Look for Properties with the Right Things Wrong

Look for Properties with the Right Things WrongI had an appointment to meet an investor at a bank owned property that had just come on the market.  As I waited for my buyer to arrive, there was a parade of potential buyers and Realtors looking through the house. I suppose the enticement was the very low advertised price. The house was a bank owned property and it needed considerable work. There was a poorly constructed addition at the back of the house and there was rotten wood all the way around. The outside stucco was unprofessionally done and was riddled with stair step cracks. One corner of the house was sagging. When we got inside we saw that the house needed to be gutted. The roof was leaking in various places and the ceilings were sagging.  There was no kitchen or bathroom and no flooring. It needed a new electric panel and appeared to need new wiring.  The inside and outside a/c units were missing. It was apparent that there were more issues than met the eye in this dilapidated old house. We agreed that it looked like a Pandora’s Box of problems.

In buying investment property consider a house with the right things wrong with it. The wrong house at the wrong price can be a buyer’s nightmare.  An investor putting his hard earned dollars and his sweat equity into a property should be able to build in some equity of his own. In real estate you make your money when you buy. In figuring purchase price, renovation costs, plus an additional cushion for unforeseen problems and the unprofessional workmanship throughout this particular house, it was a loss. The true value was in the land. In researching further we found no surrounding properties in the neighborhood or on the street to add value on this house after the cost of a renovation. And, the fact remained that when completed, the house would still only be a 2 bedroom, 1 bath.

Some investors may be enticed by a property with a price that seems too good to be true, but leave it for someone else. A bad investment can waste time and drain a pocket book of hard earned money. Look for properties with the right things wrong.

If They Don’t Like the Outside, They Won’t Go Inside

If you Don't Like the Outside, They Won't go InsideHome buyers decide whether or not to look inside a house based on the exterior appearance. What they see when they drive by, or when they arrive for a showing sets the tone for that first impression. It often determines if a buyer even wants to go inside for a closer look.

Back in the 1980’s, before I was a Realtor, I was in the market to buy a house. The agent pulled up to a house that was rundown, unkempt and showed years of deferred maintenance. There were chickens, barricaded by wire fencing, roaming the overgrown front yard. I wasn’t in the market for an investment property or a fixer upper. I told the agent I had no interest in looking at the interior. She insisted I would fall in love with the house once I got inside. I told her no thank you.

If a buyer doesn’t like the outside of a house for sale, they’re not likely to look inside.

To prepare your house for sale, detach yourself from the property. Remember, it’s a business transaction. This can be hard for some, as there are memories attached to a home. Look at the house, as if you are a potential buyer.

Look outside

What is your first impression of the house and yard?

Can you enhance the outside features of the house?

Can you minimize the worst features?

Curb Appeal

Pressure wash the front path, driveway, sidewalk, deck and house.

Mist the roof with a light chlorine rinse. Be careful not to kill plants around the house.

Cut back any bushes or shrubs.

Mow, weed and edge the yard. 

Rake and dispose of leaves, even if your lot is wooded.

Trim tree limbs near or touching the roof.

Put away unnecessary items around the house.

Clean the windows and gutters.

Put a fresh coat of paint on the front door.

If you can budget it, a fresh paint job does wonders.

Add some potted flowering plants to the front porch, by the door.

Keep the pool crystal clear for showings.

I recently had a home seller tell me that she never liked her house, even the first day she drove up and saw it. She said a friend told her that it would ‘grow on her’. I say go with your gut instincts. If you don’t like it the first time you see it, then it’s not the house for you.

Remember, a buyer will discount their offer price on a house by thousands, for items that may often cost a seller hundreds to fix.  At home inspection time, buyers may estimate items found on an inspection report high. And often, they fear there are items that may not have been found, that may turn up after they have purchased the house.

So, before that for sale sign goes up, get that house market ready.

Staging your Brevard County FL

If they don’t Like the Outside, They Won’t Go Inside

Some Pets are Scared on the 4th of July

Some Pets are Scared on the 4th of JulyIt’s time for those holiday festivities this weekend and a lot of people are looking forward to having some much needed time off. But, not everyone is excited about the July 4th.  Some pets are scared on Independence Day.

More pets run away on the 4th of July than any other time of year. Too much activity and noise can cause severe anxiety for some pets.

During the 4th of July festivities try and keep your pet safe and comfortable.

Keep pets inside if at all possible, away from the noise of the fireworks. This will keep your pet from getting injured by stray fireworks and it will keep him away from the noise. He’ll have less chance of bolting or running away.

  • Turn on some soft music or the television in the house, to cause a slight distraction from the noise of the fireworks.
  • Spend time with your pet in a quiet safe place, during the height of the fireworks and festivities, to soothe him.
  • If you have to take your pet outside with you, be sure that you have him on a leash and keep him in close sight.
  • Keep an eye on your pet. Barking, howling and moving from window to window can all be signs of anxiety. Distract your pet with a dog treat or a favorite toy.
  • If you have a thunder shirt or vest for your pet, put it on before the fireworks start. It can help comfort some animals.
  • Don’t leave your pet home alone during the fireworks.
  • Keep holiday food away from your pet. It can be too rich.Bailey’s friend, Ralphie is coming over to spend the night so they can hang out inside before the holiday.

Have a safe and Happy 4th of July.

NAR Says Nearly Half of Homes Sold in 30 Days

NAR Says Nearly Half of Homes Sold in 30 Days

The National Association of Realtors indicates that 45% of homes listed for sale across the country sold within 30 days on the market.

The survey indicates that houses in Florida sold within 46 to 60 days.*

In May 2015, homes were on the market for an average of 40 days.  This is the shortest market time since May 2011.

The homes that sold in 30 days were in Colorado, Texas, Washington, Idaho and Kansas.

The homes that took the longest to sell were in Alabama, West Virginia, Mississippi and Arkansas at 90 or more days on the market.

*This seems interesting to me, as we are seeing buyers flocking to homes at certain price points the first few days on the market.  And, often we are in multiple offer situations. When priced right, homes here are gone in the first week. 

HGTV Dream House 2016 in Merritt Island Brevard County FL

HGTV Dream Home 2016 here in Merritt Island, Brevard County FLHGTV has announced their 2016 Dream Home Location.

They will be bringing their architects, construction crews, producers and cameras to renovate a Merritt Island Home here in Brevard County, Florida. I have to say that the HGTV ad for Florida’s Space Coast highlighted so many aspects of our area beautifully.

What a gorgeous place that we live in!

Florida is the Lightning Capital of the US

Florida is the Lightning Capital of the USEarlier this week, we headed out for a trip to the Tampa Amphitheater at Tampa Fairgrounds to see the Tesla, Styx and Def Leppard Concert.  Tampa is just over 2 hours away, on the west coast of Florida. We arrived at the concert in the middle of a terrible lightning storm, that hung over the fairgrounds for over an hour. The first band, Tesla, cancelled their show, as the weather was showing no signs of subsiding. We waited in the van until the lightning passed.

Here in South Brevard we’re fortunate to be located in an area that is central to some great venues that showcase very talented artists.

Maxwell C King Center for the Performing Arts and the Wickham Park Pavilion in Melbourne are just 5 minutes from us. At the King Center we’ve been fortunate enough to see Peter Frampton, Dennis DeYoung from Styx, Daryl Hall and John Oats and Riverdance.  Next month we will be driving 5 minutes down the street to see the 80’s band, Whitesnake.

The Wickham Park Pavilion hosted Runaway Country that showcased Blake Shelton and Luke Brian, the last 2 years. The show brought more than a dozen artists and tens of thousands of fans here in Melbourne.

We’re about an hour away from the House of Blues Orlando and the Osceola County Fairgrounds, that showcase various events.

And, we’ve got the Tampa Amphitheater at Tampa Fairgrounds, where Styx and Def Leppard put on an incredible concert last night. Def Leppard sounded amazing! They were better live than their recoded albums. After the show, we headed back to the van feeling a bit like drowned rats, dodging raindrops and trudging through mud puddles.

I love to be able to jump in my van and enjoy a great show for an evening. And during the summer months, we are reminded that we are living in Florida, the lightning capital of the United States.

Where are Mortgage Interest Rates?

Where are Mortgage Interest Rates?In real estate, mortgage interest rates are always a hot topic. Interest rates have been hovering above 4.00%. The projection is that they are going up. When interest rates go up, that affects a consumer’s buying power.  Higher rates often mean a lower purchase price of a home, as lenders look at the debt to income ratio of a borrower. Debt to income ratio is the percentage of a consumer’s monthly gross income that goes towards paying debts in comparison to their monthly income.

The interest rate on my mortgage is currently 5.875%.  I remember refinancing to get that rate. It wouldn’t benefit me to refinance again, to get a lower rate now, as I anticipate having it paid off within 18 months.  I wouldn’t be able to recoup the cost of the refinance in just the 18 months I take to pay if off.

I remember when interest rates were 13%. Heck, I remember when they were 18%. But, I also remember when houses were selling here in Melbourne for $25,000 to $50,000. Those same houses today are going for $150,000 and up.

Interest rates are projected to go up. And the word from analysts is to buy before they get too high. That’s probably pretty good advice.

To get an idea of what interest rates look like, check here. Your best source of information will be a local lender.

Where are mortgage interest rates?