3 Ways to Add Emotional Cues to Make Buyers Feel at Home for a Quicker Sale

There are a lot of ways you can effectively stage your home to snag the attention of potential buyers, but there are often a few extra things you can do to really engage the senses of your guests. If you’re hoping for an instant offer and are pulling out all the stops to sell your home, here are some ways you can emotionally engage with visitors to your home.

Carefully choose your color scheme

You probably already have a distinct color palette in your home, from the couch you’ve purchased to the tone of your paint, but that doesn’t mean you can’t spice it up with a few carefully chosen pieces.

Neutrals like white, brown and grey are a great place to start, but instead of letting the room speak for itself, add a punch of color – like bright pillows or a bold throw – that will add instant appeal and make your home a little more memorable. Just remember that it’s important to use colors and patterns that aren’t too bright, as these can overwhelm your space.

Remove your most personal items

Many homeowners think it’s a great idea to have a lot of personal items around to draw people into their house, but too many items like this can distract your guests and may even make them feel uncomfortable.

Before organizing your open house, ensure that you remove excess personal items like fridge photographs and frayed posters. Instead, stick with items like artwork or coffee table books which will still exude personality but won’t make potential buyers feel like they’re intruding.

Consider the sense of smell

The senses are often drastically under-appreciated when it comes to staging your home, but they can go a long way in getting a lot more interest.

Because smell can provide other positive cues that merely looking cannot, baking some cookies or muffins beforehand can be a powerful means of providing a great first impression and making visitors feels like they’re home. The addition of room spray or music may also mean potential homebuyers won’t mind lingering a little longer.

Successfully staging a home can be a matter of common sense but engaging a buyer’s emotions can go a long way towards making an even better impression.

If you’re preparing to put your home on the market soon, I’d love to be of assistance.  Give me a call at your convenience.

Maria Lopez
RE/MAX Advance Realty
(305) 467-0774
MLopez5020@gmail.com

This is Why a House Might be Better Than a Condo for First-Time Buyers

Some first-time home buyers are on a tight budget when making their real estate purchase, and there may be an inclination by many to purchase a smaller property, such as a condo, rather than the home they truly want.

While there may be some initial financial benefit associated with buying a smaller property, there are a few benefits associated with splurging and buying a larger home as a first purchase. By analyzing these benefits, first-time home buyers can make a more informed decision about how to proceed.

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Costs Associated With Upgrading in the Future

Some people will purchase a smaller property initially with the goal of later upgrading to a larger property. This can provide the home buyer with the initial benefits of building equity, taking advantage of tax benefits associated with real estate ownership and more.

However, there are costs associated with selling property, including closing costs, real estate fees, make-ready and improvement costs and more that should be considered.

Benefits of Long-Term Ownership

For many, there will be a need to have a larger property over the years, such as when starting a family or when young children grow into teenagers who need more space. When the first property purchased is large enough for the family to grow into, the homeowner can enjoy long-term appreciation and equity growth.

More than that, the higher value of the property may mean that there is more upside for property appreciation over the years.

Getting Established in a Community

In addition to the financial benefits associated with investing in a larger property initially, there are intangible benefits. Moving into a new home in a few years means that there is a need to get re-established in a community.

When a home buyer settles down into a larger home that he or she plans to stay in for many long years or even decades, getting established and settled in the community can begin right away.

These are considerable benefits that can be enjoyed when a first-time home buyer makes a purchase that he or she plans to enjoy for many years to come, but there are other factors to consider. Each person needs to make a decision regarding a real estate purchase that is best for their needs, goals and financial situation, so there is not a best-fit solution that is right for everyone.

If you know somebody who is considering buying or selling real estate in the near future, let me know so that I can help them make the best informed decision possible.

Maria Lopez
RE/MAX Advance Realty
(305) 467-0774
MLopez5020@gmail.com

Stuck in a Renting Rut? Here’s 3 Reasons to Consider Finally Owning a Home

Renting a home is a good option for some, but buying a home just might be the best thing for you. When you rent a home, you send money to someone else every month in exchange for knowing that you can call on your landlord when the roof leaks, an appliance stops working, or your bathroom faucet breaks. There are some big advantages to buying a house that will help you get out of your renting rut and focus more on your future.

Build Equity

Did you know that when you rent a home, you help someone else build equity? Any changes that you make with your landlord’s approval puts money back in his or her pocket. Keeping the yard clean and taking care of routine maintenance builds equity in that property. When you buy a home of your own, you have the chance to build equity of your own, which you can use to obtain a loan later.

Save On Your Taxes

When you rent a house, you cannot deduct the money you spend on your taxes. Though some states will let you make a small deduction based on the total amount you spend in rent each month, you cannot make any deductions on your federal taxes. When you buy a home, you can save with a few different types of deductions.

The federal government lets you make a deduction if your home is worth more than what you currently owe on your taxes. If you purchased your first home, you can make a deduction in regards to your property taxes. You can also deduct money that you spend on some renovations and energy saving appliances.

Put Your Personal Touch On Things

As long as you continue renting, you live in a home that belongs to someone else. Your landlord has final say over what you do and do not do. This often means that you cannot make repairs or significant changes without seeking approval first.

Owning a home lets you put your personal touch on things. You can paint the walls any colors you want, rip out the carpet to add hardwood flooring or even make significant changes outside to turn your new home into your dream home.

As always, I’m here to answer any questions you may have about owning a home, and what it takes if it’s your first time in the home-buying process.

Maria Lopez
RE/MAX Advance Realty
(305) 467-0774
MLopez5020@gmail.com

4 Reasons Why Selling a Condo is Different Than Selling a House

Florida home

Listing a property is a delicate dance. From the initial marketing to the final price negotiations, everything needs to be tailored to the type of home being sold. However, because of their main differences, this process can look very different when selling a condo versus selling a house.

Reason #1: The Homeowners Association (HOA)

As all condo owners will know very well, most condos come with some type of HOA, or homeowners association.

The HOA generally handles common areas like swimming pools, the exterior of the building, and landscaping. Sometimes, the HOA is also responsible for holding social events throughout the year.

However, all of this comes at a cost. The first is money; an HOA cannot operate or pay necessary expenses without charging residents a monthly fee. The second is freedom; most HOAs have rules that need to be followed.

When selling a condo, potential buyers will balance the costs of each HOA with the benefits.

Reason #2: Real Estate Investors

When selling a condo, it’s reasonable to expect a larger number of investors considering the property than when selling a home. After all, renting out condos is a big business.

As a result, selling a condo could mean a faster closing, a cash offer, or even competing bids if the condo is on prime property and priced competitively.

Reason #3: The Type of Buyer

Different types of buyers look at a condo versus a home. For starters, condos are generally smaller, don’t have yards, have all landscaping handled professionally, and frequently come with amenities like a swimming pool or fitness center.

While a good majority of potential buyers with children would love a swimming pool with zero maintenance, they aren’t willing to make the trade for a smaller space. This means that when selling a condo, potential buyers will generally be single adults, newly married couples, or retired professionals looking to downgrade to an easier property.

Reason #4: Location, Location, Location

Every real estate agent knows that one factor, above all others, is most important when selling a property: location. Being close to town versus far away from traffic, near downtown excitement versus in a quiet neighborhood, or near shopping centers versus on the edge of nowhere all come into play for a property’s value and desirability.

Generally speaking, condos tend to be closer to urban areas, shopping, and entertainment. This also means that their price per square foot is frequently higher. As a result, owners looking to sell their condo should carefully consider the best way to market their property and a fair listing price. As always, I am happy to answer any questions you may have about real estate.

Maria Lopez
Kurz Real Estate
(305) 467-0774
MLopez5020@gmail.com

Want to know what’s available in your neighborhood?  Search for properties on my website, marialopez.themiamihomesearch.com.

 

 

 

Do you really need mortgage insurance?

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Finding a proper mortgage loan and understanding the processing procedures behind the loan is the basis of good research. The down payment on a mortgage loan is typically significant when dealing with mortgage insurance. Most loan applications with less than 20% down payment are required to include mortgage insurance with the loan. However, mortgage insurance may still be required even if it’s not typically required by your lender.

Underwriting Requirements

Most home mortgage applications undergo a strict set of standards for approval. These standards are known as underwriting and make up the bulk of time spent on a mortgage application. Unique situations in employment or credit history may require an additional down payment percentage to avoid private mortgage insurance, or PMI. Most underwriting requirements call for adequate information on the borrower’s credit and employment history for complete application. Self-employed individuals or those with alternative forms of credit may need a few additional hoops to jump through when dealing with mortgage insurance requirements.

Lender-paid Mortgage Insurance

Lender-paid mortgage insurance is a popular option with potential homeowners that seek to avoid the cost of a PMI or FHA-backed insurance on a home loan. Most lenders incorporate payment of private mortgage insurance in exchange for a slightly higher interest rate. This is one example of the points system on a mortgage application that eliminates the cost of PMI. The increase in interest rate may or may not warrant the need for a lender-paid mortgage insurance arrangement.

What’s Involved With Risk Assessment?

Strict lending requirements and banking policy now limit the number of mortgages with zero down payment options. Conventional mortgages and FHA both require private mortgage insurance if it is less than 20% down payment. However, FHA loans can be more flexible with the initial down payment requirements with adequate credit. FHA mortgage costs are now for the life of the loan. Lenders will look at mortgage insurance as risk protection.

The risk protection process may or may not require mortgage insurance in your home loan. For example, VA and USDA loans do not usually require mortgage insurance if the borrower’s credit and employment history are adequate. Conventional loans have a reduction in risk once there is at least 20% equity in the home compared to the principal of the mortgage. Don’t hesitate to contact a mortgage professional about potentially dropping mortgage insurance in the future to reduce overall loan costs.

If you need a referral to a good mortgage professional in your area, feel free to get in touch with me.

Maria Lopez
Kurz Real Estate
(305) 467-0774
MLopez5020@gmail.com

Want to know what’s available in your neighborhood?  Search for properties on my website, marialopez.themiamihomesearch.com.

 

3 Tips You Must Read Before Buying Your First Home

first time buyer

Buying your first home is a very exciting milestone in your life. However, the process may seem a little bit more daunting than expected. There are a lot of things to consider with such a major investment. If you are a first-time home buyer, here are 3 essential tips to prepare you for your first home purchase.

Determine Your Budget

You might have an ideal purchase price in mind, but there is another financial factor that you must consider before you start making offers. That is your debt-to-income ratio. You can find this percentage easily by adding up your total monthly costs, adding your future monthly payments associated with your new home, and dividing that number by your monthly gross income. Ideally, the percentage you get should be below 43% to avoid any issues with the mortgage process. This often gets overlooked in the excitement of house hunting.

Check Your Own Credit

If you have not checked your credit score and history in a while, it is certainly time now. Your credit is going to play a huge role in your mortgage approval process. The better your credit, the better your mortgage rate. Fortunately, you can get a free yearly credit report online. It’s important that you check it as early as possible to give you enough time to clear up anything that may hurt you such as delinquent accounts, or balances in collections. If you get on top of your credit, you will be in great shape for your purchase.

Consider All of Your Options

It’s easy to get carried away and fall in love with a house right away. This is especially true when it’s your first time buying a home. While it’s very exciting to choose a future place to live in, you have to make sure that you consider all of the available properties that match your criteria. It’s good to have backup options in case your first choice doesn’t work out. That way, you won’t be disappointed either way, and you won’t have to scramble later on to find a house.

There are a lot of things to consider when buying a home. If you’re a first-time buyer, remember these tips to give you an advantage for the process. This is a very exciting time in your life, and you want to make sure you do it right.

If have any questions regarding your first buy, feel free to contact me.

Maria Lopez
RE/MAX Advance Realty
(305) 467-0774
MLopez5020@gmail.com