Real Estate Blog
Friday, September 12 2014
Selling an elderly or deceased relative’s home can be one of the most selfless tasks anyone is ever called upon to do—and not just because it’s hard to let go of a place that has so many loved ones’ memories. What frequently adds to the emotional component is the condition of the house. Although your Aunt Elda might have loved the shag carpeting and the harvest gold kitchen appliances, those features can be counted on to turn off today’s typical home buyer. Bearing in mind that selling a home is first and foremost a business proposition, it’s frequently necessary to apply a few quick fixes to transform the storehouse of one family’s cherished memories into an appealing place destined to house another’s.
Ask: What Dates the House?
If a house reminds prospects of grandma’s place, unless they’re in a determinedly DIY frame of mind, they’ll move on to the next property on their list. Don’t let them overlook the many positive features of the house just because of a few old fashioned details. Scout out items that make the house look dated—and clear them out of there! Remove worn or discolored carpeting, then either replace with a bound carpet remnant or two, or leave the floors exposed. Selling a home can hinge on a few minor things like replacing old cabinet knobs and light fixtures with more modern versions, or repainting walls in neutral colors.
Replace Kitchen Appliances
Our elders may have drilled into us the wisdom that it’s wasteful to get rid of perfectly good appliances, but homebuyers may not be swayed. For selling a home in today’s market, replacing appliances can be an easy way to inject new life into an old kitchen (even if the rest of the kitchen will need further updating by its new owner). But before splurging on any appliances, consult your real estate agent about what type of appliances buyers expect in this price range. If the place could make a perfect starter home for a young family, inexpensive white appliances might be just as strategic as the stainless steel models.
Or…Embrace the Vintage Charm!
Realistically, sometimes it would take too much money to update an inherited house. If that’s the case (and time is not an issue), turn the problem into a positive by embracing the house’s vintage charm! Old is just the wrong way of viewing antique…and one person’s dated can be another’s classic. If you’re dealing with a home that could double as a set for TV’s “Mad Men,” consider playing up the ‘60s theme with furniture, curtains and even vintage magazines you find at thrift stores or yard sales. Kiplinger.com finds that today’s buyers particularly appreciate eat-in kitchens—so why not add a period-appropriate dinette set to emphasize that space? But don’t forget to thoroughly clean carpeting, curtains and other items that may hold odors. Selling a home may mean capturing the look of a bygone era—but never the smell!
A dated family home will sell faster and appeal to more buyers when you’re willing to make the right strategic changes. Spending just a little time and money can transform an overlooked house into one that demands a second look—that invites a new family to make it the site for another lifetime of memories.
Thinking of selling a home in the Evansville this fall? Calling me today for a price assessment is a solid first step! You can call me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com
Wednesday, April 16 2014
It’s one of the skills a successful local rental property investor needs to cultivate: if or when to sell. With property prices on the rise, some Evansville landlords may in fact be asking themselves whether now is the time to cash in. Especially for most everyone whose rental property investment was made during the last few years, it’s already been a profitable gambit. According to the Case Schiller Index, by last year’s close, property prices across the nation had risen at the fastest rate in the previous nine years.
But if—and then when—to sell a rental property can be a tough call. As a relatively illiquid investment, it takes a great deal more commitment than the decision to sell a stock or cash in a bond. But sometimes there are circumstances that can make the decision a little easier. For instance:
One clear reason why you might choose to sell is if the rental property is losing money. The rental may have been vacant for too long, or the rent level may not have been sufficient to cover expenses. In many cases, other real estate investors will be willing to lose money in the short term on a property they believe will appreciate in the future. It’s also possible that a full-time rental property professional may be able to tap economies of scale that are not possible for every individual investor.
Your rental property may be doing fine—making money and showing substantial value growth—but now an unusually promising alternative investment has appeared. With the strong spring market, it may make sense to sell now to reinvest the profits elsewhere.
Everyone’s tax situation is different, and the tax environment is subject to change. Even if that weren’t the case, there are some years when personal finances mean that a sale would be a much better idea than others. As with any substantial financial decision, your accountant or other financial advisor will have the relevant input.
Being a landlord is not for everyone. Sometimes a professional property manager can alleviate nearly all the stress for an investor who doesn’t relish the vocation, but even then, there can be other chores: bookkeeping, manager management, a leak-through of tenant personality issues…that prompt a landlord to decide he or she would rather direct energy elsewhere. Opting for more passive forms of investment is always a possibility.
Our area has already benefitted from some of the fruits of the national real estate recovery – but that alone doesn’t answer whether this spring is an opportune time for you to consider selling your area rental property. We currently face a shortage of listings and there are many buyers and investors in the market. Call me today for a comprehensive property evaluation—the key piece of information that will help you decide! You can reach me on my cell phone
812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com
Tuesday, March 18 2014
The details seem stubbornly worrisome. Mortgage requirements have grown stricter. The Federal Reserve may or may not turn off the cheap money spigot—and if anything causes the stock market to sputter, it’s uncertainty. Occasional bits of good news in the labor picture can’t overcome the fact that unemployment remains stuck on high in many states.
All of this should be bad news for the housing market in Evansville, except for one overriding factor: apparently, American consumers aren’t buying it.
Despite uncertain economic news, consumers’ overall expectations for the housing market remained steady. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s monthly Survey of Consumer Expectations, issued last week, found that most expect home values to continue to climb through 2014. The uncertainty factor remains largely stuck in neutral, pretty much as it has for most of 2013.
The survey found more nuggets of good news likely to affect the local housing market. There was no reported change from last month’s report that close to 20% of respondents say they are likely to change residences in the coming year…similarly, the previous month’s finding that 44% predict their personal wealth will increase remained steady. Taken together, the two factors could likely indicate that a healthy number of home buyers will be looking for housing of greater value than that at their current address.
Fannie Mae’s most recent monthly National Housing Survey echoed the positive findings among consumers: “Notably, respondents’ home price expectations climbed significantly in February—with 50% saying home prices will go up in the next year…” Their finding of more volatile consumer attitudes was mainly attributed to momentarily high energy expenses caused by unexpectedly frigid winter weather.
Whether or not the national statistics accurately reflect local consumer dispositions, they provide a backdrop that bodes well for the impending spring selling season. Soon we’ll be entering the time of year which traditionally results in a considerable uptick in Evansville’s housing market activity – which may be prime time for determining whether this is the moment to make a change in your own residential outlook. For more pinpointed, up-to-the-moment details about your own neighborhood’s housing market profile, give me a call! You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234.
Friday, September 13 2013
Whenever you hear that a neighbor’s house is on the market, the same question flashes through nearly every homeowner's mind: how much are they asking?
That's because of the nature of residential markets: our own homes' real estate values (in fact, all local real estate values) are connected with one another, and that asking price is an estimate of the current state of affairs. It has to be reasonable in order to attract the attention of serious buyers — but if it’s too reasonable, on closing day the seller will walk away with a lighter bank account than necessary.
Real estate values in Evansville are determined in large part by what other similar homes have recently sold for. These comparable sales show what a real world bank was willing to lend, and how many dollars a real life buyer was willing to pay. “Comps” are to real estate values what the Dow Jones is to securities: a trustworthy reality check, no kidding around.
How 'comparable' a comp is depends on a number of factors to be taken into account:
- The structure
The structure of a comp sale will have similar square footage, number of bedrooms, etc. Its condition is a value judgment best made by professional appraisers. Amenities can include everything from upgrades in a development to added features like central air conditioning or a Jacuzzi. And location means a great deal (is it in a high crime area?) — as does the similar but more precise neighborhood (are the neighbors taking care of their yards? Are the schools first-rate?).
Ultimately, when determining real estate values for area homes, appraisers take into account much more than just the house itself. That’s why when you set out to find a home for your family it’s important to look beyond the physical facets of the house alone: should you later decide to sell it, the whole host of factors will come into play. Whether you are buying or selling a home in Evansville this fall, contact me today for a pricing evaluation. You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com
Friday, September 06 2013
Have you ever driven by fantastic-looking homes one week, only to notice that they have lost their appeal only a few weeks later? Chances are such a nosedive in curb appeal could be due to an unrealistic approach to front yard landscaping. Especially as homes approach fall weather changes, and even more notably for homes that are about to be put on the market, reality (instead of fantasy) should rule when landscape design changes are being decided.
The key is maintenance. Taking care of lush landscaping is a time-consuming activity, so if you are not a garden hobbyist dedicated to the mowing, fertilizing, spraying, pruning, and weeding that elaborate greenscapes require, your choices are to be willing to pay a pro to keep on top of it all, or…actually, that’s your only choice!
Yesterday’s impressive front yard can turn ragged in days if it is neglected. Whether you’re a busy professional or overscheduled soccer mom, homes for sale require constant attention to the front yard landscaping. That curb appeal either invites a call to your Realtor® — or a drive past without a second look.
That same reality factor that may prompt a decision to install a modest, less-expansive lawn and plantings can affect the number of potential buyers. That’s especially true if your target market weighs heavily with retirees, busy professionals, active families, or folks looking for second homes to use as vacation getaways or income properties. Many of those buyers will gravitate toward homes that won’t cost a lot of money to re-landscape to lower maintenance requirements.
Local homes with easy-maintenance yards that still present a natural feel can be big winners in today’s market. Along the same lines of less is more, having gnomes, deer or other ornaments on your lawn is generally a turnoff. You can add to that list too much “stuff” in the backyard.
If you’re planning to list your home for sale in Evansville this fall, it’s time to do some serious planning. I offer pre-marketing consultations to help prepare area homes for the market. Call me today to schedule yours! You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com
Thursday, September 05 2013
The advance home inspection process in Evansville plays a pivotal role to both seller and buyer. Correcting problems at an early stage increases a home's appeal — and its selling price. An advance inspection also sets the stage for a favorable final inspection report for the buyer (and the buyer’s lender), expediting a sale.
Yet according to home inspection experts, approximately half the homes on the resale market today have at least one significant defect! Advance knowledge of imperfections or malfunctioning systems in a property helps buyers commit if the house is a worthwhile buy. And knowing trouble spots in advance helps a seller set an attractive price.
Whether you are buying or selling, here are a few tips to help you have a trouble-free final inspection this fall:
Minimum scope for a home inspection in Evansville should include roof, plumbing, foundation, electrical wiring and central heating and/or air-conditioning. Except under special circumstances (those would include REO or estate sales), sellers are uniformly required to provide disclosure information about the property. Present these disclosures to your inspector, so he can double-check known issues first, and go over them with you during the inspection.
A pest control inspector is sometimes considered optional, but is really highly recommended. This inspector makes a specialized report for any areas infested with pests that could damage the home. Even if the home looks terrific and was recently serviced, underlying pest issues can be some of the most expensive to correct. They can derail a loan in no time.
Mold, asbestos, radon and other potentially harmful substances are not always included in a home inspection: they require a specialized license. If you are concerned about these elements, or live in a neighborhood where they are known to be a problem – consider adding additional inspections.
Knowledge is power when it comes to home inspections in town: the more you know in advance, the stronger your negotiating position will be. If you are preparing to buy or sell this fall, give me a call! I’m here to protect and advise my clients every step of the way. You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com
Wednesday, May 04 2011
If your house is on the market then you might be at the point of tearing your hair out. After all, some sellers have had their home up for sale for years at this point. It can be maddening, and the competition is only getting more intense as prices continue to fall and more foreclosure homes flood the market.
So what, exactly, are buyers looking for this spring? In short, they're looking for homes that are going to save them money. And when you think about it, it just makes sense. Mortgage loans are harder to come by, and thanks to an uncertain economy, people are less likely to splurge on a McMansion they're going to have to pay to heat and cool for the next five years (i.e. save money on utility bills).
[See the best personal finance stories from around the Web at the U.S. News My Money blog.]
Even if you're planning on staying in your home the next few years, it's still helpful to know what people are looking for because you're likely going to make changes and home improvements over the years. Knowing what potential buyers are interested in can help you invest your money wisely, so you have a better chance of selling when you're actually ready. So what are people looking for?
1. Homes in Good Condition
Buyers aren't interested in fixer-uppers right now. They don't have a lot of cash, and they don't want to spend money on home repairs immediately after they move in. They're looking for homes that are in great condition and that are absolutely move-in ready. They don't want to have to repaint, clean carpets, or cover up cracks in the ceiling. And they especially don't want to spend money on major repairs. To increase your chances of an offer this spring and summer, make sure you do everything you can to get your home in tip-top shape. Utilize a house spring cleaning checklist and make your home spotless before showing it off.
2. Homes with Green Features
Saving money and living green are trends that aren't likely to disappear anytime soon. Buyers are now looking for features which are going to cut down on a home's operating costs, as well as lessen its impact on the environment. Tankless water heaters, high-efficiency furnaces, energy-efficient appliances, energy-efficient windows, adequate insulation, and solar panels are just a few that are making it on to buyers' wish lists.
Basically, any "green" upgrade that's going to save money on utility bills will be highly appealing to people looking for a new home. You probably don't want to splurge on solar panels, a geothermal furnace, or other expensive green energy technologies, but there are some small changes you can make that will help potential buyers save money in your home. For instance, you could install a rain barrel or two against the house, add insulation, upgrade any old appliances to Energy Star rated models, and plant some trees to help with shading during the summer months.
[In Pictures: 10 Smart Ways to Improve Your Budget.]
3. Outdoor Living Spaces
In an uncertain economy, people travel less. This means that our homes are truly becoming our castles, no matter how small they are! Outdoor living spaces have always been popular, but they're especially appealing now since so many people are taking staycations, and choosing to relax at home instead of going out at night and on weekends. If your backyard leaves a lot to be desired, then do whatever you can to turn it into an oasis. Build a deck, plant flowers, add a fountain, and turn it into an escape for potential buyers.
If your home is currently on the market, it's important to do everything you can to remove any concerns buyers might have about your house. Sellers sure don't want to continue spending money on their homes, but small changes such as planting flowers, repainting, and cleaning can go a long way towards getting you an offer. Remember, you don't want to give people any reason not to buy your home!
Have you had any success selling your house in this market? What are some of the best methods that worked for you?
Heather Levin is a regular contributor to the Money Crashers personal finance resource site and is also the creator of The Greenest Dollar, a blog focused on green and frugal living.
Monday, August 02 2010
The real estate market here in Evansville Indiana does not always follow the national trend. We are in a fortunate situation that our market is sheltered and we do not have the extreme ups and downs as in other markets. However, the trend that: “Demand Strong for Well-Prices Homes” does apply to our local market. Homes that have been updated and are in move-in condition and that are priced right, will sell faster.
Demand Strong for Well-Prices Homes
Yes, houses will sell as long as they are priced right. In many — but not all places — that means they’re priced low.
"People who price their homes to the market are selling them in a reasonable amount of time, but people who cling to 2004 or 2005 prices aren't," says Richard Smith, president and CEO of Realogy, the parent company of Century 21, ERA, Coldwell Banker and Sotheby's International Realty.
In some areas, pent-up demand has exploded. "It's crazy," says Brendon DeSimone, an associate with Paragon Real Estate in the Noe Valley near San Francisco. "I had one house with five offers, and it went from $1.4 million to $1.7 million. The valley has just popped. It's not uncommon for one open house to have 200 people come through."
Source: USA Today, Stephanie Armour (07/28/2010)