WHY BARGAIN HUNTING IS A BAD IDEA

It seems like every month there is a new website offering deals on everything you can think of. In fact, the “coupon industry” is booming.

This trend has conditioned people, more than ever before, to look for bargains and become determined to pay well below the market price for merchandise. There’s nothing wrong with that. We all want a deal!

But when it comes to shopping for a home, bargain hunting can be a bad idea.
First of all, the real estate market is competitive. The overwhelming majority of homes sell for a price that is at, or close, to their respective market values. Your chances of finding a property that is listed significantly below its market value is slim to none.

Secondly, if you become fixated on finding a bargain, you may not notice all the great properties on the market that are within your price range and meet your criteria.

In other words, you may inadvertently pass on what may, in fact, be your next dream home.

So, when shopping for a new home, focus on finding the right property at the right price, and not on finding a bargain.

Posted on November 23, 2020 at 5:37 pm
Jill Burlington | Category: Uncategorized

WHERE TO PUT IT ALL

As you’re probably aware, one of the key steps to preparing your home for sale is to get rid of as much clutter as possible. You want to make every room look spacious and comfortable.

But what do you do with the pictures, boxes, clothing, tools, furniture and other stuff you need to take out of your home?

For items that you don’t want anymore, you have two options: dispose or donate. You can dispose of items at your local waste depot or recycling center, (but be sure to call ahead to confirm which items they will accept.) Donations can be made to organizations like Goodwill and The Salvation Army. These organizations are interested in good furniture, clothing, appliances (that work), bikes and other toys (that don’t need repair), and tools.

For items you want to keep, consider renting space at a local self-storage facility. Most offer a variety of storage options from lockers to garages, and typically charge by the month. As for security, most self-storage facilities have fencing, gates that require a passcode, cameras and other security features. You can also lock your own unit.

One of the drawbacks of self-storage is that you have to move your stuff twice – first to the storage unit, and then to your new home. An alternative that’s becoming increasingly popular is a Mobile Storage Unit. The unit is placed in your driveway for a few days while you load it with the items you want stored. Then it’s picked up by the mobile storage company and taken to their warehouse. When you move, the company simply drops the unit off at your new home for unloading.

Posted on November 9, 2020 at 5:38 pm
Jill Burlington | Category: Uncategorized

HOW TO DECORATE A ROOM ON A SHOESTRING BUDGET

It would be ideal if you could hire an interior designer and completely remodel your living room. But, let’s face it, that could be very expensive.
That doesn’t mean you can’t make your current room look a lot better. Here are some simple, low-cost decorating tips that will accomplish just that.

  • Put a covering over your worn sofa or chair. A simple throw blanket placed at an angle can make a dramatic difference.
  • Plants, real or artificial, make just about any room look better. Just don’t overdo it.
  • Don’t try to hide problem areas. Instead, accent them. For example, if the window sill is worn and aged, place a couple of antique-looking ornaments on it!
  • Re-do the walls. Move pictures around. Consider adding other wall decor, such as plates and mini-shelves.
  • Place your favorite hard-cover books around the room. Add illustrated books in the living room and cookbooks in the kitchen or dining room.
  • Lamps, especially interesting looking ones, can go a long way toward enhancing a room.
    Don’t be afraid to experiment. Be daring. Sometimes just moving a picture or a piece of furniture can make all the difference.
Posted on October 26, 2020 at 5:40 pm
Jill Burlington | Category: Uncategorized

ENHANCE YOUR FOYER APPEAL

You’ve probably heard the term “curb appeal”. It refers to how your property looks when a potential buyer first sees it from the curb. Curb appeal plays an important role in the first impression a buyer gets of your home.

There is another type of appeal you should also be concerned about – “foyer appeal”. Foyer appeal is all about the impression a buyer gets when he or she first walks through your front door.

Think about it. What do you do when you enter a particular home for the first time? You probably take a quick look around while you’re removing your jacket or shoes. In fact, a lot of the impression you form about a home comes from the first look you get while standing in the foyer. Home buyers do the same thing.

So when preparing your home for sale, it makes sense to make your home look as attractive as possible from the perspective of the foyer. There are many ways you can do that. Make sure the area is clean and uncluttered. Don’t have shoes and boots lying around. Make sure there is nothing obvious and unsightly in the foyer.

Fair or not, buyers form lasting impressions from the foyer. So make sure that the first impression is a good one!

Posted on October 12, 2020 at 5:41 pm
Jill Burlington | Category: Uncategorized

GETTING A TASTE OF THE MARKET

While you may not be seriously considering selling your home or looking for a new one, you might still be interested in what’s going on in the marketplace. After all, it’s nice to see “what’s out there” and find out more about some of the homes that are currently listed on the market.

There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, it’s a good idea.

Keeping up with what’s going on in the local market, will help you make better decisions about your own home, especially if you anticipate selling within the next year or so.

Many people do this by reviewing listings online and ads in the real estate section of the local paper. While these techniques are helpful, they don’t always give you the best picture of what’s really going on.

A better strategy is to talk to me. I will give you the best information about properties available and where the local market is headed.

As your Real Estate Agent, I can also satisfy your curiosity about how much particular homes have sold for in the area – which will give you a clearer idea of what your own home might get if it was listed today.

Speaking of price, I can provide you with a free assessment of your home’s current market value, which will give you an even clearer idea of what you’re likely to get.

Clearly, by working with me, you’ll have a source of advice and information that will help you make the best decision when the time comes to consider making a move.

Posted on September 29, 2020 at 5:42 pm
Jill Burlington | Category: Uncategorized

GO BEYOND PROPERTY NEEDS & WANTS

When you shop for a new home, you’ll probably start by thinking about what you need in your next property. Your list might include a spacious kitchen; three bedrooms; and, a mature tree in the backyard.

Those are property features and, of course, they’re important. But finding your next dream home involves more than just property features. It also involves getting what you want from the surrounding area. After all, a home isn’t going to be enjoyable if commuting to work from your neighborhood is long and agonizing. So when you shop for a new home, also think about:

  • Work. How will you get to work? Is public transit nearby?
  • School. Where will your kids go to school? Is transit or bus service available? Will your kids be able to walk to school?
  • Kids. Where will your kids play and hang out? Are there nearby playgrounds and parks?
  • Neighbors. Do the local homeowners seem like the kind of people you’d like as neighbors?
  • Shopping. Where will you do your weekly shopping?
  • Hobbies. How far will you be from golf, theater, or other hobbies?
Posted on September 14, 2020 at 5:43 pm
Jill Burlington | Category: Uncategorized

THE VOCABULARY OF SELLING A HOME

As in any industry, there are terms and buzzwords that are unique to residential real estate. When you put your home on the market, you should know what those terms mean. Here are definitions for the most common ones:

Fair market value: This is an estimate of how much a specific home will sell for in today’s market, taking into account what similar properties in the area have sold for recently.

Seller’s Agent: That would be me, the real estate professional who is helping you sell your property. I would also assist you in finding and buying your next home.

Buyer’s Agent: This is the real estate professional who is representing the buyer of the property you want to sell.

Pre-approved Mortgage: This is a statement (often in the form of a certificate) from your bank or other lender that states that you qualify for a mortgage for a particular amount of money. A pre-approved mortgage adds credibility to any offer you make on a new home.

Staging: This is a strategy where a home is purposely prepared so that it appeals to potential buyers. Staging may involve cleaning, de-cluttering, rearranging furniture, redecorating, and more.

Survey: This is a document that defines the boundaries and measurements of your property and any structures on it.

Offer: This is an offer of purchase, in writing, for a particular property.

Conditional Offer: This is an offer to purchase, but with conditions – such as “conditional on a satisfactory home inspection” or “conditional on arranging suitable financing”.

Posted on August 31, 2020 at 5:44 pm
Jill Burlington | Category: Uncategorized

CAN YOU AFFORD THE HOME YOU WANT?

Can you afford to purchase the home you really want? Here are some things to consider:

  • What kind of home do you want? What kind of area do you want to live in? What features and characteristics do you need in a home? (Three bedrooms? A large living room for entertaining? A backyard big enough for a garden?)
  • What homes currently on the market match that criteria? Are there some properties for sale that are close to what you’re looking for? What are their listing prices? How much, realistically, will it cost to buy one of those homes?
  • How much, realistically, can you expect to get for the sale of your current property?
  • How much of a mortgage will you need? How does that compare to the mortgage you qualify for?
  • What additional costs will you incur when selling your current property and purchasing your new home? (For example, moving, home inspection, repairs and renovations, closing costs, etc.)

Chances are, there’s a home on the market that you can afford – and is right for you.

Posted on August 17, 2020 at 5:45 pm
Jill Burlington | Category: Uncategorized

MAKE A “GREAT THINGS” LIST

What’s great about your home? Is it the spacious foyer and generous main floor closet space? Is it the beautiful washroom? Is it the playground that is only a short walking distance away?

Although some properties may look similar at first glance, every home is unique – with features and characteristics that make it special.

If you’re considering putting your home on the market, make a list of all the great things about your property that potential buyers will want to know.

Start by thinking about what you think are the desirable features of your home. Write down what you really love about the house and the surrounding area.

Next, think about what friends and other visitors to your home think is great about it. Have you ever heard anyone say something like, “I really love your kitchen!” or, “This is such a quiet street”? Those are indications that potential buyers will like those features and characteristics too.

Posted on August 3, 2020 at 5:46 pm
Jill Burlington | Category: Uncategorized

HERE’S WHAT OUR CLIENTS HAVE TO SAY!

What made you decide to (BUY/SELL) your property?
“I decided to sell my property that I owned for 45 years because I no longer had use for it.”
Why did you choose Jill as your real estate agent?
“I chose Jill because of her affiliation with Warren Real Estate.  My experience with Warren began WAY BACK in 1960 when I was 11 years old.  My parents bought a home from founder Ann Warren and we moved from Syracuse to N. Triphammer Road.  I STILL remember that Mrs. Warren was there when we arrived with the moving van to make sure that our move in needs were met.  That evening, she took our family out to dinner in her 1959 Cadillac.  It was a memorable day!
When I listed my very remote and beautiful property last summer there were no offers by this past winter.  I spoke with Jill and her team about this absence of offers.  We agreed that taking a hike of the property would convey the image of how beautiful the place actually was.  We agreed on a date and Jill and her team met me on the road and we set off in the snow to tour the parcel.  Everyone liked it and an offer came along soon after they were able to enthusiastically show the land!”
What did you like best about your experience with Jill?
“She was straightforward, a good listener and clearly an effective leader of her team.”
Would you recommend Jill to your family and friends?
“Yes, I would!”
What made you decide to (BUY/SELL) your property?
“My daughter bought a house so this was no longer needed.”
Why did you choose Jill as your real estate agent?
“I have known Jill for a very long time.  She sold my house in 2009.  She is a go-getter.  She is respected in the community and she gets the job done quickly helping the seller along the way when needed.”
What did you like best about your experience with Jill?
“I liked that she actually has a team whom I can call if she is not available.  It saves lots of time. I particularly enjoyed working with Audra. Nice, accommodating young woman.”
Would you recommend Jill to your family and friends?
“I always speak highly of Jill and have recommended her often in the past.  That will not change now.”
“As a local banker I have known Jill professionally for many years. We have used Jill in the past to list and successfully sell a property in Ithaca for us. That experience went well enough for us to naturally call Jill again. Jill’s reputation in the local real estate industry is one of excellence and getting the job done. We will recommend her at any chance we get.”
Posted on July 21, 2020 at 5:47 pm
Jill Burlington | Category: Uncategorized