Joint Base Charleston Real Estate

April 7th, 2017 1:54 PM

5 Tips for Spring Lawn Prep

Time for spring cleaning and that includes the yard.  Here are some tips on how to start your Joint Base Charleston yard off right this year. 

Prevent weeds

Proper mowing, irrigation, and feeding practices are the best possible weed prevention, but established weed populations require drastic measures.  If your lawn has bare spots, fill them in now with sod or seed so weeds don’t sprout and get a foothold.

Start your engines
Much like cars, lawnmowers will stop working without routine maintenance. If you haven’t already done so in the fall, replace the mower’s oil and gas with the types recommended in your mower’s instruction manual.  This would also be a good time to replace that corroded spark plug and dirty air filter. Add a fuel stabilizer to keep the gas from going stale and harming the mower’s engine.

Clear out thatch
You know that spongy layer of dead grass that builds up in your lawn? That’s thatch. A thin layer of thatch is normal and even healthy, because it protects the soil, roots, and beneficial organisms. But when that thatch gets about an inch tall, drought, weeds, and other problems develop.   If thatch is common on your block, prevent it with core aeration.

Reseed and resod
None of these tips will do much good without a proper lawn. If your lawn seems as if it’s beyond hope, consider starting from scratch.

If your existing lawn is an annual one, remove it with a sod cutter. Perennial grasses, like Bermuda or St. Augustine grass, are much tougher to remove, so you’ll likely have to either solarize with clear plastic sheets for several weeks or resort to an herbicide.

Once you’ve dug up the grass or otherwise eradicated it, replace it with soil and a grass variety appropriate to your region.

Amend the bare soil with topsoil or composted manure, and begin laying down the sod or planting seeds by following the label instructions. After planting, water it often until the new grass becomes established.

Start good habits
If you’re not already following a fertilizing schedule, start one now by following the directions on your product of choice. It’s very likely that you will forget this schedule after the first feeding, so pencil in the dates on your calendar so you don’t get off track.

Start the season off right by mowing more often, on a higher setting, and in alternating directions.

 

 

*Information from Zillow Porchlight


Posted by Jodie Ford on April 7th, 2017 1:54 PMLeave a Comment

5 Ways To Stage Your Joint Base Charleston Home Like A Pro

 

No big projects

The first mistake a lot of people make when they get ready to sell is, they decide to redo the kitchen or do some elaborate remodel.  Tastes vary so widely, you can’t anticipate what a buyer might want in terms of color, appliances, or even where the kitchen should be.  Some buyers might want a price reduction to cover the cost of a remodel — but they might not, and in any case, you will save yourself a lot of time and hassle.

 

Paint it neutral

The best spending anyone can do is paint. Fresh paint makes a good impression in general, and neutral colors are best.

 

The power of the throw

Another low-cost staging trick involves throws and throw pillows. Tie the furniture together with throws and throw pillows in matching colors and patterns, and you could save yourself the price of a new sofa.

 

Downplay your personality

Unless your personality is beige, remove it from the premises.  Buyers are distracted by family pictures and unusual artwork that are clearly not their own. They also can lose their ability to dream about living in your home if the closets are bulging with clothes or your dirty laundry is visible.  While you’re at it, put away jewelry and medication, too. They have been known to disappear during showings.

 

Pack early

Between clearing out junk and removing aesthetically distinct pieces, you probably will end up packing early for your move.  Box up everything and leave it in the garage or in temporary storage. Some companies will deliver a container to your door and store it for safekeeping until you’ve moved.

 

*information from Zillow Porchlight


Posted by Jodie Ford on March 31st, 2017 12:44 PMLeave a Comment

3 Steps to Prep Your Joint Base Charleston Home to SELL

Step 1: Clean and declutter

  • Get rid of clutter before cleaning. This is the time to purge your Joint Base Charleston house of unwanted and unnecessary items.
  • Deep clean your house. Pay special attention to kitchens and bathrooms, and clean the inside and outside of your windows — this makes a striking improvement in the overall appearance of your house.
  • Organize closets, cabinets, and drawers. Many potential buyers will open cabinets and closets, because they are thinking about storage space. If your storage areas are clean and organized, it will send a signal to buyers that you take care of the house.

Step 2: Make DIY repairs

  • Fix any leaking faucets and running toilets.
  • Replace caulking around tubs, showers, and sinks.
  • Freshen up or repair grout as needed.
  • Repair walls and repaint them in a neutral, generally pleasing color that complements your home.
  • Fix cracked or broken windows.
  • Replace or repair damaged window screens.
  • Replace burned-out light bulbs.

Step 3: Go for curb appeal

  • Trim bushes, shrubs, and trees. Make sure vegetation isn’t touching your roof or siding.
  • Repair broken downspouts and gutters.
  • If it’s appropriate for your yard, apply new mulch, river rock, and/or pea gravel. This can do wonders for your landscaping and provide immediate curb appeal.
  • Clean and repair concrete areas, such as driveways and walkways. Be sure to eliminate any oil or grease stains, and clean out any weeds coming up through the cracks.
  • Dress things up a little bit. If it’s seasonally appropriate, put out some pots of annuals, which will maintain their color for the season. Freshen up your doorstep with a new welcome mat. Make sure the house numbers are easy to see, and in a style that compliments your home.

Posted by Jodie Ford on March 10th, 2017 3:03 PMLeave a Comment

5 Easy and Inexpensive Ways to Fix Up Your Joint Base Charleston Home

 

  1. Add a new coat of paint.

    A coat of paint can instantly transform the look and feel of a room.  You don’t have to stick to neutrals if you are not trying to attract buyers, so paint the colors that make you happy.

  2. Refresh your kitchen.

    The kitchen is one of the most used rooms in a home, so it should be one of the first rooms you remodel.  Painting wood cabinets or adding some new hardware can make your kitchen look brand new without spending hundreds on brand new cabinets.  You could also install a new backsplash.

  3. Install new doorknobs, faucets, and light fixtures.

    While they are probably the easiest feature to overlook, new doorknobs and fixtures can make a huge difference.  If you don’t have the time or money to replace all your doorknobs at once, work on a couple at a time.  Faucets can get expensive, so search online or head to the clearance section first.  As for light fixtures, you may already have fixtures that you like, but they just need a color update. Instead of buying new fixtures, grab a can of spray paint and go to town. It’s amazing what a difference a can of spray paint can make!

  4. Revive your bathroom.

    A coat of paint, wainscoting, and a fresh shower curtain and linens are all easy ways to instantly transform your bathroom.

  5. Boost your curb appeal.

Don’t forget about the exterior.  If you don’t want to replace the front door, try painting it instead.  A new porch light fixture, house numbers, and a mailbox can make a huge difference. 

 

*Information from Zillow Porchlight


Posted by Jodie Ford on February 23rd, 2017 3:22 PMLeave a Comment

February 15th, 2017 12:46 PM

Buying a FSBO? 4 Things You Need to Know

Here are some points to keep in mind when you’re looking at a home for sale by owner:

Most sellers will work with your agent

Buyer’s agents act as advisers through the ups and downs of the Joint Base home search. If a FSBO opportunity crosses your path, ask your agent to make the first contact. Most likely they can still work for you and get paid for their efforts.

FSBO’s are personal

The main thing to keep in mind is that you will meet and see the owner face to face. A home sale is more emotional and personal than, say, the sale of a used car or a piece of furniture. As such, seeing the owner might make you uncomfortable.

Try to get past it and keep your eye on the prize: your dream home. Leverage your agent, and be ready to ask for time alone in the home if you need it.
Laws still apply

If the law stipulates that the seller has a duty to disclose problems, inspect the home, or perform any repairs, the FSBO must cooperate.

The biggest problem some sellers have with going solo is that they aren’t familiar with real estate processes or procedures. Or they want to do it their own way.

Trust your gut and your agent’s judgment if you think the seller is neglecting a duty or not allowing you to do your due diligence.

Pricing may be off

Homeowners who list their home themselves tend to share one thing in common: They reject local agents’ opinions about their home’s value. Sellers (FSBO or not) who are unable to emotionally detach from a home or who don’t have a solid plan post-closing sometimes self-sabotage their sale by overpricing.

These sellers typically meet with local agents before they list. But they don’t like the agent’s pricing strategy and want to give it a stab on their own.


Posted by Jodie Ford on February 15th, 2017 12:46 PMLeave a Comment

Tips to Tackle Long Distance Joint Base House-Hunting Successfully

Do your homework

The internet is the best resource you have to do the research about schools, and shopping centers in the Joint Base Charleston area.  And it is crucial to hire a Realtor you trust.  With a long-distance search, the agent can make or break the experience. We are very familiar with the city, neighborhood, prices, and are excited to help you through this process.

Have a travel budget

Plan a house-hunting trip that’s at least four to five days long, so you’re not cramming in tons of showings that you won’t remember at the end of the day.  Long-distance house hunters should also be prepared for last-minute travel.

Know what you want

When you’re in the market for a home, you should always have a running list of features you want, but it’s especially crucial when you’re buying from a distance.

Knowing exactly what you want out of a house and location allows your agent to help you narrow down neighborhoods and homes more easily, and assist you in making an offer quickly, which is especially important in a fast-moving market.

Overcome remote home-buyer jitters

Renting for a few months could be an option, but we are here to make the process smooth, and provide you with our professional advice.   

*information for Zillow Porchlight


Posted by Jodie Ford on February 9th, 2017 10:32 AMLeave a Comment

3 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Your Joint Base Charleston Home

Here are three predicaments first-time home buyers may encounter along the purchase journey:

  1. Going it alone. It’s great to do some online home shopping and you might see homes in neighborhoods you’re considering and think a quick visit can’t hurt. Your first step should be talking with a real estate agent, or lender to help you understand if you’re ready to buy. You need an ally who knows the system inside and out.

     

  2. Looking at homes you can’t afford.  Home buyers need to get pre-approved before you look at homes. Being pre-approved for a certain amount doesn’t mean you have to spend that much. Decide how much you’re comfortable paying for your mortgage each month.

     

  3. Not comparing mortgage quotes.To get the best loan terms, you should shop around and compare quotes from different lenders..

 


Posted by Jodie Ford on February 2nd, 2017 2:05 PMLeave a Comment

5 Reasons To Use a Buyer’s Agent When Buying New Construction in the Joint Base Charleston Area

  1. To help you find a reputable builder

    Your agent can rely on their own experience and that of their colleagues to help you find a builder you can trust.

  2. To go to bat for you

    The timeline for purchasing new construction is typically quite a bit longer than buying an existing home. From the first time you visit the sales center, to choosing your layout, construction, inspections, and finally closing, there are ample opportunities for things to go sideways — think construction delays, permit issues, and financing concerns.

  3. To help you review your contract

    Even if you’ve purchased a home before, the contract for new construction is a whole different animal, and an experienced agent can help you make sure you understand everything, from floor plans to earnest money requirements, deadlines for requesting changes, and timelines for completion.

  4. To assist with negotiations

    Buyers’ agents know the areas where you’ll find the most wiggle room when it comes to negotiations.

  5. To point you toward smart upgrade choices

Builders will offer you endless options for finishes and upgrades, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

Even though a friendly sales representative will greet you with a smile the moment you walk through the door of the sales center, don’t forget that they work for the builder. Bring your own agent with you starting with your first visit — in fact, many builders require your agent to register with them from the very beginning in order for them to be involved in the process and receive their commission.

With a professional you trust by your side, you’ll rest easy knowing someone is there to protect your money, your time, and your new home.

 

*Information from Zillow Porchlight.  



Posted by Jodie Ford on January 26th, 2017 5:03 PMLeave a Comment

How to Buy Your Next Joint Base Charleston Home, Courtesy of the IRS

 

Turn your tax refund into home ownership! Here is how to buy a house with some help from your tax refund.

1. Check your credit report. For the most accurate credit score, check with Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion. 

2. File your taxes as early as possible. When it comes to getting a refund sooner, processing times for tax returns are typically shorter if you can avoid the rush of last minute filers. If you receive any refund at all, the general principle still stands. That refund can be the cornerstone of your down payment savings.

3. Budget. Look at your income and expenses to determine two things. The first is how much you can save each month in your current situation. And second, determine how much of a monthly mortgage payment your income will bear.

4. Compare quotes from multiple lenders. Shop mortgage lenders and get pre-approved.

5. Start house hunting with your agent.  We are here to guide you through the remainder of the home buying process.  This is the fun part!  Don't wait another day to start looking for your next home.  


Posted by Jodie Ford on January 18th, 2017 8:33 AMLeave a Comment

Want a quick and easy way to search all homes for sale in the Charleston area? Download the Military Homes Charleston app! It's free and easy to use. Message us for any questions, we are here to help!



Posted by Jodie Ford on November 11th, 2016 5:19 PMLeave a Comment

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