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It’s Tornado Season…Have you taken an insurance inventory of your home lately?

It’s the one thing that every homeowner has and hopes they never need: home insurance. To make sure you are always prepared, experts recommend that you keep on hand a complete home inventory.  State Farm says that a home inventory can help expedite an insurance claim after theft, damage, or loss. It not only helps in the settlement of a loss or claim, but may also help verify tax-deductible property losses.  Before you file this away in your brain as something you don’t have time for, you should know that most insurance companies provide some handy online Home Inventory Checklists, but the fastest, easiest way is a video walkthrough of your home. Document everything with your smartphone and upload the video to the cloud, such as Apple iCloud, Google Drive, or Dropbox, so it’s stored remotely. Supplement your video with documentation. Take photos of receipts, credit card statements, appraisals and other documents. Upload these to the Internet too.
When tragedy strikes, you and your family have enough things to worry about, so put that expensive phone to work and put your family at ease knowing that you are more organized than most!  Happy filming!
Your trusted neighborhood specialist at NextHome Central Real Estate,
Robert Gideon II
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Meet Luke

Meet Luke, “Our friend, companion and mascot. When Luke is not out in the field and enticing people to tour new homes for sale or playing with neighborhood kids, you can find him relaxing at home with his favorite book. Born June 15, 2014 at Pentagram, New York, with an immediate affinity and passion for real estate, Luke is an avid supporter of homeownership opportunities, financial security, green living and personalized lifestyle.

He is experienced in playful engagement, trotting and making people smile. He loves attention and organic food. Luke travels extensively in his role as Ambassador at NextHome, visiting listings, offices and bringing energy to the communities our members serve”.

You’ll see Luke in the yard of every active listing that our office has outstanding.  We also utilize Luke’s talent in pointing out our favorite features of a home, or neighborhood.  If you would like to learn more about the services that we offer, don’t hesitate to send me a message, email, or call!  I’m looking forward to sharing how we leverage our branding to help your home stand out from the crowd!

Your trusted neighborhood expert at NextHome Central Real Estate,

Robert Gideon

 

Source- www.nexthome.com/portfolio/luke/

 

 

 

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2019 Tax Deadlines You Should Know

We know that Uncle Sam doesn’t like us being late, and missing a tax deadline can add costly penalty fees to your tax burden.  Below are so important 2019 tax deadlines you should know;

  • January 15, 2019 – 2018 Q4 Estimated Tax payments (1040ES) are due for self-employed people.
  • April 15, 2019
    • All individual tax returns must be e-filed or postmarked. If you will be unable to make this deadline, file for an extension as soon as possible.
    • Self-employed persons must also pay their Q1 2019 Estimated Tax payments on this date.
  • June 15, 2019 – Q2 2019 Estimated Tax payments are due for self-employed people.
  • September 15, 2019 – Q3 2019 Estimated Tax payments are due for self-employed people.
  • October 15, 2019 – Tax returns are due for those who qualified for extensions.

Be sure to contact your accountant early! They tend to get busy this time of the year and you don’t want to be worried about a last minute mail run. I’ve been there, let’s never go back!  In the meantime, if you have any questions about buying or selling your home, shoot me a message!  Until then, best of luck this Tax Season!  For even more tax information, check out the IRS website.

Your trusted neighborhood specialist at NextHome Central Real Estate,

Robert Gideon II

 

Social Media Platforms

Selling Your Home Using Social Media

“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it.” – Erik Qualman

Community — a shared social network with common interests and values — is at the heart of our lives. So much of our communal world has moved into the online medium, enabling us to connect, correspond and follow our social network in a multitude of new ways. A community is also a focal point of the real estate process for buyers. Not only do they purchase a home based on the community and lifestyle they are looking for, they also rely heavily on the opinions of their shared network. Nearly 2.8 billion people have social media accounts and consumers today are more likely to make a purchase based on the reviews, interests and opinions from people within their sphere. At NextHome, we utilize online social media networks to market your property and make it easy for buyers to share your home with loved ones. This sharing process can increase their interest in your home and reach homebuyers who are searching through social media for the right place to build their lives.  Social media is no longer a marketing option for Realtors, it is a necessity.  When considering selling your home, be sure your agent understands not only the value of a strong online presence, but how to leverage your listing, and create positive community engagement and dialogue.

We all have unique opinions on how social media has impacted the nature of our communities, both in positive and negative ways, and while this conversation is a meaningful one, it is my job as your agent to utilize, and maximize, the benefits of social media for your transaction.  Social media is a powerful tool, so be certain you aren’t wasting days on market and utilize your sphere of influence to help sell your home!  If you would like to talk Facebook and Instagram algorithms, or if you have specific questions about how I will market your home to sell? Shoot me a message, I’ve got answers!

Your trusted neighborhood specialist,

Robert Gideon II

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The Home Valuation Process & Comparative Market Analysis


Comparative Market Analysis

Determining the value of your home comes from looking at a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), considering influencing factors, and the relationship of a comprehensive marketing plan with a pricing strategy.  During the CMA process, we will review related properties recently active and sold on the market. Recent sales are the strongest indicator of what a current buyer and current seller are able to contract for a successful close, resulting in today’s fair market value. Sold properties illustrate the relativity of home location, features and salability with buyer interest. Current listings will indicate the level of competition and homes being compared against your property.

Influencing Factors

A number of factors influence buyer interest in both their willingness to make a purchase and the price they are willing to pay. Some factors like consumer confidence, the state of the economy, availability of money, and interest rates, are important considerations outside of our control. Other significant factors are also finite, such as the location, size, and features of the home. The condition of the home also has a substantial impact on buyer interest and their evaluation of what the home is worth when compared to competing listings.

Marketing & Pricing Strategy

In addition to consideration of a CMA and influencing factors, it is important to consider the impact a comprehensive, quality marketing plan will have in reaching the widest breadth of current homebuyers, and their perception of the value of the home. The presentation of your property impacts whether a homebuyer puts it above or below the value of your competitors. In short, they see the home as worth more or less than the others based on their own opinion and experience.

Want to know my opinion of what your home is worth? Shoot me a message! I’d love to help!  I provide CMA’s at no cost, and with no obligation!

Your trusted neighborhood specialist at NextHome CRE,

Robert Gideon II

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Video Marketing – The Digital Age of Real Estate

We live in the digital age of  real estate and multi-media channels. Consumers are gravitating to mobile media and often consume from multiple mediums at one time. There are more than 2 billion unique users visiting YouTube each month and half of YouTube views are on mobile devices. Today’s homebuyers are an empowered consumer generation that does their homework ahead of time. They search, research, watch, visit, try, purchase, and review. With over nine out of ten homebuyers beginning their search online and 403% more inquires for listings with video than without, video marketing is key to reaching the largest audience. Showcasing a home through video marketing gives homebuyers a sense of the features and lifestyle that cannot be conveyed through description or even photos. Ninety percent of consumers find video helpful in their decision process and an estimated 74% of all Internet traffic in 2017 was video. Video has become key in the home buying process when considering a home and sharing it with their advice network. Video is also one of the most effective and viral marketing options to reach out of area homebuyers looking to relocate or purchase a vacation home. Our Video Marketing utilizes a professional team of videographers, editors, and creative designers to create a true video of your home. I will develop, script, oversee and facilitate the production of a listing video that gives homebuyers the best picture of the property, illustrates the special features buyers are looking for, and entices them to come by for a visit. If you would like to learn more about the unique things I do to market your property send me a message! I’d love to chat!

Your Trusted Neighborhood Specialist at NextHome CRE

Robert Gideon II

 

Sources: YouTube, NAR, Digital Sherpa, Brandshark

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Selling Your Home (In a Nutshell)

Selling your home? What should you expect? What should you look out for?  Why are Realtor’s headshots so corny?

You aren’t here to read a novel, and I doubt I will convince you of how smart I am in a few short sentences. (I am, ask my Mom)  I can, however, share informative, and easy to digest, informational flow charts with you! Click here to see the awesome chart!

We have a book binding machine in our office, and I love making books.  Don’t you love the smell of a new book?  I make hard cover books for several reasons, but most of the time it is for educational purposes.  I have books full of pages, just like the one linked above, that outline entire processes in real estate.  Want to buy a home? I’ve got a book!  Selling your home? Yup, I’ve got a book for that! Want to learn more about our company? I’ve got a book for that too!

These books are free for you, and you don’t need to be my client to get a book! If you would like to learn more before you jump into buying or selling your home, send me a message and let’s talk!  Decisions this big shouldn’t be rushed, and being informed is the best way of ensuring what is best for you, and/or your family!

Your neighborhood specialist at NextHome CRE

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Closing Costs Explained

There are 3 categories of fees you need to consider when buying a home.  These fees are in addition to the purchase price of the property.

  1. Pre-paid costs- Prepaids are expenses that the homebuyer pays at closing, before they are technically “due”. These costs are necessary to create an escrow account or to adjust the seller’s existing escrow account. Prepaids often include taxes, insurance, private mortgage insurance and any special assessments on the property.
  2. Title Fees – When you purchase a home, you will receive the deed, which shows the transfer of legal ownership, or “title,” to the home to you. Title service fees are associated with issuing a title insurance policy for the lender, as well as any escrow closing fees.
  3. Lender Fees- Lender fees are charged by financial institutions for processing and funding your loan.  These fees often include application fees, attorney fees, underwriting fees, and several other lender specific items such as the origination fee, credit report, and appraisal fees.

What do all these fees mean to you, the buyer?  Well, I like to remind my clients that when they are considering their down payment to add anywhere from 2-5% on top of their down payment to cover these fees.  Every home purchase is different, and I recommend asking your Realtor and lender to explain these fees in greater detail before making an offer on your NextHome.  In our market, depending on the price point and seller situation, it is not uncommon for buyers to negotiate with the seller to assist in covering some, or all, of the closing costs… but again, speak with a professional and be as informed as possible before taking the mortgage plunge!  I hope this post answers a few common questions I receive while, at the same time, encouraging you to ask more questions and be better informed before beginning your home search.  I am always eager to answer your questions,  and help you reach your home buying goals.

Your neighborhood specialist at NextHome CRE

Robert Gideon II

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Budgets and Affordability

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

How much home can I afford? If I want to build a new home, can I get approved for a construction loan?  Whether you are planning to build, or buy existing, balancing your needs and wants with your budget is essential.  We all want to live a luxurious home, full of the finest amenities; unfortunately not all of us can afford ocean front property in Malibu.  Some of us can’t even afford ocean front property in Arizona!

So where do you start?  Start with the 28/36 rule.  Many lenders use this to determine eligibility for borrowers.  “28” refers to the percentage of income expenditure that can be allocated toward your residence.  This number will include the loan principal, interest, taxes, and insurance.  “36” refers to the percentage of income that can be allocated to your total debt load. This number includes any other monthly debt you have incurred, such as car loans, credit card payments, or student loans, in addition to, your housing expenses.  The 28/36 rule is a baseline that lenders often use, and there are exceptions to every rule. Some lenders, and loan programs, allow you to finance more than 28% of your take home pay, however, you will likely pay a premium in interest rate expenses and/or closing costs.  The most important part is that you set a budget with your lender, Realtor, and/or home builder, and stick to it!  You may not be able to afford your country club dream home today, but with careful planning, and saving, you will move closer to your goals every month!  Don’t like math, and/or have no clue about your debt load?  No worries, I’ve got plenty of professionals (including me) eager to help you understand every aspect of the home buying process!

Your neighborhood specialist at NextHome Central Real Estate

Robert Gideon

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How to Stage Your Home, Room by Room, to Sell

Sure the dishes are put away, but are the light fixtures gleaming? Does the refrigerator smell fresh? Did you remove all the incoming mail from that countertop in the corner?  We all deal with the occasional cob web, but even on its cleanest day, your house isn’t quite ready for a buyer home showing.  I know, I know, I probably sound like your mother, but to have the most success in selling your home, it’s important that you prep each room in a certain way. In this easy Staging Guide, I break down how to stage your home, room by room, to sell.  Don’t forget, if you are serious about selling this year, it’s important to know how much your home is worth in today’s market.  Check out (and modify) your home value and neighborhood activity to understand what is in store for you as a seller. Give me a shout for a more accurate opinion of your home’s value, and I would be thrilled to perform a free Comparative Market Analysis for you!
Your trusted neighborhood specialist at NextHome CRE
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