January 29, 2016

The Truth About Price Per Square Foot

Price per square foot is a concept in real estate which is easy to understand and just as easy to misuse. The formula is pretty simple: To determine price per square foot, you take a price, such as sale price of a home, and divide it by the square footage of the property.

Price per square foot is useful in looking at broad market comparisons, such as comparing one entire metro area to another, or looking at an area’s average change over time. It is not, however, terribly accurate in figuring out the value of your home.

Why? Well, price per square foot fails to take into account the most important factors when pricing a home.

First and foremost, it makes assumptions about the home’s amenities. We all know the quality of materials used in home construction and the condition of the home’s appliances and other features can have a dramatic impact on the value of a home. A kitchen with Italian marble surfaces versus one with pressboard countertops will have completely different values. Price per square foot in a given neighborhood will blend these homes together and produce an average.

January 22, 2016

How to Respond to Lowball Offers

Your agent is required to bring you any and all offers made on your home, so once in a while you’ll receive what’s known as a “lowball” offer. Lowball offers are buyer offers which far fall below your asking price. Sometimes they’re so low that they only serve to make you angry.

Don’t get angry! While selling your home is an emotional process, there are rational, effective strategies for dealing with the lowball offer. Sometimes the lowball offer can even turn into the right price if you handle negotiations the right way.

  • Remain calm. Your urge may be to tell the buyer to go #*&@! themselves, but there’s nothing to be gained in making enemies.

January 8, 2016

Guide to Preventing Burst Pipes in Winter

Do you have a home in an area where extreme cold is likely during the winter months? Don’t risk thousands of dollars in plumbing repairs… take the time to protect your pipes from bursting. When water freezes in your pipes, the ice expands, adding to the overall pressure in your home’s plumbing. When this force builds, it can cause pipes to split. In addition to plumbing repairs, you might find yourself on the hook for flooding damage, too.

The pipes most at risk? Those exposed to the lowest temperatures, of course. This includes plumbing on the exterior of the home, in exterior walls, and exposed pipes in those unheated zones of your home. Did you know that even a frozen garden hose can cause enough pressure to split an interior pipe? Be sure to disconnect and drain them. Faucets outside are vulnerable as well, so you’ll want to locate the shutoff valves for those spigots and make sure they’re drained before a freeze.

January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

The new year is here, and with it come the billions of small promises we all make to spark some change in our lives. For some it will be a brand new creative endeavor  For others it will be the abandonment of bad habit. Almost invariably, resolutions center on the formation or destruction of a habit. Habits are like compound interest. If you understand how to harness their power, the returns in the long run are enormous. But how do we support the willpower it requires to start and sustain a new habit?

An often overlooked tool in our quest for habit formation is the simple ritual. A ritual is a series of actions or behaviors followed without deviation. Though rituals are most often associated with religious ceremonies or family traditions, there’s increasing scientific evidence to suggest that rituals appear to benefit even people who claim not to believe that rituals work. Rituals have also been shown to alleviate grief after loss and help enhance confidence before sporting events.