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How to Attract More Buyers

These tips will help you convince buyers your property offers top value for their dollar.

Amp up curb appeal.
Look at your home objectively from the street. Check the condition of the landscaping, paint, roof, shutters, front door, knocker, windows, and house number. Observe how your window treatments look from the outside. Something special—such as big flowerpots or an antique bench—can help your property stand out after a long day of house hunting.

Enrich with color.
Paint is cheap, but it can make a big impression. The shade doesn’t have to be white or bei...

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 |  Company News, Financial, Purchasing a Home, Real Estate News, Resources to Hire Professionals

Questions to Ask the Condo Board

Before you purchase a condo, you should have an attorney review property documents for you. However, you should contact the board yourself ahead of time. You’ll learn how responsive and organized its members are and be alerted to potential problems.

How many units are owner-occupied?
Generally, the higher the percentage of owner-occupied units, the easier the condo will be to resell.

What covenants, bylaws, and restrictions govern the property?
Carefully read the bylaws to determine if you can abide by them. Also, find out if there are grandfather provisions th...

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 |  Financial, Purchasing a Home, Resources to Hire Professionals

Loans and Lending Terms

Below are a few terms that may assist you in your home search in terms of financing.   This is by no means a complete list or plan.  Be sure to always consult a trusted professional in these circumstances to protect your individual interest and rights.

Terms:  Mortgages are generally available at 15-, 20-, or 30-year terms. In general, the longer the term, the lower the monthly payment. However, shorter terms mean you pay less interest over the life of the loan.

Fixed vs. adjustable interest rates:  A fixed rate allows you to lock in a lo...

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 |  Company News, Financial, Purchasing a Home, Real Estate News, Resources to Hire Professionals

Prepare for House-Hunting

Know that there’s no “right” time to buy.   If you find the perfect home now, don’t risk losing it because you’re trying to guess where the housing market and interest rates are going.   Those factors usually don’t change fast enough to make a difference in an individual home’s price.

Don’t ask for too many opinions.   It’s natural to want reassurance for such a big decision, but too many ideas from too many people will make it much harder to make a decision.   Focus on the wants and needs of the people who will actually be ...

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 |  Real Estate News, Resources to Hire Professionals, Selling a Home

Questions to Ask When You are Considering Selling Your Home

Questions to Ask When You are Considering Selling

These questions will help you decide whether you’re ready for a home that’s larger or in a more desirable location. If you answer yes to most of the questions, you may be ready to move.

Have you built substantial equity in your current home? Check your annual mortgage statement or call your lender to find out how much you’ve paid down. Usually you don’t build up much equity in the first few years of your mortgage, as monthly payments are mostly interest. But ...

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 |  Purchasing a Home, Resources to Hire Professionals

Home Ownership – Seven Reasons to Own a Home

Seven Reasons to Own A Home

  1. Tax benefits. The U.S. Tax Code lets you deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage, your property taxes, and some of the costs involved in buying a home.
  2. Appreciation. Historically, real estate has had a long-term, stable growth in value. In fact, median single-family existing-home sale prices have increased on average 5.2 percent each year from 1972 through 2014, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. The recent housing crisis has caused some to ...
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 |  Financial, Resources to Hire Professionals, Selling a Home

How to Calculate Capital Gains for Real Estate Sales

WORKSHEET

Calculate Capital Gains

When you sell a stock, you owe taxes on the difference between what you paid for the stock and how much you got for the sale. The same holds true in home sales, but there are other considerations.

How to Calculate Gain

Your home’s original sales price when you bought it (not what you brought to closing).
Additional costs you paid toward the original purchase (include transfer fees, attorney fees, and inspections ...
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 |  Financial, Purchasing a Home, Real Estate News, Resources to Hire Professionals

What to Consider About Owning a Vacation Home

Wouldn’t it be great to own a place at the beach, in the mountains, or by the lake? If you are seriously considering buying a vacation home, you have probably weighed many of the pros and cons already.

But you should carefully consider everything before you buy. Have you taken these additional costs and benefits into account?

The Overlooked Costs of Homeownership

As any experienced home buyer knows, there are additional annual costs that come with owning a home, such as property taxes, home insurance, and any association fees.

Make sure you consider maintena...

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