Q: Dear Matt:
I’ve taken a job in Milwaukee and they needed me there “yesterday.” We’ll be renting a home until we can find one to buy but my question has to do with our current home in Woodbury. I hate to admit it but I’m not the best maintenance guy and the home is showing some wear and tear and it needs some repairs. I just don’t have time to do them and I won’t be in town to supervise the work anyway so I’m wondering how you feel about selling it as-is?
Soren Anderson, Woodbury
A: Thanks for the question, Soren. Whether or not to sell a home as-is depends a great deal on what type of market we’re in. If it’s a buyers’ market (one where the buyer has lots of homes from which to choose) I would advise against it. In a sellers’ market, however, you have a bit more leeway on what you can get away with and still make a decent chunk of cash on the sale. There are other considerations aside from market conditions, however.
A study came out a year or two ago that found homebuyers, by and large, want homes that are in move-in condition and are willing to pay more for one that is. When a buyer is faced with a large selection of homes yours will need to have some pretty compelling features to beat the competition and get the buyer to pony up for a house that needs repairs.
The first consideration is price – depending on what’s wrong with the home, you may need to price it significantly lower than market value to make it an attractive purchase. If this is something your budget can
tolerate, you’ve passed this hurtle. But, there are others.
THE BUYER’S LOAN
Buyers aren’t the only ones that want a home...
Ah, spring – the time homebuyers binge on Woodbury real estate. Look at any graph over the last decade or two of monthly housing activity in the area and you’ll see a February slump and then a rapid rise in activity in March, lasting until the peak in June. Suffice it to say, it’s no secret that spring is the ultimate homebuying season in Woodbury. If you’re one of the many Woodbury homeowners planning to sell this spring, the time to prepare is right now. You’ll have lots of competition once spring hits and anything you can do to smooth the way now will put you out in front of the rest of them. Here are some tips to help you hit the ground running in spring:
1. Get a head start packing
Packing now not only makes the job easier later on, but it also helps your house sell. How? By removing excess furniture, clothing, linens and kitchen items, you give the home a leaner, cleaner look. Start with personal items such as photos, book,magazine and DVD collections, trophies and all the other little mementos scattered throughout the home. Then, work your way up to clearing out closets, cupboards and even the pantry. You know better than to put all those packed boxes in the garage, right? Garages need to be staged the same as the interior of your home. Woodbury has no shortage of self-storage businesses, so rent a unit that is large enough to hold not only all of the boxes you’ll be moving while you pack, but furniture as well. You may find that you’ll need to remove some of your furniture when staging the home in spring.
2. Clean and repair
While winter is brutal on the exterior of a home it can be hard on the interior as well. We keep our homes...
When it comes to energy efficiency, look for smart features and expertise to help you save energy and money and add value to your home.
1. Begin with a Right-Sized Home.
If the home you buy is simply too large for you or your family’s needs or plans, you stand a good chance of wasting energy through excessive heating and cooling costs. If it’s too small, you’ll feel cramped and uncomfortable. It’s a big investment, so seek balance and buy it “right” from the outset.
2. Purchase Energy Star Appliances Such as Your TV, Dishwasher, Washer and Dryer, and Microwave.
And especially the refrigerator, as it alone contributes about 10 percent of the energy use in a home. Also, unplug electronics not in use or turn off power strips to avoid phantom charges.
3. Install Efficient Lighting Such as Compact Fluorescent (CLF) or LED Bulbs in Every Fixture.
Lighting accounts for about 6 percent of an energy bill each year.
4. Get an Energy Audit and Have Tests Performed to Identify Ways of Improving Your Efficiency.
You can always upgrade your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system as well as your thermal envelope, which includes insulation, windows, and doors and the seals or weather stripping around them. Visit energy.gov/energytips for more tips.