Deb Tebbs Group

Cascade Sotheby's International Realty

4 Apps for Prospective Home Buyers

house on tablet in handsReal estate agents bring a wealth of knowledge to the table. With a trust agent by your side and a wide variety of helpful and innovative apps, people who are shopping for a new home are a swipe away from getting the information they need to make the entire buying process as stress-free and easy as possible. Here are four handy apps for homebuyers:

     Homesnap

The free Homesnap app, which is available for both iOS and Android, lets the camera on your phone provide needed information about homes that are for sale. If you are driving around the neighborhood and you spot a home you like, simply pull over and take a photo of it. Homesnap will provide you with all sorts of property details including how much it last sold for, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, tax info, local school ratings and more. If the home is currently listed for sale, the app might also allow you to see interior photos of the residence. The MLS app can even connect you with a real estate agent who can arrange a showing.

     AroundMe

If you are buying a home in an area that you are already familiar, you might have an idea about what sorts of shopping, banks and medical facilities are in the area. But if you have just moved to a new city or state, chances are good you’ll need some help determining what amenities are located close to the neighborhoods you like.The free AroundMe app identifies where you are currently located and then lets you look up nearby businesses like restaurants, hospitals and banks. If being close to a favorite grocery store or other type of businesses is important to you, then this app can pinpoint which homes you might want to bid on.

     Zillow Real Estate

When it comes to real estate apps, Zillow Real Estate is the grandfather of them all. The free app lets you look up a whopping 110 million+ homes in the United States that are currently for sale or rent. If you are interested in purchasing a foreclosed home, the app includes listings in your region as well as information on bank-owned properties. When you find homes that you are interested in, the app will let you know if and when their asking prices are reduced, and when open houses have been scheduled.

     LifeLock Wallet

Part of the home buying process involves making sure that your credit is in good standing so you can qualify for the best interest rate possible. In order to keep tabs on your finances and make sure that no one is trying to steal your identity — which can lead to all sorts of credit nightmares — consider downloading the LifeLock Wallet app. In addition to including digital copies of your various accounts so you can easily access them from your phone, the LifeLock Wallet app allows you to immediately cancel your credit cards if they are lost or stolen. The app also includes paid access to LifeLock’s identity protection programs, which will monitor your accounts 24/7/365 and make sure there is no fraudulent activity going on.

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5 Step Process for Buying a Home in Bend

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Buying a home in Bend is an exciting part of life since it means you will finally be moving from being a renter to a home owner.

Although the local Real Estate market is competitive right now you can give yourself the edge in the home buying process by following these simple tips.

    Tip 1 – Get Pre-Approved For a Mortgage Loan

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is important since it will tell you the exact mortgage loan amount you qualify for and the funds you have to work with when buying a home.

Tip 2 – Determine Your Preferences

Think about where you want to live in Bend and determine what you are searching for in a home including your “must have’s” and “should have’s” in a home.

You should also determine the amenities you are searching for in a home or community as well.

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Tip 3 – Choose a Real Estate Agent

Interview at least 5 Bend Oregon Realtor’s so you find the right Realtor ® who you feel comfortable working with.

Tip 4 – Preview Homes for Sale

Your agent may start with an area tour then show you specific homes in Bend which match what you are searching for.

During the home search it’s important to keep an open mind, especially since you may come across homes which have great potential, and after a little renovation could have everything you could want in a home.

Tip 5 – Make an Offer on a Home

Once you find a home in Bend you are interested in buying you will then make an offer on that home.

Before submitting an offer though your Realtor will provide you with a comparable analysis of homes for sale in Bend so you can submit a competitive offer on the home.

Don’t be deterred if you are going up against multiple bidders, take the time to write a letter to the homeowner which talks about your family and how much you love the home.

Adding that personalized touch may help the homeowner to choose your offer versus a competitors offer.


 

For more tips on buying a home in Bend, or to view the latest Bend Oregon Homes for Sale, contact the Deb Tebbs Group today by calling us at (541) 323-4823 or click here to contact us through our website.

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4 Simple Ways to Increase Your Property Value

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The median value of an Oregon home was $239,300 in December, according to Zillow data. That’s up 5.6 percent from a year earlier. Bend homes have done even better over in that time period. Median values were $295,000, up 7.5 percent from December 2013.

There isn’t much you can personally do to control market volatility that ultimately dictates the value of your home. But there are several renovations, additions and maintenance items that can be performed to add instant value to your property. Here are four ideas to consider:

New Windows

A 2009 report by the Earth Advantage Institute found that Portland homes certified as “sustainable” by third-party agencies sold 18 days faster than non-certified homes. Certified homes also sold for 4.2 percent more than comparable non-certified units.

There are several steps that must be taken for a home to gain sustainable certification, including air sealing and new insulation. But the first, and typically most expensive step is replacing outdated windows. Basically you need windows with double or triple-pane glass, along with ENERGY STAR certification. Windows that have passed rigorous National Fenestration Rating Council standards are even better.

Tessa Smith, of custom home building firm Artisan Group, told the blog Triple Pundit that returns on energy efficiency investments can be less than five years in the Pacific Northwest. Exercise due diligence and get multiple quotes to ensure the best price on new installations.

     Landscaping

The National Gardening Association says creative, well-designed landscaping can increase property values by up to 19 percent. Most people think of trees, bushes and flower beds when they hear the term landscaping. Though the aforementioned will certainly boost property values, there are other ways to make your yard stand out.

Walkways and stone paths are two unique and relatively inexpensive ideas. The Landscaping Network recommends lighting along the walkway for both safety and aesthetic reasons. Patios and decks are always great additions as well. The imagination and budget are the only things that will limit the possibilities.

     Wood Floors

The consensus among Realtors is that hardwood floors add value to a home because buyers highly covet them. Further, a survey by the National Wood Floor Association found that 90 percent of real estate agents said wood flooring means a higher sale price versus comparable carpeted properties.

Wood flooring simply looks good, is easier to care for than carpet. It’s also durable, which is why it’s installed in so many gymnasiums. Installing wood floors yourself is relatively easy and can save you upwards of $1,000 in labor costs depending on the square footage. Again, make certain to get multiple bids to ensure the best price and service.

     Upgrade Storage

Older homes are notorious for having limited closet and storage space. Instead of busting down walls to increase space, simply re-think what you already have.

Use a service like ClosetMaid to virtually redesign your closets. You can then head to the local hardware store and buy the materials necessary to make the design reality. This Old House also provides several low-cost tips to create more space in your existing closets without complete renovation.

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