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May 13

Does your house have these popular features?

Does your house have these popular features?

Before you sell your home, it’s important to be in tune with what today’s buyers are looking for — and this is even more essential in the highly competitive luxury market.

Knowing what buyers want can help us price your property appropriately, and it gives you the opportunity to make smart upgrades that could potentially make your home more marketable.

Are you planning to sell? Here are some home features that can help you compete in a hot luxury real estate market.

  • Unique Finishes: Nontraditional finishes are big this year, particularly terrazzo floors and soapstone countertops. Homes with terrazzo elements may even sell for 2.6% more, according to a Zillow report.
  • Smart Technology: Installing smart tech can make a home more marketable to buyers. Video doorbells, whole-home audio systems, leak detection technology and smart thermostats are just a few options to consider.
  • Entertainment Features: Homes that have built-in entertaining and activity areas are popular with today’s buyers, particularly those who like to host guests. Think outdoor kitchens, pickleball courts, putting greens, saltwater pools, movie theaters and similar items.
  • Chef-Level Kitchens: Leveled-up kitchens are a big deal, too, especially steam ovens, professional-grade appliances and pizza ovens. The recent Zillow report shows that they could potentially add more than 5% to your home’s sale price.

There are many ways to prepare a home for a successful sale. To learn more about selling your home (and all things real estate), get in touch today.

Apr 22

5 popular amenities for short-term rentals

5 popular amenities for short-term rentals

Vacation rentals can be great passive income streams — as long as you can keep them booked.

In order to do that, you need to create a getaway that appeals to first-time customers and repeat guests alike.

One way to do that is by having in-demand amenities on the property. Having these could help you maximize the bookings (and revenue) at your vacation rental home.

  • A Full Suite of Appliances: Guests want to be able to make a pot of coffee, cook a nice meal and wash their swimsuits, especially if they’re planning to stay for a while. While you don’t need every appliance under the sun, make sure your property has at least the basics, and possibly some extras (e.g., waffle maker, towel warmer, etc.).
  • Accessible Wi-Fi: Many people may want to work remotely from the property, so having strong Wi-Fi is nonnegotiable. It’s also important to provide for entertainment purposes, as guests will need WiFi for streaming and gaming platforms.
  • Luxe Bathrooms: Your guests want bathrooms that feel less like home and a little more like a high-end spa when they’re on vacation. Consider having plush towels, relaxing shower benches, dual showerheads and radiant flooring.
  • Indoor and Outdoor Group Activities: If your property can accommodate larger groups, then make sure you have activities available. These can include yard games, arcade machines, board games and more.
  • Little Conveniences: Small touches that make the experience more convenient and enjoyable can go a long way. Some examples include designated parking, free passes to a nearby attraction or even a fully stocked cabinet of coffee and tea.

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need help finding your next vacation rental property.

Apr 8

Do you have enough coverage for your property?

Do you have enough coverage for your property?

If you have a high-end property with luxe amenities, then your insurance needs are likely different from those of the average homeowner.

For one, you may need a high-value home insurance policy. These are typically for homes worth more than a certain amount (depending on their location) and are typically more comprehensive than your standard policy.

In addition, you might also need additional coverage for specific features and belongings. Here are just a few of the additional insurance considerations you’ll want to take into account.

  • Unique Features and Technologies: Does your home have a custom pool, a sports court, a full-service outdoor kitchen or a biometric security system? Features like these will add to the replacement cost of your home. You’ll want to have enough coverage to account for these amenities — or even include a rider specifically for certain high-cost features.

  • Valuables: If you have expensive jewelry, valuable works of art, a rare wine collection or other items that would be costly (or impossible) to replace, then you probably want additional contents coverage. It’s a good idea to inventory these possessions and get them professionally appraised so you can insure them properly.

  • Liability: Do you host regular events or have staff working in your home? Then there’s a higher chance of legal trouble should one of your guests or employees get hurt on your property. Increasing your liability coverage can help protect you, as well as cover costs like medical expenses and attorney’s fees.

Are you searching for your next property? Get in touch today so we can work together to find what you need.

Mar 25

Are you looking for a property manager?

Are you looking for a property manager?

Rental properties can be great, profitable investments, but they’re also a fair amount of work. This is especially true if the property isn’t located where you live.

Fortunately, you have the option of hiring a good property manager. Having one can lighten your load and help you operate a more efficient and profitable rental property.

Need help finding the right property manager? Follow these steps.

Start networking. Joining the chamber of commerce or real estate association can help you connect with real estate professionals in the area. This can be a great way to meet potential property managers or people who can refer you to one. You can also reach out to other rental property owners who may know of property management companies in the area.

Interview candidates. Your property manager is going to be responsible for a lot, so vet them carefully. Do they have the skills to successfully market your property and find good tenants? How will they handle tenant disputes and repair requests? Meet with them in person to get a feel for their communication style, professionalism and skill set.

Seek reviews. Don’t just go with the first person you find. In addition to interviewing several candidates, check their online reviews and ask for references. You can even visit properties they manage to make sure they’re operating as you’d like.

Reach out for recommendations if you’re searching for a great property manager.

Mar 11

3 tips for getting ready to sell your property

3 tips for getting ready to sell your property

Selling your home within a reasonable time frame and at a good price point takes preparation. And while having an experienced agent on your side is step number one, there are also some other steps you should take before your home hits the market.

If you’re thinking of selling your home, you may be curious about what you can do to ensure you’re prepared. Keep these three things in mind:

Know what makes your house unique.
What sets your house apart from other luxury properties? Maybe it has a gorgeous home theater for private screenings or sports courts (indoors or outdoors) that lend themselves to hosting games with friends and family. Pinpointing those unique features can help us more effectively find and target interested buyers.

Think beyond your home.
Think about your community and neighborhood. What local restaurants, attractions, businesses and amenities do you love? What might buyers be drawn to? If there’s a view that could cause envy, make a note of that, too. Then, we can talk through each of these alluring elements together to craft a persuasive listing for the right buyer.

Use multimedia to your advantage.
Basic listing photos are no longer enough. In today’s luxury real estate market, you should have interior videos, exterior drone footage and 3D walk-throughs in addition to professionally staged photos. You may even want a dedicated website for your property. We can discuss how to market your property to highlight its best features.

Are you considering selling your home soon? Reach out for expert guidance today.

Feb 26

Should you allow pets in your rentals?

Should you allow pets in your rentals?

Owning and operating rental properties can be a great way to create passive income, but it’s not always easy. Setting policies and designing lease contracts (with the help of a legal professional) to protect your investments and your bottom line can be a difficult process.

Your pet policy is an important one to consider. On the one hand, allowing pets can open the door to many more potential tenants. On the other, it can mean damaged property.

Here’s what you should contemplate as you choose whether to allow pets in your rental properties.

Pros

  • You’ll have a wider base of potential tenants. When you open the door to pet owners (about 87 million households), you have access to a larger tenant pool and can more easily find renters.
  • You can charge higher rents. Allowing pets means you can add a premium to your existing monthly rent or charge a separate pet rent. You should also ask for a pet deposit in addition to the security deposit.
  • You could keep tenants longer. Since pets aren’t allowed in every rental, tenants with pets may be less likely to change properties, which equates to lower turnover and fewer marketing costs for you.

Cons

  • Pets could damage the property. Pets can be destructive. They could damage the walls or flooring, and they may leave the unit with foul odors.
  • They could be a liability. Animals could cause physical harm, which can result in higher liability for on-site injuries, particularly on a multifamily property. This could also lead to higher insurance costs. 
  • Pets might be a nuisance. Some pets are loud and disruptive to neighbors, and they could make other tenants unhappy.

In the end, you have to make the decision that works best for you and your properties. Get in touch today for help with your real estate needs.

Feb 12

What's trending in design for 2024?

What's trending in design for 2024?

Your home’s design isn’t something that should stagnate. Just as seasons come and go, the aesthetic of your living space can evolve, too.

It could be as simple as swapping out linens, pillows and artwork, or it might mean repainting a wall, rearranging the furniture or updating the landscaping. It all depends on the trends of the moment and your changing tastes.

Keep your home on-trend all year long with these design choices.

  • Brutalism: Zillow recently reported a 452% increase in listings mentioning this minimalistic style, which is all about showing off elements in their most basic form. Raw concrete, exposed brick and other surfaces with rough, unfinished edges are hallmarks of brutalism.
  • Pickleball Courts: Pickleball has seen explosive growth over the last few years, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. Adding a court to your property could be a good way to increase your home’s value and become the go-to spot for some friendly competition.
  • Classic Touches: Designers are seeing a comeback in the classic chandelier, particularly handcrafted Murano glass ones from Italy. Traditional herringbone patterns are also making a comeback in flooring and interior design.
  • Murals: These works of art can be hand painted and customized to your preferences (indoors or outdoors), or they can be wallpaper murals, easily swapped depending on the season.
  • Warm Tones: Gone are the days when gray ruled the roost. Now, it’s all about natural warm tones: shades of tan, brown, cream, amber and green.
  • Appliance Hideaways: Rather than showing off your refrigerator or espresso machine, you may want to disguise or hide it. Consider an appliance garage — a sleek type of cabinet designed to keep your kitchen sleek and uncluttered.

If you want to connect with a design professional or search for your next property, get in touch for expert assistance.

Jan 22

Have you heard of this architectural trend?

Have you heard of this architectural trend?

There’s a popular home design strategy emerging, and it has little to do with aesthetics. Instead, it’s based in science — neuroscience, to be exact.

Dubbed “neuroarchitecture,” this form of design aims to create spaces that elicit emotions, increase happiness and promote well-being.

Curious about how it works and how you can incorporate neuroarchitecture into your next home? Here’s what you need to know.

What is neuroarchitecture?

Neuroarchitecture is the art of using neuroscience in the design of homes, commercial buildings and other physical spaces. More specifically, it takes into account how the human brain, body and emotions interact with different shapes, colors and scales. 

How can you use neuroarchitecture?

There are many ways you can integrate this idea into your primary home or vacation getaway. For instance, you can:

  • Focus on natural light. Invite natural light through large windows and skylights, avoiding bright fluorescent lights and blue-light devices. You can also install dimmers to lessen the impact of any artificial light fixtures.
  • Opt for curved design. Studies indicate that rounded shapes encourage more brain activity than boxier ones. Instead of square headboards and sofas, opt for ones with curves or rounded edges. You can also consider archways throughout your home.
  • Choose colors wisely. Every color evokes a different mood or emotion. Want to be more creative? Choose shades of yellow. Hoping to create a calming effect? Green hues are your answer. Need more brain power? Go for blue tones.
  • Declutter. Having too much clutter makes it harder for your brain to make decisions. Take time to organize and simplify your spaces, and have mechanisms in place for keeping things that way. You could put a catch-all basket in the corner of a room or implement a weekly decluttering schedule.

Do you have questions about this trend or other real estate topics? Get in touch today.

Jan 8

4 negotiation tips for real estate investors

4 negotiation tips for real estate investors

Investing in real estate can help you grow your wealth and diversify your portfolio. If you opt for a rental property (short- or long-term), it could also be a source of passive income.

But it’s only a smart purchase if you choose the right property and pay the right price for it.

Are you considering investing in additional real estate this year? Here are some negotiation tips to help ensure that you’re positioned for success.

  1. Do your research. Do you know what other similar properties are going for in the area and understand the nuances of the local market? Details like these can help you determine where you might have grounds for negotiation.

  2. Build a rapport with the seller. Playing hardball is one way to go, but negotiation can be easier if there’s mutual respect and shared interests. Try to find some common ground with the seller, which could give you an upper hand over other potential buyers.

  3. Stay flexible. There will likely need to be some give and take if you want a good deal, so be willing to budge a little on things that aren’t deal breakers. Keep in mind: The sellers probably have deal breakers of their own.

  4. Make a good first offer. Don’t go into negotiations with your lowest offer and expect a warm reception. Start off with something reasonable — an offer with wiggle room for both parties.

Having an agent who’s well-versed in real estate investments on your side is critical, too. We can work together to vet deals and ensure you make smart property moves.

Reach out for help with your next investment.

Dec 25

How to create a spa-like bathroom

How to create a spa-like bathroom

Life is busy, and sometimes it seems there just isn’t enough time to visit your favorite spa for some much-needed relaxation.

Good news: With the right bathroom upgrades, you don’t have to go anywhere. The latest luxe bathroom trends allow you to create a relaxing, spa-like retreat in the comfort of your home.

Do you want a bathroom that gives you the relaxed and rejuvenated feeling you get at the spa? Then make plans to incorporate these lavish trends.

  1. Pick a showerhead that helps you relax. Forget the traditional, builder-grade shower head. True luxury is a rainfall showerhead — or, for larger-sized showers, maybe even two. There are also options that incorporate aromatherapy for an extra relaxing touch.
  2. Keep things light with glass paneling. Glass panels can add visual interest around the shower. You could choose clear glass or opt for more privacy with etched glass. 
  3. Incorporate wooden accents. No spa is complete without the clean aesthetic of natural wood. Consider wood flooring, shelving or other accents for a calming effect.
  4. Make it spacious and grandiose. Spas are all about sizable showers, soaking tubs and vessel sinks. Having a shower seating area may also be a great touch, so you can sit back and truly relax.
  5. Add sophistication with stone. Marble, granite, quartz and other high-quality stone materials will give your bathroom an elegant touch. You can incorporate them into countertops, flooring, shower walls or even decorative accents.

Looking to buy a property with more luxe amenities? Want to add to your real estate portfolio? Get in touch today.

Dec 11

Happy Holidays

Wishing you and yours a happy holiday season.

 

 

If there's anything you need, please reach out.

Nov 27

What does due diligence entail?

What does due diligence entail?

Due diligence is an important part of buying property. It can help ensure that you’re getting a safe home that’s worth what you’re offering. It could also help you avoid costly mistakes, including those that may have legal repercussions down the line.

Are you preparing to buy a new home or invest in a property for your portfolio? Here’s a refresher on some important due diligence steps to take after you make an offer.

  • Appraisal: An appraisal determines the current market value of a property according to an unbiased professional. It ensures you’re not paying too much for a home, and you won’t be able to get a mortgage without one.
  • Survey: Land surveys determine the physical boundaries of a property. They can help you steer clear of boundary disputes with neighbors and establish the legal bounds of your investment.
  • Title Search: A title search involves looking for any liens or claims against a property you intend to buy. If they aren’t found and settled before purchasing, you could owe someone else’s debts just by buying the home. (In some cases, the creditor could even claim the house.) 
  • Inspection: Home inspections are physical evaluations of a property’s structure and systems. Inspectors can identify necessary repairs and costly (or hazardous) issues that may be lurking below the surface — like mold, pest infestations and foundation problems.
  • Disclosures: The seller and their real estate agent should provide disclosures, detailing any known issues in the home or other things that could impact your decision to buy the property.

Reach out if you have questions or if you’re ready to invest in a new property.

Nov 13

How can a remodel affect property costs?

How can a remodel affect property costs?

Renovating your house can make it more beautiful, more functional and, in many cases, more valuable.

To maximize that value, you need to understand the costs that will go into those renovations. While materials and labor are well-known pieces of the puzzle, there are other ways that remodeling can affect home finances.

Are you considering updating parts of your property? Be sure to consider the full range of costs.

  • Permits: Many renovations require permits from your local municipality before you can commence work on them. These generally include anything that changes the structure of your home (even putting in a new front door) and updates to your plumbing, electrical or mechanical systems.

  • Insurance: Depending on the updates, you might need to increase your home insurance coverage — especially if you’re boosting your property value or adding a pool. On the flip side, changes like installing a security system or improving your home’s energy efficiency could save you money.

  • Taxes: Your property taxes could increase if you expand your home or add to its value considerably. Your property deductions could be impacted as well, so talk to your tax professional.

  • Utility Bills: Your utility bills could rise as a result of your renovations, but newer, more efficient appliances or systems might actually lower these costs over time.

  • Ancillary Costs: Do you have pets that need to be boarded while renovations take place? Will your kitchen be out of commission, increasing your takeout bill? These expenses can add up, so make sure you consider them too.

If you’d prefer to buy a home that meets your needs now rather than renovate, get in touch so we can begin the search.

Oct 23

How luxury hotels can inspire your design choices

How luxury hotels can inspire your design choices

Few things feel as good as a night in a luxury hotel. The bedding, the scents, the ambience — it doesn’t get much better, especially when you think about the great service, too.

No matter how often you travel, it would probably be nice to bring those amazing sensory experiences home with you.

And with the right home design choices, you can. Take this inspiration from high-end hotels:

  • Linens: Getting into a lush, pillow-covered bed with crisp, white sheets is one of the best parts of staying in a hotel. Recreate this at home by opting for overstuffed comforters, plenty of pillows and premium bedsheets. Make sure to have large, fluffy bath towels and a robe for your primary suite, too.
  • Furniture: Luxe hotels are all about cultivating a unique aesthetic. You can achieve this in your home by hand-selecting each piece of furniture for its space. Take it one room at a time and think carefully about each piece’s size, style and purpose. You could even design custom furniture if you don’t find anything that aligns with your desires.
  • Streamlined Design: You won’t find clutter in a high-end hotel. Instead, every design element is purposefully chosen. When you decorate this way, it allows you to make the best use of the space and clear your mind for full relaxation.
  • Senses: Hotel stays deliver a full experience with features for all of your senses. The above tips have sight and touch covered, but you can level up your space’s scent with flowers, candles or diffusers, and add audio with a whole-home sound system to play calming music or soundscapes throughout.

Ready to search for a new property that shares qualities with a high-end hotel? Get in touch today to get started.

Oct 9

3 design options for property staging

3 design options for property staging

Great staging can be critical when selling a home, especially if you want to get a good price for it.

But staging isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation. While you always want the property to have a clean, inviting palette that any buyer can see themselves in, you also want to showcase the home’s unique character.

Are you looking for staging inspiration before you list your home or investment property for sale? Here are some popular options (and when you might want to use them).

  • Bohemian: A laid-back, boho vibe can be a great choice if you have a beachside property or a warm-weather getaway. It can also be a smart staging option in cultural hubs with eclectic character, like New Orleans.

  • Retro Touches: If you have a midcentury or other historic property with throwback features, retro colors or even wallpaper can be a strategic way to highlight the history of the property with visual appeal. You can also add extra retro elements, like vintage appliances or cabinet hardware inspired by the home’s original era.

  • Simple Sophistication: For modern properties, a more sleek and streamlined design can be best. Think simple, neutral color palettes and functional furnishings, with a few statement pieces thrown in. Smart technology and energy-efficient features can be highlighted with this staging design.

Of course, there are other options, too; it all depends on your home and the unique characters and features it has to offer.

Get in touch if you’d like help with staging your property before you sell.

Sep 25

Have you started preparing for retirement?

Have you started preparing for retirement?

Preparation is vital if you’re looking forward to a happy, healthy and rewarding life in retirement. It could even allow you to retire early.

It’s also key if you have a legacy to protect, including money, real estate and other assets you may want to pass on to heirs.

To ensure you’re well-prepared for retirement, no matter how far off that may be for you, here are some steps you can start taking today.

Build out your team. You can’t create a comprehensive retirement plan without a well-rounded team of professionals. Start by having a financial advisor, an attorney, a tax professional, an investment advisor and an estate planning professional on your side.

Diversify your assets. You don’t want to hold all your wealth in one asset class, so make sure to spread your money among different investments. Consider having retirement accounts like 401(k)s and IRAs, as well as holdings in real estate, stocks, bonds, precious metals, CDs, money market accounts or other secure places.

Consider your taxes. Taxes can take a chunk out of your nest egg. Don’t forget about taxes you may owe on funds you take out of retirement accounts, capital gains on real estate you sell, and taxes on other assets you plan to offload, too. Meet with your tax professional to make sure these costs are factored into your long-term plan.

Map out your estate plan. You’ll need to address how your assets will be handled once you pass away — your properties, bank accounts, belongings and more. If you have dependents, you’ll also need to make financial arrangements for them, which may involve setting up a trust or custodial account.

Do your retirement planning goals involve a real estate portfolio? Reach out to begin looking at investment properties that fit your needs.

Sep 11

How to make a large home feel cozier

How to make a large home feel cozier

Living in a home with a lot of square footage can often feel vast or even cavernous, especially if it also has an open floor plan, vaulted ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows.

But, with a few careful design and decor choices, you can make even the largest of homes feel cozy.

If you’re hoping to make your home feel more comfortable before the temperatures drop, read this for five simple ways to do so.

  1. Add indoor greenery. Foliage isn’t just for your landscaping. Installing a green wall or having potted succulents can help make a home feel more lived-in and welcoming. You could even add a small herb garden to your kitchen.

  2. Incorporate more fabrics. Great rugs, thick blankets, soft throw pillows and richly hued window treatments are all excellent ways to give a space an inviting feel with little effort.

  3. Use soft lighting. Skip fluorescent lighting and large overhead fixtures to make a space feel less stark. Instead, focus on warmer options like table lamps, under-cabinet lights, wall sconces and hanging pendant lights.

  4. Play to the senses. Find a way to stimulate the senses in your space. Consider adding pleasant-smelling floral bouquets, the soft trickle of a water wall or fountain, or a buttery-soft chaise lounge.

  5. Decorate with warm color schemes. Bright whites and other monochromatic color schemes only make rooms feel wider (and colder). Picking warmer tones — like yellows, golds and oranges — can make even a large space feel more intimate.

Are you ready to find a luxurious, comfortable property? Get in touch today.

Aug 28

5 water features to transform your property

5 water features to transform your property

Water features can aesthetically improve a property by adding visual interest, creating movement and generating calming sounds. 

They also come in many forms, so choosing one that fits your style (and your home’s landscaping needs) can be challenging.

Are you unsure about what type of water feature is the right choice for beautifying your property? Here are some options to consider.

Water Wall
A water wall can be an alluring focal point both indoors and outdoors. These structures can be almost any size — and you could even integrate one into a shower, pool or spa area.

Pond
Ponds are simple yet impactful additions to any property. You can add one deep in a lush garden or build a pond to serve as the main visual interest at the entrance of your home. Ponds can be home to koi fish and plants like water lilies, cattails and irises.

Waterfall
A waterfall set over carefully placed rocks or near an outdoor entertaining area can be a great way to add drama to your landscaping. And, in addition to their beauty, waterfalls can create calming soundscapes.

Rill
Water rills are shallow channels that flow throughout gardens and green areas. You could choose to have them meet at a pond or fountain, too. 

Birdbath
For a low-maintenance addition, birdbaths can be a smart choice. Placing one near a bay window or porch may provide great entertainment as the birdbath draws in a wide array of local wildlife.

If you need assistance with anything related to your property — or if you’re in the market for a new one — get in touch.

Aug 14

Is short-term rental investing right for you?

Is short-term rental investing right for you?

Short-term rentals can be a great income stream — and they’ve been popular with travelers for years.

They can be a viable alternative to traditional rental properties, especially for less-experienced investors who don’t want to be full-time landlords (but still want regular cash flow).

But as with any investment, they’re not completely without risk, and you should weigh your options carefully. Before you decide, take a look at some pros and cons of short-term rental investing.

Pros

  • More Money: Vacation rentals often command higher prices than long-term rental properties, particularly if they’re located in vacation hotspots.
  • Passive Income: Running short-term rentals can be pretty hands-off, especially if you hire a cleaning crew and property manager.
  • Tax Perks: Since the property is a business, you can write off a lot of the expenses on your tax returns.

Cons

  • Operating Costs: Unlike traditional rentals, you’ll need to furnish the property. It will also have to be cleaned between each visit, and toiletries and other important items need to remain stocked for all guests.
  • Financial Qualification: Loans for investment properties usually have stricter requirements than those for primary residences, including down payments, credit scores and other financial factors.
  • Potential Volatility: There’s no guarantee your short-term rental will be booked constantly. Vacation demand may ebb and flow, particularly in more seasonal areas.

Think a short-term rental could be a good investment opportunity for you? Get in touch today to begin your search.

Jul 24

Do you know what you want in your next property?

Do you know what you want in your next property?

Unless you’ve found the perfect lot and are building a custom home from the ground up, it can be difficult to check every box when buying a property. In most cases, you need to make some concessions.

As you search for a home, it’s important to have a clear view of your wants, needs and deal breakers — including whether your priority is a place with acres of land or one with awe-inspiring views. These characteristics may be mutually exclusive.

If you’re unsure which you would choose, consider these factors to zero in on the right decision. 

Pets and Kids
If you have pets, kids or both, a more spacious property might be a great fit. It would give your four-legged friends somewhere to run, and it could lend itself to amenities like a backyard playscape and swimming pool.

Urban or Rural
Do you want a metropolitan life, with access to restaurants, clubs and museums, or is a more secluded and private existence your preference? You often need to buy off the beaten path if you want a place with lots of space, while an urban location is likely to offer gorgeous city views and plenty of amenities.

Aesthetic
What style of home do you want? If you’re seeking a more modern aesthetic, a high-rise with panoramic views may be a good choice. If you’d rather have a more traditional home with a wrap-around porch or sprawling gardens, a spacious suburban or rural property could be for you.

Reach out if you need help finding the perfect place for your next home purchase.

Jul 10

What to do if a neighbor encroaches on your property

What to do if a neighbor encroaches on your property

Neighbors can be helpful and friendly, but they can also be a pain sometimes — especially if they start encroaching on your property. Maybe you have a neighbor whose trees are out of hand or one who wants to put a fence over the property line.

Either way, it’s a nuisance — and it’s something you’ll want to solve before the situation devolves.

Are you dealing with a property encroachment issue? Do you want to be prepared in case it happens? Try these options for handling it.

  1. Talk it out. No one wants a long-term row with neighbors, so having a calm, civil conversation about the issue should be your first line of defense. Tell them what’s going on, and ask them to resolve it. Bring your property survey (if you have one) so you can run through the property boundaries with them if necessary.

  2. Bring in a surveyor. If you don’t already have a property survey (or if it’s been a while since yours was done), call a professional surveyor to conduct one. They’ll verify the boundaries of your property and outline its exact shape and parameters.

  3. Speak with a real estate attorney. If the survey clearly shows your neighbor is encroaching on your property and they’ve failed to remedy the situation, you may want to seek legal counsel. At the very least, they can send a letter that compels the neighbor to act. If this fails, filing a lawsuit against the neighbor may be the next step.

Do you want to expand your property portfolio? Get in touch today to start your search.

Jun 26

How to gift real estate to a nonprofit

How to gift real estate to a nonprofit

Donating money isn’t the only way to give back or make a difference in the causes you find important: Real estate can have a life-changing impact, too.

Not only can property donations improve the organizations and causes you hold dear, but they also come with financial benefits for you.

Are you considering donating some real estate to a charity or nonprofit you value? Here’s what to know about the process.

What can you donate?
When you want to give real estate to charities and nonprofits, you can donate vacant lots, historic structures, farmland, commercial buildings, rental properties and more.

Are there IRS rules?
Yes. If the property is worth less than $5,000, all you’ll need from the nonprofit is a receipt. If it’s worth more than that, you’ll have to make sure to have the charity complete Form 8283.

What are the pros and cons?

  • Pros: A notable perk is that you won’t have to pay capital gains taxes on the property’s increase in value. You can also deduct the contribution from your taxes.
  • Cons: One drawback is that you won’t be selling the property and earning any returns from it. You also won’t be able to bequeath it to your loved ones as part of your estate.

What else should you know?
If you’re considering donating real estate to a qualified organization, make sure to talk to a financial advisor about it first. They can walk you through the pros and cons in your specific situation. You might also want to talk to your estate planning attorney to ensure it fits your long-term goals.

Get in touch if you have questions or need help finding your next property.

Jun 12

Do you know how to market your rental properties?

Do you know how to market your rental properties?

Rental properties can be lucrative investments — if you have tenants that allow you to keep your vacancies few and far between. That can sometimes be easier said than done.

Having a great agent by your side can certainly help you keep your properties full, but there are strategies you can master as a property owner that will also help (and possibly even lead to higher rents).

Do you want to ensure your rentals are profitable for you? Here’s what you can do:

  • Know your audience. Are you targeting college students? Pet owners? Carving out a niche will help you prep and market your property appropriately.

  • Have a dedicated online presence. Most of today’s renters find their properties online, so make sure your company — and each individual property — has its own website and social media profile. There should be photos, floor plans, rent details and a way to contact you.

  • Be upfront about amenities or unique features. Play up your properties’ more unique elements that might help them stand out from others in the community. Consider what each property has to offer: It might be a garage, ample storage, great views or updated flooring.

  • Hire professionals to help you. You’ll have the most success (and likely command the best rents) by calling in the pros. That means getting a skilled stager, a top-notch photographer and a knowledgeable agent who can guide the way.

Ready to bring in new tenants or invest in a new rental property? Reach out today for help.

May 22

How to protect your house while you're away

How to protect your house while you're away

Summer is approaching — and that may mean you’ll spend more time traveling.

If you’re planning trips for the summer, don’t forget to plan beyond flights and the packing checklist: You’ll also want to make arrangements to keep your primary home (and all of your belongings) safe while you’re away.

Take these steps to ensure your home’s safety when you’re gone on lengthy getaways.

  1. Use smart tech to your advantage. Smart technologies can help you monitor your property. A doorbell with a camera and remote locking systems can help you control access to your home (for cleaning staff, for example), and you can control lights and blinds via an app to make it look like you’re home.
  2. Hire a house sitter. Having a responsible person in the home while you’re away can be a great way to deter theft, ensure the home is cared for and keep your mail from piling up. They can also help manage any house staff or lawn care crews.
  3. Set up a home security system. Make sure to have a comprehensive security system at your home. It should be complete with cameras, motion detection and remote access so you can check in from afar.
  4. Keep your trip quiet. Don’t post on any social accounts that you’re going out of town (or when you’re doing it), and don’t talk about it among people you don’t know well. Making this information public could make your home a target for theft.
  5. Communicate with your service professionals. You want to ensure your home is maintained properly while you’re away. Connect with your landscaping, cleaning, maintenance and other home professionals ahead of your trip. Set up a schedule for your absence, and make sure someone is there to supervise at those dates and times.

If you’re looking to invest in your next property, get in touch today.

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