Use these tips in any city or town in Oregon
LAND vs. HOME VALUES
The value of the land UNDER the hom has taken an even more dramatic jump than the price of homes. By one estimate, the average price of a lot has jumped 420 percent since 1973. It has doubled in the last six years alone. Chances are that land accounts for over 25 percent of the cost of a hom today compared with 18 percent only 15 years ago.
Estimating the value of a lot separate from its Pendleton home is tricky because the two typically come as a unit. However, you can get a ballpark figure by subtracting the estimated value of the average house (floor space times cost per square foot) from the total sales price. This specific dollar value is not so meaningful as the percentages of land to buildings and how they change over the years. Pendleton Real estate investors should also keep a sharp eye on the mix of land and property values. Although the cost of buildings can be depreciated for tax purposes over time, land cannot.
If you have arranged an appraisal of your Pendleton home, whether it be for legal, tax or pre-sale reasons, you can make the appraiser’s job quicker, more accurate and more efficient if you have some documents ready before the appraiser arrives.
Try to have copies of your deed and mortgage; the professional survey of your property; the local tax map; your last tax assessment; any professional reports on environmental conditions in your Pendleton home (such as a test for radon); and a home inspector’s report if you have one.
Also list major improvements you have made with invoices that document their cost. If your Pendleton home is fairly new, note any special features for which you paid extra. Also list personal property that will be included in the sale, as well as items attached to the Pendleton home that you’ll take with you when you move, such as a dining room chandelier.
DON’T SELL A HOUSE – SELL A HOME
If you are considering selling your home in Pendleton, remember this: buyers are not looking for a roof to keep the rain out – they’re looking for a new lifestyle. You are not selling a house – you’re selling a HOME!
Set this “home” stage for buyer showings:
Keep your home in Pendleton clean, neat and cozy at all times. You might have to show it on short notice. The kitchen is the focal point of any home. Everything should be spic and span, with dishes washed and excess paraphernalia tucked away. Beds should be made, and kids’ clothes stowed and not left where kids usually leave them.
Decorator touches help a lot: vases or pots of flowers, colorful pillows, mirrors on the walls to make rooms look more spacious. Mow the lawn, touch up any peeling paint. Don’t start major renovations, but do make obviously needed small repairs, such as a leaky faucet, torn screen or peeling paint. Remember, you’re selling a “home”.
WASTING HOT WATER?
Do you heat hot water you don’t use? One of the simplest ways to save money is to lower the temperature of your hot water heater. If you have it set at 160 degrees, lower it to at least 140 and shoot for between 115 and 106 degrees, for showers and domestic needs, 105 – 110 degrees is as hot as you need. Beyond that you would scald yourself. Trying to conserve hot water by mixing it with cold water is not economical.
If you need 140 degree hot water for your dishwasher, turn your heater up just before dinner so the water will be hot when you need it. After your dishes are done, turn it back down. You don’t need 140 degree water for your morning shower and it’s a waste to have it sitting in your tank all day while you pay to keep it hot.
While you’re at it, don’t forget to put an insulation blanket around the water heater and drain the sediment every six months. A dirty heater is inefficient and more expensive to operate.
YOUR HOME IQ
How much do you know about your home in Pendleton and appliances?
1. T/F: There is little difference in heat efficiency between a fireplace and a wood-burning stove? Answer: False. Wood-burning stoves generally give off more heat.
2. T/F: You use more water washing your dishes by hand than by running your dishwasher daily. Answer: True.
3. T/F: Frequent vacuuming will eventually wear out fibers in your carpet. Answer: False: Imbedded dirt will wear away at carpet fibers, so frequent vacuuming is essential for long wear.
4. T/F: Aluminum storm windows are more effective than wood-framed ones in keeping out the cold. Answer: False. There is little significant difference in efficiency between wood and aluminum-framed windows.
5. T/F: When remodeling your home in Pendleton, improvements should not exceed 30% of the home’s current value. Answer: True.
SMILE, YOU’RE ON TELEVISION
Today’s camcorders are lightweight and versatile. Many operate single-handedly at the touch of a button with no experience required. The results can be reviewed instantly (or at your leisure). Camcorders are being used everywhere for every occasion. Why not for house hunting?
Whether a camcorder can be used is entirely the option of the individual home seller. However, many sellers welcome the high-tech attention to their homes. Buyers interested in using a camcorder can check with my office. I will seek pre-approval from sellers whose home will be viewed on that day.
SELLING PARENT’S HOME
It’s not an easy task to straighten out the affairs of a single parent who has died. Paperwork and forms are one thing, but how do you go about selling the home if it’s located quite a distance away? Once the house is emptied of furniture, you’ll have to be concerned with its security and maintenance. In this situation there is only one logical route to take. List it with a local agency and let them take the problems off your back.
For security and maintenance reasons, time is usually of the essence. You may wish to offer the Pendleton property at a competitive price to ensure a speedy sale. Still, it does take time to sell a home in Pendleton at any price. A suggestion would be to find an agency who will offer you combined services of “manager” and “marketer.” The agency would be selling the Pendleton property, and, at the same time, check the house on a regular basis to be sure it is well maintained and secured. I can work out arrangements of this type.
My next blog post will be focused on Checking Your Own Credit History, Checking Loan Chances Firs and Don’t Pass Up a Gem. See you then!