How to Sell Your House in the Spring

spring

It’s no secret that Spring is typically the best time to sell a home. The holidays are finally over, so people actually have time to look, the weather is prime to make the lawn and landscaping look great, and the school year will be over soon, so parents can buy without uprooting their kids mid-school year.

Combine all those factors with the low interest rates we’re seeing right now, and it’s a great time to sell. However, selling a house is never a cake walk no matter how good the market is. We know anyone looking for a new construction home in Tulsa will have to sell their current home first, so we put together a quick list of how to sell your home in Spring.

Invest in Landscaping– This time of year makes landscaping a no brainer. Make sure the lawn is mowed, weeds are pulled, and fresh flowers are planted. If your thumb isn’t so green, it may be worth hiring a professional landscaper to do the dirty work for you.

First Impression– A home listing will never get more views in a single day than the first day it’s listed. With the steaks this high, you can’t afford to blow this first impression. Make sure the pictures are perfect and the price is right before your home goes live on the market.

Aim for Thursday– Speaking of listing your home, studies have shown that homes listed on Thursdays will sell faster. No one is exactly certain why this happens, but we’re guessing it’s because most buyers look on the weekends, so they start looking online on Thursdays. Regardless of the reason, it’s an easy step to take to increase the odds of a fast sale.

Be Realistic– Yes, it can be a seller’s market this time of year, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to be unrealistic about price and timeframe. You still need to list your home at a fair price and be ready to wait it out.

If you’re in the market for a new construction home in the Tulsa area, call Perry Hood Properties.

 

Surprising Factors that Raise Home Value

home value

A fresh coat of paint, new hardwood floors, remodeling the bathroom, and sprucing up the landscaping are all the tried and true ways to increase the value of your home. However, there are a few factors that can move the needle on your home’s value that may surprise you.

Kind of Blue

The study of color psychology is fascinating, and the folks at Zillow decided to conduct a study on how colors affect the value of a home. By looking at more than 30,000 pictures of sold homes across the country, they found painting kitchens and bathrooms blue to be a strong value-adding factor. Blue kitchens fetched an extra $1,809, while blue bathrooms garnered an additional $5,440.

Coffee Run

Homes located within a quarter mile of a Starbucks increased their value by 96% between 1997 and 2014 compared to 65% for all US homes. Researchers also looked to see if a similar boost was seen by homes near other coffee shops. They found that these homes did, in fact, see a greater boost when compared to the average US home, although it was not as high as the Starbucks homes.

Easy Street

Studies have shown that people prefer to live on a street with a name, like Elm, instead of a street with a number, like 31st. What’s even more surprising is that researchers have found a correlation between price and address suffix. Street is the least expensive, boulevard is the most expensive.

Chip and Jojo

Living in Oklahoma, we’re all well acquainted with that adorable couple down in Waco. The Gaines have made quite a splash on the home improvement and real estate market. By listing some of their favorite home features like “farmhouse sink” or “barn doors” homes are selling for more money and they’re selling much faster.

Spring Cleaning Checklist

It’s hard to believe, but it’s March and that means it’s time to clean. No one is sure of the exact origins, but for some reason the Spring season has become synonymous with finally getting around to those cleaning duties you normally neglect. Sometimes getting started is the hardest part. That’s why we put together a quick list you can use to get the ball rolling on your Spring cleaning.

Shampoo Rugs and Carpet

Regular vacuuming is a good idea, but rugs and carpet will collect stains and dinginess overtime that vacuums just can’t get out. Giving rugs and carpets a good wash with hot water and shampoo once a year will keep them in tip top shape. You can either rent a carpet cleaner or pay professionals to do it for you.

Clean Walls and Ceilings

Walls will get scuffed up and ceilings will get dusty throughout the year, but it’s easy to not notice these blemishes as they slowly accumulate. Take this opportunity to wipe down walls and dust ceilings.

Polish Knobs and Handles

Every time you open a door or cabinet, your hands leave a little oil on the knob or handle. This oil can slowly build up and become unsightly. Grab a bottle of metal polish and clean off this build up.

Wax Wooden Furniture

Applying a new coat of wax to your wooden furniture will keep it looking good and protect it from damage. Apply the wax with a cotton cloth, let it dry, and then buff with a clean cloth.

Purge Everything

Now is a great time to go room by room and evaluate what you really want to keep. It’s easy to let little knick knacks pile up and end up with a house full of junk. Get some boxes and start filling them with things you don’t really need to keep and then drop the boxes off at your local Goodwill.

Dust Like There’s No Tomorrow

Window seals, ceiling fans, air vents, bookshelves, blinds, and all the other places that collect dust need to be dealt with.

If you want to get really serious about your Spring cleaning, here’s a truly exhaustive list of things you can clean around your house.

5 Surprising Tools Every Homeowner Should Have

tools

Most homeowners know to keep a hammer, tape measurer, and screwdriver set in the garage, but there a few surprisingly useful tools homeowners may not know to look for. These five tools can save you tons of time and money when doing home improvement projects and most of them don’t cost more than a few bucks.

Zip Ties: You know those really annoying things that strap down kids’ toys to the cardboard box? Well they’re called zip ties, and they’re amazing. You can find them in multiple lengths in the electrical supply aisle of your local hardware store, and use them for all sorts of projects. They’re great for taming a mess of cables and cords behind a TV or quickly repairing a broken weld on some lawn furniture.

Multi-tool: No self-respecting handyman would be caught dead without a multi-tool in their pocket. They might be small, but they sure can pack a punch. Standard multi-tools have a knife blade, pliers, and screwdriver set, but some come with even more features. These are ideal for quickly making impromptu repairs around the house without having to grab the full toolbox.

Stud Finder: One of the greatest inventions for home improvement has to be the stud finder. Instead of knocking on the wall hoping to hear the stud, you can now use technology to instantly find a stud and hang your TV with confidence.

Putty Knife: The humble putty knife has been around for decades thanks to its multiple uses. You can scrape a sticky mess off the floor, apply new spackle to drywall, and much much more.

Shop-Vac: You probably already have a vacuum for your carpets and rugs, but what about messes that happen in the garage or car? And what if the mess is liquid? With a shop-vac, you can easily handle problems like these. A wet/dry shop vacuum is a solid investment for any homeowner with messes to clean up, and they can go for as little as $20.

 

 

 

First Time Home Buyers Scams

scams

Experience is often the best teacher and buying a home is no different. The first year you’re in your first home, you’re likely to encounter a litany of different scams trying to prey on your inexperience. Knowing what these scams look like before they show up in your mailbox or inbox can save you from losing lots of money.

Wire Fraud

One scam growing in popularity is for hackers to steal information from title companies and send out emails to soon-to-be home buyers with instructions on where to wire their down payment. This can cost a new home buyer the shot at their dream home by robbing them of the down payment they’ve worked so hard to save. It’s best to do these wire transfers in person at your bank to avoid scams like this.

Getting Your Deed

One of the most common homeowner scams will probably show up in your mailbox the first week you own the home. Buying a home in the state of Oklahoma will automatically generate a new property deed that is stored as a public record in the county record’s office. Scammers will track down these new records and send you a very official looking letter in the mail claiming you need to send in $60 to get the deed to your house. However, the county will send you the deed for free if you just wait a few weeks.

Hail Storm Chasers 

Living in Oklahoma, you’re likely to get at least one good hail storm every year. These storms bring sleazy roofers out of the woodwork trying to convince you that your roof is totaled and needs to be replaced. If one of these roofers comes around knocking on your door, always get a second opinion. Talk with your home insurance company to get a list of preferred vendors so you know you can trust what they’re telling you.

Putting Together the Perfect Home Theater

home theater

The Winter Olympics are just around the corner and that’s the perfect excuse to finally get that home theater you’ve always wanted. The only question is, how do you pull it off? Like any other major home improvement project, there are several key decisions that need to be made. Here are a few suggestions you can use to pick your screen type, seating, and sound.

Screen Type 

One of the most important features of a home theater is the screen. After all, it’s what everyone will be staring at when they’re enjoying the new space. When picking the screen, you’ll need to decide if you want a traditional TV screen or if you want a projector. Going with a projector means you can get a much bigger picture without having to spend extra money, but it also means you’ll have to keep the lights off and inevitably yell “down in front” from time to time. A TV screen gives you a better picture in well-lit situations, but it will limit you on the size of the screen.

Seating

Lots of people opt for the classic recliners for their home theater. This is a great way to make sure everyone has the most comfortable seat in the house, but it limits you to the number of people you can seat based on how many recliners there are. Going for couches gives you more versatility in how many people you can cram in the room.

Sound

If you want a full-blown movie theater experience, there’s no substitute for a surround sound system. However, pairing a high-end sound bar with a subwoofer can be a great alternative if you’re looking to save some money. The technology in the newer sound bars is pretty impressive and if you’re working with a smaller room, you often can’t tell the difference between surround sound and a sound bar.

 

 

Keep Your Home Warmer this Winter

cold

No one likes having a cold draft blowing through the house. You want your home to be a cozy oasis you can use to get away from the bitter winter winds. Hauling a blanket or space heater around with you can serve as a quick fix, but if you really want to solve the problem you need to follow the suggestions below.

Replace Your Windows

Possibly one of the biggest drains on warmth in a home is your windows. Old windows aren’t made the same way new windows are made today. A single pane window can’t block out the cold like a new double pane window can. If you’re dealing with winter drafts in your home, check your windows first.

Seal Your Doors

Another common way the warm air sneaks out and the cold air sneaks in is right under your exterior doors. If there’s daylight between the bottom of the door and the floor, you’re practically inviting the shivers into your home. Buying some new weather stripping for a few bucks at your local hardware store can make a world of difference in the fight for warmth. All you need to install weather stripping is a sturdy pair of scissors, a hammer and a handful of tack nails.

 

Insulate Above and Below

 

Remember in elementary school science class when you learned that heat rises? Well this scientific principle is still in effect and it’s your opportunity to trap the heat in your home. Adding new insulation with a high R-value in your attic will block the heat as it tries to escape via ascension. Doing the same for your crawlspace (if you have one) is also a good idea.

 

Buy a Perry Hood Property Home

 

As a general rule of thumb, older homes are just more drafty than new construction homes. Buying a Tulsa new construction home from Perry Hood Properties is your chance to get rid of the drafts once and for all. We use high-quality insulation and windows to make sure your home is cozy and comfortable.

New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home

new years

As the new year approaches, you’re likely mulling over what areas of your life you want to improve and what goals you want to set for yourself. While you’re going through this introspective exercise, you should take some time to set some new year’s resolutions for your home as well. Here are 3 home-related resolutions you can set for yourself and your home.

Make the World Greener and Your Wallet Bigger 

Elon Musk is making great strides with his solar-powered roof shingles, but you don’t have to go that extreme to go green. There are plenty of easy ways you can decrease your carbon footprint, and save money along the way.

  • Turn off the lights when leaving the room
  • Use a low-flow showerhead
  • Get a programmable thermostat to save energy when you’re not home
  • Install compact fluorescent bulbs
  • Plant drought-tolerant plants to water your lawn less
  • Try to use the dishwasher and laundry machines at night instead of peak day hours

Purge All the Stuff

It’s amazing how much stuff we accumulate in our homes every year. Most of this stuff is just that, stuff. We don’t use it or need it, so why keep it? Set a goal to do a room by room purge to declutter your home and only keep what you truly need.

Set a Cleaning Schedule

Few homeowners enjoy cleaning, but we all need to do it. Create a schedule of areas you’ll clean daily, weekly, and quarterly. Dishes can be cleaned every day, floors can be swept every week, and the garage can be cleared out every quarter. This schedule can help keep your home in order without having to put forth too much elbow grease.

Setting some goals for your home will allow you to cherish and enjoy your home even more than you already do. What other goals will you set for your home this year?

How to Set Up a Flex Room

flex room

When you think about it, it’s interesting to see how the requirements we need our homes to meet will change over the years. In our younger years, the purpose of the home is likely entertainment and likely constrained by the budget, once kids come into the picture they are the main focus of the home, and then they create an empty nest when they leave.

Homeowners are often confused by this empty nest that needs to be filled. Some choose to downsize and side step the problem altogether, but others choose to stay and repurpose the empty rooms that once served as the kids’ bedroom as more functional spaces. So, what’s the best way to use these empty rooms?

Creating flex rooms is becoming a very popular solution to this problem. Flex rooms are intended to be a Swiss army knife of rooms, serving multiple purposes and giving you the flexibility you need to get the most out of your home. If you’re looking to rebuild an empty nest with some flex rooms, here’s a few steps to follow.

Define the Uses 

The first step is to write down all the purposes you want the room to serve. Spare bedroom, office, man cave, craft room, home gym, and a second TV room are all commonly used purposes for a flex room. Decide what combination of functions you want this room to be and then move on to step two.

Get the Furniture

Once you know the purposes of the room, you need to buy the appropriate furniture. It’s important to think about adaptability when shopping for flex room furniture. Instead of getting a traditional bed, get a futon or murphy bed to free up more space and have more options.

Be Flexible

It might sound cliché, but you need to be flexible when making a flex room. You may not get the arrangement just right the first go around, so feel free to try out different combinations of uses and furniture.

 

Pre-Qualification Checklist

pre-qualified

There are many steps in the home buying process. One that isn’t technically required, but is beneficial is getting pre-qualified for a mortgage. This is different than getting approved for the actual loan, it’s only an estimate of the maximum loan amount the lender is willing to give you. Getting this pre-approval will help you think more realistically about your price range and makes your offers look more legitimate to buyers.

The bank will look at your income to debt ratio when you go to get pre-qualified, so make sure you have your financial records in order. To help get you ready, here’s a checklist you can use to get pre-qualified for a mortgage.

  • Monthly household income- have last year’s W2 and at least two recent paystubs to prove how much you’re bringing in.
  • Monthly household debt– gather up documentation for everything you’re making monthly payments on. This includes car payments, credit card debt, student loans, medical bills, etc.
  • Other assets– the bank may also inquire about other financial assets you have at your disposal.
  • Residential history– put together a list of all the places you’ve lived over the past two years. You’ll need to know the address of the residency and the dates you lived there.
  • Know where you stand– you’re likely to get some questions about what kind of home you’re looking for and when you’re planning on buying it.
  • Ask your own questions– one great part of getting pre-qualified is that it opens the door for you to ask questions about the loan as well. Take advantage of this time to get answers to any mortgage related questions you might have. Banks can be somewhat flexible, so if you think structuring the loan a certain way will be better for you, ask if it’s possible.

Getting pre-qualified is a great step to take toward getting your next home. If you have questions about the home buying process, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you out.