All Posts By

Todd McCauley

Buying a Home in Winter: The Bright Side

By | Buying a Home | No Comments

Winter skylline Boise, IdahoIf you’ve been thinking about buying a new home, winter is the time to start getting serious. Here are a few reasons to brave the cold and go on a house hunt:

The winter season has fewer units on the market, and sellers tend to need to move from their property. You can use that to your advantage to get a favorable deal.

Winter has fewer buyers in the market. Looking for a home in the winter can be inconvenient, and people are less likely to move. Families also tend to be on a September to June cycle because they are unwilling to move their children to a new town in the middle of the school year. Fewer buyers means less competition.

Lenders also usually have fewer loans to process and less paperwork to deal with. With lenders less hassled, you can expect a smoother process to get approved for a mortgage.

All savvy shoppers know, after the holiday season comes the season of bargain opportunities. This includes houses, as well.

Is it time for you to buy a home in the Treasure Valley? Take a look at our listings page!

Home Selling Tip – Be the Neighborhood Stand-Out

By | Selling a Home | No Comments

Most people who are selling their house know that curb appeal is an important aspect of attracting potential buyers. What might be less obvious is that your home should be more attractive than your neighbors’ and other houses on your street. When people come to look at the property, they will be mentally comparing it to others in the area, whether they realize it or not. This takes curb appeal to a new level. You are no longer trying to “keep up with the Joneses,” but be the Jones family in your neighborhood.

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To achieve the goal of attracting attention and making your home more memorable, think of adding customized additions or designs to the house, such as landscaping, high quality windows or a new roof. Improvements should be practical and use color schemes that would appeal to the broadest audience. This can help improve the overall appearance of the home while potentially adding value to the home.

The key word there is “potentially.” This means that you should be cautious about putting too much time or money into your home in order to sell it, since it is possible that you will not reap the financial benefits of your work when selling. In an article in Realtor Magazine, renovations such as adding a bathroom or putting on new shingles might not always pay off. According to the information in the article, the nationwide average return for a bathroom remodel is approximately 58%. The amount recouped for a new roof is even less.

When investing in home improvements, research to be sure you are putting money into the things that are likely to get you the best return. Also be sure to mention any added custom features your buyers will be interested in on the home’s listing information.

Home Selling Tips: Staging and Professional Photography

By | Selling a Home | No Comments

When putting your home on the market, it is important to remember that the most important aspect of selling anything is marketing. By highlighting your home’s strong points and downplaying its weaknesses through staging and photography, you can appeal to the largest possible number of potential homebuyers.

When staging your home for a photographer (and viewings), there are several things that can be done to make the space more desirable. Remove any excess items that may make your home appear sloppy or cluttered. One way to do this is to keep furniture minimal. Grouping your furniture away from the walls also adds the illusion of space. Painting the walls of a room with a warm, neutral tone will also make it more visually pleasing.

After staging the house, regardless of how wonderful it looks in person, you may notice that your personal camera does not do a room justice. That is why hiring a professional photographer is well worth the investment. With proper lighting, specialty cameras, and editing software, a photographer can provide you with images that portray your home the way it should be. In addition, a Realtor.com survey showed that homes marketed with professional quality photographs sold for nearly 12% more than homes with bad or no images.

Selling a house can be made much easier by using staging techniques and using high quality photographs for marketing. Methods such as these can ease the process and insure that you get the price you deserve for your home.

Home Selling Tips

By | Selling a Home | No Comments

SoldAccording to the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service there are 4,839 single family homes currently on the market in Southern Idaho and Eastern Oregon.  With that many homes on the market, the question becomes how do I make my home stand out from the crowd? There are as many answers to this question as there are realtors and home improvement shows!  After reviewing numerous blogs, magazine articles, home staging books from the library, real estate websites and a few TV shows, all agree to the following  well –known tactics:

Increase curb appeal – mow lawn, trim bushes, paint if necessary, plant flowers, clear sidewalks, remove weeds, rake leaves, shovel sidewalks and driveway, etc.

Remove clutter inside and out – eliminate unnecessary furniture, only display most recent magazines, put away toys, store some decorative household items and seasonal outdoor items, remember,“a place for everything and everything in its place”

Keep it clean – every surface and pane of glass should SPARKLE; dust furniture, polish door hardware and plumbing fixtures, vacuum frequently, steam clean carpets/refinish hardwood floors if necessary

Eliminate offensive odors – refrain from smoking indoors, remove trash, pets, pet bedding and other smelly items just prior to showing your home.  Baking a pan of cookies or brewing a pot of coffee to leave for potential buyers to snack on is a tactic many recommend.

Make sure it works – everything in your home should function as it was meant to ie: lights turn on, gates and doors open and close easily, faucets control water pressure, ceiling fans spin, etc.

Here are some novel suggestions:

Make it homey – books open near a chair; trays with pitcher and glasses on patio table; a hobby project or jigsaw puzzle left “in process”

Focus on nature – provide a list of all trees, shrubs, vines, perennials and bulbs and where they are located in the yard – seasonal pictures in a photo album, electronic picture frame or a poster board would help potential buyers visualize the outdoor space throughout the year.  Bring nature indoors using healthy potted plants, seasonal floral arrangements or artificial plants.

Create “thinking spaces” – add a comfortable chair and small table/desk to stair landings and corners in bedrooms/ living spaces to create quiet, intimate spots for reflection.

Vehicles – remove cars from garages and driveways to make these spaces seem larger.   Motorcycles, scooters and bikes should be neatly stored or removed as well.

Memory Sheet – create a page that includes a photo of your home, address and realtor contact information for each visitor to take home.  List on the page some of the things you like best about your home – watching birds in the backyard, walking to the park or local restaurants, morning coffee on the patio, etc.  This page creates an emotional connection to your home rather than the typical fact sheet listing number of bedrooms.

Finally, consider your “perfect” buyer… are they a young family or a retired couple?  Once you have determined this you can stage your home to reflect their lifestyle.