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YOUR CONTENT LIBRARY
JANUARY 1 - COPY AND PASTE
JANUARY 2 - COPY AND PASTE
It's a brand new year which means it's time to start fresh with some easy home maintenance tips that every homeowner needs to do.
If you maintain your home well, it will save you loads of time and money in the long term (and may even help you make money when it comes time to sell your home).
Comment below or double tap this post if you'd like to see more of these ideas on a monthly basis!
DECEMBER 3 - COPY AND PASTE
JANUARY 4 - COPY & PASTE
Here are six steps that you can expect if you want to become a homeowner this year ⬇
At times, it might not seem like six steps. At times, it might seem more like 600! That's why we start with the first step: a buyer consultation. When we work together, my goal is to take some of that overwhelm out of the process for you.
If you're thinking about making a move or buying your first home this year, let's schedule a Zoom or FaceTime call and start making your game plan!
JANUARY 5 - FILL IN THE BLANK
Calling all homeowners: meet __________, one of the most talented interior designers in __________ [your city]. She creates beautiful spaces that are comforting and inviting and I know you'll love her work as much as I do.
Follow her at @__________ to see more. Be sure to follow her and drop her a DM to tell her that I sent you!
Calling all homeowners: everyone needs to have the name of an awesome interior designer in their contact list and I've got a few up my sleeve. Save this post to "meet" several of my very favorite interior designers in __________ [your city].
Who else would you add to this list? Don't forget to save this post so you can reference it next time you're planning a redesign or renovation!
JANUARY 6 - FILL IN THE BLANK
I am __________ [a big believer in New Year's resolutions and/not usually known for making New Year's resolutions but] this year I did set a few goals for myself. I plan to __________, __________ and __________ [share a few goals or resolutions that you have set for yourself - personal or professional].
Tell me one of yours in the comments and let's motivate each other!
JANUARY 7 - COPY AND PASTE
JANUARY 8 - COPY AND PASTE
This is a post that every single homeowner needs 🧺
I love a good cleaning hack (especially when I'm not the one actually cleaning!). It's the time of year for curling up on the sofa with a blanket and your favorite beverage...add to that a feisty pup, your kids, and it's practically a recipe for spills and splatters. ☕️🧃
Here is how to keep your carpets, throw pillows and upholstery looking and smelling fresh all throughout the winter "hibernation" season. ❄️❄️
🧼 If something spills on a rug, get to it ASAP! Treat pet stains with enzyme cleaner (Seventh Generation Natural Stain Remover Spray is a good one!) and sprinkle food/drink 🍷🍫 spills with baking powder before vacuuming and spot treating.
🧼 Have your rugs and upholstery professionally steam-cleaned at least once per year. Check fabric care labels on things like throw pillows, bed linens, window coverings and blankets to see if they can be machine washed or need to be dry-cleaned. 🧺
🧼 To brighten up bed linens, look no further than your kitchen pantry. Run a wash cycle with your bed sheets and a half-cup of distilled white vinegar for a quick boost of brightness and softness.
Have you tried any of these tips? Which one does your home need first?
JANUARY 9 - COPY AND PASTE
Picture this: you're right in the midst of house hunting when you see a home that checks most of your boxes: spacious rooms, gas fireplace, private outdoor space, a soaking tub in the primary bathroom.
The kitchen is a little outdated and the roof needs to be replaced in a few years, so you decide to put in an offer at $10k under asking.
When we let the listing agent know we plan to make an offer, they tell me that there are multiple offers on the home.
Before you get discouraged and assume you'll be outbid, I'm going to give you some tips to help your offer stand out:
1️⃣ Get pre-approved. In a multiple offer situations, many sellers won't even consider an offer without pre-approval.
2️⃣ Consider an escalation clause -- a term you put in your offer that allows you to increase your suggested purchase price in order to avoid getting outbid.
3️⃣ Have as few contingencies as possible in your offer. Sometimes, the seller will take the offer that is most flexible, or the buyer who can move the most quickly.
4️⃣ Create a personal connection. In some cases, I may suggest that you include a letter to the seller in your offer. If a seller truly loves their home, they may appreciate hearing what made you fall in love with the home or neighborhood.
5️⃣ Avoid the bidding war. I will help you craft an offer that we can feel confident in, to avoid over-bidding. The last thing we want is to get into a heated bidding war and regret it when it comes time to make that first mortgage payment.
If you have any questions about multiple offer situations, drop me a message any time or ask me in the comments below!
JANUARY 10 - COPY AND PASTE
Five tips you need to know if you are ready to buy your first home 💵
It isn't glamorous, but part of my job is to help you prepare for the financial steps you'll need to take if you're planning to buy a home this year.
Don't forget to save this post for later!
📍 Save for your down payment and yes, closing costs (more about those later this month).
📍 Work with a lender to determine how much home you can afford.
📍 Check and, if needed. repair your credit score (there's a good and a less-good way to do this -- let's talk!).
📍 Research your mortgage loan options and rates that may be available to you.
📍 Get a pre-approval letter from a qualified mortgage lender before you begin your search.
Homeowners, what is one thing you wish you had known before you bought your first home?
JANUARY 11 - COPY AND PASTE
JANUARY 12 - COPY AND PASTE
What is the difference between net and gross income?
This might seem like a question better left to accountants. But, when it comes time to apply for a mortgage, you should know that it's your net income that a lender is going to pay attention to.
Net income is your take-home pay after taxes have been deducted, and it allows lenders to gauge your ability to pay back your mortgage loan over time. Gross income is the amount of money you earn before anything is taken out for taxes or other deductions
Did you already know this one? Tell me what other real estate terms you'd like to know more about in the comments!
JANUARY 13 - COPY AND PASTE
Who wants to grab a coffee or tea? ☕️🍵
Whether you're ready to put up a For Sale sign or you're a recreational online house hunter, I am always game to talk real estate with you. And since we're all spending more time at home this winter, I'd love to "see" you via Zoom!
Send me a DM if you'd like to grab a cup of coffee and catch up virtually this month. No strings attached and no sales pitch involved -- I'll send you a digital Starbucks card and we can pop onto Zoom for a coffee and a conversation!
Send me a message or comment below if you're interested and I'll be in touch to set it up.
To purchase a Starbucks card for a client:
JANUARY 14 - COPY AND PASTE
TRUE OR FALSE: Earnest money is non-refundable.
When you're buying your first home, it might feel like you're signing your life away when you pay that earnest money deposit with your offer to purchase a home. 💸 💸
The good news? This one is FALSE.
Earnest money is almost always refundable if the contract is cancelled within the due diligence time period and for a valid reason, like financing falling through or problems with the home inspection. And of course, on closing day, your earnest money payment counts towards your down payment on the overall home purchase, too.
JANUARY 15 - FILL IN THE BLANK
JANUARY 16 - COPY AND PASTE
WHAT TO EXPECT AT A HOME INSPECTION:
First things first, congratulations are in order!
If you've made it to the home inspection, that means your offer was accepted and that alone is cause for celebration.
But, before we pop the champagne, here are a few things you should know heading into a home inspection as a home buyer.
🧰 As the home buyer, you get to select your home inspector, which means that person is working for you. Be sure to hire a home inspector who is qualified and experienced. If you need any names, let me know!
🧰 During the home inspection, your inspector will focus on the major systems in the home, like plumbing, HVAC and electrical. They will not be looking for anything cosmetic, like a loose screw on the cabinet or outdated window blinds.
🧰 Your home inspector will typically do a walk through of the property and take notes, pictures, video and audio as they go. All of this will be compiled into a final report, which they will deliver to you and your attorney after the inspection.
🧰 The inspection is not a binding report. Even if your inspector flags something, the home seller can choose not to repair it. At this point, it's up to you to decide if it's something you want to negotiate or not.
🧰 Before we go back to the seller to negotiate repairs, we'll consider three questions: 1) Is this a deal breaker? 2) Is this a safety concern and 3) Will this affect future resale value?
If you are currently a homeowner, have you ever been shocked by the results of a home inspection?
JANUARY 17 - COPY AND PASTE
JANUARY 18 - COPY AND PASTE
JANUARY 19 - FILL IN THE BLANK
Love it or hate it, winter is here ❄️
Even though winter isn't my favorite season (give me a cocktail by the pool any time!), __________, I do love to __________ [talk about your favorite winter tradition - do you take the family skiing and go for hot chocolate? Snuggling up for homemade popcorn and a movie night? Be sure to tag the places you like to go, too!].
What are your favorite winter traditions? Tell us below 👇🏾
Love it or hate it, winter is here ❄️
I happen to love winter! There is so much to do in __________ [your town], even when the temps are dropping!
Here's how I like to keep busy in the winter months: [tag your favorite things to do - ice skating, sledding, heated outdoor dining -- give some local businesses a little love!].
Who else would you add to this list? Don't forget to save this post so you can reference it next time cabin fever sets in.
JANUARY 20 - COPY AND PASTE
Is there anything better than online house hunting? 💻🏡🛒 You can do it from the comfort of your sofa with a glass of wine or La Croix in hand!
Next time you find yourself in the Zillow rabbit hole, just keep these three tips in mind:
💻 Some photos may have been digitally staged. There are programs that can turn neon green walls white, brighten up dim rooms, and even change the colors of kitchen cabinets, countertops and appliances.
💻 Online home valuations are not always accurate. If you see a home listed for one price, but the online estimate is significantly higher, don't assume you'll be getting the deal of the century. Before we put an offer on a home, I'll always run comps for you so we can analyze the value of the home you want to buy against similar properties in the neighborhood.
💻 Real estate websites don't always tell the home's whole story. I have access to the MLS, which often includes notes from the listing agent that may not be visible to the public.
If you're beginning to "window shop" online for your next home, let me know. I'd be glad to set up an MLS search for you so we can look together and find you a perfect fit!
JANUARY 21 - FILL IN THE BLANK
JANUARY 22 - COPY AND PASTE
How much do I *really* need to save for closing costs? If you're a home buyer or a home seller, your closing costs can vary quite a bit based on a number of factors.
Swipe to take a look at the closing costs that you can expect, both as a buyer and a seller. Be sure to save this post by hitting the bookmark icon so you can reference it when it comes time to start the budgeting process for your next home!
JANUARY 23 - FILL IN THE BLANK
🏡 What if we find a new home before our current one sells? 🏡
Buying a new home can be a stressful event, but have you ever tried buying a home *while selling your current one?* There are so many moving parts that need to fall into place, but don't worry - we've got this!
If you find the perfect home while your current place is on the market, we can put what is called a contingency into your offer. This means that you have an agreed-upon amount of time to sell your new home, or the seller can cancel your contract.
In most cases, if you are able to make a down payment and stay within an acceptable debt-to-income ratio while carrying both properties, you'll be able to close on your new home while you sell your current one.
In a pinch, there are other options -- like a 401k loan, a cash-out refinance that your lender might recommend.
If you are thinking about buying while selling, let me know -- the further in advance we can plan, the better positioned you'll be to navigate the process!
JANUARY 24 - FILL IN THE BLANK
🎶 Baby it's cold outside... 🎶
Get those snow shovels ready, because winter storms are inevitable at this time of year. Luckily, with a little advance planning (and maybe some hot cocoa or a cinnamon oat milk latte), you can prepare your home to weather any storm (see what I did there?).
Here are my tips:
❄️ Seal and caulk any drafts & cracks (especially around the doors and windows).
❄️ Have an alternate heating source -- in the event that you lose power, have a backup plan in place!
❄️ Stock up on winter storm supplies (think: flashlights, batteries, and yes, that includes snacks!)
❄️ Speaking of batteries, check them in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
❄️ Locate your property insurance documents. It's better to be over-prepared!
What else would you add to this list? Here's hoping for a mild winter! ☃️
JANUARY 25 - FILL IN THE BLANK
Is a three car garage really a must if you take the train to the office?
When we work together, we'll find those things that you really must have in your next home and create a plan for your search.
For me it was __________ [exposed brick, a walk-in closet, whatever your must-have is]. Now's the time to set your priorities out, figure out how to compromise with your spouse, and get ready to separate the needs from the dreams.
What is something that is on your MUST list in every home you have?
JANUARY 26 - COPY AND PASTE
Shovel the walkway? In these boots? 👢👢
If shoveling snow, mowing the lawn and maintaining your yard sound as much fun as watching paint dry, then you might consider a home that is part of a homeowner's association (or HOA).
In an HOA, you pay a monthly fee and that goes toward the maintenance and upkeep of the outside of any common grounds in your property.
Although there is typically more paperwork involved when buying a home that is part of an HOA, there are lots of benefits too -- getting to know your neighbors better being a big one.
If you have any questions, just shoot me a DM and I would be happy to answer all of your HOA-related questions.
JANUARY 27 - FILL IN THE BLANK
LET'S TALK __________! [fill in the name of your city/town/market]
I am here to answer any of your questions! Whether you want to know how much your home is worth right now or where to get the best spicy tuna roll in __________ [city], I'm here to answer anything about real estate or __________ [city].
Shoot me a DM or leave your questions below and I'd love to chat with you!
JANUARY 28 - COPY AND PASTE
TRUE OR FALSE: Once you submit an offer to purchase a home, there is no turning back.
Guess what? Until closing day, ANYTHING can happen. I hate to say it, but the truth is that real estate deals fall apart all the time! It's never fun when financing falls through, an issue turns up on the inspection or there is a problem with the appraisal. So, take a deep breath! We can fix this.
If issues do arise once you've put your offer in, there are always options. Almost everything can be negotiated and as long as we are within the contingency periods outlined in the offer, we have plenty of options.
JANUARY 29 - FILL IN THE BLANK
Pizza out of the box and wine in plastic cups is great for move-in day, but it's time to turn your attention into making that Pinterest board a reality.
Here are my three tips to turn your new house into a place you're proud to call home.
🎨 Paint an accent wall. In a weekend (or less!) you can completely transform a room.
🍽 Set up your dining room. Often the last room to get any real attention, having a separate space for family dinners or date nights can make your space feel finished.
🧺 Add textiles. Curtains, throw pillows, or even throw blankets on your sofa can give your home a comfy, cozy vibe that will make you want to stay in.
What is one thing that you did when you moved in that really "Joanna Gaines-ed" your current home?
JANUARY 30 - COPY AND PASTE
One of my favorite things to say to my clients is, "you offer was accepted!"
If you're buying your first home (or your first home in awhile) you might want a quick refresher on what happens once that contract is signed.
So here goes!
1️⃣ Call your parents! Everyone could use some good news these days, so share it (plus, I bet they'd love to hear from you!).
2️⃣ Schedule an inspection. Don't worry, I know the right guy to call!
3️⃣ Buy yourself a nice bottle of champagne 🍾
4️⃣ Hire a lawyer (I've got you covered there, too!) and get ready to dive right into the legal nitty gritty.
5️⃣ Read everything. Twice. Then ask questions -- yes, even the ones that you think might be silly! Trust me, I've heard them all and it's better to ask up front than be surprised later.
6️⃣ Hone your happy dance choreography (there is no room for the 'bus driver' in your happy dance though, trust me). And do you still have that champagne? Because it's time to pop it once you are officially a homeowner!
In all seriousness, buying a home can be a complex and overwhelming process, but I'll be here to walk you through it, every step of the way.
If you ever have questions about what it might look like to buy this year (or if you want to talk about champagne!) shoot me a DM.