Posted In:Real Estate Archives - Pligg

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Why You Should Invest in a Historic House

March 28, 2018 - By 
historic house

Would you rather live in a newly-built home or an affordable, stylish piece of history?

Across the USA, you can find various homes for sale that were built as long ago as the 19th century or as recently as yesterday.

You might be wondering; “Is buying a historic house right for my family?” Read on for some helpful tips and advice.

Built To Last

You might have heard people say “They don’t make ’em like they used too”…well it’s true! New homes aren’t built with the same solid construction as they were previously.

Newer homes tend to be built extremely quickly, but many older homes were built by genuine craftsmen with meticulous attention to the details. After decades or even centuries from being built, these solid builds have stood the test of time, withstanding many storms!

A historic house will also most likely have thicker walls with solid wood doors and framing. This old-growth wood means that it is denser and more sustainable. A home built to last!

Not Generic

Many new builds are almost built like Lego houses. You can easily get lost in a new estate, as they all tend to look the same. But a historic house possesses a lot more character and sometimes has some really cool features.

For example, a farmhouse sink, an antique tiled floor, a hand-carved staircase, classic fireplaces or even stained glass windows. In many Victorian or Tudor style homes, many architectural features include intricate molding, arches, and carved woodwork.

You won’t find any of these unique features in a generic new build.

More Affordable

Many house buyers lean towards newer properties. That means older homes aren’t as popular, which allows the price to be a bit cheaper.

You also get more for your money. If you look at the square footage of an older home versus a new build, you’d be surprised at how much bigger historic homes are. Which is great if you’ve got a big family to look after!

A Bigger Yard

Many moons ago when these houses were built, the land was generally cheaper. Builders built onto larger areas, leaving plenty of room for a big garden.

In many of these large yards, it’s not uncommon to see ancient trees, some even up to a hundred years old! And an abundance of plants that have bloomed year by year for decades.

Having a larger outdoor space mean that many homes have previously extended to having a garage and outdoor buildings, such as work sheds or cozy dens. Having this extra garden space means that you still have room to extend in the future. For example, a conservatory or a porch area.

Better Location

Many older homes are located in urban neighborhoods which are closer to downtown areas.

This means many places are walkable, such as the local school, coffee shops, restaurants and grocery stores. You might even be able to walk to work! This will save you a bunch of money on transport costs.

The neighborhood may have also been around for decades, some homes being passed down through generations. This can really make for a better and safer neighborhood, as everybody knows and looks out for each other.

Because of this, you also don’t have to worry about a constant changeover of neighbors, which can be pretty disruptive in some cases.

Things to Remember

Historic homes are unique and have many benefits. But make sure to do your research before you buy.

Many older homes require extra maintenance and updates. For example, the wiring and plumbing might need to be replaced. Or the chimney might need regular maintenance.

So when you’re viewing the house, make sure to check these things. If you’re unsure, it’s always good to get a qualified inspector to see how much the repairs will cost, this might save you a lot of money in the long run.

For information about historic homes in the San Diego area, take a look at Aumann Bender & Associates blog.

Buying a Historic House

As you can see, buying an older home has many benefits! Not only is it unique, stylish and generally bigger, but it was built to stand the test of time.

For more awesome tips and hacks on buying your new home, check out our blog!


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Resale Roadblocks: 5 Reasons to Not to Buy a Timeshare

February 28, 2018 - By 
timeshare resale

With the average timeshare price running about $20,000 a year, it can be a major investment for most families. If you don’t have the time to enjoy your timeshare, it could seem like a waste of money. This is what has gotten a lot of people interested in timeshare resale in recent years.

The demographic for timeshares is mostly people over 50 years old. With fewer people able to take vacations and more people renting than in the last 50 years, instability has driven younger people to vacation in different ways. Timeshares aren’t quite as attractive as they used to be.

While these changes to the overall economic ecosystem could make prices drop and investments seem like a better idea, you still need to read the fine print. Without a careful eye on the contract you sign, you could get screwed. Here are 5 timeshare resale roadblocks to make you reconsider investing.

1. Value Drops Fast

If you were considering buying a stock or a bond that you knew could be in freefall, you’d think twice. You might know that new cars lose massive amounts of resale value as soon they’re driven off the lot. For some timeshares, the same is true.

The investment returns on timeshare resale just aren’t as steady as other investments. Often a timeshare’s value will drop by as much as half by the time the owner is ready to sell.

The second-hand market, unfortunately, isn’t as large as many people selling timeshares might want you to believe it is. That makes a timeshare investment a pretty dependable way to lose money.

If the value of your investments can’t hold up for years to come, ideally growing, it’s best to avoid them altogether.

2. They’re Not Liquid

It’s really hard to turn any real estate asset into cold hard cash. The number of people trying to sell their timeshares has never been higher. Unfortunately, the people looking to buy are in the absolute minority.

If you offer a bargain price to a potential buyer, you might make your sale a little quicker, but you could lose out big time. Otherwise, you can hold out for awhile in hopes that the market bounces back.

Unfortunately, some major shifts in the overall economic landscape make it seem unlikely that the market will skyrocket anytime soon. While you’re waiting to sell your timeshare, you could be paying all of the fees, taxes, and mortgage costs associated with the property.

This could drive you into a bad position, where you need to take out additional loans from places like Aconsumercredit. You might not have the budget for this and be rolling the dice. Hopefully, someone scoops up your property soon.

3. Broker Scams Abound

With the huge number of people trying to sell timeshares right now, it’s a timeshare resale boon for a certain type of broker. They can be seen trying to prey on unassuming timeshare owners who are frustrated by the state of the market.

They will approach sellers and pose as a broker. After sellers have been positioned on the market for months or even years trying to get rid of a property, these “brokers” guarantee a deal in a few days.

This will, of course, excite the seller and get them to pony up a nominal fee. This fee is promised to be returned once the sale occurs. The problem is, this sale rarely occurs.

The “broker” disappears with the money, never to be heard from ever again.

4. Rental Isn’t Happening

Because you’re the owner of the property, you’re entitled to making attempts to rent out your timeshare as long as you’re paying for it. This works for a few people but raises more issues for others.

Finding a renter can be a massive challenge. There are so many options for renting timeshares since there are so many that are currently up for sale. Your rental income, even when you’re completely booked, may never pay for your annual costs.

With all of the additional maintenance, cleaning, and set up, it makes the whole process not seem worthwhile. You might even find rental restrictions in your lease.

And then there’s the vetting process. You don’t want to rent out to people who might ruin your space. You could be paying thousands out of pocket, basically ending up with a net loss because of carelessness from your renter.

Not everyone wants to be a landlord and not everyone has the wherewithal to fight against problem tenants. Unless that courses through your veins, a rental might not be for you.

5. Opportunity Costs Are High

In a buyer’s market, as it is right now, timeshares aren’t a very strong investment. In a lot of cases, you might lose money on your investment, meaning that just letting your money sit in a bank account might have worked out better.

A timeshare is a real estate investment and there are expectations placed on any kind of real estate investor. Even though it’s lower stakes than buying a house or a commercial property, you will have to perform maintenance and tend to it. If it doesn’t accrue wealth over time, you should consider another kind of investment.

Owning a home is how most American families build any wealth at all. If you’re renting but investing in a timeshare, you might want to consider owning a hope in a place you love rather than investing in a timeshare.

Timeshare Resale Is a Bear Market

As things change for a generation of people who don’t see the value of timeshares, more people are vacationing through apps like Airbnb. That leaves timeshare properties up for grabs and then turns into a lower value for them. Unless you want to devote a lot of time to timeshare resale, you should reconsider investing.

If you’re looking for more tips on investing in real estate, check out our list of must-have real estate apps.


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Should You Invest In a Timeshare?

February 26, 2018 - By 
invest in a timeshare

What if you had the perfect home away from home waiting for you?

That’s the promise for those who invest in a timeshare. However, many wonder if it’s really worth it and what all goes into the process of investing.

Keep reading to discover more about how this works and what the pros and cons are!

Who Should Invest in a Timeshare?

Before diving into the pros and cons, it’s important to discover who would best benefit from owning a timeshare. Not every person or couple will get the same amount of use from it.

First of all, you must be happy regularly vacationing in the same place. If you like to go somewhere different every year, a timeshare is a bad idea.

Second, you should definitely have extra disposable income. In most cases, you literally own a timeshare and will be paying for it for many, many years unless you can sell it.

Finally, those with large families get the most benefit. This is because the timeshare can be shared and passed down so different family members can use it over the years.

Keep reading to discover more about the pros and cons of timeshares!

Pro: Predictability

Everyone knows that booking a hotel or condo for a vacation can be stressful. You never know what place will have availability, and there’s always a chance a new place ends up disappointing you.

Meanwhile, the biggest strength of a timeshare is the predictability. Every year, you know exactly what you are getting and exactly when it is available.

This lets you adjust your schedule around your vacation while also ensuring you have no unpleasant surprises. And this peace of mind is as good as starting your vacation early!

Con: Long-Term Commitment

The obvious downside of a timeshare is that it’s a long-term commitment. The typical minimum for a timeshare is ten years, and some go as high as fifty years.

This means you must be comfortable committing to paying extra for this timeshare for decades (unless you are willing and able to sell it). And you must be happy to vacation in the same area year after year.

Many people are very happy to make such a commitment, especially if they do an annual vacation to the same spot. However, those who don’t want their vacations or wallets locked down may want to stay away!

Pro: Good Deals Are Available

Good news for those looking at timeshares is that many deals are available. It’s possible to buy a timeshare off of someone and get a much better deal than they paid.

And people are trying to sell their timeshares at locations all around the world. It’s basically a buyer’s market for those who are interested, and there’s never been a better time to get a great deal.

Getting a good deal translates to thousands of dollars of savings over the years versus traditional vacation costs!

Con: Needs to Be Researched

One of the biggest drawbacks of a timeshare is that there is a lot of fraud and scam within this industry. If you’re not careful, you pay what you think is an upfront fee and then never see the scammers again.

You can avoid scammers by making sure you thoroughly research both the timeshare and the seller. And you don’t have to investigate all by yourself, either.

At My Timeshare Attorney, they specialize in helping you find trustworthy timeshares. Whether it’s investigating something you found or finding something for you, they’ve got you covered!

Pro: More Space and Comfort

Another nice advantage when you invest in a timeshare is that you get extra space and comfort. This makes for a much better experience than simply grabbing a hotel.

An example of this is that many hotel rooms do not include a kitchen area while many timeshares do. This gives you added convenience and also helps you save money on meals when you travel.

And many timeshares have multiple rooms in them while many hotels do not. This helps you keep your vacation party together while still giving everyone the privacy they may want.

Overall, a timeshare is simply a more comfortable place to stay than a hotel.

Con: Lower Resell Value

Earlier, we mentioned the advantage of a crowded timeshare market. This is what allows you to invest in a timeshare at a lower price than you may have thought.

However, the crowded market will work against you eventually. Many timeshare owners eventually try to sell their timeshare.

It’s almost impossible for you to sell your timeshare for the amount that you paid into it. This is because the crowded market makes it difficult for your own listing to stand out.

Make sure you go into your timeshare investment with your eyes open. Your investment will actually depreciate in value rather than growing!

Should You Go For It?

This brings us back to the big question. Is it worth trying to invest in a timeshare?

The answer, of course, is “it depends.” Your specific level of income and vacation needs informs whether this is a good choice or not.

If you are on a tighter income from month to month, a timeshare is likely not worth the extra expense. And if you like spontaneous vacations to new locations, the fixed timeshare location is not good for your needs.

However, those who enjoy annual vacations to the same location have very little to lose with a timeshare. They may save money versus booking hotels every year. And the bigger your family, the more you’ll get out of a timeshare.

The Bottom Line

If you’re reading this, then you have an interest in exploring the world. Traveling the globe and experiencing new things is what makes you happiest.

Here at Pligg, we’ve got you covered. We have a blog full of advice for travelers like yourself while offering eBooks and other media that let you learn more about the world around you.

To see how we can make your life better, come check out our tips to travel the world on a budget today!


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The 8 Best Real Estate Apps For House Hunters

January 11, 2018 - By 

The search for a new home can be time-consuming, overwhelming, and disappointing. Lucky for you, with mobile apps and online search systems, it no longer has to be.

With fantastic real estate photos available through easy-to-use, seamless apps, you can set up an appointment to see a home you like in a matter of seconds.

Furthermore, you won’t be surprised when arriving at the home. Apps offer detailed listings with all you need to know about the home before you make an appointment.

You can now brose real estate and find the deal of your dreams while filling your gas tank or while standing in line at the grocery store. The best real estate apps have made the market a smaller, more accessible place for house hunters.

Here are 8 of the best apps you need while you shop for your next home.

Zillow

Zillow comes in at numero uno on our list because it is the most widely used and the most powerful real estate app. More Americans even search “Zillow” in the Google search bar than “real estate”.

With almost 70 million buyers and sellers each month, Zillow is the king of the best real estate apps. When searching for your home, you can count on Zillow to bring you an extensive and expansive list of resources.

What’s more? It’s free. You can submit new rental or sales listings and even claim the listings with your information on them.

Zillow is a seamless app and lets you click on any home location, see the street view, and take a thorough tour of the home.

Trulia

Another one of the best real estate apps is Trulia. Similar to Zillow with fewer users, it allows house hunters to peruse millions of listings nationwide. It offers you everything from updated listings of homes for sale, open houses, apartments for rent and foreclosure options.

Trulia demands high-resolution photo galleries of all of their properties for a qualified listing. They also require comprehensive information about each listing. The listings will come complete with school ratings, price and tax histories, and a Trulia estimate of what the home’s worth is.

Redfin is One of the Best Real Estate Apps

Redfin is another massive destination for home hunters. You can buy and sell real estate on Redfin. Theirs is one of the best real estate apps and is available in 83 different U.S. markets.

They have incredibly up-to-date listings, and the system self-updates every 15 minutes. This offers the latest information to a buyer for every listing they are considering.

Buyers won’t waste any time using Redfin by inquiring about a home that is now off the market or doesn’t meet their specifications because the information posted will always be the latest.

Redfin is one of the best real estate apps to do comparables on. You can establish a price range for the home you want based on the market activity and information Redfin has gathered. They include every aspect, from last sale price to lot size and condition of the home.

The app is available for both Android and iOS.

Houzz

Houzz makes our list of best real estate apps because it is able to streamline a home renovation process for you. In 2009 the app renewed its technology and interface an now lets you design a home.

It gives house hunters access to millions of interior design photos and decorating ideas. This is great for people who are shopping for lots to build a custom home on or people who need help deciding what they want.

Realtor.Com

Realtor.com makes our list of the best real estate apps because it offers property listings that are sourced right from 800 MLS. Much like Redfin, their listings are refreshed and updated every fifteen minutes as well.

Their listings offer great photos of properties and will give you all of the fine print details like sales history, property tax, and nearby amenities. It has very user-friendly search options.

ZipRealty

ZipRealty is great for people both buying and selling a home. One of the best features ZipRealty offers is the drawing feature. You can simply draw a line around your desired area of real estate.

Once you apply the drawing, it will bring you only the listings in that area. It also has augmented reality features that let you see homes nearby for sale. You can tour homes and see potential open houses too.

Homesnap

Oh, snap. Homesnap made our list of best real estate apps because it allows users to take photos of homes nationwide and upload them. Homesnap gives a collaborative and thorough listing of every home, with the help of users.

Homesnap is especially useful for real estate agents and brokers. There is a private message feature that lets them communicate with house hunters for free and in a secure forum. There is a great mapping feature and the app lets you keep a history of all the photos of homes you’re considering.

Coldwell Banker

The biggest plus of Coldwell Banker is that it lets you search internationally, which few other apps do. It can even help you plan your move abroad and buy a vacation home.

Looking for a home in the Rockies? Find one at Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties. It has a cool property notification option that will let you know the minute new properties or an open house is released that meets your set of standards.

My Mama Told Me…

…you better shop around. And now it’s easier to do than ever. With so many fantastic real estate apps you can find homes you’re interested in, compare them to others, and set up an appointment within minutes.

These apps will give you the most information about their listings. You’ll get accurate photos and in-depth descriptions of what is going on with any given property. This will save you time by eliminating the homes you know you don’t want to see through all of the information given.

For more tips, tricks, advice, and manuals on shopping for a home and what to look for, learn more here.


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6 Real Estate Blog Monetization Tips You Will Love

January 5, 2018 - By 

If you want to make money, blogging may be an excellent choice. There are some blogs that make six figures every month.

With that in mind, there’s a piece of the pie available for your real estate blog. But there’s also a catch.

If you want to make a profit blogging, you need to know how to monetize. While this can seem easy, it’s an incredibly difficult part of working in the industry.

A good strategy can help you succeed. Follow these tips to learn more about monetizing your real estate blog.

1. Use Affiliate Programs

A lot of people think that affiliate programs are just for e-commerce sites and review platforms. But there are actually plenty of great ways for a real estate blog to take advantage of the creative potential of an affiliate program.

The first way would be through selling links. If you allow a broker or real estate marketing website to advertise their services on your blog, you’ll be sure to attract wealthy and interested customers.

Similarly, there’s a lot that you can gain through providing affiliate links to real estate books or even furniture. Whatever avenue you choose, know that affiliate marketing is incredibly valuable.

2. Sell an E-Book for Your Real Estate Blog

Selling an e-book is a great way for any site to make money. And if you have a real estate blog, you’re already on the right track.

That’s because having a blog reflects a strong base of knowledge and a desire to act as a positive source of information. This is a great way to learn how to engage users by expanding the content you already offer.

It also doesn’t have to be an e-book. If you want to look for alternative ways to offer premium content, you can take advantage of the blog you have and offer certain posts behind a paywall.

If you develop a podcast for your blog, this is a particularly strong strategy. While new episodes can be easily accessed for free, older posts will be hidden behind a paywall.

Your areas of expertise can play a major role in building interested customers for a book. Offering this product or other premium content can take you far.

3. Consider Consulting or Coaching

If you already have a real estate blog, you’re probably already passionate and knowledgeable on the subject. If you offer services like consulting or coaching, you can turn this spark into a fire.

Offering consulting or coaching services can be an incredibly helpful way to solidify your niche and reputation. On top of that, it’s a great way to make some money from your blog.

Regarding your niche, there are a variety of areas in which a blog may specify. One may focus on sales, while another may focus on investment. These are two heavily differing areas in the real estate world.

That being said, both can benefit from consulting services. A real estate investor always want to make sure they have a high-quality portfolio. Similarly, a salesperson wants to be sure they’re building the right leads and doing everything they can to close.

Bloggers around the world offer consulting to prove and profit off of their expertise. It doesn’t matter if you blog about real estate or SEO services. There are more ways than just blogging to help your readers.

4. Offer Paid Posts

If you want to monetize your blog without providing any additional services, offering paid guest posts is a great way to do it.

Before writing more about this, there’s one thing to note. You don’t want to compromise the integrity of your real estate blog for the purpose of paid posts. You want to make sure that brand is one that customers can trust.

Make sure you aren’t simply writing whatever the post purchaser wants you to write. While doing that would be profitable in the short term, in the long run, it would make it more difficult for your brand to make a profit.

This is because your customers will no longer trust you. And when the partnership of trust between a blog and its readers is broken, it can’t be repaired.

That being said, it isn’t difficult to develop a trustworthy brand while taking advantage of paid guest posts. Offering the option of sponsored content while being transparent about the source is a great way to monetize.

5. Provide Real Estate Listings

Real estate listings or directories are an excellent monetization strategy.

If you want to know how to take advantage of them, look for something similar to the property search function offered by the Phyllis Frankel Realty Group.

Simply put, you want an easy-to-use listing that can provide your customers access to the property they want. This will bring more traffic to your site while also letting you profit from companies that use the listing.

6. Provide an Online Real Estate Course

Similar to consulting, an online course is a great way to monetize your real estate blog. In addition, there are a wide variety of areas in which you can offer a course.

For instance, if your blog is oriented towards people looking for a home, a course on how to find the perfect place to live can be helpful. You can also offer more advanced investment and sales courses.

But the most important thing to consider is the quality of your course.

A good real estate course won’t just restate information found on your real estate blog. It will expand on it, allowing you to genuinely benefit your readers.

Start Your Blog

Before you can monetize your real estate blog, you have to start it. We can help.

We know that there’s a lot to consider when starting a blog. Chief among them is your platform.

Read our guide to the best blogging platforms to learn more.


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A Simple Guide To Buying A Home With Bad Credit

November 8, 2017 - By 
buying a home with bad credit

Preparing to buy a home should be an exciting time in a person’s life. It’s a big step, and should be one that you take confidently.

If you have a low credit score, however, you may feel like home ownership will be out of your reach or more difficult to achieve. That may have been true once, but it isn’t the case anymore.

Potential home buyers now have lots of financing options that can help them secure their dream home, even if they don’t have the best credit history financial standing.

Buying a home with bad credit is now a real possibility, but you have to know the right steps to take. Read on for our simple guide, so you can eventually be ready to buy the house of your dreams.

1. Determine a Realistic Budget

Buying a home with bad credit is possible, but you have to be honest with yourself about how much home you can afford. If you’re already standing on uneven financial ground, the last thing you want to do is take on more debt than you can handle.

Start by looking at the numbers. How much do you make each month? How much do you have saved for a down payment? How much are you already paying toward other debts?

It’s also important to remember that the listing price is not the only cost associated with buying a home. There could be closing costs, a home inspection cost, and moving costs that you will have to pay. Factor those into your overall budget so you don’t end up spending more than you can realistically afford.

2. Consider a Co-Signer

If you think that your bad credit may stop you from getting approved for a mortgage on your own, consider asking someone with a more secure financial standing to co-sign your mortgage.

Your co-signer should be someone that you have a close, trusting relationship with — such as a spouse, parent, or sibling — and he or she should be willing to take on the financial responsibility of co-owning the property.

A co-signer will likely have to share their credit report, income information and other qualifications with the lender, so be sure you’ve prepared them to do so.

3. Explore Mortgage Lenders

Traditionally, if you wanted a mortgage loan you had to go to a bank. Now, however, mortgage lenders are becoming a popular option because they can make it easier for everyone — even those with bad credit — to buy a home.

Mortgage lenders can offer non-conforming loans that don’t have to meet a bank’s stricter criteria for funding.

They are willing to work with potential home buyers who don’t have a great credit score and can find financing options that enable those people to buy a home like they’ve always dreamed about.

Want to Know More about Buying a Home with Bad Credit?

Our lives are more complicated than they used to be, and between student loans and credit card debt, it’s common for your credit score to take a hit. But that shouldn’t — and doesn’t have to — stop you from being able to buy a home.

For more information about buying a home under any financial circumstance, please explore our blog.


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3 Digital Real Estate Marketing Strategies That Work

November 8, 2017 - By 

Marketing is never easy.

From messaging to target markets, picking the right strategy takes time and effort.

Luckily, with digital marketing, you can get a lot done at a low cost. You just need to be willing to put in a little effort.

There are a ton of digital real estate marketing strategies out there. Finding the right options for your business might take some time and a little trial and error.

To get you started off on the right foot, let’s a take a closer look at three digital real estate marketing strategies that work.

1. Social Media – A Digital Real Estate Marketing Strategy

Social media is one of the most powerful tools in a real estate agent’s toolbox.

In fact, studies show that social media actually has a 100% higher conversion rate than outbound marketing.

An effective social media strategy will help you to build better brand recognition and loyalty. In the process, you’ll also forge real relationships with your customers.

If social media feels like a mystery to you, don’t worry. It’s much simpler than you think. While there’s no “secret sauce,” your best bet is to simply share and connect with people in your community.

Don’t make it salesy. Keep building relationships and using the approach that made you an effective agent in the first place.

2. Help Out Your Clients

Some of the most effective digital marketing is what’s referred to as inbound marketing. With inbound marketing, the goal is to draw customers to you through interesting and helpful content.

Many industries – real estate included – are prime candidates for effective inbound marketing.

Purchasing and maintaining a home are processes that many people find intimidating because there’s so much involved.

As a real estate agent, what information could you provide to buyers, sellers, or homeowners?

Use blog posts, video, and social media to dole out tips and tricks on home buying and selling. This is a great way to let people in your area know that you know what you’re talking about.

3. Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the most effective digital real estate marketing techniques out there. With an ROI of $44 for every $1 spent, it’s hard to go wrong with the medium.

Email marketing doesn’t need to be complicated. At its core, email marketing is simply a process of capturing email addresses from prospects and slowly converting them into buyers.

Capturing names is vital, even if it’s just a simple request to “stay in the loop.” If you need inspiration, check out how this site is doing it.

If you want to really take advantage of email marketing, try offering a free guide or discount. Then take them through a series of emails that offer useful information and warm them up to your brand.

Putting It All Together

What digital real estate marketing strategies are you using?

We’ve touched on a few of the most effective digital marketing techniques for realtors, but there are many available.

Get started today by putting these suggestions into practice. You can also browse our site and read more helpful tips about digital marketing.


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5 Exciting Real Estate Technology Trends on the Rise

September 14, 2017 - By 

Are you worried that technology will eventually make real estate agents obsolete?

The good news is that a growing number of buyers continue to hire real estate agents. In fact, in 2016, 87% of buyers worked with an agent.

For agents to continue to be a necessity, understanding real estate technology trends is a must. Realtors® need to be ready to embrace these digital changes.

Want to capitalize on these trends? Want to ensure you’re in the know with the latest and greatest technologies?

If so, we’re here to help!

Read on to learn about 5 real estate technology trends that are on the rise.

1. Virtual Reality

Virtual reality (VR) is widely popular in the gaming industry. The same technology is positioned to change how buyers interact with a home. With the use of VR, buyers can tour a home without stepping foot inside of it.

This will completely change the experience of buying a home.

In the past, buying a home without seeing it physically was risky. VR removes the challenges associated with long-distant home purchasing.

The technology will also allow buyers to experiment with the home. They can choose different styling options, floor plans, and more.

2. Smart Homes

The smart technology industry continues to improve. The idea of a fully automated home is no longer a thing of the past.

With smart technology, home owners can use:

  • Automated door locks
  • On-the-go temperature controls
  • Smart lighting
  • Smart appliances

These devices boost quality of life, home functionality, and improve energy efficiency. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that the demand for smart technology is growing.

As a real estate agent, you’ll need to understand and market this technology.

3. Automation

As an agent, most of your daily tasks require a human touch.

You have to create posts on social networks. You have to create emails to keep in touch with prospective clients.

With automation, you can spend less time marketing yourself. Instead, you can dedicate more of your time showing homes.

This trend will make agents more efficient in their daily work.

4. Big Data

How many posts have you seen where friends and family members check into restaurants? While this data seems useless, geographical check-ins are quite useful.

Social media companies, such as Facebook, use this data to tailor digital marketing and advertising. By looking at consumer behavior, companies can determine:

  • Where customers live
  • Potential buying/selling behaviors
  • Income
  • Marital status

As a Realtor®, Facebook is a gold mine of data. You don’t even need to know how to code. You can use social networks to connect with prospective buyers and sellers.

With big data, the days of mass-mailing postcards are of the past.

5. On Demand Services

These days, consumers expect instant gratification. With the click of a button, we can find a local cab or order grocery delivery.

With the continued growth of on demand services, real estate agents need to focus on providing instant gratification.

Instant connections are a must. Consumers want to know that there is an agent from Power House Real Estate who is available to meet within the next 2 hours.

There are several companies, such as CurbCall and the Real app, that are exploring instant real estate services.

Real Estate Technology Trends: Wrap Up

As an agent, staying on top of real estate technology trends is a must. As new digital technology is available, consumers expect Realtors® to be in the know.

As an agent, you’ll also want to embrace digital downloads. At Pligg, you can find a wide variety of downloads.

Our site provides graphics for your real estate website as well as real estate eBooks.

Check out our site today and get to downloading!


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4 Things to Know Before Browsing Property Listings

August 30, 2017 - By 
property listings

Searching for online property listings can be overwhelming. Broadly entering a town or city into a property search engine will produce thousands of results and wide-ranging outcomes.

The good news is that there are tips and tricks that can pave the way for an effective online property search. Prospective buyers and renters can even utilize technology, such as virtual reality, to browse properties from the comfort of home.

Read on to learn 4 things to know before searching property listings.

1) Understand Market Conditions

The housing market is extremely competitive in the United Kingdom.

Market conditions in the U.K. have tightened due to various factors. For one, the U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) has created uncertainty in the real estate market and made property owners reluctant to sell.

In the latter half of 2016, housing transactions fell by nearly 1%.

As a result of shrinking supply, home prices have increased. At the same time, government regulations have made it harder to secure a mortgage, further dampening the market.

All of these market factors affect a property search. Prospects of securing a mortgage, number of available properties, and pricing trends are all very important to a property search.

For example, market conditions will steer an individual’s decision to buy or rent, or even enter the real estate market at all.

2) Determine the Price Range

Before starting a property search, it is absolutely essential to determine a price range. This may mean a few different things depending on whether the property is being rented or bought.

As alluded to above, it can be difficult to obtain a mortgage. Prospective buyers should contact a mortgage lender before starting a property search and obtain a pre-qualification amount.

If the property is being rented, a thorough analysis of personal finances must

3) Narrow the Number of Property Listings Down to a Reasonable Amount

The best way to do this is to set search criteria. There are a number of variables to tailor a property search to the buyer’s needs.

For instance, how many bathrooms and bedrooms are desired? What is the bare minimum for property size?

Other criteria may be whether the home has a basement or garage. Every prospective buyer or renter has a wish list and any good property search will ultimately be tailored to it.

4) Think Outside the Box

Traditional property search engines are not the only way to buy or rent. There are a number of for sale listing services that features homes from sellers without a real estate agent.

The sellers or landlords take their own photos, are responsible for showings, providing detailed information on the home, and reaching a final agreement on sales price or monthly rent.

One good example is www.heart-is.co.uk, which is a website designed to pair landlords and tenants. If traditional property searches are not producing the desired results, there are other effective options out there.

Wrapping Up

Clearly, there is a lot that goes into a property search. Before beginning, a solid foundation must be laid in order to create an effective search.

If there are any questions, please visit our support area to receive additional assistance.


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5 Moving Checklists to Help If You’re Moving to Tampa

August 24, 2017 - By 
tampa

The word is out about Tampa Bay. In fact, according to a recent article in WalletHub, Tampa ranks number 14 in the best cities to live in the entire country!

That’s the highest of any city in Florida, leaving popular destinations like Miami (which came in at number 54) in its dust.

One of the only downsides of moving to Tampa is that it’s a bit of a hassle getting there. However, with the help of a moving company, you can cross that downside right off of your list.

And speaking of lists, here are five checklists, organized by timeframe, that will help you prepare for the big move:

1) Two Months to Go

Get to know the area. Sure, you’re moving to Tampa, but there’s so much more to it than just the city. They call it “The Bay Area” for a reason. Research other awesome places like St. Petersburg and Ybor City.

If you have kids or plan to some day, get to know the school systems, particularly in your neighborhood. Consider the decision between private and public schooling based on what you’ve been able to determine.

Leave behind clutter. While a moving company will help you with the boxing and hauling process, two months out is a great time to start sorting your stuff into piles of what you plan to bring to your next life, and what you can do without.

2) One Month to Go

Take care of clerical business like an official change-of-address with the Post Office. Do this now. It may seem early still but the next 30 days are going to fly by.

Now is a good time to have the realtor assisting with moving to Tampa send you measurements for the new place. As you begin the packing process you are going to want to know if it’s worth bringing a couch that will never fit through the door.

Find a new primary care physician in the Tampa area and have your records transferred over to their office. If you see specialists, you may want to repeat the process for them as well.

3) Two Weeks to Go

Not to judge, but you probably should have done this already but it ought to be said: If you haven’t done so already, now is a good time to give your two-week’s notice to work.

Get a routine car repair. Get the oil changed and the tires rotated, especially if moving to Tampa means a long drive. Keep in mind that Tampa is the fifth most humid major city in the country. Make sure your car is equipped to handle that.

Now is a good time to get on the same page with professional movers, particularly ones who are used to the process of moving to Tampa.

4) One Week to Go

You should hopefully be finished with packing up the house by now. With one week left now is the time to pack your actual suitcases.

Add specifics to boxes to help the moving company like “fragile”, as well as the rooms that the different boxes are meant to go in.

Do a major trip to Goodwill or another charity organization. Donate everything you don’t need that you wouldn’t consider trash.

5) Moving Day

Take stock of everything. Count all the boxes. Make a list of all the furniture. Check this list again in Tampa.

Go over everything above once more to be certain you’ve forgotten nothing. Consider doing this the day before as well.

This is sappy, but take a photo. This will always be your home, no matter how many you have in the future.

The Move to Tampa

The transition to Tampa is an easy one. Between the year-round summer weather, the museums, and the booming job markets, this should be a pretty easy place to find your footing.

With the right attitude, the right checklists, and most importantly the right moving company, your move to Tampa will be a breeze.


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5 Real Estate Books Every Agent Should Own

August 18, 2017 - By 
Real estate

Every successful real estate agent has a collection of real estate books they swear by.

A good book can be a treasure chest to anybody looking for business success. In it, one can find the secrets of going from a struggling salesperson to a multi-millionaire.

Reading the right books can be the difference between success and failure. Make sure to check out these brilliant guides to the world of real estate.

Think And Grow Rich

Whether they’re looking for a vacation in Italy or a ticket to the NBA finals, everybody wants to be rich. For a person with the drive, Napoleon Hill’s best seller can make it happen.

The book places a lot of emphasis on visualizing success. This is something every real estate agent does: after all, how can your prospects picture living in a house until you can?

There’s a reason so many people in so many fields have brought this book: because it’s a great way to become a financial success.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Today’s world is almost entirely based on the first half of this book. After all, isn’t it independence that leads people to find creative ways to make money online?

But beyond its three independence-based behaviors, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People offers a roadmap to success through interdependence. Real estate can be incredibly collaborative: a book that gives agents a road map to succeeding together is essential.

How To Win Friends And Influence People

You’ve probably been there: you’re in the process of making a sale and your prospect finds a flaw in the house. Maybe it’s major, maybe it’s minor.

Either way, it ends with you hearing that most dreaded phrase in the world of sales: “we’ll think about it.”

One of the reasons Dale Carnegie’s masterpiece is one of the most important real estate books on the planet is that it’s devoted to helping you overcome that speed bump. If you follow its advice, you’ll vastly increase your sales numbers.

Real estate is about influence. That makes this book absolutely essential.

Switch: How To Change Things When Change Is Hard

The ups-and-downs of the market make real estate a tough industry. One minute, you’re selling houses like a pro. The next, the market crashes and you don’t know what to do.

The most successful real estate agents are prepared to deal with changes. It’s the way so many survived the 2008 Real Estate Crisis while so many others floundered in the face of change.

It’s not easy to adjust to a changing market. Read this book to make it easier.

The Millionaire Real Estate Agent

Hyperbolic title aside, Gary Keller’s book is about more than just making money. It’s about constant improvement in real estate.

What separates good real estate books from bad ones is their purpose. While most claim they will make you more wealthy, this one provides a road map to making that wealth possible.

More Real Estate Books

Reading is one of the best ways to succeed in real estate. While no book will make you an instant millionaire, there are plenty to help you help yourself.

You can find these books and more at an affordable price. Browse this extensive collection of E-books and audiobooks to make it happen.


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Is VR Real Estate Tech Really an Industry Game Changer?

August 17, 2017 - By 
Virtual Reality VR Realty

Virtual reality (VR) technology has taken the world by storm.

While it may have gotten off to a shaky start, some estimates say the market will pull in $108 billion by 2021.

Plus, companies like YouTube and Google are now jumping in on the trend. This makes it a great reason to see what it can do for your real estate business.

VR has the power to change the world of real estate. Keep reading to find out why, and to get an update on the latest VR real estate trends.

Why VR is Changing Real Estate

VR is a business-changing trend in more sectors than just real estate. It has the capability of shaking up almost every industry.

For real estate, the implications are especially huge.

This is because it removes the location-related problems you face every day. VR has the power to make the wide world of real estate a little smaller—and easier to manage.

The Latest VR Real Estate Trends

Conducting Walk-Throughs Long-Distance

The possibility of long-distance walk-throughs is perhaps the most exciting VR real estate trend.

Thanks to this immersive technology, you can walk prospective buyers through a home even if they’re located thousands of miles away.

That means no more rushed scouting trips for stressed-out buyers trying to plan their move. You get more time to find them the perfect property, and they get a better buying experience.

That’s just one way to close more deals through VR.

Using Headsets to Fill a Space

Some buyers are just not that gifted when it comes to imagining the potential of a space.

All it takes is a mismatched paint color or outdated flooring to turn them off to an otherwise perfect property.

That’s where VR comes in. Just pop on a headset and switch out the features your buyers don’t like. That way, buyers can really picture themselves in the home and not get distracted by bad wallpaper or an outdated light fixture.

This can be especially helpful for large commercial properties. An empty floor may not look like much at first. However, if you can use VR to fill it with a contemporary open office layout, it may make the difference in your sale.

Embracing Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is another fun outgrowth of VR technology.

This type of tech overlays extra details or more information for viewers, usually through the use of an app. That’s great news if you’re reluctant to purchase VR equipment for your company.

Instead, your buyers could have instant access to stats like appliance age, property tax history, and any recent repairs.

They can do it all through an app on their phones. You could even embed a QR code on your for sale signs that gives passersby a virtual one-sheet—instantly.

Connecting with Customers Online

Maintaining a healthy online presence goes hand-in-hand with embracing VR. If your buyers can virtually view a property online, they should also be able to take the next steps in the transaction in an online environment.

This is especially true for rental companies. For example, thanks to an up-to-date website, no matter where you are in the world, making a down payment or booking rentals in Whistler is easy.

Stay Up to Date on Everything Tech

At Pligg, we offer insights, courses, and deals for everything new in the tech world.

With our help, you can become a pioneer in augmented reality in no time. Visit Pligg today to stay plugged into our changing digital world.


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5 Surefire Ways to Rapidly Sell Your House

August 7, 2017 - By 
sell your house

When it comes to selling your home, the first ten days are the most important. The longer that your home sits on the market, the less likely it is that it will sell without you having to drop your asking price.

The longer a home sits unsold, the more likely buyers are to wonder why it’s not selling. They will think there is something wrong with it that’s driving other buyers away.

That is why it’s so important to sell your home quickly. These tips will make sure you sell your home lightning fast!

1. Store that Clutter!

Buyers are way more likely to be interested in an uncluttered home. Shelves and tables overflowing with clutter make the rooms in your home feel smaller.

This also goes for extra furniture. While you may get good use out of the extra seating and end tables in your living room, too much furniture makes rooms feel cramped.

Consider putting some of your extra things into storage while you are showing your home.

2. Clean Homes Sell Faster

Your home should be spotless for every showing. Dirty floors or a moldy shower can actually lower the price that buyers are willing for your home.

A messy or dirty environment puts buyers in a bad mood and makes them think more negatively about your home.

3. Stage Your Home Inside and Out

Once you’ve tidied and cleaned, it’s time to stage your home.

Staging basically gives your home a makeover. You need to redecorate in a way that is appealing to buyers.

This can include repainting rooms in more neutral tones. You can buy cheap decorations such as flowers, fruit, and decorative soaps and towels for the bathrooms.

Staging your home’s outside is also important. Planters with bright flowers, a well-mown lawn, and good outdoor lighting all make your home look great. Some quick landscaping can make potential buyers feel more positive about your home before they even open the front door.

4. Have an Open Schedule

The more opportunity for people to come see your home, the more likely it will be sold.

You should try to have a very flexible, open viewing schedule. Weekends are absolutely key. It’s when most people will want to view homes, so make sure you are completely available.

It may be frustrating to have to organize your schedule around viewings but remember: if you sell your home fast, it won’t be a problem for long.

5. Price Your Home Competitively

You might be wondering, “What’s the most important tip to sell my house now?”

Competitive pricing.

Pricing a house too high will turn off many potential buyers. If they think it is out of their budget range, they won’t bother coming for a viewing.

A house with an attractive price, on the other hand, brings in more viewings. And when you’ve used the above tips to stage your house, buyers who have fallen in love with your home will submit competing offers.

Find an agent who can market a competitive price without dropping too low. You still want to sell your home for as much as possible!

Bringing It All Together

These five tips are key to selling your home fast. An open viewing schedule and competitive pricing will entice buyers. Clearing clutter, cleanliness, and a well-staged home will make them fall in love.

With the right agent and the right attitude, you can start getting ready to sell your home fast, today!


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3 Things to Absolutely Avoid Doing When Selling a House

July 17, 2017 - By 

If being a first time home buyer is an exciting first step to building a life, being a first time home seller is a new and stressful event you might have never expected.

Selling a house involves a lot of stress and considerations. Because of that, it’s easy to make small mistakes.

But even small mistakes can add up. And some of them can stop you from ever selling your house for what it’s worth.

The sooner your house is sold, the sooner you can focus on moving into your new house and starting your new life.

That means you absolutely cannot afford to delay. Every decision needs to be the right one.

So if you’re putting your house on the market, you need to remember these tips.

Don’t Mess Up Your Presentation

If your focus is selling a house fast, that means you should do everything you can to entice future buyers of your home.

Presentation is absolutely essential to making a sale. People don’t want to buy a house if during the tour they see it as beat up, filled with old furniture, and foul smelling.

And though you may think some of the clutter in your kitchen shows that your house is lived in, the human mind is more simple.

When you’re trying to sell your house, remember to make it look and smell perfect.

That means moving old furniture into the garage, showing your house’s storage potential to buyers, and using scents like vanilla and citrus to make people happy the moment they set foot in your house.

Don’t Get Killed on Commission

If you’re selling your house for $200,000, you probably want the full $200,000 for it.

But the average real estate broker will make that difficult with the high commission rates that have become standard in the industry.

With the average 6 percent rate given to brokers, the sale of a house for $200,000 will net you a less-than-impressive $188,000.

Look for companies that will buy your house or help you sell without demanding high commission or fees.

Organizations like Global Citizens HQ provide a platform that connects home sellers and investment property buyers without demanding a commission fee.

Don’t Celebrate Selling a House Until It’s Over

When your house is under contract, it’s easy to celebrate having made a sale right away.

Unfortunately, being under contract doesn’t mean you’re going to close.

Although 75% of homes under contract make it to closing, that still means a quarter of all houses under contract are not closed upon in that deal.

There are a number of reasons for this. Bank issues, problems with your timeline, or property issues that are out of your hands can all torpedo your deal.

This doesn’t mean you’re going back to square one. Often times these disputes can be resolved over time. But celebrating prematurely can leave you unprepared for the coming weeks or months in your home.

So keep your head on straight and remember: it ain’t over ’till it’s over.

 


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A Complete Guide for First Time Home Buyers

June 28, 2017 - By 
couple with keys

Taking the plunge to buy a new home is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make in life. Of course, it’s a hectic process, but those who are financially organized and prepared will get through it more easily.

Before buying a home, it’s important to determine your long term goals and see how the ownership of a home fits into those goals.

Experts usually advise first-time buyers to find a home when they’re ready to settle down and need at a place to live for at least five years. Plus, it helps to be financially ready when making this move.

If you’re unsure about the specifics of buying a first-time house, here is a simple home buyers guide to help with that.

1. Financial Readiness Is Important

Before house hunting, find out how much a lender will be willing to give you to purchase your first home. Some factors that will affect your mortgage include job history, monthly income, and current debts.

Also, you need to clarify how much you can afford when applying for a mortgage. The lender will require you to have a good credit score and a history of making timely bill payments.

Typically, getting pre-approved for a loan is important before placing an offer on a potential home.

2. Finding a Home

First, identify the location where you would like to live. Checking the prices of comparable homes in that particular area helps to get an idea of the potential monthly mortgage payments.

Consider getting the help of a real estate agent to help with the search, especially if you don’t much about the area. It’s not advisable to walk into an open house without an agent. You should look for a house that you can add value to. This will boost your equity.

If the house meets those big requirements, such as size and location, it’s never advisable to reject it due to a few physical flaws that can be fixed over time.

3. Home Inspection

When you finally have a few potential options, enlist the help of a home inspector to check the plumbing, flooring, roofing, walls, and basement of the home. Some homes might appear flawless but have several problems that a professional inspection will help to identify.

The overall safety, quality, and condition of a home are important. An inspection will help to know the possible repairs that a house needs if you settle for it. In some cases, it can give you a reason not to buy the home.

If the home needs repairs, a buyer can use this as a bargaining edge to get a discounted price or ask the seller to make the repairs.

4. Making an Offer and Closing

At this point, a professional real estate agent will help to determine the amount you should offer for the new house. The seller can accept or issue a counter-offer. Don’t be afraid to haggle with the seller to get a price you think it’s reasonable for the house.

Remember to factor in the closing costs (roughly 2 to 5 percent of the home price), immediate repairs, and commuting costs. The closing process involves signing a lot of paperwork, and a real estate agent serves as a home buyers guide to help you understand all the relevant details.

Getting a home appraisal and private mortgage insurance might also be necessary.

Home Buyers Guide – The Bottom Line

Buying a home can be an intimidating process for first-time homebuyers who are unsure about their options. As long as you have reasonable debts, a good credit score, and a solid job history, there are different conventional FHA VA loans you can qualify for.

Sometimes all it takes to get a new home is a preparedness and adequate due diligence. Calculate your debt-to-income ratio and factor in the down payment to determine how much you can afford to pay upfront every month.

When you’re ready, compare mortgage rates from different lenders, get pre-approved, and hit the market to find your new home.


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5 Things You Need to Know Before Buying A New House

June 27, 2017 - By 
Buying a house

Buying a home is often one of the biggest and most important purchases someone will make in their life.

That’s why it is imperative to do as much research as possible before buying.

Here are 5 things that will help any potential home buyer to understand this monumental purchase.

1) Ask Yourself: Is Buying Right for You?

While buying a house might seem like one of life’s major stepping stones, it is by no means a requirement.

There are many benefits to owning a home. There is the financial investment, the potential for being cheaper than renting, and the stability of payments.

But there are cons as well. It’s a huge, long-term commitment with not a lot of flexibility.

A homeowner can expect to pay a lot in interest, repairs, maintenance, and renovations.

How important is mobility to you? Does buying make sense financially? Will you be able to afford the extra expenses?

Understand the pros and cons, evaluate your personal priorities, and then make the decision on whether to buy or not.

2) Learn Everything You Can

If you decide that buying is the right choice, it’s time to do your research.

First, you have to find a location that meets all your needs (present and future).

Once you find a house that you love, it’s time to do some digging.

Find out how long it’s been on the market, the house’s sales history, copies of bills (think taxes, insurance, etc), how long previous owners lived there, and any other relevant information you can think of.

You should know all about the house itself, but also about how the buying process works. There are numerous resources to help you understand the complicated process of buying a home.

With a purchase this big, you can never know too much.

3) Understand Your Financials

Buying a home is a huge investment.

You need to understand what you can afford, how much you have saved, what sorts of loans you need, and what interest rates you could face.

To get the best mortgage rates you should have good credit and a reliable income.

Keep in mind that providing a down payment can reduce your mortgage payments and decrease your interest rate.

Get used to creating and living on a budget before you commit to a mortgage and homeownership.

4) Think in the Long Term

Understanding your financials and your priorities should extend into the future, not just your current situation.

Do you plan on starting a family? How much other debt do you have to think about? Do you have job security? Is this house the house you will want in 10 years?

For a long-term commitment such as buying a house, it takes a long-term understanding of your priorities.

5) Use a Realtor

Obviously, this whole process can get confusing and overwhelming.

There are many real estate companies that can provide you with advice and guidance.

These companies and realtors can help in a myriad of ways.

They can:

  • Find potential homes
  • Have knowledge of certain areas
  • Negotiate contracts
  • Give guidance and advice
  • Understand market conditions
  • Handle paperwork
  • Answer your questions

Bottom Line

Buying a home is exciting, nerve-wracking, and overwhelming all at once.

Hopefully, some of these tips will help you in your process of becoming a homeowner.

 


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3 Real Estate Tax Breaks You Can’t Afford to Miss

June 27, 2017 - By 
tax breaks

Homeownership is expensive, but it’s also valuable to the economy. So, the IRS rewards homeowners who care for their properties with tax credits.

These credits are valuable. In fact, they can save so much money come tax season that homeowners can’t afford to miss out on them.

Here are 3 tax credits not to be missed at tax time. Keep reading to learn how you can start saving.

1. Green Tax Credits

Tax credits are available for homeowners who have not only a green thumb but a green state of mind.The IRS offers credits for qualifying expenses on upgrades or new purchases of home assets.

Homeowners who install doors, windows, and skylights with an ENERGY STAR program rating can qualify for as much as $500 in tax credits.

Solar energy systems are another way to scoop up tax credits galore. Homeowners can write off up to 30% of the systems’ cost with no limit until 2019.

2. Capital Gains Exemption

Homeowners who bought inexpensively in up-and-upcoming neighborhoods and can reap the benefits when sale prices are significantly higher than the initial investment.

If a home was purchased for $250,000 and it is now worth $500,000, the homeowner is in luck.

Any money made on the sale of that house is pure profit – no capital gains taxes are required.

There are a few rules governing this exemption:

  1. The maximum amount that can be exempted for couples is $500,000.
  2. The owner must have owned the home for two years.
  3. The owner must have used the property as a primary residence for two years.

Note: The owner doesn’t need to be living in the property at the time of sale. It can be rented for up to 3 years before the sale while still qualifying for the exclusion.

Unlike other capital gains profits, proceeds from the sale DO NOT need to be re-invested. They can be used in any way, including in the investment of a new property.

Alternatively, the 1031 exchange listings allow property owners to sell their properties and re-invest the profits in a new property as a way to avoid capital gains tax.

3. Mortgage Interest Deductions

The mortgage interest benefit is one of the most common tax deductions because everyone can deduct it. The only rule is the limit – $1 million for married couples or $500,000 for married couples filing separately.

The only rule is the limit – $1 million for married couples or $500,000 for married couples filing separately.

The mortgage interest deduction is filed with Form 1098. The average homeowner can see a deduction of thousands of dollars annually on their income taxes.

The average homeowner can see a deduction of thousands of dollars annually on their income taxes.

So while it’s not a credit per se, it does reduce the tax bill quite significantly depending on the size of the mortgage and the homeowner’s income.

Conclusion

Homeownership isn’t all about spending money – there’s money to be saved, too.

Be sure not to miss out on these or any other potential tax credits next year!


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Here’s Why Your Real Estate Closing Could Be Delayed

March 22, 2017 - By 
under contract

Don’t pop the celebratory champagne yet. You may think you’ve sold your house and it’s time to start packing. However, only 75% of houses that are under contract make it to actual closing. Why is this? And

Why is this? And what does under contract mean?

Simply put, if the house is under contract, that means the buyer and the seller are under a binding contract with each other and committed to the transaction under the conditions listed in the contract.

However, when those conditions are not met, the contract falls apart and may not make it to closing. This is incredibly frustrating for everybody involved. Particularly because so many first time sellers or buyers may think that once the offer is accepted, the deal is done, everything is official. This is far from the case.

This is incredibly frustrating for everybody involved. Particularly because so many first time sellers or buyers may think that once the offer is accepted, the deal is done, everything is official. This is far from the case.

This is far from the case.

Here are 3 of the most common things that can delay your closing, even when under contract.

Bank Appraisal

This is one of the most common (and certainly one of the most frustrating) delays for everybody involved.

The buyer and the seller work hard and battle back-and-forth. After a certain amount of tug-of-war, they agree on a price. Everything is wonderful, right? Wrong.

The bank steps in and does their appraisal, and decides that the house needs thousands of dollars in repairs before they can agree the house is worth the figure that you worked so hard to arrive at.

Sadly, there is almost nothing you can do. All you can do is work with a realtor who will stay in constant communication, and make sure the bank appraisal is done in a timely fashion, so any issues can be addressed.

Unrealistic Timelines

There is some unfortunate irony here. If you try to close your house too quickly, you may delay the process in a big way.

This can often happen with some of your more motivated buyers or sellers. Maybe somebody needs to move quickly because they landed a new job, or they’re having a baby, or maybe there’s a family illness and they need to relocate. In any case, they need to close and they need to do it in 30 days.

To properly close a deal, you really need 45 to 60 days. Trying to do it in less time (say 30 days) is possible, but not realistic enough to count on. It can lead to sloppy work, or poor communication.

Instrument Survey Discrepancies

Again. This is massively frustrating. Everything looks great, and then a survey is performed on the property, and you realize that your garden is, technically speaking, encroaching into your neighbor’s property. This is bad.

These issues can’t be solved until the included parties sign an affidavit to indicate the consent and understanding of the dispute or encroachments. This takes time… Time that you would rather spend living in your new home.

As you can see, a lot of these problems come from out of nowhere and it’s hard to predict them. In most cases, you can’t predict them. But, what you can do is work with an experienced realtor who knows how to properly budget, time, and set realistic expectations. Assuming a storm is coming is the best way to prepare for one.


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Rent vs. Buy a Home: How to Know Which is Best for You

March 8, 2017 - By 
Home loan repayment calculator

The thought of moving into a home is bound to be exciting.

However, you may be unsure whether to take out a mortgage or rent a property, and that’s understandable. Both options are a big personal and financial commitment.

And, each option will have different advantages and disadvantages, so it is important you review them carefully to make an informed decision.

The Advantages of a Mortgage

The biggest benefit of taking out a mortgage is the fact you will own the property. That means you can design and decorate it any way you choose.

It may also be worth buying your own home if you plan to remain in the property for five years or more. By staying in the home for a lengthy time, you will are more likely to recoup the transaction costs at a future date.

It also is important to note you will be required to put down a deposit on the property, with many banks requesting a minimum deposit of 20%.

So, if you have considerable savings in the bank or the means to save a 20% deposit, you could be an ideal candidate for a mortgage.

If you are lucky enough to find a mortgage with a low-interest rate, you will decrease the amount of money you will have to repay on the loan, so it could be a worthy investment.

If you would like to learn more about a property’s mortgage rates, we recommend using a home loan repayment calculator to estimate your minimum monthly repayments and the amount of interest you will need to pay.

However, if you choose to rent, those monthly payments will go straight to the landlord instead. They will likely use the money to pay the mortgage on the property. So how can it be better to rent?

The Advantages of Renting

After reading about the advantages of a mortgage, you may have decided whether purchasing a property is the right financial path for you.

However, it is important to note that there are many benefits to renting, too.

Buying a mortgage can be expensive. Not only will you be tied to minimum monthly repayments, but you will also be required to put down a deposit on the property.

Renting can be a more affordable alternative to a mortgage, as people with limited funding can move into a property without the lengthy financial commitment.

It may also be worth renting a property if you are unsure about your current employment situation.

If you are currently fearing redundancy or believe you may soon be parting ways with the company, stop. Right now might not be the best time to embark on a big financial commitment like home buying.

Also, if you are currently experiencing a life transition, such as a divorce, it could be a wise move to initially rent a property over buying a new home.

Conclusion

There are many pros for renting or buying a property. The decision will be determined by your personal and financial circumstances, as well as your own risk tolerance.

Just ensure you are 100% confident in your decision before you sign on any dotted line.


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Looking to Sell Your House Fast? 6 Things to do First

February 9, 2017 - By 
how to sell a house fast

Selling your home can take ages. Sellers can expect to show the home to at least 20 potential buyers before the offers start coming in, and even then it’s not a done deal.

That’s why lots of people look to sell their home quick. You’re busy enough as it is without trying to juggle tons of viewings.

So how can you speed up the selling process? We’ve got a few great tips!

Get Cleaning

The cleanliness of your home during viewings is crucial. If your home is cluttered or dirty, it will give viewers a negative impression.

If your house is dirty or cluttered, it can actually knock thousands of dollars off of its market value. This means you’ll be waiting longer for an offer you’ll accept.

Minimize the Personal Touches

You may think that having family photos, children’s drawings or other personal decorations will make your home seem more attractive to families. Wouldn’t buyers want to know the home was great for your family?

In actuality, very personal decorations make buyers less interested. They want to imagine themselves in the home while they are viewing it. Seeing pictures of another family breaks this illusion.

Paint It Like a Show Home

Repaint the rooms in your home to be more neutral tones. This makes sure that buyers are focused on the actual rooms, rather than the walls.

Plus, you won’t have to worry about color choices turning off buyers.

A bit of paint also goes a long way when it comes to sprucing up doorframes and runners. Pay special attention to your front door. It will be everyone’s first impression.

Clear Out The Furniture

If your furniture is oversized, or you simply have too much of it, it can make your space seem much smaller.

Reducing the amount of furniture in each room during your viewings can help your home sell faster.

Show Off Your Storage

Resist the urge to hide your clutter away when potential buyers come for a viewing. Buyers are going to be interested in the storage space available.

This means you need to clean and organize all your closets so they are presentable.

Don’t Forget Scent

The way your home smells can have a huge effect on what buyers think of your home.

Make sure that you don’t cook anything that smells too strong before a viewing — no tuna!

The smell of cleaning products is okay, but to really entice buyers you want it to smell homey. Try baking cookies, or lighting a scented candle while you prepare for the viewing.

Get Landscaping

It’s not just the inside of your home that matters.

Your front yard will be the first thing that buyers see of your home. If they aren’t impressed,  they will already be starting the viewing on a negative note.

So make sure that the outside of your home sparkles!

Wrapping Up

These tips will help you get your home sold faster.

Looking to sell without all the hassle? Good news: we buy houses, Houston!

Get your cash offer today and see how quickly you can sell!


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