Q: What Should Homeowners Do in Year One?

What do you need to do in your first year of homeownership?

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You’ve just purchased a home—it could be your first home, or maybe you’ve owned homes in other places. Whatever the case may be, what should you be doing in your first year of homeownership? Here are four things you should cross off your year-one checklist:

1. Get a home warranty. Most of the things that go wrong in a house happen within the first two or three years of ownership. Perhaps the air conditioners, furnaces, or electrical appliances were well-worn by the previous owners of the home. Home warranties only cost $500 a year, and they cover so many different damages. I have personally saved around $3,000 using a home warranty on our houses.

2. Tackle any cosmetic issues. Big-ticket items are covered by home warranties, but cosmetic issues are not. Painting, for example, is an easy cosmetic area to maintain. For a good price, you could paint the interior and exterior of your home yourself, or hire someone else to do it for you. Not only does it give your home a nice fresh coat, but it also helps preserve the wood from rodents, termites, water, and sun.
Taking care of these four areas is a great way to bulletproof your house and set it up for long-term success.
3. Invest in the kitchen and bathrooms. Even if you don’t know when you’re going to move, your best bet is to start putting money into the areas that are most important to homeowners: the kitchen and bathrooms. Updating the flooring, cabinets, countertops, or appliances would be a great use of your time and money.

4. Maintain the exterior of your home. Some decorative plants can take three or four years to mature, which is why it’s important to plant your bushes, flowers, and grasses now. Doing so will give your home more curb appeal.

Taking care of these four areas is a great way to bulletproof your house and set it up for long-term success. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Anderson Group. We’d love to hear from you.

Disclosing My Top Lawn Care Seed-crets

Keeping your lawn looking and feeling fantastic isn’t hard, but it does require action in every season.

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Here is a simple lawn care regimen I follow that’s sure to yield great results:

1. Fertilize in the winter. Sometimes, I even go so far as to water my grass (in Colorado, a few 60- or 70-degree days can poke through in the heart of winter) just to add a little moisture if the weather has been particularly dry.

2. Aerate, fertilize, and water in spring. I’ll rent an aerator from Ace Hardware or Home Depot and clean it before using it on my lawn. I don’t like trusting someone else to aerate my lawn because their aerator is likely hopping from lawn to lawn and spreading diseases; that’s often why you’ll see brown spots suddenly develop. I aerate the lawn, then use a simple $10 spreader to fertilize my lawn with chicken or turkey poop (it's healthier than the chemical stuff). After that, I’ll spread a hardy, Colorado-based grass seed—I’ll spread a generous amount over the whole area. 
I hope this yearly cycle can bring boons to your yard.
3. Fertilize in mid-summer. I’m back out there with the chicken poop, making sure that the lawn keeps its rich, green feel.

4. Aerate, fertilize, and seed in the fall. I repeat basically everything I did in spring. The following spring, my efforts are already made visible: The grass appears thick and healthy with luminous color.

I hope this yearly cycle can bring boons to your yard. As always, reach out with questions or concerns regarding this or any other real estate-related topic. I look forward to hearing from you.

The Strategic Way to Lower Your Home’s Price

Need to lower the price of your home? Here’s how to do it.

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If you’ve decided to lower the price of your home, by how much do you reduce it? The answer depends.

If you’re in a non-luxury price range, a drop of about $5,000 is a good place to start. This is significant enough to attract buyers’ attention. Anything less than that won’t make much of a difference. Remember, though, to make sure the price drop lands the new price between the major $25,000 price points ($525,000, $550,000, $575,000, etc.). 
It’s better to be preemptive and make a price reduction now so buyers see the value and don’t come in even lower.
If you’re in a luxury price range (upwards of $1 million and $2 million), your price drop should be  $25,000, $50,000, $75,000, or even $100,000. This may seem like a lot, but the alternative—sitting on the market for even longer, waiting for a buyer who will probably make a lowball offer—is worse. It’s better to be preemptive and make a price reduction now so buyers see the value and don’t come in even lower.

As always, if you have questions about this or any other real estate topic, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to speak with you.

Investment Options: Flipping vs. Long-Term Ownership

Investment property owners: Is it better to flip a house or to own a rental home long-term? Today I’ll discuss.

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If you’re in the market for an investment home, you might have come to a point where you’re struggling to decide whether to flip a home and sell it or to just hold the home and rent it out to tenants.

One of the most important things to consider when deciding between these two options is the return, or cash flow, you could get.

In the Denver market, for example, a good fix-and-flip property could get you between $20,000 and $100,000.

If you rented out a good single-family home you own for $2,500 a month, but your mortgage on the property is only $1,500, you’re cash-flowing $1,000 a month for life. Rents will go up and down over time, but the overall trend will be upward. You also might have repairs to contend with, so keep that in mind. 
Consider the profit margin for both options and how much work you’re prepared to do to make money from the property.
So would you rather make a quick $20,000 to $100,000, or the $12,000 a year for life? Flipping properties is an intensive project upfront that yields a quick return, and you’ll have to go out and find more properties if you want to continue making money that way.

Ultimately, consider the profit margin for both options and how much work you’re prepared to do to make money from the property. Whichever way you decide to go, I’d love to help you figure out the best fit and how to finance your next investment. Give me a call or send an email, and I’d be happy to start that conversation with you. In the meantime, have a great day!

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