Collins & Demac Real Estate



Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 7/17/2014

Have you noticed the number of new construction homes going up lately? A recent report by The U.S. Census Bureau and US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) showed single-family home building permits up almost 5%. The process of building a new home can be stressful; there are lots of decisions to be made and obstacles to overcome. Here are some useful tips to keep stress at bay when building a new home. 1. Get pre-approved for a loan. Make sure that you do all the steps necessary to put the proper loan in place. You will need to fill out a mortgage application and provide the necessary documentation to check your financial background and credit rating. This process will let you know exactly how much you can afford to spend. You will also need to make sure your lender knows you are planning on purchasing new construction. 2. Do your homework. Check the reputation of your builder. You can search for information online, contact the better business bureau or ask your friends for recommendations. If you are building in a subdivision you may want to ask some neighbors who have already moved in about their experience. 3. Watch you budget. The advertised price of a new home is rarely the final price. The price can escalate quickly when you start upgrading the standard flooring, cabinetry or lighting. Plan on how much you can afford to spend before you start upgrading and budget accordingly. 4. Don't forget about resale. You may love the upgraded plumbing and light fixtures but know that those things rarely bring in a good return. You will not be the last owner of your home. Be mindful not to add so many upgrades that you overprice your home for the neighborhood. 5. Keep the lines of communication open. Communicate with your builder, ask questions and make sure you know where your money is going. You may want to keep a running list of quotes for extras and upgrades. Be comfortable asking even the simplest questions. 6. Be prepared for delays. Building a home can be a long process. Depending on the size of your home it can take anywhere from three months to a year or more. Get an estimate of when the building of your new home will be completed and plan accordingly.





Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 7/3/2014

Moving can be stressful. The best way to not get overwhelmed is to have an organized plan and a step-by-step timeline. A little preparation will help make the move go a lot smoother. Here is a checklist to help keep you on track: 60 Days Before You Move

  • Sort and Purge-Go through every room, decide what needs to come with you and what can go. Make piles of things to throw away and things to donate.
  • Plan a Yard Sale-Start planning a yard sale to reduce the amount of stuff you need to move. Some extra money for the move will also come in handy.
  • Hire a Mover-Contact at least three moving companies. On-site estimates are better than over the phone or internet estimates. Get each estimate in writing, and make sure it has a USDOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) number on it.
  • Create a Moving Binder-Store all of your move-related paperwork (checklists, contracts, receipts) in a binder. You may also want to inventory all of your items with photos or lists.
Six Weeks Before Your Move
  • Get Packing Supplies-Determine how many packing supplies you’ll need and designate a room where you can begin to store and organize.
  • Take Measurements-If possible get room dimensions of your new home. Make sure large pieces of furniture will fit.  Don’t forget to take measurements for appliances too.
30 Days Before Your Move
  • Confirm with Mover-Check with your mover the details of your move.
  • Start Packing-Begin packing out-of-season clothes and unnecessary items.
  • Label-Make sure to label boxes with what rooms the boxes will go in at your new home.
  • Start/Stop Utilities-Make arrangements to connect and disconnect your cable, internet and utilities.
  • Change your Address- Contact or visit your local Post Office to obtain a Change of Address form. You can also obtain this form online at http://www.usps.com.
  • Make Notifications- Change your address to the following: registry of motor vehicles, banks, schools, friends & family, insurance companies, doctors and specialists, cell phone providers, credit card companies and magazine and newspapers.
  • Contact Service Providers—Notify landscapers, cleaning services that you are moving, and look for new ones in your new hometown.
Two Weeks Before Your Move
  • Call Locksmith- Have your new home’s locks changed on moving day or before.
  • Arrange Services- Have a cleaning company prepare the new home before you arrive and tidy the old home after you leave. Arrange for carpet cleaning too.
  • Pack the bulk of your items.
  • Start Cleaning-Begin cleaning any rooms in your house that have been emptied, such as closets, basements or attics.
One Week Before Your Move
  • Pack Suitcases- Finish your general packing a few days before your moving date. Pack suitcases for everyone in the family with enough clothes to wear for a few days.
  • Gather Keys- Organize all keys, alarm codes and garage door openers so that you can be prepared to hand them over to the new owner or real estate agent.
A Few Days Before Your Move
  • Defrost the Freezer- Empty, clean and defrost the freezer at least 24 hours before moving day.
  • Make Payment Plans- You will need to make sure you have made arrangements to pay the mover and have a tip (usually 10%-15%).
Moving Day
  • List Contact Info- Write out a list for your movers of things they’ll need: phone numbers, exact moving address and maps.
  • Take Inventory- Before the movers leave, sign the bill of lading/inventory list and keep a copy.
  • Walk-Through- Do a walk-through of your new home with your real estate agent.
  • Layout New Home- Tape names to doors to assist movers in placing furniture and boxes.
  • Have Director- Arrange for someone to direct the movers at your new home.
   





Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 5/15/2014

If foreclosure is looming you may feel helpless. It is possible to still sell your home and avoid foreclosure. You must sell it quickly and that is not always easy. Here are some tips to get aggressive, and get your home sold fast. Price it right! Don't try to squeak out the extra dollar price the home aggressively among the competition. This often means pricing the house low. You are trying to sell the home as fast as possible so every last dollar isn't worth it at this point. Make sure to get real about what your home is worth. A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) will outline properties similar to yours that have that recently sold, are pending and are currently on the market. Some experts suggest going 10% below that last sold price in your neighborhood. Communicate with your lender. You will need to get the go ahead from your lender on how low you can go. If you owe more than your home is worth complete a short sale application with your lender. Ask your lender to give you some indication of how low a sale price they will accept. Selling your home quickly and avoiding the black mark of foreclosure on your credit report is the goal. It may be hard to accept thousands less than what you paid for your home but you will be better off in the long run.





Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 10/3/2013

You may have noticed that new homes are going up around town again. Along with the sale pending signs on existing homes builders are building again. A national index measuring builder sentiment rose in June to its highest level since May 2007. But is buying a new home right for you? Homebuyers trying to decide between new and existing homes have more choices than they have had in the past. The case for new homes: New homes come with builder warranties. New homes allow buyers to select colors and floor plans. New homes can be easier to insure. Some builders have their own financing divisions, so getting a mortgage from the builder may be easier than from a lender. New homes may have a resale advantage. The case for existing homes: Existing homes may offer more space for the money and a more convenient location. Existing homes can be 10 percent to 20 percent less than new construction for comparable square footage. Existing homes are in established neighborhoods. New homes can take several months or longer to build.      





Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 9/26/2013

The past few years the news has been inundated with bad press about the housing market but the facts remain the same it is still better to own a home. In fact, there are more reasons than ever to buy a home. If you are on the fence about buying you will want to take note of some of the benefits of homeownership. Pride of Ownership It belongs to you! That's right, renovate, update, paint, and decorate to your heart's desire and you don't need to ask permission or waste money improving something that you do not own. Your home is your own so plant trees, install a pool, put up a fence, expand the patio, redo the basement or do anything you want. Owning something feels good. Equity Homeownership is about building long-term wealth. It may seem that buying a home has a lot of upfront costs but historically homes appreciate by about 4 to 6 percent a year. When you purchase a home, you build equity with each payment. Equity is the difference between what the home is worth and what is owed. Equity can be used to build wealth, save for retirement and even to secure a loan. For example, an $800/month rent payment equals out to be $48,000 over five years with no financial gain to you. Tax Benefits Homeownership has huge tax benefits. In the early years of a loan, mortgage interest is the largest part of your mortgage payment. Mortgage interest is fully deductible on your tax return. For example, a homeowner in a 28% federal tax bracket could lower their borrowing costs by almost a third. Better Living Studies have shown that owning a home can actually make you healthier, and is better for your family too. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) report: says “Homeowners accumulate wealth as the investment in their homes grows, enjoy better living conditions, are often more involved in their communities, and have children who tend on average to do better in school and are less likely to become involved with crime. Communities benefit from real estate taxes homeowners pay, and from stable neighborhoods homeowners create”. The National Association of Realtor's Social Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing reports homeowners experience: -Higher educational performance and better behavior of children -Lower community crime rates -Lessened welfare dependency among households -More household participation in civic affairs -Better household health Bottom line, it's a great time to buy! Interest rates are at historic lows; homes are more affordable so go ahead and invest in a safer, healthier, better future for you and your family today.







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