You should be getting your property tax assessment about now.
Protesting is what keeps your taxes low.
You can protest yourself or you can hire a company to do it for you.
If you do it yourself you will need to provide comparatives for your home and try and make a case of why your property value should be lower. Pictures and any material evidence will help your case be stronger.
Encourage your neighbors to do the same as it helps everyone. The tax entity will look into the values around your home, this is why we want more people doing it.
A few of the many companies you can hire to help with the process are:
You will need comparatives for your home in order to do it yourself. Feel free to ask me for those I will be happy to provide them.
The deadline to protest in May 15th.
These are a few of the companies that will do the protesting on your behalf.
Spring is here, and summer is closer than ever. That makes it a great time to get outside and spruce up your home’s exterior!
If you’re planning on selling your home soon, a little outdoor maintenance can go a long way. In fact, here are five outdoor projects you can do yourself that are sure to add resale value to your home.
Install a Fire Pit
Imagine spending a warm summer evening out back with your friends, sipping cool drinks and roasting marshmallows over an open fire. The truth is, installing a fire pit is easier than you might think!
A fire pit is made out of fireproof materials and should sit on a flat surface at least 15 feet away from your home and any trees. Here’s a how-to guide for building a backyard fire pit.
Remember, check your local building codes before beginning any type of construction!
Don’t have a yard for a fire pit? Turn your balcony into a cozy dining area instead!
Add Some Outdoor Lighting
Transform your backyard space for summer with lights that add both ambience and security. You can safely add low-voltage lighting to your front or backyard by yourself, even if you don’t have extensive electrical experience.
Whether you opt for motion-activated LED lights or hanging fairy lights, you have some great options to consider for your yard!
Have a nice back deck or balcony? Add some lights to make it a great place to gather any time, day or night.
Fix the Front Door
Your front door should be clean, bright, and welcoming! After all, it’s the first thing potential buyers will see when they enter your home.
There are a couple of different options to freshen up your front door. If it’s very old or damaged, you could replace it altogether. Other options for sprucing up your door include painting it a different color,touching up the paint job, or replacing the doorknob or knocker.
Live in a condo with an interior front door? You can still spruce up your entryway with a nice welcome mat and some potted flowers.
Power Wash the Exterior
Dirty siding on your home can make it look old and neglected, which can be a major turn-off for buyers! A simple solution to get your home’s exterior looking like new is to rent a power washer to take care of any dirt. We recommend renting a heavy-duty, gas-powered pressure washer, as these are the most efficient.
Depending on your home’s specific material (vinyl, stucco, brick, etc.), you will need to obtain a specific type of detergent to power wash your home. Be sure to opt for an environmentally friendly version!
Refresh Your Landscaping
Taking the time to properly maintain your landscaping—and adding a few new features here and there—can both increase your home’s resale value and attract more buyers. After all, real estate is all about the curb appeal!
Installing an attractive stone walkway, mulching your flowerbeds, planting new flowers or shrubbery, and planting trees are all great ways to improve your home’s landscaping.
Don’t have a yard? You can still spruce up your entryway and outdoor areas with potted flowers or hanging planters.
Looking for More Home-Selling Strategies?
We can help you increase your home’s value and get it sold fast. Contact our team today to learn more.
A place to relax, create, and enjoy quality time with yourself and others.
Do you like arts and crafts? I LOVE them!
The Artsy Soul pottery and art studio was a major discovery for me. I have always loved crafts and I used to spend a lot of time doing them with my children when they were little. As they got older and our lives got busier, we have forgotten to make time for this. I also know people who hate to have a mess at home or simply don’t want to deal with having to clean up after your craft.
Thanks to The Artsy Soul you don’t have to worry about anything! They have ceramic painting, mosaics of two different kinds, candle making and painted tiles among a few other things they have planed for the future. They have amazing staff who’s there to help you and guide you through the different projects you can do; and if you’re hosting apart they’re there to help you and your friends.
We all have crazy lives and we make little to no time to enjoy and engage in an activity that gives you peace and allows you to create. It’s amazing what creativity can do for you.
“The only unique contribution that we will ever make in this world will be born of our creativity” Brene Brown
Last Sunday I took all my family, including my mom, to try The Artsy Soul. We spent about 2 hours there, this time we all did mosaic, but we already have plans to come back and do candles, tiles and whatever else we can get our hands on. The staff was super helpful and nice. the space is clean, inviting and big enough to not feel cramped. They do have a separate room for private parties and offer all kinds of different options if you would like to host a party or just invite your friends over to have some calm quality time while maybe sipping some wine.
I can’t wait to host my own party here with friends and clients. Be ready for the date as who knows, maybe you get invited.
Once you’ve found the perfect home and secured the loan, all that’s left to do is start chipping away at those mortgage payments…right? In actuality, there are a handful of other, often-overlooked expenses that come with buying a home, but as long as you know what you’re getting into, they’re plenty manageable.
Take a look at our comprehensive list of all the costs of buying a home.
One-Time Payments & Closing Costs
For buyers, closing costs are typically low and range from 2-5% of your purchase price. A lot of these costs are one-time expenses, and totals can vary from state-to-state.
If you want a better idea of what closing costs could be for you, check out this helpful guide on the average payments for each state.
There are quite a bit of one-time fees bundled into your closing costs, but most of them are pretty inexpensive. Some of the most common expenses include the home inspection, appraisal, credit report, deed recording, land survey, notary fees, title insurance, and document prep fees.
Mortgage payments are the most obvious cost when buying a home. These are your predictable, monthly payments decided by both the final price of your home and your down payment—in addition to a few other bundled costs. A larger down payment means a smaller mortgage payment, and it’s a good idea to pay this off quickly, since it will accumulate interest.
Property tax payments don’t go towards just one thing—they actually cover quite a bit, like road construction, community maintenance, public works, and local government salaries. The exact amount you’ll pay in property tax is calculated by the county based on your home’s value, and the rates tend to rise and fall over time. Many buyers pay their property taxes through an escrow account set up by the lender.
It’s better to have insurance and not need it than need insurance and not have it, so homeowner’s insurance is pretty crucial to home owning. While it’s almost always required when you get a mortgage and then bundled into your monthly payments, be sure to double-check that you’re covered.
Private Mortgage Insurance
If you can’t afford a 20% down payment on your home, you’ll have to pay PMI as a way to ensure that the lender won’t go under if you default on your loan. You don’t have to pay PMI forever—it ends once you pay off 78% or more of the principal amount—but until then, expect to pay up to 2% of your loan amount annually.
Moving to a neighborhood with an HOA? Your dues can range anywhere from under a hundred dollars to over a thousand, but they come with perks like landscaping and exterior maintenance, and some even include added benefits like swimming pools and fitness centers. Not all neighborhoods have an HOA, but your agent can tell you what your payments will be if yours does.
Lastly, utility fees can come as a surprise to new homeowners who are used to renting. Depending on the size of your home, you can expect to pay a few hundred dollars per month for water, electricity, heating and cooling, and trash services. If you’re curious what your utility bills might look like, just ask your agent, and they can likely secure a few statements from the past owners.
Ready to Make an Offer?
When it comes to buying a home, the most important thing you can do is be prepared. While there are a handful of costs to keep in mind, the satisfaction of calling a place your own is well-worth it in the end.
Are you ready to get started on your home-buying journey? With years of professional and local experience, our team knows all about navigating the expenses that come with buying. Give us a call today to get a better idea of your costs, and let’s get started!