Sunday, November 27, 2022
Ask the HOA Expert: Outdoor Furniture In The Common Area
Question: A resident puts her outdoor furniture in the common area adjacent to her unit, insisting she was given permission by the developer.
Answer: A claim that permission was granted by the developer is not valid since the developer has no right to grant some right to one that is not enjoyed by all. The board should advise the offending member the practice should cease.
Question: We have a resident that seems to be suffering from dementia or Alzheimers. He wanders the halls and forgets where he lives. Hes left the stove on several times and has set off the fire alarm. What can we do?
Answer: If this person has family, they should be notified as soon as possible of the danger posed to both the >
Question: Can payment of HOA fees be withheld if the payer feels the HOA is not doing its job like rule enforcement, repairs and landscape maintenance?
Answer: HOA fee payments cannot be withheld. Its simply too easy for someone that doesnt want to pay to find an excuse. The board and manager should be informed in writing of the specific repair request or other problem. However, in the case of an urgent repair request that the HOA has failed to perform like a leaking roof that is damaging the members unit, the member might order repairs, pay for them and seek reimbursement.
Question: A unit owner has requested permission to rebuild her deck and expand the size. What issues should the board consider?
Answer: Having unit owners repair and replace their decks is often a problem because those decks are typically attached to the structure which is an HOA responsibility to maintain. So, the unit owner should also be held responsible for any damage caused by the deck to the structure, like dryrot. This agreement should be in writing, dated, signed, notarized and recorded against the unit title to advise future owners of this responsibility. You should use an attorney to put the agreement in proper recordable form.
Will the new deck match the look, design and material of the original installation? Conformity in common wall housing reinforces market value. The new deck should look like the old unless the board has adopted a new standard.
As far as expansion is concerned, the board has no authority to approve a unit owner expanding into common area or to enjoy exclusive use of a common area. This must be approved by a vote of the members which may be 100.
If youve decided youre going to build a custom home rather than buying an existing one, the process of getting started can be intimidating. When you buy an existing home, you know what youre getting. When youre going to do a custom build, there is a lot of uncertainty.
One of the first things you have to do is choose a home builder.
The following are some of the things you should generally know about choosing a builder and tips to help you along the way.
The term home builder is a broad one. It can refer to any contractor who builds residential housing, but there are subcategories within the larger category of a home builder.
There are home builders for hire. This means that you hire a company, and they have a team of professionals who work in-house. The team manages every aspect of the project, and you get a turnkey final result.
Another option is to hire a general contractor. A general contractor will hire people and manage them. They will ultimately build your home. A general contractor is also responsible for getting materials and permits.
You might have your own architect design your home, and then you would hire a general contractor to build it.
When you hire a general contractor, you would typically sign an agreement that would include a fee of up to 20 of the cost of the project, which would cover your contractors services.
Then, theres the option to hire project managers or a construction management company. They may hire subcontractors and get materials, and theyll charge a fee for overseeing the process.
Now that you have a general idea of the types of homebuilders, how do you start choosing the best one for your project?
Know your niche. When youre building a home, think about your budget, the size, and the > Before you start talking to any builders, have a list of the most important things to you and a clear idea of what you want.
As youre comparing contractors, you want to ask to see examples of their work. Youll also want to know how long theyve been in business.
Online reviews can give you some valuable information about contractors.
Check the credentials of builders. This includes state licensing, and you want to make sure they have updated insurance.
Does the builder offer a warranty?
You should visit a builders recently built homes in person, and if possible, take a tour, although this might not always be an option.
You should interview at least several builders. Before you do this, as was touched on above, you do need to have an idea of what your expectations and anticipated timeline are.
Some specific questions you should ask include whether or not theyre happy to provide references and if they guarantee their work. Youll need to talk about how allowances are determined, the type of materials they use, such as copper or plastic plumbing, and once you decide on a builder, every detail of what you agree upon needs to be in writing.
When potential builders give you references, you should actually call them. Along with clients, references should include vendors and subcontractors.
If you have no idea where to start as far as finding someone, begin with your local home builders association. That organization can give you a list of builders who work in your area.
Youd be hard-pressed to find someone who hasnt heard of minimalism. What started in the early 1960s as an art movement has since become a popular life>
Minimalism in interior design is all about emphasizing utility. A minimalist home is intentional, with muted colors and limited objects. The end goal is to showcase the essentials in a chic and organized atmosphere.nbsp;
Does this sound easy enough? Think again. Acing the minimalist dcor isnt a cakewalk. Youll need quite a bit of brainwork to pick items that are both eye-catching and functional. Add to that the stress of decluttering your entire home, and you have yourself a redecorating nightmare.nbsp;nbsp;
That said, creating a minimalist home isnt impossible. If a minimalist space has been on your wishlist for long, here are seven ways you can do it justice.nbsp;nbsp;
Choosing minimalist furniture is tricky because you have fewer pieces to work with. So, you need to weigh your options carefully before adding anything to your living space.nbsp;
As a rule of thumb, look for items that are timeless and interesting. Simplistic furniture with clean, hard lines is ideal for minimalist homes.nbsp;nbsp;
While were on the subject, cabinets are a must-have in minimalist dcor. They provide more concealed space for you to stow away stuff, ensuring clutter control. Think pristine white Shaker cabinets with little to no design.nbsp;nbsp;
The choices dont end there. In case you want something with a little more character, you can always opt for customized cabinet arrangements tailored to your requirements.nbsp;
Not every inch of your home needs furnishing. Leaving empty spaces in a room can make it breathable, airy, and light, generating an overall sense of tranquility.nbsp;nbsp;
Try this on for size by starting with one large clear flat surface such as your kitchen countertop, one bare wall, and clean floors. Sit in the space and see how it feels. Remember that the more you experiment, the easier itll be for you to find the right look for your home.nbsp;
If you feel the need to decorate your negative space, add simple touches like indoor plants or framed artwork. This should amplify the coziness while still maintaining an understated aesthetic.nbsp;nbsp;
Switching to a minimalist dcor does not mean you cannot have fun with colors. Using accent shades, furniture, or artwork can help you keep the place dynamic without overwhelming your home.nbsp;
As the name implies, an accent is anything that stands out against the rest of the dcor. For example, a brightly colored table in the middle of an all-white living room is an accent piece. Likewise, a large portrait on a bare wall serves as an accent.nbsp;
When picking accents for your home, try sticking to one or two pieces per room. You want to draw attention to the space without jeopardizing its serenity. From a minimalist point of view, a single large item is far better than multiple smaller pieces.nbsp;nbsp;
Although you may have a splash of color in a minimalist room, a major part of the space should still be plain and muted. But why are minimalists so obsessed with light colors?nbsp;
For starters, pastel/neutral hues can make any space look bigger. They also reflect more light, creating a brighter environment.nbsp;nbsp;
While white is by far the color of choice for most minimalists, you also have shades like grey and beige to pick from.nbsp;
A smart way to make the colors in your room flow is to pick a solid base color and build on it. Make sure that all other colors complement the base shade. For example, for elegant white walls, you can go with marble countertops and pearl-white upholstery, among other things.nbsp;nbsp;
Theres a fine line between an elegant minimalist home and a bleak, uncharacteristic one. You can avoid falling into the second category by paying attention to your lighting choices.nbsp;nbsp;
Fortunately, modern light fixtures come in a ton of fun shapes and sizes. Get hold of a statement chandelier or pendant lamp to jazz up the place. Dont be afraid to select something a little more out-of-the-ordinary for your dining room or kitchen area.nbsp;
For concrete ceilings, use drop-down lighting panels for that all-around soft, natural glow. LED cover lights should do the trick just as well.nbsp;nbsp;
Most minimalists do away with patterns altogether. In case you decide on keeping them, go with something thats tone-to-tone, unobtrusive, and simple. Also, try to use patterns on a smaller scale.nbsp;nbsp;
A few patterned throw pillows and curtains can break the monotony of your room, but be sure to balance them out with a lot of empty space. Moreover, you can hardly go wrong with a patterned carpet for the center of your room. nbsp;
Decluttering is probably the most important step to achieving a minimalist home. Since minimalism advocates the less is more mindset, you need to get rid of items that dont serve a purpose. If you have two of the same things, toss one out. If theres an outfit you havent worn in years, give it away. Sure, its tough to let go of stuff, but the whole point of minimalism is to live with less.nbsp;nbsp;
Once youre done cleaning out your home, its time to think about storage. In this regard, everything can act as storage space if youre creative enough. Invest in an ottoman for your dresser to hide smaller items. Install some tasteful shelves on a bare wall to display a few books. The possibilities are endlessnbsp;
Minimalist dcor can work wonders for your mental well-being. Its the easiest way to create a stress-free space to help you unwind after a hard day. Hopefully, these seven tips will help you bring your dream minimalist home alive in no timenbsp;
Freddie Macs results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that "The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage broke seven percent for the first time since April 2002, leading to greater stagnation in the housing market. As inflation endures, consumers are seeing higher costs at every turn, causing further declines in consumer confidence this month. In fact, many potential homebuyers are choosing to wait and see where the housing market will end up, pushing demand and home prices further downward."
30-year fixed-rate mortgage FRM averaged 7.08 percent with an average 0.8 points for the week ending October 27, 2022, up from last month when it averaged 6.7 percent. A year ago, at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.14 percent.
15-year FRM this week averaged 6.36 percent with an average 1.4 points, up from last month when it averaged 5.96 percent. A year ago, at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.37 percent.
5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage ARM averaged 5.96 percent this week with an average 0.3 points, up from last month when it averaged 5.3 percent. A year ago, at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.56 percent.
Sustainability and being more eco-friendly are top priorities for many of us right now. Luckily, you dont have to spend a fortune to make your life more sustainable, including your home dcor.
The following are simple, practical ways you can cultivate a more sustainable interior design concept in your home for a greener and often healthier life>
The materials you choose for flooring, furniture, rugs, and other key items in your home can make for more sustainable design.
For example, reclaimed wood is lovely for flooring or making furniture. When you use reclaimed wood, youre breathing new life into old materials and recycling them.
Bamboo is an excellent material to use in home design because its more sustainable than traditional wood. Its one of the fastest-growing plants we have access to, and it doesnt require the use of a lot of fertilizers or pesticides.
Cork is a sustainable material that can be made to feel and look just like hardwood and is increasingly being used for flooring.
When it comes to fabrics and upholstery, natural options like jute are eco-friendly. Jute is a strong material that grows quickly and is renewable.
If youre going to be painting or varnishing anything in your home, choose products that have low levels of what are called volatile organic compounds or VOCs. VOCs can evaporate when theyre at room temperature and create harmful gas for your health and pollute the environment.
As you choose paints and finishes, look for products that specifically say theyre low VOC or non-toxic. Milk paint and water-based paints can also be sustainable solutions.
One of the easiest and quickest updates you can make to your home thatll make it more eco-friendly is to switch out your light bulbs. Get rid of your old bulbs for LED bulbs that use at a minimum 75 less energy than incandescent bulbs. They also last much longer.
You can typically still keep your original lighting source and get the benefits of the new bulbs, so its not a major project.
We all tend to like finding a good deal on cheap, new furniture, but there are some advantages to shopping for vintage or antique options. First, its fun to find treasures, and you may actually save money over the cost of new items.
Old furniture tends to be well-made and stand the test of time, and youre giving these items new life.
The colors you use in your dcor can make a difference in your environmental impact.
If you use light colors, your home will reflect more light. That will help you need to use less artificial lighting compared to darker colors.
Plus, it may be easier to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home using excess energy if your color palette focuses on lighter options.
Adding window coverings lets you control both heating and lighting.
Most of your heat is going to escape through your windows, and you may not have the money in your budget to upgrade your windows right now, so coverings can do the trick. You can keep the cold air out and the sun in by opening and shutting your coverings as needed.
If you use a home automation system like Nest, you can control your lighting and heating anywhere, improving your homes efficiency.
Having greenery in your home comes with a plethora of benefits. Plants and greenery can boost your mood and productivity. They can improve your immune system, and theyre good for the environment because they provide oxygen while filtering out harmful chemicals.
Your overall goals for sustainable design should be having a healthy environment for your family, reducing your >
Full Story >
Here Are All the Tools You Need for Laying Tile Like a Pro
Tiling might seem like an impossible DIY project, but it doesnt have to be. In fact, beginners can even take on a tiling project, as long as they have the right tools DIY tiling can save you a lot of money, so before you hire a pro, give some serious thought to whether you can take it on yourself.nbsp;
Laying tile like a pro does require some special equipment though. Youll want to make sure youre prepared with the following tools to make your tiling job look professional.nbsp;
Sure, you could use a plastic bucket for your mortar, but a rubber bucket is much easier to clean. Even if the mortar dries, you will get a rubber bucket clean much easier than a plastic bucket.
A mortar mixer will properly mix your mortar and ensure that no air is trapped in the mortar, which could decrease its strength. Mixers can also be used to mixnbsp;other adhesives, resins, and paints. Be sure you use the right size paddle for the amount of mortar mix being used.nbsp;nbsp;
Trowels are used to apply the mortar that will adhere the tiles to your surface.nbsp;Choose the right size of trowel so you get proper coverage and also pay attention to the shape. U-notched and square-notched trowels are two common types, so its important to have both on hand.nbsp;
A manual tile cutter allows you to cut with just one hand and makes precise and clean cuts. Manual cutters are light and easy to carry and are what you want when you are working with glass mosaic tile in particular, as it wont affect the quality of the glass surface.
Look for a cutter that has different cutting measurements and you should also consider a double guide cutter.nbsp;nbsp;
If you want to make precise cuts on your tile and make sure they all fit together perfectly, an electric tile saw is what you need. This guide has more information on choosing the right workforce tile saw.nbsp;
Tile spacers allow you to get perfect spacing between each of your tiles. 2mm tile spacers are the most commonly recommended, but the size you need will depend on your tile and what you are tiling. Make sure your spacing is precise and dont >
A tile levelling kit helps ensure that the tiles are all installed at the same height and are level. These kits also include tile nippers, which help you distribute the weight of the tile and make sure that it is level when it adheres to the mortar.nbsp;
Last but not least is a grout float. Without grout, your tile project will appear unfinished. The grout will fill in the spaces between the tiles and locks them together. The grout float is the tool used to apply the grout to your tiles. Some are meant to get to hard to reach areas like corners and others are better for spreading grout on a larger area. Its worth it to have multiple floats for different purposes.
Once you have all of these tools, youll be laying tile like a pro in no time. The right tools often make all the difference in making the project go smoothly and resulting in satisfaction with your work.nbsp;
Amortization is a process when you pay down your loan balance with the use of fixed payments. These are often monthly payments. If you buy a home with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, you pay the same amount each month. Your loan balance and the interest costs will decline over time.
Your monthly payment in this situation is based on your loan balance, which is how much money youre borrowing. The length of time you take to repay a loan which is the term, factors into your monthly payments, as does your lenders interest rate they charge on the balance of your loan.
The calculation of a loan payment provides a payment thats fixed. You will completely pay off a loan at the end of the loan term, which is usually 15 or 30 years for a mortgage. Every payment includes two things. Theres the part of the payment covering interest on your debt. Then the second part of the payment goes towards reducing the loan balance or paying off your debt.
On some loans, you can opt to pay less than whatever the fully amortizing payment is. If you pay less than the interest charges for a given month or time, you have unpaid interest for that month. Then, because of that, the lender will add the unpaid amount to your loan balance.
If youre not paying enough to cover your interest charges, youre not making enough of a payment to pay down your loan balance. The result is owing more money each month. You dont get money from your lender, but your loan balance grows because youre adding interest charges every month.
Adding interest to the balance of a loan is also called capitalizing the interest.
The main reason for paying less is that its better for your cash flow.
You have to pay your loan off eventually. To do that, you might make regular amortizing payments. These are higher than what they would have been from the original loan agreement because your loan balance goes up when you dont pay interest.
Another way to pay the loan is to refinance, and a third is to make a balloon payment.
Balloon payments are large payments due at the end of this type of loan. These loans structure earlier payments during your loan term to be smaller. Then, the later payments, but usually just the last one, are higher. Many homeowners will have plans to refinance as they reach their balloon payment or sell their homes before the loans maturity date. Some businesses will use balloon loans to get smaller upfront payments, covering short-term needs, and then pay the debt before the balloon payment.
Negatively amortizing loans is considered predatory, and some borrowers dont understand why they might be able to make lower payments than required.
The housing crisis in 2008 reflected the risks of negatively amortizing loans. A lot of homebuyers were overleveraged on their mortgages, so they were given a chance to make lower payments than what would cover their interest. Banks were already at that time giving subprime, risky mortgages. When interest rates rose, people who had mortgages found they couldnt make their full payments, so even though they were making payments, they ended up more in debt.
Most mortgages are self-amortizing. These loans are predictable and consistent.
There are states that, following the housing crisis in 2008, ended up banning negatively amortizing loans, and currently, there are stipulations as far as what loans can do this. Student loans are one of the most popular types of loans now that have negative amortization.
Typically, the winter holiday season is not an optimal time to sell a home.
The weather isnt conducive to showings, its the middle of the school year, and most people think about holiday planning and travel.
Of course, there are some possible benefits. For example, if you sell your home in the winter, theres less competition because most people sell in the spring and summer. People also have time off work around the winter holidays, meaning more time to see homes. Buyers may be motivated too.
If you have to sell your home during the holidays, there are things you can do to make it an easier process.
One unique benefit of selling a home during the holidays is that you can actually use it to your advantage when it comes to staging. You can warm up a space during the holidays and that might make it easier for potential buyers to picture themselves there.
Add tasteful but simple holiday decorations. Dont go overboard and block the homes features.
Focus on the cozy features like the fireplace, and of course, its a great time to use the >
While the winter makes it tougher to sell your home because people cant see the landscaping, that doesnt mean you should neglect the curb appeal altogether.
Shovel the walkways, illuminate pathways, and make sure that theres a mat at the door so people coming to see your house can wipe their feet.
Your listing agent can work with you to develop the right pricing strategy based on their assessment of the data. Many variables go into pricing, but you may need to go a little lower than youd like if you are selling around the holidays.
If youre selling during the holidays, its not the time to haggle. During this time of year, its often better to price it right from the start instead of making price reductions later.
The last thing you want is to work with an agent who goes MIA during the holidays. Be very clear with your agent about your expectations for communication and how much theyll work during the holidays. When youre choosing an agent, you might ask them if theyve ever sold a house during the holiday season before.
During the holiday season, everyone is busy and may have more plans than usual, but if youre selling your home, you need to be flexible and accessible when it comes to showings. Its a challenging time so if someone wants to see your home, you need to do everything you can to facilitate that.
If you live somewhere with harsh winters, selling your home around the holidays can give you the chance to show off some of the exterior features that make it well-equipped for winter weather. For example, maybe potential buyers go outside to take a look at your homes new roof. You could also show off convenient winter features like updated heating and attached garages.
Lets talk about daily habits.
The definition of a Habit is
a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.
So what does that mean?
It means to do something without thinking about it.
Some say it takes 21 days to form or break a habit, however some studies show it takes up to 66 days.
This means Discipline is the key.
But that is not enough. Awareness is the key which is never talked about.
So many times, myself included, we say I want to lose weight, go to the gym, eat better. Yet we dont. Or we start to and then the first option to sabotage ourselves, we abandon the healthy habit.
This is where awareness and discipline must work together
When you are aware you need to lose some weight, quit smoking, go walking or whatever. you must have the discipline to do it, stick to it and overcome temptation no matter what it is. If you fall off you need to get back on track ASAP and not stay off track.
Then with consistency and patience you will see the results.
One does not just will themselves to the goal. There needs to be an understanding, planning, action and discipline which creates accountability. This is the very foundation of my UPAD Principles for success.
Understand what you want to accomplish, Your Goal.
Make a Plan how to achieve it.
Put the Plan into Action.
Have the Discipline to do the behaviors and activities required.
The 5 Pillars of Success: Self, Family, Business, Finances and Spirit.
Each one is broken down even further. For instance
Personal - You need to focus on Mental and Physical Health. Self Accomplishment and Actualization.
Lets focus on Business and build good consistency habits around our business goals.
I have said until I am blue in the face to everyone I train that we need to lead generate every day. This too is a habit.
I want you to write down the following:
What time do you wake up?
What is your morning ritual?
What time do you get ready to work?
What hours do you lead generate?
What are the first things you do for lead generating?
Now these things need to be time blocked in your schedule and NOTHING is allowed, except income producing activities aka appointments, to move it. CEU and Emergencies also.
The issue most agents have is they have a 9-5 mentality. This mentality makes you accustomed to coming in to work, doing a set of predetermined tasks and getting paid for it. We as agents and brokers do not have that luxury. We often must create our own tasks to accomplish a goal.
We all have a goal. I know you do. That goal is broken town to daily tasks.
It is up to you to do those tasks to reach the goal. However, oftentimes those tasks are just not done with discipline or consistency. They are done at will, leisure or you act like a firefighter and only respond when called into action.
I have often said the 5,5,5,10 rule
5 calls to past clients per day
5 new introductions to people per week 1 per day
5 handwritten note cards per day.
10 2 way conversations per day about real estate.
Your daily habits MUST be consistent or they will never become a habit. Lead generation is to your business as water is to your body. Without it you will die. Plain and simple.
The perfect Morning - Now this will vary if you have youngins that need tending too, so adjust.
Night before - Plan the next day - To Do list
Wake 5:00 am
Till 5:30 Coffee/ Juice and Clear out Social Media and Emails. Post something motivational and inspiring all while listening to something either >
15 minutes Visualization of living your perfect life. Meditation
Till 6:45 exercise, walk etc. With headphones on continuing listening to something positive or to expand your mind.
Get ready for the day
7:30-8:00 practice your scripts. YOUR Scripts. Not someone else, yours. It is ok to use others scripts, but you must mold them to your own vernacular. I will often record myself while walking or driving and listen at this time. Do this over and over then when the objection or question comes up I am prepared to handle it exactly as I rehearsed.
8-12 Lead generation.
1. New Expireds and FSBO if chasing listings.
2. Follow up New Leads that came in, make sure they are properly entered in CRM and other locations as needed.
3. Follow up with Nurtures
4. Past Client / Sphere calls.
5. Networking partner calls.
6. Call around any just listed / sold - Circle Dial. 10-10-20 if chasing listings
Noon - Lunch with someone who can increase your business. Power Circle, Client, Referral partner
The rest of the day you have for appointments, social media engagement and ads, community pages, video creation, interviews, networking events and so on.
You must understand 1 thing.
THERE ARE NO IMMEDIATE RESULTS.
Just like going to the gym. You do not go one time and hit your fitness goal. You go over and over and all the while engaging in good habits coupled with patience and after 30 days you look in the mirror. You notice your clothes fitting better. You start to see the results of your habits and behaviors and it motivates you to keep going and doing more.
But stop doing them and you lose the results.
Putting your business on Overdrive is that simple. It all starts with a killer morning routine coupled with time blocking the right activities and then just simply executing them.
Now I know a lot of people are uncomfortable with calling past clients, SOI, Cold Calling, Networking etc. But this is a contact sport and if you want the results you need to overcome that self created story you are telling yourself and just do it.
It comes down to this
Do you like your current circumstance or do you desire something more?
Do you like being broke?
Do you like the inconsistency of your business?
Only you can do something about. Start to embrace being uncomfortable. Start to embrace rejection. Start to build good morning habits and rituals.
At the end of the day you will be service
Success Depends on you. Stop making excuses of why you CANT and Start doing action steps that say YOU CAN.
Till next time,
Learn more about Explore My Town
The floors: gleaming. The walls: painted. The knick knacks: perfectly placed. So why does your home still feelunfinished? Maybe its time to look up. Yes, all the way to that blank, boring ceiling.
Anbsp;creative ceilingnbsp;can completelynbsp;change the look of a room, taking a space from so-so to stunning, said House Beautiful. Here are four ways to create a statement ceiling in your home.
The power of paint is undeniable, said A. Houck Designs. And they arent kidding. If you havent thought about adding paint to your ceiling, we bet you will once you see how taking color up to the fifth wall transforms a space.nbsp;
White was the furthest thing from our minds as we updated our clients powder room, they said. We wanted to create big drama in the tiny space, so we started by covering the walls with this over-the-top, floral paper fromnbsp;Designers Guild. Suffice it to say, this wallpaper introduced plenty of wow-factor all on its own. We decided to up the ante, though, by pulling one of its lush shades of green for the ceiling color Grenada Villa 690 bynbsp;Benjamin Moore.
On their site, youll also be able to see several examples of painted ceilings that veer more toward subtle but which still attract attention.nbsp;
Talk about glamorous. Splash some metallic paint up there to create a one-of-a-kind look with luxury appeal. Keep in mind that metallic paint will cost you more than a standard finishpossibly as much as double for the materials. Modern Masters is a go-to for high-quality metallic paint, but were also fans of the PPG Metallic Paints at Home Depot, which are about 40 of the price.
We cant promise it will be easy to hang, but wallpaper on the ceiling is sure to be a conversation piece. Use it in a bedroom where you can enjoy it from bed. A lot of times when youre in a bedroom, youre on your back when you wake up, Quintece Hill-Mattauszek, an Alexandria, Va.,nbsp;designer, told the Washington Post, So, its really nice to see something really cool.
Using wallpaper in a powder room is another designer trick that allows you to make a big impact in a small space. Its always fun to do something unexpected in a powder room, Elizabeth Reich of Baltimore-based interior design company, Jenkins Baer Associates, told the Post.
Love the look of exposed beams but dont want the expense? Faux beams are a great way to create that rustic ambiance at a much lower cost. Plus, theyre lightweight, which makes them DIY-friendly. Get some ideas for what to do with your beams here.nbsp;
Question: We have a unit owner who is over a year delinquent. Our property manager took it upon herself to set up a payment plan to include the dues plus 50 extra per month. It will take over three years to pay off the late assessments Is it typical for managers to make this kind of decision without input from the board?
Answer: No, the manager should not have made any deal unless the board authorized it. If the manager was not authorized, the board can rescind the offer and tender a demand for payment in full.
Has your board adopted a formal Collection Policy? That policy should call for aggressive measures like filing liens against the unit, garnishing wages and foreclosure if allowed in your state. The policy should allow the use of an attorney to collect rather than a collection agency. The attorney will press for full payment of the delinquency, late fees, attorney fees and >
Question: We have two board members that plan projects outside of the board meetings. When the rest of the board finally finds about them, they are already in process. This is creating unnecessary tension or friction.
Answer: Board members can research anything they want outside a board meeting. But if it is something that requires board approval, that approval needs to happen. If a majority do not approve the proposal, it dies on the vine like any other. However, sometimes a project is in keeping with the budget and can be approved by the Board President. Speak to the individuals in private and insist that all projects need to be at least run by the President. If the President feels the board needs to weigh in, the project will need to wait until the board convenes.
Question: Our current HOA fees have been the same amount for seven years. The proposed budget is calling for a 30 increase with an additional 500 special assessment. I understand the importance of maintaining the property and providing adequate reserves for future capital projects. However, at what point do high HOA fees have a negative impact on unit market values?
nswer: Your board is finally addressing a long overdue reality: HOA fees that dont keep pace with increasing costs and inflation will prevent the board from paying for adequate maintenance, repairs and services. Over seven years, inflation alone would cause a 30 increase in prices. Boards that fail to increase HOA fees each year usually pay for cost increases by starving or stealing from reserves. Over time, though, reserve projects like painting and fencing can no longer be avoided and the board is forced to address the deficit by increased fees, special assessments or both.
While the HOA needs to be competitive with similar HOAs, keeping HOA fees artificially low is not how to do it. Too many HOAs keep their fees artificially low by ignoring reserves. Because of this, future owners will be forced to pay for expenses that should have been partially subsidized by current owners.
As a general rule, 25-35 of HOA fees should be dedicated to reserves which are only used to pay for major renovation work like painting, roofing and paving. A professionally done reserve study will produce a funding plan specific to your HOAs reserve needs. See www.apra-usa.com for a list of qualified reserve study providers. The balance of the HOA fee should be adequate to pay for operating expenses management, landscaping, pool, etc. without stealing from reserves. That means that HOA fees should increase a minimum of the current inflation rate each year, currently around 2.5 .
Cooler weather ahead doesnt mean you have to give up your precious outdoor space. In this year like no other, extra space is treasured and you need to enjoy your backyard or balcony as long as possible. Here are some tips to make the most of your space this fall and winter.
In this climate, people dont tend to use their outdoor spaces in winter, says Amedeo Barbini of Barbini Design Build in Toronto. However infrared patio heaters free-standing floor versions or the ones that attach to a wall can extend the season. People also like to sit in front of a fireplace, so buy an outdoor version, grab some blankets and a bottle of wine and enjoy. If you live in a condo, check regulations first.
When deciding what to do with your backyard, come up with a plan. Make sure the backyard looks as good from the inside as it does outside so youll be motivated to go out, says Red Barrinuevo, property stylist on HGTV Canadas Hot Market.nbsp;
Instead of putting it in storage, leave your patio furniture outside. Add some cushions in colours such as yellow and orange to warm the space. For backyards, a fire pit is a must. Theyre not very expensive. Some home improvement stores offer fire pits for 500 or less, Barrinuevo says.
Barrinuevo says sometimes it seems like it is dark day and night in the winter, so additional lighting is a must. Garden lighting at ground level will illuminate your landscape. String lights with clear white LED bulbs will add a magical ambiance. Try stringing the lights on trees or put them in planters.A touch of green Everything tends to be dull looking in winter. Greenery will add texture. Try three plants of different heights to add interest to a corner, Barrinuevo says. Boxwoods are a good choice. You can even use artificial plants.
Wrap your tree trunks in yarn stripes to add colour or paint part of the tree trunk with horizontal stripes. Barrinuevo says he once painted part of a tree trunk with red, blue and yellow stripes and it became a piece of art. Pick up the colours from the yarn and mimic them on the pillows to tie the space together.
Keep the barbecue in working order. Grill up some goodies, then enjoy them outside. Or have a winter picnic or enjoy a hot chocolate in front of the fireplace or pit.
Instead of using a cabana for winter storage, insulate and renovate it into a games room or studio, Barbini says.
Adding a hot tub is another addition that will make going to the backyard in winter worthwhile.
Invite birds to hang out in your backyard by adding plants that will provide shelter and food. Evergreens, such as junipers, provide shelter and berries. At the end of the growing season, dont cut down tall perennials, such as ornamental grasses, says landscaper
Jacqueline White of Raindrop Gardening in East York, Ont. Ornamental grasses are interesting additions to a snowy backdrop and offer seeds for food and grasses for nesting, she says.
Choose plants for colour and interest. Canadian serviceberry has colourful berries. Red osier dogwoods red branches are a pretty pop of colour against the snow. Witch hazel, with its curly branches, adds interest.
Although it may be harder to find plants at the end of the summer, try to stick with native plants, such as black-eyed susans and coneflowers.
While trading plants with neighbours may seem like a good idea, White says, If they have lots of one kind of plant, you may not want to introduce any to your backyard because they may be invasive. Some invasive species include lily of the valley and Boston ivy.
Once your potted summer plants are finished, remove the plants keep the soil to act as an anchor and add evergreen boughs, red osier and pine cones for a pretty arrangement.
Another nice addition is a heated birdbath. Create a safe backyard by keeping cats indoors, White says. Add a bird feeder and a squir>
Those with mobility challenges will still want to get outside and enjoy a breath of winter air. But, says real estate broker Jeffrey Kerr of Re/Max Unique in Toronto, Wintertime can be very problematic for people who use mobility devices. Ideally you want a backyard space that is easy to keep clear of snow and ice, and minimizes wet wheels coming into your home.
Kerr, who specializes in helping clients buy and sell barrier-free, accessible houses and condominiums and is the author of Barrier Free Real Estate Achieving Freedom at Home, recommends a low-threshold door leading to a covered patio that is sheltered from the wind as a welcome outdoor space in winter. Try to minimize the slope of your pathways and ensure the material is laid flat with a rough finish for better traction, he says.
Im seeing more and more homes installing heated driveways, walkways and patios to ensure there is no build-up of ice and snow.nbsp;
Activities for the whole family Make arrangements, paint flowerpots, paint a tree trunk or wrap something in yarn. Take up bird watching. Bundle up and have dinner outside. Make snow angels, put shrimp on the barbie and marshmallows on the fire pit.
When youre trying to sell a home, whether youre an owner, or youre a Realtor, the imagery you convey is one of the most important aspects of marketing. People are inherently visual, and if your photos online arent high-quality and visually appealing, youre not likely to garner interest in your property.
Even if youre a photographer who wants to branch into real estate photos, there can be a learning curve, and its different from some other genres.
The following are specific, must-known photography tips to get beautiful pictures of a home.
Choose a high-quality and versatile wide-angle lens for real estate photography. It will provide you with focus and sharpness.
A wide-angle lens is meant to take pictures of large areas or objects, so when you use one in real estate photography, it helps you get the entire structure in your shot.
It can also help make a space look larger or even more luxurious.
You can use a wide-angle lens for both interior and exterior real estate photography.
A wide-angle lens can also help you best capture tighter spaces.
You can buy an inexpensive tripod, and it can make a world of difference in the quality of your real estate photos.
A tripod helps with shooting long exposures because it provides stability and reduces any blurriness.
Tripods are also good for perspective so you can set it at the same height throughout a home, then youll have images that are the same height. Consistency is important in real estate photography.
Of course, every real estate photo shoot is going to be unique, but there are some standard shots you should plan on taking.
You should have two wide-angle shots of each bedroom, the living room, and the kitchen.
Make sure you have at least one photo of the bathroom, and anywhere from one to three photos of the backyard at a minimum.
Youll need one or two front-of-the-home shots, and one shot of all the other features like the pantry and the closets, if theyre compelling and organized.
If youre a real estate agent doing your own photography, youre likely going to have a better idea of whats most important and what to prioritize in your photos.
Before taking a real estate photo, decluttering is important. Small pieces of clutter that you might not even otherwise notice are going to appear prominent in photos.
All surfaces need to be clean, and if there are any decorative accessories, keep them to a minimum.
Aside from generally clearing clutter from a shot, remember to wipe off the counters, so they look polished, and add something like a bowl of fruit on your kitchen counter.
In bathrooms, put the seats down and clear off surfaces.
For real estate photos, natural light is a must-have, especially when youre shooting the homes exterior.
Aim for a clear, sunny day or a partly cloudy day.
When you take photos against daytime light, your colors are going to be bright and saturated.
If the weather is too cloudy, its best to reschedule and take your photos at a different time.
You also want the sun to be behind the house.
Since natural light is so important for real estate photography, the blinds and curtains should be open.
Finally, if youre new to real estate photography, or even if youre not, you can save yourself a lot of time in editing with Lightroom presets.
With Lightroom presets, youre using editing presets. You use Adobe Lightroom while editing your photos and then you use controls which are called sliders to change certain settings such as brightness and contrast.
Once you get a combination you like, you can save it, and that then becomes your preset.
You can apply that preset to all of your photos, and then all of your settings are automatically adjusted.
Along with making your own presets, you can also purchase them. When you purchase them, it gives your photos a certain look and sense of consistency.
Having Lightroom presets will speed-up your editing overall, and give you a more polished final product. Buying presets is especially useful if you dont have a lot of photography experience because they can help you with the editing learning curve.
Finally, if you have a large property or a particularly beautiful yard youre working with, think about using drone technology to add something unique to the listing photos.
Helping a family member buy and finance a home is a noble thing. For first time buyers, sometimes there just isnt enough qualifying income to buy a home where they want to live. In some areas, home prices are simply too expensive for many. Thats when buyers who are close to qualifying but need a little push can ask for a co-signer. If youve been asked and are considering it, there are some important things you need to know.
The first thing is knowing the buyers will pay the mortgage on time. For many who co-sign, they may not be aware of payment patterns. If the mortgage is paid on time or at minimum no payments made more than 30 days past the due date, all is well. But if a late payment is recorded, the late payment willnbsp; appear on the buyers credit report as well as the co-signers credit report. Before agreeing to co-sign, its a good idea to review an updated credit report of the buyers to see their credit histories. If the buyers have some spotty credit, it might be best to have them wait and repair their credit before going too much further.nbsp;
And because the payments will be on the co-signers credit report, that means the new mortgage payments, plus taxes and insurance, will also be reflected in the co-signers debt to income ratios. If your own debt ratios are already a bit on the high side, taking on new debt can also affect your ability to borrow in the future if need be. You might also expect to follow up with monthly payments should the buyers get into some sort of financial straits.
You will likely also be asked to provide your own financial information including documenting your income and employment. This means tax returns as well as bank statements showing your own credit history, income and employment. The new mortgage payment will directly affect your own debt ratios, so be aware in advance that your own ratios will increase and will also affect your ability to open up new lines of credit.
For many, its probably best to have the buyers wait to buy and finance a new home. That might not be what the buyers want to hear, but they also dont want to get in over their heads early on in their credit life.
Floods occur in many forms and in some ways are considered one of the worst natural disasters. Floods may happen in areas near a river or body of water, after a major rainfall that causes the water table to rise, and in your home if a pipe bursts.nbsp;
Whatever the cause, floods cause more than 40 billion in damages each year. They are one of the leading causes of fatalities from natural disasters, killing as many as 30 people a year inside their homes.
While some floods cannot be prevented, you can take steps to keep water out and your house safe. Depending on your homes location and what your risks are, you have numerous options. The five projects below are listed from least to most expensive so that you can better determine which is best for your situation.nbsp;
Floods do not always start outside of your house. Sometimes, they occur from within. There are many causes of an indoor flood, ranging from a malfunctioning washing machine to an overflowing tub. However, the most common and dramatic in-home flooding comes from burst pipes.
Pipes burst when the temperature in the house drops low enough for the water in the pipes to freeze. As the water freezes, it expands. If the temperature drops quickly and the water freezes fast enough, it can expand so rapidly that it causes the metal or plastic pipe to split. When the ice thaws, the water then pours out of the holes or cracks.nbsp;
One way to prevent this is to insulate your pipes. Pipe insulation helps keep them at a more even temperature so that they do not freeze.nbsp;
Project Cost: 100 - 1,000, depending on how many pipes are at risk.nbsp;
Installation Difficulty: Simple, precut pipe insulation slips right over the pipes.nbsp;
French drains are considered a passive method of directing water away from your home. If you want an active approach, use a sump pump. Sump pumps also use a trench, but rather than funneling the water away passively, they collect the water in a pit, then use a pump to force it out. They are more effective when paired with French drains, particularly in areas of very heavy rainfall or in homes that have experienced flooding before. If you have a large property, you may need to install more than one.nbsp;
Project Cost: 550 - 1,100
Installation Difficulty: Installation can be simple if a pit is already there or difficult if a pit and trench must be dug.nbsp;
If you live in an area where home flooding occurs because of heavy rainfall or high water tables, a French drain could help. A French drain directs water away from your house. It can be installed inside or outside the home and can help prevent flooding from groundwater.nbsp;
It is installed via a trench that collects the water and moves it away from your property. Interior drains are more expensive, but they may be more effective, removing water from the most crucial areas. In either case, they can be installed in new construction or an existing home and can be paired with other systems, such as sump pumps, to lower your flood risk even more.nbsp;
Project Cost: 5,000
Installation Difficulty: This can take several hours to days, cutting into either the ground or the concrete in your basement to install.nbsp;
Floods are not always a sudden occurrence. Sometimes they involve the slow and steady accumulation of water through a crack in your foundation. Over time, this crack can grow and allow more water into your home until you have a flood. Waterproofing and sealing your foundation can prevent this from happening.
Waterproofing helps repair any small cracks and stop water from getting into your foundation. It is frequently paired with both sump pumps and French drains, particularly if you live in an area that allows moisture to slope down to your foundation. If your home is on top of a hill or the ground slopes away from the foundation, then waterproofing by itself may be a good answer.
Project Cost: 5,000
Installation Difficulty: Sealing and waterproofing can take several hours to complete or may take days, depending on the condition of the foundation.nbsp;
House raising is not the answer for every property. But if you live in a flood zone, meaning near a body of water that has flooded in the past, it may be your best answer. House raising is a major project that involves taking your current home and lifting it several feet before building a new foundation or crawl space below it. The amount that you need to raise your house is calculated by the Base Flood Elevation BFE. This number takes into account the ground elevation, the flood zone, and how far your home already sits above it. If your BFE is 10 feet and your house is 5 feet above the zone with a crawl space below it, it will need to be raised 5 more feet to get it out of the flood zone.nbsp;
House raising can be expensive but can save thousands of dollars in potential flood damage. It will also keep your home safe for years of possible flooding.nbsp;
Project Cost: 35,500
Installation Difficulty: This is a very invasive and difficult procedure that must be done carefully to avoid disrupting the integrity of the houses structure.nbsp;
Floods are dangerous and expensive. They cause a lot of damage in a very short time, and they do not discriminate about which houses they impact. Protect your home from flood damage with these five techniques and stay dry regardless of what is going on outside.nbsp;
There are plenty of benefits to buying a home during the cold winter months. Generally, there are fewer people shopping for homes in the winter, which means you might have less competition when bidding on a house. Additionally, you have a higher chance of closing a deal - according to Zillow.nbsp;
However, you need to take several key factors into consideration when home shopping during the holiday season or after. Here are three tips that will help you pick the right house and avoid serious problems in the future.nbsp;
A blanket of snow or ice on a home can hide serious problems, which is why its vital that you schedule a professional home inspection before you make any solid commitments. You might not be a home expert, so checking the place out with a naked eye wont work.nbsp;
A professional home inspector will provide you with the opportunity to address any problems before closing on the house - or steer you away from a bad house enti>
Whether you use the inspection as a contingency in your contract or as a sign that the home isnt for you, its certainly worth having that information as you make your big decision.nbsp;
One good thing about home shopping during the winter months is that you can easily determine how well a home is retaining its heat - or how poorly.nbsp;
For example, if you note long icicles hanging from the edge of a roof, it could be a sign that the roof isnt properly insulated. Your roof is losing heat, which melts the snow and ice above, causing icicles to form. Similarly, if you feel cold air streaming in through closed windows or cracks in shut doors, you know that youre looking at a home that needs some work.nbsp;
Even if the home does seem to have proper installation, take note of its warmth and how updated its heating system is. You dont want to move in only to find out you need an enti>
The good news is you dont have to be an expert when examining a homes heating system. However, youll definitely want to check out a comprehensive furnace guide with information on inspections and replacements.nbsp;
Pests problems can be especially bad in the winter. As the weather gets colder, critters like mice, bats, racoons, snakes, and insects can sneak indoors to stay warm. In fact, rodents alone invade an estimated 21 million American homes every winter according to the National Pest Management Association.
This is why its vital that you take a good look at the basement and attic of the home.nbsp;
Droppings, small holes in the walls, and smells can be surface level indicators of pest problems. However, you need to get a pest control service in the house to look for more discreet signs of infestations.nbsp;
Pest control can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on the severity of the infestation. Even if there are no immediate signs of problems, an expert will be able to tell you if the home has any vulnerabilities that could open the door for unwanted pests in the future.nbsp;
Like we said, winter can be a good time to buy a home. Theres less competition with other buyers and sellers can be more motivated to strike a bargain.nbsp;
However, dont let those opportunities steer you away from doing due diligence on your inspections of the house. Everything from the heating and plumbing systems should be thoroughly examined for signs of weakness - or expensive repairs.nbsp;
As long as you check everything out before signing any contracts, you should be in good shape to purchase a great home during the winter months, even with snow and ice plaguing the marketnbsp;
With soaring interest rates, homebuilder confidence continues to plunge. The metric declined for the 10th straight month in October, with continued weakening in demand. In September, there was an unexpected rise in new home sales, but economists were quick to warn that it would likely be short-lived. The National Association of Home Builders recently said that prices could be on the brink of collapsing.
Builder confidence dropped to 38 in the most recent data, which represented a decline of eight points. Its at half of where it was six months ago, and its at the lowest level since 2012, not including the plunge at the start of the pandemic in 2020, which was historic.
The National Association of Home Builders said the continued collapse in confidence is evidence that rising interest rates, bottlenecks for building materials, and elevated home prices are weakening the housing market. Possible buyers traffic has decreased to the lowest level in a decade, and sales outlooks are getting worse.
The chair of the association, Jerry Konter, said in a statement that the spiking mortgage rates had created a situation thats unhealthy and unsustainable. He said this year would probably be the first since 2011 to see a drop in the number of housing starts, which are homes on which construction begins.
Other analysts and economists share a similarly bearish outlook. Ian Shepherdson, the chief economist at Pantheon Macro, said the disastrous numbers make it apparent that the reported jump in the sale of new homes last month was more noise than an indicator of a turnaround, especially with the most recent surge in mortgage rates.
Shepherdson predicts that construction and the sale of new homes will continue going down until early 2023, with home prices decreasing by 15 to 20.
Charlie Dougherty, a Wells Fargo economist, predicts that median new home prices will go down almost 7 next year, with some housing markets seeing disproportionate losses. He considers those markets with the most losses the ones that experienced big booms in the height of the pandemic. nbsp;
Chief Economist for NAHB, Robert Dietz, said that some analysts have indicated the housing market is more balanced now. Still, the reality is that the homeownership rate will decline in the upcoming quarters because construction costs and interest rates will stay elevated. Those converging effects will price out many prospective buyers.
High prices worldwide have led central banks to have to reverse some of their pandemic policies put in place to shore up markets. The Federal Reserves interest rate hikes have been aggressive and incredibly impactful to the booming housing market during the pandemic.
This summer, new home sales went down to a six-year low, and the significant drops in mortgage applications indicate the collapse will deepen and worsen.
Jerome Powell, the Fed Chair, has repeatedly indicated that home prices are going to cool as rates normalize after historic lows during the pandemic.
We dont know exactly how much more home prices have to go down, but its possible theyre just starting a steep decline.
This is a question I believe everyone should be asking themselves. I say this as a coach, entrepreneur, business owner and not to try and get sales.
I am going to refer to a survey by Wyzowl.
Think for a minute,
Where is video applicable on social media?
What platforms use video?
What platforms are video-centric?
Ya, pretty much all of them, or they will be soon.
I do believe we are in a race to the bottom of stupidity with mindless videos, but we can discuss that another time. But it does fall into this from the survey.
nbsp;92 of video marketers feel the level of noise and competition have increased in the last year.
It is the Noise I am referring to above.
Before I get into some real meaty things I want to preface it with this, I see a lot of agents asking about how to brand themselves. I often see questions around
Check Out Dividers
If you do these and they work Id love to talk with you. But, I have never been compelled to buy based upon these. Heck, I do not even notice them. So I would tend to do nothing with them. I have coached and trained many agents and I have never heard of anyone with success doing these.
Take some time to understand the NAR Generational Trends Report.
You will learn in this report that 62-72 of consumers found their agent by
Worked with in the past
Was a friends, neighbor
Was referred by a friend, family member
Or knew them from the community.
The shopping cart was not on the list. Basically, I always go after the Lions Share and that is referrals and networking. Take a look at this.
87 of video marketers say video, in general, gives them a good return on their investment. 84 of video marketers say video has helped them generate leads.
People watch an average of 18 hours of online video per week.
18-49 years old watch more Youtube per week than all of cable combined.
85 of people would like to see more videos from brands in 2021.
Marketers have rapidly come to understand the ROI of video - from just 33 who believed they got a positive ROI from video in 2015, the number now sits at 87.
If you do not have a solid video marketing strategy and a way to positively stand out in the community then you are missing a massive segment of the market and you just blend into the noise of the other 1.5million agents.
How many agents are in your market?
Who stands out?
Who is the most recognized?
Is it you?
If not you are cheating yourself.
People do not do video for 3 main reasons.
At Explore My Town we help you overcome these and succeed in a way that nobody else can.
Fear - We overcome this and face the fear together. We build confidence and within a month you wont even remember you were scared. Here is a secret Everyone sucks in the beginning, over time we improve together.
Knowledge - Why to say, how to film, equipment, editing. We help you here greatly. We script and edit the video. We use simple equipment, including your cell phone as the camera. We also manage the marketing and retargeting so you get max visibility.
Time - Since we take all the heavy lifting off of the process, all you need to do is shoot the video. If you tell me you dont have time I will hold you accountable, you have the time it is just not prioritized.
Couple this with amazing training from industry leaders and you will become the Star of your Community in no time.
So back to the initial question, How important is video marketing?
Let me say it like this. It is EVERYTHING.
If this sounds logical to you, learn more about what we do atnbsp;https://www.partnerwithmytown.com/
Till next time,
Copyright ©2022Realty Times®. All Rights Reserved