Real Estate Information Archive

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 77

The Mortgage Process: What You Need to Know

by Melissa Thompson

Some Highlights:

  • Many buyers are purchasing a home with a down payment as little as 3%.
  • You may already qualify for a loan, even if you don't have perfect credit.
  • Take advantage of the knowledge of your local professionals who are there to help you determine how much you can afford.

Let the experts at The Melissa Thompson Team help you decide if now is the right time for you to purchase a home! 901-729-9526 or Melissa@YourKeyTomemphis.com.

View our Video Blog

By: KCM Crew

Packing 101: Getting Ready for a Move

by Melissa Thompson

Congratulations!  You have successfully sold your home!  What a relief, right?  Now comes the hard part. Moving.  Moving is one of the top five stressors in life along with job loss, death of a loved one, divorce and major illness. Sounds fun, huh?  That’s why it is important to go about moving in a thoughtful and organized manner.  The more prepared you are, the less stress.  Packing up your house can be overwhelming, but you can make it easier by spreading it out over several weeks rather than trying to do it all right before you move.  Here is a general timeline for packing that you can use as a guide:

FOUR WEEKS BEFORE MOVING DAY: PRE-PACKING - Hopefully when you sell your house, you won’t have to immediately vacate.  About a month before moving you can begin to pre-pack items that you won’t need or use before you move.  Out of season clothing, tools and small appliances, and collectibles/knick knacks are items that you won’t miss. Hint: if your house is still on the market you can take this step as well, and it will help with staging your home for prospective buyers.

THREE WEEKS BEFORE MOVING DAY: NON-ESSENTIALS - Among the items that you didn’t pre-pack, choose those that you know you likely won’t need before moving.  Books, extra linens, and kitchen items can be packed up because you likely won’t be doing much reading, and you only need enough linens, plates, and utensils for the number of people living in the home.  CDs and DVDs can go as well.

TWO WEEKS BEFORE MOVING DAY: THE SERIOUS PACKING BEGINS - Yes…now it is time to start paring down the amount of “stuff” still in your home. If you have children,  allow them to choose a few toys/games to keep out, and box up the rest. If you have a home office, clean it out and pack what you plan to take with you.  Any jewelry and shoes that you don’t wear daily can go as well.  You may feel that two weeks is a long time to go without these items, but trust me, before you know it you will be unpacking them in your new abode!

ONE WEEK BEFORE MOVING DAY: SEVEN DAYS AND COUNTING: Now it is time to pack up all but the few things you will need to get through the last few days at your current home.  The rest of your clothes and kitchen items can go (leaving yourself what you will need until the move, of course).  Go through your medicine cabinet and toss any expired medications. Pack the rest except for the ones you take daily.

TWO DAYS BEFORE MOVING DAY: IT’S GETTING REAL YA’LL: At this point your stress level may be peaking, but if you have been following the time-line and packing a bit each week, you should be almost finished!  Box up your electronics (in their original packaging when possible), bathroom items, and any miscellaneous items that are left.  Keep a box for essential items that you will keep with you as you are moving.

MOVING DAY: IT’S HERE! All that should be left is furniture and appliances.  Whether you have hired movers to load the large items or you are doing it yourself, it will be so much more manageable with everything else already boxed up and ready to go.

IMPORTANT TIP: Label every box.  You can either write what is in the box or what room the box should go to.  Or both.  You will be glad you did when you are unpacking!

Remember that this is simply a general guideline.  You should do what is right for you and your family when it comes to packing and moving. But hopefully this will make what can be a trying and overwhelming time a little less stressful.

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Selling-Your-House-in-Autumn

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Hey-Millennial-Homeowners-It-May-Be-Time-to-Sell

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Hey-Millennial-Homeowners-It-May-Be-Time-to-Sell

View our Video Blog

Should I Buy a Home Now? Or Wait Until Next Year?

by Melissa Thompson

Some Highlights:

  • The Cost of Waiting to Buy is defined as the additional funds it would take to buy a home if prices & interest rates were to increase over a period of time.
  • Freddie Mac predicts interest rates to rise to 4.4% by next year.
  • CoreLogic predicts home prices to appreciate by 5.0% over the next 12 months.
  • If you are ready and willing to buy your dream home, find out if you are able to!

Let the experts at The Melissa Thompson Team help you decide if now is the right time for you to purchase a home! 901-729-9526 or Melissa@YourKeyTomemphis.com

View our Video Blog

Steps to Take Before Buying a Home - A Guide for First Time Homebuyers

by Melissa Thompson

Buying your first home is a huge endeavor and the decision to do so should not be made lightly.  In fact, it is likely to be the largest financial decision you will ever make.  So, be smart and be prepared. Do your research before you even start looking at houses and make sure you know what you are getting into.  Here are some important steps to take before buying your first home:

  1. Make sure being a homeowner is right for you.  While the idea of owning a home is exciting, there is a lot that goes into it.  If you’ve been paying rent, you might find that a mortgage payment is less than what you’ve been paying.  That is a positive thing for sure. But you need to consider that as the homeowner it will now be your responsibility to handle the maintenance and upkeep of your home.  If something breaks, you won’t have a landlord or management company to call to fix it.  You will have to fix it yourself or hire someone to do so…and pay for it.  Investing in a home can be financially rewarding if you work within an appropriate budget  that will allow you to meet all your needs.
     
  2. Consider financing.  How do you plan to pay for your new house?  This is an important step in determining how much you can afford to spend on a house.  Do your homework and avoid being in the middle of the home-buying process and discovering that you don’t have the funds you need to complete the purchase. Check out loan programs for firs time home-buyers and if you haven’t already, start setting aside cash for a down payment.  Order a free credit report and give yourself time to clean up your credit if need be. I highly recommend getting pre-approved for a loan before starting your home search. This lets sellers know that you are serious about buying and gives you a leg up over buyers who haven’t been pre-approved when making an offer.
     
  3. Figure out what you want.  Before you start looking at properties, create a list of what you want in a home.  Are you looking to live in the suburbs or would you prefer city living?  Is the school district you live in a top priority?  Are you looking for a spacious home with a big yard, or a cozy home with a small yard?  Think about your lifestyle and what kind of house goes along with it.  Once you have a good idea of what you want, narrowing down your search will be easier and you won’t waste your time looking at properties that don’t suit your needs.
     
  4. Enlist the aid of a buyer's agent.  The expert guidance of an experienced Realtor is invaluable.  A buyer’s agent represents you and has a fiduciary responsibility to look out for your best interests.  You will appreciate the knowledge that a local realtor will have about the area where you are looking.  Once provided with a list of your wants and needs, a Realtor can save you time by searching listings to find homes that meet your criteria. Your agent can advise you on neighborhoods, school districts and much, much more.  Take advantage of your Realtor’s expertise and your home-buying experience much less overwhelming and stressful.

If you are thinking about purchasing a house, contact Melissa Thompson at yourkeytomemphis.com and let her help you get started on your journey to home-ownership!

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Happily-Ever-Homeowner

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/The-5-Greatest-Benefits-of-Homeownership

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/The-Cost-of-Renting-vs-Buying-in-the-US

View our Video Blog

Lack of Existing Home Inventory Slows Sales Heading into Fall

by Melissa Thompson

Some Highlights:

  • The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released their latest Existing Home Sales Report.
  • First-time homebuyers made up 31% of all sales in August.
  • Homes are selling quickly with 51% of homes on the market for less than a month.
  • A limited supply continues to drive up prices for the 66th consecutive month.

​​Contact Melissa Thompson at Your Key to Memphis and she can help you get your house on the market and sold this autumn!

​​By: KCM Crew 

View our Video Blog

Happily Ever Homeowner

by Melissa Thompson

Married couples once again dominated the first-time homebuyer statistics last year at 66% of all buyers, according to the most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers. It is no surprise that having two incomes to save for down payments and contribute to monthly housing costs makes buying a home more attainable.

Many couples are deciding to use what would otherwise be their wedding fund as a down payment on their first home, as unmarried couples made up 8% of all first-time buyers last year. If you’re single, don’t fret; you can still buy your dream home! Single women made up 17% of first-time buyers in 2016, while single men accounted for 7% of buyers.

According to a survey by the Wedding Report, the average cost of a wedding in the United States at the start of the year was $25,961, which equates to a 10% down payment on a median priced home.

A recent article from the New York Times found that many singles are now asking their parents to allow them to use the money they’ve saved up for their wedding day to instead buy a home.

In the case of Carrie Graham, a Protestant minister from Austin, TX, her parents had saved a ‘five-figure sum’ for her wedding and were more than willing to give her that money as a down payment on her dream home. Graham told The New York Times,

“Buying the home wasn’t me saying, ‘I’m never going to get married’ or I am going to get married.’ My own home had way more than equity benefits. It was a real gift to have a home in an extremely desirable neighborhood in a city that I love. It’s brought me joy.”

Bottom Line

More and more first-time homebuyers are finding a way to purchase their dream homes, even if that means delaying their dream weddings.

Contact your local expert’s at The Melissa Thompson Team at 901-729-9526 or Melissa@YourKeyTomemphis.com to find your dream home! 

BY: KCM Crew

Popular Flooring Trends

by Melissa Thompson

Have you been thinking about redoing the floors in your home?  There are so many flooring options available that it can be confusing and overwhelming trying to decide what you want.  Floors are a significant part of what defines the style and function for every room, so it’s important to make sure you choose something that you not only like, but that will hold up and look good for years to come.  Here are some current flooring trends you may want to consider:

  • BAMBOO

Bamboo flooring has been around for a couple of decades now, but recently advances in manufacturing have strengthened its durability and diversified its appearance.  The introduction of super-dense “strand-woven” bamboo means that it can be made into boards that are two and a half times as hard as red oak.  Various wood-look styles are available in bamboo as well, meaning there are many options for style.  Being that it is made from a natural plant, bamboo is eco-friendly.  So, if you are environmentally conscious it is a good choice for you.  Learn more about bamboo flooring here.

  • LARGE FORMAT TILE

For a modern style, consider large format tile.  Whether you want a rustic stone look, a minimalist, industrial feel or a sleek, high-gloss finish, you can find what you are looking for in large format tile.  It can make a small space look larger and can give a more streamlined look to a large space.  And with fewer grout lines, it is easier to clean.


               

  • LUXURY VINYL

When you think of luxury, vinyl is probably not the first thing that comes to your mind.  But luxury vinyl is worth looking in to.  It’s nothing like the peel-and-stick flooring that people used to install in days gone by.  It is a new type of flooring that combines a high-end look with the durability of vinyl. Unlike wood, it stands up well to moisture and is therefore great for kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms.  Luxury vinyl comes in a variety of looks - from hardwood to stone - and looks so real that people will be surprised to discover it is vinyl!


  • CUT & LOOP CARPET

If you love the comfort of carpet, but want a different look, then cut and loop carpet may provide just what you’re looking for.  Using a technique that combines both loops and cut loops, manufacturers can create a carpet with eye-catching patterns that add depth and style to your floors. And, with new technology, carpeting is being produced with softer fibers than in the past.  Carpet padding has come a long way as well and offers more protection that it used to.

  • CONCRETE

If a sleek, industrial look is what you’re after, concrete is the way to go. This durable flooring comes in a variety of textures, colors and finishes, so it can complement almost any décor.  Concrete floors are long-lasting and easy to clean and maintain.  But they are also hard and cold, so you want to keep that in mind when choosing where to use them.  They are not going to be comfortable to stand or walk on all day long.

  • AMERICAN HARDWOOD

For beauty and durability, you cannot go wrong with American hardwood.  It’s also a great choice for the environmentally conscious.  Since it is made here and not shipped from the other side of the world like bamboo, you are reducing your carbon footprint a bit by purchasing wood from trees closer to home.  In addition, the United States takes the issue of deforestation seriously, and replenishes forests as they cut trees down. With choices like oak, hickory, maple or heart pine, you can fill your home with warmth and allure while also being environmentally friendly.


http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Home-Maintenance-Projects-You-Should-Start-Now

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Luxurious-Laundry-Rooms

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Quick-Fix-Tricks-to-Make-Your-House-Sparkling-Clean

Becoming a Minimalist: Steps for Beginners

by Melissa Thompson

Simplifying your life isn’t so simple.  It takes effort and time.  It took years to collect all the “stuff” cluttering up your life and it won’t all go away overnight.  Take these baby steps and don’t rush and before you know it, you will wake up one morning and realize that you are living the life of a minimalist. (Click on the links for inspiration!)

 

  • Make a List

Why is living more simply important to you?  Prioritizing is a first step in determining what you want out of life. Write down the things that make you feel sick and tired…and tired of being sick and tired. 

Ten Ways Happy People Prioritize

 

  • Declutter

Clutter is not your friend. A tidy, organized space makes life easier.  If you’ve ever spent twenty minutes searching for your keys, that is time you will never get back. Create a clutter-free zone. Enjoy it.  And then expand it a bit each day. Keep doing this and eventually you will have the minimalist home you are seeking.  Taking the time to declutter your life will pay off in big ways!

Decluttering

 

  • Less is More

Having too many material possessions can complicate life more than you can imagine. Less really is more…more time, more energy, and more financial security. When you start getting rid of items you don’t use or need, you will feel a sense of freedom and relief. 

Goodbye Things, Hello Minimalism

 

  • Just Say No

Saying no is hard; especially if you are a people pleaser. But saying yes to EVERYTHING saps your energy and makes life hectic and chaotic. Say yes to invites and activities that matter to you…that inspire you.  Say yes to spending time with people you care about.  But if you truly do not want to go to a party or participate in an event, learn to say no.  A polite “no thank you” will save your time and energy for what is meaningful to you.

Why You Should Say No More Often

 

  • Disconnect

We spend more and more time plugged in.  When you are obsessively checking your email and social media accounts, life is passing you by.  Technology is wonderful, but it shouldn’t replace real-life experiences. So, take time to disconnect from technology and connect with your surroundings and the people you care about.

Reasons to Unplug

These are just a few small steps toward the minimalist life.  Simplifying your life is like a giving yourself a gift that keeps on giving.  Get started today!

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Back-to-School-Drop-Zone

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Quick-Fix-Tricks-to-Make-Your-House-Sparkling-Clean

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Clearing-the-Clutter

Top 5 A+ Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Pro

by Melissa Thompson

Some Highlights:

  • Hiring a real estate professional to buy your dream home, or sell your current house, is one of the most 'educated' decisions you can make!
  • A real estate professional has the experience needed to help you through the entire process.
  • Make sure that you hire someone who knows current market conditions & can simply and effectively explain them to you and your family!

​​Contact your local expert’s at The Melissa Thompson Team at 901-729-9526 or Melissa@YourKeyTomemphis.com.

​​By: KCM Crew 

Fall Curb Appeal

by Melissa Thompson

First impressions are crucial to successfully selling your home.  The first thing potential buyers notice when they drive past your house is your lawn and landscaping.  If you’re putting your house on the market this Fall, here are some tips for sprucing up your yard to make a fantastic first impression!

  • Rake, rake, rake.  Fall foliage is beautiful and can serve to make your property more attractive to buyers, but a lawn covered in leaves looks sloppy.  Keep up with raking so people notice the beautiful leaves ON the trees, not the dying leaves on the ground.
  • Plant Fall flowers.  An Autumn garden filled with vibrant color is a great way to add beauty to your yard.
  • Create a lush lawn by aerating so that water and nutrients can reach the roots.
  • When you do your last mow of the season, make sure to trim grass short.  Shorter grass helps prevent disease.  In addition, Fall leaves will blow across your lawn if they have nothing to cling to.
  • Trim ugly limbs.  There is nothing pretty about cracked, diseased or dead limbs. 
  • Get rid of annuals that have lost their luster.  Trim tired perennial foliage down to the ground.  This will prepare them for their next season and will tidy up your flower beds for a neater look.
  • Lay fresh mulch for cooler weather curb appeal.  Choose mulch that is aesthetically pleasing while also providing the benefits that keep your flower beds looking their best.

With summer winding down and Fall just around the corner, it’s a good time to start planning for creating beautiful curb appeal that will have potential buyers lining up to see your home!

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/To-Stageor-Not-to-Stage-That-Is-the-Question

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Home-Maintenance-Projects-You-Should-Start-Now

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Hey-Millennial-Homeowners-It-May-Be-Time-to-Sell

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 77