September Tips for Home Owners

Landscaping Tips That Can Help Your Home Sell

For some properties, landscaping can make or break a deal. Unless you’re selling a real fixer-upper, your home’s yard is an important part of the real estate equation. If you’re looking to put your home on the market, or you’ve already listed and you haven’t had a lot of interest, use these quick and easy landscaping tips to help your property stand out from all the others.

IMG_1613

 

COORDINATE WITH COLOR

If your home has a yard, don’t be afraid of adding accents with pops of color. Many buyers prefer a nice green lawn; if you don’t have a sprinkler system, your local home improvement store will have easy-to-use and affordable sprinkler units you can hook up to a garden hose to help revive any dying grass (unless you live in an area where summer water usage is limited). You can also add color with flower pots: plastic or terra cotta pots filled with annuals are an easy, cheap and quick way to spruce up a drab entryway, driveway or front porch. You don’t have to go overboard, one or two pots can do wonders.

PRESSURE WASH

Sometimes a landscape or outdoor area doesn’t need a complete overhaul to look brand new. When it comes to decks, fences, driveways, and any other outdoor surface that can accumulate dirt and grime, an easy way to freshen things up is with a good pressure wash. Pressure washing is cleaning a surface with a powerful stream of high-pressure water, much stronger than a typical garden hose. The water is strong enough to get rid of months and even years’ worth of dirt and debris on wood, masonry, brick and concrete.

You don’t have to go out and buy a pressure washer – many home improvement stores rent them out, and for the cost of the rental and a couple hours of your time, your home could look like new! It’s important to note that you will want to test the pressure on the washer prior to spraying your home since very high pressure can remove worn paint. Sometimes all a home or a patio needs is a good wash and it looks just like new!

 

 

IMG_3782

LEAD THE WAY WITH LIGHT

While it’s highly unlikely you’ll have many people come and view your home at night, a great and easy way to add to your current landscape is with lights! Whether it’s adding a new outdoor lamp, or putting in walkway or path lights (solar ones are readily available and environmentally friendly!), buyers love to see little details put into homes. Pathway lights are often overlooked by homeowners, but a home with outdoor lighting will always speak volumes to potential buyers. Spotlights are also a great and easy addition – LEDs can highlight specific areas, and complete units can be found for under $30.

DITCH THE DEAD PLANTS

A nice manicured yard always rates highly among buyers. But if half of your yard is dead, despite being landscaped, it’s a good idea to ditch the dead plants. Take a couple of minutes each day to check out your yard – grass, flower beds, pots, etc. – and pull out anything that’s dying or dead. While it’s definitely a plus to have flowers and shrubs, if they’re dead, you’re better off getting rid of them than keeping them around because dead plants do not add to a landscape.

MAKEOVER YOUR MULCH

Flower beds are a great focal point for any yard, especially when they’re a real show stopper. But if your beds look weathered or rough, they can be a definite turn off to potential buyers. An easy, affordable and sure fire way to spruce up a tired flower bed is by adding new mulch or other ground covers like bark chips or gravel to help make the beds look fresh and new. A yard that has fresh mulch will always draw in a buyer’s eye because the yard looks put together and cared for.

IMG_3778

Summer is a popular time for real estate and an even more popular time for your yard. If your home can benefit from a little yard TLC, don’t hesitate. The tips above are easy, quick, and they’ll certainly help your home stand out from the competition. In the past I have put new mulch out in the spring but forgot this year.  The local home improvement store, such as Lowe’s or Menard’s, usually has great sales on mulch in the fall.  Don’t forget to grab some colorful mums to brighten up your front porch.

Not a DIY type, ask your friends and family if they know any local landscapers.  You might be surprised how affordable they are!

Can You Afford a House?

Mortgages.  Depending on the price of your home and/or the amount of your down payment, there may be several options that fit your needs.  They include VA (for military veterans only) which allows 100% financing for the purchase, FHA (Federal Housing Administration) which allows a purchase with as little as 3% down and Conventional, generally the best option when putting down 20%. Did you know about the USDA Home Loan?  USDA loans are one of the only home loans available today with no down payment required.  Homebuyers may finance a home for 100% of the purchase price.  No Funds For Closing, 100% financing to buyers and closing costs can be paid by the seller or rolled into the loan, provided the home appraises for more than the purchase price.  It’s not Just Farmland, properties are often near desirable metropolitan areas like Basehor, Kansas.

I am super lucky to work with one of the best lenders in Kansas City.  Although, I know there are many excellent mortgage lenders in the area, I personally prefer someone that interact with on a personal and professional level.  Erik Lorfing at Mortgage Lenders of America has down all of my personal home loans and he is the one I refer all my friends and family as well.  He is has been in the mortgage business for years and knows what he is talking about.  One of the reasons my clients love him is that he can explain the mortgage process to you in way you understand it.  You know those silly mortgage commercials that use all that fancy wording and for some homebuyers, it just confuses them more.  When you are honest and genuine I think you will relate better, in my opinion.

When you work with an Exclusive Buyer Agent with RE/MAX(that would be me) in finding your home, they unequivocally represent only you and your best interests.  I will assist you in the mortgage process and make sure you understand every little detail.   You, as a Buyer, get the benefit of The Fred Perry Team’s experience in negotiating countless contracts over the past 40+ years.

You not only get the benefit of a my team’s experience, but it doesn’t even cost you anything.  As before, when all agents represented the Seller and the Seller paid their commission, the Seller still pays!  In most real estate transactions, there are two agents involved: one represents the Seller and we represent you.  The agents spilt the commission…that’s how we get paid.

Erik Lorfing

Mortgage Lenders of America

10975 El Monte

Overland Park, KS 66211

elorfing@mloanusa.com

Office: (913) 491-4299

A Little Backstory

I wanted to explain why there was an influx of blog posts all of a sudden.  I used to write a blog called Mother of Pearl, which was basically a motherhood and lifestyle blog.  After starting my real estate career and writing a separate blog for that, it only made sense to combine them together. Although I will post about Kansas City Real Estate, I will try to keep this fun and exciting as well.  All Real Estate all the time will gets redundant so I will strive not to bore you.

As an update from the Mother of Pearl blog, I am still cancer free!  I have been so fortunate to have the very best care from The University of Kansas Cancer Center and the love and support of my family and friends.  So much as happened in the past year and I will eventually write all about it but until then, adios!

PS:  Aren’t you digging my professional headshot!! I plan on retaking them and doing something more causal with a real photographer, Lori Robinson.  Check out her website for more information http://www.lorirobinsonphotography.com.  She is AMAZING!