How to Choose the Right Type of Barbecue Grill

How to Choose the Right Type of Barbecue Grill

Lots of people enjoy the flavors of grilling over other types of cooking. It’s a tried and true method of getting juicy and deliciously cooked food. If you’re thinking of purchasing a grill but unsure about the best option for you, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn about the different types of grills on the market right now and which one will deliver you the performance you’re after. Although many think of grilling as a summertime activity, you can grill 12 months a year in much of the country.

Gas Grills

One of the best outdoor barbecue grill setups you can use to improve your home is a quality backyard gas grill. Widely popular and designed to run on propane, this type of grill can also be converted quite easily to work on natural gas. If you want to fire up your grill on short notice and not worry too much about food preparation or clean up, this is the perfect solution for your home.

Electric Grills

An electric grill is especially convenient since a lot of units can be run both outside and indoors. Safe to use in areas with strict fire regulation codes, electric grills can be a great idea when you don’t want city laws to prevent you from having a great time in the summer.

Charcoal Grills

If you long for that genuine, smoky and delightfully flavored barbecue, consider getting a charcoal grill.

These barbecue grills run on charcoal briquettes and are considered to be healthier than regular gas grills. You do need a bit more skill to use it, and the price and maintenance costs may be higher than gas or electric outdoor grills, but it’s well worth it, especially if you add a firebox to cook delicious meat at lower temperatures.

All these options are great depending on your budget and lifestyle. If space is an issue, a portable grill running on propane or charcoal will help you minimize the space needed for a fun outdoor barbecue.

Should You Go for Built-in Grills?

A built-in model can be very costly, but totally worth it for those planning to grill all year round. What’s more, it can increase your home’s value considerably. Portable units are a lot more affordable, but they don’t provide the same level of convenience and elegance. An in-between option for those who don’t have the budget for a built-in is to go for a freestanding island, which is cost effective and still comes with a lot of features.

All in all, there’s really no one best grill—it all depends on your specific situation and needs, so do a little research and find the grill that is perfect for you.

How To Be a Part-time Landlord

How To Be a Part-time Landlord

You’d think that the phrase “part-time landlord” would be an impossibility. Any real estate investment has to be a full-time job, right? But it can be done. How? Let’s look at some of the work involved — it’s important to know what you’re signing up for:

  • Finding a property is of critical importance. Make sure any work on it aligns with your ability to fix it yourself or pay to have someone else do it.
  • Preparing the unit and every time a tenant departs, these items need to be visited and revisited: carpet, paint, window screens, deck stain and lawn maintenance.
  • Advertising for new tenants and then showing the home to prospective tenants.
  • Completing legal agreements.
  • Collecting deposits.
  • Taking care of utilities.
  • Hassles, which can include broken pipes, clogged drains, broken garage doors, pets and roommate issues.
  • Vetting renters to avoid deadbeats and vandals. To do this, use credit and background checks.
  • Setting and enforcing rules.
  • Managing equal housing rules.
  • Dealing with insurance and liability issues, including those of swimming pools, icy paths and keeping the place up to code. You’ll need landlord insurance — your regular homeowner’s policy won’t be sufficient.
  • Understanding and observing local landlord-tenant laws.
  • Keeping proper records for tax and legal purposes.

With the rise of Airbnb allowing you to rent out a room in your home, many are considering becoming a landlord in a bid to earn extra income. If you have the space or a second home, and local laws allow it, it seems like an advantageous situation. 

There are benefits and risks to becoming a part-time landlord. Maintenance and upkeep have to be taken into account, but becoming a landlord can be a great choice for generating wealth. However, in order for this to happen, you’ll need some support. Here are a few ways to get support for your new venture:

  • Turn to property management companies to do a lot of legwork for you — from locating a property to refurbishing it — for a fee, of course. The management company can handle the day-to-day tasks.
  • Find a real estate attorney to help you navigate potential issues that you may encounter. You have to be up on such issues as discrimination, safety deposits, late rent, lease agreements and repairs. 
  • Consider the legal issues. You can make the business into a limited liability company, so your name doesn’t appear on leases. Twenty-one states have adopted the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act as the basis for their local laws. Restrictions on security deposits are mostly derived from state law.

Time invested in picking good tenants can be the difference between becoming a landlord who’s successful and one who’s constantly stressed. You may be tempted to take shortcuts in screening tenants, but there’s plenty that can go wrong.

To avoid such headaches, be clear about acceptable payment methods for rent: check, money order, cash, credit card or whatever. Consider including penalties for late payments in your leases — they’ll provide you with leverage if a renter gives you continuing problems.

The result of a bad tenant has a huge ripple effect on your time and money. You have to go through the removal process, fill the space again and make sure your property’s ready for the next tenant.

Even interest rates can affect your business. When they fall, it’s often cheaper to buy than rent, so demand for your unit(s) may drop. Lowering the rent to remain competitive can put a cramp in your ability to make a buck. Researching locations and tenants are essential.

How To Sell or Buy a House During Covid-19

We’re dealing with a double crisis right now… not only the ongoing health crisis, but a serious inventory crisis in many markets.

So what if I told you there’s one step you can take to help overcome both at once… .

How?

How to Create Your Own Safety Guidelines – and a Powerful Marketing Opportunity! photo

Basic COVID-19 Safety

Remaining six feet apart from people at all times, committing to wiping down any surfaces that are touched while inside a property to ensure cleanliness for everyone involved.

Buyer & Seller Consultations

We’ve adopted Zoom video conferencing tech to “go virtual” and provide a whole new option to get the process started.

Photography & Marketing

The photographer will only enter when the house is empty and wearing personal protective equipment and not touching anything.

Virtual Open Houses

We’ve transitioned to Virtual Open Houses and Facebook Live Open House Events.

Virtual Buyer Showings

We can “virtually” walk people through homes either through video, virtual tours or other tech solutions such as Matterport.

In-Person Showings

Both sellers and buyers will be interested to know how to proceed with in-person showings. Buyers must have and show pre-qualification to ensure they are qualified and allowed inside a property as a serious buyer. Appointments will be arranged with seller and depending on how the seller wants to show the house, either virtually where they do a video walk through or they will allow entrance into the house. When inside the house during the showing the buyer and agent will be wearing protective equipment while the sellers are out. If itis a vacant house agent and buyer can enter with appointment. Both scenarios the buyer must sign off on a hold harmless document BEFORE entering.

Offers & Closing Day

All documents will be done and signed electronically. This method simplifies the process and provides a “no-touch” experience.

Walkthroughs / Inspection / Appraisal

Similar to the photography section above, all vendors will be wearing protective equipment and not touch anything or wipe after they touch.

Thinking About Buying? Know Your Credit Score

Thinking About Buying? Know Your Credit Score | Simplifying The Market

Thinking About Buying? Know Your Credit Score

Knowing your credit score or getting a recent copy of your credit report is one of the first steps that you can take toward knowing how ready you are to start the home buying process.

Make sure all the information listed on your report is accurate and work to correct any mistakes. The higher your credit score, the more likely you will be to receive a better interest rate for your mortgage, which will translate into more ‘home for your money.’

Many potential buyers believe that they need a 750 FICO® Score or higher to be able to purchase a home. The truth is that according to Ellie Mae’s Origination Report, over 53% of loans were approved with a FICO® score under 750 last month!

Here are some tips for improving your credit score:

  • Make payments, including rent, credit cards, and car loans, on time.
  • Keep your spending to no more than 30% of your limit on credit cards.
  • Pay down high-balance credit cards to lower balances, and consider balance transfers to free up credit.
  • Check for errors on your credit report and work toward fixing them.
  • Shop for mortgage rates within a 30-day period — too many spread-out inquiries can lower your score.
  • Work with a credit counselor or a lender to improve your score.

Once you know your score, your next step will be finding a lender and getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Doing this will ensure that you know your budget before you start looking for your dream home.

The #1 Reason to List Your House, NOW!

The #1 Reason to List Your House, NOW!

The #1 Reason to List Your House, NOW! | MyKCM

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) released the results of their latest Existing Home Sales Report which revealed that sales rose 0.7% month-over-month, but remain 1.5% lower than they were a year ago. Some may look at these numbers and think that now is not a good time to sell their house, but in fact, the opposite is true.

The national slowdown in sales is directly tied to a lack of inventory available for the buyers who are out in the market looking for their dream homes! The inventory of homes for sale has fallen year-over-year for the last 28 months and has had an upward impact on home prices.

NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun had this to say,

“Home sales in recent months remain at their lowest level of the year and are unable to break through, despite considerable buyer interest in most parts of the country.

Realtors® this fall continue to say the primary impediments stifling sales growth are the same as they have been all year: not enough listings – especially at the lower end of the market – and fast-rising prices that are straining the budgets of prospective buyers.” (emphasis added)

The houses that are on the market are selling fast, too! According to NAR’s Realtors Confidence Index, the median number of days it took for a house to go from listed to under contract over the past three months was 34.

Bottom Line

If you are one of the many homeowners who is debating listing your house for sale this year, the time is now! Let’s get together to discuss the specifics of our market!

Renting or Buying…Either Way, You’re Paying Someone’s Mortgage

Renting or Buying…Either Way, You’re Paying Someone’s Mortgage

Renting or Buying…Either Way, You're Paying Someone's Mortgage | MyKCMThere are some people who have not purchased homes yet because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.

As Entrepreneur Magazine, a premier source for small business, explained in their article, “12 Practical Steps to Getting Rich,”

“While renting on a temporary basis isn’t terrible, you should most certainly own the roof over your head if you’re serious about your finances. It won’t make you rich overnight, but by renting, you’re paying someone else’s mortgage. In effect, you’re making someone else rich.”

Christina Boyle, Senior Vice President and head of the Single-Family Sales & Relationship Management organization at Freddie Mac, explains another benefit of securing a mortgage vs. paying rent:

“With a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, you’ll have the certainty & stability of knowing what your mortgage payment will be for the next 30 years – unlike rents which will continue to rise over the next three decades.”

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ which allows you to build equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee thelandlord is the person with that equity.

Interest rates are still at historic lows, making it one of the best times to secure a mortgage and make a move into your dream home. Freddie Mac’s latest report shows that rates across the country were at 3.94% last week.

Bottom Line

Whether you are looking for a primary residence for the first time or are considering a vacation home on the shore, now may be the time to buy.

Why Sell Now Instead of Later?

Why Sell Now Instead of Later? The Buyers are Out Now

Why Sell Now instead of Later? The Buyers are Out Now | MyKCM

Each year, most homeowners wait until the spring to sell their houses because they believe that they can get a better deal during the normal spring buyer’s market. However, recently released datasuggests that a seller’s best deal may be available right now. The concept of ‘supply & demand’ reveals that the best price for an item will be realized when the supply of that item is low and the demand for that item is high. Let’s see how this applies to the current residential real estate market.

SUPPLY

It is no secret that the supply of homes for sale has been far below the number needed for over a year. A normal market requires six months of housing inventory to meet the demand. The latest report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed that there is currently only a 4.2-month supply.

Supply is currently very low!!

DEMAND

A report that was just released tells us that demand is very strong. The most recent Foot Traffic Report(which sheds light on the number of buyers out looking at homes) disclosed that there are more buyers right now than at any other time in the last twelve months. This includes more buyers looking at homes right now than at any time during last year’s spring market.

Demand is currently very high!! 

Bottom Line

Waiting until the spring to list your house for sale made sense in the past. This year is different. The best deal is probably available right now.

5 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Professional When Buying or Selling!

5 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Professional When Buying or Selling!

5 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Professional When Buying or Selling! | MyKCM

Whether you are buying or selling a home, it can be quite an adventurous journey. This is why you need an experienced real estate professional to guide you on the path to your ultimate goal. In this world of instant gratification and internet searches, many sellers think that they can For Sale by Owner or FSBO.

The 5 reasons you NEED a real estate professional in your corner haven’t changed, but have rather been strengthened by the projections of higher mortgage interest rates & home prices as the market continues to pick up steam.

1. What do you do with all this paperwork?

Each state has different regulations regarding the contracts required for a successful sale, and these regulations are constantly changing. A true real estate professional is an expert in his or her market and can guide you through the stacks of paperwork necessary to make your dream a reality.

2. Ok, so you found your dream house, now what?

There are over 180 possible steps that need to take place during every successful real estate transaction. Don’t you want someone who has been there before, someone who knows what these actions are, to make sure that you achieve your dream?

3. Are you a good negotiator?

So maybe you’re not convinced that you need an agent to sell your home. After looking at the list of parties that you will need to be prepared to negotiate with, you’ll soon realize the value in selecting a real estate professional. From the buyer (who wants the best deal possible), to the home inspection companies, to the appraiser, there are at least 11 different people who you will need to be knowledgeable of, and answer to, during the process.

4. What is the home you’re buying/selling really worth?

It is important for your home to be priced correctly from the start to attract the right buyers and shorten the amount of time that it’s on the market. You need someone who is not emotionally connected to your home to give you the truth as to your home’s value. According to a study by Collateral Analytics, FSBOs achieve prices significantly lower than those from similar properties sold by real estate agents:

“FSBOs tend to sell for lower prices than comparable home sales, and in many cases below the average differential represented by the prevailing commission rate.”

Get the most out of your transaction by hiring a professional.

5. Do you know what’s really going on in the market?

There is so much information out there on the news and on the internet about home sales, prices, and mortgage rates; how do you know what’s going on specifically in your area? Who do you turn to in order to competitively and correctly price your home at the beginning of the selling process? How do you know what to offer on your dream home without paying too much, or offending the seller with a lowball offer?

Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, advises:

“When getting help with money, whether it’s insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.”

Hiring an agent who has his or her finger on the pulse of the market will make your buying or selling experience an educated one. You need someone who is going to tell you the truth, not just what they think you want to hear.

Bottom Line

You wouldn’t replace the engine in your car without a trusted mechanic. Why would you make one of the most important financial decisions of your life without hiring a real estate professional?

10 Kitchen Renovations Tips

Image result for kitchen reno images

  1. DO YOUR RESEARCH Use websites like Pinterest to search different kitchen styles. Once you have an idea of what you want you can add and subtract feature based on your budget
  2. PLAN FOR EFFICIENCY Your plan should keep essential appliances within arm’s reach. Consider a refrigerator drawer under the counter. the refrigerator is usually out of the way.
  3. HIRE A PROFESSIONAL  The kitchen is more than a place to prepare food. It’s the center of the home. It requires a design professional to understand all the family requirements and act on those needs. When moving appliances, opening walls, changing plumbing working with a professional from the get is going to save time and money.
  4. PICK A FOCAL POINT A great tile back-splash has a big impact. Or choose a statement range hood. A massive custom made in solid iron or copper makes a great focal point.
  5. MAXIMIZE NATURAL LIGHT Additional windows can open up a kitchen. Consider replacing double hung windows above kitchen counters with casement style windows, this allows easy opening of windows.
  6. LIGHT PROPERLY This includes task lighting for work space and under or above cabinet ambient overall lighting. There’s plenty of great looking lights that are inexpensive.
  7. SIMPLIFY Designate a spot for recycling, keeping kids snacks in lower cabinets, plan for outlets for charging all you devices and hang a notebook for grocery lists or a family calendar. Or write directly on the wall with chalkboard paint.
  8. PICK THE RIGHT MATERIAL  choose matte finish counter-tops that don’t show all the crumbles and spills.
  9. TAKE SMALL RISKS Introduce small doses of color in objects that can easily be changed out like bar stools,pillows.
  10. SPLURGE WISELY Ask yourself if you’ll really use that pot-filler or the second dishwasher. It may sound strange, but save on cabinets and splurge on the hardware.

6 Easy Ways to Boost Curb Appeal

6 Easy Ways to Boost Curb Appeal

The exterior of the home counts big for creating first impressions. Indeed, 99 percent of real estate pros say that curb appeal is a critical factor in attracting a buyer, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2016 Remodeling Impact: Outdoor Features survey.

Get more ideas: Amp Up Curb Appeal

Here are a few things you can do to enhance the curb appeal to your listing:

1. Paint colorful flowers.

Adding colorful flowers, like yellows or pinks, to your landscaping can be the pop of color needed to attract buyers. Visit the local nursery or garden center to learn which varieties are the most hardy for where you live.

2. Freshen up the mailbox.

The mailbox counts too in adding curb appeal. Consider a new mailbox, or try to save the old one with a fresh coat of paint. Add new numbers to the box to spruce it up too.

3. Pressure wash.

Driveways can develop oil stains and a deck can show some wear and tear. To remove pesky stains, power wash the deck and driveway to get them clean.

4. Add lighting to walkways.

Beckon buyers to the front door by adding lighting to the path to the door. This will also create a clean border along your walkway. Select solar-powered LED outdoor lights, which don’t require any wiring, to brighten up the exterior pathways.

5. Revisit the front door.

Invest in a new door if the current one is looking too old and dingy. A fresh coat of paint may help improve an existing one, if a new door isn’t in the budget. Consider a new color, like red. Also, replace the hardware, like the doorbell and locks, to give the front door a fresh new look.

6. Repaint the shutters.

Painting the entire house may not be in the budget, but sellers can still make a big impact to the exterior by painting just the shutters. They might even want to consider changing up the color to boost their curb appeal.

View more curb appeal tips and photos at Cheatsheet.com.

Source: “Foolproof Upgrades That Will Instantly Improve Your Home’s Curb Appeal,” Cheetsheet.com (Sept. 26, 2017)

%d bloggers like this: