Month: March 2013

How To Get The Best Price For Your Home

If you’re ready to sell your home near State College, Pennsylvania, you need to start working and planning now to ensure that you get the best possible price for the property. A smart combination of planning, preparation, and strategic negotiation can get you the price you want for your home. Here’s how to get the best price for your home:

 

Plan

  • Talk to a real estate agent about current housing market trends in your area, or check out the Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to find out what similar homes in your area are listing and selling for.

  • When should you list your home? Your real estate agent can help you determine the best time to start marketing and selling your home.

 

Prepare

  • You need to get your property ready for the market, that means showings, marketing, listing websites, etc.

  • Start by making all necessary repairs to your home, which includes fixing leaky faucets, electrical issues, and chipping paint

  • Next, work on your curb appeal by mowing the lawn or raking up leaves, and by adding seasonally appropriate flowers near your entryway

  • Inside of the home, you need to depersonalize and de-clutter

  • Add light whenever and wherever possible to make your home seem as inviting as possible

  • Have a place for children and pets to go during showings (away from the property)

 

Highlight the Area

  • Be sure that potential buyers know about the perks of living in State College, PA

  • Highlight things to do, places to go, and the convenience of living in a college town

  • When speaking with buyers, make sure to mention a few of your favorite things about living in your specific neighborhood, and in State College in general.

 

Marketing

As you may or may not know, 89% of homebuyers start their search online before calling an agent. If you want to sell your home quickly, for the best price possible and under the best terms, make sure you have not only priced your home properly but have a killer marketing strategy. Your listing agent should provide you with a list of thing they will do to help market your home to other agents and to as many buyers as possible. Here are just a few things that should be on that list…

  • Consistent presence on all top real estate websites

  • Virtual Tour on YouTube

  • SEO for your home (through their website or your own website for your home)

  • Sign in your yard with take away flyers

 

 

How To Buy A Condo

Whether you are a first time home buyer or you are a seasoned home buyer, buying a condominium can be a different experience. Here is what you need to know and a few tips on how to buy a condo…

1. Is it FHA approved?

Do you know if the condo you are looking to buy is FHA approved? If not, talk to a real estate professional to get the details. If a condo complex is not FHA approved, this means it does not meet FHA guidelines and you will not be able to use an FHA loan to purchase the condo. If you are going to be using an FHA loan, this is very important to know up front. You don’t want to fall in love with a condo only to find out that you can not purchase it because of this restriction.

Find out if a condo complex is FHA approved here.

2. Are you an investor?

Sometimes condos are purchased first as a primary residence and then it is turned into an investment property where it is rented out. Are you thinking of doing this? If so, you need to know if you can. Some condo’s have restrictions on how many can be used as an investment property. Make sure to do the research to know if you can turn your condo into an investment property.

3. Condo Association fees include…

Every condo complex has a condo association that charges some kind of fee. What that fee includes and how much that fee is will vary. Make sure you know what the fee includes so you know what you are responsible for. If your fee includes water, then you need to mark that in your budget.

4. Mortgage Research

It is very important to do your research when it comes to choosing the right loan. Make sure you talk to a lender, get all the facts, and choose a price range that you feel comfortable with. Don’t forget to factor in Condo Association fees within your budget.

5. Market Analysis

Last but certainly not least, make sure your real estate agent pulls a market analysis for you. After you choose a condo and are ready to make an offer, your real estate agent will present you with a comparative market analysis. This report will show you what other, similar condos in the area are selling for so you can get a better idea of what to offer and what the condo is worth. This report is very important since it will help you not to overpay and also to know if you are getting a great deal.

These 5 tips are basics steps that will get you closer to buying the condo of your dreams! Make sure to talk to a real estate professional to get the details, info, and help you need to successfully purchase your condo.

Common First Time Home Buyer Mistakes To Avoid

Buying a home is a life experience, just like anything else, but sometimes, first-time homebuyers get more “experience” than they bargained for and end up with lingering regrets about their home purchase. Some of these mistakes are fairly common, and Inman News reporters and reporters from MSN have compiled a list of some of the most common first-time homebuyer mistakes. If you’re planning to buy a home soon, familiarize yourself with this list  of common first time home buyer mistakes to avoid…

First, make sure that you are ready to buy, both emotionally and financially. Low interest rates and cheap houses aren’t a good reason to buy if you’re not ready to, and doing so can land you in a world of trouble. The market is still pretty good for buyers right now, but if you aren’t financially stable or ready for monthly mortgage payments (plus utilities, fees, taxes, etc.), then you should not buy a home. Also, it is important that you don’t rely solely on a lender to tell you how much you can afford; take time to assess your spending habits, existing debts, and income so that you truly know how much you can afford to put toward a home.

Assess your long-term needs when buying a home. Experts say that you should plan to stay in the home that you buy for at least 5 years, so what do the next 5 years look like for you? Will you be adding (more) children to your family? Will some family members be moving out? Will you have pets? Is anyone going to be working from home (and in need of a home office)? All of this to say, you need to know how big, or small, of a home you need. Moving into a home that’s too big can result in you paying too much in utilities to heat and cool your home. Moving into a home that’s too small can leave you feeling cramped, stressed, and frustrated.

If you’re considering buying a bank-owned home or a foreclosure, it’s important to be aware of any work that will have to go into repairing/updating the home. In many cases, homes that have been foreclosed upon have not been properly cared for, which could mean anything from needing the carpet replaced, to needing all major utilities, electric, gas, and plumbing systems replaced. So, while you may think of yourself as a fairly handy person, make sure that the project you’re taking on is something that you can reasonably achieve, otherwise you may run out of time, energy, patience, and money before your house can even be lived in! It’s also important to account for the costs of future repairs and upgrades when you’re looking at the cost of a home. For example, a home that needs all new flooring, a new HVAC system, and lots of cosmetic work is going to cost you more than what the sticker price of the home is.

When looking to buy a home or a condominium in a development, be sure to ask about any additional fees, such as a condominium/ homeowner’s association fee, garbage pickup fees, etc. You should also find out what the property taxes were for the home last year so that you can get a good idea of what you should expect to pay in taxes if you buy the home.

Prioritize. A great way to make sure that you’re getting everything you need from the home you purchase is to categorize amenities into a list of what you need, want, and don’t want. You shouldn’t compromise on anything in the “need” category, but you should be willing to be more flexible with things in the “want” and “don’t want” category. For example, it’s more important for a home to have enough bedrooms for everyone than to have granite countertops.

 

For more common first-time homebuyer mistakes to avoid, check out these articles from Inman News and MSN.

 

Susan Rupert Group

Realtor, ABR, CRS, SRES, MCNE, e-PRO
Kissinger Bigatel & Brower

2300 South Atherton Street
State College, PA 16801
Mobile/Direct: 814-280-0364
Office: 814-234-4000 ext. 3213
Email: Susan@StateCollegePARealEstate.com

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