Annemarie Torcivia - RE/MAX  Trinity



Posted by Annemarie Torcivia on 5/21/2018

Looking to sell your home? If so, it often pays to learn about the real estate market.

A knowledgeable home seller understands how to operate in any housing market conditions. As such, this individual can plan a successful home selling journey from day one until the final closing date.

Ultimately, there are many best practices for selling a house, and these include:

1. Clean Your House Both Inside and Out

A homebuyer's first impression of your house likely will impact his or her decision to submit an offer on it. Thus, if your home has a pristine exterior and interior, you can increase the likelihood of generating plenty of interest in your residence.

To boost your house's curb appeal, you should mow the front lawn, trim the hedges and perform myriad home exterior maintenance. Also, if there is chipped or cracked siding or other home exterior issues, you should complete assorted home exterior repairs as soon as possible.

When it comes to your home's interior, you should allocate significant time and resources to clean and declutter. Mop the floors, wipe down countertops and clean each room of your house. In addition, remove excess items from your home to show off the full size of your living space.

2. Conduct a Home Appraisal

What your home is worth today is unlikely to match what you initially paid for your house. Fortunately, a home appraisal can provide you with a good idea of the current value of your house based on its age, condition and other factors.

During a home appraisal, a property appraiser will evaluate your residence. Then, the appraiser will provide a property valuation.

With a property valuation in hand, you'll be able to establish a competitive price for your residence. And as a result, you can boost your chances of a quick home sale.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Selling a home may seem like a long, arduous process. However, if you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can take the guesswork out of selling a residence.

A real estate agent will learn about your home selling goals and help you plan accordingly. Therefore, if you need to sell your house quickly, a real estate agent is happy to assist you. Or, if you prefer to take a wait-and-see approach to the housing market, a real estate agent can help you do just that.

Furthermore, a real estate agent is a home selling expert who can provide recommendations and suggestions. If you have questions about how to upgrade your house's exterior, a real estate agent can put you in touch with local landscapers and contractors. Comparatively, if you're unsure about how to price your house, a real estate agent can provide you with housing market data to help you make an informed decision.

When it comes to selling a house, working with a real estate agent is ideal. Reach out to a local real estate agent today, and you can seamlessly navigate the home selling journey.




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Posted by Annemarie Torcivia on 5/14/2018

We live in a world of convenience and endless choices. To watch a TV show, you can find it on cable, Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu, and more. Sometimes, all of these options make it easy to spend more than necessary on monthly services.

If you’re hoping to buy a home in the near future, one way to save a bit more each month is to cut corners wherever possible.

In today’s post, I’m going to cover some tips that will help you start saving toward the down payment on your first home.

Cutting down on monthly services

They’re enticing, the myriad of entertainment services that we can now take advantage of. For a seemingly low monthly cost you can have hundreds of channels through cable. However, many cable users have noticed that their cable bill keeps creeping up each year and the service doesn’t get any better.

One way to start saving more each month is to ditch cable altogether. For news and the weather, there are many websites available. And, some local news stations stream live on their websites for free.

But, what about watching your favorite TV shows and movies? One of the world’s best kept secrets is that of interlibrary loans. Most public libraries are part of a system that allows you to get books, games, movies, and TV shows shipped to your local library for free. You simply reserve the latest season of Game of Thrones and wait for an email from your library.

Another issue many people have with monthly entertainment services is their tendency to add up. Reassess your monthly bills. If you’re paying for Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, do you really need all three?

Be smart about your savings

To save effectively, make sure your savings account is seeing a high return on its interest rate. Online banks tend to have higher returns than their brick & mortar counterparts, and most people don’t need to make regular visits to a bank anymore anyway.

Similarly, for credit cards, choose one with cashback rewards. Only use your credit card for necessities, like groceries and gas. Then, pay off each statement in full each month. Once you get your rewards, use them for more groceries and gas or put them in your down payment savings account, if possible.

Don’t forget about CDs (certificates of deposit)

One of the most effective ways of saving for a down payment is a certificate of deposit. CDs are perfect for down payments because you aren’t able to withdraw from them until they have matured--i.e., until you’ve reached your savings goal. They can be set for 6 months, a year, or more, and they tend to have higher returns than savings accounts.


Using a combination of these methods will help you start saving more each month so you can achieve your dream of owning a home sooner.





Posted by Annemarie Torcivia on 5/7/2018

In theory, a Homeowners Association (HOA) is a great idea. It gives homeowners a say in how their neighborhood or complex is run and maintained and it gives people an opportunity to get to know their neighbors.

But we’ve all heard stories about homeowners associations that range from a small annoyance to a nightmare, and even some that are just plain strange.

On reddit, homeowners were asked to share some of the stories from their homeowners’ associations. Here are the best ones.

Outsmarting the HOA

Reddit user Bundabar tells about the numerous difficulties they’ve had with their homeowners association when it comes to home improvements. In one instance they were told by the HOA that their fence was a few inches too tall. In response, Bundabar appealed their decision and presented new plans for his backyard… plans that included at 40ft HAM radio tower, which incidentally cannot be regulated by a homeowners’ association. The HOA quickly changed they mind and allowed Bundabar’s fence to remain a few inches outside of regulation.

Backyard engineering

In another strange HOA tale, reddit user Furlessxp shared their experience with a neighbor who loved to tinker. The neighbor began work on a treehouse in his backyard which the HOA disapproved of. A years-long dispute followed, and ultimately the HOA told the neighbor that he would have to have the plans for his treehouse certified by an engineer. At the next meeting, according to Furlessxp, “he handed in the blueprints signed and stamped by no other than himself. That was a great meeting. It turns out that he had a PhD in civil engineering.”

Rooting for the home team

In a different thread, user Viking042900 explains that he liked to fly the flag of the Georgia Bulldogs when the football team was playing. The HOA regulations in his neighborhood state that homeowners are only allowed to fly flags on the day that sports teams are playing. User Viking042900 notes that he accidentally left the flag out a day longer than was allowed, but the HOA was still threatening him with fines.

His response?

“Now I was mad. I printed off a schedule of every sporting event the Bulldogs had in every sport, even club sports and then proceeded to fly the flag every single day.”

Since the University of Georgia has some time of sporting event nearly every day, it became impossible for the HOA to enforce this rule. Ultimately, the association gave up and let him fly his flag freely.



We’ll leave you with one last HOA tale from reddit. This time, user Interwebbing was running the show as president of the homeowners association. His policy?

“I was HOA president for 3 years and never enforced anything. Power to the people.”




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Posted by Annemarie Torcivia on 4/30/2018

Keeping up with household expenses can be a daunting task. Service providers are making it easier than ever to set up auto-pay features for their products. Furthermore, playing with credit cards makes it seem like you hardly ever have to look at your account balances. Unfortunately, that can make it easy to go over your allotted budget each month. That’s where the home budget app comes in.

In recent years, a growing number of budgeting apps have hit the app stores. You could scroll for hours through all of the various apps, comparing their needs. Fortunately, we’ve done the hard work for you.

Some apps are geared towards families, where others are designed for a single user. Some sync with bank accounts and others depend on your own input to keep track of your expenses. In this article, we’re going to break down some of the best budgeting apps for keeping up with your household and living expenses.

HomeBudget

If you’re hoping to split expenses and plan your budget with your spouse, family, or roommates, HomeBudget is a good place to start. With HomeBudget you can assign one person to be the payee, making it easy to determine who pays certain bills.

You and your family members can also assign expenses and attach images of your receipts to see who paid which bill.

At the end of the month, you can view reports that will tell you if you stayed under budget. You can then compare the month’s budget to the previous six months and decide if you need to increase your budget or try to cut some expenses.

YNAB: You Need A Budget

If you’re new to budgeting or are having trouble paying off debt, YNAB is the budgeting tool you need. Aside from keeping track of your spending, YNAB is also a learning resource. Signing up gives you access to budgeting tips and information that you may not be familiar with.

YNAB links up with your bank accounts to tell you just how much you need to save each month in order to keep up with everyday expenses like mortgage payments and utilities, and get out of debt.

Mint

Mint is designed to be your one-stop shop for all things financial. It combines your bills, bank accounts, student loans, credit cards, and more all in one place.

Mint enables you to track your spending, plan a budget, and gain access to resources like free monthly credit scores.

Unsplurge

Having an organized budget is a reward of its own. But, if you need even more of an incentive, Unsplurge is here to help. With Unsplurge, you can focus on saving up for a goal. You’ll get updates when you save enough to “splurge” on your goal.

It’s a great tool for people who like to see their progress and feel the sense of accomplishment when they meet their objective.


Now pick the app that sounds right for your needs and get started with saving money and managing your household budget today.




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Posted by Annemarie Torcivia on 4/23/2018

If you intend to purchase a house, it helps to submit a competitive offer. In fact, if you submit a competitive offer, you may be better equipped than ever before to enjoy a fast, seamless homebuying experience.

Ultimately, there are many reasons to submit a competitive offer on a home, and these include:

1. You can increase the likelihood of an instant "Yes" from a home seller.

Let's face it – no home seller wants to deal with a "lowball" offer on a house. Fortunately, a competitive offer helps improve your chances of receiving an instant "Yes" from a seller, thereby increasing the likelihood of a stress-free homebuying experience.

A homebuyer who allocates the necessary time and resources to understand a house and its strengths and weaknesses should have no trouble defining a competitive offer. Then, this buyer can submit a proposal that accounts for a house's age and condition. And if a seller accepts the homebuying proposal, both the buyer and seller can work together to finalize a purchase agreement.

2. You can open the lines of communication with a home seller.

Although a competitive home offer may suit your interests, it may not match a seller's expectations. However, a buyer's decision to submit a competitive proposal may open the lines of communication with a seller.

If a buyer submits a lowball proposal on a house, he or she may receive an immediate rejection from a seller. Comparatively, a competitive home offer may force a seller to consider his or her options closely. And even though a seller may not be fully satisfied with the proposal, he or she could counter the offer and negotiate terms with a buyer.

3. You can avoid the risk of overspending to acquire a residence.

A homebuyer who analyzes the real estate market can find out what a home is worth based on a variety of housing sector conditions. Therefore, this buyer can submit a competitive offer, one that minimizes the risk that he or she will overspend to acquire a residence.

When it comes to putting together a competitive home offer, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent as well. This housing market professional can work with you throughout your home search and ensure you can pounce at any opportunity to purchase your ideal house.

A real estate agent understands all aspects of the housing market. He or she will help you search for residences in your preferred cities and towns. Plus, once you discover your dream house, a real estate agent will make it simple to put together a competitive offer.

Furthermore, a real estate agent is happy to respond to your concerns and questions throughout the homebuying journey. This housing market professional will offer expert homebuying insights, enabling you to make the best-possible homebuying decision.

Limit the guesswork associated with submitting a competitive homebuying proposal – use the aforementioned tips, and you can make an aggressive offer on any house, at any time.




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