William Raveis Real Estate and Home Services



Posted by Deborah Schilling on 11/2/2017

Selling your home can be scary, particularly for those who are listing a residence for the first time. Fortunately, we're here to help you face your home selling fears so you can overcome them before you add your property to the real estate market.

Now, let's take a look at three common home selling fears, along with some of the ways that you can put these concerns to rest.

1. I won't be able to get the best price for my home.

Getting the best price for a house is the number one concern for most home sellers, and for good reason. Lucky for you, there are several quick, easy ways to ensure you can maximize the value of your residence.

First, check out the housing market and see how your house stacks up against similar residences that are available. This will enable you to collect valuable housing market data that can help you price your house accordingly.

Don't forget to complete a home appraisal too. A property appraiser will allocate the necessary time and resources to analyze your house's interior and exterior. Then, he or she will provide a report that outlines your home's strengths and weaknesses so you can better understand the true value of your residence.

2. My home will stay on the real estate market for years to come.

Let's face it – a home seller likely wants his or her residence to sell as soon as it hits the real estate market. Sometimes, a house can linger on the real estate market for an extended period of time. And when this happens, it is easy to question whether a homebuyer will ever submit an offer on a residence.

As a home seller, it is important to ensure your house makes a positive first impression on homebuyers.

Spend some time mowing the front lawn, clearing dirt and debris from walkways and performing assorted home exterior improvements. This will enable you to boost your house's curb appeal instantly.

Also, declutter your home's interior as much as possible. By doing so, you can make it simple for homebuyers to envision what life would be like if they decide to purchase your residence.

3. When the time comes, I won't be able to relocate to a new home.

After you sell your residence, you'll need to move to a new address. The relocation process often can be difficult, especially if you have lived in a particular house for many years.

A real estate agent can help you prepare for the relocation process. This housing market professional understands all aspects of the home selling cycle, and as such, will be happy to offer expert assistance at all times.

Although selling a home may seem challenging, an informed home seller will understand what it takes to get the best results possible. And if you address your home selling fears now, you should have no trouble optimizing the value of your house and accelerating the home selling process.




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Posted by Deborah Schilling on 10/26/2017

It’s as if your entire life shuts off when you lose power at home. Television, landline telephones, kitchen appliances and music aren’t the only technologies that you lose during power outages. When the power goes out at your house, you can’t get on the Internet or cook.

Cut back on home power outage inconveniences

Let power outages happen at night and you won’t be able to see good in the dark. The longer power stays out at your house, the worse conditions get. After a while,the battery on your cell phone will run down, leaving you without the chance to connect to family and friends without venturing outdoors.

Although you might feel helpless when the power goes out at your house, there are a few things that you can do to prevent power outages. There are also steps that you can take to respond to power outages, so the experience doesn’t halt your day too much. To prevent home power outages, you could:

  • Reduce the chances that electricity will damage your home – Contact your utility company to repair electrical wiring. Specific instances when you will want to do this include when wires hang so close to your house that they actually brush your house during high winds and when apiece of a wire breaks.
  • Cut away low hanging tree limbs – Power lines don’t only cause damage when they hit your home. They can knock out power if they get caught in tree limbs. When you’re outside performing general maintenance on the exterior of your home, look for and cut away low hanging tree limbs.
  • Check electrical boxes – Check with your utility company to see if electrical boxes need to be moved or reinforced. A bad transformer can cause power outages throughout your neighborhood.
  • Remove termites – Although termites are famously known for causing wood damage, they can also cause power outages.
  • Turn off unused appliances – By turning off appliances when they are not in use, especially during harsh weather storms,you reduce the amount of power that your house demands, which could help you to avoid a power outage.

Despite your best efforts, power outages occur. Keeping candles and batteries nearby are not the only things that you can do to respond to power outages at home. Additional steps that you could take include:

You have to deal with enough unexpected events at your house. Regular power outages shouldn’t be among those events. If you take proactive steps, you could reduce the number of times that the power goes out at your house. You could also keep your home safer during hard weather storms.




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Posted by Deborah Schilling on 10/19/2017

Buy a house before you're ready and you could get stuck with a mortgage that chips away at your savings. The fact is that unless you're a professional house flipper, it could take you weeks, perhaps months, to sell your house.

Knowing whether you're ready to buy a home or not is a major life decision. The effects of your decision could last years. Do yourself a favor and think about the below readiness signs before you sign a mortgage.

It's important to buy a house at the right time

The average American mortgage exceeds $170,000. That's a lot of debt to take on if you're not ready. Assess your finances before you look for a house. Add up your food,clothing, entertainment, student loans, travel and credit card expenses. Also,add in how much the house you would like to live in cost, including mortgage interest payments.

Because you'll be paying on your mortgage for years, wait until you've been at your job for longer than a year to buy a house. That doesn't guarantee job security, but it can give you time to gain visibility and a strong, positive reputation where you work. Make sure that you have a dependable income before you take on a mortgage.

Give yourself time to improve your credit score. A good credit score can get you lower fixed mortgage interest rates. Avoid getting pulled into low adjustable rate mortgages, as the amount of interest that you pay on these mortgages may rise over time, making it harder for you to meet your mortgage obligations.

Think about house repairs that you may need to make. Buy a brand new house and five or more years could pass before a pipe, wire or floor needs repair. Buy an older house and you could start repairing leaks, floors and window panes a year or less after you move in. If you know how to lay floor tiles, repair holes in walls and unclog pipes, you might be more ready to take on a mortgage than you think.

Your personality and personal tastes play a role

Consider where you're moving to. If you're a leader, you might be able to form community groups and improve an entire neighborhood that had been struggling with safety and beautification issues. Your personality plays a role in how satisfying you will find home ownership. After all, regardless of where you move, you're going to have to interact and relate with others.

Regarding relationships and personality, ask yourself if you're more comfortable living in a single home or an apartment. For example, if your adult children recently left home, you might adjust to the change better if you rent a townhouse or an apartment for one to two years before you buy a house.

Take the stress out of buying a home. Wait to start house shopping until your personal,work and financial situations permit. It's also good to wait to co-sign a mortgage with a partner until after you have been in the relationship for awhile. But, this doesn't mean that you have to rent an apartment. Until you're ready, as a safeguard, you could purchase a home under a rent-to-own agreement.




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Posted by Deborah Schilling on 10/12/2017

Purchasing a house can be tricky, particularly for those who are dealing with a high-pressure negotiation. Luckily, we're here to help you get the best results from any homebuying negotiation, at any time.

Now, let's take a three must-haves for those who are getting ready to negotiate a home purchase.

1. Housing Market Data

An informed homebuyer is a smart shopper. As such, this individual will obtain a large assortment of housing market data that he or she can use to make the best buying decision.

For homebuyers, it is important to understand how one house stacks up against comparable residences in any real estate market. That way, a homebuyer can submit a competitive offer that is based on pertinent housing market data.

Examine the prices of recently sold houses similar to the one that you'd like to buy. Also, check out the prices of comparable houses that are currently available. And with this housing market data at your disposal, you can boost your chances of getting the optimal price for your dream residence.

2. Self-Confidence

Let's face it – a homebuying negotiation is stressful, regardless of whether you're a first-time homebuyer or have purchased many residences over the years. But if you remain confident throughout a negotiation, you can take a calm, cool and collected approach, even when times get tough.

A confident homebuyer will have no trouble standing his or her ground during a negotiation. And if this individual is uncomfortable with a home seller's counter-proposal, he or she will be willing to walk away and restart a home search.

Furthermore, a confident homebuyer will remain open to new ideas and consider the home seller's perspective. This will enable a homebuyer to examine both sides of a negotiation and proceed accordingly.

3. An Experienced Real Estate Agent

When it comes to negotiating a home purchase, there is no need to handle a negotiation on your own. Fortunately, an experienced real estate agent is happy to offer guidance at each stage of a homebuying negotiation.

An experienced real estate agent understands what it takes to purchase a great home at an affordable price. As a result, he or she will go above and beyond the call of duty to negotiate with a home seller on your behalf.

Typically, an experienced real estate agent will act as a liaison between a homebuyer and home seller. This housing market professional will keep you up to date about whether a home seller accepts or rejects your proposal to purchase a home. He or she also will provide recommendations and suggestions to help you transform a stressful negotiation into a successful one.

Perhaps best of all, an experienced real estate agent is ready to respond to your homebuying concerns and questions. He or she will provide you with the support you need to ensure you can make informed decisions throughout a homebuying negotiation.

Get ready for a homebuying negotiation – consider the aforementioned factors, and you can move one step closer to finalizing a home purchase.





Posted by Deborah Schilling on 10/5/2017

If you walk down the kitchen aisle of any department store you'll see dozens of kitchen tools--some you've maybe never even heard of. As long as people keep buying gimmicky kitchen tools and utensils, companies will keep making them. The temptation might be there, when walking through Target, to buy that chicken-shaped egg yolk separator, but do you really need it? In this article, we'll cover the essential list of kitchen utensils. Once your drawer has these items, you won't need anything else. You'll free up space in your kitchen and avoid money-wasting gimmicks that often don't even work, allowing you to buy better versions of the tools that really count. Note: We won't be talking about the basic silverware and dishes (forks, spoons, plates, cups, etc.) since we can assume you already have those.

  1. The chef's knife. A chef's knife is arguably the most important item in any kitchen. A good chef's knife is made from steel, has balanced weight, and is comfortable to hold. Be sure to keep it sharp and there's nothing you can't cut with it.
  2. Two spatulas. One metal for flipping items on your baking sheets and meat on the grill, one plastic for your frying pans. Thin, heat-resistant, and durable are what you're looking for here.
  3. Three spoons. One wooden (for stirring), one plastic with holes and one plastic without holes.
  4. A strainer. You don't need four sizes of strainer; one big one will do. Be sure to pick one with handles, sturdy handles, for draining big pots of pasta.
  5. Shears. Whether it's for de-stringing a Thanksgiving turkey or opening up a bag of frozen peas, they'll save you a headache trying to use a knife.
  6. Serrated bread knife. Unless you like to ruin a fresh loaf of bread by crushing it while cutting it, you'll need a serrated edge.
  7. Measuring cups and spoons. Clean your measuring spoons by hand so they don't get tossed around in your dishwasher and melted.
  8. Can opener. Skip the huge electric can openers and buy a good handheld one that will last years.
  9. Cutting board. A quality large wooden cutting board will make your life a lot easier, and it won't dull your blades.
  10. Peeler. Y-shaped peelers are much easier to use than their knife-shaped counterparts.
  11. Mixing bowl. You could benefit from multiple mixing bowls if you do a lot of baking, but oftentimes you only need one large bowl for most recipes and can use your smaller soup bowls for other ingredients.

Avoiding the gimmicks

It seems like every day there's a new infomercial for a lemon juice squeezer or a banana slicer. You'll notice that they tend to follow certain trends and offer the same promises. Here are the ones to avoid:
  • Fruit and vegetable slicers. If you have a knife, there's no need for tools that claim to slice certain types of vegetables better than others.
  • Single-use tools. Shears designed just for cutting and serving pizza? Yes, they exist. Avoid items that will just take up space in your cabinets and opt for those that serve multiple purposes.
  • Things you've never heard of. If it's an object that you've never seen or heard of before, odds are you don't need it in your kitchen cabinets. The most time-tested tools are all it takes to make great meals in your kitchen.




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Deborah Schilling
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