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Owning Your Home: Fall Edition

by Lisa Buchanan "Assistant on the Town"

Home ownership can be a wonderful thing. The pride of owning your home can be almost magical, walking into the door right after you sign the papers carries a unique high. But owning a home always carries responsibilities.  Some of those are every day chores, and some are seasonal related. Going into the fall season (and approaching winter), there are certain things that are good ideas to implement to prepare for the colder season ahead.

  1. Gutter Goals.
    Cleaning out your gutters, and inspecting them for any cracks or maintenance needed is crucial before it gets too cold to do so. In the fall, with the autumnal leaves drifting down every day, this can become an everyday chore till the trees finish shedding their leaves. Crowded, full, obstructed gutters can leave to improper water disposal and if left alone, water damage to your house.
  2. Roof Problems.
    Now is the time to inspect your roof for damaged areas or places that need repaired before rain and snow put additional pressure on it. Deal with it now, rather than having to deal with it in the freezing weather
  3. Driveways & Sidewalks (property inspection)
    Now is the time too, to identify any problem areas and clean the sidewalk and driveway. Keeping them free of debris so in wet condition they don’t become slippery and dangerous!
  4. Drain It.
    If you’re the type of person whose outdoor landscaping puts everyone else’s to shame (looking at your neighbors), then you need to make sure the tools you do so with are protected. Many people have outdoor faucets and irrigation systems that need to be flushed out for their protection. Busted water lines are never fun!
  5. Clean & Fresh.
    Time to clean out the vents and replace the filters! It’s a good practice to replace your filter every 30-60 days but it’s easy to get behind. Take this time of “fall prepping” to catch up on the cycle and get everything cleaned out and ready for the new season.
  6. Tighten the Hatches!
    With gaps in caulk and weather stripping accounting for 10% of heating bills, checking the nooks and cranny’s can add up to major savings.  It’s also the most cost effective way to keep your energy costs down.
  7. Check the Heating Source
    Gas, Furnace, wood burning, all the sources what will keep you warm this winter also need regular maintenance to be kept safe and functional. Have a professional check out your furnace and your gas logs. Inspect your chimney and clean it out if you have a wood burning stove or fireplace.
  8. Keep Everybody Safe
    Carbon Monoxide & Smoke detectors are vital in keeping your family safe.  Fire is always a worry, and carbon dioxide can be fatal is left undetected. Replace the batteries in the ones you already have and make sure you have one on every floor of your house. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher rated for all fire types.  And put a fire escape plan into place for each member of the family.
  9. Clean up Time

Once you’ve gone over the specifics of fall cleanup, go back and do a general clean up. Store everything that needs to be stored or sorted go ahead and take care of it. Prep the flower beds for next year and haul off trash and leaves that need to be hauled off. A little bit of extra effort now makes an easier time of it in the spring.

 

 

 

Home ownership takes a little more effort, but has greater reward. Doing seasonal check list help keep up your beautiful home without getting overwhelmed. If you need any numbers or advice for professionals to call, don’t hesitate to give The Dex Hubbard Team a call!

When Things Go Wrong

by Dex Hubbard

“The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong, it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair.”

Douglas Adams

Anyone involved in Real Estate knows when that moment occurs. It might be the phone call from the attorney’s office, or the email from the lender, the frantic seller who has already scheduled the moving truck or the buyer who is in love and can’t stand the thought of losing the house. A dream closing is smooth with no hiccups, but that rarely happens. Sometimes it is completely unpreventable, but often times sorting any potential problems on the front side can avoid the mad dash towards closing. 

How do you start the process of buying or selling home and make sure the process is smooth and timely?

Grade A Professionals

There is lots of talk/advertising about who is going to do the best job for you. The first step for you is to find a great real estate professional to help guide you. You need to find a real estate Veteran, someone who has helped many people find a satisfactory end to their transaction. No one is psychic in Real Estate (at least I’m not), but finding someone who can foresee possible problems and address them before they become real issues is a must. It’s not uncommon for ROW or easements, home owner association issues, or the number of people on a well to cause a problem at the end of a transaction. You need someone who can address these issues before closing day.

Fantastic Lenders


If you’re dealing with cash and foregoing banks, then you won’t have to worry about the new federal TRID guidelines. But if you aren’t paying in cash, then you need a proficient lender to help guide you through the process. You need someone who communicates with you and knows how to work within the guidelines to get you closed on time. The new TRID Guidelines were put in place to protect the consumer, but adjusting to them has put many lenders on an uneven footing learning how to work within them. If you’re dealing with a proficient lender, they are going to get you closed on time and foresee issues that may cause a delay.

Closing Attorney or Title Company

In North Carolina, real estate transactions are generally closed by Real Estate Attorneys.  I’ve worked with the best and worked with the worst and the difference is staggering. A great attorney knows what to look for and how to deal with red flags before they hold up closing. They keep the deal progressing and make sure that you get closed on time. They also keep you updated as to how much money you need to bring to the table and what you have to have ready before closing day.

 

Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you will make in your life. You deserve the best people on your team. Make sure you surround yourself with professionals to help you on your home ownership dream.

As always, if you have any questions or need a recommendation, give me a call at 828-361-4710 or email me at [email protected]

 

How to Sell Your Home (Quickly)

by Dex Hubbard

How to Sell Your Home (Quickly)

Your home is not just a house. And we understand the emotional value you feel whenever you step through the door. This is the place that you tucked your children into bed every night. Maybe it’s the first home you bought with your spouse. It’s the place where you dragged your first Douglas-Fir through the door and managed to balance it (mostly straight) before decorating it with your favorite Christmas ornaments. Your home has immense value to you, but now it’s time to move on to something better.

It’s easier said than done to emotionally distance yourself from your home in order to sell it quickly.
However, it’s something that you need to do in order to get your house sold as quickly as possible and for the best price. The tips below are based on real life experiences and problems that I’ve delt with in my career as a Realtor.

Several key factors in selling your home are going to be Price, Home Conditions, Market Conditions, and you’re Realtor.

The Right Realtor

I’m going to preface this by saying that who you choose to be your Realtor is possibly the most important decision you will make in this process. Do not choose a Realtor just because they go to your church, or they are your friend. Also do not pick someone at random. Your Realtor is your representative. You need to be sure that they know the market and they can prove they know it, by sales and data. You also need to be sure that their marketing is superior, their internet presence is phenomenal, their previous clients were satisfied, and that they are committed to selling your home.
*See my blog on How to Choose the Right Realtor*

Price Point

I always say that if you’re going to sell your home, sell it. Listing accurately and aggressively in the correct price range is the best way to sell quickly and sometimes get more for your home then you listed it for.   Numerous times there has been a house listed very aggressively in our market, and sometimes as many as 8 offers have come in. Contrast that with an overpriced home that sits on the market for months, and eventually sells for much less than list price. The homeowners who listed aggressively sometimes got their house under contract in under a week. They didn’t have to keep their house clean, pay for maintenance, insurance, and their mortgage for months while trying to sell. Also, successful real estate agents know not to show houses that are overpriced. This often times indicates that the seller’s agent, or the sellers are unexperienced or have completely unrealistic expectations and the chances of a successful closing are low.

Condition of Your Home

Just because your home has curb appeal (and it should), doesn’t mean that other serious issues aren’t hiding behind the hand laid brick path to the expansive country porch. If something is wrong with your house, expect buyers to ask for that to be corrected, or to have a price reduction. You can say no, but if an issue is serious enough, the bank may not be willing to loan any money for the purchase. The best way to avoid this is to keep up maintenance and repairs whenever you can. If you know you are going to be putting your home on the market, you might want to hire a handy man to fix small things. And while you’re doing that extra cleaning or painting, make sure the inside of your home is decluttered as well. When you are moving, you’re going to have to pack up the pictures, the drawings on the fridge, and the bric-a-brac anyways. So now may be an excellent opportunity to do that.

The Market

Your Realtor should be able to provide you with a comparative market analysis, showing you real data of like and similar homes that have sold. They should be able to show you a market report and if the price range you will be listed in is a fast or slow mover. If you want to sell fast, and the market is poor, you may have to make concessions in sales price. If the market is good, then listing it competitively for what your home is worth is sure to bring traffic and a quick sale. It take an average of 8-12 showings of your home before you get an offer. If you’re not getting traffic, then you’re not selling your home.


If you are looking for some great tips to get your home ready to show, check out this checklist.

If you are curious about the market analysis of your home, check out mountainhomevalue.com or give me a call for a no cost comparative market analysis


And as always, if you have any questions, let know.

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Dex Hubbard
RE/MAX Mountain Properties
1151 W US Hwy 64
Murphy NC 28906
828-361-4710
828-8373002
Fax: 828-837-8372