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Putting Your Home on the Market

by Jutta "Utah" Burden

Selling your home in The Woodlands, Spring, North Houston, Magnolia, ExxonMobil areaWith ExxonMobil moving in, many home owners in the area are thinking our real estate market is hot and this would be a prime time to sell their house and buy their next dream home.  Well, they are definitely right. Here are some great tips to get you ready.

1. Have a pre-sale home inspection. Be proactive by arranging for a pre-sale home inspection. An inspector will be able to give you a good indication of the trouble areas that will stand out to potential buyers, and you’ll be able to make repairs before open houses begin.

2. 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 exercise equipment. 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.

3. Get replacement estimates. Do you have big-ticket items that are worn our or will need to be replaced soon, such your roof or carpeting? Get estimates on how much it would cost to replace them, even if you don’t plan to do it yourself. The figures will help buyers determine if they can afford the home, and will be handy when negotiations begin.

4. Find your warranties. Gather up the warranties, guarantees, and user manuals for the furnace, washer and dryer, dishwasher, and any other items that will remain with the house. 5. Spruce up the curb appeal. Pretend you’re a buyer and stand outside of your home. As you approach the front door, what is your impression of the property? Do the lawn and bushes look neatly manicured? Is the address clearly visible? Are pretty flowers or plants framing the entrance? Is the walkway free from cracks and impediment.

Learn More About Selling Your Home at SellTheWoodlands.com

Should You Become a Landlord?

by Jutta "Utah" Burden

Should You Become a Landlord?

 

Have you ever thought about becoming a landlord? Now may be a good time. The Urban Institute released a report with data detailing how the number of baby boomer renters is going to spike in the next 15 years. Because this phenomenon is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for property owners and landlords, you can think about the benefits and costs associated with renting out a property.

The number of baby boomer renters is expected to more than double from 2010 to 2030, so weigh your options to determine whether or not you should invest in rental property, becoming a landlord. 

Why you should become a landlord 

  • It's a medium for long-term wealth. The road to long-term wealth is a reason you should become a landlord, because you can make an investment in an apartment building and then collect rent from the residents to make money over time.    
  • It's a route to retirement savings. This secret to adequate retirement savings is a second reason you should become a landlord, given that you can put the extra income into a retirement account alongside your Social Security and 401(k) income.   
  • It's an avenue to extra cash. A source of extra cash is a third reason you should become a landlord, because you can borrow money to buy a building, let the renters pay off the mortgage and then profit from the net income after every set of bills is paid.   

Why you should not become a landlord

  • It's a time-consuming endeavor. The guarantee of a secure financial future comes at a price if you're a landlord, because you'll have to dedicate time at night and on the weekends to making repairs, dealing with tenants and more. 
  • It's a risky pastime. This prosperous retirement plan is the result of hard work if you become a landlord, given that you will have to solve conflicts with subcontractors, lenders and business partners.
  • It's an uncertain undertaking. A plump savings account is the end goal of your time in real estate as a landlord, because you will have to balance your flow of loans and tenants successfully to stay afloat.

Despite the drawbacks, however, it can be a great opportunity, and it's worth thinking about. The number of seniors living in rental units is expected to go from 5.8 million to 12.2 million over the course of the next two decades. Because this trend is something every property owner and landlord should pay attention to moving forward, it's also a unique opportunity for you to become a landlord and cater to this growing population of baby boomer renters. 

A plan to invest in a rental property to work as a landlord could pay off over the next few years, so decide today whether or not this occupation is right for you to help secure your financial future. If you want to explore investment properties, give us a call.

 

Magnolia Minute!

by Jutta "Utah" Burden

Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) #12751

But,  there are also some unexpected surprises!  There is a “village” just up highway 1774 for Magnolia that magically appears for two months each year!  Of course, I am referring to The Texas Renaissance Festival!  During the dates of October 1 through November 28 this 53 acre site transforms into a fantasy land… our own Texas Disney World! 

I was walking out of HEB at Market Street with my friend.  She just relocated from Arizona to a wonderful acreage in the Magnolia area.  She spotted an advertisement for the Festival and was immediately curious.  The directions on the website were foreign to her, but when I knew it was just down 1488 just 10 miles from my friend‘s home.  With the opening of Woodlands Parkway and 2978 it is an easy hop up to 1488, west to Magnolia and right up 1774.  I convinced her that she would not see Arizona cowboys, but she may see some Scottsmen in kilts and fierce Norse warriors.  But, I assured her that her entire family would have a great time! 

I remember he first time I set foot on the site I thought I was at the town center of the Woodlands except a few centuries earlier!  This was a village with over 340 shops!  Could that do some financial damage!?  Yes, of course!  There was shopping, entertainment and dining for nearly everyone and every age!  There were funky little jewelry shops, hand hewn furniture, clothes and costumes.  

I don’t know what she expected, but the next time I saw her she assured me it was a blast!  Running from the first week of October through the end of November, there is a theme for each weekend.  Don’t miss it! A Magnolia Minute 

Magnolia, Texas is the place to live in if you want the comforts of a country home and conveniences of a city lifestyle.

 Selling  homes in Magnolia !

 

 

 

Woodlands Realtor

by Jutta "Utah" Burden

In The Market

Are you in the market for a Woodlands realtor? If so, then you have made a fantastic first step in the process of buying a new home for yourself and your growing family. Navigating the real estate market is not something that any average civilian should attempt, as it can be confusing and filled with jargon that is of no significance outside that specific market. A Woodlands realtor can assist you in comprehending the complex system that is the housing market. No one should feel alone in the house hunting process and a Woodlands realtor will ensure that you do not have that feeling of hopelessness that accompanies attempting to purchase a home without professional assistance. A Woodlands realtor can assist you in analyzing the pricing of a specific neighborhood, finding a listing that fits your personal wish list and scoring a deal that is fair for both you and the seller. A Woodlands realtor is an invaluable resource during the mind-boggling process of attempting to find the perfect home. Be sure to get into contact with a Woodlands realtor today and ensure that your experience in the real estate market goes as smoothly as possible.

Being A Woodlands Realtor

Being a Woodlands realtor means that you are daily dealing with properties in a localized area. This experience gives the realtor a knowledge base that provides them with the historical facts necessary to assess the reasonability of prices of specific properties. Knowing whether properties in the area traditionally sell for a certain amount or close at a different amount assists a Woodlands realtor in making rational expert judgments about whether or not a listing is priced reasonably. Do not be the buyer who simply takes the sticker price blindly. Be sure to consult a Woodlands realtor in order to ensure that you are not being overcharged in an area that is usually priced significantly lower than the asking price on your prospective property.

Property Search

A Woodlands realtor can also assist you in mastering the real estate system and locating a property to fits each and every criterion that you hope to find in your new home. It can be extremely confusing to attempt to search through every last listing in the Woodlands, hunting for that gem property that gives you everything that you want. A Woodlands realtor is skilled in finding that perfect property with effortless ease. Let a Woodlands realtor work their magic for you and score that real estate listing that rises to even your highest standards.

Negotiating A Final Price

When negotiating a final price on a listing, a Woodlands realtor is well practiced in the art of sealing the deal. In order to find a comfortable middle ground between the buyer and the seller, a realtor must have fantastic people skills and the ability to solve complicated problems. The average house hunter does not have this adept ability and should most definitely call in a professional to do the job. There is a reason that they are the Woodlands realtor and you are not. You simply specialize in a different field. Imagine someone coming in and telling you that they could perform the job that you do on a daily basis more efficiently without any training. That is ludicrous, right?

Woodlands Realtor

When hunting for a home in the Woodlands, a Woodlands realtor is an essential confidant that you should not attempt to go without. There is no reason that you should be expected to scramble through the maze of house hunting without an experienced advisor at your service. Call a Woodlands realtor today and begin your search for a home in the Woodlands, the smart way.

Tips To Buy Real Estate; the Woodlands and Magnolia Texas Properties

by Jutta "Utah" Burden

 

Tips To Buy Real Estate; the Woodlands and Magnolia Texas Properties

The economy is slowly seeing a resurrection after the
collapse that happened some years back. So these are the times to invest in
real estate
. The Woodlands and Magnolia Texas regions have experienced a real
estate boom. Over the past decade, people have preferred these places due to
various factors.

When buying real estate, you have to consider some
basics. The following are some tips to buy properties without overshooting your budget.

Pre-approved home loan

Apply for a loan from a bank. Get it ready. By doing
this, you are ready to shop for real estate. The Woodlands and Magnolia Texas
real estate scene is blooming. When you have your loan papers ready, all you
need to do is find a property. This is better than finding a property and then
checking your loan eligibility.

When you already know your loan eligibility, you know
which properties to look for. You will look for real estate that is within your
buying power.

Find out about financing options

Banks provide numerous financing options for the
benefit of their customers. Get information on low down payments. Some banks
provide first time purchaser schemes. There is a new type of financing called
interest-only financing. You may get this loan faster, but read the fine print
before you commit on anything.

You can also avail down payment grants to buy real
estate. The Woodlands and Magnolia Texas real estate prices could also be a
touch expensive. A high down payment should not crush your dreams of buying a
property. And down payment grants help you navigate through this situation.

Sell your home before buying a new one

When you sell your existing home, you have cash in hand
to purchase a new one. You can make an offer to a prospective seller if you
have cash in hand. A seller would need some immediate cash to pay off a bank
loan. When you have cash in hand, the seller views you as a potential buyer and
a way to pay off the existing bank loan on the property. And in the bargain,
you may also get a lesser buying price.

Vacant real estate has more value

There is no doubt that there is more value for vacant
real estate. The Woodlands and Magnolia Texas property prices appreciate or
depreciate based on economic conditions. But vacant real estate always has
increasing value.

Consult a realtor who can help you see vacant real
estate sites. Within the urban regions it could be expensive. So don’t rule out
the opportunity to look for vacant sites on the outskirts. What are outskirts today
could become residential, urban, sub-urban and commercial centers in the
future. Spread your investments wisely. If you are new to the area, you may
have to rely on real estate agents.

Buying properties is not easy as it looks. It is a huge
investment that you are making. Probably an investment of your lifetime. So
invest wisely in real estate. The Woodlands and Magnolia Texas real estate prices
are sure to reward you in the future.

7 Ways to Make Your Home Smell Nice

by Jutta "Utah" Burden

smell niceRather than spraying chemical-laden, store-bought air fresheners, choose one of these seven natural ways to make your living space smell a little delicious!

1. INVEST IN HOUSE PLANTS: Have your favorite plants and herbs growing in your kitchen, living room and bathroom in small pots. Green plants will help reduce indoor air pollution and keep clean air circulating in your space.

2. SAVE YOUR CITRUS FRUIT SKINS: Save the peels of oranges, lemons, limes and other citrus fruits. You can place them in boiling water to have a fresh aroma in the kitchen, or run them in your garbage disposal with boiling water. Also, put some citrus skins in your vacuum bag the next time you vacuum your carpet.

3. DILUTE ESSENTIAL OIL WITH WATER IN A SPRAY BOTTLE: You can spray your furniture and carpet to make the whole room smell a specific scent. To diversify, you can have different scents for different areas of your home. For example: lavender for the living room, sandalwood for your bedroom and peppermint for the bathroom.

4. PLACE BOWLS OF WHITE VINEGAR IN CORNERS OF THE ROOM: The vinegar will neutralize and absorb any offensive odors.

5. PLACE FABRIC SOFTENER IN YOUR SHOES AND CLOSET: It will take away any stale clothing smells. For another closet air freshener, place a cedar block at the bottom of your closet. Use sandpaper for a new layer once a year.

6. LIGHT SOY CANDLES INSTEAD OF REGULAR CANDLES: Soy candles are longer-lasting, preferred for the environment and have a more robust smell. (They are also safer than carcinogen- emitting candles.)

7. BAKE BREAD OR COOK YOUR OWN MEALS: Few things are as welcoming as the smell of freshly baked bread or the herbs of a home-cooked dinner.

Woodlands Real Estate Agent,

SellTheWoodlands.com

Know Your Expenses Before You Buy

by Jutta "Utah" Burden

For many, home ownership is still a dream. Moving from renting can seem like it’s an impossible mission. But if you plan ahead and carefully budget, the goal of home ownership can be yours.

When budgeting how much home you can afford, it’s important to understand and anticipate the costs of owning and maintaining a home. Here are a few things that some first-time buyers forget to include. 

Private Mortgage Insurance

This is added on to your mortgage when the down payment is less than 20 percent. You can buy a home with less money but you’ll pay the PMI which covers the lender should a home buyer default on the loan. As you build up equity, your PMI drops off.

Taxes

Property taxes generate revenue for municipalities, counties, and schools. It’s an expense that can vary across the U.S. However, on average, it’s 1.38 percent of the home’s value. Back East tends to have the highest property taxes.

HOA Fees

Homeowners’ Association fees (HOA) can add several hundred dollars to your monthly household expenses. These HOAs help to maintain common areas, typically within condominium complexes. They also govern what can be done to the unit and the surrounding area. While there is an up side to HOAs, some buyers prefer to have more freedom over their property, perhaps, until the neighbor paints his house turquoise with red accents.

Homeowner’s insurance

Lenders require homeowner’s insurance on your property. The amount you’ll pay depends on many variables including: where you live, the age, type, size of your home. For example, older homes can cost more to insure due to the fact that they may require more repairs than newer homes. Also, high-hazard areas can cost more to insure and some insurance companies may not offer an insurance policy for your home, if you’re in a high-risk area.

Utilities and appliances

These areas can be overlooked because, often, when people are renting the appliances are taken care of. When you own your own home, be sure to consider expenses such as the water heater or dishwasher breaking down. While, you can’t exactly figure out when an appliance is going to quit working, you can set a monthly allowance aside to start establishing a household repair fund. Just don’t touch the account or when you really need it, you’ll find it’s not there for you.

Inspections, appraisals, and closing costs

Many buyers understand they will have closing costs but they fail to budget for other items such as a home inspection. Sometimes inspections are paid for by the seller but it’s usually the buyer who pays for the inspection. And, even if the homeowner recently had a home inspection and has the report, a buyer still might want to pay for an inspector to have another look to compare the findings.

Depending on the home, there may also be other inspections such as for lead paint, pests or radon gas.

While the extra expenses do add up quickly, if you carefully budget and plan ahead, the goal of home ownership is achievable and very satisfying.

 

 

Realtors An Invaluable Resource

by Jutta "Utah" Burden

Realtors An Invaluable Resource

Realtors in Magnolia Texas can be an invaluable resource throughout the real estate property hunting process. First time homebuyers may be tempted to stray on their own without a realtor in Magnolia Texas, relying on online resources to view and select properties to visit. Though this is most definitely a great resource for prospective real estate buyers, nothing can top the expertise of a professional realtor in the home buying process. Realtors in Magnolia Texas specialize in dealing on a daily basis with the issues that come along with the property hunting business. Realtors know what properties are priced reasonably and where a diamond in the rough can be found. When it comes to the real estate purchasing business, realtors are the experts that everyone should consult. No prospective buyer should be deceived by the idea that they can find everything that they need to know online. You simply cannot get the same valuable advice that realtors can provide from an online listing service. Seek out the assistance of a realtor if you are considering purchasing a home in the near future. You will be glad you did.

Local Realtors in Magnolia Texas

Local realtors in Magnolia Texas have looked at properties in the exact same areas that you are considering buying in. However, unlike you, realtors have the knowledge of the average pricing of the homes in that area. While the figures that you find on online listing services can tell you how a seller’s asking price compares to the asking price of other sellers in that area, it cannot provide you with background information as to whether any of these asking prices are realistic to what homes in that area have historically sold for. Realtors dealing in the local market can let you know when a price is outrageously priced compared to the listings in that area that have sold recently. Realtors can help you to make the personal decision as to whether or not the asking price on a home is reasonable, but also whether or not that asking price is negotiable. Negotiating the price on a home is tricky business. However, it is tricky business that realtors encounter on a daily basis. Do not attempt to do the job of a realtor and negotiate your own deal. Without background information on the pricing of homes in that area, you are clueless as to the reasonability of the sticker price on the property you are considering purchasing without realtors.

Identifying Red Flag Issues

Realtors can also assist homebuyers in identifying red flag issues with a listing that may have gone unnoticed because of a bargain asking price. No one wants to be fooled by a seller in Magnolia Texas who is hiding issues with a property that will soon cost them a sizeable amount of money. Realtors assist prospective buyers in noticing issues that may not be noticeable to an untrained eye. Once again, this is a profession. Realtors see issues with listings on a daily basis. Realtors can identify the trends in these issues and then are quick to spot them out when they see them in a different property. Do not let your naivety allow you to purchase a bargain priced home simply because you think that you can get it quickly and cheaply. Have a realtor take you on a tour of this home and take a look at some common issues that may incur hidden costs. You will be thankful that you identified any issues before closing a deal with a seller so that you can negotiate those values into the closing costs. However, if you do not have the assistance of a realtor, you may not identify the issue before closing and you may end up footing the bill yourself.

Magnolia Texas Realtors

Realtors are professionals whose advise is extremely valuable to the prospective homebuyer IN Magnolia Texas. Whether it is dealing with the sticker price of a home or the condition of a home that is going cheap, realtors have the expertise to assist you in assessing the situation with a level head.

Relocating?

by Jutta "Utah" Burden

There are many things to consider when you’re relocating.  Packing, finding boxes, moving, paper work, and staying sane while your family drives you crazy are just a few of many things you will have to juggle when relocating. With these tips, you can salvage a bit of your sanity.

Ask for help. Why spend more money than you have to? Buying boxes can be a big pain, so being on the lookout for free boxes should be a priority. Look around for places you shop, friends and families that have a surplus of boxes, or inquire in offices for boxes. While you’re at it, ask your friends if they can help you move, or if you could borrow a few moving tools!

Pack with finesse. Don’t throw everything in boxes without thinking; be a bit conscientious when you pack. By having a plan of attack when you pack, you can make an easier unpack! Place the important items together while leaving unimportant items in the same box. Label your boxes, so you immediately know the general items in the box. Coordinate which boxes will go into what room.

Don’t cook food. After a day of moving, the last thing on your mind is cooking your family a nice meal. Research the area and find a delivery service. Granted, you might be limited to only pizza or Chinese, but it’s better than eating nothing! Ask your new neighbors if they have any suggestions, this could be a great way to introduce yourself to them. Look at reviews before you order. I’ve heard some horrific pizza delivery stories.

Slow down. One reason you may be stressed out is because you are on high speed. Take a deep breath and slow down. One way to make a move easier is to move in your new place little by little. You can also use a storage unit to make it a bit easier. Moving doesn’t have to happen all at once. Take a deep breath and take it slow.

 

 

The Woodlands Homes For Sale

by Jutta "Utah" Burden

Homes for sale in the Woodlands are of plenty, almost too plenty. When looking for a new home, prospective buyers have trouble narrowing down the number of homes for sale in The Woodlands that fit their wish lists. For this reason, it is important to consider a few questions before you begin browsing the never-ending list of homes for sale in the Woodlands. Are you looking for a property with a large amount of land? How many bedrooms do you think that your family will require in your home? What kind of neighborhood are you looking to live in? Knowing the answers to these simple questions can assist a prospective buyer greatly in eliminating homes for sale in The Woodlands that are not a perfect fit for them. Searching for new homes for sale can be a really confusing process. Being able to narrow down the number of properties that you are considering during the house hunt can simplify the process to make it more bearable.

Real Estate Land

Land is both a blessing and a burden in the real estate industry. While some families are thrilled to purchase homes for sale with multiple acres of land, others are terrified by the responsibilities that will accompany that land. Just be sure to make note of whether extra land is a positive or negative factor for you. If you are a city slicker who is allergic to grass, it may be best that you avoid acreage that would force you to venture through the tall grass on the daily walk to your car. However, if you have a love for large animals and want to purchase a few horses for your home, be sure to let your real estate agent know that you are searching for homes for sale with large animal friendly property with multiple acres of space.

Number Of Bedrooms

The number of bedrooms that you look for in homes for sale depends on how many members of your family will be living on the property. Often, families are also looking to have an extra bedroom for any impromptu guests or family members who arrive unexpectedly in town. The number of bedrooms in homes for sale in The Woodlands vary greatly. Just go into the process with an idea of what the best number of bedrooms would be for your specific family.

The Woodlands Neighborhood

What kind of neighborhood you wish to live in is another preference that you should decide upon before beginning your search for homes for sale in The Woodlands. Make a decision as to whether you think you want an older or newer neighborhood, whether you want that neighborhood to be gated and what kind of community facilities you expect from your new neighborhood selection. Let your real estate agent know what your preferences are in this category as soon as possible. One of the easiest ways to narrow down the pool of homes for sale for each prospective buyer is to zone in on the neighborhoods that they would most like to purchase properties in. If you are completely against seeing homes for sale in a particular neighborhood, do not keep this from your realtor. Every second is precious in the house hunting process. Do not waste a single minute looking at homes for sale in a neighborhood that you would never consider living in.

The Woodlands Homes For Sale

If you are ready to begin your search for homes for sale in The Woodlands, start doing some hard thinking about the questions above and really be sure that you are honest with yourself as you devise concrete answers. Looking for homes for sale in The Woodlands can be exhausting. Answering the questions above and keeping those answers in your head while shopping around for homes for sale can be extremely helpful.

 

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