Recent Red Oak and HUD Home listings

Check out these new listings that our office has put together. Some of these offer a great opportunity for a ton of equity. Let us know if we can get you some information.

Home Buyers and Sellers Prime Time

Attention home buyers and sellers! School is nearly over in most districts, and this means many things.  It means tulips, and daffodils, and lilacs, and crocuses, and remembering our beloved dead, and spring cleaning.  It also means that prime home-selling and buying season is here.

Many people looking to sell their home have put off listing their homes so their children can finish up a school year without the disruption of people touring their home.  Many home buyers have put off seeking a new home for this same reason.  Once school is out, homes are listed and the prospective buyers go into serious action.

Home Sellers Be Prepared to Sell

Home Buyers Be Ready - Schools Out for SummerIf you are a seller, be sure your home – even if your family is still living in the home – is thoroughly clean and prepped for close inspection by prospective buyers.  If you need some specific advice about what to do and how to do it, we’ve posted about how to clean a house that you want to sell before.

If you are a seller, be ready for people who want to see your house.  Make sure your house will be ready before school starts up again; most families who are relocating want to be settled with enough time for their children to settle in before that important first day of school.

Home Buyers Be Ready to Move!

Once the kids are out of school, the home buyers can begin their house-hunting can begin in earnest.  Get yourself a great real estate agent who works in a reputable agency and schedule a face-to-face meeting so that your agent knows exactly what you are looking for, and where you would like to live.  Be sure your agent knows about any deal-breakers, and be sure your agent knows exactly what you absolutely must have; this will save both of you from wasting your time with homes that are not going to work out for you and your family.  If you require an in-ground pool, be sure your agent understands that you are not interested in looking at a house that doesn’t have one.  If you have small children, be sure your agent isn’t going to show you a house on a cul-de-sac populated by older people who work nights and require quiet days.  Give your agent as much information as possible.

Spring and summer are the very times when many families are actively seeking a new home.  These are also times when many homeowners find that they will be sure to get a bid on their house.

Both must be ready!

10 Simple Steps to Buying a HUD Home

HUD Property Photo

Here are 10 steps you should follow if you’re interested in purchasing a HUD home property listed in your area.

  1. Choose The Red Oak Real Estate Group to be your authorized HUD real estate agent
  2. Familiarize yourself with the HUD website
  3. Find an FHA approved lender (The Red Oak Real Estate group can help you with this!)
  4. Check out The Red Oak Real Estate Group for expert, authorized help
  5. Start looking at homes.
  6. When you find a HUD home you want, have your authorized agent submit an offer.
  7. Have your authorized agent help you fill out a HUD contract package.
  8. Send your earnest money to the address your Realtor will give you.
  9. Schedule an inspection of the home.
  10. Close, move in, and live happily ever after!

You can find more information on HUD homes on our website. If you have other additional questions please feel free to contact us through our online form or you can request a scheduled appointment where we can speak in depth on your specific questions and needs regarding the purchase of a HUD property.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Flowers Turn A House Into A Home

Even the biggest, most beautiful house on the block can sometimes seem like an empty shell. It’s amazing how much beauty just a few flowers can add to the overall look of the property as well as the curb appeal from anyone driving by the house. Well landscaped and cared-for flower beds on your property will be appreciated by just about everyone that sees them, yourself and neighbors included.

New Home ConstructionSome flowers can even be planted before the house is finished.

The gardener will have to be careful when planning and planting spots of outdoor color for a house, but it can be done. The above house, for example, was begun in October, which is prime spring bulb planting time. It was finished in January, and the people moved in. It took a long time for the lawn to be lush and green, but the spring bulbs planted months before came up, giving the homeowners some color on their bare lawn, and some hope for more color! A prospective buyer would also take note – and hope- of the proof of springtime beauty that will last forever.

Spring Bulbs Breaking Through Soil

Prospective home buyers are on the lookout for proof of care and even love for a house, no matter time of year they are seeking Even early in the spring, as now, there are ways to add touches of homelike color to a house’s exterior. Buyers like to see evidence that the dwelling in which they are interested was more than a house – it was a home, and would make a good home for them, too.

Rock Wall Flower BedIf there is a planter on the property, it should be, weather permitting, full of flowers. Flowers provide color, and even though most buyers are mainly interested in the inside, evidence of care and love on the outside are noticed and appreciated.

If there is a koi pond, or any other kind of small decorative water pond on the property, a water lily bud is a promise of future blossoming, and also shows that the pond has been cared for.

Water Lilly Bulb

Blooming tulips, daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths, and flowering spring trees such as dogwood and redbud are also proof that someone cared greatly about the beauty and maintenance of the outside of the property.

Blooming DogwoodThe difference between a house with a few artistically placed and colorful flowers and flowering trees is the difference between a listing that is a raw new house, and a listing that is a prospective home. Landscaping is more than shrubs and greenery. Those are nice, of course, but it is the touches of color that make a house’s exterior turn the whole house into a home, and buyers are seeking a home.

Preparing Your House for Sale

One of the most important things to make sure of, when trying to sell your home, is cleanliness.  Once you get all of your personal property out of the house, step back and really give it a look.  Look at the walls; any house that’s been lived in will have walls that reflect it.  Paint all of your paintable interior walls, and this is no time to express your quirky tastes.  Repaint the interior walls a plain off-white.  Don’t forget to look up; the ceilings probably need to be repainted, if possible, also.  If the ceilings can’t be painted, do whatever needs to be done to make those ceilings look brand new.

Clean Empty BedroomLook at Your Floors

Now look at the floors in the house you want to sell.  Don’t waste your money on an over-the-counter bottle of spray-on carpet shampoo.  Hire a professional to steam-clean every carpet in the house, and not just the carpets in the living room, either. If the carpets are too stained to be made spotless, replace those carpets.  The money you spend on new carpet will be made up for in the bids you’ll get because the carpets look so nice.

Hardwood floors?  Hire a professional to clean those, too.  If you’ve lived in the house for any length of time, hard-wood floors will be scratched and stained, and you can’t get rid of those with a bottle of furniture polish.

Use your judgment with tile and linoleum.  Good tile, unless it’s chipped or deeply scratched, can be made to look nice with some vinegar-and-water.  Look closely at any linoleum; sometimes it can be cleaned thoroughly enough and sometimes it will need to be replaced.

Now take a good look at the woodwork.  Paint it to match the walls, or refinish it, if it can’t be fixed up with some simple polish.  Prospective buyers look at these things.

Kitchens and Bathrooms Should Sparkle

Sinks – kitchen and bathrooms – should be spotless, along with the faucets and shower heads.  Countertops should have no stains, deep scratches, or stains.  Fix these if you can; replace them if you can’t.

Thoroughly clean all wooden cabinets.

Clean Kitchen Interior Photo

Make sure all the windows are clean on both sides.  Check all shades and blinds to make sure they work.  Raise and lower each window; a window that won’t stay up can make or break a sale!  If you are leaving curtains, be sure they’re absolutely clean.

Remove all evidence of pets from the interior of the house, especially in regard to odors.  Even if a prospective buyer is an animal lover, NOBODY is an odor lover.

Set out some nice, NOT strong-smelling air fresheners in each room.  Put a new box of baking soda in the refrigerator.  Be sure the oven is spotless.

The interior of the house should make a prospective buyer really, really want to live there.  Clean sells.

4 Reasons 2015 Is A Great Year for Real Estate

With the first quarter of 2015 already flipping to an end, experts and analysts have already casted their predictions that this year will be a great one for the real estate industry. Here are the top reasons why they have declared so.

Real Estate InvestingLow interest rates

Developers are very aware of the competition that exist between them. The same scenario is also true for borrowers and mortgage companies. To continue luring individuals to their respective businesses, lowering the interest rates they offer to their designed housing mortgage programs has become a primary factor. Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have designed programs requiring low interest rate of 3% for home buyers. With this change, more people will be eligible of availing mortgage programs.

Millenials are becoming the primary home buyers

2015 ushers in a change in the lifestyle of many millennials. In fact, they are expected to become the primary home buyers of the year as they shift preferences from renting to home ownership. People belonging to this group are seeking for more stability of their future. They have become concerned of the life they may have when the employment world has closed its doors for them. In several surveys conducted, millennials appear to be the group which is most interested in buying a house this year.

Baby boomers are predicted to downsize

Another group of home buyers are also seen to make decision changes in terms of housing. The baby boomers who once bought homes of great areas have decided to downsize and relocate. Their decisions are influenced by the urge to be closer to their relatives. An underlying factor behind the urge to relocate is their dwindling abilities to do things by themselves due to aging. However, those who simply chose to downsize are those who want to be relieved of heavy home maintenance tasks.

Home prices will become more stable

The past years have become a sort of roller coaster ride for the real estate industry in terms of pricing. More homes will be available on listings because sellers have anticipated that this year will be a more stable one. Profitable margins are clearer to see. Or in cases where one has to sell his property lower than his original buying price, he won’t lose that great.

2015 is generally seen to be a positive year for the real estate industry. With 10 months still left for the year to roll out, we will see if other developments will be for more improvements.

Missed Your Home Selling Opportunity?

Home For Sale by Owner

Around central Indiana, we all know that we should list our homes in the Spring, right?  It seems like everyone is aware of this and our market does embrace this. If you were considering selling your home this year and you haven’t yet; should you be worried?  Don’t be worried just yet. There is still a lot of time left in 2012 and there are still a lot of buyers out there.  School is getting ready to start back up about this time and the market does take a small step back during this time due to families getting back into routines, etc. However, once school is back in full swing, the home selling will pick up again for several more months.  Of course, we always slow down towards the end of the year, but that is no reason to not try and sell your home if you are considering it.  Many times it can better in the winter as you will have much less competition.  Ultimately, if you have your house priced correctly and it is in good condition, there is no bad time to sell your home. You have all heard the phrase….location, location, location, right?  While, I believe that location is extremely important, I believe that condition and pricing are more important. If you have the best location in the neighborhood, but it is priced too high, it isn’t going to sell. Try and remember this when you are considering a pricing strategy for your home.

Real Estate Investing?

Real Estate InvestingHave you ever thought about Real Estate investing? If you are like many others, you probably have thought about it from time to time and either talked yourself out of it, or someone else talked you out of it.  I see this all the time. I believe that we often talk ourselves out of something because maybe we don’t feel confident in our abilities or we don’t feel confident with the subject matter at hand.  Have you ever thought about getting educated in Real Estate investing? Are you serious about Real Estate investing? If so, you may want to check out this Free Seminar.

The seminar will give you some insight and education on Real Estate investing. The free seminar is put on by Fortune Builders.  Fortune Builders is a Real Estate Education company out of San Diego that is ran by Than Merrill and Paul Esajian from the hit TV show “Flip this House”  on A&E.  If you are serious about Real Estate investing, do yourself a favor and make it one of these events.  I have been and believe them to be well worth your time.