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Nina Bjornstal

REMAX Town Center Blog

Tuesday, September 27, 2016   /   by Susan Hope

Beware of these Home Inspection Red Flags

A home inspection not only allows buyers to learn more about their home, it also helps them uncover any potential problems.
Curbed.com recently featured a 14-point checklist to help home buyers during a home inspection. Here are a few items they suggest to investigate further during a home inspection that will give your buyers more confidence in moving forward. 
HVAC system. Home inspectors will make sure the home’s heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system is working, and they should also be able to estimate how long the home air conditioning condenser (the outside unit) should last too. They just need to check the serial number, says Nigel Turner with Total Home Inspection Services in West Milford, N.J. Many condensers last 12 to 15 years before needing replacement. 

Water drainage. "The biggest issue of any home is always going to be water disbursement," Turner told Curbed.com. "There’s the potential for damage to the foundation. If wat ...

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016   /   by Susan Hope

3 Questions to Ask Before Listing Your Home

3 Questions to Ask Before Listing Your Home
Are you considering putting your home up for sale? Before you do, be sure to ask yourself these three questions.
1. Is now a good time?
Talk with a Realtor who knows your specific market (find one here) and can analyze the current sales inventory and trends. A good agent can determine whether it is a prime time to sell your home to get the best price. There may be all kinds of reasons to wait a season to sell, such as a glut of homes on the market similar to yours.
2. Is the price right?
Setting the right price and understanding how that price was calculated is critical to getting top dollar for your home. An experienced Realtor can provide comparable sales in your area, and evaluate the specific features of your home to set a price that will bring you the most value for your house in the shortest time.
3. What's my exit strategy?
You never know how quickly your home will sell, so es ...

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Thursday, September 15, 2016   /   by Karim Khoury

4 Things Agents Consider When Setting a Listing Price

There’s no online calculator for setting the perfect listing price for your home. It takes experience, market savvy, and even a bit of psychology. A strong listing agent can help you set the right, most competitive price for your home. Here are a few things they might look at:

1. The competition

Your agent will look at the prices of similar homes in your area that either are currently listed or sold during the past few months. They’ll take into account how many days the properties were on the market, and how the listing prices for those homes differed from the final sale prices.

2. Market trends

What’s affecting the market in your neighborhood, and your region? Your agent will consider national factors that shape the real estate market, such as possible rising interest rates, as well as local factors, like whether the average home price in your neighborhood has been rising or falling. They’ll also think about things such as new companies movi ...

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Friday, September 9, 2016   /   by Karim Khoury

5 Secret Sources of Down Payment Money

Whether you are planning to put down a full 20 percent or pulling together the cash for a 3.5 percent down payment for an FHA loan, your down payment might be the biggest single cash expenditure you ever make. Some scrimp and save for years, while others can ready the cash with less difficulty, but no buyer in the history of home buying has ever said they have too much down payment money.
Here's an insider secret: many buyers have a treasure trove of down payment resources at their disposal, hidden in plain sight. Here's a map to this hidden treasure – a handful of frequently-overlooked sources of down payment funds.
1. Your budget's biggest  line items. Home buying is one of those push-meet-shove-type situations. If you're serious about coming up with your down payment funds, sit down and backtrack over your monthly budget or your last month's checking account statements. Isolate your top 10 budgetary line items and do an internal gut check on whether there is anythi ...

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Friday, September 2, 2016   /   by Karim Khoury

4 Common Mistakes of 1st Time Home Buyers

First-time home buyers are facing some stiff competition this summer, and while they may feel compelled to make a hasty real estate decision, doing so could lead to financial remorse or home buyer regret, according to Curbed.com. In their article, real estate professionals share some of the most common mistakes by first-time home buyers, including:

Choosing the most expensive home. Just because you can qualify for a loan to buy that high, doesn’t mean you necessarily should. Some buyers max out how much they spend but then have nothing left over for savings. They get over their head quickly then when they move into home ownership.

Not shopping around enough. This applies to seeing enough homes and shopping for the right mortgage. “We are in a crazy market, and many buyers feel rushed,” says Mark Ferguson, a real estate professional and creator of Invest Four More. Buyers likely need to be able to act quickly in some areas but they don’t need ...

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