Saturday, March 19, 2016

5 Landscape Maintenance Tips

Spring is here!  

With the trees and flowers blooming or in progress of starting to bloom, I thought I would share a couple quick tips on landscape maintenance.  A home with a well-manicured and maintained home adds quite a bit of value to a property.  It’s also something that could help decide whether someone wants to visit your home while it is on the market. 

Landscape Maintenance Tips:

1. Freshen up beds by laying down new pine straw or spreading new mulch (I’m a fan of pine straw).

2. Apply fertilizer to your grass.  Make sure to spread in a crossing pattern so you achieve an even application.  If your budget allows, it may be worth discussing with a professional.

3. Trim those bushes! Make sure for blooming plants like Camilla or azaleas that the plants have finished blooming.  Make sure to trim after they have fully bloomed but before next year’s buds have started.

4. Trim lower hanging limbs from the trees.  We can all use pruning every now and then to freshen things up. 

5. Plant those wonderfully, beautiful annual flowers! Don’t be afraid to fill those pots up with many different varieties! (you may want to make sure to wait until the last frost which is normally in mid-late April)

These are just a few tips to get your spring off to a great start.  Landscape maintenance is not a chore – it’s a money-maker!

Happy Landscaping!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The time to list your NOW!

It seems that the real estate feeds on the Internet are filled with reasons why you should list your home now. As a matter of fact, Allen Tate marketing emailed a couple of weeks ago asking me to contribute to their own Top 10 list. We are all on board this train right now for a variety of reasons and ones that you should heed if you are considering a move in the next 3-5 years. You may be saying to yourself, “Wow!” I need to plan NOW to move after my kid graduates in three years?” My answer to you is a resounding YES!

My professional advice is that you can do everything in your power to make the move you want to make in three years, THIS YEAR! I can hear you groaning right now and some of you are going to not even read the rest of this post because it seems so impossible. My message to you is simple. If you thought you could save thousands of dollars by moving this year, instead of in 3 years, wouldn't you at least consider it? I know I would. This is why selling today just may be the perfect situation for you and your family.

Rates are still low and this helps you two-fold. One, the buyer and afford more house than they will be able to in years to come as rates go up, which means if you are commanding a top dollar, the buyer may be able to afford to meet your price. Two, it means you can afford more home as well and if you get a lower rate today, than you would in years to come, you save thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.

Inventory is low. Yes, there are homes on the market but there's also a lot of junk still for sale. The inventory is begging for homes that have been well-maintained, are priced appropriately and are ready to go. The sooner you can get on the market, the better. The longer folks wait in the year, the more competition you will see and that will affect your pricing. Also, do all the things your Realtor tells you to do. This is not the time to skimp on freshening up paint, staging or demanding an unrealistic price. This is the time to SELL, so that you can move on to the house you want to be in for the next 10 years and not be stuck in your current home for another 10 months!

New construction is coming back. With that means added competition for you, the existing homeowner. In our area of NC, construction starts have been slower than anticipated, which means you will have time to sell before buyers are lured with sunshiny new bells and whistles and incentives that builders have to offer. Currently, buyers have not had the choice of new construction do the recession, but now, its as if new ares are back on the market and everyone else getting in line to see what will be offered. More new construction competition means lower prices for existing homes. Even if lots are smaller; more neighborhood amenities, interior upgrades and customization will entice buyers from existing inventory.

Historically, Spring is a great time to sell. Families looking to relocation will use the Spring to identify and typically purchase their new home, spending summer adjusting and moving, so that the school year starts with few hitches. Not only does the above reason factor in to typical Spring activity, but we all know that Spring the the Carolinas does nothing but good when it comes to the curb appeal of the home. Who can resist the Carolina jasmine, azaleas blooming around the porch and daffodils and tulips adorning every flowerpot and flower bed around the home? Something about Spring is magical, creation at it's best and all on the backdrop of a Carolina blue sky. (Please do not take this as a UNC compliment as most of you know I am a die-hard NC State fan.) :)

All of this being said, I know all too well, that moving is a daunting and overwhelming task for most. I am currently helping many sellers to ready their homes by connecting them with painters, stagers, handymen and window cleaners. This is a team effort for sure, but the ultimate decision lies in your hands so that you can accomplish what is best for you and your family. As always, I am happy to consult with you, discuss options and plans of attack, and if afterwards we decide this isn't the right time, that's okay too. I look forward to hearing from you and please feel free to post questions or contact me privately for specific inquiries.