Sandy Bliven - RE/MAX South County



Posted by Sandy Bliven on 7/19/2018

A home seller may encounter many challenges after he or she decides to list a residence. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to increase the likelihood of enjoying a seamless house selling experience.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you master the home selling journey.

1. Conduct an In-Depth Home Evaluation

Your home has served you well for an extended period of time. However, your residence may be in dire need of upgrades. And if you fail to identify problem areas before you list your residence, you may struggle to stir up interest in your house.

Oftentimes, it helps to conduct a home inspection before you list your residence. Although a house inspection generally is requested by a buyer after a seller accepts his or her offer to purchase a home, an inspection can help you understand your residence's strengths and weaknesses. Then, you can take the necessary steps to transform myriad home weaknesses into strengths – something that could help you reap the benefits of a successful home selling experience.

2. Upgrade Your Home's Interior and Exterior

If your house is full of clutter and in need of a deep cleaning, there may be no time like the present for a home interior makeover. You can allocate time and resources to enhance your home's interior on your own. Or, you can always hire an interior decorator, home cleaners or other home improvement professionals to upgrade your house's interior.

Don't forget to bolster your residence's curb appeal too. By mowing the lawn, trimming the hedges and performing other home exterior upgrades, you can make it simple for buyers to fall in love with your residence as soon as they see it.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a must-have for those who want to streamline the home selling journey. He or she will help you identify and overcome any potential property selling roadblocks. Plus, a real estate agent can help you plan ahead for the home selling journey so you can achieve your desired results as quickly as possible.

For example, if you want to maximize your earnings from the sale of your city home, a real estate agent will offer recommendations and suggestions to help you do just that. On the other hand, if your goal is to sell your current residence as soon as you can, a real estate agent will do whatever it takes to ensure you can sell your house without delay.

Let's not forget about the comprehensive guidance that a real estate agent can provide, either. If you ever have concerns or questions about pricing your home, how to promote your residence to potential buyers or other home selling topics, a real estate agent will respond to them right away.

Want to become a home selling expert? Use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble mastering the house selling journey.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Sandy Bliven on 7/12/2018

It’s always a goal in life to be happier in our jobs and make more money. When it comes to buying a home, your job status can have a big effect on whether or not you’ll be able to buy a home or not. You will be able to buy a home using a new source of income. Even refinancing can be a breeze when you have a new job and the right knowledge. 


Many people believe that changing jobs or having gaps in between employment is a certain type of black hole when it comes to getting a mortgage. However, if you approach all of the changes in the correct way, you should be able to land the mortgage deal and secure a home.


Average Income


One of the most important numbers that your lender will calculate when you’re buying a home is that of your average income. This will be based on the pay that you had earned in the past 24 months‘ time. If you have had the same job and pay, this won’t be much of a big deal, However, if any of these things have changed (or will soon change) your lender may have some questions. This doesn’t mean that your mortgage application will be struck down completely. 


Information That’s Needed In The Event Of A Job Change


If you have recently changed jobs in the process of trying to refinance or buy a new home, your lender will need a few pieces of information from you. These items include:


  • An offer letter for the job
  • A role or title change letter (if applicable)
  • Compensation package change confirmation
  • Verification of employment
  • Most recent pay stub


Hourly Employees


If you’re an hourly employee, unfortunately, you’re under the tightest type of scrutiny when it comes to applying for a mortgage. Your income will be averaged for as long as you have been an hourly employee. If you work full-time, this won’t be too much of a problem. If your hours fluctuate from week-to-week, this can make things a bit more complicated.


If your hourly rates have recently gone up, you’ll need a bit of info from your employer to help you get the income verification that your lender needs. These items include:


  • An offer letter
  • Recent pay stubs
  • The new compensation structure or offer

If you have any sort of extenuating circumstances like a relocation or a new position, this information can help to bridge the gap in any information that just doesn’t add up as far as your employment history goes. 


Salaried Employees


If you’re a salaried employee, things are a bit simpler. Your lender will have a much easier time calculating your average income. The only issue that you may encounter is if you have had a gap in employment. For this, your lender will require a written explanation of what occurred during that time period.  

 

Lenders want to protect themselves, but in a way, they also want to protect you from getting in over your head with how much you can afford for a home. With some proof and a little explanation, you should be able to get a house you can afford if you have all of the information that you need to back up your financial history and employment history.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Sandy Bliven on 7/5/2018

If your budget allows for it, hiring a good housekeeper is well worth the money. If you're like most professional couples, you probably already feel "maxed out" after you've put in 40 to 60 hours at your jobs . When you add parenting responsibilities into the mix, there's not too much time and energy left for cleaning the house! While certain basic house cleaning tasks are unavoidable on a daily basis, it's a relief to know that a paid house cleaner will be coming in to do a thorough job soon.

Finding a reliable housekeeper with whom you feel comfortable can be a bit of a challenge, but if you can get referrals from family, friends, and others you know, then your search should put you on the right track.

The Selection Process

Since the main reason you're hiring a cleaning person is to make your life easier, the last thing you want to deal with is dependability problems or substandard work. That's why it's important to get referrals from people you know and trust. It often pays to interview more than one prospective cleaning person because you want to find someone who is the best match for your budget and needs. When you have two or three prospects to choose from, you'll be in a better position to choose the one with the best attitude, top references, and the most agreeable personality.

Unless a cleaning person was referred to you by someone you know well, it's a good idea to request references and contact a couple of them before making any final decisions. Calling at least two of their current customers (or past bosses) should give you some helpful insights into their work habits, punctuality, and willingness to follow directions.

Although most customers will probably try to be complimentary, if you ask the right questions and look for "red flags" in their answers, you'll be surprised at what you can learn. While it may be too blunt to ask if their cleaning person is honest, a lot can be inferred from their responses to other questions. For example, if a housekeeper has been working for the same customer for several years and cleans their house while the costumer is at their office or other place of employment, then there's a good chance the cleaner does excellent (or at least satisfactory) work and can be trusted. One direct question that generally needs to be asked when talking with references is "Would you personally recommend this person?" Asking how their housekeeper responds to special requests, suggestions, or constructive criticism may also provide revealing answers.

When getting a quote from a cleaning person or house cleaning service, it's useful to get an itemized list of what chores or services would be covered in the price. There are two advantages to this. First of all, you'll be able to compare "apples to apples". Secondly, you'll be able to gauge your expectations to what was initially promised and agreed to. While there may be other issues to consider, like possible background checks and insurance coverages they carry, once you've found a house cleaner you like and trust, you've cleared the biggest hurdle in your search!





Posted by Sandy Bliven on 6/28/2018

If you've lived in your house for more than five years, there's a good chance that clutter and disorganization is gradually taking over your basement.

While you probably had the best of intentions when you first moved in, that valuable storage space may now have deteriorated into a hodgepodge of scattered furniture, holiday supplies, old toys, boxes, and miscellaneous junk.

If you're considering selling your house in the near future, straightening your basement will soon become a high priority item. Not only is an organized basement an important aspect of staging a home, but it's a key step in preparing to pack your belongings and move to your next location.

As you'll discover when you start sorting through your old belongings, there will also be opportunities to make money, save money, and help other people.

  • Finding old treasures: One result of tackling a basement organization project is that you'll find usable, lost, and valuable things you forgot you even had. Whether something is valuable or pure junk, stored belongings have a way of getting buried and hidden away for years in basements. Once you start grouping things together and throwing away stuff nobody needs, it won't take long before a semblance of order begins taking shape! The longer it's been since you've organized your basement, the more satisfying it will feel to get it underway and done!
  • Money-making options: A well-organized garage sale can be a profitable way to get rid of things you no longer use or want. If you haven't taken the time to pull out belongings that are buried, hidden, or boxed up, then it's difficult to find what's available to sell. When your stuff is already organized and ready to be carried outside, preparing for a garage sale is generally easier, faster, and more efficient. If you just have a few items you want to sell and don't want to be bothered with a garage sale, there's also the alternative of publicizing it on social media, classified ads, flyers, or word of mouth.
  • Donating to worthy causes: If you happen to have furniture, clothing, toys, electronics, working appliances, or kitchen supplies you no longer need, there's also the option of donating it to charitable organizations, such as the Salvation Army, homeless shelters, or other community service groups. If you keep good records or get a detailed receipt from the charity, there may be the chance to deduct the donation on your tax returns. The best source of information on tax-related matters, of course, would be your accountant.

Whether you're planning on moving soon or staying put for a while, taking a few hours to straighten out your basement will not only be personally satisfying, but you could make some money on the side or help underprivileged families in your community.





Posted by Sandy Bliven on 6/21/2018

If you’re looking to make changes to your home in a big way but don’t have the time or the budget, there’s plenty of things that you can do in order to bring your home to another level without breaking the bank. 


Look From The Outside In


Enhancing the landscaping and curb appeal of your home can be an easy project to add value and comfort to your home. Whether you’re getting ready to sell or you just want to feel more at home, making your home look more inviting from the outside is a worthwhile project. 


Open Some Space


Just knocking down a wall can make a huge difference in your home. Once a wall is removed, it can really transform your space. Be careful though, as knocking down a wall where plumbing is or electrical work is can disrupt a lot. This can become very costly, so you may not want to undertake such a big project. Also be mindful of reconnecting floors or moving features like a kitchen island. Be sure to get a few quotes from contractors for these jobs before you settle with one.


Get New Windows


Putting in new windows is a great project that can add a lot of value to your home. You should really replace the windows in your home every 20-25 years. Updating the windows in your home not only changes the look of your home but makes it more energy efficient as well. The extra insulation can also help to keep out noise disturbances and keep your home a quiet place to live. If you live near a main road, new windows are a must. 


Upgrade Appliances 


There is nothing more attractive to buyers and homeowners alike than new appliances. These are fairly cheap investments considering their returns. You can replace one appliance or go for a whole new kitchen if you’d like. It all depends on the condition of the appliances. Even simply replacing the washer and dryer can make your life easier and also make your home more attractive to buyers when you decide to sell.


Change Up The Floors


Simply switching your carpet or ripping up carpets to put in hardwood floors can be a huge game changer for your home. The costs of these improvements can vary greatly. The size of your rooms and the type of materials that you choose can affect the costs as well. 


Get Organized


Putting in shelving or other organizing systems to help you and your family keep organized can be invaluable. Not having to deal with constant clutter can reduce stress and make your home look more presentable. This is another improvement project that is totally worthwhile for you to complete.







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