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Monday, December 30 2013

You’re nearing your goal of buying a home in Evansville! You have zeroed in on a property, submitted your offer, and heeded your agent’s advice and ordered a home inspection.  

Soooo…what if the inspector finds major issues nobody expected? While most home inspections only uncover small problems that can be fixed easily, some do turn up serious issues. In 2013, 16% of Realtors® reported sales that went off track due to the inspector’s findings. What’s your best course of action if that happens?

Buying a home after major problems have been identified should only proceed after you know how much time and money it will take to solve them. Whether you are dealing with foundation, roofing, electrical, HVAC or plumbing issues, call a few companies that specialize in dealing with structural home repairs, and gather some free quotes. Depending on what you hear, you can then decide to move to modifying your offer or you can walk away and look for another home.

Your agent will be able to assist you in modifying the original offer to the seller. If the issues are truly major and expensive, you may need to negotiate back and forth with the seller to see what they are willing to do. Be prepared to make some concessions, and don’t get frustrated with the process. It may take some time to come to an agreement that satisfies both parties.

As everywhere, buying a is peculiarly both a heavy-duty financial decision as well as one fraught with emotion. People can find themselves tempted to ignore thorny issues simply because they have fallen in love with the home. But since you could end up spending tens of thousands of dollars on repairs, it’s vital to isolate your emotions from the decision.

If the bids you’ve received are astronomical, it could be time to find a better house. But you needn’t despair. This is all part of the process of buying a home—and a big part of why I’m here to help my clients.  If you’re buying a home this winter, I’ll look for your call! You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 10:56 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, December 23 2013

This year, the first early signs of Christmas season didn’t seem to arrive too early, maybe because it rushed in so soon after Thanksgiving (which somehow also landed smack dab at the start of Hanukkah).

Still, by now the familiar Christmas carols have been playing long enough that it’s hard to believe there is a man, woman or child left who hasn’t had at least one moment when some familiar chord didn’t summon up a sudden flood of memories. Whether those memories were of a family gathering just last year or of one from the distant past, the holiday season means something unique and special to all of us.

However your family celebrates Christmas or Hanukkuh or Kwanza or simply the Holidays, you have to agree there is something about this corner of the year that borders on magic. Little kids don’t have to be reminded of that: just mention the word “December” any time between April and November, and the eager chatter about presents, or visiting plans, or Santa (or presents again) are bound to erupt. December without the Christmas tree and the decorations, the cheerful colored lights, the cookies (thanks everyone, for those cookies!), the candy canes and gatherings of family and friends…without those, December would be just another month.

Even when the shopping and traveling and all the other sometimes too-frenetic preparations threaten to drive us half to distraction, I for one have to admit this time of year serves as a replenishing break from the relentless march of everyday. And whether it results in a deeply spiritual pause to remember Christ’s birth, or simply a festive celebration (or both!), it also creates an occasion when families allow themselves a special excuse to just be together — if events allow, at the same table — or even if not, in spirit…and nowadays, likely also on jammed-to-capacity cell phone and internet circuits!

So please allow me to wish you all the warmth and good cheer a Christmas can bring. Thank you for making my and my family’s year as bright as it has been. And for you and yours, may this year’s Christmas season bring a Santa’s sleighful of warmth, peace, joy and love!

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 10:06 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, December 20 2013

The kids are gone. Your big house seems either dreadfully empty or just plain wasteful.  Congrats: you are officially in possession of a empty nest! Now it’s time to consider where and how you want to live next.

When Do You Sell?

It's not a bad time to be selling in Evansville—but since you will be buying, too, you would have to deduce that it might not be the perfect time to be on that side of the table. When you are swapping your full-sized family home for a snug nest for two, you want to get full value for your old home without paying too much for the new one. If you can swing it, you may want to buy before you sell. That puts you in control of the time factor, providing freedom to hold out for a prime offer while you find new digs at a reasonable price.

What Will You Need?

Another challenge that goes with the empty nest situation is the need to accurately foresee future needs. One of the great things about downsizing is the possibility of trading size for features that used to be impractical. According to the Des Moines Register, developers there had rushed to lay new home foundations before winter set in. Anticipating a strong spring buying season, they were building townhome communities—smaller homes with maintenance packages and ranch-style designs ideal for empty nesters and retirees who favor more accessible layouts and community amenities.

How Do You “Dispose” of Your Stuff?

When you think about saying goodbye to your empty nest, you soon realize it’s not quite empty enough. You just don’t need all that accumulated stuff—so after you’ve offered the kids the opportunity to take what they’d like, the best strategies usually combine charitable giving and auctions or yard sales. There’s a lot of utility left in many of the things you don’t need any more, and it would be a shame for it to end up in a landfill.

If you're considering buying or selling in Evansville in the coming year, it's not too early to contact me for a consultation. Good luck…and happy nesting!  You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, December 19 2013

Imagine that you have just moved into your new property, and suddenly you are up against some serious flaw you knew nothing about. Added on top of the normal moving turmoil: now there’s this! You didn’t have a chance to fix things up before you moved in because you were totally in the dark concerning the problem.  Imagine the frustration, disappointment, and anger… Enter: lawsuit.

In other words, for you as a seller, there are some pretty convincing reasons to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

A disclosure is a written statement describing your obligations under state and local laws regarding property flaws you know about. Your disclosure might include structural defects—like leaking windows or cracks in the foundation. It might include landscaping problems, like a branch that endangers a power line; and in some areas could even include air pollution or other environmental factors beyond your control. Any local property issues that the law specifies must be disclosed before the sale is finalized.

The consequences for not following the law can be serious: they could mean a lawsuit seeking the cost of repairs and other damages. In any case, you will want to insulate yourself from these risks by making sure you’re informed about the state of your property in Evansville and by disclosing issues whether or not they are discovered during inspection.

Full disclosure isn’t just the surest way to protect yourself from future legal action — it also lets you rest easy knowing you’ve done the right thing. Don’t assume a buyer will lose interest in your property because there are flaws. All properties have them, and by helping your buyers make informed decisions on what they want to do before they move in, chances are you’ll boost their confidence about the transaction. You’ll feel good knowing that you treated your buyer as you’d want them to treat you, and you’ll feel even better knowing that some non-disclosed property issue won’t come back to haunt you.

Preparing to sell this winter?  Call me today to get your home listed and sold! You can reach me on my sell phone 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, December 18 2013

Buying a home in Evansville is hardly a do-it-yourself kind of project. Having confidence that the all the i’s are dotted and the t’s crossed requires the input of professionals whose daily dealings keeps them in touch with the current legal and financial arenas.

Call them the “Fundamental Four” — the four groups of professionals you will want to have on your team when buying a home in Evansville this winter.

First and foremost, you need to be sure the money factor is handled in an advantageous way. By far the most popular route is via a mortgage: a home loan. Your specialist here is the professional mortgage broker. He or she will advise you on the types of mortgages available this winter; will work with you to determine the amount you qualify for, the different payment plans you can choose, and guide you through the maze of paperwork.

A real estate agent does more than just sparing you the trouble of going through the listings to find a suitable home. Yes, your agent will help you identify homes for sale that suit your budget and preferences, but will also be a vital part of the negotiating process and the disclosure and associated paperwork. Your agent is actually the professional who ties together the work of all your other consultants.

The inspector is your expert when it comes to verifying the quality of the property itself. He will inspect and prepare a comprehensive report on every critical physical aspect. Buying a home can’t be a guessing game when it comes to the state of the structure itself: your inspector will help you determine if it fits the price tag.

The title/escrow company facilitates the actual transaction itself, which can be a bit more complicated than you might think. They will prepare all the legal documents after inspecting the title of the property, and, via contract, oversee the timing as the home is transferred from the seller to you.

Thinking of buying a home in Evansville this winter?  Start with the information that’s just a phone call away.  Contact me today! You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, December 16 2013

It’s easy to be caught off guard when the mercury drops before winter has even begun. And this year a visit from unusually early icy blasts of cold from up north has been the rule almost everywhere in the country. This Holiday Season, even local house owners who don’t have to worry about their own house safety may be visiting relatives unprepared for the sudden December tundra; so it’s a good time to go over the Red Cross cold weather Preventive Action guidelines:

  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing (but: move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children). And keep garage doors closed!
  • In very cold weather, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • If you will be going away, leave the heat on in the house, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.

       Following those tried-and-true guidelines should mean you’re home free. But if you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Trace the culprit: likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters the house through the foundation. To thaw frozen pipes:

  • Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device—no matter how tempting.
  • Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice inside the pipe.
  • Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.
  • Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if it’s not accessible, or if you cannot thaw the pipe, you’ll have to call a licensed plumber. If you need a reference, call me anytime for this or any other house questions.

You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 09:21 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, December 11 2013

According to the National Association of Realtors®, nearly 40% of home buyers will be first-timers this year. In other words, if you are new to the housing market you are certainly not alone. Since first-time home buyers in Evansville  experience the same learning curve as anyone everywhere, reviewing some of the more common missteps can spare them some of the angst those common mistakes cause. Some examples:

 1) They Don’t Check Their Credit Score

New home buyers focus on the seller’s asking price, but don’t realize how greatly their credit score will affect how much they actually pay. They know their score is important to qualify for a home loan, but not how a low credit score can result in a higher down payment and interest rate. A single percentage point of higher interest over a 30-year timeframe is…you get the picture! The takeaway? Start improving your credit score as soon as possible.

2) They Don’t Lay Out a Budget 

First-time home buyers frequently don’t realize the impact of secondary costs. In addition to administrative, insurance and legal costs, there are also closing and other fees which can add 2%-5% to the purchase price. Add in property taxes and possibly monthly neighborhood homeowner’s association fees, and you can see why experienced home buyers first determine their maximum monthly budget figure — then stick to it.

3) They Don’t Double-Check the Neighborhood

Once you’ve set your sights on an exciting new home, it’s natural to quickly proceed to the purchasing details without second-guessing your choice. That’s all well and good — unless you have only visited it a few times, and all at the same time of day or day of the week. Make several return trips to the neighborhood on weekdays and weekends, daytime and nighttime: you want to be sure that your family will be comfortable with the neighborhood (and your future neighbors).

If this winter will find you searching for your new house, I want you to know that I’m here to help my clients every step of the way. Calling me for a consultation is your first step! You can reach me on my cell phone at 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 09:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, December 11 2013

According to the National Association of Realtors®, nearly 40% of home buyers will be first-timers this year. In other words, if you are new to the housing market you are certainly not alone. Since first-time home buyers in Evansville  experience the same learning curve as anyone everywhere, reviewing some of the more common missteps can spare them some of the angst those common mistakes cause. Some examples:

 1) They Don’t Check Their Credit Score

New home buyers focus on the seller’s asking price, but don’t realize how greatly their credit score will affect how much they actually pay. They know their score is important to qualify for a home loan, but not how a low credit score can result in a higher down payment and interest rate. A single percentage point of higher interest over a 30-year timeframe is…you get the picture! The takeaway? Start improving your credit score as soon as possible.

2) They Don’t Lay Out a Budget 

First-time home buyers frequently don’t realize the impact of secondary costs. In addition to administrative, insurance and legal costs, there are also closing and other fees which can add 2%-5% to the purchase price. Add in property taxes and possibly monthly neighborhood homeowner’s association fees, and you can see why experienced home buyers first determine their maximum monthly budget figure — then stick to it.

3) They Don’t Double-Check the Neighborhood

Once you’ve set your sights on an exciting new home, it’s natural to quickly proceed to the purchasing details without second-guessing your choice. That’s all well and good — unless you have only visited it a few times, and all at the same time of day or day of the week. Make several return trips to the neighborhood on weekdays and weekends, daytime and nighttime: you want to be sure that your family will be comfortable with the neighborhood (and your future neighbors).

If this winter will find you searching for your new house, I want you to know that I’m here to help my clients every step of the way. Calling me for a consultation is your first step! You can reach me on my cell phone at 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 09:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, December 09 2013

Consumer confidence certainly seems to wax and wane in a not-totally-predictable manner. What does seem clear is that when the future is cloudy, homebuyers tend to tighten up their purse strings. It’s logical: if you can plan ahead with a greater degree of certainty, you feel better about making the kind of commitment buying an home entails.

If you plan on selling your home in Evansville this winter, you may not be able to do much about whether the economy grows or tanks, or the Federal Reserve expands or shrinks the money supply. But there IS at least one thing you can do to remove uncertainty from the minds of your prospective buyers. Just offer a home warranty!

A home warranty in is an inexpensive plan that provides coverage for items that typically fall outside a traditional home insurance plan. The major kitchen appliances are generally only covered by your home policy if they are damaged in a fire, stolen, or suffer damage resulting from some other covered peril. A home warranty provides reassurance for a much broader scope of damage and mechanical breakdown. Warrantee buyers can also opt to include other large items in the home — like the HVAC system, boilers, water softeners and water heaters.

H.U.D. points out that a home warranty is an increasingly popular inclusion because it offers protection during the period immediately following a home’s purchase — the time when most local home buyers know they will “find themselves cash-strapped.” Although payment can be monthly or annual, most home sellers choose a one-time payment option.

In an uncertain world, are homebuyers reassured when a home warranty is part of your offer? Statistics from the National Home Warranty Association provide their own reassurance: they show that including a home warranty as part of the sale can help a home sell for up to 50% faster. 

Even though a home warranty is an added expense, it’s an investment that can pay off in helping your home sell faster — possibly at a higher price, as well. Thinking of selling this winter? Call me today to discuss this and many other ways we can make it happen! You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 11:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, December 02 2013

Market Watch

     Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), recently gave his annual forecast for home sales for 2014.  Dr. Yun has been the chief economist for NAR for several years and was recognized last year by USA Today as one of the top 10 economists in the country.

     His estimate for sales of existing homes in 2014 is 5.12 million homes, virtually identical to 2013’s 5.13 million sales.  He expects new home sales to reach 508,000 in 2014 compared to 429,000 in 2013.  This forecast says total sales will be essentially identical to last year.  Although sales may remain flat he expects prices to rise 6% over last year.  Steady sales with healthy a price increase is actually pretty impressive when one considers how much sales and prices have improved over the past two years.

     Over the past two years cumulative unit’s sales have climbed 20% and prices have increased 18%.  Those kinds of increases are clearly not sustainable which make this year’s prediction very positive.  Although prices are up Dr. Yun points out “We’ve come off record high housing affordability conditions in the past year, and are now at a five year low, but conditions are still the fifth best in the past 40 years.”  Dr. Yun also said that limited inventory; exacerbated by low numbers of new home construction, as well as a tsunami of new federal banking regulations, would hold back home sales.

     As is always the case, national statistics are interesting but your home or the one you are thinking about buying are even more interesting.  Trends in our market have been similar but less pronounced that the national numbers.  What is accurate locally is that although sales and prices have increased, homes are still very affordable.  If you would like to know the market value of your home or you are ready to start looking for a new one give me a call.  Although real estate is somewhat seasonal, homes do sell during the holidays and in January.  There is less competition in the winter and buyers planning to buy in the spring usually start looking months before they buy.

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 09:54 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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The Trentini Team
F.C. Tucker EMGE REALTORS®
7820 Eagle Crest Bvd., Suite 200
Evansville, IN 47715
Office: (812) 479-0801
Cell: (812) 499-9234
Email: Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com


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