Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Living large in small spaces: 6 reasons to fall in love with a smaller home.

Bigger isn't always better. Here are 6 great reasons to consider a smaller home if you're in the market

1.Lower costs - Above all else, the greatest reason to buy smaller is for the money you'll save. In addition to more reasonable purchase prices, smaller homes will be less expensive to heat and cool, and less expensive to maintain.
2.Easier resale - The old adage "buy the smallest house in the best neighborhood" is as true now as ever. With today's economic uncertainty and ever-rising energy costs, smaller homes are more attractive than ever to savvy buyers.
3.Your eco-footprint - The green movement and sustainable living have gone mainstream, and one of the best all-around ways to "green your life" is to start with your home. Small homes use fewer natural resources than large ones, and less storage space means less unnecessary consumption.
4.Clutter - Few things can be as mentally oppressive as the clutter in our lives - the things we own but don't use that begin to accumulate and weigh us down. Without excess room to jam-pack with "stuff," it becomes much easier to eliminate clutter and simplify our lives.
5.Time - In addition to cost savings, smaller homes come with reduced maintenance, upkeep, and everyday cleaning responsibilities. This opens up time to devote to other things that may be more meaningful and fulfilling. Who couldn't use the luxury of more time in their life?
6.Freedom - Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the sum of all of these benefits can leave you, as a homeowner, with a newfound sense of freedom. More money and time equates to more choices in how you live your life and spend your free time.
As always, home ownership is a matter of finding the right balance for YOU, and tilting the scale towards a smaller home can be a great way to stay focused on the things that are most important in your life.

Open Season: Pros and Cons of holding an open house

Many Realtors and Sellers are looking for a fresh idea....turning the clocks back to a time-honored sales tactic - here are some considerations to help you decide whether to "open up" when you are selling your home.

Pros of holding an open house
1 Activity and buzz
Even when open houses do not result in a serious Buyer, the increase in foot traffic and advertising visibility. The added exposure from the openhouse ads in the local Sunday paper, extra signage, mailer, as well as feedback from attendees can all be very helpful.

2. Serious buyers still use open houses
While it is often difficult to weed out serious buyers from nosy neighbors and the looky lu's, research shows that serious Buyers do still use open houses as a part of their research.

3. Less intimidating
Brand new to the market, tentative, or semi-serious Buyers can be less intimated by open houses. Open house maybe just the push a Buyer on the fence needs to become a serious buyer.

4. Convenience for home shoppers
A big plus for many open house attendees is that they allow the opportunity to view properties without setting up appointments.

5. Cost
Another plus is that, as a sales and marketing tactic, open houses are fairly inexpensive.

6. Ready or Not
Openhouses help Owners finish up those last minute to-do's. It sets a date for the home to be "show" ready!

Cons of holding an open house
1 Laborious for homeowner
There's no two ways about it - making sure a house is properly cleaned and staged, inside and out, for a successful open house takes a lot of work on the part of the homeowner.

2. Homeowner Inconvenience
Another unfortunate truth of an open house event is that they can require homeowners (along with their family and pets) to be gone, often for an entire afternoon, at times when they would otherwise like to be relaxing at home.

3. Security issues
When holding an open house, you are essentially opening your doors to everyone, neighbors and strangers alike. It is important to take precautions to make sure that all valuables are out of the house. Make the assumption that all closets, drawers, and cabinets will be opened, and while theft is rare, it does happen.