Claire LeBlanc - REALTY EXECUTIVES



Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 9/16/2020

Image by Solomon Rodgers from Pixabay

The real estate industry is ever-changing and with it, many trends come and go. One popular trend is the open concept layout, a style that was very popular in homes during the 19th century. The idea of open concept living fell out of favor during the early 20th century when homeowners were looking for homes with more defined spaces but has become popular once again.

An Overview of an Open Concept

The goal of an open concept is to eliminate the restrictions that are created by walls and defined living spaces. While defined spaces can offer privacy and create rooms with a specific purpose in mind, they can also inhibit flow throughout the home. In an open concept, walls that separate the living room, kitchen and dining area are removed. As a result, you can clearly see and interact with other parts of the home. There are a number of benefits that come from having an open concept in a home. 

More Natural Light

One of the biggest benefits of going with an open concept is more natural light as many of the walls are either reduced or eliminated entirely. The end result is that natural light is able to shine farther into the home. To maximize the open concept, many homeowners add large windows and glass doors. This can also lead to lower utility bills if you opt to turn off lamps or overhead lights in favor of the sun during the day.

Greater Customizability

Another key benefit of an open concept is that there are more options to customize the living space. With a single, large room, the open areas act as a blank slate with almost limitless options. You can create areas for reading, watching tv, and dining depending on what accommodation you may need. Those who like to update and rearrange their living spaces or those who enjoy entertaining will love having an open concept.

Family Togetherness is Key

Finally, perhaps the biggest benefit of going with an open concept is greater family togetherness. One of the biggest barriers that come with having clearly defined spaces is that it can be more difficult to interact with family or guests. With an open concept layout, you can work in the kitchen and talk to someone who is relaxing in the living room.




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Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 9/9/2020

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Too busy to buy that second home in Myrtle Beach? No time to fly down and walk through multiple properties to find the one that's right for your family? No problem. You, too, can enjoy the dream of homeownership when you buy your next property remotely. 

What Is Remote Home Buying? 

When you buy a home remotely, someone else takes care of the specifics. Your main responsibilities are communicating your wants and needs to an on-site real estate agent, paying for the home and being available to sign the finalizing documents digitally. Because of this, buying a home that's located one state or half-a-world away is entirely feasible in today's real estate market.

Who Handles a Remote-Home-Buying Transaction? 

You'll work with a real estate agent when buying a home through remote means. This is similar to any other home-buying venture. In a remote transaction, however, it's vital to have an agent whom you trust completely and with whom you have excellent communication. Your agent should be local to the area where you're buying your new home, and they should be an expert on the neighborhood. You'll communicate via phone, email or internet with your agent and will likely use an e-sign process, followed up by signed hard copies, when it's time to finalize. 

How Do I Pay for a Home I've Bought Remotely? 

Typically, you'll pay for a home you've purchased remotely by wiring the amount needed to close. Most people can't afford to buy a home using cash, but you'll likely need at least a down payment and other costs up front.

How Will I Know the Home Is a Good Deal? 

The real estate agent with whom you're working will view the home, be present at inspections in your stead, and do their part to ensure that the home you're buying is viable. They will be able to advise you on comparable prices in the neighborhood to give you an idea of whether the price you're paying is reasonable. 

Why Would I Want to Buy a Home Remotely?

Most people who buy homes remotely do so because they're too busy or live too far away to buy the home in a traditional way. There's little risk involved as long as you use a licensed real estate agent who's experienced in remote-home sales. 

It's good to remember that once you own a remote property, there's no backing out. It's vital to make sure you're buying a home that's well suited to you and your family. This is where your choice of real estate agent becomes vital in helping you choose the location of your home, the size, layout and community in which it's located. 




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Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 9/2/2020

Photo by Kirk Fisher via Pixabay

Whether you are buying your first home or are upgrading, consider buying a larger home. Even if you are just planning on starting a family, a larger home allows you to grow into it. And, you don’t have to put up with the pesky chore of moving when it’s time to go bigger. If you are upgrading, you should still go bigger than what you think you need because you’ll eventually run out of space. As long as you can afford it, going bigger has more benefits than downfalls.

Save Money When Your Family Grows

Instead of trying to sell a home and buy a larger home when your family starts growing, you’ll already have the larger home. If you plan on two kids but often have relatives or friends visit overnight, you’re better off with the extra bedrooms: one for each child, the master suite and at least one guest bedroom. When you have more than one guest bedroom, you’ll be able to make one into an office or a library if you decide to work for yourself later in life or if you decide you just want a quiet place to escape to once in a while.

Make Money

A home with at least one extra bedroom and bathroom commands more money on the market when you decide to sell it. Instead of a three-bedroom, two-bath house, you might consider a five-bedroom home with at least three bathrooms. You’ll get more for a sale than you would for a three-two. While you might pay more for the house, depending on how the market is when you sell, you could see quite a bit more appreciation than in a smaller house.

More Space

Generally, larger homes also have larger living spaces in addition to the extra rooms. You’ll have a more spacious kitchen and a larger living room that won’t feel as crowded when you entertain. You might find a new hobby later in life and will have the extra space to accommodate that hobby. And, because you have more space, your home will look less cluttered because you won’t have to “find” room to store your stuff.

Finally, you can get the furniture you want, instead of settling for something just because it fits in your living room. If you’ve always wanted that big-screen TV or even a room with movie theater seating, you can have that when you go bigger.

What You Can Afford

Look at your debt-to-income ratio as that determines what you are able to afford. If you can go bigger, the benefits outweigh the larger utility bills and the amount of extra time it takes to clean. And, look for a house that is on some acreage so that you can create a large outdoor living area and won’t be on top of your neighbors.




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Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 8/26/2020

Image by mynemesis2011 from Pixabay

If you're anticipating putting your home on the market soon and want to sell it as quickly as possible, you're probably thinking that the best way to accomplish this is to accept a major drop in price. Although it's true that price points can affect how quickly a property sells, you don't have to dip much, if anything, below market value to facilitate a fast sale as long as you live in an area with a moderately healthy real estate market. Following are five proactive ways you can help your upcoming home sale go quickly.

Declutter and Depersonalize

One of the key components of a successful home sale is creating an environment where potential buyers can easily envision themselves and their family enjoying a pleasant life. Too many family photos and general clutter takes away from this. Renting a storage unit helps by providing a place to keep things and also gives you a head start on your move.

Be Available

Homeowners who limit when the house can be shown are missing out on a lot of potential buyers. Although it's a hassle to always have to be available, you can make it easier on yourself by doing a general quick cleaning every morning and by using the above strategy of keeping clutter to an absolute minimum. If you simply can't guarantee availability for last-minute showings at all times, at least try to do so on weekend because that's when most people are looking at homes. 

Have Professional Photos Taken

Professional photographs that show your home in the best possible light make it more likely that prospective buyers will ask to see your home. Don't settle for just any local photographer, though -- ask your real estate agent to recommend someone who specializes in home photography. 

Move Out 

If you move out of the home, you and your family won't have to endure the inconvenience of people coming in and out, and your real estate agent will be free to show the property at literally any time. 

Paint Your Home in Neutral Colors

Now is the time to make your home look as much like a blank slate as possible without sacrificing any of its charm. Neutral colors don't clash with anything, so buyers are therefore less likely to pass on your home due to aversions to certain colors, and there's something really appealing about a fresh coat of paint.

You'll also want to amp up the curb appeal of your home to make it more attractive. Because people are often blind to the faults of their own environments, ask a trusted friend or relative to look at your home exterior from the critical eye of a potential homebuyer and add improvements from there. 





Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 8/19/2020

Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

Selling a vacation home is a lot like selling any other property, but for a few key differences. One, most vacation homes are far from the people who want to purchase them. Two, most vacation homes are far away from their owners, as well. This distance between owners, sellers, and the property can lead to some marketing challenges.

Working with a team of dedicated professionals can help. If you're a vacation home owner who would like to sell your property sometime in the next few months, working with a capable real estate professional can help the selling process go smoothly and quickly. Here's what you need to know. 

1. Maintain the Property 

Before listing your property for sale, address your deferred maintenance. Is the air conditioner old or in disrepair? Get a tune up or replace the unit. Does the chimney need a new liner? Replace it. Disclose these new repairs to your real estate professional, so they can mention recent repairs in your home's description. 

If you choose not to make these repairs before listing your home for sale, assume you'll have to disclose maintenance problems and (probably) reduce your price. Work with a real estate professional who can help you negotiate a good deal, while keeping in mind that you won't be able to fetch the best price for your property.  

2. Upgrade

Buyers love new features, especially new kitchens, bathrooms and decks. If you're trying to collect the maximum amount for your vacation home, talk to your real estate agent about upgrading parts of the property that are out of date. 

Not all home buyers expect the latest and greatest from their vacation home. If your property is a cabin in the woods, buyers may expect the facilities to be rustic and basic. If you're selling a beach house, buyers may have greater expectations. Your real estate professional will be able to tell you if a home upgrade will do you good, and if so, what kind of home upgrade. 

3. Improve Curb Appeal

Views, scenery and natural surroundings tend to be very important for vacation properties. Work with a landscaping professional or a contractor to improve your vacation home's curb appeal. This may mean planting flowers, installing a pathway, replacing overgrown or unhealthy shrubs and even clearing away trees that block the view. Do this before listing your home for sale, so the house will be ready when the photographer takes pictures. 

4. Get Professional Photographs & a Virtual Tour

Hire a photographer or media specialist to take professional photographs of your property and make a virtual tour. Photographs are very important because buyers may not be local and must rely on pictures to decide which homes are of interest. Virtual tours also make it easier for home buyers to decide which properties are most enticing. The easier it is for your home to be seen from a distance, the more attention it will attract from potential buyers.  

5. Find the Right Real Estate Professional

Work with a real estate professional who is experienced working with remote buyers and sellers. Interview several real estate professionals and ask them which strategies they recommend for selling a home remotely. Choose the real estate professional who has the most experience working with vacation home buyers and sellers, as this will be very important for the successful sale of your property. 







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