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Yes You Should Take the Plunge and Buy a New Home in 2017. Here Is Why
By Peta-Gay
September 12, 2017

Are you thinking about buying a house, apartment or condo? In many markets across the country, there's never been a better time than now to become a homeowner. In this post, we'll share a few reasons why the conditions are right to jump into the market and buy a new home.

Interest Rates Are Heading Up

If you're like most home buyers, you're probably looking to make use of mortgage financing to help spread out the purchase cost over a longer period. If so, you'll want to make a move in 2017 so you can lock in a low interest rate. The Federal Reserve has indicated that interest rates are going to continue to rise over the next year or two. If that prediction holds true, mortgage costs will continue to grow along with rates. Buying in 2017 means that you'll be able to secure a lower mortgage rate which in turn will save you money.

It's A Buyer's Market In Most Areas

Depending on the community that you're looking to buy in, you may find that it's a bit of a buyer's market. There are many individuals looking to sell their homes to lock in the price appreciation that's taken place during the recovery since the 2008 financial crisis. More listings on the market mean that sellers will be open to negotiation as they won't want their home sale to take weeks or months. If you're pre-approved for your mortgage financing and are serious about buying, you may be able to convince a seller to take a lower offer than they normally would.

You'll Start Building Real Net Worth

Of course, one of the best parts of buying a home is that it's a significant financial investment. Properly maintained, your home should continue to increase in value over time. As you continue to invest in upgrades and renovations, you'll build more equity that can be used as leverage for additional credit or just pocketed when you eventually decide to sell. Even though every market has its ups and downs, owning real estate is a far greater path to prosperity than renting.

When you're ready to get into the market and find your dream home, we're here to help. Contact our professional real estate team today and we'll be happy to introduce you to some beautiful new homes that suit your tastes and budget.

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 (8585 Fort Smallwood Road Pasadena, MD 21122). Her contact information is 202 683-0158 (c), 410 255-3690 (o) or agent@propertylocatorsllc.com

Upgrade My Life Alexa: 4 Great Reasons to Invest in a Home Smart Assistant
By Peta-Gay
August 30, 2017

In an age of rapidly changing technology, doing things like programming in temperature changes and monitoring your home security from afar are pretty par for the course. Fortunately, having a smarter home is even easier these days with Alexa, which was created by Amazon in 2014 as a smart home assistant. If you're looking for an instant home upgrade that will utilize the smart technology on the market, here's why Alexa might be a great option for you.

Hands-Free Convenience

Whether you're doing laundry or cutting up vegetables, being able to do a lot of tasks around the home hands-free can be a great benefit. Fortunately, with Alexa, users can use their voice to get things done whether it's activating an app, turning on their music or even getting the weather report. The only thing that's required is for the user to make the command.  

Control The Temperature

Having to set up the temperature in your home so it goes down at night and heats up throughout the day can be a challenge, particularly since the outside temperature is always changing. Fortunately, Alexa allows you to adjust the temperature wherever you are. Whether you want to increase, decrease, or set the temperature, the command is as easy as: "Alexa, set the temperature to 67."

Adjusting The Lights

In addition to the temperature, Alexa also gives you the ability to adjust the lights in your home using a variety of different commands. Whether you want to turn the lights on or off, dim the lights or even adjust their color temperature, you just need to call Alexa's name. Conveniently, you can even create groups of lighting that will turn on at a specific command!

Making Simple Purchases

Whether you want to order take out for dinner from places like Domino's or purchase home necessities that you're running low on, all you need to do is engage Alexa with the appropriate command. While there has been known to be issues with using Alexa to order products, it tends to work well for household items that you order frequently.

There are many great upgrades available on the market, but Amazon's Alexa is a great choice for those who want a product that's easy to use and technologically adaptable. If you're currently on the market for a new 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 (8585 Fort Smallwood Road Pasadena, MD 21122). Her contact information is 202 683-0158 (c), 410 255-3690 (o) or agent@propertylocatorsllc.com

Considering a Summer Home Sale? Learn How to Appraise Your Selling Chances Like a Pro
By Peta-Gay
May 26, 2017

The summertime is known to be one of the best times to put your home up for sale. However, if you're not necessarily planning on engaging a real estate agent, it's important to be prepared for all of the hard work involved in putting your home up for sale. Whether you're new to the market or you've never sold a home on your own before, here are some questions to ask yourself so you're prepared for selling in the coming season.

Do You Know The Market?

The neighborhood you live in and the buying market you're dealing with are important factors in how your home is going to sell, so you'll need to know a little about both when determining your ideal price. By looking through the listings in the area and seeing what homes like yours have sold for, you may be able to give yourself a range for the offers you can expect.

How Will You Sell It?

One of the added benefits of social media is that you can use sites like Facebook and Twitter to announce your home sale and even highlight its best features. While this may make selling seem much easier, you'll still need to make sure you have good photography that captures your home and a website where homebuyers can learn more details. Be aware that while these items may seem easy enough, it can take a lot of time to manage these details on your own. 

Are You Prepared To Negotiate?

It's a good feeling to get an offer on your home, but in all likelihood it will be less than what you're expecting and this means engaging in the art of negotiation. According to the National Association of Realtors, those who sell their home generally get 10-20% less than those who utilize an agent, so it's important to be comfortable negotiating before you dive in. If you're confident in your acumen, you may want to go it alone, but if you have doubts, it can be a better financial decision to engage the help of an agent.

Before you decide to sell your home on your own, it's worth appraising your skills to determine if it will be worth the time and effort you'll have to put in. If you've come to the conclusion that you'd like to utilize an agent after all, you may want to contact one of our real estate professionals for more information.

About the Blogger - Peta-Gay Lewis, ABR®, 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

3 Ways That Buying or Selling a Luxury Home Is Different From a Regular One
By Peta-Gay
February 15, 2017

Selling a standard home is fraught with enough concerns about marking it at the right price and staging it properly, but it's an entirely different ball game when it comes to luxury property. If you're planning on selling your high-end property and are trying to determine what sets it apart from the average home sale, here are some things to consider before putting it on the market.

The Price Must Be Reasonable

It's important for the asking price on any home to show an awareness of market conditions, but when it comes to luxury, it becomes even more important. Most luxury homes are going to sit on the market for a longer period of time than a less expensive home because there are fewer potential buyers. In order to facilitate a successful sale, it's necessary for the asking price to be competitive and in line with the amenities provided so that buyers won't flock to other opportunities.

Use The Right Marketing Tools

With so many available methods to sell a home nowadays, it's never been easier to get the word out that you're selling your home. However, if the asking price is higher it's imperative that the property is displayed in the right light. When it comes to a luxury property it's worth having an agent who knows the market and the neighborhood well. They will be able to display your home at its most ideal by creating a website with enticing photography and details to showcase all of your home's best attributes.

What Are The Market Conditions?

It's difficult to time the market, but when it comes to the impact economic times can have on a luxury home sale, it's even more important to be aware of prices. Not only will you want to be aware of the amenities your home has and how much more desirable they'll be at certain times of the year, you'll also want to be sure that the market is on an upswing. A market that is on the rise can make a significant difference on the offers you'll get.

There are many factors involved in putting your home on the market, but when it comes to luxury real estate it's important to time the market and ensure your asking price is spot on. If you're currently preparing to put your luxury home on the market, you may want to contact one of our trusted real estate professionals for more information.

About the Blogger - Peta-Gay Lewis, ABR®, 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

 

Buying a New Home? Use This Checklist to Ensure Your Finances Are in Order
By Peta-Gay
December 16, 2016

Buying a home is a significant expense. It doesn't matter whether you're a first-time buyer or have experience. Unless you have a large pile of cash, you'll need to ensure your finances are in order before closing. In this post we'll explore four financial items you'll want to check off before buying a new home.

Figure Out Your Current Monthly Budget

First, you're going to want to sort out your monthly budget. If you've never done a budget before, start with something basic. Open up a spreadsheet or take out a piece of paper. Make two columns: 'income' and 'expenses'. Fill in each column with the amounts that you make or spend each month. Bank, credit card and other statements can help with this process. It's a good idea to go back at least 3 months to ensure you're capturing your true spending.

Make A Debt Management Plan

Do you have any debts? If so, you'll want to make a plan for how you're going to manage these when you buy a new home. For example, you may have a car payment, student loans, a line of credit or credit card debt. Write down your debts, how much you owe and when payments are due. If any debts are due monthly, make sure you include those in your budget.

Keep in mind that your outstanding debts may impact your ability to borrow for a mortgage as well. If you plan on taking out a mortgage to pay for your new home, it's best to get your debts figured out beforehand.

Understand All Your Real Estate Costs

Next, you'll want to determine what all your real estate costs are going to be. If you're not yet close to the bidding or closing process, this might be a bit challenging. But ask your real estate agent for a breakdown of what you can expect to pay for a home in your price range.

Set Up An Emergency Savings Cushion

Finally, you'll want to set up a financial cushion in case of emergencies. It's not much fun to think about, but losing a job or having a health event is possible. Most financial experts recommend having at least six months of expenses saved up. Of course, this is always easier said than done. What's important is that you have at least some cash tucked away, just in case. If you can, save a bit extra each month or from each pay check and add to this emergency fund.

When you're ready to buy a new home, a licensed real estate agent is your best bet for success. Reach out today and learn more about how affordable a new home in your community will be!

About the Blogger - Peta-Gay Lewis, ABR®, 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