Andy Weiser Fort Lauderdale Realtor Blog

Green Home Features That Enhance Your Lifestyle

As time goes on we are seeing shifts towards energy savings and efficiency across all industries and products. From fuel efficient and hybrid cars to energy saving models for a range of products. Nowadays we are seeing consumers show interest in eco-conscious home upgrades as they perform home improvement projects or are seeking a new home to purchase. If you are looking to invest in some of these upgrades at your current home, here are some helpful tips.

Sealing gaps

Some older homes may have more gaps or spots of weakness that should be sealed up. For us in South Florida, it is more about our AC seeping out that can be a loss of energy. One spot that often gets overlooked is can lights in the ceiling as a good amount of air can escape through them.

Insulate

In our climate insulating is key especially with roofs and coverings. Insulated roofs can help keep a barrier between the hot sun and your efforts in regularly cooling your home. 

Energy audit

One of the best ways to make sure you are addressing the most important areas in your home is to do a home energy audit. This would involve a professional to visit your home combined with a review of your utility bills. A recommendation would be made for how you can improve your home’s efficiency. These audits are sometimes offered by utility companies or third party vendors.

Doors/windows

If you have old doors or windows then it may be time for an upgrade. High impact, current models will often be more efficient than older more basic ones. On top of the energy savings you can also potentially save money on your insurance with high impact ones as well. 

Thermostat

Smart thermostats are where it is at. Being able to both program your thermostat but also control it from your phone regardless of your location will help you regulate your usage for what is needed. This should help you reduce your energy costs while increasing convenience. 

Ceiling fans

An already popular fixture here in South Florida, but ceiling fans can help cool the rooms you are using rather than increasing the AC output for the whole house. Be sure your key rooms like bedrooms or living rooms have them.

Tankless water heater

Simply stated a tankless water heater saves you money as it only operates as you use it. Those with tanks regularly heat throughout the day keeping a reserve warm for whenever you plan to use it.

Appliances

In your kitchen alone you can potentially make some big improvements with your appliances. Your refrigerator and dishwasher are good places to start as they are significantly more efficient than even just 15 years ago. Go one step further and check your toilets and shower heads for water efficiency too.

 

5 Things Buyers Want In Homes For 2020

Despite the pandemic this year, home sales are still going strong with some speculating sales outpacing last year. As the real estate market has continued to thrive, what buyers are looking for has slightly been altered. While there are some basic necessities buyers wish to have, some are looking for other items as a result of pandemic life. Here is a look at some of these hot items so you can upgrade your Fort Lauderdale home if you are looking to sell in the near future.

Outdoor space

With more time spent at home these days buyers are looking to extend their square footage of living space. This includes maximizing outdoor spaces for full enjoyment. Take a look at your outdoor space for aesthetics and for function. Area rugs can be helpful for defining a gathering space and a low cost outdoor heater can help during those few cooler winter evenings. A fire pit could also provide options for cooler evenings. 

Home office space

The trend to do work from home has been increasing and will more than likely be more common post the pandemic. Given this pattern, having some designated working space within your home is helpful. You could add desk space to a guest room or in one of your home’s nooks. There are desks of all shapes and sizes where you can get creative depending on your space. 

Separate spaces

Most everyone loves an open floor plan, but being able to section off some areas is still important. Barn doors, curtains or room dividers can be easy solutions to give your home’s occupants more privacy and cut down on noise.

Home gym

Maintaining your physical health is important so creating a place to exercise is key. Guest rooms, larger garages or even screen rooms can be great ideas. However, if your home is short on space you can even designate a portion of a room. Fold up stationary bikes, yoga mats or your other favorite workout equipment like dumbbells can be neatly organized for your home gym. Showing buyers that you have space for this option can help them visualize how they can use the space with what they like to workout with.

Guest room

Showcasing your guest room or additional living space can be an enticing option for buyers these days. Multigenerational households or those looking to get additional rental income from a friend or roommate will be excited to see these great accommodations. 

Do you have more questions about home updates that are great for selling? Contact me today.

 

Why Pricing Your House Right is Essential

In today’s real estate market, setting the right price for your house is one of the most valuable things you can do.

According to the U.S. Economic Outlook by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home prices nationwide are forecasted to increase 4.7% in 2020 and 4.1% in 2021. This means experts anticipate home values will continue climbing into next year. Today, low inventory is largely keeping prices from depreciating. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, notes:

“Looking at the sheer number of buyers, low mortgage rates, and limited sellers, the strength of home prices–which are now growing at the highest pace since January 2018–makes sense.”

When it comes to pricing your home, the goal is to increase visibility and drive more buyers your way. Instead of trying to win the negotiation with one buyer, you should price your house so that demand is maximized and more buyers want to take a look.

How to Price Your Home
As a seller, you might be thinking about pricing your house on the high end while so many of today’s buyers are searching harder than ever just to find a home to purchase. You’re thinking, higher price, greater profit, right? But here’s the thing – a high price tag does not mean you’re going to cash in big on the sale. It’s actually more likely to deter buyers and have them looking at the houses your neighbors are selling instead.
Even today, when the advantage tips toward sellers because there are so few houses for sale, your house is more likely to sit on the market longer or require a price drop that can send buyers running in the other direction if it isn’t priced just right.

A Trusted Real Estate Professional Will Help
It’s important to make sure your house is priced correctly by working in partnership with a trusted real estate professional (like Andy). When you price it competitively, you won’t be negotiating with one buyer over the price. Instead, you’ll have multiple buyers competing for the home, and that’s what ultimately increases the final sale price.

The key is making sure your house is priced to sell immediately. That way, it will be seen by the most buyers. More than one of them may be interested, and your house will be more likely to sell at a competitive price.
Bottom Line

If you’re thinking about listing your house this fall, contact Andy to help you price it right so you can maximize your exposure and your return.

5 Reasons to Live On Florida’s East Coast

Home Equity Yields More Options Today

Property values have been continuing to rise for years now and despite the pandemic the number of home sales has as well. This all plays into the fact that homeownership is one of the greatest ways to invest into your financial future. Building home equity can act similarly to a forced savings plan as your home appreciates. Even before the current pandemic home equity was on the rise and now it has continued. This bodes well for giving sellers more options while encouraging buyers to enter the game. 

According to CoreLogic, here is what a recent report has shared after the midpoint of this year:

“U.S. homeowners with mortgages (roughly 63% of all properties) have seen their equity increase by a total of nearly $620 billion since the second quarter of 2019, an increase of 6.6%, year over year.” 

Additionally, here is what their Chief Economist has stated:

“The CoreLogic Home Price Index registered a 4.3% annual rise in prices through June, which supported an increase in home equity.”

What this means is that many homeowners may have even more invested in their homes than they may realize. This information can be helpful to know for anyone who owns, or is looking to buy or sell.

Current Owners

For those who currently own their home the increase in equity can mean a few things. For those looking to renovate then they could potentially have an easier time doing a home equity line of credit to finance home improvement projects. Alternatively, anyone looking to purchase a second home could potentially refinance, pull out some equity and use it towards their next home purchase.

Sellers

For those looking to sell in the near future, this can yield some options. The increased equity will mean more cash for them whether they are looking to afford a larger property or more comfortably downsize to a smaller home. 

Buyers

For buyers this should instill some encouragement that property values are increasing and getting into the market sooner than later will help them take advantage of the fast growing equity.

If you are interested in learning more about the market or what your home is worth today, please feel free to contact me.

How To Sell A Home That Needs Work

For some sellers the question may arise when they decide to sell of whether or not they should sink a lot of money into renovations. Not everyone has the time or money to put into significant home upgrades when they are planning to move out of the home. Besides, it is not always best to do so as many buyers may wish to change things to their taste anyway. There are some helpful tactics to selling a home that needs improvement, here are a list of tips on how to do it best.

Buyer pool

The most helpful thing to do is to do some research as to who your buyer pool is. Those who buy a home in need of updating typically will seek out potential over perfection. Investors or flippers are usually out to get the cheapest price possible as the transaction is all about money and business. Deal hunters are another group who may wish to live in a certain area but cannot afford most homes unless they are in need of upgrades. These buyers will see the value of purchasing the home today for its location and improving it over time. The third type of buyer may be a remodeler. This buyer is the person who has been outbid a few times and is now opening up their search to homes that may need work which may get less offers on it. Knowing who your buyer is can help you with your strategy.

Curb appeal

Your home’s curb appeal can have a big impact on buyers. This doesn’t mean that you need to build stone walls, fountains and have the best landscaping on the street. What this does mean is keep grass mowed, freshly mulch your beds and planting some flower pots for color and life. Finish with a freshly painted front door that should lead to a home’s interior that is clean and free of clutter. Eliminating a buyer’s idea that the exterior of the home would need work keeps any needed projects limited to the inside. 

Small, necessary repairs

It’s one thing if the home is dated, but another if it is dirty or in disrepair. Focus on the latter while you tend to things like fixing broken doors or hinges, caulking tubs and showers, addressing leaking faucets and making carpets free of stains. 

Renovation loans

Help some buyers out by referencing the possibility of a renovation loan. While you cannot guarantee amounts or rates to all buyers, having some preliminary information about them may help get them started on what they can do. 

Highlight good features and attributes

A perfect example of this is to make buyers fall in love with the space and floor plan of your home. Showcase your home’s open layout or spacious storage closets by keeping it free of clutter and well organized. Staging your furniture by using less of it or arranging it to make rooms appear larger and functioning will be what most buyers will be looking for.

Accurate pricing

Just like a home that has been fully renovated you still need to review the comps and price it accordingly. You can’t overprice it and expect nobody to see the work that it needs. Figure out what the price would be if it was updated, then back out the costs of what it absolutely needs without over or under pricing it.