buy: Landlords Should Think Like Sellers, Not Owners - 12/12/14 03:42 PM
Those who make a living buying and selling real estate know some upgrades are more expensive than they are worth, but others deliver a significant return on investment. If you know, for example, that your $5,000 refurbishment budget won't boost the sale price, you would be foolish to spend it. On the other hand, if you know that same capital can be invested in a way that will bring an additional $20,000 to the property, you would be foolish not to carry through. Here are just a few improvements to consider for your property:
 
Perceived Value
Landlords and real estate … (0 comments)

buy: Mortgage Moment: Grab A Conforming Loan Now - 12/12/14 03:38 PM
New lending guidelines from the Federal Housing Finance Agency will cut the down payment minimum from five percent to three percent for conforming loans that are purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on the secondary market. This means more first-time and lower income borrowers will be able to get a conforming loan, a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, as long as they have good credit.
According to FHFA Director Melvin Watt, these new underwriting guidelines provide a responsible approach to improving access to credit while ensuring safe and sound lending practices.
"To mitigate risk, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will use … (0 comments)

buy: The Gift Of Home: Crowfunding The Best Present Of All - 12/12/14 03:35 PM
At the holidays, everyone is thinking of creative and meaningful gifts to give to their loved ones. You're probably also fielding a number of requests from family who want to know what you want!
This time around, tell the truth. You don't want a new pair of slippers. Or a Blue-ray player. Or another annual membership to the Beer of the Month club. Well, you might actually want that one. But not as much as you want a house.
More specifically, you want the down payment for your house. And as lovely as it would be for a big fat check … (0 comments)

buy: Selling Your Home In a Cold Market - 12/12/14 03:30 PM
Housing markets go which way the wind blows. When the weather's cold, home sales tend to freeze. Prices fall and supplies of homes for sale increase. Buyers become more demanding.
It's a buyer's market, but that doesn't mean you can't sell your home for a fair price. You just have to work harder to make it happen.
 
Turn the weather to your advantage.
There's a lot about winter that's fun. If you live in a region where there's snow, turn it into an attraction. Light the fireplace for showings, and throw a cozy cashmere or granny-square afghan over the chair, … (2 comments)

buy: New Condo Board: Transition Is Important - 11/09/14 03:21 PM
In the past two years, there has been an explosion of new condominium associations. Some are as small as 4 units, and some larger than 200 units. But the process of transition is important regardless of size.
 
Many new owners are first time buyers. They have never owned any real estate and have no business experience whatsoever. And they do not understand how condominiums work.
 
But many associations are big businesses, with budgets in the millions of dollars. Unless owners get involved, learn the process, and hire competent professionals, the association may be headed for disaster -- financially as … (0 comments)

buy: Home Winterization: Five Ways to Keep Out the Cold - 11/09/14 03:19 PM
April may bring showers, but winter weather can bring all sorts of other unexpected and expensive damages to your home. Fall's cool temperatures are a reminder that winter days are on their way - take stock of what you may need to do to prepare your home beforehand, and you'll be ready for the onslaught of ice and snow. Here are several simple, cost-effective tasks you can do now to make the transition into the colder months easier.
 
1. Clean Out Your Gutters
 
Once the leaves are off the trees it's time to clean out your gutters. Poorly maintained … (0 comments)

buy: A Six Step Media Room Tune-Up - 10/19/14 03:58 PM
Most households have a room where the main activity is watching television. We're well beyond needing simply an electrical outlet and a pair of rabbit ears to entertain ourselves at home -- now, game consoles, cables, satellites, computer networks, streaming systems and stereo components can all communicate with your television. Be prepared for new devices incorporating cable management and methods of communication that will become "standard" in the future. Whether you're renovating your media space, building a new one or considering a quick upgrade, here are the elements to consider so you can make the most of your media.
 
Screen … (1 comments)

buy: 10 Tips for a successful real estate in 2015 - 10/19/14 03:40 PM
2015 is fast approaching, why set your goals as early as now….
 
1. The influence of written goals: Research shows that writing down your goals and plans and sharing them with someone increases the probability of success.
 
2. Lay down your income and closed transaction objectives:Thin you have closed 20 transactions this year and aim to close 40 transactions next year. Once you put a double effort into your most profitable real estate activities, most agents easily boost their closed transactions by 50-100 percent.
 
3. Lead generation is the key: the rule is to generate 1 out of … (1 comments)

buy: Creating a Modern Master Bedroom - 10/17/14 07:19 AM
It's your haven. Your lair. Your hideaway. The one place you can kick back, relax, feel serene and sexy and, ultimately, shut out the world and slumber.
 
Only it's not much of a haven, it's certainly not a lair, and not only does the room exude the exact opposite of sexiness, it's also far more tired than you are. It's your bedroom, and if it isn't doing it for you, it's time for a contemporary re-do.
 
"When you picture a contemporary bedroom, you most likely think of pale woods, plenty of white sheets and lots of monochrome," said 1kindesign. … (0 comments)

buy: All The Things You Need Now To Get Ready For Holiday Hosting Later - 10/17/14 07:06 AM
Well you knew this was coming. The beauty of cooler fall temperatures and leaves beginning their vibrant change brings the inevitability of family coming soon to camp out at your place. Yes, it's about to be the season of hosting.
If you're used to the last-minute scramble of urgently Googling carpet cleaners the day before Thanksgiving or making up guest beds at 3am on December 24, well, maybe you just like the adrenaline rush. Or, maybe you just need to plan ahead. We get it.
If you, and your house, are far from ready, you don't have to worry. You've got … (2 comments)

buy: How Older Homes Beat New Homes - 10/11/14 07:42 AM
For a society that likes shiny new things, the latest research could foreshadow a surprising trend -- homebuyers choosing older homes over new construction.
Why? The prices and operating costs can vary widely. In August 2014, the median sales price of new homes sold was $275,600, while the median price of older homes was $219,000. Taxes and insurance may cost less for an older home.
People are often wowed when they go into a builder's model and see how beautiful it is. It has the latest bells and whistles, but when the buyer starts to add upgrades, the price can quickly increase. Once … (2 comments)

buy: Top Things To Consider Before You Buy A Condo - 10/11/14 07:31 AM
Condos were once thought of as homes that attracted singles or couples, often without children. But today, condos are growing in popularity and attracting families of all sizes.
Condos can be an excellent choice for the right buyers. Here are a few things that should considered before purchasing a condo. Most buyers start with the condo itself. That may be a good place to begin but, before they buy, buyers should also consider other factors outside of the condo.
Some developers are building condos that have a look and feel like single-family homes. These modern condos have great rooms and open, flowing floor … (1 comments)

buy: Who Does The Broker Represent? - 09/27/14 05:46 PM
You want to buy a house so you start shopping around. On Sunday, you decide to visit a number of properties that are on the market. You have not engaged a real estate agent to assist you. When you enter the various houses, you are greeted by a real estate agent who is "house-sitting". She or he welcomes you, asks you to sign-in, and invites you to look around.
 
Who does that agent represent? What obligations -- if any -- does she have to you and to the seller?
 
Let's look at some basic terms:
Seller's agent -- the … (1 comments)

buy: 8 Reasons To Divorce Your House - 09/27/14 03:58 PM
You've been loyal. You've been true. You've given it all you have. But now, the house you have committed yourself to just isn't doing it for you anymore. Perhaps it's time to throw in the towel. Give it the old heave-ho. Call it quits.
 
How do you know when it's really over?
"A home must be elastic. It must give, expand and contract, while helping you hold it all together. And when it no longer does, it may need to go," said the News & Observer. "A home's job is to support those who live there, not enslave them. When … (8 comments)

buy: Revitalize Your Home Office - 09/27/14 03:51 AM
Feeling overwhelmed as you try to get office work done at home? In as little as a few hours, your cluttered home office space can become an efficient machine, capable of maximizing your productivity, and ensuring better time management.
 
Prioritize
It's all within easy reach. In fact, reach is one of the first concepts to consider when reorganizing your work space. At your fingertips should be items you need often throughout the day -- your tablet, phone, and something to drink. That may seem obvious, but how often do you waste time searching for a pen or notepad?
A little … (12 comments)

buy: Education Thwarting Homeownership For Younger Households - 09/27/14 03:47 AM
as it worth it? That may be the question being asked by about 5.9 million households between the ages of 20 to 40 who incurred student college loan debt and are still paying it down today to the tune of about $250 or more each month.
A new study reveals the impact of student college loan debt on the housing market. According to the report by John Burns Consulting, an Irvine, California-based firm, 414,000 homes sales won't happen because of high levels of student debt and the monthly-payback burden.
This, says the report, amounts to 8 percent of all sales and … (1 comments)

buy: Home Remodeling Gone Wrong: 3 Contractor Projects You Can Remedy - 09/19/14 09:28 PM
It’s a lot of work and it can be a lot of money to own a home. If you choose to remodel, there are a lot of things you can do yourself, but if it’s a bigger job than you can handle, you’re going to have to hire someone.
Let’s say that you wanted the interior of your house remodeled and you hired a contractor. After he left, you find that there were things he left unfinished. If you had it in writing that it was up to the contractor to do everything from start to finish and you had a … (1 comments)

buy: Can a New Home Improve Your Sex Life? - 09/19/14 09:22 PM
The scene is set. Crackling fireplace. Homemade desert. Candles flickering. Drinks sparkling.
And then the spark that should be igniting between the two of you instead takes place in your old fireplace, sending black smoke into your living room and flames shooting up the chimney and out into your space, which then ignite your drapes and send you running partially clothed for the fire extinguisher.
Well that killed the mood.
You don't have to set the living room on fire to know that your house is in desperate need of repair and renovation. But maybe it's just not enough. If you're … (1 comments)

buy: Seller's Advice: Spend a Little, Raise The Price a Lot - 09/19/14 09:07 PM
Your real estate professional is probably advising you to declutter, stage your home, plant new flowers, and make numerous repairs and updates. You may be reluctant to get started because of the costs, but according to home valuation site HomeGain, improvements like these can actually make you more money when you sell your home.
Under HomeGain's Tools for Sellers, you can find the Home Sale Maximizer tool, where HomeGain has identified the top 10 home improvements under $1,500.
These add the most to home sellers' bottom line, and are recommended by over 600 real estate professionals across the nation.
 
The … (1 comments)

buy: Water Heater Maintenance 101 - 09/06/14 12:28 PM
Water heaters generally have a lifespan of 8-12 years, but as with anything, the better care you take of it, the longer it will last. There are several easy "set it and forget it" tips that you can use with your water heater, like keeping the thermostat at 120 degrees, and always maintain two feet of clearance around the appliance. You can also conserve money on your gas bill by setting your heater to its "vacation" setting when leaving town. This will keep the pilot light going without heating the water.
Water heater maintenance goes well beyond just checking the thermostat, … (2 comments)

 
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Sharon Sigman

Sharon Sigman

Overland Park, KS

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