A First-Time Homeowner’s Guide to Building a Duplex Home

A duplex home is a beautiful asset. Many people dream of having a duplex home but only a lucky few get the chance to actually have it. Those who are looking to build a home for the first time can consider a duplex house. But since they are new in home builder hunting, they have a high chance of coming across professionals who are not really scrupulous. Such professionals look for the opportunity to work with a first-time homeowner because first-time homeowners usually don’t have clear ideas about what it really takes to build a good duplex house.

If you are planning to own such a house, do not plan big at the beginning. Keep in mind that there will be problems in the masonry, plumbing or wiring. No matter how well-built the house is, there will be these problems. So, aim for a small duplex property.

However, if you compare the pros and cons of a duplex house, the pros will outweigh the cons. The good things about duplex houses are more in number than the bad things about them. But you need the right builders to reap the benefit of all the good things. Many reputable builders are there who specialize in duplex buildings. They usually erect duplex buildings in upscale areas of the town. You can hire them to build your duplex home, regardless of the place. If you can build a rapport with the builders, you can avail their services at reduced rates.

Before hiring the builder, you should do some research on their earlier works. Check their credentials and licenses. Make sure that they are who they say are. Bear in mind that efficient and reliable duplex house builders are not really easy to find.

Good planning is very important for a good duplex home. The architect has to chalk out a thorough plan that would suit your interest as well as get all the necessary permits from your local councils. Australia is a place where people are always on the lookout for a good duplex house. You need to find an efficient planner who can draw a fine floor plan for you. A skilled architect can maximize space in your home’s floor plan. They can make best use of the land and even leave room for landscaping, gardening or a patio.

As you may know, several structural limits are there that you have to abide by. For instance, you have to build your home in such a way that makes good use of space and does not encroach on your neighbors‘ properties. The planning should not have any negative impact on the environment. Therefore, it is just as important to find an experienced architect as it is to find a reputable duplex home builder. Many people are building duplex homes today to enjoy two different homes on one block of land. The biggest benefit of this is that you can sell one of the homes and live in the other. That’s a remarkable monetary benefit. Not only does it cover your construction costs and brings in more money than what you had invested, it also lets you live on the land that you own. But to impress today’s home buyers, you need more than just quality home joinery services.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Learning How to Get Free, New, and Existing MLS Home Listings in Your Area

When you are in the market for a new home, the key is to be able to see as many available homes as possible. However, driving up and down the streets is not an efficient way to gauge the housing market in your area. A better way to do it would be access the MLS listing sites that many realtor’s use. Knowing how to get free new and existing MLS home listings in your area can be incredibly valuable in helping look at a large number of homes and narrow the market down to the ones most suited to your wants and needs.

Though you may be able to find homes by using an internet search engine or directory, your best bet is always going to be to get access to the multiple listing service (MLS) that realtors often use. One suggestion as to how to get free new and existing MLS home listings in your area is to check your local newspaper’s website. There, they will often have a link to real-estate where you will have access to homes that are listed on MLS. Using this method to get access will generally allow you to see homes that are for sale by owner as well, which rarely get into MLS at all (due to high listing costs on for sale by owner).

Another piece of advice on how to get free new and existing MLS home listings in your area is to use realtor.com. This website actually is made up of all the board listings from the local MLS. The virtual tours, pictures, and listings are all there for you to see. You also know the best listings are there because realtors pay to get listed on the site. It is an incredibly popular site that gets such traffic that realtors consider it a must to be listed there. The only real problem is that while you do have access to the MLS listings, they are often 3 to 5 days behind the MLS listing date.

Another method for how to get free new and existing MLS home listings in your area is a little bit of a cheat. If you know someone, have a family member, or are acquitted with a realtor, they can get you on to the site. The problem is that if you are not using them to shop for or buy your new home, they may not be as willing. However, if you can call in a favor you can see all of the listening in your area and detailed information about all of them. That is, you can do it all without actually becoming a realtor or finding backdoor websites.

Finding how to get free new and exiting MLS home listings in your area is a challenge, but oh so worth it in the end. By knowing everything listed, you give yourself a larger pool to start with when you narrow down to the homes you want to actually see in person. The more options you have the more quality you will end up with.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

For Sale By Owner Listings

Selling your home on your own, without a Realtor, is becoming less and less popular. This is surprising, considering that home values have skyrocketed and commissions have risen along with them.

The money to be saved can be significant enough to attempt to sell your home on your own. Especially when the market has historically low interest rates and high demand in most areas of the country.

To sell your home on your own however, you are missing the most significant marketing tool available to you. The Realtor’s Multiple Lisitngs Service (MLS).

70% of all home buyers start out on the web. So it is crucial for you to be in the MLS. But, the challenge has always been that to be in the MLS you have to sign with a Realtor at 6% of your sales price.

So if your home is worth $399,000. You would spend 6% on your sales commissions. Not to mention your title, escrow and other expenses.

So if you sell your house on your own you can save at least $23,940 ($399,000 x 6%).

But let’s get realistic. Most buyers work with a Realtor.

So you will be spending at least 2% to 3% for the buyers commission.

I say you will be spending because even if the buyer is paying the agent as a buyers broker, that will still reflect a lower offer to that takes into consideration the commission. So you are paying for the commission indirectly-yes?

Additionally, you will find that you will have a much better reach into your marketplace by being in the MLS.

So how do you do this? Well depending on your State you can list your home for a flat fee as low as $500. But, you get listed in the MLS with zero service.

But, you get the reach of all the buyers brokers that subscribe to the MLS and you still save 2% – 3% of the price.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

The Advantages of Services Like the RedX and LeadSenders For Real Estate Agents

Expired listing lead services such as the RedX and LeadSenders provide real estate professionals with a continual slow of leads from which to grow their business. The primary advantage of both services to REALTORS is that they enjoy a first-mover advantage over their competition. Agents that use these lead sending services get notified as soon as the prospective customer comes available. These services then provide users with the information that they will need to quickly make contact with the prospect, begin creating the relationship and finally convert the prospect into a listing or a sale.

Although similar, LeadSenders and the RedX (Real Estate Data Exchange) have some very significant differences. The most significant of which is the timeliness of the service. Where the RedX system provides expired mls listing leads in real time, the LeadSenders system provides information on a daily basis. In contrast, where the RedX software provides a prospect by prospect history, there is no way to easily create visibility on all of the listings that expired six months ago and have not re-listed.

In general, the services provided by the Real Estate Data Exchange are a little more comprehensive than those of LeadSenders. In addition to expired mls listings, the RedX also provides real time FSBO listings from multiple databases. The RedX also scours multiple databases to provide a comprehensive picture of both the expired and fsbo listings which allows the real estate agent to be much more informed when they first make contact.

In addition to those services, the RedX does provide an expanded menu of marketing resources that are not currently available through Lead Senders. These resources include tools to help REALTORS update their websites with the latest lead capture technology. For real estate agents that do not currently have a dedicated website, the RedX even offers a service to provide them with a turnkey solution.

Between the RedX and LeadSenders, both have their own unique benefits. As a result, it is ultimately up to the real estate agent to choose the system that will best fit his or her needs. When evaluating these types of lead generation systems, there are a lot of things to consider. Cost notwithstanding, the caliber of the leads as well as the technology used to identify prospects is one of the most important factors of consideration. If you are a REALTOR that is looking at these two systems, weigh the benefits of both and choose wisely.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Condos for Sale – How to Choose the Right One for You

Have you ever lived in a condominium unit? If like me you grew up in a house with a garden then chances are you have no idea what factors and features to consider when looking at condos for sale. Not being aware of key aspects that could affect your quality of life as well as the unit’s resale value could leave you with a condo you can’t live in or sell.

What to prepare before checking out condos for sale

When a person decides to try buying a condo unit the first thing they do is look through adds, this is one of the most common mistakes buyers make. Prior to looking at units, preparations have to be made which can make looking for a condo easier and in the end more advantageous for you.

Down through the ages people have always said information is the key and looking at condos for sale is no different. Prior to visiting different units hire an experienced realtor. He or she will be able to give you invaluable advice plus his or her services are free since the seller will pay the commission. Another person you need on your side is a lawyer. „Legalize“ is a language not everyone is familiar with and it’s always a good idea that we understand everything we sign, trust me on this my siblings are lawyers. Next, crunch the numbers and look through mortgage requirements. Being ready on the financial front will give you a realistic view on what you can and cannot afford.

What to avoid while looking at condos for sale

Unfortunately not everyone is able to realize that small details can make a big difference in ones‘ quality of life. The following are some things you may not have thought to take into consideration:

• Steer clear of units that overlook the entrance to the garage or where vehicle traffic is if you value peace and quiet.

• Once again for peace and quiet do not choose a unit across from or beside an elevator.

• Make sure your suite does not look over the area where garbage is picked up; this is self-explanatory but is a detail most people will miss.

• Make sure most of the condo’s occupants are owners not tenants.

• Avoid condo buildings that are not easily accessible by any number of public transport services. Trust me you’ll need the service one of these days even if you do have a car.

• Avoid condo buildings where the neighborhood is not as pleasant as you’d like. The building itself maybe top notch but if the location is not at par then think twice.

• Avoid making a decision before going to the condo several times and at different times of the day and night.

• Remember to chat with the neighbors. You’ll need inside information about the area and if you can stand living beside them.

• Do not commit before you have discussed all the monthly fees, maintenance costs, association dues, closing fees and all financial matters. You need to know you can afford it all without breaking a sweat.

• Do not buy a suite with a view you can’t live with, no matter what the building’s amenities are.

Happy hunting.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Commercial Real Estate Agent Prospecting Facts and Strategies

When you work as a commercial real estate agent or broker, it is essential that you develop and implement a prospecting program to generate new business leads. It is a personal process and it is not something that you can or should delegate.

I am amused sometimes when I hear that an agent has paid considerable money to a marketing company to ‚cold call‘ their entire sales territory or market segment looking for leads and prospects to serve. Delegating the prospecting process to a marketing company or another ‚unskilled person‘ is a waste of time and money. Commercial real estate is an industry built around personal relationships and trust; a marketing company or employed canvasser cannot offer that level of communication or service.

So why would a real estate agent employ such a ‚marketing firm‘ to make prospecting calls? The answer in most cases is glaringly obvious; the agent doesn’t have the skill or the discipline for the prospecting process to be successful.

If you want to win the new business, then you will need to do it yourself. Yes, it takes time to get results and you will need to develop some new skills, but discipline will help you get to the results that you are seeking.

One thing should be said here; commercial real estate brokerage is tremendously rewarding for the sales people that can work hard and to a system or plan. Looking for leads and opportunities is part of the process or game. It’s a personal thing and it can’t be delegated.

Here are some way’s to find new business, better property listings, and good clients:

  • Redundant Properties – Some properties will move to a level of redundancy due to age, deterioration, change of zoning, or lack of tenants. When this happens it is time to move to the next phase of the property ‚lifecycle‘. A good real estate agent can see the signs early and work closely with a property owner as they start to deal with the issue of investment change.
  • Vacant Land – As a city expands or suburbs change, vacant land will be rezoned for new development. Keep ahead of this opportunity by monitoring the planning and development applications at your local planning approvals office. Get copies of the public minutes of the planning committee meetings.
  • Old Listings – Some listings don’t sell or lease at the first attempt. What you can do here is withdraw the property from the market today and then revisit the property marketing effort a few months later in another and perhaps different marketing approach. Refreshing a listing is a valuable business process.
  • Open Listings – The best way to sell or lease a property is through an exclusive listing process. Open listings are very much a process of luck; most open listings stay on the market for a very long time and on average are far less successful when compared to the dedicated marketing efforts of an exclusive listing. Revisit old open listings to see if they can be optimised for a fresh marketing effort.
  • Larger Businesses – Local businesses are involved in property either as tenants or as owner occupiers. Business owners will need help with property from time to time. The best way to tap into that opportunity is through direct and ongoing contact. Cold call every business in your town or city and speak to them regularly about property needs and changes.
  • Surrounding Other Listings – When a competing agent puts a property on the market, you can use that listing as a reason to talk to all adjacent and nearby business and property owners. One property listing can be the catalyst to talk to others to see if they would like to compete or do something themselves.
  • Street Canvass – On a street by street basis, systematically move through your sales territory and research all property owners. Eventually you will create a good list of owners for your database. Ongoing contact will allow you to build valuable client relationships and the levels of trust that help grow commissions and listings.
  • Cold Calling – The telephone remains the most effective business tool that we have. Direct calls handled in a professional way will help you reach out to new people. Selectively researching the property owners and business people in your area will support the cold calling process.

A simple list like this will give you an abundance of property leads and opportunities. The secret to making things work for you is in doing it yourself.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Weary of Looking at Houses for Sale in Cork, Ireland?

And what about when you do eventually manage to get the details of a couple of suitable looking properties for sale in Cork (going by the agent’s details at least!) – which haven’t also gone `Sale Agreed‘ almost as soon as you hear about them – you set off to the viewings in excited anticipation of at last finding your `dream home‘ only to be bitterly disappointed when you discover that they are either located miles from anywhere (shops, buses, trains, schools, etc.) next door to a smelly pig farm or are slap-bang in the middle of a busy through-road!

Not to mention the sheer waste of your precious time, effort and money criss-crossing the county (or even the oceans if you’re still living abroad whilst looking at suitable houses for sale in Cork!

From the `wild and wooly‘ areas of Bantry & Glengarriff in West Cork, south east to the vibrant towns of Kinsale & Clonakilty or heading north to Cork City itself, Blarney and Mallow, Cork is a very large county with an abundance of differing styles as well as prices of property to view.

With so much physical ground to cover, where you might easily have to drive for 2-3 hours between viewings, what a relief it would be if you could instead instruct independent house hunters to do the whole property searching and buying process on your behalf.

Appointing a reliable, independent firm of house hunters to act on your behalf will take all the `drudge‘ out of doing the rounds of estate agents/auctioneers and/or searching the property website portals into the wee small hours in the hope of unearthing that `property jewel‘ before anybody else finds it.

By appointing an independent house hunter to act on your behalf – who has also experienced the house-buying process in Ireland themselves – will pay huge dividends down the road as they will be best placed to save you time and money when negotiating the best possible price for your dream home.

Again, because of the wide diversity of property types, sizes and locations, etc. in Cork, asking prices for properties can vary enormously. From the dizzy heights of several million euro for the larger detached houses in and around the Kinsale & Cork City areas to the more modestly priced country cottages around Glangariff, Garrettstown and Skibbereen – with prices reducing accordingly for smaller, semi-detached and terraced properties more often found in the larger urbanisations such as Carrigaline, Douglas, Wilton and Middleton.

From the older, more `challenging‘ properties to the newly-built less demanding ones, a knowledgable house hunter will have learned invaluable lessons along the way as to what to watch out for when purchasing a property in Ireland.

Naturally, all the usual `caveats‘ apply to house buying in Cork – starting with the three most important factors to consider when buying anywhere: „Location, Location, Location“. Right through to the perhaps less well known elements noticeable to the untrained eye such as structural condition, accurate market values, etc.

Initial consultation/meeting

This is your chance to provide as much information as you can so that your house hunters will know exactly what you are looking for in your `dream home‘ in Cork and, most importantly, that you are eligible to purchase a property in Ireland. They will discuss your needs and also advise on practical issues such as local schools, shops, travel links, etc. This should be a free, no-obligation consultation.

Previewing and viewings

Using your brief as a guideline, and once the `paperwork‘ has been completed, your property search agent will then search the Cork housing market on your behalf doing all the legwork for you – including previewing suitable properties that fit your requirements. Your house hunter should then draw-up a short-list of the most suitable properties for you to view – always accompanied by one of their team – as well as offering additional helpful advice as needed.

Negotiations and acquisitions

Your appointed independent house hunters will take care of the negotiations, bargaining as hard as possible on your behalf, to obtain the best possible price to secure your dream house in an extremely competitive market.

Hassle-free conveyancing

Because the Principals of the business will have experienced the Irish house-buying process personally they will also be able to put you in touch with a wide range of reliable professionals and trades-people with whom they have forged long-standing relationships should you need them.

For example: Solicitors, Financial Advisors, Architects, Surveyors, Plumbers, Painters, Decorators, Roofers, Structural Engineers, Electricians, Gardeners and Removal Companies.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

A 5 – Step Plan To Prepare To Buy A House

Although, owning a home of one’s own, is often considered, a major component of the so – called, American Dream, wouldn’t it make sense, to effectively, plan, to ensure this doesn’t become a nightmare, instead? After, over fifteen years, as a Real Estate Licensed Salesperson, in the State of New York, I have created, what I, often, refer to, as the RICH IDEAS, for proceeding, wisely, in terms of buying a house. With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, a 5 – step plan, for properly, effectively, wisely, being prepared for this process, and proceeding accordingly.

1. Put together/ accumulate sufficient funds, for a variety of requirements and necessities: It’s smart to proceed, as well – prepared, as possible, from the beginning. Well – before, you start searching for a house, begin saving money, in a systematic way. Remember, you will not only need funds, for the down – payment (often, but not always, 20%), but, also, funds for other Closing Costs, including, but not limited to, pre – paid real estate taxes, utilities, and other, so – called, escrow items. In addition, most lending institutions require a demonstration, and proof of funds, equal to several months, of mortgage payments.

2. Obtain a copy of your Credit Report (if husband and wife, get both): You are entitled, once per year, to request a free copy of your Credit Report, from one of the major credit organizations/ companies. Review this document carefully, and correct any errors. If your rating is not, as high, as a lending institution may seek, begin to take steps, to enhance and improve it, sooner, rather than later!

3. Pay – down other debt: Lending institutions use formulas, to determine one’s qualification, to receive funds. These are generally, focused on, one’s percentage of debt to income. Therefore, pay – down your other debt, prior to beginning the process!

4. Don’t add any other debt: Avoid acquiring any more debt, regardless of how convenient, and/ or, appealing, it may seem, at the moment. Don’t fall into the trap, of, accepting new store charge accounts, because doing so, may compromise your credit worthiness, when you seek a mortgage!

5. Shop for homes, within your means: Avoid the trap, of becoming, house – rich, and seeking to purchase a home, beyond your comfortable means! Know, how much, you can afford, comfortably, and securely, so you choose, wisely, and remain, comforted!

Since, for most of us, the value of our house, is our single – biggest, asset, doesn’t it make sense, to proceed, carefully, and wisely? Will you be up to this task?

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How to Find the Best Real Estate Agents

There are many players in the world of residential real estate such as appraisers, home inspectors, property managers, contractors, bankers, mortgage loan offices, government agencies etc. But the workhorses of the typical real estate transaction depends on those people that act as coordinators in the entire process- yes, they are real estate brokers. But in the midst of the agents, how should you find the best one? You can find him easily. All you need are traits which will help you to understand the efficiency of the agent.

An ideal real estate broker is similar to a conductor of symphony in nature. Both coordinate with different players to turn an imaginative transaction into reality. The role of the agent changes at the different stages of this process. Sometimes, he acts as salesperson; sometimes buyer’s advocate; often as analyst, business manager, negotiator, consultant, marketer etc. Apart from these, they play many other roles to ease the task of their clients. Whenever you are searching for an efficient agent, you should observe whether he has these ten traits or skills (discussed below) or not.

Knowledge:

The best agents will always keep themselves up-to-date on the latest market trends and strategies. The local market will help him to give a better service to your clients.

Network connections:

Successful real estate agents have a wide network of contacts within the market they serve. These connections must include other real estate agents in their locality or neighbourhood, brokers, potential buyers and sellers, appraisers, home inspectors, mortgage loan officers etc. An efficient broker will always keep educating himself throughout his career.

Local housing market:

An established agent always appreciate and utilizes the nuances that make a specific community’s hosting market and pricing strategies as well. His focus should always stay on local real estate market which allows him to establish his differences from his competitors.

Detail information:

A good broker should always pay close attention to each detail of your property. He should conduct his research on the property in an organized manner gathering all the important information and communicating with several sources.

Engaging personality:

The agent should have a pleasing personality which can convince the both parties. At first, it is the personality which you would notice about him at your first meeting.

Interest in houses & architecture:

The agent should have interest in this field of real estate. When you will be talking to him, you can find the reflection of his interest in his conversation. Interest leads one to knowledge. So, an immensely interested person will have knowledge in his favor.

Hustle and tenacity:

As a top producing real estate broker , one should have a great work ethic. The agents must possess tenacity to pursue every lead and of course the hustle to aggressively market your properties to give you profits. It requires not only time. It also requires smart work, putting in the right amount of time and arranging everything wisely.

Honesty & integrity:

Honesty and integrity are required in every profession. Real estate is not an exception obviously. Honesty helps to be well known and demandable in the market. Clients come seeing the background which also includes honesty and ethics.

Self-motivated entrepreneur:

A positive and motivated person is the best one who can engage people in a property. People love to deal with motivated agents. If your agent has this quality, he will be able to make each party happy and satisfied. So, this is also important thing which you should try to point out in the nature of your broker before assigning him.

Problem solver mindset:

Each client prefers to receive some creative solutions or ideas regarding their cases. Good real estate agents know how to showcase a property in order to make it marketable and demanding in the market.

These are the primary skills which you should notice in your real estate brokers. One person may not have all the skills. But he should possess at least the basic skills such as knowledge about current market, analytical power to research the market and assume the future situations and of course loyalty.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Things to Keep In Mind When Buying Luxury Home

Buying a luxury home is like dream come true if the buyer has the right budget to make the investment. Not only it promises a great future investment but if it is being purchased by an end user then it turns out to be a delightful experience. Buyers who are interested in such properties must know how to select the right kind of luxury home as there are certain tips and tricks that help in the rightful selection. Not every luxury home that is on sale is the right kind. The know-how of the whole buying process helps a home buyer to strike a good deal. This article details the factors that one must keep in mind when buying a luxury property or home.

1. Know the search process

Luxury properties have a niche market and they may not target just everyone looking to buy a home. It is therefore important to know that not every luxury home available for sale will be listed online. The website of the seller or realtor usually contains the first-hand information related to such properties. Other than online, real estate brokers or consultants who specialize in selling luxury homes know the offerings inside out which is helpful for a buyer to make a wise selection.

2. Do not make the decision based on photos

Photos of luxury homes available online or shared by the realtor might not do justice to the property or may give a false picture of the current condition of the property. Thus it is important to see such properties in person. Also, a good amount of money is involved; homebuyers must ensure that they are being offered a value for money home deal.

3. Get assistance from a local expert

A good real estate agent can solve a whole lot of things for you in your pursuit of buying a luxury home. His/her awareness of the property, location and investment trends is useful for any buyer.

4. A second opinion is important

In case you decide to make a visit to a luxury home that you feel interested in buying, take along a friend or family member whose opinion really matters to you. Sometimes, it is better to understand the pros and cons of a property from other’s perspective. Maybe they will take a note of what you will miss and it eventually helps you in making a more informed decision.

5. Try to negotiate

There is always a chance to negotiate the price with seller even if it falls in the luxury category. For obvious, people buying luxury homes have a good budget but still, it must be kept in mind that little savings at the time of deal are going to help you in future.

6. A Future Perspective

Does the luxury property that you have decided to invest in comes with advantages that you will be able to reap in future? Is it going to be a home that will in increasing its value over a period of time? What kind of infrastructure is planned around its vicinity? Some questions like these must have positive answers for them to make it an ideal investment.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

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