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
There’s no denying that we’re in a tough market for buyers. With historically low inventory, high competition, and rising prices, finding a home has been a real challenge.
But buyers, get ready, because it looks like things are about to get at least slightly better for people searching for a home.
According to data outlined in a recent realtor.com article, about 10 percent of homeowners plan to list their home this year—with another 16 percent planning to list in the next 24 to 36 months. That translates to an additional 1.5 million homes hitting the market—which, while not enough to completely end the historic inventory shortage, is certainly a solid start.
Options for first-time buyers should also improve. More than half of the buyers planning to list their homes this year (58 percent) have homes valued at $350,000 or less—which means more affordable options should be hitting the market soon.
So, what does this mean for you? While lack of inventory and high competition has made for a challenging market for buyers, more sellers are preparing to list their homes—and when they do, things should get a bit easier for buyers. Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORS The Hanley Home Team of Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside 904-515-2479 http://www.HanleyHomeTeam.com
Making the decision to buy a home is a big one—and you want to make sure you’re ready.
But how do you know when you’re ready to make the transition from renting to homeownership?
A recent article from realtor.com outlined key questions to ask yourself when you’re determining whether you should keep renting or make the jump to homeownership, including:
Do I have enough savings to cover closing costs? If you’re considering buying a home, chances are, you have enough saved up for a down payment. But before you make the decision to buy, you’ll also need to make sure you have enough saved to cover all the closing costs associated with buying a home (like the appraisal and inspection).
How long do I plan to stay in the property? Ultimately, you want buying a home to be a smart investment; you don’t want to lose money. And in order to not lose money on the deal, you typically need to stay put for two to three years—so make sure you’re willing to settle in for at least a few years before you buy.
Are you prepared for maintenance? When you rent, your landlord takes care of home maintenance—but when you buy, that responsibility falls to you. Before you make the decision to buy your own home, make sure you’re ready to tackle all the home maintenance projects—and costs—that come with owning property.
Bottom line? You want to make sure that, when you buy a home, you’re ready—and asking yourself these questions can help you gauge how prepared you are to make the transition. Let us help you with your decision – Kevin and Jennifer Haley, REALTORS The Hanley Home Team of Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside 904-515-2479 HanleyHomeTeam.com
Ideally, when you’re ready to buy a home, you’ll have spent a significant amount of time socking away money for your down payment. But sometimes, you find your dream home earlier than expected—and you need a way to come up with some extra cash for the down payment, fast.
So, the question is, if you find yourself in that situation, what options may be available to help you get the cash you need to buy your home?
Your 401(k). Most 401(k) plans allow you to borrow against the balance—often up to 50 percent of the balance or $50,000. Generally, you can access funds in about a week—but keep in mind that if you withdraw funds from your 401(k) early, you may have to pay a penalty and those funds will be counted as gross income, and it can also have tax implications.
Your IRA. Generally, withdrawing funds early from your IRA carries the same penalty as withdrawing from your 401(k)—but that penalty is waived for first-time home buyers. So, if you have a balance in your IRA and you’re buying a home for the first time, it’s a better resource to tap for your down payment.
Explore down payment assistance programs. Certain cities, states, and local nonprofit organizations sometimes partner with banks to offer down payment assistance. If you need help getting the cash for your down payment, do your research to see if there are any local programs you qualify for.
Bottom line? You should definitely invest time into saving for a down payment—but if you need a bit of extra cash (and quickly), these resources can be a great way to get the funds you need to buy your home. But, since many of these options may have tax or financial implications, you should consult with your accountant or financial advisor before doing so.
Need more tips or are you ready to get started on your home search? Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORS The Hanley Home Team of Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside 904-515-2479 HanleyHomeTeam.com
So what, exactly, did homeowners spend on during the pandemic? Top home-related purchases included:
Furniture (54 percent)
Appliances (48.5 percent)
Decor (47.1 percent)
Home improvement tools and products (44.3 percent)
Homeowners cited a variety of reasons for increasing their home spending during the pandemic, including improving home comfort (57.2 percent), modifying home atmosphere (37.9 percent), and improving home organization (29.8 percent).
So, what does this mean for you? If you invested in your home during the pandemic, you’re not alone. Lots of people weren’t just spending more time in their home, they were also spending more on their home. If it made the experience of lockdown more tolerable and comfortable, it was money worth spending.
Ready to find out what those improvements did for your home price? Get in touch today for a FREE market analysis of your home. Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORS The Hanley Home Team of Keller Williams Realty 904-515-2479 HanleyHomeTeam.com Team@HanleyHomeTeam.com
Buying a home can be a nerve-racking experience, no matter what price range you’re in. Spending (or borrowing) hundreds of thousands of dollars, uprooting all of your belongings, and stepping into the semi-unknown can stress even the most level headed people, causing second thoughts and doubts.
There are plenty of legitimate reasons not to make an offer on a house, like: structural issues, it’s over your budget, or the location isn’t ideal, to name a few.
But, not all doubts are created equal. And sometimes we mistake trivial concerns for real ones, creating reasons not to buy a house that shouldn’t be there.
Here are eight bad reasons for not making an offer on a house:
1. Because you want to wait and see if the price goes down
A wait-and-see approach is much more likely to end with someone else buying the house before you get a chance to. If you like it, there’s a high likelihood that someone else likes it too. Even if a house you like is overpriced, you’re better off making an offer and negotiating, than simply waiting for the owner to lower their price.
2. Because one of your friends doesn’t like it
People’s opinions can impact us a lot. But when it comes to homeownership, you shouldn’t necessarily listen to what your friends think. After all, you’re the one who’s going to have to live there… so if you like it, go for it!
3. Because the listing sites have a price estimate that’s different from what the seller is asking
Some listing sites provide an approximate estimate of what a home is worth. But keep in mind that these are based on algorithms and publicly available data, not an in-person inspection and analysis of value. So, take them with a grain of salt, not as gospel.
4. Because you don’t like the light fixtures (or something else that’s easy to fix)
Small cosmetic defects can make a huge visual impact, but always try to focus on the big things, and not on things that are easy to change or fix. Items like light fixtures, paint color, and decor are easy to fix, so try and see past even the worst of taste.
5. Because you think mortgage rates will continue to fall
In a competitive market, or on a nice-enough house, there are likely to be other bids, and sometimes more than just a few. Don’t let this deter you from making an offer though; you have as good a chance as anyone else, so just give it your best shot!
6. Because there are already other bids
In a competitive market, or on a nice-enough house, there are likely to be other bids, and sometimes more than just a few. Don’t let this deter you from making an offer though; you have as good a chance as anyone else, so just give it your best shot!
7. Because you’re afraid that the process will be too complicated
Buying a home is a bit complicated. There’s a lot more to it than the average person ever knows. But, as long as you work with a great agent, the process shouldn’t be all that complicated for you. Most of that stuff goes on behind the
8. Because you want to wait for the “perfect” time to buy
The “perfect” time to buy is when you want to or need to move. Timing the market is almost impossible to pull off. Usually, if the market does go down considerably, there are other factors at play that may get in your way of buying at that time anyway, whether it be interest rates, ease of getting a loan, or the overall economy and employment.
And #9 – the worst thing you can do is to not call us to help you! Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORS The Hanley Home Team of Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside 904-515-2479 HanleyHomeTeam.com
When buying a home, there may be no single event as important as the open house. Attending an open house gives you the opportunity to see, feel, and experience the home for yourself, far beyond what’s possible from looking at photos, taking digital tours, or driving by on a sunny afternoon. The open house is when you really get to find out whether you can see yourself living in the home or not.
But if you want to get the most from an open house, there are some things to keep in mind (and some costly mistakes you’ll want to avoid). Not only is it possible to cost yourself money at an open house, but in some (rare) instances, a seller might not even entertain an offer based on somebody’s behavior at the open house.
So if you want things to go smoothly, and want the best opportunity to buy your dream house, here are nine things you should never do at an open house:
1. Keep your shoes on when you’ve been asked to take them off
No one likes to walk around without shoes on, especially in somebody else’s home. But as an open house guest, you need to respect the seller’s instructions. If you refuse, you might be asked to leave, and blow your chance at landing an accepted offer.
2. Let your children roam around unattended
Parenting is difficult, and bringing your kids along with you to an open house is understandable—after all, they’ll be living there too. But when touring an open house, make sure to keep an eye on your children, because, as we all know, they tend to get into things, and a packed home is full of all sorts of interesting items. A good rule of thumb is to just pretend that you’re at a museum.
3. Loudly make negative comments about the house
We all have opinions, especially when it comes to a house that we’re considering paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for. But keep your negative opinions between you, your partner, and your agent, because if the seller’s agent overhears you, they might not only feel insulted, they’re likely to relay the comments to the seller, who might not take them too kindly if you put in an offer.
4. Pry into the seller’s personal belongings
Being allowed into someone’s home for an open house does not give you carte blanche to go through their personal stuff, no matter how intriguing it might be. Opening dresser drawers, touching clothing, pulling back bedding, and rifling through bookcases is a no-no, and violators are likely to be asked to leave. You’re there to see a property, not personal property.
Unless you’re a trained spy, you probably don’t think too much about tempering your speech when chatting with strangers. But an open house is an exception, and you might want to consider what you’re revealing during conversations with (and around) seller’s agents. Even though talking about how much you’re pre-approved for, where your kids go to school, how desperately you need a new home, or that your lease is ending soon might seem harmless, it can put you in a poor position when you begin negotiations, so act accordingly.
6. Make an offer
Even if you absolutely love the house and would be willing to give up a kidney for the chance to live there, you don’t want to make an offer during the open house. Not only would this be out of the norm, but it would also reveal your eagerness and put you in a position of weakness during negotiations. So even if you’re absolutely obsessed, take a deep breath, step outside, and regroup with your agent and your loved ones before making a decision.
7. Spend too little time there (if you’re interested)
There’s no need to spend hours at an open house, but if you walk in and walk right out, you might be doing yourself a disservice. To be sure, sometimes you know that it’s not a fit right away, but if you dolike it, there’s nothing wrong with spending some time looking around and taking in the details. At the very least, it might help you remember the little things that you’ll be thinking about once you start planning to move
8. Lie about your intentions
Some people like to play games, but there’s really no upside to being disingenuous about your intentions during an open house (or after). Whether you’re just there to look, or are truly serious about making an offer, don’t present yourself otherwise. Not only is it bad form, but word can travel a lot quicker than you might think, and the next time you want to be taken seriously, you might not be.
9. Show too much enthusiasm
When we love a property, it can be difficult to contain our excitement, especially if we’re not used to playing our cards close to the chest. The open house, however, is one occasion when you’ll want to put on your poker face and play it cool. If you show too much enthusiasm, the seller’s agent (and therefore the seller) will know that you’ll do just about anything to get the house—and that’s not the position you want to be in.
We are happy to attend an open house with you! Just reach out – Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORS 904-515-2479 HanleyHomeTeam.com The Hanley Home Team of Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside
Listing your home before you know where and when you’re relocating. Homes are selling extremely fast in today’s market—so before you list your home, you’ll want to have clarity on where and when you’re relocating.
Not researching your new area. Every area is different—and before you decide to relocate, you need to know that your new area has the amenities and features that you’ll need. For example, if you have children, research the schools and childcare options before you commit to moving to a new town or city. If you’re planning to work from home, make sure the neighborhoods you’re considering have high-speed internet so you can do your job effectively.
Expecting your belongings to arrive and be available immediately. If you’re doing a long distance relocation and shipping some of your belongings, there could be delays—so if you know you’re going to need an item, make sure to keep it with you and transport it yourself.