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BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE REAL ESTATE BOOK HOME AND LIFESTYLE GUIDE & OTHER LOCAL CONTRIBUTORS

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Five Color Quickies

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Gold and Red Dining Room:  Yellow and red amp up our energy and appetites, which makes them great for dining rooms.

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Green Bedroom: Green is the perfect not too hot, not too cold color for an easy, breezy bedroom.

Article & Photos by Kimberly Perron
I love using color to change the mood in a room, and sometimes even a small corner of a room. If you are planning a makeover or just want a different experience in a room, keep these five color tips in mind to help you get the look you are craving.

1. Forget the rule that white will make a space appear larger. White will only reflect the available light. If you have a small room with little light, it will reflect the shadows, making the space more desolate. Don’t be afraid to go with a dark color in a small space – it can be dramatic and cozy.

2. Select cool colors for a relaxing interior. They tend to slow us down, and give us a calm feeling. Choose light blues, grays and other light pastel colors to make a space feel airy.

3. Need a little motivation? Then warm colors are the ticket because they tend to be very stimulating. Yellow, for instance, is associated with the mind and actually stimulates mental activity i.e., yellow legal paper and yellow Post-It notes. And red increases heart rate, breathing, blood pressure and appetite, which is why it is so often used in dining rooms.

4. Need a little more balance in your life? Then give green a try. Green is the only color that has no effect on the physical system, because it contains both warmth (from yellow) and coolness (from blue).

5. Bright colors are fast paced. If your life isn’t, then adding some bright colors to your surroundings might give your energy a little boost. Artwork and accessories are great places to add bursts of hot pink, turquoise, and purple. When you’re ready for another change, they are easy and inexpensive to replace.

Kimberly Perron is an award-winning decorator and owner of Resort at Home Interiors and Home Furnishings. She specializes in transforming your home from the place your live into the place you love. She can help you save time, money, and alleviate the stress of managing a home makeover. You can see her many inspiring home makeover photographs at https://ResortatHome.com. Call 772-291-6601 to request an appointment or visit her beautiful waterfront design studio at 321 SE Osceola Street in Stuart.

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How Much Mortgage Can Your Lifestyle Afford?

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By Rebecca Bradshaw

There’s no getting around it, buying a home is expensive. Saving money for a down payment and then living within your means takes plenty of advance planning, strict budgeting, and might even require making a few sacrifices. But what if you have a lifestyle that you love—hobbies, sports, and other interests, that you aren’t necessarily willing to give up in order to own a home? Just how much mortgage can your lifestyle afford? The good news is that with some adjustments, you should be able to become a homeowner while continuing to do the things you love, and all without going broke.
Start by budgeting wisely.

In general, financial experts recommend that your mortgage payments (which include principal, interest, insurance, and taxes) should not come to more than around 28% of your gross monthly income. Be realistic about how much house you will actually be able to afford while still enjoying doing all the things you love and plan your home search accordingly.

Keep in mind, too, that the more money you put down on your new home, the lower your monthly mortgage payments will be. A twenty percent down payment is traditional, though there may be alternative funding programs available that require you to put down much less. Do your homework, talk to your financial institution, and look for the best option that will help you continue to live within your means while still holding on to your lifestyle.
Be willing to compromise.

If traveling is your passion, but you’re afraid that homeownership will cut into future vacations to exotic locations, consider purchasing a house that won’t take such a huge bite out of your monthly budget. Be flexible when it comes to travel opportunities as well.

You can save a lot by visiting locales that are off the beaten path, or by traveling during the off-season. Search travel websites for deals on cruises, hotels, tours, and other savings. The same types of compromises can be applied to your other interests and hobbies as well.
Get creative with your lifestyle budget.

If you’re a theater buff, but visiting Broadway just won’t work in your home buying budget, then check out local websites for community productions of award-winning plays. Sign up for updates from websites such as Living Social for discounts on everything from skydiving to upscale spa weekends. Or, if shopping is your passion, bargain hunt for clothing or home décor on sites or save up for a once a year sample sale splurge, and consider shopping at consignment stores. Don’t overlook the simple luxuries; if you’re a gourmet food lover or wine connoisseur, try indulging in a good merlot with a home cooked meal rather than going out to an expensive restaurant. Offers on everything from free or discounted tickets to concerts or sporting events, manicures, gym memberships, wine tastings, and golf getaways can all be found online with just a little time and effort.

Out2stluciecounty.com is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

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Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group
Forecasts Conservative Growth in Housing for 2017

 

Out2News.comDespite a strong year-end performance by the stock market and a post-election jump in confidence among consumers and businesses, limited information on the new Administration’s potential economic policies led to a conservative 2017 growth projection of 2.0 percent, according to the Fannie Mae Economic & Strategic Research (ESR) Group’s January 2017 Economic and Housing Outlook.

Improved consumer spending in the third quarter drove a slight upward revision from the prior forecast; moreover, a friendly labor market and rising household wealth should continue to support consumers. Business fixed investment is expected to pick up – particularly in the equipment space – as the drag from declining oil prices faded and should add to 2017 growth. Additionally, government spending and inventory investment are expected to add to growth this year, while the dollar should continue to weigh heavily on net exports. Mortgage rates are predicted to rise gradually in the coming year, ultimately reaching a fourth quarter average of 4.3 percent. There is risk that rates could rise faster and higher than forecasted, but the impact on housing could be offset by strengthened income growth.

“Policy changes under the new Administration – in its nature, sequencing, and magnitude – will determine the direction of economic growth in 2017,” says Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan. “Incoming data suggest improving consumer spending, diminished labor market slack, and advancements in wages, but until we can more clearly read the political tea leaves, it’s difficult to say whether this late-cycle expansion will continue into its eighth year.”

4 Tips for Organizing Your Home Maintenance Routine

Staying on top of all the things you need to do to keep your home well maintained can seem like a challenge sometimes. But the good news is that it doesn’t have to be a monumental chore. Here are four tips on how you can keep yourself on track.

Learn What Needs Maintaining

The first step to keeping your house in good repair is to learn what kinds of things need doing. Find a good online list of home maintenance tasks, and figure out which ones apply to your particular home. From there, you can start to get an idea of the costs and materials associated with keeping things up.

Make a Calendar

Once you have a solid list of maintenance tasks for your new home, you’ll need to arrange the items in a way that will help you track how often you will need to perform each task. Put it up in a common area, and make sure to mark all of the dates for maintenance clearly.

Use Your Electronics

Of course, modern electronics offer multiple ways to help you organize your life. You can use calendar and reminder apps for your smart devices to replace or supplement your physical calendar if you want. Having a monthly reminder pop up telling you what kind of cleaning and maintenance duties are due at your home is helpful as far as reminding you, though it can be a bit too easy to simply flick the remainder away when it goes off.

Put Money Aside

Maintenance isn’t free, unfortunately, and one common cause of putting off what needs to be done is a lack of money when it needs doing. It’s all too easy to tell yourself you’ll just wait a week for some cash to free itself up. To prevent this, set aside a fund for home repair and maintenance tasks, and avoid using it for anything other than a true emergency.

Home maintenance is not always fun, but it prevents bigger problems down the line. Spending some time now on keeping things up will pay off in the future.

The Von Ohlen Team
BK3246551
Keller Williams Realty of the Treasure Coast
Real Estate Specialists
772-678-7544
772-222-7653

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4 Steps to Improving Your Credit Score

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By: Todd Doss

The spring selling season is always a popular time to buy and sell. To prepare for buying a first or next home, refinancing, or if you just want to get back on track, you have to work on your FICO score.

A FICO score is a review of your years of credit history based on a model developed by Fair Isaac and Company. Most people have scores near 650, but scores range from 300 to 850. The items that impact your FICO score are your credit-to-debt ratio, the types of credit you have, the number of recent credit inquiries, and most importantly, your payment history.

With all the lending turmoil lately, lenders want to know that giving you a loan isn’t a risk. Your credit score gives some insight into what type of borrower you’d be based solely on your credit history.

Building your FICO score takes time, but you can see changes within a few months. You can improve your credit score, or gain credit if you don’t already have it, by using these helpful hints:

1.) Correct your credit report

If you discover mistakes on your credit report, contact the bureau asking that the items be removed. If you have a common name, or the same name as a family member, you’ll want to make sure all of the activity reported is correct.

2.) Keep up with payments

Late payments kill your FICO score. It’s the area where people who have experienced job loss take the biggest hit. It takes longer to restore your credit this way, but it’s the most reliable way to prove that you’re able to make payments to a lender.

3.) Apply for gas station cards or store credit

For those who have no credit or low credit, retail credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to obtain credit, increase your credit limits and start a solid payment history. Beware of carrying a balance because these types of cards normally have high interest rates.

4.) Keep your credit in rotation

If you have older or unused credit cards, use your cards to keep your accounts active. But, make sure you pay them off in one or two payments if you can.

Now that you know more about credit reporting, you’ll be able to improve your FICO score. I can help you keep your credit inquiries within a two-week window to avoid a negative on your credit score.

To learn more, visit www.myFICO.com and get a free report at www.annualcreditreport.com.

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How to Choose a Real Estate Agent

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Article by: Sonny Lewis

THE INTERVIEW PROCESS
Selling your home is stressful, not least because it’s often just one part of a jigsaw of challenging events. Whether you’re relocating for work, about to get married (or divorced), have a baby on the way, or are retiring and cashing in your chips, you want the best price possible for your precious asset. Your choice of real estate agent is a crucial piece of the jigsaw to get right. This person is going to be right in the thick of your affairs for a while, and you want it to be a good and fruitful relationship. So, where do you start looking?
‘For Sale’ signs
Once you’ve decided to sell, you start to see these signs everywhere. They represent two things – information and threats. They tell you who has dominance in the market and who has similar listings to yours. Agents love it when they get a cluster of signs in an area. Success breeds success. You might not give the listing to them, but you’d get them in. It’s what we all want. The more signs we have, the more entries we’re given to offer appraisals.”
Open inspections
Another way to weed out local agents is to attend open houses, even if you’re not in the market to buy. Watch how agents conduct themselves. Do you like the way you’re greeted? Does the agent follow you around, so you can’t get a moment alone? Are you ignored? Does someone follow up with you the next week, to hear your thoughts on the property? If you live in a part of Australia where property is running hot, you could be facing the gauntlet of selling by auction – not as bad as buying at auction. Sellers are favoured at auction, but it can still be a bruising experience, and it might help to become familiar with the process and see who is going to be working the crowd on the day. When you’re interviewing agents, with an auction in mind, ask who the auctioneer will be and see them in action.
Recommendations
Ask people you know in your area who have sold recently who they used and whether they’d use them again. Return business is the best reference of all.

It’s time to get agents in to give you a market appraisal of your property and discuss how they would sell it. Invite as many as you can make time for. You’ll learn new things from each one, and you’ll start to see a pattern emerging on key issues, such as estimated sale price and marketing tactics. It all helps you feel more confident about what you’re doing.
If local presence is no longer such a driving force for success, what are you looking for in an agent? One key thing is rapport. Do you get on? Do you feel you can trust them? This is followed closely by reputation and track record. Experience is priceless, and thorough knowledge of the area is vital, even if their office premises are not based exactly in your suburb.
If you have seen them at open inspections, you’ll have already gauged a little bit about how they operate. For instance, some agents are generous with information to prospective buyers, some are like clams. Some agents go after buyers with gusto, while others take a ‘softly softly’ approach. Pick an agent who will deal with buyers in a manner you’re comfortable with.
Some agencies send through the whole sales team to see a property, so that all the agents in the business are across all the listings they have, and can handle enquiries. How do you feel about this? Consider the type of sale that’s been suggested and the proposed marketing campaign. Are you happy with these choices? As for commission, there’s not a great deal of variation between agents. In Sydney, commissions might range from 1.5 to 2.2 per cent.
On the same note, does the agent seem to really ‘get’ your home? Most properties, whatever their deficits, have some good points. As the agent looks around your home, does he or she start pointing out the things you love or feel proud of? This is a good sign – it means they can see the positives and are ready to show them off to prospective buyers.
If you don’t feel an agent is taking your individual circumstances into account, then try another agent. There is a lot of competition in the sector and a good agent will value you as a client.”

10 QUESTIONS TO ASK A REAL ESTATE AGENT

1. How did you arrive at this appraisal?
2. Will you be working on the property?
3. How many other properties are you currently handling?
4. What price will you be quoting to prospective buyers?
5. May I see references from past clients?
6. Do you have people in your database looking for a property like this?
7. How long does it normally take you to sell a home similar to mine
8. How long have you worked as an agent? How long in this area?
9. I don’t want to go to auction and/or hold open inspections. Is sale by private treaty/inspections by appointment possible?
10. How often will I get progress reports?

THINGS AN AGENT SHOULD DO

• Record in writing all payable fees, commissions and marketing costs
• Record in writing your length of contract and the expected sale price range (which should match the price quoted to interested buyers)
• Offer feedback on inspection numbers, contracts issued and buyer feedback
• Tell you of all offers received
• Act in your best interest at all times
• Be aware of the sensitive nature of your confidential information
• Be a member of a professional body, such as the Real Estate Institute

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Spring is in the Air!

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Article by: Kimberly Perron -Resort at Home

Pantone, the color authority for the design world, has named Greenery as the 2017 Color of the Year.  This bright green shade effuses optimism and renewal, just like Spring.  You’re sure to see this color popping up in clothing and home décor but may be wondering, “How do I use it?”  Most people don’t redecorate their home each year when a new Color of the Year is announced, but you might find it fun to bring this color into more prominence with these simple tips.

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Tip #1 – Look to see what shades of green you already have.  Do you have any dishes, vases, throws or other decorative items that you can bring into the room for a dash of color?  Combine those items with other colors in your room to blend it into the décor.  For example, if you have a bright green vase, but your room is full of neutrals, try filling the vase with ivory flowers and dried accents for a soothing, natural look.  Maybe you have some cute green dishes but everything else is blue, you could add blue placemats or napkins to tie it all together.

Tip #2 – It doesn’t have to be the exact shade of green!  There are no color police out there that will ticket you for using a different shade of green.  Like your green with a little more blue? Go for a more aqua shade.  The idea is to freshen the space with something outside the ordinary.

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Tip #3 – Pillows are awesome.  I’ve said it before, nothing makes a space feel instantly inviting like big, fluffy pillows.  And they are a very inexpensive way to change up your space.  Look for patterns with green mixed with the other colors in your home for a subtle boost.

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Tip #4 – Maybe it is time to recover those chairs in the corner.  Green is a very easy color to live with.  It pairs well with a variety of other colors and has a soothing, natural vibe.  Consider recovering those dining room chairs or the guest chairs in the corner.  Once they are covered in a new, more vibrant fabric, someone might actually sit in them!

Enjoy playing with Greenery.  I think you’ll find it brings new life to your space.

Kimberly Perron is the owner and creative force behind the interior design and home furnishings firm, Resort at Home.  Kimberly brings together her love of travel and having a beautiful home to create a brand and variety of services dedicated to helping her clients live a five-star life.  Visit www.ResortAtHome.com to see her portfolio and learn about exciting upcoming events.

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JILLIAN VON OHLEN TOP REAL ESTATE AGENT IN FLORIDA

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Creative and savvy, Jillian Von Ohlen knows that if she puts her mind to something, she can accomplish it. Case in point: She started her career after the market crashed and now has a team of seven successful people. “When I started,” Jillian says, laughing, “people asked me, ‘You’re starting this now?’” But she has drive and motivation in spades, and built her business quickly, working with investors and focusing on rentals. Those renters became buyers or gave her referrals. Today repeat clients and referrals account for about 75 percent of her business—and she’s only been in real estate 5 1/2 years.

About 10 years ago, Jillian wanted to invest in properties. She was a design major in college and knew nothing about real estate, but educated herself reading Robert Kiyosaki books and taking his coaching program. The market was extremely inflated, but she managed to purchase and flip a couple properties before it totally crashed. She was between careers and not sure what to do. Her mother worked for a woman who invested in properties and suggested Jillian get her real estate license. She did.

Now she loves the constant challenges. She’s a great negotiator and problem solver, thinking outside the box to keep a deal together. And she loves meeting new people and making them “family.” She stays in touch long after the closing with visits, calls, cards, monthly postcards and client appreciation parties. She sends an annual anniversary card to buyers who’ve purchased, including a market analysis of their home’s current worth. She also emails annually to remind clients to homestead their property. Each action goes above and beyond to build her relationship with them.

As a listing specialist (her husband is the buyer specialist), Jillian starts with an impressive social media campaign to market her homes. When she walks out of a listing, she takes one picture and posts a “Coming Soon” on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest. She stages the properties herself (thanks to her design background), then does photography and virtual tours, narrating as she walks people through the house. She’s actually sold homes sight unseen from the virtual tour. Then, for the open house, she sends up to 2,500 postcards to neighbors. She’s had buyers make offers from the open houses, so she schedules them as soon as they come on the market. Besides buying Facebook ads and posting the listings on Trulia and Zillow, she has signs with an 800# for people to call. “That way, they don’t have to talk to a Realtor if they don’t want to,” she says, “but can get the information about the home.” Of course, Jillian gets their phone number and calls them. It’s been huge for her sellers and obtaining buyer leads.
She has every base covered. She shows up for the appraisal with “homework” in hand and offers her own analysis of the home’s worth. “We closed 96 deals this past year,” she says, “and only one did not appraise. We’re very honest and pride ourselves on ethics and integrity. Our team is very professional, as well as loving and caring.”

That level of care extends to the community. Her myriad volunteer efforts range from being an award-winning Big Sister to Treasure Coast Food Bank and the Humane Society, as well as financial donations to charitable organizations. With such high-octane activity, Jillian loves to relax with her husband and children, doing musical and outdoorsy things together. Looking forward, Jillian wants to be a team of 30–50 people. “We can and will accomplish it,” she says. One would expect nothing less.

For more information about Jillian Von Ohlen of Keller Williams Realty of the Treasure Coast, Stuart, Florida, please visit vonohlenteam.com/, call 772.222.7653 or email jillian@vonohlenteam.com

Out2martincounty.com is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

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Five Options for Replacing Vertical Blinds

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Article by: Kimberly Perron – Resort At Home
Vertical blinds have been popular since the 1960’s when large sliding doors became the norm in new home construction. Vertical blinds have several advantages including a low cost, ease of light and privacy control, and a simple, contemporary look. But, they also have a few disadvantages including noise when the door is open, large stack-back space needed, and the vanes can break over time. Clients are often asking for other alternatives to update their look. Depending on your style and the look of your home, these are my favorite options.
1. Drapery – Nothing beats the elegance of beautiful drapery. You can add pattern and color with drapery and it is especially nice in a bedroom where the soft fabric helps keep the room quiet. Drapery is one of the more expensive options, but with the many fabric and hardware options it remains a top choice.

2. Planation Shutters – If your home has an island or coastal style, sliding shutters help you maintain a consistent look with all the windows in your home. Shutters come in a variety of sizes, stains and paint colors and have a very long life expectancy. And while there is flexibility in light control, the shutter vanes usually have to be closed to stack the doors which may block more light than you would like.

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3. Honeycomb Shades – Vertical honeycomb shades are an inexpensive option and have the smallest stack back of any vertical window treatment. They typically ride in a track above the door and provide excellent insulation from strong sunlight. Honeycomb shades come in a large variety of colors and prints.

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4. Sheer Shades – These are a unique combination of vertical blinds and sheer drapery. They are adjustable like standard blinds, but have a sheer fabric over and between the blades and are perfect for golf course views where you would like light, but need a little privacy.

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5. Valance and Motorized Roller Shades – If you prefer a completely clear view most of the time, hiding roller shades behind a valance or cornice above the window is a great option. With the option for motorization, you can relax in your favorite chair and use your remote to raise or lower a shade on demand or you can program them to raise and lower at specific times of the day.

Kimberly Perron is the owner and creative force behind the interior design and home furnishings firm, Resort at Home. Kimberly brings together her love of travel and having a beautiful home to create a brand and variety of services dedicated to helping her clients live a five-star life. Visit www.ResortAtHome.com to see her portfolio and learn about exciting upcoming events.

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ANS CLEANING & SEAL COATING

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Women’s Council of Realtors
of Stuart/Martin County Install New Officers

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Stuart — A luncheon to remember for the Women’s Council of Realtors Women’s Council of Realtors of Stuart/Martin County Chapter as it hosted the annual Holiday Party/Installation luncheon at Miles Grant C.C. Close to 100 local real estate professionals gathered to celebrate their accomplishments in 2016 and celebrate the outstanding achievements and service of their colleagues.

Here at the Women’s Council, we strive to provide timely, accessible programming, great networking and opportunities for your personal and professional growth.

Women’s Council members send and receive referrals with confidence, knowing that their values are shared when it comes to providing outstanding service to their clients.

We encourage members to get involved, because we know that participation translates to personal growth and leadership development. We meet you where you are in your skill development and take you to the next level.

Out2martincounty.com is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

Email your story or request to: info@out2martincounty.com

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Women’s Council of Realtors
of Stuart/Martin County Install New Officers

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Stuart — A luncheon to remember for the Women’s Council of Realtors Women’s Council of Realtors of Stuart/Martin County Chapter as it hosted the annual Holiday Party/Installation luncheon at Miles Grant C.C. Close to 100 local real estate professionals gathered to celebrate their accomplishments in 2016 and celebrate the outstanding achievements and service of their colleagues.

Here at the Women’s Council, we strive to provide timely, accessible programming, great networking and opportunities for your personal and professional growth.

Women’s Council members send and receive referrals with confidence, knowing that their values are shared when it comes to providing outstanding service to their clients.

We encourage members to get involved, because we know that participation translates to personal growth and leadership development. We meet you where you are in your skill development and take you to the next level.

Out2martincounty.com is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

Email your story or request to: info@out2martincounty.com

Photo by: Dick Hall Out2News/Out2Martin County.com

Out2martincounty.com adheres to full compliance with C.O.P.P.A. (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998)

“Martin County’s Photo Journal”

This low resolution photo is NOT copy write protected. If you wish a copy simply right/click on the photo and hit “copy” or “save image as”. If you wish a high resolution file contact: rshall@out2martincounty.com

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Women’s Council of Realtors
of Stuart/Martin County Install New Officers

Out2News.com

Stuart — A luncheon to remember for the Women’s Council of Realtors Women’s Council of Realtors of Stuart/Martin County Chapter as it hosted the annual Holiday Party/Installation luncheon at Miles Grant C.C. Close to 100 local real estate professionals gathered to celebrate their accomplishments in 2016 and celebrate the outstanding achievements and service of their colleagues.

Here at the Women’s Council, we strive to provide timely, accessible programming, great networking and opportunities for your personal and professional growth.

Women’s Council members send and receive referrals with confidence, knowing that their values are shared when it comes to providing outstanding service to their clients.

We encourage members to get involved, because we know that participation translates to personal growth and leadership development. We meet you where you are in your skill development and take you to the next level.

Out2martincounty.com is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

Email your story or request to: info@out2martincounty.com

Photo by: Dick Hall Out2News/Out2Martin County.com

Out2martincounty.com adheres to full compliance with C.O.P.P.A. (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998)

“Martin County’s Photo Journal”

This low resolution photo is NOT copy write protected. If you wish a copy simply right/click on the photo and hit “copy” or “save image as”. If you wish a high resolution file contact: rshall@out2martincounty.com

Out2martincounty.com

Women’s Council of Realtors
of Stuart/Martin County Install New Officers

Out2News.com

Stuart — A luncheon to remember for the Women’s Council of Realtors Women’s Council of Realtors of Stuart/Martin County Chapter as it hosted the annual Holiday Party/Installation luncheon at Miles Grant C.C. Close to 100 local real estate professionals gathered to celebrate their accomplishments in 2016 and celebrate the outstanding achievements and service of their colleagues.

Here at the Women’s Council, we strive to provide timely, accessible programming, great networking and opportunities for your personal and professional growth.

Women’s Council members send and receive referrals with confidence, knowing that their values are shared when it comes to providing outstanding service to their clients.

We encourage members to get involved, because we know that participation translates to personal growth and leadership development. We meet you where you are in your skill development and take you to the next level.

Out2martincounty.com is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

Email your story or request to: info@out2martincounty.com

Photo by: Dick Hall Out2News/Out2Martin County.com

Out2martincounty.com adheres to full compliance with C.O.P.P.A. (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998)

“Martin County’s Photo Journal”

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Women’s Council of Realtors
of Stuart/Martin County Install New Officers

Out2News.com

Stuart — A luncheon to remember for the Women’s Council of Realtors Women’s Council of Realtors of Stuart/Martin County Chapter as it hosted the annual Holiday Party/Installation luncheon at Miles Grant C.C. Close to 100 local real estate professionals gathered to celebrate their accomplishments in 2016 and celebrate the outstanding achievements and service of their colleagues.

Here at the Women’s Council, we strive to provide timely, accessible programming, great networking and opportunities for your personal and professional growth.

Women’s Council members send and receive referrals with confidence, knowing that their values are shared when it comes to providing outstanding service to their clients.

We encourage members to get involved, because we know that participation translates to personal growth and leadership development. We meet you where you are in your skill development and take you to the next level.

Out2martincounty.com is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

Email your story or request to: info@out2martincounty.com

Photo by: Dick Hall Out2News/Out2Martin County.com

Out2martincounty.com adheres to full compliance with C.O.P.P.A. (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998)

“Martin County’s Photo Journal”

This low resolution photo is NOT copy write protected. If you wish a copy simply right/click on the photo and hit “copy” or “save image as”. If you wish a high resolution file contact: rshall@out2martincounty.com

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Women’s Council of Realtors
of Stuart/Martin County Install New Officers

Out2News.com

Stuart — A luncheon to remember for the Women’s Council of Realtors Women’s Council of Realtors of Stuart/Martin County Chapter as it hosted the annual Holiday Party/Installation luncheon at Miles Grant C.C. Close to 100 local real estate professionals gathered to celebrate their accomplishments in 2016 and celebrate the outstanding achievements and service of their colleagues.

Here at the Women’s Council, we strive to provide timely, accessible programming, great networking and opportunities for your personal and professional growth.

Women’s Council members send and receive referrals with confidence, knowing that their values are shared when it comes to providing outstanding service to their clients.

We encourage members to get involved, because we know that participation translates to personal growth and leadership development. We meet you where you are in your skill development and take you to the next level.

Out2martincounty.com is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

Email your story or request to: info@out2martincounty.com

Photo by: Dick Hall Out2News/Out2Martin County.com

Out2martincounty.com adheres to full compliance with C.O.P.P.A. (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998)

“Martin County’s Photo Journal”

This low resolution photo is NOT copy write protected. If you wish a copy simply right/click on the photo and hit “copy” or “save image as”. If you wish a high resolution file contact: rshall@out2martincounty.com

Out2martincounty.com

Women’s Council of Realtors
of Stuart/Martin County Install New Officers

Out2News.com

Stuart — A luncheon to remember for the Women’s Council of Realtors Women’s Council of Realtors of Stuart/Martin County Chapter as it hosted the annual Holiday Party/Installation luncheon at Miles Grant C.C. Close to 100 local real estate professionals gathered to celebrate their accomplishments in 2016 and celebrate the outstanding achievements and service of their colleagues.

Here at the Women’s Council, we strive to provide timely, accessible programming, great networking and opportunities for your personal and professional growth.

Women’s Council members send and receive referrals with confidence, knowing that their values are shared when it comes to providing outstanding service to their clients.

We encourage members to get involved, because we know that participation translates to personal growth and leadership development. We meet you where you are in your skill development and take you to the next level.

Out2martincounty.com is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

Email your story or request to: info@out2martincounty.com

Photo by: Dick Hall Out2News/Out2Martin County.com

Out2martincounty.com adheres to full compliance with C.O.P.P.A. (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998)

“Martin County’s Photo Journal”

This low resolution photo is NOT copy write protected. If you wish a copy simply right/click on the photo and hit “copy” or “save image as”. If you wish a high resolution file contact: rshall@out2martincounty.com

Out2martincounty.com

Women’s Council of Realtors
of Stuart/Martin County Install New Officers

Out2News.com

Stuart — A luncheon to remember for the Women’s Council of Realtors Women’s Council of Realtors of Stuart/Martin County Chapter as it hosted the annual Holiday Party/Installation luncheon at Miles Grant C.C. Close to 100 local real estate professionals gathered to celebrate their accomplishments in 2016 and celebrate the outstanding achievements and service of their colleagues.

Here at the Women’s Council, we strive to provide timely, accessible programming, great networking and opportunities for your personal and professional growth.

Women’s Council members send and receive referrals with confidence, knowing that their values are shared when it comes to providing outstanding service to their clients.

We encourage members to get involved, because we know that participation translates to personal growth and leadership development. We meet you where you are in your skill development and take you to the next level.

Out2martincounty.com is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

Email your story or request to: info@out2martincounty.com

Photo by: Dick Hall Out2News/Out2Martin County.com

Out2martincounty.com adheres to full compliance with C.O.P.P.A. (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998)

“Martin County’s Photo Journal”

This low resolution photo is NOT copy write protected. If you wish a copy simply right/click on the photo and hit “copy” or “save image as”. If you wish a high resolution file contact: rshall@out2martincounty.com

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Must-Have Home Features? It’s Your Call.

Out2News.com

By Maria Patterson

Double sinks in the master bath. A wrap-around porch. Solar panels. There are just so many things we want our new home to have.

However, when shopping for our dream home, it’s essential to steer the dream a little bit more toward reality. No home will have every single feature you desire, so before you set out on the search, sit down and think hard.

Also think long-term. While certain features may not matter to you, they may weigh heavily in determining your home’s resale value. According to a recent report by Kiplinger, there are seven features that will help sell a home faster: a laundry room; exterior lighting; energy efficient appliances and windows; a patio; hardwood floors; garage storage space; and an eat-in kitchen.

For most of us, our must-haves are rooted in practicality—a classic case of needs vs. wants. Which would explain why some of the most unwanted features in a home, according to a National Association of Home Builders study, include a pet-washing station, an elevator and a wine cellar. Some important musts, therefore, often involve:

The number of bedrooms and/or potential to turn a room into an additional bedroom – are you planning on children? Need space for an in-law to move in?
The master bedroom – is it big enough for your king bed and does it include a master bath?
The number and condition of other bathrooms
The yard – how much space and privacy do you need to be happy?
The kitchen – do you need a new kitchen with high-tech appliances or are you willing to update down the road?
Closet space – is there adequate storage for your current belongings with room to expand?
The school district – an obvious factor if you have or are planning to have children, but also important if you don’t as it will affect your home’s resale value
Proximity to work – are you willing to commute or is a walkable community a high priority?
New construction – are you looking for a maintenance-free environment or the charm of an older home with DIY options?

Of course, your musts are very unique to you and, therefore, may vary from the above. The key factor in determining a must-have from a nice-to-have is whether it is something that can be cost-effectively and efficiently accomplished down the road, such as crown molding or a fire pit. Musts should be those features that are difficult and costly, if not impossible, to handle on your own, such as a bigger garage or a new roof.

Remember that above all, your “dream” home will be the one that grabs you for some intangible reason or for a combination of unexpected features you never knew you wanted until you saw them. So try to keep your must-list to a minimum and your open mind to a maximum—and most of all, enjoy the process.

Maria Patterson is RISMedia’s executive editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at maria@rismedia.com.

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John Hogarth Joins Bourgeois Real Estate Group

Out2News.com

PALM CITY, Fla. –The Bourgeois Real Estate Group is pleased to announce its newest Broker-Associate, John Hogarth.

Hogarth has been an active member of the Treasure Coast community for three decades. A member of both the Lost Lake Country Club and the Martin County Golf and Country Club, he has served on the Board of Directors and as President of the Martin County Golf and Country Club’s Men’s League. He and his wife, Shirley, attend Morningside Church in Port St. Lucie, and he’s heavily involved in a variety of activities, including billiards, golf and teaching Sunday School.

“John has strong ties in our community, helping him to understand and comfortably navigate his client’s real estate needs,” said Katey Bourgeois, broker of Bourgeois Real Estate Group. “He is a dynamic agent who prides himself on providing the best service to each client he works with, and we’re very excited to have him on our team.”

For a friendly, fun experience buying or selling residential real estate, contact Hogarth at the Bourgeois Real Estate Group at 772-207-0704 or at jj7iron@gmail.com.

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The Keys to Beautiful Baths

Article by: Kimberly Perron – Resort At Home

I know this might seem like an odd question, but how does your bathroom make you feel? We typically start and end our day in the bathroom. If your bathroom greets you with cracked tiles, low sink vanities, poor lighting, and uninspired colors, it might be having an impact on your day. And while some might think that this time of uncertainty isn’t the right time to start a remodel project, imagine how much better you’ll feel everyday experiencing a fresh and stylish new bathroom.
There are just a few key elements to having a good remodel experience. The first is to have a plan. You should spend time visiting several home improvement stores, tile, flooring and plumbing suppliers, and lighting showrooms. Take pictures that you like from magazines and the internet (Houzz.com is a great website for inspiration) with you shopping so that you can identify those suppliers that have items you like and you’ll know how much they cost
The second element is to create a reasonable budget. Reasonable depends on how much work you need to have done. The National Kitchen and Bath Association reported that the average cost of a bathroom remodel in 2016 is $16,000 with about 50% of all bath remodels costing between $10,000 and $30,000 and 30% of all remodels costing more than $30,000. Keep in mind that if you hire a contractor, you’ll be paying for materials, labor and overhead so you’ll need to budget for each of those as well as plan for a little contingency for any unforeseen issues.
The third element is to include conveniences that will make your bathroom more functional. Niches in shower walls eliminate the need for clunky shower organizers. If you are planning to use a shower rod, get one of the curved designs to make your shower feel much more spacious. Include extra storage with shelves and cabinets to keep the sink area clutter free which also makes the bathroom feel bigger.
And finally, infuse your plan with your personality. Unless you are planning to sell your home in the near future, you should be creating a space that makes you happy, not one that pleases everyone. If you are thinking about a bathroom or kitchen remodel, join us for one of our workshops to learn about the latest trends, get design advice on your project, templates and planning guides to take home, and a lovely catered lunch. Visit our website at www.ResortAtHome.com to see our schedule and sign up.
Kimberly Perron is an interior stylist and the owner of Resort At Home, which creates unique spaces inspired by beautiful destinations. Visit www.ResortAtHome.com to learn more.

Out2News.com

Be sure to infuse your bath with your personality like this dramatic wallpaper to make you smile.

Photo by Kaunis Hetki Photography. Remodel by CDR Builders

Out2News.comOpen and closed storage add functionality while keeping the bathroom feeling light and airy.

Photo by Kaunis Hetki Photography. Remodel by CDR Builders.

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5 Questions to Consider Before Downsizing Your Home

Out2News.comAs retirement approaches, your lifestyle and priorities begin to change. Chances are the days when you wanted more space – the sizeable dream home with the backyard big enough to entertain a growing family – are long gone. Instead, many retirees are looking for convenience, simplicity and accommodations more suited to their needs as “empty nesters.” As you approach this new life stage, take time to assess how your current living arrangements suit your changing lifestyle.

Here are five questions to consider as you decide whether downsizing is right for you:

1. Does your home still have the right feel?
A big house that was perfect for a family may seem overly spacious with just one or two inhabitants. It may be time to consider a change if you find that there are under-used rooms in your home or if you’re ready for a new environment. However, if you are enjoying the freedom more space brings, then your current house may be just the right fit. That might also be the case if your home is a gathering place for extended family and friends.

2. Is the upkeep sustainable?
In general, a larger house requires more work and regular investment. As you move into retirement, you may want to reduce the stress of cleaning and home projects. If working around the house and yard is something you enjoy, it may make sense to stay put. But, a smaller home will likely be less of a burden, especially if it’s move-in ready.

3. Are you ready to de-clutter?
Moving to a smaller space is a reality check for many people. All of the things you’ve been accumulating and storing for years probably won’t fit in a smaller home if you decide to downsize. That means you need to spend time going through your personal belongings to determine what’s of real value and what can go. This can take time, so it’s a good idea to get started well before it is time to move.

4. Are there cost savings?
In many situations, a larger house can be sold for a price that is higher than the cost of a smaller home. This could result in a smaller (or no) mortgage and potentially some extra money in the bank. But it is not always so simple. There are costs associated with buying, selling and moving into a new place that could impact your retirement savings if you’re not careful. Evaluate how downsizing would affect your budget and review your situation with a financial professional before taking action.

5. Where are you spending your time?
If your retirement dreams include traveling, visiting family or owning a vacation property, you may be away from home more often in retirement than you were in your working years. Having a smaller home that is easier to maintain could make sense in these situations. Alternatively, you may be looking forward to staying put and finally having time to enjoy the home you worked so hard to maintain over the years.

Downsizing doesn’t need to be rushed. Consider your priorities and if you decide to downsize, give yourself plenty of time to do it right.

Landwersiek & Associates, a financial advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.

Advisor is licensed/registered to do business with U.S. residents only in the states of NY, CT, MA, AL, GA, NJ, NH, FL.

Investment products are not federally or FDIC-insured, are not deposits or obligations of, or guaranteed by any financial institution, and involve investment risks including possible loss of principal and fluctuation in value.

Brokerage, investment and financial advisory services are made available through Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA and SIPC. Some products and services may not be available in all jurisdictions or to all clients.

© 2011 Ameriprise Financial, Inc. All rights reserved.

6530 S. Kanner Hwy | Stuart, FL, 34997-6396

Office: 772.233.4315 | Fax: 772.233.4316 | Mobile: 772.263.3471

steven.w.landwersiek@ampf.com

Learn more at http://www.ameripriseadvisors.com/steven.w.landwersiek

File #1601603

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Trouble Selling? Try These Fixes

Out2News.comBy: Todd Doss

If you have had your home on the market for several months in Jensen Beach and haven’t seen much activity or any offers, chances are that one or more of the reasons below are to blame.

Problem: Your price is too high
Solution: Regardless of the reason, if you’ve priced your home too high, you’ve set yourself up for a number of obstacles to selling your home. The fact is this: your home is competing against those other homes, and what buyers are willing to pay is what will determine final sale price. Competitive pricing attracts more buyers and more offers.

Problem: The look of your home
Solution: The more you can do to make your home appeal to buyers, the better your chances for a quick sale. Your best “bang for the buck” is in paint and flooring. Repainting doesn’t cost much, and will usually make the biggest impact on buyers. And, you should consider putting in new carpet. Again, it’s not that expensive but it sure does make an impact on buyers coming to look at your home.

Problem: Your home’s location
Solution: The only really reliable way to overcome a bad location is with a lower price. It’s the oldest real estate cliché, but it’s true. Things like schools, crime rates, visual appeal of the neighborhood, noise and the smell of pollution affect how the desirability of the location.

Problem: Your home isn’t easily accessible
Solution: When an agent is compiling a list of homes to show a buyer, they’ll show houses that are easiest to gain access to first. You should let your agent put a lock box on your home for easier showing. If not, do anything you can to make it convenient for agents to show your home.

What this all comes down to is having a real estate agent who is on your side and helps you make good choices about selling your home. Pick someone with great industry relationships that makes you feel confident and comfortable with selling your home.

If you or someone you know needs a real estate agent, just give me a call or shoot me an e-mail.

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IS A METAL ROOF RIGHT FOR YOU?

Out2News.com

Article by: Aileen Furnoto -Elite Roofing Solutions

Building a new home? Leaks in your existing roof? Looking to make your home energy efficient? A metal roof might be the right fit for your home.

Metal roofing is made from recycled materials that make it environmentally friendly! Its lightweight, creates an easier installation than your traditional roofing materials. Which means having a beautiful roof in a timely matter.

Elite Roofing Solutions has several styles and colors to put the finishing touch on your home. Metal roofs tend to stay cleaner longer than traditional roofs. A light power washing will do the trick to keep it shinning. Skylights and gutters are easily installed.

Durability will protect you from heavy winds, hurricanes and fires. Grounding also keeps your family safe when lightening is in the area.

Reflecting heat from the sun with the installation of a metal roof makes your home become more energy efficient and will keep your home cooler inside. This will also help prolong the life of your air conditioner and lower your monthly energy bill.

With a life expectancy of over fifty years, a metal roof can save you thousands of dollars over time. Insurance companies offer discount programs and tax credits. Check with your insurance company to see what they may offer.

As with anything there are negatives. Metal roofs have a higher upfront cost and the possibility of denting by strong hail or golf balls. The good benefit is they are easier to replace.

Overall metal roofs are a great addition to any home!
Contact Elite Roofing Solutions for a free consultation
772-643-7663

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What is a Public Insurance Adjuster?

Out2News.com
 A Public Insurance Adjuster is the only adjuster licensed by a state to represent you, the public and handle every detail of the claim, working closely with the insured to provide the most equitable settlement. A Public Adjuster inspects the loss site immediately, analyzes the damages, assembles claim support data, reviews the insured’s coverage, determines current replacement costs and exclusively serves the client, not the insurance company.

Mr. Connelly has assisted property owners in assessing, documenting, presenting and negotiating settlements for losses suffered through fire, hurricane, water damage, broken pipes, sinkhole, tornado and other perils commonly covered in new or reopened property insurance claims.

Joseph “Joe” Connelly began his career at a young age within his own family’s business in New England. Mr. Connelly graduated from Suffolk University with a BS, BA in Business Management. He has been an integral member of management of ‘Class A’ office buildings, Harvard University healthcare facilities, higher education campuses and residential communities. He has completed programs at Boston University and George Washington University to learn new technology in software, hardware, building codes and life safety requirements. His role to assess, document and present physical plant analysis to Administration Boards has lent itself seamlessly to property insurance adjusting as a public insurance adjuster.

Mr. Connelly has achieved the recovery of millions of dollars on behalf of businesses, homeowner’s associations, homeowners, and other property owners with his “NO RECOVERY, NO FEE” policy.

For a Complimentary Evaluation: 772.237.0892 or visit www.riadjusters.com

Out2martincounty.com is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

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“Martin County’s Photo Journal”

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Personal Safety Tips for Real Estate Agents

Out2News.com

Article By Rebecca Bradshaw

If you are a Realtor®, routines such as showing vacant homes, meeting new clients, and allowing strangers into your car are regular parts of the job. Unfortunately, so is the potential risk to your personal safety. So, what can you do to stay safe while making a sale?

Be smart when marketing yourself. Don’t use head shots that include expensive jewelry or that might be considered provocative. Personal information such as home addresses or phone numbers should never be included on websites or business cards, and to be extra cautious, limit who can see your personal social media accounts by setting them to private access only.

Meet new clients at the office or in a public place, and don’t assume that a referred client isn’t potentially dangerous. Have clients fill out information forms and get copies of driver’s licenses. Leave the copies with another person, as well as an itinerary of properties you’ll be showing, and let the client know that you’ve done so. If you must meet away from the office or after dark, take along an associate or family member.

When showing properties to clients, your safest bet is to travel in separate cars, but it that’s not possible, stay safe by staying hyper-alert. Don’t set yourself up to be robbed by leaving your purse or wallet out in the open. Keep 911 just a speed dial away, and have a coded message to let others know you are in danger without alerting your passenger. Only show properties in daylight, and always park on a street rather than in a driveway where pulling away quickly might be difficult.

Entering empty homes can be high risk; be sure others are aware of your location or take an associate with you. Since vacant houses often attract squatters, check the exterior for any signs that the property has been entered, and be alert to inside hiding places. If you encounter a squatter, leave immediately and call the police. When showing the home to a client, walk behind them, directing rather than leading, and never allow yourself to be trapped in a confined space.

Use the same precautions when holding an open house. Work with another person, and advertise that ID’s will be required; have visitors fill out information sheets at the door. Before the showing, scope out escape routes and check the strength of your cell phone’s signal. Thieves like to strike when the crowd thins, so be extra vigilant for any suspicious behavior late in the day, and don’t assume that everyone has left when the showing is over. Use the buddy system and check backyards, closets, and anywhere someone might be hiding before locking up.

Overall, the best safety measure a realtor can take is to be prepared. Attend self-defense classes, carry a whistle and pepper spray, and arm yourself with one of the wide range of phone apps and personal safety devices that are designed to get assistance to you quickly. Above all, trust your instincts–If something doesn’t feel right, remove yourself from the situation or call for help.

Sources: National Association of Realtors, Housing Wire, Inman, Realtor Mag

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Five Tips for Buying Your First Home

Out2News.comAre you dreaming about moving into your first home? While home hunting can be exciting, the process of buying a home can be somewhat challenging. Purchasing a home is a big financial commitment – potentially one of the biggest purchases you’ll make in your lifetime. With some planning, you can be ready to commit to a home with confidence. Here are some tips to help you get your finances ready for purchasing a home.

Determine your down payment and monthly housing cost. In most cases, you’ll need a minimum down payment of 10-15 percent. However, it can be advantageous to make a larger payment to reduce the interest you’ll pay and avoid fees attached to low-down-payment loans. As a benchmark, your down payment generally needs to be at least 20 percent to avoid Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones with a generous relative willing to help with your down payment. If that’s the case, ask your lender about rules pertaining to cash gifts. You can determine your monthly housing cost by adding the cost of your mortgage payment, taxes and homeowners insurance. Be sure to look at the total monthly housing cost before purchasing a home to make sure it fits into your overall budget.

Get preapproved for a home loan. With preapproval in hand from a reputable mortgage company, your offer has a better chance of being accepted. Plus, you may be able to shorten the closing period since the loan approval process has been completed. Keep in mind that getting prequalified for a loan is not the same as obtaining preapproval. Prequalification is merely an estimate of how much you may be eligible to borrow based on self-reported income information – it is not a guarantee you will receive a loan. You are still required to undergo an approval process.

Approach fixer-uppers with caution. Unless you are confident the house you’re buying has been deeply discounted based on the current housing prices in your area, you may place yourself at greater financial risk if your new home requires a lot of work. To avoid over extending yourself, look for a home that is in good shape and will stay that way for the foreseeable future. However, be realistic about what you can afford. If you have the time and know-how to retile the bathroom, paint the living room or enhance the landscaping, a moderate fixer-upper could be worth the financial investment.

Limit your demands. If you want to make a compelling offer, particularly in a strong real estate market, you may want to be selective about the conditions you’re adding to your offer. An inspection contingency is smart but asking for extensive repairs may tip the scales in favor of another buyer who is less demanding.

Do your research so you’re ready to act. Buying a home can be a very emotional decision and it’s important to go into the process well prepared. Take some time to lay out your priorities and research the market. What’s most important to you long-term – resale value, location, school district, number of bedrooms? Be practical about what you can truly afford and take the time to obtain preapproval from your bank or mortgage company. When you start seriously looking, you may have to act fast if you find the perfect house. If you’re prepared and thoughtful at the beginning of the process, you’ll be in a better position to make the right move.

Landwersiek & Associates, a financial advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.

Advisor is licensed/registered to do business with U.S. residents only in the states of NY, CT, MA, AL, GA, NJ, NH, FL.

Investment products are not federally or FDIC-insured, are not deposits or obligations of, or guaranteed by any financial institution, and involve investment risks including possible loss of principal and fluctuation in value.

Brokerage, investment and financial advisory services are made available through Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA and SIPC. Some products and services may not be available in all jurisdictions or to all clients.

© 2011 Ameriprise Financial, Inc. All rights reserved.

6530 S. Kanner Hwy | Stuart, FL, 34997-6396

Office: 772.233.4315 | Fax: 772.233.4316 | Mobile: 772.263.3471

steven.w.landwersiek@ampf.com

Learn more at http://www.ameripriseadvisors.com/steven.w.landwersiek

File #1506891

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Study Reveals Best Technique for Pricing a Home

Out2News.com

The best technique for pricing a home when listing it for sale is setting the asking price just below a round number, according to recent research published by the Journal of Housing Research, an official publication of the American Real Estate Society (ARES).

“These findings will help real estate professionals and sellers of homes develop more informed listing and marketing strategies to better suit sellers’ needs,” says Ken Johnson, Ph.D., ARES publication director, real estate economist at Florida Atlantic University’s College of Business and co-developer of the Beracha, Hardin and Johnson Buy vs. Rent Index. “The results of this study take a lot of guess work out of the marketing of homes for real estate professionals.”

The study looked at 1,000 buyers in Virginia considering a pool of more than 370,000 listings. The researchers were able to determine the impact of “rounded pricing” listing strategies versus “just below pricing” listing strategies.

“Our study suggests that by using the just below pricing strategy sellers can price their home slightly higher without driving away potential buyers,” says Eli Beracha, Ph.D., of Florida International University, who conducted the study with Michael J. Seiler, Ph.D., of The College of William & Mary. “As a result, they end up selling their house for more.”

How does dropping your asking price ever so slightly impact the final outcome?

“On average, buyers are more attracted to a house priced at $199,000 than to a house priced at $200,000 and it appears that ‘just below’ pricing works out favorably for sellers in terms of their bottom line,” Beracha explains. “Based on our research, the ‘just below’ pricing strategy yields a selling price that is, on average, roughly 2.5 to 3 percent higher, $5,000 to $6,000 on a $200,000 house, compared with a rounded pricing listing strategy.”

While residential real estate agents widely disagree on the appropriate pricing strategy to use when listing residential real estate for sale, the researchers found that homebuyers more often prefer homes priced using a “just below” pricing strategy. This preference allows sellers to list their home for a higher initial listing price.

On the other hand, due to the demand effect, rounded priced homes typically have shorter time on the market and a lower discount relative to listing price. Their findings suggest that sellers’ ability to set higher listing prices for properties using a “just below” pricing strategy outweighs the lower discount and shorter time on the market associated with similar rounded priced strategy homes.

“We tested the age-old debate concerning the best technique to price a home when listing it for sale,” Seiler says. “We find that using a price just below a round number works best, particularly in connection to the left-most digit in the price. So, $199,000 works better than $200,000.”

For more information, visit www.fau.edu.

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8 Steps to Finding the Perfect Neighborhood

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You’ve made the decision to move from one home to another. Exciting, isn’t it? While you peruse the internet and drive around taking in the sights of several new-home hopefuls, have you considered the immediate location of your potential places? If our house is the ultimate picture of homestead happiness that we hope to see ourselves in, then the neighborhood is the frame in which that picture is encased. We have gathered a few points of perfection for your new neighborhood.

Pinpoint Your Wants

Before setting foot in a home, sit down with your family to list out what you want in your new neighborhood. You should of course consider the price point of the house, but don’t stop there. Think on the small things that make your life pleasurable such as sidewalks or access to a pool. What kind of space do you want between you and your neighbors? Do you want to live in a Neighborhood Watch Protected Area? Are you looking for a single-family home or something different? This list of neighborhood wants will serve as a great jumping off point.

Valuing the View

As you make your way through each neighborhood, take in the view and we don’t just mean the scenery. Look at the other houses surrounding your potential home. Do your neighbors keep the yards well manicured? What about the upkeep of the homes themselves, such as paint jobs and gutters? Observe the signage, too. Are there several rental signs? If so, your neighbors may fluctuate on a more than desirable basis. What about foreclosures? Considering these points will give you an idea of how well your home will hold its value.

Commute and Convenience

When deciding where to live, remember that much of our time is spent outside of the home. Consider your commute time to your 40-hour a week home away from home. If you have children, choose a house close to their school, especially if they are involved in after-school activities that will take you there more than five times a week. Close proximity to your most frequented locations will give you more time to enjoy your new house and less time in your car.

Pondering Potential Expenses

Besides the price tag of the mortgage, the neighborhood that you choose can also affect your monthly expenses. For starters, property taxes differ depending on what county and state you reside in. At times, development within an area can also raise property taxes. Further still, some neighborhoods have monthly or annual HOA fees. A Homeowner’s Association can regulate the upkeep of your home and mandate certain updates that could potentially cost you money.

Cruise and Observe

All neighborhoods seem to take on a culture of their own. Try to get an idea for the feel of the neighborhood before you sign on the dotted line. Cruise through at all hours of the day and after dark. Once the sun dips down, are there people still out? Are there families around? Do you see several cars parked on the road or are they garage kept? These are just a few of the clues that give us an idea of what sort of neighborhood we are buying into.

Sights, Sounds, and Smells

We’ve covered several points on the sights already, but let’s hammer that one home. Take a look at your potential immediate neighbors’ houses. Make note if they have anything, such as a tarp covered car or a broken down fence that may be less than desirable to look at each day. When cruising through at various hours, try to notice whether or not the neighbors are loud. What about the buzz of a busy road? Finally, take a whiff of the air. It may sound strange, but you never know if there may be a sewer backup or a stagnant body of water nearby.

Basic Coverage

When you are assessing your neighborhood, research goes a long way. Look up the crime rates in the various possible home locations. Review your family’s collective personality. When it comes to your lifestyle, think about local points of interest that you want to be close to. For example, an avid outdoors explorer will want to have rural terrain nearby. A family who eats out more than they eat in will want plenty of eateries to choose from. If you consider the type of person you are now, then your home’s location will cater to it.

Future Focused

Our final point focuses on any future changes coming down the pike. Are you planning on having children or are your children going to graduate upwards to a new school while at this house and, if so, all the schools they will attend should be nearby. What about job changes? Think about when you may change houses again and what this neighborhood’s value will do.

Save time and heartache by considering these neighborhood points before buying. With a little pre-planning, your home will be centered in a location that you love as much as the house!

Sources: HGTV.com, sterlingliving.com, forbes.com

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The Home Design Center of Florida

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Stuart -The Home Design Center of Florida and you will experience a one stop shop when it comes to kitchen design and remodeling. Experience the latest styles in kitchen, and flooring design from the industry’s leading manufacturers.

The showroom experience is created to be a one-on-one intimate interaction where our experts can give the time and energy each project deserves. Our customers come back to us for the same reason every time: the people. Not only do we offer experts to help you in your home remodel, but we set a purpose to have the proper amount of time to make sure the end result of each project exceeds the expectation of our customer every time.

Services Provided: Kitchen and bathroom remodeling, countertops, painting, flooring, rough and finish carpentry,

Areas Served: Treasure Coast, Indian River & Palm Beach County

Certifications and Awards: Certified IICRC Water Technician

7802 SE Ellipse Way, Stuart, FL 34997,  772-223-8400

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Stuart Stamp & Engraving

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A family owned business founded in 1973, Stuart Rubber Stamp and Sign Company is a second generation enterprise that has consistently been committed to providing businesses with rubber stamps and marking products, signs and engraving, awards and printed products that reflect the professionalism that our clients have demanded and deserved for over thirty years

Stuart Rubber Stamp and Sign Company is committed to quality service and products based on a superior industry knowledge, a real understanding of the local business community, and a genuine enthusiasm for what we do. Our aim is to act as a trusted extension of our clients’ businesses, producing results that directly and positively impact their objectives. Our culture and philosophy is based on ethical business practices that value honesty, integrity and relationships.

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