Cindy Gleichauf - RE/MAX Real Estate Center



Posted by Cindy Gleichauf on 10/14/2018

When pests come into your home, there’s no creepier feeling that you may have as a homeowner. You may turn to your house insurance for assistance if the problem gets really bad. Let’s say that termites have taken over your home and gotten into your walls or foundation. Maybe mice have gotten into the walls of your home, or a squirrel has caused some major issues in the attic. Whatever the problem is, you want to remedy it quickly. It might be an expensive fix no matter what, but it has to be remedied for you to continue to live comfortably in your home. 


The Truth About Homeowners Insurance


Unfortunately, homeowners insurance doesn't cover pest infestations. It doesn’t matter if the termites have literally eaten you out of house and home, the insurance companies consider pests to be an avoidable problem. Even though you may wonder how bugs can be considered “avoidable,” it’s simple. The insurance company believes that regular maintenance and checking of your property can help to prevent bug infestations. This is why it’s so important to take care of your property and not neglect it. 


Collateral Damage


There are a few exceptions to the rule. If your ceiling caves in and it was caused by some of the pest damage, your insurance may cover the cost of the repairs to the ceiling. They may not cover the materials that are needed to repair the ceiling itself. Insurance claims can be tricky, so you’ll need to ask a lot of questions if these problems do occur for you.


What Homeowners Insurance Covers


There’s nothing more frustrating than paying an insurance premium to find out that it doesn’t actually cover anything that you need at a certain point and time. As a general rule, homeowners insurance policies cover things that are considered accidental. This would include natural disasters like hurricanes, hailstorms, or high winds. If a tree falls on your home due to a windstorm, there was really no way of preventing that from happening. Your insurance would cover this. Damage that happens over an extended period, like that of a pest infestation or an aging home generally is not covered by house insurance. 


Separate Policies


Some insurance companies do offer separate policies to cover damage from certain types of pests like termites. There are several varieties of insects that cause damage to wood structures, so these policies may be more general stating that they provide “wood destroying insect” coverage. If you live in an area that’s prone to termites, there’s a few options available to you including something called “termite bonds.”


Your best course of action as a homeowner is prevention. Keep up with regular maintenance around your home and inspect your home regularly for any problems that you may find.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Cindy Gleichauf on 10/7/2018

There's one thing all successful real estate agents, advertising executives, and marketing professionals know about human behavior: Many people make buying decisions for emotional reasons, and then justify those decisions with facts. In other words, they might say they bought a particular house because of all the updates and stainless steel appliances, but the real reason was that they could imagine themselves living there, being happy, entertaining friends and family, raising their children, and even growing old together there.

For some home buyers, the deciding factor is that it reminds them of fond childhood memories or perhaps the house they grew up in. Whenever a home for sale stirs up good feelings, happy  memories, or positive thoughts in the mind of prospective buyers, it increases the chances they'll make an offer on the house.

Home Staging Tips

If your house is now on the market or you're considering putting it up for sale, there are a lot of steps you can take to make it more attractive to buyers. Obvious improvements like doing a thorough top-to-bottom cleaning of the house can make a big difference, but there are literally dozens of other things you can do to attract more offers and get the highest possible price for your property. Sometimes it's something as simple as a creating a pleasing scent, like cinnamon, lavender, hot coffee, of freshly baked bread, cookies, or muffins, that can create a comforting and enticing ambiance for potential buyers.

Although your real estate agent should already be well versed in the nuances of home staging, it would be to your benefit to do some research on it and participate in the process. Some home owners hire a professional home staging consultant to make sure no details are overlooked.

Avoiding Home Staging Pitfalls

Attractively decorating your home can be one aspect of making a good impression on potential buyers, but it's necessary to cast the widest possible net, so to speak, when making decorating choices. In other words, you would want the appearance, style, and color choices in your home to appeal to a wide variety of different tastes, rather than just a select few. That's why it's beneficial to get an objective opinion from an experienced real estate agent, a professional decorator, or a home staging consultant. Since you've been living in your home for umpteen years, you're probably going to be "too close to the trees to see the forest."

Some things that homeowners often tend to overlook just before prospective buyers arrive to tour their house include the following:

  • Furniture that's arranged in a haphazard, disjointed, or cluttered way
  • 'Welcome' mats that are dirty, faded, and anything but welcoming
  • Overflowing or grungy-looking trash baskets
  • Overgrown shrubbery
  • Smudged or cobweb-laden windows
  • Kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas of the house that are disorganized and visibly unclean
Keeping your home in immaculate condition at all times is definitely one of the more challenging aspects of putting it up for sale. However, when you consider the cost of keeping a house on the market for longer than necessary and eventually having to lower the price, the extra effort is well worth it!


 





Posted by Cindy Gleichauf on 9/30/2018

Want to sell your residence? As a home seller, you'll want to take a cautious approach to the real estate market. That way, you can improve your chances of getting the best price for your residence, regardless of the current housing market's conditions.

Ultimately, there are many reasons why home sellers should err on the side of caution as they prepare to add their houses to the real estate market, including:

1. The housing market constantly fluctuates.

For home sellers, it is important to differentiate between a seller's market and a buyer's market. By doing so, a home seller can assess the current housing market and proceed accordingly.

In a seller's market, there is usually a shortage of high-end houses and an abundance of interested homebuyers. This means home sellers who operate in a seller's market may be more likely to stir up plenty of interest in their houses as soon as these properties become available.

Conversely, a buyer's market typically favors homebuyers, as it features a limited number of homebuyers and a wide range of home sellers. If you're selling your home in a seller's market, you'll likely need to price it competitively to help your residence stand out from the competition.

Allocating the necessary time and resources to analyze the housing market is key. With housing market data in hand, a home seller can determine whether he or she is getting ready to list a house in a buyer's or seller's market.

2. What your home was worth yesterday is unlikely to match what it is worth today.

The price that a home seller initially paid for a residence is unlikely to match what the house is worth today. Thus, a home seller should perform a home appraisal to learn about the present value of his or her residence.

During a home appraisal, a property inspector will assess a house both inside and out. Then, the property inspector will identify any problem areas with a house that could negatively affect the residence's value.

A home appraisal is exceedingly valuable to home sellers. It enables them to understand a house's strengths and weaknesses as well as uncover ways to transform a home's weaknesses into strengths. As a result, a home seller can use a home appraisal as a learning opportunity and find innovative ways to enhance a residence before adding it to the real estate market.

3. Homebuyers are always on the lookout for bargains.

Although a home seller will do everything possible to learn about the housing market, there is always the danger that a homebuyer will submit a "lowball" offer on a house. Conversely, a home seller who errs on the side of caution will be able to differentiate between a legitimate offer and a lowball one time and time again.

Lastly, if you need extra help as you get ready to sell your house, don't hesitate to work with a local real estate agent.

Real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide. They can help you get your house ready for the real estate market and ensure you can reap the benefits of a quick, seamless home selling experience.

Become a cautious home seller, and you can move one step closer to maximizing the value of your house.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Cindy Gleichauf on 9/23/2018

Looking to add your home to the real estate market? Ultimately, you'll want to do everything you can to maximize the value of your residence.

For home sellers, getting the best price for a residence may seem virtually impossible at times. Fortunately, we're here to help you plan ahead so you can get the best price for your house as soon as it hits the market.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you optimize the value of your residence, regardless of the current real estate market's conditions.

1. Examine the Housing Market

When it comes to the real estate market, it is important to understand how your residence stacks up against the competition.

Collect housing market data to learn about the real estate sector. Then, you can establish a "competitive" price for your home and boost your chances of a quick home sale.

Typically, home sellers should look at the prices of currently available residences in their cities and towns. This will enable home sellers to understand the local real estate market and establish a price range for houses that are similar to their own.

Don't forget to review the prices of recently sold houses as well. With this housing market data in hand, home sellers can find out whether they are about to enter a seller's or buyer's market.

2. Complete a Home Appraisal

Let's face it – what your home is worth today is unlikely to match what you initially paid for your residence. If you have completed a wide range of home upgrades over the years, the value of your residence may have increased. Or, if you failed to maintain your house's interior and exterior, your residence's value may have fallen.

A home appraisal will enable you to learn about your house's strengths and weaknesses. This assessment is performed by a professional property inspector who will take a close look at your house's interior and exterior. After the assessment is finished, the property inspector will provide you with a report that can help you price your house appropriately.

If you want to boost your home's value after a home appraisal, you can always complete various home interior and exterior improvement projects. That way, you can enhance your house both inside and out and move closer to maximizing the value of your home.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a difference-maker for home sellers, and for good reason. This housing market professional will do everything possible to help you prep your house and ensure you can receive the best price for it – without exception.

Usually, a real estate agent will set up home showings and open houses, negotiate with homebuyers on your behalf and much more. He or she will even provide honest, unbiased home selling recommendations to ensure you can streamline the home selling journey.

Don't leave anything to chance as you get ready to add your house to the real estate market. Use these tips, and you should have no trouble getting the best price for your house.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Cindy Gleichauf on 9/16/2018

In theory, a Homeowners Association (HOA) is a great idea. It gives homeowners a say in how their neighborhood or complex is run and maintained and it gives people an opportunity to get to know their neighbors.

But we’ve all heard stories about homeowners associations that range from a small annoyance to a nightmare, and even some that are just plain strange.

On reddit, homeowners were asked to share some of the stories from their homeowners’ associations. Here are the best ones.

Outsmarting the HOA

Reddit user Bundabar tells about the numerous difficulties they’ve had with their homeowners association when it comes to home improvements. In one instance they were told by the HOA that their fence was a few inches too tall. In response, Bundabar appealed their decision and presented new plans for his backyard… plans that included at 40ft HAM radio tower, which incidentally cannot be regulated by a homeowners’ association. The HOA quickly changed they mind and allowed Bundabar’s fence to remain a few inches outside of regulation.

Backyard engineering

In another strange HOA tale, reddit user Furlessxp shared their experience with a neighbor who loved to tinker. The neighbor began work on a treehouse in his backyard which the HOA disapproved of. A years-long dispute followed, and ultimately the HOA told the neighbor that he would have to have the plans for his treehouse certified by an engineer. At the next meeting, according to Furlessxp, “he handed in the blueprints signed and stamped by no other than himself. That was a great meeting. It turns out that he had a PhD in civil engineering.”

Rooting for the home team

In a different thread, user Viking042900 explains that he liked to fly the flag of the Georgia Bulldogs when the football team was playing. The HOA regulations in his neighborhood state that homeowners are only allowed to fly flags on the day that sports teams are playing. User Viking042900 notes that he accidentally left the flag out a day longer than was allowed, but the HOA was still threatening him with fines.

His response?

“Now I was mad. I printed off a schedule of every sporting event the Bulldogs had in every sport, even club sports and then proceeded to fly the flag every single day.”

Since the University of Georgia has some time of sporting event nearly every day, it became impossible for the HOA to enforce this rule. Ultimately, the association gave up and let him fly his flag freely.



We’ll leave you with one last HOA tale from reddit. This time, user Interwebbing was running the show as president of the homeowners association. His policy?

“I was HOA president for 3 years and never enforced anything. Power to the people.”




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Cindy Gleichauf