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Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri & Al Mussi on 12/12/2017

Once you start the process of buying a home, you may begin to feel as if you know everything there is to know about real estate. There’s so much house hunting, researching and negotiating that the process can be dizzying. Once you get into a contract and start the home inspection process, a whole new host of questions comes to the table. Now, you need to know the nitty gritty of what you’re about to buy. 


Once you hire a home inspector, it could seem like they are speaking an entirely different language. These inspectors will be looking for any and all potential problems with your new dream home. In order to get the most out of your home inspection, you’ll want to ask smart questions.


How Much Of An Impact Does This Have?


Home inspectors cannot legally tell you whether a property is “good” or not. They can only tell you the things they find wrong with the property, or where they see a need for improvement. These inspectors will seem pretty even keeled when you meet them, so they can be hard to read. They’re all about facts. Asking them what kind of an impact a certain problem will have can help you to make a more informed decision. 



Who Can Fix This?


In many states, home inspectors cannot legally make repair recommendations. They can however give you an idea of how easy or how complicated it may be to fix something. You may find that you’ll be able to make simple repairs on your own rather than hire someone for a big price. The only drawback is that home inspectors cannot actually “fix” anything for you. They can only give advice.  


What’s A Priority?


Your home inspector can give you an idea of what issues in the home you are about to buy need to be fixed first. Since the inspector's job is to point out absolutely everything- both big and small- you’ll want to know what has the biggest priority so that you can plan accordingly. If things are at the “end of their lifetime” rather than in need of a simple repair, you’ll understand as a homebuyer how much money you’ll need to shell out for repairs sooner rather than later.   


Where Is That?


Many times as home inspectors as heading through the property, mentioning things that need repairs and attention, you may have no idea what they are referring to. It’s a good idea to have a notepad and and a camera so that you can refer back to what the inspector was talking about. Some inspectors even insert digital pictures into their reports, so you can ask about that when you’re hiring an inspector.   

How Does That Work?


Inspectors can often give you an idea of how different moving parts of the home operate. If you’re new to homeownership, or come across something that you have never seen before, your inspector will be happy to help you figure it all out. It can be a lifesaver once you move in since you’ll already know how much of the house operates.





Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri & Al Mussi on 12/5/2017

Stopping by local garage sales in search of bargains and treasures is a lot like panning for gold. Some days you'll be sifting through a lot of rubble before you discover the hidden gems. Other days, you'll hit the mother lode, right away! Whether you're looking for cheap books, antique furniture, unique jewelry, retro clothing, statues, gardening tools, or gently used toys, you can expect to stumble upon some very interesting and worthwhile items -- usually at extremely low prices. Keys to Bargain Hunting Success Many people who attend garage sales on a regular basis seem to have developed a system to ferret out what they're looking for, spot bargains, and negotiate the lowest possible prices. They often don't even get out of their cars if the items displayed fail to catch their interest. Yard sales attract a wide variety of people, but the ones who find the best stuff at the lowest prices know the value of persistence, getting an early start, and advance planning. Many are quite adept at surfing the Web, clippings ads, and using social media to find promising yard sales to check out. The Seasoned Garage Sale Hunter In addition to a natural curiosity about the unexpected treasures they might find in their travels, they recognize the following underlying truths about garage sales.

  • There are two main reasons that people hold garage sales: to make extra money and to get rid of things they no longer need or want. In most cases, they're highly motivated to make sales and do not expect to rake in boatloads of money. If they happen to be in the process of selling their house and getting ready to move, they should be especially motivated to clear out all their garage sale inventory. The last thing they want to see is an interested customer with a wad of cash in their hands walk away because the price wasn't right. If you make a reasonable offer, chances are they'll either accept it or make a counteroffer. By cultivating some basic negotiating skills and learning to have fun with it, you can pick up some amazing deals in your neighborhood.
  • At first, going to garage sales may seem like a hit-or-miss proposition. However, persistence pays off. Good timing, a little bit of luck, and being in the right place at the right time will eventually work in your favor. It's sort of a "numbers game," so if you plan to visit a few different yard sales in one morning, you're bound to find all kinds of worthwhile treasures and bargains.
  • If you know what you're looking for and have a pretty good idea of what its worth, you'll be in a good position to make reasonable offers and walk away with exceptional deals.
Whether you're looking for a used guitar, an inexpensive desk for a college student, or some hard-to-find first-edition books, you never know what you're going to discover when you dedicate a Saturday or Sunday morning to some serious garage sale shopping!





Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri & Al Mussi on 11/28/2017

Although location is one of the most important factors that will impact the marketability of your home, it's not the only thing prospective buyers are thinking about.

If they're organized, focused, and serious about finding the right property for their needs, they've probably developed a detailed checklist of "must haves" and a "wish list."

In all likelihood, those who are working with a real estate agent are being shown properties that conform to their requirements and many of their wish-list items. A comprehensive list would include everything from the number of bedrooms and bathrooms they want to square footage and the quality of the school district.

Many people also have specific preferences about features like floor plans, amount of storage space, the size of the backyard, architectural style, and the availability of a fireplace, patio, porch, deck, eat-in kitchen, two-car garage, and privacy features. Some are even looking for the traditional white picket fence in front of the house!

While your home can't be "all things to all people," it is highly recommended to target the widest possible audience. Your agent, a home staging consultant, or a home decorator can provide you with valuable tips on how to achieve that outcome.

Stand Out and Get Noticed

Just looking good on paper, though, is not always enough to attract motivated buyers. Prospects need to love what they see and be inspired to envision themselves living in your house. Doing what you can to create irresistible curb appeal is one vital aspect of making a great first impression. A manicured lawn, a fresh coat of paint (if needed), and some strategic home staging -- inside and out -- can make all the difference in your results!

Curb appeal is vitally important because that sets the stage, so to speak, for creating high expectations in your prospects. Once you get them in a positive frame of mind, they'll be more inclined to notice all the positive aspects of your home. If your house meets all or most of their requirements and is arranged in a way that's pleasing to them, a purchase offer and negotiations may be right around the corner.

One of the most crucial hurdles to clear in getting prospects to consider buying your house is to help them imagine living, relaxing, raising a family, and pursuing their interests in your home. Your real estate agent can help you effectively stage the interior and exterior of your home to make it inviting and appealing to the widest range of potential buyers.

You can support their sales and marketing efforts by making sure your home is always clean, fresh smelling, and ready to be shown at a moment's notice to house hunters. Doing your best to eliminate clutter, keeping counter tops neat, and making sure pets are on their best behavior (or happily frolicking at the local "doggie daycare" center) can play a key role in winning over interested buyers and successfully selling your home!





Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri & Al Mussi on 11/21/2017

Saving money is on everyone’s mind, and rightfully so. One of the easiest ways to save money when shopping is by using your phone. There are many apps offered in the App Store and Google Play Store that are amazing at saving you money through discounts, coupons and even money back. All you have to do is download the app and create an account and your on your ways to savings. Check out the apps below: Cartwheel: This is Target’s app. It features deals that are based on items you’ve purchased before or are likely to purchase in the future (based on shopping patterns it learns from using the app). But the best part about this app is the scan feature. While shopping scan all of your items that you put in your shopping cart to find additional offers, saving you even more money. Savings Catcher: This is Wal-Mart’s app. With the Savings Catcher app you scan your Wal-Mart receipts and it then scans for competitor’s prices on items that you purchased. You will receive money back for any item that was priced lower at a competitor’s store. You can turn this money into a gift card at any time and redeem it at your local Wal-Mart. Shopular: Shopular is a very popular shopping app. It has coupons, deals, and sales for almost every store imaginable. They include Express, Famous Footwear, Michaels, Old Navy, Target, Kohl’s, factory stores, and so many more. The best part about this app is that stores actually accept the coupons. Groupon: Groupon is very popular. It offers deals on restaurants, goods, hotels, vacation packages, activities, and much more. Beyond the offers that are offered, Groupon also runs specials where you can receive an additional amount off the already discounted amount. These are perfect times to purchase the Groupon you’ve been holding out on. Now get to downloading and happy saving!




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Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri & Al Mussi on 11/14/2017

Do you know how to get your house ready for the real estate market? If not, you may miss out on opportunities to showcase your home to the right buyers. Perhaps even worse, you may struggle to maximize your home sale earnings.

When it comes to selling your house, it usually helps to plan ahead. Fortunately, we're here to help you do just that.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get your house ready to sell.

1. Clean As Much As Possible

Let's face it – a messy kitchen, bathroom or bedroom is an eyesore. And if you fail to clean your house prior to listing it, you risk alienating buyers time and time again.

Cleaning is a necessity for home sellers, regardless of a house's age or condition. If you allocate time and resources to ensure each room in your home looks pristine, you can increase the likelihood that your residence will make a positive first impression on buyers.

Mopping the floors, wiping down walls and taking a room-by-room approach to home cleaning generally is recommended. In addition, if you need extra assistance, you can always hire a professional home cleaning company.

2. Perform Home Exterior Maintenance

Although you may spend a lot of time cleaning your house's interior, you shouldn't forget about your home's exterior as well.

Ultimately, how your home's exterior looks may dictate how quickly your residence sells. If your house boasts a beautiful front lawn and immaculate exterior, a buyer may fall in love with your home instantly. Conversely, if your home's front lawn is uncut and your house's siding is damaged, your residence is unlikely to impress potential buyers.

When it comes to home exterior maintenance, it helps to do as much as you can. Trim the front lawn, repair damaged home siding and perform assorted home exterior maintenance. By doing so, you can immediately bolster your house's curb appeal.

3. Remove Clutter

Over the years, you may have collected a lot of items. But these items may make your house appear smaller than it actually is – something that all home sellers should try to avoid.

If you have a large collection of clutter, you may want to consider selling or donating various items. Or, you can always rent a storage unit for assorted belongings and move these items to your new residence after your current house sells.

Clearly, there are many ways to prepare your house for the real estate market. If you want to ensure the best-possible results from the home selling journey, you may want to reach out to a real estate agent too. This housing market professional can guide you along the home selling journey and ensure you can get the support you need to achieve your desired goals.

Start getting your house ready to sell – use the aforementioned tips, and you can quickly and effortlessly enhance your residence before you list it.