Sears Real Estate



Posted by Sears Real Estate on 1/15/2018

Deciding to put up a fence on your property may seem like a simple decision, but there are a lot of things to consider before hiring a contractor to get it done.

One question to ponder is whether your neighbors might be offended or annoyed by the sudden appearance of a fence near the edge of their property. The answer to that question would partly depend on your relationship with your neighbor, the size of your lot, and whether the fence is tasteful or an eyesore. The problem with that standard is that "tasteful" is in the eyes of the beholder!

Tall fences can and sometimes do have a way of changing the look and feel of your immediate neighborhood, so the installation of a fence could potentially cause resentment from other property owners. The decision to put up a fence on your property is a personal one, but there's also a lot of value in maintaining friendly neighbor relations. (It can be a delicate balance!)

One Step at a Time

In some places, local ordinances or Homeowner Association rules may impose restrictions on fences and other structures. Many towns and municipalities require that you (or your contractor) obtain a building permit before putting up a fence, so a quick phone call or email to the appropriate local official can shed light on requirements, restrictions, and other assorted rigmarole!

Since the cost of installing a fence can easily run into the thousands, it always pays to get a few estimates and proposals from reputable fence companies. Other decisions include choosing the best height and composition of the fence. Fencing materials range from metal and chain link to vinyl and wood. Composite fencing materials are also an option.

Your choice will depend on a lot of factors, including cost, durability, maintenance aspects, and appearance. Online information, free brochures, and meetings with contractors can help you learn more and make an informed decision.

Once you've moved beyond the potential issues of installing a fence on your property, there are several distinct advantages to fencing in your back yard.

  • Enhanced privacy: While "privacy" can mean different things to different people, a tall fence offers an immediate solution to a variety of privacy-related problems. 
  • Pet containment: If you don't always have the time or energy to take your dog(s) for a walk in the neighborhood, it's a major convenience to be able to let them out in a contained area to relieve themselves and get a little fresh air. It can also be a good way to keep them safe and out of trouble!
  • Wildlife barrier: Although there are often gaps at the bottom of fences that prevent fences from being completely wildlife-proof, a properly installed fence can drastically reduce the chances of wildlife sneaking their way into your back yard. Whether you want to protect your vegetable garden or pets from wild animals, a solid fence can be the barrier that you need.
  • Increased security: While fences are not always an impervious barrier to burglars, trespassers, and other intruders, it does provide some protection from those potential threats.
If you're searching for a new home or looking to improve your existing property, the right kind of fence can provide you and your family with a myriad of benefits.





Posted by Sears Real Estate on 1/8/2018

If you are selling a home, often, you hear of buyers backing out at the last minute due to financing difficulties or an inspection issue. While less common, it’s also not unheard of for the seller themselves to actually back out of the sale of a home. 


Living in one place for a long time goes along with a strong emotional attachment to that place. Signing a contract, however, does not take into account these strong emotional ties that a seller may have to a home. Once a contract is signed, you have a legal obligation and have shown clear intent to sell the home. This could put you in a serious legal bind as a seller.


What If You’re Having Second Thoughts?


Ideally, before you even sell your home, you’ll have thought the decision through with a clear list of pros and cons. If you didn’t do this for some reason, you may want to sit down and re-examine all of the reasons you wanted to sell your home in the first place. Then, you’ll want to look at all of the reasons that you want to stay in the home. 


Why Do We Move?


Often, people decide to sell heir homes based on life circumstances and needs. If you have changed jobs and found a home closer to your new workplace, backing out of the sale of your home might not be the best idea. Your home may be too big as the kids have grown and you want to downsize. Your family may have outgrown your old home and you need a larger space for everyone to be comfortable. These are all great reasons to move. However, our deep emotional attachments to our homes can sometimes hinder us from seeing this clearly.


You Need A Good Reason To Back Out Of A Sale


Sellers don’t have the same rights as buyers when it comes to buying a home. There is no “grace period” for sellers that will allow them to back out without question. If you do decide that you want to stay, you have the option of buying yourself out. You’ll need to consider what costs the buyer has put into trying to buy your home as well. If the buyer has been deeply inconvenienced by your rescinding of the sale, you could end up paying out quite a bit to get your home back. For this reason, you really, really have to want it for the decision to take your home back to make sense. You could end up needing to reimburse the buyer for things like:


  • Temporary housing rentals
  • Deposits
  • Storage costs
  • Inspection fees
  • Legal fees

Your listing agent is involved in this as well. Not only have you affected another party greatly by your decision not to sell, but you have cost your realtor time and money. They could end up suing you for lost expenses and commission. In other words, backing out of the sale of your home could be a smooth transition, or it could be a really big legal headache.


Read Every Contract


While buying and selling a home requires a lot of signatures, make sure you understand what you’re signing throughout the process. Your contracts could state something that helps to give you an out. A common item on contracts for sellers is “contingent upon seller finding suitable housing.” This would have had to have been present on your sales contract. Another saving clause is “gaining required approval from family members.” 


Buyer’s remorse is still more common than seller’s remorse, but this kind of thing does happen. Just understand what the consequences are before you decide to back out of the sale of your home.





Posted by Sears Real Estate on 1/1/2018

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, one of the most important parts of the process is the negotiation phase. This means different things whether you’re buying or selling a home. When you’re selling a home, you’re usually looking to get the most money for your home that you possibly can. If you’re buying a home, you want the lowest possible price for the home. Hence, the reason for real estate negotiations. Buyers and sellers must meet somewhere in the middle. For your consideration, we’ll break down some of the most important aspects of the real estate negotiation process. The Cost Means Different Things As we stated above, buyers want the lowest price, while sellers want the highest price possible for a home. Whatever side you’re on, expect to meet somewhere in the middle. The price of the home has to make sense for both sides. The seller wants the sale of their home to make sense financially and the buyer wants to home to fit into their budget while getting the things they desire out of the home. The Financing Process Is Complicated If you have your mortgage fully approved prior to making an offer, you’ll be able to shorten the closing time of the home. The reason for this is that the preapproval shows that all of the buyer’s finances are in order and there will be no financial problems in the transaction. Sellers often prefer these buyers since they can be trusted to close properly and there won’t any issues with the real estate transaction. The property also won’t be on hold for months on end. The Date Of Closing Matters If sellers need to get their home off of the market fast, they can negotiate when the closing date will be. As a buyer, this matters because the next month’s mortgage payment is skipped once you close on a house. The closing date affects when exactly this payment doesn’t need to be made, which can have a positive effect on your finances when it’s timed right. Closing Costs Are Actually Paid Upfront Escrow is when the mortgage company holds the money for taxes and insurance, which is the prepaid closing costs. Buyers sometimes ask sellers to pay a portion of the closing costs. This could be a flat fee or up to 3 percent of the included mortgage. This could all have an effect on the asking price for the home. Just Like A Car, Homes Can Come With Warranties Buyers can ask for a warranty on the home, or the seller can offer one. This warranty typically covers the home’s appliances and utility systems. This provides a protection if things like the air conditioning or the dishwasher break after a certain period of time and need repair. This may make the home extra enticing to buyers and give sellers an advantage to get their home off the market quickly.





Posted by Sears Real Estate on 12/25/2017

Establishing a homebuying budget can be tough. But for those who want to secure a terrific home at an affordable price, entering the housing market with a budget in hand can make it easy to accelerate the homebuying cycle.

Now, let's take a look at three questions to consider about a homebuying budget.

1. How much money have I saved for a home?

Examine your finances and see how much money is readily available for a home purchase.

Remember, the more money that is at your disposal, the more likely it becomes that you'll be able to secure your dream residence in no time at all.

Although savings are important, it is essential to note that those who have little to no money saved still have plenty of time to get ready for the homebuying journey. And if you start saving a little bit each day, you can move closer to accomplishing your homeownership dreams.

2. Do I need to get a home loan?

In most instances, a homebuyer will need to obtain a home loan so he or she can purchase a residence. Luckily, many lenders are available to help you discover a home loan that matches or surpasses your expectations.

Meet with a variety of lenders in your area – you'll be glad you did. Each lender can provide insights into assorted home loan options, explain how each home loan works and respond to your home loan concerns and questions.

Also, it often helps to get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you have a mortgage available when you enter the real estate market, you'll know exactly how much you can spend on a residence, thereby reducing or eliminating the temptation to overspend on a house.

3. How will my monthly expenses change after I buy a house?

Owning a home is different from renting an apartment. As such, you'll want to account for all potential expenses as you create a homebuying budget.

For example, a homeowner will be responsible for any home cable, internet and phone bills. This property owner also will need to consider any home maintenance costs like those associated with mowing the lawn in summer or removing snow from the driveway in winter.

Crafting a homebuying budget that accounts for your personal finances can be tricky. If you need additional support along the way, lenders may be able to provide expert tips to ensure you can acquire a wonderful house without exceeding your financial limitations.

Lastly, don't forget to reach out to a real estate agent for help along the homebuying journey. A real estate agent is a housing market professional who will go above and beyond the call of duty to assist you in any way possible. From setting up home showings to negotiating with home sellers on your behalf, a real estate agent will make it easy for you to secure a superior home at a budget-friendly price.

Consider the aforementioned homebuying budget questions, and you can speed up the homebuying process.




Tags: buyer tips   budgeting  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Sears Real Estate on 12/18/2017

Many people outgrow the home they’re living in rather quickly. On the flip side, the home you’re currently in could be too big for you, and you need to downsize. Whatever your situation is, when it comes time to sell your home you want to get the most money you can for your sale. There’s so many easy and affordable home upgrades that you can make that will add immense value to your home. Even if you’re not looking to move in the near future, you’ll be glad you made these upgrades in order to make the most out of your home.


Make A Move With Your Countertops


There are so many different kinds of kitchen countertops that you can get these days. It isn’t all about granite anymore. There’s a few popular materials that can be used including recycled glass or quartz. You can even upgrade your backsplash tile to something a bit more modern to easily transform your kitchen. 


Upgrade The Fireplace


If your fireplace could use some TLC, make repairs to it and refinish it. You may even consider using a different kind of stone or brick than was on the original unit. If your home doesn’t have a fireplace, you may want to consider installing a freestanding one. These units are ventilated through a pipe in your home. A fireplace is so cozy and gives your home an attractive feature.


Add Some Outdoor Living Space


Adding a deck, patio, or some sort of outdoor living pace like a 3 season room can add a lot of value to your home. People love to make the most use of the outdoors so whether you add an outdoor kitchen, or a small patio space, it will be beneficial. Plus, you and your family will be able to use the brand new space once it’s completed!

Adding outdoor lighting is also another positive addition to your home. This allows for seamless use of outdoor spaces both day and night. Lighting also adds an important safety and security feature to your home. Installing timers along with these outdoor lights can help to deter burglars.


Do A Once Over On Your Home’s Exterior


Simply having the outside of your home power-washed can make a big difference. Replace your mailbox. Repair shutters and siding that may need some attention. Take some time to care for your landscaping. All of these little projects will make an impact on the appearance of your home. If you’re getting ready to sell, your motivation may be lacking in these areas. The better your house looks on the outside, the more people you’ll get to come inside when there’s a for sale sign out front.