5 Things You Can Do to Help Your Home Sell More Quickly

Selling your home can be a stressful and cluttered time which is why the quicker it sells the quicker you can move on.  Unfortunately sometimes it sellingyourhome texttakes longer to sell than expected which can delay your next move.  Here are a few tips that can increase the chances of selling your home faster.

* Home staging:  If you can afford a professional home-stager, do it! They know what they are doing and can make even the darkest corners of your home seem inviting.  If you don’t want to spend the money then follow a few of these home staging tips to improve the overall appeal of your home.

* Price it right: Of course we all want to get the most money out of our homes as possible but at what expense?  I have seen homeowners who are so determined to get a higher price out of their home that they will lose money paying two mortgages.  If you really want to sell then talk with your realtor to determine the most amount of money you can get now.  Plus pricing it lower can bring in big interest and possibly result in competing bids.

* Curb appeal: If someone is not interested in your home from the outside then chances are they will never take the time to see the inside.  This doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money on a complete landscaping overhaul.  Instead simply keep your lawn mowed, invest in a couple bright colored hanging baskets, and keep outdoor cluttered such as kids toys picked up.  You want to portray that you maintain a clean and organized environment.

* Exposure: Make sure that your home is getting the exposure it needs from your realtor.  Take us for example, we have compiled a comprehensive approach to ensuring exposure of your listing throughout all of the traditional routes as well as on multiple social media platforms.  Having this type of reach only increases the chances of finding that perfect buyer.

* Last but not least: Leave: Yep, you heard that correctly… leave your home anytime someone is coming to look at it.  While you are at it take your dog or cat with you.  People want to be able to picture themselves living in your home, being comfortable,  but with your lurking over their shoulders they are just looking forward to leaving.  As long as you, the homeowner, are there they will always feel like guests in the home and even if only subconsciously will not want to come back.

Using Your Cookout Leftovers~Eliminating Food Waste

This weekend was perfect for a cookout and if you are anything like me you tend to over-buy and over-prepare food to feed your hungry guests.  This year instead of wasting that burger patty, tossing the extra buns, or letting those chicken wings go stale in your fridchili with borderge why not use the leftover ingredients for an entirely new meal!  Also remember that your freezer is your friend.  If you think you may be having another cookout go ahead and freeze the uncooked meats and even the buns for next time.  Here are a few ways to get a second life out of your leftovers.

 

*Already cooked hamburgers, baked beans, and corn on the cob are all traditional cookout food fare.  Instead of just throwing out the extras you have the makings for a delicious pot of chili.  Simply crumble up the beef and cut the corn off of the cob.  Add the beef, tomato juice, diced tomatoes, a packet of chili seasoning, a diced onion, the corn, and the leftover baked beans to a large pot or dutch oven.  Bring to a boil and let simmer!

*Leftover hamburger and hotdog buns: If you are already making the chili these would be perfect to use to make peanut butter sandwiches to go along with the chili.  Another great way that I’ve found to use any leftover bread product is by making homemade croutons for salads or soups.  Simply cube up the leftover bread.  In a separate bowl mix together melted butter, oregano, salt, pepper, and parsley flakes.  Quickly toss in the bread cubes as to not completely soak them.  Spread onto a cookie sheet and bake until crispy.cookies in grinder

* Chicken wings: Since chicken is such a widely used ingredient the list of dishes that you can come up with using leftover chicken is limitless but I thought I would share one of my favorite ways to use the leftover chicken with minimal effort.  Before I even store the chicken in my refrigerator I pull all of the chicken off the bone and shred it.  For dinner the next night I simply put them in a tortilla with cheese and peppers then microwave them for a quick chicken fajita.  Top with any leftover lettuce or tomatoes that you had from the night before!

* Leftover cookies: While it certainly takes a lot of self restraint to not just finish off the remaining cookies there is an alternative.  Use a clean pepper grinder and place any crispy cookies broken up into pieces inside.  This makes for the perfect ice cream topping for the kids!

 

Tips for Improving Your Credit Score ASAP

By now most of us are aware of how important your credit score can be when it comes to purchasing the house you’ve always dreamed of.  In fact Good Credit Scoreeven 2 points difference in your credit score can literally cost you thousands of dollars.  With that being said there are some simple tips to follow to help improve your credit score, get a better interest rate, and assist you in finding a lender to help you buy your new home!

(An excellent credit score=720 and up…. A Good credit score= 680-719… An average credit score= 620-679… A poor credit score= 580-619… A bad credit score= 500-579… A miserable credit score= Less than 500)

* While this may seem obvious, one of the best things you can do is start paying down your credit card bills.  When you have a lot of unpaid credit on your account it can make your score lower.  By just working to pay down your outstanding debt over a two month period can greatly improve your score.

* The same thing can be true for paying your bills on time.  Even if there is a “grace period” offered it is better to pay before the actual due date.  Doing this without fail for a few months can improve your score.

* Don’t close out/cancel credit cards if you are trying to improve your score.  While it may be tempting to do so it can actually decrease your score because then you would be using a higher percentage of your credit available.  If you feel that it is necessary for you to cancel some then be sure to keep your oldest card open regardless of the interest rate.  Banks will also look at length of your credit history and if all of your credit cards are newer ones than it appears you are a new borrower.

* Don’t open a lot of new cards to increase the amount of credit available.  Doing so looks suspicious to lenders.

* While it is highly suggested you work on paying down the balances you can also improve your score immediately by evening out your usage.  What I mean by this is by taking a card that is almost maxed out and putting some of the balance on another card.  Try to get the usage to about 20-30% of your allotted credit limit on each card as opposed to zero balance on a few and 90% on one.

* Another thing that you can do immediately is to go over your credit report with a fine tooth comb.  You would be amazed at how often there are mistakes on credit reports.  Ensure that the lenders have reported your credit limits accurately as well because that can greatly affect your credit ratio.

If you have any questions or want more suggestions on improving your credit score or which lenders will work with you feel free to contact us.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Local Business Spotlight: RenCon

While it is easy to focus on the restaurants and retails shops that keep our local community thriving it is important to focus on the local businesses rencon logothat don’t receive as much notoriety.  One of these such businesses is RenCon “Renovation and Construction” and was founded in 2008 by Shane Skinner and Jeremy Bergunder but moved to their 5,000 square foot headquarters in Pendleton in March of 2012.  Located on S.R. 9, this company earned the title of “11th Fastest Growing Private Company in the Indianapolis Area” and continues to adhere to the hard work and dedication that it took to achieve this title.  Another reason we need to continue to celebrate our local businesses such as this one is that they employ 40+ employees as well as partner with a diverse network of subcontractors and vendors.  These jobs are priceless to our local economy and obviously to the employees themselves.  If you own a business, are thinking of starting a business, or know someone who is, RenCon specializes in commercial construction of restaurants and retail establishments and could update, fix, or construct a space that would be ideally suited to your businesses needs.  Some of their clients include the likes of; Dollar General, Midas, Meijer, Starbucks, Walnut Ridge, Pizza King, Maggianos, and the list goes on an on.  Clearly they have a very high reputation for exceptional work!

Be sure to continue your support of local businesses! They truly are the backbone of our community and an irreplaceable part of our infrastructure.

I’ve Taken the Liberty to Help Plan Your Weekend

I love when the weather starts getting nice out, it’s like the city comes alive! With that there are always lots of fun ways to get out, enjoy the   may calendarweather, get involved in the community, meet new people, get in quality family time, and make the most of every weekend. This weekend there is so much fun going on that I thought I would go ahead and make an itinerary to help you keep it straight!

Friday: (Girls Night Out)
6:00 @ the Toscana Event Centre: “Art of the Bottle” a wine and paint class…. enjoy some vino while exploring your inner artist! A perfect way to start your event filled girls night out!

7:00 @ The Salon Professional Academy: A fashion show, door prizes, and giveaways to benefit the Animal Protection League! Only $5 at the door! This is a great girls night out idea!

10:00 @ Hoosier Park: The Flying Toasters are preforming. If you haven’t seen them before you definitely need to check them out! This is the perfect next locale for your girls night.

Saturday: (Family Day)
8:00-12:00 @ Falls Park: The Pendleton Farmers market opens. With even more vendors than last year this is the perfect way to start your Saturday with the kids. You can purchase some delicious fresh produce and let the kids play at the park.

9:00-1:00 @ The Athletic Park: The Anderson Farmer’s market is in full swing. With lots of home made crafts, vendors, fresh produce, and live entertainment the lively atmosphere makes for an upbeat Saturday afternoon.

8:00am-7:00pm @ Canoe Country in Daleville. This is a great family activity that encourages teamwork and eliminates the distraction of technology, allowing for some real family bonding.

Sat Evening (Date Night or Family Night Idea): Go on a pizza hop in town. Visit each local pizza place and get a slice at each one. At the end of the night decide which is best (I’d love to hear which one you thought). The best route I have found is to start at Meadowbrook Pizza, then make your way to Art’s on 29th St., a must visit it Tommy J’s then make sure to hit up Scampy’s, then come towards Pendleton and stop at Greek’s before stopping at the last stop 1820 Pizzeria. By the end of the night you will have had a great adventure and certainly a full belly.

(If you are kidless for the night you can do the same type of adventure looking for the best Margarita in town!)

Sunday: (Mother’s Day)
10:00 am @ The Anderson Center for the Arts: Why not do something a bit different with your mom this year and check out the Gloria Garfinkel exhibit. Afterwards avoid the Mother’s Day lunch chaos by packing a lovely picnic and heading out to enjoy the weather at Mounds park.

Don’t forget there are always countless fun and unique things to do in our very own community if you just know where to look and stay open minded. You could find yourself re-discovering all that the city has to offer.

The Top 5 Great Reasons to Live in Pendleton

I’m sure for most of you are already very well aware of the amazing things that Pendleton has to offer as a town. And I know that everyone has ptown with textdifferent things that they love about our charming town… here are my 5 favorite reasons and I look forward to hearing your reasons as well.

* The school system: South Madison Community Schools are some of the highest rated in the state and house some of the most innovative and dedicated teachers.
* Falls Park: Year round the park offers beautiful scenery and tons of funs for kids and adults alike. Between playing on the playground, fishing, watching games at the ball diamonds down the street, and walking the paths you could spend an entire fun filled day at the park. Not to mention the Farmers market, Heritage Fair, and all of the other fun festivals and events they
* The downtown shopping. The entire atmosphere that comes with walking downtown is spectacular. Plus the wonderful shopping that we have right now is unbeatable.
* Jimmies Dairy Bar, Puzzles, The Bank Restaurant, Anita’s Kitchen, The Diner, Real Hacienda, Sahms, etc… What can I say? I love good food!
* THE PEOPLE: Of course I saved the best for last! It is few and far between that I run into anyone that is less than friendly, smiling, and helpful! If you live in Pendleton chances are you have some of the greatest neighbors there are!

Why It is Important to Choose a Realtor Active in Social Media

Twenty years ago the best way to sell a house was by either planting a sign in the front yard and hoping people take note, placing an ad in the  social media puzzle piece with textnewspaper, or holding an open house.  Things have changed quite drastically since then in the real estate world thanks to the internet and multiple forms of social media.  In this dog eat dog world you have to be fast if you want to find the house of your dreams.  It is also a blessing for those who want/need to sell their home immediately.  In fact, just a few years back in 2008 only 33% of realtors used social media compared to the astounding 91% of agents who do so now.  Unfortunately just throwing a few pictures on Zillow does not quite cut it these days.  That is why it is essential to work with a realtor who will get your house the absolute most exposure possible as well as be able to alert you to any homes that match your criteria faster than others.

We are proud that we can consider ourselves leading the field in social media and marketing of homes. In addition to the common real estate sites   we are active and successful on Facebook and we regularly post to Twitter as well.  We have a Pinterest page where we feature new listings as well as pin fun home related pics.  We send out email newsletters with spotlighted listings and local information and have a You-Tube page where people can see a video walk-through of our listed homes.  We have two very active blogs that help keep our readers in the know and informed on local listings, events, real estate tips, home improvements, and much much more.  We have long been on Linkedin and have just started our venture on Houzz. We are very up to date with all of our listings on Craigslist and they are regularly renewed.  We plan to continue our marketing training to stay up to date on the ever changing world of social media and the different sites that are most visited.

So before you take the traditional (otherwise known as slower) route let us share with you all of the ways we can market, advertise, and get the full exposure your home investment deserves! Feel free to contact us, we look forward to hearing from you!