Adam Roche's Blog
An active housing market has reduced the number of foreclosed homes in inventory, but there will always be foreclosed homes available to purchase. Many buyers are not aware of what to expect when purchasing a foreclosure. Here are some home truths about buying a distressed home.
You’re not always getting a deal.
Many buyers believe foreclosed homes sell at rock-bottom prices. They expect massive and unrealistic discounts. While the bank may be willing to sell for well below the fair market value, their goal is to recover the loss they incurred when providing the original mortgage. Additionally, foreclosed properties may have long-standing maintenance issues that require a substantial investment to remedy.
The bank may not have the only lien.
A foreclosure removes the primary mortgage debt, but a distressed property may have other claims for money owed in back taxes, for mechanical work and contractors’ fees. A complete title search should tell you if there are liens that need satisfaction when you purchase a property. Your real estate agent can guide you in how to discover unsatisfied liens or judgments against the property
You may find maintenance problems.
Most owners do not simply move out of the property when they can no longer afford to make payments. When an original owner loses income, maintenance often becomes a low priority. And, if they have a medical disaster, a decline in health often means a decline in care for the property. Storm damage, pests, and other hidden issues mean damage to a home that gets overlooked when the owner has different priorities.
You may find vandal activity.
Although there are some stories of angry owners vandalizing the foreclosed property that they invested their life savings into, more often are issues with opportunistic thieves. They remove plumbing and light fixtures, paver stones, and other readily accessible objects from an abandoned property.
Schedule a thorough inspection before you purchase if possible so that you know what you're getting. Your real estate professional specializing in distressed properties can connect you with an unbiased inspector. They will report on your potential new home and help you uncover any hidden costs lurking there.
It’s a competitive selling market and we all know how difficult it can be to entice buyers with your home.
There are a number of ways to highlight the best features of your house. From staging to great real estate photos, marketing your home is a key aspect to ensuring a sale.
However, sometimes sellers miss out on opportunities to give their home a competitive edge in the housing market.
In today’s post, we’re going to talk about some of the features in homes that are major selling points for today’s average buyer. That way, you’ll be able to update your listing and materials so that everyone who looks at your home knows exactly what it has to offer.
1. Location and convenience
Odds are you can find some major location selling points for your home if you think about it. Is your home near grocery stores, hospitals, parks, or major highways? Does it lack the rush hour traffic that other neighborhoods have?
Just because you’ve gotten used to the convenient location of your home doesn’t mean it won’t be appreciated by your potential buyers.
2. Low upkeep and utility costs
If you live in a newer home in your neighborhood, there’s a good chance it will beat out much of the local competition in energy efficiency and maintenance costs. If you’ve recently upgraded energy-related parts of your home (think windows, HVAC, insulation, etc.), you should highlight these upgrades in your listings.
This is also a good time to show off your utility savings. Many utility companies show you how much you spend compared to your neighbors. If your home is energy efficient, don’t be afraid to show off in your listing.
3. Storage space
Ever notice how self-storage facilities seem to be popping up just about everywhere? Storage space is a huge concern for homeowners and buyers alike.
Make sure your photos and listings reflect the amount of storage your home has.
4. Major upgrades
If you’ve recently replaced the septic system, roof, windows, HVAC or other major upgrade, be sure to list the date and cost of the system in your listing. They can help assure potential buyers that they won’t need to make any costly upgrades or repairs anytime soon.
5. Pet and smoke-free
If your home is free of any odors or signs of pets or cigarettes, it will likely be a plus for buyers who are only focusing on homes that are clean and move-in ready.
6. Natural lighting
If your home has a lot of windows or skylights, be sure to include them in your photo and listing. Natural lighting can dramatically improve real estate photos, and it will make your home seem more spacious and welcoming.
Putting a new mailbox up? Be sure to follow the official guidance from the U.S. Postal Service.®
Here are a few rules, tips, and suggestions to make your mail carrier's day a little smoother.
Putting Up a New Mailbox
USPS-approved mailboxes have Postmaster General (PMG) approval labels. Have your post office approve your mailbox plans if you're making your box. Its height should be 41-45 inches above the ground, and set 6-8 inches back from the curb. Your number should be clearly marked on the mailbox. It's helpful to number your home as well. If on a corner, mark your mailbox with your complete street address.
Switching to a wall-mounted box? Get your post office's go-ahead first. No PMG approval label is required. Just be sure the box can handle your normal volume of mail, including magazines. Place it in a spot that's visible and convenient for the carrier.
Tip: Think about your carrier (and the substitutes). If you put up wind chimes and garden lighting, hanging baskets and so forth, be mindful of the carrier's path.
Installing a Post for the Mailbox
A proper mailbox post is strong and stable, but will bend or fall if hit by a car. It's two inches in diameter if made of metal. It's four by four inches if made of wood.
Posts should be buried up to two feet deep. (Concrete-filled containers are not recommended.)
Tip: When inclement weather arrives, remember that your mail carrier needs a safe approach — free of mud, ice, or snow — to the mailbox or mail slot.
Best Practices for Door Slots
If the mail comes through a slot, be sure the opening is 7 by one and a half inches, or larger. The bottom of the slot must be thirty inches above the ground.
Is the slot horizontal? The flap should open upward, hinged at the top of the slot. If vertical, it must be hinged opposite of the door hinge side.
Tip: Be sure the opening is clear for the carrier to deliver your mail without struggling. There are approved inner shields for slots to use, rather than stuffing anything in the slot to insulate your place from a draft. Oh, and do you happen to have a cat? With claws? Be sure the cat isn't making a sport out of grabbing the mail or trying to catch the carrier's hand through the slot! Being mindful might not be a rule, but it's nice.
Creating Carrier-Friendly Neighborhoods
Sun, rain, snow, or wind... Mail carriers brave it all for us. Help your neighborhood stay carrier-friendly in return. Know the rules. Consider the mail from your carrier's point of view.
Selling a house should be a fast, simple process. Unfortunately, potential pitfalls may arise that make it tough to achieve the best-possible home selling results.
Lucky for you, we're here to help you prepare for the home selling journey.
Now, let's look at three steps that every home seller should take before listing a house.
1. Evaluate the Real Estate Market
The housing market fluctuates week to week. Thus, a real estate market that favors sellers one week may favor buyers the following week, or vice-versa.
A home seller should examine real estate market data closely. By doing so, this seller can analyze housing market patterns and trends and plan accordingly.
Take a look at the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town. This housing market information will allow you to see how long homes were listed before they sold and help you set realistic expectations for the home selling journey.
Also, examine the prices of local residences that are comparable to your own. With this housing market data, you may be better equipped than ever before to establish a competitive price for your house.
2. Conduct a Home Inspection and Appraisal
Don't wait to conduct a home inspection and appraisal. If you perform these assessments before you list your house, you can gain valuable home insights that you might struggle to obtain elsewhere.
During a home inspection, a property expert will assess your house both inside and out. Then, this property expert will provide an inspection report that you can use to prioritize assorted home repairs and upgrades.
Meanwhile, a home appraisal can help you determine the present value of your house. The appraisal will be conducted by a property expert who will examine your house, as well as review myriad data about homes in your neighborhood and the local real estate market. Next, this property expert will provide a property valuation that can help you determine how to price your residence.
3. Hire a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent understands the challenges commonly associated with selling a house. Fortunately, this housing market professional also knows how to identify and address these challenges early in the home selling process, increasing the likelihood of a quick, profitable home sale.
Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you and learn about your home selling goals. He or she then will help you put together a strategy to sell your home quickly and maximize your earnings.
When it comes to promoting a residence to potential buyers, a real estate agent knows exactly what to do too. He or she will help you craft an engaging and informative home listing that hits the mark with the right buyers. Plus, a real estate agent will host open house events and home showings to provide buyers with plenty of opportunities to view your house.
Want to list your house? Follow the aforementioned steps, and you can boost your chances of a terrific home selling experience.
Planning to take your TV to your new home? For those who recently bought or sold a residence, you may have only a short period of time to pack your TV and other belongings and bring them to your new address. Fortunately, we're here to help you simplify the process of packing your TV for moving day.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to properly pack your TV.
1. Use the Right-Sized Box
If you saved the original box for your TV, you should use the box for moving day. That way, you can store your TV in a strong, durable box that offers maximum protection.
On the other hand, if you threw away the box for your TV, there's no need to worry. You should have no trouble finding a heavy-duty box that is big enough to hold your TV and will ensure your TV will be protected throughout your move.
In most instances, a double-wall corrugated box is ideal for a TV. Double-wall corrugated boxes are available in multiple sizes and are unlikely to get damaged or punctured while in transit.
2. Cover Your TV
Wrapping your TV in a soft blanket usually is a good idea. With this blanket in place, you can protect your TV's screen against scratches.
Also, don't forget to secure the blanket to your TV with rope or moving-grade shrink wrap. This will ensure the blanket will stay in place for the duration of your move.
If you can't find a suitable blanket to cover your TV, you can always substitute a blanket with bubble wrap. Cover your TV in bubble wrap and seal the ends with tape, and you're good to go.
3. Label and Secure the TV Box
Slide your TV into your moving box and keep it in an upright position. By doing so, you can avoid putting pressure on the TV screen – something that otherwise may cause permanent damage to your TV.
Before you seal the box that contains your TV, you'll want to add plenty of packing material. This will ensure your TV is firmly padded and won't tip or shift while you're on the go.
Finally, seal the box with packing tape and label it accordingly. Since your TV is sensitive, you'll want to label the box as "Fragile" as well.
If you need help packing your TV or other belongings, it often pays to hire a moving company. With a team of professional movers at your side, you can quickly and safely get all of your belongings from Point A to Point B.
Lastly, if you require extra assistance getting ready for moving day, don't hesitate to contact a real estate agent. In addition to helping you buy or sell a house, a real estate agent can put you in touch with the best moving companies in your area and guarantee that you can enjoy a fast, seamless transition to a new home.