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Posted by Tina Bilazarian, Broker on 10/10/2019

Buying a home is one of those things in life that requires you to take a certain order of steps to complete the process. First, youíll need to save up some money for a down payment and all of the other costs that go along with buying a home. Next, youíll take a look at what you can afford and perhaps get pre-qualified. Then, youíll hire a realtor and begin searching for properties. Finally, youíll make an offer, sign for the mortgage and close on the home. After that, youíll probably buy some furniture and paint the walls to make yourself feel at home. 


Would you ever dream of making that big home purchase without actually seeing the property first? One of the most time-consuming parts of the home buying process is that of viewing homes and visiting property after property. 


There are actually many reasons that a buyer might buy a property without seeing it first. With the Internet, itís fairly easy to get an idea of what a house might be like. Too, if youíre an investor, itís sometimes worth the gamble to scoop up a property at the right price in order to score a great deal. 


Itís also usually not detrimental to buyers who are trying to get a home in a high competition market to go after places they really love immediately. The early bird does get the worm, right?


Foreclosed Properties 


Properties in distress may be in poor condition, but for the right buyer can be a great deal. Banks want to get rid of these places as soon as possible due to the expenses incurred by keeping them. 


Pre-Construction Properties


Not all properties that are bought sight unseen are fixer uppers. Some properties can be bought in the pre-construction phase. These homes havenít been built but are already on the market available for purchase. Many times, buying properties this way can be cheaper than buying the new construction home after itís built. 


The Risks


There are obviously many risks to buying a home sight unseen. First, pictures can be deceiving. You never really know what youíre walking into until you see it. Photographs can easily hide major damage. Until a home is physically inspected, you may not know what the costs will be to repair it. 


The same risks apply to new construction homes. The layout of the home may not be what youíre looking for, or the home may not include the features that you want.


When you do decide to buy a home sight unseen you need to weigh the risk versus the reward in the transaction. It can be a valuable decision, in the long run, to take a chance on buying a home that you havenít been able to physically inspect.       

 





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Posted by Tina Bilazarian, Broker on 10/3/2019

The media, especially TV shows, have made renovating a home seem simple. A quick cleaning, splash some paint around and put a flatpack kitchen and you are done. However there is much more to renovating than you can learn by watching an hour-long show in your living room.So, how do you renovate to successfully sell your home for some cold hard cash? Here are some useful tips you can use to maximize your home sale price. 

Do not spend more than the worth of the house.

The last thing you would do is to spend too much money on renovations only to find your home stays longer than necessary on the market because it is overpriced, or worse, the final sale value does not allow you recoup the cost of the repairs.

Your aim should be to look for improvements that add value. That means cosmetic improvements like re-polishing the floorboards and even a splash of fresh paint inside and out. You look for the opportunities to spruce up and replace old cabinetry handles, etc.

This cost-effective touch-up can make your home look polished and new without you having to spend too much on renovation.

Home buyers have their own preferences and personalities.

While taking your time and resources to improve on your property, you need to leave space for the buyersí personal touches.

However, if your house is really rundown, it could be a smart decision to leave it as is and attract bargain hunters who would want to renovate to their tastes. Alternatively, if your home is almost there, concentrate on the areas that are most likely to catch the buyersí attention. For instance, a skillfully designed bathroom is always a strong selling point, while incomplete landscaping may not contribute to your bottom line.

Do not compromise quality.

Buyers appreciate the quality and skill involved in building the original home. They are also better informed than even the seller and are likely to shell out for a pre-purchase building inspection. So, prepare to spend more and call in the professionals to give your home a special touch.

A color expert knows precisely what you want in paint shades. So, the best approach for quality upgrades is to invite a licensed professional and do away with those do-it-yourself ways that do not yield reliable positive results. Looking at fittings and fixtures, go for the best quality you can afford, even if it means centralizing replacements in one particular area.

Final Thought

Being choosy about how you renovate your property will give you the more significant sale price you are looking for. Just concentrate your mind on marketable and attractive details buyers can see. This will ensure you recoup more than what you have spent on your renovation efforts. Still have questions about the best renovations for your property? Talk to your real estate agent about what matters to buyers in your area.





Posted by Tina Bilazarian, Broker on 9/26/2019

For most people, the idea of moving conjures up dread and stress. There are things to sort, boxes to pack, fears that the dishes might get broken because you didn't add enough padding to keep them safe, and concern that you'll lose something, miss something, forget something.

But moving doesn't have to be all stress and bother. You can make a game of moving and have some fun while you do it. Look for the easiest ways to arrange things so that both packing and unpacking go more quickly.

  • One down - leave things as they are: If your dressers are full of clothes, instead of removing the clothes and repacking them in boxes. Just leave them in the drawers. Grab some plastic wrapóavailable at most moving rentals stores, big box DIY stores, and office supply outletsóand wrap the furniture to hold the drawers in place. If you're not sure how to complete this yourself, ask your movers to wrap it for you. And use a garment box for hanging clothes. Just grab a group of hangars and move them from the closet onto the bar in the box. Theyíre all set to transfer back into the new closet.
  • Two or more - leave utensils and flatware in their trays. Find boxes that will fit the whole tray but slip a plastic or paper shopping bag over the entire thing before you slide it in the box. That way, the bag holds the items in the tray and protects one tray from rubbing on another. When you get to the new home, just move the trays directly into the new drawers. Easy as pie!
  • Three to go - Race to see who can fill the most boxes. Give kids easier options such as games and books and other flat objects that fit into boxes easily. And have a bigger box for stuffed animals and dolls.
  • Four on the floor - use smaller boxes. A tendency for novice movers is to fill large boxes that are then impossible to move. The problem is, you often fill large boxes with a mixture of things that may not even belong in the same room, merely to fill the box. Using smaller boxes more strategically might give you more boxes overall, but will save you time, effort, and an aching back when you reach your destination. Label each box as you go, then stack them like a Jenga puzzle until moving day.
  • Five-minute rule - if you're trying to pack yet keep your regular life flowing smoothly, spend just five minutes at a time packing. Grab a packing box and fill it up, then go back to putting on makeup or finish your workout.

If moving seems daunting to you, download a moving app to help you stay organized and keep you moving.




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Posted by Tina Bilazarian, Broker on 9/19/2019

Not every neighborhood is pedestrian-friendly, especially if you live on a busy highway or have no access to sidewalks. However, if you're fortunate enough to live in a walkable area (or have a chance to move to one), why not take advantage of it?

Walking in your neighborhood is a free way to stay healthier, happier, and more relaxed. As long as you don't have any health conditions that would stand in the way of taking regular walks, a daily constitutional can provide you and your family with an array of benefits.

Healthy Lifestyle: Staying physically and mentally healthy is not the result of one or two positive habits, but rather a variety of lifestyle decisions you make throughout the day. Walking on a regular basis can help you achieve weight loss goals, maintain muscle tone, and increase your energy level. A moderate exercise program can also help relieve stress, enhance your mood, and slow down the aging process.

Family Bonding: Walking in the neighborhood or at a nearby public park can be a great way for your family to spend quality time together. It's also an opportunity to take a refreshing break from television watching, social media use, the Internet, and video games. Going for family walks is a simple activity, but the benefits can be far reaching.

Neighborhood Connections: The very act of walking around in your neighborhood, every day, makes you feel more connected to your environment. It also gives you a chance to chat with neighbors, meet new ones, and observe any changes that may affect the character of the neighborhood.

Critique Your Property: When you walk past your house and yard, you can often see features and flaws that may have escaped your notice when you last drove by in your car. Looking at your property from different angles and directions can help give you landscaping ideas and point out ways you can improve the outward appearance of your home. You can also pick up landscaping and property ideas by seeing what your neighbors are doing. Curb appeal is especially important if you're planning to sell your property.

Bargain Hunting: If you happen to be taking a walk in the neighborhood when yard sales are underway, it's easy to stop and scope out the treasures being offered. One caveat: If you do find something you want to buy, especially if it's a large piece of furniture, you may have to return later with your vehicle to pick it up.

Find a New Neighborhood: If you're in the market for a new home, the walkability of neighborhoods is an important feature worth keeping in mind.

Save Gas: Sometimes it's nice to take a break from driving and walk over to your neighborhood grocery store, pharmacy, or post office. On those occasions when you only need to pick up a few small items, hoofing it over to your local retailer is an alternative worth considering!





Posted by Tina Bilazarian, Broker on 9/12/2019

The decision to buy a home can bring all sorts of emotions. From stress to joy to fear, you need to be prepared for any situation to arise. From saving up enough money for a down payment to securing financing to hoping for a smooth closing, buying a home is a complex event. Just about the worst thing that can happen in the process is finding the home of your dreams and then having your offer rejected. If you do lose out on the house to another bidder, below, youíll find a few reasons why.


The Home Is Above Your Means


If you go after a home thatís above a price that you can afford, itís likely that your offer will be declined. Look at all of your numbers and find a reasonable price point with your real estate agent. Be sure that your agent wonít show you homes that are far above your budget. Donít risk falling in love with a house that you canít afford. If you start big, you may be disappointed at the type of home you actually can fit in with your budget. 


A Better Offer Came In


In high competition markets or for a home thatís receiving a lot of attention, sellers may get multiple offers. All that attention is why itís always best to keep your offer as close to the asking price as possible. Donít assume that other buyers will bid low. Remember that sellers want to get the most return on their home, which means they are going to take the highest offer in most cases.


You also donít want to get too carried away in asking for contingencies. If you ask too much of a sellerís, they wonít bother giving your offer serious consideration when other buyers have asked them to put less time and money into the home. Donít ask for unnecessary repairs or over the top back costs. 


Youíre Not Approved For A Mortgage


The seller wants you to have a home loan pre-approved so that the process of selling their home will be that much smoother. Some seller may only consider bids by buyers who have been pre-approved for a loan. You should definitely be pre-approved before you even set out on your home search.


To get your offer accepted on a home you love, you need to do your homework. As a buyer, you want to keep the needs of the seller in mind. Although you want the best deal for yourself, you're more likely to get a property that you want if you compromise a bit. 





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