CONTRACT TO CLOSING
Your offer was just accepted and your excitement is high. Now take a moment – because an executed contract is just the beginning of a series of steps before you are able to take the keys.
Spring and early Fall are traditionally the busiest times of the year in real estate. Sellers know that it’s the best time to put their home on the market, so you’ll see the highest amount of inventory offering the most options for buyers. None-the-less, the market can be extremely competitive. It’s common to experience packed open houses, multiple offers and listings disappearing in a matter of hours.
Choosing a place to call your own can be overwhelming, especially with Chicago’s 77 plus neighborhoods to choose from. That’s where we at The Michael Hall Group come in to make your search a little easier. We have compiled the hottest places to buy your new home right now so that you don’t have to!
We live in a time where “fixer-upper shows” and HGTV give us the bug for renovating our home, from the newest backsplash to a brand new bathroom layout. But before you swing that sledgehammer, consider if renovating your abode is right for you.
CHANGE THE LOCKS
You don’t know who else has keys to your home, so change the locks. That ensures you’re the only person who has access. Install new deadbolts yourself for as little as $10 per lock, or call a locksmith — if you supply the new locks, they typically charge about $30 – $50 per lock for labor.
MEET YOUR NEIGHBORS
Meet your neighbors, building property manager, door staff, and building engineer if applicable. These people can assist you if you lock yourself out, have questions about your new home and/or have any emergency maintenance needs, etc.
DEEP CLEAN EVERYTHING
DEEP CLEAN Everything! Including floors and carpeting. Although sellers are required to leave a property in “broom swept” clean condition, they are not required to have the property professionally cleaned. You’ll want to have this done before you move in so you will be off to a fresh, clean start. Don’t forget to clean inside appliances, all cabinets (inside and out), and air vents; preferably with non-toxic cleaners. For a carpet cleaning service you’ll pay about $60 per room or you can rent a steam cleaner for $30 per day.
CHECK FOR PLUMBING LEAKS
Your home inspector should do this for you before you buy your home, but it never hurts to double-check. Keep an eye out for dripping faucets and running toilets, and check your water heater for signs of leaking. Quick trick: Check your water meter at the beginning and end of a two-hour window when no water is being used in your house. If the reading is different, you have a leak.
SEND PESTS PACKING
This includes mice, termites, roaches, and any other uninvited guests. An initial visit from a pest removal service will run you $100 to $300, followed by monthly or quarterly visits at about $50 each.
LOCATE YOUR CIRCUIT BREAKE & MAIN WATER VALVE
It’s a good idea to figure out which fuses control what parts of your house and label them accordingly. This will take two people: One to stand in the room where the power is supposed to go off, the other to trip the fuses and yell, “Did that work? How about now?
Become familiar with turning off your main water valve in case you have a plumbing emergency or if you’re going out of town. Locate the valve — it will most likely be inside your home — and turn the knob until it’s off. Test it by turning on any faucet in the house; no water should come out.
For more tips on buying and selling, visit http://www.michaelhallgroup.com/
Navigating the home buying process can and should be a fun and exciting time but can also be overwhelming. Fear not, because we have put together a list of the 10 steps to help you get through the process so you can focus on the fun part!
Whether kids are in your future, under your roof, out of the nest, or not even on your radar, schools play an incredibly important role during a real estate transaction. In fact, a survey by realtor.com noted 91% of prospective home buyers found school district boundaries to be important in their search. Chicago and its surrounding suburbs are lucky to offer residents a number of award-winning schools but figuring out exactly how a neighborhood school could factor into the price of the home you are selling or buying can be as tricky to calculate. A couple CliffsNotes to keep in mind:
Technology plays a big role in how I work with you but it’s the human touch that really helps you achieve your homeownership goals. With talk of the “rise of machines” grabbing a lot of headlines, Laura Ellis, president of residential sales and executive vice president of Baird & Warner, was inspired to write this Inman article on why those standby human traits common in Realtors — including intuition and emotion — are the greatest assets to buyers and sellers.
Values of investment-related properties are at a historical high across the nation… which points to increasing revenue from renting real estate. But how does one determine the value of a rental property? Below you will find three of the most common methods for doing so:
Michael Hall was named in the Top 100 Most Influential Real Estate Agents by Real Estate Executive Magazine. This award was based on a comprehensive analysis that was conducted in each state with the leading real estate companies by Real Estate Executive Magazine. The award was announced at the Mastermind Summit in Chicago. View more information here.