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Welcome To Our Real Estate Newsletter, March 2023

Five Ways To Find Your Dream Home Faster

House-hunting requires time and effort and there's nothing more exciting than finding your dream home.

The best way to fast track this process is to make a list of your priorities before even stepping out the door to go and see a property.

Knowing your "must-haves" and nice-to-haves" helps ensure your agent only shows you suitable properties, and they can quickly rule out those that don't fit the bill.

Follow these top tips to help you navigate the property market and ensure your journey is completed as quickly and successfully as possible.

Your Budget. Organise a pre-approved loan as this will give you a budget. However, be aware interest rates are constantly on the move: they go up and down, sometimes in the same week. So, your final loan may be slightly more or less than your pre-approval.

Size Matters. Have a good idea of your next home's size. Talk to your agent about the square footage and number of bedrooms. Clarity here will prevent walk-throughs of properties that are too small. Of course, marrying the desired size with your budget will determine what you can afford.

Prioritise Location. Make a shortlist of desirable neighbourhoods and the amenities and services that should be easily accessible. It's best if you have several options because you can't always find the dream home on the perfect street in the ideal neighbourhood.

Style Guru. Your search can be even more precise if you decide on the style of home you're seeking. Are you looking for an older, established house or a newly-built apartment or home? Other essential factors might include parking, a garden and an outdoor entertainment area.

Don't Rely On Memory. Take notes on each property you visit, and keep the web address for the relevant online advertisements. Make a copy of your priority list and tick each element off as you see them. Ask for a floor plan. After you've visited four or five homes, they can start to blur into one. Your notes and the floor plan will help.

Home Staging Tips To Welcome Buyers

Staging can cost a few thousand dollars, depending on the size of your home and what's required. But it's worth considering as it can attract willing buyers and may add a substantial amount to your eventual price. 

It's not affordable for everyone, however, and it may be hard to measure its success; while you may achieve a great sale price, how do you know if staging was a factor?

If you would prefer to try DIY home staging, these ideas use your existing furnishings as a starting point.

Nothing personal. We want buyers to imagine themselves living in your home, so it's a good idea to take away photos and personal knick-knacks. De-personalizing is a hallmark of a professionally staged home.

Clean slate. Cleanliness is also core to staging. You don't want buyers to see any scuffs on the wall, or dust or dirt nestled in a corner or under the sink. If you're going to have a go at staging, clean your home from top to bottom. 

Crisp and bright. Dressing the bedrooms is essential. Rather than using a variety of existing linen, invest in clean white. sheets and covers to give every bedroom a uniform crisp, bright look. Change back to your usual linen once buyers have completed their walk-throughs.

White again. Keep the white theme going in the bathrooms, hanging clean white towels on the rails. Why white? Because it reflects the light in the room, making it appear bigger. If you opted for red or even black towels, these would distract the eye.

Drapes. Heavy drapes around your windows can shrink a room and block the light. So, modernise with bright and breezy drapes. They may not be practical for everyday living, but they'll help add the fresh and light atmosphere buyers seek in a modern home.

Mirrors. Placing wall mirrors strategically will reflect and increase the natural light coming into your home while also helping to make it feel spacious. Don't overdo it, selecting only areas where a mirror might reflect natural light.

Common scents. Another tactic you don't want to go overboard with is scent. A lovely smelling home is a great plus, but too much can put folks off, and even make some suspicious you're masking an unpleasant odour.

Setting the mood. Some stagers will suggest playing relaxing music as buyers conduct their walk-throughs. Get your agent's opinion on this one!

Ring in Spring with Family-Friendly Activities

Spring has finally sprung! Want to go enjoy the great weather with your loved ones?

Try one of these family-friendly activities:

Go on a picnic. Pack sandwiches, a blanket and a game, and head down to a nearby park or lake.

Take a bike ride. Head to a fun destination like an ice cream shop or playground.

Do a scavenger hunt. Create a list of clues and have your kiddos hunt down and snap photos of each item.

Happy Spring!

Welcome To Our Real Estate Newsletter, February 2023

Stay Alert And You'll Find Your Dream Home

When considering whether to enter the property market, it pays to keep an open mind when deciding to upgrade your home, downsize, or make your first purchase.

Rising property values and mortgage costs have made real estate a difficult market to read for some buyers. 

It's essential to be accurate with your research and the data you apply. Focus only on results in your target neighbourhood and filter them with the size and style of the relevant property. Even then, you'll only achieve an approximation of value.

The best approach is to seek an agent's appraisal of value and their reading on the neighbourhood real estate scene.

The ultimate factor in deciding whether to buy or sell should be your personal circumstances. It will always be an excellent time to buy if you're confident of long-term employment and can afford the price tag or mortgage costs associated with a purchase.

Don't try to over-read the market and attempt to pick the moment it might peak or trough; nobody can do that with guaranteed accuracy. Happy house hunting!

How To Tell If Downsizing Is Right For You

Selling your home for a profit and purchasing smaller, more suitable accommodation may be the smartest move for you.

For many older homeowners, lifestyles have changed over the years. Their kids will have grown into adults and moved out, and careers and work may be winding down. Rattling around in a large family home that still requires maintenance may not be the joy you imagined a decade ago.

But selling the family property has an emotional cost. Your home holds many memories, and letting it go to the highest bidder isn't easy.

Here are some things to consider if you are thinking of moving to a smaller place.

What is downsizing? It's a term that addresses the need of "empty nesters" to find a smaller property now their children have flown the coop and are forging their own lives. Once alone, either as a single or couple, you have little need for big gardens, four bedrooms or even to sacrifice your preferred location to be near schools.

Why downsize? There are a lot of answers to this question, and most depend on your circumstances. Perhaps you want additional cash to spend in retirement. Alternatively, the maintenance of a large property may be too much, or the utility bills to run a half-empty home seem wasteful. In your heart, you will know if and why you should downsize.

What are the benefits? Consider this question in the context of your preferred lifestyle now and into the future. Some folks love the idea of an over-55s complex with social programs, sports facilities, and medical facilities. Others who've lived in the suburbs want the bright city lights. When deciding whether to downsize, I recommend prioritising your lifestyle choices and being clear on how you wish to live.

Love is in the air!

It's February, the month when love is in the air — air that is soon to be filled with the fragrance of roses! So, why not fill your own space with love? Here are 5 little ways to show love in your life.
  1. Plan a family dinner. Eating together always brings those we love closer and allows time for great conversations.
  2. Leave little notes. Have someone special in your life, tell them you are thinking about them with a little note of appreciation.
  3. Bring home a favourite treat. We all have a hard day sometimes; let those you care about know you were thinking about them.
  4. Compliments. Feeling noticed and complimenting someone on a job well done will help them feel great and appreciated.
  5. Put electronics away. Putting down your cell phone and being present for important people can help create deep, lasting relationships.
When everyone takes part in bringing joy to others, the world becomes a much happier place!

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