5 FACTORS THAT MAY AFFECT YOUR RESALE VALUE

If you’ve been thinking about moving up or downsizing, now is a great time to do so. Home sales are rising across the nation, and according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average property spends 32 days on the market—the shortest time since the NAR began tracking this data point in 2011. In many geographic markets, homes are selling even faster, especially when they’re well-maintained and priced just right. Before you begin calculating how much your home may be worth to prospective buyers, consider these factors that could affect your resale value.

1. Location

We’re not just talking about the city in which your home is located but the actual geography that surrounds it. Is the backyard adjacent to a busy highway? Does the master bedroom have a beautiful mountain view? Is it situated on a quiet cul-de-sac or in the middle of a noisy mixed-use zone? Even two identical homes in different locations will almost always have different resale values because of details like these.

2. Renovations (or lack thereof)

Maybe you enjoy cooking so much you elected to demo your old kitchen and dining room to create one large restaurant-grade workspace. Or perhaps you’re not into decorating and are still living with the original bathroom fixtures, paint colors and flooring that were there when you purchased your home in the 1970s. Renovations—or the lack thereof—can do a lot to your resale value. Making big modifications that only appeal to one particular taste can be just as detrimental as failing to update anything at all.

3. Reputation

You probably already know that if you live in a high crime area, your resale value will suffer. But are you aware that homes in good neighborhoods that were once considered bad may still be negatively affected by the area’s reputation? The same goes for local schools. If your home is in a district that includes schools with great ratings, your property values will be higher. If schools in the surrounding area have a poor reputation, your resale value will be lower.

4. Bedrooms and Bathrooms

One of the first factors any homebuyer considers when looking at a property is the number of bedrooms and bathrooms included. Even couples without children tend to prefer homes with at least two bedrooms and bathrooms—and large families need even more. For this reason, adding a bathroom is generally a renovation that will improve your resale value. On the other hand, combine two bedrooms into one large one and you may actually reduce the value of your home.

5. Neighboring Houses

You can own the largest, most beautiful, well-maintained property on the block but if the homes surrounding yours are in disrepair, outdated or significantly smaller, your property value will take a hit as a result. Not only do neighboring houses with poor curb appeal tend to drive away buyers, they also have a negative effect on the comps—or comparable sale prices—appraisers consider when calculating the value of your property. Even if a buyer agrees to pay your asking price, his or her mortgage company is not going to extend a loan for more than what the appraiser determines your home is worth.

Source: Ghost Post   Text by Angela Rose , Photo by Ugis Riba/Shutterstock.com

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What to Expect at Your Real Estate Closing

Unfamiliar situations are nerve-wracking for everyone. From blind dates to root canals, it’s natural to dread the unknown. Fortunately, closing day—also known as settlement day or escrow day—doesn’t have to be a panic-inducing experience. When you know what to expect, you can anticipate one of the most important days of your life with joy instead of uncertainty.

Expect a crowd. Closing requirements are determined by your state and county, but it’s not uncommon for a half-dozen or more individuals to attend the event. You’ll be joined by your real estate agent, the home seller, the seller’s real estate agent, representatives from your lender and the title company, and a closing agent. Depending on your location and situation, one or more attorneys may also be present.

Expect to sign your name dozens of times. Numerous legal documents are reviewed and signed on closing day. These include documents related to your mortgage as well as those transferring ownership of your new home. Take time to read through each one and ask as many questions as necessary to understand the transaction fully. Don’t sign documents that are incomplete or contain errors—even minor ones.

Expect to bring a cashier’s check. Buying a home generally requires the payment of fees—such as those for the appraisal and title insurance—that are due on closing day along with the balance of your down payment and any fees for points that you haven’t chosen to roll into your mortgage principal. Under new rules established by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, your lender is required to provide you with a Closing Disclosure document three days prior to your closing. In addition to reviewing the details of your mortgage, the document will clearly state your closing costs and how much cash (in the form of a cashier’s check) you’ll need to bring to close.

Review this document carefully as soon as you receive it, comparing it to the Loan Estimate you received from your lender after submission of your mortgage application. In addition to confirming that the loan terms—including amount and interest rate—are the same as you were originally quoted, pay particular attention to origination and third-party charges.

Expect to pay property taxes in advance. Most lenders will require the creation of an escrow account at closing for the advance payment of property taxes (and sometimes homeowner’s insurance as well). You’ll need to bring a cashier’s check to fund the escrow with the minimum your lender requires. You’ll continue to make deposits to the escrow account with each mortgage payment you make. Your lender will then disburse payments for your property taxes (and homeowner’s insurance, if required) to the appropriate party as they are due.

Expect to prove you have homeowner’s insurance. If your lender allows you to purchase your own homeowner’s insurance, you’ll need to prove that you’ve done so. Bring a copy of your policy showing your new home will be covered as of the date of your closing. You’ll need to bring proof of payment—often of a year’s worth of insurance in advance—to the closing as well.

Once all the documents havt3C7yUrC-shutterstock_439087672e been signed and funds transferred, you’ll officially become a homeowner and can walk away from the closing table with keys to your new property and copies of the forms necessary for the transaction. Put those papers in a safe place; experts recommend holding on to them for as long as you own the home, plus three years.

Source: Ghost Post  – Text by Angela Rose | Photo by Micolas/Shutterstock.com

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The Women’s Council of Realtors National REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo Suzanne McGuire- 2016 WCR Local VP of Membership-Fort Myers

I would like to thank our members, the governing board, and specifically to our 2016 president Suzanne Sherer for making my trip to DC possible. Without the support of our chapter, I would never have been afforded this opportunity.

For me this was a week of firsts, first time to DC, first time attending a National WCR event, first time attending a Florida State event, and my first time to the hill to discuss our issues with the people who can do something about them.

AMy week started off by flying into Dulles (on a really tiny plane 35 seats, tip: Fly into Reagan!)  I arrived around 1:30 pm and made it to the hotel at about 2:45 pm. Suzanne Sherer invited me to drop my bags, change my shoes, and head out the door for the legislative meetings on the Hill. Which I did!

Our group which included members of our local board of Realtors met with Congressman Curt Clawson and his staff to discuss issues affecting Realtors in our community, such as 1031 exchanges, housing issues, and financing issues.

BAs we were leaving the meeting with Representative Clawson there was a commotion in the hall, noise, and cameras, then all of a sudden we were face to face with Florida’s Governor Rick Scott, to whom we were introduced. He was meeting with members of Congress to discuss the Zika virus.

I also attended the Florida Realtors Reception and met involved, like-minded Realtors from around the state. It was fantastic to see what opportunities are available both through Women’s Council and the National Association of Realtors.

CMy Thursday was spent in class with Marki Lemons teaching Networking and Referrals: Building Business and  Profit. I can’t say enough about Marki.  If you ever have an opportunity to see her speak or take a class she is teaching DO NOT miss it!!!  She is fantastic. We worked through tons of social media strategies, programs, and apps. I’m now using Evernote, Snapchat, Twitter and too many others to list. Let’s just say my social media plan for my business and my chapter has broadened.  I had lunch with Sandra Huber and Christine Mantilia VP’s of Membership for Cape Coral and Bonita.

Friday we attended the Game Changer Sessions which covered How To Set And Keep Goals with Joseph Rand, The Balancing Act with Juanita McDowel, and my personal favorite, Step Up and Stand Out with Laura Leyser. In Laura’s class, we learned how to set ourselves apart from the crowd. What do we do that is different? I can’t wait to share what I’ve learned with the chapter and really take some of these lessons and apply them not only to my business but to our chapter to create an experience for the membership!

DOn Friday evening, I was fortunate enough to accompany our President Suzanne Sherer to the Old Ebbitt Grill for an assocation dinner hosted by The Royal Palm Coast Realtor Association.

A huge thank you to (in no particular order) Beate Jones, Karen Swanbeck, Jason Jakus, Josh Burdine, Bill Steinke, Jeff Miloff, Donna Stout and any of the other fine members of our local association who took time out of their experience to talk to me and discuss opportunities on the local level.

ESaturday I attended two Ignite classes, Leadership Pipeline with Brenda Lee Szlachta and Supercharge Your Chapter Website with Sam Powel. Both women were funny, engaging and these classes were full of practical information that we can put to use for our chapter right away.

I can’t wait to begin putting some of these great ideas into practice for both for my Chapter and Malt Realty & Development.

No trip to the Capital would be complete without a sight-seeing trip. After the Governing Board meeting, the Fort Myers team had an opportunity to catch up over dinner and socialize. It was such a great opportunity to spend time getting to know my traveling companions Local President Elect Debbie Phillips, Joanna Coleman, Ways and Means Chair, and of course my roommate Local President Suzanne Sherer. Ladies thank you so much for your guidance and support on this trip it was wonderful. FG

Members, Thank you again for the opportunity to serve.
Suzanne McGuire
#WCRRocks

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Vacancies Happen!

The Landlord Dream

  • Invest in an income property . . . CHECK
  • Find the perfect tenant . . . CHECK
  • Tenant lives happily ever after and forevermore in your rental property . . .

 

The Landlord Reality . . . VACANCIES HAPPEN.

Tenants come and go, in some cases, regularly. Vacancy periods dramatically impact cash flow; we call this period property down time.  When a property is empty, you, the property owner, must cover the monthly property expenses out of pocket.

 

What do you do?

How can I fill my vacancy as quickly as possible?

 

Scrambling to fill the vacancy, landlords typically lower their tenant standards in order to locate a tenant. Ultimately leading to a poor tenant placement resulting in; property damage, late rent, missed rent and even evictions.  Don’t get caught in this vicious landlord cycle that ends with landlords asking the same questions

 

What do I do?

How can I fill my vacancy as quickly as possible?

 

Don’t fear!  Malt Realty has a proven system to minimize property down time and maximize owner income.  With over 40 years of experience, Malt realty’s knowledge of the Southwest Florida rental market has allowed them to develop unparalleled services such as a “30 day Rental Guarantee”.  In addition, Malt Realty’s Rigorous tenant screening process has resulted in minimal late payments and one of the highest lease renewal rates in the area. Thus allowing Malt realty the ability to pay owners on the first of the month regardless if your tenant pays late in Malt Realty’s “Owner Paid on the 1st” program.

 

Malt Realty has taken filling vacancies to the next level.   Their property management professionals have been successfully filling vacancies for years and are ready to locate a qualified tenant for your property.   Stop the vicious landlord cycle of placing poor tenants and take back your sanity, life, and money by contacting Malt Realty today to schedule a free market analysis.

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Before you Rent

Getting ready to rent your first apartment? Renting again after a few years out of the rental market? The information in this blog should help you make informed decisions as a renter.

Before you rent
Whether you’re renting your first place of your own, moving to a new city or area, or just need a change of scenery, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is where you’ll live.

If you are renting, you will most likely sign a lease. There are very few exceptions in which a lease can be broken. Therefore, your rental home should be chosen with great care.

Avoiding Scams – DO NOT send funds to someone who cannot allow you to enter the home for a showing. If you live out of the state and cannot verify a rental, we urge you to perform a Google search on the address. This should reveal the true rental listing agent. You may want to drive by the property to see if there is a sign indicating the true rental listing agent, although many association communities do not allow signage.

Utilities – ask questions regarding the utilities.  You lease agreement should specifically state what utilities you are responsible for paying.

Security Deposits – security deposits are typically equal to one month’s rent however; they can be higher depending on your credit and rental history.  Make certain your lease agreements states where your security deposit is being held and if it is an interest or non-interest bearing account.

Renter’s Insurance –it is highly recommended you obtain renter’s insurance for your protection.  Renter’s insurance policy offers you coverage for the theft, loss or destruction of your personal belongings in the event of a fire, storm or other covered peril.

Rental Application Criteria – ask for a copy of the rental criteria at the time you are provided with a rental application.  Be sure you meet the rental criteria before you submit your application.  Have all pertinent documentation needed such as proof of income, copies of your driver’s license and rental history contact information, emergency contact information and referrals etc.

Maintenance Repairs – make certain the lease agreement lists the phone number to call to report maintenance.  Ask if there is an emergency maintenance phone number.

Roommates or pets – all occupants have to be listed on the lease agreement.  Pets must be listed on lease agreement as well.  Some management companies require photos of your pet along with vet records, be sure you have this information on hand when applying for a rental.

Malt Realty would love to help you find your new home.  Call us today to discuss your needs 239-936-1320.

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They’re Back! School Is In Session

Slow Down: Back to School Means Sharing the Road

Things get a little crazy on the roads during the school year: Buses are everywhere, kids on bikes are hurrying to get to school before the bell rings, harried parents are trying to drop their kids off before work.

It’s never more important for drivers to slow down and pay attention than when kids are present – especially before and after school.  We at Malt Realty and Development care about our youngest customers, your children.  Let’s keep our community safe this school season.

Sharing the Road with Young Pedestrians

nsc_footer_logoAccording to research by the National Safety Council, most of the children who lose their lives in bus-related incidents are 4 to 7 years old, and they’re walking. They are hit by the bus, or by a motorist illegally passing a stopped bus. A few precautions go a long way toward keeping children safe:

  • Don’t block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn, forcing pedestrians to go
    around you; this could put them in the path of moving traffic
  • In a school zone when flashers are blinking, stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection
  • Always stop for a school patrol officer or crossing guard holding up a stop signcross guard
  • Take extra care to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks, and in all residential areas
  • Don’t honk or rev your engine to scare a pedestrian, even if you have the right of way
  • Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians
  • Always use extreme caution to avoid striking pedestrians wherever they may be, no matter who has the right of way

Sharing the Road with School Buses

If you’re driving behind a bus, allow a greater following distance than if you were driving behind a car. It will give you more timebus stop to stop once the yellow lights start flashing. It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.

  • Never pass a bus from behind – or from either direction if you’re on an undivided road – if it is stopped to load or unload children
  • If the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, traffic must stop
  • The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus
  • Be alert; children often are unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks

Sharing the Road with Bicyclists

On most roads, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicles, but bikes can be hard to see. Children riding bikes create special problems for drivers because usually they are not able to properly determine traffic conditions. The most common cause of collision is a driver turning left in front of a bicyclist.kids bicycle

  • When passing a bicyclist, proceed in the same direction slowly, and leave 3 feet between your car and the cyclist
  • When turning left and a bicyclist is approaching in the opposite direction, wait for the rider to pass
  • If you’re turning right and a bicyclists is approaching from behind on the right, let the rider go through the intersection first, and always use your turn signals
  • Watch for bike riders turning in front of you without looking or signaling; children especially have a tendency to do this
  • Be extra vigilant in school zones and residential neighborhoods
  • Watch for bikes coming from driveways or behind parked cars
  • Check side mirrors before opening your door

By exercising a little extra care and caution, drivers and pedestrians can co-exist safely in school zones.

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1614 Colonial Boulevard, Ste. 102
Fort Myers, FL 33907
F: (239) 936-6579

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Care and Feeding for Your Property

iStock_000005125394MediumAs we have seen, the rising need to rental properties is increasing in our area.

If you have a place for rent, we at Malt Realty and Development are here to help you get your property rented. If you are a renter there are certain rules and obligations you, as a renter, should follow based on your lease agreement. As your property management company we are here to help you get the most in the community you have decided to live.

During the summer, changing your air filter in your HVAC unit is tantamount to home maintenance. Please see below how a dirty air filter can affect your home.

  1. A dirty air filter is the #1 reason for HVAC system failure. A dirty filter restricts the airflow into your HVAC systems air handler. This restricted airflow places additional strain on the air handler fan motor and could, over time, burn out the motor and cause your system to overheat and ultimately fail. Filter replacement is a small price to pay to extend to life of one of the biggest financial investments in your home.
  2. A dirty air filter makes your fan motor work harder and consume more energy. One of the easiest and quickest ways to reduce your energy bill is to replace your air filter.
  3. A dirty air filter reduces the air quality in your home. Poor home air quality can aggravate allergies and asthma, particularly children’s allergies. Change your filter for your family’s health.
  4. A dirty air filter makes your heating and air-conditioning systems and your ducts get dirty faster. This can lead to costly cleaning expenses or to a need to replace your units sooner than you expected.
  5. A dirty air filter increases your energy bills. You can see an immediate, short-term cost savings when you replace your air filter.
  6. A dirty air filter increases your carbon footprint. Changing your filter reduces the amount of energy your home consumes. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to be environmentally responsible.

At Malt Realty and Development, we have our crews come out and inspect the premises and HVAC system at least twice per year. Here are some other helpful hints and tips:

For owners:

property_management_clipboard_400_01_400Renting properties and homes is a highly profitable business if the enterprise is properly planned and executed. One thing that every landlord has to and will have to deal with is maintaining the condition of their properties. We at Malt Realty and Development take all the guess work out of maintaining your investment, however we have some suggestions on how a landlord can maintain their property and keep them in top-notch condition on an ongoing basis.

Before – Before a property is rented out there should be routine maintenance done on it. Make sure that the place is clean and clear of mess. Take the time to ensure that all appliances work and have no malfunctions. In order to make the property more appealing, paint the walls. This will give the property a clean slate so to speak and will also give you a memorable starting point for the property against which to gauge and damage that may occur in the future. Also, take some pictures, digital or otherwise of the rental. Make sure to get shots of every room from every angle. In the event that some damage does occur you will want to have these pictures for reference.

During – While the property is rented the best thing you can do is to be vigilant and timely in fulfilling the requests of the tenant (within reason of course). As a landlord you are entitled to do spot inspections of the property but keep in mind that you must give the tenants appropriate notice before entering the home. Make the commitment to respond to requests from your renters in a timely manner. If you are attentive then chances are you will be a popular landlord. Many renters have run afoul of landlords that simply don’t seem to care and never get around to fixing things that break or taking care of problems. Having a negligent landlord makes it more difficult for renters to take pride in the property.

After – After a renter moves out the name of the game is making sure that there was no damage done to the property and getting it ready for the next tenants. This is a good time to compare the home to the pictures you took before to see if there are any discrepancies. If the damages exceed the amount of the damage deposit then you have the right to get the additional amount from the renters. Protecting your investment is an important thing so be sure you are ready to do so if necessary.

For renters:

Most owner and property management companies will ask you to maintain the premises in good, clean and tenantable condition throughout the tenancy, keeping all plumbing fixtures in good repair, use all electrical, plumbing, heating, cooling, appliances and other equipment in a reasonable manner, removing all garbage in a clean and sanitary manner.  Here are some helpful renting tips for you.Property-management-contract-830x323

Before: Request an inspection prior to moving in. Make sure that the place is clean and clear of mess. Take the time to ensure that all appliances work and have no malfunctions. You should also take some pictures, digital or otherwise of the rental. Make sure to get shots of every room from every angle. In the event that some damage does occur you will want to have these pictures for reference.

During: You will be required to take care of the inside of the rental property as well. This means that you will need to regularly clean the inside of the property to ensure that it is in good condition when you choose to leave.

After: When moving out, please thoroughly clean your apartment, patch any holes and if you have painted, please restore the walls to the neutral color as designated in your lease agreement.

Why Malt Realty & Development?

Malt Development is one of Southwest Florida’s only full-service real estate businesses serving Fort Myers rental property management and home sale needs in Fort Myers. As a full-service Fort Myers real estate firm, Malt Realty offers:

palm-tree-bulletProperty Rentals

palm-tree-bulletProperty Management

palm-tree-bulletReal Estate Sales

palm-tree-bulletAnnual, Seasonal, Vacation & Commercial Properties

palm-tree-bulletConstruction/Renovation

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1614 Colonial Boulevard, Ste. 102
Fort Myers, FL 33907
F: (239) 936-6579

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