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Posts from — May 2015

Dealing with the Down Payment

Ever dream of owning a Smith Mountain Lake home but don’t think you can because you lack the down payment and closing costs? Here are a few tips:

  • Borrow from your retirement account: A 401(k) or traditional IRA may allow a first-time homebuyers to borrow up to $10,000 for their down payment without incurring a penalty. If you’re self-employed or your employer allows it, you may also be able to borrow up to $50,000 from your current 401(k) and pay yourself back over five years at a reasonable interest rate.
  • Ask family: If you are able to get help from a family member, the lender may ask you to sign a gift-letter form, attesting to the relationship. They may also require your relatives to explain where they got the money and prove that they are financially able to make such a gift.
  • Look for down payment assistance grants: Down payment assistance and community redevelopment programs offer affordable housing opportunities to first-time homebuyers, low-income and moderate-income individuals and families who wish to own a Smith Mountain Lake home.
  • Come to a lease/purchase agreement: Smith Mountain Lake homeowners who can’t sell their homes may consider a lease/purchase agreement, where you rent the home you want to buy and a percentage of your rent is applied to the down payment. Make sure you get a contract outlining all the details so both parties are protected.
  • Add it to the wedding registry: Some mortgage companies allow those getting married to set up a down payment registry.
  • Cut back and save: If nothing else, there’s always the old-fashioned “saving for a rainy day.” Try putting aside 10% of each paycheck and eating at home instead of eating out. If you’re married, save the money you would spend on birthday, anniversary and Christmas presents and put it toward your house. You also may need to forget that vacation this year.

These sacrifices may seem significant but they will be worth it once you’re inside your own Smith Mountain Lake home.

May 19, 2015   Comments Off

Five tips to beautify the bath.

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Updating a tired-looking bathroom is a great way to increase a home’s resale. The fixes don’t need to be costly or labor intensive:

  1. Beautify: Add decorative glass, stone tile or accents to make a bathroom stand out. Extra-wide wall tiles are popular and wood cabinets can be embellished with carved wooden inlays.
  2. Lighting: Add more lighting options around the room to reduce shadows and glare. Mood lighting around the tub area is also very popular.
  3. Bath/Shower: A new tub and a spa-like atmosphere can do wonders for a bathroom. Adding a massage element to the showerhead will appeal to buyers.
  4. Update Fixtures: Changing the fixtures in a bathroom can add a great deal. From cabinet handles to faucets, the addition of brushed nickel or other metals is always a huge hit. And if space permits, add a second sink.
  5. Think Green: Install fixtures that save water. A low-flow showerhead, low-flow faucet aerator and a dual-flush toilet can save thousands of gallons of water. Energy-efficient windows is another easy option.

A renovated bathroom offers an intimate, contemporary feel and is one of the things people will remember about a home.

May 8, 2015   Comments Off

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ Wins Inman News poll as the Top National TV spot in Real Estate

Consumers and network professionals have spoken! Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ commercial, “Calls,” was today named 2015’s best national TV spot in real estate by an Inman News poll of more than 15,000 readers. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices secured 5,522 votes to win the poll, which included TV spots from industry competitors Coldwell Banker, Century 21 and Re/Max. The spot, celebrating that magical moment when clients first learn they’ve sold their home, is now running on HGTV but you can watch it right here!

May 5, 2015   Comments Off

Don’t forget about the men when showcasing your Smith Mountain Lake home.

Don’t forget about the men when showcasing your Smith Mountain Lake home.

When selling your Smith Mountain Lake home, it’s important to remember that your interior and exterior need to visually attract both male and female buyers. Read on to learn how to make your home universally appealing.

  • Professional home stagers: They consult with homeowners to sell their Smith Mountain Lake homes quickly and for the most money possible. They consider demographics, buying psychology, design elements and lighting.
  • Personal space: Men tend to gravitate towards rooms with gadgets and electronics. They appreciate open spaces and high ceilings—clean, streamlined rooms that men can easily walk through without obstructions.
  • Cater to interests: Men don’t generally prefer fancy or frilly. They want to watch the big game with buddies or relax after work.
  • Simplified color scheme: Don’t overwhelm any potential buyers with wild colors or furniture, even if you feel it makes your home “special.” Warm interior tones are generally preferred over cool tones.
  • Garage envy: Think about painted walls, clean floors and enough storage for various hobbies. A built-in workbench, organized shelving as well as clean, spacious areas for tools, equipment and maintenance supplies are a great draw.
  • The yard: A well-maintained lawn can really help boost your home’s appeal along with thick, healthy grass, minimal bushes to trim and easy-to-maintain flower beds.

Staging your Smith Mountain Lake home to visually appeal to men as well as women will ensure a better joint response from potential buyers.

May 4, 2015   Comments Off

28th Annual Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake Clean-up Day

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Once again, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate is a proud sponsor the 28th Annual Take Pride in SML Clean-up Day. Please join us in helping spruce up Smith Mountain Lake for the coming summer season at tomorrow’s Take Pride in SML Clean-up Day. This event marks the 28th annual lake-wide clean-up effort. Volunteers from the entire community get involved in sprucing up the lake. Volunteers can register individually, as a group or organization. Pick up supplies today at the Smith Mountain Lake Visitor’s Center at 16430 Booker T. Washington Hwy, Bridgewater Plaza, Suite 2 from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM. Special thanks to the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Smith Mountain Lake Association and the Tri-County Lakes Administrative Commission for working hard to orchestrate the event.

May 1, 2015   Comments Off