home maintenance

It’s Spring Home Maintenance Time

Spring is in the air! The weather is insisting you get outside, so why not? The Spring time is the perfect time to do some much-needed repairs and home maintenance. In this blog we will highlight 5 of the best maintenance tips you can take advantage of before the rainy season sets in.

Take a look at your roof

Winter can be the toughest season on a roof. Between hurricane season that leads into winter, hard rains, and the cold – your roof might need some attention. Before the rainy season sets in and creates an even bigger problem, get up on that roof and take a good look around. Look for loose tiles, missing tiles, or gaps. You can also give your roof a good cleaning, just don’t pressure wash it.

Check your gutters

Since you’re up there anyways, take a look at the gutters. You’ve already got the ladder out so make sure to clean them out. Your gutters are your life-savers during the harsh and heavy rains but they can’t do their job if they are already bogged up. After you’ve cleaned them out you can run a hose through them to check for leaks and patch as needed. Don’t forget to check your downspouts.

Your Fireplace

If you have a fireplace this is the right time to clean up. Now that winter is over and it is unlikely you’ll be using it anytime soon, it’s the perfect time. Hiring a professional chimney sweep is really your best option unless you are familiar with the cleaning process. Check your fireplace setting for any loose bricks, cracks, or corrosion.

Landscape is a given

Landscaping in Florida is almost all year-round. Especially if Florida experienced a mild winter. Spring is the season to get your garden ready. Prune your shrubs, prepare your soil for planting, or get your garden ready for new growth. You should also check your trees for any over-grown branches. Heavy branches are a certain hazard if they hang over your roof.

Take a look at your fence

Heavy rains mean heavy winds that could jeopardize your fences. Especially if they are already in questionable shape. Now is the time to address any fence panels that need replacing, breaks in the fence, gaps, etc. You will also find stores like Home Depot and Lowes will Spring-related items on sale, making it the perfect time to buy these materials!

Don’t forget to contact Divinity Inspections if you need a pre-listing home inspection. You can also schedule a home inspection with us directly online through our website!

home buying season

Get Ready for the Home Buying Season

Few markets are as hot as the Tampa real estate market! If you are thinking of making some home purchases this season, then it’s time to get ready for the home buying season. First, we will determine how and when to know it’s time to buy. Then we’ll give you some great tips on how to make those purchases. Whether you are an investor, flipper, or simply looking for a new home – this is for you.

Is it time to buy?

They say Spring blooms “For Sale” signs! So you might notice them popping up all over Tampa. First, let us determine the buying and selling seasons. From late January to early March many homeowners are selling during these months. Parents don’t want to interrupt their children’s school schedule so they want to move early in the year. Other’s sell early in the year for tax purposes. This time period has excellent selections for homes for purchase. Between March through the summer months, many people are moving. The homeowners that have just sold their home are now on the market to purchase a home. Everyone else is on summer vacation. As a result homes tend to take a little longer to sell during the summer months which makes this a bargain shopper’s market. If you’re not in a rush and are looking for a good deal, this is your best season.

We won’t go into too much detail for the Fall and Winter season. These are definitely the slower months for the housing market. There is very little activity, for both buying and selling, the closer you get to the holiday season. Families are too busy buying gifts and traveling to focus on moving. Don’t plan to buy or sell a home during these months unless you are prepared for a longer wait time to complete the process.

Getting ready to buy a home

If you’re on the spectrum of purchasing then there are a few steps you can take to prepare. The more prepared you are, the more likely the chance you will be able to make the purchase faster.

  1. Check your credit
  2. Start saving
  3. Start looking at neighborhoods
  4. Attend a seminar or take classes on buying a home if this is your first purchase
  5. Determine your budget
  6. Visit open houses
  7. Interview realtors

 

Don’t underestimate your credit

Your credit score is important, but that’s only on piece of the credit pie. You need to know your credit score and determine your debt-to-income ratio. You can also pull your credit reports so you can see if there is anything you need to clean up before you apply for a mortgage. You also want to give yourself the opportunity to dispute any errors on your credit reports. You will need some time to work through these, so the sooner you start the better.

You may also want to consider researching and participating in loan programs. These programs can be very helpful with down payment assistance. You also need to be familiar with the various loan programs available so you can choose the right one for your needs. Research rates and know what current rates are being offered so you be prepared upon approval.

We are always looking for ways to help our customers so feel free to call us with questions! If we don’t know the answer, we can at least point you in the right direction to find the right answer. You should always consider a pre-listing inspection before putting your home on the market for sale. Also, don’t ever make a purchase without having the home inspected first. Call us now to schedule your inspection!

Sources:
http://www.newhouserealty.com/tosell&buy.htm
http://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/ten-things-now-get-ready-buy-a-home/
https://www.redfin.com/blog/2017/02/50-ways-house-hunters-can-get-ready-for-homebuying-season.html

home updates

The 5 Best Home Updates

You’re looking around your home and wondering, “What should I update?”. Better yet – what do you need to update? Maybe it feels like everything or maybe it feels like nothing, either way we’ve got a simple guide of the some of the best home updates. These are especially effective if your goal is to increase your home’s value. Whether you plan to put your home into this current seller’s market or potentially sell your home down the road, these updates will only be beneficial.

Minor Bathroom Remodel

Not every remodel has to be a complete gut and replace. In fact, very minor but effective touches can make all the difference in the world! Update your fixtures such as the hardware. A new toilet seat can go a very long way. If you want to do something a little bigger, add a window. Bathrooms with windows are significantly more appealing to buyers. Re-caulking your bathtub is also an easy DIY project that can put a finishing touch on an old bathroom.

Landscaping

If you watch Flip or Flop on HGTV you will notice how they always talk about the importance of good landscaping. Women, it’s like putting on lipstick. It’s a finishing touch but one that is most noticeable. Men, it’s like getting the right TV stand or mount. It’s just necessary to support an already valuable piece of property. Landscaping has a 100% return at resale every single time.

New Paint

Oh what a fresh coat of paint will do! Do not use the pain to hide any major repairs, such a water leaks. They will be discovered during inspection anyways and trying to make it look like a cover-up will only reflect poorly on you. However, a fresh coat of paint can make any room feel updated almost instantly. Consider painting the exterior of the home as well to increase the curb-appeal.

Replacement Windows

If eyes are the windows to the soul then the same goes for your home. Windows do so much for a house! Sunlight, especially in Tampa bay where we have plenty of sunlight, can make your home look bigger and feel more inviting. The warmth of the sunlight adds a warmth to the home. So make sure the next time you leave your home so your agent can do a showing, open up all the shades. Updating your windows can be expensive but the investment will yield a return during resale.

Updating Perception

Selling a home has a lot to do with perception. When a person steps into a house they start imaging what it would look like for them if they lived there. This is very hard to do if the house is already filled with what it looks like while you live there. In other words, you need to de-clutter and organize. Pack some of your belongings away and clear some of the space around the home.

Don’t forget you also have the option to do a pre-listing inspection. Our pre-listing inspections will inform you of any issues about your home before you list it and also shows home-buyers that you are serious about selling. Call us today to schedule one!

home projects

Home Projects to sell your home faster

“As is” isn’t usually good enough for most home buyers. Even if your home is in good condition or doesn’t need repairs, that doesn’t mean it couldn’t benefit from some home projects. If you have lived in your home for long enough chances are something needs updating or remodeling. It is truly amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do! Or new fixtures. There are many small changes you can make to your home that will sell your home faster and potentially for a higher price. Some of these home projects are DIY and some you will need to a hire a professional. All are worth considering.

Home Evaluation

Whether you are ready to sell now or in a few years, a home evaluation is a smart investment. Invite a real estate professional into your home to evaluate the current condition. If they are willing, ask them for a to-do list of things you can do to improve your home and increase the value. Even if you are not ready to list your home immediately, an agent who wants your future business would be glad to help. If you are planning on listing your home soon, a pre-listing home inspection is a great investment. A home inspection will give you significantly more detail about your home and allow you to address any issues that might derail the sale.

It’s not about you

There is one very common mistake all home owners make in selling their home – when they make decisions based around themselves. If you really want to sell your home then don’t paint it your favorite color. Paint it a neutral color. Don’t over-decorate because you think it looks nice. Keep the inside clutter-free and simple. Because it really isn’t about you. It’s about appealing to the traffic of people who like your home. They need to be able to “envision” themselves living there and they can’t do that if everything about the home screams someone else. Don’t take it personally, take it seriously.

Update your fixtures

Fixtures are such a great way to customize your home. Many times fixtures can be an inexpensive way to add your personal touches. But if you’ve been in your home for a long time then chances are some of your fixture might be outdated. Especially if your fixtures were “trending” years ago and are considered out of style now. This is where cost vs. value is important. Is the cost of the improvement worth the value it will add to your home? Is $100 for new kitchen handles worth the value increase to your kitchen? Aesthetically, it might be. This site is an excellent resource for a cost vs. value guide to home projects.

If you need a pre-listing home inspection we can take care of that for you. If you need a home inspection for a home you are considering purchasing we can do that too! Basically, we do it all. So just give us a call or schedule your home inspection right here on our website.

sell your home

Have a plan before you sell your home

Who says you need a plan to sell your home? The market is hot, people are buying and selling all over Tampa Bay! So you can just stick a “for sale’ sign in your front yard and that’s it, right? Not exactly. Especially if you plan to sell your home yourself and without an agent – you’re going to need a plan. Because the reality is, if sticking a sign in your front lawn was enough then realtors wouldn’t exist.

Create a Marketing Plan

Why do you need a plan, specifically a marketing plan, to sell your home? It’s not about just throwing any price on your house, it’s about selling it for all it’s worth. A plan is the source of getting top dollar for the least amount of hassle and within a reasonable time frame.

Exposure is Key

Sure you can throw your house up on Craigslist, Zillow, Trulia, etc. You can also host your own open house. But how will you get people to attend your open house? Who will manage the listings or inquiries made on your home from all of those online platforms?

More is More

The more buyers you can attract, the more competition among buyers, the higher the price. The more expansive the exposure of your home, the more buyers you can attract. The goal is generate multiple offers. This is what will sell your home for top dollar. Even if you don’t get multiple offers, more exposure means increasing your changes of selling your home within a reasonable time frame. Every home owner that wants to sell their home has the same goal: to sell for top dollar, in a reasonable time frame, for the least amount of hassle.

Statistics show that listing your home a real estate professional will produce more money in your pocket at the end of the sale than by selling your home on your own. Even so, there are a few things you can do to ensure you are working your way toward that top dollar. Getting a pre-listing home inspection, for example, is an excellent way to sell your home. Call us now to get more information or schedule your inspection right here on our website.