Seven Signs a Homeowner is Desperate to Sell

As a real estate agent, I know what desperation looks like. You can see the wild look in clients or other agent’s clients easily enough. They want to get rid of their house as quickly as possible for whatever reason and the process is taking too long for their liking. Homeowners have desperation in the selling process for all manner of reasons but it can sometimes be hard to spot if you don’t either work for them or work with them like I do. It can be helpful to know when a seller wants to sell quickly because it may mean you get a better deal or you can move in more quickly. If you can’t as easily identify that crazed look in the eye of the seller, then try to use this list of seven signs that may reveal the homeowner is eager to sell and sell quickly:

1)      The listing basically screams “BUY ME”

One of the most obvious signs that the owner is eager to sell is multiple price reductions or right off the bat listing the property for below market price.

2)      The curb appeal isn’t quite up to par

If someone is unhappy where they are, there might not be very good upkeep of the yard or they may forget to bring the mail in every day.

3)      The closets are partially empty

If the closets are all half empty, that may be a sign of divorce which could mean that they will want to speed of the process.

4)      There clearly has been an addition to the family

If there is crib squeezed into the parents’ bedroom that may mean that the homeowners need more room and need it as soon as possible.

5)      The property has been listed by an estate

The property may have been inherited and the new owner is looking to liquidate the assets in a timely fashion.

6)      The homeowners answer everything candidly and quickly

A more desperate seller will be up front with you on everything wrong with the house because they know it could slow down the process later on if they don’t disclose everything.

7)      The seller has already moved out

If the house is vacant, the owners don’t likely want to be paying the mortgage on a home they are no longer inhabiting for too many more months.

Check out the original article below:

 

https://www.trulia.com/blog/spend-tax-refund-2017-on-your-home/

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Use Your 2017 Tax Refund on Home Improvements

The time leading up to tax can be nerve-wracking and stressful but if you get your tax return done and get a huge surprise of a large refund, then tax season suddenly turns into Christmas. If you are struggling over what to spend that big chunk of cash on. There are so many options, both frivolous and serious. Have you thought about using that extra money on home improvements that you have been wanting to get done for quite a while now? There are a wide range of improvements you can make around the house depending on how much you make in the refund. Here are some of the great ideas from Trulia on things you can do divided up by the amount you got from your refund this year:

$500 Refund

  • Hire a professional organizer
  • Recaulk and repaint your baseboards
  • Buy a new rug
  • Add some extra curb appeal

$1,000 Refund

  • Upgrade your water heater
  • Give your ceiling a revamp

$2,000 Refund

  • Upgrade all of your home’s lighting
  • Treat yourself to nice hardwood flooring
  • Build a deck or enhance/redo the one you currently have

$3,000 Refund

  • Add a backsplash to your kitchen
  • Splurge on a pair of gorgeous French doors

$5,000 Refund

  • Put up a privacy fence or replace an old one
  • Create a simple outdoor kitchen for entertaining

 

Check out the original article below for more in-depth ways to keep these tasks within your refund budget:

https://www.trulia.com/blog/spend-tax-refund-2017-on-your-home/

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Keep Your Garage Organized with These Storage Hacks

If you were to get up from your computer right now and walk over to your garage to look inside it, what would you find? You’d likely find your garage to be just as much of a mess as everyone else’s garage. I believe garages might be the most universally forgotten and horribly disorganized spaces in everyone’s homes. Everyone finds garages extremely hard to get under control, let alone make it a clean and functional place. I think we can all relate to those times where we’ve needed to find a particularly sized screwdriver in our garage and it is like finding a needle in a haystack. Sadly, we don’t all have the time and money to hire an organizer or buy all the storage equipment necessary to take on the job. However, there are some more do-it-yourself methods to get a similar solution. Thankfully, HGTV have highlighted quite a few awesome, yet simple, storage solutions using household items you likely already have laying around such as these ingenious ideas:

A DIY Garage Workshop: combine a few old dressers and tabletops to create a large workbench.

Window Planter Can Holder: spray paint cans fit very well into plastic window planters. You can mount them to the wall to save shelf space.

Chain Cord Hanger: keep extension cords from getting tangled and mount them to the wall with one foot sections of a chain and a simple coat hook.

Locker Storage: transform some old lockers into storage shelves and you can add pieces of scrap wood to them as well to create more shelf space.

Towel Rack Clamp Holder: use an old tower hanging rack to hang those bulky clamps. Many households have extra towels racks just hanging around.

 

For more great ideas, check out the original article linked below:

http://www.hgtv.com/design-blog/clean-and-organize/10-garage-storage-hacks-to-keep-you-organized

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Repurpose Your Unused Living Room

Have you been noticing the drastic decline of the living room in your home? It’s true that just a few years back, the best-selling floor plans used to include a formal living room but that has seemingly changed because the way that people and families interact in the home are different than they used to be. The term “living room” was first originated in the late nineteenth or twentieth century as a place to sit with guests and formally socialize. But now this space has turned into something of a furniture museum in most family homes. People tend to congregate in kitchen areas, the backyard, or game rooms. More and more families are not as interested in designated and formal spaces but are, rather, more interested in an open floor plan with a lot of flexibility. Adults and kids are spending more and more time on mobile and personal devices than before meaning that the television isn’t the centerpiece of the homes as it used to be. Therefore, the living room which usually house the television isn’t as important as before.

Here are some great ways you can repurpose your currently unused living room:

First, figure out exactly what you and your family define as “living” and more specifically “living together”. Consider how your family likes to spend time together and tailor your new living room around that!

For example, if you and your family usually spend time watching movies or Netflix together then hang a big projector to play movies on with a high definition sound system.

Or, if you are all hard workers that spend a lot of your free time working on projects you are passionate about then turn your living room into a collective work space. Make all the power outlets accessible and use the space to spread out work stations with semi-private nooks. That way, even if everyone is doing their own thing, you are still all in the same space together for a particular kind of family time.

 

Check out the original article for more ideas:

http://www.realtor.com/advice/home-improvement/why-living-rooms-are-becoming-extinct/?iid=rdc_news_hp_carousel_theLatest

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The 10 Strangest Homes in the World

Happy Friday to you all! I have a fun post to prepare for the weekend and we have had enough seriousness lately with all the crazy news headlines. These are the ten most unusual homes in the world: all the way from Japan to The Netherlands. These homes don’t just push style limits but the limits of architecture and some of them even push the very limits of physics.

1)      Transparent House, Japan

This completely transparent home was inspired by Japan’s ancient predecessors who inhabited trees. This home offers a lot of natural light but not much privacy.

2)      Skateboard House, USA

This home built in Malibu is made completely out of surfaces you can skate on!

3)      World’s Slimmest House, Poland

The world’s slimmest house is called the Keret House which is inserted between two existing buildings and measures only 92 to 152 centimeters in width.

4)      Old Water Tower Turned into Modern Homes, Belgium

This 100-foot-high water tower used to serve as a Nazi hideout during the war but was later converted into a family home.

5)      Dick Clark’s Flintstones Inspired Home, USA

This single-story home built in Malibu was inspired by the 60s cartoon The Flintstones. The TV legend Dick Clark listed it for 3.5 million.

6)      World’s Smallest One Square Meter House, Germany

This is a portable DIY wood structure that is being carried around Germany and at one square meter, it is the world’s smallest house.

7)      Slide House, Japan

This three-story home has a regular staircase on one side of the home and a slide on the other side so you can slide all the way down to the bottom floor.

8)      Stone House, Portugal

This home looks just like another massive rock until you see the door, chimney, and window. This awesome looking structure has become a huge tourist attraction.

9)      Church Converted into Modern Family Home, The Netherlands

Zecc Architecten repurposed and converted two abandoned churches in the town of Utrecht, The Netherlands.

10)  Giant Seashell House, Mexico

This beautiful and colorful home in Mexico City was inspired by the work of Gaudi and Frank Lloyd Wright.

 

Check out the article which I have linked below to see pictures of the exteriors and interiors of these fascinating homes:

http://www.boredpanda.com/unusual-homes/

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Professional Movers Really Hate Moving These 7 Items

If you are moving soon, you might be considering hiring professionals to do all the heavy lifting for you in the moving process. Professional moving companies will basically move anything in your house that you need them to move with understandable exceptions like hazardous materials, pets, and plants. However, there are a few more common exceptions that professional movers absolutely hate to transfer from one home to another! Realtor.com gathered up the top seven most-hated items to move by interviewing professional movers on their own opinions. If you own one of these items or multiple of them, you may want to consider giving your mover an extra-large tip. The top seven that Realtor.com came up are as follows:

1)      Foam Mattresses

These types of mattresses are far “heavier, flimsier, and more unwieldy” than the former spring mattresses.

2)      Sleeper Sofas

A typical couch weighs more than 300 pounds on its own. When you add in a pull-out bed, that is an extra 60 to 75 pounds at least. To make your sleeper sofa easier to move, tie a rope or a bungee cord around it to keep the bed from popping out.

3)      Giant, Stuffed to the Brim Boxes

Movers would much rather prefer two smaller and lighter boxes than one large and overly heavy one.

4)      Particleboard Furniture

Even though this kind of furniture is lighter, it is also a lot easier to damage because of it.

5)      Bunk Beds

You always have to dismantle bunk beds before moving them which makes the process take twice as long.

6)      Dressers with Packed Drawers

If your dressers drawers are stuffed with your clothes then they will be impossible to move, making the movers job far harder than it actually needs to be.

7)      Exercise Equipment

These pieces aren’t only heavy but they are also strangely shaped which can make them incredibly awkward to get in and out of rooms.

 

Check out the original article linked below to read up a bit more on what professional movers don’t like moving and why:

http://www.realtor.com/advice/move/things-movers-hate-to-move/?iid=rdc_news_hp_carousel_theLatest

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Neighborhood Features that Increase Your Home’s Value

If you are getting ready to sell your house, you may be wondering what home improvements you can make before putting your property on the market to increase its value. We all want to get the most money out of selling our home but a lot of the time there is not much we can do or afford to do to increase the value over night. However, there may some things that already are a part of your property or, more specifically, your neighborhood that you don’t know will be a great asset in selling your home. All you need to do to take advantage of these things is to know about them and highlight them to the buyers! Trulia collected eight different features of a neighborhood that increases property value. So, if you have any of the following amenities in your neighborhood, don’t overlook mentioning them to the buyers.

1)      Hiking Trails

With hiking trails close by, home owners get a good cardio workout and beautiful views. Hiking trails get a lot of bonus points in sales value.

2)      Mature Trees

Sacha Ferrandi, founder of Source Capital Funding, says “the more natural a neighborhood is – regarding trees – the higher the neighborhood value is.”

3)      Walkability

It is a huge benefit to get to small businesses or social meet up spots by foot and can drive the value of a home significantly higher than those that are out of the way.

4)      Historic Homes

Historic homes always cause the neighborhood to have a feel of character and charm. They also tend to increase in value more quickly than the overall local market.

5)      Dog Parks

Americans are spending more money than ever on their pets. Neighborhoods with open green spaces and parks tend to have more market worth than neighborhoods without.

6)      Retail and Essentials Nearby

Whether your neighborhood is in an urban or rural area, the key is that your home still has convenient access to essential services and shopping areas.

7)      Future Amenities

Spotlight the ways in which your neighborhood may be improving within the coming years. If your area doesn’t have much access to particular amenities but will soon then highlight those. Some very desirable businesses include Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and Target.

8)      Organized Community Groups

If your neighborhood has active participation and community events or groups then that can be a highly attractive feature for buyers with families.

 

Check out the original article at the link below to read further:

https://www.trulia.com/blog/features-increase-property-values-in-my-neighborhood/

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Cardiff Cove Masterpiece

Happy Monday to you all. Today, I have another brand-new listing in Cardiff and, more specifically, in the lovely Cardiff Cove complex near the lagoon. Located at 2838 Caminito Cape Sebastian, this house first premiered on the market on the 11th of this month. The seller will be entertaining offers in between $699,000 and $749,000 for this two-bedroom, two bathroom perfected Cardiff Cove model townhouse. At, 876 square feet, this property is an end unit, making it a quiet interior location, with some positively gorgeous ocean and lagoon views. It is just west of I-5 with easy freeway accessibility.

The entire home has undergone a complete, thorough, and spectacular remodel (all the way down to the home’s studs) with absolutely no detail spared or overlooked. Nearly every single thing in this property is brand new. It is complete with modern, high-end finishes throughout along with vaulted ceilings, impeccable bathroom fixtures, tons of natural light, and central air. Additionally, the property boasts of hardwood floors, washer and dryer inside, a modern customized kitchen, and front AND rear decks to enjoy the gorgeous views.

The complex provides a pool, spa, hot tub, and a club house/recreation room. This Cardiff Cove townhouse is located close by to the beach, the lagoon, and hiking trails so the new owner can take full advantages of the scenic outdoors that Cardiff has to offer. Cardiff’s town center is, also, very close by. Take a look below for some great pictures featuring the scenic views from the deck, the high vaulted ceilings and natural light in the living room, and the impeccably remodeled bathroom.

 

Here is the property flyer in case you want to show your friends who are house hunting, feel free to print it out:

 

Check out the listing link below to read more about the property:

http://paragonmls.sandicor.com/publink/default.aspx?GUID=fe3c2b43-bee7-4d62-9847-43f48f278d91&Report=Yes

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Creative Ways to Dye Your Easter Eggs

Easter is this Sunday! Do you have some fun gatherings planned with your family? Perhaps some load Easter baskets, a delicious feast, or an Easter egg hunt. If you have little kids in your family, then you will know how delightful it can be to see them unwrap the candy or find hidden eggs in the backyard. Dying Easter eggs is a great activity that everyone can do together and is a great way to express individual creativity. If you have never done it before then you ought to start this year. If you do it every year but are running out of ideas to make it new and exciting, then you have to check out this great link from Better Homes and Gardens: http://www.bhg.com/holidays/easter/eggs/quick-and-easy-easter-egg-decorations/ . This article has 35 different ways to dye your Easter eggs so each family member’s egg can be unique to their style. They look so cool too. You can display them afterwards around your house as a fun and colorful spring décor!

These are the six that I most want to try this Easter but take a look at the link above for yourself also and decide on your favorites that you want to try:

  • Tissue Paper Eggs

Make pretty cutout designs with tissue paper and then use decoupage paste to attach the tissue paper to the already dyed and dried eggs.

  • Watercolor Easter Eggs

Use simple and inexpensive watercolor paints to draw on your own personalized designs.

  • Margarine-Marbled Eggs

Using margarine in the dye has the coolest marbling effect. One cup cool water, twenty drops food coloring, two teaspoons white vinegar, and one tablespoon melted margarine.

  • Drizzled Easter Eggs

Drizzle your egg with rubber cement before dipping it into the dye then pull of the rubber cement.

  • Glitter Easter Eggs

Mix glue with glitter that is the color of your dyed egg and paint that on your egg with a small paintbrush. When it dries, the glue with be clear!

  • Painted Bunny Easter Eggs

Dye the eggs and wait for them to dry. Once they have dried, paint on some little bunnies so you can really show your Easter holiday spirit.

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Ten Best Cities for American Expats

Have you ever considered just picking up and moving out of the country? Sometimes it sure is a tempting idea. It would be a lie to say I have never thought about living abroad. If you were to move, though, how would you go about deciding where to live? Some of us have a dream to live in Paris or on an island in the Caribbean. But those aren’t necessarily practical places. More and more people are residing outside of the United States BECAUSE of the practicality, not despite it. The US State Department estimates that there were close to nine million Americans living abroad as of June 2016, which is a huge increase from the estimated 6.3 million in 2011.

With rapid globalization, it has never been easier to live in international cities all around the world. To help you narrow in on the best places to live abroad for jobs and homes and fun, Realtor.com ranked 231 global hubs according to these criteria: housing affordability, cost of living, quality of life, unemployment rate, number of American expats, low national homicide rate. This way you can make your dream come true of living abroad but still be practical about it!

Here are the results:

 

1.      Stuttgart, Germany

Median home price: $269,000

American expats in Germany: 137,575

 

2.      Glasgow, United Kingdom

Median home price: $165,300

American expats in U.K.: 212,150

 

3.      Montreal, Canada

Median home price: $213,706

American expats in Canada: 343,252

 

4.      Wellington, New Zealand

Median home price: $324,900

American expats in New Zealand: 22,300

 

5.      Merida, Mexico

Median home price: $125,000

American expats in Mexico: 876,528

 

6.      Amsterdam, Netherlands

Median home price: $512,900

American expats in the Netherlands: 27,285

 

7.      Canberra, Australia

Median home price: $505,100

American expats in Australia: 110,643

 

8.      Lyon, France

Median home price: $341,500

American expats in France: 53,906

 

9.      Dublin, Ireland

Median home price: $294,300

American expats in Ireland: 30,690

 

10.  Durban, South Africa

Median home price: $108,000

American expats in South Africa: 18,114

 

Learn more about these ten cities here:

http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/top-10-international-cities-for-american-expats/

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