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Staging Tips: How to Make a Small Backyard a Great Selling Feature

by Wayne Turner

 

Small backyards are not the detriment that sellers seem to worry about in St Tammany. By putting in some work, any homeowner should be able to turn the smallest backyard into a selling feature by highlighting its assets.

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Here are some surefire ways to change a cramped backyard into a cozy, outdoor paradise:

Invest In Size Appropriate Outdoor Furniture

Too many people with small backyards make the mistake of picking out patio furniture that is meant for a larger space. While this may not matter for the people living in the house, it will make a world of difference to anybody looking to buy.

Large furniture will make the yard look even smaller and cramped by comparison. Patio furniture is made in all shapes and sizes, and picking out smaller pieces to use in the backyard will make the space look larger and help play to its strengths.

Open Spaces Ignite The Imagination

Too many sellers go overboard in the staging process and end up with a result that has the exact opposite effect. While a fire pit or a water feature will add value to the home, in a small backyard these features can be cumbersome if they are all used simultaneously.

Focus on one or two signature areas, a seating area, water feature or barbeque are good examples, and keep the rest of the yard open and clear so that it looks larger and the buyers can imagine what they could do with the space. Many young couples are looking for a home to raise kids in and a clear backyard helps them visualize the space children have to play.

Treat The Backyard The Same As The Front

Whether your home is in Slidell, Covington, Mandeville, Madisonville, or Abita Springs, curb appeal is important, it's easy to forget that the same rules should apply to other outdoor areas of a house. Considering a yard is high on the list of criteria buyers look for in a new home, especially those starting a family, the backyard should be given the same treatment as the front yard.

Remove clutter, weed the gardens, trim the trees and put away any toys, tools or grills that are not part of the staging to keep visitors' eyes drawn to the actual yard and not lingering away to something unsightly that wasn't cleaned up.

With enough work and imagination, there are ways to make any perceived drawback into a selling point. Wayne Turner, the broker and owner of Turner Real Estate Group will be able to look through your home and help identify trouble areas and how to fix them. 985-626-1313

When it comes to diving into home ownership for the first time, it can seem like there are so many things you just don't know. Whether you're getting advice from your real estate agent, your friends or your family, there are so many things that seem like common sense that they might be lost in the mix of details in St Tammany. Instead of having to squeeze it out of them, here are three tips that are easily forgotten but still essential when buying on the NorthShore. 

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Be Patient And Take Your Time

It's certainly not the most popular advice, but one of the most important things when deciding to purchase a home is having the time and know-how to make the decision that is right for you. Since you'll need to consider so many different things when committing to such a significant purchase, from the town, like Mandeville, Madisonville, Slidell, Covington or Abita, or other NorthShore towns, to the local amenities to the future salability of the home, it's always best to ask the questions so there will be less to regret.

Get More Than One Opinion

It's entirely possible that you've found a home you love and there's nothing that's going to get between you and it, but getting someone else's opinion may provide the criticism you need to take a step back from a home-buying mistake. Instead of going it alone, bring along a friend or family member whose opinion you trust that will be honest with you about the flaws they see. It's possible that they may notice something you've missed that could make or break the entire deal.

Prepare For The Home Inspection

Until you do it, you never really know what you're going to find out during the home inspection, but doing a little bit of research to determine things you should be looking for can go a long way in saving money down the road.  When working with Turner Real Estate Agents, we will provide you a list of our recommended home inspectors from the parish. It may seem like you should be able to rely on the inspector to assess things for you, but by asking the right questions you might be able to spot the water tank that's about to give out or a leak that's about to get much worse.

There are a lot of little details that go hand in hand with purchasing a home, but often the advice that is the simplest is the easiest to forget. If you're curious about other aspects of purchasing real estate that go beyond the home inspection, you may want to contact your local real estate broker, owner of Turner Real Estate, Wayne Turner for more information at 985.626.1313. 

Mandeville Louisiana Flood Maps Changing

by Wayne Turner

New flood maps will be replacing the 28 year of maps for Mandeville Louisiana in 2017. If you live in or are looking to buy a home in Mandeville, LA. this will save your hundreds of dollars per year. It benefits you even more if your looking to sell your Mandeville home because your property just became more affordable to own. In addition this will open up property that has been in zones A and B to be developed into new communities. 

"You're talking about hundreds of dollars per person," said Mayor Donald Villere. 'There's anywhere from a 1 to 4 foot elevation change, and of course, depending on the individual property elevation and the new zone that you're in, you could really see some substantial savings.'

You can get more information as well as going to the city of Mandevilles website. 
http://www.wwltv.com/story/news/2014/08/28/14387038/

http://www.cityofmandeville.com/

 

 

 

 

Understanding Mortgage Pre-approvals and How to Avoid Being Declined for OneThe mortgage process is a long and complicated one, with a number of similar-sounding terms that can easily confuse first-time homebuyers. In Louisiana, the laws are very different and if you plan to buy on the Northshore, you should also consider speaking to a local lender.  A pre-approval is not the same thing as a pre-qualification, and it's important to understand everything that goes into a pre-approval. Being declined during the pre-approval process means you'll have a hard time getting the funds you need to buy your home, so it's important that you know what the process is going to look like before going into it.

Would you prefer to talk to a trusted, licensed St Tammany Lender? Click here, no cost or obligations! 

How does a pre-approval work, and how can you make sure you won't be declined? Here's what you need to know.

What Is A Mortgage Pre-Approval?

A mortgage pre-approval is a step that happens somewhere near the start of the home buying process. Being pre-approved means you have a preliminary loan commitment from a mortgage lender. Pre-approval isn't necessarily a guarantee that you'll get a mortgage, but rather, a statement that if all goes according to plan, your lender will most likely issue a mortgage to you.

Pre-approvals can make the mortgage process shorter and easier, but they're not legally binding. If you later find a better mortgage through another lender, you don't have to take out a mortgage through the lender that pre-approved you.

What Do You Need To Be Pre-Approved?

In order to be pre-approved, your lender will need to evaluate your finances and your ability to pay for your mortgage. You'll want to meet with your lender and provide them with bank and creditor documents that clearly show your income, your assets, and your debts. You can expect your lender to run a credit check on you in order to determine your employment status and verify that you've accurately reported your finances.

If you meet your lender's criteria, you'll receive a commitment letter that states what size of a mortgage your lender is willing to give you.

Red Flags: Sure Signs That You're Destined To Be Declined

You can be declined for a mortgage pre-approval for any number of reasons in St Tammany. If you have a poor credit score, a high debt-to-income ratio, or a low or unstable income, you likely won't meet the lender's minimum borrower requirements – and you'll be declined. To avoid being declined for a pre-approval, you'll want to ensure you always pay your bills on time, negotiate with your creditors to pay off your debts, or boost your income.

A mortgage pre-approval can help you to narrow your home search and access a mortgage loan. That's why it's important to ensure you don't get declined during the pre-approval.  Do you want to speak to a top Agent in the Mandeville, Madisonville, Covington, and Abita Springs areas? Call the owner and broker of Turner Real Estate group, Wayne Turner at 985-626-1313

3 'Must Know' Pieces of Advice for First-time Home Buyers

by Wayne Turner

When delving into the realities of home ownership, there can be many factors involved that make it difficult to determine what you need to know and what can wait until later.  When buying on the Northshore, whether it is Mandeville, Madisonville, Slidell, Covington or Abita Springs as a first-time buyer who's looking for the best tips for purchasing a home, look no further than the following three pointers to set you on the right path.

To see more free buyer tips, click here!

Get Familiar With Your Credit Score

If you haven't looked at your credit report for a long time, it can be a daunting task to request this information. Fortunately, your credit report is free from AnnualCreditReport.com and it will prepare you for what lenders are going to see. By taking this important step, you will be able to determine any delinquent accounts or balances owing that have gone to collections, and hopefully have these cleaned up before they can become a problem for your mortgage.

Determine The Price You Can Pay

While you may have a price in mind for what you're willing to pay for a home, it's important to determine your debt-to-income ratio before putting in an offer. Your DTI ratio can be determined by taking your total monthly costs, adding it to what you would be paying for a home and dividing it by your monthly gross income. If it's a housing price that will work for you, this amount should equate to less than 43%.

Organize Your Housing History

If you have a good history as a tenant, the next step will probably be the easiest of all, but it's very important in order to prove you're a responsible candidate for home ownership. Once you've acquired a Verification of Rent from any applicable landlord in the previous year, you'll want to ensure that you have money in the bank. While RRSP's can make a good impression, make sure you have liquid assets available so you can convince the lender your home investment is manageable.

There are a lot of things to know when it comes to buying a home, but if you're a first time buyer the most important thing is to ensure that your finances are organized and that you're not diving into more house than you can afford. By taking the time to determine your debt-to-income ratio and looking into your credit, you can ensure a positive first-time buying experience. If you're wondering about homes for sale in your area, you may want to contact your trusted real estate professional, the broker and owner of  Turner Real Estate Group, Wayne Turner at 985-237-2517.

When it comes to real estate on the North Shore, putting your home in its best light is key when it comes to making the sale. While it may seem like you’re more limited with a home of a smaller scale, here are a few ways you can enhance what’s best and make a good impression on potential buyers.

Are you looking for more Selling tips? Click here for Free Info! 

Let There Be Ideal Light

If you’ve ever taken note of a room on a perfectly lit day or a downcast one, the difference in how lighting can impact a space is marked. When staging your small space, you’ll want to check the lighting of each room and make sure it ideally enhances the space it’s illuminating as few things can improve the look of a place like lighting. If you’re prepared to go all out, you may even want to install a swanky chandelier or lengthy light fixture in certain rooms as it can draw the eye up and lengthen the look of your space.

Brighten a Room with an Accent Wall

Homeowners often think that bright colors are a bad idea because they’re flashy and will minimize a space, but using a brilliant color on one wall of a room can actually maximize the look of your room and can serve as something memorable for viewers of your home. While you’ll want to make sure the color you choose isn’t garish and doesn’t completely overwhelm the eye, you’ll want to keep in mind that an accent wall works particularly well for enhancing a pint-sized bathroom.

Stand By a Statement Piece

It might seem like unique or off-the-wall furniture pieces will overtake the room in a small living space, but one statement piece can actually provide potential buyers of your home with a unique look that may instill an interest in your house and highlight it in a unique way. Instead of choosing multiple pieces that are bright or quirky, stick with one or two items per room that will stand out and make themselves known, but will still give off the living-style vibe that you’re going for.

Staging a small home can seem more complicated with less space, but there are great ways that you can highlight it to positive effect. While you may want to consider an accent wall or lighting that will effectively illuminate the room, if you’re interested in more tips for small home staging, you may want to contact a local real estate agent like the Owner/Broker of Turner Real Estate Group, Wayne Turner 985-626-1313.

There's a good chance if your children have recently moved out that your home is feeling a lot larger than it used to, and perhaps you're re-considering the extra space in St. Tammany. If downsizing to a condo is on your mind and you're weighing the benefits of this kind of move, here are some that might make it worth the switch in size.  With so many places to choose from, Mandeville, Madisonville, Abita Springs, Covington or Slidell, there is a large array of real estate to fit your needs. 

Click here to search North Shore Condos and Townhomes 

A Little Extra Money

With the additional money you should be making off the sale of your home, there's a good chance that downsizing may provide you with extra assets to sock away for retirement, travel or whatever your heart fancies. If you don't need the money, it might not matter, but in the retirement years a little extra can be of benefit for many.

Minimize Your Costs

Usually, there are many utility and heating costs that go along with home ownership, but by moving into a condo you can alleviate many monthly payments instantly. Instead of paying for every utility, condo living can help to simplify and minimize the amount you owe each month.

Free Up Your Retirement

Often times it may seem like home ownership is the dream, but many people approaching retirement would rather have the flexibility of renting. Because there are limited responsibilities with a rental, it means you can spend the winter months in Mexico without having to worry about who will take care of your home.

A Condominium Community

The great thing about many condo buildings is that they are built close to amenities like grocery stores, drycleaners and restaurants, so you don't have to worry about venturing far out. It might not seem important if you're used to driving to the store to make your purchases, but being able to walk might make you a convert to a different way of life.

Forget About The Maintenance

If you've gotten used to all of the maintenance that goes into a home, downsizing can be a great relief in terms of the time you'll be saving. Instead of a lawn to cut or a multi-level home you're responsible for, you'll be able to rely on the building manager to do this for you.

It can be comforting to have a home you've bought and paid for that belongs to you, but by downsizing you may be able to save on time and significantly lower your living costs. If you're considering purchasing a condo and would like to learn more about your options, you may want to contact the owner/broker of Turner Real Estate, Wayne Turner at 985-626-1313.

Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7

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Turner Real Estate Group - 111 N. Causeway Blvd., Suite 101, Mandeville, LA 70448.  985-626-1313. 
Broker licensed in Louisiana and Tennessee. Sales Associates licensed in Louisiana.
Mandeville Real Estate - Covington Real Estate - Slidell Real Estate