The Seller’s Roadmap

Selling your home can be an emotional process so it’s best to go into it knowing what to expect.  If you are thinking of selling your home, you will first want to meet with a real estate professional so they can help walk you through the steps to getting your home sold.  There is no commitment for that initial meeting – you are ensuring that you & the real estate broker will work well together and the work the broker will put into selling your home is what you expect (and deserve!).  The broker will do a market analysis and pull comparable homes that have sold recently to determine an appropriate price for the house.  As difficult as it may be, it is important to review the facts and be open-minded about the price the agent is providing.  Many sellers have an emotional tie to their home and may see their home in a more subjective light than the traditional buyer will.

If you decide to move forward with listing your home, you will want to prepare your home to be sold.  A good real estate broker should be able to help provide insight into what buyers will be looking for – plan to be open-minded in hearing their recommendations.  Your broker is offering advice based on a broad buyer audience, whereas your style may be more for one particular taste.  You will want your home to be in the best possible condition so plan on things like touching-up paint, making repairs for defects such as a broken door or leaky roof, de-clutter, enhance your home’s curb-appeal, eliminate odors, and clean to make your house shine.

Once your home is ready, your broker will list it for sale.  At a minimum, your broker will put up a for-sale sign and list it in the local MLS (Multiple Listing Service).  You deserve more than this so ensure your real estate broker will be putting forward a full marketing plan to sell your home from events to advertising, social media, direct outreach, professional photos, and more.  The job of a real estate agent is to MARKET your property to get it sold.  You need an agent that knows how to do marketing to get the home sold quickly and at a sale price you are happy with.  Please contact me below for a sample of my marketing plan for listing homes.

When an offer (or multiple offers) come in on your home, your broker will work with you to help you decide which offer to move forward with or negotiate on.  When all parties agree to the offer, the contract is signed and you are officially under contract.  Be prepared for many deadlines & commitments in the following weeks to get the sale closed.  On top of preparing to move and meeting all seller obligations, it is going to be a very busy couple of weeks.  Assuming each date & deadline is met and no one defaults on the contract, the transaction is complete with the closing & agreed upon possession date & time.  Cheers!!

Download the Seller’s Roadmap here.

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I would love to help you sell your home in CO.  Please contact me below to see my sample marketing plan for listing homes & I would be happy to schedule a no-obligations meeting to discuss your real estate needs.

 


Key items to consider if you’re planning a home renovation project.

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If you’re thinking of doing a home renovation project, you probably already know that the project will take a lot of time and a lot of money, but there are other important elements you need to keep in mind and prepare for.  We recently completed a large master bathroom remodel and I went into the project feeling pretty confident in knowing what to expect.  We have experience doing home projects – remodeling almost the entire interior of a 1,700 sq. foot 1970s condo we owned over a period of 6 years. Save money, do project, save money, do next project, and repeat until the place was finished.  I learned a lesson from every one of those projects and I took each lesson into the next project and got smarter with the work we did.  However, this master bathroom project was our biggest yet and there were even more lessons to be learned.  I thought I’d share some of my biggest learnings in the hopes it may save someone a headache in the future.

  1. Hire a licensed, insured, and respected contractor.  Get multiple quotes and interview the companies, ask for references and for pictures of their work.  One great question to ask is how they handle mistakes (do they stand by their work) and will they put a dedicated team on your project?
  2. It’s going to take more time than you think.  Depending on the scope of the project – you may want to assume an extra few weeks to months.  We started planning the design of our bathroom in October with plans to start demo early January & then 8-weeks to finish.  Demo started January 8 and we weren’t able to start using the bathroom again until mid-April because of many unexpected elements that came up.  Do yourself (and the contractor) a favor and don’t plan a project with a hard deadline like needing it complete by Christmas when all your family is coming into town.
  3. Speaking of unexpected elements that come up – it’s also going to cost more than you think.  Line items will be left out by accident, scopes will change, if a permit is necessary – the city or county may have changes.  Give yourself a decent buffer and be prepared to have to give and take on your wish list if things are getting more expensive than you can manage.
  4. If you aren’t handling the design yourself, be sure you are very clear on what is being purchased.  Signing off on just an image online without understanding the specs may leave you disappointed.  Asking for the size of something, the material it is made of, a sample of the color, or the brand of the product may help keep you on schedule and avoid costly returns.  We made this mistake not asking enough questions for our master bathroom because in the past, I had always picked out everything on my own.  New lesson learned!
  5. Be prepared for a lot of dust, a lot of people in and out of your house, some really noisy days, and most likely some damage to either a dinged wall, trampled gardens, dirty carpets, etc.  If you work from home and/or have young children at home – be prepared to have your life pretty disturbed.  Make sure you schedule the project for a time of year that may be least disruptive for you.
  6. If something doesn’t look right – call it out and ask what is going on before it’s too late.  We noticed an issue in the shower and called the lead contractor at the end of the day and they were in there fixing it first thing the next day.  If we had waited another day or two, it would have been harder for them to fix it.  I made this mistake on the condo with seeing tile that slid and not speaking up.  That sloping tile drove me nuts until the day we sold the condo.  You’re paying a lot of money for your project – you deserve it to be done right so you’re happy.
  7. Think about function in your design decisions.  Those new lights may look pretty, but will it be hard to change out the bulbs?  Is there enough storage in that gorgeous vanity?  Try to think about how you will use the space when you are making these decisions.

I think I can end my list there.  I hope this at least helps someone really think through the ins and outs of a remodel before getting started.  If you have any more lessons to add that others may benefit from – please comment!

****** Real Estate Tip ******

If you’re planning to do updates before selling, also make sure your design decisions will appeal to a broad audience and not too specific to your tastes.  Keep it classic and keep it classy.


Important Items to Consider in Your Home-Buying Search

As we get into the busy spring & summer months of real estate, we will see more homes coming on the market, but along with that there will be more buyers.  In hot markets like the Boulder-Denver area, we are seeing houses fly off the market in days, often ending in bidding wars.  I believe that buyers are feeling pressured to act fast without thinking through the details of a house & how it may or may not work for them.

Houzz has a great Home-Buying Checklist that lists out 20 things to consider beyond the inspection.  There are many great points in this article to think through on your search to ensure the house you may be considering is the right fit for you and your family.  Some are obvious like:

  • Size of rooms
  • Number of bathrooms
  • Kitchen features
  • The neighborhood

However, there are other points that may be less obvious and potentially more important such as:

  • Interior layout: does the flow work for your daily life?
  • Lot grade & lot features: how much of the lot is usable for you & is the property safe for children or pets?  Is there more yard work than you can realistically manage?
  • Amount of natural light:  if you are seriously considering a home, look at it a second time and at a different time of day to see what the light is like in the house.
  • Regional weather conditions: think about the functionality of the house & outdoor space in all seasons, not just the season you’re searching in.
  • Street parking: there may be rules that are more or less favorable to your situation. Some families may need to rely on street parking and others may not want a street lined with cars.  Checking into HOA requirements &/or town ordinances can help identify what the parking situation is.

Having these items in the back of your mind as you go through your home search may help ensure you are happy with your home purchase for years to come.

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If you or anyone you know needs help on their Boulder-Denver home buying search, I’d love to help!  Please reach out through the contact form below or emailing me at beth@goodacreproperties.com.

Photo from @Houzz


Why is Everyone Moving to Colorado?

I’ve been asked the question: “Why are so many people moving to Colorado?” Well, the short answer is: “because the secret is out.”  The scenery here is beautiful, the weather is great, there is strong economic growth, and frankly – there is a lot to do in CO.  Many times people visit the area & then question why they would be living anywhere else. Employers are catching on to all the area has to offer as well – opening up new offices & bringing job opportunities.  Take Google’s new $130 Million Boulder Campus, for example, that will bring in hundreds of new residents to the area.  So, what do I mean by “the secret is out” – let me explain by diving further into Boulder specifically.

With over 300 days of sun per year, picturesque landscapes, and tons of recreational opportunities, Boulder offers people a great quality of life. On any given day, residents and visitors alike enjoy biking on the 300+ miles of dedicated bikeways or hiking on one of the many scenic trails that make up over 150 miles of hiking trails.  With so much beauty & opportunity in Boulder’s backyard, it is a healthy place to live both mentally & physically.  Self Magazine rated Boulder #1 in Top 10 Fittest Cities in the US (September 2017) and National Geographic rated Boulder The Happiest City in the U.S  (October 2017).

Exercise is a way of life in Boulder, but so is a good dining experience.  From restaurants that have received James Beard awards (Frasca Food & Wine) to Boulder institutions that are known for their award-winning beer and hippy atmosphere (The Mountain Sun) – the food in Boulder is good.  Very good. So good that Bon Appétit dubbed Boulder as  “America’s Foodiest Town” and Food and Wine named Pearl Street as one of the “Ten Best Foodie Streets in America.”

An added element to the restaurant scene & healthy living lifestyle is the farm culture in Colorado. With so many farms within a few miles of Boulder and an overall focus on supporting everything local, Boulder sees a lot of farm-to-table restaurants as well as an award-winning Farmer’s Market.  Every Saturday morning from April – November & Wednesday evening May – October, the Farmer’s Market is packed with people looking for everything from Colorado Peaches to Boulder Beef, local honey, fresh pasta, creamy cheese, beautiful flowers, and more.  Most will agree that leaving empty-handed is nearly impossible.

Finally, it’s not just about being healthy & working out in Boulder – there is a lot of other things to do.  Walking the pedestrian-friendly Pearl Street Mall, watching street performers, shopping, or dining al fresco is always a good time.  Some people aren’t aware that Boulder actually has an impressive amount of top-notch craft breweries.  In fact, Boulder has more breweries per capita than any other city in the country.  And if you want to get out-of-town, Denver is only 30 miles away, there is a ski resort 20 miles outside Boulder, and Rocky Mountain National Park is only an hour away.

I think it’s safe to say this place is pretty great.  Come visit and if you are thinking of making the move to CO, I would love to be your relocation resource.  Reach out via the form below or email me at Beth@GoodacreProperties.com.

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Simple Home Updates

Do you look at your home and think it needs updates, but the thought of the time, money & energy required to make the updates prevent you from doing the work?  You don’t need to tackle the whole house at once, instead think of one space at a time.  Additionally, there is no need to do a complete overhaul of the space – there are little things you can do that go a long way.  Here are some things to think about.

Take a step outside:

  • Mailbox.  This is sometimes the first thing people see when they pull up to your house.  A new mailbox, post, and set of house numbers is a relatively inexpensive & easy fix that will clean up the image of your home.
  • Landscaping.  You do not need entirely new landscaping, but cleaning up weeds & overgrowth and putting down some new mulch will polish up your outdoor space. Don’t stop at just cleaning up the yard & garden – tackle your driveway and any walkways too if you see grass or weeds growing up through cracks.
  • Front door.  Give your home a facelift by replacing your front door or even just repaint it if it’s in good shape.  Consider a fun pop of color that complements the rest of the paint colors of your house for a statement door.  If your budget allows, updating the door hardware will increase the curb appeal even more.

Inside:

  • Lighting.  If you have the budget to swap out some tired, old lights for more modern fixtures, this goes a long way in my opinion.  You could address one room at a time and you don’t have to spend hundreds on each light – I’ve seen many pretty lights for under $20.  Electricians usually charge an hourly rate so try to get an estimate for how many lights they can replace in an hour or two.  If this is outside your budget, simply swapping out your light bulbs can give your home a much more comforting feel.  Get rid of those bright, fluorescent lights and put in soft white bulbs.

  • Touch-up paint.  The general wear & tear of life puts a stress on baseboards, doors, and walls.  If you don’t want to completely repaint a room, consider just touching up the paint – hiding imperfections with a fresh brush stroke of paint.  Now is the time to patch any holes or fill in any dings.  Make sure you choose the right finish paint and you don’t use a gloss paint on what was initially an eggshell.

  • Fixtures.  If you have outdated or run-down knobs on cabinets, handles on doors, towel racks, or even vent covers, all of these are easy to swap out.  Replacing these give you an opportunity to let your personality shine through, while also making your space look more polished.  

  • Blinds.  If your home still has aluminum blinds or temporary paper blinds you threw up for a quick fix years ago, consider replacing them.  New window coverings can really modernize a room. 

Decor:

  • Furniture.  If you are disappointed with how worn some of your furniture looks, sanding & painting wood pieces for a fresh new look is always a great option.  This is an area where you can try out something different & have fun with it.  I almost tossed an old, weathered Adirondack chair a few summers ago, but decided to bring it back to life & painted it a bright blue to match some of my other patio furniture.
  • Decor.  Throw pillows, comfy blankets, candles, baskets to hold clutter, throw rugs, artwork for the walls, a statement wall with a peel-and-stick wallpaper, real or fake potted planets, table lamps.  All these are simple, easy ideas to update a space and make it more enjoyable to live in.  I personally love shopping affordable decor Target and Joss & Main.

If you found this information valuable and are interested in seeing my inspiration for home updates & decor, follow my Pinterest page: https://www.pinterest.com/ecgoltz/

 

***Real Estate Tip***

If your home looks as though it needs updates to you, a potential buyer will see the same thing.  Making some of these indoor and outdoor updates could potentially help with the resale of your home.  Feel free to reach out if you’d like to run your thinking by me.

 

 

 


Is 2018 Your Year to Become a Homeowner?

Have you been thinking about purchasing a home for a while now but, haven’t acted on taking the first step?  Buying a home can seem daunting and you may have more questions than answers which may be what’s holding you back.  It’s true that buying a home may be one of the biggest investments you may make financially, but it doesn’t need to be a scary process.  Getting a good understanding of your finances & what to expect with purchasing a home may help you decide if you are ready to take the next step to start the home buying process.  Below are some key things to think about.

  1. Credit Report. A very basic, yet important factor in your ability to buy a home is your credit rating.  The best interest rates & more flexible loan terms are available to those with the strongest credit scores.  You should understand what your credit score is and ensure that the items they are reporting on are correct.  There are three major credit reporting agencies you can contact for your credit score: Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion.
  2. How much home can I afford?  This is probably your biggest question and something you’ll want to accurately know the answer to in order to not be disappointed later in your home search.  To get the most accurate answer, you’re going to want to have a conversation with a lender.  A lender should help evaluate your current financial situation, as well take into account your future plans that may affect how you think about your home purchase & investment.
  3. Upfront Fees & Expenses.  Most homebuyers are aware that they need money for a down payment, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be 20%.  The best way to know how much you need for a down payment is to talk with a lender – you may qualify for less percent down.  On top of the down payment, there are more costs that you will need to plan for.  Money will need to be alloted for costs associated with the loan, earnest money with your offer, costs for inspections, and closing costs. Finally, don’t forget about a cushion for things like actually moving and buying items to get settled in your new home.
  4. Lending Options. Banks are not the only source anymore for obtaining a loan to buy a home, there are plenty of other options and it is suggested you shop around to find a lender.
    • Mortgage Bankers loan their own money and then usually sell the loan to recapture their original money plus a small profit.
    • Mortgage Loan Brokers are in the business of matching buyers & homeowners with lenders that are likely to finance them.  The buyer usually picks up the fee for this service.
    • Financial Institutions are commonly known as traditional banks or “prime” lenders.
    • Private Lenders usually refers to sellers who are open to owner financing.
    • Credit Unions – some do issue mortgages for their members and generally can beat the rate of the bank, or at least offer the same.
  5. Pre-Approval.  Once you narrow down which type of lender can best meet your needs, the next step is to get pre-approved for a loan.  This is not the same as pre-qualification.  Pre-qualification is an estimate of how much you can afford in a mortgage payment and simply means that the lender has looked at the information and that there is a high probability that the purchaser will qualify for the requested loan.  Pre-approval is a firmer commitment on behalf of the mortgage company & is a more formal process including a credit check & employment verification.  A seller is likely to view you as a more capable buyer if you are pre-approved which can give you an advantage as a buyer in the marketplace.  It is wise to obtain pre-approval at the beginning of the buying process so you know how much home you can afford and risk not qualifying for a home you go under contract with.

With these steps taken care of, you may feel the confidence and reassurement to start searching for your perfect house!

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If you are ready to embark on your mission of finding your perfect home in Colorado – I can be with you for every step of the way.  Please contact me to discuss your real estate goals:

 

 


Reminder: Winter Home Maintenance

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With a lot of the country dealing with bitter cold & figid temperatures, it’s a good reminder to make sure your home is ready for winter.  We have had a few personal experiences that made us realize we hadn’t planned ahead for some of these items: drafty windows in below zero temps, leaves in the gutters that didn’t allow snow to appropriately melt, and not keeping a close enough eye on trees in heavy snowfall.  We learned our lesson with that one and had the worst case scenario happen to us last year with a tree falling onto our house in a big snowstorm.  Luckily, damage was only minimal and to our defense, it was a tree on Boulder County property – not one of ours!  I do come from the standpoint that you learn from your mistakes, but it would probably be best to try to avoid major issues in the first place because burst pipes or chimney fires are not something to joke around about.

Houzz & Huffington Post both have checklists that are worth a read: Your Winter Home Maintenance Checklist and Winter Home Maintenance Checklist.  To me, it’s worth paying attention to things that you think may affect your home and addressing those as soon as possible.

Happy winter, folks!

 


Refresh Your Bedroom

Screenshot-2017-12-2 How to Refresh Your Bedroom on Any Budget

As the days are getting shorter and the weather is getting cooler, a cozy bedroom is something many of us can really appreciate. If you have extra money to put towards updating a bedroom in your home, you may wonder where to start. I really enjoyed this article from Houzz: “How to refresh your bedroom on any budget.” From a budget of $100 to $10,000, there are great tips on where to prioritize spending your money. I love the focus on a new set of bedding in the article – I cannot agree more because if anything, it’ll help you sleep better. My go-to for bedding is The Company Store – I have never been disappointed in one of their products. Check out their Cloud Blanket & Throw – that was our most recent purchase and I cannot begin to tell you how soft it is.

If you make any of these updates, please leave a comment and let me know how it went!


What Guests Really Notice in Your Home

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While reading up about home decor & inspiration, I stumbled upon an interesting article from Popsugar: “What Guests Really Notice in Your Home.”  This is a timely article given many of us are expecting guests this coming holiday season.  The list isn’t overwhelmingly long – just 6 key things to think about:

  • Scent of the Home
  • Well-stocked bar
  • Fresh Flowers
  • Lack of Clutter
  • A tidy bathroom
  • An organized entry way

The only addition I would add is …”A tidy and clean bathroom!”  You can’t fool your guests into a fresh, organized, home if your bathrooms are way overdue for a cleaning.

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Real Estate Tip: Potential buyers will notice these things too when looking at your home for sale… except for the well-stocked bar, unless it comes with the house 😉

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