Monday, June 4, 2018 / by Ian Gray
“Drive until you can afford the payment” must be the most frustrating catchphrase in real estate. In a few short words the statement epitomizes the frustration of millions of potential homeowners and that frustration is growing every day as the best places to live get more and more expensive.
Today’s buyer wants to be close to the action, in a neighborhood that offers great places to eat, things to do, farmers markets on the weekends and live music around the corner at night. All features that can be hard to find in that distant suburb with nothing but bedrooms and big-box stores. They’re also features that come at a price. The best neighborhoods cost considerably more to buy in.
Find the most visually run-down but mechanically sound house you can get your hands on. Look for a good roof, updated electrical and air-conditioning and a solid structure.
One way to beat that cost is to buy a fixer-upper. Find that handyman special tucked nea ...
Friday, June 1, 2018 / by Ian Gray
Buying a house: It’s a big deal. It’s not like purchasing a pair of shoes, a new suit or even a car, for that matter. While it’s certainly fun and exciting, it can also be downright confusing.
While brunching with a friend the other day, our discussion turned to real estate. She’s a 28 year old ready to dip her toe in the market. Like most first timers, she quickly realized that she had no idea where to start.
“Tell me how to buy a house. I’m like a baby … I know nothing.” Her words, verbatim.
Two hours (and several mimosas) later, she had a darn good idea of the process. Here, I’ve recapped our discussion, broken down into ten basic steps. If it’s your first (or even your second) time buying, you’re going to have lot of questions and will need guidance and a bit of handholding. But this outline will set you in the right direction.
1. Establish Your Real Estate Goals
First things first, you’ll want to do ...
Thursday, May 31, 2018 / by Ian Gray
Thursday, May 31, 2018 / by Ian Gray
Buying your first home is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make in your life, and likely the most expensive one you’ve made up to this point. But it can also be one of the best financial decisions you ever make in your life. A wise person once said (but I have no idea who – ha-ha!) that you “make money when you buy, not when you sell.” The gist is that you need to put some time and effort into finding the best deal, because you can realistically make a whole lot of money when you sell your first home.
Where and how does one go about finding a great deal? It depends. You may negotiate a price that’s cheaper than market value or find a sweet deal because the home is located in an underappreciated area. Or perhaps you have the ability to jump on an underpriced property as soon as it hits the market or — better yet – before it hits the market. A seller underprices for a variety of reasons (and not necessarily because th ...
Tuesday, May 29, 2018 / by Ian Gray
Renovating a home can be a great experience. It’s an opportunity to do some fun projects, expand your creative horizons and hopefully make a profit when you sell.
Some questions come to mind, of course: “What projects return the most value? Which room has the best bang-for-buck ratio?”
Keep your remodel universal and the palette neutral. Subdued may not be much fun, but it’s the best way to sell quickly when the time comes.
At this point you may be wondering how in the world I can tell you that. And the answer is that I can’t. Nobody can. Every house is different and every buyer is different -- you really can’t know who the buyer of your home will be and what features, exactly, that person will prioritize.
But many a home has been bought and sold and many a research project has been done to crunch data to see what makes people tick. And thanks to that, we do have general guidelines. Let’s take a look.
A New Kitchen Turns Up the Hea ...