Friday, January 30, 2015

Buyers Beware: 3 Points to Ponder About a Home's Location When Buying In Charleston

Buyers Beware: 3 Points to Ponder About a Home's Location When Buying in Charleston

When buyers are on the hunt for their new Charleston home, they're usually very focused on one thing: the house. Buyers can lose objectivity if they fall in love with one, and the thought process becomes akin to one of those romantic photos with fuzzy edges—the only thing in focus is the house.
What those fuzzy edges obscure, however, is just as important as what's in focus. So, be sure to identify the impractical features of a home you love—not only for your own comfort and enjoyment, but for the home's future value as well.
"Location, location, location" isn't just a silly real estate mantra—it's a warning. Pay heed to the neighborhood and surroundings if you want to avoid losing money when you sell the home.

1. School District

Not everyone can afford the higher cost of homes in a quality school district, but we can avoid purchasing a home in a district that will make it difficult to sell in the future. Even homebuyers without children should look into the area's schools before signing on the dotted line.
For homebuyers with children, good schools are at the top of the list, according to Realtor.com, and many are willing to go over budget to purchase such a home.
Experts agree that homes are worth more in good school districts. What they can't seem to agree on, however, is how much more. One study claims that the added value is $16,000 on average. Another study, from the Brookings Institute, says homes in quality school districts may fetch up to $205,000 more than those in a low-scoring district. Finally, another expert says to simply slap a 23 percent premiumonto a home in a good school district.
Whatever the amount, savvy buyers know that an area's schools will have an impact on a home's future value.
Search Local School Districts and Rating for Greater Charleston Area Including, Mt Pleasant, Summerville, North Charleston, Daniel Island, James Island, etc... SCHOOL INFORMATION 

2. Vacant Land

Being surrounded by open space is lovely, isn't it? The peace, tranquil views and that feeling of seclusion one derives from living in such a location is worth paying more for—or is it?
Nearby government set-asides of open space are in demand for homebuyers. Privately owned vacant parcels, however, should raise red flags.
Even current zoning of parcels isn't set in stone, as neighbors in a Minneapolis suburb learned last year. Most homeowners in a 25-year old subdivision there purchased their homes because the area was surrounded by open space. What they failed to realize, however, was that the surrounding parcels were zoned for commercial development. In fact, many of the newer homeowners were shocked when they learned of the city's plans to approve the construction of a 24-hour superstore right across the street. Their lovely, wooded neighborhood would now be expected to handle three times the vehicular traffic, round-the-clock hustle and bustle, and late-night deliveries to the back of the store, which happens to face the neighborhood.
Before you decide to purchase any home that has vacant parcels of land nearby, it would be wise to check the neighboring property's zoning.
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3. Neighboring Homes

It's easy to become smitten with the cutest house on the block, but if that house is the only cute one in the neighborhood, you may want to consider your purchase more carefully.
Foreclosed homes, certain commercial concerns (funeral homes and power plants, for example), messy, neglected yards, and a sex offender in the area can all drag down the value of nearby property, according to the Appraisal Institute. That reduction may be as much as 15 percent.
Experts with the Appraisal Institute suggest taking a leisurely tour of the neighborhood. Something as simple as shoddy landscaping or peeling paint on a building can knock 5 to 10 percent off the value of nearby homes, the Appraisal Institute's president, Joe Magdziarz, told MSN Money.
Folks in the real estate industry are quite diligent when it comes to recommending various inspections and tests of structural elements to buyers. Many agents, however, may neglect to counsel their clients on the financial aspects of the purchase.
Your home is also an investment and requires due diligence to ensure that it's a viable one. Do your homework, beyond admiring the snazzy kitchen and dreamy master bedroom, and you'll sleep well knowing you made an informed investment.
Search Charleston Foreclosure and Short Sale Homes. DISTRESSED REAL ESTATE

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

3 Easy Improvements to Help You Sell Your Charleston Home

3 Easy Improvements to Help You Sell Your Charleston Home

Forget, for a moment, about market trends and interest rates. At any given time, no matter the state of the economy, someone somewhere is selling their Charleston home. In any market, homeowners can up the odds that a home sells as quickly and as profitably as possible by giving it a facelift.
Sellers should focus on home improvement projects that either add value to the home or that attract buyers' eyes and pique their interests. Make them forget any other houses they viewed and want your house instead.
Don't randomly select home improvement projects based on your own tastes or suggestions from friends, either. You won't be the one living in the home, after all. Research houses in your community and compare features and appraisals to get a better idea what people in your area want. A swimming pool may be a popular upgrade in a Southern suburb filled with young couples and families, for instance. But in the North, a hot tub will have greater appeal. A community with older people, no matter where in the country, will probably value a car port or garage over a pool or spa.
Here are three home-improvement project categories that almost anyone can tackle without a large capital investment.

1.Boost Your Curb Appeal

You'll never get a second chance to make a first impression. When potential buyers drive up to your Charleston home, if they don't like what they see immediately, they may not get past the exterior to find the great things inside.
It's not about planting expensive trees, installing fountains or other fancy upgrades. In fact, some of the most value-added outdoor home-improvement projects cost little to nothing, except for your time. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) suggests some of the following property improvements:
Get out your pruning shears: If your home is on the market, keeping the lawn mowed is a given. Keeping plants and flowers watered is also essential. Pruning trees, shrubs and other greenery is more easily overlooked, but it is one of those touches that will make your home stand out. Follow a pruning guide, like the one provided by Better Homes and Gardens, to get the most out of your efforts.
Dig into some mulch: Mulching is another often overlooked landscaping project with a tremendous impact. It helps conserve moisture, protects roots, discourages weeds, and other benefits. You can choose between all-natural mulches and decorative mulches, such as stone. You can even use compost that you create yourself or mown grass and fallen leaves.
Show off your green thumb: Purchase outdoor containers that complement your home's style and plant something unusual or interesting, NAR suggests. Place plants on the patio or around the home's entrance to immediately create a more appealing exterior. Plant bright flowers and foliage to provide a splash of color.
Clean up your home's exterior: Spend a weekend cleaning your gutters, windows and especially your siding, among other exterior items. Rent or purchase a power washer for a very affordable price to really make your home shine.

2. Add a Coat of Paint

Like a wash and wax for your car, a new coat of paint makes anything look better and brighter. To improve your home's value and attract buyers, consider a fresh paint job, inside and out.
The "safe" advice is to choose neutral colors, such as beige and off-white, and to avoid vibrant or gender-specific hues such as orange, purple or red. However, safe isn't always the best bet, argues real estate agent Todd Kroepel. "Keeping a home vanilla so that buyers can choose their own style and d├ęcor … ignores the fact that most buyers lack the ability to visualize the home differently," he cautions. Don't be afraid to add splashes of color and a touch of texture—it can be good to leave a dash of style evident.
Consider painting an accent wall in your living room with a contrasting color, or add some texturizing product instead. Adding hand-painted borders in the bathroom, by using stencils that run vertically or horizontally, is another classy touch.
Before painting, outside or in, ensure that the surface is clean and properly prepared. Use a primer to cover previously unfinished areas or bare wood, to better cover over dark or bold colors, or to block out stains. Inside your home, sand surfaces slightly if you don't use a primer, to help paint adhesion.

3. Update the Kitchen or Bathroom

Everyone appreciates a well-put-together and comfortable bathroom or kitchen. Renovations to these two rooms usually generate buyer interest and offer a high rate of return on investment when it comes time to sell.
Updates don't always require a large expenditure and a messy, lengthy remodeling period either. Some of the simplest things can change the entire feel of the room. Do as much, or as little, as you choose—just don't get too attached to the results.
Replace sink and bathtub fixtures: Switch out generic faucets and handles for newer, better-quality hardware. Think about using brass for a startling contrast, or select a style completely different from the current one.
Install a new sink: As long as you're replacing faucets and such, why not replace the bathroom or kitchen sink as well?
Refinish the cabinets: Solid wood responds well to sanding and refinishing with stain and a polyurethane top coat, or even paint. Newer cabinets often require refacing with veneer instead. Veneer kits make the job fairly simple: Adhere the material to the cabinet box (the portion left after removing doors and drawers) and then purchase new drawer fronts and cabinet doors to complete the makeover.
Upgrade your countertops: Replace laminate with stone, tile or even a concrete countertop. If you have old ceramic tile, clean or regrout to refresh the look.
Add lighting and accessories: Think in layers when it comes to lighting. Adding accent lights or task lights in any room of the house makes it more visually appealing. Other little touches include changing door knobs, light switch and outlet covers, or installing ceiling fans or a medicine cabinet. Consider swapping old light switches with dimmer switches or energy-saving, programmable lighting controls.
Highlight energy-savers: Speaking of saving energy, programmable thermostats, upgraded insulation and proper weatherproofing are music to many home buyers' ears.
While you can hire professionals to do the work for you, rolling up your sleeves and doing it yourself will increase the amount you recoup when you sell your home. Each project will increase the value of your property, no matter where you live, and help you sell your home faster.

Services offered to you:
Need Ideas or recommendation on your Charleston home improvement projects?  I would suggest seeing the home as if you were a home buyer.  Try this, drive up to your home and take a look at the outside, then walk around your homes exterior, then enter your home from the front door and walk through your home room-by-room.  Make a list of everything that you like that would be good selling features.  Also note anything you see that needs attention or could be improved.
As part of my service I do this for my clients.  Take a thorough look at your home from a buyers perspective and make a plan on getting your home ready to sale.  Not all homes need work and many just need a good cleaning and touch up.

CONSIDERING TO SELL YOUR CHARLESTON HOME OR CURIOUS WHAT YOUR HOME IS WORTH?  GET YOUR NO OBLIGATION AND FREE ONLINE HOME MARKET EVALUATION ESTIMATE.  BASED OFF TAX RECORDS OF HOMES THAT HAVE RECENTLY SOLD IN YOUR AREA. IF YOU WOULD LIKE A MORE PRECISE MARKET ANALYSIS OF YOUR HOME WE CAN SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT TIME THAT WORKS BEST FOR YOU.  CONTACT INFO

For more Tips Click HERE

 SEARCH CHARLESTON & MT PLEASANT HOMES HERE 

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