It’s Just Paint

It’s Just Paint

  So, you are working with a Realtor to find the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood – great! You’ve seen a few options that could work but the paint is hideous. Bright yellow in the living room, dark green in the dining room, aqua blue in the bedroom. UGH! Guess what? It’s just paint.   Don’t let yourself be one of those people you make fun of on HGTV. You know the ones I am talking about. They tell the agent their wants/needs and the agent shows them a house that fits those needs. Somehow, they find all sorts of things wrong with it. The oven is dirty, the light fixtures are brass, and the paint is awful. You say to yourself, “It’s just paint!” Ovens can be cleaned, light fixtures can be replaced or refinished very inexpensively, and paint, well, you know what I will say. Getting caught up in the little cosmetic things about a house is not smart. You may let the perfect house pass you by if you don’t see the big picture. This doesn’t mean that you should be willing to knock down a wall or remodel a bathroom if that isn’t feasible, however, some small cosmetic work may be all that is needed.   Let’s think about costs. We will use an average 2000 square foot house and a $250,000 sales price as the example. My personal painter, Bo Cochran, owner of Fresh Coat Painting Company, can paint all the walls of this house for $4000. Checking online prices for lighting, $500-$1000 would buy very nice fixtures for the entire house. A professional cleaner would be approximately $200 for a “move-in” clean. So, you could make your house perfect for around $5000 or .02% of the sales price (less if you do it yourself) or you could continue to search for the perfect, spotless house with the right paint colors and non-brass light fixtures.   If you set your criteria up front, you should be able to gauge each house you see based on that criteria. If/when you find a home that checks all or most of the boxes, don’t pass up a good thing. Remember, it’s just paint!   Images courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti, radnatt, and Serge Bertasius Photography at...

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5 tips when moving with a pet

5 tips when moving with a pet

Pets are a huge part of American life. I, for one, don’t know what I would do without a dog…or two in my home. So, as I work with pet owners to find a home or sell a home, I definitely take into consideration their particular needs with regard to the pet(s). Is there a fence or can one be added? Is the street busy? Are there sidewalks? Where are the closest dog parks and veterinary offices? Does the neighborhood have a home owner’s association and if so, do they have breed restrictions? If it is a condominium building, do they have pet restrictions? Will the pets be home for showings? There are so many things to consider when purchasing a home and even selling a home when there are pets involved. Pets have different personalities and, just like people, can react differently to change. Here are 5 tips to help your pet acclimate to their new environment: 1. Explore the space together If you are like me, the last thing you want to do when there are a million things to get done is just sit and do nothing. I am the person that wants to have everything out of boxes and pictures hung ASAP. When pets are involved, however, it is a good idea to just sit with them in each room and let them explore. They will sniff every inch of that place (it’s also a good idea to be with them to avoid any marking!) 2. Take them on a walk Lots of pets like walks, not just dogs. One thing I have learned first hand is that if you take the time to walk your pet around your neighborhood, there is a much better chance of them ending up back home on their own should they get out unexpectedly. 3. Make sure their things are the first ones to make it in the house Moving is stressful for your pets too. If they have familiar things, it will make them more comfortable. Get their bed set up. Give them their favorite toys. Lay down the same food and water bowls they have been using. Perhaps, even a blanket or rug on the floor will make them feel at home more quickly.  4. Meet the neighbors Just like people should meet their new neighbors, pets should too. If your pet is friendly, it will be a fun activity for them. If your pet is scared or not social, show your neighbors a picture. Either way, it is good for your neighbors to know how many and what kind of pets you have so that should they escape, the neighbor may be of help in locating them....

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Real Estate and Fairy Tales: Can you identify with these?

Real Estate and Fairy Tales: Can you identify with these?

If you are in a business where you have customers or clients, you will probably relate to some, if not all, of these comparisons. I had a client recently who compared herself to Goldilocks so when I started thinking about it, I realized that there are a lot of correlations between real estate and fairy tales – other than the obvious.   Goldilocks – This is the home buyer that looks at everything on the market. This one is too small, the lot on this one is too big. My job is to find the one that is “just right” and help them get it! Chicken Little – This is the home seller that worries about everything – they think the sky is falling when it was only an acorn that hit their head. Is the description good enough on the photos? If we don’t have an offer the first day, what’s wrong? What if buyers don’t like the neutral paint you told us to use? My job is to try to calm their fears on the front end by educating. Selling can be very stressful and if they already have a worrisome personality, it’s all the harder. I tell people what they need to know from my years of experience working with buyers. No two houses are alike so there definitely are some variables I take into consideration. It’s not generally a one-size-fits-all marketing plan. Cinderella – This is the client that just goes with the flow without complaining. They respect my opinions and suggestions based on my experience. They know I am going the extra mile to do everything to either sell their house or find them the perfect house. In the end, it’s a perfect fit and they get an outcome that was even better than expected. And they are usually the ones that give ME a gift at closing. Pinocchio – This buyer doesn’t want me to know that their previous house was foreclosed on a few years ago, that they had a bankruptcy, or want to impress me with how much money they make so they lie to me. I don’t need to know any of this information. Frankly, it’s not my business as a Realtor. What I AM concerned with, however, is that they can qualify for the house so when they talk to the lender, they need to tell them because, guess what? They are going to find out anyway, and it will save some embarrassment later. The Pinocchio seller is the one that says the house does not take on any water when it rains or that they have never had a problem with termites. And then, the buyer’s pest inspector reveals that their...

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The Tiny House Craze

The Tiny House Craze

  As a Realtor, I get to see a lot of houses. I see a lot of great houses and a lot of houses where I literally wouldn’t even walk in the front door. Most people would think that I would want one of the many multi-million dollar homes that I have seen. The kind with sitting rooms and libraries, billiard rooms and guest wings. Not so much. I downsized in my last move and if/when I move again, it will be smaller than the current one. There is only so much time in a day and I don’t want to spend it doing tons of yard work and house cleaning. There is much to be said for paring down. Most of us have things in our closets, cabinets, and perhaps in our attic that we haven’t used in years. Would we miss it? I know I wouldn’t. So much of what is “important” to us can be transferred to digital files and kept in a cloud to access online without the need for boxes of pictures and videos. I am reading “The 4-hour Work Week” In it, author, Tim Ferris, talks about getting rid of unnecessary stuff prior to living abroad for a time. If you really want it, you can buy it again when you return. I am starting to feel that way on a daily basis. Our lives can get cluttered by so much stuff that we can feel that we are in a constant state of chaos. So, on that note…   I am not a TV watcher, however, I have a caught a few episodes of HGTV’s  “Tiny House Hunters” and have to say that I am intrigued. I would love to have a house on a lake for vacationing. The main problem with a vacation home, however, is the maintenance and upkeep. If you have it for vacationing purposes, the last thing you really want to do when you’re there is do house projects and honey-do lists. In a tiny hose, there would be so much less to maintain, the utilities would be a lot less, and you could spend more money on a better piece of property (with a better view and lake access)!   Technically a tiny house is less than 400 square feet and can be on a foundation or on wheels. There are also small houses that are between 400-1000 square feet. There are a multitude of styles – there really are very few limitations.  There are ranch styles, yurts, cottages, contemporaries, cabins, container boxes. The list goes on. Most are made for 1-2 people but I have seen some that families with multiple children live in. You can customize...

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