Move Up Buyers – It’s Time to Move Up!

move up buyers

Here’s the dilemma, at the time you bought your current home, it was the right place for your family’s needs. It was the perfect home that fit your finances, located in a great school district, and cozy enough to be relatively low-maintenance. That was three kids and several promotions ago. With the passing of time, you’re wondering where all the space went?

Longing for More Room or An Upgraded Home?

Like many growing families, that cozy feeling of your current home has gradually drifted into wishing there were more room. You realize it’s time for more space and an upgrade. You figured it’s worth tackling the challenges involved in moving even if it’s just across town. This much we know – it makes no difference if you’re moving across town or across the country, moving is never easy. Plus you have to work through the logistics of selling the home you live in and purchasing a new one, preferably  at the same time. That’s when it gets real complicated and you know you need an expert real estate professional who has experience managing two transactions at the same time.

Here are some tips we recommend to clients moving into a more expensive home.

Preparing for Moving Up

Before you think about buying a more expensive home (that doesn’t necessarily mean bigger), begin by prioritizing your home buying needs. Things have changed since you last bought your current home, so your needs have changed dramatically.

First and foremost, select an experienced real estate professional to help protect your interest and guide you through the real estate transaction.  Interview several before making your choice.  This is one of the most important decisions you will make during the process.

Get loan pre-approval or at least pre-qualified for a mortgage.

Make a budget for the total costs of your new home including the funds for the down payment and funds for your transition.

Ask your Realtor about the available housing inventory and the type of market your area is experiencing.

Get your current home ready for the market.

Price it right!

What if you find a new home for yourself before selling your current home?  Again ask your experienced Realtor the way to broach this in the offer.

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Spring is the Time to Open Your Swimming Pool

swimming pool

1. Take the Cover Off
The very first thing you need to do is remove the cover from your pool. If you have a safety cover, you will need an installation rod and hex key to remove the springs from the anchors and screw them down flush to the concrete.

If you have a standard tarp cover with water bags, just remove the water bags and empty them to store for the winter.

Make sure you drain the water off the cover and remove any large debris before taking off the cover. It will make your job a lot easier and it will prevent that stuff from getting into your pool water.

Next, take the cover from one end of the pool and continually fold in half until it’s easy to remove the cover from the pool.

Remove the Winter Plugs

Walk around your pool and find all the return lines. Remove the winter plugs from the return lines and step jets.

Remove the ice compensator from the skimmer buckets. Depending on how you closed it, there should be a plastic bottle, sponge, or “gizmo” in your skimmer that prevents the ice from cracking it. Replace the baskets.

At this time, make sure your pool is filled mid-way up the skimmer opening before starting your filter system.

2. Get Your Filter System Ready

Before you start your filter system, make sure all of the drain plugs are properly installed. Your filter system should have one main drain plug and your pump may have two.

Replace the pressure gauge on your filter as well as any other parts that belong.

Check the o-ring on your pump lid to make sure it’s in good condition. Bend it between your fingers to check for cracks. If everything looks ok, just apply a Teflon-based o-ring lubricant before screwing the pump lid back on.

Once everything is in place, start your filter system.

Note: Your pump may have to be primed if no water is coming through. Turn off the pump and remove the lid. Fill the pump housing with water. You can use a hose or a giant bucket of pool water to do this. Replace the lid and your pump should prime itself.

3. Test and Shock
Once your pool is up and running, take a water sample to your nearest pool dealer to get a professional water analysis done. Make sure you pH and alkalinity are properly balanced.

At this point, it’s a good idea to add the proper sanitizer to your water (i.e. chorine). Also, shocking your pool right away is a good idea too.

4. Cleaning Up
Make sure you clean your winter cover before storing it away for the season. Check your local pool supply dealer for winter cover cleaner.

Also, vacuum your pool using a manual vacuum at first to get all the heavy debris out (if there is any). After that, you can continue to use your automatic pool cleaner.

Opening up your pool is easy and takes no time at all. Ask a friend or neighbor to help and drink plenty of water, or beverage of choice, while working in the heat.

Happy Swimming!

How To Make Your Contract Stand Out

couple jumping

Last year, pent-up housing demand and limited inventory sucked many home buyers into a bidding war frenzy that drove up home values and gave us the best-performing real estate market in several years.  Statistics show that home inventory is starting to shrink.  The days of multiple offers have returned and new construction is back.  All of these things indicate that home buyers need a strategy when they find that “dream house” of how to successfully get the seller to take their offer.

Here are three simple strategies that can help you stand out above the rest.

Hire an Expert Negotiator

When you’re caught up in a bidding war, it’s easy to let your emotions take over. That’s why it’s best to let a third-party professional, your Realtor, handle the negotiations for you. An experienced agent brings a level head to the table and can help you strike a balance between deal-breaking demands and budget-busting bids.

Look for a real estate agent who has a full time business, experience, is an expert in the area you are buying in and understands the importance of communication. If you need to move quickly on a home you’re interested in, you don’t want to be left out in the cold because you couldn’t get in touch with your agent.

Show Them the Money

When it comes to buying a home, Sellers love a buyer who doesn’t waste time closing the deal. According to the National Association of Realtors, 13% of recent home sales fell through because the buyer couldn’t get financing. An all-cash offer makes the decision easy for the seller because it eliminates any mortgage-related guesswork.

If you need to get a mortgage, complete the pre-approval process with your lender before you start house-hunting. Unlike a pre-qualification—a loose estimate based on speculation—a pre-approval gives you a specific loan amount the bank has approved for you. This keeps you from shopping out of your price range and allows you to make an instant offer when you find that perfect home.

Get Personal

If you really want to gain an edge, put yourself in the Seller’s shoes. What’s motivating them to sell? Try to find out more about their life in that home and find ways to connect.  In the situation of relocation time may be of the essence for them to move, offer them a short term to close.  Are the Seller’s downsizing and leaving their family home?  If so this is emotional for them as well.  Assure them you want this to be your family home not a flip.

One strategy that’s gained popularity among recent home buyers is the personal letter. Next time you’re facing a multi-bid situation, why not share your heartfelt vision for the home? Sometimes, a Seller just wants to know the place they raised their family will be filled with just as much love by the next owner. It’s worth a shot to make your dream home a reality!

 

Source – Dave Ramsey blog

The Man Who Put Electricity in the Electric City

william whitner

Have you ever wondered what the statue of Mr. Whitner was doing on the square in Downtown Anderson?  Did you notice that Anderson has Whitner Street and a Whitner Building?  The Mr. Whitner must have been a pillar of society but, what did he do exactly?

But, let’s did a little deeper… Why do they call Anderson the Electric City?  Was it the first city in South Carolina to have electricity or what? And what is the weird thing at the corner of McDuffie and Whitner Streets that sits in Generator Park?  Well here is the story…

Anderson, SC was the first city in the United States to have a continuous supply of electric power and the first in the world to create a cotton gin operated by electricity.

William C. Whitner, a native of Anderson, was largely responsible for Anderson becoming known as “The Electric City.” Born on September 22, 1864, he attended and graduated from the University of South Carolina with a plan to become a lawyer. Whitner went back to USC and worked as an assistant to a mathematics professor while studying civil engineering. He graduated from USC for the second time in 1885.

Whitner conceived the idea of generating alternating current of electricity using the turbulent river water.  Whitner returned to Anderson in 1894 and leased a plant, in McFall’s grist and flour mill at High Shoals on the Rocky River 6 miles east of town, for his newly formed Anderson Water, Light & Power Company. He installed an experimental 5,000 volt alternating current generator to attempt to generate and transmit electric power to the water system pumps at Anderson’s Tribble Street power and water yard.

It worked!  Thus, it ended up supplying enough power to light the entire city of Anderson and also to operate several small industries in our fine city. The Charleston News and Courier promptly dubbed Anderson “The Electric City.” On the grounds of Generator Park is the century-old generator that was operated by Whitner at the Portman Power Plant.

So, stand a little higher Andersonians, our dear Mr. Whitner outsmarted Thomas Edison when it came to electricity.

Sources – Downtown Anderson, Wikipedia, ychistory.org

How to Create the Perfect Bedroom

bedroom

Have you ever stayed at a friend’s home and the guest room is just divine? The thread count of the sheets are high, the linens are crisp.  The room is quiet and provides tranquility and well thought out amenities; fresh flowers, shutters for late morning sleepers and the pillows are just heavenly. These types of bedrooms are the perfect retreat for you or your guests.  You can create this same environment, just by using some simple design elements to create a bedroom right in your own home.

The bedroom should be located in an area of your home farthest from any shared living quarters . You are attempting to replicate a peaceful, calming environment, and that is nearly impossible with everyday distractions such as loud televisions.

Choose soothing colors for your bedroom such as buttery cream or pale shades to set the backdrop. Varying shades of blue, purple and green would make excellent choices for inspiring a sense of tranquility and increased well-being.  Use the bedding and pillows for pops of color so the room maintains the serene effect you are going for without being overwhelmed by a high contrast of color.

Nothing sets the mood like well-planned lighting. For overhead or ambient lighting, consider a simple flush-mounted fixture or recessed lighting. Capture a Victorian or shabby-chic look by installing a more ornate chandelier. Dimmers are definitely recommended to help create the appropriate atmosphere.

Using table lamps is another great way to add soft, indirect light when overhead lighting is not needed or desired. They can also serve as task lighting for reading a book.

Since a bedroom retreat revolves around comfort and relaxation and, this is one area not to pinch pennies. Select a mattress that suits your body’s needs and furnish it with layers of comfy pillows. Choose sheets of a very high thread count and top it all off with bedding to accommodate your theme and taste.

Keep your overall décor simple, classy and elegant. Consider oversized vases for fresh, aromatic seasonal flowers and some family photos displaying cherished memories. Keep your bedroom retreat free from clutter as this can counteract the peaceful retreat you’re attempting to create.

As you create your bedroom retreat incorporate whatever elements speak to your own sense of comfort. You’ll be unwinding in your at-home sanctuary in no time.

Source – realestate.com

The Millennial Buyers

Young Couple Moving HouseFirst of all what is a millennial buyer?  Well the Marketing gurus term their demographic segments.  There have been Baby Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, Gen XY and now there is the Millennial marketing segment.  Millennials’ are those born between 1980-2000, are the second-biggest segment of home buyers, behind Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1979).

Real estate professionals told ABC News recently of some “must have” features that tend to be in high demand among young buyers. Some of those “must haves” include:

Updated kitchen and bath– The primary reason young buyers seek updated kitchens and baths is because they have limited budgets.  They want move in ready.  Most of their savings will go toward the down payment and furnishings

An open floor plan with a big kitchen – An open space that can easily transition from kitchen to TV room is high on the list of the perfect home for young buyers. In essence, the kitchen is the new living room and it has to be big.

Home office– Young buyers are tech savvy and with companies offering more options than ever to work from home, they want offices. A dedicated space is important because it will help keep them focused and concentrated on work while they are at home.

Location– Now, this one has not changed no matter what demographic you are in.  Location, Location, Location…  Urban young buyers may want a particular neighborhood near public transportation, local restaurants and night clubs.  While suburb buyers may be attached to a certain part of town or an interstate if they commute to a larger city.

Technology – A home’s appeal can be increased if it has a strong mobile carrier’s signal and broadband internet.  These factors are “must haves” to this generation.  After all they have been tech savvy their whole life and aren’t about to give up this easily.

Source:  ABC News, Realtor Magazine

Duke Power Potentially Investing Millions in Anderson County

Anderson County leaders will consider financial incentives for Duke Energy tonight in their Counsel Meeting.  Duke Energy  is prepared to invest $600 million to build a natural-gas fire plant south of Pelzer.  Anderson County Council is gathering to discuss incentives about the Duke Energy’s optimism to build and run a natural gas-fired plant in Pelzer  at the W.S. Lee Steam Station.

This is an important decision for Anderson County.  Creating the plant could employ more than 500 construction jobs during the building period. An additional 25 people would be employed for full-time positions once the plant opens, according to local news source.  The new plant would more than double the amount of energy produced now when Lee’s existing generators are all running.

Lee Steam Station would be a great place to have a natural gas-fired plant because of the site’s existing infrastructure and because Duke Energy is already familiar with the environment surrounding that site.

Duke Energy, which is headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., has not made a final decision about building the natural gas-fired plant in the Upstate. If the Public Service Commission approves Duke’s plans to make a decision by late spring.

The new plant could begin commercial operations by June 2017.

Source – Information compiled from Twitter &  local news stories.