Repairing Your Credit Score

If you are applying for a mortgage, loan, or credit card, your credit score will play a key part in determining if you will be accepted or not.

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[Info-graphic provided by Cashnetusa.com]

Find out more about a mortgage quote from one of many programs so that your mortgage is custimized to fit your needs. Our knowledgeable mortgage consultants will work with you every step of the way to navigate today’s mortgage environment and get you to the closing table.

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Repairing Your Credit Score

FLOOR WARS

If you’re wavering between installing new wood floors or new carpeting in your home, it may seem like a simple decision based on cost, but that is not the case. When choosing flooring for residential homes, it is important to consider design, comfort, price and sustainability. Keep in mind that whichever new flooring you choose will look great when it’s first installed, but even a few weeks of use can require enough sweeping, vacuuming and polishing to make you reconsider your choice.

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Here are some things to consider when choosing flooring: wood versus carpet:

Advantages of Carpet:

  • Cushions slips and falls
  • Reduces noise throughout the house
  • Natural insulator – providing warmth during the winter season
  • Holds onto allergens and keeps them out of the air (vacuuming frequently will remove them)
  • Should last about 10 years
  • Faster and cheaper to install

Disadvantages of Carpet: 

  • Collects dust very easily
  • Needs to be professionally cleaned with hot water extractor (1-2x a year)
  • First is more easily tracked onto carpets
  • Shows walking patterns where foot traffic is heaviest
  • Liquids can seep into the carpet quickly
  • Might be outdated

Advantages of Hardwood:

  • Does not collect as much dirt and allergens
  • Can be repaired if damaged – does not have to be entirely replaced
  • Simple and quick to clean
  • Spilled liquid is easy to wipe up
  • Can be easily professionally repaired
  • Resale value due to popularity
  • Warranty on the “finish” typically ranges from 25-30 years
  • Sustainable, renewable and natural material

Disadvantages of Hardwood:

  • Can be dented – may have to be completely replace board(s) if something heavy is dropped onto it
  • Easily scratched due to moving heavy object, furniture and pet nails
  • Needs to be cleaned more often than carpet because dust/spills/crumbs are more visible

 

Flooring is a big decision, some homeowners prefer the plushness of carpet beneath their feet, while others believe hardwood adds a touch of elegance to their home and that it remains that “new” look for decades. Although in the end, the decision is up to you.

 

AskHomesale.com provides real estate advise and information for home buyers, home sellers, and homeowners alike. Askhomesale.com is part of the Homesale Realty Family. The Homesale Family of Companies is the leading real estate company serving the Baltimore, Maryland, South Central and Southeastern PA real estate markets.  Homesale Realty has more than 25 offices with over 1,000 REALTORS®. Homesale Realty’s footprint includes Maryland real estate offices in Baltimore City, Federal Hill, Fells Point, Westminster, and Timonium.  Pennsylvania real estate offices include YorkLancasterWyomissingChambersburgGettysburgHarrisburg, and Schuylkill Haven.

Tips for Home Buyers  |  Tips for Home Sellers | Tips for Homeowners

FLOOR WARS

Adjusting Pets to Your New Home

Moving to a new home can be stressful for every member of the family, including the Brown Lab Ballbeloved family pets.  Don’t forget about their wants and needs during this hectic time, it can be rough on them too.

Transitioning to new surroundings is difficult for many pets.  The stress and worry can cause out of character behavior, as well as lowered immune responses.  Here are a few suggestions to help keep them happy and healthy!

  • Keep your pet’s routine as normal as possible.  Be consistent with feedings, walks, playtime, and bedtime.  Keep accommodations consistent; if your dog is used to using a doggy door, install one in your new home right away.  If your cat likes outdoor time, arrange for it, using a leash initially for safety and to prevent him from running away.
  • If you will be traveling long distances with your pet, plan on making frequent stops so they can stretch, eat, and for bathroom breaks.  Confirm that hotels you will be staying in allow pets.  Make sure they are secured safely in your vehicle using either crates or restraining harnesses.  Practice on short trips, before moving day, to help them become familiar with traveling in the car if they aren’t accustomed to it.  For fish or smaller pets, visit a local pet store for suggestions on transporting them.
  • Bring along favorites; this is not a good time to introduce new items.  Bring your pet’s favorite bed, toys, food and water dishes, treats, and other familiar items.  Put them in places that are similar to your previous home.  This helps your pet feel more in control and at home more quickly.
  • If you are moving out of the area, visit your Vet to make sure your pet is current with all vaccines and treatments, to refill prescriptions, and maybe even consider micro-chipping your pet.  Moving is a common time for pets to get lost.  Obtain an updated copy of your pet’s medical records as well.  Since your Vet is familiar with your pet, ask for their advice on making this move easier.
  • Get a new pet ID tag as soon as you know your new address and phone number.  This improves your pet’s chances of getting back home if they take off.  Do this before traveling should they decide to wander off at a rest stop.  Having a recent photo of your pet is also a good idea.
  • Be patient while your pet sniffs around their new digs.  Let them explore.  If they decide to hide for a little while, this is ok, as long as they know where the litter box or doggy door is located.  Their behavior may change for a little while, including eating, barking, pacing, or being protective.  They will need time to adjust, just as you do.  If bad behavior persists, talk to a professional.
  • Find a dog park, local veterinarian, and other pet resources in your new hometown to aid in the transition.

Be sure you give your pet the attention they are used to and maybe even a little extra during this tough time!

Moving in to our out of Maryland or Pennsylvania? Take a look at our online relocation guides.

Central Pennsylvania Relocation Guide
Berks / Schuylkill Haven Pennsylvania Relocation Guide

Baltimore Maryland Relocation Guide

Metro DC Relocation Guide

Adjusting Pets to Your New Home

Insider Tips for House Hunting

Insider info is extremely helpful when house hunting. Here are 7 Tips to help you choose your next home.

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Look beyond the upgrades – 
It is easy to get pre-occupied by a home’s most charming details, for example an upgraded kitchen with top of the line appliances, and in the end overlook a few minor yet extremely important features (an unleveled floor or a foundation). So to save yourself a major headache after you purchase and make sure you hire a reliable home inspector to help you avoid costly repairs.

You can also inspect a possible future home by looking at these common problem areas:

  • Cracks in walls larger than 1/8th inch
  • Doors and windows that stick to the frame
  • Sloping or uneven floors
  • Noticeable damage to the exterior


Make a comparison chart – 
When you are in the market, you will most likely see a handful of houses, which can make it difficult to keep track of certain attributes within each one. By making your own comparison chart/checklist ahead of time, you can bring the chart to each home viewing and take down notes during the walk through or shortly after.

During the creation of your chart/list, think beyond basic features and include your thoughts on: -The condition of the exterior structure

  • Natural lighting
  • Storage space
  • Landscaping

*This chart/list is to be used as your own personal tool to help guide your decision; it is not to be used in place of a professional home inspection.


Walk through…… and then repeat – 
It is easy to get overwhelmed the first time you walk through home for the first time. So during the first walk-through, have fun, wonder around and think about your first impression. After you are done, go back and start at the beginning, re-enter the house and walk through again. This time take out your chart/list and carefully inspect the home as if you were home inspector and not a buyer.


Ask to take photos – 
Taking your own photos will really give you a full picture of what the house looks like. Before you take photos, make sure you ask your Real Estate Agent if you are allowed.


Lift up the rugs
– If you are back for a second look at a house you are considering to become your home, it is important to know what is potentially hiding under the rugs. Rugs and furniture can be placed to conceal carpet stains or damaged floors. Make sure you inform your Real Estate Agent of your concerns, and they will be able to accommodate.


Look up and down
– Make a point of focusing on things that are outside of your normal line of vision. Focus on the ceilings, floors, windows, under the sinks, and roof.


Visualize living in the House – 
Ask yourself, “How would I utilize this space?”. Even though the current homeowners use upstairs bedroom as a kid’s room, decked out in racecar wallpaper and light blue paint, doesn’t mean you can’t use it as a home office or movie room. Paint color and furniture can all be removed, so use your creativity and really envision your own style inside the home.

AskHomesale.com provides real estate advise and information for home buyers, home sellers, and homeowners alike. Askhomesale.com is part of the Homesale Realty Family. The Homesale Family of Companies is the leading real estate company serving the Baltimore, Maryland, South Central and Southeastern PA real estate markets.  Homesale Realty has more than 25 offices with over 1,000 REALTORS®. Homesale Realty’s footprint includes Maryland real estate offices in Baltimore City, Federal Hill, Fells Point, Westminster, and Timonium.  Pennsylvania real estate offices include York,LancasterWyomissingChambersburg,Gettysburg,Harrisburg, and Schuylkill Haven.

Tips for Home Buyers  |  Tips for Home Sellers | Tips for Homeowners

 

Insider Tips for House Hunting

Choosing the right Real Estate Agent

Buying or selling your home can be emotional endeavor, but with the help of a dedicated and dependable real estate agent, it can be an enjoyable and peaceful process. There are many aspects that you must consider when trying to choose the agent that is right for you. The needs for buyers and sellers differ, which is important to think about when you are selecting someone to represent you. By following some of these simple guidelines, you will be heading in the right direction for a successful real estate experience.

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Research & Record Your Results

This cannot be stressed enough.  Referrals from family and friends are great but we still encourage you to do your research and interview.  Go to open houses and watch an agent in action; this will help you see them in a professional and casual setting.  Another suggestion is to drive around the neighborhoods in your market place and see which agents and companies dominate the area.  Look for agents that are experienced with homes in your price range and area. Agents that are familiar with what you are looking for can help you differentiate between good and bad options. Make a list of your top choices for a Real Estate Professional and Google them.  In that list, record the pros and cons from their online presence; reviews, ratings, testimonials, etc.


Schedule Interviews & Ask Questions

This is the biggest step in the process. Keep in mind that as a seller, top agents will market your home on multiple websites and social media outlets.  As a buyer, ask how they will they notify you as homes that meet your criteria enter the market. Find out how the agent will keep you updated and represent you during negotiations.  There are hundreds of questions you could ask, but remember to separate the good, better, and best agents by comparing the answers you get to your questions.

 

Lay Down your Laws with Some Simple Guidelines

Real estate transactions consist of fine details that can be missed and disrupt the whole process if you don’t have the right agent in your corner. Communication is a key aspect and you must stress that your agent needs to be available via email or phone, whichever is preferred.  Set realistic goals and stress that you and your agent must work as a productive team.

 

When comparing possible agents, the agent with the most closings isn’t necessarily the best one for you. The most important thing is commitment to you as a client, which can only be revealed in a face-to-face meeting. Remember to not always go with the first agent you find, you should shop around and then come back to the agents that truly made an impression and have the resources to make your housing wants a reality.

 

When it comes to buying or selling your home, finding the right real estate professional makes the difference!

 

Choosing the right Real Estate Agent

FALL IN LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT

From the very first glance, either online or in person, potential buyers should immediately be hooked and feel like it is already their home. Most homeowners rarely go through their own front entry, so take some time to enter though your front entry and view it as if you were seeing it for the first time. Prospective buyers will notice every detail and determine whether or not they are interested in your property.

Here are 5 home staging tips to increase your curb appeal and help home buyers fall in love with your home.

 

Feb IOV Flier

 

AskHomesale.com provides real estate advise and information for home buyers, home sellers, and homeowners alike. Askhomesale.com is part of the Homesale Realty Family. The Homesale Family of Companies is the leading real estate company serving the Baltimore, Maryland, South Central and Southeastern PA real estate markets.  Homesale Realty has more than 25 offices with over 1,000 REALTORS®. Homesale Realty’s footprint includes Maryland real estate offices inBaltimore City, Federal Hill, Fells Point, Westminster, and Timonium.  Pennsylvania real estate offices include York, LancasterWyomissing,Chambersburg,Gettysburg,Harrisburg, and Schuylkill Haven.

Tips for Home Buyers  |  Tips for Home Sellers | Tips for Homeowners

FALL IN LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT

How to Prepare for Selling in the Spring Market

If you are planning on putting your home on the market, don’t wait around for the April showers to bring May flowers before you get ready to sell. Preparing a few months in advance allows for an easier selling experience. Spring is an extremely busy season for real estate; make sure you stay ahead of the crowd by being proactive now.

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Remove the Clutter

Model homes and staged open houses have something in common; they are both clutter free. Even though everyone has clutter, when buyers walk through a home they want to be able to envision themselves living there with their own things. That is why it is extremely important to keep your house as neat as possible once your home is on the market. A simple way to make this task easier is to decrease the current amount of clutter you have now. For example, pack away items that are collecting dust and knick-knacks that are barely used.

Break out the Cardboard and Tape

Even though you might not be moving for a few months, you will eventually have to, so you might as well get a head start on the process. You don’t have to pack away your entire house, organize items in your storage closets, basements…etc., and determine what you want to sell, toss and keep. Once you box up these items, certain spaces/rooms will look larger and more organized when it comes time to show your house.

Improve Your Home

You should consider minor repairs and improvements that will give your home a fresh look for prospective buyers. Repair little things such as replacing the caulk/grout in your bathroom, old doorknobs, doorbell, outdated fans and light fixtures. Even painting your front door and trim will add curb appeal to your home.

Interview a Real Estate Agent

When choosing a Real Estate Agent to represent your home, your decision should be based on recommendations, experience, compatibility, trust and instinct. Using the right listing agent will make a significance difference in how quickly your house is on the market. Ask your friends to recommend their previous Realtors and interview agents to see which one is the right fit for selling the type of home you live in; price range and location.

If you are planning on selling your home now or in the next few months, then contact your local Homesale Agent for buyer/seller help. For more real estate information, please visit our Homesale website.

How to Prepare for Selling in the Spring Market