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Nov. 24, 2020

Biggest Homebuyer Turnoffs

 

There’s more to selling your home than simply listing it for sale. There are certain things you should do to prepare your home so that it is ready to show to potential buyers. Don’t make the mistake of overlooking these homebuyer turnoffs before you list your home.

Unkept Exterior

The outside of your home can say a lot about the condition of your home. For one, it is the first thing people see when they look at your home from the street. Secondly, if the outside of your home looks bad, buyers may think you aren’t taking care of the inside of your home either. Make sure you mow your lawn and fix any visible exterior issues so that your home is more inviting.

Clutter

Now that you’ve gotten your home’s exterior taken care of, it’s time to focus on the interior of your home. Clutter can be very unappealing to buyers and can often distract them from the great features of your home. Clear up as much clutter as you can so that buyers can focus on those standout features your home has to offer.

Bad Smells

There’s more to getting your home ready to list than visual appeal and nothing turns off potential buyers quite like bad odor. If your home smells funky, it may not even be your fault. We live in our homes every day and tend to get used to the way they smell, even if they have an unpleasant odor to guests. Before you list your home, make sure you do everything you can to freshen up the place and have your home smelling wonderful for potential buyers.

Bad Lighting

The brighter the better. When your home is dark it can feel unwelcoming. If buyers are looking at your home during the day make sure to open up the blinds and let in as much natural light as possible. If your home doesn’t get great natural lighting, make sure to turn on the lights inside your home to illuminate the house.

Paint Colors

Crazy paint colors are a simple fix but can be a turnoff to potential buyers. If you have kids who wanted pink or blue walls in their bedrooms, it’s time to paint over them before you sell your home. Neutral colors such as white, soft grays or light beige tend to be much more appealing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Home Selling, Home Tips
Nov. 17, 2020

How to Cozy Up Your Home

 

There’s just something about a cozy home that makes people feel good during the colder months. So, if you haven’t already, right now is a great time to cozy up your home! There’s a lot of ways to do this but here are some of our favorites.

Throw Pillows & Blankets… LOTS OF THEM

Nothing says cozy quite like throw pillows and fuzzy blankets. Keep throw pillows on your couches and chairs throughout your home. Add fuzzy blankets close by too so you can grab them when you sit on the couch to read or watch TV. Pillows on blankets will definitely make your space look and feel cozier!

Comfort Food

Warm food during the colder months is not only a great way to warm up but it also is comforting. Plus, making food on the stove or oven will heat your home naturally. Bust out some of your favorite recipes and get cooking!

Soft Surfaces Under Your Feet

Our floors can get pretty cold during the fall and winter months especially on certain flooring like tile and wood. Luckily, there is a way to fix that without cranking up your heat. You can place area rugs in your home and use smaller rugs in certain spots too. You could also get warm slippers to wear around the house.

Add Greenery

Bringing plants into your home is a great way to spruce up the place! Plants and flowers give our homes some much-needed life during the winter months. Even if you don’t want to take care of real, living plants you can always incorporate fake plants throughout your home to give it the same cozy vibes.

Warm Lighting and Candles

Incorporating softer lighting will certainly provide a warmer environment in your home. Dimmer switches on your outlets would help you achieve this easily. Not only will softer lights make your home look and feel cozier, lighting up some candles will help too! Candles create a warm ambiance in your home, and if they are scented, they will fill your home with great smells! Also, if you have a fireplace that’s a perfect way to give your home a cozy feeling.

 

 

Posted in Home Tips
Nov. 12, 2020

Take 5: What To Negotiate When Buying A House

 

Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned veteran, the negotiation part of the transaction can be a little daunting and stressful. However, it is necessary to ensure you are getting the best possible deal for your money. So, what should you negotiate when buying a home?

 

1.     Closing costs. Your closing costs are determined by a variety of factors, but you can expect it to be between 2% to 5% of the purchase price. Ask the seller to cover some or all of the closing costs upfront or request a closing credit that can be used to make specific updates and fixes to the home.

 

2.     Furnishings. Love how the seller has furnished and decorated the home? Buyers often negotiate keeping couches, fixtures, landscaping items, patio furniture, appliances, and more. And many sellers agree, wanting to make the home more appealing.

 

3.     Inspection and closing timing. Buyer offers that include a quick inspection and close timeline are often more attractive to sellers who have been going through the process for far too long. Just ensure you allow yourself ample time to get your financing in place and complete proper, thorough inspections.

 

4.     Home warranty. Sellers will often agree to pay the premium on the home warranty at closing and then hand it off to the new homeowner, who is responsible for the deductible on any future claims.

 

5.     Repairs. Your inspection may uncover small or large repairs needed to bring the home up to standard. You can negotiate to have these items fixed before closing or ask for a price reduction to cover the costs.

 

Nov. 6, 2020

Your Guide to the Home Appraisal

 

You’ve found your dream home and now it’s time to cross all your T's and dot all your I's before it’s all your own. And one of the first items on your closing checklist is the home appraisal. So, what exactly is that?

The home appraisal is essentially a value assessment of the home and property. It is conducted by a certified third party and is used to determine whether the home is priced appropriately.

During a home appraisal, the appraiser conducts a complete visual inspection of the interior and exterior of the home. He or she factors in a variety of things, including the home’s floor plan functionality, condition, location, school district, fixtures, lot size, and more. An upward adjustment is generally made if the home has a deck, a view, or a large yard. The appraiser will also compare the home to several similar homes that were sold within the last six months in the area.

The final report must include a street map showing the property and the ones’ compared, photographs of the interior and exterior, an explanation on how the square footage was calculated, market sales data, public land records, and more.

After it is complete, the lender uses the information found to ensure that the property is worth the amount they are investing. This is a safe-guard for the lender as the home acts as collateral for the mortgage. If the buyer defaults on the mortgage and goes into foreclosure, the lender generally sells the home to recover the money borrowed.

 

Posted in Home Buying
Oct. 29, 2020

How to Have a Safe Halloween in 2020

 

Halloween, like most things this year, is going to look a little bit different in 2020. Public health experts are recommending people not carry on with their typical celebrations, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a fun Halloween! If we have learned anything during the pandemic, it’s that we are capable of adjusting to a new normal. Here are some activities that will make spooky season fun for the whole family this year.

 

Dress Up!

Just because you may not be trick-or-treating doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress up in a costume! Picking a great costume is one of the most fun parts of Halloween. You may not be able to show off your costume at parties this year, but you can still show off your costume by posting them on your social media networks. Even if you can’t flaunt your costume in public, it’s still fun to wear a costume for a day!

 

Pumpkin Carving

Another great Halloween tradition. Pumpkin carving is fun no matter what age you are. Make sure you place your pumpkin on a sturdy surface and cover that surface with newspapers because it can get quite messy. If your kids are carving pumpkins, make sure they are using a dull knife to avoid any injuries. If you want to avoid using knives all together you can also paint or color your pumpkins.

 

Movie Marathon

One of the best parts of the holidays are all the movies that are inspired by them. There are plenty of spooky Halloween movies that are enjoyable for the whole family to watch. You can also have a scary movie marathon, but we don’t recommend that if you are watching with your kids.  

 

Spooky Stories

Grab the flashlights, get the fireplace going and light some candles to set the mood for some ghost stories! If you want to get really creative, each member of your family can create their own story to share.

 

Halloween Treats

You don’t need to go trick-or-treating to get Halloween candy. Besides, Halloween is one day of the year where it’s okay to eat way more junk food than you should. You could always buy candy to share with the family, but you could also make Halloween inspired treats. Monster cookies, caramel apples or even a haunted house cake, the list of things you can make is endless! Your treats will also make great snacks to have during your movie marathon.

 

Taste Testing Candy

Speaking of Halloween treats, a Halloween candy taste testing competition would be a fun activity for the family. Blindfold the taste tester and have them guess which type of candy they are eating. Write down how many each person got right and whoever guesses the most correct wins!

 

 

 

 

Posted in Home Tips
Oct. 19, 2020

Downsizing: What to Do With All Your Stuff?

 

There comes a point in peoples’ lives where they decide that they don’t need the big home they are living in anymore. Of course, there are many different reasons for that. Kids moved away to college, you want to pay less for a home, you’re overwhelmed with the maintenance, etc. Despite the reason, there is one big question people need to answer when they decide they are going to make that move into a small property: What am I going to do with all of my stuff? The bigger the home, the more things we generally want to get to fill it with. However, when you downsize, you likely are going to need to get rid of some things to fit in your new home. Here are some tips on what to do with your stuff when you downsize.

Decide What Matters Most

Just because we own certain items, doesn’t necessarily mean they are important to us. As we said before, it’s human nature to collect things over time especially if we have a larger home because we feel the need to fill it with things. When you downsize you are forced to only keep the important things because let’s face it, not everything you own will comfortably fit in your new home. Take a look at the things you have and decide if they are worth keeping, then follow these next steps.

Keep, Sell, Donate

When you have decided what you are keeping and what you are getting rid of, you will need to separate them into different piles. The things you want to keep, pack them up and label them for your move so you can easily locate them at your new home. For the stuff you no longer want you will need to decide if they are worth selling or if you should donate them. Making money on items you’ve purchased in the past but want to sell now is a nice way to go into your new home with a little extra cash on hand. However, you may not have time to sell everything before you move so you may have to donate a lot of items. Of course, there may be items you can’t sell and may not be able to donate, so you may have to toss some of your things you want to get rid of.

Give Yourself Time

When you get closer, say a month, to your move it may be too late to properly declutter. It will certainly make it hard to sell items you decide to part with. If you know you are planning to start your home search, it may already be a good time to start decluttering, so you aren’t scrambling to get rid of stuff right before your move. Giving yourself a 90-day time before you move to get your items sorted is a good rule of thumb to follow to give yourself plenty of time.

Last Resort

If your home buying process moves quicker than expected and you weren’t able to find the time to sort through all of your things properly, you could rent a storage unit to hold items you aren’t sure what to do with quite yet. There’s certainly nothing wrong with renting a storage unit to hold excess items, but if your goal was to downsize to save money, renting a storage unit could counteract that. Also, when things are out of sight, they are often out of mind so it’s common for storage units to just hold stuff that we may not even miss in the first place.

 

When you downsize, it doesn’t mean you need to get rid of all of the things you love. It’s just a great time to reevaluate the items that matter most to us. It also pushes us to be more minimalistic. You may find that you can live with a lot less than you currently have.

 

 

 

Posted in Real Estate Advice
Oct. 8, 2020

5 Signs It's Time to Sell Your Home

5 Signs It's Time to Sell Your Home

 

Have you outgrown your home? Or has your home outgrown you and your household? Fewer and fewer families expect to stay in their first or second home for the long haul. Here are some factors to determine if you're financially and emotionally ready to sell your house:

  1. Growing or shrinking household -- Are you about to welcome a new baby or take in aging parents? Maybe you're sending your youngest off to college. In any event, if your living space has become too cramped or grown beyond your needs, it may be time to make a move.
  2. Plenty of home equity -- Subtract the value of your home from the amount you have left on your loan. What's left over is the equity -- or the amount you'll have post-sale. After you sell your home, you'll be a buyer again, so having some funds to put down is key.
  3. Interest from potential buyers --You'll want to list when you know buyers are looking. Some experts say late spring is the ideal time to sell, but peak seasons vary by region. Milder weather can increase buyer interest, but that also means more competition from other sellers.
  4. Changing circumstances --Location matters. Whether your neighborhood dynamics are changing, you're unhappy with the schools in your area or a new job significantly increases your commute, your community needs to fit your lifestyle.
  5. Home improvements --Renovations may be a wise investment, but it's best to avoid listing your home in the middle of a project. If you plan to sell your home as is, completing some minor home updates such as new paint and fixtures can be a huge selling point.

Moving is a big decision, one that requires careful consideration. If your needs have changed since you bought your home, don't hesitate to get in touch.

Oct. 7, 2020

Tips for Designing a Functional and Attractive Home-Based Business Workspace

Photo via Pexels

 

Every home-based business owner needs a dedicated workspace. Separating your business from your personal life helps you focus on your work by eliminating distractions and promoting greater productivity. Whether you work as a remote freelancer, provide home-based services to local clients, or sell products online, a great home workspace is essential! Here are some fundamental things to consider as you start designing the perfect home office space.

 

Consider Sizing Up Your Home

 

If your home just doesn’t have enough room to allow your business and personal life to cohabitate, it may be time to upsize to a larger house. Look for a new home with a spare bedroom or a garage you can convert into a workspace. Alternatively, seek out properties that will accommodate a separate structure, similar to a backyard shed or workshop, in which you can set up your business.

 

Just make sure you plan carefully for this major decision, including looking at your budget and searching for home prices that suit it. When you're ready to start the process, the skilled and talented team at Aaron Weber Group can assist you in finding the perfect Madison home, but there’s still more to consider. Look at your mortgage options so you know your exact buying budget. And if your business has been dealing with financial setbacks as a result of COVID-19, know that there are resources available that can help you stay afloat including government programs and private grants.

 

Don’t Neglect Security

 

After choosing a location for your business workspace, security should be your next priority. According to CNBC, over 40% of cyber attacks specifically target small businesses, the majority of which are forced to shut down within six months. So, it’s essential that you protect the future of your business with a good virus protection plan. There are several things you can do to improve the security of your home-based business, from investing in new antivirus software for your devices to protecting customer data in cloud-based storage systems with strong encryption and multi-factor authentication.

 

Think About Your Work Style

 

When it comes to the actual design and layout of your home-based workspace, pay attention to function over aesthetics. Everyone works differently. Depending on the kind of work you do, you may need to come up with a unique office setup to meet your needs. If you do a lot of handwriting or sketching, for example, you will need a much larger desk than if you do most of your work on a computer. Incorporate enough storage into your workspace so you can keep all of your supplies out of the way. Storage space is especially important if you hold inventory. For simple storage options, lidded bins (a pack of six sells for less than $60 on Amazon) can do the trick.

 

Focus on Customer Comfort

 

Will you be meeting with clients or customers in your home workspace? Make sure they feel comfortable coming to your home. If you can’t build a separate building on your property, make sure your workspace has its own entrance. This way, your clients won’t have to walk through your home to reach your office. It’s also wise to secure a convenient spot for guest parking and paying attention to your home’s curb appeal. These elements can say a lot about your business, so make sure they’re giving off the right first impression.

 

Choose the Right Aesthetic

 

Finally, make sure the design of your office makes you feel energized and motivated. Add sufficient lighting to prevent eye strain and create a relaxed mood, incorporate some plants for refreshing greenery, and choose paint colors that promote productivity. Yellow paint is great for boosting motivation and creativity while blue and green hues tend to be more calming. Choose a color theme for your office that helps you feel positive and focused throughout your workday.

 

Designing a home workspace is bound to improve your productivity and help you take your business to new levels. Plus, it can be a lot of fun to design a dedicated space for your independent venture. From picking out the perfect space to painting the walls, there’s a lot to consider, so start planning your design today!

 

 

For trusted and skilled real estate service, contact the Aaron Weber Group at 608-556-4179 to see what they can do for you!

 

 

 

Posted in Home Design, Home Tips
Oct. 5, 2020

Fall Home Maintenance Guide

 

We are in full swing of the fall season, which means it’s probably a good time to take care of your fall maintenance checklist. With cold winter weather just months away, our homes will require a little upkeep to make sure they stay in great shape! Luckily, we got you covered with a list. Here are some fall maintenance tasks you should take care of.

Yard Upkeep

Fall is one of the prettiest seasons in Wisconsin because of all the leaves changing colors. Those colorful leaves will eventually end up all over your yard. Raking your yard will be important for your yard’s sake. If you don’t rake your yard before winter comes, the leaves may affect the growth of your grass when spring comes around.

Clear the Gutters

Leaves don’t only cover your yard; they will likely get caught up in your gutters too. Making sure you clean your gutters to rid them of any buildup will help ensure that your exterior won’t suffer any water damage. So, clear those gutters so water can flow smoothly to keep your home safe from any damage.

Inspect the Roof

Since you’re trying to avoid any water damage by clearing your gutters, it may not be a bad idea to check your roof for leaks. Even if you think your roof is intact, now would be a good time to double-check before your roof is full of snow and ice.

Switch Off Outside Faucets

When pipes freeze, they can burst and will require some costly repairs. Before we hit freezing temperatures, turn off valves to outside faucets and make sure you drain the line to get any excess water out.

Close Off Air Leaks

The cold air will find a way to creep into our homes through small holes and cracks around our home. Fortunately, fixing those issues is fairly easy! Caulking and weatherstripping your home should take care of most leaks. Making sure your home is sealed from the outside wind will certainly save you money on your energy bill.

Check Safety Devices

 

Periodically checking smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are working properly is important for your family’s safety. If any of your devices need a change of battery, do so as soon as you can so they are working for you. It’s also a good idea to check that your fire extinguisher is not expired.

 

 

Posted in Home Tips
Sept. 23, 2020

WHAT TO DO WITH AN UNFINISHED BASEMENT

 

 

Although currently dimly lit and a little rough on the eyes, your unfinished basement still has a lot of potentials. With just a little love and the help of the following ideas, you can spice it up in no time and get some great use out of the space.

 

1.    1. Add a pop of color. Give your basement a whole different look without a big renovation by adding some color to space. Consider painting and sealing the floors, opening up the room by painting the rafters white or a light color, or creating a bold accent wall.

 

2.    2. Divide the space. Want to make your basement a multi-use room? Partition out the area by installing an inexpensive curtain system. This can be done either with a curtain track or a simple wire, some hooks, and curtains will suffice.

 

3.    3. Add foam mats. Whether you’d like to use the basement as a home gym to get a quick workout in or a place for the kids to play and rough house, adding some foam mats into the mix is a great and easy solution. They come in various colors and can quickly be picked up and tucked away if need be.

 

4.   4. Use a large rug. As an alternative to adding mats, find a large, eye-catching rug to be used as a focal point, and furnish the area around it.

 

5.   5. Add lighting. Basements often offer very little built-in lighting and few outlets around the room. Consider stringing café lighting across space from the rafters to give a nice ambiance and glow without any difficult electrical work.

Posted in Home Design