Thinking About Buying A Home? Improve Your Credit Score With These Tips

 

Your credit score plays a key role in the homebuying process. Having a high credit score can help you score a lower interest rate on your mortgage—which can save you tens of thousands of dollars over the course of your loan.

But if you have a less-than-perfect credit score, there’s no reason to panic! There are steps you can take to increase your credit score—and snag the lower interest rates that come along with it.

A recent article from Apartment Therapy outlined five key strategies to improving your credit score, including:

  • Paying your bills on time, all the time;
  • Keeping credit card balances low;
  • Auditing your credit report on a regular basis (and correcting any mistakes);
  • Limiting hard inquiries; and
  • Giving your score time to grow

The Takeaway:

Bottom line? If you make these five strategies a rule, your credit score will improve—and you’ll be able to save money on your mortgage as a result. Contact one of our knowledgeable real estate agents in Moberly, MO. We can assist you in your homebuying process in Randolph and surrounding counties. 

The Seller Rejected Your Offer – What Now?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding the right home is a serious process. Just like any other long term commitment, you’ve likely spent a great deal of time finding a home that you love and can picture yourself spending your life in. So what happens when you think you’ve found the right one but the seller rejects your offer? Here are 3 ways to deal with losing out on the home you had your heart set on.

1. Don’t obsess over the seller.

It is natural to want to know why your offer was rejected and you may want to start to ask questions about the seller’s motives. You could spend all your time doing that research, instead of continuing your search for a home. It may be difficult, but moving on is your best option. You will never know how a stranger is thinking, so rather than heartbreak, keep searching. They may want to come back to the table, but just in case they don’t, it is better for you if you are still trying to find a dream home.

2. If you haven’t put out your best offer yet, now is the time.

Maybe you wanted some room for negotiations, so your offer was lower than what you’re willing to pay for the home. This is the time to consider if this house really is ‘the one.’ If you feel that you are willing to exchange that wiggle room for your dream home, it is time to make that your best offer.

3. Move on when it is time.

If you’ve made your best offer and your seller just isn’t ready, it is time to move on. It can be easy to get hung up on a house that felt like it could be your next home, but you will be thankful that you focused on moving on. Even if it takes time, you will be thankful that you moved on and kept looking when you find yourself in your true dream home.

Just like any other long term commitment, searching for the right home is worth the wait. Here at Advantage Real Estate, our agents are ready to help you with your home search and through the  entire process in Randolph and surrounding counties. 660-263-3393

 

Debunking Myths To Home Buying

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally ready to make the transition into home ownership? Great! During this exciting time you may be turning to friends and family for insight into the process. However, there seems to be a circulation of misinformation, so we’re here to clear up a few myths. 

1. THE FIRST STEP IS SEARCHING FOR A HOME

You know the saying, “don’t put the cart before the horse,” well that is very important to remember when it comes to buying a home. You don’t want to start looking for a house until you have sat down with a lender and discussed what the bank will qualify you for. If you fall in love with a house that’s $250,000 and come to find out you’re only qualified for $200,000, you can get your hopes crushed and waste a lot of time. Don’t start the process on the wrong foot and make sure the numbers line up.

2. YOU DON’T NEED A REAL ESTATE AGENT

When buying a home, 99% of the time the buyer’s agent gets paid by the sellers. That random 1% can be for odd circumstances. You’re getting to use the services of a real estate agent for free. Having a real estate agent on your side means you’ll get to see homes that aren’t as readily available on public searches, you can avoid outdated listings and scammers (there are lots of them), and you have protection when it comes to navigating the legalities of contracts and buying a home. Why wouldn’t you want an awesome negotiator working to ensure you get the best from the transaction? For FREE!

3. YOU CAN’T BUY A HOME WITH BAD CREDIT

Fortunately for some, this is a myth. Lenders and banks come by the hundreds of thousands and although there are a few loan options, a lot of lenders can work with credit scores down to the low to mid 500’s. Get in touch with an agent to help you connect with the right lender who can help you potentially get approved. There are a lot of factors that go into approvals, but your credit doesn’t have to be a sore thumb during the process. However, you will be doing yourself a favor if you connect with a credit repair specialist to at least get those numbers in the 600’s. A better score will lower you interest rate.

4. YOUR DOWN PAYMENT HAS TO BE 20%

Think you have to sell an arm and a leg to buy a home? Not at all! An FHA loan only requires 3.5% while a conventional loan only requires 5%. There are a lot of programs that can potentially help you with down payment assistance or a 0% down mortgage. USDA and VA loans are the most popular 0% down programs. If you qualify, this can take a big chunk off the amount of cash you have to bring to the closing table. 

5. DOWN PAYMENTS ARE THE ONLY UPFRONT COST

This is one of the biggest misconceptions. There is a lot of cost that goes into buying a home, and that includes upfront costs. Some of the mandatory ones are a termite inspection and appraisal. If you are getting a mortgage, the home will have to be appraised and you will need to get a letter stating there are no termites in the home. Termite inspections can range between $25-$75 dollars. An appraisal can range from $300-$700 dollars. Aside from your down payment, you then have to pay for closing costs. And NO, they are not the same thing. Closing costs can range anywhere between 3-6% of the purchase price. In certain markets, this can be negotiated for sellers to cover by rolling into the offer price, but whether that decision is the right choice when it comes to landing your dream home will need to be discussed with your agent.

Now that you have some knowledge to get the process started, get in touch with one of our friendly agents at Advantage Real Estate in Moberly, MO who will help you get through your real estate needs as smoothly as possible.

Fall Leaves Bring Sold Signs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer is coming to an end! You are probably thinking you’ve lost the opportunity to sell and need to wait until next summer, but that’s far from the truth! Although it is not as hectic and crazy with the swarm of buyers on the market, the fall season brings out the most serious of lookers. They are the pool of buyers that waited out the summer frenzy to find their perfect home in the fall, and you don’t want to miss these buyers! They are ready to make a move, today! Don’t worry, selling in a slower period does not equate to less money. That is a misconception based on untrue data that floats around. With the right agent and a correct price for your home, you can get a great deal selling during the fall season. You might actually prefer it. Here are the top 3 benefits to listing during the fall season.

1. Serious Buyers – Let’s be honest, if buyers are out during the slow season looking for homes, they are serious and ready to buy. Although the summer brings in a large crowd, that crowd contains a lot of people that are excited by the season, and fall into the “trend” of house hunting. These people end up being less serious about the process, and tend to hold off for another time. If people are investing time to look during the fall season, they are more likely to be interested in actually buying your home, instead of just touring it.

2. Less Competition – Selling in the fall isn’t something many families can accomplish due to busy personal schedules. That is why a significant amount of homes get listed during the summer season. This means that summer time brings in a lot of competition. Selling in the fall means the potential house next door that has slightly more perks that was listed during the summer doesn’t make your home sit stagnant. It also doesn’t devalue your home because of the house that could go up next door that is under-priced in your neighborhood, drawing all of the attention.

With a slower season, you get dedicated attention to your property, which increases the chance of a sale. 

3. Easier to Find Your Dream Home – Not only do you get to benefit from a slower season during the selling process, but you can also benefit on the buying side. With less competition on your dream house, you can get a better deal. The summer brings a lot of missed opportunities for buyers on their dream homes, because they go off the market instantly. This will give you the opportunity to get your home on the market and take your time to find the right one to resize into. A much calmer pace to the transaction will make it less stressful, and everyone all around happier. Don’t feel rushed into buying a home overnight during the summer, it could turn into a headache. If you want a far more peaceful transaction, that has calmer pace, then selling during the fall is perfect for you.

If you’ve been considering listing your home and/or buying your dream home, Advantage Real Estate is here to help you with all of your real estate needs in Randolph and surrounding counties. Call our office at 660-263-3393 and speak with one of our friendly agents today.

 

 

Finding The Right Home For You

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re a first time home buyer, the stress of choosing the perfect house for your family can feel overwhelming at first. While that stress may seem very real, it is often unnecessary. Instead of entering the market trying to find a house that is perfect in every way, keep an open mind. Approach the situation with a willingness to hear ideas and you are much more likely to find a home that you and your family will love. The process can be long and require work, but it will be worth it in the end – and i doesn’t have to drive you crazy. Here are some tips to guide you when you are trying to find potential new homes and how to know if it is the right one for you.

DECIDE ON DEAL BREAKERS

The easiest way to narrow down the right house for you is to start by deciding what you either can’t live without or cannot tolerate. If two bedrooms will never work for you, or you must have a large backyard for your pets, create a list of those things so that you can rule out properties that just aren’t worth your time. 

TRUST YOUR GUT

There may be times when you walk into a home and it seems like it may fit what you need, but there is just something off that you can’t shake. On that same note, if you tour a home and you instantly fall in love, don’t doubt your feelings. Sleeping on a house you love for too long can end up in you losing that home to someone else. Trust your instincts and you will end up in the home that is perfect for you.

TRY TO VISUALIZE

Can you see yourself in this home? Can you imagine your children playing in the backyard and doing homework in the kitchen? If you are touring a home and can already picture what it would be like for your family to live there, you are heading in the right direction.

KEEP LOCATION IN MIND

While a house may check most of your boxes, don’t forget to consider the neighborhood. Are things that are important to your family close by? Are you close enough to good schools or your place of employment? Make sure that you consider location factors so that you don’t end up in a home that becomes an inconvenience.

TRUST YOUR AGENT

While it is important to know what you want and trust your gut in the process, don’t forget that your realtor has your best interest in mind. We at Advantage Real Estate want to find you the perfect home, and we have worked hard to do that for many others in Randolph and surrounding counties. We know the ins and outs of the real estate world, and are there to help you! 

What You Shouldn’t Sweat When Finding a Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re on the home-buying journey for the first time, you may have the image of the perfect home in mind. Every wall a color you love, the best flooring, and the perfect backyard. While there’s a chance you may find your dream house, it is more likely that you’ll find that house with a few exceptions. So where should you draw the line? Are there things you should ignore if the price and location are right? The answer is yes! There are some things you can ignore while home shopping if it means checking the rest of your boxes. Here are some of the things you can overlook if you are considering making an offer on a home that has the perfect location or layout.

WEIRD CARPET/WALLPAPER

While it may be tempting to wait for a home with new carpet or freshly painted white walls, overlooking old carpet or vibrant wallpaper can help you get your otherwise dream-home. Replacing the carpet or painting the walls doesn’t have to be an expense for you, and it is something you can negotiate with the seller to get the best deal on your home. 

ROOMS BEING ‘MISUSED’

You may walk into a house and see workout equipment next to a fridge, or a bed in a living room. Don’t let a room being used for something seemingly odd keep you from loving a house. It may be hard to picture your furniture somewhere, but use your imagination and give the room, and house, a chance. An exercise room today can easily be your kitchen next week! 

SELLER PRESENCE

Some sellers choose to not remove personalized items before putting their house up for sale. It can be overwhelming to enter a home covered with photos of someone else’s family. While that may be the case, it is important to keep in mind that all of that personalization will be gone if you buy the home. Ignore what you can change, and just consider whether you can make the home your own.

If you’re in the market to purchase a home in Moberly, MO and surrounding areas, call Advantage Real Estate and talk to one of our friendly realtors. We’re happy and here to help with your real estate needs! 

Brightening Your Space

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lightening up your space isn’t just for visual appeal. As the end of summer approaches, that means that the days will begin to shorten. Brightening your space will help maximize the light you get every day, no matter how much daylight you have. Having a bright space not only looks better, but it can help you feel better too. Here are some ways to brighten your space.

Paint it!

You don’t need white walls to have a bright space. If you pick paint colors that are saturated but still light, your walls will still reflect light. Consider using a bright, soft sage  or similar colors that can bring new life and extra light to your space. 

Use Mirrors

If you have a room that gets natural light but just not enough, add mirrors! Strategically placing mirrors to reflect natural light will make that room come alive.

Keep Contrast

Don’t just paint every wall white. If every surface in your kitchen is white, it will get a little dull – and hard to maintain. Add a colorful backsplash or update your kitchen accessories to complement your white cabinets or walls.

Update Window Treatments

Your curtains may be stopping that natural light from entering your home. Consider replacing your window treatments with something sheer or semi-sheer, that will still provide privacy while allowing light in.

Replace Doors

If your house isn’t full of windows and you aren’t ready to install new windows in your home, consider a door replacement. Many doors offer privacy glass that will allow you to let natural light in and keep neighbor eyes out.

Our realtors at Advantage Real Estate in Moberly, MO are happy to help with any questions you may have with home selling tips and real estate needs. Call our office at 660-263-3393.

 

 

The Incredible Joy of Owning Your Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you haven’t bought a home yet, you’re missing out on a wonderful feeling! That moment when you walk through your doors, throw your purse or keys on the floor, plop down on your couch and breathe a sigh of relief while thinking, “finally, it’s ours (or mine)!” is incredible. There is such a joy created from looking at all of your boxes (maybe rolling your eyes about why you buy so much stuff) and then giving yourself a moment to let it soak in that you worked hard to get here and earned it! Yes, that’s a real feeling!

We often hear, and read, about the cost-effectiveness of home ownership. The equity build-up, the freedom it can give us from finances in our retirement years, and a plethora of other ways owning a home can be a positive impact on your bottom dollar. But we don’t often hear about the emotional impact owning a home can have. Yes, there will be days the fridge is acting silly and you need to call your home warranty, or days you have to get outside to mow your own yard, but nothing beats the pride and joy of owning a home. 

There is a sense of security, and a sense of “this is mine and I worked my way up to this moment,” that provides moments of absolute bliss. The ability to do with your home as you please, not pay a pretty penny for every member of your fur family, and the privacy it provides can’t be beat.

Home ownership also gives you the ability to put down roots. We mean that, figuratively and literally. You get to build memories through the holidays and go through many milestones with your family that leave a significant impact into the later years, all in the comfort of your home. You get to build bonds with your neighbors grow in a community-oriented neighborhood. With rentals, people come and go annually, but there are deeper roots planted with building relationships with those living next to you. You get to share experiences – potlucks, 4th of July and New Year’s Eve spent lighting fireworks, and just the excitement of getting to know each other and building long-term relationships. 

Buying a home isn’t about the dollars and cents for everyone, sometimes it is just about the joy of owning your own place and getting to build amazing memories in it. If you’ve been longing for this, get in touch with one of our real estate agents at Advantage Real Estate in Moberly, MO , and make it happen. You owe it to yourself to make your dreams come true! 

 

Why Rent If You Can Buy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home ownership rates are the lowest they have been in the last 50 years. A large portion of Americans are still renting properties, instead of enjoying a home of their own. Consumer reports believe this is an issue because of a buyer’s lack of trust in their ability to purchase. It is still a long standing notion that a buyer needs 20% towards the cost of the home in order to move forward, but this isn’t true. With countless down payment assistance programs, and closing cost roll-ins, a home owner could move in with as little as a few hundred to a couple thousand dollars. This makes a huge difference in the time it takes to save up to make the move. 

With interest rates at an all time low, home ownership in today’s market is a great investment. The money saved over a mortgage’s lifespan can result in tens of thousands of dollars, if not hundreds of thousands. That’s more money in your pocket today. Don’t wait to buy when interest rates soar again. With low interest rates, that means your monthly mortgage payments are at a significantly lower cost as well. With such a heated housing marketing, rental prices are soaring, and statistics are constantly showing that home ownership can be equivalent to your rental rate each month, if not less. Why get stuck in a small 2 bedroom apartment if you can move into a 3 bedroom house with a great backyard and pay a monthly rate that is the same?

There is also the fear that a home can keep you “stuck” or “rooted” to one place, without an easy transition out if you decide to move. Although the future of the housing market isn’t easily predictable from location to location, you can always discuss with your agent about buying a home in an area that has a strong turn-over rate when a home hits the market. The equity build up when it comes time to sell is going to be far more beneficial than if you put money into a rental and decided to move. The money from selling the property can be used to purchase a new home. With renting, there would be no additional funds to transition into a new place. 

Now imagine if you were renting a home for $800/month. If your landlord is renting to make a profit, think how much less you’d be paying on a monthly basis towards your mortgage, if the home was yours. Then you wouldn’t be paying a landlord to profit off of you, you’d be paying a reasonable rate, and get to call the property your own. Discuss with your agent and lender the steps you need to take towards home ownership, and you just might be happily surprised about the type of home you can afford to move into. 

Advantage Real Estate is here for all your real estate needs. Our agents are happy to answer any questions you might have about buying a home in the Moberly and surrounding areas. Call us today!

HOW TO FIX 5 COMMON BATHROOM ISSUES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homeownership has plenty of perks. You can make changes whenever you want, but that also means you are responsible for making any fixes that you want (or need)! Instead of calling the local handyman every time something small goes awry, you can try out these quick fixes for common bathroom issues that arise while saving yourself some money along the way.

1. Shifting Toilet Seat

Is your toilet seat wobbling every time you sit down? Sometimes, there are visible bolts to tighten, but that just doesn’t fix the issue. Many are unaware that you can actually purchase a toilet seat tightening kit. Most home improvement stores will carry an inexpensive kit, usually around $10. Rather than investing in a new toilet seat, you can save time and money by picking up a kit the next time you’re out.

2. Slippery Shower

There are two main options to remedy a slippery shower. If you have a geriatric family member, a shower chair may be the best option to provide security. These chairs can be as affordable as $20 and can offer peace of mind when it comes to the safety of your loved ones. If chairs aren’t for you, a non-slip bath mat will keep you from falling in the shower and cost as much as a few coffees.

3. Clogged Shower Head

Do you normally have great water pressure, but now your shower feels like a slow leak? Your shower head is likely clogged from a build up of minerals in your water. Instead of calling the plumber or heading to the store to buy toxic chemicals, you can use ingredients already in your home to fix your problem. All you need to do is fill a sandwich bag halfway full with white vinegar, submerge the shower head into the vinegar in the bag, and tie the bag to the piping and allow the head to soak overnight. When you remove the bag, you should wipe the head to remove any excess and then your shower should be back to normal pressure.

4. Slow Drain

Before calling a professional, consider trying a Zip-It tool. You can find one at your local hardware store for around $5, but you have to be willing to deal with a little bit of gunk. The tool is placed in the drain and pulls out whatever is clogging it, usually hair and soap. If you can get past that, you’ll save yourself the price of a plumber.

5. Leaking Water Valve

Instead of heading to the store for a replacement water supply valve, try tightening the packing nut on the valve. A quick video search online will show you which nut to tighten, and it will only take a few minutes. Now you’ve saved time and money!

While these are easy fixes to do yourself, selling your home isn’t nearly as easy to DIY. Call us today in Moberly MO if you are ready to put your home on the market! 

WHY CREDIT CHECKS DURING CLOSING ARE IMPORTANT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can’t tell a prospective buyer enough about this, yet I’ve had buyers find out a few days before closing that their loan was denied.  You see, they went out and charged a new living room set, or maybe new appliances for the house before closing.  When the lender ran the credit check prior to closing, their debt ratio now exceeded the loan parameters.  Read on…

 

You’ve found your dream home! After months of searching, you’re finally closing on the house that you’ve wanted for so long. The last thing you want to do is take any action that would interfere with the closing of your home. Since the start of your home search, your agent has probably told you time and time again not to do anything that would impact your credit score, like opening a new line of credit or making a large purchase. While this makes sense during the approval process, you may wonder why it is key to keep your credit in check until after closing. Here is an explanation of the 2 credit checks performed during the home-buying process and why it is important to maintain your credit from start to finish.

Pre-Approval Credit Check

To get a loan to purchase a home, you’ll go through a pre-qualification process. You’ll let your lender know a variety of financial information, from your credit score and employment to your marital status, as well as any number of factors that can impact your qualification. With this self-reported information, you can then be pre-approved. After that, lenders will verify the information you’ve provided and this is when they will pull your credit history. It is important that what you’ve reported matches the credit information pulled by the lender – which is why you shouldn’t miss any payments or open new cards during this time. Lenders offer approval based on a risk assessment, and you do not want them to think that you are a risk.

Credit Check at Closing

The main concern of the lender is the risk you pose to them. Because it can take time for an offer to be accepted, your lender WILL pull a second credit check while waiting for your loan to pass underwriting. This is to ensure your credit hasn’t changed since the initial credit check. If you took out a loan or created massive credit debt, you could change your debt to income ratio and your lender could decide you are too risky to loan to. This is why it is so very important to keep your credit in check before, during, and after the home-buying process!

 

 

HOW TO DECIDE IF YOU SHOULD REMODEL OR MOVE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After living in a home for several years, it can be easy to discover things you may not be crazy about. While some things can be a quick fix, there may be major changes that make you wonder if it is worth the investment. At this point, you’re probably asking yourself if you should remodel or just find a new home. As you have probably realized, this isn’t always an easy choice. There are many factors that go into this decision. Here are some things to consider when deciding what will work best for you…

1. Determine which is more cost-friendly

While both options will have costs, one will have more than the other depending on your situation. Some of the costs of selling include agent commissions, moving costs, minor repairs, the costs of a new home, and potential upsizing costs. The costs of remodeling can include permits, architectural plans, materials and labor, and any other additional costs incurred in the process.

2. Look into the current housing market

Depending on whether your local real estate market is hot, it might make more sense to just sell if houses are selling quickly around you. By talking to a real estate agent, you can find out what to expect in terms of days on market, average sales price, and other important factors when it comes to selling a home.

3. Decide if your roots are deep 

Is your home more than just a home to you? If you and your family are actively involved in the community, remodeling may work best for you. On the flip side, if there are better schooling or job opportunities in a different neighborhood, or you already spend hours a day traveling to those locations, selling may be a better option.

4. Decide if a renovation can solve your problems

Take the time to decide if the problems with your home are fixable. Is it really the house, or do you dislike your neighborhood? Do you have to spend an hour driving one way to work? Do you need a lot more space? If your answer to questions like this make you realize renovations won’t solve your problems, consider that it may just be time to put your home on the market.

5. Consider the ROI on your remodel

Calculating your return on investment will help you determine two things – first, if a remodel will cost you less than selling your home. It will also help you determine if you will be able to make your money back on a remodel if you choose to sell in the future. Call one of our team members at Advantage Real Estate in Moberly for a no-cost consultation.  You want to make sure you’re not out-pricing your home for the neighborhood you’re in!

If these considerations make you realize it is time to sell your home, give us a call today!  We have membership in TWO MLS’s:  Randolph County and Columbia, Missouri!

 

 

Simple Sprucing Tips For Your Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You don’t need thousands of dollars to refurbish your home and make it feel like new again. Instead, you can DIY a lot of features in your house to help spruce it up for the upcoming season. Whether you plan to sell your home, have guests over, or are just tired of how drab it is been feeling lately, here are a few tips and tricks you can use to refresh your space:

CLEAN + DECLUTTER
Throw out all of the junk taking up space! You’d be surprised by how much more you’ll fall back in love with your home when you take out the collection of accumulated stuff that has piled up over the years and finally get to see your home’s features for what they are. Store what you don’t need/use in either the attic, basement, or in a storage unit. After you’ve decluttered, be sure to finish it off by cleaning your home. Clean windows, walls, and the floors for the best results.

BRING IN NATURAL LIGHT
Do you have heavy curtains covering your windows? Bring them down! Not only will this make your space feel bigger by removing stuff off the walls, it’ll also feel alive again with all of the natural light that pours in.

ADD FRESH PAINT
Nothing refreshes a home like a new coat of paint. If you have dark dull colors, opt for lighter tones. Covering up stains on the walls, or drab old paint, can help your house feel brand new all over again.

DD TILE
Consider adding a tile backsplash in your kitchen or bathroom. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get beautiful results. Be sure you get tiles that compliment the colors in the space, so it doesn’t clash and look unappealing.

ADD COLOR
Although neutral colors are always recommended as the base of any home decor, don’t be afraid to compliment your neutrals with a pop of color. You can add it throughout the home by using flowers, pillows, decor, or even light curtains that are staged on the sides of your windows.

CHANGE OUT FIXTURES + HARDWARE
You’d be surprised by how much more a kitchen can look different just by replacing the hardware on the cabinets. A bathroom or living room can come alive again by installing a brand new light fixture. If you moved into a place that still has the same stock hardware or fixtures, replace them and add a little creativity with the new pieces you have installed.

REARRANGE FURNITURE
Head to Pinterest and get inspired for new living room, bedroom, or dining room arrangements. Most homeowners decorate “incorrectly” when it comes to standard staging rules. View a variety of furniture set-ups on social media and let it motivate you to rearrange your space. You don’t have to buy a bunch of new furniture to make a drastic change.

Any of our friendly agents at Advantage Real Estate in Moberly MO would be happy to come out and give you some tips on sprucing up your home for free. If you’re ready to list your property, give us a call.

 

MAKE YOUR HOME STAND OUT THIS SUMMER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As May comes to a close, school ends and the summer officially begins, that means one important thing – home selling season is upon us. With the kids home from school and vacation time accumulated, both buyers and sellers are ready to enter the market as the weather heats up. As the market begins to grow, you may wonder how to make sure your home stands out among all the others trying to sell during the summer months. Here are a few tips to make sure you can catch the eye of potential buyers during busy season!

1. Tour Other For-Sale Homes

Check out open houses for homes similar to yours that are also on the market. As you are preparing to list, use these tours to see what decor and design-types are attractive to you and potential buyers. If there are things you notice that you do not like, be sure to remove those features from your own home if you have them. Sometimes stepping out of the box (or in this case, your own home) will allow you to look at your home through the lens of a potential buyer.

2. Complete Your Home Inspection Up Front

The home inspection can be a dreaded part of the closing process. Instead of waiting for a buyer, complete your home inspection ahead of time. The goal is to set your home apart from the others on the market, and an easy way to do so is letting those potential buyers know that your home is not just for sale, but it is already inspected. If you repair any issues found by the inspector, you’ll be one step ahead and gives potential buyers peace of mind.

3. Completely Remove Clutter

Decluttering and cleaning is always the first step on the list when you are preparing to list your home, but often we don’t take the clutter ‘removal’ part as seriously. Instead of just moving clutter from a room to a closet, completely remove the clutter from your home. Whether that means donating, storing, or just tossing those items, removing clutter will allow potential buyers to picture themselves in every part of your home, including your closets and garages – rather than just picturing your clutter stashed away there.

4. Curb Appeal Is Key

With spring quickly transitioning to summer, your yard may need a little love. Spring rains and warmth might’ve left your lawn a little overgrown. Take the time to remove weeds, mow your lawn, and add new plant life around the outside of your home. The outside will be the first thing potential buyers see, and you want them to be drawn in by your yard, not turned away by it.

5. Use Refreshments To Your Advantage

Whether you’re a baker or just love buying baked goods, open houses are the perfect opportunity to draw potential buyers in with sweets. With rising temperatures, a thoughtful treat with a glass of lemonade or ice water adds a personal touch to your open house that will, at a minimum, guarantee that potential buyers cross the threshold of your home. Sometimes, getting them in the door is all you need.

If you are considering selling your home in or around Moberly, MO, call our office. We are here and eager to help you with your real estate needs.

 

First-Time Buyer Advice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’ve never purchased a house before, you may have no idea where to begin when preparing to become a homeowner. You may be on the fence about buying, or you may feel like you are ready to buy a home today. Either way, these tips can help anyone feel a little more prepared for their first home purchase!

MONEY IS KEY

It is easy to begin scrolling through beautiful homes on the market without considering your budget. Sale postings can be all over your social media feeds, tempting you to just take a peek. While looking can be fun and exciting, you should prepare financially before you start eyeing any homes. It is much better to know what your price range is so you don’t fall in love with a house you just can’t afford (for now!)

MAKING A LIST, CHECKING IT TWICE

While you need to be realistic and recognize that you likely are not going to find a home with every single thing you wish to have in a house, making a list of the things that are a priority for you (room count, big backyard, master walk-in closet, etc.) will help you to make sure you’re only looking at houses that will fit your wants and needs.

PHOTOS DON’T TELL THE WHOLE PICTURE

It is easy to fall in love with a home after seeing the listing photos. These perfectly lit, well-staged photos show off houses in their best light, but that doesn’t mean you are getting the whole story. Listing photos are a great place to start, as they will help you to narrow down your options. Unfortunately, there are home traits that may not be portrayed well in photos, whether it be low ceilings, a drafty build, or anything in between.  Once you’ve made a short list of the homes that appear to be a fit for you, always do a home tour.

THAT GUT-FEELING

If you walk into a house and it feels like home, trust your gut. There is no better way to know if you should buy a home than seeing how you feel when you walk through the front door. Your home purchase will probably be one of, if not the largest, purchase you’ve made in your life so far. Pictures can only do so much, and nothing can help you decide whether or not a house is made for you better than getting inside it!

NOTHING ELSE WILL DO

Do you get upset at the thought of losing the house you just toured to someone else? Does it already feel like home when you are inside? These are two signs that you have found the home for you! If you see a home and are ready to stop looking at others, you are one step closer to buying a home you will love.

THE BEST AGENT

Finding a great real estate agent in Moberly is going to be the part that ties everything together. A quality agent will help you find homes within your budget that possess your must-have items and they’ll offer you guidance through every step of the process.

If you’re looking for a real estate agent in Randolph and surrounding counties to help you find and buy your first dream home, call us today!!

It’s Because Of The Price

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you getting frustrated that your home hasn’t already sold? Has it been sitting on the market with little to no showings, while houses nearby are going under contract almost immediately? We’re here to tell you the solution is simple: lower the price! I know, I know, you probably already heard this from your agent and thought that it was worth the price you wanted. But the truth of the matter is, the market is hot. It’s at the hottest point it has been in a long time, and if your home isn’t selling in today’s market, and your agent is working their butt off to market it, then the price is too high.

Who doesn’t want to sell what they own, and cherish, for the most they can get? Your agent wants to sell your home for top dollar as well! But, if you still haven’t received an offer in such a strong seller’s market, it’s time to sit down with your agent, re-evaluate your motivation to sell, and talk about a new price. Do you have goals when it comes to moving? A new house, a new state? That’s awesome! So if you want to move forward with your life, cut out the stress of slowing down your sale and make the best decision to ensure your home can get under contract. Keep in mind there is a highly likely chance that by pricing lower than market value, you can anticipate a bidding frenzy that can get you even more than you anticipated. Supply and demand – it works wonders when you let your agent play the numbers to get buyers in a frenzy for your home. Drop it down to what your trusted agent recommends, and you’ll be putting your best foot forward in your market.

The market is strong in Randolph and surrounding counties. Call Advantage Real Estate in Moberly MO for a free consultation to see what your property is worth today.

 

Kitchen Improvements Under $100

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to spruce up your kitchen but stuck on a tight budget? Check out this list of improvements you can get started on for under $100. These tips can come in handy when you’re ready to list your home to sell on the market.

1. REFRESH THE SINK:

If your sink is starting to look outdated, find an affordable, yet stylish, replacement. If you have the eye for DIY, you can also purchase some sandpaper and a $4 can of spray paint that is made for metal, and use it to refresh and brighten the color.

2. HANG A NEW LIGHT FIXTURE

A decorative light fixture doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. You can generally find some decent ones that are under $100. Go for a chrome finish or choose the rustic route, whichever suits the current decor in your kitchen. You can also add LED lights under your kitchen cabinets for around $10-$20.

3. PAINT THE CABINETS

With care taken in the prep work, you can refinish the paint on your cabinets. You can generally get a kit for around $75. Refreshing the paint color or the stain can make your kitchen feel brand new.

4. TURN YOUR FRIDGE INTO A CHALKBOARD

Chalkboard finishes are a hot trend, especially on the fridge! They add more functionality by allowing home owners to write grocery lists, menus, and even to-dos. Use painters tape to outline the shape and size you want to use as the chalkboard, then coat it with magnetic primer followed by chalkboard paint.

5. REPLACE OUTLET PLATES

Replace the outdated outlet wall plates for your light switches. You can add some character to it by using bold patterns, bright colors, or elegant textures. If they look faded, yellow, or chipped, they’re a cheap fix to replace.

6. CHANGE HARDWARE

Replacing the hardware on your kitchen cabinets and drawers can provide a drastic change to your kitchen. Not only can you get rid of hideous outdated hardware, but you can add a completely new feel to the theme of your kitchen just by updating the hardware throughout it.

7. EXPAND STORAGE

Have empty wall space? Search your local home stores for cute baskets or storage containers you can use to fill the space. Not only can it add some character to your kitchen, it also adds functionality and more storage options – a feature buyers love if you’re thinking of listing your home.

8. DRESS UP YOUR DECOR

Bring some color to your kitchen. Throw out decor that looks like it belongs in the 90’s, rugs that are falling apart, and anything else that weighs down a fresh look. Add in some new rugs and hand towels that match your personality and the theme you’re trying to achieve. You can also add some plants and decorative pieces for character.

9. CLEAN UP THE CLUTTER

The best cleaning tip I can give my clients is to remove the clutter. Nothing is a bigger eye sore than too many things. It can also mess with the energy in a home. Throw out the things that are taking up too much space. If it’s sentimental, see if you can store it in a new place or store it if you are preparing for a move.

If you are considering listing your home on the market, the Advantage Real Estate agents in Moberly MO are eager to help you with ideas on sprucing up your kitchen or any room!

5 WAYS TO FILL THE SPACE ABOVE YOUR BED

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even if you have a beautiful headboard, the space above your bed can seem empty if left untouched. This space can be tricky to decorate, but that doesn’t mean you should leave it blank. There are plenty of ways to spruce up that space without much work. Here are 5 ways to make the best of that negative space!

1. Add a Set of Shelves

Even if you don’t need the extra storage space, you can use shelves to add small decor that is unique to you. Your favorite books, small planters, or even picture frames are a great way to personalize the shelves.

2. Wallpaper the Wall

f you’re worried about adding anything above your bed, consider creating an accent wall with floral wallpaper. Many places sell peel and stick paper so if you decide you don’t love the style or you’re renting and cannot make a permanent change, you can still try out wallpaper.

3. Make the Room Look Bigger With Mirrors

The best way to make a room look bigger is to strategically place mirrors across from open windows or sources of light. You can also place 2 small mirrors alongside a large central mirror if your bed isn’t across from a light source. This will also make your room appear larger while filling empty space.

4. Consider a Tasteful Tapestry or Wall Hanging

Tapestries aren’t just for college dorm rooms. If you aren’t ready to add shelving fixtures but want something a little more than wallpaper, consider adding a pop of color with a tapestry or a statement yarn wall hanging.

5. Create a Gallery Wall

Whether it is gridded and organized or statement and staggered, a gallery wall is the perfect way to add a little more ‘you’ to your bedroom. Frame your favorite family photos or the landscape photos from your favorite vacation.

Our Advantage team of agents in Moberly, MO are eager to  help you with tips and ideas on decorating, whether if you’re thinking of selling OR buying a new home in and surrounding Randolph County!

10 STEPS TO DECLUTTER YOUR KITCHEN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are all thankful for the many drawers and cabinets in kitchens today, but they make it easy for us to hide our clutter instead of getting rid of it. If you have reached the point where you can no longer open a door in your kitchen without having something fall out, it is time to declutter your kitchen. Follow these steps and you can begin a clutter-free life, starting with your kitchen!

1. Sort through your utensil drawer. Toss out any broken or unused utensils.

2. Open your pantry and get rid of anything that is expired. Take the time to organize your shelves by food type. Have a shelf for canned items, a shelf for boxed items, and so on.

3.  Throw away any old or expired spices in your spice cabinet/rack.

4. Organize your Tupperware cabinet. If you’re like most people, this is probably the most disorganized area of your kitchen. Toss out any broken containers and any lone containers or lids. If the majority of your Tupperware fits those categories, toss it all and start fresh. Many containers on the market today have stackable/attached lids to help you stay organized.

5. Work your way from the outside to the inside of your refrigerator. Remove any old papers, coupons, or notes from the outside of your fridge. If it is something you don’t want to part with, like a card or invitation, place those in a box for safekeeping. Now that the outside is cleaned, declutter the inside as you did your pantry. Pull everything out and get rid of any expired food or drinks. Wipe down your shelves and replace the items you’re keeping, organizing them by type as well.

6. Clean off your sink and counter area. It is so easy to use the counter as a place to collect clutter, so take the time to go through each item and decide if it stays or goes. Consider buying an organizational tray for your cleaners and soaps, but find a home for everything else. Counters are much more beautiful without clutter.

7. If you have a medicine drawer or cabinet in your kitchen, clean it out. Throw away empty boxes and expired meds.

8. Find your dish towels and designate a drawer or shelf to keep them in. Sort out the ones you no longer use and toss them or keep them as cleaning rags.

9. Get rid of the cups you no longer use. We are all guilty of hanging on to collectible cups that remain untouched for years after we bring them home. If you don’t use them, donate them to a local shelter in need or toss them.

10. Whether we like to admit it or not, most of us have a junk drawer in our home – very often in the kitchen. Empty it and only replace the items you need and use. The sauce packets that have been there since you moved in are not going to be used now if they haven’t been used yet.  Try to only keep items that you use often, like batteries or small tools.

Decluttering your kitchen is one of the first steps to getting your house ready for the market. If you’re considering listing your home, Advantage Real Estate’s friendly agents in Moberly MO  are here to help.

 

INCREASE YOUR CURB APPEAL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re preparing to sell your home, curb appeal should be a priority. When someone is walking by or coming to your open house, the outside of your home is the first thing they will see. If there is no curb appeal, potential buyers may never even set foot in your home. Instead of ignoring your home’s outdoor appearance, consider making some budget-friendly changes that can add appeal to your home without breaking the bank.

1. Landscape Your Walkway

Create a smooth transition from the street to your front door. A clear path will allow a potential buyer’s eye to look straight to your home, rather than stopping to concentrate on unkept landscaping. Clean your walkway and create groupings of mid-size shrubby and florals close to the road and by your front door.

2. Hang a Wreath

Adding a wreath to your front door is a simple way to make your home look more welcoming. Consider a DIY wreath that is easy to create and cost-friendly.

3. Treat Your Lawn Better

Consistent upkeep is the best way to save money when it comes to your front lawn. You should apply a weed-and-feed treatment to your lawn as often as needed to supply the necessary nutrients while also killing off any weeds. Be sure to provide proper maintenance to your lawn mower and keep your mower blade sharp.

4. Add Porch Appeal

If you have a front porch, add an affordable outdoor furniture set. This can create an inviting space that will make potential buyers want to try it out!

5. Consider Color Accents

If your door or shutters need a fresh paint job, consider finding an accent color that will help your house pop. It doesn’t have to be extreme, just enough to catch the eye of a potential buyer. Be sure to test your paint color alongside your siding or brick before fully committing.

6. Restore Your Driveway

Your driveway can be a major eyesore if it isn’t taken care of. Fill any holes or cracks in your asphalt and apply a fresh sealer. A driveway that looks new is sure to help your curb appeal.

7. Power Wash Your Home

Sometimes, all your home needs is a good cleaning. If you don’t own power washer, rent one from your local home improvement store and take a weekend to power wash your entire exterior. Even if your home is relatively new, a deep cleaning can make it look like a new build.

These are all things that will help you if you decide to sell your home. Call Advantage Real Estate in Moberly, MO–we’re here to help!

WHAT YOU SAVE BY GETTING RID OF EXCESS STUFF BEFORE YOU MOVE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re getting ready to move, whether you are trying to sell your home or you’ve already purchased a new one, one of the first things that tends to cause stress in the process is the fear of packing all of your stuff. Whether you’ve been in your current space for a few months or several years, you’ve probably accumulated plenty of things you use and love, and even more items you haven’t touched since you brought them home. Now is the perfect time to purge those items and start fresh in your new home with intentional decor and less clutter.  Here are some of the things you’ll save when you let go:

Save Time 

Instead of waiting until you’re ready to move, start sorting through your items now. Sell, donate, or trash the items that you’ve decided don’t have a place in your future home. When you’re ready to pack up for your move, you’ll save so much time because you’ll have less to pack (and unpack).

Save Money 

Maybe some of the stuff you’re considering letting go of is worth something. If that is the case, consider having a garage sale or selling your clothes to resale boutiques in your area. Donate or dispose of whatever you don’t sell. Not only can you make money, but you can save money by moving less stuff. You may be able to fit what you love into a smaller moving truck if you get rid of those items that have gone unused for years! Randolph County has several drop off sites needing your donations.

Save Energy 

Sometimes items can take up a great deal of emotional energy. It is often in our nature to cling to things that may have meant something in our past, but have no place in our future. Get rid of that baggage and create an intentional environment with positive energy in your new home.

Save Space 

Instead of taking the clutter from your current place into your new home, save space by getting rid of it now. Open spaces in your new home will bring you peace of mind and joy.

If you’ve done all this saving and you’re ready to save even more on a new home, give us a call at Advantage Real Estate in Moberly, MO! 

 

HABITS OF A TIDY HOMEOWNER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We all have that friend whose home seems to be spotless, no matter the time of day. You could swing by for a morning coffee or stop over for dinner, and it always looks like someone just cleaned. Can you imagine if your house could be like that? Well, it can! Tidy homes are created out of habit. Here are 5 habits of people with tidy homes, so that you too can have a house that looks like a magazine feature all the time.

1. Having A Schedule

Letting clutter accumulate is the easiest way to get a messy home. If you are waiting until the mess is unbearable, you’re going to be overwhelmed by it every time. By creating a cleaning schedule, you can manage the cleaning of your home instead of avoiding it. Create tasks for each day, like a day for dusting and a day for vacuuming, so you are doing a little bit of deep cleaning every day.

2. Create Lists

Break down everything in your home that needs to be cleaned on a list. By creating a list, you will be able to cross off what you complete as you go. This visual helps you to stay on track and feel like you’re accomplishing your goals.

3. A Place For Everything

Organization is the key to a tidy home. If every item in your house has its own home, cleaning will be much easier. This especially helps to prevent junk drawers or counters overflowing with random household items.

4. Get Rid of Clutter

If a junk drawer is already overflowing in your house or you have a closet where you’ve been stuffing items with no other place to go, it is time to purge. Follow Marie Kondo’s advice and get rid of anything that doesn’t bring you joy – especially clutter. There are several drop off sites in Moberly, MO where you can leave your items for donation.

5. Baskets are Best

While it is important to maintain organization when using them, baskets can be extremely helpful to organize and reduce clutter – especially if you have children or pets. While it is easier to manage our own clutter, it can be difficult to put every toy or childcare item away properly when we are in a rush. By having decorative baskets throughout your home, you can quickly clear out an area if you have guests coming over without scrambling to put all those items where they are meant to go. It is important to add basket organization to your cleaning list, that way they do not become just another ‘junk drawer’ of sorts.

Work on creating these habits in your own home and soon enough, you’ll be the one who doesn’t mind when your friends stop by at any hour!

Getting a jump on spring cleaning will give you a leg up on selling your home in Randolph County MO.  If you’d like any of our Advantage Real Estate agents to stop by and take a look and see if there’s anything you’ve overlooked, just give us a call!

 

 

DIY SHIPLAP FOR $40

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to Chip & Joanna Gaines, shiplap is filling homes across the country, and for good reason. Shiplap can give you a beautiful feature wall without having to choose an accent color you may not be crazy about in a few months. If done wisely, it doesn’t have to be expensive either. Here is a guide to create your own shiplap without breaking the bank.

What You’ll Need:
Nail Gun & Nails
Table Saw*
Compound Miter Saw*
Stud Finder
Underlayment Plywood
Construction Adhesive
1/8 Inch Tile Spacers
Spackling Paste
250 Grit Sandpaper
Paint (With Primer Included)

*Your Moberly, MO home improvement store where you purchase your plywood can typically cut your boards into planks if you do not have these tools at home. Make sure your boards will collectively be long enough to fit the wall you plan to shiplap.

Step 1: Prep Your Planks

Measure the wall you plan to shiplap and make sure you get enough plywood to cover the wall. You get to decide how wide you want your planks to be, but 6 inch planks are a great size for any home. Be sure to cut the final full-length planks into a variety of sizes so that you can achieve that staggered shiplap look.

Step 2: Hang Your First Row

Use your stud finder to locate the studs in your wall. This is where you’ll be nailing the boards in. Prep your first plank by applying the construction adhesive to the back of the wood. Lay that plank flush with your crown molding to ensure your planks will lay straight on the wall. Once in place, nail the plank twice, once on top and once on bottom, along the stud that the board is covering. Fill in the top row with as many pieces as needed.

Step 3: Use Your Spacers

Before placing the second row, use your spacers to ensure there will be an equal gap between planks. Be sure to do this for each new row of planks.

Step 4: Fill Nail Holes

Use your spackling paste to fill in all the holes you’ve created. Once it has dried, you will need to sand down the hardened paste to create a flush surface with the wood.

Step 5: Time For Paint

If your paint doesn’t have a primer included, be sure to prime the wall first and then apply your first coat. Use a second coat if needed!

You now have the perfect focal point in whatever room you’ve added your DIY shiplap wall to, all for the price of a week’s worth of coffee!

Shiplap will add value to your home in Randolph County, and give you satisfaction while relaxing in your new room.

 

 

Commercial opportunity at the edge of town

Put on your thinking cap and let’s visit this commercial space at the edge of town in Moberly, MO.  Just outside of city limits with no city ordinances!

In my past lives, I was a restaurant, a single family residence, and now I am 3 separate office spaces.  That means 3 rental incomes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Currently has 3 rentals within this building, all with separate entrances and a shared/common kitchen and bathrooms.

 

Plenty of parking!

 

Nice offices inside

 

So bring your imagination and dreams! Call Advantage Real Estate 660-263-3393 and we’ll show you around!

Thinking of Selling? 4 Things NOT to Do…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So you’ve decided it’s time to make a move and put your house on the market. How exciting! Hopefully, you’ve brought a rockin’ Advantage Real Estate

 

REALTOR® on board to help you list your property.  Remember, we are the ONLY agency in Moberly, MO with membership in TWO Multiple Listing Services (MLS’s). As you start checking things off your to-do list to get your property ready, it’s also important to pay mind of what not to do. Below are a handful of things to get you started.

 

Don’t over-improve.
As you ready your home for sale, you may realize you will get a great return on your investment if you make a couple of changes. Updating the appliances or replacing that cracked cabinet in the bathroom are all great ideas. However, it’s important not to over-improve.   Perhaps the prospective buyers for your house are family oriented and want a basement space for their kids to play in? Some may want an unfinished basement that’s used for storage and storms.   Make any needed fixes to your space, and for sure make sure it’s super clean, but don’t go above and beyond—you may lose money doing so.

Don’t over-decorate.
Over-decorating is just as bad as over-improving. You may love the look of lace and lavender, but your potential buyer may enter your home and cringe. When prepping for sale, neutralize your decorating scheme so it’s more universally palatable.

 

Don’t hang around.
Your agent calls to let you know they will be bringing buyers by this afternoon. Great! You rally your whole family, Fluffy the dog included, to be waiting at the door with fresh baked cookies and big smiles. Right? Wrong. Buyers want to imagine themselves in your space, not be confronted by you in your space. Trust, it’s awkward for them to go about judging your home while you stand in the corner smiling like a maniac. Get out of the house, take the kids with you, and if you can’t leave for whatever reason, at least go sit in the backyard. (On the other hand, if you’re buying a home and not selling, then making it personal is the way to go, especially when writing your offer letter. Pull those heart strings!)

 

Don’t take things personally.
Real estate is a business, but buying and selling homes is very, very emotional. However, when selling your homes, try your very best not to take things personally. When a buyer low balls you or says they will need to replace your prized 1970s vintage shag carpet with something “more modern,” try not to raise your hackles.

 

We’re here to help you!  Let’s talk about the market, what to expect during the process, and what we can do FOR you to take some of the pressure out of the process.  Contact Advantage Real Estate today!  We’re selling Randolph County (and surrounding counties) one yard at a time…