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Latest News Blog

It's getting increasingly colder out there as we head into the heart of winter. And if you haven't taken a moment to winterize your home, there's no...
So you’re getting ready to buy a home and you have noticed there are a few things you would really like to have fixed before you move in. The question is,...
It is so tempting to use flowery language to sell your home to potential buyers. But did you know that there are certain words that actually hurt more...
We all have well-meaning friends who want to help when we consider buying or selling a house. But friendship doesn't mean you should take their...
Many of us fantasize about clearing all the junk from our homes, to de-clutter and simplify our lives. Some take that thought further and flirt with...

Buy a Home for the Holidays?

It's December, which means its holiday time ... special food, family outings and yearly traditions. Who on earth would want to buy a home at this time of year?

Well, the short answer is, maybe you.

If you've already considered the purchase a new home, the holidays offer some unique advantages:

Financial benefits - First and foremost, there are some awesome tax advantages. To purchase a home is "good for your bottom line when tax time rolls around. If you close by December 31, you can deduct property taxes, mortgage interest, origination points on your loan, and interest costs — all while building equity in your home," Time.com explains.

Less competition – "This lowers the chances of multiple offers and bidding wars and should translate into a bigger discount for you," Zillow.com says.

Room for negotiation – "If a home is on the real estate market in December, there's usually a specific reason the sellers are looking to move: It could be job relocation, financial hardship, or personal change of circumstance," Trulia.com says. "Regardless, it gives you an opportunity to negotiate a sweet deal," whether that means offering a little less or choosing the closing date that works best for you.

Preferred interest rates – "In general, you should see better interest rates around the holidays compared to the times immediately before or after," CBSNews.com notes.

Availability of movers – Ask for deals. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. "A moving company's December calendar usually resembles a ghost town. Not only will you be able to secure movers on short notice, but with competition for prime time slots (e.g., weekends) nonexistent, you could probably score a deal as well," Time.com suggests. "Ask them to consider throwing in a couple of moving hours for free or packing materials and boxes gratis."

If you're willing to pack up the holiday lights and jingle bells, you could score a huge gift in the form of a new home. After all, there's no place like home for the holidays.

Cassidee Reeve, a Top Producing agent at NP Dodge, who can help make your holiday home buying brighter. Call 402-706-2901 to set up your free consult.

Is a Condo Right for You?

You think about moving but you're unsure what type of home you want next. Have you considered a condo? It may or may not be the right choice for you, but it's certainly an option to consider.

Owners share maintenance costs

"One of the features of condo living that attracts people to this choice is the sharing of responsibility in terms of repairs and for insurance purposes," TrustedChoice.com says.

"Most condominium communities have associations that are responsible for making repairs and upgrades to the building's exterior features, such as windows, siding and roofs."

You DO pay for these services through mandatory dues to the complex's Homeowners Association (HOA).

Condos can cost less than houses

"Often, you may be able to purchase a condo for less money than a single-family home in the same neighborhood," Ameriprise Financial notes. "Prices depend upon home size, property values and the area's cost of living."

HOA rules can limit your flexibility

"The HOA may have restrictions on condo renovations, parking availability, pet ownership and more. The rules are meant to protect the condos' property values," according to Ameriprise Financial.

Common areas encourage socialization

"Common areas like pools and recreation rooms offer opportunities to socialize with neighbors," EverythingZoomer.com says. "Many condo developments cater to specific groups – like young professionals, families and older adults."

Consensus can be hard to reach

You can't choose your neighbors. "A condominium attracts individuals with a variety of personalities. It can sometimes be a challenge to reach a consensus," The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation says. And condo dwellers are likely to be there for at least a few years since they buy the property.

Many HOAs prioritize security

"Many condos offer gated or locked entries, doormen, or even security professionals for residents," MoneyCrashers.com says. "If you live alone, or security is a concern for you, this can be a major perk."

Condos can be tough to sell

MoneyCrashers.com also notes, "Condos can be difficult to sell. Why? Well, they pretty much all look the same. If there are empty units in your building, those are likely going to sell first."

Whether you buy a condo is up to you. But check ALL your housing options. Have a free consultation with Cassidee Reeve, a Top Producing Agent at NP Dodge, at 402.706.2901.

Just Say ‘No’ to These Design Trends

Granite countertops, farm sinks and stainless steel appliance seem to have universal appeal. But not all design choices are created equally.

Here is a list of trends you may want to pass on if you hope to sell your house someday.

Mixed metals create visual confusion

According to Realtor.com, “combining bronze and copper in the kitchen might give the room an ‘eclectic’ look, but in a few years, chances are good it will just look confused.”

You’re actually better off sticking to one type of metal and embracing your creativity with the drawer pulls or door handles. These are easily changed to something simple when you get ready to sell.

Jetted tubs mean higher costs

Not only do they cost a lot more than a shower, they use a lot more water and increase your water charges.

 “A sitting area or regular soaking bathtub can create a similarly relaxing environment and save you money in the long run,” CBSNews.com says. “Or consider replacing it with a shower with more space, a seat, shelves for bath products and a rainwater showerhead.”

Converted garage can be a turn-off

Most of us love a family room. But here in the Midwest, we also love our garages. If you consider converting you garage into a family room, you may want to reconsider.

“The trade-off might be a turn-off, especially to people who live in dense urban areas, where parking is at a premium,” Zillow.com says. “Even in the suburbs, most people want a covered, secure place to park their cars. And a garage often doubles as a storage location.”

Undesirable wallpaper hard to remove

First of all, it’s difficult to remove, and not all wallpaper appeals to all people.

“Wallpaper is time-consuming to remove if it doesn’t appeal to the buyer. Consider replacing wallpaper with a neutral paint for broader appeal,” Realtor.com advises.

Too many colors can cost the sale

Are you color crazy? That’s okay for you, but when you’re ready to sell, you may want to tone it down.

“Multiple-colored living spaces, dated colors (think mauve and hunter green), and metallics are problematic for sellers,” a Time.com article says.

The best colors to go with are unsurprising neutrals like grey and beige.

Cassidee Reeve, a top producing agent at NP Dodge, is also a certified stager who can help you put your best house forward. Set up your walkthrough with Cassidee today, 402.706.2901.

Should I Sell My Home Fully Furnished?

This is an intriguing question and maybe not something you considered before. But there are those who include most of the furniture and furnishings when they sell their homes.

You can see one positive right away – you don't have to move all that stuff. And with the extra money you make by including those items, you can buy new stuff. (Shoppers, rejoice!)

Plus, to leave your old possessions behind is a great way to downsize as you consider whether or not to replace what you've left behind.

'Turn-key' homes cut needed tasks

"These days, buyers want 'turnkey' properties, where they can close the deal on a Tuesday and sleep in their new home Tuesday night," WSJ.com says.

And while this trend may be most popular with celebrities and international buyers, there are many here who would like to move in with as little to do as possible after the purchase.

Per-piece profit may be lower

Those who include furnishings in the home sale may get less per-item than you would get if you sold them separately.

"Don't attempt this approach if you're not willing to take a potential loss for the sake of convenience,"  Trulia.com advises.

Also, possible buyers need to remember the décor matches someone else's taste, which means you either really like it or plan to sell the objectionable pieces once you move in.

Realtors disagree on furnished or empty

Some realtors think a furnished home helps potential buyers visualize themselves living there. Others argue it's best to start with a blank canvas – an empty house – so buyers can picture their own belongings in place. Also, empty homes often seem larger.

Should they stay or should they go? Well, that choice is entirely up to you. Just remember to do your research, run some numbers and take a realistic look at what you need and use.

Need more help? Contact Cassidee Reeve, a top-producing agent at NP Dodge and discuss your options, 402.706.2901.

Staging Adds Appeal for Potential Buyers

Staging homes for her clients is a specialty for Cassidee Reeve, a Top Producing agent at NP Dodge.

"I do a walkthrough with the homeowners," Cassidee said, "and I tell them things they could do to improve the appeal of their home to a prospective buyer."

Stage house as designed

"Less than 10 percent of us can visualize beyond what we see in front of us – that's why staging a home is so important."

A room needs to be presented as it is purposed.

"A dining room needs to be staged as a dining room, a bedroom as a bedroom and so on," she said.

Staging reduces clutter

The first thing Cassidee does is cut down the clutter. To achieve this, she removes the bulk of displayed personal items.

Then she can focus on furniture arrangement, purposeful design and other improvements.

Paint color is analyzed

A professional stager finds uses for empty rooms and unofficial "storage areas." If you don't stage these rooms, buyers find it tough to envision how they'd use them.

This can include telling homeowners their paint colors need to be more neutral.

Yellow and green are the most offensive, least liked colors, Cassidee said. Nor is white always the best choice because it's a bit sterile and shows dirt easily.

Use items already at hand

Cassidee usually stages rooms with items the homeowners already own so as not to cut into their potential profit.

She repurposes things already there by moving them to a different location or using them in a new way.

"It's all about trying to give that room an extra pop," she said.

Want to sell your home? Call Cassidee today to set up a consultation, 402.706.2901.

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