N.B.Taylor & Co., Inc. Realtors



Posted by N.B.Taylor & Co., Inc. Realtors on 5/13/2019

You’ve been binging on HGTV and DIY network every weekend while you save up your money and you’re ready to take the plunge. Your agent tours you through several potentials and there it is … the perfect corner lot, the mediocre house with the awkward layout, chopped up floor plan, aging kitchen, and dated bathrooms. It’s just waiting to reveal shiplap behind the cracked plaster, original hardwood floors under the stained and dusty carpet, and other treasures you can only dream about until their uncovered.

You make the deal … now it’s all yours. Where do you go from here?

Find the right professional
Ideally, a contractor with renovation experience toured the property with you, casting a professional eye over potential problems and exciting possibilities before you made the deal. If not, engage one now. Renovations require specific knowledge of structural issues like which walls to safely remove giving you that open-concept floor plan and which might be load-bearing. Experienced pros know when to call in an engineer to determine whether to expose the beams or if the wiring needs pulling. 

Make a plan
As with any project, make a basic plan before you start. Unlike new-builds, however, your plan might be more general until you’ve removed walls and studs, discarded old cabinets and fixtures, and revealed the location of existing drainpipes, wiring, support structures, and other hidden gems. With everything visible determined, it’s time for demolition. Just know that with a renovation, once demolition starts, plans can change. A supporting beam here, an unmovable drain there, a hidden chimney under that plaster … could derail your perfect original plans. When that happens, a pro can help you figure out what do.

Don’t underestimate time
Watching a 57-minute renovation on television might give you an unrealistic expectation of how long it might be until your home is ready. After all, you don’t have a trove of assistants ordering cabinets, changing out flooring samples and visiting showrooms to cull through items for you. Choice fatigue (the inability to choose between too many choices) can stymy a project for a novice.

Normal delays, hidden issues
You’ve planned, then modified the plans after the demo, selected, deselected, then re-selected the cabinets, flooring, and fixtures. Now it’s time to get approvals and permits. Moving a project through the approval process in your municipality could be smooth sailing or rife with delays. Your professional contractor should help you navigate this process, but waiting for a permit can add days, or weeks to a project.

In addition to the normal delays, your demolition may uncover other issues that require remediation. These include lead, mold, asbestos, termite damage, shifting foundations, broken pipes, and myriad other possibilities. Bringing wiring up to code and changing out electrical panels consumes precious time and adds to the delays.

Before taking on a fixer-upper, seek the advice of a real estate professional with renovation experience to help you make a plan, and plan for contingencies.





Posted by N.B.Taylor & Co., Inc. Realtors on 5/6/2019

Once you discover your dream house, you probably want to do everything possible to acquire this residence. However, it is important to remain calm, cool and collected as you navigate the homebuying journey. Because if you act too hastily, you risk overspending to purchase your ideal residence.

Let's face it – the temptation to submit an offer to purchase your dream home that may require you to break your homebuying budget can be overwhelming. Lucky for you, we're here to help you consider your offer to purchase closely and ensure you provide a competitive homebuying proposal that won't force you to exceed your budget.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you craft a competitive offer to purchase your dream house.

1. Analyze the Housing Market

The real estate market may have major ramifications on the offer you submit to acquire your dream residence, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.

For example, if you are operating in a buyer's market, there likely is an abundance of sellers and a limited number of buyers. If you find your dream house in a buyer's market, you may be able to acquire this residence by submitting an offer to purchase at or near a seller's initial home asking price.

On the other hand, navigating a seller's market may prove to be tricky. In a seller's market, there is a shortage of high-quality houses available and an abundance of buyers. Therefore, if you want to purchase your dream residence in a seller's market, you may need to submit an offer to purchase at or above a seller's initial home asking price.

Consider the housing market closely as you prepare an offer to purchase. If you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's one, you can submit an offer to purchase your dream house that falls in line with the current housing market's conditions.

2. Weigh a Home's Strengths and Weaknesses

When it comes to putting together a competitive offer to purchase, it helps to consider a house's strengths and weaknesses. That way, you can account for the costs of any potential home repairs or improvements in your homebuying proposal.

You should consider a home's location as well. For instance, a home in a remote town may prove to be more affordable than a comparable house near a big city. And when you craft an offer to purchase, you should always account for a house's location.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent can help you submit a competitive offer to purchase at any time. This housing market expert is happy to provide a recommendation about how much to offer to acquire your dream home. And if you have homebuying concerns or questions, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them at your convenience.

Want to buy your dream residence? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can avoid the risk of spending too much to acquire your ideal house.




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Posted by N.B.Taylor & Co., Inc. Realtors on 4/29/2019

Spring is approaching which means it's time to gather your cleaning supplies to get ready for spring cleaning. During this time you'll be cleaning areas in your home that you have overlooked in your day to day cleaning routine. Here are a few easily forgotten chores to add to your list this year.

Fridge

Take time this year to remove all the contents of your fridge and give your shelves a good scrub. Wipe the walls and shelving of your fridge to ensure your food is going back into a bacteria-free environment. Once you've cleaning the inside, take some time to move the refrigerator out of its designated spot and clean behind the refrigerator. Food and other items can easily get trapped behind the fridge and be quickly forgotten.

Drawers and Cabinets

Placing clean dishes in a dusty cabinet doesn't serve much of a purpose. Set aside some time to remove your dishes and kitchen tools from your cabinets and clean any dust that remains. While all of your items are out in the open, think about reorganizing your kitchen to operate more efficiently. For example, move the dishware next to the stove to make serving food more accessible. Also, organize drawers by using plastic containers to ensure nothing gets lost or misplaced.

Baseboards

Since baseboards sit near your floor, they effortlessly gather dirt and dust throughout the year. Start this big task by moving furniture into the center of each room as best as you can. Moving it all at once will make it easier to clean each room without having to stop each time something is blocking your way. Take advantage of this opportunity and also look for any places that may need a touch-up coat of paint. This attention is sure to make those normally out of sight baseboards stand out.

Vents, smoke detectors, light switches

Use this opportunity to clean areas that are utilized in your home every day. Clean dust buildup off of air vents to give your home a cleaner air supply. Disinfect light switches from any bacteria to ensure no sickness gets spread in the near future. Most importantly, be sure to check that your smoke detectors are in proper working order and are clean.

Pantry

Take some time to look through the contents of your pantry for stale and expired food items. It's simple to forget about an undesired packaged food you bought months ago. Once you remove the items off a shelf, wipe it clean of dust and food crumbs. Utilize this moment to organize the things in your pantry to prevent foods from going bad or being uneaten. You'll be surprised at how much room for new food purchases you'll have once it's clean and organized.

Spring cleaning doesn't always have to be something you put off. Set aside the weekend to complete these tasks quickly and effectively. Get the whole family involved by making a to-do list and assigning chores to each individual.




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Posted by N.B.Taylor & Co., Inc. Realtors on 4/22/2019

While you may not think of it that way, your brain can become addicted to personal electronics to such a degree that it impacts multiple areas of your life. Of course, the physical effects are substantial once you’re aware of them. But worse yet is the impact on your family.

What smartphones do to your brain

While it may not be the same as a narcotic addiction, heavy cell phone users often find themselves compelled to check their mail, group chats, and texts without regard for the people with whom they are sitting. Often, they’ll break a conversation or lose eye contact if they’ve been away from their phones for too long. This needless checking and rechecking their phones steams from the “fear of missing out” on something. Unfortunately for the people they’re with, it seems like “fear of missing out on something better.”

When it comes to family time, reading, watching movies, endlessly scrolling through Instagram or Facebook, and playing games often take the place of meaningful interaction. And it’s not just the kids. Increasingly, parents are busy on their phones too, so when everyone is home after a day apart at work or school, they’re still not home together … they’re all in their own little worlds on their own devices.

Breaking the addiction

As with any addiction, recognizing the problem is half the battle. The emotional triggers that cause you to reach for your phone are vast and varied, but mostly you’ve developed a routine or habit that needs to be broken.

Turn on your screen-time statistics to see how many hours per day you spend on your device and the breakdown. Do you mostly play games? Spending time on social media? Read books? Read or watch the news? How about texting? Sometimes phone use is productive. Like where you’re going through work emails so that you can go into the office later in the morning, or when you use apps like Dropbox to check the progress of a project. Of course, we use our phones for banking and bill paying too, so once you know your usage stats, you can start to formulate a plan.

- Create mental speed bumps. That is, force yourself to go through a process before you can randomly use your phone. Make your login harder. Change your lock screen to ask you questions about your intentions. Put your phone is a case that takes the effort to use it for anything other than a phone call.

- Practice reducing your screen time for a week. Check your stats each day and make it a game for the next day to be less time on the clock.

- Go through all the apps on your phone and remove any that you don’t use.

- Then, give it another look. Remove the ones that take up large blocks of time without any meaningful return. For some that would be social media and for others, games.

Keep only those apps that you absolutely need. For instance, if you’re planning to buy a home, keep the real estate apps on your phone until you find the one to buy. Then, remove that one too.




Tags: cell phone   family  
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Posted by N.B.Taylor & Co., Inc. Realtors on 4/15/2019

While many homes are sold on the basis of emotional appeal or location, there are plenty of other factors which can help tip the scales in your direction. As a home seller, the more advantages and desirable features you can offer to potential buyers, the greater your chances of attracting multiple offers.

If your kitchen and bathrooms haven't been updated for decades, that could easily become a major stumbling block to attracting qualified buyers. Unless their plan is to remodel your kitchen after they buy your home (which is not likely), house hunters are generally not going to look kindly upon old laminate counter tops -- especially those with the ghastly colors from the sixties and seventies! The good news about making your outdated kitchen and home more marketable is that you have the option of resurfacing old countertops rather that completely replacing them.

Although it's generally a good idea to have professionals do this, you can cosmetically improve the appearance of your kitchen countertops by resurfacing them with granite sheets or tile. Resurfacing is also a relatively inexpensive way to help restore aging kitchen cabinets -- another aspect of your home that potential buyers are going to notice.

According to a recent study, quite a few buyers are drawn to features like stainless steel appliances, subway tiles, farmhouse sinks, Shaker cabinets, exposed brick, pendant lights, and quartz countertops. By the way, Quartz does offer some advantages over granite because it's more scratch resistant, maintenance free, and doesn't need to be sealed or polished.

Other features which attract home buyers include energy-efficient windows and appliances, sufficient insulation in attic and elsewhere (many older homes lack this), low-maintenance flooring (not carpeting), roofing that's been replaced within the past decade, finished or semi-finished basements, first-floor/separate laundry rooms, newer hot water heaters (extra points for tankless units), outdoor security lighting, fenced backyards, and dry basements. If you do have issues with excess moisture or leaks in your basement, it may be helpful to install a sump pump, a dehumidifier, French drains, or other dry basement remedies to address those issues before they're brought up by prospective buyers.

While there are certain aspects of your property that can not be changed, such as proximity to neighbors or the school district in which you're located, their are plenty of cost effective ways to improve the appearance and functionality of your home before you try to sell it. To identify problems before they become obstacles, some homeowners hire a property inspector to point out issues. That way, they're not blindsided by unexpected structural, mechanical, electrical, drainage, or energy conservation issues they might not be aware of. In addition to a reputable property inspector, a seasoned real estate agent can also be one of your best advisors when you're ready to put your home on the market.