Homeownership

Five Basic Tips for Winterizing Your Property

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Keeping your house in good shape is crucial if you plan on putting it on the market soon. Otherwise, you could run into problems or maintenance issues that will cause delays in the selling process or even keep buyers away.

Use the following tips for winterizing your property to make sure yours will be in good selling condition:

  • Have a furnace inspection done to ensure that your heating system is running efficiently and safely. This gives you time to replace it or repair it if necessary.
  • Clear out your gutters, so melting snow and ice won’t cause blockages or leaks that could affect your siding or your home’s interior. Make sure that your downspouts are also fully connected to keep water draining away from your home.
  • Insulate any exposed pipes on your property, so they won’t freeze up and break or burst. This could lead to extensive water damage on your property. Outdoor faucets should also be winterized.
  • Replace any bulbs that are burnt out in your outdoor lights so you’ll have plenty of light when it gets dark early.

Need advice on getting your home ready for the marketContact United Real Estate today, and visit our Facebook page.

Five Tips for Purchasing a Foreclosed Home

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Buying a foreclosure can help you save big money on a house, but it’s not always a quick or easy process. There are certain things you should be aware of before you decide whether or not to do it.

Use these tips on purchasing a foreclosure to help you determine if it’s worth the extra effort:

  • Don’t expect to do much negotiating to bring down the price. If you buy the home, you’ll be responsible for fixing it up at your own expenditure.
  • Get a pre-approval letter for a mortgage from a reputable lender. Don’t assume that the bank that owns the house will handle your financing.
  • Do your research and look into what other comparable properties have sold for. This helps you come up with a better offer that’s more likely to be accepted.
  • Gather a list of reliable repair companies, since most foreclosures will require some fixing up.
  • Bid at the highest price you’re willing to go, then work your way down from there, if possible. You can start out lower if the home has been vacant for awhile.

Ready to begin looking for foreclosed homes for saleContact United Real Estate today, and visit our Facebook page.

Modernizing Your Home: Top Five Paint Colors for 2014

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Looking for just the right color or colors to spruce up your home before putting it on the market? There are several great hues to choose from if you’re modernizing your home for sale.

These are some of the hottest colors of 2014 to consider:

  • Emerald: This rich shade of green adds a vibrant yet tasteful touch of color to any room. It’s also a calming and elegant color, making it a great one to use on your walls.
  • Peacock: This shade of blue is a cheerful color that’s slightly darker than teal. You can use it with neutral shades, like gray or white, to brighten up a room.
  • French gray: This warm shade of gray is perfect for giving rooms a cozy feel without having to go too dark. It works well in bedrooms.
  • Deep purple: This shade looks good on accent walls, where it adds an eye-catching contrast to lighter colors or neutrals.
  • Gold: Soft shades of gold are becoming more popular on the exterior of homes. They make any house look brighter without looking too colorful.

Getting ready to start the selling process? Visit United Real Estate to find an agent, and stop by our Facebook page.

Different Solutions for Different Buyers: Choosing PHH Mortgage

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Choosing a reliable mortgage company is a crucial step when you’re buying a home. You need to make sure you’re working with a company that has the right kind of mortgage for your situation. That’s why United Real Estate has partnered with PHH Mortgage.

This mortgage company offers the following benefits for home buyers:

  • A team of skilled loan processors, consultants and underwriters, as well as excellent customer service to ensure that the mortgage process goes smoothly for you.
  • A variety of mortgage products to choose from, including FHA loans, adjustable rate mortgages, fixed rate mortgages, jumbo loans and VA loans.
  • Outstanding guarantees, such as an interest rate reduction if your requested closing date isn’t met and an offer of $250 if your pre-approval decision takes longer than one day to process.

These benefits set PHH Mortgage apart from other mortgage companies, making them an ideal choice for your home buying needs.

Ready to begin looking for a new home and determining which type of mortgage is right for youContact United Real Estate today and stop by our Facebook page for more advice on buying a home.

 

No Yard Maintenance – and Other Reasons to Invest in a Condo

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If you like the thought of owning a home but don’t like the thought of doing yard work, a condo could be the perfect solution. Condo ownership is becoming more popular thanks to it’s ease of ownership.

Need a few reasons to invest in a condo instead of a house?

  • Low-maintenance: You don’t have to deal with mowing the lawn or raking leaves when you buy a condo, since you only own the interior of it and part of the the building’s common area. You just have to keep the inside in good shape.
  • Convenience: Buying a condo in an urban area will put you close to plenty of restaurants and stores. That means you can save money on gas, as well as wear and tear on your car.
  • Amenities: Some condos come with impressive amenities, such as fitness centers, business centers and resort-style pools that you wouldn’t have with a house.

Ready to start looking for a condo to call your ownVisit United Real Estate to see what properties are available, and stop by our Facebook page to learn more about us.

Hung Jury: Does an In-Ground Pool Make a Good Investment?

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Putting in an in-ground pool might seem like a guaranteed way to boost your home’s resale value, but you might end up being disappointed. These pools don’t always translate into higher values on homes.

It’s important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding whether to get one:

  • Location: Where you live can make a difference between getting a higher return on your investment or getting nothing in return. If you’re in an area where it’s warm or hot almost all year, having a pool is a big advantage. You might want to focus on boosting your home’s value in other ways, such as remodeling, if you live in a place where the pool would only be used for a few months.
  • Cost: In-ground pools can cost up to $40,000 to install, and you’ll be facing higher property taxes once you have one. You’ll also be dealing with higher liability insurance payments.
  • Maintenance: Although these pools are fun and relaxing, they also require a lot of maintenance that potential buyers might not want to do on a regular basis.

Thinking of putting your home on the market soon? Contact United Real Estate, and visit our Facebook pagefor selling tips.

Beautiful Landscaping Can Do More Than Boost Curb Appeal

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Using landscaping to boost curb appeal is a smart move when you’re planning on selling your home. It’s not the only reason to fix up your front yard though. Landscaping can help you get more enjoyment out of your home as well.

These are the essentials you should focus on when doing landscaping:

  • Trees: Trees provide several benefits in addition to making your property look more appealing. They can keep your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter, which lowers your energy bills. They also reduce carbon dioxide and help keep local waterways free of pollutants.
  • Native plants: Native flora is easier to care for, since these plants, bushes and trees were made to grow in your area. That means you’ll spend less time and money growing and maintaining them.
  • Outdoor lights: Having lighting on the exterior of your house and in your yard adds visual appeal to your home at night. It also reduces your chance of falling and helps discourage intruders.

Need more advice on how to boost curb appealVisit United Real Estate to find a local agent to help you sell your home. Stop by our Facebook page to learn more about us too!

Investing in Home Renovations: Five Things Most Buyers Hate

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Remodeling your home can be a great way to boost its value, but only if it’s done right. When it comes to investing in home rennovations, keep future buyers in mind. There are certain features that are considered deal breakers.

Here are some renovations to avoid when fixing up your home:

  • Tinted bathroom fixtures: It’s fine to add some color to your bathroom floor or walls, but don’t choose a colorful toilet, sink or shower. Stick to white or beige instead.
  • Wood paneling: Avoid this retro look at all costs, and replace it if it’s already in your home. Wood paneling gives rooms a dark, stuffy look that buyers don’t like.
  • Popcorn ceilings: This trend used to be highly popular a few decades ago, but it’s no longer a desirable feature. Buyers prefer smooth ceilings.
  • Shag carpets: This 1970s staple has shown up again in the form of area rugs, but don’t invest in unsightly wall-to-wall shag carpeting.
  • Wallpaper: Most buyers prefer painted walls instead of wallpaper, especially if it’s metallic wallpaper or one that has a gaudy design.

Ready to start the selling or staging processContact United Real Estate, and visit our Facebook page for more selling tips.

Cutting Costs: Have You Considered Renting a Room in Your Home?

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Have your heart set on a larger home but worried about the cost? You can take steps to help reduce the financial burden by renting a room in your home, at least on a short-term basis.

If your home has an extra bedroom or other spare room that doesn’t really get much use, consider renting it out to someone for a reasonable rate. You don’t have to worry about ending up with a housemate you don’t really get along with. Instead, you can rent out the room to people who are traveling and need a budget-friendly place to stay during their trip. There are a few reputable websites, including 9flats.com andAirbnb.com, that help vacationers find this type of accommodation. These sites help ensure that you’ll be renting to reliable tenants, and they provide you with insurance at no cost. If you decide on renting a room in your home, keep in mind that you can potentially bring in thousands of extra dollars per year, which can help you afford those mortgage payments.

Need help buying that large house you want or finding the ideal one? Visit United Real Estate and our Facebook page to find an agent.