Home Sellers: Cut to the Chase in Home Repairs and Enhancements

January 19th, 2011 The Wilson Team Comments off

2011 opens as a strong buyer’s market so home sellers must be on their toes to give their homes maximum appeal. Not only should sellers complete the home repairs they know must be made, they should also hire a certified home inspector to thoroughly and impartially evaluate their properties.

        If this inspection results in a fix-it list, review the list with your real estate professional to establish necessities and priorities. Depending on your budget and objectives, you may want to repair only items that could cause significant deterioration to your property, such as a leaky roof. Ideally, the closer you can get your home to “move-in-ready” status, the more likely you are to attract today’s cautious and discerning buyers.    

        Among the most common repairs and enhancements yielding immediate buyer appeal include:

  • Paint inside and outside in neutral colors
  • Steam clean or replace carpets
  • Polish or replace hardwood floors
  • Clean or re-grout kitchen and bathrooms
  • Replace light fixtures
  • Change light bulbs throughout and replace wall-switch covers
  • Repair dripping faucets
  • Fix sticking door
  • Repair broken fencing

        Home sellers wanting to do more should consider the findings of Remodeling magazine’s 2010-’11 Cost vs. Value Report, released in December 2010. The survey used input from REALTORS in 80 cities to rank home remodeling projects according to those that bring the greatest cost recovered at sale.
 
        Many of the top projects focus on exterior replacements, as replacements are generally less expensive than other types of projects and they add all-important curb appeal – essential for today’s competitive market or any other.

        The Top Five projects in the Cost vs. Value Report include:

          No. 1 – Entry door replacement (steel)
          No. 2 – Garage door replacement (four-section door, reuse existing motorized opener)
          No. 3 – Siding replacement (fiber-cement siding)
          No. 4 – Kitchen remodel (minor: new cabinet doors, drawers and hardware, plus new energy-efficient appliances, flooring, counters, sink and faucet)
            No. 5 – Deck addition (wood)

        When the dust clears and projects are complete, be sure that you and your real estate professional document your repairs and enhancements, and share the report with prospective buyers. Walk prospects through the enhancements and include their costs.

        A home in good condition demonstrates pride of ownership. Taking the time to make enhancements helps ensure your home is presented in its best-possible light, primed for sale.

If you have a question about your home, call us and we will be happy to offer advice about which upgrades to make.

 

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Looks like I’ll be working longer into retirement…How about you?

May 12th, 2010 The Wilson Team Comments off

I saw this brief article on Inman News this morning and it rang a bell for me.  If you had asked me 20 years ago when I would retire, I would have proabably said “55-60″.  Well, I am approaching 60 and I probably will not retire until I am in my late 60’s at this point (I hope).  According to this article, at least I am not alone!  It seems that we all underestimated the effect of the various stock market crashes due to the S&L fiascos, the dot com busts, the Big Bank debacles, and the real estate crash that we are still experiencing today on our retirement plans.  We were all fooled into believing that the booms would go on forever and even when things turned down, they wouldn’t really effect our retirement since we had plenty of time to recover…..  Right! 

While most of us “Boomers” will be fine in retirement, it is obvious that it won’t be what we envisioned 20 years ago.  We will be working longer, living in smaller homes, travelling less and generally being more conservative…..Maybe this won’t be so bad after all!

Check out this article for more info on the retiring of the boomers.

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Beth Wilson Voted “Best Real Estate Agent” IN SW Roanoke County

May 6th, 2010 The Wilson Team Comments off

Beth Wilson, CRS, GRI

Beth Wilson of The Wilson Team and RE/MAX Valley, REALTORS was voted the Best Real Estate Agent in SW Roanoke County by the readers of the Roanoke Times, SWOCO edition. The readers vote for their favorite things in SW Roanoke County and Beth was Number 1. You can check out the entire list at the following link: http://blogs.roanoke.com/rtblogs/swoco/2010/04/30/best-of-swoco-2010/

Real Estate is on the Upswing! Buy Now!

April 5th, 2010 The Wilson Team Comments off

Read this great article on Inman News about the positive outlook for real estate. Click Here.

New Lead Paint Renovation Rule Will Increase Costs of Repairs and Renovations

March 15th, 2010 The Wilson Team Comments off

The new EPA Lead Paint Renovation rule goes into effect on April 22, 2010. This ruling requires that all renovations, repairs, or painting on pre-1978 housing units or facilities regularly occupied by children be conducted by contractors that are licensed in safe lead handling practices. If the area disturbed in greater than 6 sq. ft. in the interior or 20 sq. ft. on the exterior, the lead safe rules apply. Even using a paint scraper on a wall where paint is peeling causes the rule to be applied. There are few exceptions, such as, a homeowner can do repairs and renovations themselves as long as it is “not for compensation”. A tenant can paint in a rental unit under the same rule, but if the landlord reduces the rent for the work, the rule applies. Failure to follow the rules can result in a fine of, up to, $37,500 per occurrence.
One of the most frequent and cost effective upgrade to a home has been replacement windows. These are specifically covered and must be done by a certified contractor. Remember that the fine is $37,500 per occurence and that means you could be fined $375,000 for ignoring the rules in replacing windows in a typical home.

In testimony March 11, 2010 before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Connecticut remodeler Bob Hanburystated that roughly 79 million homes constructed before 1978 are subject to the Lead Renovation, Repair and Repainting Rule. Renovations on these homes, including energy-efficiency upgrades, must be done by contractors who have been certified by EPA in lead-safe work practices. EPA has estimated that more than 236,000 remodelers, window installers, painters, heating and air-conditioning specialists and other trade contractors must be trained to ensure compliance with the rule. These contractors must complete eight hours of training, pay a certification fee, and employ lead-safe work practices in homes built before 1978 where children or pregnant women are present. However, EPA has been slow to approve trainers to offer the courses, and in some states there are still no approved trainers. As a result, only about 14,000 people have been certified to date.
With only 135 firms throughout the country approved to offer the training courses, it will be impossible for the remaining contractors to complete the required training before the April 22 deadline.

This new rule is very complicated so watch here for more updates on this new rule that could add $100’s to $1000’s of dollars renovation jobs. For a look at the EPA’s new booklet, “Renovate Right”, click here.

Budget Situation in Virginia is Dire!

February 19th, 2010 The Wilson Team Comments off

I just returned last night from a lobbying trip to Richmond for the Roanoke Valley Association of REALTORS. After hearing the briefings from our state lobbyists and talking with several of our local legislators, it is obvious that Virginia and all the localities are is for a very tough time. The words that were used by the legislators were: “tsunami”, “catastrophe”, “massacre”, etc. Gov. McDonnel issued his proposed cuts to the budget on Wednesday and it was as devastating as expected. There were numbers being thrown around of 25-50,000 teachers being laid off, medicaid cuts (which doesn’t make a lot of sense, since there are matching dollar form the federal government for these funds), furloughing state employees 5 days per year, more cuts to the higher education centers that help the more rural areas without multiple universites (like Richmond), and so on and so on and so on!
There are no proposals for increasing state funding (read that as taxes) since the Govenor and many of the legilators used the “No Tax” pledge in their campaigns. It seems that we can fund re-opening of rest stops(another campaign pledge), but not school breakfasts. If you would like to see a list of all the proposed cuts, you can read them here from an article in the Washington Post.
With the “no tax” pledges that have been used in many campaigns, there is no real and lasting solution to the budget crisis. And, yes, it is a crisis.
The consensus from the Democrats in Richmond that we talked with was that tax increases are the only way to get out of this mess. The Republicans continue to propose cuts in spending and hoping that the economy will improve. I don’t know which group is right, but it would be nice if our legislators would worry more about the citizens of Virginia than just their re-election campaigns and try a little bi-partisanship to look at solutions to this problem. Oh well, maybe the state should just buy more of its own lottery tickets!

It’s Tax Time…Don’t forget the new tax law changes!

February 3rd, 2010 The Wilson Team Comments off

Here’s a great article written by Eileen Ambrose from RISMEDIA  today about the changes to the tax laws.
“Fortunately, many of the new tax breaks are credits, which are better than a deduction because they reduce your bottom-line tax bill dollar-for-dollar. So before you fill out your return, here’s a refresher on some of the key tax breaks this season: more

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Virigina Year End Sales Statistics

January 26th, 2010 The Wilson Team Comments off

The Virginia Association of REALTORS just released the year and 4th quarter sales statistics. You can get the full report here.  This is one of the best and easiest to understand compilation of data anywhere.

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….and you think homes are expensive in Roanoke?

January 15th, 2010 The Wilson Team Comments off

‘Skinniest House’ Sells for $2.1 million
A property dubbed New York City’s skinniest house sold recently for $2.1 million.The two-story Greenwich Village property is 9.5 feet wide and 42 feet long and has two bedrooms and two baths. The townhouse was listed last August for $2.7 million by Alex Nicholas, senior vice president of the Corcoran Group. It last sold in 2000 for $1.6 million. It is now for rent for $10,000 per month.  Source: The Associated Press (01/13/2010)

For this price you can buy 10 average homes in Roanoke and have money left over for things like food, electricity, etc.  Based on our average home, you could have thirty bedrooms, 20 baths, and probably 30 garage spaces.  I think I would much rather live in Roanoke anyway.   See the post below!

Roanoke VA Named One of Best Places to Live & Work by Money Magazine

January 11th, 2010 The Wilson Team Comments off

Roanoke (Cave Spring) was named as the #9 best place in the conutry to look for a job. It was also named in the top 100 best places to live in the country. See the full article here.

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