Selecting a Real Estate Agent

Tips For Selecting a Real Estate Agent

When you are looking for a real estate agent to help you buy a home or sell a home, you may not know where to start. These ideas and tips will help you find the right agent for the job.   

 

Investigate Them on the Internet

 

The internet has made it possible for us to find information very quickly. During an online search for an agent, you should spend some time looking at potential agents social media and websites. A blog can give you basic information and tips to help you along the way. A good website will also look up-to-date and professional.

 

If they have reviews on websites like Google and Yelp, you should check and see if they are consistent. Any business can say how wonderful they are, but you need to find out from other sources if they are being truthful with you. A potential agent needs to be experienced in their field and should also do their job full-time.

 

Use a Real Estate Agent in Your Area

 

If you see a lot of for sale and sold signs with one agent’s name on them, and they are nearby you, it is more than likely that they have a lot of clients in your area.

It is a good idea for you to take a picture of one of these signs and add it to the list of agents that you are considering. It is a good idea to look at how successful the local real estate agent is instead of looking at the success of the agency as a whole.

 

Request Referrals

 

Do you know anyone who bought or sold a house in the past few months? If so, ask them if they used an agent and get the name of the agent they used. Also, ask them questions about the agent. You should ask them if they were pleased with their services. It is also important to know how long it took to sell their home.

 

It is also important to find out how much they had to pay in buyer closing costs. It is typical to pay some closing costs. However, you do not want an agent that only cares about their commission and does not care about how much money you have to spend. Since this question has to do with money, you need to be very careful in the way ask about it.

The best way to get information about what kind of service that you will get is to see it for yourself. However, learning about the service that other people have received from their agent is very important as well.

 

Analyze At Least Three Agents

 

After you have cut your list of potential agents down, select at least three agents and make an appointment to meet with them at the house that you plan on selling.

Were they on time for your appointment? Did they confirm your appointment with you on the day of the appointment? It is important for them to do that, especially if they have a lot of appointments scheduled in one day.

 

Another important thing to look at is their preparedness.  When they came to your home, did they bring important information about their home marketing plan?

Did they have a price for your home in mind, and did they have fair justification for it? Was their attire professional? Did they give you advice on how you should show your property? You need to take notes when you are meeting with potential agents and document their answers to these questions.

 

Ask Appropriate Questions

 

While you are looking for the right agent, you can ask prospective agents a lot of questions. This will help you separate the average agent from the best ones. Here are some of the questions you should ask:

 

  • How many deals have you closed in the past year?
  • Were these deals made in the area that you are interested in?
  • Do they make the needs of their clients very important?

 

If you are looking for a house to buy, ask them how they will look for homes and how many houses you will be able to see before making a decision. You also need to find out who determines the pricing and how the agent will handle getting a lot of offers on your home.

 

If you are selling your home, you need to ask how your home will be marketed online and offline. You also need to find out what type of camera will be taking pictures of your home and whether or not it will produce high-quality pictures.

It is also essential to find out where the agent will market your home and how often they will do it. The Realtor also needs to tell you what potential buyers are looking for in a home.

 

Take in All The Information

 

Now it is time for you to review all the information you have and make a decision. Talking with a trusted friend or family member can be very helpful.

Putting what you are thinking into words and ideas can help you make your final decision. Do not spend too much time analyzing, it will cause you to overthink.

After careful consideration, you need to choose the agent that is the one for you. Not only will they help you buy or sell a house, they will help you throughout the whole process from beginning to end.

Staging In Home Sales

The Importance of Staging in Home Sales

To Stage or Not to Stage

One of the most important things you can do when you put your home on the market is to make sure that it looks welcoming to prospective buyers. They should be able to see their own family living in the home and envision where they will put their own belongings as they move throughout the home.

By removing most of your personal items this will happen a little easier. Once your things are packed, stored or tucked out of site it’s time to decide what to display and what to leave to set the scene for the sale. Staging for a home sale goes beyond just repairing and refacing the things that need to be taken care of. It helps your home look the best it can.

 

What exactly is staging

The act of staging is decorating and arranging furniture and other pieces to show off the strengths of the home. Your real estate agent will be quick to point out that it’s important to stop thinking about your house as your house and remember it’s more important to let someone else decide that it will be a nice home for their own family. The biggest rooms that are important to stage well are the living room, master bedroom, kitchen and dining room. Entryways are important to give the people looking to buy a home the best first impression.

 

Why is it important to stage a home?

Staging can help you get the most money for your home. Not all sellers stage, and you certainly don’t have to, but it can make a difference and help your home look its best. By putting specific pieces of furniture in specific spots and clearing out unneeded items it can make a smaller space look large.

When you stand to make a significant amount of money from a home sale you want to make sure that you come away with the absolute top dollar. Look at each room of the home one by one and note the positive features that you must play up. Simply decluttering can go a long way in letting a prospective buyer see the home as a new home for them instead of as your old home.

 

Is it necessary to hire a professional to do the job?

It’s possible to do the staging of the home on your own but hiring a professional will be able to see your home with a new point of view. Be prepared to hear some of your belongings are a little outdated, too tired or worn, and that a more thorough cleaning is needed even if you feel the job is more than adequate.

If you decide to do the job on your own and you’re on a limited budget there are still some places that will give you some big bang for your buck. That important entryway might nab a potential buyer right from the beginning. Set out an eye-catching welcome mat, a potted plant or a small bistro set if there’s room to show how comfortable the space can be.

Some of the little things that can be done and may pay off in the interior include repainting a room or two that could stand to be refreshed. By using light colors, you can make a smaller room look bigger and brighter. Lighting is also very important to make the home appear bright and inviting. Utilize centerpieces on tables.

 

Curb Appeal

Begin home staging from the outside in. Landscaping should be clean and fresh. General cleanliness is going to be important here too. Wipe down the front door and kick plate. Clean out any leaves or debris that have blown on the step. Check for spider webs in the corners and crannies of the porch or step. Potential buyers will spend a few minutes out on the front porch while the Realtor unlocks the door. Keep any shrubs or other landscape greenery pruned and

 

Little Improvements Go a Long Way

From the smallest items like light switches and trim, make sure everything is wiped down and clean. Counters, bathrooms, corners and cupboards should all be cleaned. Personal pictures and beloved items may not be as interesting to someone else as they are to you.

Replace family photos with artwork and decorative pieces. Use candles, book and other items to fill spaces. Put out clean linens in the bathrooms. Find coordinating towels and washcloths and display them in a pleasing arrangement. Not everyone loves pets. Put away bowls, dishes and toys that belong to your pet when it’s time to show your home. Mirrors are a designer’s best secret. Use them to make spaces look brighter and open.

 

Staging sounds like a lot of work and it is. But if it helps you make a decent profit when you sell a home there will be no question whether it was worth it.

A Guide To Buying a Home in Quincy MA

An Essential Guide to Quincy MA – Homes, Businesses and History

An Essential Guide for Moving to Quincy MA

 

Quincy is the largest city in Norfolk County, Massachusetts. It is considered a suburb of the Boston real estate market and is part of the Greater Boston Metropolitan Area. As the 8th-largest city in Massachusetts, Quincy is a historic town and is known as the “City of Presidents” because it is the birthplace of two of our American presidents – John Adams and his son, John Quincy Adams. It is also the birthplace of John Hancock who was the first signer of the Declaration of Independence.

If you are thinking about moving to Quincy, her is some information that should be of true value:

Buying a Home in Quincy

There are many options when buying a home in Quincy. In fact, the area is blanketed by several historic neighborhoods with traditional brownstones and one to two-story homes. Quincy is known for its tree-lined streets, schools, and fine commercial establishments and restaurants.

The area also features several apartment buildings and complexes, as well as co-op units, sub-lets and much more. According to recent real-estate figures and stats, the median home value in Quincy is $420,900. In fact, home values in the area have gone up 3.7% within the past year. They are also slated to increase by 2.4% in 2018. Here are some more essentials for prospective home buyers and investors in Quincy:

 

  • The median list price per square foot in Quincy is $353.
  • The median prices of home currently listed – or on the market – in Quincy is $459,500.
  • The median rent price in Quincy is $2,000.

 

The History of Quincy MA

Quincy was first settled in 1625 by early arrivals and settlers. It was also a part of Boston and Dorchester – before becoming the north precinct of Braintree in 1640. After the town split from Braintree, it was named after Colonel John Quincy. He was the maternal grandfather of Abigail Adams – and the town was also “renamed” the same name to reflect John Quincy Adams. Officially, the town became a city in 1888.

downtown quincy ma
downtown quincy ma

Quincy was also the epicenter of the granite industry for more than a century. In fact, the city was the site of the Granite Railway – which was America’s first commercial railroad line. The Fore River Shipyard was also known for its shipbuilding, fishing, and nautical – aquatic activities. Quincy is also home to Howard Johnson’s and Dunkin’ Donuts. In fact, both franchises were proudly founded in the city during the 20th century.

Industries and Economy

The real estate market is strong in Quincy.  The recent years have proven a good time to sell your home in Quincy.  Quincy has grown to become a central hub for financial, insurance, and healthcare services. This is reflected in the many corporate headquarters centered in Quincy. This includes Boston Data Financial Data Services, along with the Stop & Shop supermarket chain. Quincy is also home to Arbella Insurance Group, The Patriot Ledger, and several leading commercial establishments and firms. Here are some more businesses that help make Quincy a great place to work and raise a family in:

 

  • State Street Corporation
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
  • Boston Scientific
  • TACV
  • Icelandair

Historic and New Neighborhoods in Quincy

Quincy features several historic neighborhoods as well as new and upcoming neighborhoods. These subdivisions have unique characteristics and histories across the board. Here are some of the neighborhoods in Quincy with homes and apartments for sale and rent.

Adams Shore

This year-round residential area was initially a summer resort location. With close proximity to the Boston Harbor and Bay, Adam’s Shore is home to some of the finest shorelines properties in Massachusetts. From luxurious condos to cozy homes and spacious apartments, this area is prime real-estate and perfect for those that love scenic views and picturesque imagery.

Germantown

Historic Germantown is posh residential neighborhood and area. Initially created with a planned manufacturing community, the area was settled by early German immigrants and workers. Today, Germantown features great homes, and is in close proximity to transportation, entertainment, retail and fine dining establishments.

Houghs Neck

Houghs Neck is home to a large number of Irish-American and Irish families. This historic and great neighborhood is warm, friendly, and perfect for families – couples – or singles. The area features bars, along with restaurants, cafes, hospitality venues and much more.

Merrymount

This area is primarily a residential neighborhood with close-knit homes and schools.  Merrymount is historic in that it was Quincy’s initial settlement. Today, this burgeoning and growing area features fine homes, and is not far from high and mid-rise condominiums overlooking the Boston Bay and Harbor areas.

Montclair

Montclair features nice homes and is great for raising a family in. With close proximity to schools, restaurants, nightlife, and more – this area has seen strong growth in recent years.

North Quincy

Situated along Quincy Shore Drive and Hancock Street, this neighborhood continues to grow and prosper. With a substantial Asian-American population, the area’s residences and commercial establishments are great for families, couples and singles.

These are but a few of the many neighborhoods in and around Quincy and the Boston area. For more information, simply contact your local real-estate agent today.

REALTORS Need a Social Media Strategy

If you are a real estate agent who is not actively using Social Media it may not be worth even renewing your real estate license.  By today’s standards, having an active and strategic social media presence is as much of a necessity as a business card was 20 years ago.

Times Have Changed in Real Estate

It was only 15 years ago that your two most important marketing devices as a real estate agent was a name tag and a business card.  20 years ago most REALTORS didn’t even have a cell phone.

Today, your social media profiles have replaced your business card, your office is now your CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) and your new clients come from a variety of web sources.  If you are not competent at maximizing an online presence and utilizing other forms of real estate technology, you better be paying someone to do it for you.

Website or Social Media?

As a regular stalker of many social media groups and communities for real estate, I constantly see the question asked…

Should I use Facebook or build a website?

That question is a little bit silly.  These two internet destinations are NOT mutually exclusive.  They serve different needs and are designed to meet different goals.

Your website is your lead generation tool.  Its the place where you tell your personal value proposition.  Your real estate website should be the place you send all of your home buyers to search for property.  Your website should be where you generate your new leads.  If you have an “all in one” real estate solution, the back-end of your website would also be your CRM and lead follow up.  It may even hold your real estate documents for each transaction.

Your Facebook Business Page should be the hub of where your run your Facebook Marketing Campaigns.  That is the account that you use to run hyper-targeted ads to people who otherwise do not know who you are.  Most of your Facebook campaigns should be DRIVING TRAFFIC TO YOUR WEBSITE.  That is usually where they will be captured and become a lead.

Your real estate website should be where you generate new, original copy, related to your real estate market.  Truthfully, you can generate any type of real estate articles that ultamatly your potential clients would be interesting in reading.

Your Facebook Business Page and your real estate website should have a symbiotic relationship.  One feeds the other.  The website generates the copy.  Your Facebook Business page runs an add to put that copy in front of your target audience.  They click it – they end up on your website.

Different Social Media Platforms

It is not to be discounted that Facebook is the 900 pound guerrilla when it comes to social media.  That does not mean that the other platforms are not important and cant generate new business for you.

Google+ 

Google+ is an important aspect of any real estate agents web persona.  Since the platform is owned by Google, there are many real estate SEO benefits of using Google+.  All of your posts, written on your website, should be syndicated to Google+.  Here is an example of sharing a real estate page on Google+ . In addition, there are thousands of “Communities” on Google+.  If you don’t see a Google+ Community set up for your market or niche, create one yourself.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is known as the business professionals social media platform.  As a general rule, you should not post pictures of what you had for lunch on LinkedIn – but it is a great place to have a professional REALTOR persona and post your original content to.

Twitter

Many real estate agents have not found a way to monetize Twitter.  Truth is, even Twitter cant even figure out how to monetize Twitter.  But it is a great place to post your original content from your website.  Starting to see a pattern here?  Needless to say, growing a Twitter following can be a chore in itself, but can be very powerful it utilized correctly.

There are many others such as Instagram, SnapChat, Tumblr, Pinterest and more.  Feel free to play around – you may find some that you enjoy being on so its less work.  The big ones are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

Original Copy Is The Fuel For Social Media

The key to leveraging social media for MORE LEADS is the creation of new, original copy being posted on your website.  Once the copy resides on your site — then you share away.  Possibly even pay Facebook to put the copy in front of more potential clients.  Start driving traffic to the site.  If the website is set up properly with strategic Calls to Action (CTA) you will capture leads.

Find a Niche

Find a good real estate niche for your social media and website strategy.  You may want to focus on waterfront condos or Back Bay Browstones.  Once you have that niche, you can either join or create new groups and communities on multiple social media platforms.  Then…yes you guessed it…post your original content to the relative groups.

Scratching The Surface

We are only scratching the surface here.  This is only one example of a very common strategy for utilizing social media in real estate.

There are hundreds more social media platforms that lend themselves well to real estate such as Quora.  You can answer very specific real estate questions – showing you are the expert – and yup…you guessed it…even link back to your original content on your website. 🙂

Looking for a Beachfront Investment? Check Out #PCB

Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach, Florida, boasts 27-miles of beaches, many miles of hiking and biking trails, two state parks, and more than one-hundred public beach access points.

That means that there’s a lot to see and do in Panama City Beach! Each area has its own unique flavor and character and there are adventures awaiting such as parasailing, jet skiing, pontoon boats, and sail boat cruises, just to name a few! Chasing the Sun Fishing Show on the Discovery Channel is filmed in the Panama City Beach area and Animal Planet’s “Tanked” reality TV series is to be filmed at Laketown Wharf!

Properties of Panama City Beach

Luxury condos, beach houses and townhomes can be sold or rented out by individual owners, on or just across from the beach and many are family and pet-friendly. Hotels, motels, campgrounds, RV parks and beach houses are in abundance surrounding the area, so there’s so much to do even if you decide to live there.  There are many reasons to purchase a condo in Panama City Beach.

The local PCB (Panama City Beach) Government boasts on its website that in an effort to provide the utmost standard for visitors, the City of Panama City Beach has recently begun enforcement of certain regulations governing vacation rentals and building codes throughout the City. In this effort, the City states that as it has reason to believe that any property that is currently operated as a public lodging establishment could be subject to these additional regulations.

The City would like to meet with property owners to discuss and potentially inspect your property. Panama City Beach joins the coastal communities dedicated to meeting the standards of water quality, beach and inter-tidal conditions safety, services, habitat conservation, public information and education, states PCBGov.com.

Things to do in PCB

Panama City Beach offers beachside amusement and theme parks, water parks, golf courses, public parks, museums, zoos and aquariums and as such, joins the coastal communities dedicated to meeting the standards of water quality, beach and inter-tidal conditions safety, services, habitat conservation, public information and education, boasts the site.

The Panama City Beach area also offers beachside amusement and theme parks, water parks, golf courses, public parks, museums, zoos and aquariums, even the Bay Town Trolley. The Bay Town Trolley runs weekdays from 6 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., and provides a smart, economical and stress-free way to ride.

Property Investments

property investments in panama city beachThere are many types of homes and properties for sale in Panama City Beach, some may be well with your price range. You do not have to feel that the beaches of Panama City are a dream destination on for your vacation or retirement.

In some areas, a 4 bedroom, 2 bath home with 2,112 approximate square feet, can start as low as $232,900 with an estimated mortgage of $873 per month!

Beach front condominiums on a PENTHOUSE level, 2 bedroom, 3 bath with a bunk area M plan unit estimated at $314, 900 with approximately 1131 square feet! This is just two examples of what you can purchase now. Why wait until retirement? Let’s break it down:

  • #1. The beach is not just for summer in places like Florida and the Gulf Coast. It’s always warm(er). Live your dream life now.
  • #2. The beach becomes your backyard. It’s a part of your fondest childhood memories. Make more.
  • #3. You’ll never get bored of the view.  There’s a reason you love the beach, peace, beauty, sunrise and sunsets.
  • #4. You understand and accept that there are places in your life that will never be sand free. You can live with that!
  • #5. The smell and the sounds will become your life. You deserve to live in your poetic, perfumed daydream.
  • #6. You don’t need winter wear.  Bermuda shorts and neon colored swimsuits rock!
  • #8. You don’t understand people that don’t like the beach.   Dude!
  • #9. You respect the ocean.  You love it for its life-sustaining properties and for its inherent magic.
  • #10. You’re glad not everyone lives here.  Sweet serene solitude, at least until the kids get home!

 

Still not sure? How about two bedrooms and one bathroom at approximately 672 square feet, estimated sales price may start as low as $94,900 with an estimated monthly payment as low as $490.00 per month. This an example of residences listed on Homes.com that are specific to the Panama City Beach area. Zillow.com also has quotes on residential homes for sale, as well as condos, beach houses and even mobile homes. You can do a search by budget, type of residence, and/or mortgage payment range as well.

For many property owners in Panama City Beach, owning a beachfront condo, but renting it out as an investment property is the plan.  Vacation rentals are very popular for PCB.  With only about 13,000 residents, many of the condo’s are rented out for most of the year, making the owner some extra cash, paying the note but still providing a great getaway when needed.  There is nothing stopping you from finding the home you have been dreaming of, overlooking the beautiful southern, sandy beaches of Florida.

The new building and regulation codes mentioned by the Panama City Beach Government website will make newer and renovated homes stronger homes in the face of and forthcoming storms.

Ask about current building and regulation codes for your perspective residence so that you will know the standards by which your home was built. This way you will know whether your new home can weather any future storms safely.

The Difference Between Agents and Brokers

 

Just like everything else, real estate professionals come in all shapes, sizes, structures, and philosophies.  They may have ideas, strategies, and tactics that span from one end of the spectrum to the other.  But when you’re getting ready to hire someone to help you sell or buy what may potentially be the most valuable and expensive assets you’ll ever own, or to manage your real estate property management portfolio, it helps to understand some of the differences so you can make a good educated decision.  Although both agents and brokers can assist you with finding homes for sale, there are substantial differences between the two.

Agent vs. Brokers

To start from a simple perspective and work down, let’s compare the two basic types of real estate licenses… a real estate broker versus a real estate agent (sometimes also called a real estate salesperson).  Generally speaking, a real estate broker is an individual licensed by their state to negotiate a real estate transaction from start to finish, independently of anyone else.  A broker’s license is often the highest level of licensing one can obtain to transact real estate activity.  A broker can do just about anything, within the law, to acquire, contract, negotiate, and close any real estate purchase or selling transaction.

Difference Between Real Estate Agents and Brokers

agents vs brokersAs a real estate broker gets busier and busier, he or she might decide to hire real estate agents to assist him or her.  Real estate agents have a limited authority and are only licensed to act on behalf of an employing broker.  This means the sales agent may not be the highest person in your real estate chain of command.  A real estate broker can operate without any real estate agents, but real estate agents usually cannot operate without a real estate broker.  Sometimes, to make it easy to understand, I use an example of a doctor and a nurse.  Both professions are similar, but a nurse is almost always operating under the supervision of a doctor.  Both have different licenses, and both have different roles and responsibilities.  So if you ever experience difficulties with your agent (or nurse), you always have the supervising broker (or doctor) to go to for additional help.

The Relationship Between Real Estate Agents & Brokers

Many times buyers and/or sellers have a specific confusion when it comes to agent and broker relationships.  In the majority of sales or purchase transactions, a real estate agent may be the only person you ever see, the only person physically assisting you with your buying or selling transaction… but every agent will always have a supervising broker.  Clients just aren’t always aware there is a broker in the background providing supervision, advice, and the legal authority necessary for the agent to operate.  Now this doesn’t mean that a broker can’t do the same job as an agent; in fact, many times they do.  It’s just that there are more agents in the world than there are brokers, and depending on your particular state laws, a person usually has to work as an agent for a few years before they can get a broker’s license.

Different Types of Real Estate Brokers

Now, not to confuse matters worse, there are also two different positions a broker can fill within a real estate brokerage (or real estate company).   One is frequently referred to as a Managing Broker, and the other is referred to as an Associate Broker.  A Managing Broker is usually the person with the highest level of authority and is responsible for managing sales agents within their firm or brokerage.   A Managing Broker can employ both Sales Agents and Associate Brokers.  An Associate Broker, simply put, is a person holding a full broker’s license, but has chosen only to operate in the capacity of a sales agent.  An Associate Broker may have the exact same license as a Managing Broker (although in some states, the licenses may differ very slightly).  Associate Brokers just don’t bear the additional responsibility of supervision.  Just in the same way that a sales agent is acting as an extension of the managing broker, an associate broker is operating in the exact same capacity as a sales agent.

Different Types of Brokerage

Brokerages, or Real Estate Companies, are not all the same either.  Some brokers operate independently from large major firms, similar to how attorneys and doctors enter into “private practice”.  Other brokerages are comprised of one office, such as a mom-and-pop real estate office in your small hometown, while others may be regional or even national franchise firms.  There are pros and cons of franchises vs independent real estate firms. Franchises, by nature, are not nation-wide companies.  Many of the major real estate franchises you are familiar with in the states are also in Canada such as RE/MAX.

They purchase the right to use a name, marketing materials and protocols.  Many times, franchises are usually small firms also.  Good examples of national real estate brokerage franchises are Weichert Realty, ReMax, or Century 21.  Be aware, in addition to real estate brokerages, there are also other types of companies who only specialize in advertising, lead generation, and promotion of others’ real estate companies.  Many people are often surprised to learn that companies like Zillow, RedFin, and Trulia are not real estate companies at all… they are, in a nutshell, advertising agencies who use data pulled from real estate multiple listing services (MLS’s) to spread the word about other company listings in exchange for marketing and advertising fees.

What the Hell?

Why would anyone choose to be an associate broker?  That’s a good question with many possible reasons, but it probably comes down to the associate broker simply not wanting to supervise or run business operations of the brokerage.  Maybe they got their broker’s license simply for personal achievement and never actually stepped into a management role.  Maybe they did work as a managing broker and just didn’t like it.  But the way real estate licenses work, you only move up, not down.  It’s a one-way street of sorts.  So in the event that someone gets a broker’s license, but doesn’t prefer the management role, they may choose to become an associate broker.  Real estate licenses don’t revert back down from broker to agent.  Once a broker, always a broker… but it’s up to the individual to decide what role they want to fill.

So in summary, it helps to know if the person sitting across from you (or next to you) at the negotiating table is a broker or an agent.  For more information on the differences between agents and brokers, please contact us at any time.

New Orleans Bathroom Updates For A Quick Sale

Keep it Affordable

Fixing up a tired bathroom doesn’t have to break the bank.  Homes in the Lakeview Area of New Orleans, LA quite often have tight space, but lots of character.  It is a city of color palettes, so do not fear bringing those bright colors into the bathroom area when you are ready to sell your home. Buyers will take notice of an updated bathroom.

A little paint, updated fixtures, smart storage solutions and wall treatments can go a long way.  Add some character to mirrors and windows at an affordable price to get the most bang for your buck.

Accessorizevanity

Many will use accessories to add color and pop to a small space, the bathroom should be no different.  Consider using mirror features on a
medicine cabinet, and wall outlets for that luxe look.

Oiled rubbed bronze finishes are very popular in homes now, and many accessories are available in this finish.  It gives an elegant, sometimes even industrial look to any space.  You can use stand alone items in many finishes such as towel racks, toilet paper holders and toothbrush holders to decorate your vanity.

Update the Counter Top’s

Many of the Lakeview Homes have laminate or tiled countertops.  Some are already colorful, some need updating.  If faced with a dull countertop, consider adding a stone slab, or terra cotta tiles.  When working in a small sized bathroom, it will not be overly expensive for a piece of granite, or faux granite to cover the counter top.  Using a material with flecks of gold and/or silver will add sparkle.  Remember, in New Orleans Homes there is no need to fear “color”.

Refurbish an Old Tub or Shower

Many outdated tubs and showers can now be fitted with overlays.  These is done by a professional, and when installed properly will not leak.  When working with tubs and shower overlays, white or cream is the way to go. Older tubs can also be glazed over by a professional, but that is a more expensive process.

If you decide to tile over an existing tub or shower, remember you can use colorful tiles to update the space.  A good DIYer can install tiles on their own to keep the cost down.  Always use caulk at the joints and seams to resist any water leaking against the walls.

Flooring & Walls

When working with wood floors, consider painting them a glossy porch paint to match your bathrooms color scheme.  If you plan to bust up existing tile and replacing with new tiles, using smaller blocks will make a small bathroom feel bigger.  There are also many varieties of laminate flooring made to look like wood planks, ceramic tiles and smooth services to choose from.  Laminate is a cost effective and durable choice in flooring.

orangewallWalls are an easy update with color.  Remember, New Orleans is famous for brightly colored walls.  Orange is the new black, and considered a neutral now, so be daring and freshen up the tired old walls with color.

Let The Light In

Most Lakeview Homes come with bathrooms that have operable windows. Use this as another place to add color with handmade roman shades, or painted plantation shutters.  You can install louvered interior shutters to provide privacy and direct streams of sunlight.  If the window sills are worn, touch them up with a fresh coat of paint.  Maintain the ability to open and close the windows, as small spaces need fresh air.

Another lighting option is to hang a small chandelier over the bath tub orchandelier center of the room.  Make sure you have GFCI’s installed, and use a licensed electrician for any electrical updates you decide to go with.

If Short on Space

barnslidingdoorIf space does not allow for a hinged door, install a sliding type barn door. These space savers are easy to install and slide on a wall-mount track system.

You can save valuable real estate by rolling towels and placing them in open cabinets under your sink, or in a basket near the tub. Keep your color scheme all the way through with your linens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Searching for Vacant Land Different Than Homes?

 If you are looking to purchase a home in a rural area, you are most likely to have the house sit on a couple acres of property.  That begs the question….Is searching for vacant land different than searching for a house? This is an excellent question and the answer is that yes, it is the factors that you take into consideration are entirely different. First, you need to decide why you are buying the land. Do you want to build a home on it? If yes, you have to make sure that state regulation allows you to build a house there. Some people buy vacant land as long term investments this is an excellent way to go since land is limited and its value always appreciates. There are several steps that you should carry out when searching the internet for land for sale:

Look at price per acre

This is very important because it helps you determine whether you can afford the land and if you can, how much of it you can buy. Price is determined mostly by location if you buy close to the city you will definitely pay more. If you don’t have a lot of money you should be looking to buy outside the city.

Review the lots size

You obviously want to know how much land you are buying so to get exact dimensions you should hire a surveyor to come in and do the measurements.

Review lot location

The location is very important as we have said it determines the cost of the land. There are, however, additional factors that you should look at depending on what you plan to do with the land. If you plan to build a house the land should be located close to the power grid and it should have a water source as well as a septic facility. If you will be farming the land water is very important.

Road frontage

This is access to the lot in case you want to build if there isn’t enough room for equipment and vehicles to get to the parcel you will have a very hard time during construction.

What is the best way to search for land for sale?

land for saleThe best way is to find a real estate broker who has experience in land the fact that one knows how to sell homes doesn’t mean that they will be any good at helping you find a good parcel of land to buy. Like with buying a home, it helps if you have an idea where you would like your land to be located. Drive around before you make up your mind and see what is available. List the pros and cons of each location on your shortlist this is an expensive investment and you would not like to rush into a decision.  When searching for land for sale, its important to use the right property search.  The best property searches contain all real estate listings by all real estate brokers and have those listings SEO’d properly.
Once you let your real estate agent know the general location, the size and how much you are willing to spend he will then go out and try to find you a lot that meets your needs. He will get you several options so that you can choose for yourself. Compare each offer to see what the best deal is. Negotiate on the buying price sellers are always willing to lower the price so long as you don’t ask them for too much.

Other Tips For Buying Vacant Land

When You Think New Orleans Real Estate Think Lakeview

lakeview new orleans
If you are looking to buy a home in New Orleans there is no better place to make your purchase than Lakeview.  Lakeview has a very long and prominent history.  This neighborhood was started in the early 1900’s and since then Lakeview real estate has continued to grow.  That is not to mean that it is crowded – on the contrary, every home is designed to ensure that owners have privacy and enough space around their homes. Lakewood was badly affected by Hurricane Katrina when several levees broke and flooded the area but today, you would never guess that it took as much damage as it did. This goes to show how a determined community can overcome devastation and rebuild their homes and their businesses if they come together.

Lakeview Today

According to Kathy Marshall who works for Engel & Volkers real Estate, “Everything in Lakeview has come back even better than before. Lakeview has come back with new construction, newer homes, everything is updated. Another key element in the resurgence of Lakeview is the increasing number of new businesses that have opened in the area in addition to those that have returned after Katrina. The businesses on Harrison Avenue are all back up.”

Homes in Lakeview

Most homes in Lakeview before Katrina were cottages, but since the rebuilding began you will find a variety of architectural designs – you will definitely find something to your taste. If you look up Lakeview homes for sale you will find that most homes will sell for anything between $200,000 and $1.5 million depending on size and architecture, and interest rates are low right now. A lot homes in these area also come with a pool. Anyone who is looking to buy a home in Lakeview is encouraged to move fast – homes have multiple offers on them, some of them as many as 5 or 6.

Lakeview Amenities

The other great thing about Lakeview is that you have everything conveniently located. There are many wonderful restaurants that serve all kinds of dishes including southern food, Italian, Chinese, Mexican and more. Cava is a cajun/creole restaurant that gets high ratings.  Lakeview Burgers and Seafood is  also a local favorite. Click for a list of some other Lakeview restaurants. For shopping you can head over to Harrison Avenue which is the main shopping district. Coffee shops and other businesses dot the neighborhood.

If you are an outdoors person you will love Lakeview – there are many parks and biking trains that will keep you occupied for hours. You will have company too – there are joggers, runners and cyclists out all the time. In case you are wondering, this neighborhood is perfect to bringing up a family – many already live there, and it is quite and safe for children. There are both private and public schools in close proximity to Lakeview. If you live with an elderly parent or relative you will be happy to know that there are several excellent, affordable assisted living facilities in the neighborhood.

Real Estate in Demand

In case you already have a home in Lakeview, by the way, you might want to sell it now. The high demand on homes has sent prices up and you can be sure that so long as your home is in good condition it will fetch you good money.

Whether you are looking to buy or sell  NOLA real estate , Lakeview is definitely the way to go.

Flooding Causes Housing Shortage

With all of the Louisiana Flooding, the residents of the affected areas are in desperate need of housing.  With 11 people dead, 8,000 in shelters and upwards of 40,000 homes destroyed, the flooding in Louisiana has decimated thousands of lives.

Where Will Displaced People Live?

Anytime you have a massive flood event like what we have seen in Louisiana, when tens of thousands of people are displaced overnight, housing becomes an issue.  Many of the residents of Lafayette, Baton Rouge and other smaller cities in the general area are currently staying either in shelters or in hotels.  With the recent Federal Disaster Declaration, federal funds will become available for temporary housing, but that doesn’t do much for the immediate need for housing now.

Like Deja Vu?

Many of the same residents currently being affected by the flooding are the same people that went through having to relocate during Hurricane Katrina a little over 10 years ago.  In addition, many of the homes affected by the August floods, were just getting their homes back together from recently flooding in March of 2016.  As of now, Louisiana still has many people still in need of evacuating.

What Happens To Property Values?

After a major natural disaster of this magnitude, we generally see many “investors” flock in to attempt to purchase “flooded and gutted” homes at discount rates.  This is possible because when a homeowner gets compensated from their flood insurance policy, they generally have the funds to pay off the remainder of the home, thus allowing them to sell the home to an investor.  Once the investor rebuilds the property, the home values of the entire area go up, like they did after Hurricane Katrina.  The most notable of this type of real estate recovery was the subdivision of Lakeview in New Orleans.  As previously mentioned, after Hurricane Katrina, Lakeview homes for sale saw a resurgence in popularity as well as an increase in property value.  Lakeview has seen a total gentrification of the entire area since all of the homes were rebuilt.  Now, Lakeview has become one of the hottest real estate markets in the country.

Still Not Over

Although we are talking about how the property values will most likely increase in the flooded areas of Louisiana, this is of little comfort to those currently displaced.  It appears that with rain still in the forecast and the ground totally saturated and nowhere for any rain to runoff, the flooding problem in Louisiana could get worse before it gets better.