Category Archives: Real Estate News

Savannah, Georgia Living

Savannah, Georgia Living

Savannah, Georgia Living

Living in Savannah, Georgia

Savannah is well known for being a top tourist attraction, but what if you’re considering moving there? Every year, tons of people visit Savannah for vacation and end up falling in love with the area’s charm and wanting to stay.

Having a wonderful experience during your vacation is great, but is it really the best place for you to buy a home and build your life? Let’s talk about some of the best reasons why you should move to Savannah, Georgia.

The Weather Is Amazing

If you’re one of those folks who’s not a fan of winter, then moving almost anywhere in the South seems like a logical solution. Savannah is no exception to this. The average temperature for Savannah in the dead of winter only reaches about 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is wonderful news for the Northerner that experiences temps in the single and sometimes negative digits during an average winter season.

On the other hand, the rest of the year is pretty mild. Savannah, Georgia has a subtropical climate so it’s not too hot for the majority of the year. The hottest months would be July and August where the air can become quite humid.

Luckily the beach isn’t too far away. So when you find yourself feeling miserable during one of those months, take a trip down to the beach for relief.

The Food Is Great

In Savannah you’ll find that there is absolutely no shortage of delicious restaurants to choose from. It’s like a food lover’s paradise! There are plenty of wonderful sidewalk cafes, and 5 star restaurants with ocean front views.

The dress code for every one of them is casual. It’s such a laid back and relaxing atmosphere. You could even still be wearing your swim suit with a cover up and no one would think anything of it.

Some of the top restaurants to try in Savannah are:

AJ’s

AJ’s is on Tybee Island and has an amazing crab stew. They’ve been serving Savannah residents and tourists since January of 2003.

They have a great outdoor seating area overlooking the river while you enjoy your meal. There is also an indoor dining area and a bar.

Wiley’s BBQ

Wiley’s is listed as being one of the top 20 Savannah restaurants on TripAdvisor.com. They were named the 4th best BBQ joint in the U.S. and have been featured throughout the media for their amazing barbecue.

Schnitzel Shack

This restaurant offers classic Thai and German dishes with iced-cold beer and wine. It’s a must-stop place if you’re looking for amazing food and something different. It was established in 2009 by husband and wife Joe and Pao Weitzel.

They combine two exotic cuisines, their passion for people, and their love of good food to create a top of the line dining experience.

The Beaches

It only takes 20 minutes to drive to the beach from Savannah. The North beach is a great place where tourists like to gather. There you will get a chance to see dolphins and collect seashells along the warm sand.

Besides North beach, there are three other ones that surround the island and are less of a touristy area, which is perfect if you’re looking for something less busy.

There are also plenty of nearby restaurants like the ones mentioned above, making it the perfect Friday evening activity especially on one of those humid summer days, without worrying about needing to go home and come up with dinner (the last thing anyone wants to do on beach day!).

Taking a trip down to any of the beaches in Savannah will make a relaxing, family friendly adventure, especially if you have younger ones who would find it super fun to collect seashells along the beach to bring home.

Make Savannah Yours

Savannah is home to roughly 146,000 individuals. It is one of the many places in the United States that is truly a fantastic place to live. There are many fun activities to try and great places to eat.

The residents who live here are genuinely friendly and love to make newcomers feel welcome in their neighborhoods. It could be a perfect place to live, work, and raise a family. Just ask some of the locals.

I’m sure they will have nothing but great things to say about Savannah.  For more information about moving to, or buying a home in, Savannah Georgia, contact the Heather Murphy Group today.

Buying With Bad Credit

Buying With Bad Credit

Buying With Bad CreditHow To Buy A Home With Bad Credit

 

One of the biggest decisions, purchases and/or investments that you will ever make is when you purchase a home. Buying a home can be a great long-term investment option.

When you are looking to purchase a new home, taking out a mortgage will likely be a necessity. When you are applying for a new loan to buy your home, your lender will take a lot of factors into consideration when deciding whether or not to approve your application.

 

One very important factor that they take into consideration is your credit score. Your overall credit score is a general overview of your personal credit worthiness. It is an indication as to whether you are likely or not to repay the loan as a group.

Today, Banks take credit scores very seriously and often do not provide mortgages to those that have bad credit. While getting a mortgage or home purchase loan is challenging if you do not have great credit, there are still several things you can do to improve your chances of being able to get a loan even if your credit score is poor.

 

Get a Co-Signer

When you are looking to buy a home with a poor credit score, one way to qualify for a home loan is by getting a cosigner. A co-signer is an individual that will sign the mortgage along with you. This individual is essentially taking on the national responsibility for the mortgage in the event you no longer make payments on time. Because of this, a mortgage lender may be willing to underwrite the credit score of your co-signer. If you can get a co-signer to sign along with you, you may be able to qualify for a good mortgage.

 

More Money Down

When you are looking for home loans to buy, you will find that there are many different factors that a mortgage lender will take into consideration. While the credit score will always be very important, so are your down payment and income ratios. If you are willing to put forth a larger down payment than what a standard, a mortgage lender will have less risk in the transaction.

While most people will put down a down payment of 10 to 20%, those with poor credit may want to consider putting forth even more. If you can put forth a 30 to 40% down payment, you may be able to convince the lender that there is less risk and that their strong collateral position should justify your low interest rate.

 

Private Lenders

Another option when you were looking to get a loan to purchase your next property would be to get a mortgage from a private lender. While most people try to get their loan through a mortgage broker or a traditional bank, there are other options as well.

Today, there are many people out there that are willing to invest in the real estate industry by providing private mortgages. Your real estate agent may be able to connect you to a variety of people that are willing to provide mortgages even if the borrower has less than perfect credit.

While you may have to pay a higher rate under a private mortgage, you could eventually refinance it into a traditional loan once you have had time to improve your credit score.

 

Income

Overall, the biggest concern that a mortgage lender has when it comes to providing a mortgage to someone with a lower score is that the person will not be able to pay the loan and will fall behind on payments. However, this risk becomes less and less prevalent the more income the borrower has.

If you have a stable job and strong source of income, you may be able to qualify for a mortgage with a low credit score. In most situations, a lender will want your housing debt to income ratio to be below 33%. However, if you have a poor credit score, you may still be able to qualify for a mortgage if you can get your debt to income ratio under 25%. Doing this will require you to purchase a more affordable home, one option is looking at buying a smaller single family home, which may already be a good financial option for you.

 

FHA Mortgage

Finally, when you were looking for a mortgage, you should also consider taking out one from the FHA. Your local real estate agent should be able to provide you with detail on all of the different mortgage options that you have.

One great option for people who do not have a good credit score is to get a loan through FHA. This is a government entity that specializes in helping individuals get into a new home. The FHA backed mortgages will provide you with a higher interest rate and may require you to pay PMI, but you could qualify for the loan if you have a low down payment or sub-prime credit score.

 

Look for Ways to Improve Score

While there are ways to get a mortgage if you have a poor credit score, you should look for ways to improve your credit score before even applying for a loan. At least 90 days prior to applying for a mortgage, you should pull your credit score and report to see what the results are. If your credit score is below what you were expecting, you should carefully review the report to determine whether there is any inaccurate or fraudulent information.

If there is, this could be an indication of identity theft and could be negatively impacting your score. By contacting these creditors and the credit bureaus about the fraudulent data, you could have the negative information removed and see your score improve drastically.

 

Another great way to improve your credit score quickly is to pay down credit card debt. Credit card utilization is one of the biggest factors that influences your overall credit score. If your credit card balances are more than 25% of your credit limit, your score will start to decline. By simply paying down the balances, or even having the limits increased, you could see an immediate improvement to your score.

100 Years Of Architecture & Design

100 Years Of Architecture & Design

100 Years Of Architecture & Design

100 Years of Single-Family Housing Architecture & Design

The single family home has a great architectural heritage. One architectural aspect that has evolved the most, over the last century and beyond, is the size of single-family housing. Over the years, they’ve just gotten bigger and better. There are many other changes, many of them are subtle. The single-family housing has changed in a way that reflects the evolution of the way we live.

People who are getting ready to sell or buy a home in the single-family market today will find that houses are vastly different than those purchased by their great grandparents in the 1920s. Today, new single-family homes are about a thousand feet bigger than single-family homes constructed 50 years ago.

This could be a sign of increased purchasing power, government incentive, or just changing taste. New homebuyers seem to have developed a taste for at least four bedrooms and a third bathroom.

The emergence of single-family homes

In the pre-industrial societies, a majority of the people lived in multi-family dwellings. Children used to live with their parents until they started their own families. Even after marriage, a child would move in with either the parents of the man or woman. The main reason for this was that the middle age generation was supposed to take care of the parents while the grandparents also helped in raising the young children. This arrangement supported the growth of multifamily constructions.

However, the rising cost of living in Europe and America led to the idea of nuclear family staying separately from relatives. This situation made it difficult to maintain the construction trend. Single-family homes became the hot new trend. Today, single-family homes are common in the suburban, and rural, and urban areas. Ideally, the term single-family describes how the building is designed and who lives in it, but it doesn’t provide specification on size, location, or shape.

Early 20th Century

The start of the 19th century saw the rise of horizontal homes with bigger floor sizes. The compact way of living started to fade in favor of more spacious living. People started looking for homes that could accommodate ubiquitous cars; cars also influenced the design of the homes. New homes adopted architectural styles that had space to park cars indoors.

Some rooms such as reception rooms, sitting rooms, music rooms, butler’s pantries, and conservatories were dropped from most single-family houses. Some reformers advocated for the introduction of sleeping porches as a way of connecting with the outdoors. By mid-century, the outdoor carports and patios became popular. The living room also evolved from stair hall or Victorian living to a new placement of furniture.

In early 20th-century, one-story and bungalows began to grow in size to about 600 – 800 square feet. In those times, the square footage was slightly reduced to compensate for rising cost of heating, plumbing, and other technological improvements. Central heating and electricity altered the floor plans.

The older lighting and heating technology influenced the use of space in the house. So, the new developments had a direct impact on the social relations in a domestic setting, especially privacy and access to personal space.

Mid to late 20th century

In the 1940s, the physical sizes of homes continued to grow even though the household size was shrinking. Due to high rents, urban core decay, government incentives, an abundance of affordable land in the country saw the rise of suburbia. Homeownership became popular and small houses were declining throughout the decades.

From the 1960s, the size of single-family homes increased while the average number of household members remained low. In most single-family homes, each child had his or her own bedroom.

The size of new single-family houses increased from about 1500 square feet in the 1970s to more than 2000 square feet towards the end of the century. This indicates that people wanted more space.

Generally, the trend saw an increase in room space. People went from no bedroom to many bedrooms. People also had more privacy. Bedrooms became more and more private, with a bathroom, TV, and telephone. These items were historically available centrally within the house.

The floor design tended to seclude bedrooms from other rooms in the house. It was easy to locate bedroom upstairs or find bedroom doors in the hallway rather than in the dining or living room.

Interestingly, while the average size of homes continued to increase, the size of average lots has decreased. The average lot size in the early 1990s was about 14,700 square feet.

Towards the end of the century, the average lot size reduced to about 12,800 square feet. The lot size has even reduced significantly in the 21st century, but the average size of the single-family home is expected to continue expanding.

21st century

At the start of the 21st century to 2008, there was a significant increase in the size of new single-family homes. The recession saw a drop in the average size of these houses to almost less than 2400 square feet. The size of a single-family home shows a consistent increase in the post-recession period.

Over the recent past, the average size of single-family homes has experienced a relatively flat growth. This trend of leveling of home size on a one-year moving average is evident from recent stats.

According to data from Census Quarterly Starts and Completion, the floor area of an average single-family house has reduced slightly from 2519 square feet in the first quarter of 2015 to 2479 square feet in the second quarter.

The transformations in single-family homes could be attributed to the economic changes and pressure as well as environmental, demographic, technological and lifestyle changes. Media rooms and home offices are new spaces in these homes. Many homes continue to be divided into a series of private spaces for individual use.

The new single-family home continues to adopt a more neo-traditional design, mixed-use communities, and neighborhoods with narrower streets and smaller lots. Going into the future this will affect real estate, more buyers are demanding increased living spaces. Some architects are mooting the idea of a kitchenless house.

Currently, there is high demand for single-family homes. If this persists, then any real estate agent will find it hard to satisfy all the clients because there is a shortage of single-family housing. As more millennial’s enter the house demand stage, the situation might worsen in the coming years.

Several metros such as Boston, Savannah, GA, and New Orleans are more likely to be acutely affected. For information about housing availability your area, always consult a local real estate professional.

Bitcoin and Real Estate

BITCOIN & REAL ESTATE

 

Bitcoin and Real Estate Becoming a Hot Trend

It’s no surprise that bitcoin has made quite a mark on the world in recent days. Though the use of bitcoin is still a bit of a mystery, many industries are already taking steps and considering the way that it can and will be used in the future markets. Real Estate is one such industry that is taking the idea of bitcoin usage into consideration. Is there a future for bitcoin in the home buying and selling industry? Will people be able to make these large purchases with bitcoin in the future? Only time will tell. Until then, there is much to consider. Here is a little understanding about bitcoin and how it will fit into the future of buying and selling homes.

Who’s Behind it All

One of the reasons why people are so hesitant about bitcoin is the lack of knowing who is in charge or who is regulating the service. History has recalled the first instances of bitcoin happening in 2009, but the rest is much of a blur. Some people believe that it is based on a type of white paper, which is simply a group of people. However, bitcoin really doesn’t have any type of central command to speak of.

Many companies have taken the idea of bitcoin and ran with it. They have utilized the peer-to-peer exchange company, and they have been using computers from throughout the world in order to process and track various transactions. Since bitcoin can move throughout the world, it has been utilized by various industries throughout the world. The only question is, is real estate ready for these hot new trends.

Difficult Times for the Newbies

If you will remember, when credit cards first made their way into the spotlight, they were discredited by many. In fact, many people were skeptical of them and how they worked. This was a huge ordeal, and people found it hard to wrap their heads around the overall idea. The key to getting credit cards to work, or getting people to accept it after understanding it, is the same concept that needs to happen with bitcoin. People need to first understand it and then accept it before any more industries can break into the use of bitcoin in their practices.

One of the biggest public relations issues surrounding bitcoin is the idea that it has been used for criminal transactions, and it has. It is also not officially accepted as a form of currency in the US yet, but individuals can trade bitcoin for various products around the world. Since transactions cannot be returned or undone, regulations need to be completed and soon.

The Benefits of this Technology

The question of “if” is actually more of a question of “when and how.” Since cryptocurrency is starting to becoming a widely accepted form of currency, it should eventually be used for various other things like buying and selling homes. Bitcoin might still be view with skepticism, but Blockchain technology is going to be here to stay for many years.

Blockchain technology can help encourage faster movement for the title and mortgage process. It can also be beneficial in stopping an epidemic of document forgery and fraud. Even though bitcoin and Blockchain technology is still fairly new and uncertain, the way that things work can be beneficial in helping people secure the homes they want faster, and help the buying and selling industry avoid incidents of fraud and forgery.

As of right now, the benefits do not outweigh the risks. However, there is a huge possibility that this blockchain technology will grow and flourish to provide bigger and better benefits. In this case, it is a true possibility that the blockchain technology will be a viable option for buying and selling homes in various locations, starting with the larger states and cities, but with benefits comes a pile of risks as well.

The Risk for Home Sellers

Unfortunately, there are risks that come with using bitcoin in the home buying and selling world, and these risks are pretty major still at this point. The first issue that seems to be the biggest risk is the lack of understanding and acceptance of the blockchain technology. At this point, there seems to be less acceptable than many in the market were expecting. If the market is demanding that cryptocurrency be a normal part of the transactions, then the people and the industry must accept the form of currency that comes around.

It is a little more complicated than that, however. A title company has the right to choose the accept cryptocurrency from a buyer, which would be like a form of creative financing, but they must be willing to accept the risks that come with it. The client is not taking the risk; the seller is taking a major risk, and they aren’t just going to walk away with a bitcoin strip of paper. Their money will come in US dollars. People have the option to turn down a buyer if they do not want to accept the risk that comes with bitcoin or other blockchain currency. The fluctuating numbers and values make it riskier than simply going through a title company to secure or buy a home.

Taking the Risk

With all of this in mind, there has been one location that has taken a step toward the use of bitcoin in the home buying and selling industry. Southern California, as advanced as they are, have been the first to successfully use blockchain technology in the purchase of a home. The man who purchased the home used as many as 3,300 bitcoins to purchase his home, which was worth as much as $3.2 million.

The more that homes go on the market and the higher that blockchain technology grows in popularity, the bigger the chance of using this technology in this industry will become. Places like Southern California will be taking the risk and taking the chance to help individuals gain a better and faster way to secure a home and purchase it without much hassle. There is still a long way to go in the industry and with the technology before this can happen, unfortunately.

Conclusion

It is a great chance that real estate will soon have a footing in the bitcoin industry. The industry has been making a very compelling case recently, but it has also been known to lead to various frustrations. The kinks are still there, and until they are worked out, there will be few, if any, homes purchase by using this blockchain technology. This creative financing still has a long way to go, but with the potential in the future, who knows what will affect the real estate industry next.

How Driverless Cars Will Affect Real Estate

Driverless Cars And How They Will Effect Real Estate

How Driverless Cars Will Affect Real EstateHow Driverless Cars Will Affect Real Estate

There is a lot of hype surrounding driverless cars. With the 263 million traditional cars currently clogging our country’s roads and two billion parking spaces as reported by Curbed.com, any major transportation shift is going to require a huge change in future real estate development. While this cultural shift will likely change the way people get from one place to another, the implications for the real estate industry are already being considered by developers and other real estate speculators as they prepare for massive infrastructure changes to prepare for the arrival of automated vehicles.

 

There is certainly no doubt that the “highest and best” use of land will change when cars no longer sit idle about 95 percent of the time, according to Bloomberg.com. Currently, vehicles are stored for hours in parking lots and garages that occupy prime real estate that could be repurposed and eventually sold by a worthy Realtor to a hungry buyer seeking intown property. With that much real estate and money at stake, the speculators and opportunists will be planning strategies about how to profit from the upcoming transformation related to automated vehicles.

 

Timeline Projections

 

There is a lot of speculation about exactly when driverless cars will be available for purchase and when they will actually start impacting society in a real way. There are different opinions about the timeframe related to driverless cars and when they will truly become a force shaping real estate development and society. CNBC projects that driverless cars could become a reality in five years, impacting the real estate market in a meaningful way as soon as eight or nine years. Ford expects to have driverless cars ready to sell in 2021.

 

Factors that must be taken into account when considering timeline projections relate to preparation for a society where driverless cars are the norm. Some experts say that infrastructure changes required for the arrival of these cars include: improved signage and zoning changes. Current signs may not be easily seen by automated drivers and this will have to change to ensure safety.

 

Residential Development

 

When it’s time to buy a home, a quality real estate agent  will be key to find your dream home of the future. Since the commute of the future will be less taxing, with riders able to work on the way and enjoy the trip more, commute time will be less of an issue. Developers armed with the newest real estate technology and lower costs will be able to build homes at a lower cost per square foot, with smaller garages.

 

Repurposing Parking Lots and Garages

 

A major development associated with this major shift to automated cars will be a lot of excess parking and garage spaces. The assumption is that most drivers will jump on the ride-sharing bandwagon to meet transportation needs which will free up parking lots and garages to a large extent. Considering the massive amount of square footage that is tied up in car storage and parking, developers are thinking about ways to repurpose all of that space.

 

Many home garages are expected to be turned into living space. Parking garages located in high-density urban areas can be changed into more homes in areas that desperately need more housing. Real estate speculators are preparing to take advantage this shift.

 

Senior Living Real Estate Changes

 

One obvious benefit of this futuristic society where cars drive passengers around instead of relying on drivers to do the work is that seniors will be able to stay in their homes longer. The senior community wants to be independent as long as possible. The surge of assisted living facilities may stop growing as mixed use communities and driverless cars make it much easier for elderly citizens unable to continue driving to remain on their own.

 

Industrial Real Estate

 

Automated cars completely change the face of industrial land usage. Logistics will change forever now that truck drivers and other delivery personnel are no longer needed. Expensive warehouse space that was once located in strategic areas near the drivers can be moved to cheaper and more remote spaces.

 

Many of the businesses that cater to truckers will be impacted negatively. Much like the retail business that is facing disaster due to online shopping, these roadside stops that feed and provide for the trucking industry will also be impacted as the need for their services is decreased. This industrial real estate will likely be sold and rezoned to match a new landscape.

 

Preparing for the Real Estate Shift Associated with Automated Transportation

 

Architectural companies are already planning for this epic transportation shift. CNBC reports that architect Andy Cohen is already designing garages with horizontal floors and an exterior ramp instead of slanted floors. This design modification allows these structures more flexibility so they can be easily converted to office space in the future as the driverless cars take hold.

 

Other architects like Andy Cohen will be pushed by consumers who will expect smaller garages to maximize the square footage of the home. The day of the three car garage will most likely come to an end, as driverless cars will make driving your own car more of a luxury than a necessity.

 

The future of the automated car looks bright but is not without considerable challenges as engineers, city planners and real estate developers try to figure out how best to proceed with what seems inevitable. Real estate firms with the latest real estate technology and an eye to the future are likely to start negotiating fewer parking spaces when planning new building projects. They are likely to rely on contracts with companies like Uber and Lyft as a logical move into the future and to satisfy commuters’ needs. The main debate left to be argued about this new driverless future is exactly how fast all of these changes will take place.

Virtual Reality: A Hot Trend in Real Estate

Virtual Reality: A Hot New Trend in Real Estate

Virtual Reality: A Hot Trend in Real Estate

How Virtual Reality Could Change Real Estate

Imagination is a powerful element in all walks of life. Science fiction has become reality in many of the modern technological breakthroughs.  A new technology has made its way into the real estate industry, giving sellers and buyers a new way to interact with the properties and homes for sale that they are interested in. Today, consumers who want to buy a home in today’s market may have a choice of methods for viewing the property.

 

Real Estate – In The Old Days

Thirty years ago, REALTORS had very limited means of showing homes for sale to potential buyers. In those days, the multiple listing system (MLS) was printed and disseminated weekly to real estate agents and brokers.  They then moved to daily faxes being sent to all of the local brokerage offices.

 

Technology Changed Real Estate

As real estate technology progressed, the MLS started sending listings out via IDX feeds to local brokers.  This let the local brokers, that were members of the local MLS, display up to date listing inventory on their websites. This changed the industry into searching real estate listings online with pictures of homes, up to date listing information, property descriptions and even guided imagery (virtual tours and videos) as potential home buyers viewed the available listing inventory in their area.

 

Technology Trends in Real Estate

Is virtual reality the newest trend?  Although there is already some level of three dimensional viewing of homes by companies such as Matterport, the ability to virtually  “feel like you are in the home” has still eluded the real estate buying process. 

The process of creating a 3-D viewing of a home can be a little complected.  Photographers take pictures from every angle and software stitches those photos together.  The final product is a more natural looking representation of the property  than a traditional two-dimensional photo can provide.  We are seeing multiple ways that this technology is being introduced to the real estate buying process. 

The idea of true Virtual Reality for Real Estate takes this to the next level.  With the viewers full field of vision being occupied by the home being viewed, coupled with the users head movement changing what they see.  

 

The Many Uses of VR in Real Estate

With venture capital funding many of the new technology tools for real estate, we are seeing the development of Virtual Reality being used in a variety of ways. Companies have developed, and are continuing to develop, technology that will bring properties to life so that buyers, sellers, developers, and real estate agents can have access to properties, even before they are built.

Visualizing architecture that has not been built is challenging, but the rise of virtual reality in real estate allows buyers to preview these properties, both inside and outside, to have an understanding of what they will be getting.

So, not only is it an emerging trend in the buying and selling of residential properties, it is also a way for developers to promote properties that are in the development stage as well as those that are already built. The interactivity of this new technology is appealing to consumers.

 

Uses by REALTORS

This can be a win for the technologically savvy real estate agent as he or she could impress potential buyers leveraging VR as opposed to driving from home to home and consuming everyone’s valuable time.  then appointments and physical showings can be narrowed down only to the homes that are a good fit for the potential homeowner. 

 Although we are not at that point yet, we can see this type of property showing quickly approaching.  With millennials (who have grown up with technology) now purchasing homes,  as this cutting edge home technology takes off, it will likely leave non-compliant agents in the dust.

 

VR Appeals to Many People

REALTORS can boast an online open house that  are available any time a buyer is ready to see the home. This will be especially appealing to the younger generation of home buyers who expect instant gratification in their daily lives.  We are not far away from a time in which a REALTOR will bring a virtual reality headset to a listing presentation to show clients what potential buyers will see when they look at their home.

The attraction to the real estate firms is that, for the firms that implement it,  it could provide a competitive advantage over other real estate brokerages.   The “WOW factor” alone could help to promote the brokerage. 

For homeowners that are getting ready to sell, they simply want the home to sell as quickly as possible.  At the end of the day, both the real estate agent and the seller both want to utilize the most effective marketing and sell the home with the fewest days on the market.  

 

The Relocation Market

The ability to bring an actual experience of a distant location into a hand-held device is a coup. Remotely showcasing properties to qualified buyers is an economic way to “walk through” a property thousands of miles away. It helps the businessman stand out from the crowd. 

For those people relocating to a new city, Virtual Reality can make the home buying process substantially less stressful and even shorten the time to find the perfect home.

Using a virtual reality headset, potential buyers can tour a property in 3-D mode and, with one click, be able to see different versions of what it could look like. This is especially helpful when selling fixer upper properties. Agents can walk buyers through a property remotely while having the same view as the clients, and that assists REALTORS in selling homes to consumers who have not actually seen the property.

 

A Constantly Changing Industry

As virtual reality continues to revolutionize multiple industry’s , more real estate companies will use the technology and run simple 360-degree camera and computer graphics, which is readily accessible today.  With the video gaming industry behind virtual reality, we are expecting to see more sophisticated uses of VR in many industries. 

Virtual reality allows for both guided tours, which move home buyers through the property to show it in its entirety, and interactive visits, which allow consumers to control where they want to go within the property.

Virtual reality technology provides an avenue for users to see properties while sitting in the comfort of their own living rooms. While this usage is new to real estate, it has been a part of the game industry for quite some time. Realtors can entice more clients, serve them better, and grow their businesses exponentially.

 

Staging a Home 

Staging a property has become an effective sales tool in the real estate professional’s arsenal, but moving furniture and decor physically is time consuming and costly. Virtual staging may be the next frontier in the staging arena because it allows REALTORS to place, and change at will, furnishings and decor to enhance a vacant property or to show how a buyer’s own furniture may appear in the space.

 

Not Just for REALTORS

Not only will virtual reality benefit the real estate market for buyers and sellers, but it can be effective for house flippers and fixers. The ability to superimpose furniture, appliances, decor, etc. allows the purchaser to have a better realization of what could be a reality for the space. It is easy to make changes and have the buyers input. Interior designers and contractors can use this technology in many different projects.

 

Rental Properties

Landlord/tenant communication improves when potential tenants can virtually walk through a rental. It saves time for the landlord or property manager, who can wisely spend their time and energy on tenants who seriously qualify or who seriously desire the unit.

In addition to walk through, a library of property videos could be accessible to tenants who need questions answered about the working of the rental unit. This can be especially useful for short-term rentals, such as vacation rentals, allowing managers to communicate via virtual reality to answer basic questions about the rental as well as information about the city or neighborhood.

Just as the internet changed the viewing habits of buyers with the ability to view real estate listings online, so virtual reality has the potential to change the way buyers, sellers, renters, and property managers will do business in the future.

 

Getting Ready To Sell?

Getting Ready To Sell?

Getting Ready To Sell?

Need To Know How To Prep Your Home To Sell?

Congratulations! You’ve decided to sell your house. You’ve made a lot of wonderful memories here. However, the kids are too big for their bedrooms, you could use a bigger kitchen, and one more bathroom would be a gift from heaven. So where do you start?

Any real estate agent will tell you two things. The first is that home staging sells houses. The second is that selling a house involves a boatload of cleaning, trimming, sprucing up, and putting almost everything you have in storage until the house is sold. Ready? Let’s get started.

 

As You’re Making The Decision To Sell

When you decide to sell your house, you’ll look around. Two things will hit you. One is that the place looks less than perfect. The second is that emotions are involved. You’ll want to work on both.

Beginning with emotions, it’s a fact that the house has become too small for your growing family. The fact is you need more rooms in a house such as extra bathrooms, an attic or basement for storage, as well as a bigger family room. We get it. Make yourself release this house. You’ll make new memories in a new house.

Deep Clean Outside The House

When buyers view your house for the first time, they’ll see from the outside in. Their first impression will sell the house or not. It’s imperative that the outside of the house be immaculate. It’s called curb appeal.

One. Keep the grass cut, the drive and walkway edged, and keep the underbrush clear of debris. Trim back any tree branches hanging over the roof. Branches on a roof could mean roof damage, something no buyer wants to tackle.

Two. Wash the windows. You’d be surprised to know how much sharper your house will look with clean windows reflecting the sun and clouds.

Three. Power wash the siding on the house. Years’ worth of weather, dust, and dirt makes siding look dull.

Four. Clean the gutters. Leaves and twigs sticking out of gutters means water running down the walls into the basement and other walls of the house.

Five. Remove weeds and grass growing in flower beds. Planting new vibrantly colored flowers adds freshness to any house. Matching planters on the porch holding pretty flower arrangements charm buyers.

Six. Replace the house numbers. Bright, shiny brass numbers alert buyers to a noticeable house. Buyers will also notice a freshly painted front door.

Seven. Spruce up the mailbox. Painting it bright white, adding the address, and planting flowers around it catch buyers’ eyes and pleases them.

 

Deep Clean Inside The House

Here’s where you need a storage unit ready to fill. A real estate agent will advise you, considering your belongings, what to put in it. You’ll want to start getting rid of things before that, though.

One. Empty every closet, drawer, cabinet, or other storage area. Be ruthless. Toss whatever is no longer usable. Repeat, be ruthless. No “but, but” piles.

Two. Deep clean every closet, drawer, cabinet, and other storage area once it’s empty. Buyers will poke around to see if these areas will hold their things.

Three. If you have to hire a cleaning company to remove years’ worth of grime and grease, do it. The house should look and smell fresh and clean. This includes washing the windows.

 

How Staging A Home Works

You might not have to hire a professional. Many Realtors enjoy telling and helping you work on home staging yourself. When you’re done, your house will look like a model home, ready for someone to move in.

One. Once everything is out of the house and in the storage unit, paint the walls. The days of beige, white, tan, and gray have segued into bolder neutral colors. Trending in 2018 are honey, the shade of pink knows as Millennial Pink or a mixture of peach and salmon, ocean blue and more.

Two. Add molding around ceilings, doors, and windows. It can be done by anyone, even if they’ve no experience, and gives a room a touch of class.

Three. Replace the flooring. The cost of a quality upgrade can repay itself nicely when it comes time to sell.

Now that the basics are completed, move one or two pieces of furniture back into each room. Put one painting on the walls, add one book to the coffee table, place one stuffed animal on a child’s dresser, and then leave it alone. The emptier a room is, the more willing buyers are to picture their own furnishings in the rooms.

 

Things That Sell A House

Don’t knock subliminal messaging. We know that scent is a powerful tool for selling anything, especially selling a house. Science has proven that home sales have hinged upon things like the lemon scented air freshener that reminded a buyer of his grandmother. Perhaps the smell of chocolate chip cookies or brownies convinced a buyer this was her kind of house. Cable TV home renovation shows capitalize on this by showing plates of goodies on kitchen counters.

Other sales centered upon a vase of flowers on a coffee table or kitchen table. Sellers won’t know that a vase of bright yellow and white daisies sold their house. Many times the paint color will capture someone’s heart. Your house could very well sell because you chose a cheerful shade of blue on the walls.

 

One Last Word

Most buyers, even if they don’t have children, won’t mind seeing the occasional board game on a coffee table. They won’t mind seeing sports equipment neatly stored on shelving in the garage. What they will notice, however, is signs of pets. Lots of people love animals. Those who don’t will be touring your house, too.

Get rid of the messy old blankets, towels, or other bedding the pets slept on. On the days the house is shown, box up anything to do with pets and take them with the pets to someone’s house for a couple hours. Eliminate pet odors, vacuum pet hairs, and tuck away pet foods. Buyers will want to know their own pets, if any, will like this house.

These tips on selling your house will take a couple weekends and some serious elbow grease to accomplish. When it’s done, though, you’ll see your old house with new eyes. So will your buyers. Good luck!

 

 

upgrades for selling your home

Upgrading a Home to Sell!

When you are thinking about moving to a new state or city, many people have to deal with selling one home while buying another one. To make this process a little easier, you can immediately start prepping months before the big move. We also have some tips about things not to do if your future involves selling your home.  US News tells us 2018 is an excellent time to sell, so we give you the top tips in this blog to simplify your life.  

Get your home ready by depersonalizing the space

Fewer buyers are eager to purchase a property that looks like it’s not for sale.  Your space needs redefining, updating, and spring cleaning galore to make sure you can sell it fast. One way to help de-clutter all the closets, the corners of the basement, and the hidden spots in the attic, is to get a storage unit. You can take your time organizing and packing things away that you do not plan to use for about four to six months. You can put holiday decorations, keepsakes, seasonal bedding, clothes, and extras in storage first to make room to move everything else around.

Update Hardware and Fixtures

  • Modern or classic styles
  • Energy-efficient products
  • Neutral tones and colors
  • Appliances that are less than a year or two old
  • Stainless steel is always appealing
  • Consider replacing counters if they are more than ten years old
  • Check for signs of small damage like leaks and cracks that need repairing
  • Use bright LED lights in new fixtures
  • For fixtures that are not getting replaced, it is a good idea to clean and repaint or polish before the sale
  • Paint everything inside and out
  • Consider an upgrade like a fountain or fire feature
  • Outdoor living areas help make the space more inviting and boost curb appeal
  • Remember to give your garage and sheds the same treatment as your house
  • Make sure all railings are sturdy and durable – pay close attention to entry and basement stair railings
  • Use a smoke detector in each bedroom and on every level of the home
  • Install at least one carbon monoxide detector in the home
  • Motion detecting security lights add value because they increase safety from theft and falls

Beautify your yard

Curb appeal is a huge part of upgrading your home when you have visions of selling the property and moving into a larger space, or a home closer to work. People will never get through the front door if the yard is full of weeds, overgrown bushes, and dead plants. A drab front door or a house with an address that is not visible can cause buyers to make up their mind even before walking through the front door. 

Other ways to keep the outside in shape before you decide to sell

  • Fix driveways, sidewalks, and gutters
  • Consider energy-efficient window replacements
  • Add bright hardware to your porch and garage
  • Install shutters
  • Put in a porch swing
  • Add new mulch to flower beds each year
  • Plant some shade
  • Add a pergola or arbor
  • Water features can block out traffic noise and increase the value of the home when installed properly
  • Create a flowering entrance with an arch and some pretty flowers like roses
  • Get a new mailbox
  • Add house numbers that are at least five inches tall

Maintenance and safety are the kings of upgrading

When potential buyers come into your house, they want to see a home that is ready to move into now. They do not want to think about replacing chandeliers that are twenty years old. A buyer will not be happy to see leaky faucets or pull on cabinet doors that are stuck. New motion detecting security lights are always a welcome perk when potential buyers come looking for homes to buy. These changes are minor fixes that you can complete ahead of the sale and enjoy while you are still living in the home. Properties that have little to no repairs are more apt to sell fast because the buyer does not have to work on the home as soon as they move in. There are certain repairs that pay a better return on investment than others, so consider those first. 

What to avoid before you sell

  • Wallpaper
  • Custom tile designs or small mosaics, unless used as a border
  • Going overboard on the hardware like brass or gold accents
  • Stark white room paint
  • Appliances with color (Realtor.com says the colors purple and yellow turn most buyers off.)

Begin breaking emotional attachments to the house

If you are serious about moving, then you should think about ways that you can start moving on from your old home. By storing personal items, you can begin to see the house as more of a project than a home. You can begin painting and repairing items that need fixing early because those things are not going to go out of style. You can hide a letter to the new owners in the rafters to share a personal experience of living in the home. Have someone come and bless the home and help you on your way out. The key is to break your emotional attachment to the space.

Three reasons you should think about selling sooner instead of later

US News tells us that there are a few things to think about when you are still deciding when to sell your home. Current interest rates are pretty good, but they will not stay the same for long. After a long winter, many buyers have spent several months looking for homes. A huge benefit to moving now is that property tax rates are lower because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

If you want to sell your home, there is no time like now to get going. By planning upgrades and changes early, you can save yourself the hassle of maintenance when you are ready to pack up and move. Your home sale will be much less stressful when you have time to plan and organize your transition from old to new.

Heather Murphy Real Estate Group

How to Keep Your Family Organized

Wishing for efficient, effective home care? Make yourself a plan to tackle everything your busy life throws at you and make your job as Mom or Dad easier. Here are eight tips for keeping your family organized by implementing a home organization routine that will streamline your life.

  1. Downsize and donate. Create donation boxes dedicated to toys, clothes and household items you don’t want in order to make room for new things while also lending a helping hand.
  2. Get rid of clutter. Imagine the daunting buildup of useless stuff you’ll face at the dawn of 2018 if you don’t take the time this year to give away things you don’t need while getting rid of any unnecessary clutter in and around your home.
  3. Label shelves, drawers and containers. Fantasizing about your kids picking up after themselves will be so 2016 once you label the places where everything you’ve decided to keep will go, and make it easy for everyone to put things back in the right places.
  4. Clean storage spaces. Enjoy your clutter-free home even more after you empty your storage areas, such as drawers, closets and cabinets; clean them thoroughly; and put the items back in an orderly fashion.
  5. Plan meals ahead of time. Appreciating your clean living spaces is something you can do after you’ve completed your other duties as a parent, so start by planning your meals a day ahead to make your life easier.
  6. Organize work and play time. Munching on your well-thought-out meals is much more satisfying when your kids have finished their homework and you’ve completed your full day of work, so mark designated working and relaxing hours on your calendar to keep everyone in your family on track.
  7. Narrow down extracurricular activities. Benefiting from scheduled work and fun time is even easier when everyone is focused on and dedicated to their hobbies, so limit your kids to three hobbies per season, and cut back on the running around you have to do on a weekly basis.
  8. Make a schedule. Bask in your beautiful, organized home and high-functioning family life once you’ve made a weekly schedule dedicated to carrying out each and every tip successfully throughout the year.

A fast, simple route to an orderly living space and a prosperous family life is what every family needs. This collection of eight tips for keeping your family organized is a great place to start, so take each one to heart and make it work for you and your loved ones. When you’re ready to take the next steps toward an active home organization system, I’m only a phone call away.

linen closet savannah

Must-know Tips for Arranging Your Linen Closet

Spring is here, and you shouldn’t forget your linen closet as you start your household cleaning. In fact, this is a great place to start, as this household area is often in disarray. Here are seven must-know tips for organizing your linen closet and keeping these household items put away neatly all year round. linen closet savannah

1. Get rid of things you don’t need. Clearing out things you don’t need is a stellar space-saving strategy. Figure out what you want to keep, and donate everything else, as you never know who might need it.

2. Clear out and clean the closet from top to bottom. Once you’ve gotten rid of everything you don’t need, clean out your linen closet. Dust the shelves, vacuum the bottom, wipe the shelves down with a damp cloth and then let the space dry before putting the linens back neatly.

3. Add extra storage space. If you feel you need more storage space after you’ve cleaned your linen closet, maximize the closet with added shelves, baskets or hooks before you put your things back in it. Take advantage of shelf dividers or towel bars on the doors, for example, to create more efficient storage space as well as easy access.

4. Label each space. After you optimize the closet with your choice of space-saving hacks, give each shelf its own identity. Keeping tabs on where each type of linen goes helps you, your family and your guests put things back in place after they use them, so you’ll be surprised by how neat your linen closet will stay throughout the year.

5. Prioritize everyday items. Once you figure out where you want everything to go, prioritize items you use often for easier access. Keep the most important linens front and center so your family doesn’t have to dig around for towels, blankets or sheets.

6. Vacuum-seal seasonal items. After you’ve finalized your linen closet organization, seal items you use only occasionally in plastic bags, and store them in a different place.

7. Freshen up the air. After you’ve cleaned and organized your linen closet, keep the space cool and dry. Linens can get smelly over time, so add an air freshener on one of the shelves to help your linens stay clean and fresh.

You’re now equipped to tackle any small space with these cleaning and organizing tips, so get ready to up your storage game. Even though it may be a hectic time of year, you’ll be able to conquer with ease whatever tasks your spring-cleaning throws at you. If you’re interested in finding out more must-know tips for organizing your linen closet or any other small space in your house, get in touch with me today.