Did You Know: With a Little DIY Work, That Garage Can Be Used for More Than Just Your Car

Did You Know: With a Little DIY Work, That Garage Can Be Used for More Than Just Your CarAlong with the family vehicles, the garage may be the place where all of the things you don’t want in your house go to disappear. However, you might not be aware that there are a number of DIY hacks you can use for your garage that will instantly make it a more useable space. If you’re wondering how you can fit more in while improving the aesthetic appeal of your garage, here are some tricks to test out.

Give Your Garden Tools Space

The pile of garden tools that often sit in the corner of the garage is generally unpleasant to look at and potentially dangerous, so instead of leaving them around to trip on, try out a wall rack to secure them properly. All that’s required to make this rack is two boards and a saw in order to make the proper cuts. Once all is said and done, you can screw the boards into the garage wall and place your tools in the cut grooves for a more organized look that will clear away the extra clutter.

Consider Ceiling Storage

If you already struggle with a small garage, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have the extra space for storage. Instead of the floor, try putting your storage on the roof! By using plastic carriages installed into the roof of your garage, you can easily slide totes full of storage items into place. While you won’t want to store heavy items in the bins, they can be a great place for infrequently used items like Christmas decorations or old mementos.

Make Your Own Rec Room

If you have a two-car garage and only one car, there’s always the fun possibility that you may be able to use your garage for a less traditional purpose. Whether you decide to go with a makeshift office or a den the whole family can enjoy, adding a desk or couch, a few tables and even some wall art can be a great means of getting extra space. It can also be a great place to throw a party for your neighbors and your friends!

The garage may seem like a less than ideal space, but there are things you can do to improve its appearance and its function. If you’re currently renovating your home and are preparing to sell in the future, contact your local real estate professionals for more information.

Seller’s Remorse: How to Move on From Your Old Home Once You’ve Sold It

Seller's Remorse: How to Move on From Your Old Home Once You've Sold ItThere’s often so much enthusiasm that goes along with buying a home that the idea of leaving the old one behind is left in the dust. But, while you may love both your old home and your new home, it can be difficult to leave what’s old behind. If you’re struggling with adjusting to your new dwelling place, here are some tips for how to make it feel like it’s where you belong.

Purchase A New Piece

In all likelihood, you’ll be moving a lot of your old furniture into your new home, which means it will have all of the likely associations of your old home. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s a good idea to do a bit of a refresh so it can feel truly different. Whether you decide on a new armchair or art piece, the choice is up to you, but make sure it’s something that will compliment your new place and make you happy to be there.

Leave No Box Unpacked

Packing and unpacking can be two of the most unpopular duties associated with moving, but getting to it right off the bat will ensure that you feel comfortable that much more quickly. Instead of leaving a bunch of boxes that you don’t know what to do within the garage or a hall closet, take the time to dig through them all and find a place for your items. The sooner your stuff is comfortable, the sooner you’ll be too!

Give Yourself Some Time

It may not be the most popular advice, but it’s going to take some time to adjust to your new home and that’s OK. Instead of being hard on yourself or regretting your choice, focus on the positive aspects of your home and allow yourself to get used to your new surroundings. It can be easy to forget why you bought your home if you happen to be feeling seller’s remorse, but in time it will be much easier to remember why made the purchase.

It can be difficult to leave an old home behind, but by taking the time to adjust to your new place and sprucing it up with an exciting new piece, you’ll be well on your way to making it your own. If you’re currently in the market for a new home, contact your local real estate professionals for more information.

Dealing With a Tight Housing Market? 3 Tips to Ensure You Get the Mortgage You Need

Dealing With a Tight Housing Market? 3 Tips to Ensure You Get the Mortgage You NeedIn many cities around the country, real estate prices are on the rise and potential buyers are working hard to find a home they can feel good about. However, finding the right home in a tight market can be even more of a challenge when it comes to striking the right balance. If you’re hedging around the market in the hopes of finding the perfect home, here are some things you should do to ensure you don’t miss out on a good opportunity.

Keep An Open Mind

When wading into the real estate market, it can be very easy to get so enamored with the kind of house you want that you don’t see what’s in front of you. However, not paying attention to the potential of a particular house can mean a missed opportunity that will end up costing you down the road. Instead of waiting around for your dream home, make sure you take a look at homes you might not have thought about as they may end up being a welcome surprise.

Be Confident, But Not Too Confident

Since many homeowners have history with their home, they want a homebuyer who’s going to be just as invested in their property as they were. On the other hand, though, it’s important not to be too excited about a home as the seller may use your interest to get a higher offer. Instead of playing on opposite poles, show your interest and get into the game with a respectable offer, but be willing to back off if the seller isn’t interested.

Don’t Demand Too Much

Many potential homebuyers have been told to be aware during the home inspection and ensure they get the repairs they’re requesting, but in a tight market you may want to let a few things slip. While ignoring certain items like foundation or roof issues can be a major misstep, letting small things like a broken doorknob or peeling paint slide may be something you can easily remedy that won’t push you out of the game.

It can be complicated to get into the real estate market as a new buyer in a competitive market, but by letting the small stuff slide and being open-minded, you may just find the home you’re looking for. If you’re currently getting prepared to dive into the real estate market, contact your trusted real estate professional for more information.

Spring Staging Tips: Using Your Lawn and Flower Beds to Boost Your Curb Appeal

Spring Staging Tips: Using Your Lawn and Flower Beds to Boost Your Curb AppealEvery open house involves so much cleanup and de-cluttering that it’s often easy to forget about the first thing your guest will see when they arrive; the exterior! Instead of foregoing the first impression, here are some tips for fixing up your yard and all of its vegetation so you can make a positive impression on potential homebuyers.

Get Out The Pruning Shears

There are few things that will wreck the overall look of your home like an overgrown shrub or an unruly patch of bushes, so instead of letting nature take its course, do some scaling back. While you’ll want to make sure you retain the natural look of the shrubs and bushes in your yard, make sure to focus on any overgrown areas or branches sticking out so your property will look well maintained and respectable.

Mow The Lawn

It may seem like common sense to get out the lawnmower and the edger for some basic lawn maintenance, but since it’s a rather sizeable task it can catch many people off guard. There’s no way around it so make sure you pick a good time weather-wise to cut the grass right before your open house. You’ll also want to edge around your sidewalks and driveway for a picture-perfect look that will enhance the impression your home makes.

Plant Some Perennials

A tidy yard and pruned trees will certainly improve the look of your home on the outside, but picking out a few flowers and cleaning up your flower beds can make it look even more inviting. While gardening can take up more than a little time, planting a few flowers or purchasing a few pots can go a long way towards adding that extra touch.

Keep It Clutter Free

Like anything to do with an open house, it’s all well and good to have a bunch of great design features and details, but if there’s clutter, potential buyers won’t see anything! If you’ll be putting your home up for sale soon, ensure your yard is as clean as it can be with gardening tools placed in the shed and any toys packed away for later use.

It takes a lot to prepare your home for an open house, but ensure you don’t forget about your yard because it’s one of the first things your visitors will see! If you’re getting prepared to put your home on the market, contact your real estate professionals for more information.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – June 5, 2017

Last week’s economic releases included readings on inflation, core inflation pending home sales and multiple reports from the labor sector. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims were also released. Pending home sales were lower and weekly jobless claims rose, which illustrates continued volatility in the economic sector.

Inflation rose 0.40 percent in April, which matched projections and exceeded April’s reading of 0.30 percent. Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy sectors, grew by 0.20 percent and exceeded expectations of 0.10 percent growth based on a negative reading of -0.20 percent in March. The Federal Reserve has set an annual inflation rate of 0.20 percent as a benchmark for economic recovery.

Housing Data Mixed

Case-Shiller released its 20-City Housing Market Index for March; Home price appreciation held steady at 5.90 percent on a seasonally-adjusted basis year-over-year. Month-to-month, home prices rose by 0.90 percent. Seattle, Washington had the highest pace of home price growth in March, with 12.30 percent. Portland, Oregon followed with 9.20 percent home price growth and Dallas, Texas had the third highest level of year-over-year home price growth at 8.60 percent. Month-to-month home prices grew at a pace of 0.90 percent.

Despite indications of high builder confidence in current and future housing market conditions, construction spending decreased by -1.40 percent in April. Analysts expected an increase of 0.50 percent in construction spending based on construction spending growth of 1.10 percent in March.

Builders have consistently cited concerns over affordable lots and skilled labor, but industry professionals are not sure why high builder confidence in housing markets doesn’t correspond to lagging construction spending rates. Building more homes is viewed as the only path to easing high demand for homes caused by a shortage of homes for sale.

The Commerce Department reported fewer pending home sales in April with a reading of -1.30 percent; the March reading was -0.90 percent. Pending home sales typically indicate further closed sales and trends in mortgage loans.

Mortgage Rates Mixed, New Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported slight change in mortgage rates last week; the average rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was one basis point lower 3.94 percent. Rates for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.19 percent and was unchanged from the prior week. The average rate for a 5/1 variable rate mortgage rose four basis points to 3.11 percent. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for all three types of mortgages.

New Jobless Claims Hit 5Week High

First-time claims rose from the prior week’s reading of 235,000 new claims to 248,000 new claims filed. Analysts had expected 239,000 new claims filed. Analysts said that higher claims were connected to the Memorial Day holiday and characterized last week’s higher number of claims as a “blip.”

In other labor-sector news, ADP reported 253,000 new private-sector jobs in May; the Commerce Department reported 138,000 new government and private sector jobs. This reading may be revised based on an expected 185,000 public and private-sectors jobs for May and April’s reading of 174,000 public and private-sector jobs.

National unemployment ticked down in May to 4.30 percent. Analysts had expected no change in April’s reading of 4.40 percent.

Whats Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings on job openings, consumer credit along with weekly reports on mortgage rates and new jobless claims.

To Paint or Not to Paint Before Selling Your Home, That Is the Question. Here Are Some Answers!

To Paint or Not to Paint Before Selling Your Home, That Is the Question. Here Are Some Answers!If you’re planning some renovations before you sell your home, you’re probably trying to determine what will boost its value best so you can get out the money you’re putting in. Pulling out the paint for some touch-ups may be one of the most common things you’ll hear about, but before taking on such a sizeable job, it’s worth considering the needs of your home and what you’ll have the ability to do before it goes on the market.

The State Of Your Paint

To brighten a room and instantly improve the look of a space, there are a few things that will do the trick like paint. Often times, a poor paint job will be one of the first things potential buyers notice when they visit your home, whether the color is dull or there are cracks showing. If your home’s paint job is neither impressive nor out-of-date, you may not want to take on such a big project. However, if these issues will negatively impact your home sale, it may be worth the effort.

What Is Your Timeline?

There are a number of easy home fix-ups that can improve your home, but painting is one of few things that can take a lot of time. It’s unlikely you’ll want to shell out for a professional painter if you’ve already decided on a renovations budget, but if you don’t have the time you may want to decide on a few problematic areas to paint. If the bathroom or the kitchen happen are looking weathered, focus on those areas instead of taking on the whole house.

What Buyers Will Change

When potential homebuyers are looking at your home, they’ll not only be thinking about what they love, they’ll be considering what they want to upgrade down the road. Unfortunately, painting is not one of the projects that buyers will want to spend time on as soon as they move in. While it may not be worth their time to move into a house that needs to be painted right away, it just might be worth yours to get out the roller.

There are a number of home renovations that can improve your home’s value, but painting may be a necessity if your walls are dull and showing signs of age. If you’re currently preparing to put your home on the market, contact your local real estate professional for more information.

3 Ways to Earn Some Spare Cash to Help Pay Your Mortgage Down Faster

3 Ways to Earn Some Spare Cash to Help Pay Your Mortgage Down FasterA mortgage is one of the most expensive purchases you’ll make in your life, and for many, the idea of being indebted to it for years can seem like quite a burden. However, while you won’t necessarily be able to pay off your home with instant savings, there are ways that you can pay it down more quickly. If you’re wondering how to drum up some extra money for your mortgage, you may want to consider the following options.

Refinance Your Mortgage

One of the best ways to get a hold of extra funds is by lowering the amount you owe, and refinancing can be a way to do this. Since the interest rate on your mortgage adds up to additional money spent over time, getting a lower rate can easily minimize your monthly mortgage payment. It’s just important to be aware of all the costs associated with refinancing beforehand so that you can be sure the choice will result in money saved and an improved financial outlook.

Review Your Budget

Budget may be a dirty word for many people, but when it comes to scrimping for your home, it may be one of the best weapons you have in paying down your mortgage. Instead of looking elsewhere, sit down and review your budget to ensure your expenditures aren’t out of line with your income. It may seem too good to be true but, in all likelihood, you’ll be able to find a few places you can cut back for a little extra money each month.

Get A Second Job

It may not be the best option if you’re already working hard at your day job, but getting a job on the side can end up being a great way to find extra cash without limiting your lifestyle. Whether you decide to work in a restaurant or pick up a freelance gig on the side, there are plenty of options that may quickly add up to a more-rapidly reduced principal. You may even want to find something you already enjoy so it feels less like work.

The idea of paying down your home more quickly may seem out of reach, but by re-considering your budget and considering other employment, you may be able to hustle up some additional funds for your investment. If you’re preparing for home ownership, contact your trusted real estate professional for more information.

Fore! Understanding the Pros and Cons of Buying a Home on a Golf Course

Fore! Understanding the Pros and Cons of Buying a Home on a Golf CourseWith the popularity of living in high style, many people are considering life along the golf course as a way to get in the game and dwell in a picturesque place. While there are many benefits to this kind of living, there are also a number of drawbacks to consider before investing. If you’re wondering whether or not a home on the green is a possibility for you, here are some things you’ll want to consider before making the big purchase.

Close To The Course

If you happen to love the game and are an avid golfer, living along a golf course can be one of the best ways to inspire you to improve your game and get out on the green consistently. With a course just a short walk away, it may seem like a matter of time before you’re a pro at the game! However, if you don’t absolutely love golfing and are simply a novice who wants to try it out, it’s better to decide if you truly love the sport before it’s staring you down in the backyard.

Always A Picturesque Scene

From city life to the press of nature, everyone has an aesthetic they like that makes them feel at home, and there’s no place like life along the course to get a charming view. However, given the well-groomed greens of a course, it may also get a little bit boring for those who prefer the wilds of nature or a more urban lifestyle. While it goes without saying that a golf course provides an idyllic setting, make sure you determine beforehand if you’ll love it over time.

The Potential For Damage

Living along a golf course can certainly provide a variety of entertainment throughout the day, from random visitors to local tournaments, but golf balls in close proximity can come with damage. While your home will be off-course and the likelihood of damage is minimal, it’s important to consider how much of a risk you’re willing to take on your home before you decide to invest in this kind of property.

Life on the golf course may seem ideal for enthusiasts of the sport, but it’s important to consider if living along the green will be the right environment for you before taking the leap. If you’re currently considering purchasing a home on the green and are looking into options, contact your local real estate professional for more information.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – May 30, 2017

Sales of new and previously owned homes were lower in April after reaching near-record levels in March. Mortgage rates were lower last week and new jobless claims were little changed.

New Home Sales Fall in April; March Reading Revised

New home sales were lower in April after moving higher in March. The Commerce Department revised March figures for new home sales to 642,000 sales on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis. April sales of new homes fell by 11.40 percent to 569,000 new home sales, which fell shy of 605,000 expected sales in April. Sales of new homes reported by the government are based on small samples and are frequently revised, so a month-to-month readings are subject to change. New home sales were 11 percent higher for the first four months of 2017 than for the same period in 2016.

Home prices are showing signs of cooling; the median price for a new home fell to $309,000 in April as compared to $318,700 in March. Lower prices increase affordability and may encourage more buyers into the market. In March, there was a 4.9 percent supply of available homes as compared to April’s 5.70 months inventory. Real estate pros typically consider a 6- month supply of available homes a good balance between homes available and prospective buyers.

The National Association of Realtors® reported fewer sales of pre-owned homes in April than for March. 5.57 million pre-owned homes were sold in April as compared to an expected reading of 5.60 million sales. Projected sales were based on 5.70 million sales of previously owned homes in March. Low inventories of homes for sale has stifled demand as would-be buyers wait for a larger choice of homes.

Mortgage Rates Lower

Freddie Mac reported lower mortgage rates across the board for the three types of mortgages reported. The average rate for a 30-year fixed rate dropped seven basis points to 3.95 percent; the rate for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage was eight basis points lower at 3.19 percent and the average rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage fell six basis points to 3.07 percent. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for fixed rate mortgages and 0.40 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

New jobless claims rose from the prior week’s reading of 233,000 new claims to 234,000 new claims filed last week.

Whats Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings on inflation, core inflation, Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, and construction spending. Pending home sale and multiple labor-related reports will be released along with weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims.

4 Dated Design Features to Get Rid of Before Listing Your Home for Sale

4 Dated Design Features to Get Rid of Before Listing Your Home for SaleMost homeowners get used to a certain aesthetic in their own home that they’re comfortable with, but if you’re putting your home on the market it may be time to get rid of some of the old familiarities. While it won’t be worth your time or money to renovate everything, here are a few design-style duds that you may want to update before you decide to sell.

Oversized Bathtubs or Jacuzzis

It may be very appealing for most people to find an oversized tub in their hotel room, but when it comes to the home you live in, big tubs have made their exit. While a tub can certainly allow a person to stretch out in comfort, gone are the days of big homes and large bathrooms. Instead of a sizeable tub, you’ll want a bathroom space that you can maximize.

Tiled Counter Tops

The concept of kitchen tiles may look great in a magazine, but when it comes to the real deal tile can be a huge drawback. Despite your best efforts, it’s quite likely the grout will need to be replaced and will provide an unclean appearance over time. Instead of leaving the tile behind, you may want to stick with a solid surface like marble so there will be no issues with cleanliness or damage.

Too Bright Colors

An accent wall or brightly hued design feature may have made a comeback in recent years, but the popularity of colorful pieces has died away in recent years. Instead of the kind of feature that will turn off potential homebuyers, opt for neutral tones so that homebuyers can imagine themselves in your place without the necessity for renovations.

Bulky Furniture Pieces

Much like the oversized tub in the bathroom, the boxy piece of furniture in your living room may be comfortable, but it’s not the best when it comes to selling your home. Instead of having a huge piece of furniture command the attention of your entire room, choose smaller pieces that will offer comfort but still provide a positive impression to potential buyers.

Design trends can change a lot over the years, but by being aware of how styles are evolving you can be on the cutting edge of selling your home in style. If you’re currently making some small renovations and are preparing to sell your home, contact your trusted real estate professional for more information.