Afonso Real Estate

Posted by Afonso Real Estate on 10/11/2017

Watching a once thriving neighborhood decline is one of the hardest things to witness. It makes it hard to look outside your window. It's not easy to take in the sight of dilapidating houses, tall grass and weeds that are starting to over run the sidewalks. That may be one of the worst views to digest.

Are any of these sights keeping you from looking outside?

Sight of a declining neighborhood raises strong emotions. It surfaces happy memories that you experienced when you first saw your house. The memories serve as a sharp contrast to what you're feeling as you look outside your window now and what you felt when you first moved in.

As bad as it sounds, there are other home views that people hate. Ten home views that people hate, the very views that could be forcing you to avoid looking outside include:

  1. Less than a quarter mile from your house is a garbage dump. To avoid thinking about the health dangers that could be lurking at the garbage dump site, you keep your window treatments closed. That or you avoid looking outside one or more of your house windows.
  2. Dead trees signal change. If you've come to love the trees, the last thing that you might want to do is cut the trees down. So, you turn away from looking outside.
  3. Boarded buildings are dull. If boarding buildings have been in the neighborhood for several months, it could be a sign that local government officials don't value where you live.
  4. Pet parks that aren't well maintained are nothing to write home about. Piles of dog feces may turn your stomach when you look outside.
  5. Storm damage is another reason why you might want to look outside your window. Sight of flattened houses across the street and in the surrounding area, fallen trees and debris are not easy to look at day after day.
  6. Construction not only brings views of cement trucks, drywall and metal railings, let construction take place near where you live and you'll have to listen to banging, sawing and other loud construction sounds.
  7. Gas stations seem innocent when they are miles away from your home. When gas stations are right across the street from your house, they can become eyesores.
  8. Schools are signs of learning. They do good work in the world. They also bring rows of school buses and cars near your house. Live close to a school and you may have to limit your driving speed to 15 miles per hour while school is in session.
  9. Vacant lots are among the views that people hate to look outside their house windows and see.
  10. Chemical plants are not only unattractive. They push harmful chemicals into the atmosphere.

You deserve to feel good when you look outside your house windows. The views should be attractive and satisfying. They certainly shouldn't force you to turn away from the window when you enter certain rooms of your home. They also shouldn't force you to keep window treatments closed.

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Posted by Afonso Real Estate on 10/4/2017

If you're selling a home, hiring a real estate agent who acts as a comprehensive marketer is essential – and perhaps it is easy to understand why.

For home sellers, an ineffective marketer may struggle to promote your residence to the right groups of homebuyers. This may cause you to miss out on opportunities to highlight your house to potential property buyers, resulting in a prolonged home selling cycle.

Ultimately, there are many signs that a real estate agent understands what it takes to market your residence effectively, including:

1. A real estate agent is ready to host home showings and open houses.

Home showings and open houses enable property buyers to get an up-close look at your residence. That way, property buyers can envision what life would be like if they purchase your house.

Typically, a real estate agent will want to host as many home showings and open houses as possible This housing market professional will be available to set up home showings at property buyers' convenience. Meanwhile, he or she also will promote open houses via social media and other channels to stir up plenty of interest from potential property buyers.

2. A real estate agent knows how to showcase your residence online.

A real estate agent may insist on hiring a professional photographer to take pictures of your home's interior or exterior. This ensures you can provide homebuyers with crisp, clear images via myriad online channels to show the true beauty of your house.

Moreover, a real estate agent may use Facebook, Twitter and other social networks to promote your residence. Social media enables this housing market professional to reach thousands of potential property buyers and may help you generate significant interest in your home quickly.

3. A real estate agent allocates the necessary time and resources to track his or her marketing efforts.

What good is a marketing campaign if a marketer is unable to define its success? A real estate agent who is a great marketer understands the importance of metrics and will measure his or her marketing successes and failures.

A real estate agent should be able to keep you informed at each stage of the home selling cycle. He or she can provide updates about whether homebuyers are interested in checking out your home and any feedback from homebuyers as well.

In addition, a real estate agent is unafraid to adjust the way that he or she promotes your home. With the right metrics in place, this housing market professional will be able to find out whether homebuyers are interested in your property and modify his or her marketing efforts accordingly.

When it comes to selling your home, working with a real estate agent who knows the importance of effective marketing can make a world of difference. With a successful marketer at your disposal, you can boost your chances of speeding up the home selling process and getting the best price for your house.

Posted by Afonso Real Estate on 9/27/2017

Whether you’re a movie buff, like playing the latest video games, or just appreciate high-quality video and audio when you’re binging shows in Netflix, your experience can be greatly enhanced with a home theater system.

 Technologies are ever-changing when it comes to home audio and video. The quality of DVDs now seems laughable next to 4K resolution HD videos. Similarly, bulky home audio systems that once required several huge speakers have been reduced to small “sound bars” that sound excellent and take up hardly any room at all.

 If you’d like to turn your living room, basement, or any other room in your home into a home theater, read on.

Location of your home theater

The obvious choice for many when it comes to choosing a location for their home theater is the living room. And that might make the most sense for people who have small or mid-sized houses who spend much of the time in their living room.

However, if you’re looking for an immersive, distraction-free viewing experience, you may want to consider other rooms in your house, such as a finished basement or office.

What you’ll need

 If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll need to invest some time and money in your home theater. First, you’ll need an HDTV or projector and screen. Projectors can be a fun way to achieve the movie theater experience and are particularly useful in large rooms where you’re sitting far from the screen. However, quality projectors are quite pricey ($600 or more, not including the cost of a screen).

Choosing a television

If you go the television route, you have several options. Shopping for a TV is no easy feat. There are LED, OLED, 4K Ultra, and curved televisions. If you’re looking for the highest video quality and plan on streaming HD video with a high resolution, a 4K Ultra would be the best option.

 However, if you aren’t particular about video quality and will be happy with anything that plays your old DVD collection, most LED televisions will do the trick at an affordable price point.

 Home audio

When it comes to audio quality, you might be surprised with the variety of systems on the market.

For the classic home theater experience, a multi-speaker surround sound system is the closest you’ll get to the cinematic experience. Since the rise of the sound bar, home theater systems have become much more affordable.

However, with most surround sound systems you’ll need to buy a receiver. You’ll need to set it up and find a place to put it (they tend to be pretty large).

If you don’t want to go through the trouble of installing speakers around the room and finding a place for a big audio receiver, a sound bar could be a great alternative. Starting at around $100 and scaling up to $1,000 depending on your audio quality needs.

Most decent sound bars come with a small subwoofer, but other than that they are small, lightweight and typically Bluetooth-ready, so you can just plug them in and start listening.

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Posted by Afonso Real Estate on 9/20/2017

Buying a house is the last thing that you may want to rush into. Few decisions impact your life as much as choosing a house to raise a family in. Even if you're single, once you buy a house you could have to live at a property for several years. You could be left with that choice shortage even if there's something wrong with the house.

House buying risks

Unlike renting, buying a house can have long lasting financial binds. For instance, if the housing market experiences a sharp downshift or the economy declines significantly, the price that you'd get for your house might leave you owing the bank several thousand dollars.

The possibility that you could lose thousands of dollars on a house even if you were able to sell it is just one of the downsides of house buying that you may prefer not to look at. Bad neighbors and the possibility of moving into a community that is going to decline less than three years after you buy a house in the area are other house buying risks that you might prefer not to think about.

Yet, it is the turning away from the downsides of buying a house that could costs you large sums of money now and in the future. Another way that you can avoid short and long term losses when you buy a house include:

  • Return home and calculate the actual savings that you'd gain if you took a reduced closing costs deal for a higher priced house. Don't enter a financial agreement without looking over the numbers thoroughly on your own.
  • Get pre-approved for a mortgage. Avoid buying a house that takes you outside of your pre-approval range. Set your price and stick to it.
  • Consider leasing appliances before you sign a higher mortgage thinking that you're really saving because the sellers said they would include appliances in the deal.
  • Be able to comfortably pay the price of a house, property taxes, title fees, mortgage insurance, closing costs, homeowners insurance, homeowners association fees, repair costs and inspection fees. When you buy a house, you'll generally pay a lot more than the price of the house.
  • Pay off other debts before you buy a house. Also, avoid taking on new debt.
  • Limit the amount that you spend on a monthly mortgage to less than 15% o your monthly net income.
  • Drop by the neighborhood during the day, evening and on weekends. Visiting the neighborhood several times before you buy a house in the area.
  • Steer clear of emotional traps. Don't buy a house before it feels like you ought to buy a house.
  • Conduct an independent inspection and property value survey on a house you want to buy.
  • Only work with reputable lenders and real estate brokers.

Real estate market knowledge could keep you safe from bad mortgage deals

Just because you've bought one or more houses doesn't mean that an unscrupulous real estate broker wouldn't be able to take advantage of you. Gear yourself up for a great house buying opportunity by learning as much as you can about real estate lingo, mortgage contract terms, how interest rates are calculated and the relationship between personal credit and mortgage rates.

The best you could do is to become an actual real estate broker. At the least, you could take the same licensing exams that brokers need. You'd potentially learn enough to spot a bad house sell or a bad mortgage. To avoid getting scammed and to enter a rewarding mortgage deal, you also could learn just a few tricks of the trade and keep them as tips to use as you house hunt.

Posted by Afonso Real Estate on 9/13/2017

Excitement and the chance to live in a better neighborhood and a house that meets all of your family's needs and wants isn't the only thing that packing and moving brings. Moving to a new house can bring feelings of insecurity, uncertainty and even anxiety. You're not the only one who might experience feelings of unease as a house move nears. Your kids might feel stressed about the change.

How moving to a new house could unnerve your kids

If your kids have gone through just one unpleasant change, they might associate change with unwanted experiences. Whether you realize it or not, your kids could think that moving to a new home will bring bad changes their way. For example, your children might create images of not:

  • Fitting in with kids who already live in the new neighborhood
  • Seeing their current friends, the kids who live in the neighborhood you're leaving, again
  • Adjusting well to attending a new school
  • Feeling left out as they become the "new kid" everywhere they go

These fears can create physical symptoms. Your children might:

  • Feel nauseous
  • Experience significant appetite changes and eat more or less
  • Struggle to get a good night of sleep
  • Sleep more than normal as a way to avoid dealing with unwanted thoughts and emotions
  • Spend more time alone as they ponder the many experiences that the move could create

Helping your kids enjoy a stress free house move

To reduce your children's stress, include them in move discussions. Start talking with your kids about a house move as soon as you start giving serious consideration to relocating. This helps your children to feel heard and important.

Talking with your children about moving to a new home lets your children know that their thoughts about moving really matter. It gives your kids a voice.

Fortunately, there are more ways to help your kids adjust to a house move. You could:

  • Take your kids with you the next time you visit neighborhoods that you're seriously thinking about moving to.
  • Let your children know what each member of the family can do to make the move smooth
  • Point out great features of the new house
  • Highlight advantages that your kids can gain from the move (e.g. more sports events, better schools, more entertainment options)
  • Plan moves when your children don't have other major events going on in their lives
  • Ask your children to share their thoughts and feelings about the move with you (but, don't pressure your kids to talk)
  • Observe your kids and offer assistance and support as needed (For example, you might share uneasiness that you feel about packing, meeting new neighbors and getting accustomed to a new work commute.)

Stress free house moves for kids don't happen on their own

Bills, house repairs and hours of heavy lifting and packing may cost you sleep as you prepare to move into a new house. You might even think that your spouse and you are the only people who are losing sleep because you keep thinking about what will happen after you move. But, you'd be wrong. Your kids might be worried about the move.

Start talking to your kids early about house moves to reduce, and maybe even eliminate, house move worries. Also, take other focused actions to make moving to a new house and neighborhood stress free for you and your kids.

Tags: moving   house moves   new house  
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