Archive for the ‘Lowe’s’ Category

3 Ways Homebuyers Kill Their Own Real Estate Deals – Reprint 2/6/2012

The following is a reprint from Daily Real Estate News by Inman News by Tara Nicholle-Nelson.  Homebuyers can be naive when they are shopping for and putting an offer on a home.  This article points out just what buyers need to keep in mind. 


Here are three ways homebuyers are defeating their own deals in today’s market:

1. House hunting too long. As many as 60 percent of the homes for sale in some markets are short sales. Many other listings are bank-owned (also known as real estate owned or REO) properties, and those homes tend toward two extremes: terrible condition, or so nice at such a low price they receive multiple offers.

Even the nicer, nondistressed homes on the market can end up in and out of contract over and over again due to appraisal or other lending-related issues.

As a result, it is not at all bizarre to hear homebuyers today say they’ve been house hunting for a year, 18 months, even two or three years. When you house hunt that long, you become susceptible to house hunt fatigue, which causes irrationally extreme overbidding out of sheer exhaustion.

Alternatively, it can cause you to settle for whatever house you can get, even if it doesn’t actually meet your needs — then spend the next 10 years obsessively spending to upgrade, improve, repair and furnish the place to try to make it more like the home you actually wanted.

Both of these outcomes negate and deactivate the bargain you stood to score.

To avoid house hunting too long, it’s uber-important to get and stay clear on the differences between what you want and what you need, and to work with a local real estate professional you trust.

Look to your agent to get and keep your expectations centered in reality, so you can make more strategic decisions throughout your entire house hunt, like house hunting in a price range where you’re likely to both find homes that will work for your life and be successful in your efforts to obtain one.

2. Making lowball offers way too low. Overbidding seems like an obvious way to cancel out the bargain potential of your deal. But making excessively low offers — offers sellers couldn’t afford to take if they wanted to — can have the very same result.

Buyers who think they can operate strictly on the basis of buyer’s market dynamics — without realizing that most sellers will need to make enough to pay off their mortgage or at least receive the fair market value for their home — are cutting off their own noses to spite their faces, all in the name of trying to score an amazing deal.

Note to “lowballers”: If you don’t actually secure the home, the superlow price you offered is no deal at all.

3. Freak-outs, stress, drama and mayhem. Once was, it was mostly the buyers uneducated about the homebuying process who tended to freak out and stress the most, especially at the top of the market. These were the folks who found themselves defeated at every turn by buyers who knew what they were up against and were prepared to make their best offer on their first offer.

Fast forward, and now the norm is for buyers to spend much more time reading up on what to expect, but the inundation of information can create brand new mindset management challenges.

Almost every buyer is stressed about whether they can qualify for a loan, and about buying into a down market. Some buyers try to apply national headlines about home prices being depressed to the superlocal dynamics of their neighborhood market.

This is unwise if you happen to be, for example, trying to buy a home in the boomtown real estate markets of Silicon Valley. Others go the opposite direction and deny that the basic truths about, say, buying a short-sale listing will actually apply to them (attention homebuyers: buying a short sale usually takes a long, long time).

The emotional freak-outs that result from having your expectations shattered, sometimes brutally, in the course of buying a home often lead to panic-based and fear-based decisions, which can be costly in the short and long term. Additionally, the stress itself can take a toll on your ability to be productive at work, and can even impair your relationship with your mate, neither of which are worth any deal you think you stand to strike.

Again, managing your expectations by working with a trusted broker or agent you feel comfortable relying on to understand the market in your neck of the woods and the type of transaction you want to pull off is essential to downgrading the role emotion plays in your real estate decision-making.

Tara-Nicholle Nelson is author of “The Savvy Woman’s Homebuying Handbook” and “Trillion Dollar Women: Use Your Power to Make Buying and Remodeling Decisions.” Tara is also the Consumer Ambassador and Educator for real estate listings search site Ask her a real estate question online or visit her website,

January is Organization Month – Perfect Closet Remodel

With January considered by many to be organize yourself month, it is only appropriate that I share this one with you from Lowe’s Inman News from today 1/30/2012.  Minimizing clutter helps us minimize stress.  It also helps those who are considering buying or selling a home to get prepared for that next step. 


10 tips for a perfect closet remodel

Think new shelving, new supports

By Bill and Kevin  Burnett Inman News®

Q: My husband and I  have a house that was built in the 1950s. One of the little remodeling jobs  that was done by a previous owner was to turn two built-in recessed cabinets  that were on top of each other into a closet.

Unfortunately, he just  cut off the horizontal strip of wood that divided the lower and upper cabinets  and took out the shelf. He then put in five shelves.

For three of the  shelves he used two pieces of wood for support on the left and right side. For  two other shelves, he used two different-size pieces of wood for side supports.  For back support, the same type of wood was used, only it doesn’t reach all the  way across the length of the shelves.

The paint in the  closet is peeling, so we need to repaint. I think this would be a good time to  make everything more uniform. Is just using 1-by-2-inch strips for side support  on all the shelves strong enough? Is using brackets an option?

A: Sounds to us as if the “remuddler” used  whatever wood that was on hand to rig the shelves and supports. We agree it’s a  good time to rebuild the shelves and make everything uniform. Forget the  brackets — they’re unnecessary.

This is a great do-it-yourself project. If we were doing the  job, we’d tackle it like this:

Take out the existing shelves and supports, leaving just a  bare box. You’ll get rid of the mismatched shelving, and you’ll eliminate a  good deal of scraping and sanding. Also, you’ll be using new materials, which  will make the final product a whole lot nicer.

After demolition, you’ll be left with prepping and painting  the inside of the cabinet, and installing new shelving.

Use a paint scraper to remove loose paint, then fill any  voids and level the surface with Spackle. Sand the interior smooth, then prime  and paint. This will be a three-coat job: one coat of primer, sand, then two  finish coats.

The next step is to install wood supports for the shelves.  No need to use brackets. One-by-2s will be plenty for the side and back  supports of shelves up to 32 inches. If we were planning on painting the whole  cabinet, we would use pine or fir rather than a harder wood such as oak or  poplar.

It’s a little easier to work with. Use construction adhesive and screw  these pieces into the studs for a solid installation. It’s a good idea to drill  pilot holes before setting the screws. That way you don’t risk splitting the  wood.

Don’t try to use the old shelving. New shelves are  inexpensive and will save you a lot of time and produce a better job than  trying to scrape, sand and reuse the old ones. The lumberyard or home center  will gladly cut them for you — sometimes for free, sometimes for a nominal  charge.

You have a number of choices for your shelves. They can be  natural wood, then stained or clear-coated. If you don’t want to paint you can  use melamine, a medium-density particleboard with a white factory-applied  finish.

Whatever shelving material you choose, be sure to beef up  the front edge so the shelves won’t sag. Drill pilot holes and use finishing  nails and construction adhesive to affix 1-by-3s to the front edge of the  shelves. This will stiffen the shelves and give them a nice, finished look. The  1-by-3 face trim will also hide the side supports.

If the shelves are painted, or if you use melamine, we  suggest that you use poplar for this reinforcement job. It paints extremely  well and is plenty strong. If natural wood is the choice, your face pieces  should match the shelving material: oak to oak, birch to birch, etc.

Follow these instructions, take your time, and the cob job  you’ve got now will morph into a handsomely finished shelving unit.

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