15 Questions to Ask When Selecting a Home Builder

Experts agree these 15 questions are a great place to start to help you select the right builder for your new home. Selecting the right builder is a key step in the journey that leads to your dream home. Asking builders the 15 questions below will help you choose the right builder to create your new home — and give you confidence in your choice. These questions will also help you better understand key steps in the building process and the decisions you’ll make, in partnership with the … [Read more...]

8 Inexpensive Ways to Perk Up Your Porch

First impressions are everything when you’re trying to sell your home. Even for homes that aren’t on the market, owners know that neighbors often make snap judgments based on a glimpse at a front porch or yard. Litter and overgrown landscaping are doing nothing to increase your curb appeal. The great news is that it doesn’t cost a bundle to make some big changes in your home’s exterior appearance. Each of these eight fixes costs less than $50. Make one improvement or a handful, and before you … [Read more...]

Three Tips for Avoiding Closing-Day Glitches

Closing day is the most exciting day in the home-buying process. The long journey is finally over, and you will sign your papers and get your keys. Once you’ve been told that your home mortgage has a closing date, you may want to move in immediately. But while most home-sale transactions are smooth, some may hit speed bumps on the road to ownership bliss. The most important part of the transaction is getting all the necessary parties and documents together on the right day at the right time. … [Read more...]

Tips for Staging Kitchens and Bathrooms When Selling

Curb appeal may bring potential buyers to the door, but it’s the living spaces inside that sell the home. Many sellers focus on making sure that the living room and den are clean and inviting, but don’t forget kitchens and bathrooms, two areas where remodeling is often expensive. For buyers, a clean, modern, well-laid-out kitchen is a major feature. Bathrooms are also a consideration, because they contribute to overall happiness in living in the home. 1. Clean it once. Then clean it … [Read more...]

How to Get the Most Value From Your Home Inspection

Once an offer on a property is accepted, most buyers hire a professional home inspector to assess the condition of the home. The inspector will write a detailed report for the buyer to use in deciding how to proceed with the purchase. Should the buyer cancel the contract and terminate the purchase; ask for the seller to complete repairs; or request a price reduction or purchase credit from the seller to cover repairs? Unfortunately, many buyers fail to realize the importance of the home … [Read more...]

How to Avoid Seller’s Remorse in Real Estate

AUTHOR:BRENDON DESIMONE In many real estate markets around the country, sellers are in the driver’s seat again. Inventory is low. Houses are often selling for more than asking price. After years of a sluggish buyers’ market, many real estate agents are trying to get their would-be sellers to list their homes now. It seems like a great time to sell. But how can you know for sure if it’s a great time for you to sell? If you experience buyer’s remorse, you can usually get out of a … [Read more...]

Navigating a Final Walkthrough on Your New Home

Before you buy paint and order new furniture there's one more step that shouldn't be overlooked: the final walkthrough of your new home. This is the last chance before closing to make sure everything is working properly, there aren't any imperfections in the finishes, and the house is move-in ready. Our friends at Allstate put together this great piece on how to navigate your walkthrough, what to look for and how to take action on any repairs. A final walkthrough can not only help you … [Read more...]

6 Tips For a Spring Lawn Makeover

Spring is here and the forecast calls for some sunny days and longer nights. It's time to break out the honey-do list you've been preparing all winter long and tackle some of those outside home projects. Here's a great list to get you started from The Home Depot and Yahoo. Step 1. Boost overall soil health. Spring is an excellent time to check soil health. If your lawn is compacted, aerating it will help. The holes created by the aerator allow air and water to reach roots and fertilizers to … [Read more...]

Why Buy an Owner’s Title Insurance Policy?

Many homeowners don't know this but they too can be covered with an individual title insurance policy, not just their mortgage lender. Below is a great Q&A from the Wall Street Journal on why a homeowner might consider a separate title insurance policy. If you have any questions after the piece please ask your realtor or call our office at 503-585-7219 for assistance. Q. I'm buying a home and the lender insists that I buy a title insurance policy before it will give me the loan. Now my … [Read more...]

Writing Unbiased Rental Listings

AUTHOR:SARAH GABOT When creating rental listings to advertise your vacancies, it’s crucial for you to avoid biases. As part of the Civil Rights Act, every person in the U.S. has an equal right to obtain housing regardless of his or her sex, race, religion, family status, disability, color, or country of origin. This means that you can’t angle your rental ads in attempt to attract or repel a certain type of person. Whether it’s intentional or not, discriminatory advertising can get you … [Read more...]