Greater Moncton Real Estate and Community News

March 12, 2024

Seminar March 17th Sell Your Home for 5% - 29% MORE

Maximizing Your Property's Value with Devon Babineau

Sunday March 17th

Join Devon Babineau, Sunday March 17th @ 2:00pm at the Greater Moncton Home Show Seminar area. Devon will go over the 4 KEY PROBLEMS sellers face when trying to determine what to do to their home to increase the selling price. Devon will review case studies with you as well to prove these strategies work.

Devon stands as a paragon of entrepreneurial success, with an impressive career spanning over two decades in the realms of Marketing, Sales, Analytics, and Negotiation within two major Atlantic Canada corporations. Her journey took a pivotal turn in her early 30s when a newfound passion for home renovations emerged, largely fueled by hours of absorbing content on HGTV. This enthusiasm propelled her to take a bold step into the world of interior design, beginning with her enrollment in the Sheffield School of Interior Design in New York City.

Transitioning from her corporate life, Devon, alongside her son, embarked on a journey into the real estate and renovation industry by purchasing, renovating, and flipping their first home. This venture not only led to the inception of The Reno Team Inc. and Pro Roofing—which her son continues to lead—but also heralded the beginning of Devon's illustrious Real Estate career, marked by numerous accolades.

Scott McGillivray and Devon Babineau

Today, Devon remains at the forefront of the house flipping scene, as evidenced by her active projects on www.facebook.com/onestopstaging. Her involvement with the Greater Moncton Home Builders Association and her position on the Board of Directors further exemplify her commitment to the industry. With the anticipation of earning her Master Builders designation in 2020, Devon's influence continues to grow.

Devon Babineau is not just a name in local real estate; she is a force of innovation and excellence. Her unique blend of expertise in marketing, an acute understanding of local real estate trends, and her hands-on experience in construction and renovation empowers her clients, whether they are buying or selling, to maximize their profits. Her philosophy, “All your home needs under one roof,” encapsulates her comprehensive approach to real estate, setting a benchmark for excellence and client satisfaction in the industry.

Empowering Moncton Homeowners to Make Informed Real Estate Decisions

Your Local Moncton Realty Experts,

Devon Babineau

One Stop Home Pros

Keller Williams Capital Realty

Posted in Community News
March 12, 2024

Moncton Home Show March 15 to 17

Attending a Home Show in the Greater Moncton Area offers many benefits for homeowners, whether they're buying, selling, or renovating their homes. These events are curated to bring together a vast range of professionals from the home improvement, real estate, and interior design industries under one roof, providing a unique opportunity for homeowners to access a wealth of knowledge, products, and services. Here are some key benefits of attending a Home Show in this vibrant region.

Networking with Professionals

One of the primary advantages of attending a Home Show is the opportunity to meet and network with industry professionals. From contractors and architects to Realtors, and interior designers, these events are bustling with experts who can provide valuable insights and advice tailored to your home improvement projects. It's a chance to ask questions, seek advice, and even secure quotes from local businesses, all in a single visit.

Discover Your Dream Home with One Stop Home Pros

Step into the Future of Homeownership at Booths 817, 819, & 821

Join us at One Stop Home Pros, where your real estate aspirations become a reality! Whether you're embarking on the exciting journey of buying a new home or condo or navigating the waters of selling your current abode, our dedicated team of real estate professionals guides you every step of the way.

Dive into personalized consultations and get all your pressing questions answered expertly. Our team is on standby, eager to unlock the doors to your real estate dreams and offer tailored advice that aligns perfectly with your aspirations.

Taking Advantage of Show Specials

Exhibitors often offer special promotions, discounts, or contests exclusive to Home Show attendees. This can be a fantastic way to save money on products or services you plan to purchase. Whether it's a discount on new windows, a special package deal from a landscaping company, or entry into a prize draw, it is an excellent opportunity to connect with professionals.

Enter To Win Yeti Cooler

But that's not all—your visit also grants you a golden ticket to an exclusive opportunity: Enter our draw to win a Yeti Cooler! Perfect for adventures or simply enjoying the great outdoors, this cooler symbolizes our commitment to enhancing your lifestyle, inside and outside your home.

Take advantage of this chance to transform your home-buying or selling journey into an adventure of a lifetime. Visit us at Booths 817, 819, & 821. With One Stop Home Pros, your future home awaits.

Networking with Professionals

One of the primary advantages of attending a Home Show is the opportunity to meet and network with industry professionals. From contractors and architects to Realtors, and interior designers, these events are bustling with experts who can provide valuable insights and advice tailored to your home improvement projects. It's a chance to ask questions, seek advice, and even secure quotes from local businesses, all in a single visit.

Seminar Sunday March 17 2pm

Maximize Your Home's Value: Learn How to Sell for 5% - 29% More!

Devon Babineau shines as a beacon of entrepreneurial achievement, boasting an illustrious over twenty-year tenure in Marketing, Sales, Analytics, and Negotiation with leading corporations in Atlantic Canada. Her career trajectory took an exciting twist in her early 30s, kindled by a burgeoning interest in home renovations inspired by countless hours of engaging with home improvement content. During her seminar, Devon will delve into the four critical challenges that sellers encounter while strategizing to elevate their home's selling price. She will also share compelling case studies, offering tangible proof of the effectiveness of these strategies.

Discovering New Products and Innovations

Home Shows are renowned for showcasing the latest trends and innovations in the home improvement industry. Attendees can explore the newest gadgets, materials, and technologies that can enhance their living spaces, improve energy efficiency, and increase the value of their homes. This is an excellent way to stay ahead of the curve and discover products or solutions you may not have known existed.

Gaining Inspiration

Home Shows are a goldmine of inspiration for those looking to renovate or redecorate. With many design showcases, model rooms, and landscaping displays, these events offer fresh ideas and perspectives on beautifying your home and garden. It's an opportunity to see different styles and trends, helping you visualize potential updates or changes to your space.

Learning Through Workshops and Seminars

Many Home Shows feature workshops and seminars led by experts on various topics, including DIY projects, energy-saving tips, financing home improvements, and more. These educational sessions provide valuable learning opportunities for homeowners to acquire new skills or deepen their understanding of home ownership and maintenance aspects.

Building Community Connections

Lastly, attending a Home Show in the Greater Moncton Area allows you to connect with the local community. It's an opportunity to support local businesses, meet other homeowners with similar interests, and get involved in community projects or initiatives. These connections can be invaluable, offering support, advice, and friendship as you embark on your home improvement journey.

In conclusion, attending a Home Show in the Greater Moncton Area provides homeowners a comprehensive platform to meet professionals, gain knowledge, discover new products, and find inspiration for their home improvement projects. It's an enriching experience that can save time, money, and effort in the long run, making it a must-visit event for anyone looking to enhance their living space.

Empowering Moncton Homeowners to Make Informed Real Estate Decisions

Your Local Moncton Realty Experts,

Devon Babineau

One Stop Home Pros

Keller Williams Capital Realty

Posted in Community News
Sept. 29, 2023

Can I buy a new home before selling my current one?

Selling a home is a significant undertaking, and for many sellers, it raises the question: Can I buy a new home before selling my current one? This scenario can be a complex juggling act, but with the right strategies, it's entirely possible to make a seamless transition.

Meet the One Stop Home Pros team: a group of experienced Moncton real estate experts. With extensive local market knowledge, they've helped countless sellers navigate the selling process. Join us as we explore One Stop Home Pros' insights and expertise in helping sellers overcome real estate market hurdles. Here are the options, considerations, and steps to consider when buying a new home before selling your current one.

Exploring and Considering Options

Evaluate Your Financial Situation

Before you start house hunting for your new dream home, it's crucial to have a clear understanding of your financial situation. Consider factors like your current mortgage, savings for a down payment, and any potential bridging loans or lines of credit you may need. Consulting with a financial advisor can provide valuable insights and help you make informed decisions.

Bridge Financing and Contingencies

Bridge financing is a standard solution for buyers looking to purchase a new home before selling their current one. It provides a short-term loan to cover the down payment on the new house until the sale of the old one is finalized. Additionally, you can include a contingency clause in your purchase offer, making the transaction dependent on the successful sale of your current home.

Explore Home Sale Contingencies

Another option is to include a home sale contingency in your purchase offer for the new home. This means that your purchase of the new home is contingent on the successful sale of your current one. While this can provide peace of mind, it may be less appealing to sellers in competitive markets.

Timing is Crucial

Proper timing is key to this process. Work with your real estate agent to create a strategic plan. Consider factors like the local real estate market, potential buyer interest in your current home, and the timeline for closing on both properties. Be prepared for the possibility of interim housing arrangements if there's a gap between the sale and purchase.

Consider Renting Out Your Current Home

If you cannot sell your current home in time, consider renting it out to generate additional income. This can help cover mortgage costs and provide financial flexibility while you transition into your new home. Keep in mind that being a landlord comes with responsibilities, so be sure to familiarize yourself with local rental laws and regulations. Consult a mortgage broker to see if rental income will meet the requirements for your mortgage.

Consult a Real Estate Professional

Working with an experienced real estate agent is crucial when simultaneously navigating the complexities of buying and selling. They can provide valuable market insights, help you create a realistic timeline, and offer guidance on negotiating purchase offers and sale contracts.

Staging and Preparing Your Current Home

To expedite the sale of your current home, it's crucial to make it as appealing as possible to potential buyers. Consider investing in minor repairs, decluttering, and staging to enhance its marketability. Your real estate agent can provide specific recommendations based on your property.

Be Prepared for Contingencies to Fail

While having contingencies in place can provide a safety net, it's essential to be prepared for the possibility that they may fail. Have a backup plan if your current home doesn't sell as quickly as anticipated, such as exploring additional financing options or extending your rental agreement.

Buying Before Selling: Plan Strategically

Buying a new home before selling your current one is feasible with careful planning and the right strategies. Evaluate your financial situation, explore bridge financing and contingencies, and work closely with a knowledgeable real estate agent. Remember, timing is crucial, and a backup plan can provide peace of mind throughout the process. By taking these steps, you can smoothly transition into your new home while maximizing the value of your current property.

Your Moncton Experts

When it comes to making decisions in the real estate market, consulting with a local expert can prove to be invaluable. Moncton Realty Experts, aka One Stop Home Pros, are the go-to professionals in Moncton with extensive knowledge of the local market. They possess a deep understanding of Moncton's neighbourhood dynamics and market trends. Partnering with a Moncton real estate professional will grant you access to their wealth of experience and up-to-date data, ensuring you receive an accurate assessment of your property's value.

Whether you are considering a sale, refinancing, or simply staying informed about the Moncton real estate market, relying on the insights and guidance from these experts will play a crucial role in your decision-making process. Given the dynamic nature of Moncton real estate, their expertise is your greatest asset.

Empowering Moncton Homeowners to Make Informed Real Estate Decisions

Your Local Moncton Realty Experts,

Devon Babineau

One Stop Home Pros

Keller Williams Capital Realty

Posted in Selling Your Home
Sept. 6, 2023

Unlocking Moncton's Real Estate Market: Determining Your Home's Current Market Value

What Is Our Home Worth

What Is My Home Worth?

For Moncton homeowners, understanding the current market value of their property is not only a matter of financial interest but also a practical step in planning their next move in the real estate market. Whether you're considering selling your home, refinancing, or simply keeping tabs on your investment, knowing the potential selling price of your property is crucial. In this blog post, we will explore the factors that influence the current market value of homes in Moncton and provide some practical tips to help you determine your home's value.

Understanding the Moncton Real Estate Market

Moncton, located in the beautiful province of New Brunswick, is known for its affordability, quality of life, and strong job market. These factors make it an attractive place for both residents and investors. However, like any real estate market, Moncton experiences fluctuations in property values due to various factors. To determine the current market value of your home accurately, you need to consider the following key factors:

Location, Location, Location

The location of your property plays a significant role in determining its market value. In Moncton, neighbourhoods with good schools, low crime rates, and proximity to amenities like parks, shopping centers, and public transportation tend to have higher property values. Neighbourhood trends and upcoming developments can also impact your home's value.

Property Size and Condition

The size and condition of your home are fundamental factors in its valuation. A well-maintained property with updated features and modern amenities generally has a higher market value than a similar property needing repairs or renovations. The number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and other amenities can also influence the price.

Recent Comparable Sales

One of the most effective ways to determine your home's current market value is by looking at recent comparable sales (comps) in your area. Real estate professionals use these data points to assess your property's worth. Consider factors such as the sale price, square footage, and condition of homes similar to yours that have sold recently.

Market Trends

Moncton's real estate market is not static; it experiences fluctuations based on economic conditions, supply and demand, and interest rates. Monitor local market trends, such as whether it's currently a buyer's or seller's market, to gauge the demand for properties like yours.

Economic Factors

Moncton's economy can significantly impact property values. Factors like job growth, industrial development, and changes in the local economy can affect the demand for housing and its value.

Home Improvements

Any upgrades or renovations you've made to your home can increase its value. For example, a renovated kitchen or bathroom can significantly impact your property's selling price.

Curb Appeal

The exterior appearance of your home matters. Well-maintained landscaping, a clean facade, and an inviting entryway can make a positive impression and increase your property's value.

How to Determine Your Home's Current Market Value

Now that you understand the key factors that influence your home's market value, let's explore some practical steps to determine it accurately. Determining the current market value of your home is an essential step for homeowners, and several methods can assist in obtaining an accurate estimate.

One can determine their home's current market value by considering various factors:

onsult a Real Estate Professional

Real estate agents have access to valuable market data. They can provide a comparative market analysis (CMA) that estimates your home's value based on recent sales in your area. Their expertise can help you get an accurate assessment.

Find Out Your Homes Value

Use Online Valuation Tools

Some various online tools and websites offer free home value estimates. While these can give you a rough idea, they may not be as accurate as a CMA from a local real estate agent.

Attend Open Houses

Visiting open houses in your neighbourhood can help you understand the competition. It's an opportunity to see how similar homes are priced and what features attract potential buyers.

Keep Track of Local Market Trends

Stay informed about the Moncton real estate market by reading local news, follow One Stop Home Pros real estate blogs, and attending community meetings. Knowing market trends will help you understand whether it's an excellent time to sell.

Consider an Appraisal

You can hire a professional appraiser if you're serious about selling your home and want an official valuation. They will provide a detailed report on your property's value, which can be helpful when negotiating with potential buyers.

Consulting Moncton Realty Experts One Stop Home Pros

Determining the current market value of your Moncton home requires consulting a Moncton realty expert. These local experts have extensive Moncton real estate market knowledge, including neighbourhood dynamics and market trends. Partnering with a Moncton real estate professional provides access to their experience and up-to-date data, ensuring an accurate assessment of your property's value.

Whether considering a sale, refinancing or staying informed, a Moncton realty expert's insights and guidance are valuable in your decision-making process. In the dynamic world of Moncton real estate, their expertise is your greatest asset.

Questions? Please call or email, we can meet for coffee.

Empowering Moncton Homeowners to Make Informed Real Estate Decisions

Your Local Moncton Realty Experts,

Devon Babineau

One Stop Home Pros

Keller Williams Capital Realty

Posted in Selling Your Home
Sept. 4, 2023

The Power of Presentation: Is Home Staging Worth It?

 

Maximizing Your Home Value

When it comes to selling your home, presentation is everything. It's the first impression that potential buyers receive, and it can make a significant difference in how quickly your property sells and at what price. Home staging is a strategic tool many sellers use to enhance their home's appeal, but is it essential? Let's explore the concept of home staging, its benefits, and whether it's worth the effort and investment.

 

What Is Home Staging?

Home staging is the art of transforming a space into an enticing environment for potential buyers. It involves arranging furniture and decor to highlight a home's strengths and maximize its space. The goal is to create a welcoming and neutral environment that helps buyers emotionally connect with the property. Understanding the essence of home staging is the first step toward harnessing its power in your real estate journey.

The Benefits of Home Staging

The benefits of home staging extend far beyond mere aesthetics; they are the secret sauce that can elevate your home sale experience. Home staging presents your property in its most appealing light to potential buyers. Let's explore these advantages, exploring how this strategic approach can enhance your chances of selling your home quickly and at a favourable price. From enhancing visual appeal to creating a neutral canvas for buyers' imagination, the benefits of home staging are far-reaching, and they may be the edge you need in today's competitive real estate market.

Enhances Visual Appeal

Staging can transform an empty or cluttered space into an inviting and aesthetically pleasing one. It helps buyers see the full potential of each room, making it easier for them to picture their own lives in the home.

Maximizes Space

Professional stagers are skilled at arranging furniture and decor to make rooms appear more spacious. This can be especially valuable in smaller homes or those with unconventional layouts.

Highlights Key Features

Staging emphasizes your home's best features, whether it's a stunning fireplace, beautiful bay windows, or a spacious backyard. These highlights can sway buyers in your favour.

Creates a Neutral Canvas

Staging removes personal items and design choices that may not appeal to all buyers. This neutral canvas allows a broader range of potential buyers to envision themselves living in the space.

Speeds Up the Sale

Well-staged homes often sell faster than those that aren't staged. A quicker sale can reduce your carrying costs and provide peace of mind.

Find Out Your Homes Value

Is Home Staging Necessary?

The decision to stage a home before putting it on the market is a crucial one that many sellers grapple with. Is home staging necessary, or is it an optional step in the selling process? While home staging offers undeniable benefits, understanding when it is needed and when it may be more optional can help you make a well-informed decision about how to present your home to potential buyers best. Here are some factors to consider when deciding whether staging is necessary for your property:

Market Conditions

Assess the current state of the real estate market in your area. Staging may be less critical in a hot seller's market where demand outweighs supply. However, in a competitive market, staging can give you an edge.

Property Type

Consider the type of property you're selling. Vacant or newer homes may benefit less from staging than older homes, with unique features needing highlighting.

Budget

At One Stop Home Pros we include professional staging to get the highest price for all of our clients homes and condos as part of our top rated marketing plan when we list for sale. Including: furniture pieces, rugs, bedding, art work

DIY vs. Professional Staging

Some sellers successfully stage their homes independently, while others opt for professional stagers. The choice depends on your skills, time, and resources.

Online Presence

In today's digital age, many buyers begin their property search online. High-quality, well-staged photos can attract more online views and in-person visits.

Working with Home Staging Experts

Working with One Stop Home Pros home staging professionals can significantly impact your home selling journey. These professionals are skilled in design and understanding buyer psychology. They can transform your property into an appealing masterpiece that stands out in the market. They offer valuable insights and resources to create an inviting atmosphere, maximize space, and highlight your home's best features. While a cost is involved, the potential for a quicker sale at a higher price makes it an intelligent investment. Ultimately, it can result in more money in your pocket.

Final Thoughts

Choosing to stage your home is a powerful decision with many benefits. It is not mandatory, but it can give your property an advantage, leave a lasting impression on buyers, and speed up the sale while potentially increasing profits. Consider your property's unique features and the current market when deciding whether to do it yourself or hire professionals. Home staging can yield significant rewards and is a wise choice for sellers looking for a successful and profitable sale.

Empowering Moncton Homeowners to Make Informed Real Estate Decisions

Empowering Moncton Homeowners to Make Informed Real Estate Decisions

Your Local Moncton Realty Experts,

Devon Babineau

One Stop Home Pros

Keller Williams Capital Realty

Posted in Selling Your Home
Sept. 4, 2023

Navigating the Moncton Real Estate Market: Agent vs. FSBO

FSBO Or Realtor One Stop Home Pros

Realtor vs. FSBO

Selling your home in Moncton is a significant decision, and one of the first choices you'll need to make is whether to hire a real estate agent or sell it yourself, also known as "For Sale By Owner" (FSBO). Each option has advantages and disadvantages, which can substantially impact your selling experience and financial outcomes.

When navigating the local real estate market, Moncton homeowners can make an informed choice by weighing the pros and cons of each approach.

The Pros and Cons of Hiring a Real Estate Agent

Pros:

  1. Expertise and Experience: The most significant advantage of working with a real estate agent is tapping into their wealth of knowledge and experience. Local agents understand the Moncton market intricately, including pricing trends, neighbourhood dynamics, and the intricacies of transactions. They can help you set the right asking price and guide you through the selling process.
  2. Market Exposure: Real estate agents can access extensive networks and marketing resources. They can list your property on Multiple Listing Service (MLS), a database used by real estate professionals, significantly increasing your property's visibility. This broad exposure can attract a larger pool of potential buyers.
  3. Negotiation Skills: Negotiating the best deal for your home is a critical aspect of the selling process. Real estate agents are skilled negotiators, ensuring you get the most favourable terms and price for your property. They can also provide valuable advice during negotiations.
  4. Time and Convenience: Selling a home is time-consuming. It can quickly become a full-time job, from marketing to showings and paperwork. Real estate agents take the burden off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your life while they handle the sale.

Cons:

  1. Commission Fees: The primary drawback of hiring a real estate agent is the commission fee you'll pay upon the successful sale of your property, typically around 5% of the sale price. This fee can significantly impact your final profit.
  2. Limited Control: When you work with an agent, you relinquish some control over the selling process. You'll need to rely on their expertise and decisions, which may only sometimes align with your preferences.

The Pros and Cons of FSBO (For Sale By Owner)

Pros:

  1. Cost Savings: One of the most apparent advantages of FSBO is the potential to save on real estate agent commission fees. You have control over the entire process, so you don't need to pay a professional for their services.
  2. Control and Flexibility: FSBO allows you complete control over the selling process. You can set the price, choose when and how to show your home, and negotiate directly with buyers. This flexibility can be appealing to homeowners who want to be hands-on.

Cons:

  1. Limited Market Exposure: With the reach of an MLS listing and a real estate agent's network, your property may get the exposure it needs. This can result in a longer time on the market and lower offers.
  2. Lack of Expertise: Selling a home involves various legal and financial intricacies. Without a real estate agent, you may lack the expertise to navigate these complexities, potentially leading to legal issues or financial losses.
  3. Time and Effort: FSBO can be time-consuming and emotionally taxing. You'll be responsible for marketing, scheduling showings, negotiating, and handling paperwork, which can be overwhelming, especially if you need to be more experienced in real estate transactions.
  4. Limited Access to Resources: Real estate agents have access to resources such as professional photography, marketing materials, and industry contacts. As an FSBO seller, you should use these valuable tools to enhance your property's appeal.

Find Out Your Homes Value

Factors to Consider When Making Your Decision

  1. Market Conditions: The current state of the Moncton real estate market can influence your decision. FSBO might be more manageable in a seller's market with high demand. In a buyer's market, the expertise of a real estate agent can be invaluable.
  2. Your Expertise: Your experience level and comfort with real estate transactions should also affect your decision. If you've sold homes before or have a background in real estate, FSBO might be a viable option.
  3. Time and Availability: Consider how much time you can commit to the selling process. If you have a busy schedule, an agent can handle the workload.
  4. Financial Goals: Assess your financial goals and how much you're willing to invest in the selling process. Real estate agent commissions should be factored into your financial calculations.
  5. Legal and Financial Risks: Be aware of the legal and financial risks associated with FSBO. Mishandling contracts or negotiations can lead to costly mistakes.

The decision to hire a real estate agent or embark on an FSBO journey in the Moncton real estate market is significant. It hinges on various factors, including your expertise, market conditions, and financial goals. While FSBO can offer cost savings and control, it often comes with trade-offs regarding market exposure and expertise. On the other hand, real estate agents bring experience and knowledge but come at a cost. Ultimately, it's essential to carefully evaluate your unique circumstances and priorities before choosing. Consulting with a local real estate expert can also provide valuable insights and guidance in decision-making.

Questions? Please call or email, we can meet for coffee.

Empowering Moncton Homeowners to Make Informed Real Estate Decisions

Your Local Moncton Realty Experts,

Devon Babineau

One Stop Home Pros

Keller Williams Capital Realty

Posted in Selling Your Home
July 6, 2023

Empty nester traveling 101

We think you may have ‘empty nest syndrome’. The two most common symptoms are a sudden overabundance of free time and feeling like you have a hole to fill.

As you moved beyond the half century mark, did you suddenly find yourself with an empty nest which brought about a period of introspective re-evaluation? We think you may have ‘empty nest syndrome’. The two most common symptoms are a sudden overabundance of free time and feeling like you have a hole to fill.

A remedy? Travel. It will help you get over the bitter sweetness of saying goodbye to the last birdie to leave the nest. Trust us, we speak from experience. Our third and last child went off to college abroad and so my husband and I decided to do the same and we don’t regret it one bit.

This is your chance to satisfy a lot of the unfulfilled ambitions you had stored away while you were stuck at home doing chores, prioritizing your career, raising a family and only traveling to family friendly destinations. The best part? You can travel when school is IN SESSION.

Don’t know where to start? We got your back.

Empty nester traveling 101

1. Retire Abroad:

Do you live in a place that isn’t the most exciting? Is it the safe and ‘responsible’ choice? Maybe you and your partner have your careers sorted, the schools are great and your family has a great social circle? Don’t get us wrong, these are great positives but is that really all you want from life, especially as an empty nester?

It’s definitely nice to have a home for the kids to visit but you could also head somewhere further afield now that they are just visiting. You can bring this vision to life by looking for housing options abroad for you and your partner to retire in. Maybe in a city you have always dreamed of living in or a beach town you have always loved? Some types of accommodation to search for are bungalows, ground floor flats overseas, retirement homes or assisted living options in your future home, and more.

Don’t worry; the kids will still come, because you are their home and no matter where you go, they will want to see you. Let that empty-nest guilt go because this time in your life is for you.

2. Take an Extended Vacation:

Excited by the thought of retiring abroad? How about you try it on for size before you take the plunge? Just imagine the chaos if you committed to it without a trial period, sold your house and moved, only to find out it really wasn’t a great fit. As they say, “it’s a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.”

As you spend an extended time in a location, you start to assimilate into it, you understand it better. Hence, you might consider spending an extended time in another country before deciding to move permanently. Do you fancy yourself a snowbird vacation in the Caribbean Islands? Or maybe, you want to stay in your hometown for the winter and travel the rest of the year? You will only know what you like when you experience it for yourself.

3. Jump Into a Cruise:

Cruises and retirees go together like rum and Coke. Why? Well, cruises have a lot to offer to seniors. For instance, cruises allow you to head away and see countless beautiful places with minimal effort on your own part. All you have to do is hop on and you’re sorted. There’s a roster of entertaining activities to choose from to have a good time until you reach where you want to disembark and explore. The added benefit? A comfortable bed to sleep in at the end of each day with great service around the clock.

The variety of locations and the lack of hassle are great selling points for cruises but if you’re not a fan of big crowds, consider looking for smaller vessels. You can easily find options to charter a private cruise or go on a river cruise which offer the comfort and benefits of a traditional ocean liner but without the crowds.

4. Hit the (RV) road:

You can also try out the less radical approach by trading a brick-and-mortar base to roam the world gypsy-style, maybe in an RV? This way, you’ve got everything you need with you when you hit the road, and you don’t have to worry about planning overnight stays and hotel searches. 

Like moving to a foreign country, we recommend you try RV-ing on for size first. And, what better way to do a trial run than without permanent costs attached? Simply rent an RV and head out to see if the RV-ing lifestyle suits your needs.

So, does this sound like something in your travel future?

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Posted in Downsizing
July 6, 2023

Let Your Lawn Grow!

Keeping a well-manicured lawn is a goal for many homeowners. That nice crisp look of freshly trimmed grass can really improve the appearance of your home and surrounding property, and there’s just something to be said for the lush green color of a healthy lawn.

But what if your lawn isn’t quite as healthy as you think? It’s possible that all of the work that you’re putting into that manicured look is actually keeping your lawn from reaching its full potential.

When a lot of people mow the lawn, they tend to cut it low and keep it that way. While there are some grasses that thrive with a close cut, a lot of grasses are actually healthier if you let them grow slightly taller. If you really want to keep your lawn healthy and create a luxurious carpet of green around your home, here are some things that you should stop and consider.

Less Frequent Mowing

Keeping your lawn trimmed short usually requires getting out and mowing every week or so, and sometimes even more frequently during certain seasons. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it… right? Maybe not. Grass height tends to slow down a bit as the blades grow longer, so you can actually get away with mowing less frequently if you let your lawn stay a little bit taller than you’d normally keep it. If you let your lawn grow out to 3 or 4 inches, then you can still create an overall uniform look while mowing a bit less often and having a thicker and lusher lawn overall.

There are environmental benefits to this as well. If you’re not mowing as often, you’re not using as much gas over the course of the year. This can be a big benefit both to the air and to your wallet as gas prices continue to hover near record highs. Taller grass also requires less frequent watering, as the blades of grass retain some moisture within themselves and can capture more dew from the air. This means that you won’t spend nearly as much time or money watering your lawn, and you won’t have to worry as much about watering limitations if you’re in an area facing drought conditions.

Improved Lawn Health

There are some other things that you can do to improve your lawn health and get a vibrant green lawn without frequent mowing as well. One big action you can take is dethatching your lawn, which breaks up and removes the layer of old roots and other plant material that lays above the soil that can have a negative effect on the ability of new grass to grow. A dethatching machine runs over your lawn, cutting small furrows through the thatch to break it up and give your grass more room to spread out freely.

Soil aeration is another way that you can greatly improve your lawn health. For this, an aerating roller will pass over your lawn and poke small holes in the soil as it travels. These holes allow air and water to enter packed soil more easily, making your soil healthier overall, and providing some much-needed liquid refreshment to the roots of your grass. This can have an even greater impact if you experience dry, hot summers, as heat can dry out the soil and make the packing effect even worse. Aeration lets water bypass the dense level of packed earth and get to your grass before the heat can evaporate it, resulting in less water being needed to water the grass effectively.

Reimagining Your Lawn

Less frequent mowing, slightly taller grass, and some soil maintenance can go a long way toward revamping your lawn while saving you money in the long run. Lawn maintenance and landscaping pros in your area might have additional suggestions as well. HomeKeepr can help you find just the right pros for your needs; creating an account is free, so sign up today and get to work on that lawn.

Posted in Advice
July 6, 2023

Declutter to Improve Your Home’s Marketability

Not only does it allow you to really showcase the best features of your home, it helps you get ready to move and to possibly shed some items you really don’t need anymore anyway. Two birds, one stone.

A proper decluttering can be a big project, though. It’s important to have a plan before you get started.

Decluttering 101: Getting Started

The goal of decluttering for a home sale is to make your house appear as large and functional as is possible within its structural limitations. Obviously you’re not going to turn a 12 foot by 12 foot living room into a massive parlor simply by getting some stuff out of the way, but as with anything you’re looking to sell, it’s a good idea to put the best foot forward possible.

Removing clutter helps rooms feel more open and airy, so make this the hard focus of your life until it’s totally done. Bringing in some friends who will give you an honest opinion can also help you find more things to get out of the house before your Realtor comes to take the photos for your listing.

These tips can help you stay focused:

1. Begin at the beginning.

The first thing a potential buyer is going to see is the yard, then the driveway and then the front door. These areas need to be very neat and tidy or else they’ll simply stay in the car and drive away. You don’t want to waste a lot of energy inside for buyers to be turned off because your front porch is covered in shaggy planters and old patio furniture.

2. One room at a time.

There are any number of apps for planning big projects like this, so pick one and get to making a list. Every room in the house, even closets and hallways, should have their own entry. Break the effort into the smallest chunks possible to make it easier to accomplish. The more you check off, the better you’ll feel and the more momentum you’re going to build.

3. Do you really need all that furniture?

Rooms crammed with furniture are great for get togethers, but they’re terrible for showing a buyer how they can use the same space. All they can see is your furniture, so get as much of it out of the way as possible. Leave the pieces that are the nicest or the newest for the very best first impression.

4. Clean all the counters off.

It’s the easiest thing in the world to get into the habit of using your counters for storage, but when buyers see this practice, they just assume you don’t have enough storage. nobody wants a house with not enough storage — that’s probably the reason they’re looking for a new place to begin with.

5. Clean the showers.

It’s an incredible hassle and something you probably only do when company is coming, but assume that company will be coming every day until closing from now on. Black mold on shower grout is an huge turn-off. Those buyers won’t know that you haven’t cleaned the back shower stall since 1989, they’ll just see that black mold and leave.

6. Your collections have gotta go.

Yes, you have the most amazing collection of paperclip stick figures ever assembled, but they don’t need to be on display. In fact, they’re probably standing between you and a potential buyer right now. Pack them up, get them out of sight, make the room where you keep them look enormous.

7. Declutter the garage and storage buildings, too.

Oh, don’t think we’ve forgotten about these guys. They’re great places to dump stuff you don’t want to get rid of, but don’t know where to put, but that potential buyer is going to want to know if their own stuff that they can’t figure out what to do with will fit in that space. Clean that garage and those storage buildings up and, if necessary, install some heavy duty shelves or racks to give them some appearance of organization.

Where Do You Put The Decluttered Clutter?

Once you’ve sorted out the things you can live without for a while, you have to decide what to do with them. You have a few options. You can sell them, maybe make a little bit of cash at a resale shop or a garage sale. You can keep them, but in a storage unit somewhere away from your home. You can recycle them. You can donate them. Probably, realistically, you’ll do a few of these things, depending on the clutter.

Whatever you do, don’t keep them in the boxes in your house. That defeats the entire purpose of decluttering. Remember, you want to make your house look huge, not like a tightly packed storage unit. So banish the boxes, clear the clutter, make it go far, far away. You’ll also be mostly ready for your move, should you sell that house quickly because of how clean and shiny it is, so that’s nice.

Need a Hand With the Mission: Impossible?

It can be a huge and daunting task to declutter a home you’ve lived in for a while, there’s no doubt about it. But that’s why there are professionals who have tons of experience organizing and staging spaces for home sellers. If this isn’t your forte, your HomeKeepr community can help you find someone who lives for it. Since your Realtor has already recommended these pros, you know they’re going to do an amazing job. You won’t even recognize your own house!

Posted in SELL LIKE A PRO
July 6, 2023

Selling Your Home? The process.

You're ready to sell your property. And, while you're looking forward to seeing the word "SOLD" posted from the curb, you know there's a lot to consider along the way.

One of your first decisions is to select a real estate company and real estate agent who'll join you in the process.

Step 1
Manage Showings

Along with your agent, you will need to prep your house for sale and set a price. Once done, you’re ready for the public to see your home.

What is a showing?

A showing takes place either at an open house, which is a scheduled session when anyone can come by without an appointment, or during an appointment scheduled with you or your listing agent.

How do I prepare my house for a showing?

Your agent is a great source of advice on specifics for your home preparations so that your house is positioned competitively in the market. Preparations will likely include two phases. During phase one, before photos are taken and before the first showing, you should:

  • Clean deeply.
  • Paint some or all of your house.
  • Do minor repairs such as caulking tubs and windows.
  • Make major repairs – if needed and in your budget, such as replacing your counters or appliances.
  • Stage your furniture to showcase your home’s best features.
  • Remove personal items such as family photos.
  • Declutter every surface and storage space.
  • Reorganize your closets and pack excess items.
  • Eliminate odors by cleaning the fireplace or pulling out musty rugs.
  • Add a color scheme with rugs or pillows if needed to warm up your home.
  • Upgrade your lighting or light bulbs to make your rooms brighter.
  • Spruce up the landscaping.
  • Power-wash your decks and sidewalks if needed.

What can I expect when showing my house?

Three important things you can do to help get your house sold are:

  • Leave when your house is being shown. Buyers prefer to look at homes when they can move around freely and the owners aren’t there.
  • Make your house as available as possible. While it may be inconvenient to show your home at dinnertime or on weekends, buyers who can’t see a property when they’re eager may cross it off their list.
  • Listen to any feedback from buyers or agents about ways you can make your home more appealing.

Always coordinate with your agent for maximum exposure and a faster sale.

Step 2
Review Offers

Congratulations! You received a message from your agent that you have an offer on your home. Now you need to evaluate that offer and decide how to respond.

What is an offer?

An offer to buy your home is a purchase agreement signed by the potential buyer that includes:

  • The amount of the offer
  • An explanation of how the buyers will pay, such as cash or a pre-approval for financing
  • The terms – such as a request for closing cost help or contingencies such as the sale of the buyers’ house, a final mortgage approval, a satisfactory home inspection and an appraisal
  • A target date for closing
  • An earnest money deposit
  • A time limit for the offer

How do I evaluate each offer?

When you receive an offer to buy your home, you and your agent should review it and consider whether you want to accept it. Whether you have one offer or several, you and your agent will look at:

  • The amount offered
  • Whether the buyer has included or waived contingencies
  • Where the funds are coming from, such as all-cash, a reputable local lender, a well-known online lender, or an unknown out-of-town lender
  • The proposed closing date and date of possession of the house to see if it aligns with your needs
  • Any special requests for items to convey or for special inspections

What happens if I receive multiple offers?

If you receive multiple offers, your agent can advise you on one of these options:

  • Accept the best offer. If one offer stands out above the rest, you can accept that one right away. But be careful not to be swayed by a high offer if the financing seems uncertain or if the buyer hasn’t explained a plan for a possible low appraisal.
  • Counter all the offers to get a better price and terms. You can ask all potential buyers to give you their best offer by a certain deadline.
  • Counter one offer that’s close to what you want. If you like one offer but think the buyers could do a little better, you can send them a counteroffer to see if they’ll accept it.

You and the buyers can negotiate until you both agree on the final contract. Your agent is your best ally during the negotiations and is equipped with the data and knowledge to guide you.

Step 3
Prepare for Inspection

Most buyers request a home inspection as a condition of their offer. While a home inspector will dig more deeply into your home than a buyer, the preparation you made before your first showing should help you get ready for the inspection. Your agent can give you personalized advice, too.

What is a home inspection?

A home inspection is a thorough review of your home’s structure and systems by a professional home inspector. Buyers can use the inspection report to decide to rescind their offer if a major issue is uncovered or to request repairs if the contract is contingent on a satisfactory report. In some cases, a home inspection is solely for the buyers’ information and can’t be used to negotiate.

What is looked at during a home inspection?

The inspector will check:

  • Structural conditions such as the foundation, beams and floors
  • Roof condition
  • Mechanical systems such as heat and air conditioning
  • Appliances – to make sure they’re working, although some inspectors skip appliances that are not built-in
  • Plumbing – for leaks, rust and water pressure
  • Electrical systems such as grounded outlets and code violations
  • Safety issues such as stairs, handrails, mold or chimney maintenance

What’s not looked at during a home inspection?

The inspector won’t check some items that are unusual or inaccessible, such as:

  • Septic systems
  • Wells
  • Underground pipes and sprinkler systems
  • Swimming pools and spas
  • Playground equipment

How should I prepare for an inspection?

Before the home inspector arrives, you should:

  • Clean your house.
  • Remove or crate your pets.
  • Make sure all your light bulbs work.
  • Empty your washing machine, dryer, oven, and dishwasher – in case they are inspected.
  • Make sure everything is accessible, including your attic, a crawlspace, your garage and any sheds.
  • Leave a note if anything doesn’t work and explain that you’re getting it fixed.
  • Provide documents about maintenance and repairs.
  • Leave your cell phone number for the inspector.
  • Leave the house.

What happens now?

Once the inspection report has been generated, you and your agent can discuss how to handle any possible issues the buyers mention. You can negotiate with the buyers, decide to fix an item, provide money for the buyers to fix it themselves or provide documentation that the problem has already been addressed. Your agent can help you handle any inspection issues.

Step 4
Prepare for Appraisal

As you near the end of your home sale journey, you will need to pass one more test: an appraisal. Your agent can help you gather materials and prepare for the appraiser’s visit.

What is an appraisal?

An appraisal is an objective valuation of your property that serves as a safeguard for the buyer and the buyer’s lender. While the buyer pays for an appraisal, the appraiser actually works for the lender. While an appraiser may look at some of the same things as a home inspector, the result is an appraised value of your property rather than a condition report.

How is my house appraised?

Appraisers use as many measurable pieces of data available to provide an accurate value of your property, including:

  • Comparable properties in your area that are of similar size, age and condition
  • The condition of your home’s systems and structure
  • The square feet of your property
  • The number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Your location
  • The quality of your flooring, plumbing and electrical systems

Appraisers include research about other properties and neighborhood values, as well as an in-person visit for their evaluation of your home.

How should I prepare for an appraisal?

Preparing for an appraisal is similar to prepping for an inspection. You should:

  • Provide a list of all major improvements to the home and the age and condition of your roof, heating and air conditioning system, and appliances.
  • Provide any permits required for home improvements.
  • Clean your house.
  • Provide full access to all rooms and spaces, including the garage, sheds, attic and crawlspace
  • Remove or crate your pets.
  • Leave the house, or at least stay out of the appraiser’s way.

How can an appraisal affect my home sale?

An appraisal could require a renegotiation if the property value comes in lower than the sales price. The appraised value dictates the maximum amount the lender will allow the buyers to borrow, minus their down payment. Depending on how the contract was written, if the appraisal is low, you can:

  • Ask the buyer to come up with extra cash to make up the difference between the loan amount and the purchase price.
  • Reduce your price to the appraised value.
  • Split the difference with the buyer.
  • Cancel the contract.

Your agent can advise you on your options in the context of the contract and market conditions.

Step 5
Close

While it’s tempting to focus on your next move, your agent is likely to remind you that until the closing is over, you have some final responsibilities as a seller.

What should I do before the closing?

Before the closing day, you’ll need to:

  • Take care of repairs required by the contract.
  • Keep all receipts and invoices and before-and-after photos of repairs.
  • Gather all appliance manuals and warranties for your buyers.
  • Hire a mover.
  • Cancel all utilities for the day after you move.
  • Cancel all utilities for the day after you move.
  • Change your address.
  • Review all settlement documents, especially the settlement statement.
  • Check the property survey to be sure it’s correct.
  • Clean the house.
  • Prepare for the buyers’ final walk-through

What can I expect when closing?

Sellers may or may not attend the closing, so you should consult your KW agent and the settlement company to decide what’s best. You can sign all documents before the official closing. Sellers’ expenses, which are deducted from the proceeds of the sale, include:

  • Final balance on your mortgage
  • Real estate commissions
  • Prorated property taxes, utility bills, homeowner’s insurance, and homeowners association dues

If you can’t move before the closing, you’ll need to arrange a rentback from the buyers. Your agent can help you complete appropriate paperwork for a rentback. If you are moving, the buyers will do a walk-through of your home within 24 hours before the closing to check that the property is in good condition. If the buyers find something that needs to be fixed, your agent can help you decide how to handle it. Whether or not you attend the closing, you’ll need to provide house keys to your buyers, along with all alarm codes, remote controls for the garage, and mailbox or gate keys.

What’s next?

After the closing, you’ll:

  • Receive the proceeds from the sale, usually by wire transfer.
  • Cancel your homeowner’s insurance “post-close” – to make sure you’re covered on that day.
  • Save your closing documents and home improvement records for taxes.
Congratulations! You can shake hands with your agent: you’ve successfully sold your home.
Posted in SELL LIKE A PRO