Listing Courtesy of KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY
Past history tells us that home sales in Harbenson perk up come springtime, just as the advent of colder weather brings a slowdown in Harbenson home sales. But what if your own family and professional situations dictate that now is the time to list your own Harbenson home? What if the weather curve balls Mother Nature has been serving up have to take a back seat to your own scheduling imperatives?
Fortunately, the seasonal home sales ups and downs needn’t deter those plans. The fact is, several advantages can be had when a motivated seller and determined Realtor® put their minds to it. It’s largely a matter of attitude:
1. Make Your Home Feel like an Escape from Winter
Instead of allowing the cold weather to burden your whole endeavor, try to bring a little home sales jujitsu into play. The classic Japanese defense tactic relies on using the strength and weight of an adversary to disable him. In the same way, you can turn inclement conditions to your advantage by recognizing that they can help your home stand out as a beckoning refuge. Think: the nastier the weather, the better! As soon as potential buyers walk in, do everything you can to help them feel the sense of comfort a substantial shelter like this provides. The object is for them to recognize that here is the kind of home they want to wake up to on cold mornings!
Warmth is the starting point, so keep the temperature cozy (this is no time to fuss about the heating bill). If you have a fireplace, be sure it’s lit when visitors arrive. Fluffy comforters in the bedrooms and throw rugs that break up large areas of bare flooring will add, too. Further the effect with cups of warm cocoa, apple cider, tea or coffee that will warm buyers from the inside.
2. Clear All Walkways
It’s relatively easy to control the interior of your house by turning up the heat. Outside, though, you’re at the mercy of Mother Nature. Clear pathways, and pay special attention to any surfaces that might become slippery when the weather conspires against you. It’s especially important to clear the driveway, stone paths, sidewalks, and anywhere else buyers may want to inspect or visit. A clear path can be the difference between getting an offer…and getting sued!
3. Use the Slump to Your Advantage
Scads of homeowners buy the myth that Harbenson home sales are next to impossible to accomplish during wintertime. That’s why many—even some whose homes have been listed since autumn—fail to energetically market their homes until the weather clears (sometimes even failing to respond to home tour requests). That gives you a competitive advantage—and another jujitsu opening. Since prospects doing a Harbenson house tour will be less hurried than usual, your Realtor should be ready to spend more time with them to share persuasive points that make your property the standout value they’ve been after!
Sure, home sales during the shiver-producing months presents particular challenges, but the hidden advantages can be decisive. If you have been ready to sell, but hesitating until kinder weather surfaces, do give me a call!
In Milton real estate, there are happy words (“sold!”) and there are troubling words (“default”). Because of the associations they conjure up, some phrases just automatically make us happier. Two of the leaders in the positive category are the magical words, ‘vacation home.’ All by themselves, they can trigger a smile. Why not? “Home” is comforting; “vacation” is fun. Put them together in “vacation home” and you’ve got a double positive. It’s a real estate equivalent of Jimmy Buffett’s Cheeseburger in Paradise.
As the economy recovers, some American families are doing more than just smiling at the idea. The Wall Street Journal says that vacation home sales jumped more than 50% in 2014—up from 717,000 the year before. Quicken Loans reports a jump “in both the number and dollar volume of second home mortgage applications.”
To a Milton homeowner with sufficient wherewithal, there are some practical, real life incentives for moving the idea from daydream to the ‘to do’ list. The primary motivation is what comes first to mind. Just as a vacation is a welcome respite from the day-to-day, a vacation home needs to qualify as a destination that is pleasurable in itself. Where that could be differs for everyone, but whether it be the beach, desert, mountain, lake, cultural metropolis or outdoor sporting mecca, any Milton homeowner’s vacation home should be a haven inherently suited to relieving the stress of the workaday world. Although it would seem to be properly classified as a pure luxury expense, vacation homes can be more financially sensible than that.
The Kiplinger web site has a number of observations for vacation home buyers. It finds that some mortgage interest rates on second homes have lowered to first-home rates. Another alternative is the “favorite source” for all-cash purchases: a home equity line of credit. According to Kiplinger, “Mortgage interest on a second home is deductible on as much a $1 million in principal for both homes combined.” If lenders calculate eligibility via the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines, a borrower’s total debt payments should not exceed 36% of gross income…but if the second home is to be rented, that income can be part of the calculation.
Which brings up some other possibilities. A vacation home can not only cut down on vacation expenses (hotel and restaurant prices are rising, after all); if rented out some of the time, it can contribute offsets to its cost. To take advantage of IRS rules regarding personal versus rental classification, you should consult a tax expert. Since a quarter of vacation homes are rented out at least some of the year, it’s a tactic that deserves investigation.
Perhaps the advantage that’s talked about most for second home buyers is the contribution it can make toward retirement. If a retiree ultimately converts a vacation home to principal residence, profits from the former home can make a handsome contribution to the retirement nest egg. And if by retirement time that vacation home has been paid for in whole, it can make for an even more pleasing financial picture.
For an Milton resident with sufficient resources, purchasing a vacation home can be a practical as well as emotionally sustaining venture. If it sounds like an idea worth investigating further, talk it over with your financial advisor—and I’ll be standing by to help with any and all real estate considerations! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at email@example.com, visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.