Thursday, March 30, 2017 / by Joseph Pfeffer
Warmer Weather Means More Critter Activity
Hampton Roads is a wonderful mix of urban and green places. We can all appreciate our wildlife refuges and habitats, which many of us can view from our own backyards. The hummingbirds feeding from your spring flowers are captivating; the five foot long black snake you find living under your front porch, not so much, even though the black snake will help keep other pest populations (like mice) out of your crawlspace. If you find unwelcome critters have taken up residence in your home or yard:
- Stay calm! Try not to frighten or corner an animal that is already wary of you. Keep children and pets away from the animal(s).
- Contact the right organization for help with removal, if necessary. Some local resources may be found at www.pestworld.org, local humane societies (for animals such as raccoons or possum), or https://www.vbgov.com/residents/animals-pets/Pages/animal-control.aspx.
- Plan ahead! Ten or fifteen minutes of onli ...
Thursday, March 9, 2017 / by Matthew Moffit
Sunday, March 12 daylight savings time begins, which really translates into losing an hour of sleep, an hour of socializing, or an hour of work, depending on your schedule. If you are getting ready to sell your home, the warmer weather gives you an opportunity to get the yard in perfect condition, attracting more potential buyers. Some easy things DIY things you can start with:
- Trim bushes and branches; set pots of bright flowers on your porch or front walkway.
- Install new, matching locks and knobs on your front door.
- Repair any cracks or holes in the driveway, and clean oil spots with degreaser and a steel brush.
- Edge the grass around walkways and trees; stow your garden tools and hoses out of sight, and clear kids’ toys from the lawn.
- Buy a new mailbox.
- Upgrade your outdoor lighting and purchase a new doormat for outside your front door; polish or replace your house numbers.
- Clean your windows, inside and out.
- Mow your lawn. ...
Thursday, February 16, 2017 / by Matthew Moffit
It's a lot of work getting your home ready to sell. Generally, the following things should be the first on your list:
Organize and clean.
Pare down clutter and pack up your least-used items, such as large blenders and other kitchen tools, out-of-season clothes, toys, and seasonal items. Store items off-site or in boxes neatly arranged in the garage or basement. Clean the windows, carpets, walls, lighting fixtures, and baseboards to make the house shine.
Get replacement estimates.
Do you have big-ticket items that will need to be replaced soon? Find out how much it will cost to repair an older roof or replace worn carpeting, even if you don’t plan to do so. The figures will help buyers determine if they can afford the home, and they’ll be handy when negotiations begin.
Spruce up the curb appeal.
Pretend you’re a prospective buyer seeing the property for the first time. As you approach the front door, what is your impression of the property? Do the lawn and ...
Wednesday, February 8, 2017 / by Joseph Pfeffer
Surveys of homebuyers show they wish they had known more about what to expect before buying a home. Some of the most common:
- How the home inspection really works.
- How often negotiation happens throughout the transaction.
- How to avoid being taken advantage of.
- How long it really takes to buy a home.
To receive a copy of the survey, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, with the email address you would like it sent to.
Have a great week!
Monday, January 23, 2017 / by Joseph Pfeffer
How much is my home worth? If you enter this question into your preferred internet search engine, the results are immediate and inundating. That doesn't mean you're getting a true picture of your home's current market value. Generally, real property (in layman's terms, your home) value is influenced by:
- Physical factors, such as location or topography
- Economic factors, like availability of credit or the amount of inventory available (lots houses for sale but few buyers, or lots of buyers but not many houses for sale)
- Political factors, such as taxation regulations
- Social factors, such as population shifts
The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP, www.uspap.org), which generally defines appraisal standards in the United States, defines market value as the kind of value a property should bring in a competitive and open market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale. Just like the stock market, where stock values change according to market c! ...