Real Estate Tips

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.

United Real Estate Spotlight: Five Major Perks of Living in DC

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You don’t have to be a member of Congress or the White House administration to benefit from living in Washington DC. Our country’s capital has plenty to offer all of its residents.

Here are five perks of living in DC:

  • Different cultures: From Korea to England to Uruguay, you can enjoy international events, food, clothing and art. Try some Iranian baklava, catch a West African dance performance and buy French-inspired clothes.
  • Rewarding job opportunities for women: Women who live in DC will find a lot of job opportunities that allow them to work toward ideals that they believe in, especially if they’re willing to delve into the political arena.
  • A good mix of things to do: Living in DC feels like being in suburbia, but you also have access to big city attractions and events.
  • Major companies: Big name employers are moving to DC thanks to its lower cost of living, three major airports and abundance of educated workers. These include Hilton Hotels and Volkswagen.
  • Convenient Location: Washington DC is conveniently located near major cities such as New York City, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. With two major airports inside the perimeter, and one in the northwest suburbs, business and leisure travel can be very efficient.

Ready to start your search for a home in DC? Contact United Real Estate, and visit our Facebook page for buying tips.

Relocating 101: Three Common Moving Company Traps to Avoid

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Hiring a moving company can make things much easier for you since you won’t have to deal with moving all your belongings from one home to the next. Unfortunately, some moving companies are known for being a bit shady.

Here are a few moving company tricks to watch out for:

  • Giving phone estimates: Reputable moving companies will come to your house, take a look at your belongings and give you an estimate afterwards. Estimates given over the phone might be lower, but the moving company will most likely increase it when they get to your house.
  • Having lengthy delays: A reliable moving company will include a two to three-day delivery window in your contract. Shady ones won’t include this, which could lead to delays that stretch for weeks or even months.
  • Damaging your furniture: Although movers are responsible for damage that occurs during transportation, not everything is covered. Good moving companies will explain the different liability levels to you, while bad ones will claim that their insurance covers everything.

Need tips on hiring good movers and help searching for a new homeVisit United Real Estate to find a local agent, and stop by our Facebook page for more advice.

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.

Houston Real Estate: City Listed Second-Fastest Growth Nationally

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The Houston real estate market is booming. Not only is it the fourth largest city, by population count, in the United States but it has the second highest growth rate, according to the US Census Bureau.

Why are so many people flocking to Houston? Perhaps it is the low unemployment rate or the mild winters. Maybe it is because this city is home to a number of professional sports teams or because the largest medical care facility in the world is located there. Possibly the attraction is the culturally diverse, young population or the world renowned museum district.

It seems likely that the answer is all of the above plus the availability of affordable housing and well rated school districts. Whatever the actual reason for the rapid growth of this city, the fact is that the real estate market is thriving.

If you are considering relocating to Houston or have a property there you want to put on the market, United Real Estate agents are ready to help you. Our national network has an office in Houston and local agents who know the city well.

Contact United Real Estate to find out more about buying or selling Houston real estate.

Text UNITED to 59559 for Updates About Current URE Listings

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Finding the perfect home can be an arduous process. There are so many things to consider, like size, price, neighborhood, proximity to job prospects, just to name a few. Once you have narrowed down the parameters, wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to be able to get immediate information about any home that meets your specific needs? The current United Real Estate listings are as close as your cell phone.

United Real Estate has been selling homes since 1925 and now has developed a nationwide network of franchises and agents ready to meet all of your real estate buying or selling needs. We have a long history and have kept up with the times, which offer many innovative technology based services.

Our automated information system can be easily accessed from your mobile device. All you need to do is text UNITED to 59559 and everything you need to know about the listed properties is available to you.

To learn more about accessing the current United Real Estate listings from your mobile device, visit the URE Facebook page.

 

Financial Considerations: Four Things Not to Do After a Loan Preapproval

A loan pre-approval is an important step in the home buying process. It shows how much of a loan you can realistically afford, based on your credit rating, income and expenses.

Keep in mind that there are certain things to do after a loan pre-approval to boost your chances of getting a final approval. These include:

  • Don’t apply for new credit: Since your lender will do another credit check before approving your loan, don’t do anything that will negatively affect your credit rating. Applying for new credit means that your score will take a hit.
  • Don’t pay off all your debt: You could be using up money that you might need for your new house. Also, closing credit cards can lower your credit score.
  • Don’t co-sign loans: These factor into your debt-to-income ratio and affect your credit score. Avoid co-signing any loans, including car and student loans.
  • Don’t change jobs: This can cause delays with the lender because they’ll need to verify your employment.

Now that you know a few things to do after a loan pre-approval, are you ready to get started with the home buying processVisit United Real Estate and our Facebook page to locate an agent.