Ellen McLaughlin - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage



Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 7/5/2020

One of the perks of moving out of an apartment into a home is having your very own outdoor space. Depending on how close to the city you live, you may not get much of a yard with your home. If you’re looking for that perfect outdoor space to dwell in, read on for some tips on buying a house with a yard. If you check the yard out, you could save yourself from facing problems further down the road. 


Are The Trees In Good Condition?


While mature trees in a yard are a sure fire way to have privacy and shade, the trees must be safe. You want any trees in your yard to be healthy. Otherwise, during a storm, you may have an issue with falling trees. If you have a lot of trees in your yard, it may be a good idea to hire an arborist who can tell you if the trees are safe. Tree removal can be costly, so you’ll need to plan for this expense if your yard has many trees.


How Safe The Outdoor Living Areas?


You should check out any outdoor living areas the yard has. If the home comes with a patio, or gazebo the soundness of the structures should be checked. Any cement should be free of cracks or crumble.


The Layout Of The Lot


There is more to a yard than the size of a property. You should keep in mind where the home is situated on the lot. Is the front yard more prominent than the backyard? Is the home on a slope? Is there a chance water will pool near the foundation of the house? All of these questions are important for the long-term health of the property. 


How Much Yard Are You Willing To Care For?


You need to know how large of a yard you’re actually willing to care for. For many buyers, a small yard is just enough. Other buyers aim to care for a large lawn the many flowerbeds. The larger the yard, the more possibilities you have. If you are willing to take the extra time and incur the additional expense that a large yard will cost, it could be a good feature to look for. Yard size may also narrow down your home search considerably. 


Buying a home with a yard can be a great decision, all you need is to understand your own preferences and ability to care for properties of different sizes.        






Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 6/28/2020


 Photo by Solomon Rodgers via Pixabay

When you've been in the same home for a while, it is common to get an itch to switch things up a little bit. For many homeowners, this means renovating the kitchen. Renovation is a great way to not only add a little bit of style but also increase the value of the home at the same time. There are a few great ideas to think about when it comes to kitchen renovations.

Add a Backsplash

One of the most popular kitchen renovations is to install a backsplash. This is a great way to upgrade and personalize the food prep area. Furthermore, a backsplash is easy to clean, functional and durable. There are plenty of ideas that people can use to make their kitchen backsplash unique. Consider neutral stone tile with colored or patterned pieces randomly interspersed, a pressed metal design or colorful glass tiles.

Open Up The Area

Consider opening up additional space in and around your kitchen. This can be accomplished with the removal of upper cabinets, introducing a window or skylight or, for a larger-scale project, removing walls to connect with other rooms. If you can't change the floorplan of your room, swapping in glass-front cabinets or open shelving for your upper cabinets can create more visual space.

Add Flair to the Counters

Counters are a common target for kitchen renovations. Styles change and, over the years, you may find the need for additional space. One solution is to add a kitchen island. This adds both storage space and workspace for your kitchen. Don't be afraid to go with unique countertop materials like concrete or wood.

Upgrade the Appliances

Finally, consider upgrading appliances to incorporate new technology and conveniences. Newer appliances not only come with new features like convertible compartments and touch screens but are also more energy-efficient than older models. This means you might also be able to save additional money over time with this investment.





Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 6/21/2020

A home showing will help you gain the insights you need to make an informed decision about a house purchase. At the same time, you may have many concerns about whether a residence is right for you, even after you complete a home showing.

Ultimately, there are many questions to consider after you finish a house showing to ensure you can make the right choice about a residence, and these include:

1. How did I feel as I walked through a home?

Oftentimes, homebuyers try to envision what life may be like if they purchase a residence. As these buyers walk through a house during a showing, it sometimes can be simple to imagine the possibilities if you buy this residence. On the other hand, it may be tough to envision a future in a particular home if a house fails to match or exceed your expectations.

Think about how you felt as you explored each room in a house during a showing. If you left a home showing with a good feeling about a residence, it may be beneficial to submit an offer or set up a follow-up showing. Conversely, if a home showing left you feeling uncomfortable with a residence, you may want to continue your search for your dream house.

2. Are there any major issues with a home?

Generally, it is a good idea to ask lots of questions about a house during a showing. This will enable you to learn about the condition of a home and determine whether major repairs are necessary.

A home in need of significant upgrades offers opportunities for homebuyers who are looking for a "fixer-upper" house. In fact, if you submit an offer on a fixer-upper home, you may be able to perform assorted repairs to enhance a house's condition and value.

Comparatively, if you are unwilling to perform substantial home upgrades, there is no need to worry. You can always forego submitting an offer on a house after a showing, and by doing so, continue your pursuit for your ideal home.

3. Is a home a viable long-term investment?

As a homebuyer, it is important to find a house that will serve you well both now and in the future. Because if you fail to do so, you risk purchasing a house that will only decline in value in the years to come.

If you feel that a home is a viable long-term investment following a showing, you may want to submit an offer to acquire this residence. Then, if a seller accepts your offer, you can conduct a home inspection and move forward in the homebuying process.

Lastly, as you consider what to do after a home showing, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you evaluate the pros and cons of submitting an offer on a particular residence. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will offer expert tips to ensure you can find your dream residence in no time at all.




Tags: Buying a home   showing  
Categories: Buying a Home   showing  


Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 6/14/2020

If you receive a "lowball" offer to purchase your house, your first reaction may be to respond with an immediate "No." However, it is important to evaluate any offer to purchase your house closely. Because if you weigh the pros and cons of rejecting an offer to purchase your home, you'll be better equipped than ever before to make an informed decision about any homebuying proposal you receive.

Now, let's take a look at three factors to consider before you reject an offer to purchase your residence.

1. Your Home's Price

What you may consider to be a lowball offer to purchase your home may actually be a competitive homebuying proposal – it all depends on the current state of the housing market. Thus, if you analyze the housing market, you can find out how your home's price stacks up against the prices of comparable houses and review an offer to purchase accordingly.

If you find your home's price falls in line with similar houses in your city or town, you likely have a competitive initial asking price in place. And if a buyer's offer to purchase your home falls short of your house's initial asking price, you may want to decline the proposal.

On the other hand, if your home is priced much higher than comparable residences in your area, you may want to adjust your home selling expectations. In this instance, you may find a lowball offer to purchase turns out to be a competitive homebuying proposal. As a result, you may be more inclined to accept the proposal based on the current housing market's conditions.

2. Your Home's Condition

Oftentimes, buyers will account for potential home repairs or upgrades they will need to complete if they acquire a house. This means a buyer may submit an offer to purchase below a seller's initial asking price due to the fact that a house may require assorted repairs or upgrades in the near future.

Take a look at the condition of your home – you'll be glad you did. If you find your home is in need of significant repairs or upgrades, you may want to consider these projects before you reject a buyer's offer to purchase your house.

3. Your Home Selling Goals

It generally is a good idea to start the home selling journey with goals in hand. That way, if an offer to purchase your house allows you to achieve your home selling goals, you can accept the proposal. Or, if an offer to purchase your house moves you further away from accomplishing your home selling goals, you can reject the proposal.

As you get set to complete the home selling journey, you may want to hire a real estate agent too. This housing market professional can help you assess any offers to purchase your house, at any time. By doing so, a real estate agent can help you determine how to proceed with an offer to purchase and ensure you can make the best-possible decision.





Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 6/7/2020

Photo by Jonny Lindner via Pixabay

Making a flip profitable starts with one straightforward requirement: find a great deal. These tips are straightforward but crucial if you want to nail your first flip or your tenth. 

1. Spread the Word that You're In The Market 

By this point you should have a rock star team nailed down--a few professionals you can trust to help you make your flip a success. But you also want to get the word out to family, friends, and any connections that keep an eye on the market for any reason. They'll be able to keep their eyes open for newly-listed properties that might be right up your alley. Some of the best deals are landed this way, well before homes even hit the MLS. 

2. Learn to Identify Big Issues 

As you gain experience, you'll develop an eye for projects that are going to be too extensive to take on--and how much the bigger projects will cost you. If at all possible, walk through the potential property with your contractor by your side; they'll be able to keep an eye out for major issues and give you an idea of what you're looking for.

A good rule of thumb? Always look at the roofline first: does it look stable? Weak? Awkwardly added-on? A roofline can reveal either structural integrity or burgeoning foundation issues. Other red flags include evidence of extensive water damage, additions that aren't up to code, and evidence of extensive termite damage. 

3. Don't Let Ugliness Put You Off 

When you purchase a property to flip, you're purchasing someone else's problem--something they don't want to deal with. That usually mean the property's going to be a train wreck in terms of curb appeal and interior finishes. That's what you want. Aesthetic upgrades are the easiest--and least expensive--to add. Find a structurally-sound home at a great price that just needs a facelift, and you're golden. 

4. Remember the 70% Rule 

Many pros use this formula to determine whether a home is worth your effort. What do you expect the market value of your home to be after your repairs and upgrades? Ideally, you should pay no more than 70% of that number, minus the cost of repairs you're putting into the home.

So for a home you expect to be worth $300,000 after you put $45,000 worth of repairs and upgrades into it, you'd pay no more than $165,000: 

$300,000 (retail value) x 0.70 = $210,000 - $45,000 (repair costs) = $165,000 

By spreading the word far and wide that you're looking, knowing what you're looking for, and having a method to run the numbers before you dive in, you'll set yourself up for success. Next step? Plan your renovations like the brilliant project manager you are. 




Tags: buying   Flipping   property   selling  
Categories: Properties