SHERRY DICKSON & ASSOCIATES TEAM
Ready to own a home? Or, if you're already a proud homeowner, do you want to throw a great cookout? This month's newsletter will help you to do both in Paris plus if you're planning a move, I've got a few helpful tips for that too. Read on and have a great month.
Step 1 – Set the foundation Before starting your home search, there are a lot of things you should think about. The first being your credit because it’s the most important factor in whether you’ll be a homeowner or renting for a little longer than you'd like. Create a budget so that you know how much you can afford to borrow, and pay monthly, for a home. Ensuring your mortgage payment is no more than 30 percent of your monthly income is a good rule of thumb.Step 2 – Decide on what you want Put together a list of items you want: school districts, neighborhoods, and access to highways. Research and choose the types of property features you want in a house. Don't be shy! You can narrow your list later.Step 3 – Contact a real estate agent You'd talk about your real estate needs, and your plans. And, you'd discuss everything from neighborhoods, schools, the mortgage and housing industries, to any other factors that affect your buying decision. Your agent can also help during the loan process.Step 4 – Find your dream house Using your list of must-haves, your agent will show you houses that are a good fit for you. As you tour houses, you should point out what things you like and don't like. Often, buyers amend their list of must-haves, and your agent will trim it down to the houses you'll love.Step 5 – Negotiate the deal It's common to receive a counter offer. You'll be empowered to choose whether or not to take the counter offer, present your counter offer, or refuse the offer.Step 6 – Close the deal Upon finalizing the contract, you'll work with your lender to close the loan. If you've been pre-qualified, this won't be a long process. Then, you'll get a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) detailing closing costs from your lender, and your agent will help you close on your home. Remember that if you or someone you know will house hunt soon, let me know. You can email me at email@example.com or call me at (903) 361-2733 any time.
SHERRY DICKSON & ASSOCIATES TEAMSHERRY DICKSON TEAM / Harold Carter Realtors (903) 361-2733
Make sure to check out my upcoming open houses.Click here to see my listings. I hope to see you there!
If you’re thinking of relocating, make sure you’ve got your ducks in a row. Here are a few to-dos that are often forgotten when you’re moving: — Have your car serviced if you’re driving. — Pack and label boxes that you’ll open first for each room. Using the kitchen as an example, this box would have dishwashing liquid, baggies, and a couple of pans. — Double check with your insurance company to find out their policies on covering your belongings while you’re traveling to your new place. — Refill any prescriptions a week or two before you leave. — Get referrals from your doctors for new physicians in your new city. — Keep important papers, like contracts, with you in your car. — Remember to remove valuables from your bank safe deposit box. . — Try to avoid stress!
Barbeque season is in full swing. In order to have the perfect cookout, you have to plan ahead and plan for a few surprises. Use these tips and ideas to make your next backyard party one to remember: — Have plenty of trash bags and garbage cans. Label them if you want to keep recyclables separate. — If you’re using a gas grill make sure you have plenty of fuel. Or, if you’re giving it a go on a traditional grill, make sure there’s plenty of coal and lighter fluid to keep you cooking. — Don’t forget the repellent! Have plenty of spray and sunscreen for guests. — Think of details that make things easier or more fun like tablecloth weights, recycle bins, outdoor lights, and games to play. — Have a designated play area and eating area for kids. — Ice and cups are two things that are most likely to run out in the middle of your cookout. Keep triple the amount you think you’ll need on hand. — Assign some smaller duties to family members or a few friends freeing you up for bigger tasks. Use these tips and have a great barbeque party with friends and family this summer.
Give us a call at (903) 361-2733 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We're glad to answer questions — no obligation, of course.
The sun is shining and flowers are blooming in Paris. This month's newsletter has a storage area clean up checklist, tips for head-turning curb appeal, and a quick list of inexpensive changes that you can make around your house for a great return in the long run.
Putting your best foot forward when it comes to your home's presentation is one of the ways you can increase your bottom line. A well-kept house makes buyers want to get a closer look. Buyers see your home as a better buy when it looks like it's been properly maintained. The yard is the most important part of curb appeal. It should be clutter free and green. If not, clear your property of trash, building materials or other household items left outside. Store garbage cans in the garage. For regular maintenance in preparation for, and during, the time when your house is on the market, you want to make sure your lawn is clear of weeds, leaves and grass clippings. For added detail, neatly edge your lawn. Check out your flower beds to see how they look from across the street. You want your plants neatly pruned without weeds. If your flowers aren’t in bloom yet, use colorful potted plants around the porch to attract buyers’ eyes. One of the cheapest but most impactful refreshers you can make to the front of your home is repainting your front door. Also, power wash the siding and check for imperfections, touching up paint, chips, and dents where needed. Take a good look at your roof, making sure it's in good condition. Gutters should be clear and neatly secured. Overgrown brushes and trees should be trimmed to open up space around your house. Now that you’ve completed a walk-around of the outside of your home, you’re ready to move forward with putting your home on the market. You can use these tips even if you aren't selling. But, if you or someone you know needs help with curb appeal or with staging, give me a call at (903) 361-2733. I'm happy to help.
Make sure to check out my upcoming open houses.Click here to see all of my listings. I hope to see you there!
These inexpensive changes can bring your older house up-to-date when it’s time to sell. Check out these quick improvements:
Update light fixtures and ceiling fans. Small changes can bring older décor into present day design. Replacing out of date fixtures with more modern designs brings your house into the current style that appeals to more buyers.
Make those tiles sparkle. Clean out grout and any rust stains on all of your bathroom and kitchen tile and fixtures. This is an easy fix that makes a big difference in how old your home looks.
Reface your cabinets. You can refinish the cabinets with a fresh coat of paint or by sanding and re-staining them. And, replace the knobs and handles too. Just make sure they fit with the architecture and style of your house.
The areas you'll tackle for spring cleaning are your havens: your bedrooms, as well as the places you’ve been avoiding for a while: your storage areas. Storage areas are last because as you’ve been cleaning and rearranging things in other rooms, you’ve probably moved things to closets, moving things to the garage, up to the attic or down to the basement. Don’t feel overwhelmed, though. You’ve probably got a group of things that can get donated to your local thrift store, charity group or shelter.Bedrooms
Garage, Attic/Basement and Junk Closets
It's a little warmer and a little breezier in Paris. Take advantage of the extra energy boost this season and get on top of your spring cleaning and improving your FICO score if you're house hunting. And ways to banish those allergies.
Kitchens are the most utilized room in many homes and the first place most ambitious spring cleaners want to start. Tiny spaces under appliances or between cabinets and walls are havens for trapped food, splashes, and spills. Cleaning a high traffic area with a low traffic area helps you do your spring cleaning in manageable chunks without getting overwhelmed. Use this quick checklist for getting your kitchen and bathrooms sparkling for the warmer months.
Make sure to check out my upcoming open houses. Click here to see my listings in detail. I hope to see you there!
Common allergens that catch us off guard in the spring months are usually pollen, dust mites, molds, and pet dander. Here are some tips to help ease the intensity of your allergies this season: Take a daily over-the-counter medicine, daily, as part of your morning routine. Wash bedding often to prevent spores and other allergens from floating around your home. Vacuum daily to further reduce household allergens. Use a damp cloth instead of a duster, that way, dust mites are confined and not spread. See an allergist if allergic reactions or other symptoms become too severe to handle on your own.Click here to check the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology’s website to see pollen levels in your area and say good-bye to "Gesundheit."
The spring selling season is always a popular time to buy and sell. To prepare for buying a first or next home, refinancing, or if you just want to get back on track, you have to work on your FICO score. A FICO score is a review of your years of credit history based on a model developed by Fair Isaac and Company. Most people have scores near 650, but scores range from 300 to 850. The items that impact your FICO score are your credit-to-debt ratio, the types of credit you have, the number of recent credit inquiries, and most importantly, your payment history. With all the lending turmoil lately, lenders want to know that giving you a loan isn't a risk. Your credit score gives some insight into what type of borrower you'd be based solely on your credit history. Building your FICO score takes time, but you can see changes within a few months. You can improve your credit score, or gain credit if you don’t already have it, by using these helpful hints:Correct your credit report. If you discover mistakes on your credit report, contact the bureau asking that the items be removed. If you have a common name, or the same name as a family member, you'll want to make sure all of the activity reported is correct.Keep up with payments. Late payments kill your FICO score. It's the area where people who have experienced job loss take the biggest hit. It takes longer to restore your credit this way, but it's the most reliable way to prove that you're able to make payments to a lender.Apply for gas station cards or store credit. For those who have no credit or low credit, retail credit cards and gas credit cards are ways to obtain credit, increase your credit limits and start a solid payment history. Beware of carrying a balance because these types of cards normally have high interest rates.Keep your credit in rotation. If you have older or unused credit cards, use your cards to keep your accounts active. But, make sure you pay them off in one or two payments if you can. Now that you know more about credit reporting, you'll be able to improve your FICO score. Remember that when it's time to apply for a mortgage loan, contact me at email@example.com, and I can help you keep your credit inquiries within a two-week window to avoid a negative on your credit score. To learn more, visit www.myFICO.com and get a free report at www.annualcreditreport.com.
This month's newsletter is full of ways to help save you money around town and get organized. I've got a guide for lowering your property taxes and a handy checklist to get you started on your spring cleaning.
Property tax is an expense that most homeowners consider a “given” that they can't change. Most homeowners don't know that they can file an appeal to have their property taxes lowered. The first step to lowering your property taxes means you have to understand how the county tax assessor determines taxes in our area. Once you have this information, you'll know if you want to file an appeal on your own or use my help as a real estate professional. If you want to try this yourself, bring up details of your home that the assessor may have over looked. You can look for features that make your house less valuable like an odd layout or being next door to a cemetery. Also, make sure the assessor has the correct dimensions of your home and the correct valuation. To do this, get comps of homes recently sold in your immediate area that are similar to your home. If you don't know how to get these, I can assist you. Last, and most importantly, you want to make sure you have all of your research and documents in order so that your appeal as a better chance of getting approved and your property taxes lowered. Following these steps can help you lower your property tax. It also gives you a clearer understanding of how County calculates your tax. If you decide that you want to use a real estate professional, I'm available through SHERRY DICKSON TEAM / Harold Carter Realtors to help you. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (903) 361-2733 for advice.
De-clutter your house. This is the time to get started on your spring cleaning.
Touch up the paint. Paint your interior rooms a neutral color, touch up your exterior paint and repaint your front door.
Develop a green thumb. Start caring for your yard from the beginning of spring for great curb appeal.
The idea of spring cleaning can be refreshing and pretty daunting at the same time. The thought of cleaning your home from top to bottom while targeting every dusty and questionable corner isn’t one most people smile about, but the result leaves you feeling pretty accomplished.
Spring Cleaning is a large-scale task, and most people want to start with the kitchen or the garage. But, I’ve found that it’s better to start small, building your momentum. There are some tasks you can do to prep every room. Cleaning a high traffic area with a low traffic area helps you take on the task in manageable chunks.
Here’s a checklist for putting a dent in that spring cleaning. This first group of areas you’ll tackle in this three part spring cleaning list will be the living areas, dining room and small tasks for every room.
Once you’ve finished these tasks, the rest is a breeze. Next month, I’ll give you a checklist for taking on your kitchen and bathrooms. Remember, de-cluttering is the first step in selling your home. If you or someone you know needs a sellers’ agent, email me at email@example.com me or call me at (903) 361-2733 and I'll be glad to help.
Kitchens are the heart. Remember that your kitchen is your home’s biggest asset and you should present it as such. As the saying goes, "kitchens and baths sell houses."
Model your home. Take the best and clearest photos for your home. Homes with more and better pictures hook more buyers and make them more interested.
Set the Stage. Arrange your furniture to maximize the available space in all of your rooms. For quick shot of color, put out a bowl of fruit or fresh flowers to invite buyers to tour the home.
For most, Feburary is about Valentine's Day. I see this month as the true start of the year for Paris. From winter home sales, to redecorating on the cheap, I've got great ideas for getting back into the swing of things and starting your year off right.
If you find yourself selling your home at the tail end of winter, the best way to make your Open House a success is to think about ways to make your home a cozy safe haven for potential buyers. First, you want visitors to have a clear path to your home. This seems like a no-brainer, but with the stress of preparing for an Open House, it’s easy to overlook the simplest things. Make sure you keep snow and ice in check and have a safe walkway from the street through to your doorstep. If you have a deck or patio in your backyard, make sure there’s a clear and safe place to stand. (Last month, I talked about ways to remove snow and ice. Email me if you want a copy of that article.) For maximum curb appeal, you’ll want to stage a winter garden. This doesn’t mean bringing the zest of summer into the still of winter, but you’ll want to place seasonally appropriate plants in weather-proof urns. Some ideas include ferns, shrubbery, and other evergreens. Doing this brings life and color to the outside of your home. Setting your thermostat a couple of degrees warmer than usual inspires a cozy feeling. Reinforce this by using plush throws on your sofa, chairs and beds. If you have a fireplace, light it. Make your guests feel even more at home with baked goods available for them. Think about providing warm cookies, hot cocoa or coffee, and bottled water. Plus, these goodies give your home a pleasant smell that most people enjoy. Last, avoid stress. I know first-hand that selling your home in an “off” season can feel discouraging, but it’s not impossible. Think of the positives: you’ll have less competition and have to keep up with less yardwork! Remember, if you need a selling agent, SHERRY DICKSON TEAM / Harold Carter Realtors will give your listing the marketing boost it needs to sell quickly and for a great price. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (903) 361-2733 for free information.
Be sure to check out my upcoming open houses. Hope to see you there.
If you want to redecorate, but new furniture isn’t an investment you to make just yet, you can use your imagination along with a few inexpensive techniques for a refreshed look room to room.Small changes:
With these affordable ideas, you’ll be able to change the look of any room when the mood strikes. If you need tips on staging for an Open House, call me at (903) 361-2733 for advice.