Spring is right around the corner, so it’s time for spring cleaning.
Though you spend time year-round doing typical housekeeping tasks like washing dishes, dusting and vacuuming, this is a good time to go the extra mile to deep-clean and refresh those neglected spots in your home.
Not sure where to begin with your 2023 spring cleaning? Here are five tasks that should be on your radar.
Wash windows and doors.
Each door and window needs a good washing inside and out. Be sure to rinse the screens and wipe out the window casings. You should also clean your window treatments — both blinds and curtains.
Clean out kitchen spaces.
Make sure to clean your dishwasher and oven, then wash and reorganize the interior of your fridge. If it’s been a while since you’ve cleaned your pantry, tackle that next. Be sure to throw out any old or expired food products.
Dust the vents and ceiling fans.
Give your vents and ceiling fans a good wipe-down. You should also replace your air filters if you haven’t in a bit. Typically, they should be replaced every three months for optimal HVAC performance, so this is a good time to start keeping track of that schedule.
Clean or vacuum furniture and upholstery.
Furniture can get quite dirty over time. Pull up couch cushions to vacuum under them, then vacuum the cushions too. You can also carefully wipe down leather furniture and vacuum your mattress.
Tidy up outside.
Take some time to work on curb appeal, too. Tidy up the deck or patio, pick up any stray kids’ or dog toys, and spray down your outside furniture. You may also want to refresh your landscaping while you’re at it.
Are you getting your home ready to sell? Get in touch with us for expert help today.
You’re probably well aware that the real estate market is more competitive than ever (due to low inventory, among other things).
Still, it’s not a bad time to buy a house. Mortgage rates are low, home values are on the rise and, in many cases, buying is still more affordable than renting.
Are you considering purchasing a house in today’s fast-paced market? Here are five tips that can help.
Get preapproved. Applying for a mortgage preapproval is critical in a competitive market. Not only can it give you a good price range to shop in, but it can also help sellers feel more confident in your offers (and maybe even choose yours over others).
Be flexible. If you can be flexible on your closing date or willing to waive a contingency or two, it will often work in your favor. Sellers are looking for the easiest, most lucrative sale in most cases. We can discuss what makes sense for you when the time comes.
Make a decent earnest money deposit. Earnest money deposits are “good faith” deposits that indicate how serious you are about a home purchase. A larger deposit may help your offer stand out.
Be prepared to bid more than the asking price. Consider searching in a lower-than-maximum price range so that you have room to bid upward if necessary. In many cases, you’ll need to increase your bid to compete with other buyers, so maxing out your budget from the start probably isn’t the best strategy.
Be patient (but stay alert). In the current conditions, you may not find what you’re looking for immediately. On the other hand, things could start moving quickly at any time. To find success, remember that communication and flexibility are key.
It can be challenging to buy a house in today’s market — but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Reach out today if you need assistance.
Smart tech has come a long way for homeowners. With the right tools, you no longer have to get up to turn on lights or change the thermostat. Have a habit of forgetting to lock the front door or turn on your porch light at night? Smart home tech can help with that, too.
Are you thinking of installing a few smart devices in your home? Here are some of the most popular and practical options to consider:
This includes motion-activated doorbell cameras, door locks with timers and garage doors controlled by smartphone apps. These technologies can offer peace of mind for homeowners who live alone and added independence to anyone with limited mobility.
Motion detecting exterior lights are the most publicized in this category. However, there are also indoor sensors that control lights as you enter and exit a room or open and close pantry doors. And Wi-Fi-enabled lightbulbs allow you to customize mood lighting throughout the house. These options offer convenience while at home and added security when you’re away.
Virtually all appliances come in smart versions today -- from kitchen scales with built-in recipes to Bluetooth-enabled slow cookers to washers and dryers that let you schedule your laundry loads. These can make housework more manageable for those on a busy schedule.
These smart home tools do more than give you traffic updates. Using IFTTT (If This, Then That) customization, they can create a truly connected home. For example, they can turn on specific lights when your TV comes on or open the garage door when you get within a certain distance of the property. And they allow you to voice-activate many of your smart tech commands.
Smart home devices are also one of the most in-demand features with today’s homebuyers. Installing them could increase your property’s long-term value and marketability.
If you’re considering a new home, or have questions about your home’s value, get in touch today
Making the right offer is crucial when you have your eye on a home.
Offer too little, and you may get passed over for the next buyer. Offer too much, and you may need to reevaluate your budget for furnishings or upgrades. This can be one of the most challenging parts of buying a new property.
Want to make sure you have a strong offer at a price you can afford? Here’s when you might offer above, below and at the listing price.
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 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.
Visit https://www.grapevinerealty.com/contact-us.html to contact us for more information!
Your paint choices have a significant impact on your home.
Not only can color determine your living space's overall aesthetic, but it can also influence your mood and set the right tone for your guests.
Do you want your space to feel comfy and serene or trendy and dramatic? Or maybe your family's style is somewhere in between.
Here are five color inspirations that can enhance your mood and your home.
You’ve always been told that owning a home is the ultimate American dream.
Imagine renovating your master bath into a mini spa or choosing your favorite appliances for your dream kitchen. Or just getting to repaint whatever room you want. Plus, there’s the potential for financial gain when you own.
But renting has its own advantages: flexibility, a smaller financial commitment and the chance to try before you buy.
So when do you know it’s time to take the plunge on a purchase? Answer these questions to see which side of the rent vs. buy debate you might land on:
Why do you want to buy?
Sure, owning a home might be the great American dream — but is it your dream?
For some, the idea of a home where you can raise a family, be close to schools and build a community is enticing. For others, buying is a great investment. But for many, it’s about freedom: the ability to keep pets, renovate and be independent.
Will you stay in the area?
No one has a crystal ball — but knowing how long you plan to live in an area can help as you consider the pros and cons of buying. Generally, longer stays align with purchasing.
If the thought of travel fills you with more passion than the idea of settling down in your dream property, you may not be ready for your forever home. But there’s always the possibility of turning your house into an investment property.
What can you afford?
While renting usually costs less in the short term than purchasing property, owning a home can build long-term net worth. A rent vs. buy calculator can help you understand the costs of each option.
Don’t have the deposit for your dream home now? That doesn’t mean you can’t buy. We can work together to find affordable homes, and there are plenty of low or no down payment mortgage options.
Have questions about buying or financing your purchase? Let’s discuss your next steps
Your house looks beautiful. You’ve cleaned, decluttered, cleaned more, and followed the advice of a professional stager. How can your family continue to live there without ruining it?
You need a place to put your keys, the mail, the TV remote control, toothpaste, makeup, and countless other items that usually litter horizontal surfaces in the house. Put a basket or Tupperware container in places where clutter could re-emerge. When you leave the house, stash the containers in a cabinet or take them with you.
Pick a Room
Have kids? Pets? Designate a room that will be lived in normally. It’s where the kids can dump the Legos on the floor and you can put the cat’s litter box. When it’s time for a showing, the mess will be in one place instead of throughout the house.
Create a Checklist
“Make the beds. Put out the good towels. Empty the litter box. Put the containers in the closet.” Write down what needs to happen every morning before you leave the house to bring the property back to show-ready condition.
Your REALTOR® has experience listing houses for sale, so ask him or her for other suggestions to help your property keep looking its best.
Real estate markets are very competitive in many parts of Texas. As a buyer, how do you differentiate your offer from others that a seller receives?
Show How Serious You AreIf sellers are asking for 1% of the sales price as earnest money, you could offer more. The extra deposit shows sellers that you’re committed to purchasing their property.
Don’t Ask For Too Many Extras
How many contingencies does your offer include? Financing? Selling your current home? While you might not be able to eliminate all contingencies, consider limiting the ones you ask for.
Sellers may value the opportunity to close expeditiously. There are several steps you’ll have to take before closing, so be prepared to move quickly to complete steps like the inspection and appraisal. Having a sense for your timeline and which ancillary service providers you’ll work with will make the closing process smoother and more efficient.
These are only a few ways to present your best offer. Your REALTOR® can give you more ideas that work best for your market.
The state of Texas provides a number of financial and educational resources to prospective homebuyers through various agencies.
Texas Homebuyer University
The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) provides a 2-hour course that guides participants through preparing for homeownership, financing a home, and purchasing a home. Completion of the course also satisfies the education requirement for some of the agency’s first-time buyer programs. Visit the website
Homebuying and Moving Guide
The Texas Attorney General’s Office provides a reference for the process and terminology involved in buying and home and common issues to know. View the guide
TDCHA Homebuyer Programs
The TDHCA offers home loan options for buyers in Texas that include downpayment assistance and closing cost assistance. View the options
Affordable Housing Programs
The Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation (TSAHC) provides financing, downpayment assistance, and mortgage credit certificate programs to Texas buyers who qualify, which can be determined with a short quiz. Take the quiz
TSAHC Assistance CalculatorThis tool from TSAHC compares the different loan types and assistance options offered to qualified homebuyers in Texas. View the tool.