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The Benefits of Downsizing

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Have all the kids moved out of the house?  Does your space just seem too big for you now?  Downsizing to some may seem like a step backwards but can actually be a step forward.  All that time and money spent on upkeep and maintenance can now be used for different, more exciting things.

Homeowners decide to downsize for a number of reasons.  Some may be retiring. Others may just want a low-maintenance lifestyle.  Many adults 55+ are leaving their suburban homes and heading into condos or lofts.  These homes are easier to maintain, usually in ‘walkable’ neighborhoods, and with easy access to transportation, culture, restaurants and nightlife.


Ask yourself:  Does the size of my home matter?  If you enjoy living in a big house and entertaining a large family or many friends in your home, perhaps downsizing is not the best choice for you, but if you’re ready for less maintenance, cleaning and a home just for your own enjoyment, then downsizing may be the right choice for you.

Also think about whether any other people in your life would be affected by this decision.  Do you have adult children looking to move back in or if you are the hub of larger gatherings at your home?  If that is the case, you may still be able to downsize keeping in mind certain features you may need such as a second bedroom or large living area.

Downsizing gives the impression that you will spend less money, which can definitely be true.  However, you may need to replace some furniture to fit your new space so keep that in mind.  Consider selling some of your larger pieces to offset these costs.

Some definite pros to downsizing to a condo, townhome or loft are the decrease in maintenance (e.g., gardening and exterior home maintenance, etc.) you have to do. Instead, you will pay homeowners’ association fees/dues so that others will maintain the common elements for you.  Perhaps you will save money and time when downsizing and be free to take that bigger vacation you’ve dreamed about or check off some items from your bucket list.  Just like the saying goes, less is more!

We have been working with downsizers for years.  Let us use are expertise to help you downsize to the property of your dreams!  With our many connections and experience in the Gold Coast region, we are real estate partners you can trust!

Tips For First Time Home Sellers

First Time Home Sellers

You’ve already gone through the process of buying your first home and have made your memories. Now, it’s time to sell your first home, which is a whole new experience. Here are some important things to consider when getting started.

Be Ready To Sell
Before listing your home, be sure the house is in good condition and set realistic goals for the price and time it may take. If not, the listing might just sit there and the number of days on market can increase, which is not a good sign.

Find the Right Agent
Selling your first home is a process you may not be familiar with. Finding the right agent to work with you is important. You’ll need to then sign a listing agreement with a real estate agent and their brokerage firm. When you were buying, you could stop looking whenever you wanted. However with selling a house, you need to be consistent and having the right agent can help with this.

The Agent Matters More Than The Brokerage
Don’t pick an agent based on the brokerage for whom they work, although having both a great agent and reputable firm is a plus. The only person you will see during your home selling process is your agent. If the agent is someone you trust and has proven to be successful, you can be confident he or she is the right choice to get the job done. Of course, if you don’t know any real estate agents, it does not hurt to start by looking at brokerages that are aligned with the type of house you are selling and ones that specialize in your neighborhood.

The Number of Days On Market Matter
When you were buying your first home, what did you always notice? The price, size, photos, & history (in other words, number of days on market). The longer a house is on the market, the more potential buyers think something is wrong with it. Do you best to sell as quickly as possible and therefore, set a realistic selling price.

Move Quickly on Offers
You’ve got an offer and signed off on it. Congratulations! Now the clock is ticking. Have a plan about where you’ll move after closing. If you need to sell prior to buying, then you must have plan (where you would like to go) and make sure your home has a contract on it before you buy another.

Follow these important tips if this is your first time selling home. At Bergen Hudson Gold Coast Real Estate, we are the local real estate partners you can trust to guide you through this process.

What You Need To Know Before Getting A Mortgage

Before Getting Mortgage

Before successfully obtaining a mortgage, there are some key things to remember.

Choose an appropriate lender
Not all lenders are the same. Lenders can be big banks or small portfolio lenders. Not all lenders lend in every area. Not all lenders have the same programs. Do your due diligence here as you did finding your realtor. Talk to your realtor for recommendations.

Understand the full cost of owning a home
Principal, interest, taxes, insurance, and if a condo, monthly maintenance costs… this is what is involved in financing a home. The first, principal and interest, comprise your monthly mortgage. Property taxes are assessed by the county in which you live. On average its 1.2% of your home’s value each year. Homeowner’s insurance is also required.

As noted, if you choose to buy in a community with a Homeowners Association, there are dues to cover common areas, amenities, upkeep and future maintenance.

Credit history is important
The stronger your credit report is, the better. This is important to getting lower interest rates for your mortgage. If necessary, open new credit a few months before buying and maintain good payment history. Obtain your credit score and take necessary steps to improve it.

Get pre-approved in advance
Getting pre-approved is a necessary step. It shows sellers you are serious and have the potential of being approved for a mortgage. It also helps you understand how much you can afford when buying a new home.

Know what lenders will require
When it comes time to be approved for a mortgage, lenders will examine every aspect of your life: full name, address, date of birth, social security numbers, children’s ages, credit report, employment history, pay stubs, tax returns, bank statements, legal settlements and financials of businesses you own. Give them what they ask for and be prepared to explain any negative marks on your credit.

How To Stage Your Home For Selling

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Home staging is an important but often underutilized marketing tool when selling a home. Transforming your space so that any potential buyers see themselves in an attractive home can help your listing. Whether occupied or vacant, we stage every home to make it stand out from the competition. Always remember, first impressions are lasting impressions.

Home staging is the art of making your home look neat, stylish and inviting to a potential home buyer. It is the essential first step in selling your home. It is the process of making your home stand out from the competition. Here’s how you can get started doing this.

1: De-clutter. Get rid of anything unnecessary or that takes away from the beauty of the space. The seller will have to do this when moving anyway, so why not get it started a little earlier?

2: Depersonalize. You want potential buyers to see themselves in your home; not to see your photos and memories. Put personal items in storage until you move.

3: Paint. Paint makes a world of difference. What you may like on your walls may deter potential home buyers. Paint the walls with current, neutral colors. Repaint white walls so they look fresh.

4. Repair. Do not call attention to any potential problems. Make sure all house repairs are done before buyers come to see your home; otherwise they may see some signs and wonder what else could be wrong, which could deter them from your house.

5. Rearrange/Remove/Add Furniture. Potential home buyers like to see how a space looks with furniture. This can be done by moving some furniture, removing others and even renting some to give your space the right amount of mix it needs to sell.

6. Accessorize. Finally, accessories help sell the space. If a potential home buyer sees how beautiful a home looks with beautiful wall art there and a lovely flower arrangement, they will become much more interested in the space.

We are experts at home staging and are happy to help you through this process!