REASONS TO BUY A HOME AROUND THE HOLIDAY

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From Thanksgiving until Valentine’s Day is one of the slowest periods for home sales. That’s one reason you, as a smart buyer, should be out there looking.

In most parts of the United States, house sales follow predictable seasonal patterns. They’re strongest in spring and summer and bottom out around Christmas and the New Year before picking up again in spring.

That means that late December/early January is a great time to look for a house. There are other advantages to buying at year-end, too. So if you are thinking of purchasing a home in the near future, consider fast-forwarding your plans and starting your house-hunt now.

Here are five good reasons:

1. Lower prices. A lot of people don’t have the time or the desire to look for a house during the holiday season; they’re too busy shopping, going to holiday parties and catching up with family and friends. The slackening of demand is reflected in softer house prices. Houses that failed to sell in the pre-holiday period may have reduced prices; new listings, though sparse, will be priced to reflect the slow market, which picks up only gradually in the New Year. It’s a good time to find a bargain. Many sellers who are not motivated take their house off the market in the dead of winter. So those who are still on the market may be more motivated, hence more negotiable.

2. Less buyer competition. With fewer active house-hunters out there, you are unlikely to end up in a bidding war that would drive up the price for the house you want or put it out of your financial reach. Less competition also means less stress for you during the bidding process.

3. Motivated sellers. Many sellers who failed to make a deal before the holidays will be very motivated now, especially if their houses have been on the market for several months. They will be eager to sell and to avoid scheduling their holiday plans around viewings by prospective purchasers, so they are likely to look at any reasonable offer favorably and to negotiate on price. They may also be open to requests for extras like appliances and window coverings, and to giving you the closing date you want.

4. Favorable mortgage terms. Fewer home sales translate into less demand for mortgage money during the holiday season. Lenders may be willing to shave a few basis points off the interest rate they offer you or to forgo some of their fees in order to get your business. Make sure you shop around to get the best deal available.

5. Tax deduction. If you close on or before December 31, you are likely to be eligible to deduct the interest component of your first monthly mortgage payment from your taxable income for that year. You may also be able to deduct any money you pay for points to reduce the interest rate on your loan. Consult a tax advisor to see how the mortgage interest deduction applies in your situation.

HOT TIPS TO HELP SELL YOUR PROPERTY

Once you’ve decided to put your home on the market, it’s important to take a close look at it from the viewpoint of a prospective buyer. Objectively evaluating each area & then making your home “show ready” can have a major pay-off in terms of the offers it will attract & how soon those offers come in.

THE BIG PICTURE:

  1. Keep it uncluttered: It will look neater & look larger. You will convey a more spacious feeling.
  2. Keep it clean: You will create the impression that the house is well cared for. Fresh paint makes rooms look clean & new.
  3. Keep it repaired: Fix items before buyers question them. The need for repairs can make or break a sale.
  4. Keep it neutral: Get rid of distracting colors & personal accessories. Neutral colors & simple decor help prospective buyers visualize their own belongings in a room.
  5. Keep it dynamic: Make your home memorable. Fresh flowers & fresh clean smells make your home more inviting.
  6. Keep it light & bright: Open curtains & drapes to let the sun shine in. Turn on lights.
  7. Showtime: Put away any toys, clothes, food, or other “left out” items.

THE SMALL DETAILS:

Outside: Trim, weed, tidy up lawn & garden. Clean up pet areas; re-sod or reseed. Repair screens, windows & doors. Add fresh mulch under shrubs. Add potted or hanging flowers to decks & porches.

In the kitchen: Clean away extra small appliances. Remove stains & items from sink. Straighten up memo areas & remove papers. Clean & deodorize vent or exhaust hood.

In the bathroom: Clean counters of extra toiletries. Store them out of sight. Remove stains or mold from sink, tub, & shower. Patch, caulk & grout as needed. Put out attractive “for showings only” towels.

IN THE LIVING ROOM & FAMILY ROOMS:

Rearrange furniture for a more spacious feel. Remove any extra pieces & store. Spot clean carpets or rugs. Have neutral paint or wallpaper. Accent with fresh flowers. Open the shades & drapes to let in light.

IN THE BEDROOM:

Straighten up closets. Box & store clothing, shoes, etc. as necessary. Arrange toys to look appealing. Add curtains or valences to rooms without them. Remove attention-getting posters.

IN THE BASEMENT OR GARAGE:

Thoroughly clean & deodorize areas where pets sleep or spend time. Straighten tool shop & laundry. Sweep floors. Clean up grease spots & other spills. Get rid of items you won’t be taking with you.

TIPS FOR FLIPPERS

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What to fix:

There are some must-fix items you should consider as soon as you step into your house. Hire an inspector to assess any structural or plumbing and electrical problems first. Then address the cosmetic issues.

  1. Hardware: Replace doorknobs, drawer pulls, and cabinet knobs.
  2. Light fixtures: If they look outdated, get rid of them and go with something fresh.
  3. Heat/air: Install new furnace or central air conditioning, if needed.
  4. Kitchen: Put in new appliances, countertops and sink; add a dishwasher if there isn’t one.
  5. Bathroom: Install new toilet, vanity, tub/shower, tile, and flooring.
  6. Walls: Remove outdated wallpaper and paint neutral colors. Flat beige walls, flat white ceilings, semi-gloss white trim.
  7. Flooring: Don’t try to shampoo disgusting carpet. Replace with new carpet, laminate, or hardwood, depending on your budget.
  8. Outdoor/landscaping: Make driveway or garage improvements, add a patio or deck, re-sod yard, and put in new plants.

Lessons learned:

Estimate each line-item in your budget high. Add a line-item for contingency of an additional 20% of the total.

Shop around for contractors. Schedule them properly to avoid downtime, while you are paying your mortgage and nothing is getting done.

How to Prepare Your “Home For Sale”

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What more could you want than to get your home sold for top dollar in short order without any hassles? If you take a moment and read through the following suggestions before you put your property on the market, you will be on your way to a successful sale.

 

Drive-up Appeal

Trim trees and shrubs, clean out flower beds and invest in a few flats of colorful flowers, paint the front door, make sure doorbell is working properly, wash the mailbox, keep the porch swept and get an attractive mat for people to wipe their feet.

 

Absolute Basics

  • §  Start by airing out the home. Most people are turned off by even the smallest odor. Odors must be eliminated, especially if you have dogs, cats or young children in diapers or if you are a smoker.
  • §  Wash all the windows in the house, inside and out.
  • §  If it has been over a year since the carpets have been cleaned, now is the time to do it. Bare floors should also be waxed or polished.
  • §  Put bright light bulbs in every socket made for a bulb. Buyers like bright and cheery homes.
  • §  Clean out closets, cabinets and drawers. Closets should look as if they have enough room to hold additional items. Get everything off the floor and don’t have the shelves piled to the ceiling.
  • §  Make sure there is not too much furniture in a room. Select pieces that look best, and put others in the garage or storage.
  • §  Go over the kitchen like a health inspector. Clean the oven, range (new drip pans) and the seal of the dishwasher door.
  • §  Bathtubs, showers and sinks should be freshly caulked. The grout should be clean and in good condition. There should be no leaks in the faucets or traps.

 

A Few Unrelated Suggestions

  • §  If you have limited counter space in the kitchen, keep unnecessary items put away.
  • §  Keep children’s toys out of the front yard, sidewalks and front porch.
  • §  Recognize the difference between decorator touches and clutter or sterility.
  • §  Clean the ashes out of the fireplace.
  • §  Make sure that the pull-down staircase is working correctly. Be sure there is a light in the attic.
  • §  The pool needs to be sparkling and free of leaves.

 

For those Willing To Go the Extra Mile

  • §  There are some things you can do that will add flair to your home. If your home is the least bit dated, you may want to replace wallpaper in the entry, kitchen and bathrooms and consider replacing outdated light fixtures.
  • §  Fresh paint on interior and/or exterior where needed.
  • §  New appliances in the kitchen can be an exciting feature that can actually make the difference in a buyer choosing your home over another.

 

Showing Your Home

  • §  When you leave the house in the morning or during the day, leave it as if you know it is going to be shown.
  • §  Turn off the radio or television. Leave soft music playing.
  • §  Keep pets out of the way—preferably out of the house. Many people are acutely uncomfortable around some animals and may even be allergic to them.
  • §  Leave your premises. Take a short break while your home is being shown. Buyers are intimidated when sellers are present and tend to hurry through the house. Let the buyer be at ease, and let the agents do their job.

 

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month

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Lung cancer is a devastatingly painful disease that affects numerous Americans each year.  With 228,190 new cases yearly, lung cancer has become the leading cause of cancer related deaths in the United States.  To create awareness and prevention the month of November has been dedicated to lung cancer education.  King Real Estate Group has dedicated this blog to cancer education, and community outreach efforts for you to get involved.

10 Facts you didn’t know about Lung Cancer

1. Workers exposed to asbestos have a greater chance of getting lung cancer than cigarette smokers.

2. According to the American Cancer Society 159,480 deaths are caused from lung cancer every year.

3. In 1987 lung cancer surpassed breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer deaths for woman.

4. Non-smokers exposed to second hand smoke have a 20% to 30% higher chance of developing lung cancer.

5. Lung Cancer Awareness Month began in 1995 as Lung Cancer Awareness Day.

6. The chances of developing lung cancer are about 1 in 13 for men and 1 in 16 for woman.

7. 85% of lung cancer is non- small cell lung cancer.

8. Stopping a smoking habit prior to cancer develops, allows your body to steadily repair damaged tissue.  This often prolongs or prevents lung cancer from developing.

9. Living a healthy smoke free lifestyle is the best way to prevent lung cancer.

10. Radon is a radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer.  Radon is odorless, colorless, and can be found in rock, soil, air, and underground water in different levels.  This harmful gas can also be present in your home, to reduce your exposure have your home tested.

 

How to get involved:

All month long the Lung Cancer Alliance is hosting events all over the country in support of Lung Cancer Awareness.  To get involved or make a donation visit their website.

For the month of November, The American Lung Association is encouraging you to share your stories with others.  What better way to empower and educate others, by sharing your struggles, and triumphs of battling lung cancer.  To share and learn about others stories go to: www.mylungcancersupport.org.

How Denver is celebrating Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Denver kicked off Lung Cancer Awareness Month early this year with the 4th Annual Lung Cancer 5K run/walk.  The National Lung Cancer Partnership held the 5k on October 6 and will be fundraising until November 20th.  If you would like to make a donation please visit their website:  Make a Donation.  

This November 14th Join the Lung Cancer Alliance for their 5th Annual Shine a light on Lung Cancer Vigil.  The event will be held at the Mi Casa Recourse Center at 6:30.  For more information, check out their websiteuntitled

 

We at King Real Estate Group pride ourselves on providing clients with knowledgeable,  personalized, and innovative real estate services.

Sources:

American Lung Association http://www.lung.org/

American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org/cancer/lungcancer-non-smallcell/moreinformation/lungcancerpreventionandearlydetection/lung-cancer-prevention-and-early-detection-prevention

Lung Cancer Alliance http://www.lungcanceralliance.org/