Kathy Portway - SUCCESS! Real Estate

Posted by Kathy Portway on 2/19/2018

Accessories are the things in your home that give it character. There’s plenty of things in your home that give visitors an idea of who you are. When we want a house to feel like a home we add the small touches. There’s ways that you can make every room of your home visually exciting without breaking the bank. Whether you’re selling your home, or it’s just time for a change, these tips will keep your home feeling like a place anyone would want it to be-cozy. While home staging is an important part of real estate, there’s a human factor involved in the marketing of homes that is completely authentic with each family that resides in a home. From keeping things organized to using personal memories, there’s ways to make your home attractive to both visitors and potential buyers. Keep everything organized Less clutter equals less fuss. When everything has a place your house just works better for everyone. Even pictures laid out on the coffee table should be placed in a strategic manner. Items like souvenirs, pictures, or vases shouldn’t be placed in your home without a rhyme or reason. Be sure that you have the tools needed to keep organized. When the time comes that company is coming or you’re selling your home, you’ll be glad that you’ve kept organized. Use color The power of color can make any room visually exciting. Even one item that may seem out of place in a room can help bring character into your home. Funky looking mirrors, outrageous artwork, or a brightly colored wall can bring a focal point to a room that lacked one previously. Color can be a powerful tool to make a statement. Don’t be afraid to be adventurous with color. Remember that memories are priceless Your life should be reflected in your home. You can creatively use pieces of memorabilia to display in your home and tell a story. Not only will this remind you of your favorite moments, but it will allow you to give visitors insight into your life and share your experiences. Use your judgment Decorating with accessories doesn’t have to be complicated. If items can simply be lined up and look great then keep them the way! The science behind making a house a home is all about what makes you feel comfortable. What looks great to one person may not look as attractive to someone else. But there’s something to be said for being true to the way you like to live. The key here is to use your best judgment when decorating the inside of your home.

Posted by Kathy Portway on 2/12/2018

Buying a new home is an exciting prospect. Touring a house can feel like walking around your favorite store, picking out all of the things you love. It's easy to get distracted by things like fresh paint or nice furniture and forget to look for important structural aspects of the home that can make or break a deal. Most sellers will be honest and straightforward with you about the state of the home. In some cases, they are required by law to inform you about costly issues with the home (lead paint or sewage issues, for example). Other times, a seller is under no legal obligation to inform you about potential problems with the home. In these instances, you'll need to rely on your own senses. To help you out, we've compiled a list of the top ten red flags to beware of when buying a home.

  1. Fresh paint  It's common practice when selling a house to put a fresh coat of paint on the walls. It's an inexpensive way to spruce up the home for potential buyers. Sometimes, however, the paint is used as a quick fix for hiding more serious issues. Water damage, mold, and mildew can all be covered up, momentarily, by a coat of paint.
  2. Strong odors We say "strong" rather than "bad" odors because sometimes someone selling a home will try to mask bad smells with air fresheners or candles. Bad smells in a house can be the result of plumbing issues, humidity, indoor smokers, water damage, pet urine, uncleanliness, and any number of undesirable things.
  3. Bad roofing Missing, broken or stacked shingles are all signs that the roof is in need of repair--a costly fix you probably want to avoid if buying a new home.
  4. Cracked foundation A damaged foundation could be a sign of serious structural problems with the house. Especially in sloped areas, cracked foundations can lead to water damage in the basement.
  5. Poor wiring  Don't be afraid to ask to test out the lights and outlets in a home or take a look at breaker boxes. Flickering lighting and faulty outlets are signs that a home is in need of electric work.
  6. Pest issues  Many people underestimate the power of insects when it comes to damaging a home. Wood-eating termites and carpenter ants can both devastate the structure of a home and usually results in an expensive repair. Noticing ants is a huge red flag, but if you suspect a home could have an infestation for any reason try to get it inspected by a pest control firm before you make the deal.
  7. Locked doors and off-limit rooms  When touring a home there should be no areas that you aren't allowed to see. A locked door or "do not enter" sign are all red flags that the seller may be hiding something in that room.
  8. Leaking faucets Small plumbing issues like leaky faucets or toilets that run excessively are signs that there could be even larger issues with the plumbing in the house.
  9. Deserted neighborhood Multiple homes for sale in the neighborhood, deteriorating buildings and closed businesses are all signs of a problem neighborhood. It could be due to economic issues or a decaying community, but either way these are things you'll want to consider before moving into a new neighborhood.
  10. Defective windows  Windows that are sealed shut, fogged up, or won't open or close are all signs of costly repairs. You're going to depend on windows for the security of your home, lighting and aesthetic, and to a minor degree for retaining heat. They should all function properly.

Posted by Kathy Portway on 2/5/2018

Looking to add your home to the real estate market? Ultimately, you'll want to do everything you can to maximize the value of your residence.

For home sellers, getting the best price for a residence may seem virtually impossible at times. Fortunately, we're here to help you plan ahead so you can get the best price for your house as soon as it hits the market.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you optimize the value of your residence, regardless of the current real estate market's conditions.

1. Examine the Housing Market

When it comes to the real estate market, it is important to understand how your residence stacks up against the competition.

Collect housing market data to learn about the real estate sector. Then, you can establish a "competitive" price for your home and boost your chances of a quick home sale.

Typically, home sellers should look at the prices of currently available residences in their cities and towns. This will enable home sellers to understand the local real estate market and establish a price range for houses that are similar to their own.

Don't forget to review the prices of recently sold houses as well. With this housing market data in hand, home sellers can find out whether they are about to enter a seller's or buyer's market.

2. Complete a Home Appraisal

Let's face it – what your home is worth today is unlikely to match what you initially paid for your residence. If you have completed a wide range of home upgrades over the years, the value of your residence may have increased. Or, if you failed to maintain your house's interior and exterior, your residence's value may have fallen.

A home appraisal will enable you to learn about your house's strengths and weaknesses. This assessment is performed by a professional property inspector who will take a close look at your house's interior and exterior. After the assessment is finished, the property inspector will provide you with a report that can help you price your house appropriately.

If you want to boost your home's value after a home appraisal, you can always complete various home interior and exterior improvement projects. That way, you can enhance your house both inside and out and move closer to maximizing the value of your home.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a difference-maker for home sellers, and for good reason. This housing market professional will do everything possible to help you prep your house and ensure you can receive the best price for it – without exception.

Usually, a real estate agent will set up home showings and open houses, negotiate with homebuyers on your behalf and much more. He or she will even provide honest, unbiased home selling recommendations to ensure you can streamline the home selling journey.

Don't leave anything to chance as you get ready to add your house to the real estate market. Use these tips, and you should have no trouble getting the best price for your house.

Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Kathy Portway on 1/29/2018

You may have been thinking that you’d like to sell your home. You probably want to sell it at the right time and you want to go about it for the right reasons. There’s so many different that you may want to sell your home that you probably haven’t even thought of. 

There’s Not Many Homes To Choose From

If there’s a lack of inventory on the housing market, it’s a great time to put your home up for sale. Certain times of the year have lower inventory than others, so you may want to consider the fall and winter as a prime time to sell. If you know your home is in a great location, or has little work to be done in it, you’re probably going to want to sell sooner rather than later if you have been contemplating the idea in a low inventory market. 

Remember That Spring Starts Early

Especially in warmer climates, “spring” is a relative term and can start as early as January. People will start their searches online early in the year and the demand for homes only becomes more crucial as the year goes on. The earlier the listing, the better chance the home has to stand out on the market, even if it doesn’t sell right away. In fast moving real estate markets, it may not matter what time of year you sell your home. If the demand is there, you have a great chance to sell the home.

Price Matters

The lower the price point on a home, the faster it will generally move off the market. First-time homebuyers want homes and they want them fast. when your home is priced lower, it’s probably going to move a bit faster no matter when or where you’re selling it. Buyers are always looking for a good deal. 

Interest Rates Affect Home Sales

If there’s rumors that interest rates will rise in the coming months, buyers will be on the hunt for a home. That’s when it’s a good time for you as a buyer to put your home on the market. When buying power for those searching is high, you’re better off selling because you’ll get a lot of interest. Your home will leave the market much faster as well. 

The Decisions Is Yours

Selling your home is not a small decision. You’ll need to find another place to relocate to. Your kids may have to switch schools, and your lives can be a bit disrupted in the process of moving. If you think the time is right to move, you can keep the above suggestions in mind in order to make the entire process a bit more seamless for you.

Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Kathy Portway on 1/22/2018

If you're planning to purchase a home in the near future, one thing's for sure: You've got your work cut out for you! However, when you finally find the house of your dreams, the time and effort will be more than worth it!

Your to-do list will include calculating how much you can afford to spend on a house, obtaining a pre-qualification letter from a mortgage lender, and eventually comparing loan estimates.

One of the first things home buyers usually need to do before getting too caught up in their real estate search is to check their credit score. Your credit report, which is basically a detailed profile of your credit history, plays a major role in your ability to get approved for a mortgage and obtain favorable interest rates. Consumers are entitled to get a free copy of their credit report once a year from the three major credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

Before applying for a mortgage, it's highly recommended that you check the accuracy of your credit report. If it contains mistakes, inaccuracies, or obsolete information, that could affect your ability to get a mortgage -- or obtain favorable interest rates and terms. Fortunately, errors can be disputed and corrected by the appropriate credit reporting company.

The Impact of Your Credit Score

The most widely used scoring system to determine a borrower's ability (and willingness) to stay current on loan payments is called a "FICO score." Depending on your credit history and bill paying habits, your FICO score can range from a low of 300 to a high of 850. If you're wondering how your FICO score stacks up against other homebuyers and consumers in the U.S., the median FICO score was recently in the neighborhood of 721 (although that number fluctuates). That means 50% of borrowers are above that score and 50% fall below that mark.

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the best mortgage interest rates are generally offered to borrowers who have earned FICO scores in the mid- to high 700s. If your credit score falls between the high 600s and the low 700s, the interest rates available to you may be somewhat higher.

Those who are saddled with a credit rating below the mid 600s may have difficulty getting approved for a mortgage. If you're in that situation, your real estate agent or loan officer may suggest applying for an FHA loan rather that a conventional loan. Although FHA loans can be more expensive, the standards for getting approved are more lenient. These government regulated and insured loans also allow for a more affordable down payment of as little as 3.5 percent, as oppose to the "typical" down payment of between 10 and 15 percent.