General Tips

4 Ways Tech is Used in Real Estate

You may not think “real estate” when you think about modern technology, but several advances are making the lives of homebuyers, home sellers, and agents a lot easier — not to mention adding peace of mind with added security measures. Here are a few.

1. Drones

Fitting a small camera onto a helicopter drone lets agents capture aerial images of homes, properties and neighborhoods to feature in sales listings. Drones can also be useful for checking out things like roof damage without a ladder. The Federal Aviation Administration recently loosened its guidelines on commercial uses for drones, making it easier for more agents to adopt the technology.

2. Digital signature platforms

Years ago, an agent could spend hours driving back and forth to collect buyer and seller signatures on forms. Today, we can toss our pens and manage everything from the office thanks to digital signing platforms. The government passed laws that make electronic signatures just as valid as physical signatures. Platforms like DocuSign let agents securely send documents for clients to authorize with a simple click on a computer or a phone.

3. Electronic lockboxes

Smart lockboxes on homes have several features that can make showing a home more secure. These new boxes allow smart phones to work as keys, which means they also can track who enters and leaves the home. Some boxes can also be programmed to host real-time information about the home and the neighborhood which visitors can access using their smart phones.

4. Wireless video monitors

Security cams...

5 Ways to Help Pets Adjust After a Move

Moving can be stressful for every family member – including the four-legged ones. Every animal reacts differently to new living quarters, and temperament has a lot to do with it. Some pets take a move in stride, while others exhibit anxiety or insecurity for days or weeks.


Here are 5 things to consider as the big move approaches and after you’re in your new home.

1. A little help from the vet

Ask your veterinarian for recommendations on easing the transition. If your pet is generally anxious or high-strung, it might be worth asking your vet whether a mild calming medication might help during travel and the transition period in the new home.

2. Time to explore

Upon moving in, give your pet time to explore the house gradually, rather than letting it loose to roam at will. Limit it to one area – perhaps the kitchen – for a few hours until it calms down. Show the pet where you’ve placed its familiar items like the food dish, water bowl and bed. If you have a dog, put on their leash and take them of an initial home tour. Avoid letting pets out unsupervised for several days until you’re sure they can’t climb or dig out from under the fence.

3. A walk in the park

Help release anxiety and pent-up energy by taking your dog for a walk and sniff through the neighborhood. While people learn about a new place primarily by visual cues, dogs depend on their noses.

4. Helping the feline in your life

Territorial by nature, cats often experience more issues with moving than their canine counterparts. Keep your cat safe...

Top 5 Cities for Solo Homebuyers

Homebuying isn’t just for couples — a subset of single homebuyers continues to grow across the U.S. and they are competitive players in the current housing market. Millions of singles are out there and they, too, want a piece of the American Dream — homeownership.


Realtor.com reports that in 1960, one-person households made up 13 percent of U.S. households; by 2017 that figure rose to 27.9 percent (the actual number of singles is much higher, since these figures don’t include single parents with children). In November, RE/MAX analyzed data from the 
RE/MAX National Housing Report, along with the share of mortgages taken out by singles according to mortgage processor Ellie Mae, to rank the top five U.S. cities for singles looking to buy a home.

Cleveland, Ohio

Median sales price: $147,000 (November 2018)
Share of mortgages taken out by singles: 48.8% (August 2018)

With a median sales price well below the RE/MAX National Housing Report average of $235,000 (November 2018), nearly half of all recent mortgages in The Rock & Roll Capital of the World belong to singles. Cleveland boasts many of the Midwest’s most visited attractions, including the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Pro Football Hall of Fame, the “A Christmas Story” home, Cedar Point Amusement Park and the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Median sales price: $197,050 (November 2018)
Share of mortgages taken out by singles: 51.3% (August 2018)

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Five Apps That Can Help You Get Organized in 2019

Let’s face it: the world is a busy place and it seems to get busier with every passing year. Many of us feel like we increasingly have to do more with less time. Fortunately, there are some great apps out there that can sensibly bring more order to your life. From managing projects to saving articles to read later, here are five apps that can help you become more organized in the coming year.

Wunderlist

Wunderlist is an easy way to get stuff done. Whether you’re planning a holiday, sharing a shopping list with a partner or managing multiple work projects, Wunderlist is there to help you tick off all your personal and professional to-dos. Share your lists and work collaboratively on projects with your colleagues, friends and family. Thanks to Wunderlist Pro, teamwork has never been easier.

Evernote

Finding a great note-taking app is like finding the perfect pair of jeans. They’re hard to come across, but once you do, you’ll always stick with them. The same goes for the best smartphone apps. Some people might still prefer the old, foolproof method of taking notes with pen and paper, but this is the mobile era, and having one good note-taking app on your phone can save you constant hassle. Evernote helps you capture and prioritize ideas, projects, and to-do lists, so nothing falls through the cracks.

Remember the Milk

Remember The Milk is the smart to-do app for busy people....

3 Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving in Your New Home

One of the greatest rewards of helping clients find their new home in summer is the opportunity it presents for them to host friends and family for Thanksgiving. It’s usually enough time to get most of the boxes unpacked, decorate and get the new place ready for entertaining. If you are a new homeowner who will be welcoming guests to your place for the holidays, check out my tips below for hosting a memorable Thanksgiving.

Focus on the Space

The secret to hosting family and friends in your home is planning early; and even more so for a holiday like Thanksgiving. First, take an assessment of your home and the spaces and the activities that will be happening, then make a list of what needs to be done to welcome guests. It may be as simple as adding more seating or as major as replacing flooring. Once you have a clear picture of what needs to be done, you can start prioritizing. If you recently moved into a fixer-upper and you have many things on your to-do list, don’t be discouraged. Focus your energy on the spaces of your home that will get used the most when you have company, like the kitchen, living room and bathroom.

Focus on the Meal

Once you have the space under control, it’s time to think about the food. Will you be making a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings? Or hosting a more casual meal? The food will dictate where you will have guests sit, how much serving space you will need when (or if) you will need to start ...

Homegating Tips: Bring Home the Big-Game Celebration

Game on! It’s that time of year again, when your family and friends get together for the big game and an afternoon of food, beer, team spirit and homegating. Yes, homegating has officially become the new tailgating. No more bundling up in chilly fall weather or butting heads with your rivals over whose hot dog toppings are better; sports fans are trading in for an even better game experience right in their living room.


My homegating playbook is below:

Set the game-time mood:

Tailgating decorations are aplenty in the world of sports and for homegating you can find even more! Garnish your entertainment room with team colors and memorabilia, including team cups, koozies, game-day chair covers, wall decor…the list goes on.

Man-to-chair coverage:

It may be worth moving your bulky, fragile furniture out of your entertainment room to create space for extra chairs (or pacing, for those nail-biting plays). Set aside a few easily accessible folding chairs or bar stools so that everyone watching has a seat to hold on to.

Create a kid-friendly zone:

Your young children more than likely don’t know who’s playing in the championship, and probably don’t care either. Dedicate a safe space for them to romp around and have their own playtime.

Food and drinks:

A snack and beverage station on the sidelines will go over well with all your guests. Don’t overthink it, though; if a cooler of drinks and a variety of appetizers can get fans through a tailgate, the same will work at your homegate....

It’s Back to School Time: Top Tips to Stay Sane

Going back to school is an exciting time. Kids get to see their friends, have a new year of field trips to look forward to and, with any luck, get the teachers your neighbors rave about. However, with homework and extracurricular activities, going back to school can be stress-inducing for both parents and children. Here are some tips to keep calm, cool and collected.

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Parents:

Redecorating Empty Nest

Sure, you could leave that cluttered room as a shrine to your college freshman, but wouldn't you love to use that space? Break the news to your kid gently, don't throw anything out without consulting them and keep some closet space open for when they come back to visit. Then consider one of these redecorating ideas for your empty nest.

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1. Guest room

Pros and Cons of Having a Garden Bed

Spring means getting your hands dirty for planting season. Whether it’s plants or vegetables, you might be thinking about creating a garden bed this year. Now, when it comes to gardening, I realize everyone has their own school of thought and specific way to address the year’s crop. However, if you’re new, here are a few pros and cons to building a garden bed. 

The Good Side of Garden Beds

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3 Things to Know Before Registering Your Home on a Short-Term Rental Site

Vacation rentals only continue to gain in popularity. The concept is often a win-win, as short-term rentals can provide an income opportunity for owners and a unique way for visitors to experience a city. 

If you are an owner considering offering your vacation home up for rental, here a few things to keep in mind before you dive in. 

1. Legality

The rise in popularity of Airbnb and other sites hasn't been without controversy. There are concerns that short-term rentals threaten the jobs of hotel workers, and that a short-term rental doesn't have to pass the same certifications and inspections of regular hotels. 


Some cities have enacted restrictions against short-term rentals. You may need to register and get a permit or a license – or you may not be able to host at all. Check with the local government to make sure you understand the laws and regulations. 

2. Taxes

Second homes and rental properties are subject to specific tax rules, so be sure you know what's expected and what you can deduct.

3. Additional Costs

Renting out your home could mean an extra insurance bill. Check with your insurance agent to learn what your current policy covers regarding short-term renters. Airbnb currently offers some insurance options for short-term renters, and many of the other sites have partnerships that make it easy to take out additional coverage, if needed.

In addition to insurance, you'll have to pay a percentage of the rental income to the website: Airbnb and FlipKey both currently charge a 3% host service fee, VRBO has an option to pay-per-booking or an annual subscription...

Paw-sitive Reinforcement: 5 Ways to Help Pets Adjust After a Move

Moving can be stressful for every family member – including the four-legged ones. Every animal reacts differently to new living quarters, and temperament has a lot to do with it. Some pets take a move in stride, while others exhibit anxiety or insecurity for days or weeks.


Here are 5 things to consider as the big move approaches and after you're in your new home.

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1. A little help from the vet

5 Home Projects to Tackle this Spring

March means the weather is (hopefully) warming up. It’s the perfect time to get ahead on home maintenance. Here are a few projects to focus on during a spring fling of home repair.

1. Wash away the winter

Power washing your home's exterior not only adds to its sparkle, but also blasts away any potentially damaging mold and mildew. Rent a power washer at your local home improvement store and hit your siding, deck and driveway.

2. Check your AC

Scheduling a tune-up for your cooling system now can save you big bucks in the long run. Change your AC filter and schedule a pro to come check your system before contractors get busy during the summer.

3. Go with the flow

Pull out a ladder and unclog gutters. While you’re up there, check that they're connected securely.

4. Bask in the sun

Catch some rays – and brighten your home – by cleaning your windows, inside and out. Use a squeegee instead of paper towels to avoid looking out through a filter of streaks and lint.

5. Hit the fridge

The dust and grime that collects on your refrigerator's coils forces it to use more energy to cool. Cleaning coils is easy with your vacuum's hose attachment. Then, enjoy efficiently-made ice cubes in a cocktail after all your hard work.

And add a paper drink umbrella. After all, it is spring break.

What else can you be doing to help your home sell quickly and at the right price? Reach out to me, and I’d love to share other ideas. 

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RE/MAX Rises to Top Five of Franchise 500

Proud to be a part of a brand that is ranked a top 5 franchise in the annual Entrepreneur Magazine Franchise Top 500. The #REMAXHustle never stops!

RE/MAX is ranked 5th among the 500 franchise companies included in the 2018 Entrepreneur Franchise 500® survey.

RE/MAX is ranked 5th among the 500 franchise companies included in the 2018 Entrepreneur Franchise 500® survey.

The accolades keep on coming for RE/MAX, and I’m honored to be a part of it.

The #1 name in real estate continued to outperform its competitors in Entrepreneur magazine’s recent Franchise 500 ranking. In addition to being ranked the #1 real estate franchise in the country – for the 15th time – RE/MAX also climbed into the survey’s Top Five of all franchises for the first time!

More than 1,000 franchisors applied for the 39th annual ranking. It’s a pretty impressive performance for RE/MAX and more proof that the #remaxhustle never stops.

Highlights of the 2018 Franchise 500 survey include:

  • RE/MAX ranked #5 overall, up from #10 in 2017, #21 in 2016 and #75 in 2015
  • RE/MAX ranked #1 among real estate franchises
  • Other real estate competitors were Keller Williams Realty at #22, HomeVestors of America at #37, Weichert Real Estate Affiliates at #139, Realty One Group at #230, Realty Executives at #424 and United Real Estate at...

RE/MAX Wins on the Worldwide Stage

The skills of more than 115,000 sales associates in over 100 countries and territories have made RE/MAX the global leader in residential real estate transactions sides.

To be named the best in the world, professional athletes put in years of hard work, preparation and dedication to set themselves apart from the rest – wait – that sounds an awful lot like our network of real estate professionals!


As our bold new graphic proclaims, Nobody in the World Sells More Real Estate Than RE/MAX. Nobody IN THE WORLD. That means helping buyers and sellers achieve their dreams all around the globe. It means winning on the world stage – not just a national one. So what does it take to be number one?

1. Recognize And Develop Talent

Great things happen when you combine the industry’s most productive agents, a universally known brand name, an array of competitive advantages and a culture that attracts professionals who value customer service and big results. To be the best, you have to attract the best!

2. Work Hard And Keep At It

RE/MAX didn't reach the summit overnight. There's been 45 years of growing and nurturing the skills of sales associates, who in turn have done incredible work for their clients. Nothing has come easily, but going all-in is part of the RE/MAX culture. It's how you become the VIP.

3. Coach And Help Others

RE/MAX has a stated mission of "achieving our goals by helping others achieve theirs. Everybody wins." Raw talent needs infrastructure, equipment and facilities – and the quality of the support network depends very much on the mindset driving it forward.

In these global times,...

January 2018 Housing Report: 4 Things to Know

January 2018 Housing Report:

4 Things to Know:

1. Homes are selling fast

In December, homes spent an average of 57 days on the market. That’s the shortest time of any December in the report’s history.

2. Prices are rising

The median sales price of a home sold in December was $232,500. That’s nearly 3 percent higher than the median sales price in December 2016.

3. Inventory continues to shrink

Making sales harder was a low supply of inventory at 3.7 percent — which is the lowest December figure in the nine-year history of the report. That corresponds with a 14.6 percent decline in inventory, lengthening a streak of monthly declines that began in November 2008.

4. Slightly fewer transactions occurred

The overall average number of home sales fell 3.3 percent compared to December 2016, with 39 markets reporting fewer transactions. The end of year is typically a slower selling season, but buyers should still work with their agents to navigate the competitive market.

Dig into the details of the ?January 2017 RE/MAX National Housing Report??? in this infographic.

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Pros and Cons of Solar Panels

Ever thought about solar panels? LG&E has a Solar Share program now. (For more info click here https://lge-ku.com/solar-share/help. Solar panels are good for the environment, save money, and can increase the value of your home. However, with all the good, there are a few cons. Do you think there are more pros or cons when installing solar panels?

1. Pro: Demolish your electric bills

Obviously by capturing free energy from the sun, you'll pay less in your utility bill. In some states, you can even earn money back by selling the unused energy your panels generate to the utility company in the form of ?Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs).

2. Con: Upfront cost

While installation and materials are more affordable than ever, it might take up to seven years for the system to pay for itself through the money you save. Fortunately, there are considerable tax breaks, rebates, and solar-specific loans available to help homeowners get started. The federal investment tax credit allows you to deduct 30 percent of the cost of your system from your taxes. You can search for state programs on the ...

3 Top Housing Trends for 2018

When buying or selling a home, an understanding of current market trends could help optimize your time and money. Here are a four real estate trends that defined 2017 and are expected carry on into the new year.

3 Top Housing Trends for 2018

1. Competing Generations

The recent shift in home buying preferences is a generational one. Millennials are starting to abandon their condos in the city for starter homes in the burbs, putting them in direct competition with downsizing baby boomers. With these two groups both looking for similar housing, well-maintained single-family homes are expected to go very quickly in 2018.

2. Tightening Inventory

The fall of 2017 was tight in regards to the number of homes available for sale. In fact, total housing inventory was down 13.4 percent in October 2017 compared to the same time the year before, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report.  For most of the country, sellers currently have the advantage. Will that change in 2018? It’s possible, but buyers should prepare for a market where they will have to be aggressive to purchase the home they want.

3. Advancing Tech

Like most other industries, real estate today is profoundly affected by the advance of technology. Homebuyers and sellers can easily access information about a house or the market with the click of a button, and virtual walk-throughs allow a buyer to enter a prospective home for the first time with few surprises. In real estate, technology has the potential to reward those who do their homework and make the most of digital options before deciding...

5 New Year's Pledges for Home Sellers

Have you made your #NewYear resolutions yet? If you are thinking of selling your home in 2018, here are some tips to help get you started – call me when you're ready to meet your goals!

2018

1.  "Avoid drastic design changes"

Unless you’re turning your bold color palette into a more neutral one, it's best not to try to anticipate what buyers want in design and décor. The best way to freshen up your home is to simplify and depersonalize, so potential buyers can picture building their own lives there.

2. "Stop neglecting the dripping faucet"

This applies to all those repairs you might view as minor but could actually be a symptom of a larger problem. Addressing things like leaks, poor ventilation and cracks in walls helps avoid inspection surprises and eliminate buyer thoughts of “what else might be wrong?”

3. "Price my home reasonably"

It's understandable to think your home is worth more than the others on the block – especially if you've invested in key upgrades and remodels. And you might be right. But the only way to truly know is to compare your home against recent sales of similar homes in the area. I can help you reach a competitive price that reflects what your home is worth in the local real estate climate.

4. "Thin out the clutter"

When the For Sale sign goes up, your home should be clutter-free. Toss...

4 Tips for Creating a Home Gym With Limited Space

Take out the intimidation and the cost of a gym membership and work out at home. Just designate a space, crank the music, and go! Is fitness part of your resolution, yes or no?

4 Tips for Creating a Home Gym  With Limited Space

1. Designate a space

Regardless of whether your workout space is an entire room or just the width of a yoga mat, take steps to separate it from the rest of your living area. Experts agree a dedicated space helps keep you motivated. A room divider can help separate your equipment from the rest of your life — and prevent it from becoming a drying rack for your laundry.

2. Admire and inspire

A $10 mirror can make all the difference when it comes to checking your alignment and preventing injury. It can also give you a way to check your progress, or keep an eye on those love handles for extra motivation.

3. Equip yourself wisely

If you're short on space, you can find treadmills, rowers, TRX machines, and even bikes in fold-and-stash options. Adjustable weight sets take up a fraction of the space of a whole set of dumbbells. And a chin-up bar across a doorway hogs no floor space at all.

4. Turn the music up

An upbeat playlist can be a huge motivator for going the extra mile. Install speakers in your workout space, or find portable ones that can link to your phone.

Want to find a home with enough space to workout? I’ll help you find a home that will help you meet your goals. Give me a call, shoot me a text, or send me an email. My information is below.

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