Realty Executives Tucson Elite

Don Eugene and Ashley Kimberlin

Don Eugene and Ashley Kimberlin

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DIY Or Hire A Contractor?

(Published on - 3/2/2019 9:52:36 PM)

Whether you’re preparing your home to sell, or you’ve just moved into your home and have some projects to tackle… knowing which items to do your self and which need a professional licensed contractor can save you from costly mistakes.

If you are really handy, tackling projects in your home may be right up your alley. If you spend a lot of time watching home-makeover reruns and envision creating a fabulous transformation all on your own … remember that there are always professionals (designers, craftsmen, tradesmen and carpenters) watching over (and correcting) the process. Doing-it-yourself (DIY) when the stakes are high (such as when selling your home, rewiring electrical or knocking out a wall) might give you a bigger headache than you want.

Here’s a basic list of what you might take care of yourself and which items definitely need that experienced touch.

Is it doable? Painting walls, resurfacing or refinishing cabinets, hanging drapery rods, even changing light fixtures is easily doable if you have basic skills. If you’re looking at scraping that popcorn off your ceiling, however, you need to check with your local building authorities to see if yours might have asbestos. Homes built before the laws changed in the mid-70s may or may not have asbestos ceilings that require special (and often expensive) removal. Having no experience can be a deal breaker when it comes to a project that is dangerous or could be very costly if a mistake is made. It may end up costing way more to try and do it yourself only to have a professional have to redo it.

Is it safe? You may have the skills to change light fixtures, but if they are located in the peak of a vaulted ceiling over an open staircase and require artful scaffolding to reach … you might need a professional with the correct equipment. There are a handful of jobs that need to be done by contractors considering they have the safety equipment and training needed. If you do tackle a project, be sure to have all required safety gear including goggles, gloves and the like.

Is it prudent? Many plumbing tasks—changing out a faucet, for example—are perfect options for a budding DIY-er. Moving pipes in the walls, installing shower pans and other projects that could cost you plenty if they created a leak inside your walls, might just end up being the proverbial money pit. When you hire a skilled contractor to do the work, make certain he is licensed, bonded and insured. That way, if a leak forms later and your tub falls through the floor, you’re covered. A seasoned professional should handle concrete work of any type since the chance for something to go wrong is quite high, but if you want to tile your bathroom floor … take it on.

Exterior changes, such as roofing, new windows, or skylightsskylights, could require a contractor that knows the requirements to make your home watertight and energy efficient.

Before you start a DIY project for the first time, check with your local big box stores to see if they offer classes. The tools, glues, mortars and other materials your grandpa or dad used may have changed over the years, so be sure to ask professionals about drying times, set speed, the need to use undercoats or primers and anything else you can think of before you start.

When considering making changes before a home sale, check with us … some changes may be unnecessary and others could increase what someone will pay for your home. We can also point you toward some of our preferred contractors. Call Don 520-954-7785 or Ashley 520-490-2920


Spring Cleaning

(Published on - 3/2/2019 9:39:10 PM)

Spring is the perfect time to tackle some of those nasty cleaning jobs you’ve been putting off. If you’re planning to put your house on the market, or getting ready to leave a rental for your newly purchased home, take on these projects now. Don’t procrastinate.

Refrigerator

We don’t know how it happens, but refrigerator drawers and shelves seem to collect gunk and goo. We can swipe them with a wet cloth on the fly, but at least a couple times a year we need to remove all the contents and give those shelves and drawers a really good scrub. 

Rugs

Those beautiful rugs that kept our toes cozy all winter are due for a good beating. Of course, you can vacuum them as well, but sometimes a good shaking or whacking with a broom or rug beater is the trick. Make sure you have a sturdy clothesline or balcony rail to hang them over. Letting them air out in the fresh outdoors can help get rid of that musty winter odor too.

Mini-Blinds

Though wonderful for controlling sunlight, mini-blinds are a housekeeper’s worst nightmare. Dusting each of those little slats, or even using special tools doesn’t always work. At least once a year, lay them out on the lawn and give those blinds a good spray with an eco-friendly degreaser. Then, use the hose and a spray nozzle to wash off all the grime. Dry them in the warm sun before hanging them back up.

Comforters and Duvets

Take your large blankets, comforters, duvets and quilts and wash them in your own large capacity washer or take them to a nearby Laundromat. But, rather than pay for all that drying time, bring them home and hang them out on a sturdy clothesline or railing to dry outdoors. Giving them a good airing out can give them a lovely freshness and prepares them to be packed away until the cold weather returns.

Trash Cans

Even when you use bags, your trashcans are subject to grime and goop. Line them all up on the edge of the patio, fill them with organic dish soap and put the kids to scrubbing with big sponges. If a water-fight ensues, all the better! Once the cans are clean, let them dry outdoors.

Inside

While all your carpets, trashcans, quilts and blinds are drying in the sun, now is a good time to mop those floors, dust the overhead fans and tackle the windows. Of course, spring-cleaning all goes more quickly if you round up the whole family to help for just one day a year.

If you’re getting ready to sell your home, there are some other items you should consider tackling too. Give us a call and we can tell you just where you need to invest the most time and effort. Don 520-954-7785 or Ashley 520-490-2920


Purchasing Long-distance Real Estate

(Published on - 3/2/2019 9:37:11 PM)

Long-distance real estate investing is more accessible than ever in our modern, connected world. There are challenges and benefits to investing from a distance. It is important to conduct proper research. 

Consider these tips before you purchase a nonlocal investment property:

Get to know the area. Finding the right nonlocal property requires careful research and in-person visits to the prospective neighborhood. Whether you plan to use it as a vacation home or choose to rent it out, you should consider the traffic patterns, population growth and economic development of the area before you buy. 

Research additional costs. Taxes differ from state to state and even city to city, and many communities have HOA fees to take into account. Buying in a new place introduces an entirely different cost-benefit ratio than you experienced buying your first home. Get in touch with your financial adviser to know if that difference is worthwhile. 

Find local property management. No technology has yet to replace the value of a good property manager. As a local presence, they are a resource to renters and can ensure the property remains in good shape.

Just remember that property managers also add to your expenses.

Think long term. Recouping costs from a second home investment tends to require years of appreciation. When you buy any property -- local or across the country -- you should always think long term so that you get the best value. 

Looking for your next real estate investment? Get in touch with us today! Don 520-54-7785 or Ashley 520-490-2920


10 Questions To Ask A Realtor About Selling Your Home

(Published on - 3/2/2019 9:28:29 PM)

 

Choosing the person to help you sell your house can be intimidating. Most people don’t know where to begin, and that is understandable. To help make this decision a little easier for you, here are 10 questions you can ask the Realtor when you meet them.

1. Are you a full-time professional real estate agent? How long have you worked full time in real estate? How long have you been representing buyers? What professional designations do you have?

Knowing whether or not your agent practices full time can help you determine potential scheduling conflicts and his or her commitment to your transaction. As with any profession, the number of years a person has been in the business does not necessarily reflect the level of service you can expect, but it is a good starting point for your discussion.

2. Do you have a personal assistant, team or staff to handle different parts of the purchase? What are their names and how will each of them help me in my transaction? How do I communicate with them?

It is not uncommon for agents who sell a lot of houses to hire people to work with them. As their businesses grow, they must be able to deliver the same or higher quality service to more people. You may want to know who on the team will take part in your transaction, and what role each person will play. You may even want to meet the other team members before you decide to work with the team. If you have a question about fees on your closing statement, who would handle that? Who will show up to your closing?

3. Do you have a Website that will list my home? Can I have your URL address? Who responds to emails and how quickly? What’s your email address?

Many buyers prefer to search online for homes because it’s available 24 hours a day and can be done at home. So you want to make sure your home is listed online, either on the agent’s Website or on their company’s site. By searching your agent’s Website you will get a clear picture of how much information is available online.

4. How will you keep in contact with me during the selling process, and how often?

Some agents may email, or call you daily to tell you that visitors have toured your home, while others will keep in touch weekly. Asking this question can help you to reconcile your needs with your agent’s systems.

5. What do you do that other agents don’t that ensures I’m getting top dollar for my home? What is your average market time versus other agents’ average market time?

Marketing skills are learned, and sometimes a real estate professional’s unique method of research and delivery make the difference between whether or not a home sells quickly.

6. Will you give me names of past clients?

Interviewing an agent can be similar to interviewing someone to work in your office. Contacting references can be a reliable way for you to understand how he or she works, and whether or not this style is compatible with your own.

7. Do you have a performance guarantee? If I am not satisfied with your performance, can I terminate our listing agreement?

In the heavily regulated world of real estate, it can be difficult for an agent to offer a performance guarantee. If your agent does not have a guarantee, it does not mean they are not committed to high standards. Typically, he or she will verbally outline what you can expect from their performance. 

8. How will you get paid? How are your fees structured? May I have that in writing?

In many areas, the seller pays all agent commissions. Sometimes, agents will have other small fees, such as administrative or special service fees, that are charged to clients, regardless of whether they are buying or selling. Be aware of the big picture before you sign any agreements. Ask for an estimate of costs from any agent you contemplate employing.

9. How would you develop pricing strategies for our home?

Although location and condition affect the selling process, price is the primary factor in determining if a home sells quickly, or at all. Access to current property information is essential, and sometimes a pre-appraisal will help. Ask your agent how they created the market analysis, and whether your agent included For Sale by Owner homes, foreclosed homes and bank-owned sales in that list.

10. What will you do to sell my home? Who determines where and when my home is marketed/advertised? Who pays for your advertising?

Ask your real estate agent to present to you a clear plan of how marketing and advertising dollars will be spent. If there are other forms of marketing available but not specified in the plan ask who pays for those. Request samples of the types of marketing strategies that your agent proposes (such as Internet Websites, print magazines, open houses, and local publications).

Do you have more questions? Call us! Don 520-954-7785 or Ashley 520-490-2920


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