Buying A Home in the Best School District

Home buyers

When it comes to resale value, even for buyers without children, it’s best to invest in a home in a top school district. These homes often sell faster than homes in lesser school districts. In a case of bad economic times, a home in the lower quality school district declines in home value, while the homes in the top school districts will hold their value.

Do the research. Any information you need for absolutely anything is available online. Do a search to determine the school district or even the specific school, that is the best in the town you will be searching for a new home. There are websites that offer test scores, rankings and demographic information, including student diversity by race and gender, the percentage of students on free lunch programs and the student-teacher ratio, to learn about the schools and school districts you are considering.

A survey on asked random people about their overall buying strategy and how they viewed school performance. The results found that a surprising number of people are willing to give up things to get within the boundaries of a good school district. That, for every five buyers, one buyer would be prepared to give up a garage or bedroom for a good school.

They also found that for every three buyers surveyed, one buyer would even settle for a smaller home to get access to a good school. And over half of those surveyed said they would sacrifice nearby shopping options for a better school.

Beyond sacrificing things in their home purchase, buyers were willing to pay more money for a home in a good school district. One out of five of those surveyed said they would pay between six and ten percent more for a home – and one out of ten people surveyed stated that they’d go even higher, paying up to 20 percent more for a home with access to the right schools.

The Bottom Line: Consult with the best Realtor in the area in which you are looking. The next best resource for neighborhood and nearby school knowledge is your local real estate agent. Even if you don’t have kids, between the Realtor and the research you do, buying a home in good school district affects the value of the home.

Share This Post

Tips For Buying a New Construction Home

Buying a new construction home can be quite different than buying a previously-owned home. The negotiation might be easier because you don’t have to whether emotional homeowners, but you will have to deal directly with the builder. He has built the home with the sole purpose of selling it at a profit. He will need to move the new home so he can move on to his next project. A few things you should do:


Finding a top local Realtor who is experienced in negotiating with builders is going to be one of the most important things you do in the home buying process. Realtors aren’t just used for previously owned homes, they are also very helpful to buyers in new construction.

Realtors can also help the buyer handle builder contracts and in some cases make changes to it. An experienced realtor will be able to help ensure that the buyer gets exactly what they want and for an affordable price.

Many people think buying new construction will save them money from having to pay Realtor fees but builders are actually the party that pays the realtor commission fees. There is no extra cost for hiring a realtor when you purchase new construction.


There is a cost for upgrades and the options and add-ons are abundant. It’s best to only pick upgrades that will boost the home’s value.

  • The kitchen – make sure there are good bones. Upgrade for taller cabinets, kitchen island, and lighting.
  • Deeper basement – especially if you are buying it unfinished – you may want to finish it one day. Get a deeper pour.
  • Roughed-in plumbing for a future full or a half bath. Even if you don’t end up adding another bathroom, you will be able to offer it to a future buyer as an asset.
  • More lighting – you can never have too much light especially in bathrooms and the kitchen.
  • Energy savers – windows, appliances, etc.
  • Larger garage – depending on the lot size and if it can be done? Do it.
  • Storage options – built-in cabinets, pull out trash/recycling bins anything that can make the function of the home better.


Many conversations will be had with the builder and the onsite agent throughout the entire buying process. Make sure you get everything they’ve agreed upon in writing. Including it in the contract is always best, but even an email or letter can work in your favor if something goes wrong. After important conversations, your experienced Realtor will tell the onsite agent to send them all the details in an email, but if yours doesn’t, make sure they follow-up with an email asking for confirmation.


With a new house, you will be receiving a stack of instruction booklets all at once. Have someone show you how to operate all of the kitchen appliances, the heating and cooling systems, the water heater, and other features in the home. Learning about maintenance and upkeep responsibilities is very important. Most new homes come with a one-year warranty on workmanship and materials. However, such warranties do not cover problems that develop because of failure to perform required maintenance. Many builders provide a booklet explaining common upkeep responsibilities and how to perform them. It is important that you be very thorough and observant during the walk-through. Carefully examine all surfaces of counters, fixtures, floors, and walls for possible damage. Sometimes, disputes arise because a buyer may discover a gouge in a countertop after move-in, and there is no way to prove whether it was caused by the builder’s workers or the buyer’s movers.

The Bottom Line: If you are going to be buying a new construction home, the builder’s agent on-site will be ready to help you with the process. That agent will always have the builder’s best interest in mind. You should have your own Realtor. You are going to want someone representing your side of the deal.

Share This Post

5 Amazing Tips to Get Your Home Ready for a Fall Sale

When the seasons change, there’s always something exciting to look forward to! When it comes to fall, there’s the cooler weather, beautiful foliage and pumpkin spice everything. One thing not to overlook though, are cozy interiors.

If you take a look at Pinterest, you’ll notice everyone is getting their homes prepped for fall. Do you have everything in order to keep up with the latest trends? Check out these amazing tips to get your home ready for fall.

Choose a Rustic Palette:

Color has a huge effect on everything from our mood to our productivity. Take full advantage of the season with a rustic color palette. Include fall colors like vivid orange, yellow and red. Accent with warm brown to really make those seasonal hues pop! Pick up the paintbrush and give your home a refresh with a new coat of paint or consider less expected additions like decor accents spread throughout your home. You can always pack up accessories after fall is over to use again next year.

Refashion your Living Room

The living room is the hub of the home which makes it the perfect place to try out a more festive design. While you may not be willing to take down walls or make major renovations, there are still options that will completely alter your decor.  Try out some new wall art to add some pizazz and flaunt your distinct preferences. Or flaunt your flair with the purchase of a new sofa in unique styles like tufted backs, reclining capabilities or nailhead trims. 

Change Out your Curtains

Curtains are a simple and relatively inexpensive element you can change that still packs a punch in terms of decor. Choose styles in fall colors or go bold with patterned window treatments. Floral curtains can be an exciting touch while geometric patterns will give your home some symmetry. 

Try a New Tablescape

Much like other seasons, there’s a huge emphasis on fall foods. Especially since Thanksgiving is now right around the corner, make sure your table is set and ready to go!  Replacing your tablecloth with a more pastoral aesthetic is sure to make your home feel that much cozier. Go a step further by thinking about all of the fun touches you can add — a centerpiece with pumpkins and gourds are essential! Try something new with some surprisingly modern takes on a cornucopia.

Prioritize your Porch

Make your home the talk of the town with elaborate porch decor! Improve your home’s curb appeal with a fall-ready makeover. Incorporate any and all fall staples — vibrant pumpkins, inviting mums and even friendly scarecrows! Additionally, it may help draw positive attention to your property if you are planning to sell anytime soon. If that’s your plan, don’t forget about all of the important steps to creating an inviting space that will ensure your home is more likely to sell!

Share This Post

Selling Your Home? Create an Inviting Space

sold sign with realtor

Smart Design Choices to Make the Most of Your Space
No matter what size your living space is, there are a lot of smart design choices to help you make the most of it. You could be living in a small space by choice or necessity, but either way, there’s no need to put up with miniature things and clutter everywhere. Here are some essential tips to transform your home from a claustrophobic area to a fun, comfortable, and functional living space.

Prioritize Organization
The first thing you need to do is get organized. If you’re not one of the lucky people who seem to be born with exceptional organizational skills, then it’s time to learn this skill. Take time to go through your house and plan how you can make the most of your space. Make notes of where you can creatively organize your space. For instance, you might be able to install open shelves in your kitchen for more space, or you could loft your bed in order to add more floor space.

Streamline Everything
When you live in a small house or apartment, it’s essential to constantly evaluate your possessions so that you’re not keeping unnecessary things around. Whether it’s clothes you haven’t worn in years or receipts for stuff you’ve already broken or lost, it’s vital to minimize the clutter as much as you can. In much the same way as learning to get organized, you can also pick up some storage tips that will help you to increase the amount of free space you have. If you can, try to rent a small storage unit where you can house items that you don’t use regularly, but you’d still like to keep, such as holiday decorations, camping/fishing gear, beach umbrellas, and other seasonal belongings.

Leverage Color
Using color to your advantage is something that can totally transform your living space. Painting your home is also one of the most affordable ways of changing its look and feel. You can choose lighter hues for the walls to create an airy effect and make your indoor space feel a lot bigger. When it comes to creating the illusion of space and depth, neutral colors are the best choice. You’ll be able to expand the room with just a coat of paint. You can then add a bit of color and texture to create interest. However, try to stay away from large prints and particularly loud patterns as these tend to dwarf your space, making it feel smaller.

The Bottom Line
When you want to sell your home, there are many other tips and tricks to help you transform any room in your home and make space feel and look a lot bigger than it actually is. Other smart design options include using furnishings that work to visually expand the room, such as low-profile seating to create an illusion of high ceilings. You can also pick furniture that does double duty, such as having a
trunk/coffee table, or a coffee table/fish tank. The sky’s the limit, but you can get started right now by using the three tips outlined above to add more space and depth to so you can make the most of the space in each room.

Share This Post

First Time Home Buyer Tips

Home buying or selling is stressful. It’s worth knowing what to look out for –and what mistakes to avoid – when buying a home.

Be sure to have your loan pre-approved, not just pre-qualified before going house hunting. You want to be in the best negotiating position. Shop around and then meet with a financial institution to help you understand the mortgage process and your own financial situation. They will be able to better prepare you on knowing what type of down payment you can afford and help you to not make the mistake that is often made – spending all on the down payment and closing costs. You want to be able to cover any unexpected repairs or necessary renovations.

Get the home inspected by a reputable inspector. The seller will have had the home appraised, but you will want to have an inspector look for problems all throughout the home. He will look at the roof, foundation, plumbing, electrical system and make sure the home is functional when you move in.

Keep your emotions in check! Hire the best, most experienced Realtor and he or she will help you to remain level-headed. Take in all of their advice and use their knowledge of the real estate process. There will be many emotional ups and downs when you are buying a home, and your judgment can get clouded. Knowing your price range is important. Do not look at homes over your budget – that is the easiest way to get emotionally sucked in.

Owning a home can be a great investment. As a homebuyer, search for a home that you can add value to, as this ensures a rise in the equity to help you climb the property ladder. Having an experienced Realtor is key to learning about the best location and which neighborhood will always be one that grows. Often it’s best to buy the smallest home on the nicest block of big homes. Doing this will give you plenty of room for building equity as you update the home.

The Bottom Line: It can take weeks or months, even a year to find the home you want to buy. After some time, stress and exhaustion can have a hand in making rash decisions. To stay away from the common pitfalls, having a Realtor by your side is one of the best decisions you can make. He or she will negotiate real estate deals, guide you through the process and give you professional opinions and recommendations, as well as help you keep your emotions in check.

Share This Post