Things to Look for on a Home Tour

Before you begin touring, research homes online and start narrowing down your must-haves versus nice-to-haves. Then try to find homes to tour within your price range. When you get more serious about your house hunt, you’ll want a trustworthy real estate agent to help point out flaws, keep you within your budget, and tell you when to walk away.

Now, you’ve requested to see a home from your trusted Greenbrier Real Estate Service REALTOR. You’re off to a great start! Take a look at this list of things to look for while you’re viewing the home…

Once inside a home, try everything.

white wooden kitchen island
Sight lines, cabinet storage, style, floorplan all things to keep in mind when on a home tour.

Follow common courtesy but don’t be shy—open and shut the cupboards, flush the toilets, and whip out the measuring tape. Here are a few key things to look for on each tour:

  • Architectural style
  • Number, location, and size of bedrooms
  • Number, location, and size of bathrooms
  • Closet and storage space
  • Number of floors
  • Sight lines through home
  • General floorplan
  • Age and condition of appliances
  • Light switches and number of sockets in each room
  • Plumbing and water pressure
  • Amount of natural light and views, if any
  • Noise levels inside and outside the home
  • Width and types of stairways
  • Porches and decks
  • Garage and/or parking capacity
  • Proximity to neighboring homes
  • Remodeling opportunities

Don’t forget the exterior

Don’t forget to walk around the entire home and property. Pay attention to the age and condition of the roof and siding. Does the landscaping look like it will be a lot of work? If you don’t have a green thumb and don’t want to hire a gardener every month, you may want to look for a home with easy outdoor upkeep.

Take notes and photos

It’s easy to get homes mixed up so take photos, videos, and notes on each tour. Photograph features you particularly like and dislike about each home, and share these insights with your agent. Looking through your photos and notes with fresh eyes may also trigger additional questions you have about the home.

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Photo by Miesha Moriniere on Pexels.com

Research the neighborhood

Take few minutes before or after your home tour to check out the neighborhood. How does the neighborhood feel? Is it bustling or quiet? Is there shopping, dining, and gas nearby? What are the schools like?

The bottom line

Home buying takes plenty of compromise and patience. It’s easy to fall in love with a home at first sight—and if you love a home, chances are everyone else will too. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but just realize that you may be up against some competition. Be prepared to make multiple offers before you find the right home at the right price.

As always our REALTORS at Greenbrier Real Estate Service are always dedicated to guiding you through this process. Stay tuned for our next blog!–Things to ask Your Real Estate Agent– a continuation of Things to Look for on your Home Tour.


Greenbrier Real Estate Service
Gregory Allman, Broker
304.645.2255

7 Small Home Flaws That Can Be Big Deals for Buyers

After living in the same home for a while, it’s amazing what you can get used to. A creaky floorboard, for instance. A chipped tile that you’ve been meaning to replace but haven’t gotten around to. A doorknob that needs a little coaxing to turn. No big deal, right?

Well, these small flaws can be huge deal breakers when you decide to sell your home.

Prospective buyers are going to add all the ‘flaws’ they find to the price of the property, and that’s when they start trying to discount the price.

Curious what some of these seemingly small problems are? Check out this list of minuscule (to you) things that buyers see as big hurdles to closing a sale.

1. An old electrical panel

This issue could arise when the home inspection is completed and an inspector might claim that repairs occur to get it “up to code.”

Sellers, you may see this as a small issue, and insist that the current panel works just fine.

But buyers, you more than likely see the electrical panel as a bigger issue that could fail at any time.

2. Ripped window screens

Window screens will wear out over time, but if yours are torn, take it seriously.

Image result for replace window screens

They’re a pain for anyone to replace. Therefore, sellers don’t want to do it and buyers will insist that they do. If the sellers refuse to fix it, the buyers will demand a credit.

3. The location of your laundry room

Even if you own a state-of-the-art washer and dryer—and plan to bestow both on your lucky buyers—they may not be so thrilled with these nice appliances if they aren’t situated in what they think is the “right” place.

Some buyers have a problem with the laundry being on the ‘wrong’ level, especially in a three-level house or townhouse-style condo.

In other words, you might be fine lugging your laundry to the basement, but don’t expect all buyers to feel the same way. Offer to move these items to a new locale to warm buyers up.

4. Sticky door locks

Live in a house long enough, and you’ll encounter a malfunctioning door latch or lock. That may be no big deal to you, but it may alarm buyers big-time.

Image result for door locks

If it’s an exterior door, they will likely view this as a major safety issue. And although it may seem like a simple fix, it’s often a complex one.

5. Your bathtub or shower

Some people prefer showers, others want baths (particularly parents who must clean up small kids). So if you’re missing one or the other, watch out.

In an ideal world, you’ll have both: a bath with a showerhead above. But even if your bathtub works just fine, make sure the style isn’t too off. Not everyone is excited to soak in a tub straight out of “Stranger Things” in avocado green.

Image result for shower/bath combo
Nice, clean, and crisp bathroom will attract buyers. This combination offers a tub and shower.

6. Small closets

Many buyers focus on closets. Are there enough? Are they large enough? Walk-in closets are also preferred.

There are a few things you can do to ease these concerns. For one, try to make your closets look roomier by decluttering them as much as possible. Put excess items elsewhere (like a rented storage unit). You might also consider hiring a contractor to build or extend closets where needed—or at least point out to buyers that they can do this themselves.

7. The walls of your kitchen

Some people like—no, make that love— open kitchens. So if your kitchen currently has four walls, you could be in trouble.

Image result for open kitchen
Beautiful, open kitchen is as inviting to buyers as it is to future guests in your new home!

Buyers may look at the possibility of breaking down a wall. But be warned, many might not want to do the work, or just get such a bad first impression of your kitchen that they move on. If you think your kitchen’s four walls feel cramped and is stalling your sale, consider opening it up yourself.

Article adapted from Realtor.com


Contact us for any of your real estate needs! We would love to offer our experience and expertise to you in you home selling or buying journey!

Greenbrier Real Estate Service | 304.645.2255 | 1047 Washington St. E. Lewisburg, WV 24957

5 Mortgage Misconceptions Set Straight

Getting a mortgage can be a breeze or a slog, depending on what you know about the process. To get organized and set your expectations properly, let’s debunk some common mortgage myths.

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1. Lenders use your best credit scores

If you’re applying for a mortgage jointly with a co-borrower, logic suggests that your lender would use the highest credit score between both of you.

However, lenders take the middle of three credit scores (from Equifax, TransUnion and Experian) for each borrower, and then use the lowest score between both borrowers’ “middle scores.”

So, if you had a middle score of 780, and your co-borrower had a middle score of 660, most lenders would qualify and approve you using the 660 credit score.

Rates are tied to credit scores, so in this example, your rate would be based on the 660 credit score, which would push your rate up significantly — or potentially even make you ineligible for the loan.

There are exceptions to this lowest-case-credit-score rule. Most notably, if you have the higher credit score and are also the higher earner, some lenders will allow your higher credit score on the file — but this is mostly for jumbo loans above $417,000.

Ask your lender about exceptions if you have credit score disparity between co-borrowers, but know that these exceptions are rare.

2. The rate you’re quoted is the rate you’ll get

Unless you’re locking in a rate at the moment it’s quoted, that rate quote can change. Rates are tied to daily trading of mortgage bonds, so most lenders’ rates change throughout each day.

Refinancers can often lock a rate when it’s quoted — as long as you’ve given your lender enough information and documentation to determine if you qualify for the quoted rate.

You typically receive a quote when you’re beginning your pre-approval process, but a rate lock runs with a borrower and a property. So until you’ve found a home to buy, you can’t lock your rate. And while you’re home shopping, rates will be changing daily, so you’ll need updated quotes from your lender throughout your home shopping process.

Rate quotes also come with an annual percentage rate (APR), which is a federally required disclosure that shows what your rate would be if all loan fees are incorporated into the rate.

This can make you think that APR is the rate you’ll get, but your loan payment will always be based on your locked rate, and the APR is just a disclosure to help you understand fees.

3. Fixed-rate mortgages are always better than adjustable-rate mortgages

After the 2008 financial crisis, many borrowers started preferring 30-year fixed loans. For good reason too: The rate and payment on a 30-year fixed loan can never change. But the longer the rate is fixed for, the higher the rate.

So before settling on a 30-year fixed, ask yourself this question: How long am I going to own this home (or keep the loan) for?blue-rendered-outline-house-and-yellow-percent-sign_573x300.jpg

Suppose the answer is five years. If you got a five-year adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) instead of a 30-year fixed, your rate would be about .875 percent lower. On a $200,000 loan, you’d save $146 per month in interest by taking the five-year ARM. On a $600,000 loan, the monthly interest cost savings is $438.

To optimize your home financing, peg the loan term as closely as you can to your expected time horizon in the home.

4. Real estate agents don’t care which lender you use

A federal law enacted in 1974 called the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) prohibits lenders and real estate agents from paying each other fees to refer customers to each other. So as a mortgage shopper, you’re always free to use any lender you choose.

But real estate agents who would represent you as a buyer do care which lender you use. They’ll often suggest that you use a local lender who’s experienced with your area’s nuances, such as local taxation rules, settlement procedures and appraisal methodologies.

–You can contact us to get more information about lenders in our area!

These areas are all part of the loan process and can delay or kill deals if a nonlocal lender isn’t experienced enough to handle them.

Likewise, real estate agents representing sellers on homes you’re interested in will often prioritize purchase offers based on the quality of loan approvals. Local lenders who are known and respected by listing agents give your purchase offers more credibility.

5. Mortgage insurance is always required if you put less than 20 percent down

Mortgage insurance is a lender-risk premium placed on many home loans when you’re putting less than 20 percent down. In short, it means your total monthly housing cost is higher. But you can buy a home with less than 20 percent down and avoid mortgage insurance.

The most common way to do this is with a combination first and second mortgage — often called a piggyback — where the first mortgage is capped at 80 percent of the home’s value, and the second mortgage is for the balance of what you want to finance.

 

We hope that you found this information helpful!
Any questions, feel free to contact us!
304.645.2255

Home Buying Checklist

This checklist and the right agent will help you get on the right track in your house hunt!

Buying a home can be bewildering and stressful. (We get it.) And we’re here for you every step of the way.

We think this simple and easy to use checklist is great! So we’re sharing it! Trulia’s printable home buying checklist breaks down the process and points you to the tips and tools you need to find your next place. Download the PDF here to get started on your real estate journey. You can also contact us to help you start the process!

1. Gather Financials

Before you start looking at homes for sale, get your financial house in order. First, request your credit report from all three bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). Comb through each report to ensure it’s accurate — and fix any errors you spot!

money pink coins pig
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Next, compile all the documents you may need to provide to a loan officer, including pay stubs, bank statements, and previous years’ tax returns.

2. Research Mortgages

Credit score and financial documents in hand, you’re ready to start researching options for your home loan.

Take advantage of online aids. You can comparison shop from a diverse group of reputable lenders in all 50 states, ranging from small, regional providers to larger, well-known brands such as Citi and Bank of America. You’ll get a personalized quote and can read lender reviews and ratings to help gain insights into which lender is right for you.

One of the best things to tackle on this section of the home buying checklist? Find out if you qualify for a special loan, such as a Veterans Affairs (VA) loan or any special home buying financing options through state or federal programs.

Make sure you get that mortgage preapproval letter — it’ll make you a more competitive buyer!

3. Explore Neighborhoods

Now for the fun part of the home buying checklist! It’s time to explore neighborhoods.

Investigate everything from commute times to walk score to school ratings and crime activity. Once you’ve honed in on the right neighborhood for your new place, be sure to check out bordering neighborhoods for even more options.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

4. Make a shopping list

As you get deeper into the process, it can be tough to keep your priorities straight. The more homes you see, the more you can lose track of what really matters.

Yes, that home has a gourmet kitchen with stainless steel appliances. But it’s $75,000 above the comfortable high in your price range — worth it?

That’s where this section of the home buying checklist comes into play: the home-shopping list. Take a few hours to hone in on exactly what constitutes a “must-have” item in your new home and then expand upon those points to determine what might constitute your “nice-to-have” and “dream features.”

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Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.com

For example, a well-lit kitchen with ample storage space and new-ish appliances might be in your must-have section, stainless steel appliances and granite countertops in your nice-to-have section, and a chef-style gas range and pot filler in your dream-features section.

Knowing what matters most will help you and your real estate agent navigate the home buying process more quickly — and with less confusion.

5. Find an agent

As with any profession, there are amazing, miracle-working real estate agents … and there are some less than stellar ones. While it may seem like an easy to-do on the home buying checklist, finding a real estate agent is one of the most important steps in the process.

Ask family and friends for recommendations — and be sure to call your prospective agent’s references to get details on their experience.

But above all else, be sure to choose an agent who specializes in the type of home you’re seeking and is an expert on your desired neighborhood.

6. Start house hunting!

You’re so close to the finish line! (Well, almost.) This is when the real action begins.

Now that you’ve completed all preliminary steps on the home buying checklist, you’re ready to start searching. Online listings are a great place to start–check out our listing on our website! Click here! Visit open houses and work with your agent to schedule private showings.

Enjoy the house hunt, because your next steps — negotiating with sellers, home inspections, closing costs, and more — still lie ahead.

Article adapted from Trulia.com

Outdoor Landscape Lighting

With carefully placed outdoor lights, you can enjoy the ambiance of your garden into the evening.

With carefully placed outdoor lights, you can enjoy the ambiance of your garden into the evening. This blog posts features one of our most recent new listings.

596 Crowfield Circle
Lewisburg, WV

ACCD_0951.jpgThis home has a beautiful exterior with so many wonderful features, the landscape lighting highlights all the greatness this home encompasses. Check it out along with some great lighting tips!

How do you create a yard that’s light years ahead of others? One way is to make the space usable at night. Since many people work or play till long after the sun goes down, they often don’t have time to enjoy their backyard until the evening hours. Add outdoor lighting, and your garden is immediately transformed into usable space.

ACCD_0903“Most people don’t realize this, but the backyard is a whole new room that they haven’t explored fully,” says outdoor lighting designer Michael Sestak. “You have the option to go beyond that light bulb at the doorway.” Good lighting can bring Zen-like qualities to any setting. You can rediscover the perimeter of your property, make it fun to entertain and highlight points of interest, such as sculptures or fountains. 596 Crowfield Circle has a welcoming back yard with an amazingly designed outdoor space, you’ll feel like you have extra living space with this area!

ACCD_0923.jpgAnother oasis in the backyard to sit and relax with friends, the simple garland style lights adds yet another small touch of coziness. The ground lights featured in the perfectly manicured flower garden highlights the exquisite plants you’ll see throughout the landscaping.ACCD_0940.jpg

When choosing landscape lights for your home, it’s best to go with what works with your landscape and what you are wanting to highlight. No matter what you choose, highlighting your home will be a sure way to interest potential buyers if you’re trying to sell your home. Landscape lighting can also help with security of your home!

Enjoy more amazing pictures of 596 Crowfield Circle by clicking here!ACCD_0950.jpg

 

Contact us for any real estate needs! 304.645.2255

 

Before buying, Real Estate Pros Insist on Doing These 4 Things

What you really need to know about buying — from the people who house hunt for a living.

One house you’re looking at has the wraparound porch you’ve fantasized about, but it’s on a high-traffic street. The condo you like has great amenities, but it has no dedicated parking. What to choose?

It’s not every day that you buy a home and make decisions about the next three, five, or 10 years of your life. Since you can’t exactly take a home on a test drive, how do you decide? That got us to thinking about real estate pros. When they’ve seen practically everything on the market, how do they choose?

Compromise for Your Priorities

Maybe you know exactly what you want in a home: ranch style, three bedrooms, high ceilings. But…you ended up with a colonial style home.

Huh? What about that wish list?

The home’s price and location could end up trumping the style you wish for.

Pros advice: Make sure your practical and functional priorities don’t get lost in all the home buying OOOO-la-la’s (sparkling granite counters, new hardwood floors, a steam shower!). Remember, you can always add the OOO-la-la’s, but you can’t make a home fit all priorities, such as location and price.

597 Dwyer Lane Lewisburg WV MLS # 18-719

Dig Into the Details (Dull, Yes, But Worth It!)

How many of you have thought of maintenance when looking for a home? Maybe that’s a priority, to minimize maintenance costs. You could keep in mind to look for a home with a newer roof, good siding, and a newer furnace. But its important you go even deeper to uncover a home’s not-so-obvious maintenance costs:

  • Scope out the sewer line — especially if you’re interested in an older home — to make sure there aren’t any tree branches or other debris clogging up the works. Otherwise, you might find some nasty sludge in the basement.
  • Look at the trees. How mature are they? Roots from older trees can invade the sewer line; untrimmed branches can pummel your gutters during storms.
  • Know what’s not covered by homeowners insurance.
  • Ask how old the appliances are. You might need to budget for something new in a few years. Sellers are only required to fix what the inspector finds is broken; they’re not going to upgrade working appliances for you.

    2198 Stonehenge Parkway Lewisburg WV MLS # 18-462

Seek a House That Matches Your Lifestyle

Are you ready for a house rather than an apartment? Maybe you’re tired of living in a relatively small space with no yard and you’re looking for a house you could “grow into in the next three to five years.” Multiple bedrooms and bathrooms for the family you plan on having. Related image

On the other hand, maybe you’re looking for a condo without a big lawn that you’re going to have to mow and just enough space for you, and virtually no maintenance.

Some pros say that millennial clients aren’t forward-thinking about their lifestyles. Some are childless and say they don’t care about schools, pools, and tennis courts. Then they become parents a few years later and have to move.

The pros’ bottom-line advice: Think of your lifestyle preferences and how those might change in the next few years. After all, the typical homeowner lives in a house for a median of 10 years before selling, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® data shows.

Look at the House Through the Lens of Resale

All real estate pros will most likely emphasized resale.

Pro advice: “Don’t buy or build something unique that you can’t resell. If you’re not in an area with log homes, don’t choose a log home. If you’re not in an area with dome homes, don’t choose a dome home.”

Likewise, Don’t Overspend for the Neighborhood–If you buy a home priced higher than average for the area, it’ll be difficult to resell at a higher price. Don’t buy a home that’s not in line with the neighborhood’s average price . When you go to resell, you’ll find yourself in an uphill battle to maintain your higher price.

Other advice from the pros: Watch out for unfixable flaws that could affect resale, like:

  • What’s next to the home, such as vacant land that could be developed, high-traffic businesses, noisy power generation stations, a cell tower, etc.
  • Lot issues, such as a steep driveway that could double as a ski slope in winter, or a sloped yard that sends water special delivery to your foundation.

Of course, a home isn’t just about resale. It’s just one factor to consider. Remember the first point: Be willing to compromise for your priorities. If the home meets your priorities and you’re going to stay there awhile, then resale might be where you compromise.

Article adapted from HouseLogic.com/Christina Hoffmann


Contact us for any real estate needs! Always ready to serve with our expertise and knowledge!

Greenbrier Real Estate Service
1047 Washington St. E.
Lewisburg, WV 24901
304.645.2255

View Our Listings

How to Find the Right Person to Sell Your House

Your guide to hiring the listing agent who can set you up for success.

Your home is where you’ve lived and loved, where you’ve laughed and cried, where you’ve huddled and snuggled. You’re the pea, your home is the pod. And you’ve been through a lot together.

Now that it’s time to put it on the market, you’re likely experiencing some sadness, plus plenty of anxiety. Because really: How often does your future depend on selling your past? If you’re a little overwhelmed, we don’t blame you.

But there’s also good news: You don’t have to go it alone.

A listing agent has your back when it comes to the financials, like setting a listing price and marketing, staging, and making repairs to your house. He or she can also help you navigate more personal issues, such as your timeline, and what you’re hoping to achieve with the sale.

For all of those reasons, it’s important to find an expert who is right for you and your specific situation, and who can help you get what you want. Here’s how.

Know What a Listing Agent Can Do for You

Before you start interviewing prospective agents, have a clear sense of what you want to get out of the selling process. When so much money is on the table, it’s crucial to know what your goals are, so that you can find an agent who really speaks to them.

Contact us, we would love to fit you with the best REALTOR for the job. 304.645.2255 

Then, it helps to understand what a listing agent does (other than sell your most valuable asset — no big deal).

The listing agent will:

  • Work with you to price your home
  • Market your home (we’re talking pretty pictures, social media promo, cute staging — the works)
  • Negotiate with home buyers
  • Usher the home sale through inspection and closing

Now, let’s break all of that down …

Pricing your home. This is the BIG question, right? How do I set the price? The short answer is you’ll need to trust your agent to recommend a smart listing price.

So how can you tell whether an agent — a relative stranger to you — is choosing the best price for your home? You need to do two things:

  1. Know, generally speaking, what your property is worth. Do your own research on the prices of local comps, (but understand the limits of online property sites). Run your info by your agent for an informed perspective.
  2. Ask the agent for pricing information on homes he or she has recently sold.Specifically, what the differences were between their listing prices and how much the homes ultimately sold for.

When it comes to the agent’s pricing history, you’re looking for accuracy. Anyone could suggest a high price for your home, knowing it’s what you’d like to hear. But nobody (especially you) wants to have a house languish on the market, or to reduce a price repeatedly.

Marketing your home. The listing agent will also get the word out that your house is on the market, using a combination of old-school (but powerful) marketing techniques — such as direct mail, signage, and open houses — and the modern methods we know and love, like social media. Savvy agents will post pics of your house on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and any other platform that can get likes plus the attention of other real estate agents who can bring buyers to the table.

Negotiating with buyers. When offers start pouring in, your agent will negotiate with prospective buyers on not only the sale price but also on what contingencies (aka special circumstances) are attached to the contract. As with any negotiation, there could be some stressful, fraught moments with the buyers. You’ll want an agent who can step up for you, and who has a negotiation style that you’re comfortable with.

Closing the sale. Once you’ve signed a purchase agreement with a buyer (woo-hoo!), your agent will help you navigate the sale’s remaining steps. This includes negotiating home repair requests post inspection and dealing with any last-minute surprises before closing.

The average listing agent does all of the above. A great listing agent does all of the above, while also inspiring your confidence — that they’re getting the best price for you, and that they’re representing you and your home in the best possible light.

So, let’s talk about how to find and hire that kind of agent.

First of all, contact us. 304.645.2255 We know that the process of selling your home can be daunting. We are always willing to sit down and talk about what your goals are. We want to be the ones that you choose to list and sell your home. 

Click here to see a list of our expert REALTORS® that will be ready and willing to help you!

As always, one call does it all! Contact us for all your real estate needs.

Greenbrier Real Estate Service
1047 Washington St. E.
Lewisburg, WV 24957

304.645.2255

Article adapted from HouseLogic.com


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Staging your home: TIPS!

With these tips, your house will feel like home to those buyers in no time!

Maybe you’re thinking of selling your home, and maybe you’ve heard of “staging” your home and you’ve probably wondered if it’s really necessary.

It is necessary! Buyers want to be able to envision themselves in the home, and for some people a blank space or a space with all of your things makes it very hard to do just that. But, don’t just take our word for it…

A recent survey from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® revealed that:

  • 77% of buyers’ agents said staging makes it easier for their buyer to visualize the property as their future home. It’s like helping the buyer dream it so they can achieve it — and so you and your agent can make the sale.
  • 39% of sellers’ agents said staging a home greatly decreases the amount of time a house is on the market. For you, time saved could mean moving into your new house even sooner.
  • 21% of sellers’ agents said staging a home increases its dollar value between 6% and 10%. Simply put, that may lead to more money in your pocket

Put into action these few tips that will help those potential buyers start falling in love with your home!

Budget accordingly

Ask your agent if they can help with staging or know someone who can. This could affect the price of what it might cost you stage the home. Staging costs vary depending on where you live and how many rooms you’re staging. If your house is empty because you’ve already moved, you might also have additional expenses for renting furniture and other homey decorations to make it look lived-in.

529court7
Staging the living area can help potential buyers vision how to fill the space.                             Pictured: 529 Court St. Lewisburg, WV

Declutter!

It’s probably a given, but really– no one wants to walk into a messy home. So, take time to clean and declutter your home. Organize everyday household items into crates and keep them out of sight. Stow away seasonal decorations. Make time for — or invest in — a whole-house cleaning, including carpet shampooing. Change lightbulbs, finally make those minor repairs, and add a fresh coat of paint to any room that needs it. Clean out those closets! (Consider renting a storage unit if needed)

Also worth considering? Removing personal items from view, such as family photos, artwork, or religious keepsakes. The concern is not that home buyers will be offended by you or your lifestyle. The goal is to neutralize the space and help home buyers imagine themselves living there. (But don’t go overboard. You don’t want rooms to feel sterile, either,

Focus on the Rooms that Count the most!

Staging the rooms where people tend to spend the most time usually makes the biggest impression on buyers. Start with the Living Room, followed by the master bedroom and the kitchen. Keep in mind that you’re not going for an HGTV-worthy overhaul: Even small touches, like putting fluffy towels in the bathroom or replacing shabby throw pillows in the family room, can make your home that much more attractive.

tommy
Pictured: 225 Tommy Ln. Lewisburg, WV

Stage your yard too!

Your house has to look its best — inside and outside. After all, buyers form their first impression when they pull up in front of your home. It’s no surprise, then, that curb appeal — how your home looks from the exterior — can increase your home’s sales value up to 17%, a Texas Tech University study found.

dwyer
Clean flower beds, well trimmed shrubs will make a difference in a buyer’s eyes!                Pictured: 597 Dwyer Ln. Lewisburg, WV

Professional landscaping, however, can cost a lot. If budget is a concern, start with these DIY improvements:

  • Plant blooming flowers and fresh greenery. Even if it’s winter, you can add colorful winter blooms and seasonal touches such as garland or lights.
  • Mow the grass.
  • Reseed bare patches of lawn and add fresh sod, as needed.

Then move on to these easy upgrades to your home’s exterior:

  • Wash the front windows.
  • Power wash siding and walkways.
  • Repaint or stain porches and stairs, as needed.
  • Make sure house numbers are easy to see, visible, and pretty.
  • Make sure important outdoor features such as the front door, porch, and sidewalks and paths are well lit. (If not, install new fixtures or lighting.)

Even basic upgrades — like laying fresh mulch, changing porch lights, or installing a new mailbox — can help a buyer fall in love at first sight.

Just wait ’til they come inside and see what else you’ve done with the place!

Article Adapted from HouseLogic.com

Staging a home can and will make a difference when it comes to selling your home!
Greenbrier Real Estate Service is ready to help you sell your home, contact us for more tips and assistance during the process!


For all your real estate needs, contact us!

Greenbrier Real Estate Service
1047 Washington St. E.
Lewisburg, WV 24901
304.645.2255


Happening now in Greenbrier County!
Renaissance Festival This weekend!


Coming up in the Greenbrier Valley!
Alderson, WV’s Famous 4th of July Celebration! June 29-July 5 Alderson, WV 4th of July
A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier July 2-8 A Military Tribute

 

June-National Homeownership Month

June is National Homeownership Month! Great tips for those first time home buyers and the steps it takes to achieve those goals.

Did you know that June is National Homeownership Month?

The follow post describes what exactly it takes to be a homeowner and the steps that it takes to get there!
We would love to offer our expertise and knowledge of Real Estate to you to help you achieve your home ownership goals!

Contact us for any help needed!
304.645.2255

The Guide for First-Time Homebuyers

What you need to know about going from full-time renter to homeowner and the process in between.

homebuyer.jpeg

You have a lot of logistical and financial hurdles to clear before you can celebrate the biggest purchase of your life. (Getty Images)

Owning a home is a major milestone many Americans expect to achieve in their lifetime. It’s not simply about having the ability to stay in one place for years – it’s also about taking advantage of the incentives to homeownership, including the financial security to make a major investment and see it grow over time.


Even for the millennial generation, which has been slower to become a major part of the homeowner pool than previous generations, buying a house remains a key goal in life.

 

While buying a house for the first time may be intimidating, no homeowner started the process feeling confident every step of the way. Here’s what first-time homebuyers need to know.

 Are You Ready to Become a Homeowner?

Long before you start looking at houses, you have to be sure your finances are in order. The process of saving and making strategic financial decisions to ensure your credit history is more appealing to a lender can take more than a couple months if you haven’t already been working toward buying a house.

“I would say a year plus – and make sure you’re saving toward that goal over a period of time,” says Amin Dabit, director of advisory service for Personal Capital, an online financial advisory and wealth management company.

 

1. Credit history. Run a credit report on yourself – which is free to do once a year and doesn’t affect your credit by going to annualcreditreport.com and receiving a report from each the three major credit-reporting agencies – and focus on the areas you can improve. You may have credit card balances to pay off, or a few missed student loan payments from a couple years ago. You may also simply need more time to pass from a recent borrowing mistake. The more time that passes from the last blemish on your credit report, the less likely a lender is to consider it a red flag to give you a loan.

2. How much house can you afford? How good your finances look from a mortgage lender’s perspective isn’t the only thing to examine. You should also look at savings that can be used toward a down payment and determine how much you’d be able to afford on a monthly basis for your principal mortgage payment, interest, taxes and insurance, which Dabit recommends calculating as 28 percent of your gross income.

3. Savings for down-the-road expenses. Of course, you also have to take into account maintenance and other potential costs that may come up as a homeowner.

4. Who to consult. Once you’ve examined your financial history and expected future cash flow, it’s time to start talking to the professionals who will be able to help you throughout the process of buying a house.

A natural start is with a real estate agent. You can contact our home office at 304.645.2255, we are conveniently located on Washington St. E. in Lewisburg, WV. We enjoy offering our expertise to our clients. We can help you find a financial advisor if needed, a loan officer connected with a lender, real estate attorney, title insurance representative, home inspector and many more faces that will be part of your transaction.

 

Approach the process as assembling a team of people who will help you achieve homeownership.

What Mortgage Options Are Best for You?

When it comes to finding a mortgage, explore options with different lenders and the various products offered. Major banks, credit unions and nonbank lenders offer a variety of options to better fit your specific needs as a homeowner.


 How Can You Prepare to Look at Houses?

At last, Greenbrier Real Estate Service can help you start looking at houses, condos, townhouses – whatever your homeownership preference may be.

Work with your agent to determine your list of must-haves in a home, whether it’s based on the number of bedrooms for kids and guests, the neighborhood that’s near your favorite restaurants and bars or a yard for your pets.

Take care to also get a realistic understanding of what your budget allows in your market.


What Should You Include in the Offer?

It may be the first house you tour with your agent – or it may be the 30th – but when you’re ready to make an offer on a house, it’s time to determine how much you’d like to offer, your needs and the seller’s as well. The latter might include a quick closing date, necessary repairs or covering closing costs.

 

Your preapproval for a mortgage will be an important part of formulating an enticing offer, so be ready with the preapproval letter from your lender when it comes time to determine your bid price and overall offer with your agent.

If you’re house hunting in a popular neighborhood, you’ll need to move quickly in making a decision and formulating an offer. If your agent expects there to be multiple offers on the property, be ready to put your best and final price on the table from the get-go.


Next Steps Toward Owning a Home

Once negotiations have finalized, the contract has been signed and you’ve provided a small amount of cash as a deposit or earnest money, you’ll have a few days to conduct your due diligence on the property. That includes the home inspection, which will tell you if there are any issues with the property that could affect the amount you’re willing to pay or if there’s anything that should be repaired before you move in.

 

You should also have funds ready for the closing costs, which typically account for between 2 percent to 5 percent of the sale price.

Your mortgage lender will also be working on the underwriting for the loan, including an appraisal of the property to ensure the purchase price matches its value, based on other sales of similar properties in the area. If the appraiser determines the house isn’t valued at the agreed-upon sale price, you may have to come up with cash to make up the difference, or try to negotiate the price down with the seller. You’ll likely have to provide updated proof of income, details on your existing debts and assets, information about your tax return and, of course, the address of the property you’re buying along with the price of the house and amount you’d like to borrow.

Just before closing, you’ll visit the home one more time, the final walk-through helps ensure there hasn’t been any additional damage to the house, and anything you expect to be gone has been removed before you get the keys.

The last step is the closing itself, which transfers the down payment to the seller, finalizes the mortgage and, with a few signatures including title clearance, transfers the deed into your name. You have the keys, and you’re officially a homeowner.

By Devon Thorsby US NEWS

If Greenbrier Real Estate Service can be of any help during your home buying process, please contact us.

We value our clients and enjoy giving our dedication and expertise of Real Estate to them!

Contact us!

Greenbrier Real Estate Service
1047 Washington St. E.
Lewisburg, WV 24901
304.645.2255

Greg Allman, Broker

 

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