1. Must-dos for the homebuyer -- Here are steps to take to help you
decide whether you're ready to take the plunge.

2. 8 Steps for a Homebuyer-

3. Types of home mortgages

Bankrate blogs
Mortgages: Foreclosure catcher in the rye


7 tips for a home sale in a soft market -- Making a home sale
has never been a lot of fun, but in this economy, it's even worse.

Mortgage Articles-Bankrate

Shrink payments with mortgage recast -- Shrink balance with a
lump sum, then recast the loan to reduce payments.

How the self-employed get mortgages

New homes boast low mortgage rates -- Builders offer zero-down
loans with no closing costs. What's the catch?

Buyers can be first-timers twice, sort of

Find lowest mortgage rates in your area

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Increasing your home's curb appeal

The first impression is the last impression: You have one chance, the first few seconds, to create a lasting first impression. People don’t want to buy other peoples’ problems, so fix the little things when they arise.
I suggest watching one of those HGTV staging or real estate shows for ideas or consult a web search on staging or Feng Shui, all good, low-cost solutions for increasing the offers on your home. Remember, sometimes spending a few extra dollars up front will yield a greater return in your ultimate selling price.

“Maximize your home's “Curb Appeal”-General Guidelines
Exterior Yard, Garden, and Exterior: Front of home, the initial approach
• Driveway-broken, can it be patched? Cement sidewalks, ask city to repair.
• Trees overhanging, cut back or if City property, ask them to do so.
• Garage and sheds? Assess please, need painting?
• Keep grass cut and remove all clutter, rake leaves, trim hedges, weed and mulch if needed.
• Walkways, should not be broken up, they should be inviting and repaired so as to avoid tripping and to look aesthetically appealing. Sweep leaves, dirt off them.
• Trash barrels and trash, debris, please get rid of before showing. Put barrels away somewhere where they are not the first thing a buyer sees.
• Paint or stain decks, house trim, or wooden fences; if any fence or a deck is deteriorating, consider removing it.
• Clean windows and Power wash exterior.
• Make sure gutters and downspouts are attached and functioning.
• Apply a fresh coat of Paint in an attractive color to the front door.
• Replace storm door if broken or tattered, and/or apply fresh coat of paint, ensure it is functioning. Change out screens if broken, or if winter, put in storm glass and wash.
• Place an inviting door mat outside and inside the main entry way, a coat rack will help also if winter.
• Weather permitting, a bright plant or colorful flowers near the front door.

The smell and view is the first thing people will notice, sound also. Ensure the view from the main entry point is inviting and attractive. Remember sights, sounds, and smells.
When preparing your home for showings:
• Remove any clutter from the home, but most important, the main entry area, kids toys, shoes, papers, mail, etc. Keep the main view extremely organized and easy to pass through. Less is more.
• Keep house tidy for showings or tidy up before a showing.
• Take trash out before a showing, no smells from trash.
• Remove any oversized or awkward furniture which makes the room appear smaller, unorganized, or cluttered.
• If necessary, clean floors, shampoo carpets, or remove or replace old or stained carpets, expose hardwood floors if available and in good condition
• Clean and organize belongings, put excess papers and personal things away. Make it appear there is room, not a lack of storage.
• Keep closets organized, people do look.
• All clutter and all unnecessary items should be stored away.
• Depersonalize the home of knickknacks, collectibles, family photos, degrees, pack away.
• Remove excessive wall hangings and knick-knacks.
• Stage the home-Place a smart neutral art hanging or mirror over fireplace or main focal point; strategically place attractive and clean mirrors in smaller spaces to create a spacious look. Place furniture strategically and consider looking on staging websites.
• Clean and wash all windows, woodwork, baseboard, sills and walls where needed. Otherwise, paint where necessary, or outdated, change wild colors change to a neutral beiges and grays, especially paint walls and trim if chipped or worn out. Ask a paint store what are today’s best neutral colors? If a darker room, use light-reflecting colors and mirrors. Kitchens should be cheery and light. Trim should likely be kept in the white or off-white tones as a rule. Bedrooms warmer, relaxing tones.
• Depersonalize the home from family photos and personal reminders
• Repair anything visibly broken, light or plumbing fixtures, tiles, chipped anything, repair any leaks, running toilets, faucets, heat that doesn’t work, etc. Make minor repairs (visible tears in screens, door handles, cabinet pulls squeaks, doors that stick or don’t close due to misalignment).
• Smells: diaper bins, trash barrels, pet boxes or odors, the refrigerator, clean and emptied.
• Sounds: neighbors that run there lawnmower or kids running through your house at a certain time, ask if they can wait, or time showing for another suitable time.
• If you have pets, please take them out of the way for showings and address any pet odors in home.

For Showings and Open Houses:

• Turn on all the lights, make it bright and airy, open shades in the daytime.

• If its hot, turn on a/c if you have, it its cool keep home warm but not hot. Maintain a temperature of around 67 degrees.

• If possible, light a candle, use a scent diffuser and offer a light scent, some agents, will bake cookies or brownies at open houses. I

• Make the home as warm and inviting as possible, just like you would like to see a home.
*****Please owners, sorry, you are a wealth of information, but it is not comfortable when you are home at showings, please let your professional agent handle all the showings.

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