Top-Notch Property: Tips to Prepare for an Open House

You only get one chance to make a good first impression, and an open house is a moment to make your home shine. Dozens of people will walk through your home, check out the layout, and even peek in your closets to see if it meets their needs. During this time you will want your house to look as amazing as it possibly can. Get your home ready for an open house in a few simple ways.

Clean Everything

Cleaning is the most important thing that you can do before an open house. Sweep and vacuum, mop the floors, clean out the cabinets, get rid of clutter, and spray the house with an air freshener. Some staging experts recommend baking cookies, or another sweet snack to fill the house with the scent of vanilla, which appeals to almost all buyers. When cleaning, make sure that you are clean from top to bottom, removing spiderwebs, dirt, dust, and even the scent of your pets.

Take Care of Pests

Regardless of where you live, the odds are good that you have a few pests scattered around. If you live in the Midwest, and other cooler climates, you might find mice sneaking into your house to escape the winter. Other pests that can gain access to your home include rats, squirrels, bats, and even raccoons. You’ll hear those animals scurrying around inside your walls, find feces left behind, and see signs of their nests.

Do a Walk-Through

You can spend months cleaning and staging your home without getting a single offer. This often occurs because you think your house looks good, but others don’t agree. Before the date of your open house, ask some friends and family to come over and walk through the property. Ask them for an honest opinion about what works, and what doesn’t. You might find that they don’t like the darkness of a specific room, they notice a scent you can’t smell, or they think you have too much clutter. Use their advice to make your home look appealing to potential buyers.

When you can’t afford to work with a staging company, you can still get your home ready for an open house. Cleaning, getting rid of rodents, and asking for advice from those you trust can make your house look appealing to everyone who walks through the door during an open house.

Let's Keep In Touch!

New ORC Form Lead

"*" indicates required fields

5 Amazing Reasons Why A Large Down Payment Is So Important Right Now


If you haven’t bought your first home I suggest you start putting your money away right now because it’s always a good idea to put down a large down payment. Here are a few great reasons why it’s your best option in most cases.

Bleeding you dry with interest

The banks need to make money and they do it by adding a massive amount of interest to your mortgage repayments. For the first half of your mortgage, you’re lucky if you’re paying hardly anything towards the price of your home. It’s quite a substantial amount of money and most people write it off as something that must be done. Put more money down in the beginning and over the life of your mortgage you’ll end up paying a lot less interest which is only a good thing.

A more lavish lifestyle

Do you like to fly to the beach a few times per year so you can top up your tan? Maybe you just like to eat out at nice restaurants a few times per week. When you’re still young it’s worth it to dig in and come up with a larger down payment when buying your home because it means your mortgage repayments will be smaller. You will have more money in your pocket every month and every dollar you earn won’t be getting pumped into your home.

You can sell if you have to

When you don’t put down a large down payment you’re in very risky waters should you ever decide to sell your home. I’m sure you know houses don’t always go up in price and sometimes they fall sharply. If you don’t have enough money invested in your home when it’s time to sell you might not even be able to make enough money to pay back the bank. This won’t matter too much if you don’t plan on selling your new home, but you never know what might happen in the future.

The light at the end of the tunnel

The first few years are great when you buy a new home because you’re just happy you have a place to call your own. It doesn’t take long for reality to kick in and you realize you’ll be making big monthly payments for the majority of your life. When you put down more money in the beginning the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t as far away. You’ll still have many unhappy years of handing over your hard-earned money, but at least it will be over a lot quicker than usual.

You don’t need the money

In some cases, it’s not a good idea to put down too much money in the beginning because what happens when you need it? You won’t be able to take it out again once it’s in, but this is a good thing if you have a simple life and you don’t have any other need for a large chunk of money. When you have credit card debt people say you should pay off your debt instead of saving your money because you’ll actually come out on top. It’s the same situation here and if you invest in a bigger down payment you’ll come out on top, provided you don’t need it of course.

Let's Keep In Touch!

New ORC Form Lead

"*" indicates required fields

You Bought a House! Congrats! Now Six Numbers to Have by Your Phone

You have just brought the last moving box into your new home and are getting ready to enjoy living in a place you will love for many years to come. Home, sweet home! One of the many questions you may be asking yourself is, Now what? An important issue to take care of is your handy list of important phone numbers, which will no doubt need updating for your new digs, new neighborhood, and possibly even new city or state.

Local Non-emergency Number

In the US, almost everyone can dial 911 to get emergency services, including the police and fire department, but what do you dial in situations where you need to talk to the authorities, but don’t necessarily need an emergency vehicle in your yard pronto? Most communities have a designated non-emergency contact number. It’s a good idea to keep it on hand.

Poison Control

This number is especially handy for those who have children or pets as they can tell you if what your child/pet has swallowed is poisonous or otherwise harmful. Many areas offer these numbers as an alternative to 911 because it is so frequently needed and yet infrequently a life-threatening emergency.

24/7 Plumbing Service

You need this one because pipes typically do not burst during regular business hours. This is especially prudent to have on hand if your new home is a vintage property with older pipes and fixtures.


Program this one into your cell phone, just in case. Lock-outs are very common upon moving into a new place because your routine isn’t established yet, making it more likely that you will lock your keys in the house. A locksmith can get you back inside without damaging windows or doors.


This is actually going to involve more than one number as you will wish to have contact information for your electric, water, natural gas, television/Internet, garbage, and other service providers. Nevertheless, these are good numbers to have in one place, just in case important service-related or other information is needed.

Cooling & Heating

Depending on the current season, this is a necessary number to have on hand. In case of your heating or cooling system goes out. This will lead to major discomfort in your home and more often then not heating and cooling systems tend to malfunction at the coldest or hottest times. The experts from Orlando say this is because depending on the season, the coldest or hottest times are obviously when the most stress is being placed on the system.

Local Public Library

While this may sound fairly nonsensical to many people, libraries are great places for new arrivals to get information on a variety of local topics from resident experts. Any question you have, they have likely answered before. Business hours may vary, but they are still a very useful resource, especially for local government, school, and community information.

Now that you have your list of important phone numbers, you can feel free to sit back and enjoy that new home. You’ve earned it!

Let's Keep In Touch!

New ORC Form Lead

"*" indicates required fields

Things to Check for when Viewing Different Homes

When viewing different homes in Orlando, it’s important to look for signs of trouble. Although you’ll want to find a home that is aesthetically pleasing, you’ll also want to ensure that it doesn’t have any problems below the surface. A house should be properly inspected from basement to rooftop before you decide that you want to make it your home.

Foundation’s Condition

Cracks in the basement can indicate foundation damage. Tilted basement walls may show signs of foundation sinking due to soft ground or poor soil composition. Termites may destroy the wooden parts of a home’s lower levels. For example, the beams of a basement’s ceiling may appear to be chewed up in the presence of termites.

Water Damage

Musty smells and water stains in a basement imply the presence of mold. This is often a result of previous flooding or some sort of leak from the surrounding soil or plumbing. Mold causes various respiratory hazards and it can spread quickly in humid conditions. Colored stains on the walls of a basement indicate the previous existence of mold that can return. Water damage can also ruin some of the electrical wirings that is often installed in the lower levels of a home. Even if the water has been properly cleaned out, this could be a sign that it could easily flood again in the future.

Climate Control System

A home with a central HVAC system needs to be checked thoroughly because it provides both heating and cooling and it’s used all year long. The outdoor A/C unit should be checked along with the indoor furnace. Unusual sounds coming from the vents and ducts in an HVAC system indicate problems with the air filters, fans, and other mechanical components. The thermostat should be tested to ensure that the HVAC system responds immediately to heat up or cool a home. If there is a problem with the system, a company in Orlando can diagnose the problem and estimate how much it will cost to repair. Knowing repair costs in advance can help you determine if you are willing to buy the home “as is.”

Rise to the Rooftop

A leaky roof is a very serious issue that needs to be inspected before buying a home. Old shingles may have significant wear and tear that causes leaks to all upper levels of a house. Inside a home, a leaky roof can be detected if bulges or pockets of water are seen in the ceilings and corner walls. Roof replacement is expensive, so it’s important to negotiate this into the cost of the home.

Pest Problems

A home inspection should also look for signs of pests. Rodents, raccoons, and squirrels can make themselves comfortable in the attic or crawl space of a home. These creatures leave droppings that carry disease. Additionally, such pests can destroy the structure of a home such as insulation and wooden studs or beams. The presence of pests also indicates major openings and cracks in the exterior of a home.

There is an array of possible problems that can exist in a home. Prospective buyers should carefully consider looking at the interior and exterior of a house that’s for sale. Don’t fall in love with a home until a throughout inspection. You want to make sure that your investment will house you and your family for years.

Let's Keep In Touch!

New ORC Form Lead

"*" indicates required fields

Need to Get Your House Sold Quickly? A Few Tips to Help it Sell in a Flash

Do you need to get your house sold quickly? Whether you need to get rid of the house due to a short sale, downsizing, or because you found a job in another location, there are a few strategies that you can use to sell your home quickly and at a reasonable price. Selling a house requires a lot of work on behalf of the seller, and it can be stressful if you are crunched for time. Try a few of these tricks to help you get your home sold in time, and still get a reasonable amount for it.

Price the Home Below Market Value

The easiest way to sell your home is to sell it for less than market value. By looking at other homes in your area and asking for 10 percent less than that amount, your house looks a great value in a great part of town. In many cases, you will start a bidding war between buyers who want to snap up the best deal on the market before it goes away. Obviously, you still want to get a reasonable amount for the home, but you’ll be surprised at how much it helps to set your price at a little below market value—it will surely draw plenty of buyers in for you.

Hire a Cleaning Crew

If you’re in a rush to get your home sold, it will be worth the investment to hire a cleaning crew to come in and get the home ready for showings. You’ll be much to busy with preparing other things for the move to clean it yourself, and you’ll be surprised how much better your home will look if you leave the cleaning up to the pros. Let cleaners and movers clear the home so that you’re prepared for when people come to look at it. Getting professionals to do things like clean the carpets, spray for bugs, or fix broken window panes will truly go a long way with potential buyers. If the move is a bit unexpected, your home might be a disaster zone, and this definitely won’t help you find a buyer any faster. Presenting a clean, sanitized, and organized home for those who come to look at it gives you a much greater chance of finding a buyer quickly.

Sell When Others Are Selling

Do your best to sell the house at a time when others in the neighborhood are selling. This takes advantage of extra traffic that will be driving by your house due to the other sales in the area. If your home is priced less than the others, your home will be among the first to be sold. You may not have much of a choice if you’re pressed for time, however, if you can start looking for buyers around the same time as others in the neighborhood, you’re more likely to find interested buyers to come take a look at the house while they’re in the area.

Keep the Appliances With the House

For many buyers, furnishings and other appliances can be a huge selling point. By keeping the new refrigerator in the home or offering to leave behind some of your furniture, you sweeten the deal for a prospective buyer. You also benefit because you won’t have as much to take with you if you have a long move ahead of you. Although this may seem like a small thing, for some buyers it could really help seal the deal. If your appliances are still in good condition, consider leaving them in the home in order to draw interest from prospective buyers.

Offer Closing Cost Assistance

Coming up with the money for closing costs and a down payment is the biggest hurdle for a potential home buyer. Offering assistance with the down payment and closing costs could help you sell your home with ease. Typically, a seller is allowed to offer a rebate of up to 6 percent to help with closing costs and other fees. This could save a home buyer as much as $6,000 for each $100,000 being spent on the home. This can help if you find a buyer who isn’t in as much of a rush as you are. If you’re trying to get the home sold as soon as possible, helping with closing costs could help you find the perfect buyer.

When you need to sell your home quickly, you need to be willing to entice buyers and negotiate whenever possible. By offering closing cost assistance, pricing the house below market value and timing the sale just right, you could have an offer on your home within 24 hours of showing the property. While selling a home is stressful (especially when you’re constrained by time), if you put in a little extra effort, you’ll have the home sold in no time—allowing you to focus on moving to your next destination.

Let's Keep In Touch!

New ORC Form Lead

"*" indicates required fields