7 Mistakes That Will Keep Your Home From Selling

When you’re selling your home, you need every advantage you can get. And there are few homes that are magically market ready without a little help. If your home needs a touch more than a little help, it’s time to get focused. After all, listing your home when it’s not in the right condition to sell will probably only end in frustration. And, in this case, frustration means: your home sitting on the market for months with no offers or the  lowball.

If you want to make sure you get home sold quickly and for the right price, you’ll want to avoid listing it with the following:

1. Excessive Damage

Maybe the home you’re selling was used as a rental and trashed by tenants, or maybe you just haven’t kept it up as you should. Either way, those holes in the wall that look like the living room was used as a boxing gym and the yard that’s full of weeds are not what buyers are looking for. Unless you’re planning to offer your house for a price that will make buyers emphasize the good and ignore the bad and the ugly, it’s going to need some attention.

2. Big, Nasty Stains

A buyer shouldn’t know where your dog likes to mark or where your kids spilled the entire bowl of holiday punch. If the stains on your carpet are that bad, potential buyers will stroll in and run right back out. Invest a few bucks in new carpet. You’ll make the money back since you won’t have to drop your sales price.

3. Pet Odor

Speaking of pets…they smell. You probably don’t notice since you live with them everyday, but buyers will, and it might be enough to turn them off. Deep clean the carpets and the upholstery, invest in some air fresheners, and remove cat boxes from the house for showings.

4. Curb Appeal

Lack of curb appeal won’t necessarily kill a deal. In many cases, you won’t even get potential buyers to get out of the car. If the front yard is a mess, buyers will naturally think the mess continues inside.

5. Sloppiness

Those drawers and cabinets you shoved everything into when you cleaned off your kitchen and bathroom cabinets could be a deal breaker for picky buyers. We all know buyers open stuff. They look in drawers, they open cabinets, they examine closets. If these spaces are messy and overstuffed, they may assume there’s not enough storage space.

6. Bad Taste

Poor decorating choices and failure to keep up with trends from this year – or century – may haunt you when it’s time to sell. A few simple updates can help it to look fresh and give buyers something to fall in love with.

7. Unreasonable sellers

Big problems in your house can be deal killers, but they can also be deal sealers, if you are reasonable. If your inspection uncovers plumbing, electrical, or roofing problems (or all three!) and you’re unwilling to negotiate, you can kiss that sale goodbye.

Do you need help to get your house sold? Then give us a call at (480)359-6789 for a free consultation!

Source: Realty Times

Hot Summer Entertainment Around Phoenix

As the days lengthen and the temperature climbs, it’s time to ring in the lazy days of summer. But if you’re local to Phoenix (or just in for a visit), you might find yourself retreating anywhere with air-conditioning to escape the blazing Arizona heat. Some may love the desert heat, others might prefer their fun in the shade, rather than the sun. Luckily, Phoenix not offers only activities for the whole family, but plenty of things to do both inside and outside. Even if you’re not a fan of the triple-digit dry heat, you and your family won’t be in danger of boredom.

Spend a Day on Saguaro Lake

What’s the best way to beat the heat? Getting wet and wild—whether at the Wet N Wild Water Park, or elsewhere—usually helps. If you’re looking to cool off with a swim minus the lines, Saguaro Lake might be your top choice. While there are quite a few lakes in around the Phoenix metro area, Saguaro Lake boasts gorgeous desert scenery and lakeside views (including several of the Saguaro cacti that give it its name). Boating and kayaking rental deals, waterskiing and fishing are all on offer, though for folks who prefer to kick back a little more, the sights might best be enjoyed by river cruise.

Hike Camelback Mountain

Outdoor adventurers and aspiring wilderness experts will make a beeline for the mountain with one of the highest peaks in Phoenix, Camelback Mountain. Rising roughly 2,700 feet above Phoenix’s city skyline, the mountain’s spectacular summit provides some of the most panoramic views of the city and surrounding landscape you’ll find—plus, the 1.2 mile Echo Canyon Trail is no beginner’s trek (it might as well be the place where the term “uphill battle” was coined). For families with small children or for beginning hikers, easier trails etch the mountain side, but be sure to bring plenty of water.

Explore Phoenix’s Museums (and Indoor Playgrounds)

Some days, you and your family might find yourself looking to retreat, rather than beat, the heat. Luckily, Phoenix’s many museums and indoor play centers provide recreation and fun for the whole family. Visit Makutu’s Island for an indoor play adventure featuring a giant oak tree full of mole holes, tunnels and 35-ft slide, or cool off in the summer sunshine with a trip to one of the city’s many water parks. Explore over 300 interactive exhibits in the Arizona Science Center, or spend a day getting cultured at the Musical Instrument Museum.

Go Salt River Tubing in Tonto National Forest

What better way to cool off than tubing in one of the nation’s largest national forests? You can take a journey to Tonto National Forest for a weekend of camping and tubing, or make it a day trip with a bus ride to one of the river’s three drop off points. Parents can crack a cold one or two on the ride, and kids will get time to splash, play and cool off.

Take a Trip Back in Time at the Goldfield Ghost Town

If your kids are looking to pan for gold with prospectors, watch gunslingers face off in the central square, or explore the recesses of an abandoned mine, you and your family can’t miss the old ghost town just by the Superstition Mountains. The abandoned mining town has been converted into an Old West attraction, complete with rides, reenactments, a historic museum and plenty of Western adventure–even a mysterious shack where lamps hang from the ceiling from 45 degree angles, and water runs from faucets seemingly disconnected from any water pipes.

By: Jeremy Alderman, ZOG Digital

Common Mistakes People Make When It Comes to Home-Buying

No matter the age or life stage, everyone makes mistakes when it comes to home-buying. Certain age groups are more susceptible to particular missteps than others. Here are common mistakes homeowners make at each age, and a few ways to avoid them.

20s: Getting the Wrong Type of Mortgage

People in their 20s are just starting their careers and usually have less money saved than older homebuyers. For these folks, paying less for a mortgage is not just a priority, but a necessity. This can be a bad thing if buyers get into an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) thinking they will earn more money down the road, but if that doesn’t happen and interest rates go up in five to seven years, they’re going to see their mortgage rates double or even triple. Before leaping into an ARM with just a dream of a house and a hope for a bigger paycheck, consider other cost-saving alternatives.

Along with popular programs like FHA loans and VA loans, there are other lesser-known initiatives geared to homebuyers on a fixed income, for example home-buying assistance for law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and pre-kindergarten through 12th grade teachers. Along with federal money, there are also state-sponsored grants for first-time homebuyers, which you can typically find on your state’s website.

30s: Not Thinking About the Future

Homebuyers in their 30s blunder by not considering a future family when they’re standing in the middle of downtown condo with gorgeous views and access to a rooftop pool. While snagging the ultimate bachelor or bachelorette pad might seem alluring, it can also cost you money down the road. If you plan on having a family, it’s important to consider that when you’re home shopping, even if you’re currently single. Ask yourself these questions before buying a home:

  • Who do I imagine living with in the future?

  • Where do I imagine living?

  • How do I imagine living?

Those answers should be an integral part of what you look for in a home. For example, if you think you might want kids or even a dog, you’ll probably want to choose a home with a backyard versus one near a great nightlife.

40s-50s: Overestimating Your Budget

In your 40s and 50s, you tend to have more money, which can lead to overestimating your budget and buying a house you can’t afford. One way to avoid this is to figure out your lifestyle comfort level. Figuring out your budget is a critical step for buyers of all ages. Even experienced homebuyers can make the mistake of spending at their limit, which can mean making sacrifices that they weren’t prepared to make. The takeaway for buyers in their 40s and 50s is to leave room in the budget for things they aren’t willing to give up—for example, private school for the kids.

60s and up: Falling in Love With That Vacation Home

Many homeowners in their 60s are retired or getting ready to retire. Among the many decisions retirees make is where to live. While some choose to stay where they are, many plan on moving to warmer climates, or even another country. However, Relocating and buying a home is an expensive process, so retirees should be sure they familiarize themselves with a new place before buying.

Before buying a new house in your vacation paradise, be sure to visit the area in every climate. For example, Florida is great in the winter, but many people might not be comfortable in the humid summer months. The same goes for Northern areas—what’s blissful in one season can be awful in another.

Source: RisMedia and Bankrate.com

Safety Tips For Your Home When Going On Vacation

Among the fastest ways to kill a post-vacation buzz is returning home and discovering your house is in shambles. Maybe a water pipe broke and now you’re trudging through ankle-deep sludge. Perhaps a burglar slipped inside, ransacked the place and gallivanted away with your most valued possessions. Or it could be that you forgot to clean out the fridge before leaving, and now mold has infested every nook and cranny. Just like it’s important to shop for an excellent vacation deal, it’s crucial to make sure returning from that well-earned trip isn’t a headache or disaster. Here are six easily-skipped steps to keep in mind while you’re planning that enticing itinerary.

Of Course Somebody is Home

Hiring a house or pet sitter is the best method to ensure your home stays just like you left it. House sitters can vary from a trusted friend or family member, to somebody who is a professional. Typically a house sitter will take care of any pets you’re leaving behind, water plants, collect the mail and sometimes other small tasks. It’s challenging to trust somebody enough to be in your home for days on end, but their presence ensures burglars avoid your place and that your appliances and utilities don’t decide to take a vacation of their own.

Celebrate on Social Media After the Trip

Booking a vacation is exciting. It’s a break from the daily grind, and that’s often something we want to share with our friends, family and acquaintances via social media. But you should probably hold off on announcing to the whole Internet that your home is vacant and ripe for the picking. Websites like Facebook and Twitter make it easy for complete strangers to gather your personal information and then find out where you live with a quick online search

.

If you can’t help yourself from announcing the trip and posting photos, then do yourself a favor and greatly restrict who can see and share the information. The same plan of action holds true for automatic email responses and voicemail systems. The rule of thumb is that if you’re not comfortable with somebody being in your house when you’re not there, then don’t tell them – even indirectly – that you’re heading off on some sweet adventure. Scoundrels might seize that announcement as an open house invitation, and you might return to an open front door.

Burning the Midnight Oil

Casing a house is a common tactic for many home invaders. They spend days – sometimes even weeks – monitoring when you’re home, what rooms you’re in, what you’re doing and who you’re with. They’ll know your daily habits better than you do. The best way to thwart these folks is to make sure it genuinely looks like somebody is home. Set up an app-controlled light timer. You can even set up a timer-controlled power supply to stereos or TVs. But don’t keep the same timer settings day by day. Vary when lights come on, which rooms they pop on and for how long everything is running. Also be sure to use compact fluorescent light bulbs to save electricity and your energy bill.

Lock it Down, Regardless of Where You Live

It’s oddly common that in small, homey towns where “everybody knows each other” folks leave their homes and cars unlocked. If you’re involved with this mindset, then you may very well leave your door unlocked during an extended absence. And unlocked doors are the biggest “burglarize me” signals out there. More than 30 percent of home burglaries happen from an unlocked entrance. Don’t be the person who forgot to close and lock the windows or sliding glass door. Put a dowel rod behind any type of sliding entrance, and be sure to lock the deadbolt. It’s easy to prevent an easy crime.

This Needs Power, This Doesn’t

Imagine how devastating it feels to show up back home after your trip and discover a charred pile of rubble where your home once stood. Let that feeling sink in for a few moments, and then take a look around at what electronics and appliances you currently have plugged into the wall throughout your home. A power outage or surge could trip these devices and cause a fire

if the device isn’t plugged into a surge protector or turned off. Now since you’re leaving certain electronics on timers to discourage home invasions, make sure what you do leave plugged in is plugged into a surge protector. You can group electronics and appliances close together to limit the number of protectors you’ll need to buy.

Otherwise, think about how much energy appliances like your refrigerator, water heater or climate control require and consume. If you don’t have plants, animals or open food, then you can pretty much turn off your climate control depending on what the outside weather is like. Set your water heater to vacation mode to reserve energy consumption. And last, either remove perishables from the fridge, turn it off and open the door to prevent mildew, or make sure the appliance is completely full of non-perishable items. If you have empty space then fill jugs of water there to insulate your fridge and lower energy consumption.

Finally, if you’re off on an adventure during the winter, ask a trusted neighbor, friend or family member to come by and run the facet for about 5 minutes every day or two. If your pipes are properly insulated, this should help prevent them from freezing over or breaking.

A Tidy Home is a Lived in Home

The final step that is extremely easy to skip on longer or seasonal trips is how your home looks. Sure, you have lights popping on and off at random times, but is your yard unkempt? Are mail flyers, newspapers and packages creating the next great pyramid on your doorstep? These are signals to anybody paying attention that you’re not home. Either stop packages, the newspaper and your mail from being deposited, or get somebody you trust to pick everything up for you. Plus if you’re leaving in the winter and it snows, make sure they shovel your driveway or sidewalk.

Source: Realty Times