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House Hunting? How Good Manners Can Help Get The Home You Want

House Hunting? How Good Manners Can Help Get The Home You Want

As most people know, the real estate market shifts between a buyers' or sellers' market, depending on supply and demand. However, regardless of which market we're currently in, buyer etiquette can help you get the home you want with the least amount of stress.

It may sound odd to some, especially first-time homebuyers, but manners matter when it comes to the real estate transaction. I'm not talking about "Please" and "Thank you." So, what exactly does this mean?

Buyer etiquette is not only about doing the things that are vital to helping sales go through but it's also about general manners like being on time for your viewing of a home, being prepared with your financial documents, and being responsive when requests for documents, signatures, or answers are needed from your real estate professionals.

This isn't about lecturing buyers about minding their manners; rather, think of this as the inside tips to helping land the home you really want. For instance, sometimes, being late for a viewing of a listing could cause you to lose that particular home. In a really hot real estate market, if you're late or you don't show up for the listing, you might not get a second chance - the home could be sold.

Another consideration is to be aware of how much time you need to view a home. If you try to see too many homes in one day, chances are you're not going to treat each home with the same respect. The first homes might get lots of attention by you in terms of time and what you notice. However, by the time you're on, say, 15th home of the day, you might be so tired that you blaze through it barely giving this last home the attention it deserves. You'll end up wasting your time and potentially making a poor choice because you were worn out when you viewed it. Instead, you may have to return to the last few homes you viewed that day. While it's often expected to return to a home you're very interested in, it's time-consuming to have to return to several homes simply because you weren't able to focus or pay attention in great detail.

One of the most important etiquette tips is to make sure that you've been pre-approved and are a serious buyer, ready to take action should you find the right home. Shopping for homes is serious business. It's likely the largest monetary transaction you'll make; being financially and emotionally prepared is good etiquette and will help expedite the process.

When viewing a home, if the sellers are present (sometimes this happens), don't share your likes or dislikes about the home with them. Be courteous and keep the conversation to a minimum with the sellers. You want to make sure you leave the negotiation process to your experienced real estate agent. If you have questions about the home, be sure to take good notes and consult with your agent. Your agent is the liaison for good reason. The agent is experienced and knows how to find out the information you need without undermining your bargaining position. Polite conversation with the sellers is appropriate if the opportunity occurs. And, if the house isn't right for you from the moment you set foot in it, at least give it a quick walk-through, just to be absolutely certain.

Good manners when house hunting is about more than just having people like you. It could be the potential development of a successful real estate transaction. Good will during that process helps keep things moving along at a steady pace and possibly with a better outcome than if the sellers were selling to a buyer they really didn't like.

Choosing The Best Hardwood Floors For Your Home

Choosing The Best Hardwood Floors For Your Home

The rich patina of wood floors adds beauty and elegance to any home.

Older homes were once routinely constructed with hardwood floors, but that practice was abandoned in the 1950s, when new technologies made wall-to-wall carpeting available. Builders were able to build more homes faster, for the post-war baby boom, and save money on labor.

But today, many homeowners prefer hardwoods to carpet. Hardwoods help give the impression that your home is well-built with quality materials. Hardwoods are easy to maintain and improve with wear, unlike carpet that eventually needs to be replaced.

Hardwoods add value to your home, says the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA). In a recent survey of participating real estate agents, the trade association found that real estate agents said that a house with wood floors would sell faster than a carpeted house, by a margin of three to one. About 58 percent said a house with wood floors would bring a higher price.

If you have hardwoods under carpet, it's easy and inexpensive to tear the carpet out and refinish your floors. Or, you can choose to install hardwoods if there's only sub-floor underneath the carpet.

You have several options:

Solid hardwoods -- Solid hardwoods are the most expensive option. They come in planks of various lengths and are typically 3/4' thick. The floors are installed as raw wood and sanded down and stained on site. The advantage is that your floors can be refinished often over the years. Solid hardwoods are not recommended over concrete slab foundations. Disadvantages are that hardwoods cannot be washed with water, water leaks can cause them to bow, and direct sunlight can cause stained finishes to bleach.

Engineered hardwoods -- Composed of layers or plies of wood that are glued together and finished with a laminate, engineered hardwoods are finished with a final layer of hardwood that is generally between ¼" and ½" thick. The advantage of engineered hardwoods is that they are suitable for any foundation. Drawbacks are that laminated floors usually cannot be refinished.

Engineered hardwoods come in a variety of styles, such as long-strip hardwoods in which the flooring can be installed several "planks" at a time. Parquet floors are also engineered with strips of hardwoods laid like tiles that form patterns such as herringbone. Floating floors are planks that fit together and can be glued or nailed down to the subfloor.

Stains and finishes

If your floor comes unfinished, you need to know what kind of wood it's made of in order to select a stain, as different woods can make stain colors change tone. A good way to choose is to ask the installer for samples, or you can go to a local paint and home improvement store and view stain colors. Sherman Williams "Wood Classics" have color charts just like paint, so you can see how the stain you choose will appear on your wood floor.

Keep in mind that unfinished floors must be sanded, stained and sealed on site, which is labor intensive, time consuming and messy as you wait for each layer to dry. Factory finished floors are usually warrantied, they can be installed immediately which saves time and labor, and only the glue to the subfloor has to dry.

Finishes are important to choose because they dictate how you will care for your floor. If your floor has a penetrating seal, you will have to wax it to keep it burnished. If the floor is sealed with a urethane, polyurethane or other polymer coat, it's water resistant and easy to clean with a mop.

Types of wood

The most common woods for floors are species of oak, pine, walnut, pecan, birch, beech, ash, cherry, maple, cypress and Douglas fir.

Wood for floors can be exotic, and are prized for their unusual grains and colors. Exotic woods include mahogany, teak, and Brazilian cherry.

One of the most popular flooring options is actually a grass, not a wood. Bamboo is a quick-growing resource that is easily replenished, making it a good choice for green-building. Bamboo can be cut and finished like any hardwood, and is more durable in some cases.

To learn more about wood floors, visit Woodfloors.org.

9 Ways You Can Score Great Deals For Your Home On Black Friday

9 Ways You Can Score Great Deals For Your Home On Black Friday

For many of us, Black Friday shopping is key to a successful holiday gift-buying strategy for friends and family. But have you taken a look around your home lately? Maybe you need to put it on your list this year.

There are some great deals out there this Black Friday that can help you fix up, fancy up, update, and upgrade the place you call home. Here are nine ways to go about scoring the best deals.

Home improvement

One of the most exciting sale items we've seen for home this year is at Lowe's. Wood-look tile is one of today's hottest trends for flooring, and on Black Friday, the home improvement store has it starting at just 99 cents per foot, down from $2.02 per foot.

Lowe's also has some great deals on tools and home improvement items in their Black Friday ad. If you can get past the ho-hum-ness of buying yourself tools at this time of year, you'll love the prices on this Kobalt 227-piece tool set with case and $39 Shop-Vac Vacuum.


Lowes

Smart home

Bring the smart home craze to your front door. This Kwikset SmartCode Satin Nickel-Single Cylinder Motorized Electronic Entry Door Deadbolt with Keypad is just $39 on Black Friday, down from $69.

Appliances

Head to Lowe's for this Samsung 4.5 cu. ft. ENERGY STAR High Efficiency Top Load washer and 7.4 cu. Ft. Electric Dryer are $499 each, a savings of $600 for the pair.

This Samsung Energy Star ®26 cu. ft. 36" Wide 3-Door French Door Refrigerator with Filtered Ice Maker is regularly priced at $1,999 and will drop to $995 at JC Penny on Black Friday. Other appliances are on sale for up to 40% off at both Home Depot and Lowe's.

Also for the kitchen

Looking to do some renovations in your kitchen? This brushed nickel pull-down kitchen faucet is just $59 on Black Friday, down from $109, at Lowe's.

Those who love to bake swear by KitchenAid mixers, and the must-have item is typically attractively priced over the holidays. The best price we've seen so far is $249 for the KitchenAid® Ultra Power Plus 4.5 Qt Tilt-Head Stand Mixer at Target. It's currently prices at $279, down from $349. You can also get the KitchenAid® ClassicTM Series 4.5 Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer at Walmart for $199, down from $259.


Target

Also for your gourmet kitchen needs, Target has two great deals on Ninja products for Black Friday. Both the Coffee Brewer and the Professional Kitchen System are being offered as doorbusters for $99 - that's half off! Perhaps no single Black Friday deal will make home cooks happier than this one: Walmart has the insanely popular Instant Pot, regularly $100, for $50 on Black Friday.

Home Assistants

Google Home is predicted to be one of the hottest items this year, and Walmart's Black Friday sale has it at $79 - a savings of $50. The $49 Google Home Mini Smart Speaker, which offers "hands-free help in any room" and is powered by the Google Assistant, goes on sale for $29 with a $10 gift card at Target. At that price, you'll want to buy one for yourself and a few for gifts. If you'd rather ask Alexa, head to Target for this Amazon Echo Dot, which will drop from $49 to $29.

Televisions

TVs are a staple of Black Friday shopping. Personally, we have images of stampeding shoppers hoisting flat-screen boxes over their heads seared in our collective brain forever, but that won't stop us from trying to slide in there for a screaming deal. Forbes calls Best Buy's Sharp 50-inch LED 2160p Smart 4K Ultra HD Roku TV for $179.99 - a savings of $320 - possibly "the best deal during the entirety of Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2017."  


dealerscope

Television accessories

Once you buy that flat screen, you'll need a sound bar. Walmart has a 37" RCA Bluetooth version for just $29 (currently priced at $49). Or, pick up this VIZIO 32" 5.1 Soundbar System package, which includes a wireless subwoofer, for $139 (currently $198).

And don't forget a mounting system. This one has tilt and fits TVs ranging from 47-80", Black Friday priced at just $19 (currently on sale for $59).

Cleaning

A vacuum may not seem like the most exciting thing to buy on Black Friday, but you may change your mind when you see the price of this Dyson DC59 Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner at Walmart. We did! Regularly priced at $369, it goes on sale on Black Friday for just $189!

Sleeping

Walmart's high-thread-count hotel sheets are famous to smart Black Friday shoppers and are one of the most anticipated (and quickest-selling) items. Used to be you had to buy them in store, but they're now online. If you want a set (or four), here's a tip: get them in your cart ASAP when sales kick off, because they'll be gone in a flash. $24 per set. Macy's has a worthy alternative with their Devon 4-Pc King Sheet Set, 900-Thread Count, regularly priced at $59; on Black Friday, they will be $29.


Walmart

Another great sale item that'll make you say, "One for you, one for me," Target's chenille and sherpa throws are just $10 on Black Friday.

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Rob Dukes

Tempe, AZ 85281
602-524-6671
rdukes@remax.net

Rob Dukes | Re/Max Right Choice  | 602-524-6671rdukes@remax.net
Tempe, AZ 85281
Copyright © 2016. Rob Dukes, All Rights Reserved