Archive | June, 2014

Avoid Potential Real Estate Mistakes

30 Jun

Avoid Potential Real Estate Mistakes

Real estate investing can be fun and profitable if you know how to do it the right way. On the other hand, it can be frustrating and an investment of a lot of time and money without much reward if you don’t know what to do and which mistakes to avoid.

Here are some things you can do to help steer clear of potential real estate mistakes:

  1. Purchase property in locations where prices are steady or on the rise. If you purchase properties based on their low prices alone, but do not consider the overall value of the area in which they reside, you can end up losing money when prices either go down or never increase enough for you to make a profit.  Follow growth trends.
  2. Don’t sign paperwork that you don’t understand just because you’re excited.  It is important that you ask questions and fully comprehend how the property will affect you financially. You might end up paying more money than you would like to if you don’t pay attention to the nuances of documents.
  3. Don’t purchase a property before doing inspections. A lot of times, a property may look find from the outside, but there can be a lot of expensive structural problems that need to be fixed. There might also be health hazards, such as mold or asbestos. Make sure to ask a professional plumber and electrician to inspect the home thoroughly. Also have a formal inspection done to address other areas of the home, such as the foundation.
  4. Make sure that if you have to get a mortgage loan, it is one that you can afford to pay back every month. The financing terms should be something that you are comfortable paying. Even though you may have plans to resell a house quickly, nothing is guaranteed, so you can’t buy a property that is more expensive than you can afford with the thought process of, “I won’t have to pay for it for long.” Only buy what you can afford now.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031

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Knotty Ladies Provide blankets for Homeless Children

24 Jun

Knotty Ladies Provide blankets for Homeless Children

Children who visit Positive Tomorrows are often in desperate need of tender, loving care. One of the many ways Positive Tomorrows provides aid to homeless children is by giving them their very own fleece blankets.

Homeless children coming to Positive Tomorrows are receiving comfy blankets specially made by the ladies of Coffee Creek retirement home. This charitable group of retires known as The Knotty Ladies spend countless hours knotting material together to create fleece blanket called “Comfy Blankets.”

Positive Tomorrows is an educational effort among various Oklahoma organizations which aims to provide service and support to homeless children and to their families. Through an intensive education process, kids are provided with the resources they need to succeed in life.

The Knotty Ladies saw the need to help these kids and up to 17 women are now volunteering to help knot more blankets. There are now 17 fleece blankets delivered to Positive Tomorrows and the ladies desire to deliver more. More donations are coming in for the funds and supplies. The ladies are also generating additional resources through fund-raising activities.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031

Purchasing a New Home the Right Way

23 Jun

Purchasing a New Home the Right Way

For first time home buyers, the house hunting and buying process can get overwhelming. There are a lot of things to consider and a lot of learning to do, but fortunately, there are steps you can take to make things go more smoothly and easily. To avoid mistakes that cost you time and money, the key is proper planning.

Here are a few tips to help you successfully purchase a new home the right way:

  1. Review your credit history and financial condition. This is the first step to establishing your budget and getting the mortgage process started as early as possible. Gaining a clear understanding of your financial standing will allow you to avoid any unexpected surprises later in the process.
  2. Get pre-qualified for a mortgage. This speeds up the lending process once you have put a contract on a home. It also works in your favor during negotiations because sellers feel safer entering a transaction with someone who they know is already proven to be on firm financial standing.
  3. Shop around until you find the house that is perfect for you and your family. Select a trustworthy real estate agent who is knowledgeable, has good customer service, and can help guide you through the home buying process.
  4. Before you start shopping, make a list of the features you want in a home and also determine your “deal breakers”, so you won’t end up with regrets after you purchase. Things to consider are number of rooms, layout, square footage, lot size, and any “bonus” items you would be excited to have, such as an outdoor patio, a Jacuzzi tub, etc. Share the list with your real estate agent, so they can search for properties based on your preferences.
  5. Conduct proper inspections before you close. This is especially important older, vacant, or foreclosure properties. You want to be sure you won’t be stuck with any expensive surprises once you move in that could require a lot of time and money to address. If major issues are revealed in the inspections that weren’t initially obvious when viewing the home, you can try negotiating with the sellers and ask them to cover some of the costs of repairs.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031

Tips to Effectively Sell Your House

19 Jun

Tips to Effectively Sell Your House

Selling your house at the maximum asking price is the goal of every seller.  There are a lot of steps that go into making that happen, however – it usually doesn’t just happen on its own. So, here are a few tips on steps you can take to maximize the selling price of your home:

  1. Improve the house. Make improvements to the house that will update it and/or resolve any repair issues that needed to be fixed. This alone increases the value of the house significantly because potential buyers can see that they won’t have to put a lot of work and money into it when they move in. This gives them peace of mind and a sense of security, two things that people value and are usually willing to pay a little extra for if necessary. Do-it-yourself house improvements include repainting, mowing the lawn and tidying the gardens to create curb appeal, making the house spic-and-span, and replacing outdated fixtures. Larger house improvements that may require professional assistance include re-carpeting,  floor polishing, re-tiling, improvements to walkways, and garage and roof repair.
  2. Stage the house for showings. Hire an interior designer or professional stager to help you arrange your house in a way that shows off its features and makes it look inviting. Rest assured that you’ll get more money than what you pay for when you invest in this step because it significantly impacts how people perceive the value of your home and what they will be willing to pay.
  3. Purchase or rent display furniture. It is wise to purchase or rent display furniture when the house is on the market. It allows you to use stylish items that will make your house look more universally attractive to buyers versus just the ones who share your personal style.
  4. Have a trustworthy and competent real estate agent. This is crucial because a real estate agent will work hard on your behalf to do what’s necessary to make the house sell.  Ideally, you should work with someone who is familiar with your particular area and who is good at marketing.  If you need help finding someone, ask around to other homeowners and inquire about their experiences with their real estate agents.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031

Edmond Unveils Newest Public Art

17 Jun

Edmond Unveils Newest Public ArtThe City of Edmond boasts a plethora of public arts, creating a huge attraction to visitors. Public sculptures that have rich history and significance to the city are located in many public areas for both the locals and the tourists to enjoy. Aside from being a tourist attraction, these works of art also add beauty to their settings.

Just outside of the newly constructed Mitch Park YMCA and the Edmond Competitive Pool, the newest public sculpture in Edmond was unveiled. The “West Edmond Oil Field” was brought to life by Jim Franklin. The statue was a project of the City of Edmond in partnership with the Edmond Parks Foundation.

The “West Edmond Oil Field” sculpture offers a brief history of one of the most productive fields in the world. The West Edmond Field has produced more than 7 million barrels of oil and has generated more jobs for Oklahoman’s, especially the veterans of the Edmond. In 1944, the field was in it’s prime, churning out half of the state’s total oil production.

Now, the rich history of the field is represented by the new sculpture, which cost $105,000. Around $75,000 was raised by the foundation to support the funding of the sculpture while the remaining $30,000 shouldered by the city’s Visual Arts Commission.
With the recent public sculpture, Edmond now has a total of 151 art pieces.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031

Advantages and Disadvantages of Buying Foreclosed Homes

16 Jun

Advantages and Disadvantages of Buying Foreclosed Homes

Home foreclosures refer to properties on which the owners default on their mortgage payments and, as a result, the bank takes over ownership of the home.  When this happens, the bank has the right to  sell the home according to the conditions within the terms of the mortgage loan contracts. Buying a foreclosed home can be a fantastic opportunity or a huge risk. Before purchasing a foreclosed home, consider the advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages

  1. You can buy a foreclosed home at a huge discount off its normal market value, and that amount depends on how much equity was in the house when it defaulted. The reason you can purchase the home less expensively than if you were buying it in the open market is that its auction price is based on what the bank owes on defaulted loan, not on the home’s actual market value.
  2. You can purchase these homes confidently without worrying about the legality of any of the documents, as they have already been checked by the bank.
  3. You don’t have to deal with negotiating with the previous homeowners because they no longer have rights to the property and are not in a position to make demands.

Disadvantages

  1. You may not be able to see the house before it goes up for auction, which prevents you from determining the condition of the house ahead of time. This is one of the riskiest parts of buying a foreclosed home because you have no idea how much work and money will need to go into it.
  2. You are responsible for all repairs and expenses. When you buy a home on the free market, you have the ability to negotiate with the sellers to make certain repairs or improvements before you close on the home. When buying a foreclosed property, the bank isn’t going to do any of those things for you – you are financially responsible for everything.
  3. Banks may not offer you a loan for a foreclosed home, so you need to be prepared to pay cash.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031

Things to Consider Before Buying a House

12 Jun

Things to Consider Before Buying a House

If you have found the house of your dreams and want to buy it, before you move forward with offers and contracts, be sure you have checked out a few important things first to be sure you are making a smart investment.

  1. Research the property online. Find out what is going on in the area and what is happening in terms of upcoming development. There are a lot of things that affect property values, so be sure that the conditions in the neighborhood in which you want to buy are positive and on an incline, not a decline.
  2. Check the crime reports. You can go to a police station or search public records online to get statistics on the crime rate in your desired area. You may find a house you love, but if it is in a dangerous area or in an area that has a lot of burglaries, you will not feel safe in your own home.
  3. Check on the schools. If you have or are planning to have children, be sure you are buying in a good school district.  This is also important for overall property value and resale value because future people are going to be looking at the same things and will be more likely to buy your property if it is located in a good school district.
  4. Check for local amenities. How far away is the nearest grocery store? Gas station? Banking facilities? It is little things like this that make life more convenience (or more difficult), so be sure you are okay with the proximity of basic services.
  5. Visit the home at different times of the day. If you want to know how quiet or active the place will be, visit during different times of day and during the week.  If it is quiet during the day, but has a lot of noisy traffic or loud neighbors in the evenings, it may not be something you want to purchase.
  6. Check travel times to and from the area. What will your daily commute be to work? Especially during rush hour? How close are you to highway entrances and popular places in town?  Again, it is things like these that play into how convenient or inconvenient your lifestyle will be.
  7. Schedule a home inspection. Before you purchase a home, have a formal inspection done to determine any repairs or structural issues that will need to be addressed. Sometimes there can be major problems with a house that are not visible to the eye, so you want to be sure you are buying a structure that is in good shape, so you don’t regret it later.
  8. Talk to the real estate agents or sellers about important information. Ask about taxes, insurance, homeowner association dues, and utility bills, so you can determine if the home is within your budget.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031