation. These creatures can be very disturbing for any little children that may be living in the house.
  • Smell Fresh: One can always try to make sure that their household smells fresh and joyous. They can install certain products in their home that spray intermittently. They can be placed strategically in order to cover a maximum amount of space.

In conclusion, summer vacations are a time when families should have no care in the world whatsoever. They should enjoy, eat, drink to the maximum and not worry about anything.

Not worrying about your home is one of the most important things families can do successfully. When they know that their home and anything they care about in it is safe, they can peacefully enjoy their summer vacations.

This article explains some of the top things families can do in order to not only enjoy their summer vacations but also be at ease about the time they return to their homes. Families now need not to worry because they know he essentials required to enjoy a peaceful, careless, and lovely family summer vacations.

Another important fact about these preparations is that they are easy to implement and not very hard to pull of successfully and without much hassle. They can be done cheaply and ensure to a very high degree that summer vacations are enjoyed to the fullest.

Things Happening in Salt Lake County, Utah

Salt Lake County is a county located in the U.S. state of Utah. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,029,655, making it the most populous county in Utah. Its county seat and largest city is Salt Lake City, the state capital. The county was created in 1850.

Salt Lake County occupies the Salt Lake Valley, as well as parts of the surrounding mountains, the Oquirrh Mountains to the west and the Wasatch Range to the east (essentially the entire watershed of the Jordan River north of the Traverse Mountains). In addition, the northwestern section of the county includes part of the Great Salt Lake. The county is noted for its ski resorts; Salt Lake City won the bid to host the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Salt Lake County is the central county of the Salt Lake City, UT Metropolitan Statistical Area.canstockphoto22455383

This article will list the hottest events and happenings taking place in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County’s largest city. There are numerous events both locals and tourists can enjoy over the upcoming weeks and months in Salt Lake City. The list of these top events are as follows.

  • Enquiring Minds: Fourteen Centuries Of Questions And Answers
  • 60 Miles For 60 Years Challenge
  • Spring Orchid Show
  • Floralography – An Intimate Look At Flowers
  • Preschool Discovery Days – Roots, Shoots, Springs And Sprouts
  • Commemorative Air Force Museum
  • Alien Worlds And Androids Exhibit
  • Green River Rock & Mineral Show
  • Zonta Spring Gala & Fundraiser
  • Spring 2017 Celebration Of The Hand Exhibition
  • Paul & Silvia Davis Exhibits
  • Swaner’s Craft Sunday
  • Climbing Wall
  • Aauw Fundraiser Speaker
  • Small Wonders

In conclusion, Salt Lake City is a place that is much more than meets the eye. Its fantastic locations, places, eateries, and much more make it a go-to location for many vacationers and also almost every local living in the city.

All of these events listed above can be accessed by almost every person. One of the few restriction might be the age limit, other than that these events have been designed to attract people of all age and tastes.

This handy guide can help curious vacationers to make up their mind quickly and effectively. In many cases, tourists have so many options to choose from that they are hesitant to pick the right one and it is often not their wrongdoing. They usually are not guided properly and miss out on the real fun events and occasions.

Salt Lake City is one of the most famous locations in the United States as it provides entertainment of the highest order and makes sure that no party goer or tourist is left disappointed and frustrated.

This fun guide is designed to showcase the real beauty of the city that is Salt Lake City. In the end, it’s the local events that are implemented by sweet and generous residents that truly show what the city is all about. It highlights its core values and ideas that make it so great and desirable.

Tiny House Movement Q & A

In today’s fast-paced, complicated life many look for ways to simplify. Some even advocate that moving into a smacanstockphoto10371016ller home means having a bigger life.

So what is tiny living?

In a nutshell, the tiny house movement is a way of life. People adjust to smaller spaces and fewer possessions in order to save money while focusing on building relationships and lasting experiences.

What is a tiny house?

The average home size in 2016 ranged from 2,400 to 2,600 square feet. Tiny homes typically offer anywhere from 65 to 400 square feet.

How much do they cost?

A relatively high-end tiny house costs around $20,000 to $30,000 to build yourself. These numbers include buying a brand new trailer, professional construction plans, appliances and other brand new materials.

How to build for less?

  • Use recycled materials
  • Use less expensive materials and appliances that are still reliable of course
  • Complete all labor yourself with the help of family and friends
  • Avoid costly mistakes by doing your due diligence when researching and designing
  • Be patient and find a good deal on the perfect trailer instead of purchasing a new one

Benefits of a tiny home?

  • Less time cleaning
  • Less time spent maintaining
  • No clutter means it’s easier to find your belongings
  • Monthly bills are cheaper
  • Cozy and easy to manage living space
  • Better for the environment

 

Do you want to know more about accommodating families with tiny home living? Check out this blog from TinyHouseTalk.com

Tax Returns – Beneifts of Homeownership

girl-1561943_1280Was 2016 a big year for you where you finally became a homeowner? Well, guess what, you may qualify for some excellent tax benefits. This year, before you file your taxes, here are some deductions to be aware of:

  • Home-improvement loan. The interest on a home-improvement loan is deductible, according to the IRS, up to $100,000. However, any part of the home loan which is above 100% of the loan-to value (more than the value of the property) is not deductible.
  • Property tax. In most cases, property taxes are tax-deductible with the exception of your attorney, appraisal fees, title insurance, credit card reports, and other items on a settlement document. If you have any questions, consult your tax account.
  • Energy-efficient tax credit. If you made energy efficient improvements to your home, you may qualify for a tax deduction. Talk with your tax account to determine is this credit is still available.
  • Renewable-energy tax credit. Another tax credit to be aware of is the Renewable Energy Efficiency Property Credit. Under this tax credit, you may be eligible for a tax credit up to 30% (per cost of equipment, installation, and so on).

If you are ready to make the move towards homeownership and want to see what tax benefits you may quality for, give us a call today. We are here to help you find your dream home and start your journey as a homeowner.

4 Winter Home Improvement Projects

The weather outside may be frightful, but simple home improvements are oh so delightful this time of year. Aside from a fresh coat paint and a plethora of flooring projects, these four projects are sure to get you up off the couch, increase your property value and get you through the remaining colder months faster.canstockphoto2028844

  1. Organizing

When Spring arrives and the weather warms up, you will thank yourself for already going through all of your piles of junk. Decluttering and organizing is a great winter project. In fact, January happens to be “Get Organized Month.” Don’t try to tackle the entire house at one. Devote time every week to decluttering and coming up with organizational solutions for each space throughout your home.

  1. Bathroom touch-ups

If your grout is gunky, your tub is lined with unsightly mildew or your sink its hopelessly outdated, it might be time for a bathroom touch up. Bathrooms offer a great winter project as they provide an escape from the cold and can be enjoyed all year long once they are complete.  You can frugally remodel your bathroom by replacing the faucet and other hardware, thoroughly cleaning or even re-grouting the tile and applying a fresh coat of paint.

  1. Backsplash install

Backsplashes are to kitchens; as peanut butter is to jelly. They’re essential for getting that perfect combination. Take your kitchen up a notch with a backsplash install. A flashy or textured tile can add color and life to a plain scheme. The right backsplash also will accessorize and emphasize your countertops, cabinets and appliances.

  1. Drab-to-fab door overhaul

Refurbish and dressing up your interior doors can have a lot of visual impact on your home. Replacing the doors completely can quickly become costly. Consider these DIY alternatives to really shake things up. You can paint or stain them a darker color as dark doors often look more expensive. Colored doors also look much more modern and whimsical than traditional wood. Updating the hardware and changing the doorknobs also provides an inexpensive fix for outdated doors. You can add or replace the molding around your doors to create dimension and provide an elegant look and feel to the space.