Blog :: 2016

Yearly Property Checkup and Maintenance Checklist

Autumn's cool temperatures provide a good environment to address your yearly property checkup and maintenance checklist. The change of weather is a helpful reminder to complete any home clean-up projects that you may have been procrastinating on. The following are some tasks not to forget.

Clean Gutters

Autumn leaves appear gorgeous, but when they stay in gutters resulting damages would be not so pretty. The more frequently you clean out your gutters, the easier it will be to keep clean. Furthermore, it may be safer to hire a professional to do this for you.

Power Washing

Pollen and dust may stick on house during the hot and humid months. You may purchase or rent a power washer. Before starting, ensure that you use the right spray power for the surface you are cleaning. Attach the power washer to your hose and spray from one end to the other. Everything will be clean in no time.

Prune Shrubs

Take a look around your yard for any dead limbs that could cause property damage when there is heavy snow or ice. Trim down bushes and shrubs and keep them a distance away from buildings. Wait until late October to cut any spring-flowering plants to avoid removing next spring's flowers.

Prepping the Lawn

Repairing your lawn is a good way to improve your property's value. Fall is a good time to feed and reseed the grass for the coming spring. Before starting, mow your lawn one more time.

Heating Check-up

Schedule an annual check-up for your HVAC system and clean filters. This simple task may boost your furnace's efficiency and reduce utility costs. Annual maintenance can also extend the life of the heating system.

Close Off Leaks

Having your furnace cleaned may save money, but not if warm air is escaping through gaps! Look for drafts near windows and doorways. Re-caulk as necessary to prevent heat from leaking out. For older windows that cannot be caulked, consider buying plastic window coverings sold at your local hardware store.

Clean Out Creosote

You don't want to call the fire department when you first use your chimney this winter. A chimney sweep can take care of creosite buildup. This is also a good opportunity to identify other issues with your chimney and give you a chance to address them so they don't become an expensive repair.

Why You Should Do All of This

Your yearly property checkup and maintenance checklist should not be delayed. They do not strictly improve your home, but they also prevent future damages and, in the end, save you money.

Pricing a Home to Sell

Pricing is directly related to the length of time it takes to sell a real estate listing and whether it may sell at all. Pricing is crucial at all times but is particularly critical when there are an abundance of listings available. The following is advice on pricing techniques for properties NH.

Take Into Account the Local Market

Each local market is unique. When you see statistics on the news, those usually refer to national figures. Your specific city may be dramatically different. A local real estate broker will provide a CMA which evaluates sales of comparable homes in your geographic area and provide an anticipated price range in which your property could sell. This amount may change continually, so avoid referring to outdated reports.

Refer to the Facts

When reviewing the market report, remember that there is a range. Where your home should be in that range depends on other options on the market and your preferred time frame. As a seller, it is common to have pride in your house and the repairs put into it. Unfortunately, not all potential buyers will attribute equal value to specific upgrades. Expect that it is rare to get back the total dollar value of renovations. Additionally, market values can be affected by foreclosed homes in the area, which are traditionally listed at significant discounts and remain used as comparable houses. Market value is actually the amount that a buyer is willing to pay for a property at the current time. It might not necessarily meet your estimates or exceed what you paid for the property.

Pricing Techniques

Listing above the reasonable range can result in extended listing time frames. If the market declines further during that listing time, the property may ultimately sell for even lower than it could have if positioned accurately to begin with. Additionally, home buyers commonly have a negative feelings about properties that have been listed for a long time. This is difficult to overcome even if a listing lowers in price eventually. Overpricing can be extremely damaging.

Words of Wisdom for Sellers

If the market value of your home is dramatically different than what you need to sell for, it may be best to watch the market and wait for values to go up rather than pricing high and allowing it sit for a lengthy period of time. If you have no choice but to sell and need to do so within a defined time frame, picking a price reflective of the market and competitive with current properties will be crucial to attaining your goals. Time is money and mis-pricing can be more damaging than you anticipate.

 

Reverse Mortgages

Tips On Reverse Mortgages

Reverse mortgages can be a great option for the right type of homeowner. It is essential to understand the pros and cons prior to selecting this mortgage program. This blog offers tips on reverse mortgages.

What Is a Reverse Mortgage

A reverse mortgage is a special kind of home loan that lets you convert a portion of the equity in your home into cash. However, unlike traditional equity loans, borrowers do not have to make monthly payments towards the loan. The mortgage is paid back when the borrowers no longer use the home as a primary residence or no longer comply with the terms of the loan. The amount owed includes the cash taken out, interest on the loan, and other associated fees.

Who Qualifies for Reverse Mortgages

Not every home owner can apply for a reverse mortgage. You must...

- Be at least 62 years old.

- Own a property that you live in as a primary residence.

- Have a qualifying property type.

- Have equity in the home.

- Have consulted with a reverse mortgage counselor.

Loan Amount Calculation

The amount of a reverse mortgage is based on how old you are, the prevailing interest rates, the appraised value of the home, and FHA mortgage insurance limits. Older homeowners may use more equity. The funds can be received all at once, on a monthly basis, or through a line of credit.

More Tips On Reverse Mortgages

Reverse mortgage options are offered by most mortgage companies. The closing costs are typically more than other loan types, so it should only be used when no other loan options are feasible. Program terms and charges can vary, so it would be wise to review quotes from a few different companies. The tips on reverse mortgages shown in this article is intended strictly as an overview. Requirements may change, so speak with reverse mortgage professionals for information based on your situation.

Importance of Home Staging

The Benefits Of Staging Listings On The Market

Any real estate professional or buyer can attest to the benefits of staging listings on the market. There are several advantages that make it worth the effort. Below are things to consider when trying to decide whether to stage your property.

The Benefits Of Staging Listings On The Market

The fact is, the way your home is arranged can really affect the interest in your home and what it will sell for. Staging highlights the best amenities of your property and can minimize the undesirable ones. It also encourages potential buyers to visualize themselves living in the space. These impressions can increase the interest level of those buyers. The bottom line is, staging your listing may help it go under agreement quicker and for a higher price.

Approaches to Home Staging

There are many different ways that a property may be staged and recommendations may vary based on particular properties. Here are just a few approaches that your Realtor may cover with you:

  • Cleaning and Organizing the Space
  • Removing Certain Personal Items
  • Neutralizing Colors an Decor
  • Furniture Pieces and Arrangement
  • Brightening the Space

When staging your home for sale, you want people to think that it can be their home and not that they are invading yours. Although buyers are not buying your personal belongings, their impressions will actually be affected by those items.

Determining Whether to Stage Your Home

If you want your home to sell for its maximum price, you must acknowledge the benefits of staging listings on the market and take the time to do it properly. You do not have to attempt it on your own. Rely on real estate professionals for guidance. Their knowledge gained from selling other properties may be a huge asset.

Portsmouth, NH Fireworks

Happy Fourth of July Weekend!!!!  Portsmouth's Fireworks will be held on Sunday, July 3rd @9:15pm at the South Mill Pond across from Portsmouth City Hall.  Everybody have a great weekend and be safe out there!!

Please click LINK to see streets that will have Parking Restrictions on July 3rd.

Energy Efficient Home Building

New Home Energy Saving Tips

With new construction, there are things that you might select up-front that will reduce energy consumption and save money in the future. Most often think of appliances when discussing energy efficiency, but there are many other building materials that relate to energy levels. Below are some new home energy saving tips to get you started.

Heating and Cooling Systems

Heating systems normally have a percent efficiency rating. The higher the number, the higher the savings. The cost may range based on brand and efficiency. If you live in colder regions, selecting higher efficiency units will result in significant savings.

Appliance Considerations

Energy Star products function more efficiently (as confirmed with testing). Therefore, they lower energy expenses and help preserve our environment. You can search for Energy Star products on the Internet or at local retail stores. Most clearly display the energy star placard that includes statistics on the energy consumed under standard operation. They are widely offered, so you will be able to get appliances with the features you prefer.

Roof and Siding Colors

Darker color shades for roofing and siding shingles take in heat, causing the air inside a house to become hot. Your systems will then run longer to offset it. Picking light colored shingles will reflect the sun rather than absorb it. There are other more complicated solutions such as white roofs (special reflective material) or a green roof (with plantings).

Efficient Features for Windows

Windows are a major means of heat and cooling loss. Double-pane windows offer improved insulation. Additionally, adding a low-emittance layer between the layers will minimize heat flow through the window. Low-E material is virtually invisible. Different types of glaze are available to accommodate particular temperatures. High solar gain options are good for regions with cold weather, and low solar gain glazings are great for warmer climates that use more air conditioning. It is also important to evaluate window positioning to take advantage of natural daylight. This can lower the use of electricity.

Role of Insulation

With the right amount of insulation, you will stop heat exchange through the walls. It is obviously less expensive to add it during construction than to attempt it later. To be the most effective, a home should be insulated from top to bottom. If the structure has a below grade level, also consider insulating bulkhead entryways and hot water piping.

Other New Home Energy Saving Tips

Home construction includes many choices. Remember to include energy efficiency in your assessment of different products and materials. Gauge the effect on the environment and initial cost relative to savings over time. In most cases, going with energy efficient products is a clear decision when looking at the overall benefits. Start by consulting with your contractor for other suggestions.

Fosters Way, Dover, NH

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Common Renovation Mistakes

Common House Renovation Blunders

House renovation projects, big or small, can be unexpectedly complex. Television shows make projects appear so quick and easy that you may not fully realize what is needed to achieve your goals. Whether you attempt it yourself or hire someone, here are some common house renovation blunders to avoid with your next endeavor.

Not Properly Prepping

Getting your home prepped for repair work can help save you some time later on. Dirt will travel farther than you realize during house renovation. For instance, failing to cover doors may make your whole house dirty.

Using Cheap Options

If you are deciding to dedicate resources to repair your property, why not make it last? Many homeowners make the mistake of opting for inferior materials with short life spans. There are ways to save money on a renovation project other than using low quality materials.

Going Too Far With Demolition

Proper house renovation does not necessarily require that you demolish to the studs. You can ultimately make more work by doing so and adding unnecessary expenses. Carefully plan your repair and evaluate what you can salvage before starting demolition. Retaining particular features may require a more careful demolition, so you do need to know this prior to starting.

Using A Design That Does Not Make Sense

You want your home to be contemporary, but going too far with your design can impact the resale value of your property. Additionally, think about the existing elements of your property and ensure that the new design compliments it. Remember all of this when selecting hues, materials, etc. for your house renovation.

Setting An Impossible Budget

It is critical to stay within your target budget, but that is only achievable if you set a realistic one to start. It is also not uncommon for unexpected issues to arise during construction. Try to incorporate a buffer just to be safe.

Staying Away from Common House Renovation Blunders

It is simply too easy to make common house renovation blunders. Being aware will help you dodge them. Assess your space, use an appealing design and enduring products, carefully plan before starting, and set a feasible budget and schedule in which to complete it. This will result in a stress-free project with nicer and longer lasting results.

Home Renovations Cost Vs. Value

New Hampshire Home Renovation Costs Versus Value

New Hampshire homeowners should check the possible improvement in property value compared to the expense of particular renovations prior to performing any work. Some repairs are more profitable than others. The following is information on New Hampshire home renovation costs versus value.

Many people think that they will regain every dollar spent on a repair, or perhaps even more, in increased property values. This is an expected expectation, however it is not generally what occurs. Different home repairs offer different returns, and that increased value can differ depending on the area. To obtain an overview on home renovation costs versus value, here are a few nationwide averages.

Averages

The figures below were obtained from the Remodeling Magazine Report.

Improvement

  Expense 

   Increased Value        

Cost Regained

Basement Room Addition   

  $63,378

         $42,338

       66.8 %

Garage Addition

  $57,824  

         $33,089

       57.2 %

Bathroom Addition

  $40,096

         $20,455

       51 %

Minor Kitchen Upgrade

  $19,588

         $14,120

       72.1 %

Entry Door Upgrade

  $3,536

         $1,990

       56.3 %

 

Assessing Home Renovation Costs Versus Value

Another factor influencing the value of renovations is whether it is a mid-range or up-scale improvement. Kitchen renovations, for example, can be performed in varying price ranges resulting in a different ending value. So, not only might you evaluate the type of renovation but additionally the quality. For a comprehensive list of home repairs and up to date New Hampshire home renovation costs versus value, visit http://www.costvsvalue.com.

First Time Buyer Guide

Getting Ready to Buy

Find a Local Mortgage Company

Interview a local mortgage company and request a pre-approval. Keep in mind that banks might offer different alternatives than other lenders. Evaluate the options and settlement costs to determine the best option. Get an estimate of up-front costs and recurring payments. This also helps determine your maximum purchase price.

Select a Real Estate Broker

Find a real estate broker to assist with your property purchase. Choose someone that understands your needs. Experienced agents can help identify properties, prepare contracts, and facilitate a smooth transaction. This expertise can be essential to first time buyers.

During the Purchasing Process

Real Estate Showings

Only consider listings within your budget. This prevents the heartbreak of wanting real estate that you cannot afford. Home viewings can be time consuming, so keeping to your limits will also preserve valuable time.

Agreements

Real estate brokers may offer advice on offers and negotiating them, but they do not practice law. If you require a legal opinion, consider hiring a local real estate attorney to interpret legal jargon and add any desired terms. Do not sign any contracts that you are not fully comfortable with.

Real Estate Inspections

Do not use inspections to renegotiate price or alter purchase terms as they sometimes do not identify any problems at all. Also stay away from negotiating clearly visible issues. Such strategies are not usually successful and lead you to lose the inspection costs. In situations where problems are uncovered, sellers may offer to address defects, give closing concessions, or be unwilling to do anything. Try to be reasonable with your demands and sellers may be more willing to accommodate them.

Final Walk-Thru

Shortly before the closing, you will have the chance to view the property one more time. It is a good idea to schedule this for after the homeowners have removed their belongings. If any issues arise during this visit, you may negotiate them prior to completing the closing.

The Closing

You must have proper ID for the closing. Bring acceptable funds for any amounts due. Have your checkbook ready in case there are any final corrections. Upon closing, the real estate belongs to you!