3 Ways To Get Rid Of Bad Odors In Your Home When Putting It Up For Sale

One thing that can really turn off potential buyers who look at your home for sale is bad odors. When people walk in, they will notice bad odors instantly, and this can be a big factor that plays a role in what they think of your home. It can be hard to tell if your house stinks when you live there, simply because you can get used to the smell of your own house, but you could ask other people what they think. If you believe your house contains bad odors, here are some tips to help you eliminate the smells so potential buyers do not get distracted by them.

Replace Your Carpet

If you have carpeting in your home, the bad odors might be coming from your carpet. Cleaning carpet is one way to freshen up the smell of a house, but this method does not always completely eliminate the bad smells in a house. It might take ripping out your old carpeting and replacing it. If the bad odors are due to pet accidents, you might also need to clean the wood floor underneath your carpet before putting new carpet in. If you do not do this, the bad odors could work their way back into your house.

Clean Your Ductwork

Another source of odors in a home can be from the ductwork. Ductwork is used to transfer cooled and heated air throughout a house, and these air ducts can contain contaminants that are causing your home to smell bad. If you hire an HVAC company, they can clean these for you, and they may also be able to sanitize them with chemicals that will help get rid of any odors that are trapped inside.

Clean All The Floors And Upholstery In Your Home

The other thing you can do is really deep clean your house. Scrubbing the floors with a cleaner that contains bleach can help with any trapped odors on floors, but you should use caution because certain floors might not react well with bleach.

In addition, you should clean all the furniture in your home, and you should clean all the curtains and anything else that is made of fabric. Upholstered items lock in smells, and the only way to get rid of the smells is through cleaning them.

If you want to sell your house quickly, you may need to find a way to get rid of the bad smells you have trapped inside your home. If you would like to learn more about selling your home quickly, contact a real estate agent like one from Central Virginia Realty.  

Are You A Meticulous Cleaner? 3 Features To Look At When Buying A Home

Whether you live in an apartment, condo, or single-family home, you should keep the place clean. Sometimes this only involves cleaning the interior, but it can also include exterior cleaning. In an apartment, these tasks are typically minimal, so it is easy to handle as someone who is a meticulous cleaner. Becoming a homeowner can have quite the impact because of the increased load of cleaning. So, it is best to look at features that will ensure you have an easier time maintaining a spotless home.

Countertops

The kitchen countertops will likely receive a great deal of wear and tear over time, especially when you cook most of your meals at home and from scratch. It is crucial to prioritize kitchen countertops that are not going to cause you a lot of trouble in regard to cleaning and keeping it from being a germ hazard. Polished granite and concrete are two countertop materials that you can rely on for ease of cleaning.

Flooring

The flooring in your home can have a substantial impact on how much time you spend with floor care. The areas that are most susceptible to problems include the kitchen and bathrooms, so you should prioritize the type of flooring in these rooms compared to the rest of the home. Some all-around winners are linoleum and ceramic tile, which gives you an inexpensive and luxurious option to choose from.

For the rest of the home, you should at least try to stay away from carpeting. Tile, hardwood, concrete, or laminate are all easier to maintain. Carpet requires vacuuming and deodorizing, and you have to be very careful of children, pets, and your own accidents as liquid spills and stains are common issues.

Windows

To keep your home clean, you can either work hard or work smarter. Working hard could include taking on any home, regardless of its cleanliness levels and keeping it hygienic through sheer effort alone. The windows may not seem that related, but they play a huge role in your home’s sanitation. Old and drafty windows are naturally going to let dust and other particles into the home. Even with new windows, some types are most likely to have air leakage, which is all the space dust needs to get inside. The smart way to work is to look for windows known for minimal leakage in awning, hopper, and casement style.

When looking at homes, knowing what will allow for easy cleaning can ensure a happy ending.

Ditching The Dorms — The Pros And Cons Of Buying A House For Your College Student

For some parents, buying a house near the university for their child to live in for the duration is a good alternative to paying for a dorm. But is it right for you? Here are 3 pros and 3 cons to help you decide.

Pros

Stability. Buying a house means that your college student will have a permanent and stable place to live for the duration of schooling. This can be a good way to help him or her succeed by choosing the location and lifestyle that fits them best. There will also be plenty of storage and space to work. 

Fixed Expenses. College housing, rent, food plans and other expenses can change markedly from year to year. But with a purchased home, you won’t have to worry about that. A fixed rate mortgage means that you can know how to budget for living expenses much more easily. 

Investment. The house itself can be a good investment for some families. After you’re done with college needs, it can become a rental investment property and provide additional income or a tax break (if there’s a loss) against your other income. If the house is in a growing area, depreciation (even after just a few years) can also help you recoup a lot of your costs. 

Cons

Home Ownership Costs. Obviously, owing a home comes with some expenses that renting doesn’t. Be prepared to pay for things like property taxes, insurance, repairs and maintenance. Some experts recommend putting aside between 3.6% and 4.5% annually for maintenance and repairs, so factor this in when crunching the numbers. 

Responsibility. Not all college students are ready to take care of a house. If you live far away, the student may need to stay on top of things like maintenance and minor repairs. And if you decide to rent out any additional rooms in the home to help pay the mortgage, the student may also need to help act as a landlord. So, be sure that your young adult is ready to be the “go-to” person on the ground. 

Change of Plans. If your son or daughter decides to make a change in schools or plans during those 4 or 8 years, you may wind up having to unexpectedly sell the home. This can mean increased depreciation, an unpredictable real estate market and extra selling expenses. 

If you determine if buying a college area house is the right call for your family, it’s best to work with a local, qualified real estate agent with experience in the university area market. This way, you can not only find a good house for your child to live in but also the best investment to let your money work for you. 

Contact a business, such as Charles L Moles Real Estate Services, for more information.   

3 Reasons To Rent A Mobile Home

Renting a mobile home is an option that is often overlooked by many people that are looking to rent a new home, which is a shame as there are some benefits provided by a mobile home rental that apartment rentals simply cannot match. Listed below are three reasons to consider renting a mobile home.

Yard

One of the biggest inconveniences about renting an apartment is that you will not really have much outdoor space aside from a balcony or patio, and some apartments don’t even offer those amenities. The lack of private outdoor space can also be a bit of a problem if you have dogs and want to be able to play with them or let them outside to relieve themselves without having to worry about them running off or other dogs rushing them. 

However, most mobile home rentals will be sitting on a plot within a mobile home park that will typically have a yard of some kind. Depending on the park, these yards can range from relatively small plots to larger yards that would not be out of place for a small to a mid-sized house.

Cost

Another reason to consider renting a mobile home is that it will often be one of the most cost-effective rental properties that you can live in. The main reason for this is that the owners of these mobile homes will charge less per month for rent than an apartment because the mobile homes themselves will typically cost only a fraction of the price of a house, with the average sales price of $37,100 to $73,600. Due to this low purchase cost, many mobile home owner will charge you less than the cost of an apartment to rent the mobile home.

Size

Finally, you should consider renting a mobile home if you want more space for your family than many apartments can provide. There are mobile home options available that have large floorplans that can easily accommodate large families comfortably. In fact, it is not uncommon to find mobile homes available that have substantially more square footage than the average apartment.

Contact your local real estate agent or office today in order to get assistance with finding mobile homes to rent in your area. Renting a mobile home is a great option that can provide you with a rental that has a yard while also being both less expensive and larger than an apartment. Visit http://davidmcdonaldrentals.net/ for more information. 

How To Get The Most Money For Your Mineral Rights

If you own land, you could be sitting on a gold-mine. Actually, you may have valuable minerals, oil, and natural gas on your property that could be making you significant money. Selling mineral rights basically involves handing someone else access to your property to dig, excavate, and remove valuable minerals and commodities based on the terms of the agreement with you, the land owner.

Some ways to negotiate the right price for your property mineral rights include:

Have your documentation in order. Before you begin to negotiate with companies looking to buy the mineral rights of your property, make sure that you have all of your documentation together. Buyers will want proof of ownership, copies of surveys, and any information related to the property that you might have available. This will pique buyers’ interest and lead to a higher bid for the rights.

Don’t jump at the first offer. Take time to carefully consider all options before accepting a bid or offer. Many buyers will try to pressure you into accepting their offer, and you may feel like you will miss an opportunity if you wait. The truth is, you should not accept the first offer that you receive unless you have done your homework and feel that it is a fair bid for the rights. Don’t hurry into a deal that ends up costing you lost revenues later on.

Plan on it taking a while. Selling the rights to your property takes time, and it will require evaluation by potential buyers, which can a lengthy process. Liken selling mineral rights to purchasing a new home; it doesn’t happen overnight. 

Don’t give others the chance to flip. Avoid giving away potential revenue by signing option agreements. This typically gives buyers the opportunity to sell your rights, which may put money in their pocket that should be in yours. Read the agreement carefully, and don’t be afraid to renegotiate the deal before signing a contract.

Consult with an industry expert first. Working with an industry expert in the field can help you with selling your mineral rights and that could increase the price that you receive. Even if you want to sell the rights independently, consult with an industry expert to uncover what you may expect to garner from your property.

Take time to assess your property and talk with an expert regarding mineral rights. Don’t expect to make money overnight; it could take a while to determine the best arrangement for you and the potential buyer. Use these strategies to garner the best price possible when you do decide to make money off of your property’s mineral rights.

To sell mineral royalties, contact a company such as Appalachian Mineral Partners.

Financing Options For Those Serving In The National Guard

If you’re a drilling member of the National Guard, you enjoy some military benefits like low-cost health insurance and military discounts on and off post. When you’re looking to buy your first home, your military background can also give you an advantage. If you are an active member of the Guard, here are some financing options you should look into. 

1. The VA loan.

VA real estate financing is available for qualifying military members. These loans have a lot of advantages. For one thing, you don’t need any down payment at all to get 100% financing on a home in your price range. Also, mortgage insurance (usually applied to those who don’t have strong down payments) is often waived by the lender. As an added bonus, you can get VA loans over and over again — it’s not limited to a one-time home purchase. Since you’re not in active duty service, you might wonder if you qualify. You’ll be excited to know that many members of the National Guard actually do qualify for VA financing with approved lenders.

You will be eligible if you have served at least 6 years in the Guard. If you have been discharged, it must be honorable. Sometimes your Guard unit is called up for a deployment, placing you in temporary active duty service. If this is the case, you will be eligible for a loan after completing one deployment, even if you haven’t served six full years in active reserve or select reserve. 

2. The conventional loan.

If you haven’t yet acquired six years of service but still need to buy a home, take heart. There are still some good options for you that cater to your military service. Some lenders, like USAA (a bank that directly serves the needs of service members) will offer conventional loans for service members at competitive interest rates and with very little (5%) down. If you have excellent credit, negotiating a mortgage with lenders who are experienced with service members can also help waive or absorb the mortgage insurance that you would normally pay with a low down payment. 

3. Other Loans

If you are not able to be approved for a conventional loan, you can look into other options. Because you’re in the guard, you have more freedom to move around to different areas in your state and choose a more rural setting. Choosing a rural area to buy will help you qualify for a USDA loan. The USDA has a program in place to help promote the development of less-populated areas by offering guaranteed, low interest loans to low-income families. FHA loans are another good option if you don’t have much for down payment funds.       

Looking To Minimize Long-Term Homeowner Costs? Find Homes With Certain Qualities

When you consider how much it costs to purchase a home, it makes sense to look for every opportunity to save money. For one, you can save up enough money to put 20% down on a home, which will prevent you from having to get private mortgage insurance, which only adds to your monthly expenses. While this can save you quite a bit of money, you can enjoy enormous savings in various other ways. Certain homes make it easier to minimize spending based on the qualities that they possess.

Needs Repairs

When you look at a home that needs to be repaired, you are not likely to find a swarm of interested buyers. Most people who are looking to own a home would like their home to be move-in ready. Even a property that needs a variety of repairs may be perfectly fine for moving in immediately, it just might not boast all of the features or amenities that a turnkey house normally presents. A home that is not attractive and in need of repairs is more likely to get assessed at a low rate, which is good for saving money.

The great thing about this is that maintenance and repairs do not spark a reassessment. This allows you to fix all sorts of problems in the house and not have to worry about increasing your property taxes.

Outdated

Another thing that you should look for in homes is outdatedness. An outdated home is not going to get assessed for as high as a home with modern countertops, windows, garage doors, and more. Being able to change these things will help you transform an old home into a modern, beautiful home. But, you do want to avoid things that require a permit before following through as this would lead to a reassessment.

Low Square Footage

Roofing, flooring, painting, and electrical work are some examples of things that cost more based on how much work needs to be done. With a large property, you will have to buy more flooring material, get more roof shingles, or buy extra cans of paint to take care of the entire home. These little additional expenses add up, but going for a small property in the first place will help to keep these costs down.

Although some of these home qualities may not be desired by some, you can take advantage of them to purchase a property and enjoy homeownership with minimal monthly expenses. Contact a real estate agency that specializes in homes for sale in Waldorf MD.   

3 Marketing Techniques Your Real Estate Agent Should Use To Sell Your Home

If the last time you moved and sold your home was in the 90s, you may not be aware of how things have changed when it comes to real estate marketing. You are no longer limited to putting a sign on your front lawn and placing an ad in the local newspaper. If you want to make sure that your home is sold quickly, make sure your real estate agent is using these 3 marketing techniques.

Social Media Advertising

Your real estate agent should have a good presence on social media. Beyond just having social media accounts, they should be actively posting on them multiple times each week with real information. This includes information that helps people buy and sell their home, as well as featuring homes that they are selling. The goal will be to attract people to their page that are looking for information, and then to get people interested in homes that they represent.

Believe it or not, social media is now how people do business. If someone is interested in your home, it’s possible that they are more comfortable sending an agent a direct message on Twitter than calling them on an actual phone. This form of communication should not be ignored, even if you are not completely familiar with it.

Detailed MLS Listing

When homes are listed for sale, they are posted on the multiple listing service, often referred to as the MLS. Many real estate websites use the information on the MLS to populate their own real estate search engines, so that your home will show up when people search for it on any site.

You will want to make sure that your agent does a detailed posting for the MLS. This includes a detailed description of the house, the neighborhood, and many photos that let people see what it is like. If a potential buyer doesn’t see this information, chances are that they will skip right over it and click on another home.

Video Walk Through

In addition to photos, some real estate agents are creating videos to showcase a home that is for sale. It doesn’t need to be like an episode of MTV Cribs, but potential buyers can really get a feel of a home by watching a video of someone walking through the house. Having a video can really make your home stand out from the rest when people are trying to narrow down their search.

For more information about modern marking techniques that could be used to sell your home, speak to a real estate agent in your area.

Four Things To Know About Open Houses

If you’re in the market for a house, going to an open house, where you can walk in and see the interior of a house for sale without making an appointment with the seller’s agent, is likely one of the tasks on your home-buying to-do list. It’s easy to attend an open house, but you should go with some rules in mind that will help you evaluate the house with more ease. These four things, especially, can help you determine quickly whether the house is one you want to consider.

The Seller Might Not Be There

It’s very common for the seller and all family members to get out of the house during the open-house session. While that helps the seller’s agent avoid awkward questions about neighborhood issues and quirks with the house, that also deprives you of the chance to find out that information for your own use. If you attend an open house and like what you see, plan to drive back around the neighborhood at different times over the next few days to get an idea of what the area is really like. An open house on Saturday morning is not going to let you know what the area is like on Saturday night, for example; a noisy neighborhood could seem a lot quieter early in the morning.

The Appliances Might Not Be Included

It’s no secret that a lot of homes for sale are staged or have furniture and decorations added to make the place look a lot better. That can include appliances, so always go into open houses assuming you’re going to have to provide everything yourself if you buy the house. If it turns out that some of the appliances come with the house, you can treat that as a pleasant surprise.

You’re Looking at More Than Just the House

Obviously you want to see whether the layout of the house looks nice, where it is, and so on. But you also want to see if the surrounding landscaping is sloped away from the home (improper slopes can lead to flooding problems in the building), if any of the surrounding land looks unstable, if there are shallow-rooted trees above the house in hilly neighborhoods, and so on. For example, if you’re buying a home that’s on a hill in an area known for strong winds, having shallow-rooted and fragile-branched trees like eucalyptus — in other words, trees that can fall over or drop branches easily — on the slope next to your home can be a dangerous problem.

Other Buyers Are Walking Billboards

If other people are at the open house, watch the general reactions from everyone as they walk around. If you see many of the other people with unhappy looks, like maybe the house isn’t what they expected, it could be that the price is a lot higher than it should be. Agents try to steer sellers toward prices that are typical for the market, but sometimes sellers want to go a lot higher. You can see whether that’s the case by seeing if others don’t look so impressed.

If you have other questions about open houses and what to look for, talk to a real estate agent who is keeping an eye on housing stock in the area you want to look in. That agent may also have a good idea of what the neighborhood is really like, which will help if the sellers aren’t at the open house.

Four Things To Steer Clear Of When It Comes To Fixer-Upper Homes For Sale

If you are looking to buy a home but you might be on a limited budget, fixer-upper homes might be more appealing. Finding a home in a great neighborhood or on a great lot sometimes can be appealing, even if the home itself needs some work. There are some projects that just might be too big to take on. Here are four potential home problems you should try to avoid when it comes to shopping for your dream fixer-upper.

1. Sold ‘As-Is’

If a home is being sold with no prior inspections, this might be a property that is more in line for contractors. This might include non-permitted work such as extra rooms or a chopped up layout. You might be left with a host of issues that you weren’t aware of and can be outside of your scope to fix. If a home doesn’t have power or water at the time of viewing, take this as a red flag as well.

2. Foundation Problems

If you are looking at old homes in a hilly environment, foundation leveling might be a way of life. While foundation problems aren’t impossible to fix, this might be an added expense that you will need to take on before moving in. Make sure this is something that you can afford to fix in the future as well. Foundation work can be something that is reoccurring with homes on hillsides.

3. Condemned Decks

When looking into fixer-uppers on the market, condemned decks might not be worth the initial work even on an otherwise okay home. If you would like to move forward with a property that might need some exterior work, be sure to bring in an inspector to give you their honest opinion. A deck specialist can let you know replacement costs as this is something you would need to budget time and money to work on immediately.

4. Extensive Water Damage

Whether visible water damage is from flooding or roof problems, both can be hard to fix. Be sure to keep an eye out for water damage on the ceiling and possibly covered up with paint that might show signs of bubbling or warping. Be sure to ask about roof conditions if it seems like leaks might be a problem. If homes are in a flood zone, be sure to look for water damage outside and inside a home to deduce if the location would really be worth the effort.

It’s always a good idea to have a potential home looked at by your real estate agent or inspector. They can quickly give an opinion on if a home might be too much work for you to handle. Sometimes issues can be superficial, such as dated looks and color choices, but if a home as major structural issues, this might not be worth it. Contact a business, such as Macaluso Realty, for more information.