Selling Your Home? Think CURB APPEAL – Easy Fixes

Get your home ready to sell.
Get your home ready to sell.

So you are selling your home. Too bad it is a terrible market to do so, but it has to be done. The first thing you should do even before you invite a real estate agent out to help price your home is to work on your curb appeal. Lets face it, if you are selling your home it is likely you don’t have money to pay for much if anything. Well here are some things you can do and will cost little to nothing to do them.

“Polished brass will pass upon more people than rough gold. ~Lord Chesterfield”

1> Make sure your mailbox looks as good as it can. Clean it, paint it or replace it based on if you have money or not. Make sure the numbers on the mailbox is clear and not weathered looking; that goes for the 911 sign with your number on it, as well as the number on your house itself. At least clean and get these things looking as good as possible.

2> Clean and or paint your front door. Make sure the door bell works. And make sure the door knobs aren’t nasty looking or broken. If you have to spend a few bucks here, it is worth it!

3> Keep your front porch or front of your home as clean and clutter free as possible. That means sweep your steps or walkway regularly. Remember people drive around looking at homes long before they call an agent to show them the home. Remember, first impressions are extremely important.

4> Clean your yard – not just the front, but all around your home. I am talking about getting everything that isn’t supposed to be there out of your yard, including dead wood, dog bones, old toys, nasty looking garden furniture etc… you get the idea.

5> Landscaping. That usually means money. But that is not the case here. If you have any woods around you property, you will likely have tree saplings in those woods, dig them up and plant them around your home (fresh bought wood chips or similar will make a world of difference – worth the money even if you don’t have it to spend). If you don’t have woods on your property, I am certain one of your friends will have. Also make sure you trim up what you do have, so if you have several small trees growing on top of each other, remove the weaker ones and make more room for the other to grow (spacing). If you have dead trees, get them down somehow and get them off the property, or cut them into firewood if you have a fireplace in the home you are selling.

curb appeal - the realty guy (Small)   Good

bad curb appeal - The Realty Guy (Small)   BAD

6> If you have a waterfront property, meaning if you have a river, lake or even a tiny little trickle of a creek, clean-up in and around the body of water. Make sure that a buyer can walk down to the water without walking through a brier patch or running into hanging limbs.

7> Gutters… if you have trees growing out of your gutters you need to do something about that right now. Clean all the dirt and leaves out of your gutters, then wash them with soap and water. If they are bent up, try and bend them into proper shape (do the best you can), or if they look bad replace them if you can afford it.

8> Of course if you have money, pressure wash your home, porches and decks.

9> If the siding is broke, replace it. If the home needs to be repainted, do it. 8 & 9 is totally dependent on having money to do it, so if you are in the majority, just ignore these two.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email me anytime. Have a wonderful Spring and Summer. Ken

Ken Ruddell, Broker

Home Zone Real Estate
7068786116 Text/Cell
1-800-884-5526 / Fax

TheRealtyGuy@yahoo.com
http://www.TheRealtyGuy.com

Past President of the Habersham, White
& Stephens County Board of Realtors.

Is 2014 a Good Time to Buy a Home? CBS News says YES.

The real estate in the video talks about how interest rates have gone up 1 percent in the past year, and is likely to increase another 1/2% in 2014. That is a significant trend, because if that becomes a steady indicator, rates will have doubled within the next couple years. So I would have to agree, if you can afford to buy a home, 2014 would be a good time to do it.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/why-2014-is-a-good-year-to-buy-a-home/

If you are interested in getting started on your search for a new home, click on the link below. Just remember to call me when you are ready to buy. I look forward to working with you. Ken

PROPERTY SEARCH - Ken Ruddell, The Realty Guy

Click on the GAMLS logo to go to the Property Search site on my website.

Ken Ruddell, Broker
Home Zone Real Estate
7068786116 Text/Cell
http://www.TheRealtyGuy.com
TheRealtyGuy@yahoo.com

Air Conditioning Maintenance Tips

Air Conditioning Maintenance Tips:

I created this list from my experience. Remember I am a real estate Broker, not an AC service guy or anything – so this is just a normal (maybe not so normal) guys opinion from past experiences.

It is definitley time to have the Air Conditioning checked. There are lots of companies out there. I personally like Roman Schreck (706) 968-8493. A real trustworthly guy that has always been straight with me.

Now to the tips.
1. Regularly clean your air filters, supply vents and return grills. Dust and dirt cause your heating equipment to work harder. That means higher energy bills.

2. You must check the ducts under the house. If you open a crawl space door and it is cool under there you may have a problem. But even if it isn’t cool under there go check the ducts for leaks. Crawl or walk along the whole duct system feeling for air streams (make sure the AC is on) and try and find holes. Even the smallest hole will cause a terrible loss of cool air and put warm air in its place. If you find holes use the proper sealant to fix that hole. This article says NOT to use duct tape especially in an attic because under extremem heat it melts. It seems like duct take would be ok in a crawl space or basement. But regardless of what you use to fix the hole – make sure you don’t have any squeezing or pinching of the duct.

3. Speaking of squeezing or pinching. This is a bad problem especially if a home has a second floor. I have seen where the second floor was never cool even with the air on high. Turns out the issue was when they ran the vents to the second floor they tried to squeeze them through holes that were smaller than the duct – that creating a pinch point where air was not flowing as it was supposed to. If those ducts are in the walls and not accessible, the only way you would know if you have a problem is by having the cool air coming out of the vents checked. I know home inspectors do this kind of thing, and of course AC companies must as well. So if you are having problems with the upstairs of your home not being cooled properly, you may want to have that checked out. If you have a basement and the vents are visible – make sure you check them carefully, look for leaks and pinches.

4. Make sure you have enough vents open in the house. AC units are made to push a certain amount of air and by closing vents the system will not work efficiently. Talk with your AC company for more information on this.

5. Make sure your outside unit is not too close to the house or overgrown with bushes or weeds. Your unit needs to breathe.

6. You should have your unit checked yearly to make sure your system is working properly and the freon levels are normal. Freon is the coolant used in the ac system.

7. Timing – when to have the AC checked? Don’t wait until the summer to have your system checked. The best time of year would be Early spring when you have the occasional warn day. This way you can pick a day according to your schedule and not the AC Professionals, because in the summer – if he is any good he will be booked solid.

8. If the AC company finds problems – make sure you ask for a quote in writing and do not committ to that company on the spot. Then get at least two more quotes. AND NEVER TELL THE OTHER COMPANIES WHAT QUOTES YOU HAVE ALREADY. You can – and I suggest you do – tell them you are getting multiple quotes.

9. And if you did not like the company who maintained your AC unit the previous year – don’t call them back. Ask your friends or a local Real Estate Agent for recommendations.

10. Lastly – if you have a home that does not keep the home cool because it is in the sun for a good part of the day; try covering the windows with either heavy curtains or insulation when the sun is on those windows. It works! And this tip goes for new homes as well as the older homes.

Education: Click here to learn about Heat Pumps. This is the main source of Heating & AC in Habersham County & Northeast Georgia. Especially in the low to medium priced NON-Custom homes.

Keep Kool and visit this site often. Have a great day. Ken

US home market: Few buyers and not enough sellers

The real estate market right now is like no other time in most of our lives. This article talks about too few sellers, and too few buyers that can afford to buy. (Click on the link above to read the US Home Market article)

What I personally think is that the sellers have their homes priced too high, as such buyers who have struggled through the depression and partially ruined their credit can not get a loan for the amount needed to buy a decent home.

Can you get a loan?

The reality is that the market is going to struggle until people can get their credit back. Many filed bankruptcy within the past 2-5 years, those folks have a ways to go before they will qualify for a loan in the range they need it to be in to get a home they want. Until then, the best bet is renting or finding a seller willing to owner finance. Unfortunately most sellers that are willing to owner finance want an unrealistic amount as a down payment, while the buyers are still looking for 100% financing.

The future is not bright for the near future unless you are one of the people that survived the depression with your credit intact or has access to an abundance of cash.

I would love to help you regardless of your financial status. Feel free to call or email me anytime for some guidance. In the meantime, just try and work on your credit score.

Have a wonderful Spring. Ken

Ken Ruddell {Broker\Owner} – Home Zone Real Estate

706-878-6116 Cell\Text – 800-971-6116 Toll Free

TheRealtyGuy@yahoo.com

Watch out for “Refinancing Scams”

Always check with a local banker or a friend in real estate to make sure you know what you are doing. There are companies out there posing as agencies that say they can help you… be really careful! Read more about the scams by clicking on this safe link to the full Yahoo website.

Let me know if I can be of service. Thanks Ken Ruddell

Neighbors Helping Neighbors – The Community Helping Place

home_01_03

The Community Helping Place is always in need of food donations as well as many other things.

I copied the paragraph below from their website:
“The Community Helping Place (CHP) is a 501(c)(3) located in Dahlonega, Georgia; dedicated to assisting those in need in Lumpkin County. Services include a food pantry, free clinic, emergency financial assistance (for rent, utilities, etc,), referral support services and family resource counselor. These services are made possible by the generous donations of individuals, businesses, churches, and civic groups. In addition we rely on approximately 180 volunteers who donate their time to help meet the needs of others in their community.”

So as you have read, they help out people in the community in a big way, and any contributions by you would be greatly appreciated. To donate anything, either go to their website or use the contact information below to do so.

Contact “The Community Helping Place”:
Phone: 706-867-9621 Fax: 706-867-6701
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 712, Dahlonega, GA 30533
Street Address: 2030 Highway 19 North, Dahlonega, GA 30533
(between Banister’s Funeral Home and Ace Hardware)

Neighbors Helping Neighbors – I love that!

Thank you. Ken Ruddell, The Realty Guy.
also a proud College Student at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega.