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General Real Estate

Google Plus Real Estate Articles

Best Google Plus Real Estate ArticlesIt’s that time again, time for a roundup of the best Google Plus articles of the month. You will find some great real estate content from the Real Estate Community on Google Plus for the month of September. It’s all right here.

If you are a real estate professional and you are not currently networking with other professionals on Google Plus, you are missing out. I network with professionals on many social platforms and Google Plus is my favorite, by far. Great discussions happen every day in this community and the original content from other real estate professionals is second to none. This group will inspire and encourage you as a real estate professional.

Let’s start off with a great article from Lynn Pineda entitled 41 Home Selling Mistakes That Prevent You From Having Success.

This is an extensive list covering every aspect of selling real estate. If you have every had your home stuck on the market waiting months for an offer, then you know the agonizing tension that haunts the home seller in this position. The bottom-line is that there are always recognizable problems that keep a home from selling. Lynn’s comprehensive list of problems can help any home seller who is wondering why their house hasn’t sold, and also offers some top level advice for other Realtors who may have a house on the market that won’t sell.

Continuing the discussion on home selling, Bill Gassett discusses some timely advice in his article entitled fall home selling tips. Selling a home this fall? This is one you won’t want to miss.

Seasonal home selling tips can be great for those looking to put their house on the market, or those who have had their house stuck on the market and need a new perspective. In Bill’s article, he discuses tips such as the importance of keeping your yard clean of fall leaves, decorating for the fall, and many other timeless tips to increase your potential success in selling your home in the fall. These tips are great for real estate professionals as well. Take advantage this seasonally relevant advice and learn some new fall selling tactics to implement into your home selling tool kit. Bill advice is always right on track and very valuable.

Our next article covers a topic that is relevant to both home buyers and sellers alike. Kyle Hiscock’s article entitled “Are Home Warranties for a Buyer Worth It?” covers some great points on this common selling tactic.

Home sellers are often coached by their Realtor that offering a home warranty can help sell their house faster. Whether a home warranty is really worth it to a buyer has been a topic of debate in the real estate community for some time. Kyle does a nice job of laying out the pros and cons and really hammers home that a home warranty can definitely be beneficial to home buyers. Seasoned agents know the value of offering a home warranty to home buyers and Kyle’s perspective on this topic makes it easy to understand why home sellers should seriously consider offering a home warranty to buyers when listing their home for sale. This article is easy to follow and a must read for real estate professionals who are on the fence about home warranties.

In our next two articles, we’ll be discussing real estate investments. First, Debbie Drummond wrote an excellent article for investors entitled “Is the time right to Invest in residential Real Estate?”

Debbie does a great job discussing the up and down cycle of the real estate market to help gauge how an investor should react. She explains the difference between the Florida real estate market today in comparison to Las Vegas market. She makes a great case for Las Vegas being a prime investment market and how you can leverage this current market to do very well with your real estate dollars. Debbie’s in-depth analysis of the Las Vegas real estate market is valuable and well laid out. Definitely a must read for real estate investors in Las Vegas, or any market for that matter.

Continuing our discussion on real estate investments, Seth Williams discusses more market timing details in his article entitled “What Investors Needs To Know About Choosing The Right Real Estate Market

Seth illustrates the importance of identifying markets that are easy to work in, compared to others. Choosing an area that allows for easy access to county records is important. Communicating with the county office and obtaining good local mailing lists make some areas easier to deal with than others. Seth also talks about the value of working in an area that has a solid government structure, which makes real estate investing more desirable. The accessibility of the County Treasurer and the Assessors fees can real make a difference when dealing with local investment properties. Seth makes a strong case and helps direct investors to research and compare areas. His advice is timely and well laid out. Anyone who is currently investing in real estate, or has future plans to do so would benefit greatly from this article.

Our final blog entry comes from myself and is entitled “First Time Buyer Tips: Buying a First House”.

In this article, I break down the process of buying a home into an easy to read visual guide (infographic) and then elaborate in more details through the text. Buying your first home can be extremely intimidating. I spent a lot of time trying to simplify the process for first time home buyers and make it as easy to follow as possible, while still making sure to not leave any steps out. If you’re looking to buy your first house and you are wondering how it works, this is a great article to help you feel more comfortable with the home buying process. Give it a read and let me know what you think.

Previous Google Plus Real Estate Reviews

Take a look at these Google Plus articles from previous months.

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Do You Need Flood Insurance?

If you have ever lived through a flood you know first-hand how devastating they can be. Not only can they destroy a home and its belongings but in the ensuing aftermath they can bring about mold, bacteria, and unsafe living conditions. It is not surprising they are the most common natural disaster in the world, accounting for billions of dollars in damage and countless claims each year.

Some of the more common reasons for flooding are:Why is Flood Insurance Important

  • Dams/levees
  • Flash floods
  • Heavy rains
  • Ice jams
  • Mud slides
  • New/under developed areas
  • Snow melt
  • Tropical storms

Flood Tips You May Not Know

A common misconception is that if you do not live near a body of water you are not at risk of flooding. The truth is every home is at risk of being flooded! An overflowing dam, a broken sewer line, an unkempt or overwhelmed drainage system, or even a major storm can cause flooding. It can happen anytime, anywhere, to anyone with devastating results.

Another misleading thought is that the Government will step in and bail you out. Think again. Unless your area is a federally declared disaster area (i.e. New Orleans and surrounding coastal towns after Hurricane Katrina hit or nearly the entire eastern seaboard after Hurricane Sandy), you could find yourself without federal, state, or often even local assistance. If you are in an area that does receive assistance, it is important to note you will have to pay back (with interest) whatever amount you receive. This assistance is not meant to compensate you for your losses, but rather, it is given out as a low interest loan to assist you with critical expenses incurred as you start the process of getting things back in order.

Most alarming is that many homeowners believe that when a flood disaster occurs, their home insurance will pay for the damages. That misnomer is quickly replaced with panic as they check with their insurance company and find their insurance policy does not cover for floods. A typical home insurance policy will cover damages in case of a fire, robbery, and other incidents, but will not include flood related damages, meaning homeowners must take care of their flood losses from their own pocket. All the more reason to make sure you have a flood insurance policy on your home.

What is Flood Insurance and Why Do You Need It?

Be Prepared For a FloodAs you would expect, flood insurance takes care of damages relating to flood and is the first and most important step to take if you want to protect yourself from a flood disaster. What you need to know about flood insurance is something every homeowner should consider! The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) a program directed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and is the leading provider of flood insurance policies to protect homeowners from flood related losses.  Here are 3 reasons you need to consider getting flood insurance:

The primary reason is because you live in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) that requires a mortgage from a federally regulated lender. In an SFHA, where it is likely flooding will occur while you own your home, flood insurance is mandatory. This could include oceanfront or near-ocean properties or living next to a major body of water like a big river, lake, or creek. For some of these areas, heavy rainfall can cause the body of water to swell over the banks, flooding houses and destroying properties. For others, the potential of large waves or tropical storms puts them in the highest risk category. While the allure of living near water has its advantages, there is an inherent flooding risk that consumers need to be aware of and understand.

A second reason you should consider getting flood insurance is because you live in a community that benefit’s from the NFIP. The benefit is receiving flood insurance that is backed by the government. Whether you reside in a SFHA or low risk area, as your community benefits from the program, and nearly 21K communities do, it is hoped that all the residents will take advantage of the program. There are no fees to live in an NFIP community but each area is required to have a flood plain management ordinance, enforced by a local official. The official ensures the flood plain is periodically inspected and that no violations of the ordinance occur. If your community is not NFIP supported, then you would have to look for a federally supported private insurance company that offers flood insurance.

Third, although they are not the most dangerous natural disaster in the world, floods are the most common, causing incredible amounts of damage around the globe every year. According to Floodsmart.gov, the cost of flooding goes up exponentially with each inch of water in a home. For example, one inch of standing water can cause nearly $21,000 worth of damage while one foot of water puts the damage over $52,000. While these are only estimates, it is clear that any amount of flooding can have serious consequences for every homeowner and property affected.

How Flood Insurance Works

When you pay for flood insurance, and your insurance policy is handed out to you, it takes a whole month (thirty days from the issued date) to take effect. So if you decide to wait until the storms come a calling before getting a policy, you will definitely be paying for your losses yourself. If you have not gotten your flood insurance policy yet, it is advisable to seriously consider it before a calamity occurs.

Your flood insurance policy is dependent on how much coverage you are willing to buy. You could decide to cover both your home (the building) and the contents of your house, with the maximum limits of flood coverage for your house of $250,000 and the contents of your home with a ceiling of $100,000. The flood insurance policy pays for the estimated value of the damaged property, or the total cost of replacing your property up to the coverage limit.

In addition, the cost of flood insurance may vary depending on the flood zone you live in. High risk zones usually pay a higher sum compared to the medium and low risk zones. The FEMA maps out the flood risk zones, and it is advisable to check out your address on FEMA’s flood risk zones chart to find out what zone your locality falls under.

If your community has taken preemptive measures to reduce flood risks, you get as much as 45 percent off on flood insurance costs. You should meet with your insurance agent to find out what coverage and cost would be suitable for you, or you could decide to use the website calculator on the NFIP site to have an idea of the cost and the benefit.

Flood Insurance Advice

Like any other insurance policy, obtaining flood insurance should definitely put your mind at rest, especially with the unpredictability of floods and flooding occurring at a moment’s notice. As a reminder, it takes 30 days for your policy to take effect, so if you do not currently have flood insurance, it would be of great benefit to get a policy immediately.

If you think you are safe because you live in a low risk area, think again. A report from FEMA says that twenty five percent of all flood insurance claims since 1978 has been from low risk zones. Every homeowner is potentially at risk, regardless where you live!

Unless it is mandated to have flood insurance, many will roll the dice and opt to save those extra funds for something else. Depending on your tolerance for risk and where you live, that may be a bad gamble. For most, the results of a flood would be devastating, and the ensuing financial burden crippling…all it takes is better planning to give you peace of mind and security knowing your home is covered. Why risk it!

Other Useful Flood Insurance Information

Use these additional resources to understand all you need to know about flood insurance.

Anita Clark RealtorThis article was written by Georgia real estate professional, Anita Clark. Anita works at Coldwell Banker SSK Realtors in Warner Robins, GA. 478-960-8055

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Google Plus For Real Estate

Google Plus Real Estate Articles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What better place to find a wealth of useful Real Estate articles than on Google+. On Google+ you’ll find some of the best Real Estate professionals located in states nationwide. What do you do when you come across a Real Estate article that really stands out? In other words, the headline grabs you, or its on a topic that you’ve been dying to learn more about or what about those eye popping images? You’ll likely head back again and again to the spot where you’ve found these type of articles; welcome to Google+ where these amazing articles are found.You’ll also find one of the best Real Estate Communities is also on Google+ so be sure to check it out too.

Bill Gassett has been publishing monthly lists highlighting some of the best articles each month and he asked for my help in gathering up the list to feature here. You’ll discover modern, non-boring Real Estate articles below that you’ll be able to sink your teeth into to discover some great finds. Read them now, or bookmark, or pin for reading later. And be sure to share them and not hoard them all to yourselves!

Our first article highlighted is: Top Five Mistakes When Selling Your Home.

There are certain situations during the home selling experience that can and should be avoided at all costs. Here, Andrew Fortune goes over 5 mistakes to avoid when selling your home.

He touches on how pricing your home wrong can be downright scary to a Buyer; you’ll see a Buyer’s reaction to an overpriced home too! In addition, Andrew’s article goes over what can happen when you hire the wrong Real Estate Agent. This can have very adverse consequences and you’ll be advised on how to avoid this experience.

Keep on reading here to discover the entire article: “Top five mistakes when selling a home

A compilation of great Real Estate articles wouldn’t be complete without including one from Bill Gassett. Here Bill’s article is: What Appraisers Look At During A Real Estate Appraisal.

A Real Estate Appraisal is a simple part of the home selling and home buying process. Being in the know when it comes to appraisals can get you on the path that leads to a successful Real Estate closing. Here Bill tells you what you can do to make the most of your home’s appraisal, what will affect an appraisal and how to prepare for an appraisal from the inside to outside. He also covers how a Appraiser calculates your home’s value, appraisal myths, what happens when you need to challenge a low appraisal and a whole lot more.

Keep on reading here to discover the entire article: “How to challenge a low real estate appraisal”. As Realtors being involved in a low appraisal is never fun because we are usually in the middle trying to solve a problem one way or the other for one of our clients.

This next featured article by Seth Williams is pretty cool as it talks about cool inventions to be used in Real Estate. This article is: 20 Cool New Inventions for the Modern Day Real Estate Investor.

Who doesn’t like cool inventions? Especially when it can make our jobs and lives easier! This is an incredible list and you’ll be happy to now you can get these inventions now, as their not only available to George Jetson. You remember, George Jetson, right … from The Jetsons of futuristic 2062. If you’re scratching your head wondering, probably you’re too young as it ran in prime time series between 1962-1963 and then new episodes ran from 1984-1987. You can still see re-runs today. Anyhow, look at the list for George Jetson-like inventions!

Here Seth talks about the crazy looking Ball Chair, the under desk hammock that I have got to get, or how about an IPhone Stun gun case? These are just a few of the really cool items you’ll discover in Seth’s list.
Keep on reading here to discover the entire article: “ Inventions for the Modern Day Real Estate Investor”. The article is a fun way to look at the real estate business.

Top Google+ Real Estate ArticlesIn this last article, I talk about sweeping a Buyer off their feet, you’ll find sure-fire ways to sweep a Buyer off their feet to get a home sold. This answers the frequently asked Real Estate question of “How to attract Buyers when selling your home”. This article is: How can we Sweep a Buyer off their Feet?

Told in not a typical manner but rather in the form of a story; the story of Olivia and Jacob selling their home. Topics will be discussed that include; pricing a home right, how to make a home pop with excitement to blasting the home across the internet and more! You’ll hear how you can sell a home within 9 days.

Keep on reading here to discover the entire article: “How can we sweep our real estate clients off their feet“. As real estate agents we should always be looking to go above and beyond for our clients. The article shares how this can be done fairly easily!

The next article is by Kyle Hiscock who brings to the table his article My home expired, Why and now what should I do. Kyle explains why some homeowners are not successful selling their homes and what can be done to correct the mistakes they have made. The vast majority of sellers who run into home sale failure have a few common denominators which are pricing their home incorrectly and believing that all real estate agents do the same things to sell homes.   For some reason many who are selling their home believe that all Realtors are alike. This lesson is often times learned the hard way when the owner is unsuccessful and have to turn to someone who is a real pro.

In this next article, the dreaded low ball offer that we see all too frequently is discussed.  Here Debbie Drummond’s article is about Low Ball Offers in Real Estate – Do They Ever Work? From what should Buyers do in their low ball offer they present to how should Sellers respond to a Buyer’s low ball offer, Debbie provides solid advice enabling you to put your emotions aside to get the ultimate scenario you desire.

You’ll find that quite often low ball offers can be avoided simply by pricing a home right at the onset, which would discourage the need by Buyers to present a low ball offer as the home being sold is seen as being priced fairly.  By no means, will this always do the trick as some just like to try and get something for nothing. It’s how it’s handled that can make all the difference as Debbie points out.

Continue your reading here to Debbie’s complete article: Low Ball Offers in Real Estate sales – Do they work?

In the last article to round out the lot here is Seth Price’s article on 7 Keys to Local SEO for Real Estate Marketing. If you’re able to grasp SEO for your local Real Estate business, you’ll be reaching your target audience. Seth provides incredible recommendations to do just that.
Seth offers up tips on how to do it, provides examples of who’s doing it, how to create headlines and that incredible content to attract an audience.

Seth also reminds us about good, quality reviews. Customer reviews are powerful and likely can draw in many a new customer when you’ve proven to be great at what you do, selling homes. There’s so much more to learn in this article by Seth.

Keep on reading here to discover the entire article: “7 Keys to Local SEO Real Estate Marketing”. If you are a real estate agent or anyone who runs a small business for that matter, this is a great article to take your online visibility to another level.

Previous Google Plus Real Estate Reviews

Lynn PinedaThe following Google Plus real estate review was written by Lynn Pineda, a licensed Southeast Florida Real Estate agent for 9 years currently at Keller Williams Coral Springs Realty.

 

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Protect Your Home From Storms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Severe summer weather, such as hail, thunder, and heavy rain, can result in a great deal of damage to your home and other property. There are many steps that homeowners can take to protect themselves from the flooding and power outages that can result from severe weather events, so prepare ahead of time so that you’re not caught off guard. In this article, we’ll be looking at some of the most effective actions you can take to safeguard your home and property from dangerous and destructive summer storms.

Steps to Take Before a Storm

Typically you will receive warning at least a few days before a major storm arrives. This window of time gives you a chance to make the necessary preparations. Keep in mind that weather forecasts are never perfect; it’s better to prepare for a storm that never arrives, or that turns out to be weaker than anticipated, than not to be ready at all. Keep reading to learn a few things you can do when a major storm is ahead in the forecast.

• Thoroughly inspect your home and make sure you have done everything you can to secure it. This includes the items in your backyard and on your porch as well as indoors. Bring items such as trash cans, toys, lawn or patio furniture or any lightweight items that could become airborne indoors so they cannot blow away or become projectiles. If you have a swimming pool, make sure it’s securely covered.

• If you don’t have storm shutters on your windows, installing these can be an added layer of protection for your home. Another option is to upgrade your windows to a shatterproof material. These steps will help insulate your home during cold weather and protect it during storm season.

• If you have trees with loose branches, this is a good time to give them a trimming. You should also inspect your roof and make sure all of the shingles are secure. Your drains and gutters should be clear so they are able to do their job if there’s a heavy downpour.

• It’s always sensible to stock up on essentials when a severe storm is headed your way. This includes canned food, bottled water and toiletries. It never hurts to have extra supplies in your home even if you end up not needing them right away.

Dealing with Power Outages

Power outages are common during storms. This is something you should be prepared for. One of the best ways to be ready for a power outage is to have a backup generator. You can choose one that is sized appropriately for your needs. This can ensure that your home’s pumps, heating systems and any security systems keep working. A generator can prevent many problems associated with storms, such as flooding and food spoilage.

Whether you have a backup generator or not, you should also have some low tech solutions available in case of a power outage. This includes several heavy duty flashlights with plenty of batteries. Candles are also useful for keeping your home lit when the lights go out.

Preventing Floods

One of the most potentially destructive aspects of severe storms is the flooding they can cause. In terms of threats to both property and your family’s safety, floods are a top concern. Read on to find out a few ways you can protect your home from dangerous and costly water damage.

• Make sure that your gutters divert rain away from your home. If necessary, extend your rain gutters. Gutter should be free of debris. The slope of your yard should not cause water to enter your basement. It may be necessary to consult with a landscaper or other specialist to make adjustments in the direction surface water flows. For example, you may need to upgrade the quality of your soil.

• One of the most common causes of flooding is the failure of sump pumps and other systems in your home. As noted above, a backup generator will keep your sump pump powered and ready to remove water. The next best thing would be to get a battery-operated backup sump pump that will keep working if your main sump pump goes off due to a power outage.

• Fill in any cracks in your basement walls or foundation. Water can enter these cracks and cause flooding. You can seal cracks yourself or call a professional.

• Consider installing a home security system, geared specifically to notice if floodwater has entered your home. Many people hear “alarm” and think fire or burglar protection, but local ADT services in your area, and other flood sensor manufacturers, can install a system that will alert you if water rises even 1/16th of an inch in your home.

• Inspect your sewer or septic system. A clogged sewer or a septic tank that needs cleaning can cause a flood during a storm. Make sure to have your system inspected and maintained regularly.

Have insurance against flooding. While this won’t prevent floods, it will at least ensure that you are protected in case a flood does occur. A typical home insurance policy doesn’t cover floods, so you will probably need an additional policy for this.

Severe storms can unleash their fury any time of year, but they are especially common in spring and summer seasons. Keep track of the weather forecast in your area, and plan ahead. If you live in an area where storms are common, taking additional precautions might be necessary to ensure your home and your family are safe.

Don’t be caught by surprise. When you’re secure in the knowledge that you’ve done everything you can to prepare, you don’t have to fear Mother Nature. Protect your home by staying ahead of summer storms!

This article comes to Massachusetts real estate news via Beth Kelly who is a freelance writer based in Massachusetts.

 

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Best Google Plus Real Estate Articles June to July 2014

July 16, 2014

              The internet makes it incredibly easy for information to be found. The problem is much of the information that is found on the internet is junk. Google Plus is one of the best places, if not the best place, to find quality real estate information! Google Plus communities, [...]

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Helping a Buyer Purchase a Home From a FSBO

June 26, 2014

We talk a lot about buyer’s agents and listings agents and the benefits of both but what happens if your buyer finds a home that’s not listed with an agent? This is actually not that unusual because buyers will look for homes everywhere and they don’t really care where they find the house, only that [...]

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How To Get The Best Photos When Selling Your Home

June 20, 2014

Photography Helps Sell Real Estate If you’re like me, you probably enjoy looking at homes online. Many people browse homes on the internet for fun. My wife and I like to look online at homes for sale in Colorado Springs, deep in the quiet mountain areas where we could never live, with our current lifestyle. [...]

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Don’t Get Too Emotional When Buying a Home

June 18, 2014

Keep Emotions in Check Purchasing Real Estate Getting too emotional when buying a home can cost you big time! The last thing you want to do is create a lot of extra stress for yourself when buying in home. In order to make your purchase go smoothly we have consulted with Lolly Spindler of HouseHunt [...]

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The Inspection and Walk Through – What to Look For

June 11, 2014

The inspection and walk through are two very different AND very important things to do when buying a home. A home inspection is a limited and non-evasive examination of the condition of a home by a home inspector. A final walk through is a final inspection where the buyer makes certain that the property they’ve [...]

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How to Mitigate Injuries When Moving

June 6, 2014

Preventing Injuries While Making a Move It’s surprisingly easy to injure yourself or somebody else when moving out of one home and into another. From breaking fragile objects and cutting yourself, to throwing your back out trying to lift heavy furniture, moving can be dangerous for the inexperienced. While it might be safest for you [...]

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