Advice for Sellers

Advice for Sellers With Pets

Nearly two out of three households in the U.S. have one or more pets. While homebuyers may have pets, too, they don’t like to consider homes that have “gone to the dogs.”

Think of buyers as guests who deserve to be safe and relaxed while looking at your home. They Advice for Sellers can trip over your cat or become frightened by a dog that barks.

This is when crate-training really pays off. You can take your pets with you or board them with loved ones or at a reputable pet care. If you can’t take your pets with you, your pet sitter can come over and quickly crate your animals so you don’t have to reschedule the showing.

Don’t leave your dog in the backyard because the buyer needs access to all of the property. Also, don’t leave your dog next door as your dog may continue to bark. Buyers wont like a barking neighbor’s dog either.

Pet-loving homebuyers won’t overlook stained carpets and bad odors from litter boxes, aquariums, and pet beds. Change litter boxes and bird cages daily, and pick up dog waste from your yard every day.

Keep your dog and cat brushed and bathed so there’s less fur stuck to furniture and carpets. Sweep and vacuum daily, and deep clean or replace stained carpet.

Remember, it’s always better to correct problems yourself, rather than offer credits like carpet replacement to the buyer. The fewer negatives the buyer notices, the better the offer to purchase will be.

Best Front Door Curb Appeal

When buyers pull up to the curb in front of your home, you want them to feel intrigued and excited to come inside. What says “Welcome!” more than a fabulous front door?

The front door should be a beacon, with a clear uncluttered pathway that leads up to the steps Advice for Sellers or the porch. Trim away overhanging bushes or creeping grass that crowds the walkway. Plant fresh flowers and shrubs in an attractive curve pointing toward the entry.

For safety reasons, the front door should be easily identifiable from the street and accessible without navigating around furniture or potted plants. Replace porch light bulbs, and clean light fixtures of dirt and bugs.

Whether you repair, replace or repaint your front door, an upgrade should be at the top of your to-do list. Choose a paint or stain color that complements the exterior of your home. Red is the color of hospitality, like “rolling out the red carpet.” Bright colors are cheerful choices while deeper colors tend to be more elegant. Greenery, Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year works well in all seasons.

Update the hardware on and around your door including a new peephole, door handle, doorbell, house numbers, and entry lights. Replace worn weather-stripping and seals on glass inserts. Fill in nail holes and scratches with wood filler before painting.

Stage the area around the front door with a new doormat and color-coordinated cushions on chairs or porch swings.

Make a great first impression (and possibly a sale!) with a clean, attractive entrance.

©2017 BHH Affiliates, LLC. Real Estate Brokerage Services are offered through the network member franchisees of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Most franchisees are independently owned and operated. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Information not verified or guaranteed. If your property is currently listed with a Broker, this is not intended as a solicitation. Equal Housing Opportunity.

HOMEOWNERS’ ADVICE

About Homeowner’s Insurance

 

Homeowner’s insurance, or hazard insurance, provides protection from damage or loss of your home as well as limited liability coverage for anyone who has an accident on your property. But that may not be all the coverage you need.

Lenders require borrowers to escrow a year’s worth of policy payments for new loans and to maintain enough coverage to pay the mortgage off in case of a total loss. That keeps payments Homeowner’s insurancelower, but with building costs constantly rising, it’s wise to insure your home with a guaranteed replacement homeowner’s policy. Your home can be rebuilt to the same size and quality as before, no matter what the current cost for materials and labor.

A basic HO-1 policy will cover fire, lightening strikes, explosions, vandalism, theft, and limited liability, but it doesn’t cover personal possessions. The HO-3 provides comprehensive coverage, including loss or damage to personal property. Be sure to purchase insurance riders for valuables such as heirlooms, jewelry, antiques, fine art, and rare collections.

If you live in an area prone to hurricanes or earthquakes, coverage must be purchased through riders at additional cost. Consider flood insurance for natural disasters where water can breach the home from outside. Your insurance won’t cover any roof with more than two layers, so repair or replace your roof to meet current building codes.

You want to save money by choosing a higher deductible or combine your homeowner’s insurance with your car insurance. Many insurance carriers will lower premiums for multiple products.

 

©2017 BHH Affiliates, LLC. Real Estate Brokerage Services are offered through the network member franchisees of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Most franchisees are independently owned and operated. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Information not verified or guaranteed. If your property is currently listed with a Broker, this is not intended as a solicitation. Equal Housing Opportunity.

Functionality of Owning a Home

The choice of where you live is simply functionality, usually based on affordability. Renting is a great option while you build your savings and make another move or two up the corporate ladder before settling down to a home of your own.Focus On Functionality

While the function of renting is mobility, owning a home offers more choices and the opportunity to build equity. You may want more space, privacy, and better access to schools, family or work. You can expand your interests, such as cooking in a larger kitchen, creating art in a studio, or having a large back yard for gardening and entertaining.

As your preferences become more focused, you may find that owning a home is more suitable for your lifestyle. In most areas, you can buy a home more affordably than renting.

Let’s say that you find a 2,400-square foot home for sale or lease. You may be able to rent it for $1.25 per square foot, or $3,000 per month, but you can buy the home for $1.65 per square foot or $400,000. When you finance at a fixed rate over 30 years, your payment is closer to $1,900. Add in typical property taxes and hazard insurance, and you’re at about $2,700 per month, and all the interest is tax deductible, making buying the home a better deal.

Choosing a home is about getting the most benefit for your money. It should be a decision based on how well the location, space and design serve your needs and pocketbook.

©2017 BHH Affiliates, LLC. Real Estate Brokerage Services are offered through the network member franchisees of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Most franchisees are independently owned and operated. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Information not verified or guaranteed. If your property is currently listed with a Broker, this is not intended as a solicitation. Equal Housing Opportunity.

Buyer’s Advice

Buyer’s Advice Buying In An Urban Neighborhood

As you shop for a home in town, you may have to compromise on square footage, but you’ll be happier if your new neighborhood offers everything you want in an urban environment. Think about features that are most important to you and your family.

Walkability. Is there a bike path or pedestrian sidewalk nearby? Can you walk the dog or take the baby for a stroll safely? Look for lots of street lighting and foot traffic. How close is the nearest Starbucks coffee shop?Buyer's Advice

Transportation and commute time. Are you close enough to subway, bus or train services? If you take a car, is there a garage you can use or do you need to buy a parking space? How long will you spend in the car for your daily commute to work? Down time is good, but long commutes get old fast.

Parks and community centers. You may have a garden or yard, but you’ll also enjoy the beauty a park offers. The local YMCA or community center can offer swimming, spinning, and activities for the kids. The local library could have a 3-D printer or have classes in calligraphy or bookbinding.

Shopping, restaurants and services You want grocery shopping, dropping clothes at the dry cleaners, and getting your car serviced to be handy. It’s also fun to get out to the local pub, see a play or go to dinner occasionally. Hopefully you won’t have far to go.

Considering the neighborhood will make leaving and coming home much more pleasant.
©2017 BHH Affiliates, LLC. Real Estate Brokerage Services are offered through the network member franchisees of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Most franchisees are independently owned and operated. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Information not verified or guaranteed. If your property is currently listed with a Broker, this is not intended as a solicitation. Equal Housing Opportunity.

Roy Hodnett – Greatest Success

Courtesy of The Brunswick News 7/9/2017, written by Lindsey Adkison

Roy Hodnett

Roy Hodnett’s greatest success — his love story

Stepping in to Roy Hodnett’s St. Simons Island office, one can’t help but be impressed. The walls are covered with plaques, certificates and awards. He’s won the coveted Alfred W. Jones award from the Brunswick-Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce, as well as countless accolades for laying the foundation of one of the most successful businesses in Glynn County — Hodnett Cooper Real Estate.

It’s not just civic and business honors Hodnett has achieved, either. He has a display case filled with medals from his service during World War II.

“I served five years in the Army … 14 months in the hospital when they were trying to save my leg when I got shot. I was in the Battle of the Bulge … in the snow,” the 94-year-old said.

He received the Purple Heart, the Silver Star and the Bronze Star, combat badge, as well as numerous other medals — though he recalls they were a bit late arriving. Hodnett didn’t receive the honors while in the service. His granddaughter made it her mission to get him the recognition he deserved, delivering his medals decades after his time in the Army had ended.

“They had a fire in the warehouse and all of my records that the government had of my being in the service burned up … but I had my discharge papers. Kelly, my granddaughter, who worked for Jack Kingston for seven years, said ‘Papa, I can get those medals for you.’ I never got them because I was wounded and sent right back,” he said. “So she got my medals for me.”

While Hodnett is proud of and humbled by the recognition he’s received — be it from local civic groups or from the United States government — his greatest treasures aren’t mounted on plaques or found in a display case. The tokens he most treasures are contained in the many picture frames that dot his desk — his family. Of all of those images, the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren that Hodnett adores, there is one that stands out as his greatest prize: his wife of 71 years, Anne.

“You gotta admit, that’s a good looking woman,” he beamed, as a boyish grin spread across his face. “I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for my wife. We have fun, and we love each other to death. Getting her to marry me — it’s the best deal I’ve ever done.”

Anne Hodnett is one topic that the doting husband never tires of discussing and the soldier-turned-business man literally lights up talking about the leading lady in his extraordinary life.

“She’s fantastic. She is a remarkable lady,” the local real estate giant said. “There’s no way I can say enough about her.”

While it’s been more than seven decades, Hodnett can still vividly remember the first time he laid eyes on her. The two have slightly different versions of exactly how that happened, though.

They do agree on this: her brother had been dating Roy Hodnett’s sister. However, the two of them had never met until one life-changing day.

“Now this is the truth. My brother came into the office where I was working as a secretary and he brings two guys with him — Roy and another guy. My brother wanted me to go on a date with the other guy because they needed a date for him. I don’t remember his name because I wasn’t going to do it. He just didn’t appeal to me. I told him I couldn’t because I had a girlfriend coming over, which was an excuse,” Anne Hodnett remembered.

“Then when I got home that night, they were sitting with my mother in the living room. They said that Roy’s date had fallen through and wanted me to go out with him and that my friend could go out with the other guy. I said to my brother, ‘Isn’t that weird that I’m going to go on a date with your girlfriend’s brother?’ And he said, ‘No.’”

Roy Hodnett didn’t share her concern — at all.

“I remember seeing her for the first time. My heart stopped. I fell in love with her right then,” he said. “Before I ever spoke to her I told myself, ‘I’m going to marry that girl.’ In fact, I tried to talk her into marrying me that night.”

Anne Hodnett, however, doesn’t necessarily buy his story.

“I tell him he’s ridiculous. I’ve heard of love at first sight, but I don’t know if I necessarily believe that,” she said. “But he did ask me to marry him that night. I told him, ‘You’re cute but kind of crazy.’ It is nice to be appreciated by your husband, though.”

For Roy Hodnett, the feeling of awe that hit him those many years ago still continues every day that he wakes up next to his bride. He’s always more than willing to brag on his wife — her giving nature, her vibrant personality, her unyielding beauty.

He is particularly proud of his wife’s work with the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. He says organizing training films at the center in Brunswick is one of the many things his energetic better half spends her days doing.

“She makes training films over at the base. She finds all the actors and gets all the locations lined up,” he said. “She started role playing over there when she was the president of the Island Players here. I guess that’s been 30 years ago.”

Anne Hodnett works with the group filming for three or four days a month. She is currently focusing on a film about human trafficking.

“They are doing a little bit at the time. She’s really excited about it. It’s such an important thing,” he said.

She thoroughly enjoys the work, too, and her many years working at the center.

“It’s a lot of fun. I’ve been

there since ‘76 and I’m not going to quit,” she said. “I have a lot

of energy and once I dedicate myself to something … I kinda overdo it.”

She brought the same commitment to her marriage. And the couple has built a life structured on love, mutual respect and, equally important, having fun together. That’s not to say, however, that they haven’t had ups and downs.

“If he tells you we’ve never had a fuss — that’s not true,” she said. “We have. I was young when we got married and I used to fly off the handle about all sorts of things. He’d do one of two things — he’d take his paper and go somewhere else for an hour or two. Or he’d look me in the eyes and say, ‘Your brown eyes are so pretty when you are all excited like that.’ How can you stay mad at someone when they say that?”

Spats aside, their life together has been one big happy adventure, one that eventually led to the Golden Isles. After Roy Hodnett was discharged from the Army, the two settled down to raise their three children in Virginia. On a vacation to Jekyll Island in the late 1960s, the two happened upon St. Simons Island. They decided then and there that this “little slice of heaven” was the place for them. They returned to Virginia to pack up and officially became Golden Isles residents in 1968. At the time, Roy Hodnett was working for a cookie brokerage company and decided to retire.

But after a few days at home, Anne Hodnett made the decision that he wasn’t ready to give up working. Telling him that she married him “for better or worse but not for lunch,” she sent him right back out to find a second career — at 62. He found a partner and decided to give real estate a try.

Suffice it to say, it worked out.

Even now as he approaches his 95th birthday, Roy Hodnett wakes up in the morning, dresses, eats the breakfast his wife cooks for him and heads into the office. After leaving the company for a brief spell for another attempted retirement, he feels he’s back for good.

“My daughter, Pat, came to me and said, ‘Daddy, you’ve got to come back.’ So I did. I’ve been back for nine years. I think I’ve only missed five days this year,” he said. “I enjoy it. I enjoy life and I enjoy people. I like to do for people.”

He attributes his success in business and life to a very simple philosophy.

“You really have to treat others the way you want to be treated. That’s really it,” he said. “It is simple.”

As for their secret to longevity and health, the couple has a few musings on that. For Anne, it’s staying active and involved in the things that matter.

“I’m really blessed to have my health. And I stay busy. I love to babysit my grandchildren or really anybody’s children if they are willing to let me. I love to cook. I probably cook too much,” she said. “I also volunteer at Manna House and MAP (International). I love packing up the medicine.”

Roy Hodnett also has his secrets.

“I’ve never had a drink or smoked a cigarette. I’ve always exercised a little bit, but not too much,” he said.

But the real reason Roy Hodnett is still going strong is fairly clear.

“It’s my wife,” he said with a grin.

SELLERS’ ADVICE

Show the Fun In Your Home

When you read or hear advice about staging your home for sale, it’s predictable—declutter, depersonalize, and neutralize as much as possible.But what you’re never told is how to make your home really memorable. One way is to make it look like a really fun place to live. Here are three ideas for making your home more appealing to a potential buyer:

  • Put a badminton net in the backyard. Leave a notSelling Real Estatee by the racquets with some bottled waters inviting homebuyers to play. Ping pong is also becoming a fun backyard activity; ask a local store if you can rent a ping pong table for the day.
  • Most homes are older, so turn age into a positive. Set the dining room table with a fondue pot surrounded by flower power napkins and plates. Put some Al Green on Pandora for showings. Showcase the trendy, vintage quality of a home with history.

Speaking of history… Include a fun detailed history sheet explaining that unique aspects of your home, For instance, mid-century homes epitomize the postwar automobile, jet and space travel culture. That’s why the garages are attached and sputnik stars were a popular motif. Better vacuums meant no more rugbeating, hence the luxury of wall-to-wall carpet.

 

 

©2017 BHH Affiliates, LLC. Real Estate Brokerage Services are offered through the network member franchisees of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Most franchisees are independently owned and operated. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Information not verified or guaranteed. If your property is currently listed with a Broker, this is not intended as a solicitation. Equal Housing Opportunity.

Private Mortgage Insurance: Pros and Cons

Why Private Mortgage Insurance Is a Good Play

For many home buyers, putting 20 percent down on a home makes little financial sense, yet consumers resist using private mortgage insurance (PMI). Here are a few reasons why PMI is a good move.

PMI protects the lender and you. PMI protects the lender in case you default on your loan, allowing you to borrow hundreds of thousands to buy a home with as little as three percent down for a conventional loan.

Interest rates are low. With rates in the low four percent range, the borrowing costs to buy a home are ridiculously low compared with car loans and other lines of credit.

Using OPM is smart financial planning. Other people’s money is a great way to get into the game. Thanks to PMI, the bank’s insurer takes the risk. Twenty percent down on a $400K home is $80,000. Three percent down would be $12,000, which is a $68,000 difference.

PMI can be removed. PMI can be removed when your loan balance is paid down to 78 percent of the purchase price. Or if your lender appraises the home to show an increase in market value great enough to eliminate PMI.

There are other reasons to love PMI. You’ll likely lose more in equity than it would take to save such a large down payment, at today’s sales pace. And it’s tax deductible.

That said, putting less money down is going to work for you only if you can afford the higher monthly payment, or you can choose a less expensive home. At least you’ll be in the game. Please consult your financial advisor before making any home-buying decisions.

Contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices today to get help or ask questions regarding your next home loan.

©2017 BHH Affiliates, LLC. Real Estate Brokerage Services are offered through the network member franchisees of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Most franchisees are independently owned and operated. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Information not verified or guaranteed. If your property is currently listed with a Broker, this is not intended as a solicitation. Equal Housing Opportunity.