Buying a home for the first time is extremely exciting. But like any new experience, as a first-time homeowner, you don’t know what you don’t know—and that lack of knowledge can lead to frustrating, challenging mistakes.
But what, exactly, are some of the most common mistakes people make after buying their first home?
Hiring a contractor without researching their background. Hiring the wrong contractor can lead to a lot of wasted time and money, and blindly hiring a contractor is one of the costliest mistakes a new homeowner can make. Before you hire anyone to do a home renovation project (whether that’s remodeling your kitchen, or landscaping your backyard), make sure to do your research, read reviews, and ask to speak to references.
Not budgeting for home-related expenses. When you bought your home, you budgeted for the major expenses, like your mortgage. But buying a home can come with a host of new expenses first-time homeowners aren’t used to paying, like homeowner’s insurance, homeowner association (HOA) fees, and monthly utility bills. If you don’t budget for those new expenses, it can put you in the red. When you buy your first home, make sure you’re looking at all the expenses associated with the purchase—and budget accordingly.
Putting off routine maintenance. Many first time homeowners don’t realize all the routine maintenance that goes into keeping your home in tip-top shape. And, as such, they let maintenance tasks slide—which can lead to expensive repairs down the road. When you move into your new home, make a checklist of all the maintenance tasks and how often/when they need to be completed—then review the list every month to make sure you’re not forgetting any tasks.
There are a lot of mistakes people make after buying their first home. But knowing the common mistakes first-time homeowners make can help you avoid those mistakes—and the headaches, frustration, and expenses that go along with them. Give us a call and let’s avoid those mistakes! Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORS The Hanley Home Team of Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside 904-515-2479 HanleyHomeTeam.com
Gutters. Gutters need regular maintenance to function properly and keep water runoff from causing damage. Plan to clean your gutters at least twice per year and, if they’re made from aluminum or galvanized steel (the most common gutter material), replace them after 20 years.
Windows. Windows generally have a life-span of about two decades—but if you notice any damage to the glass or frame (for example, cracks in the glass or mold on the frame), you’ll want to replace them sooner.
Roof. Depending on your roofing materials, your roof should last anywhere between 15 to 30 years (for standard asphalt shingles) or 50 to 75 years (metal roofing). But that’s only if you take care of it! Make sure to keep your roof clear of any overhanging branches that could damage the roof or cause mold issues.
Give us a call today and let’s discuss upgrades that help your bottom line when you sell! Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORS The Hanley Home Team of Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside 904-515-2479 HanleyHomeTeam.com
Different people want different things in their homes—and that includes people of different ages. The perfect home style for a first-time Gen Z home buyer might not speak to a Baby Boomer looking to buy a home to retire in (and vice versa).
So what, exactly, are the most popular home style choices for each generation?
A recent survey from Buildhome asked potential buyers across four generations—Gen Z, Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers—what type of home style they prefer between five different interior and exterior styles. For exterior options, respondents were able to choose from Modern Farmhouse, Cottage, Craftsman, Victorian, and Contemporary or Industrial Modern. For interior options, the options were Rustic Modern, Traditional, Modern, Zen, and Japandi (a style that combines elements of Scandinavian and Japanese design).
Gen Z, Millennials, and Generation X were all in agreement on their preferred interior and exterior styles: Rustic Modern and Modern Farmhouse. Baby Boomers, on the other hand, preferred a Cottage style for the exterior of their homes and Japandi for the interior.
What’s your home style? Get in touch and let’s find it! Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORS The Hanley Home Team of Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside 904-515-2479 http://www.HanleyHomeTeam.com
With low inventory and high demand creating fierce competition in markets across the country, in order to successfully purchase a home, buyers are doing everything they can to make their offer more attractive to sellers—including making all-cash offers.
According to the latest REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey from the National Association of REALTORS®, a full 25 percent of offers accepted in April 2021 were all-cash offers—up from just 15 percent in April 2020. And while some of those all-cash offers are investors, many represent buyers purchasing their primary residences. In April, 15 percent of primary residence buyers made an all-cash purchase.
Whether or not you are purchasing a home with cash, we can help! Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORS The Hanley Home Team of Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside 904-515-2479 http://www.HanleyHomeTeam.com
Between COVID restrictions, low inventory, and high competition, there’s no denying that the real estate market has been tough for buyers over the past year. But despite those challenges, the majority of buyers are happy with their decision to buy.
According to a recent survey from realtor.com, 71 percent of buyers who purchased their home over the past year said buying was a good decision—and a full 75 percent said their new home is the right fit for their family.
Not only are buyers happy with their home, but many were also satisfied with the process. For example, nearly half of buyers surveyed (48 percent) said they didn’t feel pressured or rushed while buying their home.
“Given the challenges of the year, it is surprising how many recent homeowners are happy with their purchase,” realtor.com Senior Economist George Ratiu, said in the article outlining the survey results. “We’ve had a very competitive housing market this year, characterized by very few homes for sale, steeply rising prices, and bidding wars. So it’s good to hear that the majority of buyers feel good about their decision to buy a home this year.”
Want to be happy, too? Let’s find you the perfect home! Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORS The Hanley Home Team of Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside 904-515-2479 http://www.HanleyHomeTeam.com
Tall vases. Tall vases can make a statement in a room—but because they’re so large, they can make too much of a statement in a photo. If you want to display flowers or plants in your listing photos, keep vases to a more manageable height.
Area rugs. Area rugs may add color and character to a room. But they also can make a space feel smaller and cover up the home’s original flooring. Before you take your listing photos, get rid of small area rugs or runners to open up the space and show off your floors—particularly if your floors are hardwood or tile.
Appliances. Obviously, you’ll want to keep major appliances—like your refrigerator and dishwasher—where they are. But if you have a variety of small appliances cluttering your counter space, you’ll want to put them in storage so your counters feel as clean, spacious, and organized as possible.
Bottom line? Your listing photos play a large part in your home sale—and if you want your listing photos to attract buyers and help you get your property sold, plan to put these items away before your photo shoot.
We work with a professional photographer to create your best “home story” which helps us sell your home quickly and for the most money! Get in touch today and let’s starting telling your home story! Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORS The Hanley Home Team of Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside 904-515-2479 HanleyHomeTeam.com
Flooding—whether it’s from a tropical storm, burst pipe, or overflowing bathtub—can cause serious damage to your property. And if you don’t want to deal with excess water damage (and all the costs that go along with it), it’s important to do everything you can to protect your home from floods.
Purchase flood sensors… Flood sensors alert you when water is present when it shouldn’t be—and placing them strategically around your home, in areas that are prone to flooding (for example, in the basement or bathrooms) can help protect your home.
…and an automatic shut-off valve. Flood sensors will let you know when flooding is happening. But if you’re not there to stop it, there’s not much you can do. An automatic shut-off valve can turn off your main water line any time a flood sensor is triggered—which can add an extra layer of floor protection to your property.
Invest in flood insurance. You can do everything you can to prevent a flood, but in case a flood does happen, you want to make sure your property is protected. Homeowner’s insurance policies typically don’t cover floods—so make sure to purchase an additional flood insurance policy.
We have other tips that we’d love to share with you. Get in touch today – Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORS The Hanley Home Team of Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside 904-515-2479 HanleyHomeTeam.com
Tons of people think the number 13 is unlucky. Some don’t. But pretty much everyone has at least heard that the number 13 is unlucky.
With Friday the 13th upon us, I thought it’d be fun and interesting to send along some superstitions we come across in the real estate industry, which you may have never heard about…
Real estate agents sometimes find themselves working with clients who have superstitions based upon lucky (and unlucky) numbers.
This is often a cultural superstition. And the lucky or unlucky numbers are different from culture to culture.
This can affect whether or not someone will buy a house, if the street address is an unlucky number, or even adds up to an unlucky number.
It can also affect the specific dollar amount they will offer or accept for a house…
What direction a house faces
Does your house face East? If it does, that’s great… for some potential buyers.
But others may not see it that way, and would never buy a house unless it faces South.
Again, these superstitions are typically cultural, and no one direction is right for every culture.
So, don’t worry what direction your house faces…there’s always someone who will be fine with whatever direction it is facing.
Mercury in retrograde
This is less cultural, and more a matter of whether someone is into astrology…
It is believed that when the planet Mercury is in “retrograde” (backward), it is a bad time to enter a contract.
So, if a client is sensitive to this, there is a good chance there isn’t a deal good enough to get them to buy or sell a house while Mercury is in retrograde.
Ever hear of smudging? That’s when you burn a sacred plant (often sage), and walk around the house wafting the smoke, in order to get rid of negative energy in a house.
Does that sound crazy? Sound like someone’s been smokin’ the smudge!?
As real estate agents, we wouldn’t call it crazy…
While an agent may not believe in a client’s superstition, or even understand it…they won’t consider it crazy.
It’s a real estate agent’s responsibility to represent their clients’ best interests.
So we wouldn’t consider any of the above examples (or anything else you could throw at us) crazy…because if it is a concern for our clients, it is a concern for us.
Wishing you nothing but luck this Friday the 13th.
P.S. Out of curiosity… do you have any superstitions when it comes to buying and selling a house? Let me know, we’d love to hear! Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORS The Hanley Home Team of Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside 904-515-2479 HanleyHomeTeam.com
The kitchen is the heart of the home; for many buyers, the design, features, and amenities of a kitchen can make or break a home sale.
So what, exactly, are buyers looking for in their kitchens in 2021?
A recent survey from the National Association of Home Builders asked over 3000 recent or prospective homebuyers to rate how important different kitchen features were in their home purchase. Some of the top features buyers ranked as “essential” (defined as “unlikely to buy a home without this feature”) or “desirable” (defined as “seriously influenced to buy home if included”) are:
Side-by-side double sink: 81 percent
Walk-in pantry: 81 percent
Table space for eating: 78 percent
Central island: 77 percent
Drinking water filtration: 76 percent
Granite or natural stone countertops: 73 percent
So, what does this mean for you? If you’re thinking about selling your home (or renovating your kitchen!) knowing the kitchen features buyers want most can help you position your house in a way that appeals to potential buyers—which can help you sell faster and for a higher profit. Give us a call and let’s talk kitchens! Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORS The Hanley Home Team of Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside 904-515-2479 HanleyHomeTeam.com
We’ve all experienced the stress and tension of moving, right? Even after you’ve done all the footwork to find the perfect place, you’ve still got to deal with utilities, packing, moving trucks, lukewarm fast food meals, lost and broken items…
Oh, and if you’ve moved more than 20 minutes away, even after you’ve unpacked, you’ve got to find a new grocery store, school, park, favorite restaurant, etc. etc. etc….
So yeah, we all know…
Moving is a seemingly endless stress buffet.
When someone you love is going through it, how can you help to alleviate that stress? Well, outside of paying for their movers (PS SO WORTH IT), you can give them one of these moving/housewarming gifts. Some are gifts of time, some are thoughtful treats, and some are available on Amazon so even if your friend is moving to a new town, you can send Prime to the rescue! Best of all, you don’t have to get cutesy or craftsy; you can send any of these goodies as-is.
Check ‘em out and you, too, can be the most thoughtful friend/family member ever when you send housewarming gifts people actually want…
At the end of a long day of taking all their worldly possessions off of a truck, your friends are going to be HUNGRY. And this isn’t any run of the mill hunger; it’s more like an I-just-ran-a-marathon hunger. The really bad part of this is that they won’t have food in the house and will probably be too tired to hit the ol’ grocery store. Solve this problem by sending them dinner. If you’re in town, you can bring it by (but don’t stay a long time), and if you’re not, you can send DoorDash or UberEats to feed these hungry folks for you.
Ahh, the first morning in a new house. So calm, so quiet, so… WAIT, where the heck did we pack the Keurig? And what box are the K-pods in?! Doing a Starbucks run (or, again, sending a delivery driver to do it for you) will have your tired pals crying happy, caffeinated tears faster than you can say Cinnamon Dolce Latte.
3. WINE / BEER / COCKTAILS IN A CAN
When your friend is done bringing in boxes, they probably want to relax with a frosty adult beverage. Let them know you’re thinking of them with booze in a can. Canned bevvies are all the rage right now and so easy to enjoy. No need to locate the bottle opener, corkscrew, or bar accessories; they can just pop the top and sip away.
4. YOUR ELBOW GREASE
While this is the least fun option, it’s also probably the most appreciated. Whether it’s running to buy more boxes and tape, helping to load that absurdly heavy table, or sitting and chatting while you both unpack the kitchen, your friend will appreciate you for pitching in on their hardest days. Also, they’ll owe you one heck of a big favor.
5. CLEANING SUPPLIES
Running out of paper towels and Windex when you’ve got to clean out the fridge in the place you’re leaving is just about enough to make a person cry. Same thing when you get to the new place and it’s… less than spotless. Coming by with a box of essentials will elevate you to a godlike status… and if they don’t end up using them right now, you know they’ll get used in the future.
6. BATHROOM ESSENTIALS
Just like the paper towels, there are other paper products that you absolutely, positively HATE to run out of. Bring a package of TP — the GOOD stuff, not the kind that feels like tree bark… and some premium hand soap. Again, you know they’ll appreciate it mucho and it’s definitely not going to go to waste. (Err, no pun intended.)
7. A CLEANING SERVICE
If you owe your friend-on-the-move big time, or you’re just #ballerstatus, send them a cleaning service. Having someone do the work for you is a beautiful thing, and walking into a sparkling clean home when you’re still trying to get everything in your life back to normal brings such a sense of relief. It might not even be as expensive as you think. Depending on the size of the house and the location they’re in, you might be able to get this great gift for less than $100.
There’s nothing like a fresh, new start at a fresh, new house, and nothing says, “Welcome!” quite like a fresh, new doormat. There are so many neat ones available on Amazon or at your local Target. No matter what their taste is, you’ll be able to find something that applies.
Houseplants lend a homey vibe no matter what the season. Bring over a few potted plants and know that you’re enriching your friend’s new home environment — both with a pretty plant AND with life-giving oxygen. Not sure if your friend is a plant-y person? Bring a succulent or two; they’re notoriously hard to kill.
10. A LIST OF FAVES
If your friend is moving into your area, save them a ton of time by bringing them a list of neighborhood favorites. Add things like restaurants, things to do, and local services they might need. Big ol’ bonus points if you have a trustworthy babysitting reference — that alone is worth its weight in gold.
11. POOL FLOATS
Did they get a new pool along with the new digs? Pool owners LOVE getting goodies for swim time. Ride on floats, beverage floats, remote-controlled boats — it’s all good! Also, it’s almost guaranteed you’ll secure an invite to go swimming when summer hits.
No pool? No problem. Get them something to help them enjoy their new garden or patio… whatever form of the great outdoors they have. After all, no matter how nice the house is inside, sometimes it’s nice to hang out outside, too!
12. KITCHEN TOWELS
When you’ve got a sparkly new kitchen, putting your dingy old towels on the counter is kind of a downer. Gift your pal some spiffy, clean kitchen towels and they’ll think of you every time they walk into the kitchen.
13. A SUBSCRIPTION CRATE
From candy to coffee, dog treats to dinners, there’s a subscription crate for just about anything your friend is into. If they’ve moved away, let them know you’re thinking of them on the regular with a monthly crate. It might not get there on moving day, but it will relieve some stress and make them feel loved all the same!
14. NOTHING PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE
This should go without saying, but sometimes well-meaning people think that just about any time is a good time for “advice.” Moving time is NOT the time to gift a Dave Ramsey book (even if the house is on the pricey side), nor is it a time to ask why they have so darn much stuff and then offer a trip to Goodwill. Your friends are already under enough stress, so no matter how much you “wonder if you ought to say something,” the answer is NO — or at least, not right now.
We have some good advice about buying a home so you get some house warming gifts, too! (BTW – we give some darn good closing gifts to our customers!) Give us a call – Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORS The Hanley Home Team of Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside 904-515-2479 HanleyHomeTeam.com Team@HanleyHomeTeam.com