In the season of giving, many local organizations and businesses often accept donations of clothing, household goods, and other gently used items to help those in need.
Homeowners looking to downsize or preparing for a move (or just clearing up some space at home) can not only pay it forward by donating to a local charity, they can also take advantage of tax deductions. We’ve created this handy guide to tax-deductible donations in your home.
Belongings and Household Items That You Can Donate
Most organizations have guidelines about the specific items that they accept, but in general, you can donate these kinds of items to local charities:
- furniture, such as beds, desks, tables, and chairs
- clothing, such as shirts, shoes, and new underwear
- appliances, such as heaters, working TVs, and A/C units
- vehicles, such as cars or boats
- building materials, such as doors, windows, and wood flooring
Winter is Coming – Cheer Up with an Indoor Garden
Many homeowners find gardening is an enjoyable outdoor activity with several additional benefits: enhancing curb appeal, creating bright pops of color, and even providing homegrown ingredients for meals.
But outdoor plants need just the right amount of sunshine, space, fertile soil, and maintenance to be able to flourish.
You don’t need to abandon your dream of having a garden if you don’t have the space or it’s not the right season — bring the garden indoors! Here are a few ideas to spice up your home with easy-to-maintain indoor plants.
Grow Herbs on Your Kitchen Windowsill
Cooking can be a breeze when you have fresh herbs within easy reach. Choose a spot in your home with a lot of natural light, plant your favorite herbs in a container with good drainage, and you’ll be all set. Continue reading
Nothing can transform a home quite like a simple seasonal color palette. Whether you want to embrace the fall foliage, some holiday whimsy, or a little winter coziness, you can do all that with a few coats of paint and some well-placed splashes of color.
The best part of all? Not only are these color schemes great for seasonal home decorating, they work wonders when staging your home to sell, too! Here are a few irresistible color schemes you can blend into your home this fall and winter.
Down to Earth: Rust Red and Terra Cotta
Connect with nature in the fall season using rich tones of red and brown. For an added touch of earthiness, incorporate natural elements like wood to really pull the look together. Continue reading
What is the Truth About Homeowner Equity?
A recent article from a reputable news source was titled: Here’s why some homeowners still can’t sell. In the opening bullets of the article, the author claimed, “Negative equity is one of the main reasons why there are so few homes for sale.” The article then goes on to soften that stance, but we want to bring better clarity to the equity situation.
A recent report from CoreLogic (which was quoted in the article) revealed that over 80% of all homes now have “significant equity,” which means the home has over 20% equity. That level of equity allows the homeowner to sell their home if they so desire. (There was no reference to significant equity in the article.) Continue reading
5 Frightening Home Staging Mistakes
Halloween is just around the corner. For many homeowners, that means carving pumpkins, hanging up Halloween decorations, and stocking up on fun-sized candy. But if you’re a homeowner who is thinking about selling this fall season, you might be preparing your home for buyers instead of trick-or-treaters.
Home staging is a crucial part of home selling preparation. According to the National Association of REALTORS® 2017 Profile of Home Staging, 33% of buyers’ agents and 29% of sellers’ agents believe that a staged home increases the amount buyers are willing to pay up to 5%. On a $200,000 property, that’s $10,000!
But is your home effectively staged to sell? If you are preparing your home yourself, beware of these staging mistakes that scare away home buyers — and potentially thousands of dollars.
1. A Dark and Spooky Entryway
Your front entry is one of the first things buyers notice about your home. Peeling paint, deep shadows, and uninviting colors don’t create the best first impression. Turn your front entryway into a focal point by painting your door a bright color that complements your home.
2. Cobwebs in the Corners
At a showing, buyers are going to inspect virtually everything: light fixtures, closets, ceilings, you name it. Thoroughly clean your home from top to bottom (or hire a professional) to make it look like new. You can always ask a friend or neighbor to take an objective look at your home. Continue reading
Saline Home Sale Prices Up 7%
The Saline Real Estate market finishes off the third quarter in a slight seller’s market with a 4.7 month supply of homes available for sale. This is especially evident in the under $500,000 range with all price points in a seller’s market. This changes over $500,000 with a large amount of homes for sale in each category with a high month supply. Year-to-date, fewer homes have been listed and sold which is driving the average sale price up. At the end of September, 346 homes were listed, compared with 404 the same time last year. 257 homes have sold compared with 278 and the average Saline home sale price has increased 7%, going from $367,348 in 2016 to $394,763.
For sellers, this is a great time to get your home listed for sale! Inventory is low and sale prices keep rising. Want to know what your home is worth? Contact us at The Bouma Group, Realtors at 734-761-3060 or email email@example.com and find out! See what is happening in your particular Saline neighborhood or search for homes here!
Many home sellers have considered skipping the real estate agent to save on closing costs, but very few have actually succeeded in seeing those savings. There’s a good reason: the average homeowner doesn’t have the rigorous training and real estate knowledge that a licensed agent does.
But just what makes For Sale By Owner (FSBO) such a bad idea? From incessant inconveniences to costly paperwork mistakes, here are a few of the horror stories that FSBO sellers inevitably encounter.
The Daunting Task of Marketing Your Home
It takes more than a “For Sale” sign in your front yard to make buyers notice your home. According to the National Association of Realtors, 95% of buyers use the Internet in their home search.
This means that online marketing — starting with listing your home on the local listings database, sharing your listing to dozens of social media platforms, and advertising your listing on numerous websites with a global audience — is essential to selling your home.
Without an Agent, Home Marketing Isn’t Cheap
This is where it gets expensive: yard signs, newspaper ads, brochures, high-quality photographs, and a professional-looking website — things real estate agents have at their disposal — are your responsibility to finance and maintain when you have to do your home’s marketing yourself. Continue reading
What You Want and Don’t Want to Hear from Your Listing Agent
You’ve decided to sell your house. You begin to interview potential real estate agents to help you through the process. You need someone you trust enough to:
- Set the market value on possibly the largest asset your family owns (your home)
- Set the time schedule for the successful liquidation of that asset
- Set the fee for the services required to liquidate that asset
An agent must be concerned first and foremost with you and your family to garner that degree of trust. Make sure this is the case.
Sale Prices Soar for Ann Arbor Condos
When comparing Ann Arbor condo data year-to-date through August of 2016 to that of 2017, little has changed, except in one very important area. The number of new listings that came to the market was 552 in 2016 and 550 this year, basically the same, as with the number of sales, 455 vs. 447. However, the average sale price of Ann Arbor condos has skyrocketed from $203,743 YTD in 2016 to $252,547 this YTD, an increase of $24%! The low supply is keeping demand high, which is raising the average sale price. This is also apparent in the average days on the market which has decreased from 31 to 27. Once we see inventory begin to rise, prices will level out. Continue reading
Email scams are as old as, well, email, but as the years go by, these scams have become more and more sophisticated. Recently, several home buyers have fallen victim to specially targeted email scams that attempt to rob them of their closing costs — sometimes up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
These types of scams are devastating both financially and emotionally, especially when your home is involved. But to help protect you from email scams targeting the real estate industry, we have outlined a few tips about what these scams are and how to avoid them.
What Email Scams Are Common?
Though the method through which hackers collect personal or financial information is always changing, there are a few basic types of scams that buyers and sellers should be aware of.
This type of scam attempts to “fish” for sensitive personal or financial information (such as passwords or credit card numbers). Many emails used in recent phishing schemes look legitimate; they may use the name of a trusted company or individual as the sender name, but the email address is slightly different than the company’s or individual’s verified address.
These types of email messages may also ask you to verify information or click on a link, which could install harmful software on your computer. Continue reading