First Coast Real Estate & Community News

July 23, 2019

THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT CHANGED

Rules of Engagement Changed - The Turwitt Team

OUTDATED SELLER BELIEFS

Any seller who has not sold a home in the past five years is in for a shock:

EVERYTHING THEY THOUGHT THEY KNEW ABOUT SELLING A HOME HAS CHANGED !!

Sellers who do not understand the new rules of engagement can easily make costly mistakes and jeopardize their chances of a sale.

THERE ARE 3 FUNDAMENTAL CHANGES

These three changes have altered the home buying and selling landscape forever.

Change 1: The Advent of HGTV

Buyers spend countless hours watching HGTV and have developed extremely refined tastes. They know what they want when they look at homes for sale. They are looking for properties that look similar to what they have seen and liked on TV.

Change 2: The Advent of Mobile Devices and HD Internet Connectivity

Buyers used to have to visit a home to add or remove it from their short list. No longer the case, today’s sellers have between seven and 10 seconds to sell their home, and those seconds are on a mobile device anywhere on the planet — not in any home for sale.

If a buyer does not like an online listing, they will move on to the next home in a heartbeat and will usually not come back to review.

If they do not like what they see on their device, they will never waste their time visiting in person.

Change 3: The Advent of Internet Real Estate Sites

Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia and a host of broker-owned sites have populated the internet with user-friendly websites that provide property data, historical facts, HD pictures, videos, automated valuations, neighborhood and school info, and more.

They have completely removed the need for buyers to visit in person to determine if they like a home. Once a buyer has shortlisted available inventory, they only visit the select few they like.

These three changes have not only revolutionized the way buyers search for and view prospective homes, they have transformed what they buy as well. Historically, there were three groups of buyers:

Top-Tier Buyers: Willing to pay a premium, this group looked for move-in ready homes that had all the amenities they were looking for.

Middle-Tier Buyers: Looking for homes in “original” condition, this group hoped to get a decent price and then improve the home over time with sweat equity.

Bottom-Tier Buyers: This third group were contractors and flippers looking for distressed properties they could buy for 60 percent to 70 percent of retail value.

The middle tier, which historically represented a significant percentage of market sales, is disappearing. More comfortable with tech than construction, today’s buyers are forgoing the middle tier en masse and paying more to obtain move-in-ready homes that look like the finished properties they have seen on HGTV.

This is not simply the consequence of real estate-related technologies. The past few years have seen sweeping societal shifts as homebuyer wannabes, for many reasons, are less willing or even capable of fixing up a home they’ve purchased.

They know exactly what they like when they see it, but have almost no idea how to produce it themselves. The No. 1 question many of those buyers ask about our listings is, “Can we buy the staging?”

With buyers moving away from “original condition” properties they perceive as needing upgrades, homes that appear in the middle tier are being forced down into the bottom tier and need to be priced accordingly. Sellers who do not understand this new reality stand to end up with far less than they imagined.

 

HERE ARE 5 SELLER MYTHS

With this in mind, here are the top five seller beliefs that are no longer true:

1. I do not need to have the listing agent visit until my home is ready.

Wrong. In reality, the sooner the agent can get in, the better. Sellers, assuming the old rules still apply, might spend money on things that could harm a home’s potential and, conversely, fail to spend money where it matters.

Professional agents can not only help sellers maximize their potential, but they can also connect them with the trades and other professionals required to do it right.

2. I do not need to upgrade the property for sale.

Since increasing numbers of buyers are looking for move-in ready homes, the more a seller does to get the home to that level, the higher the returns. In an up market, sellers can reap a $2-$3 dollar return for every dollar spent.

In a declining market, they may not get 100 percent back, but they will get a sale. I frequently hear sellers ask, “Why should I upgrade? Won’t the new buyers come in and rip out all the stuff I just put in?”

That is not the right question. A better question is, “What can I do to make my online pictures sizzle to get the highest number of buyers through the front door regardless of what a buyer does once they own the home?”

If a seller can invest $1,000 on carpets and in the process make $3,000, does it matter what the new owner does once they move in?

3. I need open houses to sell my home.

The myth here is that buyers need to visit your home in person to decide whether they like it or not. In the new reality, buyers are visiting because they have already seen the home online and decided it was worth seeing in person.

4. I need many open house signs at multiple key intersections.

Wrong again. Savvy listing agents put out tons of signs because they are free advertising for them. Buyers who have seen the home online do not need directional signs to find the home. With open houses dates and times syndicating to all the major web portals, buyers simply use the GPS feature in their phones.

5. If buyers really want my house, they will pay more than market value.

Buyers are not running charities. Due to online AVMs (automated valuation models — think Zestimate, etc.), buyers know when a property is overpriced and generally stay away, assuming the seller is unrealistic.

While pricing strategies vary from region to region, most expert agents know to recommend that sellers price listings close to market realities. As more listings come onto the market, buyers have more choices and migrate toward those they believe represent good values.

Sellers who insist they must net a specific amount, which in turn pushes the price too high, are only kidding themselves.

For sellers who have not sold a home in recent years, the new rules can be a shock. Ironically, since most sellers are also looking to buy a replacement home, all I usually have to do to change their thinking is to ask them how they are personally searching for homes in their new location.

They walk me through their process, and suddenly, in most cases, they get it.

 

For more information contact The Turwitt Team at 904-325-9938 or visit www.turwitt.com

 

April 12, 2019

IT IS MORE AFFORDABLE TO OWN A HOME THAN TO RENT IN A WHOPPING 98% OF THE LARGEST METRO MARKETS IN THE US

Rent vs Buying - The Turwitt Team

Many people believe that renting is less expensive than owning a house. But it turns out it's actually cheaper to pay a monthly mortgage than rent in most states. 

According to new research from lender Freddie Mac, some people in every generation - from Millennial's to Gen Xers to Baby Boomers - are continuing to rent because they think it’s saving them money. According to the report, 76% of Millennial's, 75% of Gen Xers, and 81% of Baby Boomers said renting was the more affordable option.

But with rents rising across the country, that’s just no longer the case. According to the most recent Market Outlook Report, rents rose year over year in nearly ¾ (73%) of counties across the United States. 

There is a general misconception that a high down payment is a roadblock to buying a home. Many would-be buyers believe they must bring 20% of the purchase price as down payment. That’s of course not true. Potential buyers can become a home owner with a much lower down payment. 

The misconception that renting is more affordable than home-ownership is not only costing renters of every generation money, it’s also costing them the ability to own their own home. If you’ve been renting because you believe it’s saving you money - no matter how old you are - it’s time to look at the facts, reevaluate your situation, and consider transitioning to home-ownership.

Buying a home is ultimately cheaper than renting. Rather than paying more and more for rent over the years, home owners end up with long-term benefits. Having a fixed mortgage, allows them more easily set aside money for retirement and investment, and home ownership is an investment in itself. Plus, once the mortgage is paid off, that’s leaving them with more money to invest or enjoy.

 

For more information contact THE TURWITT TEAM at 904-323-9938

 

March 18, 2019

THINKING LIKE A BUYER WILL HELP SELL YOUR HOUSE FASTER AND FOR MORE MONEY

It’s official, you’ve decided to sell your home! After researching the real estate market trends in your neighborhood and working with a top real estate agent to price your home, it’s time to prepare for it to be shown to potential buyers. Coming out on top in the real estate market is all about understanding your buyer. Shifting your point of view from home seller to home buyer will allow you to see things you may not have otherwise, and help you get the best return on your home. Here are a few reasons why thinking like a buyer will sell your house for more.

Thinking like a Buyer - The Turwitt Team

See Things Objectively

One of the hardest things about selling your home is having the ability to see things objectively. You’ve invested years into your house, so taking yourself and your memories out of the equation is tough. However, taking on the perspective of a home buyer will help you see your home objectively – for all its positives and negatives. Furthermore, it will allow you to fix those negatives and turn them into selling points. Think about where you were in your life when you bought your home. What was it that made you fall in love with it? What makes it unique and what are the unusual reasons you love your house? Make a list of all your favorite attributes and work to highlight them as you prepare your house for viewing.

 

Decorate for Someone Else

A home buyer wants to see a home that is move-in ready. That means clearing out your sentimental items, like family photos, from the space. If you aren’t bringing in a professional home stager, then consider only displaying decorations that are neutral, subtle, and compliment the design of your home. You’ll also want to make your home as spacious and bright as possible. If you can’t imagine another reconfiguring of your furniture to accomplish that, bring in someone who can look at your home with fresh eyes.

 

Fix What You’d Want Fixed

Seeing your home through the eyes of a buyer will help you notice what you need to fix. Think about the upgrades you’d want in your new home and apply them to the one you’re putting on the market. A kitchen renovation is one way to increase the value of your house, but you don’t have to uproot the whole thing to get your desired asking price. Small upgrades like new appliances, track lighting, or an automated faucet can have an impact on your selling price. Small bathroom upgrades like replacing the tile and installing a new showerhead can also help increase your home’s appeal.

 

Have the Best Showing Strategy worked out by Your Agent

Having a bustling "by invitation only" house presentation is a great way to generate interest in your home. Working with a top real estate agent can help ensure a sizable turnout of pre-qualified prospective buyers. Invite only serious buyers who are a perfect fit for your home. A specially arranged tour of homes is helpful. It will generate liveliness and an auction effect. Make sure it is timed well and organized professionally. Your agent (if he is an experienced marketing expert) will know how to do it right. Do not settle for the traditional open house strategy. Open houses don't sell your home!

 

Ready to Think Like a Buyer?

Coming out on top of the housing market can be a simple as changing your perspective. Being able to see your home as a potential buyer helps you set yourself up for success. In today's housing market, if you want your home to show well you need to be prepared. You will be competing against sellers who have hired professional staging companies to make their home look as good as possible, so you're doing yourself disservice if potential buyers walk into your home and they're unable to envision to live in this house. If you haven't done your homework and you overprice your home, you'll likely extend the time your house is on the market and possibly it will not sell at all. Working with a professional and knowledgeable agent will help ensure that your home is priced appropriately from the start. Happy selling!

 

Contact The Turwitt Team for more Information.

March 12, 2019

OLD-FASHIONED HOME BUYING ADVICE YOU SHOULD IGNORE IN 2019

People who have gone through the home buying process often give advice – but their so-called insider tips may well be outdated. The same applies to traditional real estate agents who still think like in the 80's.

Home Buyer Negotiating - The Turwitt Team

 

Here is some of the most common advice home buyers hear from their peers or agents, that no longer applies in the current housing market.

Wait for Spring

Buyers shouldn't feel like they have an advantage if they wait for the busiest season in real estate – it may be the opposite, real estate pros say. Yes, there's more inventory (in the spring), but there's more competition for it, and sellers are more optimistic about getting a higher price then and so less willing to negotiate. Buy when you find the right property that will meet your needs for today – and the next years to come.

Wait for Home Prices to come down

Some aspiring buyers may be waiting for home prices to "settle" before they jump in. But they can't forget that rents are likely also high. Paying high rent now and hoping that you'll find a better deal two or three years down the road won't work. The better advice is to make a smart buy today for a property that will appreciate over the longer term.

Make a lower Offer so you have Room to negotiate

Some buyers may be told to make an offer that's less than what they're actually willing to pay for a home. Then they'll have room to negotiate. However, that tactic may work at some points in a normal real estate cycle – but not at the point the market is in now.

Also, the housing market in 2019 will be slightly different from what we experienced in 2018 when it comes to pricing and negotiations. In regards to negotiations, what was once the premise of offering 10 percent to 15 percent below asking is not necessarily the case anymore, and it's a strategy not recommend. In today's market, a truly motivated seller is less inclined to engage in the back-and-forth of a real estate transaction, and listings are priced closer to the final sales price.

Instead, home buyers are urged to base their offer on sales of similar sold properties in the area.

For more information contact THE TURWITT TEAM at 904-770-6180 or 904-881-6628

Jan. 31, 2019

7 PRICING MYTH YOU NEED TO GET PAST IF YOU WANT TO SELL YOUR HOME

Seller Myth - The Turwitt Team

At the time homeowners are preparing to put their properties on the market, one aspect is usually foremost in their minds: MONEY. Setting the asking price accurately can mean the difference between getting an offer quickly and having a house languish for months, drawing little interest, or not getting sold at all.

With that in mind, it’s important that potential sellers block out a lot of the noise that often surrounds the intricate art and science of pricing. There are plenty of myths that may cause sellers to lose sleep at night as they attempt to separate fact from fiction. Seller must get past those myth!

The following are statements that can stand in the way of a successful sale.

1. ‘If we keep waiting, a better Offer will come along!’

Waiting Myth - The Turwitt Team

When sellers receive an offer from the first showing, they may be skeptical or hesitant to accept it, wondering if other prospective buyers would be inclined to pay more. Thoughts of potential bidding wars could cause sellers to want to wait and see who else falls for their place. But, remember the old adage, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush?” There’s no guarantee other would-be buyers are waiting around the corner. If the offer is a fair one, entertain it and count your blessings.

2. ‘Getting an Offer right away, means the Agent priced it too low!’

Priced too low Myth - The Turwitt Team

When sellers receive an offer early in the process, as excited as they might be, many can’t help but wonder, “Should we have asked for more money? Did our agent price it too cheaply?” While it’s natural to be skeptical (and even a little greedy), receiving an offer on the early end of the spectrum most likely means your home was priced accurately and attractively. If you trust your agent, you know he or she didn’t pick a number out of the sky, but rather based it on extensive market research. So, be glad your sale is moving in the right direction.

3. ‘We should price it so there’s Room to negotiate and to haggle!’

Haggling Myth - The Turwitt Team

Let’s be honest: Most sellers would love to get top dollar for their homes. But overpricing it with the intention of being willing to accept a lower offer may just leave you empty handed in the long run. Plus, if you have to drop your ask multiple times, buyers may begin to wonder what’s wrong with the place — other than the price, that is.

4. ‘That’s not what my Zestimate says it’s worth!’

Zestimate Myth - The Turwitt Team

Have you ever noticed how homeowners are eager to believe Zestimates or other automated valuation models when that price exceeds their expectations? Yet, when the opposite happens, they assume it’s outdated or erroneous information? The point we’re making is, these numbers can be inaccurate (very other are wrong), so again, trust your expert agent and not the Internet. Enough said.

5. ‘We can add all Renovation Costs to the Asking Price!’

Renovation Cost Myth - The Turwitt Team

Sellers may adore the improvements and renovations they’ve made and want to add in those costs to the asking price. But remember, not every change is going to land a huge return on investment. If you’re curious about what you can expect on those fixes, check out Remodeling Magazine‘s annual ‘Cost Versus Value’ report to get an idea of which upgrades yield the biggest bang for your buck. Also, as you’re making changes, bear in mind that the infinity pool you view as an asset may just seem like a huge liability to a buyer.

6. ‘My Realtor overpriced my House to make a larger Commission.’

Pricing Myth Commission - The Turwitt Team

Agents are paid a percentage of the selling price of the home. However, even if they were to raise the ask by $25,000, in most cases that would yield an additional $1,500 in commission, which would then be divvied up between the broker the agent is working for and the buyer’s agent, leaving your agent with less than $750 more in his or her pocket. It’s hard to imagine an agent would blow a potential quick sale — and take on weeks or months of additional showings and marketing expenses — for a few hundred dollars.

7. ‘Reducing the Price is a Sign of Weakness!’

Reducing Myth - The Turwitt Team

While no homeowner is eager to drop the listing price, if time is passing and there’s been little interest, it could be time to consider lowering the ask. Remember, time is money. While you’re waiting for someone to meet your price, you’re still paying the mortgage, taxes, utilities, and insurance etc. Plus, sometimes, lowering the price can put your home in front of a group of new buyers, which could generate a lot more interest and, ultimately, get the price back up closer to where it was in the first place.

Contact The Turwitt Team for more information. 904-770-6180

 

 

Jan. 15, 2019

WHEN IS IT THE BEST TIME TO BUY A HOME?

Knowing the right time to buy a house is just as important in the home buying process as knowing what house you're going to buy, where you're going to buy it, and how you're going to buy that home.

The Best Time to Buy - The Turwitt Team

Why is the "when factor" so important?

 

As with most financial endeavors, timing can be everything, and that goes double for landing a dream home. Pricing, interest rate levels, the calendar month of the year, and your own personal cash situation all can factor in on when to buy.

 

There's also something of a Zen factor in buying a home.

 

To a prepared home buyer, there's often a vibe on the time to purchase a home - conditions like cash and opportunity are optimal, the seller of an attractive property is willing to sell at a good price, and the buyer's personal life (i.e., newly married, expecting a new baby, or just got a big bonus, for example) is in a place where the time to pull the trigger on a new residence is now - and not next month, or even next week.

Reality also dictates when to buy a new home. For instance, your employer has relocated you cross-country and you start your new post in two weeks. In that scenario, the time to buy really is right now, or you may not have a place to call home for a while.

Let's take a good look at the "when to buy a home" issue, and break down the elements that dictate the "timing" factor in signing on the home mortgage dotted line.

 

The Best Times to Buy a Home

There are multiple factors that go into the "when to buy a home discussion." The following factors are among the most critical, and should be evaluated first.

 

1. Early in the Year

The calendar is a good barometer for the best time to buy a house.

In general, prices are less expensive at the end of the year, especially in December. Primarily, that's because the inventory that's on the market comes from owners who have to sell, and are more willing to negotiate.

That could mean an owner whose company is transferring him or her to another state, and the owner must move fast. Or, the homeowner is hard up for cash, and can't afford to wait until the traditionally busy spring home selling season.

The takeaway on the late-year calendar issue is this - people who are selling their home in November and December, in the midst of the holiday season, are often selling because they have to. Buyers can take advantage of that scenario and cut a better deal on a home price later in the year.

Waiting until January and February can work in the home buyer's favor, as well.

Data shows that U.S. home prices cost about 8.4% less in the first two months of the year than they do in July and August, in the midst of the busy summer selling season. That scenario also falls in the "have to sell" as opposed to "want to sell" home seller equation.

 

2. When Interest Rates Are Low

In the past few years, the Federal Reserve has sustained a policy of raising interest rates to keep inflation low, and the economy stable.

In early 2019, 30-year fixed mortgage interest rates rose to between 4.5% and 5.0%, depending on the lending institution. Only two years ago, when interest rates were much lower, home buyers could grab a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage for under 4%.

That disparity is important and here's why.

Consider a $300,000 home, purchased with a $60,000 down payment, at an interest rate of 5.0% (generally where mortgage rates are in early 2019.) With a $240,000 mortgage loan, the average monthly payment on the property would be $1,288.37, while the total of 360 monthly payments amounts to $463,813.88. More to the point, total interest paid over the entire course of the loan would be $223,813.88.

But what if you can get the same mortgage loan at an interest rate of 4.0%, like many buyers got two or three years ago, when rates were lower?

In that event, the monthly mortgage payment would amount to $1,145.80, while the total mortgage principal and interest payment over 360 months would amount to $412,486.82. Total interest paid over the course of the loan would be $172,486.82 - representing a total savings of over $50,000 on your mortgage interest payments.

That's why it's important to keep a sharp eye on interest rates. All things being equal, and with good credit, a savvy home buyer strikes when rates are lower, and can save a bundle on the deal.

 

3. When Your Financial Situation Is Optimal

The best time to buy a new home can also be when you're cash flush, your credit score is strong, and you don't have a lot of large debts.

This could be the case in several scenarios:

You just finished paying off your student loans, and have extra cash for a home.

You just received a big raise or bonus, and you have more money for a good down payment.

You just got married, and between two spousal incomes, you have more cash for a new home purchase.

You just sold your home of 20 years (for example) and with plenty of cash liquidity in the home, you have plenty of money to buy a new home, without having to resort to a big mortgage.

You just finished paying off your kids' college costs, and have extra cash for a home purchase.

You just received a big family inheritance, and you have the money to buy a home.

Of course, here are no absolutes in the above cases, as everyone's personal financial situation is unique.

The larger takeaway still holds though - the more money you have on hand, the better time it is to buy a new home without having to depend too much on a large, interest-heavy mortgage loan.

 

4. When Inventories Are High

Another great time to buy a home is when there are plenty of homes available on the market, and home sellers need to be price competitive to sell their homes and get them off the market.

Usually home inventories are heaviest in the spring and summer selling seasons, where plenty of families put their homes on the market because foot traffic is heavy and because buyers want to move in before Labor Day, and get their kids ready for school.

Data shows that the highest month for home-for-sale inventories is May, followed by April and June. The months with the lowest inventories are December, November and January, in that order.

Again, you might be able to strike a great deal in the winter months, as owners are more likely to have to sell their homes. But the data shows there are more homes on the market, and more competition on price, in the spring and summer seasons.

 

5. When the Economy Is Doing Well

It's worth looking at key economic indicators like housing starts and the U.S. unemployment figures when evaluating the best time to buy a home.

Besides the likely fact that since the economy is doing well, you must be doing well, too, there are other factors in play when studying the economy. That's particularly the case with two key indicators:

New construction. When new home construction is strong, there are more homes to buy, and ample supply almost always relieves pressure on home prices. That's a good time to act if you have the cash and are ready to buy a new home.

Income and employment numbers. When consumer sentiment is strong, consumer income is up, and employment is near maximum levels, buyers typically have more cash to buy a new home, and stronger credit that translates into lower mortgage interest payments. That could be a good time to buy a home, too - when you're cash flush.

Buy a Home When It Feels Right for You

Again, there are no hard and fast rules here - just the likely (but not guaranteed) tendencies, time lines and trends that combine to make it a good time to buy a home.

Leverage the factors listed above and see if they don't spark something deep down inside of you, the great American home buyer, and see if you can't get a great deal on the home of your dreams.

 

For more information contact THE TURWITT TEAM at 904-770-6180 or 904-881-6628

Contact THE TURWITT TEAM

 

Dec. 12, 2018

9 SIGNS YOUR HOME IS OUTDATED AND UNATTRACTIVE FOR MOST MODERN BUYERS (AND HOW TO FIX IT)

Despite its many flaws, you love your home—outdated wooden baseboards, disco-era living room set, old-fashioned exteriors, and all. But does anyone else love it?

Outdated Home - The Turwitt Team

 

If you're considering putting your home on the market soon, and you like to sell for top dollar, it's high time to take a step back and take a good, hard look at your decor and your homes condition. Dated touches might seem charming to you (wall-to-wall shag will totally be back in style soon, right?). Or maybe you don't want to go to the trouble and expense of overhauling your decor if the new owners are going to change it anyway.

We get it, but we're here to tell you: Stop making excuses and be a savvy seller! Your outdated decor will immediately turn off a potential buyer, lowering your home value and making the selling process that much more difficult. The majority of potential sellers have difficulties to imagine how your home could look after remodeling, and many are simply turned off by the fact that they have to renovate the house.

And, even if you don't plan on selling, you might be surprised what a fresh perspective does to your space (and your soul). Ditching the old-school trends for something updated and modern can make a creaky home feel new again.

Here's where you're going wrong—and how to fix it.

 

1. WHITE APPLIANCES

You probably know stainless steel is all the rage for kitchen appliances, but if your stove is still white, now's the time to update. Not only are white appliances harder to keep spotless, but you're risking turning off buyers.

old white appliances - The Turwitt Team

"White appliances make a kitchen feel very dated, and is a deal-breaker for many buyers. Upgrading to stainless steel or black appliances can make a huge difference.

 

2. GLASS MOSAIC BACKSPLASH

You might have looked better a decade ago, but the same might very well be said about your house. The biggest tell of a 10-year-old home: That glass mosaic backsplash—probably blue-tinged—that looked oh-so-sleek at the time but now screams early 2000's.

outdated backsplash - The Turwitt Team

Change out the kitchen backsplash to a more classic tile. Most interior designers recommend a large-format marble tile, which is always pleasing, or plain white subway tile, a design trend which never seems to go out of style.

 

3. BUSY WALLPAPER AND BOLD PAINT

Buyers care about what's on your walls. It's difficult to envision yourself living in a room when chintzy wallpaper and vivid walls distract you, making even the biggest spaces feel small and cramped.

outdated wallpaper - The Turwitt Team

Some of the biggest turnoffs for buyers are walls covered in really busy or outdated wallpaper or bold paint colors. They have to factor in removing wallpaper, which is a very laborious process, or repainting walls before they can even move in. These are huge costs that can be very overwhelming to think about.

Swapping your outdated walls for neutral paint makes the home sell quicker and possibly for more money than you expected.

 

4. DATED, BORING FIXTURES AND HARDWARE

2015 was the year of mixed metals, such as silver and bronze—but somehow, gold missed the memo that it wasn't invited to the party. If you're still sporting gold hardware and faded (wear & tear) fixtures, consider a makeover before putting your home on the market.

outdated hardware - The Turwitt Team

Gold colored and worn hardware can give a home an outdated, '80s feel. We suggests replacing it with a modern material, like brushed nickel.

While you're at it, give your other hardware a once-over—are your doorknobs a boring chrome? Or your cabinet handles a loud, dated brass?

Swap it all out for something with contemporary appeal. Even exchanging beige outlet plates for white ones can make a huge difference.

This is a detail we often overlook when it's our own home and we see it everyday, but can go a long way in showcasing the home as fresh and move-in ready by simply making a few changes.

 

5. TILED COUNTERTOPS

You might not give much thought to your kitchen and bathroom countertops, but potential buyers certainly will. Consider ditching your old-school tiled countertops before a sale.

outdated tiled countertops - The Turwitt Team

They're dated, it's hard to keep the grout clean, and what do you do when a tile chips or breaks? The more work a buyer has to do, the more scared they get.

You don't have to opt for full-on granite—materials such as quartz and silestone are attractive and unlikely to go out of style in the next 10 years.

 

6. POPCORN CEILINGS

Come on. You know better. You should have scraped off that terrible popcorn ceiling years ago, but you've procrastinated, and procrastinated, and... well, just do it now. Do we really have to explain why?

outdated popcorn ceilings - The Turwitt Team

These significantly date a home and look like a giant, messy project to potential buyers. Considering how simple they are to remove, there's no reason to keep putting this off—just hire an affordable contractor, and don't forget to check for asbestos.

 

7. CARPETED BATHROOMS

We're not going to sugarcoat this one: It's not the '80' or 90s anymore—rip out your master-bathroom carpeting.

outdated carpeting in bathrooms - The Turwitt Team

The late 80' and 1990s brought us so many fine trends, and carpet in bathroom was one of them. Yes, it's unpleasant to tread across the cold, tiled floor—but that's what a bathmat is for.

You know what else is unpleasant? Mold in your carpet pad and lot's of bacteria in the carpet, that's seriously unpleasant.

 

8. WOOD PANELING

Let's take a step back, first: If you have a stunning Arts and Crafts home with gorgeous wooden wainscoting, that is not what we're talking about here. Leave it alone—and treasure it.

outdated wood paneling - The Turwitt Team

But if your living room screams “That '70s Show," do something about it before listing your home.

Wood paneling instantly dates a home. If you can't afford to rip it out and replace it, paint it a neutral color to make it feel more modern and up-to-date.

It's amazing what white paint can do to make a dark, dreary room feel like somewhere you actually want to live.

 

9. LINOLEUM FLOORS

Time to say goodbye to your linoleum flooring, especially if you've got that faux-wood effect laminate that was so popular 15 years ago. Choose a classic stone-look tile for your kitchen or penny rounds for your bathroom, or go hardwood—always a safe option.

outdated linoleum floor - The Turwitt Team

Laminate flooring is what wall-to-wall carpeting was 15 to 20 years ago. Today nobody likes it, and everyone wants to get rid of it. It often looks cheap and feels hollow.

We recommend choosing flooring materials that are neutral and appeal to a wide range of people.

After all, everything goes out of style eventually. Aiming for neutrality is the best way to ensure your home remains fashionable—and buyers aren't turned off by anything out of the ordinary.

 

For more information contact The Turwitt Team.

 

Dec. 7, 2018

MORE AMERICANS ARE MOVING SOUTH TO FLORIDA

Americans who are moving out of state tend to be heading south, according to a new analysis by LendingTree, a loan information source. Researchers analyzed more than 2 million new purchase mortgage loans to see where people are moving to and from.

Americans are moving to Florida - The Turwitt Team

Florida is the winning destination, according to the analysis. It was the top destination for movers who were relocating out of state in 15 out of the 50 states. Interestingly almost 22% of New Yorker's are looking to move out of state and Florida is their top destination. 

According to a Bloomberg report, reason No. 1 why so many people consider leaving the North East are insanely high cost. Other reasons are retirement, health reasons and lifestyle changes. No wonder they’re worried. The cost of living across the North East region is among the highest in the nation, and three of the five most expensive states or districts in the country (New York, Washington D.C., Massachusetts) are in the area.

Florida, the great "Sunshine State," is undergoing a sea change, of sorts. It is shedding its reputation as a mecca for senior retirees and seeing an influx of young families. Plenty of millennial's and Generation X'ers are drawn to the state for the sunny climate, no state tax, affordable homes, and maybe even to live closer to their snowbird parents.

New residents point to the endless sun-drenched days, and note that when its 24-degrees and snowing sideways in New York City in March, it's likely 80-degrees under cloudless skies in Florida.

Florida offers residents a relatively low cost of living and access to good jobs, low taxes, and a burgeoning public-school system that's drawing armies of young families to the state.

North East Florida is a prime location. Wonderful beaches, good infrastructure, excellent schools, many expanding companies are offering high paying jobs, and a very high quality of life with affordable housing makes the First Coast a perfect destination.

For more Information contact THE TURWITT TEAM at 904-770-6180

 

Nov. 21, 2018

OUTGROWN YOUR HOME?

How to Know When You Have Outgrown Your Home?

Need a larger Home - The Turwitt Team

You love your home! Perhaps you bought it with the intention of raising your kids there or maybe you have found that your household now includes aging parents or a new child is on its way. Maybe a small house works well for a newly married couple, but then baby #2 comes along. Sure, the current home “kind of” works for a while, but you know what mom is going to say to dad? “Honey, we need a bigger place!” Now if baby #2 or 3 is born a year or two later, it’s almost without a doubt that the couple will decide to move to a bigger place. Having kids and/or deciding that elderly parents should “move in” automatically increases the need for more bedrooms and bathrooms.

If you’re the kind of person who likes to have people over but there’s nowhere for them to sit, stand, chat or eat, then you might need a larger home. If you have a whole lot of stuff to store but there’s not enough room in your current place, such that you’re paying to rent a storage locker down the road, then it’s time to “move on up” in the world of bigger homes.

Whatever the reason, you are now wondering if the home you love has become too small for your lifestyle, but how can you tell?

Realizing you’ve outgrown your home can mean different things to different people. To some, it could mean the need for an extra bedroom, or two. For others, the family room or living spaces seem too small for the family to gather and for meals, homework or holidays.

As you begin to evaluate if the time has come to move, consider these questions:

• Have we run out of spaces to use for storage or common family activities?

• Do family members need more private space for themselves?

• Does the yard or outdoor areas include room for the family to use for enjoyment?

Think about the different ways you accommodate your needs to your home and not the other way around. If you are not finding ways to fit yourself and your life into your existing home, you might be ready to find a larger one that will suit your needs and desires.

Nov. 14, 2018

WHY ARE SOME HOMES NOT LISTED ON THE MLS AND CAN'T BE FOUND ON ZILLOW?

Not on the MLS - The Turwitt Team

Most homes for sale are listed through the Multiple Listing Service, MLS. It is a go-to database used by all realtors and many online listing sites such as Redfin, Zillow, and Trulia. Not all homes are put into the Multiple Listing Service. Why? What are the reasons some home sellers have to not list their homes on those platforms?

In an age so connected to technology and smart devices, why would someone forgo adding their home to the MLS?

In today’s technology-driven age you would think that every seller hoping to get the highest price for their home would want to put their home out in every marketing avenue possible. There are various reasons. it is actually not uncommon for sellers to go with a pocket listing. That's how non-MLS properties available for sale are called.

A seller with a pocket listening is cautious about their privacy. They only want serious buyers and are not interested in opening their home to just anyone, especially not people just wanting to look around a gorgeous home. In some cases, a homeowner could be a high profile figure and would prefer to keep as much anonymity as possible.

Often they prefer a specific custom oriented marketing approach. The property might be aimed at satisfying specific market needs, as well as the price range, quality and the demographics that it is intended to target. Often those properties apply to a small market segment and are marketed accordingly.

In other cases, the homeowner would like to wait until the house is in picture perfect shape to post pictures of the property on the internet and they keep the home off the MLS for a few weeks until they feel it is ready. This can give a buyer a chance to swoop in and make an offer before it hits the market.

Sometimes a property is in need of lots of care and renovation to be livable again, or it may be in a high maintenance location. Homes like this require special buyers and will be out of reach to the average buyer scrolling through listings online.

Where to Find a Pocket Listing?

If a home isn’t listed in the big MLS database, or with the online sites, how does a home buyer find out about it? The best way to find pocket listings is through an expert real estate agent. Some have properties "not publicly advertised" available. Also, highly professional and skilled real estate agents will have a network of other agents they work with and will know about pocket listings. They will be able to reach out to other realtors that may have pocket listings or know of upcoming pocket listings in the area.

For more information call 904-770-6180 or 904-881-6628   https://www.turwitt.com   https://www.TeamTurwittHomes.com