Selling Your House

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.

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.

Planning on Selling in 2015? Start Investing in Landscaping Now

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If your 2015 plans include selling your home, it’s time to start getting it ready. This might seem a bit early, but it’s actually a good time for investing in landscaping.

Having some shade trees, shrubs, bushes and flowers around gives your home’s value a major boost. Since some of these, especially trees, take a long time to fully grow, it’s best to plant them as soon as possible. A landscaper can provide advice on which types of greenery to include. Having impressive landscaping improves your home’s curb appeal and gives it some functional value as well, such as providing more shade.

Investing in landscaping isn’t the only thing you should do to get your house ready to sell. Here are a couple more tips:

  • Minor kitchen renovations, such as putting a new finish on your cabinets, increase your home’s value. You’ll also recoup most of the cost.
  • Keeping your lawn healthy goes hand in hand with having beautiful landscaping. Mow and water it regularly, and consider laying down new sod or seed if your lawn’s in bad shape.

Need more advice on boosting your home’s resale value? Stop by United Real Estate and visit our Facebook page.

Three Things That Attract Potential Buyers to a Certain Neighborhood

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Having a tough time drawing potential buyers, even when your home is looking as perfect as possible? Take a look around you for help. Buyers aren’t just interested in the house. They also want to be in a great neighborhood, too.

Emphasize the positive aspects of your local area in your listing or when talking to potential buyers. These are a few of the top things that attract buyers to a neighborhood:

  • Good schools: This is one of the most important aspects that potential buyers with kids look for. Check out how your local public and private schools are performing, and be sure to mention them to buyers if the results are positive.
  • Pedestrian-friendly: Is your neighborhood a pleasant place to walk around in? Are there a lot of side streets that don’t get a lot of traffic? Let buyers know about nearby parks and local businesses, such as grocery stores, that they can walk to easily.
  • Public transit: If you’re close to a local bus line or another form of public transportation, make sure buyers know about it.

Need more advice on things that attract buyers to a neighborhood? Stop by United Real Estate and visit our Facebook page.

Home Staging Tips: How Minor Messes Can Have a Major Impact

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When you’re putting your home up for sale, it’s going to need to look its best. Making sure the outside looks great will draw potential buyers, but they’ll be quickly turned off by a messy interior.

Use the following home staging tips to get your house ready for the market and find a new owner quickly:

  • Clean every part of your home. Buyers will be quick to notice grime and dust.  Easily cleaned stains can give impressions of mold and other large issues when a potential buyer is doing a quick walk-through.
  • Reduce clutter. Your house shouldn’t look empty and uninteresting, but you shouldn’t have piles of clutter lying around either. Keep things neat and organized instead, especially areas that tend to attract clutter, like counters.
  • Rearrange your furniture. Having your furniture strategically placed can make a room look bigger or cozier, which gives buyers a good impression.
  • Redecorate. Make sure that each room looks its best. This might mean choosing a new paint color or replacing an old light fixture with something more contemporary.

You don’t have to figure this all out on your own. Contact United Real Estate and visit our Facebook page for additional home staging tips from the professionals!