Spring is here…already or finally?

It has been a very long winter in this part of the country.  Not the snowiest, for sure, but definitely very long.  Bookended by an early autumn snowstorm, and below normal temps, the weather finally warmed a bit.

One of the first things you might want to do is bring back some curb appeal….”spring cleaning,” if you will.  Some people are not sure where to start, so here are a few tips.

1)  Before you spend one dollar on your home, clean up what you already have.  Pull every weed, thin out the hostas(and other perennials), turn over the flower beds, cut the grass, give the lawn a thorough raking, and trim up hedges/trees/shrubs to let some light shine through.

2)  Think about your home as if you are a very picky buyer….what really stands out?  Maybe the aluminum trim around the doors and windows is dingy and discolored… clean it and give it a fresh coat of paint.  Take care of the gutters….make sure water is being guided away from your home.

3) Think about planting a new area…pick up some discount landscape lumber and build a raised flower bed…paint your front door a bright color…add a stack of terracotta planter pots filled with some of your favorite things.

One of the most common things we hear from home sellers is “wow, my home looks so good now, I want to stay!”  Make your home look good for YOU and YOUR family, before you do it for someone else.  Happy Spring!

The roof over your head…

Not uncommon for a real estate agent, I was sitting at a kitchen table with prospective new clients.  The happy couple sitting across from me threw me a curveball question…totally catching me by surprise.  “So why should we list with you, Joe?  How do you view your role in the process?The answer came from a very honest place…but it was instant:

“I see my goal as doing everything possible to keep a roof over your family.”

Just like that, in the blink of an eye, I was living my personal truth.  The satisfaction that I get from pricing homes right, instead of telling homeowners what they want to hear, is what drives me.  Keeping food on my own table also motivates me.  But I chose real estate sales as the venue for this energy because it gives me incredible satisfaction to keep other families in a good home.

So whether you are navigating a tricky short sale, struggling to make your current mortgage payments, or just striving for a better reality, let me help you.  That’s my goal.

Time for a second home?

Vacation home sales improved in 2012, according to the National Association of Realtors.  This shouldn’t be a surprise, since the overall economy has been picking up steam for some time.

As “Generation X-ers” begin approaching retirement age, look for the sale of vacation or second homes to rise faster than ever.  This is just my take on the subject, but if the defining characteristic of the baby boomers right now is retirement, the next generation is going to have expanded opportunities to rule the world: law firm partners, medical practice heads, senior support staff, and other executive roles.  That leaves Gen X to fill the void as they begin approaching their own retirements.

Look for a surge in “working retirees,” folks who have a lot of money to spend, expect leisure time with family, and decide to splurge on that second home or other large purchase.  Baby boomers have been hit with a decade of retirement savings melting away, but the future for the next wave of retirees looks to be “booming.”