Caroline Ashe Your Source in Augusta, GA Real Estate April 3rd, 2013
Staging has become a must-do in the real estate world. Most people can do it themselves with a little research online and a decorating-savy friend or two. Here are a few quick staging dos and don’ts:
- Declutter the refrigerator
- Remove all non-essential items from counters in the kitchen and baths
- Use the rule of 3 when decorating bookcases. 3 items per shelve no les no more
- Reduce the amount of family photos and collections
- Freshen outside mulch and remove dead plants
- Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink for showing
- Don’t have blown light bulbs
- Don’t list your home without having a deep cleaning done including furniture and drapes
- Don’t have full gutters
- Don’t have bright colors wall paint, neutralize the paint colors
- Don’t have a cluttered garage or attic/storage spaces
I witnessed this staging no no while previewing a home yesterday! BONUS TIP: remove all empty hangers from closet. Closet will feel more organized and lack of storage won’t be an issue.
Need a Staging eye? I can help! Find Caroline Online or email email@example.com
Caroline Ashe Your Source in Augusta, GA Real Estate December 17th, 2012
Interest Rate for a Jumbo Loan Today
Jumbo loans are making a come back and we are seeing positve movement in today’s real estate market. Home sellers are becoming home buyers because the lagging sale of their current homes are finally making it to the closing table! The inventory levels in Augusta, GA for example saw great improvement in 2012 and the outlook for 2013 is even better.
Jumbo loans were out of reach for even the most qualified buyers for a number of years from the fact that investors just were not buying jumbo loans. The interest rate were so high, that unless you had enough liquid assets to get the loan amount to $417,000, it just wasn’t worth it. The higher end market became sluggish and a much harder sell.
With the easing of the Jumbo Loan market and the positive activity in today’s real estate market the larger loan amounts are in reach. Buyers are buying larger, more expensive homes and utilizing jumbo loans. A jumbo loan is a loan over the conforming amount of $417,000. If a buyer requires a mortgage over $417,000 then the buyer should expect to have an interest rate of 1% higher than the current conventional interest rate. Jumbo loans would also require the qualified buyer to have an minimum down payment of 20%.
Quick Jumbo Loan Home Search
Richmond County GA Homes $400,000+
Columbia County GA Homes $400,000+
Aiken County SC Homes $400,000+
A special thanks to Kevin McDougal of Augusta Mortgage for providing some of the information for this blog post. Looking for a fantastic local Augusta GA lender? Call Kevin at 706-513-4682 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Kevin is licensed in GA and SC.
Caroline Ashe Your Source in Augusta, GA Real Estate August 29th, 2012
Top Ten Things You Need to Know About the 3.8% Real Estate Tax in the Health Care Legislation
The questions on this new tax are plenty and I’ve received alot of emails and calls about the tax that’s weaved into the Health Care Legislation that will go into effect in 2013. This informative piece from the www.Realtor.org seem to answer all the hot topics. Stay informed…read on!
Caroline Ashe Your Source in Augusta, GA Real Estate August 4th, 2012
How does my real estate agent get paid? I run into this question a good bit by first time home buyers. The technical answer is, it depends. The typical answer is it comes out of the sellers proceeds. When a seller lists a property with a real estate agent they agree to pay x% of the selling price or a set fee to the agent. This amount is deducted from the equity that the seller is paid. When the agent lists the property on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) they agree to a portion of that percentage or set fee to the agent that closes on the property. I would guess in about 90% of transactions this will be the case.
The other 10% are for agents paid by the hour or if you should purchase a For Sale By Owner. There is a new thought on agents being paid by the hour. They can pull the money again from the agreed portion of the fee or they can charge the buyer directly. On the surface this might not seem like such a great deal for a buyer, but wait it has some perks for you. They will work as many or as little hours as you need them. If you know exactly what you are looking for in a home, find it, and buy it quickly, besides the phone calls and paperwork you might save yourself a couple grand that you can in turn use to negotiate the price of the home!
As for FSBO’s they have listed their property without an agent usually for a reason, either they want to save money on a commission or they do not have enough equity to pay a real estate agent. In this case paying your agent can happen one of two ways, first they can negotiate for the seller to pay the commission or you can pay them.
Remember, unless your paying by the hour your agent only gets paid when you sit down together at the closing table.
It can be argued as well that the buyer always pays the commission. Think about it…who gets the new loan to buy the house? With all the numbers wrapped into the sales price the buyer pays it indirectly. Same with any other consumer product…the buyer pays for everything.
This formula of commissions has been around along time and like I said I would guess about 90% of homes sold have a fee for a real estate agent built in, so join the club!
Do you have other commission questions? I am happy to answer any questions you have, in detail.
Caroline Ashe Your Source in Augusta, GA Real Estate July 23rd, 2012
The ol’ real estate saying has always went… Location Location Location! That may have been true until the housing melt down of a few years ago. Now the new saying is Price Price Price! Homes linger on the market and sellers begin to ask, “Why isn’t my home selling?” Even good homes that are well maintained and in top rated schools-still no offers.
The new rule is a home will sell at the right price, but some sellers are not willing to give their homes away or just don’t have the equity in the home and can not afford to take a loss. Sellers must remember the days of starting at a higher price and coming down just doesn’t work. Buyers are savvy and they know what a home should be priced for in today’s market. The competition is so high that if a seller’s pricing is off, then the buyer will simply move on to another house. If your home is overpriced then consider a price adjustment to generate new activity.
Other than pricing consider these other issue that might be hindering you from getting an offer:
- Be willing to accommodate buyers with showings and be flexible! If a buyer can’t look they can’t buy.
- Don’t underestimate the power of STAGING! Clean and de-clutter before the first showing!
Selling in today’s market is a challenge, but remember the there things you can control, focus on perfecting those things!
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Caroline Ashe Your Source in Augusta, GA Real Estate May 17th, 2012
Homeowners Insurance can make your head hurt! I’m not an expert on homeowners insurance, but I compiled a few helpful tips when shopping for a new homeowners policy.
BONUS - Homeowners Insurance Worksheet attached below. Be prepared when calling for a quote.
Your homeowners insurance policy should provide protection for your property to include the dwelling, other structures, personal property and the loss of use. You should have enough protection to rebuild your home and replace it’s contents. The policy should also protect you from the liability to others, for example if someone is visiting your home and is injured. Other considerations should be disasters, flooding and vacant properties.
Top Ways to Save on Your Premium:
- Consider Raising your deductible
- invest in a home security system
- update exterior locks and deadbolts
- install smoke alarms
- select an automatic payment method
- monitor your credit rating
- ask about multi-policy discounts
Homeowners Insurance and your Credit Score
Yourinsurance premium is calculated by many things including your credit score. Your credit score is used to determine how likely it is that you may experience a loss. Statistics show that the higher your credit score the less likely you are to have a claim and that indicates a low risk for the insurance companies, therefore you get a better rate. That’s good news for those with a good credit standing.
If you have any questions on homeowners insurance or just need a referral to a good agent, give me a call. I’m happy to help! Or you can always
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