Social Media Blunders Real Estate Agents Should Avoid

/
Social media has become a critical component to every real estate professional's business. In fact, there's probably no greater marketing tool for real estate agents than having a strong social media presence, but how you use these platforms makes a huge difference in how well they work for you.

How to Sell a Home in "As Is" Condition

Often, sellers will have to put in a little elbow grease and invest time and money order an effort to make the home look more attractive and "move-in ready" for buyers. A home that doesn't show well is more likely to turn buyers off and send them in the direction of another listed home in the neighborhood.

How "Energy-Efficient" is Your Home? Here's How to Find Out

There are tons of things that you can do to save energy in your home, from turning off the faucet when brushing your teeth, shutting off the lights when no longer in use, and letting your laundry air-dry rather than using the dryer.

Buying a Home With a Pool? You Should Have it Inspected

A swimming pool is not exactly a foreign feature among homes. In fact, if you're looking to buy a home, the odds of finding one with a pool are pretty high, especially further south. And just like any other component in a home, they're subject to break down over time.

Do You Know How Much You're Spending in Hidden Costs to Sell Your Home?

Selling a home obviously takes up a lot of time and money, but exactly how much money are we talking about? There are the obvious costs, such as real estate agent commissions. But there are also a host of other expenses that need to be factored into the equation, which may be small individually, but can really add up when all is said and done.

6 Signs Your HOA Might Be in Bad Shape

Condominium living might not be for everyone, but there are definite perks to them, including affordability, desirable location, and access to amenities. They're particularly well suited for those who like the idea of having someone else take care of many aspects of their property for them.

Things You Should Put Away When Your Home is on the Market

Buyers want to see your house, not all of your personal belongings. Too much "stuff" can obstruct their view of your home and can get in the way of them visualizing how your house can become theirs. As a seller, you want to highlight the positive features of your home, but certain things can distract buyers, and sometimes even offend them or put them off.

Is Professional Home Staging Worth the Extra Effort and Cost?

There's nothing wrong with wanting to save some cash whenever you can, especially when it comes to operating your home. In fact, you'd be foolish not to take advantage of money-saving tactics if they're simple and don't come with consequences.

Why You Should Consider Buying the Worst Home on the Best Street

Buying an awesome house in a great neighborhood that's turn-key and requires little to no work sounds like a no-brainer, right? Not always, especially if that home just happens to be the most expensive one on the block. In cases like these, buying the best home in the area might not necessarily be a good idea.

How to Make Sure Your Home Sells Faster Than Others on the Block

Having the only home on the block that's up for sale means less competition for you. But what happens when one or more of the neighbors decide to follow suit and plant their own For Sale signs on their front lawns? How can you compete to make sure your home stands out from the crowd?

6 Reasons You Were Turned Down For a Mortgage

The prospect of buying a home is an exciting one, but a rejected mortgage application can put a damper on things. Instead of wallowing in despair, look at this situation as a learning experience. Find out why you were denied a mortgage, then take the steps required to make the necessary changes.

9 Savvy Ways to Negotiate on a Home Purchase

Finding the right home for you and your family is one thing; buying it at the price you want and can afford is quite another. That's where savvy negotiating comes into the picture. If you want to land the home of your dreams at a price and terms that you're comfortable with, be sure to employ the following negotiating tactics.

10 Expenses Newbie Homebuyers Don’t Consider

The actual purchase price of a new home is typically a hefty amount - every buyer knows that. But what many new homebuyers might not realize is how much extra they'll have to spend above and beyond what the actual home costs.

5 Tips For Moving With Kids in Tow

Moving isn't exactly fun or easy, but this is even more true when you've got young children to contend with. It can be tough to have to deal with packing, purging, organizing, and all the other tasks that come with a big move while trying to entertain your kids and keep them out of everything you're trying to haul out.

INFOGRAPHIC: 12 Tips to Holding a Successful Estate Sale

Whether you’re moving out of your current home or are just looking to purge a bunch of stuff you no longer use, an estate sale can be a great way to clear out things you no longer use and even help you make a good chunk of change at the same time.

Tips for Listing Your Condo For a Quick Sale

While there are certainly similarities between selling different forms of real estate, there are also some differences that should be noted as well. Before you even begin the listing process for your condo, it would be wise to understand what these differences are.

What You Need to Know About Buying a Home on a Golf Course

Most people would automatically assume that a home located directly on a golf course would be worth much more than a similar home on a block that isn’t, and they'd be right most of the time. The idea of having crisp, clear views of pristine, meticulously maintained greenery is often enough to prompt buyers to up the ante in terms of offer prices.

How Smart Home Technology Affects the Real Estate Industry

When homeowners make improvements on their homes, it’s in their best interests to choose upgrades that will bring them the biggest ROI come sale time. Traditionally, a new coat of paint, a kitchen reface, and new hardwood flooring have been the frontrunners in this department.

Moved For Your Job? You Can Deduct Certain Moving Expenses

The process of buying and selling is certainly an expensive one, so anything you can do to save a buck or two would be a welcomed proposition. The good news is, you might be able to save a little of money by deducting some of your moving expenses if you’ve relocated because of a change in job. However, there are certain criteria that need to be met in order to qualify for such deductions come tax time.

Housing market set for favourable lead into spring

After a long period of disconnect between supply and demand, Calgary's detached housing sector is firmly in balanced territory. Sales were still 10 per cent below long-term trends in March, but above levels seen in recent years, while average inventory declined compared to last year, supporting price stability in the detached market.

6 Home Repairs That You Shouldn’t Put Off

Issues with homes are bound to pop up no matter how well you care for your home. Some issues are minor, while others can actually make the home be dangerous to be in. It’s not uncommon to procrastinate on certain repairs, but others definitely need to be dealt with sooner rather than later, including the following.

FHA-Backed HECM Reverse Mortgages 101

Imagine being mortgage-free or having access to tax-free money that can be used to cover any one of life’s major expenses? For eligible American homeowners aged 62 years or older, this can be a reality thanks to Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM’s). Backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), these reverse mortgage programs enable seniors to take out some of the equity in their homes and even choose how they withdraw the money.

What is an Exclusive Right to Sell Listing?

There are different types of listing agreements that sellers can choose from when it comes time to sell their homes. But the most popular type of listing by far is the “exclusive right to sell” listing. In fact, it’s not very often that another type of listing contract is used in real estate.

INFOGRAPHIC: 8 Habits to Improve Your Credit Rating

Having poor credit can make it tough for you to buy a car, get a small business loan, and be approved for a mortgage. If your credit is lagging, there are habits that you can adopt today to improve it.

A transition in the making

City of Calgary, March 1, 2017 – After the first two months of the year, Calgary’s detached sector continues to drive a slow transition in the housing market. February sales totaled 1,342 units, which is still 19 per cent below long-term averages, but an improvement over the past two years.

How Does a Comparative Market Analysis Help You Sell Your Home?

After you’ve decided to sell your home, how much will you be listing it for? The asking price can’t be just some arbitrary number that you come up with in an effort to rake in top dollar for your home. Instead, determining the perfect listing price requires careful consideration and a sound strategy.

INFOGRAPHIC: Tips for Filing a Disaster Claim on Your Insurance

You pay for your homeowner’s insurance, but at no time do you ever want to have to file a claim as a result of a major disaster. If you find yourself in this position, make sure you keep the following tips in mind when putting in a claim with you insurance provider.

How to Figure Out How Much of Your Income Should Be Spent on a Mortgage

Before you start pounding the pavement in search of your next home and book showings, you might want to find out exactly how much you can afford first. There’s no sense in looking in the $600,000 range, for instance, if you can only realistically afford a home worth $300,000.

Pros and Cons of Owner Financing

A home purchase is a very expensive one and typically requires some type of financing. The more common way to finance such a large purchase is to obtain a mortgage from a lender or bank, but there are other more creative ways to get your hands on the money you need to pay for your new home.

5 Home Upgrades You Might Be Tempted to Make, But Probably Shouldn’t

/
Whether your home doesn’t suit your needs or tastes anymore or you’re thinking of revamping it to get a better dollar when you sell, there are dozens of upgrades that you can make to your home to improve it. The question is, which upgrades are worth the money spent, and which ones are money pits that won’t allow you to recoup your investment?

Buying New Construction? Why You Need an Agent to Help

It’s customary to call a real estate professional to help you when you’re on the prowl for a resale home, but what about if you’re interested in new construction? Isn’t it enough just to deal with the builder to choose a lot, select your home’s layout, and seal the deal? After all, you don’t have to deal with a seller or need a home inspection.

INFOGRAPHIC: 10 Tips to a Successful Open House

Holding an open house shortly after your home hits the market is a great strategy to attract prospective buyers. Make the most out of your open house by following these tips.

Why FSBO Can End Up Costing You in the Long Run

Without professional representation from a licensed real estate agent, your home runs the risk of sticking around on the market longer than it needs to. The longer it lingers, the higher the odds of having to end up reducing the price just to attract an offer.

January Market Improves Over Last Year

For the fourth consecutive month, housing inventory levels have recorded year-over-year declines. At 4,112 total units, January's inventory was 18 per cent below last year's levels.

How Real Estate Commissions Work

Out of all the questions that clients have when it comes to real estate transactions, how commissions are paid is one of the most common. Who's responsible for paying the commission? How much is it? When and how is it paid?

Understanding a Real Estate Agency Relationship Before Buying or Selling

Before you partner up with a specific real estate agent, it’s important that you have a clear understanding of just how agency works, and how a business “relationship” is established with these professionals. The California Association of Realtors (CAR) provides a standard two-page disclosure form that agents provide to their buyer or seller clients that explains this relationship.

Common Restrictive Covenants in an HOA

If you’ve decided to buy a home in a planned community that’s governed by a homeowners' association (HOA), then you're probably already familiar with the fact that there are certain rules that need to be followed in order to live there.

What’s the Difference Between Staging Your Home and Decorating it?

When it comes to interior decorating and home staging, it all comes down to who you're trying to impress: yourself (the current homeowner) or the buyer (the future homeowner). When you’ve got your home on the market for sale, you need to create a space that speaks to the tastes, needs, and wants of prospective buyers that will be looking at it.

6 Things Home Cleaners Want You to Know

Whether you can’t stand cleaning your home or just don’t have the time to dedicate to it, there are professional house cleaning services available that can take the load off and handle the dirty task for you. Not only does it save you time, it can also save you a lot of headaches, too.

Thinking of Flipping? Consider These Necessities in Your Property of Choice

Plenty of real estate investors have made a handsome profit finding, fixing, and flipping homes. However, being successful at flipping homes means doing your homework. There are a number of factors that need to be considered before you determine whether a specific home is worth investing your time and money on.

INFOGRAPHIC: 8 Reasons to Buy a Home in 2017

If you’ve been planning to buy a home any time soon, 2017 just might be the perfect year to do it. There are plenty of reasons why buying a home should be on your checklist this year, including the following.

New Year Resolutions Buyers and Sellers Should Make

The start of the new year is the time when many people make resolutions to themselves to improve their lives in some form or fashion. Losing weight, finding a better job, or traveling tend to be among the more popular New Year resolutions, but if buying or selling your home is on the agenda for 2017, there are other specific resolutions that should be on your list, and that you should stick to.

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Pricing Your Home

When you decide to sell your home, you need to get the process started off on the right foot, and that begins with determining the right price for your home. Many sellers have a tendency to want to list their home well over what the market deems to be a fair price because they see more value in it than what buyers might see in it.

How to Make the Most Money on the Sale of Your Investment Property

You bought your investment property for the sole purpose of making money. But the profits should still roll in once you decide to part with the property and sell it. When it comes time to list your investment property for sale, getting the most money out of the deal is most likely where your focus is.

The Process of Going From Putting an Offer to Closing Escrow

Buying a home is a big deal, and is typically an involved process, especially during the time between offer acceptance and the actual closing. “Escrow” is basically when a neutral third party holds on your earnest deposit until all contingencies are met in a real estate transaction.

5 Closing Problems and How to Deal With Them

Finding the right house and negotiating an offer can be pretty labor-intensive and even stressful. Throw in problems with closing into the mix, and you’ve got yourself a bonafide headache. In a perfect world, a deal would close without a hitch.

Factors to Consider When Listing an Income Property

In comparison to other types of investments, real estate income properties come with a reasonably safe reward profile compared to the level of risk they come with. If you’ve got a real estate investment profile in the works, there may be a property or two that you’re considering letting go of.

Home Buying Tactic: Pay All-Cash First, Mortgage Later

Coming up with enough cash to make a home purchase isn’t exactly easy to do, and not too many people can scrounge up that kind of money. Yet in a competitive market where homes are being snatched up just as fast as they are listed for sale, all-cash is king.

What Can You Do About Unacceptable Behavior From Your HOA's Board of Directors?

Condominium buildings and planned unit developments are typically run by a homeowners’ association (HOA), which in turn is run by an owner-elected Board of Directors. The members who serve on the board are responsible for making a lot of critical decisions about the association’s finances, a well as the overall state of the building.

6 Things You Can’t Hide From Your Landlord

When you're renting your home, your landlord doesn’t need to know what brand your television is, what you stock your fridge with, or who you invite over for dinner; nor does your landlord particularly care.

8 Ways to Avoid Buyer’s Remorse

It’s a terrible feeling that no buyer wants to experience: regretting your decision after agreeing to buy a house. Whether you’re reconsidering the location, the lack of a master ensuite, or the expense related to updating the place, there are plenty of reasons why you might wish you could turn back the hands of time.

What is a 'Broker' Open House, and Should You Hold One When Selling?

Everyone knows what an open house is. Sellers essentially give free reign to prospective buyers to meander through the home for a couple of hours to scope out the property and get a feel for whether or not they might be interested in further pursuing a potential offer.

How to Handle a Low-Ball Offer on Your Home

One of the biggest fears that sellers have is receiving an offer that’s well under the listing price. Homeowners typically have a dollar figure in their minds that they want to sell their properties for, and if an initial offer comes in well under that price, it’s obviously frustrating and even insulting.

5 Things to Do Right Now to Get Ready to Buy in 2017

Thinking about buying a home in the new year? It’s never too early to start preparing for the big purchase to ensure you’re on solid ground. While finding yourself a seasoned and trustworthy real estate agent is a critical step in the game, there are a number of things you should be doing even before that to make sure you’re adequately prepared to buy.

9 Savvy Tactics Home Stagers Use to Attract Buyers

It’s a fact: homes that are professionally staged sell faster and for more money than homes that are not. But why is that? What exactly are home stagers doing that can command such a result?

What Exactly is Involved in a Short Sale?

The opportunity to get a great deal on a property through a short sale is very real. However, many times there’s no money to be saved in this type of real estate transaction, and the process can be a lot more complicated that your average contract.

The Dangers of Over-Improving Your Home

Sure, most homeowners want their home to be up-to-date and attractive, and often that means making some changes and improvements to it. But while many projects can have positive effects on the functionality of a home, its visual esthetics, and the overall value of the property, others, on the other hand, are just over-the-top, and can actually have a negative impact on how prospective buyers see your home.

Should You Put Hardwood Flooring in the Kitchen?

One of the fastest growing trends in kitchen designs is hardwood on the floors. Although tile has long been the most popular choice for practicality purposes, more and more homeowners are opting for hardwood instead.

Detached prices stabilize in soft market

City of Calgary, Oct. 3, 2016 – The segment of Calgary’s housing market with the greatest influence on the overall market is showing signs of pricing stability. The detached benchmark price totaled $503,400 in September, which is 3.3 per cent below last year, but the second consecutive month at this price level.

Using Price-Per-Square-Foot Analysis to Price a Home

Listing your home at the right price is critical. Pricing too high or too low can keep your home on the market a lot longer than you’d like, and can even leave thousands of dollars on the table.

HOA Governing Documents That You Need to Look Over When Buying

Living in a condo or a home within a planned community is an attractive option for new homebuyers. They’re affordable, and offer all sorts of amenities to owners, including security gates and guards, swimming pools, and fitness rooms, among others.

Selling? These Are Your Disclosure Obligations

If your home has a specific problem that could affect the enjoyment of the new homeowner or even lower the property’s value, you’ll need to disclose it. If you fail to do this and a major problem arises as a result of that particular issue after the buyer purchases and moves into the home, you could find yourself in legal hot water.

Pros and Cons of Selling Your Home at an Auction

They’re the infamous words buyers and sellers will hear at auctions. These platforms have long been used to buy and sell a host of different goods, including real estate. Buyers are hoping to snag a good deal, while sellers are looking to get their properties off their hands in a short amount of time.

8 Interesting Ways to Landscape Your Yard With Bamboo

Bamboo has become one of the most popular “green” and environmentally-friendly materials used in many aspects of home construction and decor. This sustainable material is not only durable, it’s also attractive, and can be taken outdoors and incorporated into a wonderful landscape design.

Quirky Things That Can Affect Your Home's Value

Pretty much everyone knows that a home’s size, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and location have a huge impact on the value of a property. For instance, a 3-bedroom detached home backing onto a golf course will most certainly hold more value compared to a 2-bedroom townhouse that’s situated near train tracks.

Your 12-Month Checklist Before Buying a Home

Considering the magnitude of the purchase, buying a home requires a lot more than just scoping out a few listing on the internet, scheduling a couple of showings, and slipping in your offer. You’ll need to take your time on this one, and make sure you tick off a bunch of to-do’s before you dive into a home purchase.

Detached prices stabilize in soft market

City of Calgary, Oct. 3, 2016 – The segment of Calgary’s housing market with the greatest influence on the overall market is showing signs of pricing stability. The detached benchmark price totaled $503,400 in September, which is 3.3 per cent below last year, but the second consecutive month at this price level.

8 Essential Items Your Home Renovation Contract Should Include

It would be nice to be able to trust your contractor’s word when you’re having work done on your home, but a written contract really is the only way to go. Having everything in writing can ensure that every party involved fully and clearly understands what is expected of them. It keeps the job running smoothly and ensures that everyone agrees on what should be done and when.

6 Things Sellers Do That Kill Their Sales

How sellers handle the home selling process can heavily influence the journey as well as the end result. There are certain things that sellers can do that will speed up the sales process, and then there are other actions that can derail the entire deal.

7 Traits of an Excellent Neighborhood

Location, location, location. The phrase may have become somewhat of a cliché in the world of real estate, but it still remains the most important factor in determining the true value of a property. When you’re in the market to buy, you’re not just purchasing the physical home, but you’re also buying into the surrounding neighborhood as well.

5 Home Repair Requests That Turn Sellers Off

As a buyer, you’re spending big bucks on a home purchase, so you want to make sure you get everything you rightfully deserve. But the line between this and being greedy and unreasonable can sometimes be blurry. Asking for too much can turn sellers off and out you at risk of losing out on the house.

3 Reasons to Sell Your Home This Fall

/
The summer is over and family life begins to settle this time of year. This lull in activity gives buyers more time to browse. Get your home on the market before the holiday season starts.

6 Scenarios Where it Doesn’t Pay to Go the DIY Route

Being handy enough to tackle many issues that tend to creep up when owning a house can certainly save you a lot of money and hassle. But there are plenty of other scenarios when taking the DIY route just doesn’t pay. In fact, it can even wind up costing you money in the long run.

Home Remodeling Projects: How Much Do They Really Cost?

When it comes to homes, styles change and features come more innovative. So it’s pretty unlikely that whatever state your home is in now will be up to snuff in a decade or so. At that point (or probably sooner), you’ll be looking to update the finishes or improve the functionality of your space. The thing is, these kinds of tasks costs money, and budget always rears its ugly head when the need for a big revamp in a home is called for.

6 Reasons Your Home Isn’t Selling

Has your home been on the market for a while and hasn’t attracted a serious buyer? There could be any number of reasons for that. In the meantime, you’re wasting time and money carrying the home while the listing continues to become increasingly stale by the day.

Rent or Buy? 6 Questions to Ask Yourself

When it’s time to move, you may be faced with the decision to either buy or rent. This conundrum isn’t just reserved for young adults moving out of their parents’ homes, but also to empty nesters or professionals who are relocating for a new job opportunity.

No Credit? How to Build it From the Ground Up

Having poor credit isn’t a good thing, but neither is having no credit at all. Getting approved for a mortgage - or any other type of loan, for that matter - is pretty much an impossible feat if the lender has nothing to go on. How will your lender know if you'll be good for the money if you don't have a history of responsible repayment? While you may be avoiding debt like the plague, you’re also failing to build up any sort of credit whatsoever.

Budget-Friendly Ways to Insulate Your Home’s Windows and Doors

If you want a comfortable interior without blowing a fortune on your utility bills, then you’ll want to make sure your windows and doors are adequately insulated. Without it, your home will experience drafts that will end up wasting plenty of energy and money. If it’s boiling outside and you want to make sure the cool, air conditioned air stays in while the hot air stays out, you need to make sure that your doors and windows are properly insulated.

Top Things Buyers and Sellers Want From Their Real Estate Agents

Buyers and sellers tend to have a long list of demands when it comes to real estate transactions, and so they should. After all, the buying and selling process can be pretty complex, so anything that can streamline the process would be welcomed. The way real estate agents conduct themselves and handle situations can make a huge difference between a smooth transaction and a frustrating one.

How is Big Data Changing the Real Estate Industry?

Every industry - including real estate - can benefit immensely from big data. These massive data sets have long been used in the financial and healthcare industries with great success, providing invaluable information about human behavior and interactions, as well as critical patterns and trends among consumers.

Why Do Kitchen Remodels Go Over Budget?

The kitchen is absolutely one of the most important spaces in the home as far as property value goes. In fact, it’s probably THE most important. That’s why many homeowners tend to focus on this particular room in the home when it comes time to do a little remodeling

First-Timer Mortgage Mistakes to Avoid

The majority of Americans out there who are buying homes will have to assume a huge debt in the form of a mortgage. Considering the magnitude of this type of loan, you definitely want to make sure you’re making the best decision before you take it on.

Ways to Prevent Going Over-Budget on a Remodel

There’s no one easy equation to use to determine exactly how much a home renovation will cost. You can’t just multiply a specific unit price and multiply it by the square footage of the area you plan to remodel.

10 Natural Remedies to Keep Bugs and Pests Away From Your Home

Summer is typically a time for holidays, backyard BBQ’s, pool time, and just lounging on your deck. But it’s also a time when the bugs like to come out and play, at the expense of your outdoor enjoyment. If all you’re doing is swatting and shooing, it's time to do something about the problem.

Demand down with net migration

In step with City census data on declining net migration levels, housing sales activity totaled 1,741 units in July, a 12.6 per cent decrease over last year and the 20th consecutive month of year-over-year sales declines.

How Using a Licensed Real Estate Agent Can Legally Protect You

No matter which side of the real estate coin you happen to be on, it’s worth it to have a licensed real estate agent represent you. Buying and selling come with their own set of challenges, which can leave you vulnerable to liability should you make the wrong move. A realtor will make sure you’re protected at all times.

Clever Tips to Stage & Sell Your Home When You Have Small Kids

Keeping your home in pristine condition while it’s on the market is one of the biggest challenges that most sellers face. It can be tough to continue to live your daily lives while trying to make your home look like nobody’s been living in it.

Sellers: Be Prepared For These Types of Buyers

In a perfect world, sellers would only encounter serious buyers who present zero obstacles in the selling process. But just like in all other aspects of life, the world of real estate comes with all sorts of characters.

6 Tips For Finding the Right Interior Designer For Your Home

Your home may have reflected your style a few years back - but today, not so much. Now you suddenly realize that your puffy sofa looks crammed in your living space, or that flower-ridden wallpaper looks a tad on the tacky side.

What Do Your Property Taxes Dollars Go Towards?

If you’re like many other property owners, you likely cringe when you get your property tax assessment in the mail. But as annoying as it may be to have to open your wallet to pay these pesky taxes, they do actually serve an important purpose.

INFOGRAPHIC: 9 Ideas For Low-Maintenance Landscaping

When it comes to your landscaping, you want to be able to spend more time enjoying it and less time slaving over it. But it all comes down to careful planning and designing, and what you choose to include in your garden.

Baby Boomers: Just As Likely to Upsize as Downsize?

Baby boomers who are approaching or have already entered their retirement years have traditionally been known to downsize. Not having as much property to take care of and minimizing the number of stairs that have to be climbed are generally the traits that tend to change once the Golden Years arrive.

7 Reasons Your Home is Lingering on the Market

If your home has been sitting on the market for a while with no bites, you might want to figure out what the problem is. The longer your home is listed without any offers, the more frustrating and costly it’ll be.

6 Ways to Increase Natural Light in Your Home

Who doesn’t love a bright, light-filled space to call home? Not only does natural light open up a space and make it seem larger, it’s also good for the mood. If it feels as though you live in a dungeon, it’s time to let some natural light in.

Common Building Code Violations: Is Your Home Up to Snuff?

Building codes might seem like a nuisance for homeowners, but they’re there for a reason: safety. Many homeowners might not be aware of the building codes they need to follow, which not only puts them at risk for paying fines, but also makes them vulnerable to injury and even death.

Buyer’s Guide to Jumbo Mortgages

If you’re planning on purchasing a high-priced home and leveraging the majority of the money to pay for it, you’ll likely need a jumbo mortgage. Almost 90% of mortgages are backed by either one of two major government-sponsored enterprises: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Part of the remaining 10% are considered jumbo mortgages, a home loan option for expensive homes that approach the $1 million mark and beyond.

6 Questions to Ask Your Home Inspector

It’s a no-brainer: there are very few instances where you wouldn’t insert a home inspection clause in a contract to purchase a home. A property may look flawless on the surface, but you just never know what’s lurking in the attic or in the electrical panel. The best way to protect yourself from a potential money pit is to hire a home inspector to take an in-depth look at the property in question before you seal the deal.

Why Did My Mortgage Payments Increase?

Just because you’ve locked into a fixed-rate mortgage doesn’t mean your mortgage payments won’t change some time in the future. This can come as an unpleasant surprise, especially when you’re trying to manage a budget. If you’ve allocated a specific chunk of your income to your mortgage, your budget can be thrown for a loop when these payments increase.

INFOGRAPHIC: Top Fastest Moving Markets in the US

One of the tell-tale factors of a fast-moving market is the amount of time that listings spend on the market. The number of property sales also speaks volumes about the activity in the market. According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), over 6 million homes were sold in 2016, the first time this has happened in a decade.

Understanding Capital Gain Taxes When Selling Real Estate

You’ve probably heard the term “capital gains” float around when it comes to selling real estate, by do you know what it really means? More specifically, are you familiar with the taxes that may have to be paid on these gains, and how they can affect how much money you wind up with?

Can the Presidential Election Affect the Housing Market?

The current presidential election is definitely an interesting one, capturing the attention of not just Americans, but people across the globe. We’re still quite a ways away from November when the 58th Presidential Election Day takes place on the 8th, which means things are only going to get even more heated.

Lenders Take Advantage of Strong Seller’s Market to Diminish Foreclosure Inventory

Vacant foreclosure properties - dubbed ‘zombie foreclosures’ - are on the decline. According to the second quarter 2016 US Residential Property Vacancy and Zombie Foreclosure Report, there are just over 19,000 properties that are in the zombie foreclosure process, a drop of 3.1% from April and a 30.1% plummet from the same time last year. These properties represent 4.7% of all foreclosures.

7 Tips to Taking Better Photos For Your Listing

The first thing prospective buyers will see before they visit your home is its photos. Most buyers start off their house hunt by browsing online photos of listings. If yours are dark, blurry, or don’t capture your home in its best light, buyers will just move on to the next listing with images that are a lot more pleasing to the eye.

Chinese Buyers Continue to Pour Into US Real Estate

The housing market continues to sizzle in many cities across the US, but it’s not just domestic buyers that are fueling the fire. Foreign real estate investment continues to be a major player in US real estate, and is expected to pick up the pace throughout the remainder of 2016. Chinese investors, in particular, have their sights set on the US. Many wealthy Chinese investors have been dealing with obstacles stemming from the economic crisis in China, and have been looking outside of their borders to plant their capital.

How Real Estate Can Generate Income For the Retirement Years

A steady, predictable, and adequate income stream throughout retirement is a must for anyone in their Golden Years who wants to live comfortably long after they’ve said goodbye to their careers. But without a decent pension, considerable savings, or sizeable dividends from investment vehicles, having the pool of income needed to keep up a certain lifestyle after retirement can be downright difficult.

INFOGRAPHIC: 18 Curb Appeal Ideas to Help Attract Prospective Buyers

The first thing that prospective homebuyers see when they visit your home is the exterior. From the lawn, to the bushes, to the walkways, and finally to the front door, all these components make up the ‘curb appeal’ of your home, which you want to be certain is nothing short of impressive. Some buyers can be so turned off by the front lawn of a home that they don’t even bother checking out what’s behind the front door.

Why More Millennials Are Entering the Housing Market Today

With mounds of student debt and sky-high housing prices, millennials have certainly had the odds stacked against them when it comes to getting into the housing market. And after seeing their parents deal with the recession back in 2008 after which millions of Americans lost their homes, millennials have been nervous about becoming homeowners themselves.

Seller’s Guide to Making the Most of Your Open House

You’re opening the doors to your home to let curious buyers have a gander at your place, which will hopefully peak someone’s interest enough to put in an offer. After all, the more eyes that see your home, the better. That’s the point of an open house.

7 Questions to Ask Your Lender Before Getting a Mortgage

Shopping around for a mortgage involves a lot more than just trying to snag the lowest interest rate. While this certainly is an important component to the mortgage shopping process, it’s only a part of the equation. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran in the world of mortgage applications or a first-timer, there are certain key questions that you should make sure to ask your lender before you agree to a deal. Here’s a look at 7 questions to ask your mortgage lender.

9 Kitchen Design Mistakes to Avoid

No matter how amazing and comfortable the rest of your home may be, there’s something about the kitchen that has everyone congregating to it. No doubt, your kitchen is the hardest working space your home, and should be designed to help make it as efficient as possible. And considering how much of an effect the kitchen has on the overall value of your property, you’d be well advised to make sure its design and style are carefully considered.

Starbucks Boosts Neighborhood and Property Values

Certain neighborhood characteristics obviously have certain effects on property values, whether positive or negative. It’s a no-brainer that having loud railroad tracks in your backyard will drag your home’s value down, while nearby public transit will have the opposite effect.

6 Tips to Building a Sustainable Greenhouse

Instead of heading to the supermarket for your daily dose of veggies and herbs, imagine being able to pluck them right from your own yard? And rather than buying plants and flowers to adorn your landscaping with, why not grow them yourself?

9 Mortgage Mistakes to Avoid

The mortgage process is a potentially complicated one. During the underwriting process, a number of obstacles can get in the way of your approval. And considering the huge commitment, it’s crucial that you make sure the mortgage you get into is one you can live comfortably with.

7 Curb Appeal Blunders That Can Curtail the Sale of Your Home Sale

Impressions speak volumes when it comes to impressing prospective home buyers. That’s why it’s absolutely crucial that you present your home in such a way that it attracts buyers, rather than repel them. And curb appeal is probably the first component you should address. After all, it’s the exterior lead-up to the home that buyers will first interact with.

INFOGRAPHIC: 8 Signs of a Competitive Housing Market

Sellers revel when buyers are competing for their properties, but buyers themselves can often get disgruntled when they’re snuffed out of offer after offer. Landing the right home isn’t impossible during a competitive real estate market, however, as long as you’re aware of the circumstances you’re dealing with and come to the table prepared.

INFOGRAPHIC: 10 Ways Millennials Are Changing the Home Buying Process

With over 80 million millennials now making up the US population, it’s impossible to ignore this rapidly growing demographic. And when it comes to the housing market, the sheer size of this generation means they are playing an increasingly important role in the housing market. As the now largest demographic in the country after surpassing the baby boomers, millennials are certainly having a strong impact on the home buying process.

INFOGRAPHIC: 10 Tips to Saving Up For a Down Payment

Even with a down payment as low as 3.5%, it can seem nearly impossible to scrape together thousands of dollars to put words a home purchase. It’s usually the down payment that stands in the way of many homebuyer-hopefuls’ dreams of being able to secure a mortgage. And when you factor in rent, credit card payments, student loans, and living expenses, saving up for a down payment can be even more of a challenge.

INFOGRAPHIC: 10 Things All First-Time Homebuyers Should Know

Buying your very first home is incredibly exciting, but it can also be pretty overwhelming, especially since the entire process is completely new. But despite your limited experience in the world of buying real estate, it’s critical that you make sure you are well-informed before making any decisions that could put you in a compromising position.

How Do Interest Rates Affect Home Sale Prices?

Homeowners across the country have been able to take advantage of super-low interest rates on their mortgages for the past few years, which has certainly helped to make home purchases more affordable.

INFOGRAPHIC: 11 Things to Ask Your Contractor Before the Renovations Start

Home renovations are no small feat, and can put a big dent in your bank account. Considering the huge expense, you want to be sure every dollar is spent wisely throughout the renovations. Knowing exactly what to expect before the project even begins will help prepare you for the project. And to make that happen, you should start off by asking your contractor a number of critical questions before the process starts.

How Soon After Foreclosure Can You Buy Again?

After the financial crisis hit the nation back in 2008, hundreds of thousands of families lost their homes to foreclosure. In fact, foreclosure filings skyrocketed over 81% that year compared to the year before. Getting approved for a mortgage is tough enough these days for any borrower, but it can be a lot more challenging with a foreclosure on the record.

Are Foreign Investors Upping the Competition With American Buyers?

Not only is there a serious lack of inventory in many parts of the US, there’s also a housing affordability issue at play. And depending on where you live, both of these matters combined spell trouble for the average American who is looking to get into the real estate market but can’t find the right property at the right price. How much do foreign investors have to do with this scenario?

INFOGRAPHIC: 10 Budget-Friendly Ways to Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal

While the inside of your home may be getting a lot of attention, the exterior warrants the same. If you cringe every time you approach your front door, it’s time to make some changes. And if you’re planning on selling any time soon and want to attract as many buyers as possible, boosting your curb appeal is even more important.

What Exactly Goes Into a Home Appraisal?

If you thought finding the perfect home was the hard part of the home buying process, what until you actually have to go from offer acceptance to closing. A bunch of steps need to be taken in proper succession order to take you through escrow, one of which is a home appraisal.

What’s the Difference Between a Mortgage Pre-Qualification and Pre-Approval?

Real estate agents will often recommend that their clients get pre-approved for a mortgage before embarking on a home search. It gives buyers a better idea of how much they can comfortably afford, and gives sellers the peace of mind knowing that there’s a good chance that the buyers will be capable of obtaining financing for a streamlined deal.

6 Things You Should Know About FHA Loans

After the financial crisis hit the US back in 2008, FHA loans suddenly became pretty popular among borrowers who found it tough to secure a conventional mortgage. Before that, FHA loans were typically an option reserved mainly for low-income homebuyers.

On the Fence About Title Insurance? Here’s Why You Need it

After pounding the pavement in search of the perfect home, you finally find one. An offer is put in and accepted, and all closing processes and costs are taken care of. You move in and begin life in your new home - what could possibly go wrong? That depends on whether or not you opted for title insurance. When you buy a home, you’re given title to the property. It’s this title that provides you - the new owner - with the right to possess and use the home and the land that it’s on.

6 Things Burglars Don't Want Homeowners to Know

Every 15 seconds, a home is broken into and burglarized in the US. Thieves spend hours scoping out targets, and once they zero in on them, it takes less than 60 seconds to break in.

Infographic: Baby Boomers & The Real Estate Market

/
Millennials get all the press these days, but Baby Boomers still have a larger impact on the real estate market than any other demographic. This excellent infographic sheds light on this generation’s ongoing influence over the housing market.

Part Time Landlords

3 Costly mistakes to avoid “The truth is that real estate…

Kobayashi Maru

For you non-Trekkies, the Kobayashi Maru was a test given to…