Curb Appeal Tips for Fall
Delta Media Group
First impressions are everything when it comes to selling your house. When a potential home buyer drives by your home, what will they see? The outside of your home should serve as a preview for the inside of your home.
"WOW" home buyers from the curb with these tips perfect for the fall.
Spruce up your lawn
Brilliant fall foliage can automatically "sell" your home for showings, but that doesn't mean you should forget about raking the leaves and mowing. Keep those leaves raked and give your lawn the TLC it needs to look great. Patch any brown spots, and water the lawn as long as possible to keep it green and vibrant.
Plant fall flowers
Once lawn maintenance is handled, add a splash of color to your landscape by planting fall flowers. Some of the best fall flowers include vibrant mums, yellow marigolds, sedum, or goldenrod. You can also place fall flowers in pots near your front door along with a few pumpkins as accents.
Highlight the front door
Calling attention to your front door is a good selling tactic no matter what season when you're selling your house. Your front door is like an invitation to your home. Hang a fall wreath for added color and a festive touch. A fresh coat of paint in a vivid color can make your entrance stand out.
Tidy up the exterior
During the fall, your home becomes more exposed making its exterior appearance even more important. Before listing your home for sale, pressure wash your siding, sidewalks, and walkways. Clean the windows. Apply a fresh coat of paint as needed.
Clear out the gutters
Being diligent about home maintenance tells buyers you care about your home's upkeep. Keeping your gutters and downspouts clear from leaves and debris protects your home from water damage and ups the ante for curb appeal.
Invest in outdoor lighting
Days get shorter during the fall. Exterior light adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to your landscape and improves safety. Illuminate your walkways, front door, and important landscaping elements so the home shines no matter when people drive by.
Keep outdoor decorations simple
A simple fall wreath on the door and seasonal flowers make your home look inviting to potential homebuyers. However, scarecrows and spooky Halloween decorations may "scare off" homebuyers and distract them from the gorgeous exterior you've worked so hard to otherwise create.
Should You Get a Home Inspection BEFORE Selling?
Delta Media Group
Selling your home? A recent survey showed more than 85 percent of buyers who applied for financing asked for an inspection of the home they intended to buy. Today's savvy home buyers rarely leave things up to chance — they want to be assured they are getting great value.
Despite this growing trend, many sellers still wait for buyers to take the initiative on inspections. A seller might save a few hundred dollars by waiting until the buyer makes the first move, but this is rarely worthwhile. In fact, there are many benefits to taking the plunge and getting an inspection as soon as you decide you are serious about putting your property on the market.
Let's look at six benefits of pre-listing home inspections:
With all that in mind, selling your home should almost always start with an inspection. It's an essential step, just like making basic repairs, listing your home in the right places, staging it for potential buyers, and partnering with a real estate agent you can trust.
Though some might think of Idaho Falls as "on the way" to the Tetons and Yellowstone National Park and not a destination unto itself, this little city has tons to see. Take some time to explore the sites!
Doers of Good: Eastern Idaho Dash for Down Syndrome
Coldwell Banker agents, staff, and managers are a special breed, working hard to assist our clients fulfill their real estate goals while keeping our focus on community and on making our cities and towns better places for all of us.
Because of our firm belief that we have an obligation to the people and places that keep our communities strong, we've set an ambitious goal for the next ten years: to give a minimum of $10 million to the organizations that work to help our neighbors in need. We call this our "Doers of Good."
It gives us great pleasure to introduce our August Doers of Good from Eastern Idaho:
For three years, the Realtors® and administrative staff at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Idaho Falls have had a great time serving up breakfast, smiles, and hugs at the annual Dash for Down Syndrome fun run event to raise awareness and operating capital for the East Idaho Down Syndrome Family Connect organization.
Established in 2015 by Rochelle Larsen as she was embarking on the journey of raising her daughter with Down syndrome, the 501(c)(3) has grown to serve 136 local families. With a mission of "building a positive connection" inside the community, the nonprofit is 100% volunteer based and holds events throughout the year with every dollar raised used to support people with Down syndrome, their families, and the Eastern Idaho community. They spread their messages of kindness and inclusion by visiting schools, businesses, and sports teams and by creating events such as the Dash for Down Syndrome, the organization's largest fundraiser of the year.
Postponed for a couple of years due to the pandemic, the Dash is a day to celebrate those with Down syndrome in Eastern Idaho. 2019's race/walk saw 940 participants and raised $33,100. Hopes for the 2022 event on August 27th at Snake River Landing in Idaho Falls are high.
Coldwell Banker Tomlinson agents and staff will be on hand to provide a great pancake breakfast along with smiles, laughs, and plenty of hugs. Says Lynette Neibaur, office manager of the Idaho Falls real estate office, "We love participating in this great event! This will be our fourth year, and we wouldn't miss it."
There's still time to sign up and, certainly, to donate. Visit https://dashfordownsyndrome.itsyourrace.com/ to sign up or find out how to help. And stay tuned for a wrap-up with photos after the 27th!
Join us in celebrating our Doers of Good by getting involved in one of the programs we will spotlight over the next several months or tell us in the comments below about what lights your fire when it comes to making our communities better.
MAINTENANCE HACKS FOR YOUR HOME
From our friends at Delta Media Group
Little fixes around the home can take time and money. Try one of our quick tips to save both!
Terrific BBQ Recipes
Fantastic recipes just in time for your late summer get-together!
Tequila Baby Back Ribs
|2 Tbsp. chili powder||1 tsp. cayenne pepper|
|2 Tbsp. paprika||1 tsp crushed red pepper|
|1 Tbsp. garlic powder||1 chopped onion|
|1 Tbsp. salt||1 lg. handful chopped cilantro|
|1 Tbsp dried oregano||3-4 cloves garlic, diced|
|2 tsp. cumin||1 bottle (fifth) tequila|
|1 tsp. black pepper||1 lemon, halved|
|1 tsp. white pepper||2 limes|
Combine all the above and season 2 full slabs of ribs, each cut in half. Refrigerate 2-4 hours. Put half of 1 slab in 1-gallon ziploc bag, layer with onion, cilantro, and garlic. Place other half on top, repeat with onion, cilantro, and garlic. Pour in half bottle tequila. Add juice of half lemon and 1 lime. Seal. Repeat with other slab. Marinate at least 4 hours. Grill with onion, cilantro, and garlic at 350 degrees until done.
Honey Mango-Glazed Baby Back Ribs
|1 c. honey||4 ripe mangos, cubed|
|2 full racks, baby back ribs||1 tsp. pepper|
|1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce||1 Tbsp. salt|
Remove ribs from packaging, rinse and pat dry. Remove membrane from backside of ribs. Place ribs in shallow pan, sprinkle salt and pepper evenly and set aside. In a small saucepan, add chipotle/adobo, mango and honey. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until cooked down and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Using the slow and low method of BBQ'ing, set temperature to 225-240 degrees. If using coals, let them burn off and move over to one side of the grill. Wrap the ribs and 2/3 of the sauce mixture in aluminum foil tightly and place on grill. Close lid. After 2 hours, flip the ribs and let cook for another 2 hours. Open the aluminum and remove ribs, place them on grill and brush on remaining sauce and let cook another 30 minutes.
Coldwell Banker Scores First in Agent Satisfaction. Again.
Confucius said, "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."
The real estate professionals across the Coldwell Banker brand are passionate about their industry – and about their brand. For the third time, Coldwell Banker Real Estate ranked #1 in agent satisfaction in the annual "Agent Priorities" report conducted by Quester.
Designed to keep what's important to agents top of mind, the report zeroes in on topics such as work/life balance, brand image, support, tools, and culture. Knowing what makes an agent more likely to stay with a company is a key component in what brokerages can do to foster positive work environments and grow their agents' businesses.
On a local level, Coldwell Banker Tomlinson combines the strength of the national tools with additional services designed to help our Realtors® list, sell, and learn.
Full-time managing brokers are in place to provide immediate assistance. Offices are staffed with Agent Services Experts (ASEs) to help with marketing, paperwork, and training. A company-wide marketing team is in place to create campaigns that support current market trends, listing types, and services.
With continuing education an important aspect of any business, Coldwell Banker Tomlinson offers in-house classes, regular lunch 'n' learn trainings, continuing education at no cost, and national certifications and classes.
To read the results of the report, visit the Coldwell Banker Blue Matter blog.
Home Repairs that Can't Wait
Delta Media Group
Home improvement can be costly and time-consuming, so it's no surprise that many homeowners put off making repairs as long as possible. Smaller repairs can usually be safely left until the timing is more advantageous, perhaps when you have more money in the bank or some vacation time. There are some repairs, however, that should be taken care of as soon as possible. These home repairs are so important that failing to make them could result in serious injury and increased costs.
Managing Home Improvement Tasks
It can be tempting to leave smaller home improvement tasks until "later," but keep in mind that doing so could cost you more in the long run. Not every repair constitutes an emergency, but that doesn't mean that non-emergency repairs should be ignored. Keep on top of home maintenance and repairs by keeping a checklist of necessary tasks; focus on completing one each weekend or each month. This will help you keep your home improvement projects from piling up and becoming major problems.
Ideas for Upgrading Your Patio
Delta Media Group
Maybe you've been pondering all those cool ideas seen on TV and the web about redoing your drab slab of a concrete patio so that it's a standout feature of your indoor/outdoor entertainment area. Here's the deal. We are all in love with the idea of extending our living and entertainment area into the outdoors. And why not? There are dozens of relatively inexpensive and yet innovative hacks that will make your outdoors as inviting as the indoors, so let's start working from the ground up by renovating that boring, cracked, or scuffed-up concrete patio and see how dazzling it can be.
Although all these projects are relatively inexpensive, you can obviously spend more on some than others. So if cost is a factor, then you may want to go with simple painting or staining.
Once you're done with your new floor, it's time to think about decorating. You might start with a weather-resistant outdoor rug, perhaps in the dining area. Decorate with flower boxes or containers of flowers that can change with the season and move indoors when it's cold. Hang up strands of lights. Add a water feature, which could be a fountain with plumbing or a self-contained model that runs on electricity and recirculates the water.
Let your creativity and inner interior decorator run wild as you think up ways to jazz up that formerly dull space and make it shine.
Have you made some updates to your outdoor living space? Show us some pictures in the comments!
Sweet-Tart: Refreshing & Lemony Recipes for Summer
Summer is here, and it's time to celebrate all things lemony! These refreshing treats are sure to please at your next get-together.
Frozen Raspberry Yogurt Lemonade Pops
In a saucepan, heat lemonade concentrate & water over medium heat just until the concentrate is thawed. Remove from heat & cool. In a blender, place 3/4 c. of the cooled mixture, 1/2 c. of the raspberries, & 1/4 c. of the yogurt. Blend on medium until smooth. If you don't like the seeds, press this mixture through a small strainer to remove them. Divide the mixture among ice pop molds & freeze slightly.
Distribute the remaining raspberries in molds. Combine the remaining lemonade mixture & yogurt and spoon evenly into molds. Return to freezer until firm, about 4 hours.
Mix well. Serve over ice with a lemon wedge garnish.
Mix ice, soda & sliced limes. Add cherries & garnish with mint leaves. Serve immediately.
Mix together and serve immediately
Strawberry Lemonade Icebox Pie
In a blender or food processor, blend strawberries, honey, & water until pureed. Set aside. In a separate bowl, mix lemonade concentrate with sweetened condensed milk until combined. Set that aside, too.
With a mixer, whip heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar & whip until it stiffens. Gently fold into lemonade mixture. (The pureed mixture is still kept separate.)
Pour half the strawberry puree on the bottom of the crust. Top with lemonade filling, smoothing evenly. Spoon on the remaining puree in evenly spaced dollops and swirl with a toothpick or knife. Freeze at least 6 hours before serving. Store leftovers in the freezer.
What's your favorite summertime recipe? Tell us in the comments!
How to Choose a Contractor for Your Remodel Projects
Delta Media Group
Homeownership is an exciting time — one filled with many new possibilities and experiences. One possibility that has the potential to elevate your home to the next level is a remodel. Remodeling can transform your space into something more functional by better reflecting your lifestyle and adding value to your home. However, your dreams of the perfect renovation project can turn into a nightmare if you don't do your homework. To have a successful remodel, you need the right contractor.
It's understandable to want the best person for the job but finding that person often involves a number of factors like availability, cost, and areas of expertise. The best way to choose a remodeling contractor is to do your homework and take steps to ensure that you find an ideal match for your project.
Ask around or research
If you have a friend or neighbor who has a remodel you like in a room/area you're looking to work on, too, it can be helpful to ask them who they used. You can also ask around your network of people — i.e., friends, family, business partners, or your real estate agent—to get recommendations for remodeling contractors. Once you have a list created, make your own as well by researching resources like Google, Angie, the local Better Business Bureau, and other online places that give you the names of local companies. Weed out any contractors with consistently poor reviews or contractors that don't specialize or have experience in the space you want to remodel.
Look deeper into credentials and projects
Most contractors have a website. Take the time to look at what credentials they may have and if they are current. See if they have pictures of their work as well. You can begin to get a feel for which contractors are more your taste or that have the knowledge necessary for your remodeling project.
Interview possible contractors
The next step once you have fine-tuned your list to a few favorites is to call and schedule a time to meet and talk about the project. Consider both the phone and in-person meetings an interview. It's your chance to ask about experience, find out about their knowledge and skills, and see if you mesh. Like any job interview, you'll be able to get an overall sense of who you're getting. There are also some things you'll want to ask them or have them do, including:
Even if you've done all your online research and read all the reviews, nothing is as effective as talking with someone who has worked with your prospective contractor. You may find out things you didn't think to ask, and it can give extra assurance that you're making the right choice.
Put it in writing
The last thing you'll want to do when you've made your choice is to put it in writing. This is a great way to keep all parties on the same page and safeguarded.
Homeownership means making the decisions; it's your house, and you get to choose who remodels it. For the best remodeling experience, by taking your time and the correct steps, you're more likely to find the right person for your project. Not only will it save you time and money, but it will also get you the home of your dreams.
From Our Friends at Integrity Computer Consulting and Repair
Technology scams are running rampant right now, whether they come by email, phone call, and now text messaging. We have had several customers reach out about texts that look to be from their bank asking to "verify information." Be vigilant when dealing with any communications via phone call, email, or text that regard any exchange of money or "verifying" any account information with a link or number to call.
Our recommendations are as follows:
You can use your cell phone carriers' built-in number blocking on your phone to stop unwanted calls or texts from specific numbers; you can also block offending email addresses in your email account. But with any sort of fraud, scammers often use hundreds of thousands of phone numbers and emails and move very quickly onto the next. This makes permanent blocking hard.
To really have an impact, we recommend reporting the offending communication to the FTC. This can be done online at: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/
A few rules of thumb for spam calls, texts, and emails:
If you have any questions about a suspicious email, call, or text, feel free to contact our office via phone 208.288.4345 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. It's a difficult topic, no question.
Removing the stigma surrounding sexual assault and abuse, bringing the conversation to the forefront and out of the shadows, educating, speaking out, ending victim-blaming, and supporting survivors are the best defenses. So much has been done, with so much more to do.
It's worthy of our time. Of everyone's time. Here at CBT, we decided to act on one of our mottos – BE BOLD – and do what we can to help. For our April #DoersOfGood campaign, we're taking the message to all our offices and asking our Realtors®, staff, and managers to come together to support organizations in our areas who work hard to assist women in our local communities. We've asked them to purchase a #CBTDenimDay button, donate gently used professional clothing, and wear their jeans on April 27th, the 24th annual National Denim Day. 100% of the funds raised in each region, along with additional funds from CBT, will be donated to the corresponding organizations listed below. Clothing donations will stay local, as well.
Denim Day grew out of an Italian Supreme Court decision overturning a rape conviction of an 18-year-old girl because she was wearing tight jeans. Since then, wearing jeans on Denim Day is a visible means of protest against victim-blaming and sexual violence.
The organizations we are coming together to support are:
Idaho Falls area:
The Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Center, www.dvsacac.org
Women's and Children's Alliance, www.wcaboise.com
YWCA – Our Sister's Closet, www.ywcaspokane.org
Domestic Violence Services of Benton & Franklin Counties, www.dvsbf.org
Lewiston YWCA, ywcaidaho.orgAlternatives to Violence of the Palouse, www.atvp.org
To help, the ask is simple: wear your jeans on April 27th and speak out. To learn about more ways you can help – or if you need assistance, visit one of the sites above.
Sometimes it seems there is no end to house cleaning, and while there is no clear-cut answer for how to keep your home perfectly clean at all times, it might be surprising just how much you can do with a little baking soda and white vinegar.
Spot Cleaner for Carpet
Recently, Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Realtors®, managers, and staff were honored with a visit from the President and CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC, Ryan Gorman. Responsible for the operations that support our network of 94,000 real estate professionals in 3,000 offices in 43 countries across the globe, he made the trip from CB's New Jersey headquarters to speak with us about the wild ride that was 2021 and share his predictions about the state of our industry moving through 2022.
Though he foresees a continuation of a seller's market, he believes it won't be "the crazy, crazy" atmosphere we saw in 2021. "Interest rates are ticking up which will slow things a bit," he said, but "inbound migration will continue to be strong, so it will be a long time before the market shifts."
When asked if he was surprised by the activity during the pandemic, he told us that though he did not predict the "nearly 10 years of appreciation in 18 months" in our area, Ryan said he wasn't surprised to see the market remain strong. Despite the economic downturn, "we had the most equity in homes that we had literally ever had (not on a percentage basis, but on an absolute basis), and we had tighter underwriting for almost 15 years by that point than we had almost ever had, so people had good opportunities."
Contributing to the history-making market, he noted, was that for the past five or so years our area has been named to list after list of best places to live, work, and raise a family, so as people were able to work, not only remotely, but more independently, they began to make good on the question if you could live anywhere, why not live somewhere great?
In discussing the issue of low inventory, he is quick to point out that even buyers who have been in their homes two or three months may have equity that could propel them to look at selling to purchase something that better fits their dreams and goals and encouraged agents to inform their previous buyers what their homes are worth today. Buyers, he said, can leverage their equity to move more affordably to another neighborhood or city.
Recently named a "Real Estate Newsmaker" for 2021 and "Influencer" for 2022 by RisMedia, a highly respected real estate news and information service, Ryan says is most proud of Coldwell Banker's integrity. "Integrity is first. That's an easy answer. Coldwell Banker was founded on honesty and integrity, and that has lasted."
To learn more about Ryan's strategies for Coldwell Banker in 2022, check out his interview with Jordan Grice of RisMedia.
Search for your new home at cbidahofalls.com.
Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours! Today is the day for love and romance, heart-shaped chocolates and candlelit dinners.
What do you really know about Valentine's Day? Here are some fun trivia questions to test your knowledge.
Ready for the answers?
How'd you do?
Whether you are celebrating with your beau, your best friends, your pets, or your neighbors, we wish you a day full of love!
For the vast majority of Americans, Super Bowl Sunday is a national holiday. Big gatherings, team jerseys, and food. Lots and lots of food. In fact, according to Wikipedia, roughly 28 million pounds of chips are consumed just on this day. Add to that 1.25 billion chicken wings and 8 million pounds of guacamole!
Perhaps you're looking for some great ideas to add to the menu. Read on!
Combine all ingredients in a small baking dish and bake for 20 minutes at 400°. Serve with tortilla chips.
Dill Pickle & Ham Pinwheels
Pat pickles dry with a paper towel. Cover each pickle with 1 oz. of the cream cheese & wrap with ¼ of the ham. Repeat with the remaining pickles & refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Slice into 1" pieces & enjoy!
Combine all ingredients & toss gently. Serve with tortilla chips.
Buffalo Chicken Dip
Place shredded chicken & hot sauce in skillet & heat over medium heat until heated through. Stir in cream cheese & ranch dressing. Cook, stirring until well blended & warm. Mix in shredded cheese & stir until melted. Transfer to the crockpot to keep warm & serve with tortilla chips.
Place Oreos in a large Ziploc bag and smash. Heat white chocolate chips in microwave on high for 30-second intervals up to 2-3 minutes, stirring until melted. Mix popcorn & melted chocolate in a large bowl until well-combined. Slowly add the cookies & mix. Turn out on waxed paper until cool. Break into pieces & enjoy.
After the big game, when you find yourself wishing for a media room or better entertaining space, give us a call. We will guide you to the perfect home!
From Your Friends at Integrity Computer Consulting and Repair
(If you own a Mac, this doesn't apply, your OS is updated yearly.)
Many of us have seen the update for Microsoft's newest operating system (OS), Windows 11 come through on our laptop or desktop PC. Some of you have likely had it automatically applied.
If you have NOT seen the update, your computer may be too old to upgrade. This is not a cause for concern!
Anyone can stay safely on Windows 10 until its End of Life (EOL) date of October 14, 2025.
And even then, Microsoft may offer extended support as they have done for all other operating systems before it.
If you have seen the update, have you ignored it? You might be able to upgrade to Windows 11. Most notably, the Windows update icon down by your clock won't go away and now has a blue dot on it (instead of an orange/yellow or red one) like this:
So should you make the jump to upgrade your current PC to Windows 11? What will it do? What will it change? What will it break? Will it affect you much?
The answer is, it depends. Like people on the planet, our computer environments are all different, unique. With each individual and different environment, the answer varies. It is complicated because no 2 environments are the same. But this time, Microsoft has given us tools to check.
We recommend you take the following steps if you are prompted for the upgrade:
(please call or email our office if you have any questions or need assistance doing any of the steps above and pictured below)
Our findings? Most of the PCs that have upgraded from 10 to 11 are working fine without many significant issues; however, if you have older software (QuickBooks and Quicken apply) or older peripherals like printers, wireless mice, keyboards, and speakers, they may not work with Windows 11. We are finding that we have had to reinstall some printer and copier drivers and remap network drives.
If your computer is 2 years or newer, you have current software, you don't mind the change, and/or have the time/patience to learn Windows 11… upgrade.
If you have any hesitations or concerns, please contact us before making the jump. Advances in technology can be both great and frustrating. We are here to help.
Call our office (208-288-4345), or email us (email@example.com) if you have any questions or need immediate assistance!
January is a good time to reflect upon the year, your wins, losses, and any lessons learned. Every new year brings with it possibilities to improve. It offers you a chance to reinvent yourself, and if you're in the market for a new home, our real estate agents can help you start the new year on a high note by helping you find your dream home.
From Your Friends at Integrity Computer Consulting and Repair
A few ideas and some new, some old - tried and true… start 2022 with some new tech practices!
Things to never click:
And take a pause before clicking on things like sponsored articles or ads on Facebook, Instagram, or in news stories, or links in email for a story, cool new gadget, sale, discount, sweepstakes, etc. Is the chain reaction that click is going to cause worth it?
Lastly, sometimes low tech is the best tech. Technology comes with a lot of learning, understanding, and maintenance. Sometimes, just doing things "the old-fashioned" way is the easiest and most secure.
Please call our office (208-288-4345), or email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions or need immediate assistance!
From Your Friends at Integrity Computer Consulting and Repair
A spoofed profile is where a scammer copies your profile and pretends to be you. The scammers use the information that the original profile makes public. This includes
We all are familiar with that random email from a weird sender that makes it into your inbox, that phishing attempt on your non-existent Dropbox account, a message to verify your Apple ID, or even emails you may have subscribed to that are just plain annoying… how do you get it to stop? Unfortunately, email spam is almost more common than legitimate messages it seems.
How you handle email messages is super important. Email servers like Gmail, Office 365, Yahoo!, etc. and mail programs on both computers and phones like Outlook, Thunderbird, Microsoft Mail app, etc. are heuristic and learn how you handle email. The trick is staying on top of it and being consistent. Simply deleting messages does not help.
Our best practices for messages that are spam and junk?
If you need help with anything listed above, this can be done remotely. Please call our office (208-288-4345), or email us (email@example.com) if you have any questions or need immediate assistance!
The last 18 months changed what many buyers are looking for in a home. Recently, the American Institute of Architects released their AIA Home Design Trends Survey results for Q3 2021. The survey reveals the following:
If you're a homeowner who wants to add any of the above, you have two options: renovate your current house or buy a home that already has the spaces you desire. The decision you make could be determined by factors like:
In either case, you'll need access to capital: the funds for the renovation or the down payment your next home would require. The great news is that the money you need probably already exists in your current home in the form of equity.
The record-setting increases in home prices over the last two years dramatically improved homeowners' equity. Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First American, quantifies the amount of equity homeowners gained recently:
"Remember U.S. households own nearly $35 trillion in owner-occupied real estate, just over $11 trillion in debt, and the remaining ~$24 trillion in equity. In inflation adjusted terms, homeowners in Q2 had an average of $280,000 in equity- a historic high."
As a homeowner, the money you need to purchase the perfect home or renovate your current house may be right at your fingertips. However, waiting to make your decision may increase the cost of tapping that equity.
If you decide to renovate, you'll need to refinance (or take out an equity loan) to access the equity. If you decide to move instead and use your equity as a down payment, you'll still need to mortgage the remaining difference between the down payment and the cost of your next home.
Mortgage rates are forecast to increase over the next year. Waiting to leverage your equity will probably mean you'll pay more to do so. According to the latest data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), almost 57% of current mortgage holders have a mortgage rate of 4% or below. If you're one of those homeowners, you can keep your mortgage rate under 4% by doing it now. If you're one of the 43% of homeowners with a mortgage rate over 4%, you may be able to do a cash-out refinance or buy a more expensive home without significantly increasing your monthly payment.
If you're ready to either redesign your current house or find an existing or newly constructed home that has everything you want, the first thing you need to do is determine how much equity you have in your current home. To do that, you'll need two things:
You can probably find the mortgage balance on your monthly mortgage statement. To find the current market value of your house, you can pay several hundreds of dollars for an appraisal, or you can contact a local real estate professional who will be able to present to you, at no charge, a professional equity assessment report.
If the past 18 months have refocused your thoughts on what you want from your house, now may be the time to either renovate or make a move to the perfect home. Contact us today to help guide you through the process and help determine what makes the most sense for you!
Your entryway is the first space guests experience when they step into your home. And more importantly, it is the first space you experience when you get home! As such, you really want your entryway to feel warm and welcoming. Here are a few useful tips to help you make your entryway a sight to behold.
October 3-9 is National Fire Prevention Week, so what better time to focus on fire prevention in your home? Whether you're on your way to buying a new home among Idaho Falls-area homes for sale, or just improving security in your current home, instituting a regimen of fire prevention can help give your family a feeling of safety while preventing tragedies.
From Your Friends at Integrity Computer Consulting and Repair
A spoofed profile is where a scammer copies your profile and pretends to be you. The scammers use the information that the original profile makes public. This includes profile pictures, location(s), and biography information, so they are very convincing. Oftentimes, these spoofed profiles send out another friend request to people on copied profile's friends list. While more and more people are becoming aware that this is an issue when they get a second friend request from someone they are already friends with, many people still don't know what is happening (no, their friend has not been "hacked" i.e someone has gained unauthorized access to the account) or what to do about the profile, and there are many people who still will add the fake profile and further perpetuate this activity.
Besides it being annoying, what damage does this cause?
Once a spoofed profile is created, the creator will add friends listed on the original profile, send messages that ask for money… or worse, send videos and/or clickable content via messenger or page posts that contain phishing sites, adware, malware, or viruses when clicked.
How do you prevent this from happening?
Make your friends list viewable to "Friends only" or better yet, "Only me". These settings can be accessed both on the computer and in the Facebook app on phones. Simply view your profile, then go to Settings and Privacy, then under Audience and Visibility, "How People Find and Contact You". Select "Who can see your friends list", and select Friends or Only me. Setting it to "Only me" is the only sure-fire way to make it so people cannot use your friends list to create fake profiles and spam your friends, colleagues, and clients who may be friends on your page.
It's already happened to you. Now what?
Have your friends report the spoofed profile as soon as possible. All you or they have to do is go to the scammer's duplicate Facebook page and click on the three dots. Select "Find Support or Report Profile" and then "Pretending to Be Someone." You will then be asked who they are pretending to be. If it's a friend, you'll report which friend it is and then confirm your submission. Facebook will then review your report and notify you of the outcome. The process is pretty quick and painless.
Next, take steps to secure your public information. And it wouldn't hurt to complete Facebook's privacy checkup, and lock down your privacy settings which includes not allowing people to post anything on your page without your review.
Any of these things can be done remotely. Please call or email our office if you have any questions or need immediate assistance!
Is your fencing old and worn out, or do you need a fence where there isn't any? The process of installing a fence isn't a quick one, our real estate agents caution. There are a number of things you need to do to ensure you don't get in trouble with the city, the HOA, your neighbor, or your home's future buyer. Here are 7 steps to ensure you're doing your due diligence when you install a new fence.
For more tips on getting your home ready to sell, contact us today.
When looking at Idaho Falls homes for sale, buyers often plan how they might fix up a home or make it their own. The right home improvements can go a long way towards making a home more livable and increasing its value. But as your list of home improvement projects grows, how do you decide which ones to tackle first? Here are some tips to help you prioritize your to-do list.
When you buy a new home, you want it to be a reflection of you and your style. As you consider various trends, you may come across a popular new one called cottagecore. But what is it, exactly, and will it work for your interior design needs? Essentially, cottagecore home decor is a nostalgic journey to a simpler time and place. If sipping tea in a garden, breathing in the delicate scent of roses and honeysuckle strikes your fancy, this could very well be the interior design style you are seeking. If the homes you are asking to be shown are reminiscent of country living, you may want to consider these key elements:
If you've been waiting for some of the vintage things you love to come back in style, the time has come. Our real estate professionals will be happy to help you find your new home. Contact us when you're ready to make the change.
You're about to move into your new home! It's important to do a walk-through to make sure everything is as promised. How do you go about it, though? You've never owned a home before, and you're afraid you'll do it wrong or miss something important.
Don't worry. Our real estate agents will be there to help you through it. In the meantime, here's a checklist of what you're looking for on your final walk-through.
Plentiful natural light is one of the top factors that can help sell a home. Experts are quick to tout the benefits of natural light in spurring home sales: not only does natural light help you cut back on energy usage, but it also seems to provide certain health benefits. What's more, potential homebuyers appear to respond better to well-lit homes than to dark ones. If you're thinking of listing your home among Idaho Falls homes for sale, you may want to assess your home's natural light and determine if there are ways to boost the light quotient.
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Compost is so often the key to a beautiful, healthy garden; however, many people shy away from composting because they believe it's too complicated or messy. With the right combination of ingredients, composting can be easy and odorless and can make a huge difference in your garden.
If you've been thinking about composting, below are some tips to help you get started.
Even if you're not planning to sell your home right away, it's a good idea to know how your actions affect your home's value long term. The updates you choose to do or not to do, or whether you do a repair now or put it off a while longer, can all impact how much you can sell your home for later on down the road. Here are 7 things that our real estate agents warn can decrease your property value.
From Your Friends at Integrity Computer Consulting and Repair
The IRS provides a comprehensive list of things to look out for here: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-scams-consumer-alerts
However, we are noticing a new trend on the rise; fake tax websites that mimic or look similar to TurboTax, or other popular online tax filing services. We are also seeing a rise in phishing emails and malicious pop-ups claiming to be from these well-known tax filing sites.
What can you do to protect yourself and your tax information?
Please call our office at 208-288-4345 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or would like an appointment to help with any of the above.
by Athena Snow, Coldwell Banker Blue Matter
MADISON, N.J. (January 25, 2021) – In a national survey conducted by the Women's Choice Award, over 85% of the Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC's female customers who have had experience with the brand say they would recommend Coldwell Banker Real Estate to their friends and family. For the fourth year in a row, The Women's Choice Award has recognized Coldwell Banker for its exceptional customer recommendation rating, earning the brand the coveted 2021 Women's Choice Award®.
The exclusive set of products and services that earn the award have the honor of touting the Women's Choice Award designation, honoring their achievement as having 9 out of 10 of their female customers highly recommend them. As recommendation ratings are the pinnacle for determining true brand loyalty and love, the Women's Choice Award is a powerful indicator of a brand's commitment to their customers. The Women's Choice Award seal also represents Coldwell Banker's commitment to empowering women to make the best consumer choices for themselves and their families.
The Women's Choice Award is a significant and meaningful accomplishment in real estate because women are at the heart of most transactions. Women make or influence 91% of home-buying decisions and make up two-thirds of all real estate agents. Coldwell Banker has incorporated many diversity and inclusion programs committed to the advancement of women leadership efforts, including the CB Women initiative and What Moves Her campaign, that are dedicated to making sure women are provided with opportunities for career growth.
"At Coldwell Banker, we value women in real estate. I am beyond proud to work for a brand that empowers women to take on leadership roles and strives to make the industry better. Through our work with our Inclusive Ownership program and What Moves Her initiative, we are continuously exploring new ways to support leadership development, promote shared values, and provide resources for enhancing leadership tools and capabilities for women in the industry."
– Liz Gehringer, chief operating officer of Coldwell Banker Real Estate
"Today's marketplace is more cluttered than ever, yet women have less time than ever to sift through the saturated online options and store shelves. And with women on a constant hunt to identify the best brands for herself and her family, the Women's Choice Award serves as a trusted endorsement and visual beacon of empowerment, simplifying her choices. When consumers see that other women recommend a brand, through the Women's Choice Award seal, it provides an unparalleled level of trust and validation, putting her mind at ease- and that's priceless."
– Delia Passi, founder and CEO of the Women's Choice Award
With 2020 behind us, our real estate agents are excited about the new possibilities 2021 represents. A new calendar is a blank slate, and maybe not just for you, but for your home too. So as we look to the future, keep these up-and-coming design trends in mind for your next home project.
Man's best friend does make for a good housemate, but unfortunately, not so much of a great real estate agent. Pets are an interesting element of the real estate process. Many of the buyers attending a showing may love animals and even have pets themselves. However, that doesn't mean that they're crazy about moving into a new home that has lingering traces of cats, dogs, or other animals. There are also those who do not like animals and aren't particularly interested in purchasing a home that once housed pets. If you're a pet owner, our real estate agents suggest these tips on how to prepare for a successful showing:
By Laura McHolm, co-founder of NorthStar Moving Company
Remember life pre-pandemic lockdown before your dining room morphed into your zoom room, office, workstation, and study hall? Thanks to your new work-at-home lifestyle, files and papers found a permanent home on your dining room table. You probably haven't had a meal on that table, besides a quick sandwich and many lattes, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now the holidays are here, and while we won't be hosting big gatherings this year, it would be nice to have a holiday meal with a few close family and friends in your safe bubble. It's time to reclaim and tame the dining room table! A little organizational magic, and presto! You can alleviate the room identity crisis and turn it into a beautiful two-in-one space. An office by day and a dining room by night!
Here are simple ways to keep your dining room/office space organized and easy to clear for holiday meals:
Have fun shopping online for pretty organizers. After all, you spend a huge part of your time working, so make it enjoyable!
With these budget-friendly storage solutions, your dining room can easily do double-duty: a functional space to both entertain and work. Your transformed two-in-one space has the added bonus of giving you peace of mind. Mindfully designing your space so it actually functions will make you feel more relaxed, organized, and in control. Here's to a unique and joyful holiday season!
Laura McHolm is an organizational, moving & storage expert and co-founder of NorthStar Moving Company. NorthStar Moving Company is an award-winning, "A+" rated company, which specializes in providing eco-luxury moving and storage services. www.northstarmoving.com
Any time our real estate agents consult with homeowners about listing their homes for sale, they always recommend dressing up the porch to improve the curb appeal. Some potted plants, a welcome mat, and a simple wreath can make a major difference.
Even if you're not thinking about selling your home, decorating your porch for the holidays is a great idea! If you want to make your decor even more special, consider making your own holiday wreath this year.