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Staging Your Home For Sale

home staging

Staging Your Home For Sale

In our ongoing set of real estate articles on selling a home, we will cover one of the most fashionable tips to getting your home sold.  Home sellers and listing agents have known for decades that sprucing up your home to look its absolute best can be a powerful influence in getting a home sold.     Home Staging became very popular after the most recent real estate crash when homes were staying on the market longer and we had fewer buyers.  Aggressive real estate agents were looking for things to make their properties that were for sale stand out…and so professional home staging was born.  Although many home sellers will clean up the home or even give the home a fresh cote of paint, Home Staging can range from renting furniture and home decorations to simply following some simple tips.

Basics of Staging A Home

When putting your home on the market for sale, keep in mind that you want potential homebuyers to easily envision themselves and their family in your home.  The very first step in prepping your home for showings is removing all of your personal memorabilia.  It can be challenging for a potential homebuyer to envision that extra bedroom as an office, if its full of your personal stuff.  One of the biggest tips on this is to simply remove everything in the home with eyes.  Yes, I know that sounds a little odd, but anything with eyes, usually has some sort of a personal connection.  For instance, if you have your wedding photos prominently on the wall, hopefully...

How Do Mortgage Rates Affect Real Estate?

Mortgage Rates - real estate

How Does Interest Rates Affect The Real Estate Market

Most people are aware that mortgage interest rates affect the real estate market.  Most people are not aware of HOW MUCH they affect the process of buying a home or selling a home. 

Interest rates can single handedly be the most important factor in the viability of the real estate market.  We will discuss how mortgage rates affect the home buying process which in turn affects the ability to sell a home.

The Affordability of a Home

Although many people who are looking to buy a home look at the price they paid for that home as the single most important factor in the homes overall affordability.  That is generally not the case.  When looking to purchase a home, there are many factors that affect its total cost to you and your family:

  • Price Paid For The Home
  • Homeowners Insurance Cost
  • Flood Insurance Cost
  • Maintenance and Upkeep
  • Interest Paid on the Mortgage

All of the above factors have an effect on the total price of home ownership.

How Much Difference Does The Interest Rate Matter?

Many people, when looking to purchase a new home, will walk away from a particular home purchase over $5,000 that couldn’t be negotiated.  At the end of the day, the rate that you receive on your new home mortgage has a much larger effect on what you will ultimately pay for your home than exceeding your budget slightly.  The interest rate paid is a major portion of the overall cost of homeownership…but exactly how much?  Let’s provide some examples:

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Granbury Home Search Designed To Deter Budget Surprises

Granbury Home Search Criteria Designed to Deter Budget Surprises 

Elevate Realty Group Search

Once a Granbury home search gets underway, even prospective buyers who hadn’t hardened up the prices they were aiming for begin to hone in on a target range. Even a cursory excursion into the Granbury listings forces the issue. Anyone who is at all serious about finding a new home sees the correlation between the listed asking prices and ‘how much house’ is available in that range. In most cases, lower prices denote features that are, for one reason or another, not very popular. Higher prices can mean the opposite: top-of-the-line quality… (or an overly optimistic seller).

So once a home search has narrowed the field to the Granbury offerings that meet at least the minimum physical requirements, the lower number of the price range is established. If a realistic family budget shows more to spare, more expensive possibilities can be explored. But first, it’s also a good idea to make at least one revision to those budgetary assumptions, because there’s one area where the actual costs of home ownership can cause a surprise. The particular line item we’re thinking about is the one that, according to the experts, is ‘devilishly hard to predict.’ 

The maintenance cost. 

Devilishly hard or not, the best ballpark figure that can be agreed upon is 1% of a home’s value, every year. When you are contemplating a pristine Granbury property, that may seem to be a wildly pessimistic figure, but it is simply the case that every home requires maintenance. Appliances fail, paint blisters or fades, shingles fly off or break down; things (as...

Do I Need Title Insurance?

what is title insurance

Do I Need Title Insurance

When you buy a new home, you are flooded with options and things that you are told you need to purchase.  One common question that comes up in almost every real estate transaction is “Should I Purchase Title Insurance”?  Many people don’t have a clear understanding of exactly what title insurance is, much less if it is worth the extra cost in purchasing a home.  We will attempt to enlighten you on exactly what title insurance is, what it covers and some of the misconceptions of title insurance and finally, if you should purchase it when buying a new home.

What is Title Insurance?

All properties that get sold have a title.  That title shows ownership and transfers to the new owner when a home is sold.  The title is generally filed in the local clerk of court as public record.  Anytime a home is sold, to be able to verify that the seller is truly the seller, a title search is completed.   Once the seller is verified, the home can be sold to the new buyer of the property.  A “cloud on the title” means that something was found in the title search that may not let the property be transferred.  An example of a cloud on the title would be that 30 years ago, the then owner passed away and left the property to his or her children.  Let’s then say that the home was then sold by the children that inherited the property.  What if it was found that the now deceased previous owner had another child that was not known at the time and had legal inherited a portion of that property…but the property was sold already!  That...

Tips on Selling Your Home - Provide a Home Warranty

selling your home with a home warranty

Tips on Selling Your Home – Provide a Home Warranty

This is the first in a series of posts that discuss tips from the professionals on how to sell your home.  All of the tips that we will discuss will fall into at least one category:

How fast you sell a home

For how much you sell your home for

How easy the transaction moves towards the closing table

In some instances, you may find that a particular tip may have an effect on more than one category.

Today, we will be discussing utilizing a Home Warranty to sell your home.  As a logical step, the first thing is we will discuss exactly what is a home warranty and why does it bring value. 

What is a Home Warranty?

A Home Warranty is a product sold  by a handful of national companies that provide security on the costs incurred if and when something inside of your home breaks.  Usually a home warranty is purchased for a set annual fee and can be renewed every year.  Once a home warranty is purchased, if something inside your home breaks, as opposed to calling your local repair man, you would then call the Home Warranty company.  The Home Warranty company has established relationships with a variety of credible contractors (usually at a discounted rate) so they then send out someone to repair or replace the broken “thing”. Home Warranties vary by providers and similar to an insurance policy, will have certain stipulations.  As an example, if you have a home warranty on your home and your dishwasher were to stop working – you would then call the Home Warranty Company and they would send out a repairman that they have a contract with.  In many instances, the repair contractor will be extremely responsive,...

Getting Your Homes Accurate Value - Part 2

Getting Your Homes Accurate Value - Part 2

Hood County Home Values

Part 1 of Getting Your Homes Accurate Value

This is part two of a two part article on Home Valuations.  If you have not read Part 1 -- we strongly recommend that you click this link to get caught up Getting Your Homes Accurate Value. In the previous article, we discussed how websites such as Zillow create home valuations and touched on some of the challenges of using an AVM (Automated Valuation Model) for getting your home’s value. In this article, we will cover how appraisals are done and some of your other valuation options.

Who Has The Real Estate Data?

As we discussed in the previous article, the local MLS (Multiple Listing Service) is by far the most accurate resource when looking at what homes are currently for sale and the details of the recently sold homes.  This is the same exact information that appraisers use when they value a home.  In some rare instances, appraisers (and real estate agents alike) may use some Clerk of Court records if they need to – but as we discussed in the previous article, the Clerk of Court generally have very limited data and requires that the appraiser do additional work to (such as call the seller) to get some of the more pertinent data points such as number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, square footage of the living area and so on.  At the end of the day, its impossible to get a Your Home’s Value without access to the MLS.

How Appraisals Work

There are multiple types of home valuations.  As we have covered, there are AVMs (Automated Valuation Models) which are automatically...

Getting Your Homes Accurate Value

Home Valuations

It has become common today to get a home valuation on the internet.  As a matter of fact, one of the driving factors behind the success of Zillow has been their customized home valuation which they have labeled as the Zestimate.  Thousands of people every day put in their homes address and receive an automated opinion of value…but are Zillow's home valuations accurate?

AVMs – Automated Valuation Models

Anytime you have a computer figure out your home’s value, that is called an AVM or Automated Valuation Model.  The first two words in AVM are very logical, the one that you should be paying attention to is the “model”.   The way an AVMs automatically generates a valuation for your property is using an algorithm.  An algorithm (for this discussion) is a set of data points that are weighed by a computer to give an educated “guess” at an outcome.  There are thousands of different AVM’s on the market today, used by a variety of industries. 

We have already discussed Zillows AVM, but many banks either have built or subscribe to others too.  Core Logic has a very popular AVM as does RPR.  These Automated Valuation Models are leased to banks, insurance companies, mortgage companies, financial institutions, investment firms and just about anyone willing to pay for them.  Mortgage companies for example, may use an AVM if you are refinancing your home to make sure that what...

Relocating To Texas

Relocating To Texas

Why Move To Texas?  Here are 10 Reasons to Relocate to Texas

Texas is a great location to buy a home and this fact can be attested to by anyone who has been there.  It has also become one of the many great places to relocate to for a good number of reasons. It is a low cost state as well as one of the 10 best places listed to live and work in America.  Listed below are 10 reasons to choose Texas when considering relocation.

1. Texas has an excellent real estate market consistently has increased in value. Home owners have made  amazing returns on their home investments with the value of the homes on the rise. This makes Texas a natural market for real estate investors to make solid returns on their real estate investments.  You can search all real estate listings by all real estate brokers using Elevate Realty Group's Real Estate Search

2. Texas, has no personal income tax.  Very few states in America, like Tennessee, have no personal income tax.  This lets you get to save more of the money you earn and lets your dollar go further. It’s a great place to live and work.

3. What makes Texas a really interesting place is its central location in the South. It is also located within a day’s drive of 50% of the U.S. population.

4. There’s an abundance of live theatre and cultural events that tells a lot about the history and culture of Texas. It is home to a huge local arts scene; as a result, there is no room for boredom in Texas as there are lots of things to be done and seen.

5. Homes in Texas generally are better priced and more affordable than homes in other cities.  In additon, Texas homes have seen substantial increases in value that outpace the country.

6. The natural landscape of Texas is breathtaking....

The Advantages Of Buying vs Renting

The Advantages Of Buying a Home vs Renting

A lot of people have been paying rent their entire lives, but are willing to take the step in acquiring their own home. Homeownership has many benifits but there are important factors to take into consideration before making such a decision.

The advantages of buying a home

In some instances, the thought of becoming a new home owner can be overwhelming. Homeownership can be a very rewarding thing financially as well as for your personal state of well being.  The benefits of becoming a home owner are as follows:

The Payment of mortgage builds equity

We’ve probably heard that paying rent is a wasted expense that never supports our financial wellness. We pay rent to the home owner as an exchange for the use of their house or appartment. You do not have total control over the property.  However, when you purchase a new home, your mortgage payment is put towards principal and interest in the form of a home mortgage.  The princible paid on your home is the portion of the payment that directly reduces what you owe.  Your equity is what is gained as the principle gets paid down and is considered an asset.  Once you have paid your mortgage over the term of the loan, the property is 100% yours with full ownership.   The interest, on the other hand, is the money that you pay for the financing of the home. Although these funds don’t get applied to paying down your mortgage, they are tax deductible and can substantially decrease your year end taxes.

Full Right To Make Any Improvement

In paying rent, any improvement on the home belongs to the owner. You only enjoy them while you continue to rent. But as the owner of your house, all the benefits of the improvements you make belong to you and can potentially increase your homes value.

You benefit when it comes to...

Using a Real Estate Expert To Purchase A Home

 

Why Use A REALTOR

Using a real estate expert to purchase a home

The real estate industry is once again seeing a strong boom across all of Texas. Hood County Real Estate, especially, has done quite well.  With the end of the recent fiscal crisis, there is simply more money available to invest. No truer is this then when it comes to those interested in purchasing a home in Hood County. From traditional to contemporary designs, countless homes are currently available on the market. There are an equal number of new developments and properties popping up every day. To secure timely results, however, it is imperative to work with the best real estate agents. With years of extensive industry experience, real estate experts will truly meet your needs within time and budget. They will also find the home of your dreams and achieve your desired results.  Needless to say, you will want to search for homes for sale yourself, but your REALTOR will assist in making sure you get the best deal on your new home and don't waste your time looking at properties that truly don't fit your criteria.  They can also assist with getting the perfect lender for your mortgage.

The Best Real Estate Agencies and Experts

Real estate agents have the tools and expertise to find the best homes for their clients. They also stay abreast of all the latest industry developments, and changes. This includes buying trends, along with available vacancies and listings all the way down to what mortgages are currently available. In order to remain competitively viable in...

Granbury Listings Have Come A Long Way!

Granbury Listings Have Come a Long Way, Baby!   

Ever since the real estate world turned the corner and plunged full bore into the virtual world of home computers, cell phones and iPads, Granbury home buyers and sellers have benefitted greatly. There had been an issue about the fate of the once closely-held and jealously-guarded Secrets of the Kingdom—“the listings.” The North Texas listings are the compilation of current details about homes that are up for sale in Granbury. There is no single national clearing house for U.S. listings. They are run regionally at local and state levels. But in just about every part of the country, being in possession of the latest listings book was a necessity for real estate professionals. 

As computers and then dial-up modem connectivity put real estate offices in touch with new digital listing databases, it became possible to replace the once-a-week listing page mailings with instantly updated listings. Even the most stubbornly technology-resistant could not deny the obvious superiority of electronic listings. Next, as Internet access became more and more common, it became clear that the digitized listings could go online for clients, too …creating something new: instant public access. 

You can imagine how much resistance many in real estate’s old guard put up against that development! Historically, the only way a buyer could be sure to find out what Granbury properties were for sale had been to thumb through an agent’s listing book, or to have their Realtor® copy the relevant pages. Giving away that irreplaceable asset seemed to some to be the height of foolishness. On the other hand, the forward-looking segment of the industry saw the writing on the...

Home Buying - Now Is Better Than Later

Hood County Real Estate

Buying A Home

If you have been thinking of buying a home in Texas, this is the right time to do it home values are on the rise and if you wait, you most likely will end up paying more. In addition, it is expected that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates which will make home financing more expensive in the future.   When the economy crashed a few years ago, property values plummeted across the country. Texas, on the other hand, fared relatively well.  Many people lost their homes in the process too. As the economy has improved, home values have started to rise and in Texas, all indications are that they will keep going up. That is why investing in a home now is such a good idea.

A Home is an Investment

Some people worry that investing in a home is not a very good idea... what if the real estate market tanks again? They prefer instead to invest in the stock market. Historically, the housing market has outpaced the stock market for gaining wealth.  Even when taking in the recent real estate correction, homes as an investment outperform the stock market.  There are several reasons why investing in a home is such a good idea. First, it is not easy for the property market to plummet in the near future. True, it happen in 2008 but there is industry has been more vigilant since then to make sure that it doesn't happen again. Stocks and shares, on the other hand, plummet overnight and more frequently. Look at what is happening in China right now. Once people panicked...

Granbury Mortgage Interest Rates

Granbury Mortgage Interest Rates

Why Granbury Mortgage Interest Rate Rises Concern Shoppers

If you begin a search for a new home by going online to check out the Hood County listings, it’s likely that one of the first search criteria you enter will be the price range. After all, unless you are a virtual looky-loo who is just checking out how the other half lives, your budget will dictate which homes you seriously consider. If you are one of the more than two-thirds of us who will be counting on a loan to help finance that home purchase, the monthly payment amount is really what matters.

That’s why you don’t have to be a dedicated number-cruncher to be keenly interested in the direction Hood County mortgage interest rates are going to head. In fact, if you aren’t one of those whose idea of a good time includes working out spreadsheet calculations, it probably came as a shock the first time you realized how big a deal it is when Granbury mortgage interest rates notch up or down even a single percentage point. If you’ve never sat down to look at the numbers, please sit down before continuing…

For a quick example, suppose you were Average American Homebuyer taking advantage of an average American home purchase just this past July. Your family income was a bit higher than the median of $55,000—say, $60,000—so if you went with the lenders’ standard rule that 28% of income is the most a housing budget should allow, that meant $1,400 would be your maximum mortgage payment.

You found a terrific buy—a brand new home at exactly the median U.S. new home price, $286,000. You had saved...

7002 Vista Bluff Ct. Exclusive 3D Video Tour

Elevate Realty Group has aquired the exlusive rights from Wes Ireton Photography to provide our listings with these awesome 3D Virtual Tours.  You will be amazed!  

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2362 Cactus Rio, Weatherford, TX 3D Video Tour

Elevate Realty Group is proud to announce that we have teamed up with Wes Ireton Photography to offer a Hood County Exclusive to Elevate Realty Group listings 3D Virtual Tours! With this tours you can navigate around the house like you are actually in the home! No other agency in Hood County can provide this incredible product! Check our this link for our very first one for 2362 Cactus Rio Ln! 
https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=yn3YG1ZWGVP

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Waterfront Homes Gain Popularity

Granbury Waterfront Homes For Sale

waterfront homes

Waterfront Homes in Granbury continue to soar in popularity. The popularty of Hood County real estate continus to rise; proven by these real estate market statistics. These beautiful abodes are nestled within tranquil and serene environments. With picturesque backdrops and captivating imagery, these homes are simply perfect for nautical enthusiast and water sport lovers. Whether located in sub-divisions or as stand alone properties, there are countless waterfront homes for sale. While some overlook man-made lakes, others are adjacent to natural lcoves and streams and are havens for tubing, rafting, swimming, fishing, and even jet skiing. If you are looking for Hood County Waterfront Homes this year, Elevate Realty Group provides a great list of waterfront properties for sale.

General Types of Waterfront Properties

There are several types of waterfront properties as well. While some have extended decks that lead out patios and lakes, others are built on stilts. These, of course, are usually synonymous with homes that are adjacent or right on the water.  It is a truly an amazing sight watching homeowners hop in their canoes or tube rafts right from the comfort of their backyards. Suffice to say, many water-based properties do not come cheap. In fact, many of them range anywhere from $255,000.00 to well over a million dollars. The water and municipality for many of these residential...

About to Retire? Invest in Texas Real Estate

texas real estate

About to Retire? Invest in Texas Real Estate

If you are just about to retire, you should consider buying Texas Real Estate. Texas has many offerings for the retiree.  In fact, more and more retirees are leaving cities all over America for Texas so that they can live their sunset years there. But why is this?

Texas Does Not Tax Pensions

The first and most important reason is that Texas does not tax pensions and retirement benefits. In effect, you can spend every last dollar on yourself without worrying that the taxman will come after you. In addition to that, pensions and benefits tend to run for longer, something which does not happen in many other American states. Many seniors tend to run out of money before they run out of life, and Texas gives you the ability to keep more of your money.

Texas Has Invested In Texas

The state has invested in a lot of infrastructure to make things easier for everyone. Retirees also like the fact that buying a home in Texas means they will never be far from good hospitals. Medical care is essential depending on how well you have taken care of your health. If you didn't do a very good job, it is likely that you will need good doctors and Texas has enough of them. Most hospitals are state of the art and equipped with all the necessary equipment.

Texas Real Estate

Real estate is also quite affordable in Texas right now. Although different areas in Texas offer...

Hood County Real Estate Watchers Piece Together Week's News

Hood County Real Estate Watchers Piece Together Week’s News 

Last week was a head-swiveling version of a follow-the-dots puzzle for those who keep tabs national news related to on Granbury real estate. Children like following the numbered dots to reveal a picture. You can’t be sure what it will turn out to look like until the end. The week was a lot like that:

 Monday led off with the release of housing-builder sentiment: its best reading in 10 years! It was given credit for reversing an early-day 100+ point stock market drop. When the Dow closed up 68 points for the day, real estate performance got the kudos.

Monday’s dot connected to the next one, which appeared as USA Today’s early Tuesday dispatch pointing out that the previous day’s market rescue was hardly a flash in the pan. The Money section’s lead story, “Housing Provides Much-Needed Lift to Wall Street” drew a broader picture. In a ho-hum year for the broader stock market, housing-related stocks were uniformly “among the best-performing shares.” The S&P 500 may have been up less than 2% for the year, but homebuilders’ shares were up 13%; home-improvement retailers, 11.1%; home furnishings stocks, a blistering 26.1%! The reason was “the power of the resurgent real estate market to generate positive action in the stock market.”

Then, on Wednesday, CoreLogic provided the next dot with its release of the August MarketPulse roundup, pointing to a 6.5% increase in its national home price index. This was the logical next dot—one that was hardly unexpected. The predicted continuation of price increases was again explained by lean inventories, continuing low mortgage rates, and consumer confidence rated “the most optimistic in...

Build or Buy In Granbury?

Getting a Handle on Building Your Own New Granbury Home

 

If you are considering buying a new home in Granbury, it might have occurred to you that building your own could be another option. Even if you aren’t one who has always dreamed of designing your own new home with exactly the features you want (and none you don’t), the idea might seem worth exploring—particularly when the reasonable asking prices for some of today’s Granbury “land-only” listings make for tempting daydreaming…

The fact is, few have actually mapped out the cost of building their own Granbury new home, for a number of reasons. The most obvious one is that to project anything like an accurate cost, you would have to know its features—in other words, design it (or have it designed). But, short of hiring an architect, you can begin to appraise some of the major cost considerations that factor in when building a new home. A few:

  • • Once you have selected a Granbury contractor, you will find yourself asking him for his estimate of today’s average price per square foot. That will only be useful for a ballpark estimate (certainly not for creating the final budget). It’s simply the case that the details will determine the final square footage cost average. Kitchens, for example, as well as bathrooms, are usually the most expensive rooms in the house, so if you have more bathrooms or a larger (or smaller) kitchen, your total cost will shift accordingly. There are other variables as well: it usually costs less to build a two-story home than a single-story one with the same square footage due to the smaller roof and foundation.
  • Add-ons will add up, of course—but...

Wineries in Granbury, TX

Granbury's Wine Walk held in late April, has brought renewed interest in the wineries near Granbury.  Barking Rocks Winery north of Granbury is a favorite of visitors to Granbury.  They offer a variety of activities including wine tasting of course.  Bluff Dale Vineyards west of Granbury offers interesting events as well.  D'Vine Wine on the Historic Granbury Square can provide you with a sample of wine and give you the information you need to enjoy the wineries near Granbury.  Check it out!

For information about Real Estate in Granbury and Hood County, give me a call, James 817-578-9425.

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