Monday, May 18, 2015

How to Know When to List Your Home


You want to get the best price possible when you list your home for sale. With an up and down housing market, it can be difficult to know the best time. However, the financial aspect is only one factor in deciding when and if to sell your home. You have to consider your own needs. Here are some signs to help you know when it is the right time.

Lack of Space

One of the biggest reasons people have for selling and buying a new place is that they have outgrown their current homes. Many people buy starter homes with plans to live in them for five to seven years and then move on. Once you have reached that point, you know it is time to find a new place and put yours on the market.

You Have Equity

If you have been planning to sell for some time but held out because of the poor housing market, you may be ready to take the next step once you have equity in your home again. Do your research to determine if your home is worth more than what you owe. If so, you may be ready to capitalize on it and list your home.

More Sales in Your Neighborhood

If you are seeing the Sold sign more often in your neighborhood, it may be a sign that now is a good time to sell. Certain neighborhoods are booming with growth and buyers are desperate to get into these areas. That often means a higher price for you.

Less Time for All of the Work

You may have gotten to the point in your life when you don't have time or energy for the upkeep of your home. Rather than letting things fall apart and causing your home to lose value, consider selling it and buying something with less work involved.

Where You are in Your Life

As your life changes, so does what you need in a home. Maybe you have more kids now or they are growing up and moving out. You may have switched jobs and now have a longer commute or you may be looking at retirement. If your house no longer fits in with your current life, it may be tie for a change.

When you are ready to sell your home, give me a call. I can help you list your house and sell it quickly so that you can move on to the next stage in your life.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tips for Getting the Best Mortgage


You will find numerous products when you are shopping for a mortgage. Some are geared towards first-time home buyers while others focus on people shopping in specific areas or with certain terms in mind. It can be overwhelming to try to decide which product is the best one for you.

It Starts with the Lender

Before making any decisions about the loan product, you should decide on the lender. You will receive a lot of advice in this area from family and friends who have the perfect recommendation. How do you determine if the person they recommend is right for you?

First, remember that they have been through this and now own a home. (If they don't, beware of their advice.) You must also realize that the person that was right for them may not be right for you. Personalities and needs differ, and you must find someone you feel comfortable working with.

Do your research about any lender you consider. Find out how much experience he or she has and if the lender has any complaints against them.

Review All Terms

Once you have a couple of lenders that you like, compare products and terms. Don't just look at the interest rate or even the APR. Compare closing costs and other factors that will determine how much you will pay for your loan.

Contact the lender and see how you like this person. Ask if the stated rate is the best he or she can give you. You may be surprised at how much you can negotiate. After all, it never hurts to ask.

Once you have narrowed down your choices, make a decision. If you are still unsure, then you have not really come to a decision. You either need to find more options or you to need to figure out why you are hesitating.

Don't forget to include your realtor in the process of finding a lender, particularly if you have any special issues or are looking for a specific loan. A realtor will have the inside scoop on many lenders in your city or county and will be able to provide valuable insight on how is good to work with.

If you are looking for a home or a lender, contact me. I can show you houses for sale in your preferred area and help you begin the process of finding a home. Give me a call to get started on the path to home ownership.

Monday, April 6, 2015

With Low Interest Rates Is Now the Time to Buy?


If you have been renting with the dream of buying someday, you may be watching the news about the housing industry. With low interest rates keeping homes affordable, maybe now is the time to make the leap from renter to homeowner. Several factors play into that decision to help you know which is right for you.

Future Plans

You must consider where you are going in the next few years. How long you stay in your home will help determine if you should continue renting or buy your home now. Part of this decision will depend on your job. If your current job is unsteady or there is a likelihood of being relocated, you may want to hold off on buying. You don't want the headache of trying to sell a home while being transferred to another city or state, especially with very little equity in the property.

Consider the Down Payment

Before deciding to buy, you have to figure out if you have enough money for a down payment. This means more than just meeting the minimum required by the lender, but as much as you want to put into the house to give you some equity to start out. On the other hand, you may not want to put all of your savings into the down payment and have nothing left for maintenance and repairs.

Know Your Finances

Beyond having good credit and a steady job to be able to qualify for a home loan, you also want to know that you have money saved for other expenses and that you are ready to take on the challenges that come with being a homeowner.

If you feel prepared to face the headaches along with the joys that homeownership brings, now may be the right time to transition from renter to owner. If you want to find out what is available in your price range and location, give me a call. I can help you become a homeowner with a property that fits your needs.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tools to Help You Boost Your Real Estate Leads


Getting more leads is essential to growing your real estate business. In today's world where more people do their research and part of their shopping online, that means driving more visitors to your website. However, they must be quality leads who actually spend time on your site and follow up. Here are a few tools to help you get more leads.

Sidebars

Create widgets along the sides of your content to get people to click for more information or to sign up for a newsletter. Experts estimate that these widgets can convert about 1-2 percent of your visitors. They are in plain sight right next to the content your visitors are reading and make it easy for them to take the next step.

Pop-ups

Not everyone likes pop-ups, but they are effective when done right. They have a decent conversion rate of about 5 percent of your visitors. Make sure they are interesting and capture the attention of your audience. SumoMe is one option that is free and comes with tools to help you customize for your audience.

Calls to Action

Catch people's attention while they are reading the content with a call to action plug-in. If they are ready to make the decision right then, you don't want to wait until later. Call to Action is a plug-in you can use for WordPress sites that will improve your conversion rate without distracting your readers.

Opt-ins for the End

When people finish reading your content, they are more likely to take the next step. That is why adding an opt-in at the end of your page or blog post has the best effect. Set up a box where people can subscribe to your list for more information. Optin Forms is a free option that has special features that you pay for.

With numerous options available, you have to figure out which ones work best for you. Make the right choices and you will get your audience's attention and help you sell more homes.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Glenmoor


Enjoy life in the middle of everything when you live in the Glenmoor neighborhood of East Lansing. You are within walking distance of the Frandor Shopping Center and plenty of places to eat and hang out.

This is the area to choose if you want a place that is walkable. With numerous retail, shopping and dining establishments, you are close to it all. However, you are also not far from Highway 127 and East Grand River Avenue if you want to venture out to other communities.

Glenmoor has numerous apartments that are affordable for those just starting out in their careers. Condominiums are another option if you are ready to buy but don't want the upkeep of a detached home.

Ranney Park provides the natural green space for the outdoor lovers and runs along East Morgan Lane. It even includes a skate park on the south end for great winter fun. Visit Altu's Ethiopian Cuisine if you want something unique and local or try one of the many chain restaurants like Panera's. Hang out with friends at Woody's Oasis Bar & Grill for an evening of fun.
If you are looking for a vibrant, exciting community that has all of the amenities you could need, consider Glenmoor for your new home. I'll be glad to show you what is available in this young, trendy neighborhood. Give me a call and I can help you find a great new place to live.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Tricks to Help Sellers Market Their Homes


It takes a complete strategy to market a home successfully. When applied correctly, they get the results that you want in the shortest time frame. Here are the strategies that seller's agents employ.

Know the Right Price

Realtors must know the art of pricing to ensure that the home appeals to the most buyers. This means understanding appraisal techniques, and then choosing a price point that works for the high and low ends. For example, many people begin or end their price at $250,000. Agents make the mistake of appraising a home at $250,000 and then pricing it a little lower. They miss out on the segment of buyers that would be interested in $250,000 or higher.

Know Your Product

Instead of randomly selling any property that comes to you, choose the homes that fit your brand. If you focus on one area or price point, don't accept a property that doesn't fit in with that group. Another benefit is that you will be an expert in your area. You will know the average days a property sits on the market, the competition and the turnover rates for the neighborhood.

Know How to Promote

While you may want to focus on one area of selling, you don't want to be one-dimensional in your promotion. Be willing to experiment and always monitor the results. Know which methods of marketing work best, but don’t stop there. As you learn more about your target buyers, you will find out where they go to search for homes. This gives you an edge on the next property you sell. As you sell homes fast and at a good price, you become recognized as the expert.

When you set the right price on listings that you know well, you will have no trouble promoting your listings and selling the properties. It takes more than entering a property in the MLS listings or placing a sign in the yard to sell a home. Knowing how to price and promote your brand ensures your success.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Chesterfield Hills


Enjoy the distinct design of a modern, upper-class subdivision with Chesterfield Hills in East Lansing. This lovely neighborhood is blessed with native trees that offer natural beauty for the area. Winding roads frame irregular shaped lots to give each property a unique appearance.

Sprinkled among the newer homes, properties from the early beginnings of the area provide an interesting contrast and add character to Chesterfield Hills. A drive through the neighborhood and you might assume that home prices are beyond your reach. However, you will discover a wide range of homes for sale, with affordability for many budgets. Homes begin at around $100,000 and go up to well over $200,000. They also come with a wide range of features and styles with two, three and four bedrooms.

This neighborhood might be a historic area of East Lansing, but it is close to the modern amenities that matter to today's homeowners. It is just a short walk to Michigan State University as well as numerous restaurants, shops, parks and open-air farmer's markets. A community center with a pool enhances the neighborhood.

While this area offers a quiet location for families, it offers easy access to other areas because of its nearness to East Michigan Avenue and Highway 43. Several parks are within walking or driving distance, including Ranney Park and Municipal Park. It is also near to the East Lansing Public Library, East Lansing High School and Glencairn Elementary School.

Enjoy a cup of coffee at the Grand River Coffee Café or grab a pizza from Goombas Pizza. A gym is located nearby and you aren't far from Jet's Pizza, a delicious place that is known for its flavored crusts.

If this neighborhood sounds like a place you could call home, give me a call. Let me know what kind of home you are looking for, and I'll help you make Chesterfield Hills your neighborhood.