Housing features that make your home hard to sell

We’ve all seen or heard mentions in our media reporting that on average, home values have increased. However, homeowners are sometimes surprised to learn that their home is valued less than they expected. You’ve spent many years in there, you’ve taken care of the home, so it should be worth more, right?

Not necessarily. It can depend on the buyer’s discriminating tastes. What was great in the 90s doesn’t satisfy the buyers of today. Take for example popcorn ceilings. These cottage cheese type textures are from yesteryear so they tend to make a home feel dated and can detract value from your home. This means buyers are less likely to make a competitive offer.

Homes don’t always age well—here’s why.

We get that you love your home, and you’re looking to fetch top dollar, but it’s time for some tough love. If you had spinach in your teeth or your shirt buttoned wrong before an important meeting, you’d want us to tell you right — same goes for helping you sell your house. Here are some common factors that may devalue your home.

  1. Older-style Pergo (laminate) flooring
    It’s not that laminate flooring is bad, but when it is too light of a color or older, it just doesn’t work well to bring out the best features in your home. Specifically, the flooring that is trying too hard to simulate wood and isn’t neutral enough of a character to focus on the other elements in your home. Likewise, if you walk on it and it is loud, or it feels soft and mushy, that could be a sign that your flooring might need to be redone. The good news is if you installed newer laminate floors with texture, color and grain variation with beveled edges, you’ll be in great shape. Active families enjoy the damage-resistance that modern laminates offer.
  2. Older appliances
    Consider for a moment that new homeowners (and first-time homeowners) are strapped for extra cash when they move in. They expect to be able to move into a turn-key home with an updated refrigerator, oven and microwave. They expect their home and its appliances should last for the next 15+ years. Nobody wants a drab fridge or an oven that has decades of grease baked into it. Stainless steel, modern appliances are the way to go. If you’re thinking of selling soon, don’t bother with a new $3000 refrigerator because it likely won’t yield much return.
  3. One bathroom
    Many older homes were built with only one bathroom. Single-bathroom homes are a tougher sell later since most prospective homeowners want to have at least two or more bathrooms. If you have one bathroom, it should at least be in good, clean condition to make it attractive for a buyer looking for a starter home.
  4. Located near commercial areas, busy roads, and overhead power lines
    While you have less control over this directly, it’s good to take a moment to manage your expectations that the typical valuations might be a bit lower than expected. Typically, homes that take longer to sell are those that are located near dense business areas. Make the best with what you’ve got to ensure that your home is as presentable and welcoming as it can be.
  5. Outdated cabinets
    The cold hard truth is that cabinets that wowed people ten years ago no longer excite all buyers and could even be a deal-breaker. It’s not you; it’s the reality that every ten years or so, there is a new crop of kitchen trends that catches our fancy. As far as kitchen cabinets go, wood cabinets are out of style. Signs of significant wear or age doesn’t help your home’s value, either. Painted kitchen cabinetry is one of the trends that is here to stay – including a “classic” white kitchen.

These are just some of the more common reasons why some homes could sell for less. Other symptoms that drag down home value might be the location, neighborhood features, sales performance of comparable homes, local economic outlook, regional trends, and much more.

Smart homeowners know when to let go

These tips are helpful to understand many of the factors help or hurt a home’s value. The reality is that these projects are costly to take on yourself. While they can improve a home’s value, it rarely results in a financial return favorable to the seller. It’s often easier let it go and focus on your next step in life.

If you plan to sell your house in the future, take a few moments to receive a no-obligation analysis of your home from OfferPad.

Is it a good time to buy a house in Phoenix?

I purchased my home almost exactly one year ago in 2016. I’ll share my thoughts as I carefully considered whether I wanted to buy my house or continue renting, but I pulled the trigger, and I have no regrets in owning. I wrote about the buying process, here, with a focus on millennials like myself.

There are a few factors you want to consider as a buyer.

  • Ability to borrow. Interest rates vary based on the term length, amount, and other features like PMI and loan-to-value (LTV) that is usually offset by your down payment. If you get a mortgage that is favorable to you and at a rate that is reasonable (now about 4.10%). Interest rates significantly affect how much a person can acquire for the same amount of cash.
  • Inventory of homes. While there are data points out there to find exactly how many homes are officially on the market, driving around in the neighborhood of your desired house could give you an idea whether there are some similar houses vying for your business. Personally, I liked using tools like Zillow to just get a peek at kind of homes available. Accessing the MLS (free through a real estate agent) will give you even more up-to-the-minute listings on homes with plenty of search criteria. When the buyer has plenty of choices, sellers tend to be more flexible since buyers are more scarce than the number of homes available. If homes stay on the market longer, that’s a good thing for the buyer since they have some leverage in negotiating.
  • Values are determined by buyer’s demand, not (only) algorithms. Websites like Zillow and Redfin are helpful tools to gather basic neighborhood and expected home value data. Comparable house research is worthwhile so you can make an informed decision and don’t pay the top-dollar just because it was listed at that. Don’t read too much into the forecasts – sometimes it’s better, sometimes it’s worse.

I feel like housing prices are accelerating upward, but not at a dangerous pace. With plenty of apartments being built around the Phoenix and East Valley, those typically repress the buyers from jumping into the market. For me, the threshold to say no to renting was $1100. Once you cross that $1000/mo line, most mortgages can be had for around there.

All that said, I didn’t regret working with a buyer’s agent. My agent was very helpful to understand local real estate trends. A good agent will bargain on your behalf and will make sure you get the house for a fair price for you and the seller.

I don’t expect to “double” my investment on my home when it’s time to sell. Realistically, following the Great Recession was the best time to get in and double one’s investment over a several-year period. I’d be happy if my home holds its value long-term. The benefit of the home is that (super long-term here) when you retire, you have minimal living expenses and you have a roof over your head.

[Answered on Quora]

What to do with your home when relocating?

In my experience, when relocating, my employer and the contracted relocation company was very flexible based on my needs, but clear communication is crucial to a smooth transition.

Here are a few options to consider if you’re relocating:

  1. Consider renting the house out. This might take some additional time to find and vet a property management company, but if you still want to have your home for later in life, this could be an option. Of course, you would have to float the mortgage until you find renters and there might be additional items that need to get fixed — a challenging time just before you relocate across the country.
  2. Sell your home directly. When you’re relocating, time is of the essence so you can move out exactly when you need to so the movers can pick your belongings up. Selling a house on the market (typically with a real estate agent) can take several weeks or months. By selling your home directly to a direct buyer like OfferPad, you usually get more flexibility in the sale and you can take advantage of special perks for going with them to make the sale and the move easier. Note that their purchase price will be a little less than “full market price” but often with traditional selling, fees and commissions can result in approximately the same price as if you sold directly.
  3. Hire a real estate agent. If you desire a more relationship-oriented representative to sell your home on your behalf, you can likely ask friends and family for referrals. Not all agents are the same, so you’ll need to do plenty of homework to evaluate them and select the one you want. If you have time on your side and you are very flexible, an agent could be a good option. From my experience, corporate relocations aren’t typically very flexible as you’ll be working and getting situated in your new destination. Keep in mind that the agent works for you and should be guiding you on all the many steps and decisions that you have to make.

I hope these tips help. I’ve been through a corporate relocation before and it was a great learning experience. Get comfortable with conceding on some aspects of the move and live happier in the process. Losing sleep over a few dollars isn’t worth it and can negatively affect you in your transition. If you do a Google search for “sell my home fast” and real estate investors will usually appear. The benefit of the larger, trusted home buyers is that they can provide homeowners a better price, provide additional services, and make it simple to move forward because they operate on a larger scale than most individual agents.

[Answered on Quora]

How to view all posts by a Facebook user

First, you need to know the Facebook User ID (or Page ID) and you can get that easily by going to FindMyFBID.com. This will take your Facebook address and display its ID number to Facebook.

Second, replace the “000000000” with the Facebook ID you acquired above. Use this URL to see the content published by that user or page easily.

https://www.facebook.com/search/000000000/stories-by

Once you do that, you’ll see all that stories that have been published by a user on Facebook unless they marked them as private or only shared among certain friend groups. You don’t need to be friends with them to see their public posts.

[Answered on Quora]