Date Archives: December 2018

Choice Properties Real Estate Home

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4 Financial Tips Before Listing Your Home

As a homeowner looking to sell, it's crucial to research and do homework before listing your home. Finding a trusted agent, creating a list of must-haves in your new home, and touring open houses are important, but finances should not be overlooked. Consider these 4 financial tips before listing your home in the market.


  1. Get clear on your current credit status

Reviewing your credit and spotting any glitches along the way will save you a headache when waiting for loans or escrow accounts. Some credit rehabilitation projects may takes months to complete, making it crucial to get started right away. Even if you are sure your credit is top-notch and ready to go, it's worth double checking.

  1. Determine how much you can afford

If your lender is able to offer a higher amount, that doesn't always mean you should accept the maximum payment. Take time to calculate cost of monthly utilities, home insurance, property taxes, and other home-related expenses once you move. When determining how much you can afford, consider speaking with:

  • Your agent, so they can prepare to show you homes in your price range.
  • Your mortgage broker, to help you understand various financial scenarios.
  • Your tax advisor, to keep you informed on what will affect your tax situations.
  • Your financial planner, to help you get clarify on your current income and expenses.
  1. Get inspections and key reports in advance

When selling your home, unplanned surprises such as property issues, unknown taxes, and liens can complicate the sale. The safest option is to have this information before you have an interested buyer. Choosing to be upfront with current issues may result in a lower bid, but will minimize the likelihood of tense negotiations.

  1. Consider Updates and Remodeling

It may be hard to justify spending money on a home you are looking to move out of, but doing small renovations will add value while updating to current trends. Completing projects, such as updating hardware in the kitchen and bathroom or installing new lighting fixtures are sure to gain the attention from home buyers.


Choice Properties offers you a chance to find the home of your dreams. We work with your budget and ideas in mind to support your ultimate vision. Call us if you are ready to check out the available inventory or to speak with a reputable agent who can assist you with your home buying needs.


What Mortgage Rate Can You Afford?

Getting approved for a mortgage loan is an exciting time in life! However, before you plan to spend the maximum amount offered, it's important to consider whether you can truly afford the mortgage your lender has offered. Although they let you borrow the maximum amount possible, doesn't mean you should. Taking time to calculate what mortgage rate you can afford will give you a clear view of your next move.

Calculate Your True Monthly Cost

If you are looking for an in-depth estimate of your potential mortgage payment, you will need a mortgage calculator that includes cost of homeowners insurance and property tax, which may vary depending on where you live. To get an accurate number, call insurance providers for a quote and research property taxes in the county you are interested in moving. Trulia offers a free, advanced mortgage calculator for homeowners to use to get an estimate.

Understand the Legal Limits on Lenders

Any individual lending money for a mortgage loan cannot underwrite the loan unless they confirm you are able to repay the amount offered. This determination is based on credit reports, job history, and your income. By law, lenders can't approve loans that take up more than 35% of your monthly income.

Limit Payments to No More Than 30% of Your Monthly Income

Using the 30% as a rule of thumb when figuring out your home buying budget is a common practice. Here is the formula: Multiply your pre-tax monthly income by 30 and then divide that by 100. The answer is 30% of your pre-tax monthly income. This shows you what the maximum amount you should spend monthly on a mortgage payment.

Choice Properties offers you a chance to find the home of your dreams. We work with your budget and ideas in mind to support your ultimate vision. Call us if you are ready to check out the available inventory or to speak with a reputable agent who can assist you with your home buying needs.


Tips on Selling Your Home During the Winter Months

Although winter is not the peak season for home selling, it is becoming more and more common to sell during the cold months so don't get discouraged! While it can be a challenge to sell during the holiday season, with some helpful strategies, a motivated selling agent, and marketing tips, you can find a great buyer for your home any time of the year. Learning the ins-and-outs of selling your home in the winter will prepare you for what is ahead, making the most out of the market and potential buyers.

Who is Buying in the Winter?

It is a common misconception that all home buyers purchase in the summer to prepare for their children's school year. According to Zillow, more than half buyers don't have kids under 18 living at home, meaning they are not limited with specific school schedules. To answer the question of who is buying home during the winter season, it's everyone!

Benefits of Selling During the Winter


  • Motivated buyers. While more buyers are actively looking in the spring and summer months, the buyers who are shopping in the winter are more motivated to settle.
  • Less seller competition. With fewer homes on the market in the winter, that means less competition from other sellers in the area.  
  • More time off work. People tend to take the holiday season for time to themselves, which means more free time to attend showings and open houses.


Challenges of Selling During the Winter


  • Curb appeal is limited. Winter is full of short, dreary days where darkness comes earlier and earlier. This can make it a challenge to express the exterior of the home. Consider adding appropriate lighting to the landscape and walkways.
  • Less likely to get multiple offers. In the spring and summer months, sellers usually find themselves with multiple offers to choose from. This can be less likely during the winter, where you may only have one offer at a time.
  • Financing can be delayed. The holiday season could cause banking establishments to be closed more often, making it a longer process to get financing finalized.


Selling your home in the winter can be done with perseverance and the right real estate agent. It's important to not give up, stay motivated, and stage your home accordingly. This is a chance for interested home buyers to envision their life within the space, so consider playing off the season by adding a level of coziness to the home.

Choice Properties understands your needs and desires when it comes to the home search. We are here to help you define what you want, seek the best property and move forward feeling educated and able to make good decisions throughout the process. You can trust us to help you navigate it with the best real estate agents working for you. Call us to get started on your dream home search today.


Staging Your House to Attract Buyers

Staging your home to attract buyers is perhaps the most important point during the selling process. In a well-staged home, you are putting the home in the spotlight and inviting potential buyers to imagine their families within the space. The expert agents at Choice Properties are here to offer you the best home-staging tips and tricks, sure to gain attention from buyers.

Staging Tips for Selling Your Home: Where to Start

According to the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report, 82 percent of urban sellers, 71 percent of suburban sellers, and 61 percent of rural sellers say that staging their home is one of the top pre-listing activities to complete. If you're wondering where to start the process, here are few ideas.

Declutter. Go through each room, removing any items you won't need from now until moving day. Pay extra attention to cabinets and drawers, as most homeowners seek ample storage space.


Depersonalize. While it might be emotional, it's important to let buyers to imagine themselves in the space. Taking down family portraits and keepsakes allows this to happen.

Erase signs of pets. Although you love your pet, those viewing your home may have an allergy. Clear the house of pet toys, food and water bowls, and fur to eliminate any concerns.

Deep clean. Taking time to deep clean is crucial. Wiping away smudges on windows, cleaning dust from ceiling fans, and scrubbing baseboards can really make your home feel brand new.

Preparing to Sell: 5 Best Staging Ideas

Once you have decluttered and opened the space up for new visions, it's time to start staging. Read on for the best staging ideas.


Increase lighting in every room. Staging a home is no time for poorly lit rooms. Home buyers want to see a bright, naturally lit room with the best overhead lighting. Swap out bulbs for those with higher wattage, open blinds and curtains, and don't forget to turn on lights before a scheduled showing.


Create conversational furniture arrangements. Go through each room to play with the arrangement of furniture to create more of a conversational layout. Pointing loveseats and couches toward each other gives the illusion of a bigger space.

Stay neutral for broad appeal. Although the brightly colored accent wall may show off your personality, it may affect the feeling of home buyers. Introducing a neutral color to the walls broadens the appeal to those interested.

Tend to the exterior and lawn. The exterior and lawn should not be forgotten during the staging process of your home. The curb appeal is the first impression to those visiting, and is worth caring for by power washing or planting flowers.

Make the space appear larger. If you are working with a confined space, there are a few hacks to make the rooms feel larger. Adding mirrors will reflect natural light flowing in and doesn't make the room feel closed off.

Once your home is ready for staging, it's bound to sell in no time! The agents at Choice Properties are here to help you during the buying or selling process, taking the weight of stress off your shoulders.

Choice Properties offers you a chance to find the home of your dreams. We work with your budget and ideas in mind to support your ultimate vision. Call us if you are ready to check out the available inventory or to speak with a reputable agent who can assist you with your home buying needs.