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Archive for April, 2016|Monthly archive page

Spring Lawn Care Tips You Can Do Now

In Buying a Home, Home Upgrades, Home Values, Houston Energy Corridor, Real Estate Investment, Selling your home on April 28, 2016 at 5:53 pm

Warming temperatures, rainy days, sunny skies—these are just some of the signs that spring is here. While your lawn probably maintains its dingy brown winter look, soon, it will be blossoming with the rest of the flowers, shrubs and trees – but only if you provide the right care for it now.

Set aside a few hours to maintain your lawn and you’ll be assured to have a bright green, thriving lawn that lasts through fall.

1. Clean it up
When the ground is dry, head out to the yard for a family clean-up session. Remove old leaves and fallen twigs. Then rake the grass to fluff it up a bit. Be sure to leave the shoots of grass behind, so don’t rake too vigorously.

2. Target weeds
The best way to control weeds is to nip them in the bud. Before they ever make an appearance, apply a pre-emergent weed-control product. This way, before weeds can grow and smother the grass, you’ll give your lawn a fighting chance to survive.

If you’d prefer not to use an herbicide, the next best step to take involves proper lawn care. Growing a thick, healthy grass will naturally choke out weeds. Mow regularly, reseed grass when necessary, lay down sod in bare patches, and give preference to natural herbicides to grow a healthy lawn and preempt weeds from growing.

3. Planting
If your lawn has bare spots or you want to plant a new section of grass, now’s the time to do it. If you choose to lay down sod or plant seeds, forego the pre-emergent weed control step. If you apply an herbicide, it’ll kill new grass, too.

Laying down sod is the quickest way to a robust lawn. While it costs more upfront than planting seeds, you’ll get an instant lawn that’s thick and weed-free. With planting seeds, you’ll have to do a lot of maintenance to nurture its growth, such as being careful that people and pets don’t walk on the grass, performing weed-control measures and diligently watering it.

A healthy lawn is a fertilized lawn. The best time to apply fertilizer depends on where you live. Warm-season grasses should be fertilized in late spring, once the lawn turns green. Apply fertilizer to cold-season grasses with a light hand in the spring only if your lawn is in really bad condition. Too much fertilizer will cause too much early growth grasses, which won’t be hardy enough to last through the summer’s heat. Then, fertilize again in the fall, which is when the growing season for cool grasses is at its peak.

Attend to your lawn now and you’ll enjoy beautiful grass all spring long – and well into fall. Cleaning up the lawn, targeting weeds, planting seeds or laying down sod and fertilizing will give grass a fighting chance to survive and thrive.

This post was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Check the blog daily for top real estate tips and trends.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved.

If you are interested in buying or selling real estate in West Houston, please contact Connie Vallone with First Market Realty at 713 249 4177, connie@knowsrealestate.com   or visit www.houstonenergycorridorhomes.com  or www.vallonehomes.com

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Buying a Home? 3 Ways to Beat the Competition

In Buying a Home, Home Values, Houston Energy Corridor, Houston Real Estate Agent, new homes houston energy corridor on April 19, 2016 at 5:53 pm

Connie ValloneWith home prices on the rise and mortgage rates still relatively low, now is the ideal time to buy a home. But in this type of market, competing offers can shut you out of the home of your dreams if you’re not prepared.

Beat the competition this home buying season with these 3 tips, courtesy of NeighborWorks America, a national nonprofit corporation.

1. Seek professional guidance. More than two-thirds of homebuyers in a recent NeighborWorks survey said that the home buying process is complicated. The best way to get a thorough understanding of the process is to consult with a real estate professional. If you find your finances are lacking, you may also want to meet with a housing counselor, who can offer additional support.

“The housing market is tough right now, with fewer homes for sale on the market than usual, and new mortgage rules and many mortgage products from which to choose,” says Marietta Rodriguez, spokesperson for NeighborWorks America. “To be in the strongest position to make an offer that is accepted, consumers have to be prepared. That’s where initial consultation with a housing counselor is a great first-step.”

2. Build a budget. National surveys have shown that less than one-third of consumers have a budget. Go into this home buying season with a budget that includes potential changes in commuting costs after purchase, home maintenance expenses, and even estimates for changes in life circumstances (such as becoming a parent or paying for college) to have a leg-up on the competition.

“Once all the numbers are on the table, it’s easier to see what type of home suits a family’s budget and needs, what might be necessary financial trade-offs, and what could be a direct line to trouble,” says Rodriguez.

3. Remain informed. The supply of homes on the market will be tight this season. Getting into a bidding war could weaken your resolve, and could push you beyond your means financially. In these circumstances, don’t be tempted to forgo important steps in the process, like the home inspection.

“Forgoing a home inspection to move up a place in the bidding process could be costly down the road if problems and defects with the home arise,” says Rodriguez.” NeighborWorks recommends that homebuyers have a home inspection, and know as much as possible about the inside of a home as the outside.”

Follow these three tips to ensure you stay ahead of the competition, and remember: contact a real estate professional. He or she can help you see you through from pre-approval to close.

Source: NeighborWorks America

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved.

If you are looking for Classic Real Estate Services from concept to closing, please contact Connie Vallone by phone (713) 249-4177, email connie@knowsrealestate.com or visit my website at www.houstonenergycorridorhomes.com or www.vallonehomes.com .

Homes Reach Peak Value in Many Markets

In Buying a Home, Home Values, Houston Energy Corridor, Houston Real Estate Agent, new homes houston energy corridor, Real Estate Investment, Selling your home on April 15, 2016 at 4:09 pm

Homes were worth more than ever before in 26 percent of U.S. housing markets indicating those markets are close to a full recovery, according to the February Zillow® Real Estate Market Reports.

Over the past year, housing markets in the South, especially Texas and Tennessee, have joined Western housing markets blowing past their previous median home value highs. Dallas home values set a new record at $180,700 in February, up 13.7 percent from last February. Louisville, Ky., values rose 13.2 percent to $146,100, and Nashville home values rose 9.5 percent to a median of $189,100.

The national Zillow Home Value Index was $184,600 in February, 5.9 percent below the record median home value set in mid-2007.

The record-high prices, combined with low inventory, make it difficult to buy a home in many markets, especially for renters trying to save for a down payment amongst historically high rental costs.

Median home values in hot Western markets such as Denver and San Jose continued to zoom past previous highs with double-digit growth, but other markets have more quietly surpassed their previous peaks and continue to grow.

Many experts surveyed in the November 2015 Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey said they are concerned homes in San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego, and Los Angeles are overvalued and approaching bubble conditions.

“These new records mean we’re no longer making up ground lost during the housing recession –we’re laying a new path forward, based on demand for housing and economic growth throughout the economy” says Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell. “In some markets, these new highs are a return to normalcy. The fact that other markets are still off by double digits may not mean those markets are far from being recovered. It just highlights how extraordinarily inflated home values had been during the housing bubble.”

The Zillow Rent Index continued to rise in February, but at a slower rate, as new construction provided much-needed supply to rental markets. Of the top 35 metros, only San Francisco saw double digit rent appreciation, on an annual basis, at 10.5 percent.

Rents are rising at 2.6 percent year-over-year, which is in-line with income growth expectations for the year. The Zillow Rent Forecast indicates rent will continue to slow significantly over the next year.

For more information, visit www.zillow.com/research/data.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved.

Do you have real estate questions?   Contact Connie Vallone at (713) 249-4177 or connie@knowsrealestate.com or visit www.houstonenergycorridorhomes.com  or www.vallonehomes.com.