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.

Dallas on the Rebound: Housing Market on the Rise

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The housing market in many cities throughout the US suffered during the market down turn, many markets are making strong comeback. Dallas is ranked among 2013’s fastest-growing American cities, making it a great place to buy or sell a home.

Dallas came in at number six on Realtor.com’s list of “Turnaround Towns,” thanks to a growing demand for homes. Builders have been kept busy constructing new homes for those who are looking to move to this booming city. The city’s population has been on the rise, and the city has experienced strong job growth. The housing market has shown major improvement in terms of stability. Homes in Dallas have an average listing price of a very affordable $210,000. For those who need to sell their home, now is a good time to do so. Currently, the demand for homes has surpassed the available number of homes for sale, meaning that you may earn a higher price for yours.

Planning on buying a home in Dallas? Check out United Real Estate’s available properties. Selling? VisitUnited Real Estate to find a local agent. Stop by our Facebook page for more tips on buying and selling a home.

Bad Credit? Why Mortgages Aren’t Out of the Question

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Having poor credit doesn’t mean you’ll be stuck renting for several years. It’s possible to get a mortgage although it will take some extra effort to do so.

Expect to pay more if your credit’s bad. You might need to offer a higher down payment, and your monthly payment and interest rate may be higher than they would be for someone with better credit. You should focus on working with a lender who has experience helping people with poor credit get mortgages. Your lender will want to know why your credit is in its current shape. If you ran into sudden and unavoidable financial hardship, such as job loss, medical bills or a death in the family, you stand a better chance of being approved for a loan. If your credit is bad due to missed payments or late payments, this will lower your chance of getting a mortgage. Your lender might be able to help you find ways to boost your credit before applying for a loan.

Need help getting a mortgage with bad credit score? Visit United Real Estate to find an agent, and stop by our Facebook page for more loan tips.

Selling 101: Maximizing Small Spaces With Big Colors

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The bathroom is one of the biggest selling points in a home. If yours is a smaller one, it’s important to make it seem as roomy as possible. This will help you attract buyers and get a good price for your home.

Maximizing small spaces can be done with simple changes versus a total renovation. One of the most effective and easiest ways to make your bathroom look larger is by redoing it in a bold color. Choose something like a striking shade of red or a vivid blue tone to focus on. Paint the walls that color, then add accessories, such as hand towels and a toothbrush holder, in the same tone or in complementing colors. If your bathroom has a window, put up curtains that match as well. When choosing a big color, try out a sample of it on your wall first to see if you like it. If not, you can cover it up and try a different color.

Ready to start the selling process? Visit United Real Estate to find a local office, and stop by our Facebook page for more advice and tips on selling a home.

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!

United Real Estate Welcomes Our New Office & Agents – September 2013

Please join us in giving our newest partners a warm United Real Estate Welcome!

New Offices: 

United Real Estate – Louisville, KY – Bonnie Mays, Broker
United Real Estate – Beverly Hills, CA – Annie Chen, Broker
United Real Estate – Pasadena, CA – Annie Chen, Broker

Agents who joined the company in September:

Dallas

Charles Seo
Sairam Kota
Shanda Buckley-Mitchell
Robert Bussman
Wayne Stewart
Joseph Cutcher
Robert Wood
Donald Murray

Chicago

Jessenia Zamarripa
Irma Sotelo
Jennie Ku
Vincent Amato
Tony Torres
Gonzalo Herrera

Washington DC

Bob Parnell
Erin Coleman
Maurice Saylor

Houston

Bob Canady
Jeff Lam
KimShawn Lane
Rebecca Privette
Hena Malkani
Sherrie Dalmanti
Sherron Southworth
Ronald Breaux

Kansas City

Adam Hays
Allison Harmon
Antonio Mendez-Barajas
Christina Mcintosh
Dave Teeman
Edgar Davis
Shivohn Roberts

Philadelphia

Angelo Gaydardzhiev
Terri Friend

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.