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Outdoor Features to Attract Homebuyers

According to a report by the Outdoor Industry Association, at least 13.6 million Americans perform outdoor activities such as camping, running and hiking. And although these leisure activities are fun, perhaps the simplest way to get outdoorsy is to chill in the backyard.

Many homebuyers appreciate the versatility of residential outdoor space. From entertainment to gathering with friends and family or just winding down after a long week, outdoor spaces have plenty of value to offer. Here are five outdoor features that attract homebuyers.

1. Good Landscaping

Most real estate agents can agree that nothing attracts potential homebuyers quite like beautiful landscaping. Furthermore, landscaping costs are relatively low, so sellers can easily recoup 100% of their investment after a home sale.

Privacy-oriented landscaping, in particular, adds plenty of value to a home. Well-manicured hedges and trees planted reasonably close to a house can provide aesthetic value while adding a sense of privacy. According to the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers, a single mature tree can raise a home’s value by $1000-$10,000.

2. Entertainment Area

What is a backyard without a dedicated entertainment area? Thanks in part to the pandemic-induced lockdowns, indoor entertainment may have lost much of its appeal. Some of the entertainment features prospective homebuyers look for in an outdoor space include outdoor kitchens, grills, permanent seating and spacious decks.

3. Spacious Yard

Outdoor playtime is not only essential for children but also family bonding. Homebuyers are increasingly expressing interest in homes with yards big enough to accommodate play structures such as slides and swings, basketball courts, sandboxes, miniature soccer fields and more. Homeowners appreciate the peace of mind that comes from knowing their children can play all they want within the confines of their backyard.

4. Fire Pit

Outdoor fireplaces or fire pits are grand for reminiscing, keeping warm during chilly evenings and roasting marshmallows or hot dogs. Families that love camping will definitely appreciate the outdoor heating idea.

5. Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor lighting treads the thin line between a functional, must-have feature and a decorative element. Combining smart, solar-powered lights with motion sensors can make an outdoor space more inviting, all while acting as a security feature.

Final Thoughts

Homebuyers view the modern yard as an extension of the main home. The right yard additions can transform a home’s outdoor area into more than a living space and increase the offers made for the home significantly.

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How Your Credit Score Affects Home Buying

Credit score has several impacts on people’s lives, among them being home buying. It is a measure of personal credit files that dictates the worthiness of an individual. Let’s look at some of the impacts that a credit score can sum up.

 

Lending and Payment

Apart from a rock-solid financial history, a credit score also matters a lot in approaching lenders. It has an impact on the amount of loan you qualify for to purchase a house. They look much into applicants who have a good record with other lenders, especially on payment duration. Thus, it is also an indication that the respective borrower will be accountable and meet the obligations.

A good credit score implies that the borrower will repay and in the speculated duration. This varies depending on your credit report’s information that brings together your history of borrowed money and payment habits.

 

Mortgage Rates and Credit

For you to acquire the best mortgage rates, your credit score should be high enough. Persons with a low credit score will end up paying more money during the term of their mortgage. This is attributed to the increased interest and monthly payments.

Generally, a credit score of 700 and above will place you in the best position for mortgages and with the best rates. However, there are still better options for credits below 700. Below is a summary of the scores and statuses. 

800 or higher is an exceptional credit, 740 and higher has excellent credit, between 700 and 739 is good credit, and between 630 and 699 results in a fair credit. But for 629 and below results to poor credit.

 

Down payment Amount

When your credit score matches the desired range, you will be in for a reasonable down payment. Additionally, there will be favorable terms such as a lower original fee. Also, borrowers who bring in more cash on the table reciprocate their potential of delivering and fulfilling the agreement terms. 

Borrowers with a low credit score will raise trust issues and will be an accomplice of higher requirements. Such conditions can be incorporating private mortgage insurance into their loans which is results in extra costs. This is pragmatic, especially for new home buyers who need to create a reputable note.

What Real Estate Appraisers Might Not Disclose To You - W Darrow Fiedler

What Real Estate Appraisers Might Not Disclose to You

The real estate appraisers help people in determining the value of their real estate properties. They assist buyers with the valuation information so that they don’t get overcharged by property owners. Similarly, the sellers, too, are protected against possible underpayments by willing buyers.
Real estate appraisers are also useful when a property owner intends to obtain a loan using their property as collateral. Without their input, the homeowners may secure smaller loan amounts than expected or fail to meet the minimum financial assistance requirements. Below are some things that the real estate appraisers may not want one to know.

They Don’t Know Much about an Area

Before the real estate property boom, appraisal officers used to work within specific counties or states. However, this has never been the case in recent years. Most Appraisal Management Companies (AMCs) have increased the tendency of sending their officers to different counties and states. Therefore, it’s likely that a real estate appraiser works in areas they know very little about.

They Hate Being Followed Around

Some homeowners or buyers usually find themselves trying to keep in touch with their appraisers most of the time. While they may think it’s the right thing to do, it’s their real estate agents and inspectors they should be spending more time with. Therefore, it’s appropriate to give the appraisers some space once they’ve received the valuation report.

They Do Most of the Evaluation Off-the-Site

Property valuation assessment should take up to about 8 hours. Surprisingly, most appraisal officers would take as little as a half of the total set assessment time. It happens so because of the increased use of technology in the process. For instance, some AMC agents could use video clips of the home from drones and computer-stored data about the property to compile the final appraisal report.

Last Minute Renovations Don’t Always Add the Value of the Property

Many people believe that making some little changes in the kitchen or the bathroom would increase their property’s selling price. But unfortunately, this isn’t true, and the appraisers know – only that they’ll never talk about it.

Consulting the real estate agents or inspectors in advance is by far the best way of ensuring a successful sale of a property. By doing so, the homeowner would get to know more than what an appraiser is always willing to share.

What to Consider When Investing in Real Estate with a Partner

Investing in real estate is a great way to add to your investment portfolio by securing a physical property that will net you returns in the future. Even so, the prospect of buying an investment property can be daunting for many people, which makes it much more appealing for a lot of first-time investors to go into their first deal with a partner. A partnership helps defray the cost of the investment, and it also provides a buffer for error by distributing responsibility across multiple parties, instead of just one. Still, there are a few aspects of partnerships in real estate investing that can be troublesome if both parties are not knowledgeable about potential pitfalls. Here are three aspects of real estate investing partnerships to be aware of before signing on the dotted line.

1) Who will supervise and pay for work on the property? Part of investing in real estate is often performing standard renovations to make sure that the property nets the highest amount of revenue when it gets put on the market. Before you put money down, have a frank discussion with your potential business partner about whose responsibility it will be to handle the work on the property – who is paying for it, who is supervising it, and who is completing the punch list once it has been completed. This conversation will help to inform both parties about their individual responsibilities, and it will save you an uncomfortable discussion later on if and when important details fall through the cracks.

2) How are you splitting equity? Presumably, the intention of investing in real estate is to increase its value and net greater returns on the property over time. It’s important to mutually agree on a split in equity before the property makes it to the market; if you wait until afterwards, you’ll automatically increase the likelihood that you’ll end up having an acrimonious, partnership-ending conflict over the split in equity later on, which could cost you not only a business partner, but also a significant amount of money.

3) What will you do if one party wants to leave the partnership? As with any business, it’s important to draw up a contract between both parties that clearly and irrefutably outlines what the terms of the agreement are and what will happen if one person decides that they no longer want to be involved in the ownership of the property. If you have a contract in place, then there will be no miscommunication about the roles and responsibilities of each person down the line, and there will be no conflict when one person decides to disengage, because you’ll already have a plan in place for this exact situation and others like it.

While it can be challenging to invest in real estate with a partner, it can also be infinitely more rewarding and significantly more lucrative. So, then, as long as you go into your business arrangement with open eyes and clear guidelines for the functions and division of labor for your business, you will set yourself – and your business partner – up for success in the rewarding world of real estate investing.

3 Tips for Buying an Investment Property

Often, when we discuss being a real estate professional, it’s within the framework of working as a licensed Salesperson or Broker who brings in a primary income by renting and selling properties for clients. What you may not realize, though, is that you can be involved in real estate outside of your primary source of income by investing in properties with the express intention of accruing a passive stream of income from them, in addition to the active income you bring home in the form of paychecks. As a consultant, I often work with clients who could benefit greatly from investing in real estate, but do not know how to make sure they’re investing in properties that will bring in revenue. The following are a few pieces of advice for first-time or inexperienced investors who are looking for some guidance about what makes a property a wise investment.

  1. Figure out what your money will get you where: When beginning a search for a property to invest in, the first step is to determine how much money you can invest in the project and what that money will get you based on the location of your potential investment. Look into properties in your price range in different neighborhoods, and see what competing, similar properties are already on the market. Sometimes, it’s wiser to purchase a smaller property in a more upscale neighborhood, as clients are more likely to rent properties in areas that are on the up and up than in areas that cost less for a reason.
  2. Find out how long the property has been on the market for: Generally speaking, the longer a property stays on the market, the less appealing it becomes to investors and clients alike. The common assumption is that a property that sits on the market tends to have something wrong with it – either the pricing is wrong, the property itself is flawed, or the person who is selling it is not managing the process well and may prove to be difficult to work with. You should always research the length of time that the property you’re considering buying has been on the market for, as well as the amount of time that similar properties in that neighborhood are staying vacant. Invest in neighborhoods where the turnaround time between listing and rental or sale is decreasing across the board, as this is generally a sign that if you buy a property in that neighborhood, you’ll be entering a hot market.
  3. Understand the neighborhood’s amenities: There are some universal signs that indicate that a given neighborhood is improving. Take note of the retail options in the neighborhood, which food purveyors have chosen to set up shop there, and how happy residents are with the local schools and business opportunities. If you can buy a property in a promising market that is currently undergoing some form of gentrification but is still in your price range, you’ll be increasing your chances of bigger returns over time as the neighborhood becomes more established and you can charge more to rent or sell your investment property.

If you do your due diligence and research, you’ll be able to make more informed, strategic decisions about how and where to invest your money. After all, as Sir Francis Bacon famously said, knowledge is power.

 

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