Leaks, moisture and water damage. Paint and wallpaper can cover all manner of sins, and wet spots on a ceiling can be covered up without the underlying roof or skylight leaks ever being addressed. The only way to discover those is through the eye of an experienced handyman or roofer, which we suggest trying to do (remember to check for potential ice dam spots, since some roof issues don't present themselves until winter). If you have a client who is trying to cover up leaks, urge them to fix it. Most minor leaks are inexpensive to fix permanently.
More problematic -- and more expensive to fix -- is the issue of moisture, which can lead to one of the worst problems a home can have: mold. Rather than looking for signs of leaks, however, with moisture, you need to follow your nose. The telltale musty smell of a damp crawl space or regularly flooding basement should be obvious to most people. Pro tip: Don't take scented candles at face value. They could be covering something up.
Again, paint and sealant can temporarily cover up a lot of problems, and the structural integrity of a deck or the inner structure of a house is not always apparent on a first glance. Incorporating a termite inspection into any pre-purchase agreement is wise, and getting a deck expert to take a look at major outdoor structures could pay off in the long run.
A neighborhood may LOOK nice and have a great reputation, but every block has its issues and they're usually not happening from 2 to 4 p.m. on a Sunday during an open house. Do the next door neighbors have 10 teenagers cars parking up and down the block every night? Do they throw loud pool parties every weekend? Does the dog behind you bark at all hours of the night? Does the guy across the street have an affinity for AC/DC and garage speakers? Making a few random "spot checks" of the property on weeknights and weekend evenings, or even walking the neighborhood and visiting with other residents, will give you a truer picture of the property.
A bit more concerning is the possibility of hazardous materials in the home (asbestos, lead paint) or in the yard (oil, chemical dumps). Older homes used to run on oil, which included tanks buried in the yard. Evidence of some of those tanks may have been covered up over the years and harmful chemicals could still be in the ground, which is bad news for kids, pets, and gardens. Look for a fill pipe sticking out of the ground -- and look closely. It might have been sawed off.
A quality inspection will turn up serious foundation flaws, but they're not as hard to spot as you might think. Small jagged cracks in walls -- especially from the ceiling down to the corners of door frames and windows -- are telltale signs, according to Realtor.com (link below). Look closely; a quality paint job can cover those up.
This goes beyond aging furnaces and air conditioning units. Finding an average utility bill should be standard research for you, and any inspector worth his or her salt will be able to tell you that a unit is on the fritz. Harder to get an idea for, however, is the quality of insulation, ductwork and general airflow around the house. We all know it to be true: A hot bedroom, even with a ceiling fan, can be unbearable, while an always-freezing dining room or living area can scatter the family to other corners of the house. When you're walking through, be sure to do it at different times of day and ask to have the temperature adjusted, or know what temperature it is set to. Most of all, to take off your coats and pay close attention to how they feel in certain rooms... to trust their instincts and think about their family's comfort.
Welcome to Colorado Living where out your Master you have Mountain Views and out your Guest Bedroom you have Lake Views. This home is great for outdoor living or on the go people that need to be a hop skip and jump to the mountains or close to downtown. Enjoy this peaceful retreat that features an open layout with custom wood work on the main level and vaulted ceilings throughout. Don't worry, the furnace, water heater and central air is all brand new! Hurry before it is gone!
7 Undeniable Signs It’s Time to DownsizeIs your home getting hard to manage? Would you rather spend your time doing things you truly enjoy rather than keeping up with chores? When it comes to homes, bigger isn’t always better—and certainly if it doesn’t fit your circumstances. Here are some sure fire signs that it may be time for you to downsize:
This is one of the most common reasons people look into downsizing. As they move toward or through retirement, many people hoping to stretch out their retirement savings want to decrease their yearly expenses. A smaller and cheaper property can help do that by reducing property taxes, insurance, and mortgage payments.
2. Feeling Overwhelmed with Maintenance
No matter what your age, you have to ensure that your home is cleaned, maintained and paid for – whether you do the work yourself or pay someone else to do it. Fixing broken shingles on a roof and making sure a large yard is constantly mowed can be exhausting. If you’ve reached the stage where you feel overwhelmed or just think you could better use your time or money, it’s time to go smaller.
3. Unused Rooms
Bigger is not always better. If you can’t remember the last time that you walked into your guest bedroom except to dust, then you should consider downsizing. If these spare rooms do nothing but collect dust, they may be a waste. Unused rooms still end up costing money not only in property taxes and eventual maintenance (leaky roofs, peeling paint, etc.) but also in that they must be heated and cooled, using up unnecessary electricity, gas, or oil.
4. Lifestyle Change
When thinking about downsizing, it’s important to forecast ahead for the future. While you may be spry and able now, what about in 15-20 years? According to Celina Quinones with Cels Homes Real Estate, medical issues or disability is one of the most common reasons some chose to downsize. The time may come where climbing the stairs in your two story home multiple times a day may become too much. A one-story home or apartment may be more appropriate for your physical abilities in years to come.
5. Financial Troubles
Celina Quinones also advishes that financial issues are another reason some consider downsizing in older age. The trick to successfully downsizing for financial reasons is to not wait too long.. If you are already dipping into your savings to pay your home expenses each month, chances are you shouldn't be in that house. You need your savings for retirement, not to maintain a lifestyle you had back when you were drawing a larger salary. This is a sign that can apply to any homeowner--not just those considering downsizing in older age. For some, they bought a home they could afford, but circumstances changed and it's now more difficult to pay the utilities. You shouldn’t have to struggle each month to come up with the money to make your house payment. Stressing over short funds can compromise your mental, emotional, and physical health. Your better option is to find a house payment you can comfortably afford.
6. You Can Make Big Money
Houses in your neighborhood are beginning to sell for a pretty penny. When purchasing a home, you typically calculate the home’s potential appreciation based on market factors. If your home has appreciated in value, right now may be the perfect time to cash in on that value-- particularly because it’s a seller’s market, according to KW San Antonio Real Estate Expert Celina Quinones. There is low inventory of homes on the market and low interest rates so there is a high volume of buyers. Downsizing in today’s market could be the smartest way to earn the highest value of your home. Imagine what you could do with the extra money!
7. You want to see more of your family
If distance from your family is what’s keeping you from watching your grandchildren’s soccer games or ballet recitals, consider moving closer. Downsizing to a smaller home closer to your family will allow you to grab lunch with your son or read to your grandchild as they drift off to sleep. These moments just aren’t the same when you only get to see them a couple of times a year because you live far away from each other. Even if you do not chose to move to the same city as your family, owning a smaller home such as a condo with less maintenance will make travel much easier and more feasible.
Come join us for an eventful mixer to kick off Cels Homes Real Estate New location! A Photo Booth and Caricature artist will be there and we will also be giving away some free prizes! Look forward to seeing you!
You want your home to look its best, and maybe you’ve
been inspired by the interior design trends you’ve seen
in magazines, on TV or on design websites.
But following some of the hottest home remodeling and interior design trends can backfire when it comes time to sell your home.
Buyers want to picture themselves in a home, and
highly individualistic touches can get in the way of that.
When you’re ready to sell your home, it’s best to put things in pristine, move-in condition and remove all of the individual touches that made your house a home.
After all, your goal is to get potential buyers to picture themselves in the home—and they won’t be able to do that if your decorating style still dominates.
Check out the caveats that go along with these home interior design trends.
1. Boldly Painted WallsDecorators often tout black or another bold paint color as the perfect backdrop to metallic accessories or appliances in modern home design.
The reality is that people prefer the exterior and interior walls of a home to be neutral. Even though repainting is cheap and relatively easy to do, it’s still a pain and buyers might not want to bother.
When decorating, your best bet is to stick to an appeasing hue for the walls and use accessories to provide pops of color.
2. WallpaperBold, graphic patterns increasingly are being incorporated into interior design, often in the form of wallpaper.
But wallpaper—even if it’s only on one wall—is an extremely personal choice and time-consuming to remove if it doesn’t appeal to the buyer
Consider replacing wallpaper with a neutral paint for broader appeal.
3. Lavish Light FixturesWhile potential buyers want rooms that seem airy and bright, beware of installing a showpiece light fixture that is too modern or ornate.
Fixtures should enhance your home—not steal the spotlight.
4. Gleaming Gold Designers may be mixing silver and gold to give homes star quality, but it might be wise to change out fixtures if they have the wrong metallic sheen.
Gold can give a home an outdated, ’80s feel. Switching out the faucet and door handles with a more appealing finish—such as brushed nickel—is relatively inexpensive and can help make your home appear sleek rather than out of style.
5. Converted GaragesPeople want a covered parking space so that they have a safe place for their car—especially in areas where street parking is at a premium. Additionally, people often use their garage as storage space.
If you convert your garage into a space tailored your specific needs, such as a music practice room, it may not suit your potential buyers.
6. Converted BedroomsLike with the garage, people want rooms built for their original purpose.
If you’ve converted an unused bedroom to an office, walk-in closet, or a game room, make sure you can easily convert it back to a bedroom when you’re ready to sell.
7. Carpets While designers love to play with the texture of shag carpeting as it feels soft underfoot, the majority of home buyers prefer hardwood floors.
People assume carpets trap dirt, germs and odors, and they don’t want to go through the hassle of steam cleaning their home before they can move in. Potential buyers also don’t want to spend time removing carpet to expose hardwood floors.
If someone really loves carpet, it’s much easier for them to add it themselves—after the purchase.
8. Too-Lush LandscapingThe “outdoor living room” is all the rage, and you may be tempted to build out your backyard into a lavish wilderness of flowers.
But potential buyers may be hesitant to buy a home with an overly landscaped property requiring a lot of maintenance.
Focus on creating or maintaining a nice and neat outdoor space that people can enjoy without too much fuss.
9. Pools and Hot TubsA pool may seem like a luxurious feature, but it can be a big turnoff for buyers.
Pools are perceived to be expensive to maintain and potential safety hazards, especially for families with children. Above-ground pools are eyesores and can leave a dead spot in the backyard.
These sentiments extend to hot tubs, too. Many people see hot tubs as breeding grounds for bacteria, and they are not a feature easily removed from the deck or back yard.
10. Fancy (or Not) Pet Products Sales of pet products are expected to increase nearly $3 billion from last year, and there’s an increasing market for luxury pet items.
But even animal lovers don’t want to see another family’s pet paraphernalia in a potential home. Even if your home is immaculate, the presence of pet-related items will give the impression that it’s dirty.
Be sure to remove all traces of your pet—including toys, food dishes and photos—before listing your home for sale.