Selling A House With Solar Panels

Solar panels are something many buyers are looking for and appraisers make note of when assessing your property, but can add a bit of complexity in the sale of the house depending on local ordinances and whether they panels are owned or leased. Make sure to have your agent mention solar panels in your listing and discuss them in your negotiations with potential buyers. Generally, a house with a solar panel lease can be sold or bought in the following ways: Continue reading


Posted on August 12, 2019 at 1:48 pm
Jim Smoak | Posted in General Real Estate |

Some Home Renovations Can Actually Harm Resale Value

Sometimes home improvements are necessary due to major issues; however, the worst thing a seller can do is make renovations that aren’t supported by the local market.  Here are a few good examples that this article points out.

Over-the-top kitchen remodels costing more than 25% of the home’s value do not generate much of a return when selling your home. If you’re going to add an addition to your home, it is wise to seek professional help with the layout and design to avoid destroying the floorplan/function. Continue reading


Posted on August 12, 2019 at 1:36 pm
Jim Smoak | Posted in General Real Estate |

What is a home warranty and do you need one?

I’m usually skeptical when it comes to 3rd party warranties, such as extended warranties sold by retailers of consumer electronics. Sometimes they make sense to purchase, but in my estimation, most do not.

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Posted on July 27, 2019 at 12:44 pm
Jim Smoak | Posted in Maintenance |

How to stage your home to sell, even with kids and clutter underfoot

There are many articles providing tips on staging and decluttering.  Most do a good job on outlining the statistical benefits of good staging and giving good practical how-to’s, as does this one.  But this one is especially good because of it’s focus on families with kids. 

 

The author roles up her sleeves and talks about the reality of a family living in a home vs. selling a home.  “… decluttering isn’t so easy when you have enough Legos to build an empire along with miniature cars and trucks to fill it.” says it all. 
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Posted on July 27, 2019 at 12:20 pm
Jim Smoak | Posted in Prep To Sell |

Construct your dream property or renovate an existing one?

With the aging inventory of homes in the US, this decision is becoming more and more common. Should you build a new home or renovate an existing one? There are many considerations and this article lists 11 questions to get answers to which will help you qualify the best decision for your situation. All 11 questions are good, but here are some of my favs.

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Posted on July 27, 2019 at 12:07 pm
Jim Smoak | Posted in General Real Estate |

Doing this one thing can help sell it faster

Let me cut to the point of the article; this is about doing a pre-inspection. I fall in the 80/20 camp on this. I think it’s a good idea 80% of the time, but there is always 20% of the situations where it may not be a great idea (ok, maybe 90/10, but you get my drift). The article gives good detail, but here are a few of the reasons to do so:

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Posted on July 27, 2019 at 9:04 am
Jim Smoak | Posted in Prep To Sell |

20 key signs that Your house value is changing

The intent of this article is to show how these 20 indicators are key signs that your home may be losing value. They are and that’s true. However, the items in this article also does a GREAT job pointing out all the things that a Realtor takes into consideration when pricing a home.

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Posted on July 27, 2019 at 8:45 am
Jim Smoak | Posted in Market Info |

8 Costly Missteps With Real Estate Investing

Investing in real estate can be one of the best long-term investments you can make. Residential real estate investments averaged a 10-11% return over the past 20-years. However, this isn’t penny stocks and mistakes can be costly. This article covers 8 good things to keep in mind when investing in this space. A notable few of the items are:

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Posted on July 27, 2019 at 7:40 am
Jim Smoak | Posted in Investing in Real Estate |

Know about what hurricane-related damage is covered

It’s hurricane season, and we often think of needed physical prep.  Ensuring that you have things like water, flashlights, extra batteries, on hand is good storm prep, but we often forget to think about th “what-if’s” if a storm hits us hard.  For us who live on the coast, one of those what if’s is the financial impact of flooding.  This is a good article on flood insurance and covers 4 major topics.

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Posted on July 15, 2019 at 3:31 pm
Jim Smoak | Posted in Insurance |

How to Get the Best Mortgage Rate in 2019

There’s a lot of good advise in this article, both general and specific, and I agree with almost all of it. Read the whole thing, but the two things I want to point out are listed as points #’s 3 and 6 in the article. Continue reading


Posted on July 15, 2019 at 3:27 pm
Jim Smoak | Posted in Mortgage |