Spartanburg, SC Real Estate News

By Jean Terry
(Keller Williams Realty Spartanburg, S.C.)
It's amazing the differance a little bit of decorative wood molding can make.  Frame out a picture window, add deep crown molding to a high cieling, even a simple chair rail in a guest bathroom changes the entire look of the room. I just believe you can not have too much molding.
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By Yvette Gardner
(Keller Williams Realty, Spartanburg, SC)
Price, condition and location are all important when selling your home but how about "Days on Market"?  Most motivated sellers have a need to sell their home and move.  It could be job related or perhaps they need to upsize for their growing family or downsize because their children have moved on. Realtors can provide you with data on homes that have sold and homes on the market in your neighborhood and area.  However, they sometimes disregard the most important element, Absorption Rate.  It's true that if the price is right it will sell!  However, condition and location have a major impact on how quickly the home will sell.  Knowing how long it will take to sell your home will help you make decisions on condition (updates and improvements).  Location is something you have no control ov...
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By Yvette Gardner
(Keller Williams Realty, Spartanburg, SC)
Every day we see homes that have been remodeled or updated.  Many are done very well while others missed the mark.  In a market where the average selling price is in the $140,000's it's easy to miss the mark.  If you watch HGTV you'll see people tearing out walls, updating kitchens and bathrooms and spending $75,000 to update a home that has 1200 square feet.  In some markets they will get a fair return on investment, but not here. Be careful what you do.  Before starting your project consult a professional Realtor.  Find out what is the "NORM" for the neighborhood and price range.  You don't want linoleum floors in a $250,000+ home and you don't want granite countertops and a gourmet kitchen in $150,000- homes. A professional Realtor can provide you with information about other homes t...
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By Ron Martin, Ron Martin Team
(Keller Williams Realty)
1 1/2 pounds top round steak2 green bell peppers, 1/2-inch slices1 large onion, 1/2-inch slices8 ounces mushrooms, quartered1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil2 teaspoons garlic powder2 tablespoons onion soup mix2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce1 cup mayonnaise1 teaspoon minced garlic6 slices provolone cheese 6 sandwich rolls  Slice steak into very thin slices. Place sliced steak into large zip-top bag, set aside. In another zip-top bag, add sliced peppers and onions, and quartered mushrooms. Set aside. In a bowl, whisk together olive oil, garlic powder, onion soup mix, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour half of marinade into each of the zip-top bags. In a small bowl combine mayonnaise and minced garlic, set aside. Preheat saute pan on grill. Saute vegetables until desired degree of doneness, a...
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By Ron Martin, Ron Martin Team
(Keller Williams Realty)
Last year my friend and I found this wonderful recipe on http://www.crockpot.com thought I would share it!  I am also going to include my variations.  This is a wonderfully hearty soup, perfect for a cold day, or any day!  Instead of 1lb. of ground beef, I do a half pound of ground beef and a half pound of sausage all fried together. Instead of 2 cans of stewed tomatoes (Love the taste of tomatoes, can't stand the texture) I opt for 1 can of tomato sauce. I also add a carrot or two, depending on how much I am trying to make. Slices or chunks work, whichever you prefer! Cook until all is done. ***Make sure to wait on adding the macaroni.  It'll get too tender if you add it too soon! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.  We rarely ever have left-over's when we make it, and on the rare oc...
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By Ron Martin, Ron Martin Team
(Keller Williams Realty)
1.Check your credit.Before you apply for a home loan, regardless of your credit, it's a smart idea to obtain a copy of your credit report from the three major credit bureaus and review the information. If there are errors or things that need to be addressed, it's easier to address them before you have found a house, than after you have found a house and are trying to close your loan.2. Get approved before you buy.An approval means that a lender has reviewed your credit history, verified your assets and employment, and has approved your loan before you have found a home to purchase. As long as the home appraises for at least the purchase price, the loan should close.3. Learn about the neighborhood.Often times the house you find may be in a neighborhood that you're not familiar with, whic...
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By Ron Martin, Ron Martin Team
(Keller Williams Realty)
You will often come across the term "short sale" when searching for a home in many markets today. You'll find that, in some cases, these can be the best deals on the market. Buying a short sale property is a different process from buying a home the traditional way. It's not only about you and the seller ... the seller's lender or lenders are involved in the process, as well, and nothing gets done unless the lenders give their blessings. Foreclosures are bad for the homeowners and expensive for the lenders, so they might opt to accept less than the mortgaged amount to allow the property to sell. The buyer gets a good buy, the seller avoids the foreclosure, and the lender gets some money back and stays out of the expensive foreclosure process. 1. Be Patient. The process of getting bank ap...
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By Yvette Gardner
(Keller Williams Realty, Spartanburg, SC)
Election years typically slow home sales in the last quarter of the year.  Although showings of existing homes were stable for September, you should expect to see a continuation of slow showings in November and December. What will 2009 bring?  Much will depend on the bail out of the financial markets.  We all know that home sales are directly related to the availability of mortgages.  For those who have good credit moving into a new home should not be an issue and rates should be very good.  For those who are borderline, they should work very hard to get their credit scores up to take advantage of the low interest rates and the selection of homes on the market.  2009 has the potential to be as good, if not better than 2006!
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By Ron Martin, Ron Martin Team
(Keller Williams Realty)
Here is a recipe from a cookbook that family and friends have.  It's great for special events, or family staying with you, holidays, etc.  It also serves nicely with a variety fruit bowl!  You can make this the night before so in the morning all you need to do is preheat the oven and bake! 1 (2lb) bag Potatoes O'Brien 1/2lb Shaved Ham 1/2lb Velveeta Cheese 1 Stick of Butter (1/2 cup) 10-12 Eggs (Depending on how egg-y you like things. I use 10; my mother in law uses 12) 3/4 Cup of Milk   Spray the bottom of a 9x13 pan with non-stick spray. Pour in frozen potatoes. Put the shaved ham on top of the potatoes. Melt the cheese and butter together. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs and milk, and then add the cheese mixture. (A hand mixer, like for shakes, is a great tool for this!) Pour the mi...
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By Ron Martin, Ron Martin Team
(Keller Williams Realty)
Many home owners question is keeping their home on the market during the holidays.  Is it a good idea?  Will their home sell?  Will it be worth keeping the house clean for just a couple of showings?  The answer is YES!  During the holidays those buyers desiring to return to the Cities are visiting for the holiday season.  Most home owners don't want to deal with the additional stress of showings and the holidays, so they take their home off the market for 6-8 weeks over the holidays, reducing the inventory available.   Also, your home smell's, looks and sounds the best during the holidays.  Your home is celebrating a wonderful holiday and buyers can pick up on the positive energy. So yes keep your home on the market during the hoilday season.
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By Ron Martin, Ron Martin Team
(Keller Williams Realty)
What do you think about all the financial crisis going on with the major companies like Lehman Bros, AIG Insurance and Merryl Lynch? How is this going to change the way buyers get financing on homes? How many extra hoops are they going to have to jump through? When is this going to end. How many people must be hurt by this financial situation? I think all of us are hurting because of this.  We as realtors can't get our clients financed, the Mortgage companies are hurting because the banks won't let them finance the loans through most banks. Where is this heading toward?
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By Ron Martin, Ron Martin Team
(Keller Williams Realty)
The number of residential fires increases during winter, peaking between December and February as we spend more time indoors. Here are just a few of the precautions homeowners can take to help prevent dangerous conditions: 1. Keep fireplaces clean and use a sturdy screen to keep sparks inside the firebox 2. Use extra caution when using space heaters and follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully. Do not use near beds, curtains, or flammable materials. 3. Never leave a burning fireplace or candles unattended 4. Always make sure smoke detectors are properly installed and have fresh batteries.  
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By Ron Martin, Ron Martin Team
(Keller Williams Realty)
In South Carolina as in most states, the "Offer to Purchase" gives the buyer the right to conduct home inspections, termite inspections, etc. This is a time for the buyers to have total access to the property to determine its condition. Most buyers hire a professional Home Inspector. Professional Home Inspectors are knowledgeable, experienced, and thorough. These inspections take 3 - 4 hours to conduct and in the course of the inspection they will go into the attic, crawl under the house, run the appliances, open every door, turn on every faucet, etc. The point I'm trying to make is that they were hired by the buyers to inspect the property. As a seller you agreed to this condition. Therefore, you should give them the time and space they need to do what they need to do.
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By Ron Martin, Ron Martin Team
(Keller Williams Realty)
When interviewing a home inspector, ask the inspector what type of report format he or she provides. There are many styles of reports used by property inspectors, including the checklist, computer generated reports, and the narrative style. Some reports are delivered on site and some may take as long as 4 - 6 days for delivery. All reporting systems have pros and cons.
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By Yvette Gardner
(Keller Williams Realty, Spartanburg, SC)
The negativity is everywhere; on TV, in the newspaper, people you talk to and other realtors.  It's really hard not to get caught up in it.  I read posts every morning about how other agents are dealing with the economy, gas prices and the housing market.  But, with all of that going on we had a closing this week with an agent that has had her best month (September 2008) in her entire career.  So that makes me wonder.  If we focus on the negative, things will certainly not look very good.  But if we focus on the positive; and you may have to look a little harder to find it, maybe things aren't so bad.  Yes, I've always been accused of being an optimist.  The bottom line is that regardless of the economy and gas prices people still need to buy and sell homes.  I just think if we could al...
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By Yvette Gardner
(Keller Williams Realty, Spartanburg, SC)
With all of the media coverage regarding the bailout and the general state of the economy consumers have gotten very nervous about spending; not just buyer houses, but every day spending!  This in turn just continues to make matters worse.  Not that we should go out and rack up credit card debt but we do need to boost the economy where we can and where we feel comfortable.
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By Yvette Gardner
(Keller Williams Realty, Spartanburg, SC)
Most parents probably know how difficult it is for a teenager to relocate to a new area leaving behind their school and all of their friends.  Getting them involved in the decision making process will make the transitions much easier.  Allowing them to have a say in the school they will be going to is probably one of the most important decisions you can get them involved in; after all, for a teen this is where most of their time is spent and where they will be making new friends.  Allowing them some say in the house will also make them feel like they where an important part of the decisions making process and the move; making the transition much easier for everyone!
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By Yvette Gardner
(Keller Williams Realty, Spartanburg, SC)
Most upscale or luxury properties are unique.  Most upscale property buyers lead busy lives and want this process to be as hassle-free as possible.  Many don't need to move so they will wait for the right property to come along.  So if you're selling an upscale home it needs to be clean, organized, updated, freshly painted and staged to show like a model home.  There are a number of pitfalls you want to avoid as a luxury home seller. Don't underestimate your competition - you should view other homes on the market in your price range.  Even though each home is unique, buyers in this market will be viewing the same homes. Don't overestimate the value - when viewing the other homes take notice of the unique features and amenities and compare those to your home.  Don't let the personal or s...
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By Ron Martin, Ron Martin Team
(Keller Williams Realty)
Every day, more and more agents/Mortgage Brokers are throwing in the towels to find other ways to make ends meet.  Some are finding it difficult to stay above water. What is it that is keeping me in this business?  For one, it is because we are passionate about what we do and we are determined to succeed in what we do.  We pay attention to the changing market and we do not wait on analysis to tell me what's wrong with my market.  We make necessary changes as we see fit. The end result is getting the listing but we do not make that our biggest focus, we focus right now in keeping busy in this business and not give up.  Our past customers do keep in touch with us and we do likewise, referral's is also a part of our business and we sincerely appreciate the relationships that we have formed...
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By Ron Martin, Ron Martin Team
(Keller Williams Realty)
1. Good Faith Estimate (GFE) - This will break down all of the closing costs of the loan. These numbers are very difficult to get exact but the loan officer should never be off more than a couple hundred dollars. 2. Truth in Lending Statement (TIL) - This document will disclose several important numbers but most importantly the Annual Percentage Rate, and whether the loan has a prepayment penalty or not. 3. Financing Agreement - This document right here is gold and you should have a financing agreement early on whether the rate is locked or floating. The loan officer should issue this to you not only for your protection, but also for his since it lays out whether the rate is locked or if it is floating, the loan type, rate and any points being charged.
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