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Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri & Al Mussi on 4/24/2018

Selling a home can be a major hassle. Lucky for you, family members and friends may be able to lend a helping hand as you prep your house for the real estate market.

There are many reasons why you should include loved ones in the home selling journey, including:

1. Loved ones can help you promote your house to potential property buyers.

Family members and friends can share details about your home with large groups of potential homebuyers. That way, you can boost your chances of stirring up interest in your home as soon as your residence hits the real estate market.

Encourage family members and friends to promote your home via social media and word of mouth. If loved ones allocate plenty of time and resources to share information about your home with others, they may be able to help you get the optimal results during the home selling journey.

2. Loved ones can help you complete assorted home improvement projects.

Although your home may look great both inside and out, there may be minor property improvement tasks that you need to complete before you add your house to the real estate market. Fortunately, loved ones may be able to help you finish assorted home improvement tasks.

Family members and friends may be able to assist you as you clean your house. They might even be able to take excess items off your hands so you can declutter your residence quickly and effectively.

Furthermore, loved ones may be able to offer expert recommendations for various home repair projects. And if you need major home repairs like roof maintenance or a complete backyard overhaul, family members and friends may be able to help you get in touch with the right home repair professionals.

3. Loved ones can help you minimize stress at each stage of the homebuying journey.

The process of selling a home can be long and arduous, especially for those who choose to embark on the home selling journey alone. However, loved ones can help you stay calm, cool and collected throughout this journey, regardless of what happens.

Family members and friends are happy to support you in any way possible. As such, they will listen to your home selling concerns and queries and ensure you can minimize stress time and time again.

Also, loved ones may be able to provide home selling insights that you might struggle to receive elsewhere. If family members or friends have sold homes in the past, they can offer guidance to help you streamline the home selling journey.

If you need extra help with selling your home, don't hesitate to reach out to a real estate agent, either. This housing market professional understands the ins and outs of the real estate sector and will help you generate substantial interest in your property.

Ready to add your house to the real estate market? Get your loved ones involved in the home selling process, and you can move one step closer to optimizing the value of your residence.




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Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri & Al Mussi on 4/17/2018

As a homebuyer, you'll want to do everything possible to guarantee a quick, seamless homebuying journey. Because if you're not careful, you may be forced to deal with a nightmare homebuying experience.

Ultimately, there are many ways to ensure that you can avoid a nightmare homebuying experience, such as:

1. Narrow Your Home Search

Although you know that you want to buy a home, it pays to consider exactly what you'd like to find in your ideal residence. By doing so, you can narrow your home search and avoid the homebuying nightmare of pursuing residences that fail to meet your expectations.

Think about which features are must-haves for your new home, as well as which features you can afford to live without.

For example, if you require a home that is close to your office, you can search for houses near your workplace. On the other hand, if you want to live in a small town, you can remove city residences from your home search.

Establish priorities as you search for your dream house – you'll be glad you did. If you separate your home must-haves from your wants, you can simplify your home search and move one step closer to finding your ideal residence.

2. Get Your Finances in Order

How much can you afford to spend on a house? Create a homebuying budget, and you can avoid the risk of browsing available residences that fall outside your price range.

To determine how much money you have available for a home purchase, it often helps to meet with local banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can provide details about a variety of mortgage options and help you select a mortgage that corresponds to your finances.

Also, you should check your credit report before you buy a home. You are entitled to a free annual copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Take advantage of this perk, and you can learn your credit score and take steps to improve it prior to purchasing a house.

3. Hire an Experienced Real Estate Agent

An experienced real estate agent understands both the homebuyer's and home seller's perspectives. As such, this housing market professional can help you analyze a home seller's point of view and negotiate the best price on any home, at any time.

Typically, an experienced real estate agent will meet with you and learn about your homebuying goals. This housing market professional then will map out a homebuying journey, one that helps you streamline the process of acquiring your ideal house.

Let's not forget about the assistance that an experienced real estate agent can deliver throughout the homebuying journey, either. A real estate agent can provide expert insights into the housing market and help you make informed decisions, thereby reducing the risk of a nightmare homebuying experience.

Take the guesswork out of buying a home – use the aforementioned tips, and you can minimize the risk of a nightmare homebuying experience.




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Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri & Al Mussi on 4/10/2018

Since the dawn of the internet age, a growing number of homeowners and bill payers are asking themselves if they really need to keep paying for cable television.

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to cable. While there are many services that you can find most services and shows that cable TV provides, there aren’t any that offer the full package.

Ultimately, the choice of whether or not to cut the cord is down to personal preference. In this post, we’re going to talk about some of the ways you can save by getting rid of cable TV, the services that you can use instead of cable, and what to expect from those services.

The case for cord cutting

We’re not at a point where you can usually bundle up services to get all of the things you watch on cable TV and then some. Some people argue, however, that to truly get a wide selection of sports, news, and TV shows you would end up paying the same amount as you do for cable. How do they arrive at those figures?

Say you pay about $20 per month for Netflix and Amazon Prime. But you still don’t have the sports channels you want so you have to add an additional service. Then you notice your video stream keeps pausing and lagging so you have to upgrade your internet.

If you want every channel under the sun and the highest internet to stream them on, yes it could cost as much to ditch cable as it would be to keep it. But the reality is that most people don’t want or need that many services or channels. People don’t have time to watch that many shows when they get home from work, and are more than happy with the selection that one $8 per month service offers them.

Alternatives to monthly streaming services

Another thing opponents of cord cutting ignore is the fact that there are a number of services you can get for free that would replace some of the things that cable TV offers.

A number of news channels, as well as entertainment services like YouTube are streaming online for free. You have to watch the occasional advertisement, but you have to do that with cable TV anyway.

If there are local channels you feel you’re missing out on, you can still use a TV antenna, which are broadcasting a higher quality than ever. For $30, you can have access to channels for free over the air (OTA).

OTA channels vary based on your location, so be sure to check to see what the signal is like in your area.

The decision

The best way to decide if you’re ready to ditch cable is to find out which channels and shows you still want access to and to see if you can get them cheaper online. That’s it.

Odds are your internet is going to be strong enough to stream a show (unless you have a house full of kids trying to do the same thing). So, look into the streaming options, do the math, and make the best informed decision for your household.




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Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri & Al Mussi on 4/3/2018

As anyone up-to-speed on technology knows, social media is everywhere. And it’s a powerful tool—if used properly. You can share information in real-time and receive real-time responses and reactions. Therefore, you should be using social media to your advantage when selling your home. You’re probably wondering what social media has to do with selling a home, right? Well, let’s take a look at a couple ways where social media will not only come in handy, but might just help sell your home in real-time.

1. Post your listing

It’s very likely that your listing will be posted on many real-estate sites and even on social media. This is your opportunity to capitalize on that posting and post on your own social media channels.  Consider posting to Facebook, Twitter and even Instagram. By doing this you are increasing the views that your listing will receive and increasing the likelihood that the right buyer will see your home. And all it takes is one person to love your home for it to sell.

2. Ask your friends to share

Word of mouth goes a long way. Technology’s way of word of mouth is through sharing on social media. And if you want to maximize the amount of people who will see your listing, ask your friends to share the posting—they may even add a little note to their share, which (if positive, hopefully) will only help.

3. Give them a reason to love your home

Add a personal message when sharing your listing. Tell the story of how your daughter took her first steps in the family room or how you felt the first time you walked through the front door. Giving that personal touch will bring positive feelings of your home. It will give the potential home buyer the thoughts of all the firsts that they could experience in that home.

Of course, social media will not sell your home. You should be taking the proper steps suggested by your realtor to get it in optimal shape for selling such as making small updates, decluttering, and removing overly personal items. You should also have great photos of your home for the listing. The photos will make a world of a difference when buyers are looking online. It could make or break whether they even consider your home or attend a showing.

If selling your home is timely then social media should bean important component to your selling strategy. It’s the age of technology and every generation is on social media in some respect, especially the millennial generation. And it’s important to pay attention to the millennials as more and more will begin the home buying process. It’s essential to be where they are and for most, they’re on social media.





Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri & Al Mussi on 3/27/2018

If you want to purchase a home, it pays to establish a homebuying budget. By doing so, you can enter the housing market with a budget in hand and narrow your search for your dream house.

Now, let's take a look at three best practices to help you create a homebuying budget.

1. Look at Your Finances

Your finances will play a major role in your ability to purchase a home. Thus, you should evaluate your current financial situation closely so you can map out an effective homebuying journey.

Request a copy of your credit report – you'll be glad you did. You are eligible for a free copy of your credit report from each of the three reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) annually. Take advantage of this complimentary perk, and you can gain deep insights into your outstanding debt.

If you have outstanding debt, try to pay this down as much as possible. That way, you can boost your credit score, which ultimately will help you improve your chances to acquire your ideal residence.

2. Meet with Banks and Credit Unions

When it comes to buying a home, meeting with banks and credit unions usually is a great idea. That way, you can learn about your home loan options and get pre-approved for a mortgage.

Apply for a mortgage from several banks and credit unions. Then, you can receive various mortgage quotes and select one that suits you perfectly.

Also, don't hesitate to ask plenty of questions during a lender consultation. Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage professionals – all of whom are happy to help you make an informed mortgage decision. Therefore, if you're unsure about whether to proceed with a 15- or 30-year mortgage or can't decide between an adjustable- or fixed-rate mortgage, you can ask these mortgage professionals for expert advice.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A homebuying budget is tricky to establish on your own, especially if you are entering the real estate market for the first time. Fortunately, a real estate agent can help you plan ahead for all stages of the homebuying cycle.

During a real estate agent consultation, a housing market professional will learn about your homebuying goals. Next, this professional will help you establish realistic homebuying expectations and ensure you can discover a great house at a budget-friendly price.

Of course, let's not forget about the world-class support that a real estate agent provides after you kick off a home search, either.

A real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you informed about open houses and offer homebuying recommendations and suggestions. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent can negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf to help you get the best price on a house.

Ready to begin your search for your dream home? Use the aforementioned best practices, and you can craft a homebuying budget and start your homebuying journey.




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