Spice Up Your Bradenton Home Before Selling It

November 22nd, 2014

Spice Up Your Bradenton Home Before Selling It

If you’re thinking about selling your Bradenton home, you’ve probably thought about spicing up your home to make it more appealing to potential buyers. But beyond the basics of de-cluttering, what can you do to make your home shine without breaking the bank? Below are a few tips from some of our experienced realtors.

Throw Out The Welcome Mat – Seriously.

Many Realtors suggest buying a new welcome mat as a way to make your home feel more fresh. A new coat of paint and inviting flowers by the door also make a great impression. The door should be freshly painted and cleaned. Realtor Sam DeBord of Coldwell Banker advises potential Bradenton homes sellers to pay special attention to the front door. He advises to put a new handle on the front door, a new light over the front door, and new contemporary street numbers near the front door to add appeal without spending a large amount of money. To make your front door really shine, try a new color! Just make sure it matches your home’s paint scheme.

Add Natural Light

Making a home appear spacious and full of natural light is one of the easiest ways to ensure your home is more appealing. Realtor Teri Andrews Murch of Lyon Real Estate recommends giving windows a thorough washing. Pull open drapes for showings, and the home will be brighter. She also suggests changing out light bulbs to incandescent and going for the maximum wattage in the fixture. While you are changing those light bulbs, you might also want to make sure the switch plate covers match the outlets. These small details influence one’s perception of property condition.

Give Your Kitchen Some Love

Kitchens sell homes, says Carrie Abfall of RE/MAX Real Estate Professionals. She advises knob changes or a new faucet to help make an older kitchen look more modern. Abfall also recommends giving your fireplace some special attention.

Don’t Forget The Garage

Potential buyers look everywhere – even the garage. Laurie Davis of Keller Williams Realty has a great suggestion for making your garage look more appealing. First clean it up. Then, go to your local home improvement store and pick up an epoxy floor kit, some wall paint, and sheets of peg board for organizing. A little elbow grease can turn your garage into a cozy space, if you’re trying to sell your Bradenton home.

Signs To Tell That You’ll Love Your Sarasota Neighborhood

November 14th, 2014

Signs To Tell That You’ll Love Your Sarasota Neighborhood

When hunting for a new house, finding a nice Sarasota neighborhood is equally important. When you’re searching in unfamiliar territory, however, it can be hard to figure out if you’ll actually like a neighborhood or not. How will you know if a new area is “the one” or if you’ll be itching to leave soon after moving in?

What do you need to have nearby?

It’s important to brainstorm things that you need close to your home. Do you need to live near a large selection of restaurants? Is it important to you to live near an international grocery store? Think about these things, and pay attention to them when you’re exploring a new Sarasota neighborhood.

Is walking important to you?

For a lot of people, having the convenience to walk to stores and restaurants is extremely important. If walkability index is important to you, check out Walk Score to find a neighborhood that fits your lifestyle.

Do you enjoy a quiet or lively environment?

It’s one thing partying with your friends in a trendy neighborhood on the weekend. It’s an entirely different thing owning a house in that neighborhood. Some things to consider when buying a home are noise level and how crowded the streets tend to be. If you enjoy coming home to a peaceful, quiet environment, you may want to search for a house in a quieter neighborhood.

Do you want to live near your friends?

How busy is your social life? Are you constantly hanging out with friends? If so, you may want to search for a house in a friendly, social neighborhood, or a house that will be easy for your already existing friends to locate.

Does it seem like a place you’d like to live?

Visit your potential  Sarasota neighborhood during different hours of the day to get a feel for the surrounding area. Observe the location, check out crime statistics, research the school district, and chat with a neighbor or two. This way, you can learn a lot about the community before signing on the dotted line.

Buying a Sarasota Home: 5 Things Sellers Will Hide

November 5th, 2014

Buying a Sarasota Home: 5 Things Sellers Will Hide

It’s your lucky day. You’ve found your dream Sarasota home, and you’re about to close the deal. Before you get ahead of yourself, make sure you’ve asked the right questions. If you’re not careful, that beautiful house you’ve set your signs on could turn into the perfect storm of well-hidden problems lingering beneath the surface.

Here are five things sellers will likely try to hide while their home is on the market. If you keep these things in mind, you’ll be able to make sure you’re not being deceived with a false outer appearance.

1. Pests

Imagine this. Your future house looks beautiful and solid from the outside, but troublesome termites are silently eating away at the foundation. Sounds pretty terrible, right? Homeowners often try to sell their property to avoid the complications and sky-high costs of a pest problem. Before you buy a Sarasota house, make sure to check for potential infestations.

2. Roof Issues

Have you ever looked at a home and wondered how old the roof was? It might seem inconsequential, but it’s actually very important. As a basic rule, roofs should be re-done every 10-15 years. Roofs that aren’t properly maintained can result in frustrating leaks, or even worse, total roof failure during strong wind or rain. To ensure the safety of your family, make sure to inquire about proactive roof maintenance.

3. Leaks

Leaks don’t only pertain to poor roof maintenance. Faucets, radiators, and ceilings can also result in problematic water damage. Leaks that occur behind the scenes may cause extensive damage to electric wiring or the foundation of the house. Homeowners sometimes provide a quick fix to a leak while their house is on the market, but the problem will inevitably reoccur in the future.

4. Age of Home Systems

The home system refers to items such as the water heater, furnace, and HVAC system. It’s important to keep the Sarasota home system well maintained. If a homeowner claims he/she doesn’t know how old the system is or when the above items were last replaced, you should consult with an inspector.

5. History of the Home

Sometimes, homes that have experienced horrific events are sold to unsuspecting buyers. For instance, maybe a death, suicide, or murder occurred somewhere on the property. To some, this isn’t of much importance. To others, this kind of history could set the scene for a nightmarish “haunted” house. It’s important to obtain details of the home’s history before signing any papers.

Having a licensed Sarasota Real Estate Agent by your side during this process can help you out immensely. The more that you know about the home, the better. And in this case, using a real estate agent from Team Works Real Estate will just benefit you in the long run.

Three Questions to Ask Before Buying a Sarasota Home

November 2nd, 2014

Three Questions to Ask Before Buying a Sarasota Home


Thinking about buying a home in the near future? You’re probably getting a ton of advice from everyone you know who’s been through it before. All of your friends and family probably have your best interests at heart but they might not be aware of what’s currently happening in the market place and what you really need in a home. Here are three questions addressing what you should really be asking before purchasing a Sarasota home in today’s real estate market.

  1. Why am I buying a Sarasota home in the first place?

This is easily the most important question for you to answer. Forget all the finances and think back to why you began to consider purchasing a home. A Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University study recently revealed that there are 4 major reasons people are buying homes; and none of them have to do with money

  • A good place to raise children & for them to get a great education
  • A feeling of safety in the area
  • More space to raise a family
  • Control of the space
  1. Where are home values headed?

The Home Price Expectation Survey provides a fair assessment of where housing values are headed in the future. Pulsenomics also does a survey every quarter and average the projections of over 100 experts into a single report. Here’s the results of the latest survey:

  • Sarasota homes will appreciate by 4% in 2015
  • The cumulative appreciation will be 19.5 by 2018
  1. Where are mortgage interest rates headed?

The ‘long term cost’ of a home is easily impacted by an increase in mortgage rates. Numerous experts in their field including Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) and Freddie Mac are all projecting that mortgage interest rates will increase by at least 1 percent over the next year


The bottom line is that you and only you can know for certain the perfect time to purchase a home. These questions will hopefully help you in making that decision.

Think You Should FSBO? Think Again

October 19th, 2014

Think You Should FSBO? Think Again | Keeping Current Matters

6 Ways to Match Your First Sarasota Dream Home to Your Budget

October 11th, 2014

6 Ways to Match Your First Dream Home to Your Budget

Not to ruin any dreams but chances are your first home won’t be your dream home. And that’s okay. They key to buying your first home is finding the perfect balance between your requirements and your budget.

  1. Starter Home- It’s called a “starter home” for a reason. This more often than not will not be the home you live in for the rest of your life. But that can be very exciting! When smart savings open up opportunities to move up, your first Sarasota home can provide you with funds for your next purchase.
  2. House to Condo- Depending on budget a condo might be the optimal choice to get you closer to your dreams than a single family home.
  3. Older vs. New Construction- According to a recent Trulia report, twice as many people prefer new homes over existing ones. But, new means construction and that means money. On average newly constructed Sarasota homes cost up to 20% more than it’s existing counterpart.
  4. The Fixer- Rather than paying a bigger price tag on a home that someone’s already done all the work on purchasing a Sarasota home you can add value too can help you get more home for your dollar. And having the option to improve as time goes on allows you to have the available cash to fund the renovations when necessary.
  5. Balancing Dreams and Location- The battle of where you want to live vs. where you can actually afford can get ugly. Be prepared for this!
  6. Knowing Must-Haves vs. Should-Haves- This will really help you prioritize and what exactly is most important to realizing your dream home. Compromises will have to be made but you shouldn’t have to sacrifice any must haves to find your dream Sarasota home!

Future Sarasota Homeowners Share American Dream

October 2nd, 2014

Generation Next is becoming generation now and as the economy is getting better they’re looking ahead. It’s recently been revealed, from 2 separate articles that both Millenials (ages 18-29) and Generation Z (ages 13-17) still feel that home ownership is a key step in creating their successful futures. This could bring huge changes to the Sarasota home buying market.

Millenials Optimistic on Home Ownership

The Demand Institute has revealed, in their recent report Millenials and Their Homes: Still Seeking The American Dream that despite the subject generations reputation of being more transient than their parents they still believe in home ownership. The report predicted:

  • 8.3 million new Millennial households will form in the next 5 years and
  • 1.6 trillion dollars will be spent on home purchases

The report also stated that:

  • 75% believe home ownership is an important long term goal and
  • 73% believe that ownership is an excellent investment

What About Today’s Teens

Better Homes & Gardens recently surveyed a group of teens 13-17; Generation Z on their values and feelings towards home ownership. This survey revealed very traditional views from this group. It was also uncovered that this group is willing to sacrifice many of today’s luxuries for these goals.

  • 53% would be willing to give up all social media for one year
  • 89% feel owning a home is part of the American Dream
  • 97% believe they will one day own a home

Bottom Line

It seems pretty clear that home ownership remains a huge part of what is perceived as the American Dream and that young people of this country are still chasing it. So, in the next 5 years we can expect some huge and very positive trends in the Sarasota real estate market!

The Truth About Buying a Sarasota Home; You Don’t Need 20% Down

September 27th, 2014

In a recent survey, it was revealed that 60% of Americans feel that now is a good time to buy a home and 95% want to own a home if they don’t already


The survey also reported people are often intimidated by “navigating the home buying process” and “qualifying for a mortgage.” The general consensus was buyers need a very good credit score and a high income, also that its necessary to put 20% down. In actuality the majority of these beliefs are unfounded. There’s very little reason to be intimidated at the thought of buying a Sarasota home. In a recent blog post Freddie Mac confirmed there is misleading data in regards to down payments for a home purchase.


Christina Boyle; Freddie Mac’s Vice President and Head of Single Family Sales and Relationship Management expanded on home buying education:

Buyers “can get a confirming, conventional mortgage with a down payment of as little as 5%”

“Letting more consumers know how down payments are determined could bring more qualified buyers off the sidelines”


Whether you’re saving for your first Sarasota home or you’re dram house; make sure you do your research. The results may surprise you!

Sarasota Home Prices Across Time

September 17th, 2014


Looking back through time we always see what we should have done. It is very hard to predict the future as anything can change at any time. What we can do though is see just what history has shown us so we can make sure not to repeat ourselves. Everyone knows that history will repeat itself, but as we can see from the infographic above, we may want to make sure that we secure our Sarasota home prices before they do.

The infographic above displays over the past 5 decades the average mortgage rate on a new home at $200,000. Obviously back in 1970, 1980 and the 1990′s, $200,000 was a  good amount to be spending on a home. Not many people went over that price and for good reasons. When looking at the prices for the previous months with the average mortgage rates and a home price of $200,000, it seems like a better time than ever to look in to a new home.

Looking at the mortgage rates, you can see that in order of most expensive to least expensive we have the:

  1. 1980′s
  2. 1970′s
  3. 1990′s
  4. 2000′s
  5. Current Rates

Even if we were to look at the cost of the $200,000 home over time, the order of most expensive to least expensive once again is:

  1. 1980′s
  2. 1970′s
  3. 1990′s
  4. 2000′s
  5. Current Rates

When looking at this infographic, the only cost per month that is below $1000 or $12,000 a year, is the current day mortgage rates. We all know that the Sarasota home prices have increased over the past two years since bottoming out in 2008 and getting the most home for your money is always a top priority. When looking to purchase a new home though, it seems that now is actually the best time to get a mortgage than it has been in the past 45 years. The mortgage rates are projected to rise in the near future, but if you want to be ahead of the curve, it seems that it would be easier to be safe than sorry when it comes to your money, your equity and your wealth.

Sarasota home prices will rise and mortgage rates will rise as well. As the economy picks back up, both of these will increase even more, so now may be the best time to look in to that home you have had your eye on than ever. We do not know if the 1980′s above 10% rates will ever come back, but we do know that if you can get the rate for a third of the cost, then we would definitely suggest jumping on these record low rates.

Renting Vs. Buying a Sarasota Home

September 9th, 2014

Renting Vs. Buying a Sarasota Home

Renting and buying are always the two forefronts that lead our Sarasota Real Estate Market. On one end you have the people who want to rent in order to be able to leave whenever they would like and have the option to bounce around from place to place. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have the home buyers who are looking to raise a family, build equity and live the “American Dream” for however long they wish to in their home. At the end of the day, neither way is a bad choice. There are some individuals that would rather rent their entire life and enjoy that part of living, but if it were up to us, everyone would own a Sarasota home.

When looking at the infographic, you have two distinct categories: Historically and Now.


After looking at this infographic for awhile, there are three main things that pop out to us:

1). The current percentage of your income needed to rent a Sarasota Property is higher than the percentage of your income needed to afford a home

2). The only percentage that has decreased for the 2014 prices in comparison to the historical prices is the income needed to afford a median home

3). Even if you look at historically or now, the amount that you need to rent is still going to be higher than the amount that you need to own a home

The one line that we really love about this infographic is that whether you are buying or renting, you are still paying a mortgage. Most potential home buyers will not notice this at the end of the day, but you are having to pay a mortgage when you rent, it just is not written as the word “mortgage”. Whether you are or are not looking to buy, just know that historically, the mortgage rates are at their lowest they have been in decades. You may want to spend less of your hard earn income on rent and look in to owning a Sarasota Home instead.