5 Home Improvements to Avoid when Selling

Expecting to recoup most of the money you poured into home improvements when it comes time to sell? Some projects can actually reduce the value of your home. And you may be surprised by how innocuous these value-damaging, home improvement projects are. If you want to make smart upgrades to your home, keep in mind that even the projects that offer the best return on investment don’t often fully recover the cost within a year of sale.

13 Simple Steps to Prep Your Home for the Best Summer Ever

Take care of your home’s hot-weather needs now, and you’ll have more time for fun in the sun. Summer will be here before you know it, and you know what that means: Heat, hornets and yard work. If you’re starting to miss spring already, fear not. Here are some quick projects to make your home and garden more comfortable and cost-effective this summer. Inside the house Service the air conditioning. Nothing can ruin your day like a broken air-conditioning unit on a summer day, so keep it running smoothly by servicing it every spring. Every three months, change the filter, flush …

9 Listing Photo Do’s and Don’ts

You have one chance at a great first impression — knock their socks off with listing photos that shine. Your bags are packed, you’re ready to move and the last thing you want to do is follow your agent’s advice about putting time and money into your listing photos. But if you don’t, your photos could prevent the home from selling quickly. Consider these nine do’s and don’ts to help your listing attract the attention it deserves. 1. Do: Take a shot from the curb. Keep your home’s curb appeal top of mind. Buyers often decide in a matter of minutes (or seconds) whether they want to keep looking or move on …

Keeping Pets Safe Around Plants

Many plants represent a threat to Fido and Fluffy. Protect them with these tips from our gardening expert. Gardens are wonderful places for pets. They provide entertainment, room to exercise and cool shade in the afternoon. However, many of the most common and seemingly innocuous garden plants are also poisonous to your furry friends. The apples and oranges we humans enjoy, almost all flowering bulbs and some of the most popular houseplants all share one thing in common: They are dangerously toxic to cats and dogs. Irises, bottlebrush and daylilies all pose a threat to pets. Plants ranked ninth on …

What Does a Builder’s Warranty Cover?

Builders’ warranties vary greatly, so it’s important that homeowners take the time to learn what’s covered. Even with new homes, things can go wrong. That is why many buyers of newly built homes are interested in warranties, which promise to repair or replace certain elements of the home. Many home warranties are backed by the builder, while others are purchased by builders from independent companies that assume responsibility for specific claims. In other cases, homeowners purchase coverage from a third-party warranty company to supplement coverage provided by their builder. In fact, the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) require …

5 Facts Home Buyers and Sellers Should Know About Credits

No matter which side of the transaction you’re on, you don’t want to give up more than you have to. After months of searching for the perfect home, making some offers, and maybe even competing with other buyers, you finally have a deal on your dream home. It took some negotiations, but you and the seller have come to terms. Or have you? Too often, getting a signed contract and putting your money into escrow is the beginning of what can become yet another round of negotiations. Here are five things every home buyer and seller should know about last-minute …

How Much Does It Cost to Move?

The dollars and cents that go into moving vary greatly depending on a number of factors. Making the decision to move can be an exciting time, whether you’re moving across town or across the country. But it can also be a milestone surrounded by uncertainty: am I making the right decision? How will my kids adjust to a new school? Will I like my new neighborhood? According to the US Census, 11.2 percent of Americans moved in 2016, for reasons related to housing, family, and employment. And there’s one question pretty much everyone who is thinking about moving asks: How …

Budget-Friendly Curb Appeal Boosters

Get maximum improvement for minimum cash with these tips for transforming your home’s exterior. A polished home exterior makes for an inviting experience for any visitor or passersby, which is especially important if your home is on the market. All sellers should focus on exterior home improvements, says Tallahassee-based realtor Joe Manausa of Joe Manausa Real Estate. “Buyers are searching for homes online, and the exterior picture of your home will be the most likely culprit for somebody to reject your home,” he notes. Check out our tips to get the most curb appeal for the lowest cost — while turning your neighbors’ heads and …

What is Tax Assessed Value, Tax Appraised Value, and Market Assessed Value?

What is the value of your home? It depends on what you mean by “value.” Tax assessed value This figure varies throughout the U.S. since it is determined by the taxing authority of the city, county, or state where you live. Sometimes it is the same as the market assessed value and other times counties will multiply the market value by an assessment ratio to get the tax assessed value, which is often lower than the market assessed value. For example, suppose where you live, homes are assessed at 100 percent of market value. If you have a home that …