Janet Cramb & Company/LAER Realty Partners



Posted by Janet Cramb on 12/12/2018

Buying a house is never a simple decision. Aside from all of the financial aspects of purchasing a home, there are numerous life-related considerations youíll need to think about. So, it comes as little surprise that diving head on into the house hunting process can be stressful and taxing to the home buyer.

With all of the different numbers to keep track of--a down payment, closing costs, credit scores, interest rates, and so on--itís easy to get lost in the finer details of your budget. This can lead to even more stress as you try to navigate your way through getting approved for a mortgage and shopping for the perfect home.

In this article, weíre going to give you some tips on how to maintain your budget and reduce stress throughout the home buying process. That way, when you do finally find the house youíve been waiting for, youíll be able to move forward confidently.

Trust the process

Many first-time home buyers enter the real estate market with little knowledge or experience of how things work. Any newcomer to such a huge and complex industry is bound to be flustered with all of the different options available to them.

However, much of the home buying process is relatively standardized. Real estate agents all make roughly the same commission, lenders use similar algorithms to decide how much of a loan youíll be approved for, and real estate contracts contain legal safeguards and contingencies to ensure that you and the sellerís interests are protected.

When shopping for a mortgage or getting pre-approved, itís a good idea to ask friends, family, or read reviews online to find someone you know you can trust. From there, rely on the experts to lead you through the process.

Have a long-term plan

Much of the stress and anxiety around buying a home comes from the uncertainty of the future. Sitting down with your family and significant other and deciding your long-term goals for homeownership is a good way to build confidence and know that youíre making the right choice.

Determining things like location, the number of years you want to live in a home, and what priorities are the most important (school districts, neighborhood safety, etc.) will help you make that plan a reality.

Use the tools at your disposal

If youíre reading this article, you already have started to take advantage of one of the most important resources you have, the internet. Look up real estate terminology youíre unfamiliar with, read up on the different types of mortgages, and take advantage of free online calculators to create what-if scenarios to find out what you might end up paying in closing costs and interests.

Itís also a good idea to check your credit score for free online. You can check your official reports once per year, but for simple credit checks you can look it up each month for free.

Knowing that youíre in good hands with a lender and agent, that you have a basic understanding of industry terms, that you have a long-term plan, and that your finances are in order will all help set your mind at ease and give you confidence as you move forward toward homeownership.




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Posted by Janet Cramb on 12/5/2018

Anyone whoís ever been in an outdated house or hotel room can tell you that the way we decorate can have an effect on our mood. Certain colors, lack of lighting, and cluttered rooms are all things that, whether we realize it or not, can have a negative effect on our mood and productivity.

These concepts arenít recent realizations. In ancient China and India, concepts of architecture and decorating have been teaching proper design techniques for thousands of years. Today, these schools of thought are often lumped into the field of environmental psychology.

In todayís post, Iím going to talk about a few design techniques that will help you and your houseguests feel more welcome in your home and create a tone that matches your desires, whether thatís relaxed or energized.

The effects of color

With a quick Google search, youíll find hundreds of articles discussing the psychological effects of colors. What many fail to mention is the way these effects are based on things like the culture and time period we grow up in.

However, you may find that guests to your home will feel more comfortable in light, neutral- colored rooms than they will in a room thatís painted bold colors.

On a room-by-room basis, there tend to be certain colors that Americans associate with the ďrightĒ colors for the occasion.

However, this is often influenced by the architectural style of the house more than an internalized idea about specific colors.

How much is too much?

Itís easy to accumulate home decor and find your walls and surface becoming a little too cluttered. However, bare walls and sparsely decorated rooms can feel a bit too sterile and unlivable. Is there a balance between the two?

Oftentimes the best solution is to follow one simple decorating principle:

Rather than using several small items to decorate a room, choose just a few larger items. This will prevent the room from appearing cluttered but still give it a sense of character.

Taking advantage of the full area of a room

So far, weíve been talking about how colors and decor can make a room feel more spacious and welcoming. But, even if you have a small room, you can still often achieve this effect.

One solution is to add brighter lighting to the room. Increasing the light makes to room feel more open. And, if possible, natural lighting is the best option, as it can reduce any feelings of claustrophobia.

If better lighting or windows arenít an option, many homeowners turn to mirrors to make a room feel larger. Larger, wall-hanging mirrors are an excellent way to give the illusion of spaciousness in a small room.


Using the psychology behind these three decorating principles, youíll be able to make you and your houseguests feel more at ease within your home.





Posted by Janet Cramb on 11/28/2018

If you are on the fence about whether to accept or reject a homebuying proposal, it is important to remember that a third option is available: countering the offer.

By countering a home offer, you can set the stage for a negotiation with an interested buyer. If a buyer accepts your counter-proposal, you and the buyer can move forward with a purchase agreement. Or, if a buyer rejects your counter-offer, you can always continue to seek out proposals from other potential buyers.

Before you counter a home offer, it is important to know what to expect after you make this decision. That way, you can feel confident about your decision to counter a homebuyer's proposal, even in a high-pressure situation.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you analyze a home offer and determine whether to counter it.

1. Assess the Housing Market

The housing market ultimately may play a key role in how a home seller approaches an offer. Because if a seller examines the real estate sector closely, he or she may gain actionable insights that can be used to differentiate a "fair" proposal from a "lowball" offer.

Look at the prices of comparable houses in your city or town, as well as the prices of recently sold residences in your area that are similar to your own. Then, you can use this information to take a data-driven approach to analyze an offer. And if you decide to counter an offer, you can rest assured that your decision is backed by relevant real estate insights.

2. Review Your Home's Pros and Cons

Oftentimes, it is beneficial to consider your house's age and condition as you review an offer. This will enable you to account for any potential home repairs and the costs associated with them Ė something a buyer also may do before he or she submits an offer on your home.

Don't forget to consider the strengths of your home as well. If you recently performed a series of home upgrades, you probably accounted for these house improvements when you set the initial asking price for your home. Thus, you should have no regrets about countering a home offer if it fails to match your expectations.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Hiring a real estate agent is crucial, particularly for a home seller who is uncertain about how to proceed with a home offer. A real estate agent can help you evaluate all aspects of a home offer and make it easy to submit a counter-proposal as needed.

Typically, a real estate agent will offer expert home selling recommendations. He or she also will respond to your home selling concerns and questions and ensure you can make an informed decision about any offer, at any time.

Ready to review an offer on your house? Use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble deciding whether to counter a homebuying proposal.





Posted by Janet Cramb on 11/21/2018

When your family is searching for a home, itís an exciting time for the adults, but if there are children involved, it can be a difficult task. Children donít have to be left in the dark during a home search. Children of all ages can be involved in the process of finding a home. Read on for tips on how to make your kids feel a part of the home search process. 


Young Children


Preschool-aged children might seem not to be aware of the fact that your family is searching for a home, but they can still very much be a part of the process. One thing to remember about young children is that you shouldnít give them too many options. Once you have narrowed down the homes to a few and the time to buy a home is close, itís a good time to tell your toddler about the fact that youíre moving. While you probably donít want to take your kids along with you on all of your home viewings, you can bring the children with you. Even the opinions of the tiniest among us can help contribute to a final decision. 


School-Aged Children


Older children may be more challenging to deal with during a move. These kids are more aware of the changes to come and maybe more reluctant of the entire process. Itís best to include children this age (around 6-9 years old) in conversions about your plans. Where do you hope to move? What neighborhood will the home be? Show them pictures of potential new homes. Allowing kids this age to share their thoughts on location and the types of houses youíre looking at can help to ease fears and anxieties. Remind your kids that the final choice is up to the adults but that you appreciate and welcome their input. 


Older Children And Teenagers 


Pre-teens and teenagers can play a part in the house search. Make sure that they understand that thereís no pressure on them to pick a house but their input is essential to you. Teens are tweens should be encouraged to come along on house tours to help give an opinion on the properties in person. 


The older the kids that are involved, the more you should value and welcome your input.  Make sure that you reassure your teens, letting them know that they can continue their favorite activities. Do a little research on the new community first, or allow your kids to do a bit of research themselves.                     





Tags: Buying a home   children  
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Posted by Janet Cramb on 11/7/2018

Selling a house may prove to be difficult, particularly for those who are competing against dozens of rival sellers in the same city or town. Fortunately, there are lots of things that you can do to gain a competitive advantage over rivals in a fierce housing market.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get a leg up on the home selling competition.

1. Focus on Curb Appeal

How your residence looks to buyers can have far-flung effects on the house selling journey. Thus, if you allocate time and resources to upgrade your house's curb appeal, you can differentiate your home from all others in your area. And as a result, you could speed up the home selling cycle.

To enhance your home's curb appeal, eliminate clutter and debris in front of your residence. Also, if there is any damaged home siding, you should fix this problem.

If you are unsure about how to improve your home's curb appeal on your own, you can always hire professionals to help you out, too. These professionals will take the guesswork out of home exterior improvements and allow you to upgrade your residence's curb appeal without delay.

2. Set an Aggressive Initial Asking Price

If you price your home too high, you risk alienating prospective buyers. Or, if you price your house too low, you risk missing out on the chance to optimize your home sale earnings.

Ultimately, it is beneficial to establish an aggressive initial home asking price. If you learn about the local housing market, you can compare your residence to available houses in your city or town. Then, you can use this housing market data to help you establish a competitive initial asking price for your home.

You may want to conduct a home appraisal as well. That way, you can receive a property valuation that you can use to help you set an aggressive initial home asking price.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Navigating a fierce housing market often is challenging for first-time and experienced house sellers alike. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available who can help you simplify the house selling journey.

By hiring a real estate agent, you can collaborate with a home selling expert. Typically, a real estate agent will work with you to create a custom home selling strategy. And when you are prepared to sell your home, a real estate agent will ensure that you can put this plan into effect and achieve the best-possible results.

Furthermore, a real estate agent will help you review any offers to purchase your house. He or she is happy to provide honest, unbiased home selling recommendations. By doing so, a real estate agent will help you immediately sell your residence and get the best price for your home.

Ready to sell your house? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can quickly and effortlessly sell your home in a competitive real estate market.




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