March 17, 2023
The Botto Team
Spring is a season of renewal. Birds are singing and the flowers are beginning to burst into bloom. The days are getting longer - and we are getting outdoors again. So not surprisingly, real estate activity continues in high gear. The weather is more co-operative and families are looking to move during the summer break.
If you are considering putting your home on the market, now's a good time to do some spring maintenance to make sure your home is in tip-top shape. Even if you aren't planning to sell your home, you should still add these household tasks to your list to help preserve your home's value and help avoid major repairs later on.
Walk Around the Outside
Check for any damage caused by winter's cold weather. Look for those sagging or loose gutters, window frames or siding. Is your roof missing any shingles, or is there any water damage under the eaves? Promptly schedule repairs for those items you can't do yourself.
Over the fall and winter, leaves, mud and debris may have accumulated in your gutters. Check your gutters for clogging and damage and schedule an appointment for cleaning.
Walk around your yard as if you were a first-time visitor. What impression does your home make? Be sure to clear away fallen branches and leaves. Loosen the soil around perennials, plant annuals or a vegetable garden. Prune shrubs and trees.
If your water supply has been off for the winter, turn it back on. Test your automatic sprinkler system or connect your water hose and check for cracks and leaks. Replace old washers or sprinkler heads.
Don't forget the backyard! Is it time to condition your deck? Be sure to hammer in any loose nails or replace them with galvanized deck screws. Replace any broken boards or rails. Consider renting a power washer to clean dirt and mildew from the wood, and then apply an all-weather sealer or stain. Then dust off that patio furniture you kept protected over the winter.
Repair any broken fence boards and paint or seal them as needed. Clean the pool if you have one. Wash windows, screens and windowsills; repair any winter damage.
Take a Tour Inside
Start making a list of things to do in each room. Then dive in. Dust walls and ceilings to remove cobwebs and wash any grimy areas. Wash window curtains or remove drapes for dry cleaning. Deep clean rugs and carpets. Dust and polish wood or laminate floors.
Clean fan blades using mild soapy water. Make sure all exhaust fans and vents are clean and clear. Don't forget to remove the lint buildup from the clothes dryer vent.
One often-overlooked area is the fireplace. Be sure to sweep ashes carefully into your fireplace's ash pit or into a dustpan. Clean fireplace tools, or the glass on your gas fireplace
Look around for clutter. Are there items you don't use any longer? If you are planning on moving, what items will you not need? Consider having a garage sale and then either donate or trash the remaining items.
And lastly, don't forget to replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. A good time to change them is when you change your clock for daylight savings.
Although performing these spring chores may be dreaded tasks, they go a long way in maintaining and even enhancing the attractiveness and quality your home.
March 13, 2023
The Botto Team
From kitchen upgrades to bathroom renovations, learn about our top five recommendations for increasing your home’s property value. These improvements will ensure a greater return on your investment.
Kitchens have the most significant impact on the value of a house. As such, it’s a crucial investment to keep the space up-to-date – a contemporary kitchen goes a long way. Modern cabinetry, under cabinet lighting and new appliances will contribute to a remarkable increase in the value of your home. To save on cost without compromising construction and desirability, prefabricated options, such as Ikea cabinets, can often take the place of custom cabinetry.
In determining property value, the bathroom is the second most important room in the house. If you can add a three-piece bathroom to a home with only one full bathroom, you’ll notice a dramatic rise in the market value of your property. While we don’t recommend compromising bedroom space for a bathroom, try adding one into an area of unused space in the home. An additional tip for maximizing washroom space is to use glass for the shower – it easily makes the room feel more spacious.
Kitchens and bathrooms often look tired and dated, in large part due to old fixtures. Replacing or updating cabinet hardware, light fixtures, countertops and faucets will result in an immediate increase in your home’s value. This small, but effective upgrade will also revitalize the entire home. Pot lights are in high demand in open concept style homes.
Flooring is one of the most important features of your home. You’ll find an immediate rise in property valuation with the installation of hardwood floors. Further, existing hardwood floors that can be refinished are ideal, since they are less costly to restore and more desired by homeowners than new flooring materials. For the bathroom space, tiled flooring will always be in high demand and retain its value exceptionally well. Sagen’s Purchase Plus Improvements Program helps qualified homebuyers carry such home improvement costs into their mortgage with as little as 5% down.
A finished basement will also increase the return of investment of your home. Although basement renovations need not be extensive – renovations that will save the new homeowners money in the future are highly recommended. For example, renovations that will protect the basement from flooding are advised (flooring, walls, and drainage considerations).
For more information, contact a local real estate or mortgage professional.
March 10, 2023
The Botto Team
If you’re thinking of selling your house, it’s important to work with someone who understands how the market is changing and what it means for you. Here are five reasons working with a professional can ensure you’ll get the most out of your sale.
1. They’re Experts on Market Trends
With today’s housing market defined by change, it’s critical to work with someone who knows the latest information and how it impacts your goals. An expert real estate advisor knows about national trends and your local area too. More importantly, they’ll give insight to what all of this means for you, so they’ll be able to help you make a decision based on trustworthy, data-bound information.
2. A Local Professional Knows How To Set the Right Price for Your Home
Home price appreciation has moderated this year. If you sell your house on your own, you may be more likely to overshoot your asking price because you’re not as aware of where prices are today. Pricing your house too high can deter buyers or cause your house to sit on the market for longer.
Real estate professionals look at a variety of factors, like the condition of your home and any upgrades you’ve made, with an unbiased eye. They compare your house to recently sold homes in your area to find the best price for today’s market so your house sells quickly.
3. A Real Estate Advisor Helps Maximize Your Pool of Buyers
Since buyer demand has cooled this year, you’ll want to do what you can to help bring in more buyers. Real estate professionals have a wide range of tools at their disposal, such as social media followers, agency resources, and the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), to ensure your house gets in front of people looking to make a purchase. Investopedia explains why it’s risky to sell on your own without the network an agent provides:
“You don’t have relationships with clients, other agents, or a real estate agency to bring the largest pool of potential buyers to your home.”
Without access to your agent’s tools and marketing expertise, your buyer pool – and your home’s selling potential – is limited.
4. A Real Estate Expert Will Read – and Understand – the Fine Print
Today, more disclosures and regulations are mandatory when selling a house. That means the number of legal documents you’ll need to juggle is growing. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) puts it like this:
“There’s a lot of jargon involved in a real estate transaction; you want to work with a professional who can speak the language.”
5. A Local Professional Is a Skilled Negotiator
In today’s market, buyers are regaining some negotiation power. If you sell without an expert, you’ll be responsible for any back-and-forth. That means you’ll have to coordinate with:
- The buyer, who wants the best deal possible
- The buyer’s agent, who will use their expertise to advocate for the buyer
- The inspection company, which works for the buyer and will almost always find concerns with the house
- The appraiser, who assesses the property’s value to protect the lender
Instead of going toe-to-toe with these parties alone, lean on an expert. They’ll know what levers to pull, how to address everyone’s concerns, and when you may want to get a second opinion.
Don’t go at it alone. If you’re planning to sell your house this spring, work with a real estate professional so you have an expert by your side to guide you in today’s market.
January 30, 2023
The Botto Team
Last year, the housing market slowed down in response to higher mortgage rates, and that had an impact on home prices. If you’re thinking of selling your house soon, that means you’ll want to adjust your expectations accordingly. As realtor.com explains: “. . . some of the more prominent pandemic trends have changed, so sellers might wish to adjust accordingly to get the best deal possible.”
In a more moderate market, how you price your house will make a big difference to not only your bottom line, but to how quickly your house could sell. And the reality is, homes priced right are still selling in today’s market.
Why Pricing Your House Appropriately Matters
Especially today, your asking price sends a message to potential buyers.
If it’s priced too low, you may leave money on the table or discourage buyers who may see a lower-than-expected price tag and wonder if that means something is wrong with the home.
If it’s priced too high, you run the risk of deterring buyers. When that happens, you may have to lower the price to try to reignite interest in your house when it sits on the market for a while. But be aware that a price drop can be seen as a red flag by some buyers who will wonder what that means about the home.
To avoid either headache, price it right from the start. A real estate professional knows how to determine that ideal asking price. They balance the value of homes in your neighborhood, current market trends, buyer demand, the condition of your house, and more to find the right price. This helps lead to stronger offers and a greater likelihood your house will sell in a timely fashion.
The visual below helps summarize the impact your asking price can have:
Homes that are priced at current market value are still selling well! To make sure you price your house appropriately, maximize your sales potential, and minimize your hassle, reach out to a trusted real estate professional.
January 9, 2023
The Botto team
Inflation is an economic phenomenon that refers to the general increase in the price of goods and services over time. It can have a significant impact on the real estate market, as the value of property is often tied to the overall health of the economy.
When inflation is high, the cost of living tends to rise, which can make it more expensive for people to buy homes. As a result, demand for housing may decrease, leading to slower price appreciation or even declines in some areas. On the other hand, low inflation can make it more affordable for people to buy homes, leading to increased demand and potentially higher price appreciation.
Inflation can also affect the value of real estate in other ways. For example, if the interest rate on a mortgage is fixed, a high rate of inflation can make the loan more expensive to repay over time. On the other hand, if the interest rate on a mortgage is adjustable and tied to the inflation rate, the cost of the loan may increase or decrease in line with inflation.
It is important for real estate investors to consider the potential impact of inflation when making investment decisions. While real estate can be a relatively stable asset class, it is not immune to economic fluctuations. By understanding the potential effects of inflation on the value of property, investors can make more informed decisions about when and where to buy or sell.
I hope this blog post provides some useful information on the topic of inflation and real estate. It is always important to do your own research and consult with a professional before making any decisions.
January 4, 2023
The Botto team
If buying or selling a home is part of your dreams for 2023, it’s essential for you to understand today’s housing market, define your goals, and work with industry experts to bring your homeownership vision for the new year into focus.
In the last year, high inflation had a big impact on the economy, the housing market, and likely on your wallet too. That’s why it’s critical to have a clear understanding of not just the market today, but also what you want out of it when you buy or sell a home. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, explains:
“The key to making a good decision in this challenging housing market is to be laser focused on what you need now and in the years ahead, so that you can stay in your home long enough that buying is a sound financial decision.”
Here are a few questions you can start thinking through as you fine tune your goals for 2023.
1. What’s Motivating You?
You’re dreaming about making a move for a reason – what is it? No matter what’s happening in the market, there are still many compelling reasons to buy a home today. Your needs may have changed in a way your current house can’t address, or you could be ready to step into homeownership for the first time and have a space that’s truly your own. Use what’s motivating you as a guidepost in partnership with an expert advisor to help make sure your move will give you a lasting sense of accomplishment.
2. What Does Your Next Home Look Like?
You know you want to move, but how would you describe your dream home? The available supply of homes for sale has grown, and that could mean more options to choose from when you buy. Just be sure to keep your budget in mind and work with a trusted real estate professional to balance your wants and needs. The better you understand what’s essential and where you can be flexible, the easier it can be to find the home that’s right for you.
3. How Ready Are You To Buy?
Getting clear on your budget and savings is essential before you get too far into the process. Working with a local agent and a lender early is the best way to make sure you’re in a good position to buy. This could include planning how much to save for a down payment, getting pre-approved for a home loan, and assessing your current home equity if your move involves selling your existing house.
A Professional Will Guide You Through Every Step of the Process
Buying or selling a home is a big process that takes expertise to navigate. If that feels a bit overwhelming, you aren’t alone. According to a recent Harris Poll survey, one in five respondents see a lack of information or knowledge about the homebuying process as a barrier from owning a home. Don’t let uncertainty hold you back from your goals this year. A trusted expert can bridge that gap and give you the best advice and information about today’s market.
Work with a local real estate agent and build a team of industry professionals to plan how your dreams for 2023 can become a reality.
December 19, 2022
The Botto Team
Opinion: - Frank O'Brien the editor of Western Investor -
Four new rules – including one now in effect in B.C. will be costly, complicated and do nothing to alleviate the low supply or high price of housing in Canada.
December 19, 2022
The Botto Team
While home prices in many real estate markets across Canada have recorded modest declines over the last few quarters, largely due to the rising cost of borrowing, the rate of decline has slowed. With the expectation that the Bank of Canada’s interest rate hike campaign is coming to a close, Royal LePage is forecasting that the national aggregate price of a home in the fourth quarter of 2023 will be $765,171, 1.0% below Q4 of 2022. Broken out by housing type, the median price of a single-family detached property and condominium are projected to decrease 2.0% and increase 1.0% to $781,256 and $568,933, respectively.
“After nearly two years of record price appreciation, fueled by a steep climb in household savings, very low borrowing costs and an overwhelming desire for more space during the COVID-19 pandemic, the frenzied housing market overshot and the inevitable downward slide or market correction began, intensified by rapidly rising borrowing rates,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage. “In an era characterized by the unusual, this correction has not followed historical patterns. While the volume of homes trading hands has dropped steeply, home prices have held on, with relatively modest declines. We see this as a continuing trend.”
In the first quarter of 2023, the national aggregate home price is expected to decline on both a year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter basis, followed by near-flat quarterly price growth in Q2. In the second half of next year, the aggregate home price is expected to see modest quarterly gains, but will still remain lower than the same periods in 2022.
December 14, 2022
The Botto Team
As mortgage rates continue their stomach-turning rise and serious shoppers compete for a limited supply of homes, would-be home buyers may be struggling to make a successful offer before their mortgage preapproval letter expires.
According to Zillow, more than half of home buyers this year reported making two or more offers before closing on a home — and that’s only after finding one that meets their needs, which takes an average of eight weeks, according to the National Association of Realtors’ 2022 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report. For some, the search lasts longer.
A typical letter is valid for 90 days, though that can vary by lender. This time-sensitive document from your lender tentatively estimates how much it is willing to lend you, and on what terms. It demonstrates to the home seller that your mortgage is likely secure, so the deal can close.
If your home search is outlasting your preapproval window but you’re committed to the hunt, you can relieve some pressure by renewing your preapproval with your lender. These tips will help you protect your mortgage preapproval and stay on top of your homebuying budget.
How to renew your mortgage preapproval
Keep your personal financial documentation on hand and get in touch with your lender before your mortgage preapproval window closes.
Confirm the letter’s expiration date
Your preapproval letter should either spell out the expiration date or list how many days the letter is valid (most likely 90 days or fewer). If there is any doubt, call or email your point of contact at the lender to confirm the date.
Contact your mortgage loan officer
Reach out to the mortgage loan officer listed on your letter and explain that you want to renew your preapproval. Since the lender already has your basic information, the re-application process shouldn’t take as long as when you initially applied for preapproval. According to Bank of America, it can take up to 10 business days to receive a new preapproval letter, so plan ahead. This way, you won’t experience a gap where you’re actively home shopping but haven’t been preapproved. This will also help ensure that the rate and total loan amount estimates you’re working with are timely and realistic.
Update your documentation
You’ll have to provide current versions of your preapproval documentation. This includes your most recent pay stubs and asset statements for your bank accounts, retirement accounts and brokerage accounts. If you’ve experienced a major life event that will impact your borrower profile, like a divorce, you’ll want to update your lender. Your credit score will also take a temporary dip, since this reassessment involves a hard credit pull.
Think of the process as a “refresh” instead of an “extension,” since the amount and terms of your preapproval will likely change with your new letter.
Consider a different kind of mortgage
Applying for a new preapproval letter comes with the opportunity to explore different kinds of loan options with your lender, says Sonu Mittal, head of mortgage at Citizens, based in Dallas. For example, adjustable-rate mortgages are becoming increasingly popular as borrowers bet on long-term rate trends. The rates for ARMs are typically lower during the introductory period and then change with the market.
Some lenders advertise loan programs that come with lower or temporarily suppressed rates. For example, New American Funding offers a “buydown loan” that allows borrowers to pay 1% or 2% less than the 30-year fixed rate for their first few years in the home, or a combination of those discounts.
If you choose to switch lenders, you’ll have to shop around again and start the application process over from scratch.
Reconsider the starter home
“If someone got a preapproval a couple of months ago, the probability of them being able to get it renewed is very high,” Mittal says. Still, Mittal says, even a borrower who has kept their finances in good shape could see their budget constrict with a new preapproval letter months later. Rising interest rates are making home loans more expensive, so borrowers renewing a preapproval may see a lower total mortgage amount for the same monthly payment. If you’re having a hard time finding a home within your preapproved budget, you may need to make some concessions.
“I feel like a lot of millennials are trying to make a move into the dream home from renting,” says Steve Ploetz, a Realtor with Century 21 Award in Carlsbad, California. Some home buyers may find that a smaller house, condo or property outside of a preferred neighborhood makes sense as a stepping stone to their real estate dreams. Limiting the scope of your search to what you can truly afford — instead of what ticks the most boxes on your wish list — may present more opportunities.
Check in with your lender often
It’s a mistake to think of a preapproval letter as a static document, Ploetz says. “We’re recommending that our clients touch base with their lender every other week,” he says, so that the borrower can get an updated perspective on what they qualify for and how rates are responding to recent changes in the market. Otherwise, Ploetz says, you risk working with outdated information and sabotaging your search.
If you want to level-up your home-shopping strategy, maintaining your mortgage preapproval is key. Staying in frequent contact with your lender and accounting for a changing budget can give you the tools to shop like a pro, even in a challenging market.
December 14, 2022
The Botto Team
This is the time when people start to want to stay indoors a bit more, especially when the temperatures significantly drop.
But you can't neglect your outdoor patios and decks, especially if you plan to sell soon. Buyers won't want to see broken-wood decks or corroded wrought iron patio sets in your backyard.
The good news is that if you prepare ahead, you can save yourself time and money. Taking some good housekeeping steps now will allow you to step outside into the fresh spring air next year to a well-preserved outdoor space.
Where to begin? First, if your deck is looking a little worn and tired, make the necessary repairs now. Don't wait until you can stick your foot through a board (like I did). That's not only dangerous but it also mandates a quick fix.
Give your deck a good cleaning and sealing or staining before the weather gets too cold and wet to do this. Make sure you check for loose nails and get rid of any splintery edges by sanding them down. Seal with waterproofing sealants. For these, generally the weather has to be above 32 degrees F and 50 degrees F for sealing and stains, respectively, to work properly.
Put the clippers to work. Take a good look around your yard and decide which plants need to go. Many annuals may have been killed by frost and it's time to clear them away. Keep your flowers keep them looking good by trimming away dead leaves. If you cut your plants back now it will cause them to grow and flower more effectively later on.
Add seasonal plants. You can still have some nice color in your yard if you get the right plants for your yard's climate. Kale and ornamental cabbage are attractive. In warmer climates try primroses for winter color.
Use creative containers with your seasonal plants. Putting a perennial plant in a beautifully painted container can add style and allure to your patio all winter long.
Plant potted vegetables. Nothing's better than fresh food especially when it comes from your own yard. There are some cool-weather vegetables that work well in pretty pots. Things like lettuce: kale, leaf, mustard, and Chinese cabbage are good for this. Also, don't forget herbs; they'll come in handy for the holiday dinners.
Get artsy. Making your yard look good in winter is also about what you leave outside. Those brightly colored throw pillows and rugs that worked great in summer, of course, should be brought inside. Instead get creative with lights that give a sparkle on a cold winter night. Hang plants with ornaments on them. Also, hang bird feeders to attract birds.
Taking a few simple steps to keep your deck, yard, and outdoor furniture in good condition will give you an easy progression into spring. And, if you're listing your home for sale in the winter, these steps are sure to please buyers.
December 2, 2022
The Botto Team
- As you get ready to sell your house, focus on tasks that make it inviting, show it’s cared for, and boost your curb appeal.
- This list will help you get started, but don’t forget, a real estate professional will provide other helpful tips based on your specific situation.
- Connect with a trusted real estate professional for advice on what you may want to do to get your house ready to sell this season.
November 30, 2022
The Botto Team
On November 24, 2022, the BC Government passed amendments to the Strata Property Act which take immediate effect. There are two significant changes impacting REALTORS® dealing with strata properties, as well as their clients:
- all rental restriction bylaws are removed, except for bylaws restricting short-term rentals such as Airbnb or Vrbo, and
- all age restriction bylaws are removed, with the exception of “seniors only” (55-plus) rules. This means that a strata will no longer be allowed to have 19-plus age restrictions.
READ MORE HERE
November 18, 2022
The Botto Team
My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns - George Eliot
Here is your chance to ready your home for cold weather, Vancouver rains, and all that Fall & Winter have to offer. As the seasons change, once again it's time to perform some home maintenance.
Here are 10 yearly tasks that will help keep your household in working order when the temperatures drop.
1. Clean Gutters: Do so frequently. Clogged gutters can result in standing water and roof damage. Plus, if you clean them frequently, you're less likely to have to deal with decomposing leaves.
2. Mow and trim: It seems counter intuitive, but Fall is a wonderful time to both fertilize and reseed your lawn. A maintained lawn improves a home's value and saleability. Use this time to trim shrubs and grass one last time so that your yard stands out, even in a dormant season.
3. Prune trees: With Winter comes ice. With ice comes broken limbs. Take advantage of nice weather and cut back or remove precarious limbs. It only takes one heavy snow or ice to weigh down a limb and damage property.
4. Powerwash: Driveways, sidewalks, decks, and patios can get quite grimy during the summer months. Invest in a powerwasher and you'll be surprised how clean you can get them!
5. Outdoor Living: Some furniture is made to be stored during rainy or snowy seasons. Clear a place in your garage or shed for the items. Consider covering them with a tarp and storing cushion in vacuum seal bags.
6. Heating Systems: Check furnaces and change filters. Not only will it boost efficiency, but it will also save you money in the process.
7. Check for Leaks: Recaulk around windows and doors to help prevent heat from escaping.
8. Fireplace: You don't want a chimney fire. Be sure to have your chimney swept or cleaned each year.
9. Piping: Check pipes for insulation to prevent freezing and bursting.
Every season holds different responsibilities for a homeowner. Be sure to stay on top of tasks each season to maintain your home's value!
November 17, 2022
The Botto Team
While a recent Royal LePage survey found that a large number of millennials haven’t given up on their dream of owning a home, many Canadians continue to live in shared accommodations – whether with family or roommates. But, just because you live with others… doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a space to call your own.
Here are our top five tips to make your space feel special and private when co-living:
November 7, 2022
The Botto Team
Looking to donate warm clothing, socks, and blankets to help those in need in our communities? In two weeks, you’ll be able to drop these items off at real estate offices across the Lower Mainland as part of this year’s REALTORS Care® Blanket Drive.
You can find these locations, along with more information about the Blanket Drive, at the newly launched BlanketDrive.ca.
We need your help to make this year's Blanket Drive a success
Starting November 14, anyone can drop off blankets, socks, and warm clothing to select real estate offices, or donate financially to support our REALTORS Care® Blanket Drive charities.
For 28 years, REALTORS® across the Lower Mainland have banded together to collect warm clothing donations, or make financial contributions, to help those most in need within our communities. Hundreds of real estate offices serve as drop-off locations during this week-long annual campaign.
November 4, 2022
The Botto Team
While higher mortgage rates are creating affordability challenges for homebuyers this year, there is some good news for those people still looking to buy a home.
As the market has cooled this year, some of the intensity buyers faced during the peak frenzy of the pandemic has cooled too. Here are just a few trends that may benefit you when you go to buy a home today.
1. More Homes To Choose from
During the pandemic, housing supply hit a record low at the same time buyer demand skyrocketed. This combination made it difficult to find a home because there just weren’t enough to meet buyer demand. According to the real Estate Board of greater Vancouver, the # of homes for sale increased by 20% this September compared to September 2021. Even though supply is still lower than more normal levels, you have more to choose from in your home search. That makes finding your dream home a bit less difficult!
2. Bidding Wars Have Eased
One of the top stories in real estate over the past two years was the intensity and frequency of competition. But today, things are different. With more options, you’ll likely see less competition from other buyers looking for homes. If you tried to buy a house over the past two years, you probably experienced the bidding war frenzy firsthand and may have been outbid on several homes along the way. Now you have a chance to jump back into the market and enjoy searching for a home with less competition.
3. More Negotiation Power
And when you have less competition, you also have more negotiating power as a buyer. Over the last two years, more buyers were willing to skip important steps in the homebuying process, like the appraisal or inspection, to try to win in competition. Our experience today is that unconditional offers are very rare.
As a buyer, this is good news. It is so important and less stressful to have the opportunity for complete due diligence on your purchase.
While buyers still face challenges today, they’re not necessarily the same ones you may have been up against just a year or so ago. If you were outbid or had trouble finding a home in the past, now may be the moment you’ve been waiting for. Partner with your local real estate professional to start the homebuying process today.
October 31, 2022
The Botto Team
Today’s housing market is different than it was just a few months ago. And if you’re thinking about selling your house, that may leave you wondering what you need to do differently as a result. The answer is simple. Taking the time upfront to prep your house appropriately and create a solid plan can help bring in the greatest return on your investment.
Here are a few simple tips to make sure you maximize the sale of your house this fall.
1. Price It Right
One of the first things buyers will notice is the price of your house. That’s because the price sends a message to home shoppers. Pricing your house too high to begin with could put you at a disadvantage by discouraging buyers from making an offer. On the flip side, pricing your house too low may make buyers worry there’s some underlying issue or something wrong with the home.
Your goal in pricing your house is to gain the attention of prospective buyers and get them to make an offer. And with price growth and buyer demand moderating, as well as a greater supply of homes available for sale, pricing your home appropriately for where the market is today has become more important than ever before.
But how do you know that perfect number? Pricing your house isn’t a guessing game. It takes skill and expertise. Work with a trusted real estate advisor to determine the current market value for your home.
2. Keep It Clean
It may sound simple but keeping your house clean is another key to making sure it gets the attention it deserves. As realtor.com says in the Home Selling Checklist:
“When selling your home, it’s important to keep everything tidy for buyers, and you never know when a buyer is going to want to schedule a last-minute tour.”
Before each buyer visits, assess your space and determine what needs your attention. Wash the dishes, make the beds, and put away any clutter. Doing these simple things can reduce potential distractions for buyers.
For more tips, check out this checklist for preparing your house for sale. Ultimately an agent is your best resource for tailored advice, but this list can help get you started.
3. Help Buyers Feel at Home
Finally, it’s important for buyers to see all the possible ways they can make your house their next home. An easy first step to create this blank canvas is removing personal items, like pictures, awards, and sentimental belongings. It’s also a good idea to remove any excess furniture to help the rooms feel bigger and make sure there’s ample space for touring buyers to stand and look at the layout.
If you’re unsure what should be packed away and what can stay, consult your trusted real estate advisor. Spending the time on this step can pay off in the long run. As a recent article from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) explains:
“Staging is the art of preparing a home to appeal to the greatest number of potential buyers in your market. The right arrangements can move you into a higher price-point and help buyers fall in love the moment they walk through the door.”
Selling a house requires prep work and expertise. If you’re looking to sell your house this season, lean on a trusted real estate professional for advice on how to get it ready to list, how to help it stand out in today’s shifting market, and more.
October 26, 2022
The Botto Team
We have always found Benjamin Tal a voice of reason. In this article, he explains how “We simply borrowed activity from the future, and the future has arrived” – and does so in easy to understand terms.
For advice in these challenging times, always turn to the professionals – and not the 6 o’clock news.
Click Here to Read Full Article
October 13, 2022
The Botto Team
Big or small space, there is always a way to create a functional workspace.
As the pandemic rolled out, working from home became the norm for many. But, it can be difficult at times to find a place to feel productive and dedicated to your work.
No matter where you live, spare room or not, you can still carve out a space to call your home office.
5 ways to create your very own dedicated office space:
1.Change your living room layout
A lot of people find themselves working on dining room tables. However, you can actually utilize the space in a living room by just reconfiguring the layout to create something functional and aesthetic.
Push your sofa against the wall to make room for a small writer’s desk, or place a slim desk behind your sofa as you would use a console.
Try adding a corner desk so it’s tucked away, like a reading nook.
If there is a window, think about placing the desk in front of it, where you can take advantage of natural light.
Place some decorative baskets beside or below your desk to store computer equipment, files and supplies.
2. Use multi-functional furniture that doubles as a work surface
Consider using furniture that can be used in more ways than one. This saves space, money, and the stress of having to find a location for a desk.
Use a sideboard, buffet table or storage bench to store office supplies.
Place a mirror above a desk in your bedroom and have it double as a makeup table.
Get a mobile island that locks in your kitchen. You’ll have a countertop that doubles as deskspace, and you can move it in and out of the way when you are done.
3.Repurpose a closet
This idea is becoming ever so popular. It creates a functional space that can be hidden as needed. But, be warned… It may require some purging of your closet!
Using part or all of a closet or an armoire, add a narrow table or sturdy shelf (at desk level) that fits within.
Add shelving above with baskets for light materials, cables or files.
You can also choose a fold-down desk for an all-in-one storage solution and a larger desk space.
Pull up a chair during the work day. And, simply close the doors when you are done.
4.Divide the room
It can be distracting to see your bed while working, so add separation. If you can spare the space within an existing room in the house, simply add some division.
Add a folding room divider screen.
Hang curtains to create a fabric wall.
Install mid-sized bookcases to use as dividers that also double as storage on either side.
5.Clean up the shed or garage
At first thought this may not sound ideal. However with some purging and clean-up, conventional storage places make for beautiful office spaces. You just need to be mindful of what to keep, and add charming decor for motivation.
Purge and remove anything you haven’t used in a year.
Place all storage items within boxes, on shelves, or in garage-friendly cupboards.
Invest in some floor boards, turf or rug to lay down (you do not need to get it professionally done).
Install a desk and some lighting, and add a heater for when it’s cold.
September 30, 2022
When it comes to selling your house, you want it to look its best inside and out so it catches the attention of buyers. A real estate professional can help you decide what to do to make that happen.
Focus on tasks that can make it inviting, show it’s cared for, and boost your curb appeal.
Connect with a trusted real estate professional for advice on what you may want to do to get your house ready to sell this season.