Wanda J. Hall's Blog
An Open House can be an integral part of selling a home. Not every home is a candidate for an Open House due to factors like market conditions, location or condition. If you are planning an Open House there are some helpful hints to ensure you have the most successful Open House on the block. Here are some tips on how to have the perfect Open House:
Host a brokers only Open House. Agents and brokers will preview your home and identify possible buyers they have for your home.
Make your home look as large as possible by moving large pieces of furniture into storage.
Remove items not included in the sale. Remove the chandelier you got for a wedding present and the bookcase that fits so perfectly it looks built-in. If buyers don't see it, they won't want it.
Take Fido with you. Make arrangements for your pets to leave the house when it is being shown.
Two to Three Days Before Your First Open House
Clean the house top to bottom. Get in every nook and cranny, wipe down the walls, windowsills, vacuum the corners and baseboards and yes wash those windows.
Air out the house by opening the windows.
Make your home smell delicious by baking bread or apple pie.
Go through each room one by one and try to look for last minute fixes.
Add an arrangement of flowers.
- In most communities, Sunday afternoon is typical and expected.
- Two hours is also typical.
- Avoid conflicts with holidays, community celebrations or special events such as the Super Bowl.
- If possible try to be aware of the weather forecast, although this may be difficult to do.
- Clean and buff your appliances, that includes the stove inside and out.
- Launder all the bedding, towels, rugs and other fabrics in your home.
- Touch up spots on the walls.
- Sweep and clean out the garage.
- Mow the lawn, sweep the sidewalks, and clean up the bushes and flowers.
Buying a home can be very confusing and not to mention the new terms you need to know. This is especially true when it comes to navigating the mortgage process. One important term to understand is the Good Faith Estimate. The Good Faith Estimate or GFE is a government-mandated form mortgage brokers and lenders are required to give prospective borrowers within three days of a loan application. The GFE summarizes the terms of the loan. It can be used to compare loan offers from the same or different lenders. An approximation of the final figure of the loan costs are on the GFE and must be as accurate as possible, it is important to note that some GFE can have a 10 percent tolerance. The top two sections on Page 1 provide a summary of the loan terms and estimated settlement charges. There is also a section the covers when the GFE expires and whether the interest rate is locked or floating. You will want to go over the GFE closely; it will disclose the initial loan amount, interest rate, monthly payment and loan terms. Remember that the payment includes principal, interest and mortgage insurance, if any, but not property taxes or homeowners insurance. You can find a Guide To The Good Faith Estimate by clicking here.
Are you thinking of buying a home with a septic system? Septic systems are common in the suburbs and more rural areas where municipal sewers are not available. So what is a septic system? It is a self-contained, underground waste water treatment system. It consists of a septic tank and a drainage system. The septic tank is a large, watertight container. It can be made of concrete, steel, fiberglass, or polyethylene. The septic tank is connected to your home's sewer line and collects all water and the waste in it. The drainage system has several parts; an outflow pipe, a distribution box, a network of perforated pipes, and a leach field. When liquids inside the septic tank get high enough, they flow out of the tank into the outflow pipe. The outflow pipe leads to the distribution box which then channels waste water into the perforated pipes. The waste water is then distributed into the leach field. There is usually no cause to worry when buying a home with a septic system. It is prudent to have the septic system inspected or ask for proof of inspection during the purchase process. If maintained properly, a septic system can last between 25 to 35 years.
Sunscreen is essential but buying sunscreen can be very confusing. From water resistant sunscreens to SPF to broad spectrum protection, it is hard to know what you need to keep your skin safe this summer. Sunscreens protect you from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation from reaching your skin. There are two types of ultraviolet radiation, UVA and UVB. They both damage your skin and increase your risk of skin cancer. The difference between UVA and UVB Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is part of the electromagnetic (light) spectrum that reaches the earth from the sun. Ultraviolet A (UVA) is the longer wave UV ray that causes lasting skin damage, skin aging, and can cause skin cancer. Ultraviolet B (UVB) is the shorter wave UV ray that causes sunburns, skin damage, and can cause skin cancer. The definition of SPF SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. The SPF number on sunscreen is a measure of a sunscreen's ability to prevent UVB from damaging the skin. The number of the SPF is how long it will take the sun to redden the skin. For example, SPF 15 sunscreen theoretically prevents reddening 15 times longer than no sunscreen at all– about five hours. What is broad spectrum? Sunscreens that have broad-spectrum protect the skin from both UVA and UVB rays. Beginning in December 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will implement new rules for "broad-spectrum" products. New sunscreen rules Here are some of the new rules The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued for labels on sunscreen. • Sunscreens may be labeled “broad- spectrum” if they provide protection against both UVA and UVB radiation according to FDA-sanctioned test methods. • Only broad-spectrum sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher may state that they protect against skin cancer if used as directed with other sun protection measures. • Broad-spectrum sunscreens with SPFs of 2-14 must display a warning that the product has not been shown to help prevent skin cancer or early skin aging. • The terms “sunblock,” “sweatproof” and “waterproof” are no longer allowed on sunscreen labels. • Sunscreens may claim to be “water-resistant,” but must specify whether they protect the skin for 40 or 80 minutes of swimming or sweating, based on standard testing. Sunscreens that are not water-resistant must instruct consumers to use a water-resistant sunscreen if swimming or sweating. • A company cannot claim that its sunscreen products provide sun protection for more than two hours without submitting test results to prove this.
The news has been bombarded with negative stories about the real estate market over the past few years, but the tides are turning and inventory is now lower than ever. There are still many opportunities for buyers as prices still remain low. For savvy homebuyers looking to buy in the high-end or luxury marketplace there is tremendous opportunity. If you’ve always dreamed about buying a luxury property but considered it just out of reach, today’s market may has put downward pressure on the prices of higher-end homes making them more affordable than ever. To buy your dream home you will want to have a strategy. 1. Choose your agent wisely. Your agent is your advocate. You will need an agent who is experienced and successful in the luxury home market. Agents who deal in luxury property have the right knowledge to help you locate and negotiate an offer on a high-end home. 2. Take the time necessary. The high-end home search may take more time and patience. The supply of luxury homes may be smaller, you may even need to expand your search or rely or your agent to find homes that may not be currently up for sale. The home will be bigger, have more features and thus there will be more to consider in the purchase decision. 3. Prepare the perfect offer. Cash is king in today’s market. According to the May 2011 REALTORS® Confidence Index from the National Association of REALTORS®, 30 percent of all purchases between mid-April and mid-May of last year were financed with cash. The number was even higher for luxury properties. Even though many luxury sellers may also be in a distressed property situation they are typically more particular about who was buying their property as well as the final selling price. Use your agent to carefully craft the perfect offer.