Diane Horrigan - RE/MAX  Trinity



Posted by Diane Horrigan on 2/20/2019

Listing a house may seem like a long, arduous process, especially for a first-time home seller. But with the right real estate agent at your side, you can receive expert support at each stage of the home selling journey.

What does it take to hire a diligent real estate agent to ensure you can sell your house? Here are three tips to help first-time home sellers employ the ideal real estate agent.

1. Conduct a Comprehensive Search

Search far and wide for a real estate agent Ė you'll be glad you did. With an extensive search, you can learn about the pros and cons of working with various real estate agents in your area and plan accordingly.

Don't hesitate to reach out to friends and family members for real estate agent recommendations. If friends and family members enjoyed outstanding experiences with certain real estate agents, it may be a great idea to contact the housing professionals who have helped your loved ones achieve their home selling goals.

Also, look for real estate agents who boast many years of industry experience. These housing market professionals are likely to understand the ins and outs of selling a residence. As such, they may be better equipped than other real estate agents to help you optimize the value of your house.

2. Ask Plenty of Questions

If you find a real estate agent who seems like a viable candidate to help you sell your residence, it is important to set up a face-to-face meeting. That way, you can ask questions and determine whether this individual is the right person to assist you.

During a face-to-face meeting, find out what a real estate agent has to say about your residence. Typically, a diligent real estate agent will conduct extensive research before meeting with you and should be able to offer honest, unbiased home selling recommendations.

Furthermore, there is no such thing as a "bad" question, especially for those who are selling a house for the first time. And if you have questions for a real estate agent, a face-to-face meeting provides an excellent opportunity to get your queries addressed by a housing market expert.

3. Get Client Referrals

Ask real estate agents for client referrals. Then, reach out to past clients so you can better understand how a particular real estate agent has supported home sellers over the years.

If a client offers glowing recommendations of a real estate agent, this housing market professional may prove to be the best choice. On the other hand, a client who encountered problems with a particular real estate agent may help you avoid making the wrong decision as well.

Ultimately, the right real estate agent is someone who can help you sell your house and keep you informed as the home selling journey moves forward. And if you spend some time learning about the real estate agents in your city or town, you should have no trouble employing a top-notch real estate agent who can take the guesswork out of selling your residence.





Posted by Diane Horrigan on 2/13/2019

Are you shopping for art for just the right piece to complete your dťcor? You'll find a plethora of art at vintage stores and antique malls. Some stalls cater specifically to old paintings, maps, or empty frames, so take a peak in all the kiosks and booths. But know what you're looking at before you go.

Paintings versus prints

It's easy to mistake a print for a painting when it is in an old frame and sold as antique or vintage. Don't misunderstand, a print, especially one known as a hand lithograph, can be quite valuable, and certainly be the perfect choice for your dťcor, but it's best to know the difference. Paintings have discernable brushstrokes while print reproductions have very tiny dots. Take a good look, up close and personal. The value in the painted art is that it is original. The value in hand lithographs is the work and detail involved. 

Lithographs typically come numbered and not mass-produced. Prints, on the other hand, when mechanically reproduced are less valuable than a lithograph with their evenly spaced dots and uniform color. But a print is still worth purchasing if it fits your dťcor, just know before you overpay for it.

What if itís cracked?

Old paint cracks. That's part of its charm and value. The fine web-like cracks have a particular name: craquelure. In no way does craquelure indicate that there is something wrong with your painting. It often denotes your pieces is likely authentic and sought after by collectors.

Should I reframe it?

Original frames and the nails used to hold the painting in the frame and hold the frame together often contain vital information that dates the piece. If the wood has aged or the metal patinaed, that indicates the frame might be older. Often, framers placed a mark, label, or stamp on their work too, so if your frame or backing has such a mark, it might reveal, with a little internet sleuthing, the frameís age.

What if there isnít a frame?

While itís nice to find the perfect piece in the original frame, some art makes its way to vintage shops because of a damaged or broken frame. Donít be afraid to put an older print in a modern frame for an eclectic look.

Is it authentic?

When shopping at an antique mall or store, try to learn as much about the art as possible. The dealer might have information on where it came from, or how old it is. It may have come as part of an estate sale and could even have accompanying documentation to prove its age and ownership.

If you have the art, but no place to hang it, your real estate professional will happily help you find just the right place to showcase your collection.





Posted by Diane Horrigan on 2/6/2019

Whether youíre bringing home a new puppy or adopting an adult dog, your new 4-legged friend is sure to be a part of the family. Just as you would when bringing home a new baby, youíll want to make preparations to your space for both you and your dogís safety.  You donít want to overlook anything and then have you or your pet get hurt. As a rule of thumb: Anything that you would protect a baby from you should protect a dog from. These dangers include:


  • Chemicals
  • Prescription medications
  • Small parts that can be ingested
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Hazardous houseplants
  • Chocolate/candy
  • Steep stairways


Keep your furry friend healthy and save yourself from costly vet bills by taking precautions. Simple measures can make a big difference. Safety items that you can use to help protect both you and your pet are:


  • Gates
  • Power strip covers
  • Locks for cabinets
  • Keep pills, candy, and chemicals on high shelves that canít be reached
  • Cord wranglers


These little devices can prevent your dog from chewing or getting into hazardous things. Itís also a good idea to protect dogs from steep falls on stairways and decks by blocking certain areas off. Since many dogs donít know what to keep out of their snouts, you want to think like a dog and know that if they can chew it, they will!  


Keep Your Dog Out Of The Trash


Dogs tend to like to see what they can find in the trash. If you get a trashcan that canít be accessed by dogs, you wonít need to worry. A hidden trashcan in a cabinet or island can help to alleviate this problem. You can also get a can with a lid that canít be easily popped off.


Keep The Dogís Access To A Minimum


If your dog is home alone all day while youíre at work you may want to close doors or put up gates in order to restrict the dog to a certain area of the house. This way, the dog will know his place and wonít be able to cause any kind of damage.     

 

Keep Clutter To A Minimum


Clutter is dangerous to both humans and dogs alike. If you know a dog is bound to chew things, put it away! Keeping floors and pathways clean also protects both you and your pet from tripping. Staying organized is also a positive for everyone in the house.  


If you always think with safety in mind when you have a dog, youíll keep both you and your pet safe in your home the whole year through.   

     




Tags: Dog safety   pets  
Categories: Home Safety  


Posted by Diane Horrigan on 1/30/2019

Before you even set out to buy a home, you may think that you need to look at a magic number of homes in order to find the house thatís right for you. Thereís always a fear among buyers that they didnít look at enough homes before settling on one. The number of homes that you look at is up to you. There is no magic number that will dictate finding the perfect home. The most important thing is to trust your own intuition. In A sellerís market, you also may not have much choice. When inventory is low, if you find a home you love, youíll need to move to make an offer on it! 


The Average Buyer


People looking at condos take between 1 and 3 months to find the property thatís right for them. Those looking for single family homes tend to take a bit longer- between 3 and 6 months to find a home. Buying a traditional house seems to spark more questions and more uncertainty, which leads buyers to take their time to find what theyíre looking for.


Know Where You Want To Live


Before you start your home search, you should have a good idea of where you want to live. Have a list of cities, towns, and neighborhoods narrowed down to make your search a bit easier from the start. Take a ride around potential neighborhoods and get a feel for them. See the stores, restaurants, and nearby parks to really understand the area. 


Match Your Lifestyles


Where you choose to live has a lot to do with your lifestyle. Think of the following:


  • Where your friends live
  • Where your family lives
  • Where you work
  • What you do for fun


Whatever you love and whatever you love to do should be a factor in your home search. If you love the beach, you donít want to be a three hour drive away if you can help it. You also donít want a 2-hour commute to work. Find the balance to make your life happier in the new space you choose.      


Make A List


It sounds simple, but making a list of what you must have, what youíd like, and what would be a bonus can really help you in your home search. This holds true whether you look at 2 homes or 50 homes. The number of homes that you look at isnít as important as your needs and wants. Buying a home is a huge investment and you need to be happy with your decision. While itís not completely advisable to buy the first house that you see, if you have a good idea of what you want in a tough market, itís best to put an offer in.





Posted by Diane Horrigan on 1/23/2019

While buying a home is a huge decision that should entail a lot of planning and preparation, applying for a mortgage can be surprisingly easy. Just like with other lenders and creditors, a mortgage lender will want to know that letting you borrow money will be a safe investment. Applying for a mortgage is all about ensuring just that.

In todayís post, weíre going to breakdown the home loan application process to help you have the best chances at a smooth and successful mortgage approval. Weíll also define some of the common terms used in mortgages that might leave you scratching your head so you have a better idea of what your options are.

Prequalification and Preapproval

Getting prequalified and preapproved for a mortgaged can both be helpful steps toward securing your home loan. The two terms mean two entirely different things, however.

In order to be prequalified for a mortgage, you typically need to only fill out a simple form (sometimes directly through a lenderís website). On this form, you wonít need to provide specifics or official documents.

Why is this process so simple? Well, thatís because getting prequalified for a loan doesnít ensure that youíll actually receive one. Rather, it is simply the first step toward finding out what type of mortgage and interest rates you could receive.

The next step after prequalification is preapproval. To get preapproved, youíll have to fill out an official mortgage application. Your lender of choice will request a few pieces of information from you, including tax returns, proof of employment for the last two years, and a list of your debts. The lender will also perform a credit check to determine your loan eligibility.

Credit report

At this phase, lenders will also run your credit report. This is a type of ďhard credit inquiryĒ that details your payment history, the number of accounts you have open, and other factors that help make up your credit score.

To secure the lowest interest rate possible, it helps to have a high credit score. So, in the years and months leading up to your mortgage application, focusing on building credit will pay off.

To increase your credit score, youíll need to focus on paying your bills on time each month. You should also avoid opening new accounts within a few months of applying for a mortgage because this will count as a new credit inquiry. New credit inquiries--including applying for a mortgage--lower your score temporarily, so itís best to avoid them when possible.

Additional paperwork required for mortgage applications

Not every mortgage application will be the same. Depending on the type of income you receive, you may need to provide different forms of income verification.

Each person will also have to claim different debts and assets. When buying a home with a spouse or partner, itís important to consider your debts, assets, and credit scores to determine if itís better to apply jointly or separately.