Show Off Your Home

These tips can help your house make the best impression, every time it is previewed by sales professionals or shown to prospective buyers

EXTERIOR
• Remove toys, newspapers, yard tools and other clutter
• Mow lawn and trim shrubs
• Tidy up, pick up after pets
• Park vehicles in the garage or on the street: leave the driveway clear and garage door closed
• Add color to the entry way with flowers and potted plants
• Eliminate cobwebs from doorways; clean all debris

INTERIOR
• A clean house is attractive to buyers; consider a professional cleaning service to start
• Make beds, clean up dishes; empty wastebaskets
• Remove clutter throughout; organize closets and cupboards; put away toys
• Sleek and spacious sells – consider renting a storage unit for extra furnishings, boxes and clutter
• Set out “show towels” in bathrooms
• Freshen the air; potpourri or baked bread aroma; deodorize pet area; set comfortable temperature
• Do quick vacuuming and dusting
• Arrange flowers throughout
• Fire in fireplace, when appropriate
• Turn off television; play soft background music
• Open drapes and shades; turn on lights
• Repair leaky faucets, replace burned out lights and cracked windows
• Spot clean walls around door handles, light switches and other high-traffic area

Moving Checklist

WHEN YOU LIST THE PROPERTY:
* Let us offer suggestions on low-cost improvements that can increase the value of your home.
* Determine what cleaning, painting, landscaping or repairing needs to be done.

8 WEEKS OUT:
* Make sure heating, air conditioning and any appliances you’re leaving behind are in good working condition.
* Clean the garage.
* Get rid of anything you don’t want to move. Have a garage sale.
* Call three movers and get estimates.
* Make a list of everyone who needs to be notified of the move – friends, relatives, creditors, schools, doctors and dentists.

5 WEEKS OUT:
* Contact your insurance company to make sure your belongings are covered during the move. If not, find out what the mover covers. Their basic insurance probably insures items by the pound, which is not enough.
* Have an appraisal of expensive items you want shipped by the mover.
* If you’ve refinanced recently, make sure everything has been recorded with regard to that mortgage.
* If you’re selling one property and purchasing another and you need money from the sale for the purchase, talk to your mortgage company about the time frame. They have programs that allow you to borrow against the sale if you take out the new mortgage with them.
* If you’re flying to your new location, book your flight and arrange for the mover or someone else to ship your car. Arrange for a rental car if necessary
* Vacant house – if you have to move before you have sold your house, check your insurance company for any insurance requirements. Insurance companies don’t like to insure vacant houses.

4 WEEKS OUT:
* Start packing anything you don’t want movers to pack.
* Give away plants – most movers won’t take them. Movers also won’t take flammables, paint, ammunition, chemicals, and similar items.
* Be prepared for closing. Talk to us for guidance. We’ll help you understand any fees, commissions, taxes or points you may have to pay.

2 WEEKS OUT:
* Arrange to have utilities and phone service shut off, or transferred. Remember, movers need light, so wait to have power cut off after moving day.
* Make arrangements for a place to stay if closing day is after you vacated the house.

1 WEEK OUT:
* Close safe deposit box. Important papers, jewelry, etc. should be kept with you for the move.
* Close savings accounts but keep your checking account active until you open a new one in your new town.
* Get a cashier’s check for the movers.

MOVING DAY:
* Review the bill of lading very carefully.
* If the house isn’t sold yet, make sure that a relative and we have keys.

CLOSING DAY:
* Have reading glasses handy if you wear them. You’ll have plenty of papers to sign before getting the check for your property!

Don’t Pay Rent!!!

Through the years, your rent payments add up fast.

Why rent, when you may be able to buy your own home?

For example, if you pay close to $1,200 a month for rent, you are actually paying $432,000 over the course of 30 years. Which, in some areas, is the amount of a decent size home. If you pay $1,700 a month you are actually paying a total of $612,000 over the course of 30 years. 30 years is the average amount of time one takes out a loan for.

You can calculate this with any kind of rent payment. In my example I will use the rent payment of $1,000. Please follow these steps…

Take your rent payment….$1,000 Multiply it by 12, for the 12 months in a year which equals $12,000. This is how much you pay per year in rent!!! Multiply your yearly rent ($12,000) by 30, for the course of 30 years which equals $360,000. Now you have how much you would be paying for rent over the course of 30 years.

Why pay rent when you could possibly own a home for the same amount of money? When you rent, your money goes straight to the renting office and you will never see it again. When you own and pay monthly payments on your mortgage, you KEEP that money in your equity. So not only are you owning your home, you are making and earning money on your growing investment. Begin to enjoy the personal and practical benefits of being a homeowner. Get more information on the affordable loan programs that enable renters to become homeowners.