Big Ticket Repairs

Pansies Selling? Yes, You will probably need to plant some pansies in the front yard, wash all the windows and de-clutter. I suggest you also look into the following five potential “Big Ticket” repair items before you go on the market:

THE ROOF – How old is your roof? Is the roof leaking? How much longer is your roof expected to last? Call on two or three reputable roofing companies and get their opinion of your roof before listing. Factor in the condition of your roof when determining the value of your home. You can be sure that your future buyers will.

Bad Roof

DEFECTIVE SIDING – Your siding may seem to be in good shape, however, you should find out if your siding has ever been the subject of a manufacturers recall or class action law suit. Especially if your home was built in the 1990’s. Many buyers will decline to even make an offer on a home that has been built with defective siding.


CRAWL SPACE – What condition is that mysterious dark Universe underneath your house in? Is there water pooling? Are there wet, dry rotted posts or any signs of mold? Is the plastic vapor barrier a mess? Is the insulation torn down by animals nesting? Insects?  Crawl space contractors love it down there 😊. Ask them to take pictures of any concerns.


FOUNDATION –Walk around the perimeter of your home. How many cracks do you see? A large crack might be anything wider than a ¼”. This size crack will allow water to seep into the crawl space. Do any of your rooms feel sloped? If any of these symptoms are occurring, start dialing for experts.


ATTIC MOISTURE/MOLD –The most common issue in the attic that will cost you money is mold.This will look like black staining on the plywood sheathing and support beams.

Poke your head up into the attic and take a peak with a strong flashlight. Does the wood look brown and dry? Or does it look blackish? Often roofs are installed without enough ventilation to keep the attic dry. Mold can be safely removed and the cause of the moisture can be corrected. If you see anything concerning, contact a certified mold remediation company. Have them take pictures of any issues they discover. Discuss with them any health concerns you may have about mold. Read the EPA pamphlet “A Brief Guide To Mold In The Home” .


Any one of these lovely items can chase buyers away. Get the information in advance and discuss everything with your Realtor prior to spending the money on repairs or listing your home. He or she will have some strategy on how to address each problem and how it can affect the sale. Which reminds me…give me a call and let’s talk about that crawl space.

Happy Spring!



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Excited to Buy This Year?


Here’s What to Watch:

As we kick off the new year, many families have made resolutions to enter the housing market in 2019. Whether you are thinking of finally ditching your landlord and buying your first home or selling your starter house to move into your forever home, there are two pieces of the real estate puzzle you need to watch carefully: Interest rates & inventory.

(1) Interest Rates:

Mortgage interest rates had been on the rise for much of 2018, but they made a welcome reversal at the end of the year. According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, rates climbed to 4.94% in November before falling to 4.62% for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage last week. Despite the recent drop, interest rates are projected to reach 5% in 2019.

The interest rate you secure when buying a home not only greatly impacts your monthly housing costs, but also impacts your purchasing power.

Purchasing power, simply put, is the amount of home you can afford to buy for the budget you have available to spend. As rates increase, the price of the house you can afford to buy will decrease if you plan to stay within a certain monthly housing budget.

The chart below shows the impact that rising interest rates would have if you planned to purchase a $400,000 home while keeping your principal and interest payments between $2,020-$2,050 a month.

Excited About Buying A Home This Year? Here's What to Watch | Simplifying The Market

With each quarter of a percent increase in interest rate, the value of the home you can afford decreases by 2.5% (in this example, $10,000).

(2) Inventory:

A ‘normal’ real estate market requires there to be a 6-month supply of homes for sale in order for prices to increase only with inflation. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), listing inventory is currently at a 3.9-month supply (still well below the 6-months needed), which has put upward pressure on home prices. Home prices have increased year-over-year for the last 81 straight months.

Nationally, the inventory of homes for sale in the real estate market had been on a steady decline and experienced year-over-year drops for 36 straight months (from July 2015 to May 2018), but we are starting to see a shift in inventory over the last six months.

The chart below shows the change in housing supply over the last 12 months compared to the previous 12 months. As you can see, since June, inventory levels have started to increase as compared to the same time last year.

Excited About Buying A Home This Year? Here's What to Watch | Simplifying The Market

This is a trend to watch as we move further into the new year. If we continue to see an increase in homes for sale, we could start moving further away from a seller’s market and closer to a normal market.

Bottom Line

If you are planning to enter the housing market, either as a buyer or a seller, let’s get together to discuss the changes in mortgage interest rates and inventory and what they could mean for you.


Call me… and let’s get you a home in 2019!

carry-money-house     Kevin

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New Tax Code & Housing

In the final days and hours, the National Association of REALTORS® generated over 300,000 emails and telephone calls to members of Congress and held countless in-person meetings with legislators, all of which helped shape the final outcome of the new tax bill as it relates to housing.

This grass-roots effort was of significance to homeowners and the housing industry. NAR worked diligently with members of the House-Senate conference committee to help educate them on how to improve the final bill.

In the end, NAR saved the exclusion for capital gains on the sale of a home and protected the mortgage interest deduction for primary and secondary homes. Here is a summary of the results:

  • Capital gains exclusion. In a huge win for current and prospective homeowners, current law is left in place on the capital gains exclusion of $250,000 for an individual and $500,000 for married couples on the sale of a home. Both the House and the Senate had sought to make it much harder to qualify for the exclusion.
  • Mortgage interest deduction. The maximum mortgage amount for households deducting their mortgage interest has been decreased to $750,000 from the current $1 million limit on primary and secondary homes. The House bill sought a reduction to $500,000.
  • State and local tax deductions. Both property taxes and state and local income taxes remain deductible, although with a combined limit of $10,000. Both the House and Senate bills sought to eliminate the state and local income tax deduction altogether.
  • Pass-through entities. The bill significantly reduces the effective rate of tax on business income earned by independent contractors and income received from pass-through entities. This change will lower the taxes of many real estate professionals.

If you have questions, make sure you talk with your tax professional. Thank you for checking out this Fresh Blog. Happy holidays and CHEERS!

Santa's House

Sincerely,  Kevin                

*This post is a summary of a 12/21/2017 letter to the NAR members from Elizabeth Mendenhall -President of NAR.

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