Andy Weiser Fort Lauderdale Realtor Blog

How to Avoid Ruining Your New Yard

Many times homes will be in their best condition when they are put on the market for sale as they need to be presentable. This usually includes everything from the inside out down to the landscaping. However, it is not uncommon that the new owners can make some blunders when it comes to proper yard maintenance when they move in and take over. Here is a list of the common mistakes that you will want to avoid. 

Not reading instructions. Proper lawn care includes many things from fertilizer and weed control to bug control. Each treatment is very particular for when it is done and how much you use. Make sure to read all instructions thoroughly as to not damage your lawn or potentially harm kids or pets. 

Irrigation. Keeping your lawn well watered is important for its longevity. However, watering it just enough to get it wet won’t cut it as ideally the soil should be moist 6 inches deep. A good strategy is to time how long you are watering and then take a shovel and check the soil to see how long it takes to get it moist 6 inches deep. Watering too much can also be a problem. Especially with the lawn types in South Florida, it is possible to get a fungus from too much water.

Improper Fertilization.  Much like bug control or weed killer, there is such a thing as applying too much fertilizer. Using too much can cause serious damage resulting in burning or killing grass and plants while runoff water can cause algae to grow.

Grass cutting. Don’t cut your lawn too short. This can help push the time in between mowings, but it can be a recipe for a brown lawn. 

Weed killer. Weed killer is supposed to be used in smaller areas and not doused on your entire lawn in mass amounts. This can kill everything and lead to planting a whole new lawn.  

Trimming and pruning. Branches can grow to areas that need to be trimmed back, but cutting at random is not the way to do it. Make sure you do your trimming where the trunk and branch come together and leave a bump. This bump will often allow the plant to recover from the cuts. 

Planting strategy. If you want a landscaped yard with many plantings then that can be possible, however, don’t plant bushes and flowers too close to one another. Plants need room to grow and being too close can rob them of necessary nutrients and potentially lead to death.

Pet damage. It is tempting to allow pets to relieve themselves wherever they want in the yard. However, eventually you may notice patches of dead grass and damaged plants. If you can’t train your pet to go in one area, limit them to a run so they are confined to using just one particular section of your yard. 

 

10 Trending Home Designs

Many things play a factor into home design trends every year. While some popular things are easy to identify and are expected like classic materials such as wood and stone, other trends can sometimes be a shock. As we have seen during a recent pandemic as well as supply chain challenges some trends can have a sudden shift. Here are some of the top things being requested by homeowners lately per a recent poll by Houzz.

Color!

After years of sticking with neutral paint colors including whites and grays, there has been a desire for color now. Homeowners are getting more daring and want to have their homes reflect more of their personality and be injected with some happiness via using color. 

Wallpaper

In addition to color, a popular trend now is getting back to hanging wallpaper. It is said that with the pandemic changing how more people are spending time at home that interesting wallpaper is helping create more bright and cheerful homes.

Warm kitchens

Speaking of having our homes to be an oasis to relax and recharge, a warm and inviting kitchen is on the list of wants. A good example of this is combining light cabinet tones, light woods and warm lighting to achieve the soft look.

Green cabinets

Green has become a very popular color today when homeowners are choosing the color of their cabinets. Everything from a pale to a dark shade and even with just on the upper cabinets or an accent island green is a popular choice.

Wood cabinets

Cabinets made with a natural wood finish are also having their share of fame. Natural wood is a great choice to add warmth while bringing nature into the home. Popular choices are for light white oak cabinets to darker woods such as walnut or stained oak. 

Natural materials

It is not often that a natural material will go out of style but they are certainly peaking in popularity these days. After a time where shiny tiles and mosaics were big we are now seeing a draw over to quartzite and even granite that has a lot of character. 

Textures

The use of multiple materials or “layered texture” is a phrase that is widely used these days. That means combining things like wood, metal, textured fabrics and other surfaces that will create not only an interesting visual but also makes one cater to their sense of touch. 

Curves

Rounded and curved furniture is a design trend that is seeing its time in the limelight now. Curvy furniture like sofas or organic shaped coffee tables are being found across all styles of design, not just modern. One of the bonuses about this shape is that they can be surprisingly versatile to fit in even tight spaces. 

Minimalism

Clean lines where “less is more” is another furniture trend happening. The minimalist approach instills the idea of selecting fewer, more special pieces rather than filling a space with many items.

Traditional style with an edge

Traditional design schemes are returning yet this time we are seeing it being implemented in a more creative and fun way. The mix of patterns, softer tones and combination of vintage pieces with a more exciting wallpaper are all good examples.

 

Home Inspection 101 For First-Time Buyers

A home inspection can be a scary step in the home buying process especially if it’s your first time. You may already be overwhelmed by how much money you are about to spend on a home but also fear the worst with what may be uncovered during your home inspection. However, just remember that this event is there to make sure you don’t go buying a home that is a money pit and so you can plan for any necessary repairs. Here is some more insight into getting the most out of your inspection.

Hire a reputable home inspector

Your inspection is never a place that you want to cut corners. Make sure you hire someone who is local and well known with a good reputation. Next see if they hold key memberships for the field and ask your real estate agent if they know of them. Finally, if you are purchasing a particular kind of property like an older historic one for example, see if they are well versed in that area as it can be helpful. 

Attend the inspection

All inspectors will provide you with a large, detailed report with notes and photos of everything they have reviewed. However, it is a very good idea for you to attend the inspection appointment as well so that you can ask important questions and get very familiar with the home “under the hood” so to speak. This will make future repairs less daunting and also give you a better idea of anything that may need further negotiation with the home sellers.

Don’t worry ahead of time

Most of the time inspections go fairly well with only smaller fixes required for repair. Keep in mind it is completely normal for there to be things like a window pane in need of repair and the like. Should your inspector uncover a more major problem like a structural issue then you may need to revisit your offer to purchase. Typically there is a dollar figure specified where if repairs exceed that amount then you can renegotiate. If this happens then you should consult your attorney as well as your realtor for the best next steps. Your attorney can best advise you on the way to go about negotiating while your realtor can advise you on what is maybe best for you in the current market conditions. Under competitive markets you may need to budge a bit more should you want to salvage the deal.

How To Win a Bidding War Without Offering More Money

In today’s real estate market interest rates may have risen but demand is still high due to the long time problem of slim inventory. For some this still means that multiple bidding situations are still occurring and for those with less buying power from higher rates it may be that you will turn to other ways of making your offer competitive. Here are some ways buyers have made their offer stand out without offering a higher price for the home. 

Move Quickly

One of the appeals to sellers these days is not only trying to get a good price and a few offers, but often is the speed of the sale. A home sale process can be a stressful one with lots at stake so making it go even faster can be an attractive benefit to your offer. Make sure you have your pre-approval completed, your attorney hired and ready and a home inspector ready to book immediately after your offer is accepted and get that purchase contract signed in a handful of days rather than the week or week and a half that is typical.

Best Foot Forward With Shorter Window 

Another idea is to make sure you are putting your best foot forward with a strong and attractive offer, but consider giving the sellers a shorter window of time to accept it. Rather than the usual day or two go for a window of four to six hours instead. 

Target Homes With More Days on Market

Of course you will want to see what hits the market in real time, but if you keep missing out on properties you can consider even looking at homes that are slightly above your price range but have been on the market for a while. If these are good candidates then you can consider writing an offer for less that is within your budget. You never know if the sellers may be eager enough to take it and get the home sold. 

Arm Yourself With Local Professionals

Relationships matter. A good way to get to a successful purchase is to assemble the right team to work with. Work with a professional, experienced and local agent such as myself. Working with someone who is well known locally and has a report with the listing agent is always a benefit to a deal. Furthermore, working with local lenders with strong track records for loans that close is also another reason why a seller may choose to accept your deal. 

 

What To Consider If You’ve Been Waiting To Sell a Home

In recent years buying and selling a home has been even more of an emotional undertaking with sellers astounded by selling for over asking and buyers either winning bids or disgruntled about being outbid. Recently we have seen inflation pressures and mortgage rate hikes which have some buyers left unsure if now is the right time to buy. The same goes for sellers nowadays who have been asking themselves if they missed the top of the market. Here are some perspectives on the subject.

Current rates shouldn’t scare sellers

The market may be slowing down a bit but homes are still selling relatively quickly and at asking price or more in some cases. Rising interest rates will in fact affect buying power for some but when demand is still as strong as it is prices will now cool from their quickly accelerating trend that we saw for so long. 

The market is still competitive

With rising rates and an overall sense of the market cooling off a bit it is important to put things into perspective. For a long time now we saw prices increase and rates at extreme lows where inventory was at only 1 month’s supply for years. By definition of a normal market, we should have closer to 6 months. Supply is still very low making for competitive market conditions. 

Activity is slowing but time is still of the essence

Lately the number of offers you may see on a property may be fewer than before and even the number of showings on a property too. However, there still are bidding wars happening so if you are looking to sell you may want to strike while the iron is still hot rather than waiting until later. 

Sellers should showcase their homes

With less demand than before sellers should not just expect their home will sell in an hour with a dozen offers for over asking without even mopping the floor. Sellers should still take the sale of their home very seriously. This means getting it into absolutely perfect condition, staging it and pricing it correctly out of the gate for your best chance at success. 

5 Tips For Designing Your Dream Home

If you have just purchased either a lot of land or a home that needs a lot of fixing up then it can be hard to know where to start in terms of creating your dream home. The best thing to do is to break things up into some steps to begin. Here are some helpful hints on where to start. 

Visualize the home in your mind

The first thing you want to do is to imagine what style you want the home to be. Might this be ultra modern? Or perhaps more craftsmen in its design? For some, they want the home to reflect themselves so pick something that you feel will fit best and resonate with you.

Consult with a Designer

Once you have decided on a direction for the look and feel of your home, then it is helpful to hire a designer. A professional will help you with more of the fine details and cohesiveness of what you are trying to execute. It can be helpful to select a designer that has experience with the style of home that is of interest to you as well.

Planning

The next helpful step is to map out room by room for what you want each room’s function to be. Create a list of what you want to have and even collect images of rooms that you’ve seen either online or in magazines to help land on a final design direction. 

Lighting

Lighting is crucial and can really make or break a room. From natural light to paint colors to actual fixtures they can all play a significant role in making each room feel warm and inviting. Natural light is always the best kind so consider playing on that and having your design benefit from it as much as possible. 

Outdoor spaces

Especially here in Fort Lauderdale, outdoor spaces are extensions of our living areas all year round. Not only do you want to consider what you want to plan on having outside, but you will want to make sure that the design flow carries outside as well. Similar themes, colors and design elements should be consistent throughout both indoor and outdoor spaces. Stay in close touch with your designer as you progress with your planning. They can also often be a resource for what you can and cannot do structurally as well as what’s allowed with local building codes.