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September 2019

Thinking of buying or selling?  Let's talk about trends in today's market that contribute to making this the right time!

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Michigan Real Estate
Stephanie Sherriff
Luxury Collection Specialist

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 ADVICE for buyers and sellers

How Important Is Square Footage?

Buyers tend to think bigger is better, but a smaller home may actually feel more spacious than a similar home with a larger footprint. That’s what makes the emphasis on size over livability so frustrating – it’s not really an accurate gauge for living space. 

Living space is roofed, enclosed, heated, cooled and finished, but, because there is no standard way to consistently measure interiors, square footage is typically measured from the exterior of the home as length times width. This computation can be used by tax assessors, appraisers, roofers, painters, real estate professionals and others to determine price approximations for marketing homes and providing services.

If you’re shopping for a home and see descriptions online, you know there’s a lot of difference between 3,400 sq. ft. and 1,400 sq. ft., but a few feet more or less between similar homes doesn’t matter. If the home’s interior is well-planned, furnished wisely, and clutter-free, it will feel like there’s more living space. 

Let's talk about ways to make your home appear more spacious. You can start with creating more light,eliminating extra furnishings and clutter.  Equally important with the amount of space available is a look that attracts today's buyers.  Stageright Home Staging offers a menu of consulting services to help your home show at its best.  Call Carole Morgan at 269-207-9632.

 ADVICE for new home owners

Be Ready for Unexpected Expenses

Congratulations, new homeowner! You’ve overcome the biggest hurdle – buying your first home - and now it’s time to switch your attention to maintaining and protecting your investment. Your electrical, water, gas and A/C systems may be working fine for now, but sooner or later, you can expect a major repair or replacement expense. All you need to do is be prepared.

Plan ahead. The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors offers a handy reference called The Standard Estimated Life Expectancy Chart for Homes. Compare the chart to your inspection report and you’ll be able to gauge how much life is left in your appliances and systems. If you know that your A/C unit is 10 years old and the life expectancy is seven to 15 years, you have the heads up to prepare for a major repair or replacement soon.

Review your homeowner’s insurance. How much is your deductible? That’s the amount you’re responsible for when you use your insurance for an expense like a hail-damaged roof. The higher the deductible, the more money you should set aside, just in case.

Build reserves. Many repairs or replacement costs won’t be covered by hazard insurance, so reserves are your rainy day fund. This money you’ve saved or set aside should be quickly and easily accessible through a savings account or a short-term certificate of deposit.

Pay off your credit cards monthly.  That way, they will be ready when the unexpected happens!

BE SAFE, not sorry!

What to do before you finish your basement

Your basement may never have leaked, but if you are putting thousands of dollars into a high end finished lower level, take these precautions before you start.

Gutters, downspouts and extensions are a must for draining the water away from the house.  Be sure tree roots are not putting pressure on the foundation.

Waterproofing the walls adds extra assurance and adding epoxy sealants to potential cracks builds a strong bond.

Make sure window wells are draining properly and egress windows are not leaking.

If you are in question about any of these areas of concern, hire a home inspector to provide an opinion.

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5839 Oakland Dr. Portage, MI 49024

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