Blog

Buying a Home for the First Time? Five Real Estate Terms You Will Need to Know
By Peta-Gay
July 7, 2017

The terminology involved in the real estate market can be vexing for the newcomer, but if you're getting prepared to buy a home, there are a few choice words you should take some time to learn. While it's hard to learn the ins and outs in one article, here's a place to begin with five terms you may be hearing a lot of in the future.

Amortization Period

It may sound like a very fancy term, but the amortization period or mortgage term is simply the length of time it will take you to pay off your mortgage loan by monthly mortgage payments. While 25 years is the standard amortization period, it can vary.

Fixed Rate Mortgage

A fixed rate mortgage is one of the interest rate options you'll have, and this involves a stable interest rate that remains unchanged. While this means your monthly payment will stay the same each month, it can also mean a higher amount paid overall since your fixed rate may be higher than the market rate over time.

Adjustable Rate Mortgage

The other option when it comes to mortgage interest rates is an adjustable rate, which means that your monthly payment will fluctuate along with the prime market rate. While this can provide a sense of insecurity since your mortgage payment will shift each month, it can end up being more economical than a fixed rate.

Closing Costs

Buying a home can cost enough with the loan, the down payment, and the interest, but closing costs will also be a part of the housing costs. While closing costs generally range anywhere from 2-5%, they include items like loan administration costs and title insurance costs that come part and parcel with the mortgage.

There are many terms out there involved in real estate, but by making yourself aware of a few and doing your research, you can begin to understand what they mean for you. If you're almost ready to invest in a home, you may want to contact one of our trusted real estate professionals for more information.

About the Blogger - Peta-Gay Lewis, ABR®, CMR®, MRP®, PSA® is Founder & Principal of Property Locators, LLC™. She is a licensed Property Manager & REALTOR in DC, MD, and VA with Douglas Realty, LLC (8096 Edwin Raynor Blvd Suite C Pasadena, MD 21122). Her contact information is 202 683-0158 (c), 410 255-3690 (o) or agent@propertylocatorsllc.com

Facing a Scorching Hot Housing Market? 3 Reasons You Will Want a Great Real Estate Agent
By Peta-Gay
July 6, 2017

For many homeowners who are selling in today’s  real estate market, pinching every penny can be important. This can mean that it's a consideration to opt out of a real estate agent and go with the DIY approach. However, there are many things an agent can do for you in a hot market that may be worth the money. If you're wondering how a real estate agent can help you, here are some things to consider.

Understanding The Neighborhood

It's possible that you know your neighborhood quite well and are aware of the selling prices of many homes in the area. However, an experienced agent will have a good grasp on the history of your neighborhood and has probably sold a house in your area before. While research is great, prior knowledge can give them a leg up in determining exactly how you can price your house for maximum success. Instead of having to guess at what will work, they should have the knowledge to make a sound judgment.

Marketing Know-How

Most real estate agents have dealt with the ups and downs of the market, and this generally means that they've learned how to succeed even when the chips are down. When it comes to marketing, the right agent will have the contacts and the savvy to determine the best approach for selling your home. Whether it involves posts on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, an online website or an Open House, an agent will know how to appeal to your ideal buyer and garner you the best offer around.

Closing The Deal

With so much money involved for both the seller and the buyer, the likelihood of getting your asking price right off the bat is not high. In situations like this, it's more than a little helpful to have a real estate agent around who understands the negotiating process and how to close the deal. Not only will they be able to advise you on what your home is worth and what it can garner, they can also advise you on when you should consider a lower offer.

It may be tempting to go it alone when it comes to selling your house, but the right agent can be instrumental in marketing your home and getting you the price you're asking for. If you're currently getting prepared to put your home up for sale, you may want to contact one of our trusted real estate professionals for more information.

About the Blogger - Peta-Gay Lewis, ABR®, CMR®, MRP®, PSA® is Founder & Principal of Property Locators, LLC™. She is a licensed Property Manager & REALTOR in DC, MD, and VA with Douglas Realty, LLC (8096 Edwin Raynor Blvd Suite C Pasadena, MD 21122). Her contact information is 202 683-0158 (c), 410 255-3690 (o) or agent@propertylocatorsllc.com

Hip Hip Hooray
By Peta-Gay
July 4, 2017

From our families to yours we say God Bless America and thank you to those who serve. Happy 4th of July!

Buyer Beware Three Major Red Flags to Watch for When Visiting Open Houses
By Peta-Gay
July 5, 2017

Open houses are a good opportunity to get out to see what kind of home you're looking for and if it will work for you. Fortunately, they can also be a good opportunity to find out some things about the house you're looking at that might not be listed on the website and may be less than flattering. If you're wondering what red flags to watch out for, pay attention to the following things the next time you're at a showing.

Strong Odors

Many home sellers try to engage the senses to entice buyers, whether it's by baking cookies or spraying air freshener. However, a lot of air freshener or scent can also be a means of hiding less than pleasant smells that are a giveaway for big problems. If you notice a lot of scent when visiting an open house or if there's an odor, you may want to look for mildew or mold as this can mean a huge house-owning hurdle to deal with down the road.

An Abundance Of Fix-Up

A small maintenance issue here and there may not be important, whether it's a doorknob that doesn't catch or peeling paint on the wall. Unfortunately, an abundance of small issues can signal a certain attitude towards general maintenance that should be approached with caution. While it may just be a few details that were forgotten about, it's important to pay attention as there may be a lot of more important maintenance issues that are not being taken care of if the minor ones are visible.

Issues With the Foundation

There are many issues that will hopefully come to the forefront at the home inspection, but it's not worth it to get invested in a home only to back out due to a failing foundation. Instead of leaving it up to the due diligence of the home inspector, check for large gaps in the home's foundation to unveil any issues on this front. The foundation can be a huge issue if it requires a fix-up, and it's one you probably won't want to deal with in your new home.

Open houses can provide a great sense of what it's like to live in a home, but they can also be a good opportunity to take note of any major issues with a future home. If you're currently preparing to buy a home, you may want to contact one of our trusted real estate professionals for more information.

About the Blogger - Peta-Gay Lewis, ABR®, CMR®, MRP®, PSA® is Founder & Principal of Property Locators, LLC™. She is a licensed Property Manager & REALTOR in DC, MD, and VA with Douglas Realty, LLC (8096 Edwin Raynor Blvd Suite C Pasadena, MD 21122). Her contact information is 202 683-0158 (c), 410 255-3690 (o) or agent@propertylocatorsllc.com

To Paint or Not to Paint Before Selling Your Home That Is the Question. Here Are Some Answers!
By Peta-Gay
July 3, 2017

If you're planning some renovations before you sell your home, you're probably trying to determine what will boost its value best so you can get out the money you're putting in. Pulling out the paint for some touch-ups may be one of the most common things you'll hear about, but before taking on such a sizeable job, it's worth considering the needs of your home and what you'll have the ability to do before it goes on the market.

The State Of Your Paint

To brighten a room and instantly improve the look of a space, there are a few things that will do the trick like paint. Often, a poor paint job will be one of the first things potential buyers notice when they visit your home, whether the color is dull or there are cracks showing. If your home's paint job is neither impressive nor out-of-date, you may not want to take on such a big project. However, if these issues will negatively impact your home sale, it may be worth the effort.

What Is Your Timeline?

There are many easy home fix-ups that can improve your home, but painting is one of few things that can take a lot of time. It's unlikely you'll want to shell out for a professional painter if you've already decided on a renovations budget, but if you don't have the time you may want to decide on a few problematic areas to paint. If the bathroom or the kitchen are looking weathered, focus on those areas instead of taking on the whole house.

What Buyers Will Change

When potential homebuyers are looking at your home, they'll not only be thinking about what they love, they'll be considering what they want to upgrade down the road. Unfortunately, painting is not one of the projects that buyers will want to spend time on as soon as they move in. While it may not be worth their time to move into a house that needs to be painted right away, it just might be worth yours to get out the roller.

There are several home renovations that can improve your home's value, but painting may be a necessity if your walls are dull and showing signs of age. If you're currently preparing to put your home on the market, you may want to contact one of our real estate professionals for more information.

About the Blogger - Peta-Gay Lewis, ABR®, CMR®, MRP®, PSA® is Founder & Principal of Property Locators, LLC™. She is a licensed Property Manager & REALTOR in DC, MD, and VA with Douglas Realty, LLC (8096 Edwin Raynor Blvd Suite C Pasadena, MD 21122). Her contact information is 202 683-0158 (c), 410 255-3690 (o) or agent@propertylocatorsllc.com