Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 2/28/2021

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

It may be tempting, when buying a home remotely, to jump at the first great deal that fits your checklist. But, number of beds and baths aren't everything. Location matters, too. So does the school district if you have school-age children. Don't be afraid to delve deeply into a property that you're thinking of buying sight unseen, because failure to do so could lead to some serious buyer's remorse. Here's the checklist of items to cover and questions to ask before you buy a home long-distance. 

Neighborhood Crime Statistics

Sites such as ADT.com and Cityrating.com can help you learn about crime rates in your potential new neighborhood. The local police department or sheriff's office is a good resource, too. All are easy to find online once you know the address of the home or county in which it's located. Find registered sex offenders living nearby and whether your new neighbor has a collar for burglary. 

Costs of Getting There

If you're searching remotely for homes that are close to your new job location, ask your employer about job relocation assistance. Sometimes employers have packages in place to help with the logistics involved in relocating for work. A package might include financial assistance for multiple items, including:

  • Costs associated with moving companies.
  • Costs associated with storage facilities.
  • Cost to rent or own a home in the new location.
  • Costs associated with selling your existing home.
  • Having financial help to get you and your family settled in before your first day of work at your new job is a great perk. It goes a long way toward alleviating the stress of relocation. 

    HOA Restrictions

    Homeowner's Associations can be beneficial in keeping housing values steady in your target area, but they can be costly, as well as restrictive. Is your new home governed by an HOA? If so, expect to pay monthly dues, and read up on the restrictions before you commit. If you plan to change the color or layout of your new home, you may have strict guidelines you're required to follow. 

    Reputation of the Local Schools

    Parents of school-age children should also be concerned with the school district they're moving into. Your real estate agent should be a good resource for the best schools in the area, but it never hurts to Google. The best schools have a low student-to-teacher ratio, strong test scores compared with the rest of the state and plenty of support programs in place for students and parents.

    A little homework done from the comfort of your home office can help you score the remote home purchase of your dreams. Don't be afraid to play investigator throughout your new target neighborhood. 




    Categories: Uncategorized  


    Posted by Thomas Murphy on 2/21/2021

    Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels

    House flipping has been made particularly trendy in recent years, in part due to the popularity of shows like Flip or Flop and Property Brothers. If the trend has caught your eye as well, here’s an overview of the steps you’ll need to take to get the job done right.

    1. Know Your Market

    Start looking for a home in your area that’s ripe for flipping. This is where the phrase location, location, location applies. A run-down or out-of-style home in a nice neighborhood is what you’re after. 

    To find this, however, you’ll want to work with a real estate agent who has their finger on the pulse of your community. They’ll be able to help you find a home that fits your desired description.

    2. Start Small

    For your first house flip, invest in a home that has a solid foundation and roof, needs little to no construction or remodeling and basically only requires some style updates and TLC. Avoid homes that have mechanical or structural problems as these can be costly with littler return. 

    Later on, down the line, you may be interested in investing in a more ambitious fixer-upper. For now, stick with something manageable. 

    3. Create a Plan Based on Your Budget

    Set a budget for the house flip. Naturally, you’ll first need to factor in the actual purchase price, realtor fees, insurance and loan payments. After that, you can decide how much “flipping money” you’ll have to work with. 

    This will help you decide what improvement projects will be possible and which you’ll have to pass on. If the home would look much better with an open floor plan in the family room but it also needs a new roof, you might have to forego the floor plan remodel as a new roof is more essential. 

    Be sure to get a plan in writing before you begin work. You can always change things later on, but you’ll want a blueprint to start with.

    4. Network With Contractors and Start Work

    Interview contractors in your area to settle on who will do the brunt of the work in the home. If you plan on flipping many houses in the future, it’s a good idea to build a network of consistent contractors you can rely on. 

    5. Stage the Home for Sale

    Lastly, before putting your finished home on the market, invest in rental staging furniture and decor. Styling the home before you have it shown will help inspire potential buyers as to what each interior space could look like.

    Flipping a home can be a wonderful experience for anyone with an ambitious attitude and enterprising spirit. Use these steps as a template to make your house flip a success.




    Categories: Uncategorized  


    Posted by Thomas Murphy on 2/14/2021


     Photo by RawPixel via Pixabay

    It may be tempting to call an expert (and sometimes, you can't avoid doing so) to fix something or to enhance the decor of your home, but some projects are surprisingly easy to do. Tackling DIY projects at home has never been easier, thanks to the availability of tools and products designed just for homeowners. You won't have to pay contractor's rates -- and can have a custom look you'll love -- when you try one or more of these projects. 

    Upgrade your Shower: Get an immediate boost to your shower when you swap out the old shower head for something new. Removing the old head and adding a fancy new one -- whether you want something adjustable or a spa-worthy rain shower. You won't need many tools and can remove the old head, clean things up, then add the new one in about an hour. You'll love the satisfaction that comes from doing this yourself, and be able to buy a more expensive shower head without blowing your budget, too. 

    Paint a Room: Leave the cathedral ceilings and complicated spaces to a pro, but if you just need a quick color change in a bedroom, you can generally DIY it for about a quarter of the cost of hiring someone to do it. Expect to spend several hours over the course of the weekend and invest the savings into quality equipment and paint you'll never have to touch up or worry about. 

    Prepare the Garden: Shoveling out a 10x10 space sounds less than appealing to most of us, but you can rent a tiller from a local home improvement store and DIY this space in under an hour. You'll be able to focus instead on the planning and planting -- not the grueling digging -- when you take this approach. If you can push a lawnmower, you can use a tiller to prepare any area for planting in a hurry. 

    Assemble Furniture: You can hire someone to do it, or pay a fee for the store to assemble things, but if you have some spare time and a few tools, most items can go together very swiftly. Use the time to binge watch a new program and DIY the assembly. You'll save money and get the satisfaction that comes from knowing you can do things yourself. 

    Powerwash: There are many powerwasher brands on the market today that offer a lot of cleaning for a small price. A contractor could charge you hundreds of dollars each time you need the service, or you can spend about a hundred one time and get a unit of your own. These smaller, more compact models still pack plenty of punch and can be used for decks, porches, patios and on your home itself with ease. 

    Simple projects like these build your skills and your inventory of supplies and tools. If you have a project in mind that can be safely done, it is worth exploring your DIY options -- you could end up leanring something new and creating a finished look you'll love. 

     




    Categories: Uncategorized  


    Posted by Thomas Murphy on 2/7/2021

    Photo by Aymane Jdidi via Pixabay

    Most people do not think of creating an estate plan before they are in their 40s or even their 50s. However, if you own a home, regardless of the cost of the home and regardless of your age, you should create an estate plan. Even if you are in your 20s, your family could end up losing a high-end home if you are in an accident and become incapacitated or you lose your life. Always contact an experienced estate attorney for help drafting your will and other estate documents, including trusts.

    Titling Your Home

    In today’s day and age, many people decide to live together without formally getting married. Most closing agents will title your home so that you own one half and your significant other owns one half. In most states, your significant other’s half of the house will have to go through probate unless the house is appropriately deeded. The ways you may title your home include:

    • Joint Tenancy: Gives you equal rights to the property. If one party passes, the ownership of that person’s half passes to the surviving tenants. However, if you are not married, you will have an extra step to take if you want to transfer your half to someone not listed on the deed.

    • Tenancy in Common: This is the most common way deeds are titled if two people buying a house are not married. Both parties have equal rights to the property. However, if one person passes, their half goes to their heirs and not to the other person on the deed unless that person is an heir. Each person can take out a mortgage on their half without getting permission from the others on the deed. This type of title usually has to go through probate.

    • Tenants by the Entirety: Only those legally married may title their home as tenants by the entirety. The house is automatically transferred to the living spouse. The property does not have to go through probate if it is titled as tenants by the entirety.

    You may title your home in other ways, though those ways are not as common. Creating a will and a trust, along with titling your home properly, ensures that your half goes to the person you want it to go to, and, if done correctly, could save your spouse or significant other the hassle of going through probate.

    Creating a Trust

    Many types of trusts exist. When you choose the right type of trust for your situation, you may be able to avoid probate and avoid some taxes when your home transfers on your death. However, the main reason for a trust is so that your loved one may continue living in the home or taking care of the financial responsibility of your home should you become incapacitated. Certain trusts also keep your home and its equity from being eaten up by creditors such as nursing homes and doctors. Always consult an attorney to discuss the complexities of creating a trust and the rest of your estate plan.





    Posted by Thomas Murphy on 1/31/2021

    If you plan to sell a house for the first time, it pays to think about how you'll price your house. By doing so, you can establish a competitive price for your residence and boost your chances of a fast, profitable home sale.

    Now, let's take a look at three pricing tips that every first-time home seller needs to know.

    1. Perform Housing Market Research

    Although you may have bought your home in the peak of a buyer's market, it is important to note that the real estate sector constantly fluctuates. This means the value of your home today is unlikely to match its value from a few years ago.

    Before you price your house, you should take a look at a variety of housing market data. This information is readily available and will enable you to take an informed approach to the real estate market.

    For example, a first-time home seller should examine the prices of available houses that are similar to his or her own. With this housing market data, a home seller can find out how his or her residence stacks up against the competition.

    It also helps to review the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town. That way, you can determine whether you're about to enter a buyer's or seller's market and set realistic pricing expectations for your residence.

    2. Conduct a Home Appraisal

    A home appraisal is exceedingly valuable, particularly for a first-time home seller who is uncertain about the value of his or her house.

    During a home appraisal, a property appraiser will examine a residence's condition, as well as various housing market data. Then, this appraiser will provide a comprehensive report that includes a property valuation.

    By completing a home appraisal, a first-time home seller can receive expert property insights. Plus, the appraisal enables a home seller to identify a property's strengths and weaknesses.

    3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

    A real estate agent is a housing market professional who is committed to client results. As such, a real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to help a first-time home seller set the right price for his or her house.

    Typically, a real estate agent will meet with a home seller and learn about his or her property selling goals. This housing market professional then will provide extensive housing market insights to ensure a home seller can establish a competitive home price from day one.

    Let's not forget about the support that a real estate agent provides throughout the home selling journey, either. A real estate agent will set up home showings and open houses and do everything possible to help a home seller optimize the value of a residence. Also, if a home seller has questions, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them at any time.

    Take the guesswork out of pricing your residence use the aforementioned tips, and a first-time home seller can establish a competitive price for his or her home.