3 Major Steps To Prepare for a Move

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While there is a lot of excitement that comes with moving into a new home, there can also be a great deal of stress. Packing up your entire life and moving it somewhere else can seem overwhelming, but if you have a plan, it can seem a great deal more manageable. Here are the 3 major steps to take to prepare for a move and reduce the stress that can come with it.

Inventory Your Items

While this can seem like a daunting task, taking an inventory of every item in your home will save you a great deal of stress in the future. Whether you do a move entirely on your own or you hire a moving company, it is very important to have all of your items documented. If you sort your items by room and then document them as such and pack accordingly, you will be able to unpack your items by room into your new home in an organized way, ensuring you aren’t missing any items.

Box It All Up

Once you have inventoried all of your items, you will then begin boxing up what you can. Many hardware and home improvement stores have affordable boxes but checking on local Facebook pages for someone trying to get rid of moving boxes could save you a few dollars. Once you have your boxes, it is key to pack by room. This will help if you follow your inventory list, ensuring every item gets packed. Label your boxes by room to make moving in to your new home a breeze.

Renting a Moving Truck

If you’ve never rented a moving truck before, it can be difficult to guess what size truck you will need to transport all your goods. Thankfully, many sites offer ‘calculators’ that are easy to find with a simple search and allow you to enter your box and furniture information and give you a recommendation on what size will best fit your needs. While packing your stuff up is often something movers want to do on their own to keep track of their items, sometimes hiring movers for the truck portion of the move can take a great deal of weight, both physical and metaphorical, off of your shoulders. By hiring movers to load up your truck, you will save the stress on your body and also gain the experience of movers who have packed trucks before. Many people who have moved recommend hiring movers for the loading and unloading portion of the move, even if you want to do everything else DIY.

Advantage Real Estate can help with all your Real Estate needs in Randolph and surrounding counties whether it’s buying, selling or both! Let us help relieve some of your stress of moving. 

New Year’s Resolutions That Will Help You Buy A Home in 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If 2020 is the year for you to buy a home, consider making these 5 New Year’s resolutions to help you be as prepared as possible to become a homeowner.

1. Cut down on monthly subscriptions.

With each month, there is a new subscription service out there. What starts as convenience turns into an endless list of subscriptions that we often don’t use enough to justify the costs. Sit down and go through your monthly/yearly subscriptions and cancel whatever you don’t use. Set aside that extra money with the rest of your savings so your down payment can continue to grow.

2. Build a better credit history.

Paying bills on time and paying off debts will help create a solid credit history. Make sure you have some utilities or rent in your name so that you can pay them on time and continue to build a solid credit history. 

3. Avoid changing careers.

Alongside income, your employment history will be a major factor during your mortgage application evaluation. While a new job could be a good career move, most evaluators are looking for a steady job history with little to no gaps in your employment over the last few years. 

4. Check your credit.

If you don’t know where your credit is at currently, now is the best time to check. Most credit sites will tell you what is impacting your credit, and you can use those tips to change your choices heading into the new year. If large debts are negatively impacting your credit, get started on a pay off plan so your score can improve in the new year.

5. Avoid large purchases.

Your debt-to-credit ratio makes a major impact on your mortgage approval. If you buy a brand new car or fund a large vacation, that ratio could sway in the wrong direction. If you want your lender to be willing to give you the maximum amount possible, make sure you aren’t making any large purchases heading into the new year. Advantage Real Estate agents can help you with the purchase of your new home in Randolph and surrounding counties in Missouri. Give us a call at our office in Moberly. 660-263-3393

5 Must-Do’s Before Buying a House

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re ready to begin the journey of homeownership, it is important to cross a few items off of your to-do list before hunting for the perfect house. Buying a home is a process, and you want to be as prepared as possible. Here are a few steps to take that will get you ready to buy a home.

1. Get your money straight.

A year to six months before you begin the buying process, find a lender and have them pull your credit. This will give you insight into what you expect and what you may need to mend before you can make the purchase that you want to. Your lender will be able to let you know what you qualify for based on your income at the time so that you can look for homes within your price range when the time comes.

2. Decide where you are willing to stay a while.

A home is a commitment. You can always resell, but with the transaction fees that come along with buying a home, you may end up losing equity if you try to sell your home quickly after buying it. If you don’t think the home is somewhere you can see yourself for several years, keep looking.

3. Don’t hesitate to take your time.

There is a lot more to the purchasing process than just buying a home. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of a home that you are considering buying. How is the neighborhood? Will the long commute be overwhelming in 6 months? Make sure you’ve considered the aspects of what makes up your day-to-day life and how your new home will help or hurt that process.

4. Know the difference between your dream home and a fantasy home.

Being realistic is a key part of making the home buying process easier on you. Your agent will work hard to make your deal the best it can be, but when it comes down to it, you will usually get what you pay for. Major discounts typically mean you will have work to do, and that doesn’t necessarily mean a steal for you. Be realistic during your search and keep in mind that the perfect home might not be out there, but that doesn’t mean that your dream home isn’t.

5. Find an agent for you.

Finding an agent that works for you takes a major weight off of your shoulders in the home buying process. Advantage Real Estate agents are here and ready to help you . We are able to show you houses that you can’t find from a simple internet search in Randolph/surrounding counties and be able to negotiate for you along the way. It is our specialty – don’t waste the time or energy trying to do the job of a realtor on top of everything else you have on your plate!

Is It Time To Upgrade Your Heating System?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter has arrived and along with it, much colder temperatures. Maybe the heating system in your home has been in place since you moved in and you’re not sure if it is the best option for you, or you’ve recognized that heating your home is putting a hole in your pocket. Here are the different heating system options to help you find out if your current system is best for you, or if it is time for an upgrade so there will be no shivering indoors this season.

Boilers

Boilers heat the floor, walls, and air by circling heated water through a piping system loop. Electricity, propane, and natural gas can all power a boiler system and can distribute heat in a variety of ways. There are old-school steam radiators, hot water radiators, and hydronic radiant floor heating. Boiler systems are usually more expensive and costly to install, but are typically more quiet than forced air and can be more efficient than forced air systems.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps heat or cool your home by taking advantage of existing outdoors, underwater or underground temperatures. Air-source heat pumps are the most common, followed by the split ductless system and the geothermal system. While heat pumps tend to be more expensive than forced air or central heating and can be noisy, they will save you money in the long run because of just how efficient they are.

Furnaces

Furnaces, commonly referred to as forced air, are the most common system because while inexpensive, they are quite reliable. You may have an older furnace that needs replaced, and based on the current efficiency rating, it may be worth your time and money to invest in a new maximum efficiency furnace. A key factor in saving money with a furnace is making sure it is the right size for your home so it doesn’t overwork itself, costing you more in the end.

 

 

What You Need To Know For Winter House Hunting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While house hunting in the winter was never really a thing of the past, today’s culture keeps things going year-round – which means finding a home can be done at any time of the year. While exploring in the cold might be your focus or concern, house-hunting in less-than-ideal conditions can show you things you can’t always see on a warm, sunny day. Here are some things to keep in mind as you try to find a home before the holidays.

Winter Weather Can Help You See Hidden Flaws

Even if you don’t love the cold and snowy weather, it can help you see household flaws that you may not see in the warmth of summer. Maybe the windows are drafty or there is a major loss in privacy when the trees are bare from the cold. It will also help you to love your home for its’ bones, and only love it more when warmer seasons arrive bringing flowers, grass, and colorful foliage.

Photos Can Help Fill In The Blanks

It can be hard to picture what a poolside oasis looks like when it is covered in snow. This is where photos can save the day. Whether they are listing photos or images from previous owners, seeing certain parts of the home in better weather may check the final box for a home you are falling in love with.

Know How To Handle Features Unavailable In The Winter

If that pool you fell in love with isn’t operational in the winter, you should request that they leave money in escrow or extend the closing time frame so that you can inspect the pool when warm weather returns. Sellers are responsible for remedying any issues unless they provide a disclosure about some part of the pool not working.

Advantage Real Estate agents know what to look for in a house. If you’re considering buying or selling a home in Randolph and surrounding counties, call our office in Moberly, MO and let us help you with all your Real Estate needs.

 

 

The What + Why For Home Warranties

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’ve only ever rented before, the necessity of a home warranty may be unknown to you. As a renter, you are used to a landlord who will fix any issues you run into – but that all changes when you become a homeowner. Now, when a water heater breaks or the fridge starts to leak on the new floors in the kitchen, there is no landlord to call. So what do you do now? You may have a friend or family member who can handle the smaller fixes, but when it comes to the big issues that will end up emptying your pockets, a home warranty can save the day.

A home warranty is similar to insurance, as it covers some or all of the costs of replacements or repairs when a system in your home malfunctions or stops working altogether. They range in annual costs of $300-$900 and remove the middle man in the fixing process. Instead of finding someone to fix an issue, you will directly contact your warranty provider and they will set up the repair or replacement with the appropriate vendors. Your premium usually covers all costs, with the exception of a co-pay which is typically around $50. 

If you’re wondering who should buy a warranty, they are usually recommended for first time home buyers who have rented up until that point. When you are used to having a landlord, a home warranty can fill that role in a different way. Home warranties are great for homes with both members in the work force outside of the house or just busy family members who can’t always be home to wait for the repair person window or find the time to even get quotes for the best repair shops in the area. Home warranties aren’t just for first time buyers, though. If your appliances are nearing the end of their life expectancy, now would be a great time to get a warranty. If all of your appliances were purchased in the same time frame, you don’t want to face the costs of them all failing at the same time. Warranties can save you time and money, especially in the first year of ownership. Call our office in Moberly, MO with any real estate questions you may have. Our friendly agents are ready to help you with all of your home needs.

Fall Maintenance Check List

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halloween has quickly come and gone,  and depending on where you live, there is a good chance fall weather has come right along with it. Before the season is in full swing, get a head start on your seasonal maintenance. By preparing for fall weather, you can address any issues that may get worse with colder temperatures or just keep your home in the best condition to make sure your property is in top shape no matter the season. Here is a great reference checklist to make sure you’re doing the basics to get your home ready for fall!

1. Rake it up.

Everyone loves the changing leaves, except your grass. Leaving fallen leaves in your yard can kill you grass and prevent growth in the spring. Make sure you keep those leaves raked up!

2. Check your gutters.

Those same leaves that can kill your grass can also clog your gutters. Clogged gutters can lead to plenty of other issues, so be sure to periodically check your gutters to prevent buildup.

3. Don’t forget your roof.

You don’t want fall to pass and winter to arrive only to find out you’re missing a few shingles. While you’re checking your gutters, make sure to check on your roof too.

4. Store summer decor.

If you are set to get cold temperatures this fall, take the time to pack away your summer items. If your patio furniture isn’t equipped for a surprise snow storm, you’ll be glad you took the time to store it away now.

5. Prevent frozen pipes.

No one wants frozen, bursting pipes. Remember to shut off water to your exterior faucets before the weather hits freezing temperatures.

6. Venting is healthy.

As the temperatures drop, static electricity increases.  If you have lint build up in your dryer, this static electricity makes it easier to ignite.

7. Do your own inspection.

Take a walk around the interior and exterior of your home and try to look at it with fresh eyes. Keep an eye out for any damage to walls, floors, or cement outdoors. Be sure to fill any cracks or fix loose gravel that could cause a fall when colder weather is added to the mix.

8. Check your insurance.

Is your home insurance up to date? Make sure your insurance will stand up in a storm and that you will be covered no matter what fall will bring. Advantage Real Estate agents are here to help you with all your Real Estate needs in Randolph and surrounding counties. Call our office with any real estate questions that you have. 660-263-3393

AVOID THESE MISTAKES THAT DELAY LENDER APPROVALS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re getting ready to buy a home, you’re likely realizing that one of the most important parts of the process is getting approved for a mortgage that works for you. To get the best rate and avoid losing your deposit, steer clear of these common mistakes.

Leaving out details from your financial profile.

The best way to avoid doing this is having a great mortgage lender. Making sure you include not only your basic information, employment and living history, income, assets and debts, but also ensuring you answer every single question. Leaving details out of your profile can throw off the entire process, so having someone who is meticulous enough to make sure all your information is made available is key.

Assuming pre-approval is equal to actual approval.

Pre-approval for a mortgage means that you’ve talked to a potential lender or maybe even provided some documentation that gave the impression that you will be approved for a certain amount. Don’t be confused – this is not an actual approval. You need to make sure your loan is approved by an underwriter before making any offers to buy a home. When you are “underwriting approved” you will be able to get a formal loan commitment. Without this document, there is no proof of actual approval, meaning that your profile has been evaluated but nothing official to show approval.

Failing to provide every single piece of documentation needed.

Your lender is going to want very detailed documentation of your financial profile, including the following:

  • ay stubs covering 30 days

  • 2 of tax returns & W-2s

  • YTD business financial statements (if you’re self-employed)

  • 2 months of statements for all your asset accounts

  • Explanations and paper trails of all deposits withdrawals over $1,000

  • A home insurance quote with adequate coverage

  • Full financial information on any other homes/businesses you own

You will need to provide all these documents, and if you have a commissioned or variable income, you will need to give permissions to your lender to verify that income. Your credit will be run, which can expose any information you didn’t disclose. 

Not knowing enough about mortgage rates.

Once a seller accepts your offer, you will be in contract on that home and you will be ready to lock in your mortgage rate. You cannot lock your rate until you’re in contract, which means that any rate market movement can impact you until then. Rates change throughout each day, and they are priced based on how long they are locked. A shorter lock, about a month or less, will have a lower rate than a lock of 60+ days. If you want to avoid any surprises, talk to your lender and ask them to use your closing timeline to quote rate locks.

Our friendly agents at Advantage Real Estate in Moberly MO are here for you. When you’re ready to buy or sell a house, call our office at 660-263-3393. We can direct you to many great lenders to get you started. 

 

 

 

 

The Catch You Shouldn’t Fall For

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the growth of online tools, companies are quickly building products to serve the real estate community. After all, it’s a lucrative industry, home buying and selling will always be a thing. Even if it does slow down, companies around the world are diving in to make as much money off consumers as possible.

What are they selling? The ease. The ease of buying or selling a home online. The catch? You actually don’t benefit from these online quick-sale services. In fact, you could find yourself out of tens-of-thousands in cost difference. If you’re in the market to buy or sell, and are considering foregoing a real estate agent for an online service, be sure you read the fine print. You’ll often times find that you aren’t benefiting at all. Will they buy your home upfront for resale, so you don’t have to worry about the headache? Sure, but you may have been able to get $50,000 more for your house using a Realtor. Can you see and purchase your dream home through said services and “save” on agent commissions? Sure, but you’ll probably be overpaying for the home anyway.

The real estate industry is heavily regulated for licensed professionals to ensure the consumer is always getting the best representation for the best savings. These online services don’t require regulation and licensing, therefore, they can get away with fine print “scams.”

Be sure you do your research. A Realtor is there to make YOU the most money. Quick online services are focused on making their business the most money – not focused on how much you can sell your home for or how much you can save when you buy. Licensed professionals exist for a reason, be sure you don’t lose more than you can afford to by using a gimmicky online service that dubs buying and selling an “easy” process. Any good agent will make the process easy, minus general lending issues that may arise. If you’re looking to buy/sell real estate, our Advantage Real Estate agents are here and eager to help you in Randolph and surrounding counties.

 

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.