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Rhino Blog

Jun09

Are You Ready to Buy a House? Ask Yourself These Questions

Buying a home is a big decision that should be given a lot of thought. A lot of people are thinking about buying a house, but even those people who can afford it and have a good credit score are still hesitant to take the leap.

If you wish to buy a Colorado home but aren’t quite sure if it’s the right move right now, these questions will help you reach the right decision.

Can you afford it?

Aside from your ability to cover mortgage payments on a monthly basis, there are still a lot of expenses you have to consider when contemplating whether or not you can afford to buy a Denver home. Mortgage payments and other fees will most likely take 20-30% of your monthly income. Are you comfortable spending that much of your income to buy a home?

Is your income dependable?

Buying a property involves a long-term commitment. You may be able to afford a Colorado home on your current income, but are you confident that you’ll still be able to afford it in a few years time?

You might want to put off buying a home unless you have a strong sense of certainty about your financial future or are established in your line of work.

Do you plan to stay put?

Most first-time homebuyers do not consider whether or not they’ll be staying permanently when they buy the house. But buying a Denver home wouldn’t make sense unless you are planning to stay there for at least 7 years. Most of the time, it takes this long to recover from all the costs of buying a home.

If you’re not planning on spending the rest of your life in the same house, then you should consider the resale value of the house.

Will you be able to maintain the house?

When you buy a house, the responsibility of maintaining the house comes with it. The hardwood floors you fell in love with are going to need basic maintenance. That floor to ceiling windows need to be washed on a regular basis. The backyard needs to be mowed and the list goes on.

If you are a busy person, it might be extremely difficult to look after those things. So, before you decide if it’s the right house for you, you also have to consider the maintenance.

Jun03

Do You Know Where Your Home’s Shutoff Valve Is?

Every home that is being built today has shutoff valves that are readily accessible. Knowing where and how to shut off your home’s main water supply is important especially in times of emergency. 

Don’t wait until you have an emergency before locating your shutoff valves. Precious minutes can be lost if you or the plumber has to search for it; thus, causing more damage to your property.

Once you’ve found the valve, mark it with a small yard flag, tag, colorful paint or anything that would make the location obvious. Make sure everybody in your household know where it is and how it works.

Possible locations

I wish I could tell you that every shutoff valve is uniform in location. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Some are located inside; while others are located inside.

 In the crawlspace or basement

If you get freezing temperatures in the winter, the shutoff valve must be located in a warm area inside your house. In this case, you might want to look in the basement or crawlspace, where the waterline enters the home. 

Outside the house

In some homes, the water shutoff valve is located outside – generally in front of your house and near the side property line.  It might be in a concrete or plastic box on the ground. Lift the lid of the box and find the water meter. The valve is usually located next to it. If there are 2 valves, turning off either valve should work.

Near the pressure tank

If you get your water from a well and you don’t have a meter, find where the water pipes enter the house and follow those pipes to the pressure tank. In most cases, the pressure tank can be seen in the basement, in a closet near the water heater or the garage. 

Try a simple test once you’ve located the valve. Shut off the main water valve and check the faucets inside your home. If you can’t turn the valve, don’t force it. 

May20

Real Estate Listing Tips That Will Get Your Property Noticed

According to studies, 90% of home buyers begin the process of searching for a home online. If you want to sell your house quickly, then you need to put some thoughts into your online listing. 

In today’s competitive market, you need your listing to standout. Anything that can spark a buyer’s imagination can ignite a sale.

Here are some real estate listing tips that will get your property noticed. Use these tips to give potential buyers a reason to fall in love with your home.

Take good quality photos 

As mentioned above, home buyers start looking for homes online. Listings without pictures are often passed up. If you want to get your listing noticed, make sure that you take good quality photos and showcase the best aspects of your home. The goal is to make a good first impression among potential buyers. Listing photos provides the perfect opportunity to make a great first impression.

Today’s smart phones take decent photos. But if you want to sell your house fast, it is best to use a DSLR. Listing photos attract a lot of attention.  

Write compelling listing description 

Your words can be extremely powerful when it comes to selling a house. Write real estate descriptions that will get their attention. 

Describe the property in an inspiring and compelling way. Talk about the primary features of the property such as location, size of the property, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, and any recent updates or renovations.

Share your listing on social media 

Living in the digital age, social media is now a part of our daily lives. Millions of people from all over the world use log in to their social media accounts on a daily basis. If you want to reach more people, we recommend that you share your listing on social media.

By simply posting on Facebook and asking for leads on who might be interested can be an effective way of finding that elusive client.

Create a virtual tour

Living a fast paced life, people are always busy. They want to make sure that the property they are eyeing on meets their expectations before visiting in person. With social distancing guidelines in place, virtual tours make it easier for you to show your home to potential buyers.

Creating a virtual tour allows potential buyers to see all aspects of your home. It gives them an accurate, comprehensive preview of the property. 

May12

4 Simple Ways to Brighten Up a Dark Room

People prefer to live in a space that capitalizes on natural light. In fact, most homebuyers search for homes that are spacious and have adequate lighting. Not only will it make the house look bright, it will also affect one’s mood in a positive way.

Unfortunately, not all rooms have adequate day lighting. Insufficient natural light is common in rooms that face north, basement, hallways and powder rooms. The absence of natural light makes these rooms look dark and cramped. Luckily, there are things you can do to brighten up a dark room.

Whether you live in a small apartment with only one window or a large home with a dark interior, these tips will help brighten up your space.  

Here are 4 simple ways to brighten up a dark room.

Choose paint colors wisely 

Choosing a paint color for your walls can be a daunting task. It becomes even more challenging when choosing paint for spaces that lack natural lighting.

Light, neutral colors like white, ivory, taupe, and soft gray can brighten up a dark room. They provide a contrast if you have dark wood furnitures, doors or wood floors. They reflect artificial light luminously without the risk of overpowering the space.

Clean windows 

This is one of the simplest ways to brighten up a dark room. If your windows are extra dirty, you may want to use a diluted vinegar solution to clean your windows.

Combine an equal part of water and vinegar and transfer it in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto your window and wipe with a clean cloth. This is an easy and inexpensive solution to a lack of natural light in your home. Always keep your windows clean to let natural light shine through your home.

Rethink window treatments

Heavy, light-blocking window treatments often absorb precious natural light. Let light pass through more easily with sheer or translucent window treatments. They’ll provide privacy during the day while allowing natural light to enter your home.

Place mirrors strategically 

Placing mirrors will not make a room brighter on its own. What they do is, they reflect more natural light into your space. When placed strategically, mirrors can really brighten up a space. To maximize the light, place a mirror directly across the window. Not only will it radiate light around a room, it will also visually expand a room so that it appears bigger.

May05

4 Important Questions to Ask Your Home Inspector

The home inspection is a great opportunity for homebuyers to find out if there is something wrong with the house before committing to buy.  This is your chance to review any issues and learn as much as you can about the property, including the kind of problems it may cause down the road. 

Here are 4 questions that can help you decode the result of the home inspection. With these questions, you can clarify a lot of confusion on the actual condition of the property and  figure out what you can do to navigate the home buying process. 

Are there potential issues with the foundation? 

The foundation is one of the most important things you should look out for. Some of the worse problems you can face are in the foundation – floors that sag, windows that stick, cracks in exterior walls etc. These problems will cost you a lot of money. That said, you want to make sure that the foundation is solid and not cracked in any way. 

Can you point out potential problems to me?

Take part of the home inspection and have him point out things that require repair, maintenance and further inspection. This is important as it will help you identify what he is referring in the inspection report. It can be quite frustrating to go through the report and have no clue whatsoever about the things written there.

What should I repair first? 

No house is perfect. Home inspectors even find problems in newly-built homes. The question is, which one should you tackle first and which one can be fixed later. 

Simple problems like a leaking faucet is not something you should ignore as it could lead to a bigger, more costly problem to address later on. Make sure that you take note of the problems that should be taken care of once you move into the house. 

Who should I call to fix that?

This is an important question to ask since it addresses 2 things. First, your home inspector can give you referrals to roofers, electricians or plumbers, making it easier for you to book an appointment with them. Second, some inspectors will just give you a list of things you need so you can do the repair yourself. If you’re not comfortable handling repairs on your own, you can always hire a handyman to do these small fixes.

Final thoughts

Home inspectors will not tell you whether or not you should buy the house. It’s your future home, so it’s your decision to make. Take a good look at the inspection report to see if the problems they pointed out are deal breakers for you. Make sure you’re comfortable with your end of the bargain before signing any documents. 

Apr21

Simple Ways to Refresh Your Home for Spring

The sun is shining brightly and the warm sunlight is reflecting through your windows. Spring is upon us! That means it’s time to break out of your winter rut and update your house for warmer days. Put away those bulky area rugs, thick throws and blankets, and transform your home with bright accents, colorful paint and fresh decorating ideas.

Here are some simple ways to refresh your home for the new season. 

Create a colorful entryway

Simple Ways to Refresh Spring 2

A gallon of paint is among the easiest tools for updating a space. Not only is it easy, it’s also affordable and impactful. Your home’s exterior says a lot about you. That said, you want to keep the outside clean and organized. Give your home a fresh look by painting your front door with a bold color.

Natural elements

Simple Ways to Refresh Spring 3

Incorporate little bits of nature into your home by decorating your home with flowers, branches, fruits or vegetables. You can also bring the outside in by framing photos and artwork of natural landscapes. Floral wallpaper or floral-printed accessories will also freshen up your room.

Switch to sheers

Simple Ways to Refresh Spring 4

Sometimes, all it takes to update a room for the new season is to change your window treatment. During the spring and summer months, there is no need for thick curtains. Swap thick draperies with sheer curtains to bring in sunshine and fresh air into your home.

Sunshine hues

Simple Ways to Refresh Spring 5

Spring is a perfect time to bring new colors into your home. Pack up dark tones and swap them with lighter or neutral tones.

This spring, decorate the room with subdued shades of your favorite color. Liberal dashes of white will also keep everything light and airy. If you want something bold and bright, yellow and orange is your best bet.

Update your pillows

Simple Ways to Refresh Spring 6

Just as you change your wardrobe for various seasons, you should also update your pillows this spring. While silk, velvet and tweed looks great all year round, they can feel a bit heavy during the warmer months. That said, you may want to lighten things up a bit. This spring, bring in pillows with breezy fabrics like cotton or linen.

Apr14

Important Parts of Your Home to Deep Clean This Spring

Spring Cleaning 1Spring is the best time to take care of some home maintenance tasks and give your home a thorough cleaning. While certain areas in your Colorado home will receive spring cleaning attention, there are certain parts of your home that tend to get overlooked.

Let’s take a look at some of the most overlooked, germy spots in your home, and make sure you that include it in your spring cleaning checklist.

 

 

Apr07

Cheap and Cheerful Ways to Update Your Kitchen

Cheap and Cheerful Ways to Update Your KitchenA good kitchen can serve your family for decades. If your kitchen dreams are bigger than your budget, it is important to make smart choices as to where to save and where to splurge.

If you are tired of your lackluster kitchen, then go ahead and make a few changes over the weekend. Remember, giving your kitchen a new look doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Use these ideas to give your kitchen a dashing revamp without putting a hole in your wallet.

 

Mar18

5 Things You Should Know Before You Go House-Hunting

5 Things you Should Know Before You GoHouse hunting is one of the most exciting parts of buying a house. This is especially true for first-time homebuyers. Perhaps you have spent years saving up for your downpayment and building up your financial profile. 

Unfortunately, the homebuying process can be a long and arduous process. It can be stressful and overwhelming if you don’t stay focused and organized.

In this blog post, we listed down some tips to make the house hunting process easier and more effective. Use these tips to help you find your dream home.

Mar10

Thinking of Skipping the Home Inspection? Think Again

Home InspectionSince home inspection isn’t mandatory in some parts of the country, some buyers skip it in an attempt to save money and streamline the buying process. But it makes no sense to put a huge sum of money on what will likely be the biggest purchase of your life without even knowing what you’re getting into. 

Thinking of skipping the home inspection? Think again. 

Mar05

4 Ways to Make Your New Place Feel Like Home

4 ways to make your new homeYou have a new place to live in and you’re ready to settle in. Walking into your new house can be exciting, but it can also feel cold and unfamiliar. Finding ways to make it cozy and comfortable is quite a task. As if the challenge of redecorating the entire house isn’t hard enough, you also have to deal with the chaos of moving boxes and crazy kids.

In this blog post, we reveal a few things you can do to appreciate your new space and make it feel like home.

Feb18

How Important Curb Appeal is When Selling Your Home

curb appealIn the real estate business, curb appeal is a reflection of how the owner takes care of his/her home. A clean exterior, well-maintained shrubbery, and a neatly manicured lawn are ideal, especially if you’re selling your home.

The idea behind curb appeal is to make your Colorado home look attractive to anyone viewing it from the curb or street. Some sellers, however, are so busy staging the interiors of their Colorado house that they sometimes forget to make the exterior presentable. This is a big mistake.

Feb11

Why It’s Important to Test Your Home for Radon

Why Its Important to Test Your Home for RadonRadon is a toxic gas that can be found in any house, old or new. It can enter your Colorado home through leaks in your foundation or porous building materials. Unfortunately, radon cannot be seen or smelled. Because of this, most homeowners aren’t even aware of the presence of radon in their home. 

Testing is the only way to know your level of exposure. This is why the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends that all homes be tested.

Feb04

How to Sell Your House in the Sluggish Winter Months

It's not peak selling season, but these smart strategies will help you make sure your Colorado home looks good even when the weather is dreary. Here are a few tips to help you sell your home this season.

Crank up the heat

Cold Colorado houses don't sell. If potential buyers shiver at your open house, they aren't likely to stick around, let alone make an offer. This isn't the time to save on the heating bill. Keep the thermometer at least at a steady 70 degrees. A cold house sends the wrong message. It doesn't need to be hot; it needs to be not cold.

Get shoveling

Don't let a little snow come between you and the next owner of your house. Get shoveling, and make sure the walkway is clear. If someone has to slip and slide their way into your house, you'll lose the battle before they cross the front door.

Moreover, if you want buyers to attend your open house, make sure they have a place to park. This task can be challenging as snowbanks and drifts accumulate. Don't clear just the driveway -- shovel out some spaces on the street as well. While you are at it, make sure you don't wind up with big piles of dirty snow near the front door. If they are concerned about breaking a leg, then they are not paying attention to your house in a good way.

Decorate, but don't go overboard

Some Realtors suggest stripping a house of all holiday decorations to avoid turning off potential buyers. But that sends the wrong message. After all, buyers are trying to get a feel for whether your house could become their next Colorado home. If your house is cold, empty and sterile, that sends the wrong message.

This is not the time to go nuts with plastic lawn ornaments. It might be the season to stow Santa and his reindeer out of sight in your cellar. Better to focus on some lighter, classier touches, such as wrapping a garland around the banister on the stairs or putting up a wreath. It really makes the entryway pop.

Become a weather freak, and stay flexible

One thing you can't control during the winter is the weather. It's time to start tuning into The Weather Channel, at least while you're trying to sell your house. When planning an open house, it's better to be prepared for weather changes. If a big storm is headed your way, maybe it's a good idea to reschedule for a new day or push a morning open house into the afternoon. Even if you can lure a few buyers out in the storm, a dark and dreary day is probably not the best backdrop for showing off your house.

Jan22

Overpricing Your Home Can Be A Costly Mistake

Getting the right price for your home is the first and most important step in the sale process. You want to make sure that your house isn’t priced too high that you can’t make a sale and that it’s not priced too low that you don’t regret the sale. 

All too frequently, seller’s opinions of their Colorado house are clouded by their emotions.  It’s easy to think that your home is worth more than your neighbor’s, especially if you’ve lived in that house for several years. After all, you’ve made some improvements through the years and your Coloardo home has been special to you and your family. It may be one of your most prized possessions, but what your home means to you must come to terms with what the real estate market dictates.

Some sellers would list their home higher than what their real estate agent has advised. Some do this in the hopes of getting more money out of their property. Others think that they can always lower the price later on.  This is not a good strategy. Your real estate agent has already provided you with information that can help you see the bigger picture. Listen to his/her advice.

Home buyers will not waste their time looking at and negotiating on a Colorado home they know is overpriced. There are a lot of properties on the market. They’ll just move on to the next property until they find something that matches their needs and budget.

You can avoid the pressure and disappointment of your property sitting on the market and seeing no activity after a few months if only you priced it correctly in the first place. Eventually, you’ll decide to reduce the price in order to compete with the listings that are actually in your price range. But since your home has been sitting in the market for a while, buyers may not give it much attention.

An overpriced Colorado home is not going to sell. It doesn’t matter how many sites your home is listed or how many glossy fliers you’ve handed out. You need to put the right price tag in order to get that buzz going around your home.

As the owner, you are free to ask for any price on your home. But if it’s priced too high, don’t expect it to sell any time soon.

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