In the past year or so we've seen some craziness in the Real Estate world. People have paid tens of thousands and in some cases hundreds of thousand of dollars over the list price of a house just so they don't loose out on getting the one they want. At best, it's not healthy.
The other day a friend said "I'm going to wait until the market crashes before I do anything". I have overheard and been part of several conversations where this was the topic. Last night I set everyone straight when I asked "If the market crashes, what will happen first; prices drop or rates go through the roof?" The obvious answer is that rates will rise way before people start dropping prices on sales. I believe it will take years to see a significant decline in home prices but the interest rate could potentially shoot up overnight if things go south.
Moral of the story, don't speculate on what tomorrow will bring. If you want to sell, then sell. If you want to buy, buy. If you overpay a little now to get what you want and the prices drop in 5 years, be happy that you are in the house you wanted. Don't second guess yourself or your decision and forget the what-ifs.
Need help? Call your friends in real estate
Legacy DFW Real Estate
I know first hand from listening to my buyer/client comments what to help other buyers look for and what to avoid. I call my list of things to avoid, "Kisses of Death". I call it that because if your house has one or more of these physical characteristics, it may be harder to sell and sometimes almost impossible to get people to even look at. I have had buyers not even stop and get out of the car if the house we are looking at has one of these. Each client has different taste but some items are fairly universal:
"Kisses of Death" in no particular order:
1. Not having a separate tub and shower or no tub available. There is a current trend of converting the master bath to one big shower. Be sure there is another tub in the house or this one will hurt your resale.
2. Having the master bedroom upstairs. When your young and spry this may not make sense. As you get older and not as spry, you don't want to have to climb the stairs every day.
3. Not having a fireplace. As a whole, Texas isn't a place you would think a fireplace is really needed but when you want to warm up, theres nothing better than a roaring fire.
4. Living on a busy street. Even if kids aren't part of the equation, I've never had a client who prefers car after car passing in front of their house - or behind or next to.
5. Having high lines (the big ones, not telephone poles) adjacent to your property. There are 3 camps of thought on this one: #1 - they cause cancer, #2 - they don't cause cancer and, #3 - I don't know but its better to be safe than sorry. If a buyer has the choice, they always choose not to have power lines hanging near by.
6. Not having a garage. Not that we put cars in them or anything but not having one is a killer. **In some older neighborhoods a garage is a bonus and not having one doesn't hurt resale. Having one only helps.
7. Having a garage that was converted to an interior room. Unfortunately they typically look like a conversion. For the owner it may make sense but for a buyer, not so much in most cases.
8. Having commercial property adjacent to your property. It just doesn't feel right to have a warehouse towering over your property.
9. Living too close to Apartments or a duplex community. At certain points in ones life there is value in living IN an apartment. When you own a house, there isn't any value in living near apartments.
10. Having cats living inside the house. I apologize to all the cat lovers but its true. Dogs inside are not ideal but buyers don't object to them as much. Most of the time if you can't smell an animal, its ok but allergies trump all.
Here is a way to look at it, would anyone ever say “I don’t want this house because it has/ doesn’t have (fill in the blank with an item from above). I have never had a client say "This house just doesn't smell enough like cats", or "If it didn't have that fireplace it would be perfect".
Do you have another one for the list? Id love to hear about it.
Your Friend in Real Estate
It seems everyone has a door or two that squeaks and maybe one or two that shut on their own. I have solutions for both and they are super easy.
For squeaky doors all you need is a can of Pledge. DO NOT USE WD40 OR ANY TYPE OF OIL!!!!! Think about it. Oil attracts dirt and causes grinding and squeaking. Pledge repels dirt so the hinge stays clear of debris longer.
Hold a rag under each hinge and give it a good soaking. Open and close the door several times to work the liquid into the gaps. Wipe away any access and your done. I Heard about this technique from a builder about three years ago and I came home that day and de-squeakified all my doors. The effects have lasted until just recently so I thought I would share. I repeated the steps today so they should be good for another three years or so. Feel free to sneak in and out undetected.
Do you have self closing doors that aren't supposed to self close? Remove a pin from one of the hinges and give it a slight bend. You may have to put it in a vice to hold it while you tap it with a hammer. Take care not to scar it up too much or you'll need more than pledge to correct the squeak. All I've done is lay the pin on the floor and tap in one spot to get a slight bend. Be sure to only slightly bend it. Bend it too much and it wont go back in the hinge. It may take a couple of tries but once you get the right bend, re-insert the pin back into the hinge. The pin will now give a little resistance and will prevent the door from closing by itself.
Legacy DFW Real Estate
A few years ago I showed a house and I make it a priority to peak in attics when possible. You never know what you will see. When I pulled down the stairs at this particular house, I was taken by surprise. I saw something I hadn't seen before and being in real estate as long as I have, I thought I would have seen this. It was an insulated box that sits above the stairs in the attic. So simple yet I hadn't ever encountered it before.
Have you ever pulled down the attic stairs and immediately get hit with debris? I've always been amazed at the amount of crud that finds itself on the stairs. How does it get there? How much wind is blowing around that this much stuff lands on the stairs? Another flaw with attic stairs inside the house is that you are blasted with a ton of heat or cold when you pull them down. Typically there isn't any insulation on the pull-down so you most likely are loosing a ton of energy. This little box remedies both problems. The crud is still a mystery to me but I had found a solution.
That day I went to the hardware store and bought a sheet of insulated foam board. It was very inexpensive and I had my box built and installed in less than an hour (more like 30 minutes).
Im going to try and explain how to build one for yourself but I bet you can already see how to do this.
Materials needed are:
1. 1 4x8 sheet of insulated foam board with foil backing
2. Foil tape (DO NOT USE DUCT TAPE!!! Although its says "duct" in the name, its the absolute worst thing to use because it peels off in the attic heat.)
3. Tape measure
4. Razor knife
Measure the depth of your folded stairs. The box must have room to enclose the stairs because they stick up above the joists or decking you may have in the attic. The 4 vertical sides will be cut this width.
Measure the length and width where the box will sit. Mine sits on the frame around the stairs. Its just like a regular door frame but of course its horizontal.
Before you cut anything, plan your cuts so you get all 5 pieces from one sheet of foam board.
Using a long straight-edge, cut all 5 pieces; 4 sides and a "lid" that fits on top of the sides.
Use the foil tape and tape it all together. To make it easy, use short pieces and "tack" it all together to get a basic 5 sided box structure. Once its all together, come back and use long strips of foil tape on the length of the edges to seal them all.
Install that bad boy and enjoy a little energy savings and no more crud falling on you when you pull the stairs down.
Legacy DFW Real Estate
I've been in this exciting and challenging world of real estate since 2004 and I've loved every minute - almost. Ive sold new construction for a national builder and I've been 1 of 400+ realtors with a "big-box" brokerage. My sweet-spot is as an active broker. I love educating agents on how to navigate the realty waters but I also love the interaction with buyers and sellers and helping them achieve their goals. Whether its a one bedroom shack or a multi-million dollar mansion, everyone deserves proper, experienced, detail oriented representation. These ramblings are thoughts I want to share as I do what I do. I hope you learn and maybe laugh a little as well.