Teee's Real Estate Information Blog

 

Jan. 6, 2019

Prince George's School Board Member Requests Free Meals for Students During Shutdown By Gina Cook

A school board member in Prince George's County, Maryland, says he wants the county to give free meals to public school students whose families are affected by the partial government shutdown.

Board of Education member K. Alexander Wallace posted a letter on Twitter Saturday that is addressed to Dr. Monica Goldson, the interim CEO for Prince George's County Public Schools.

Wallace requests in the letter that school system waive all breakfast and lunch meal fees for students who are not already enrolled in the free meals program until the shutdown is over.

"In a county like ours, having one of the largest federal government employee populations in the nation, an effort such as this one, I believe, will ease the concerns of many families of having to pay for the nutrition of their children...our students," he says in the letter.

 

Jan. 6, 2019

Are You Having Buyers Remorse

Parting with a big chunk of your money isn’t easy. What is easy is giving in to the tendency to want to beat yourself up after spending it. It’s classic buyer’s remorse, and, while it’s not common, we have seen a few cases of it during our time in real estate.

Buyer’s remorse is more common in buyer’s markets. When there are lots of homes that fit the bill, it’s easy to wonder if you made the right choice. There is actually a name for this phenomenon, “the paradox of choice.” Psychologists claim that as the number of choices increases, so does the chooser’s stress level.

How to Guard Against Buyer’s Remorse

Psychologists at Harvard University conducted a study in 2002 and found that people who are offered a 30-day, money-back-guarantee are less likely to experience buyer’s remorse. “People prefer to make changeable decisions rather than unchangeable decisions,” they write.

Unfortunately, houses don’t come with a money-back guarantee, which makes the decision to purchase one rather unchangeable. The process is full of exit points, however, which may ease your mind when you’re starting to feel remorseful.

These exits are in the contract’s contingencies. You’ll have a chance to bail on the deal if the home doesn’t appraise appropriately if the home inspection results are unpalatable and at several other points along the way.

Another way to guard against regret is in your negotiations with the seller. Don’t be aggressive or greedy, claims the results of a University College of London study. People that negotiate reasonably tend to feel less remorse than aggressive or greedy negotiators.

Share how you’re feeling with your agent. It often helps just to have someone with whom you can share your ideas, your emotions, and your fears.

If all else fails, remember the words of basketball great LeBron James: “I always say, decisions I make, I live with them. There's always ways you can correct them or ways you can do them better. At the end of the day, I live with them.”

Jan. 6, 2019

The Dangers In Over Improving a Home

Our listing clients often ask us which home improvements of their home would provide the most bang for the buck when it comes time for them to sell. We always remind them that the market value of a home – what it will sell for to a willing buyer – is in large part determined by the sales prices of similar homes in the neighborhood, and surrounding neighborhoods.

Professional appraisers use the principles of regression and progression when considering the value of homes. The value of a large home (or one with major improvements), located in a neighborhood full of smaller, unimproved homes, will be dragged down by the smaller homes using the principle of regression. Conversely, a small home located near lots of larger homes will see its value increase, when the principle of progression is used.

The principle of regression is important to keep in mind when considering improving a home to ready it for the market. If you improve the home to where it becomes the best home on the block your return on investment for those projects may be subsumed by the loss of value.

A good first step is to get clear on the home’s current market value and we’re happy to help you there, at no charge. While compiling the market analysis we’ll learn what nearby homes are selling for, which is valuable information when you’re thinking about various renovations you’d like to make.

Now you know the starting value, before adding improvements. Remember, when determining which improvements to make, in the end, the home will only sell for the maximum sales price of similar area homes.

The next step is to figure out which improvement projects will realize the largest return on your investment, without putting you over the neighborhood’s threshold. 

Since kitchens sell homes, a minor kitchen remodel may be worth the 79.3 percent ROI, but skip the major remodel with its 67.8 percent ROI, unless you’re selling a luxury home. In other words, don’t create a million dollar kitchen in a $300,000 home.

Choose your improvement projects carefully, get several bids for the work, know the highest potential sales price you’ll realize and you’ll avoid the danger of over-improving the house.