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Welcome Home Team

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Welcome Home Team

Value in Expertise

When you, the consumer team up with professional REALTOR’s who excel at what they do you really won’t be able to truly understand all that we do. Here is a condensed summary of the value in expertise when you hire a REALTOR.

 

  1. We shop properties for you online, spending several hours everyday searching new listings, price reductions, multiple MLS’s, and even further outside the box. We know all the websites and brokerages to check with tailored to your unique needs.
  2. We Prospect! From checking out new listings in person, to reaching out to potential buyers and sellers on behalf of our clients we know how to go after whatever it is you’re looking for.
  3. Classes & Continuing Education As Real Estate Professionals we are required to take certified continuing education classes every two years, but we also attend marketing classes, town meetings, chamber of commerce events, and reading articles on the local and larger economies. Real Estate is a never-ending learning experience and we always have our ears to the ground.
  4. We Pay upfront! The beauty for you is that we pay for all the marketing upfront, and we don’t make anything if we don’t make a sale with you. So it’s always in our best interest as well as yours to see a sale through.
  5. Offers & Counter Offers. Consistency is key to a smooth transaction, we are well versed in contracts and know how to negotiate to get you, our client, the very best deal.
  6. Inspections & Contingencies. You may think once you’ve got a contract it’s smooth sailing. Honestly you just finished with the easiest part. Inspections and tests can be the biggest hurdles in buying a home. A good agent is preset for home inspections and appraisals to ensure all questions get answered and nobody is mis-informed. Then if there are repairs needed, we renegotiate a second time for you.
  7. Putting out Fires. It’s not very often a transaction has little to no drama. Part of our job is to take care of the little things so you don’t have to.
  8. Keep Calm & Carry On. When some of those dramatic moments involve you and the pressure is on, we flip our hats and become your therapist until the light at the end of the tunnel appears!

– Now just think, with us, you get double the support!

 

This content was in part a condensed version of information provided by realtor.com 

Moving? Need a Realtor when you get there?

Moving to a new location is exhilarating… and horrifying (it more or less depends on how you look at it). Either way, whether you’re moving two counties over, three states south, or maybe even to across the world, the stress can add up quickly. Where’s the post office?The DMV? Which grocery store do you want to shop at? Etc. But the last thing you want to worry about is the first thing you have to worry about…”where am  I going to live”

Let us help take some of the stress off of you. Our team is part of a worldwide referral company that only allows the top qualifying Realtors the chance to serve you and your loved ones. HUNT Real Estate ERA is a Platinum company within the CARTUS referral program. This professional resource program works with hundreds of companies and thousands of clients every year to help make that move a bit easier.

The right agent will not only help you find the perfect place to live, they will be your tour guide in your new town. What’s even better is that in most places if you’re a buyer, you get this service for free! (Because the owner who is selling their property pays the commissions associated in most cases).

So how does it work? You call us and we have a short phone conversation or if you like we can meet in person. We discuss where you’re going, what your timeline looks like. Your motivation (work related, family, vacation home, retirement or spontaneous life change!). Any other requests you may have. The more about you we know the easier it is to match you up with the best professional for the job!

Once we have your profile, we send your information to our relocation department who works with CARTUS to choose the best person for the job. And if you meet with them and decide you don’t think they’re a good fit, there are other agents able to assist through the program. If you don’t think they are a good fit for you, let Cartus know and they will work with you to find that right agent to fulfill your needs.

There’s no commitment until you’re ready to buy, it’s free (the vast majority of the time) and takes a few minutes of your time to set up. Saving you numerous headaches and stress later on.

If you or someone you know is looking to make a move or buy a second home. Or you have a friend or family in need of a Realtor but they aren’t local give us a call and we will help you take a step in the right direction!

 

Latent Defect

There are plenty of words in a vocabulary of a REALTOR that make the average person tip their head like a puppy and give a quizzical expression until it’s been explained. Possibly at great length… and multiple times. Honestly as a REALTOR, I can tell you we give that look often enough ourselves when the laws or bank regulations change.

“Latent defect” is one of those terms rarely used outside of the sale of real estate. But it’s an important part of the transaction and representation of the property being transferred. Latent Defect (as per law.cornell.edu website quoting Nolo’s Plain-English Law) means “A hidden flaw, weakness, or imperfection that cannot be discovered by reasonable inspection. It may refer to real property  or personal property. Discovery of a latent defect generally entitles the purchaser to a refund or a nondefective replacement”. 

Now this definition is the broad meaning of the word in all properties or tangible transfers that may take place, as in a car. However we are speaking in Real Estate terms. So what we take from this is that a latent defect is anything pertaining to a property that we cannot easily or reasonably account for but the owner should be aware of themselves.

The reason this is so important is because it is the sellers legal obligation to disclose any latent defect that they know about or should know about. Examples include a foundation crack in the garage hidden behind a wood pile, or an easement that cuts across the property for the town, service provider, land-locked neighbor, etc.

On the other hand a cracked window covered with shades isn’t necessarily a latent defect because it can be found rather easily by the buyer or their inspector. It should however be disclosed if it’s known.

And remember I am not a lawyer, and don’t pretend to be. As a REALTOR our professional knowledge is based off continuing education and experience, not legal schooling. Please consult a legal resource and always use legal representation when buying or selling real estate in NY State.

-Mindy Bradley of the Welcome Home Team

Different types of Mortgages?

There are 4 basic types of mortgages. And they all depend on several factors such as income, credit score, down payment, geographical location, etc.

*DISCLAIMER* Each lender is different and Realtors are by no means professionals on this topic. The laws are constantly changing and you need to speak to a licensed mortgage officer to have accurate up-to -date information.  So PLEASE call your bank, lender, credit union, etc.

Conventional- This type of mortgage requires good credit and a decent down payment. Conventional appraisal guidelines are less strict. This type of loan carries PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) but can be eliminated after 20% of the principle has been paid. Conventional mortgages are not backed by any government agency.

FHA-  This type of mortgage requires only 3.5% down. The appraisal guidelines have more regulations, and PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) is also required. This is a 1.75% fee and carries for the life of the loan (Unlike Conventional Mortgages where the PMI can be eliminated). It’s a great opportunity for first time home buyers who may not have much of a nest egg or possibly struggling with credit. Concessions of up to 6% are allowed. Beware if your credit is too low, you may have to put more than 3.5% down, or pay points.  FHA mortgage’s are backed by the Federal Housing Agency.

VA- This is for active or retired military and their families. There is a o% down payment (unless you want to put more down).VA appraisal guidelines are similar to FHA, and you can ask for up to a 4% concession.

USDA-  The USDA will fund  mortgages for specific income ranges based on county, in rural areas and requires 0% down. Appraisal guidelines are similar to VA and FHA.  Concessions of up to 6% are allowed on this type of loan as well. Check the USDA website to search geographically for eligibility.

 

Factors that determine what kind of mortgage a person qualifies for are

  • Credit Score
  • Down Payment
  • Debt to Income Ratio
  • Type of Income
  • Length of Job History
  • Geographical Location
  • Military Experience

Mortgage Lenders cannot discriminate against a borrower based off any of the protected classes as per the Fair Housing Act.

 

There are other factors and sub types of mortgages such as Fixed vs Adjustable, Conforming and Non-Confirming, Balloon loans, etc. The 4 above descriptions provided are a crash course in Mortgage’s 101.  And please remember the mortgage industry is constantly evolving and changing, Realtors are not Mortgage Professionals, so please consult your local lender.

 

Staging: Short and Sweet

Let’s be real.

For the vast majority of us our homes are NOT show worthy 99% of the time. Convenience, kids and pets are the usual culprits. In other words, life happens. And that’s a beautiful thing in and itself, but we’re talking about real estate, not the meaning of life.

So when it comes time to sell your home you ask, “What do I do?”

And here is what I say.

In an ideal world your home would be out out of the scene in a movie or magazine. Grand mansions and cozy cottages. But in reality we all have our independent abilities both in finances and  decorating, not to mention persistence. Because remember, you will have to keep up on your homes appearance right through until you close.

So with that here is #1 Curb Appeal

If they don’t like the outside, they wont go inside. First Impressions really are everything. Buyers wont even want to schedule an appointment in most cases if the first picture in the listing isn’t appealing. So clean it up! Don’t leave the trash can or water hose laying around. Pressure wash the siding and clean the windows.

Use neutral tones, have walk-able paths, a broken and loose entry is a tripping hazard and not appealing. And use clean looking landscaping where able. Hosta’s, mulch and a few annuals or colorful perennials will do the trick. A nice porch light fixture and clean looking front door. Paint any faded or chipped paint.

Doing anything off this list will improve your appearance and chances of selling quicker and for more money.

#2 Declutter, Clean up & Depersonalize

When someone is coming to look at your home they are interested in your home, not you and your belongings. So put them away. Take EVERYTHING off your refrigerator (except your Realtors magnet). Put away family photo’s. Hide the garbage can, the dogs toys and bowls, the tissues, toothpaste, and soap. AND DO the dishes. Remove anything in excess, including furniture, shoes, coats on the coat rack, etc.

Put away laundry and organize. It can be tough to hide everything, especially with kids and pets, so use space carefully. Ottomans with storage make great coffee tables, totes can be stacked neatly in the garage or basement.

Use this as a chance to thin out as well. You never realize what’s been accumulating until it’s time to move. Donate unused clothing to the Salvation Army, as well as unwanted furniture, etc. If you have enough belongings they’ll come get it. Habitat for Humanity is another great way to be rid of old but usable items.

Declutter your closets & keep your fridge clean, if it’s coming with the house people are going to want to see what kind of shape it’s in and open it.

Basically, just purge your home.

#3 Decor

If you’ve gotten through decluttering and the curb appeal homework, congrats! You’ve accomplished all the heavy work. This is the more relaxing part. You now get to dress up your house. But again remember, think neutral. Browns, blues and tans are common colors when used in the right shades.

Do everything in groups of three. Three colors per room, three items on the mantle place. 3 photo’s on the wall. Go online to get ideas if you aren’t the artsy type. Pinterest, google, better homes and gardens, etc are all great tools.

Tips:

  • Frugal minded folk can find great deals at garage sales, craigslist, or the salvation army. Borrow unused furniture from friends and family if you need to.
  •  Cover up a beat up table with a neutral table cloth and use a vase of flowers to detract attention.
  •  Update old cabinets with new door knobs.
  • If you have a lot of painting to do try to use the same color as much as possible through to save money with a bulk 5 gallon bucket instead of individual 1 gallon amounts.

 

#4 Ambiance

Almost there! This is all about creating a sense of home. You’re trying to appeal to all the of the senses, sight, smell, feel, noise…

  • Keep your newly clean home CLEAN!
  • Make your house smell nice, use flowers, timed scent release devices or wax melters. But at the very least keep it from smelling unpleasant. If you’re a smoker or have pets considering getting your carpets and upholstery professionally cleaned. Additionally, use a dehumidifier in musty basements.
  • Noise- or the opposite of, actually. Have something neutral playing. Use the radio, Pandora or a CD. Something that can continually play for at least two hours in case you have back to back showings.
  • Feel- keep counters and doors clean, no smudgy hand prints, or wet nose marks. Area rugs over cold hardwoods in the winter time make people less worried about their feet and more interested in your home.
    • Another note. In the summertime  keep the house cool and in the winter vise versa. If a buyer is wishy-washy about your home having a cool reprieve from the heat outside might keep them in long enough to change their mind. It also creates a psychological idea that the house has provided a need to them, which subconsciously allows the buyer to like the house more.

 

If you’re able to do any one of these suggestions than you have successfully added appeal to your home. The world of real estate has become increasingly competitive when it comes to updated and appeal. So if you want the upper had do your homework and don’t be afraid to have your Realtor come over to give you advice on where and what to invest your money into. The only thing worse than an under invested property is an over-invested one.

 

 

 

Who is the Welcome Home Team?

This site is meant to be a testimonial for all of us Central New Yorker’s. A place to celebrate our food, our sports, heritage, cultures. And a professional reliable source of information.

So to put it simply, the whole point of our blog is basically this…

1.Celebrate Utica-Rome and the Adirondack Region. We live in a superbly diverse area, with differing cultures, foods, landscapes, and businesses. I mean c’mon people…CHICKEN RIGGIES!

2.Provide accurate information pertaining to Real Estate in general. This should be #1 but food always precedence (even with Realtors).

3. Be a source for local information, including new  events, festivals, expo’s, laws pertaining to Real Estate, and much more.

4. Provide useful links, data, and external sources for our Buyers and Sellers. Because we all know, the internet can be a real doozy.

5. A safe place to ask questions. There are no dumb questions JUST SO YOU KNOW

6. Have Fun! Real Estate is a huge multi faceted industry. From property taxes to throw pillows, this truly is tricky business!

7. And…… a shameless opportunity to boast our awesome client testimonials, and successes. Hey, we’re just awesome! (According to our clients, that is)

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to come back and check out the site as we grow!

-Welcome Home Team

 

 

 

 

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