The U.S. Department of Energy lists several key features of an energy efficient home. Home sellers, be sure to highlight these features to attract buyers. The infographic at the left (courtesy of National Association of Realtors) shows how buyers rate the importance of green and energy efficient homes.
Appliances and electronics – shop for appliances with the Energy Star logo. Energy Star brand offers a higher energy efficiency rating than the government standard.
2. Insulation and heating/cooling temperature control. The Department of Energy has determined that 56% of home energy costs go to heating and cooling. Improving the insulation in your home and installing a programmable thermostat can be an energy cost saving.
3. Water heater. Keeping the water heater in good working order, or replacing with an energy efficient model can have a positive impact on your utility bills.
4. Lighting. By switching all lighting to LED or CFL lights, you can use half the energy of incandescent bulbs for 10 times the life.
I’m lucky to work with such wonderful buyers. Doug and Pam just closed on their Trego Lake cabin. They are eagerly anticipating the fishing, boating, and other area recreation when Spring finally arrives.
Thinking of buying or selling in the Trego or Spooner area? Call Jean Hedren, Your Edina Realty NW Wisconsin Realtor, 218-590-6634.
You won’t have a second chance to make a good first impression. When everything in the front of the house is in perfect repair, buyers will think your house is obviously well cared for.
Your front door can be your home’s focal point. Replace an old door with peeling paint or dated hardware with a new steel door. Or, salvage the door with a fresh coat of paint and new hardware. Satin nickel, black, and bronze are the trends.
Wash windows inside and out and remove screens for added sparkle.
A garage can make a big impact. Replace or paint the door.
Don’t overlook the front porch. It’s an iconic symbol of American living. Stage a rocking chair or outdoor table and chairs.
Driveway. Repair cracks and clean up oil stains. If budget allows resurface the driveway.
After dark. Portable outdoor lights aimed at the house or a beautiful tree offers a low-cost, high-impact effect.
Pricing your home right from the start can result in a quicker sale.
Strategic pricing that’s based on a thorough, up-to-the-minute market analysis. If our price is too low, we leave money on the table. If our price is too high, we leave your home on the market unsold. Later, it’s likely to sell for less than it would if we priced it correctly from the start. A strategic, fact-based listing price that helps your home get noticed and sell more quickly for the best possible sale price.
Each new listing creates a buzz in the local real estate community. The right price will attract more Realtors to show the house. The right price will generate more calls and email inquiries.
Homes tend to sell closer to the asking price during the first few weeks on the market, resulting in a higher price in a shorter time.
Fewer mortgage payments and less interest paid means more money in your pocket.
The right price sends the message to the buyer that your home is a better value compared to others on the market.
Less time on the market means less time keeping the home ready for showings.
In a fluctuating market, it is better to sell now as prices may decrease even more.
The longer the house sits on the market, buyers may think there is something wrong with the house.
Keep your ultimate goal in mind – selling now means moving on with your life.
If there are no showings, the price is too high. If there are several showings but no offers indicates good marketing, but buyers will react to overpricing when they step into the house.
Ready to make an offer on that dream lake home or cabin?
A preapproval letter from your mortgage lender can be an important tool to strengthen your negotiating power. Sellers and listing agents tend to take offers more seriously when the buyer has been preapproved.
When you have found your dream home, and you are ready to make an offer, submitting a preapproval letter with the offer says you are a serious and committed buyer.
A preapproval letter is based on a preliminary review of your credit information and preapproves you up to a maximum loan amount. Because a preapproval includes a credit check, it’s more powerful than a prequalification letter, which only estimates your potential buying power.
With a preapproval letter, you can confidently shop for a home in your price range, and you are in a position to negotiate an offer – especially when there are multiple offers for the home you want.
As you prepare to make one of the biggest purchases of your life, a preapproval can ensure that you are in a loan program that meets your needs. Call Jean Hedren, Your Edina Realty NW Wisconsin Realtor at 218-590-6634. Start your property search: www.JeanHedren.com
If you’ve resolved that this is the year to buy a new lake home or cabin in northwest Wisconsin, then it’s time to get started.
If one of your new year’s resolutions was to find a new lake home or cabin and get moved in before Memorial Day weekend, well, then I am a little concerned.
Here’s why: It may take us a while to find the lake and the cabin that are just right for you. Figure a little negotiating before you have an accepted offer, and then typically about another 60 days before the actual closing can take place. (With new banking regulations that have recently gone into effect, the few exceptions are generally cash offers with no inspections or other contingencies. They can usually happen faster.)
So if you’d like to enjoy weekends at your new cabin this summer, it may not make sense to delay your search until May or June. If you want to actually own that cabin by May or June, then the time to get started is right now.
If we get underway quickly and things happen fast, there’s still one situation when a late spring could complicate your plans. That’s if you’re buying a three-season cabin that has its water turned off in the winter. You’ll probably want an inspection, and it’s hard to inspect a cabin’s well, septic system, and plumbing without turning on the water. But even then, I’m usually able to help buyers and sellers work things out.
And if you’re buying a year-round lake home or cabin, the best time to buy is… Year-round. So if you’re ready to turn those up-north cabin dreams into reality, give me a call now at 218-590-6634. Or, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your mortgage loan consultant will be able to discuss the best mortgage loan program for you. Basically all mortgage loans belong to two main groups: conventional and government.
Two types of conventional loans:
Fixed rate: Traditional type of financing. The interest stays the same for the full term of the loan, typically 15 or 30 years with predictable and stable payments.
Adjustable rate: An adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) interest is linked to a financial index, such as a treasury security, so the monthly payment can vary over the life of the loan, usually 25 to 30 years. There are lower initial payments. Some ARMs can be converted to fixed rates generally after the first 5 years.
FHA loans, which are insured by the Federal Housing Administration, are typically designed to meet the needs of first-time homebuyers with low or moderate incomes. FHA loans can be approved with a down payment as little as 3.5 percent and a credit score as low as 580.
Often called “helper loans,” they give a boost to potential borrowers who may not be able to secure one otherwise. For this reason, FHA loans have maximum lending limits. Talk with your lender to see what the FHA loan limits are in the counties where you are searching.
And remember, because the agency is taking on more risk by insuring FHA loans, the borrower is expected to pay mortgage insurance both at the time of closing and on a monthly basis, and the property must be owner-occupied.
VA loans, backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, are guaranteed to qualified veterans and active-duty personnel and their spouses. VA loans can be approved with 100 percent financing, meaning VA borrowers are not required to make a down payment.Unlike FHA loans, borrowers do not have to pay mortgage insurance on VA loans.
USDA loans, backed by the United States Department of Agriculture mortgage program, are intended to support homeowners who purchase homes in rural and some suburban areas. USDA loans do not require a down payment and may offer lower interest rates; borrowers may have to pay a small mortgage insurance premium in order to offset the lender’s risk.
WHEDA: Low down payments and below-market interest rates. Interest rate is fixed for 15 to 30 year loan term.
Ready to enter the buyer’s market?
Need help financing a new property? Understanding the loan types is step one, but you’ll need the help of a qualified expert to get you into your dream home.