Benefits Of Downsizing Your Lakewood Ranch Home

Have you been considering downsizing your Lakewood Ranch home? You are not alone. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), 60 percent of buyers are considering downsizing to smaller, more efficient homes.
There are many benefits of downsizing your Lakewood Ranch home:
1. Reduce your impact on the environment: Your home will use less energy when you have less space to heat and cool.

2. Simplify your life: Simplifying your life reduces stress, improves creativity and increases joy.

3. Save money: When you buy a smaller home, you’ll save money on your utility bills. You’ll also reduce your maintenance expenses.  You will most likely have a smaller mortgage. When you have less space to fill, you need less stuff. So you can also spend less on furniture and other home décor.

4. Increase free time: You’ll spend less time cleaning and maintaining a smaller home.  Use the extra time to travel, take up a hobby or just relax.

5. Improve your health: Less stress usually equals improved health.

6. Put cash in your pocket: Sell your extra stuff on eBay, Craigslist and at a garage sale.

Making the decision to downsize can be difficult to do, but once you’ve taken the leap, you’ll discover many rewards. The more stuff you get rid of, the more you can save for things that truly matter.

Ready to downsize to a smaller Lakewood Ranch home? We can help. Give Lakewood Ranch Realtor® Ellen Ferber Evans at 941-773-6907 or Alan Evans at 941-773-6906 a call today or email us at ellen@lakewoodranchareahomes.com for more information.

REMAX Alliance Group, 5411 University Pkwy, Sarasota, Fl  34201

Website: www.lakewoodranchareahomes.com

 

Emotional Mistakes Lakewood Ranch Real Estate Sellers Make

More than likely, you’ve cooked dinners, you’ve played games and you’ve made thousands of memories within the personally decorated walls of your home — and now you think you’re ready to move on. No matter the reason for selling your Lakewood Ranch real estate, getting emotional is normal. However, you need to keep those emotions in check, because they could be detrimental to closing the deal.

Emotional ties constantly get sellers in troubling situations that make them regret their  decisions. A snide remark, too-low an offer or fixer-up request from the buyer can push your buttons, but you need to set your feelings aside in order to do what’s best for your financial future. Below are emotional mistakes that can stop negotiations and put you in housing hot water!

• Overpricing faux pas – Just because your sweat is worth a lot to you doesn’t mean that your property’s value will reflect the years of hard work, cleaning, upgrades and love you’ve put into it. Do your research. If there are comparable houses in your neighborhood at lower price points, reduce your listing price so that you’ll be a contender for buyers.

• Negative negotiating – Even though you may not want to entertain low offers, listen to your Lakewood Ranch real estate agent. He or she has been through hundreds of negotiations and is your best bet for closing the deal at a fair price. 

• Personal injuries – Don’t let buyer’s decorating ideas get to your ego and cause you to reject a potential purchaser. Remember, you are selling this house and moving on; they’ll be able to do whatever they want once they own it anyway.

• Mourning the sale – The memories go with you, so don’t have any second thoughts. Concentrate on making new happy moments in your future home.

Don’t let sentimental seller’s syndrome cause you to blow a fuse, have seller’s remorse, or worst of all, lose a sale. Eliminate emotions from the sale process in order to draw in buyers, get your money’s worth and sell quickly.

If you need help selling your Lakewood Ranch real estate, call Lakewood Ranch Realtor® Ellen Ferber Evans at 941-773-6907 or Alan Evans at 941-773-6906. You can email us at  ellen@lakewoodranchareahomes.com for more information.

REMAX Alliance Group, 5411 University Parkway, Sarasota, Florida 34201.

Think Like A Lakewood Ranch Real Estate Agent

Before you put your home on the market, you want to make certain that it’s in tip-top condition to ensure a quick sale. The key to listing your home at a competitive price and guaranteeing you have what buyers are looking for is to think like a Lakewood Ranch real estate agent.

To get your home ready to sell, here are five easy and inexpensive home improvements this Lakewood Ranch real estate agent recommends:

1. Layout – Take an objective look at your home and stage accordingly. Remove clutter and rearrange furniture so that potential buyers can envision each room’s purpose. Also, store any obtrusive furniture that disrupts walking flow or makes rooms look smaller.
2. Hardware – Update all hardware. Changing out door handles, drawer pulls and light fixtures is an easy way to modernize your home while costing little money.
3. Charm – Play up the unique features of your home. Refinish hardwood floors if scuffed, remove excess objects from built-in bookshelves and clean unique light fixtures. It’s these irreplaceable elements that make your home stand out from other homes and attract buyers. 
4. Scent – Eliminate all bad odors such as pet smells, stale cooking odors and cigarette smoke.  Just lighting candles or spraying air freshener won’t work.  Clean, deodorize and get rid of rugs or other cloth objects that still smell bad.
5. Curb Appeal – Spend some time sprucing up the yard. It’s the first impression buyers will have, and although the house might be in mint condition, a lots-of-work lawn could instill a negative notion before they even step foot inside your home.

Buyers’ needs vary in every market. However, buyers will always consider these five features before they buy. So, stay one step ahead of the game and ensure your house is up to par with buyers’ expectations.

If you’re getting ready to sell your home and are looking for a Lakewood Ranch real estate agent who can help you sell your home fast and for top-dollar, We’d be honored to be interviewed for the job. 

Give Lakewood Ranch Realtor® Ellen Ferber Evans at 941-773-6907 or Alan Evans at 941-773-6906 a call today or email us at  ellen@lakewoodranchareahomes.com to schedule an appointment.

REMAX Alliance Group, 5411 University Parkway, Sarasota, Florida 34201.

Lakewood Ranch Home For The Holidays

As real estate agents, we spend a lot of time rushing in and out of Lakewood Ranch homes. It’s easy for us to get caught up in the hustle-bustle of real estate transactions, and we forget to slow down to appreciate the pleasures of owning a home. So today, we want to take a moment to reflect on the home aspect of real estate.

Our job (one we love) is to help people just like you find a house that suits their lives.  Once you move in, you make that house into a home. 

Holiday Traditions
Your Lakewood Ranch home is where you and your loved ones celebrate holidays and where you create and continue family traditions. Whether you deck the halls with layers of tinsel and wreaths or have the whole family over to spin Hanukkah dreidels, the spirit of the season comes from the energy of the people gathering together in your home. 

Season of Family Warmth
While you’re making your famous sugar cookies or spiking your secret-recipe punch with extra holiday cheer, pause for a moment to enjoy the warmth and beauty of your Lakewood Ranch home. Our wish for you is that you live every day like it’s a holiday, being thankful and spending time with loved ones.

Happy Holidays!
May your home be filled with the joy of family and friends this holiday season. There’s truly no place like home for the holidays!

Ellen Ferber Evans and Alan Evans Realtors, Lakewood Ranch Area Homes and REMAX Alliance Group, 5411 University Parkway, Sarasota, Florida 34202

Links:

Holiday traditions
http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/10-new-holiday-traditions-710162/

Sugar cookies
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/easy-sugar-cookies/detail.aspx

Lakewood Ranch Home Buyers: 3 Mistakes First-Time Home Buyers Make(and How to Avoid Them)

There are a few mistakes that many first-time home buyers make.  Here are three of the most common mistakes and how you can avoid them when purchasing your first Lakewood Ranch home.

Mistake #1:  Assuming your credit is good.
The information in your credit report determines whether you can get a loan — and how much interest you will have to pay – so it pays to be certain your credit reports are accurate.

Check your credit reports for free from all three credit reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — to make sure everything is correct.  If you find errors, contact both the credit reporting company and the information provider (the person, company or organization that provided information about you to a credit reporting company) involved in the errors and ask them to fix the credit report errors.

Mistake #2:  Getting pre-qualified, not pre-approved, for a loan.
It’s far better to be pre-approved for a loan than to be pre-qualified.   Here’s why…

With pre-qualification, your lender does a preliminary evaluation of your ability to pay for a home and gives an estimate of the mortgage amount they’ll give you.  The lender does not verify the information you provide. 

With pre-approval, your lender verifies your income, assets, debts and credit history.  They provide you with written confirmation of the mortgage amount for which you’re approved. That written confirmation demonstrates to the seller that you are committed to buying; this can give you an advantage over other buyers.

Mistake #3:  Allowing emotions to influence your decisions.
Buying a home is an investment.  It needs to be treated as any other investment.  You don’t buy stocks because they are pretty and you shouldn’t choose your Lakewood Ranch home that way either.  Make sure the home you buy fits your needs and allows you room to grow over the next few years. As with any sound investment, time is the key to a good return.

If you are a first-time home buyer, we would be happy to help you find (and get the best price for) your first Lakewood Ranch home.   Give Lakewood Ranch Realtor® Ellen Ferber Evans at 941-773-6907 or Alan Evans at 941-773-6906 a call today or email us at aevans15@tampabay.rr.com.

REMAX Alliance Group, 5411 University Parkway, Sarasota, Florida 34201
Links:
Credit reports for free
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre34.shtm
Fix the credit report errors
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre21.shtm

Five Tips To Make Your Lakewood Ranch Home’s Bathroom Greener

If you’re looking for ways to make your Lakewood Ranch home’s bathroom more eco-friendly, here are some tips on saving water and more.
1. Fix the toilet. A leaky toilet wastes unimaginable amounts of precious water. Low-flow models use as little as .8 gallons.

2. Replace or upgrade your old faucet. Faucets account for more than 15 percent of indoor household water use, so reducing their flow (by up to 30 percent) with WaterSense-labeled products will amount to huge savings. If you don’t want to replace your faucets, you can achieve the same water savings with very inexpensive faucet aerators.

3. Turn down the water heater. Hot water heaters use nearly 20 percent of the average Lakewood Ranch home’s energy. Most manufacturers preset hot water heaters at 140 degrees. Reducing water temperature by 10 degrees saves 3 to 5 percent in energy costs. In most cases 120 degrees is perfectly comfortable.

4. Don’t use commercial drain cleaners.  Common drain cleaners contain lye, hydrochloric acid and trichloroethane—toxins that corrode the plumbing in your Lakewood Ranch home.

5. Use toilet paper made from recycled paper.  According to Greenpeace, Americans could save more than 400,000 trees if each family bought a roll of recycled toilet paper—just once.
Let us find the right home for you! Give Lakewood Ranch Realtor® Ellen Ferber Evans at 941-773-6907 or Alan Evans at 941-773-6906 a call today or email us at aevans15@tampabay.rr.com.
REMAX Alliance Group, 5411 University Parkway, Sarasota, Florida 34201.
Links:

Saving water
http://epa.gov/watersense/water_efficiency/index.html

WaterSense products
http://epa.gov/watersense/products/index.html

Faucet Aerators
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faucet_aerator

Giving Thanks For Being A Lakewood Ranch Real Estate Agent

At this time of year, as thoughts turn to gobbling down turkey dinners and watching football, it’s easy to get caught up in the details and lose the spirit.  So today, we want to take a minute to say something important:
Thank you!
Because of you, we have a job we love: being a Lakewood Ranch real estate agent. 

Thanksgiving is a holiday of gratitude, and yet too few of us remember that, when we’re stuck in traffic going over the river and through the woods to grandma’s house for her famous pumpkin pie. 
So today, we would like to say again, thank you.  

Thank you for contributing to this community, online and in the real world, by asking questions, adding your insights, and trusting us with your housing dreams.   

If we’ve worked together in the past, please know that we are sincerely grateful for your business. We hope the experience of working together led you to your perfect home and fulfilled your real estate goals.

If you are new to this site and just beginning to investigate the sometimes confusing world of real estate, we would like to thank you for stopping by.  We hope that we will have an opportunity to work together.
 
One of our favorite things about working as a Lakewood Ranch real estate agent is that we learn so much about the lives of our clients. They let us inside their homes and tell us about their best visions for the future. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your life.

Thank you for your trust.   We want you to know that we are honored by it, and take it seriously. As Lakewood Ranch real estate agents, we take pride in helping you find the perfect solution for your needs. We love hearing your stories as you embark on new chapters, and addresses, in your life.  

During the warmth of this holiday season, we hope you and yours are safe and secure in a community that you love. And we hope your turkey emerges from the oven golden brown and delicious!
REMAX Alliance Group, 5411 University Parkway, Sarasota, Florida 34201.

Links:

Thanksgiving
http://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving
Turkey
http://allrecipes.com/Recipes/holidays-and-events/thanksgiving/turkey/main.aspx

6 Myths About Professionally Staging Lakewood Ranch Homes

In this tough real estate market, you need all the advantages you can get in order to sell your home. Staging is one of the biggest advantages you can give your home.
You’ve heard a lot about staging Lakewood Ranch homes and it’s usually followed by the words, “I can’t afford to hire a professional stager.” In today’s market you really can’t afford not to. Here are six myths about professionally staging Lakewood Ranch homes (and the facts behind the myths):

MYTH #1: I can’t afford to hire a professional home stager.
Fact: Professional home staging is more affordable than you think. The industry has grown tremendously over the past few years, and because of this, the cost of home staging has become competitive.

MYTH #2: I don’t have time to look for someone I can trust.
Fact: Many real estate agents can recommend stagers to handle the Lakewood Ranch homes they list. There is a fee for this service charged by the stager, but the real estate agent has already done the looking for you.

MYTH #3: Only expensive homes get staged.
Fact: Any home can be staged. Even the most modest of homes can look like a buyer’s dream home when staged correctly.

MYTH #4: Why spend the money on staging when I live there.
Fact: We furnish our homes according to our taste and likes. To sell your home, you must appeal to as many buyers as possible, and what looks good to us might not look so good to someone else.

MYTH #5: Staging my home won’t make it sell faster.
Fact: A professionally staged home will sell faster by appealing to more buyers. The whole purpose of staging is to make your home look like a home the buyer can’t wait to live in.

MYTH #6: All the homes around me look the same; staging isn’t going to help.
Fact: Having your home professionally staged will make it stand out from the competition. This is exactly the edge you need for buyers to choose your home over the other Lakewood Ranch homes for sale in your area.

Want help finding a professional stager for your home? Give Lakewood Ranch Realtor® Ellen Ferber Evans at 941-773-6907 or Alan Evans at 941-773-6906 a call today or e-mail us at aevans15@tampabay.rr.com.

REMAX Alliance Group, 5411 University Parkway, Sarasota, Florida 34201.
Links:
Professional home stager
http://www.iahsp.com/
Home staging
http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/real-estate/articles/2008/07/03/the-home-staging-cheat-sheet.html

 

 

Homeowner’s Insurance and Your New Lakewood Ranch Home

You know you need homeowner’s insurance but what kind and how much? To help you figure this out, here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about homeowner’s insurance.
How much homeowner’s insurance do you need?
Lenders require you to carry enough coverage to protect their investment, which means the amount of your loan. But the amount of your loan most likely isn’t enough to rebuild your home, if it was damaged. To be able to replace your home and its contents in case of a disaster, you probably want a policy that insures the replacement value of your Lakewood Ranch home.
It’s a good idea to sit down periodically with your insurance agent to review your homeowner’s policy. You want to determine if your coverage matches current construction costs and the replacement value of your Lakewood Ranch home’s content.
What about coverage for natural disasters such as floods?
Many homeowners assume coverage for all natural disasters is included in their insurance policy. Not true. In fact, the most important thing for you to know about flood insurance is that it is not included in a basic homeowner’s insurance policy. It requires a separate policy in order to get reimbursed for damage.
You don’t have to live next to a large body of water to sustain water damage from flooding. A small creek next to your home can cause just as much damage during a flash flood.
Do you need to shop around for insurance?
Homeowner policy coverage doesn’t change much from company to company, however, rates can vary greatly. That means it is worth your time and effort to shop around for the best prices before you buy your homeowner’s policy.
If you’d like to purchase a home, give Lakewood Ranch Realtor® Ellen Ferber Evans at 941-773-6907 or Alan Evans at 941-773-6906 a call today or email us at aevans15@tampabay.rr.com.
REMAX Alliance Group,5411 University Parkway, Sarasota, Florida 34201.

How To Narrow Your Search For Lakewood Ranch Homes

With the wide array of homes on the market today, how do you narrow your search without missing out on that perfect home?

Here are 4 steps you can take to narrow your search for Lakewood Ranch homes.

Step 1: Decide on your top priority. Is it location, price, number of bedrooms or something else? Once you’ve decided on the most important feature, concentrate your search there.

Step 2: Search for homes. Most people start their search online. There are many real estate web sites you can browse through. Unfortunately, there are two big challenges to searching online:

1. Home listings quickly become out of date and may have incomplete or inaccurate information. Overcome this challenge by enlisting the help of a real estate agent. Your agent can quickly get all the current details on Lakewood Ranch homes for sale.

2. You can spend hours searching online without finding what you’re looking for. Overcome this challenge by setting a limit on the amount of time you spend searching online. Use a timer to remind you when your time is up, then walk away from the computer.

Step 3: Get comparables. After you‘ve narrowed the list to your favorite neighborhoods, get a few sales price comparisons that include homes that have sold in the last six months as well as those with contracts pending. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples, which means to compare homes that are the same size, same style and in the same neighborhood. Your real estate agent is the best resource for this type of information.

Step 4: Double check availability. Once you’ve made your top picks of Lakewood Ranch homes to view, have your agent make sure the properties are still available and don’t have pending offers. You don’t want to waste your time going to see a property that is no longer for sale.

Let us do the work for you. Give Lakewood Ranch Realtor® Ellen Ferber Evans at 941-773-6907 or Alan Evans at 941-773-6906 a call today or e-mail us at ellen@lakewoodranchareahomes.com to find out how we can streamline the search process for you.

REMAX Alliance Group, 5411 University Parkway, Sarasota, Florida 34201.