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Kingwood, Atascocita, and Humble Texas Real Estate Update

Lorna Calder

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Don't be too shy to spring for BOLD colors!

by Lorna Calder

Okay, so you may be thinking "I'm over these bland neutral walls!" Yes, you may also be thinking, I want to keep it neutral because some day we will sell and that will be more appealing but listen you purchased this house to be YOUR HOME, why not put a little of your personality into it! 

 

"When my husband and I purchased our home we went with the neutral "Greige" Wall (Gray/Beige) After being in a very gray world for a month or so, we decided we needed some splashes of color! So we did an accent wall in orange, yes I know ORANGE, in the guest bedroom, A lovely aqua accent wall in the Master's Bedroom following that into the Master Bath, then we went into the kitchen with a soft aqua. This brought so much more personality to our home" - Christina Terry (Client Care Coordinator, The Lorna Calder Team)

 

Here are some ways to add some color in a way that will make anyone comfortable! Listen, it's only paint, if you don't like it then paint back over with your neutrals!

 

Look to the Front Door

A bright color on the front door can be SO welcoming, mind you, make sure that it would be a good match with your primary house color an your brick/stone. The more popular colors right now are Red, Coblt Blue, yellow and coral! WOW Go Bold!

 

Matte is a better way to add color

Shiny and bold color can come off too harsh! Matte paint in a bold, dark color is much more palatable. Make sure to use a good primer to better support a dark matte color!

 

Rooms with more traffic? GO BOLD!

Kid's Rooms, Half Baths and Sitting rooms can use a bit more color just because they are all rooms that have more eyes seeing them. Why not show your personality in the rooms that are seen the most. 

 

Smaller rooms may be a good start

Starting with a smaller, more confined space make make the transition into the "color world" a little bit easier. Make just one wall an accent or paint the whole thing! Don't be scared to even paint the ceiling a bright or bold color! 

5 Tips for Navigating the Real Estate Transation

by Lorna Calder

Are you thinking of buying or selling a home this year?

Here are a few ideas to help you get through the Real Estate process. 

 

1. Don't let timing consume you. A lot of sellers and buyers attempt to anticipate the actions of the market so they can properly time their purchase or listing correctly. When you're ready to buy or sell, is the time when you are ready. Simple as that. Instead of obsessing about the ideal perfect time, focus on making sure YOU are ready!

 

2. Check your Expectations. TV shows and experiences of your friends and family may fog your perception of the reality behind the buying and selling process. Absolutely everyone's experience WILL be different! Having your agent explain to you the process and state of the market will help you set more realistic expectations. 

 

3. Keep control of your emotions. Yes, buying a home is a HUGE investment and home buyers may put extra pressure on themselves to get that perfect home that checks everything on their list. Furthermore, selling home can be extremely emotional, you put a lot of time and money into making your home the perfect home for you and have made so many memories. It's easy to make a rash decision when emotions are involved. Trying to stay calm and focused will help you to feel more in control. 

 

4. Do your research. When you're thinking of buying, it's a good idea to check out the neighborhood you may want to live in, write down your must-haves and how long you want to live in that home. 

 

5. Rely on a Real Estate Professional. You don't have to be alone on this adventure! I'm here to answer any of your questions, to ease your concerns and guide you through the process. I'm never to busy to answer any of your questions so please feel free to call me anytime! 

 

Click HERE for a PDF of this information!

 

© 2017 Buffini & Company. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. RMMK JANUARY EREPORT S

Why Sell? Why Buy?

by Lorna Calder

Are you thinking of Buying or Selling? 

WHY BUY?

1. It is a part of your financial plan this year. To make the property your home, you have the freedom to make the move and are financially ready.

 

2. Your circumstances are correct. Your circumstances may have contrived you to buy, whether it was a relocation for your job or you may have just sold your home.

 

3. There are many homes for sale in your desired area. If it is a buyer's market in your desired area of town then now would be a great time to make the move!

 

 

WHY SELL?

1. You have outgrown your home. It may be time to sell your home and move to a larger one if you have a growing family or an adult child or parent has moved in with you. 

 

2. You want to live closer to family and friends. If you desire to be closer to your friends or family then it may be a good idea to sell your home and move closer to them.

 

3. Job relocation is moving you. If you have found your dream job or your current job is transferring you, that may cause you to list your home for sale. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What can we expect from 2017's Housing Market?!

by Lorna Calder

What does the future hold for the 2017 housing market?

One thing is for sure, says experts, the housing market is set to HEAT UP!

 

 

PRICES ARE ALMOST AT PRE-RECESSION HIGHS

Nationally speaking, the market is expected to normalize with healthy sales and moderate price growth.1 However, some expects predict modest price declines because wages aren't keeping up with the home prices.

The median home price has increased 43% from 2010, while wages have only increased 5%.2 

 

HOME SALES ARE EXPECTED TO INCREASE

Existing home sales are up from 5.8 million in 2016, expected to reach 6 million.3 

Projections for total single family home sales for 20174

  • National Association of Realtors 6 million
  • Frannie Mae 6.2 million
  • Freddie Mac 6.2 million
  • Mortgage Bankers Association 6.5 million

​​

MAKE WAY FOR FIRST-TIME BUYERS

Millennials are expected to strengthen home and condo sales into 2020.3

Sales by first-time buyers reached a four-year high in September at 34%.3

 

HOUSING APPRECIATION IS UP

Most markets report an increase in home appreciation, with the increases hitting near 10% in the hottest markets, which have growing populations and tight supply.5

Top 3 Markets for Home Appreciation6

  • ​Seattle, WA (up 11.2%)
  • Portland, OR (up 11.1%)
  • Denver, CO (up 9.9%)

 

RENT WILL KEEP GETTING HIGHER

Rental affordability is one of the biggest factors for first-time buyers deciding to buy.1

 

THE HOUSING MARKET IN 2017 IS EXPECTED TO BE FUELED BY HIGH DEMAND FOR NEW CONSTRUCTION. 

 

To download this PDF, click here!

 

 

Sources:

  1. 1. The Mortgage Reports
  2. 2. Dun & Bradstreet
  3. 3. NAR
  4. 4. Keeping Matters Current
  5. 5. REALTOR Magazine
  6. 6. BusinessWire

​​

© 2017 Buffini & Company. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. RMMK MARCH S

7 Signs that you chose the right Real Estate Agent for YOU!

by Lorna Calder

When you are selling or buying a home, it can be a stressful ordeal with lots of moving pieces that would surprise you if you are not privy to a lot of real estate transactions.  These things are why having an amazing Real Estate agent is SO important!

When you go to choose the right Real Estate Agent, it may not be easy at first but once you have found the one there are definitely signs that let you know, THIS IS THE ONE!

 

 

1. You actually like spending time around them

We aren't saying you need to be gaga over your Agent, but you should be able to enjoy being around them. There is so much communication that goes on during the process and after, so having that great relationship helps immensely. There is no worse feeling than hanging around someone you cant stand to be around especially if things get a bit rough. 

 

2. They are available and quick to respond

Obviously, this is a non-negotiable one! A competent Real Estate Agent will never leave you in the dark waiting for their answer, they will make themselves available for your needs. There is something defiantly wrong if you feel like your agent is ghosting you. A truly competent Agent will understand the importance and seriousness of a Real Estate transaction and will always make sure you are priority.

 

3. They have asked you to get Pre-Approved

THIS ONE IS HUGE! If you are a buyer and haven't talked to a mortgage lender before going out and looking at home, then you will not be taken seriously and a good agent knows this. This is a benefit to you and all involved in the transaction to make things start quick yet smooth. There is also a great amount of things you may discover about your financial situation during the Pre-approval process that you may have never thought of or known, this is a VERY important step!

 

4. A good agent is Pro-active, not reactive

Here is a great gauge that will help set the right agent apart from all other agents. The right agent will be ahead of the game, finding issues before they even arise and already having a solution in place or a plan. As an example, a good agent will always be on the hunt for properties suiting your every need instead of you sending ones over that you like. This is a true sign of a great Real Estate professional. 

 

5. Even if you don't want to hear it, they are honest with you

Honesty is an integral part of ANY type of relationship, whether it be business or personal. Even if its inconvenient for them, a good agent will let tell you the truth. It takes a lot of gusto to be honest especially if it is costing them money, but it's ethical and a good agent will take in account honesty and integrity over a few bucks. 

 

6. A good agent NEVER gives up easily

They will go down fighting for you, tooth and nail. These days a Real Estate transaction rarely ever goes awry but when it doesn't it can feel like the universe if punishing you and it's so much easier to just throw your hands up and give up but the right agent won't give up until EVERY avenue and path is tried and tested. The right agent will fight for you!

 

7. They care about you and want to build a relationship

One of the best signs that you have chosen the right agent comes before and after a transaction when they are building a relationship with you. Before, they want to know who YOU are, what YOUR wants and needs are. And after, they want to stay in touch, wondering how you are enjoying your home, if there is anything else they can do for you, recommending vendors for various home improvements, etc. A good agent doesn't play a disappearing act when the transaction is over, they will ALWAYS be there for you!

 

 

 

 

 

Heart-Healthy Neighborhoods? Yes, they exist...

by Lorna Calder

Living in a friendly neighborhood may be good for your heart, according to a study by psychologists at the University of Michigan. In fact, the more social connections you have among your neighbors, the less likely you are to die from a heart attack. 

 

The study analyzed the social connections of more than 5,000 adults in urban, suburban and rural areas over a four year period. Researchers controlled for factors like age, race, income, marital status, education, mental health, optimism and other known health-risk factors associated with heart attacks, such as diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. By the end of four years, 148 of the individuals studies had suffered heart attacks. 

 

Maintaining friendly relationships with your neighbors may be good for your health because neighbors are more likely to check on each other and notice any potential health problems, share resources and health information, and lend money. They can also offer emotional support, which can be a buffer during times of stress. 

 

Conversely, other studies have shown that negative aspects of a neighborhood can have a detrimental effect on a person's health. For example, living in areas with violence, noise, poor air quality and access to too many fast food restaurants can have a negative impact on a person's health. Further, a study at the University of Pennsylvania finds that living in areas with abandoned buildings can lead to isolation and hamper social relationships, which can lead to poor physical health of residents who live nearby.

 

Being helpful and neighborly is not only good for your health, it's good for the health of the neighborhood! 

 


Source: Certified Residential Specialist Magazine "Your Home"

Some GREAT tips for Today's Home Seller!!

by Lorna Calder

Especially for first time sellers and/or those who have been in their home for a very long time, selling your home is an emotional process! Whatever your reason for Selling is, here is how to handle it!


FOR ALL SELLERS:

When you are a first time seller, it could be an anxious process because you don't know what to expect! Even experienced sellers could encounter uncertainty with the ever changing market. Follow these tips t help make the process worry-free and be sure to ask us ANY questions that arise, nothing is too silly!

  • Prepare your home. Get your home move-in ready and make an needed repairs. You may also hire a home inspector so you know for sure what to fix!
  • Prepare your mind. See your home as it is, a place to live. Try and remove all sentimental and emotional value from the home. 
  • Make your home available to show during the day. To help agents sell your home faster increase the accessibility of your home. Try to make sure at any time of the day, if someone wants to view it, they can.

 

Before buying another home:

  • Plan ahead to save time and money. If you sell your home before you are able you buy a new one, DONT WORRY! Count on me to find you a new home quick or a short-term lease!
  • Get PRE-APPROVED for a mortgage on your next home BEFORE you even go looking with us!

 

IF YOU'RE TRADING UP:

When families look to trade up, they usually only focus on the size of the home but there are many more factors and unique circumstances to consider while going through the selling process that you should know about. 

  • Buy or Sell first? You are probably thinking, "Should I sell my home first or buy a new home and THEN sell?" Please allow me to discuss the options with you and the outcome of all different choices to ensure you and your family make the MOST informed decision. 
  • Price it right. Many people would like multiple bids on the home so you can pick and choose to get the best and highest. To target the right buyers for your home, the price needs to be just right! To speed up the selling process, setting an accurate asking price will help you move on to the next chapter while still getting the most money!

 

Before buying a larger home:

  • Continue to shop for a home while your home is still currently on the market, never stop looking!
  • Create a list of must have and deal breakers for your next home and that will make your home search a bit more efficient and save time and money.
  • Consider the suburbs. If you want space at a budget price, consider rural or suburban areas where you may be able to get more home for you money!

 

IF YOU'RE DOWNSIZING:

The majority of folks who downsize are those who have retires, but there are many reasons why a home buyer would seek out a smaller home. Some would prefer to save more money on their mortgage and some don't want to deal with the hassle of maintenance. Whatever the reason for scaling down, you may also be focused on selling for profit to pay cash for your next home and stash some of that extra cash into savings!

  • Clear the clutter. Seeing that you are moving into a smaller home it may be a good idea to go through all of your belongings and declutter, tossing or donating items you no longer need or use! Remember, you may not have the storage in your next home that you currently have!
  • Update the interiors. Look, you dont need to go all crazy "fixer upper" on your home. Just the basics like a fresh coat of pain, removing brass fixtures and other small things can make a BIG difference. Also, trust in us! We know the market and what is trending so we can help you to make informed decisions about renovations that will save you money and get you buyers!
  • Hire a professional stager. Let be honest with ourselves, not all of us know how to decorate a home properly to speak to TODAYS buyers! You may not need it and well will let you know but we have references to some amazing and affordable stagers. 

 

Before buying a smaller home:

  • Don't write off a fixer upper. Depending on how much you sell your home for, you may have the money left over to hire a good contractor to improve the look and functionality of a bargain home!
  • Reconsider paying all cash. Instead of using home profits to pay for your new house outright, allocate a large amount for the down payment and take out a small mortgage for the remainder. Doing this gives you the liquid flexibility of cash in your financial plan as you get settled in your new home. 
  • Try before you buy, especially if you are moving out of town or downsizing a considerable amount. Renting a much smaller place in your desired location will help you determine the ideal size and exact place to buy your new home, before making a large investment. 

 

If you would like print outs of the PDFs to use or share click on these pages! PAGE1 or PAGE2

 

© 2016 Buffini & Company. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. RMMK OCTOBER MF S 

9 Reasons you need an Agent to help you Buy or Sell a home!

by Lorna Calder

Whether you're selling your first or fourth home, buying  an existing property or building a new home, there;'s one thing you need: a reputable agent. While some may say you can buy or sell a home on your own, if you're not familiar with the whole process, it will lead to more frustration and aggravation than it's worth. Why go at it alone when you can have an experienced professional by your side to help you every step of the way?

 

 

1. An Agent will represent you.

When you buy a home, you may be tempted to work with the seller's agent, but that agent is loyal to their client - the seller or builder. A buyer's agent will keep you best interests in mind. They'll explain the process, negotiate with the seller or builder and help you purchase the home of your dreams. Likewise, if you're selling, make sure you're working with a trustworthy agent who can expertly represent you with the buyer's agent.

 

2. An Agent will guide you through the process.

Since agents deal with the buying and selling process every day, they understand its nuances. They can explain often complicated contractual language, handle requests from the other side and spot potential issues before they become problems. 

 

3. An Agent knows what to look for.

They'll see things you may not know to look for, such as wear and tear, issues or the condition of the roof or wiring. If you're buying a home, they'll help you assess the state of the home you're viewing. If you're selling a home, they'll help you decide what updates to make before you list. 

 

4. An Agent is objective.

If you're selling your home, an agent can offer advice about how to position your home in the local market to attract the right buyers. If you're buying a home, they can offer objective insight into the homes you're viewing and help you find the one that's right for you. 

 

5. An Agent is an expert in your local area. 

If you're moving to a new area, an agent can give you the scoop on the best schools and neighborhoods, as well as warn you about areas prone to flooding, located near busy roads or are future hot spots for city redevelopment plans. Similarly, they understand the local market and can give you tips to help your home stand out and sell quickly. 

 

6. An Agent offers advice based on experience. 

Agents rely on their experience to give you tips in regards to inspections, price reductions and other issues that may arise during the course of the transaction. 

 

7. An Agent works on your behalf. 

Whether it's negotiating the sale, handling challenges or objections that may arise, or acting as a liaison, an agent uses their expertise and skill to communicate your best interests with the other party. 

 

8. An Agent will continue to serve after closing. 

Sometimes issues arise in the first year following a home purchase, An agent will help you resolve these issues and connect you with reputable tradespeople in their networks. 

 

9. Going at it alone may end up costing you!

Sellers often make a big mistake when trying to sell their own home by pricing it too high. A home that's not priced well will sit on the market for weeks. Enlisting the aid of an agent will help you price your home to sell so that it piques the attention on the right buyers. 

 

Click HERE to download PAGE1

Click HERE to download PAGE2

 

 

 

8 Ways to SAVE money on your home's energy bill this winter...

by Lorna Calder

As we enter the colder months, you may notice something: an increase in your energy bill! Having less daylight makes us want to switch on those lights earlier than we would have and the cooler weather has us turning up the heat! The summer and winter months tend to be the most energy-invasive times of the whole year, as we try to maintain a comfy temperature indoors, despite what he thermometer says. 

 

 

1. Set the thermostat to 68 degrees when you are home. 

Studies have shown that you use 3-5% more energy per every degree the thermostat is set above 68 degrees.Try putting a sweater or a blanket on to stay warm instead of increasing the heat. That one of two degrees you keep it down will really help that bill look a little less frightening!

 

2. Lower the thermostat when you leave the house.

Why would you heat your house when no one is home to enjoy it? You can save 5-15% a year on your energy bill by lowering the thermostat 10-15 degrees! PS. Having a programmable thermostat will save you to 10% a year on heating and cooling costs.2

 

3. To keep warm air from escaping close your curtains and blinds at night and when you are out of the house. 

You can also go the extra mile by investing in blackout curtains. These curtains can help keep the warm air where it belongs, inside your home!

 

4. Check for drafts around doors and windows.

When you see cracks or gaps, caulk them to prevent heat from escaping.

 

5. When you're not using your fireplace, close the damper. 

This little mindful act will keep your home noticeably warmer! PS. One of the largest energy expenses in a home is actually Space Heating, accounting for 45% of energy bills.2

 

6. Insulate, Insulate, INSULATE!

Small cracks and holes around your house can amount to up to 25% of heat loss. When your walls, floors and attic are properly insulated you can save up to 10% on your total energy costs.1

 

7. Replace those old windows!

Depending on your climate, windows can account for 20-50% of a home's heating and cooling needs.2 By replacing your old windows with high performance, energy efficient windows you can make sure you're not losing precious heat! What's the added bonus? These windows not only regulate the amount of heat that is absorbed, they can also help block outside noise.

 

8. Maintain your heating and cooling duct system!

You can avoid sudden and costly repairs that could leave your home without heat by keeping your HVAC system in great shape, that will save you money on your energy bills. 

 

Download a copy of the informational PDF with extras HERE!

 

 

Sources: 1. PG&E 2. Energy.gov 3. EnergyStar

© 2016 Buffini & Company. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. RMMK DECEMBER MF S

What else can WE do for you? Lots!

by Lorna Calder

Since I work by referral, your business and referrals are essential to my continued success. Remember I'm always here to serve you, whether you have questions about your home's current value, or need a referral to a reputable roofer, check out the 4 ways my services are extended!

 

 

Get the scoop on the local market. 

What's going on in our market? Is now a good time to buy or sell? How much is your home worth? I can help with these questions and more. Since I keep my finger on the pulse of the local market, I can answer all of your questions and give you a market analysis of your property. 

 

Have all of your Real Estate questions answered.

Whether it's your first time buying or selling a home, or you haven't bought or sold in several years, I can walk you through the process and set proper expectations. Whenever you have a question or concern, be sure to contact me for honest and transparent answers and advice. The more you know about the process, the more confident you'll be. 

 

Need the name of a reliable local professional?

My profession puts me in contact with great professional trade and service people throughout our local community. Whether you need the name of a home maintenance professional, such as a plumber or electrician, or you'd like the name of a reputable pool service company, give me a call. I'd love to connect you with a professional who will provide you with the high-quality service you deserve.

 

Thinking of moving out of the area?

If you decide to move, I'll be sad to see you go; however, I can still help by connecting you with a real estate professional in your desired area who will offer the same great service you've come to expect. I'm part of a network of Real Estate professionals who also work by referral. They will go above and beyond to provide you with high-level service and aid in making your move as smooth as possible. 

 

If you would like to download a color PDF, CLICK HERE!

 

2016 Buffini & Company. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. RMMK NOVEMBER EREPORT S

 

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