BLOG

The Right Photos Can Make or Break Your Home Sale

There’s a lot that goes into successfully selling your home, from listing at the right time to hiring the right agent. But there’s one asset you might not have thought of that can make or break your home sale—and that’s the right photos.

A recent article in the Washington Post explored the importance of photos in the home selling process, and the results were astounding. The article, which examined data from various real estate sources (including the National Association of Realtors®, Trulia, Redfin, and real estate photography company VHT), found that 87% of buyers relied on photos to help them make a decision on a home, and 84% of buyers wouldn’t even consider a property that didn’t have listing photos. While any photos are better than no photos at all, the most benefit comes from professional home photos; professionally photographed homes sell 32% faster—and demand a 47% higher asking price per square foot—than listings without professional photos.

The Takeaway:

If you’ve been thinking about listing your home, photos are a non-negotiable. And if you want your home to sell quickly (and profitably!), you should definitely consider hiring a professional photographer to capture the perfect shots.


Do Better!

This year, instead of making a “New Year’s Resolution” I decided to do one simple thing… do better. The older I get, the more I realize how precious, and short, life really is. With that in mind, I decided I need to take better care of me. Like they say when you fly “put your oxygen mask on first”.

So today, I visited Aurora Mists Spa in Cape Coral… and it was perfect!

From the moment I walked in, a sense of calm came over me. I treated myself to the 90 minute pampering package – and I was definitely pampered! My day started with an hour long hot stone massage. Alaina was amazing!!! I was very impressed that she asked detailed questions to make sure that I got everything I needed out of the massage. I have had many massages in my life.. and this was one of the best.

The massage was followed by a 30 minute session in the Himalayan salt room. I had no idea how much I needed this in my life! It was so relaxing and there is nothing better than salt between  your toes (okay… maybe sand… but this came close)! A glass of Chardonnay rounded out a perfect spa experience.

It’s easy to get caught up in life’s craziness. We all need to sometimes take a step back to just RELAX! The bottom right hand picture shows what that looks like!

I highly recommend a visit to Aurora Mists… ask for Alaina. You will not be disappointed.


Have “Just Average” Credit? You Can Still Get A Mortgage

According to Time Magazine, the average credit scores in the US as of April 2017 are:

  • 652 for people ages 18 – 29
  • 671 for people ages 30 – 39
  • 685 for people ages 40 – 49
  • 709 for people ages 50 – 59
  • 743 for people ages 60+

And without taking age into account, the overall average credit score in the US (as of 2018) is 695.

But is that enough to secure a mortgage?

Most potential homeowners think that in order to purchase property they need an excellent credit score—generally considered a FICO score of 750 or higher. But the truth is, “just average” credit can be enough to get you into the house of your dreams.

According to the March 2018 Origination Insight Report from Ellie Mae, the average FICO scores for approved loans are 722. This number is slightly higher for conventional loans (at 752) and slightly lower for FHA loans (at 677).

The Takeaway

You don’t need perfect credit to get a mortgage! If your credit is hovering somewhere in the “just average” range, you can secure the funding you need to buy a home, especially if you’re open to exploring non-traditional options.


FISH TALE GRILL 

You know it’s a great restaurant when your friend says “it’s one of the best meals I have ever had.”

I feel that way every time I go to Fish Tale Grill By Merrick Seafood and today was no exception. I always get the Chef’s Trio and it never disappoints. Great food… great atmosphere… great people. Fish Tale remains one of my favorite restaurants in Cape Coral!

And if you want to cook your own seafood, Merrick’s has an amazing selection of fresh seafood to choose from.


New Survey Finds Misconceptions About Down Payments Keeping People From Purchasing Homes.

survey-downpayment-home-cover

One of the main reasons people aren’t buying homes is they think they can’t afford it—especially the down payment. But, as it turns out, there are plenty of buyers out there who actually can afford to purchase a home, but their misconceptions about affordability are holding them back from making a move.

According to a recent survey from lender Laurel Road, 53% of Americans are concerned about their ability to afford a home. But a lot of that concern is because they don’t know what their options are.

A solid 58% of Americans surveyed said they planned to put down a 20% payment on a home, but 35% (and 46% of millennials) didn’t think they could afford to save that kind of down payment. But with alternative lending options, you don’t need 20% in order to buy a home! According to the National Association of Realtors, the median down-payment for first-time buyers is at 6%—significantly less than the 20% the majority of Americans believe they need in order to purchase a home.

The Takeaway
Your misconception about how much you need for a down payment could be holding you back from purchasing property. Explore the alternative loan options available to you and make your dream of owning a home a reality!