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Archive for August, 2015|Monthly archive page

8 Mistakes that Decrease Your Home’s Value

In Home Upgrades, Houston Energy Corridor, Houston Real Estate Agent, Real Estate Investment, Selling your home on August 25, 2015 at 5:58 pm

Keeping up your home’s curb appeal shows more than pride of ownership. It shows respect for your neighbors – and when or if you decide to sell, a well-maintained home means it will sell faster and likely for top dollar. Similarly, maintaining your home’s interior is likely to pay off in the end.

Real estate experts told House Beautiful Magazine these eight missteps could cost you in the long run:

Landscaping without thinking ahead – Trees planted too close to the house or driveway without much thought about how big they will get can cause major problems later – like roots causing breaks in the pavement or interfering with sewer or water lines.

Letting the entryway languish – Unkempt shrubbery around the front entry, or a door that needs updating makes people wonder what else has been let go inside.

Choosing funky paint colors – Don’t choose an exterior paint color that is too far afield of neighbor homes – and stay away from contrasting trim colors that distract instead of attract the eye.

Neglecting the small stuff – Watch out for dirty windows, torn screens or broken light fixtures that show a distinct lack of care.

Hanging on to old appliances – Pay attention to the age and quality of your kitchen appliances. A stovetop too old and scratched to be cleaned properly is a turn-off – and appliances that aren’t energy-savers are costing too much money to run.

Skipping a deep clean – Details matter when it comes to home care. Look out for dirt in the window tracks, dirty grout in the tile or badly stained carpets.

Thinking too small – A small bathroom will seem smaller tiled with small tiles than with larger ones. Peruse décor magazines for ideas that help to open your space.

Neglecting wood floors – Water and vinegar dulls them over time. If you can’t afford to refinish them, have them buffed every few years.

By Barbara Pronin

Connie Vallone – (713) 249-4177 or connie@knowsrealestate.com – can help with any real estate needs!

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

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Mortgage Interest Rates Climb in June

In Buying a Home, Home Values, Houston Energy Corridor, Houston Real Estate Agent on August 21, 2015 at 7:08 pm

Nationally, interest rates on conventional purchase-money mortgages increased from May to June, according to several indices of new mortgage contracts.

The National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for the Purchase of Previously Occupied Homes by Combined Lenders index was 3.85 percent for loans closed in late June, up 10 basis points from 3.75 percent in May.

The average interest rate on all mortgage loans was 3.85 percent, up 10 basis points from 3.75 in May.

The average interest rate on conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages of $417,000 or less was 4.04 percent, an increase of 14 basis points from 3.90 in May.

The effective interest rate on all mortgage loans was 3.99 percent in June, up 9 basis points from 3.90 percent in May. The effective interest rate accounts for the addition of initial fees and charges over the life of the mortgage.

The average loan amount for all loans was $325,600 in May, up $14,700 from $310,900 in May.

To find the complete contract rate series, click here.

Do you have any real estate questions?  Contact Connie Vallone at 713-249-4177 or connie@knowsrealestate.com  .

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

Great Tips for Easing into Back-to-School Mode

In Buying a Home, Home Values, Houston Real Estate Agent, Parks & Recreation, Schools on August 6, 2015 at 3:57 pm

One minute you’re thinking it’s time to shop for school clothes, and the next minute they’re off to the bus stop – and while nobody wants to rush those last lazy days of summer, now is the time to prepare your kids for the school year ahead.

Teachers and child care experts offer thoughtful tips for easing the family into fall:

  • Talk it up – Offer your kids positive vibes about the upcoming school year. Is this the first time they will ride their bikes? Play in the school band?  Join swim club? Paint word pictures that will ignite their excitement about going back to school.
  • Get organized – Set aside time for them to try on last year’s clothing, shop for replacements, and take advantage of school supply sales.
  • Have a discussion to set school rules – What will be your teen’s school night curfew? What’s the after-school schedule? What are school night and bedtime routines? When and where is homework to be done?
  • Plan the first week’s routine – Know what the kids are going to wear that first week and what will be packed in school lunches. Planning ahead can save time and tears later.
  • Plan a fun back-to-school breakfast – Get the year off to a happy start with a favorite family breakfast on the first day of school.
  • Reset their inner time clocks – At least a week before school starts, begin to wean your child away from staying up late and sleeping-in in the morning.
  • Have a dress rehearsal – Will your child be walking to a new school? A different bus stop? An after-school center? Do a run-through before the first day, and reinforce stranger-danger rules.
  • Prepare for their first evening home – Kids may come home on that first day with a school calendar, a stack of papers to fill out, or a list of needed supplies. Keep your calendar clear so you have the time to attend to whatever is necessary.
  • When you ask how the day went, mean it – Ask questions if your child is not forthcoming, and really listen to what they say. Knowing you are interested will help keep them talking as the school year progresses.

 

Contact Connie Vallone at connie@knowsrealestate.com or 713-249-4177 for all your real estate needs.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.