Buyers: Ready, Set, Go!

Weaver Team SignGrab a snack and a water and let’s go find a house! Yes, it’s almost that easy. We have relationships with local lenders and an extensive network of colleagues to assist you in your quest for a new abode. Here are some other tips to speed through your home search:

How much can I afford? Get some financial advice and a Lender Letter if you are applying for a mortgage. What you can afford and what you are willing to invest may be two different numbers. Also, how much you qualify for if getting a loan and your target purchase price also may be different. Your mortgage lender should qualify you based on credit, income, and assets.

Where do I find a house? Download your favorite real estate app. We like them all – Realtor.com, Zillow, NEREN.com, but we love our own KW app! Check out houses when you’re out and about and contact Carolyn on the spot – download it HERE.

Everything is selling so quickly? Text or email your favorites to Carolyn 802-238-9779, Carolyn@WeaverTeamVT.com – the house you just saw may be “sold” in less than a day but, when you work with us our networking and connections will find you the home of your dreams!

Take It Outside: 3 Tips To Stage Your Backyard, Porch, or Deck

deck-decorating-63Summer is officially here and it’s time to get your exterior living spaces “show ready.” Even if you’re not selling your house it’s fun to add some quick and easy items to your outdoor spaces.

From decks to patios to porches, here are our top 3 tips:

Patio pots filled with annuals – Colorful patio pots are trending right now. The bigger the better! Instant color and décor for your pool area, deck, or front porch.  If you’re local, pick one up at Red Barn Gardens, RedBarnGardensVT.com.

Summer wreath for your front door – Wreaths aren’t just for Christmas! Add a decorated grapevine or straw wreath to compliment your style. Looking for inspiration? Lemons, strawberries, or even a red, white, and blue theme will make your front door “pop.”

String lights – There’s always a spot for string lights on your porch, patio, railing, or even in front of your garage. If you don’t have an electricity source try some solar lights.

We specialize in staging your home for sale or just for fun! Contact us today for a complimentary home visit for more tips, tricks, and “on trend” advice.

Appraisers, Inspectors, and Assessors: Friends or Foe?

Home inspectorIt’s easy to get mixed up when you’re bantering about real estate terms. Here’s a handy guide to follow:

Appraisers: Appraisers assess the value of your house for a mortgage lender or for your own information. If you are selling your house or refinancing your house the mortgage lender will send a licensed appraiser to complete a lengthy report. The appraisers report is a “wild card.” We don’t know which properties the appraiser will choose to compare to your property. In a real estate transaction the purchaser’s lender hires an appraiser to visit your property.

Inspectors: Building inspectors assess the condition of the structure of a property and its major components. Inspectors write lengthy reports that familiarize you with the property. The report may include items that need to be repaired or replaced. Inspectors sometimes uncover mold, structural issues, etc. that are not easily assessed by buyers or sellers.

Assessors: The town or municipality keeps an “Assessor’s Card” on every property for taxation purposes. Your “assessment value” may not be an indication of the current market value. Assessor’s Cards may also be called Lister’s Cards or Property Reports.

For more information on all aspects of real estate transactions reach out to The Weaver Team, we will guide you through the entire process of selling your property or buying a new home.

Let’s Look Outside: What Buyers Notice

GettyImages-1255835530-scaledIf you are selling your house you may hope that potential buyers are familiar with the idiom “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” Meaning, in real estate parlance, that you’re hoping the buyers will overlook the sagging gutters, cracked driveway, tired garage doors, and fall in love the interior of your house.

It’s a fact that your house is being judged by its exterior, the grounds, the lawn, and even the garden gnomes dotting your walkway.

Here are the top 5 exterior items that buyers notice:

Exterior Lights – They should match your indoor “vibe.” If you haven’t updated your exterior lights you may be dating your house.

Gutters – Trust us, worth getting them cleaned, there is nothing more distracting than greenery growing from gutters that need attention.

Porches and Patios – Spruce them up with new furniture cushions, patio pots of seasonal flowers, and even some string lights to make the outdoor space an extension of your living area.

Lawn, Grounds – Get out the rakes, flowers, and mulch, nothing smells better than fresh mulch!

Front Door – Is it time for fresh paint? A new door handle? New welcome mat? This upgrade will make a huge impression.

Looking for more specific ideas for your exterior? Luckily, Jennie is an Accredited Staging Professional and can assess your home’s exterior, as well as interior spaces to help get you the best price in today’s market. Contact us to see how we can help get your home sold!

Where Have All The Vermont Houses Gone?

Essex neighborhoodVermont is small, our population hovers around 620,000. Yes, that’s the whole state – men, women, children. We have never had a housing “boom” like other states. Demand for housing has outstripped our supply over the last few years. In certain price ranges there are perhaps 40 – 50 buyers looking at the same house.

The housing shortage in Vermont is ongoing. History, regulation, geography, topography, economics, etc. all play a role in the current state of our housing stock. Even in a “normal” year people have a difficult time finding a house. In the not-so-distant past buyers could find 10 houses that would be on their list of potential abodes. Now, there are none. Zip. Zero. Nada. Or, okay, maybe one – but there are 20 showings and all contracts need to be submitted within 72 hours. This causes a frenzy. Houses are popping up on the internet and disappearing – all within a day.

Discouraging? Sure. Now the good news. We have, so far, helped all of our buyers find a home. Through it all — the shortage, the bidding wars, the crazy rush to get in – we have guided our clients through the process.

We are here for you too! Contact us to help you find and close on your new home.

4 Updates to Get Your Home Ready to Sell

sidekix-media-UDDULE_eIBY-unsplashWe all want to get the biggest bang for our buck, especially when it comes to our biggest investment – our home. So how do you get the best price possible when you’re ready to sell? You don’t have to go crazy with expensive renovations, a few small and simple updates can make a big impact.

Here are 4 updates to get your home ready to sell:

Declutter. This one is free! This should be the first step in prepping your home for sale. Take down the family photos and knick knacks and pack them away. If you have a room that feels particularly ‘full,’ edit the furniture – store the excess pieces neatly in the basement, garage, or rent a storage unit.

Fresh paint. A new coat of paint does wonders for any room – and it’s one of the most affordable options to update your home. Stick with neutral colors so that buyers can picture themselves living there.

New lighting. Old (usually brass) lighting fixtures will really date a space. Refresh your home with simple lighting in nickel, black, or even a neutral wood finish. When buyers see these fixtures modernized, it makes them feel the whole house has been updated.

Update hardware. Similar to the lighting – old fashioned brass or porcelain knobs and drawer pulls will make a room look dated. Freshen you kitchen or bathrooms with modern hardware in a black finish or metal finish that matches other elements in the room.

Preparing your home to sell is easier with an experienced professional in your corner. To learn more about getting your home ready to sell, or to start looking for a new property, we can help! Contact The Weaver Team today 😉

Are My Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms Outdated?

hannah-busing-5we-PtvuCyE-unsplashTruth be told, cooking at my house often involves a smoke alarm. It’s tempting to climb on a step stool to disconnect the pesky alarm, but I have become efficient at opening windows and doors to “fan” the smoke out of the house. Once the smoke clears it’s a good time to check on the rest of the alarms.

It’s also a good idea for you to check on your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to make sure you have the proper alarms installed.

The State of Vermont’s Fire Safety site (https://firesafety.vermont.gov/) provides homeowner information. It’s always good practice to check on the type of smoke alarm. The site states, “Many existing Vermont homes currently have old outdated ionization smoke alarms installed. These old alarms need to be replaced. The division recommends to homeowners that when you are replacing alarms that you update to a photoelectric smoke alarm now and not wait until the time when home is being sold.”

When you do sell your house the attorney’s require a Compliance Certificate to verify installation to comply with Vermont’s requirements.

Here is the form: https://firesafety.vermont.gov/sites/firesafety/files/files/forms/dfs_forms_smoke_co_cert.pdf

As always, if you want more information on getting your house ready to sell, contact The Weaver Team and we will get you set up for home selling success!

The Weaver Team’s Favorite Things

Step aside Oprah, our list features everything Vermont and maybe even a little something Pennsylvania 😉

truffles_f07fab6a-5b1c-4d31-b181-87db93b711d4_1024x1024A Box of Chocolates. Our local favorite is Snowflake Chocolates. Everyone loves chocolate and this Jericho-based family run operation has never let us down. We love the traditional assortments and the truffles. The customer service is unparalleled. They ship or you can pick up your order curbside.

Tree Ornaments made in the U.S.A. With a nod to National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, we are decking the halls with a custom ornament from Mayhem Metalz in Beaver Falls, PA.

Scented Candles. We only buy them at Willow House located in Shelburne, VT. This month we are burning a Balsam Fir candle. Our all-time favorite is Buttered Maple Syrup.

Warm Woolen Socks. Buy them at Danform Shoes. This is where we stock up on our favorite Darn Tough socks. The wool socks are made in Vermont and you can pick them up curbside.

52301-p-crock-and-tray-hero-w-lrgHandmade Stoneware Pottery. We love the glazes Bennington Potters offers, and their serving dishes and sets are perfect for anyone who enjoys entertaining and serving up a beautiful table spread.

Deliciously Sweet Cupcakes. With a plethora of flavors sure to please anyone’s palate, you cannot go wrong bringing some Superb Cupcakes to a party … or stashing some at home when you need a sweet pick me up.

Netflix original movie The Prom. We like it for Meryl Streep’s line “I’m from Zelienople Pennsylvania.” Jennie’s hometown!

Your Checklist for Home Selling Success

14-1492149877-pic3This is not your basic checklist! As real estate professionals, this compilation relies on our years of experience to help our clients get “ahead” of many issues that come up when a buyer looks at a house.

Grab a screwdriver – You’ll be surprised at how many loose screws you find. Strike plates, knobs, etc. tighten them up for a closer fit.

Mr. Clean is your friend – We swear by the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers to clean marks on walls without damaging paint. Works well on flat paint, you don’t have to worry about harming the surface.

Dust busters – Grab a duster that has a long handle and then, look up! Sweep away dust from your fan blades, vents, and corners of your room where dust accumulates on the ceiling

Where are my keys? – Start looking for your front door keys now especially if you typically enter your house through the garage or another door. Make some copies and test them out.

Spruce up those sills and screens – Exterior window sills are often neglected, inspect them for peeling paint and rot. Survey window screens for rips and tears and replace any that are missing.

HVAC tune-up time – It’s tricky to schedule these in the winter months, but call to get your furnace serviced and inspected yearly. If you have central a/c get this done during the summer.

Radon test – Safety first. You can read all about radon gas here: https://www.epa.gov/radon. Get your house tested in the winter months as your house needs to be “closed up” for a few days.

Is your chimney safe for Santa? Call a chimney company to make sure!

Walkway safety — Get ready for winter weather with salt/sand and a shovel. Replace or repair any tripping hazards on the way into your house such as loose bricks or cracked concrete walkways.

Contact The Weaver Team for additional items to get your house in tip top condition for selling!

3 Ways to Light Up Your Life: Outdoor Inspiration for Your Backyard

Embrace the shorter days and cooler weather with a strategy to light up your surroundings.  We all want to stay outside and enjoy our yard space. If you’re not able to build a fire feature, then set your space ablaze with our lighting suggestions.

Gather ‘Round the Fire – If your municipal laws allow, set up an area to have an outdoor fire. Add a fire feature like a Fire Box from Mayhem Metalz. Made in the U.S.A. and shipped to your door! You won’t be disappointed. Carolyn hosted a Full Moon Fire Pit Party and everyone stayed until well into the evening. Don’t forget the s’mores!

Light Up Your Porch or Deck – Do you prefer white lights or a strand that “pops” with some color? Either way, check out your local hardware store or dig up some Christmas lights. Loop the outdoor string lights around your porch posts or your deck railings. You’ve got plenty of choices for power options – we love solar. Jennie has a set of solar string lights strung along her fence that charge all day and come on at dusk. For plug-in lights, invest in a timer to put them on at dusk. Stock up on batteries if you choose battery lights, many have built in 8-hour timers.

Trees That Twinkle – We found these amazing Weeping Willow Lights and are just trying to figure out where to put them!

If you want additional tips to brighten your home and your outside space, like us on Facebook to get our Tuesday Tips!