Wednesday, August 21, 2013

How to Prepare for the Fall Real Estate Market

The fall market is the second-busiest time of the year for real estate. People want to conclude their home buying and selling before winter, and the temperatures drop to comfortable levels after months of hot, muggy weather that traps people inside air-conditioned havens. The fall real estate market starts just after the last of the summer vacation wraps up, and it can be a highly competitive arena.

Buyers, what might your to-do list look like for August? A few suggestions: Make sure your pre-approval letter is updated and that your lender/mortgage broker is standing by to customize that letter for the offer that you will be making. Select the right real estate broker/agent to work with, one who is on the same page with how you like to work, and on top of the market, both the inventory and the temperature (important in a multiple-offer situation). Know the inventory; go to open houses on the weekends to finely tune what you want and don’t.   If you do find a home that you're interested in buying, don't wait to put in an offer; make an offer as quickly as possible if you're truly interested in a home, as even a delay of a day can mean someone else gets their offer in before you do.  It is a highly competitive market and you do not want to miss out.

Sellers, get to work putting your house in proper order for your sale. Clean up the yard and do some pre-market planting now so that the plants will look more established when your lovely home makes its debut. Meet with your stager to walk through your house. Together you can determine what painting needs to be done and the extent of cleaning required to optimize the interior spaces for showing. Search real estate listings for homes that are comparable to yours. Note the upgrades, the age of the home, the size of the lot and the curb appeal. This knowledge, along with the help of your Realtor will give you a good idea of how to price your home to sell.

The market is still going strong. If you are considering selling or buying this year it important to know tat interest rates are still incredible.  Homeowners who have been thinking of moving are getting ready to act on their thoughts and take advantage of the fall real estate market, so don't miss this opportunity!
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Thursday, August 8, 2013

How to find a good school system

Moving and relocating your child to a new home, a new neighborhood and a new school is always going to be difficult, especially if you've been involved in your child's education by helping out in the classroom. You know every teacher and feel confident your child is receiving a good education.  So, how can you be sure that you can find a home in a good school district?  Here are a few tips:

Start with online research.

The Nation's Report Card provides information on state performances in the essential learning areas, such as reading, math and geography. If you're moving to a new state, this is the place to start. Also go to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) to obtain facts such as student/teacher ratio, number of students and enrollment by gender and race.

Take a school tour.

The best way to determine which school is best for your child is to take a school tour. Most schools will accommodate parents. Just call ahead and ask for a staff person to show you the facilities. Try to book a tour when school is in session, so you can observe some classes and speak with students. Ask if you can bring your child with you so they can observe and provide their input as well. This is key to helping your child feel part of the process which in turn will help the transition to a new school.

While on the school tour there are some questions to ask and recommended by

Question: How many classrooms do you have?

Question: What is the average number of students per class?

Question: What facilities do you have, above and beyond the usual?

Question: What extra-curricular activities do you offer? And are students and teachers actively involved?

Question: Can you provide me with a copy of the school's curriculum?

Question: What is the school's approach to reading, writing and math?

Question: What kind of supportive equipment do you have and is it readily available for each class?

Overall, you should get a good sense of the school by just being in it for a day, by listening to students and teachers and by asking lots of questions. And in the end, you should walk away feeling that this is the right place for your child and you are making the right move.
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