Afonso Real Estate



Posted by Afonso Real Estate on 1/17/2018

It goes without saying that buying a home is time-consuming.

 First, thereís the financial planning to determine when youíre ready to buy a home. Then you need to get pre-approved for a mortgage and start looking for homes. After viewing several homes you finally find the perfect home. Then comes the difficult process of making an offer and negotiating the cost of the home. If all goes well, your offer is accepted and you get to enter the lengthy mortgage closing process. However, your work is not yet done. Youíll have to move out of your current residence and into your new home. All of this while juggling your work and social life.

 After all of this, it might seem like the only thing left to do is relax in your new home. While it may be true that you certainly deserve a break, there are some things you should do sooner rather than later when you move into your new home.

 In this article, weíll cover ten things you should do right away once you move into your new home.

1. Home security

Your chief consideration when moving into your new home should be making sure itís safe. The best first step to take is to change all of the locks on your house. In spite of how trustworthy the previous homeowner may have seemed, you can never be 100% sure who had spare keys to their home. Changing locks is quick and inexpensive, especially considering whatís at stake.

Another important step in home security is to put new batteries in and test all smoke detectors, make sure fire extinguishers are up-to-date, and ensure air filters are cleaned.

2. Set up your utilities

One of the first things you have to do when moving into a new home is to call your utility companies and transfer services into your name. Make a list of the services youíll need to set up (electricity, water, garbage removal, internet, home security, heating, etc.). This is also a good time to set up online accounts and autopay for these services. It will save you time each month and make it easier to keep track of your bills if you simplify this process from the get-go.

3. Self-inspection

You should have already had the home inspected by a professional prior to closing on the house. However, things can change in the time that someone moves all of their belongings out of a home and you move all of yours in. Wiring can be damaged, pipes banged, windows cracked, and so on. Do a thorough inspection of your home to check for leaks, broken wires, and fire hazards to be sure that your home is in good condition.

4. Deep clean

It might be tempting to just move your belongings into their new places once you arrive at your new home. However, the best time to clean a room is when itís empty. Before you set up your furniture or fill your cabinets, give them a thorough cleaning.

5. Familiarize yourself with circuit breaker and water valves

When disaster strikes, youíll want to be ready for it. Get to know your circuit box before the first power outage. Store flashlights in easily accessible places and make sure they have fresh batteries. Similarly, familiarize yourself with the main water shutoff valve in case you have a pipe burst. If the former homeowner lived alone and you have a large family, thereís a chance that the sudden surge in power and water usage could reveal issues with plumbing and wiring that the former owner wasnít aware of.





Posted by Afonso Real Estate on 1/10/2018

Many home buyers seek out fixer-uppers or older homes as a way to save money. And, while this method can be a great way to save, it does come with a few caveats.

Upgrades and repairs can vary greatly in price. Some might be simple, whereas others can take weeks or months, require permits, and uproot your plans. For these reasons, itís good to know what youíre getting yourself into with home repairs.

In this article, weíre going to cover the most expensive home repairs and upgrades. That way when you find a home listing that youíre interested in, you can rule out these costly repairs early if you arenít willing to spend the extra money on them after buying the house.

1. Sewer and septic

Finding out you need to replace a sewer line or a septic system can be a nightmare. Sewer lines are most often damaged by tree root growth, leaving older homes the most vulnerable. On average, homeowners spend around $2,500 to repair a main sewer line.

If you move into a new home that previously only had one inhabitant, you may find that the septic system canít keep up with the increased workload. Repairs for a septic system average around $1,500. And to replace the septic system and install a new one? You can expect to spend around $5,000 or much more, depending on your needs and location.

2. Foundation repair

Older homes are also subject to foundation damage over the years, which can cause many problems, including safety concerns and water damage.

Houses that have poor drainage and high soil moisture are particularly vulnerable to foundation damage. And, like sewer and septic issues, tree roots can also pose a problem.

For minor cracks, foundation repairs can cost as little as $500. However, more severe damage can cost up to $10,000. On average, Americans spend around $4,000 when they repair a damaged foundation.

3. Roof replacement

Roof replacements are inevitable, but there are ways to ensure you wonít have to install a new one anytime soon. For example, slate and metal roofs can last over 50 years. And concrete? A hundred years or more.

The most common type of roofs, however, are made from asphalt shingles, which last around 20 years. In terms of price, asphalt tends to be the cheapest as well, costing as low as $2,000 to replace. Metal and slate roofs are significantly more expensive, starting at $5,000 and $17,000 respectively.

4. Heat pump installation

Installing a heat pump can be quite costly, with the national average being around $5,300. However, if you live in a moderate climate, a heat pump can replace both your furnace and your air conditioning unit.

Furthermore, if you plan on staying in the home for several years, a heat pump tends to be much more energy efficient than older alternatives.

5. Kitchen remodel

Of all the household remodeling projects--basement, bathrooms, etc.--a kitchen remodel tends to be the priciest. Americans spend about $21,000 on a kitchen remodel. The most expensive part? Cabinetry and hardware at $6,000.




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Posted by Afonso Real Estate on 1/3/2018

If you are on the fence about whether to accept or reject a homebuying proposal, it is important to remember that a third option is available: countering the offer.

By countering a home offer, you can set the stage for a negotiation with an interested buyer. If a buyer accepts your counter-proposal, you and the buyer can move forward with a purchase agreement. Or, if a buyer rejects your counter-offer, you can always continue to seek out proposals from other potential buyers.

Before you counter a home offer, it is important to know what to expect after you make this decision. That way, you can feel confident about your decision to counter a homebuyer's proposal, even in a high-pressure situation.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you analyze a home offer and determine whether to counter it.

1. Assess the Housing Market

The housing market ultimately may play a key role in how a home seller approaches an offer. Because if a seller examines the real estate sector closely, he or she may gain actionable insights that can be used to differentiate a "fair" proposal from a "lowball" offer.

Look at the prices of comparable houses in your city or town, as well as the prices of recently sold residences in your area that are similar to your own. Then, you can use this information to take a data-driven approach to analyze an offer. And if you decide to counter an offer, you can rest assured that your decision is backed by relevant real estate insights.

2. Review Your Home's Pros and Cons

Oftentimes, it is beneficial to consider your house's age and condition as you review an offer. This will enable you to account for any potential home repairs and the costs associated with them Ė something a buyer also may do before he or she submits an offer on your home.

Don't forget to consider the strengths of your home as well. If you recently performed a series of home upgrades, you probably accounted for these house improvements when you set the initial asking price for your home. Thus, you should have no regrets about countering a home offer if it fails to match your expectations.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Hiring a real estate agent is crucial, particularly for a home seller who is uncertain about how to proceed with a home offer. A real estate agent can help you evaluate all aspects of a home offer and make it easy to submit a counter-proposal as needed.

Typically, a real estate agent will offer expert home selling recommendations. He or she also will respond to your home selling concerns and questions and ensure you can make an informed decision about any offer, at any time.

Ready to review an offer on your house? Use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble deciding whether to counter a homebuying proposal.





Posted by Afonso Real Estate on 12/27/2017

If your house is currently on the market or you're preparing to put it up for sale, the secret of success lies in the lyrics of an old popular song called "Accentuate The Positive." Although it was originally published in 1944, the song has been resurfacing for years on television, in movies, and music recordings.

"Accentuating the positive and eliminating the negative" may seem like basic, old-fashioned advice, but when homeowners follow it, they increase their chances of selling their home faster and for the highest possible price.

Although your real estate agent will provide a ton of helpful advice on how to present your house in its best light, there are dozens of things you can start doing now to improve its marketability, curb appeal, and the positive response you get from real estate agents and buyers.

  • Avoid or minimize any aspect of your home and property that gives the impression of neglect. That could include anything from peeling paint and cracked windows to overgrown bushes and weedy yards. Weeds growing out of cracks in walkways, driveways, and concrete flooring often looks the worst -- but weeds, in general, always detract from the appearance of a home for sale.
  • Reduce or eliminate anything that might create a feeling of "unpleasantness" in the minds of prospects. In other words, if there's anything about your home that might cause buyers to cringe, frown, gasp, crinkle their nose (in displeasure) or shake their heads, then you probably need to take corrective action -- and fast! A prime example would be pet odors, stains, and loose fur, which can be major turnoffs for many people -- especially if they have allergies!
  • If little or no interior painting has been done over the past five or ten years, there's a strong chance that your walls are faded, marred, and looking worse for the wear. A couple coats of neutral-colored paint can often infuse a more vibrant, updated appearance to those tired-looking rooms. Subtle, light colors -- although, not necessarily stark white -- are often advisable. The objective is to appeal to as many people as possible, without taking any decorating risks that might alienate anyone.
  • Speaking of "harsh versus eye-pleasing," your home's lighting is another important thing to scrutinize when looking for cost-effective ways to increase the attractiveness, appeal, and marketability of your home.
As you're searching for ways to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative, try to view your home from the perspective of someone who's just seeing it for the first time. In all probability, your real estate agent will be enormously helpful in that respect, and immediately begin looking for ways to effectively stage your home. If they've been showing homes in your area for a number of years, they will have a good sense of what attracts and repels today's home buyer. Your agent can provide a professional opinion on everything from flooring and counter tops to wall colors and curb appeal.





Posted by Afonso Real Estate on 12/20/2017

There are many different ways to upgrade and create the perfect outdoor space. You can upgrade what you already have by adding simple things to it, you can accessorize, or you can overhaul the entire area by starting from scratch. Itís always a good idea to take these three approaches and use a mix of the strategies.    


Go For Durable


Sometimes many different types of patio furniture end up being a little stuffy and high maintenance. While these sets can be beautiful, they may not be practical to suit your needs. If you live in an area where you need to put away your furniture for the fall and winter season because you donít have use of the outdoors, plan accordingly with the type of outdoor accessories that you buy. 


Youíre better off going for value and finding durable, yet stylish furniture that will stand the test of time. Otherwise, youíll be replacing your furniture every year without fail. Go a bit more traditional than bold and work your outdoor style around that.


Choose Your Colors First


If you start with furniture, youíre left to figure out how to accessorize. Thereís no rule that says you canít find the accessories you want first before you begin to buy furniture. Find your cushions and outdoor rugs first. Then, move on to finding furniture that meshes well with those colors and styles.


Use The Outdoors To Accessorize


Whether youíre replacing your existing patio furniture, or just looking to recreate your space, you can use more than throw pillows and an outdoor rug to accessorize. Find planters that match well with the style youíre looking to achieve. Add in greenery and flowers that will only accent the look. There are a number of options of the types of planters that you can choose from hanging plants to large pots to planters on pedestals. Get creative with your plants and spice up your space. Is your outdoor space near your vegetable garden? Be sure to highlight your hard work and use that as a sort of focal point for your entire outdoor space.


Be Practical


If youíre spending a lot of time outside grilling, youíre going to want a table and chairs available, so thereís no need to truck food in and out of the house each night for dinner. It also would be a good idea o have some storage for food prep items like grilling tools, extra plates, and more just to keep everything you need in one place. These storage items are an important piece to your outdoor space. Whether you are primarily using a deck, patio, or the pool area, thinking practically can really be a big help in decorating.




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