Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

April 21, 2021

Why Home Appraisals Are So Important

Both buyers and sellers should be informed of the home appraisal process to ensure that their home purchase or sale goes as smoothly as possible. A licensed, independent real estate appraiser gathers data about the house and surrounding property to provide an estimation of its current market value during the home appraisal process. Appraisals are usually ordered by the lender who is interested in the buyer's mortgage financing. The valuation is usually paid either in advance or at the time of closing by the homebuyer.

During the home valuation process, an appraiser visits the property and conducts a detailed inspection of both the exterior and interior. They take measurements of each room and the property's lot, as well as taking photos of the inside of the house.

How Home Appraisal Impacts Home Buying and Selling

All parties involved in the sale, including the lender, the seller, and the homebuyer, need a home appraisal.

The home appraisal process is crucial for the seller because it determines how much their home is worth (its market value) and whether they have correctly priced their home. If the seller overpriced the home, they'll almost certainly have to renegotiate with the buyer, either lowering the price to the appraised value or seeing if the buyer can cover the additional costs out of pocket. Much over, by selling it low, they might not be able to recover any of the equity they have built up while owning the property. It would also be a big help for the seller to have their realtor's opinion together with the appraiser's to get the full picture before making any decisions especially when it comes to their property's value. 

The buyer needs an appraisal because it ensures that the property has been valued reasonably and, preferably, appraises for at least the bid price they submitted to the seller. If the home appraisal comes in lower than the homebuyer's bid, they will have to renegotiate with the sellers or pay more out of pocket because the lender will not cover the whole sum.

Important Information to look at in the Home Appraisal Report

1.) Contract

The appraiser's analysis of the sales contract is stated in this section of the report. It also includes details about any sales concessions paid on behalf of the borrower, as well as the contract price and the date the contract was executed.

2.) Neighborhood

This section includes a rundown of the area, as well as housing market trends and neighborhood boundaries. The appraiser will tell you whether the value of other homes in the region is rising, retaining the same, or falling. 

3.) Improvements

The appraiser provides a general description of the property, including the base, exterior, and interior of the house's condition. The appraiser notes the house's square footage, any additional features of note, such as an overall explanation of the property's condition, whether any physical defects were noted, and whether the property conforms to the neighborhood in this section.

4.) Sales Comparison Approach

This is where the appraiser arrives at a valuation and substantiates the value of the house being appraised. 


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April 16, 2021

Here's how to sell your home in 2021

So you've decided to sell your home - if you're downsizing or moving to a new place - whatever the purpose, you'll need to take some necessary and careful steps before putting your home on the market. Selling a home can be a stressful process with so many factors to consider. If you want to sell your home in 2021, you should know what to expect from the housing market this year and how to better prepare. Fortunately, we've put together a quick and easy guide on how to sell your home in 2021 just for you.


The housing market in 2021: What to Expect

A lot has changed in our daily lifestyle, especially in the way we function in our homes. If you're planning to sell, you should start preparing your home now. It's not a bad idea to put your house on the market as soon as possible. Here's a quick 5 step guidelines in selling your home. 

1.) Employ a home inspector

Knowing the state of your home will help you during the negotiating process with prospective buyers. Buyers often use their own home inspection to wheedle deals from sellers, such as trying to lower your asking price. If you've already taken care of these issues, it's less likely that anything new will arise and influence the negotiation.

2.) Repair and update your home

You want to find ways to make it stand out, and making initial repairs and improvements to your home can make or break your sellability. So, before you put your house on the market, look for easy ways to brighten it up. This will greatly increase your chances of having a good impression of your homebuyers. 

3.) Find a Real Estate Agent

Finding a real estate agent that can fit your bill can be a challenge. Accessing recommendations and reading online feedback are excellent ways to begin narrowing down your choices. A few things to consider before hiring your real estate agent are:

a. How many clients have you served?

b. What is the cost of your services?

c. What services do you have that can help me?

4.) Price your house right

You should never set your sights on a single number and expect it to happen. Market conditions change all the time and so does buyer behavior. Conducting an assessment is one option. Invite home appraisers who are qualified practitioners who can determine the worth of your home based on its condition and the current housing market. They'll assess your property size, its interior and exterior conditions, as well as any renovations, additions, or home improvements you've made, before determining the value of your home based on current market conditions.

A comparison of recently sold homes in your area will also assist you in determining a price. However, you should price your products strategically. Rather than comparing your home's price to those in the neighborhood, price it based on its unique selling features.

5.) Get your home photographed by a professional

Professional photography markets your home better. Your listing will receive very little traffic if it is portrayed online by poorly taken photography. Not to mention the fact that houses with professionally taken pictures sell for better prices on average than other listings. You can consider having your home digitally scanned, or have aerial photography to get a good bird's eye view of the entirety of your property. 



March 17, 2021

Tips for Renting a Moving Truck

When you’re preparing to move, you have a choice between hiring a professional moving company or renting a moving truck, which can be a great way to save money. Moving is expensive, and doing as much as you can yourself will help keep your costs down. Plus, a DIY move offers you more flexibility and gives you the freedom to do things at your own speed.

But, there are some important things you need to know when you choose to rent a moving truck that can save you money and unnecessary stress. And, one of the most essential considerations is choosing one of the better truck rental companies. So, let’s take a look at the highly-rated truck rental companies, as well as what you need to think about when renting a truck.

Highly Rated Moving Truck Companies

When you want to rent a moving truck, going straight to one of the best companies will be your best bet. Below are some of the most respected self-moving companies to check out:

  • U-Haul: With an excellent rating and as one of the most well-known moving companies, U-Haul truck rental prices are always competitive. It’s one of the best moving companies for those who like to do things themselves.
  • Home Depot: If you’re moving locally, Home Depot is an excellent option as they only charge an hourly rate. Home Depot truck rentals are a particularly trendy choice due to their pricing policies.
  • Penske: The third-largest moving truck provider, Penske has a solid reputation and is certainly worth checking out.
  • Enterprise: Enterprise is a highly rated company for local moves.
  • Budget: As the name implies, Budget always has extremely competitive pricing and is worthy of your consideration.

Determining the Size of Moving Truck You Need

Renting a moving truck isn’t cheap, so you don’t want to spend more money than you need to. But, you do need enough space to fit all your possessions, so it’s important to accurately assess the amount of space you need in a moving truck — which isn’t easy.

To help, rental companies often provide online calculators to evaluate the room you need. Then, whatever the calculator determines, add an additional 10% to 20%. It’s always better to overestimate the amount of room you need than to underestimate and not have enough space. To that end, if you’re unsure, getting a larger truck is always recommended so you’re not struggling to jam in the last of your moving boxes.

Extra Help

In addition to the moving truck, consider whether you’ll need extra equipment or help moving your possessions. Most rental companies offer add-on services that can provide the extra help you need to make sure your move goes well.

For instance, moving dollies and tie-downs reduce the likelihood that your items will be damaged on moving day. Professional movers are also typically offered, as well, to make the physical work easier for you. They’re also likely to have packing materials — like boxes and padding — available if you need them.

However, while it will be convenient to get these extras from your moving truck company, it may not be the best deal available. Instead, if you arrange these things separately, you might be able to get a better deal than if you get them all from the rental company.

Moving Truck Insurance

Your home or auto insurance may offer some coverage when renting a moving truck, but this could be very limited. And, when you put all of your possessions in a truck and drive it — perhaps long-distance — there will be risks. If you get in an accident or are the victim of a crime, you could lose a lot. So, check the terms of your current insurance policies to understand what level of coverage you currently have. Note that it likely won’t be enough, particularly if you’re renting a larger truck.

The rental company will also offer you some insurance options. Review them carefully and select the coverage that fully protects you and your possessions during the move. You’ll also be offered a damage waiver that protects you against financial loss should the truck get damaged or stolen, as well as an auto tow protection policy if you’re towing your vehicle.

Likewise, personal accident and cargo protection ensures that you and your possessions are covered against injury and damage. And, supplemental liability insurance protects you against claims that someone else might file against you.

With any of these policy options, be sure to read the fine print. They may not cover everything you would initially expect them to and will likely have a limit on the claims you can make under the policy.

Factors That Affect Rental Costs

The cost of moving truck rentals can get quite complicated. But, generally, they’re based on the size of the truck you rent and the distance you need to travel.

The length of time that you need the truck in order to complete your move is also often a factor. For instance, companies might charge you a daily rate, in addition to another charge for each mile you drive. However, you may also find that a certain mileage is included with your rental — which may be enough to complete your journey. Then, if you need to change your route or take an excursion, expect to pay additional fees.

Meanwhile, returning the truck to where you picked it up isn’t really an option for long-distance moves. So, many larger companies offer one-way rentals so you can drop off the vehicle near your final destination. Mileage is usually unlimited for one-way journeys.

Note that if you’re moving at a time when there is increased demand for trucks, you should expect to pay a higher amount. To that end, keep in mind that more people are likely to want to move in the summer, as well as on the weekends, and near the beginning or end of the month. And, on top of the money you’ll pay for the rental truck, don’t forget about other expenses, including the cost of gas, tolls, parking, meals and overnight stays for longer moves.

Booking Your Rental Truck

When renting a moving truck, it’s better to do so early. Just like changing your address, booking your moving truck should be at the top of your to-do list. Careful advance planning will secure the truck you need on moving day and help avoid a last-minute panic if you can’t find one.

First, compare what the moving companies have to offer, check customer feedback, and look at their Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings. This should ensure that they’re reliable and offer a good service. Then, once you have a shortlist of companies that seem good (like the ones mentioned above), get rental quotes to find the best value. At this time, make sure you discuss anything you’re unsure about or requirements that might be unusual with your rental. While you’re at it, don’t be afraid to ask for a discount. Moving truck companies often have discounts available for certain people, so check to see if you fall into one of their categories.

Finally, make sure you check over the vehicle when you pick it up to avoid paying for damage that was already present, as well as take time to understand the terms of the rental. Specifically, review the cancellation policy and whether you can return the truck early for a partial refund. Also, make sure you understand policies regarding returning the vehicle, including how clean it needs to be inside, as well as whether you need to fill the gas tank.

If you’re up for the challenge of driving a large moving truck, have planned your route, and are ready for the heavy lifting involved, renting a moving truck can be a great option for your move. And, if you do your research before booking your rental, you’ll have fewer issues.

Posted in Market Updates
July 31, 2017

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We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates