Foreclosures & Short Sales: What’s the Difference?

short sale vs foreclosure whats the difference

In 2007, America was in a real estate bubble. The majority of Americans, especially first-time homebuyers thought that they were getting great deals on homes, while investors raked in as many properties as they could. It was only a matter of a few short years before the recession began and the housing market across the United States tanked! Banks were held accountable and quite a few people who bought real estate either had to foreclose or do a short sale to get out of their mortgage. Many struggled to keep their underwater investment properties. Foreclosures & short sales began to quickly be the easy way out of their mortgages.

Foreclosures & Short Sales

We’ve learned so much since then, but yet, sometimes properties have a selling price that seems too good to pass up. Becoming educated and gaining an understanding of how the process works for each of these situations can help you navigate through the process of a foreclosure or short sale. We will provide the understanding between foreclosures & short sales in our monthly post.

short sale

What is a Short Sale?

We bet that at least once someone has told you to stay away from short sales. If not, you’ve perhaps heard they are a great deal! Regardless, the result is this: Purchasing a short sale is a complicated process. In fact, very few short sales are completed within 30 to 120 days. Knowing whether it’s worth all of the extra work depends on the buyer’s situation.

A short sale may be the sale of property for which the lending company is willing to accept significantly less than the amount owed on the loan. For a sale to be a short sale, both of these things must be true:

The owner must be very behind on payments that they can’t catch up.

Usually, the housing market has gone down so much that house is worth far less than the rest of the balance on the mortgage.

In most cases, the lending company (and the homeowner) will attempt a short sale process to avoid a foreclosure. In general, there are a great number of misunderstandings around short sales. One misconception is that lenders only desire to get rid of the property and will move quickly to sell it far below the price of what it is worth. Actuality, the lender will take their time to recover their loss because they can. Keep in mind: Just because a house or property is listed as a short sale certainly does not mean the lender must accept your low offer! This is even if the owner accepts it and is exactly the reason why a short sale can be so tricky.

house foreclosure

What’s a Foreclosure?

Foreclosure is what happens whenever a homeowner does not pay the mortgage. It is a legal process where the owner forfeits all rights of the house. If the owner can’t pay back the outstanding debt or sell the house via short sale, the property then auctioned as a foreclosure. If it doesn’t sell there, the lender takes possession of the house.

 

#1: Missing Payments

Everything begins when the homeowner, also known as the borrower, does not make mortgage payments on time. Generally, it’s because they can’t, because of hardships, for example, unemployment, divorce, death or medical challenges.

If you’re in this difficult situation, it is necessary that you speak to your lender as quickly as possible. There are quite a few options and compromises to keep you in your home. The foreclosure process costs most lenders a ton of money and resources. They would rather work something out and avoid this process just as much as you do.

Sometimes, a borrower might intentionally stop paying the loan because the property may be underwater. In simple terms, the amount of the mortgage exceeds the property value.

Whatever the reason, the end result is that the borrower cannot meet the terms of the loan.

#2: Public notice

After a number of missed payments, the lending company records a public notice with the County Recorder’s Office. They will indicate that the borrower has defaulted on their house mortgage. In a few states, it is called a Notice of Default (NOD); in others, it’s a lis pendens – Latin for “suit pending.”

Depending on your state’s law, the lending company may be required to post the notice on the front door of the house. This official notice makes the borrowers aware that they are at the risk of a pending foreclosure to the property.  It also shows them they may end up being evicted from the premises.

#3: Pre-Foreclosure

After receiving a  Notice of Default (NOD) from the lender, the debtor enters a grace period also known as pre-foreclosure. During this time period (from 30 to 120 days, based on local regulations) the borrower may work out an arrangement with the lender with a short sale or payment of the amount owed.

If the borrower takes care of the default during this period, foreclosure ends. The borrower will avoid home eviction and the sale. If the default isn’t paid off and the foreclosure will continue.

#4: Foreclosures Auction

If the default isn’t remedied by the deadline, the lending company sets a date for the property to be sold at a foreclosure auction. The Notice of Trustee’s Sale (NTS) is documented with the County Recorder’s Office. They also send notifications to the borrower and post on the property and publish in the newspaper. Auctions can be held on the county courthouse, in the trustee’s office, at a convention center, and even at the property’s address.

At the auction, the house is sold to the highest bidder for cash. As the pool of potential buyers who are able to afford and pay cash for a house is limited, many lenders make a contract with the borrower to take the property back.

#5: Post-foreclosure

If a third party will not purchase the property or home at the foreclosure auction, the lender company takes ownership of it. It is what is known as a bank-owned property.

Bank repossessed properties are sold in two ways. Frequently, they are listed and sold by a local real estate agent. The MLS system and Zillow.com lists bank-owned properties. Some lenders prefer to list them themselves, also known as Real Estate Owned (REO). These are called a bank-owned liquidation auction and are frequent so they can get rid of them as soon as possible.

local Foreclosures & Short Sales Houses

Short Sales vs. Foreclosures

In conclusion, having neither foreclosures & short sales on their hands is very good. They are not an easy way to avoid paying your house debt. It is the worst case for a seller who would like to get rid of their house mortgage and start fresh.

Short Sale

If a short sale has to take place, the home should be worth far less than the total amount the homeowners owe. They must be behind on payments to the mortgage and believe that they cannot catch up. Potential buyers will deal with sellers / real estate agent during the short sale process. Each of the details around the short sale process must be reviewed and approved by the lending company. Short sales cannot happen unless the lender checks off on the sale. Everything would depend on the lending company. The process can be lengthy and unpredictable even if the homeowner agrees to sell to a potential buyer and their terms.

Foreclosure Report

Foreclosure

In a foreclosure situation, the bank or lender takes ownership after the buyer is unable to make payments. This method is initiated by the lender. The bank will force the sale of the home in order to recover the original loan amount. If the homeowners are living in the house, they will be evicted during the foreclosure process. The loan provider will then attempt to sell the house either an auction or through a real estate broker. The foreclosure process normally takes less time compared to a short sale. Most lenders need to liquidate the home as quickly as possible.

Which Is Better Between Foreclosures & Short Sales?

For homeowners, a short sale is typically better than a foreclosure because of two reasons. First, a short sale can be voluntary while a foreclosure is forced. Second, after a foreclosure or short sale, many people are required to wait seven years before obtaining another home mortgage. Most lenders would prefer a short sale to foreclosure because it enables them to recoup a majority of the initial loan. This can be done without a long and costly legal process. Generally, in most cases, homeowners and lenders will pursue a foreclosure after an effort to sell the property through a short sale process.

For more details or questions about foreclosures & short sales reach out to one of our agents. Contact us below or call (850) 792-4464. If you would like to search for foreclosures & short sales in your area click here.

 

Declutter Your Home, to Get Organized!

get organized kitchen

New Year’s is certainly a time to look back to the past, and more importantly, forward to the year ahead. This year we have accomplished so much, nonetheless, it is a time to think about the changes we want (or need) to resolve. Our New Year’s resolution this year is to help our readers to declutter your home! The faster you start on it the faster you can check it off your list. Please understand that it is always a work in progress and we are still working on ours even through the holidays. Once done you will be happy with the outcome and what you achieved. Every Realtor sees the investment in getting organized and decluttered. We always recommend getting organized before moving and putting your house up for sale. Please join us reading how to declutter your home, and you can thank us later.

Get Rid of “Things” & Get Organized


First and foremost, we are “moderate minimalists”… not. If you’ve been in your home for a good amount of time, it’s likely that you have collected a lot of stuff over time.  Beginning this process is the first step. Living this way doesn’t exactly come very easily, but we are happy to be learning and growing. It is an amazing journey to get things organized and put away. We began with a game plan to use the facebook marketplace to get rid of big items that were in great condition. The outcome was better than we could ever expect and we got rid of so much! We always kept in mind, the less you have, the better it’ll fit into your house. Also, the less organizing you will need to do once you move to a new house. We are sure there are other creative ways to declutter your home but getting rid of things is the easiest.

declutter your home

These Are Our Personal Recommendations for Things in the House:

Every single item needs it’s own spot to be placed away. Think out of sight out of mind. Make a space for everything and everything must be put into its place. Bills, bags, books, keys, wallets etc. – each item needs its very own spot. If there is not a spot for something on a shelf, drawer or a basket, it will never be put away! It will become left to sit and gather dust. If you have a family always on the go, you understand! Our dream is to get organized to the point where we have no junk drawers

Do Not Own More Than One of Something.

We are aware this doesn’t always work with everything or everyone. Everyone must be on the same page if you want to declutter your home. For example, the man of the house likes to fix and woodwork and has a few toolsets. He uses them all. On the other hand, we have a few cans of paint sitting in the garage for touch ups and projects. We got rid of a few old cans to a local Tallahassee charity. But when getting rid of the extras, we agreed we didn’t need two leaf blowers or three knife sets. Ditch the extras to a local charity or Goodwill. If you have enough items they may come and pick them up free of charge, plus there is a tax write-off.

If You Don’t Use It, Lose It.

Some items may be difficult to part with. Sentimental value items are always the hardest to get rid of. Only you understand the value and story behind it. If it’s worthwhile to hold onto keeping it, but if it’s weighing you down or gathering dust, consider offering it to someone to hold onto it.

organized kitchen silverware

When Shopping Ask Yourself… 

Below are a few questions to consider when you’re purchasing – and the same applies to donations or garage sale treasures. Because it’s free doesn’t signify it belongs in your space. Is it something I’ll use regularly? “Do I actually juice on a weekly basis, with this juicer my dad got me for Christmas?” Or will it just take up space on my counter?

Do I Currently Have A Similar Item? If So, You Don’t Need It!

Why do we all have a tendency to buy several similar clothing items again and again? If you have one or two cute black dresses, that is all you probably need. Time to declutter your home.

Where does it go when we get home? If we cannot think of a place it should go or its own spot, out of sight, then we will not purchase it. It will add clutter and you should get it under control asap.

clean organized kitchen

How to Get Your Kitchen Organized & Declutter Your Home

  • Toss chipped and broken items, they are dangerous.
  • No need taking up prime cabinet space for items to get off the counter.
  • Limit the number of reusable water bottles and on-the-go coffee mugs. We now have 4 of each.
  • Split up utensils used for cooking on the stove and devices into two drawers.
  • Clean off the counter from anything that fit into drawers. Furthermore, Use drawer dividers.
  • Throw away mismatched and stained Tupperware containers. Buy new, smaller glass sets (they cost more but last longer).
  • Get rid of old spices.
  • If there is still not enough space for your kitchen items, more must go.
  • Create a good space for each appliance, pan, etc to be put.
  • Eliminate the random dishes that don’t belong to a set.

clean bed room high end

In Conclusion to Declutter Your Home

Here are the positives we are seeing from decluttering:

  • Less mess to deal with and clean up.
  • Saves money and time, not searching for and buying unneeded things.
  • Makes life simpler when we need to look for things such as house keys.
  • Helps us use the space to its full potential.
  • Our spaces feel calmer in a clutter-free house. It looks better too.

The house still gets messy and dishes still seem to accumulate around the sink but knowing that things have a place is reassuring. If a room needs to be organized, it requires half the time to get in order. It’s not as overwhelming now. We have determined to not let clutter be the center of our lives anymore. All it does is consume time, focus, and space. Declutter your home and you will get back your happiness!

Keep It Up and Get Organized. We believe in You!

It takes time to go through any space and trim out the clutter, and trust us it’s a never-ending task. Stuff will usually find its way into your home! Take time to keep track and getting rid of what you’re accumulating. All you have to do is begin and in no time you will live in a clutter-free home. If you are getting ready to sell your home or move to a new one this will help you declutter your home in preparation. Give us a call or send us a message below if you have any questions.

 

Selling Your Home in Tallahassee During the Holidays? Considering Decorating it Right!

selling your home in tallahassee florida Realtor

Selling your home in Tallahassee during the holidays means you might need a crash course on how to decorate your home for the holiday season without turning off buyers.

Think Cheerful & Inviting When Guests Are Over

Unless you’re a complete Scrooge, it’s hard to argue with glitter lights, large tree, and colorful statues of old Saint Nick. These all make the home look more cheerful and inviting when guests are over. But you also probably know that if you’re trying to sell your home, buyers need to have an easy time imagining themselves in your home. Their seasonal traditions are not like yours so we may need to take them down a notch.

saint nick beard christmas tips to sell your house


You don’t need to ditch the decorations altogether. Nevertheless, you should not go crazy hanging wreaths, holly, and Christmas lights. Every holiday card you receive from your family should not be the focal point, either. So how do you let the holiday spirit flow without turning off a potential buyer? We have some tips for you! Grab your favorite holiday drink and cozy up with your favorite blanket to read our real estate guide on selling your home in Tallahassee!

1. Depersonalize the Decorations

It is important the look of your rooms appeals to as many different real estate buyers as possible! Everyone has a different taste or opinion and during the holidays, it can be even more direct. The seller’s personal life shouldn’t be prominently highlighted throughout the residence. Less is more when it comes to decorations while selling your home in Tallahassee.

selling a house get rid of christmas cards
That means avoiding the personal decorations that appeal to you and your family:

• “Best Football Mom” ornament you received at football camp
• 10 Christmas stockings of everyone that comes over during Christmas morning
• Religious nativity scenes
• A ton of holiday cards, try to limit to no more than 3
• Photos of your baby’s first Christmas

2. Consider the Neighborhood While Selling Your Home in Tallahassee


If all of your neighbors get in the nature of the holidays, you don’t want to look like a Grinch. If your neighborhood is going all out with holiday lights and nativity scenes, then, by all means, add to it a little. Then when people look at the lights, it is also free real estate marketing. Check out these neighborhoods for inspiration: Killearn, Dorothy B. Oven Park, and Chain of Parks – Park Avenue.

killarney way park in tallahassee


If your local neighborhood is festive, then a buyer would expect Christmas decorations at your home. Selling your home in Tallahassee is not a science. Under other conditions, if you live in a conservative community with a mix of religious and spiritual beliefs, add a little. Use decorations in a way to promote season’s greetings rather than your specific holiday.

tallahassee condo for sale3. In the Event that you Must Add some Holiday Decorations.

Here is How:

• Keep it classic and basic: Hang up a stylish custom wreath on the front door, rather than a “Santa is coming to town!” Keep it stylish but do not go overboard. Think classic and elegant.

• Celebrate the holidays with color: Some can agree religious symbols are iffy, nevertheless, you don’t have to forsake them altogether. If you celebrate Hanukkah, hang a wreath with tones of blue. For Christmas, your wreath can be created with evergreen boughs and pine cones. For Kwanzaa, add red bows on a green wreath.

• Don’t Overdo Lights: Simple white or blue lighting can add a holiday cheer without blinding buyers during showings. Also, turning off the blinking or pulsing will keep it classic without looking like a disco club.

selling your house during the holidays

• Protect Presents: Don’t stack presents under a tree or put them on display. The last thing you want this holiday is for a stranger knock them over. Get them out of the way of guests.

• Choose Scents Over Scenes: The smell of simmering wintergreen essential oil or baked cookies will delight the senses. These can be better than garlands strung all over the house. Furthermore, providing fresh baked cookies to the guests will wow them during a long day of looking at houses in Tallahassee.

• Light the Fireplace: A roaring fire during a cool weekday shows a cozy way to celebrate the winter and warm guests as well. Who doesn’t like the smell of a crackling fire? This also highlights a feature that not many Florida homes have.

light the fireplace during the holidays open house


• Box Up the Greeting Cards: We cannot speak enough on cards! We see them everywhere when others are selling homes in Tallahassee. Thirty holiday cards on a dining room table make the room look messy. Put them in a drawer during a Realtor walk through.

• Increase Highlights of Guest Bathrooms: Place peppermint-scented soaps or Cedar candles in the bathrooms along with a few tasteful, holiday-themed towels. They show off the highlights of the bathroom and add some spirit and interest.

Selling Real Estate During the Holidays is a Great Idea

Lastly, homeowners may believe the market to slow during the holidays but remember that a lot of folks have a considerable amount of time off work. They have the extra time to look around town for properties. Also, many sellers don’t want to be bothered by showings during the holidays. This means less competition of similar homes available for the motivated buyers. In our opinion, it is the perfect time for buyers and sellers in the housing market.

During this festive time, selling your home in Tallahassee is easy with our tips! You will have fewer house hunters, but more motivated buyers. Give Eldridge Home Team a call (850) 792-4464 if you have any questions. Contact us below and we can discuss selling your house over some hot chocolate.

Flooded House? Insurance Covers Plumbing Problems

flooding house Tallahassee realtor contractor plumbing problems flood water damage

Boy, do we love learning about flooded houses, plumbing mishaps, and insurance claims! Can you tell we are being sarcastic? Without delay, let me take you on a little journey to one of my first showings as a new Keller Williams real estate agent and my first flooded house.

Don’t Let A Flooded House Ruin Your Day.

It was a cute, little Tallahassee house in the Southwood community. Three bedrooms, two bathrooms, wooden floors, and impeccably manicured landscaping. The property was on the market for only 2 weeks before we received one of those phone calls that every Realtor dreads to receive. The master bath sprung a leak and flooded a few of the rooms! We sprung to action and connected the homeowners with a reliable local plumber and worked with the insurance agent to get the house back on the market as quickly as possible.

Major plumbing issues that develop into larger disasters are amongst the most common causes of home insurance claims. In fact, water damage claims are the second most frequent insurance claim. Furthermore, most people want to know the provisions of insurance for plumbing. The first step is to get to know the types of water damage as classified by insurance companies.

Water Damage Classifications:

  • Accidental or sudden discharge
  • Water backup or sewer backup
  • Overflow
  • Flood
  • Storm-related water damage

When it comes down to plumbing problems, most people want to know which plumping issue is covered by their insurance policy. Is it the damage caused by a leaking roof, leaking toilet, or a water leak? The following factors determine the extent to which an insurance company can intervene:

  1. Source of the damage
  2. Insurance policy type
  3. Gradual or sudden water damage

water damage flooded basement remediation plumbing insurance

Gradual Damage:

Most of the time, insurance companies do not cover the gradual damage. This is because it is not easy to compensate for an issue that has been in existence for a while and has recently caught your attention. For example a leak behind a wall or appliance. The following are some of the gradual damage claims that insurance companies may deny:

  • Poor history of home repairs
  • Deteriorated electrical wiring
  • Housing repipes that cause leaks
  • Sewers outside of the structure
  • A deteriorating roof that needs repair
  • Corrosion, mold, or rot
  • Damaged caused by water seeping through the interior or exterior parts of the house
  • Leaking to floors, ceilings, and walls caused by deteriorated plumbing, facets, or pipes

flooding house Tallahassee realtor contractor plumbing problems flood water damage

Mold & Natural Disasters:

  • Some insurance companies allow mold remediation coverage. Check with your insurance provider or agent to make sure that this is the case.
  • Natural disasters that cause water damage and results in poor original insurance coverage. Some insurance companies cover such instances. For example, if a tree falls on the roof of a house and damages the water system causes roof leaks. Then a few weeks after the repair of the flooded house, the home may develop a mold-related situation.

Eldridge home team local home insurance company

Tips for Insurance & Claims

  1. Make sure that you keep the records of all the repairs and maintenance checks done by licensed local plumbers over the years. In any event, the insurance company will need this paperwork if you experience any loss due to a flooded house.
  2. Before you sign the contract for any insurance coverage, make sure that you have read all the policies, exclusions, and your duties as a homeowner. This will help you save on time by giving you some insight into the claims process.
  3. Make sure to seek the aid of a reputable Tallahassee plumber to help you in conducting home repairs and annual maintenance. In fact, schedule an annual routine checkup of your home plumbing system.
  4. Select an insurance company that has the best coverage for your needs. Additionally, make sure that you inquire about any other extra coverage that you can add to your policy.
  5. Shop around for insurance.  Although the process can be daunting and time-consuming, do not buy the first policy that sounds good. Spending time selecting the best policy for you can end up saving you time and money in the long run. The last thing you want to do is buy coverage from a company that will make the claims process a bigger headache than it needs to be.

leak house bathroom remediation plumbing insurance Tallahassee real estate

Never Forget the Flooded House & You Better Not Either!

In conclusion, it is best to sit down with a local professional whether it is a plumber or insurance agent. Don’t wait for a flooded house to have a plumber do a courtesy check if you need something repaired. In addition, speak to a local insurance agent about what is covered on your property. It’s a great habit to update insurance policies every year in the hurricane offseason. If you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to call our office to speak to a licensed Realtor. We will give you our honest opinion without any kind of sales pitch.

Why We Need A Local Real Estate Attorney

local real estate solving disputes lawyer tallahassee

What do you do when you’re working with a local real estate agent and you have a legal question on some paperwork that may require specialized knowledge? It should be obvious, but local real estate attorney is a crucial piece of the puzzle. They help our team in reviewing property documents, overseeing transactions and resolving disputes. These matters can create bigger issues in the future if not handled properly. Having counsel on your team is an upfront investment towards your piece of mind.  It could wind up saving you time, money and unnecessary headaches years down the road. Contact any of our Tallahassee Realtors to get a great reference to a legal professional. We are here to advise and help you no matter the questions or concerns you may have without obligation.

attorney local tallahassee

Let’s take a deeper look to why we have a real estate attorney on your team:

For Sale by Owner:

If you decide to sell your Tallahassee home “For Sale By Owner” please sit down with a real estate lawyer or speak with a Realtor. Regulations are constantly being updated and have become more stringent. The paperwork involved in any transaction can be difficult to understand. This paperwork can include an agreement to purchase, homeowners’ associations, disclosures, community agreements, and warranties. Typically this process is straightforward. It should not need the involvement of any lawyer and can be handled by our team. However, in cases where there is a disagreement verbally in regards to the written contract, a lawyer may need to be hired for each party. No one wants to deal with these problems or risk a transaction falling through. These are the times when an attorney would help with a positive outcome. Let’s talk about your options.

Problems & Issues Can Come Up After The Sale:

realtor attorney housing market attorney team memberImagine a situation where, if after buying a property, you are facing problems like water leakage, foundation problems, mold contamination, electrical damages, etc. Most small problems will have an immediate solution. However, major problems like foundation damage may cause safety issues for you and your family. In these situations, an attorney can help you with a positive judgment in court. If the problems you are facing are major, perhaps the seller did not disclose it at the time of selling the property. You may have the right to file a case against them. Depending on the severity of the damages, the court could order the seller to provide for monetary relief. Dealing with such problems will take time and resources. It is important to receive proper legal guidance in such dilemmas. If you need our advice, message us any time or day.

Divorce & Splitting Up The Property:

While you are undergoing a divorce you must involve a great Realtor and attorney team to assist in issues. We all dislike having to deal with something so important during a stressful time. You both jointly own a house and this may cause a serious problem with the sale of the property. What happens if you both want the house? What happens if you owe thousands of dollars on the property? This is the time when we can guide you with all sorts of information such as current laws and regulations. Furthermore, they will act as a mediator for each party. Not to mention they will do their best to keep your future in mind with a positive outcome.

local realtor coffee shortsale business law

Commercial Transactions:

If you are planning to buy a commercial space, hire a lawyer and a commercial agent. In today’s world, you cannot afford to forgo the protection for a commercial property transaction. While a Realtor will help you with the details of the purchase, the lawyer will ensure that you have protection. This protection extends well beyond the closing date. Equally important is that they will have an understanding of realty laws that each party must abide by. In the case that the property needs to be purchased in a hurry, it is smart to have an attorney on standby for last minute consulting. The attorney will be able to review documents quickly and advise accordingly.

divorce attorney house property local laws regulations

Final Thought On Hiring A Local Real Estate Attorney

Lastly, know your legal rights concerning law. Selling or buying a house yourself is a big deal! Doing a little research never hurt, but when a question arises hiring a knowledgeable team is more important than ever. Real estate professionals can offer more than marketing your house. We can offer a safety net of an experienced and trusted multifaceted team. Homeowners sometimes believe that they will save money selling it on their own. This is not necessarily a fact. Furthermore, we recommend hiring a Tallahassee Realtor to list the property and having a real estate attorney look everything over. Please check out our local directory of businesses the Eldridge Home Team recommends around town.

Interior Home Repairs: Check Important Items Around The Home

interior home repairs tallahassee realtor fixing checklist

Who wants to be a handyman for a day? Not I. If you are a homeowner it is advisable to keep up the interior home repairs of your property. Don’t wait to sell a home to start fixing these items as more damage can occur if years go by untended, and ultimately can drive up the cost of the repair. The real estate that sells most quickly in Tallahassee are the ones that show dedicated maintenance by their owners. House ownership is rewarding, and it involves consistent upkeeping of your property with regular maintenance.

how to fix interior repairs tallahassee realtor checklist

Becoming a handyman isn’t something many people look forward to. They feel they may have to have the proper skillset to do it. Furthermore, it does require an investment of time which can be quite costly. The internet is a great resource for the majority of minor repairs, there are many reputable blogs and YouTube videos that can help with these small repairs. You will see why making the commitment to ensure a preventative maintenance checklist is a must.

Preventative Maintenance Checklist

Here are some items you should check regularly on the interior of your residence to keep it in great condition:

1. HVAC & A/C Systems

If your home has central air conditioning or heating, or an HVAC system, you already know the air filters must be cleaned or changed regularly. Normally, there is quite a bit of moisture around the evaporator coils so these should be cleaned periodically. Doing so makes sure mold does not grow on the coils and ultimately blown into your ductwork and into your house. Check the furnace, the bathroom vents and the ductwork for a moldy smell and condensation. When in doubt hire a local A/C company, and you may want to consider purchasing an HVAC maintenance plan to relieve some of the burden of this maintenance.

2. Carbon Monoxide Detectors & Smoke Alarms

It’s easy to forget to check these little alarms, but they are one of the most crucial items to maintain in your home – especially in Florida! A faulty smoke detector can cause serious harm if it were to malfunction.  The biggest threat to people during a fire is smoke inhalation. A device should be placed in every bedroom, kitchen and hallways. Make sure to check and replace your alarm batteries and detectors as often as is necessary. The local fire inspector recommends to change out hard-wired alarms every 10 years. Also, if you hear them chirping replace the batteries in all of your devices as soon as possible.

interior repairs tallahassee water heater rust house fixing selling

3. Water Heaters

Hater heaters can cost you time, money, and repairs. You need to test the pressure relief valve on your water heater frequently. Doing this monthly will allow you to quickly catch leaks and prevent a buildup of mineral sediments. Additionally, visually inspect for rust and corrosion. Automatic gas shut-off valves for gas-fired water heaters should be checked regularly. Contact a trusted, local Tallahassee plumber for questions or to perform a check before a flood happens.

4. Auto-Reverse Garage Door

If your garage door doesn’t auto-reverse when it hits an obstacle, then there’s a problem. Interior repairs need to always keep children in mind and safe. This could lead to child accidents and death. With this in mind, check electric sensors and clean of dust and obstacles.

5. Plumbing, Piping & Drain Clogs

Check for signs of leaks under sinks and on the wall. At the same time, check for drips on faucets and rust on the handle of your toilet water system. Fixing these will save you money on your water bill as well. Of course, if you find any water spots or drips hire a local Tallahassee plumber to get the problem fixed before mold and extensive water damage begins.

interior repairs tallahassee house fixing selling realestate

6. Roof Leaks & Holes

If you can see a water spot on the ceiling then your many have a pipe leak or roof leak. Do not let this continue as it will get worse over time and may cause mold to grow. Instead, consult a local professional for a free estimate to get this fixed. Also, this is a must in interior home repairs and storms that hit Tallahassee, Florida!

7. Window Caulking & Door Seals

After a few years window caulking gets old and disintegrates from the elements and moisture. In addition, check the door weatherstripping for a good seal. Both can be easily replaced and will help to keep the cold out during the winter months, and the warm air out during the summer months.

interior repairs fixing checklist tallahassee real estate

Interior Home Repairs & Preventative Maintenance

Lastly, it is certainly a good idea to have a plan in place with the help of a local professional to help with your interior repairs. Such synergy ensures that your property remains in top shape in keeping with local laws and keeping your property in perfect condition. Equally important, this simple maintenance also saves you money, as it guarantees that your home will keep running efficiently, thus increasing the resale value of the property. Again, we know trustworthy companies that will catch faults and damages before they get out of hand. Tallahassee Realtors should be proactive in discussing these items with you. If you need house maintenance services send us an email and we will get you in touch with a local home maintenance company.

5 Tips To Make Your Home Hurricane Ready

tips for getting your home hurricane ready

Hey, do you know you live in Florida and hurricane season is already in full force? It’s a no-brainer for you and your family to be prepared and make your home hurricane ready. Hurricane season lasts for 6 months, from June 1 to November 30, so it is important to get your structure storm ready.  While some may not feel the need to do so, the past 20 years has taught us to be storm smart. It is important that we in Tallahassee become prepared! Putting some of these simple tips in place will not take a lot of time and will give you greater peace of mind during the chaos that ensues when there is an evacuation order issued.

Why It Is Important to Plan for Hurricanes

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), determines the likelihood that a hurricane will strike our community for each storm. Prepare for hurricanes often bring heavy flooding, winds, and even tornadoes, so don’t assume that you won’t get hit by a hurricane if you don’t live on the coast. “Hurricanes are not just a coastal problem. We will feel impacts from these storms hundreds of miles inland,” says NOAA. If you’re wondering where a hurricane is heading, their website has some awesome tracking tools. We can also see from recent hurricanes and tropical storms what our impact has been and which danger zones make us vulnerable.

home hurricane ready tallahassee weather map warnings

#1 Check the Roof Before the Storm

The roof is the largest opening to your beautiful house. It is very important to keep the interior components safekeeping the roof in great condition. It is vital to make sure that it is checked by a certified roofer. Wind and heavy rains can cause havoc to the roof with its endless torment. State law requires builders to strap a home’s roof to the walls in Florida. If you need some work done, make sure to shop around and look at reviews before hiring a roofer.

#2 Don’t Leave Anything Outside & Trim Trees

Anything from yard adornments, patio and pool furniture, even potted plants can become projectiles during a storm. Gather them up and put everything into your garage. Maintaining trees trimmed around your property is essential. If larger trees need trimming or you have debris piling up around your yard, arrange to have it collected or removed before the storm approaches. Call a Tallahassee licensed arborist if you need a quote or have questions.

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#3 Sand Bags & Towels Are Very Important

Use sandbags even if you do not think the storm will be that bad. Not only do sandbags help with flooding or leaking from sideways rain, they help prevent wind from entering through or blowing water through the door jam. Sand and bags are available free of charge at various locations around Tallahassee which will help make your house hurricane ready. It is also a good tip to place towels around the of windows and doorways. They may help minimize the flood water away from your home when properly placed.

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#4 Take Photos & Videos of Your Possessions

Make a list of your home’s contents. Use your cell phone to take photos or videos to document your personal belongings and the exterior areas of your residence. If you need to file an insurance claim after the storm, this documentation will become invaluable. Lastly, backup all of the video and photos. Cloud services such as Google Drive and Dropbox are free for the first few gigs. You can also upload it to YouTube. Taking this precaution will back it up even if you lose your phone or damage occurs to it while traveling.

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#5 Home Insurance Policies are a Must Making Your Residence Hurricane Ready

Although many of us do not prioritize this as much as we should, look at your policies and coverage yearly. Ask yourself, “what is actually covered? Does my policy cover the entire structure and all of your interior belongings?” 

home hurricane ready insurance policy tallahassee real estate

Most people only purchase enough insurance to cover their house at the time of purchase. Rebuilding a house gets more expensive each year and many of us make significant improvements that affect the value of our home. There is a chance that 10 years from now your insurance will not cover the price to rebuild it if your coverage remains the same. Determine whether you need flood insurance since this type of coverage on most policies is separate and at an additional cost. Finally, don’t forget to purchase interior contents insurance. This type of coverage ensures everything inside of your house – from your personal belongings to your jewelry. It’s important to understand that right before a major storm hits Florida, the insurance companies stop issuing new insurance policies or making changes to existing policies. If you need to make changes do it now before a major hurricane comes our way. Prepare and have 100% coverage with insurance making your place hurricane ready.

Final Thought On Making Your Home Hurricane Ready

Hurricane season happens every year and it seems that Tallahassee, FL is always in the crosshairs of these storms. Have a plan for you and your family and your home because it is your biggest asset. Do research before hiring a local business to do hurricane repairs. When in doubt give us a call. Our real estate agents can give you some sound advice and local business recommendations.

Should College Students Rent or Buy Housing In Tallahassee, Florida

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The college student lifestyle is not an easy one, so hats off to those seeking a higher education with a degree from a local university. Students are more likely to move to college towns, like Tallahassee, Florida every year. Finding accommodations will be at the top of the list of their priorities for these young adults. The question is, should college students rent or buy housing around town?

Below are some reasons for and against both renting and buying a house when you’re getting ready to move to college. If you weigh each one well, you will be able to arrive at a decision that suits you. Whatever you decide to do, always seek out a licensed realtor for guidance to avoid some misconceptions about the local real estate market.

buy housing tallahassee college student florida realtor eldridge home team

When Buying Housing Is A Great Decision

Regardless of your background, a student can earn a living while being a student. Buying a home in a college town can serve as an investment and source of income for the student who can afford to buy a home. How so?

buy housing tallahassee florida realtor eldridge home teamCollege students who buy housing have full rights to the property and can rent out rooms to other tenants. The demand for housing is often very high in college towns and you won’t have any troubles finding tenants. The rent can help ease off the burden of paying the mortgage on the condo or house. Keep in mind they must understand property management and writing up leases. If they don’t, hiring a local Tallahassee property manager may be smart when buying housing. Also, you can sell off the house after graduation and recover the initial investment plus some profit from the equity of the property.

When Buying Housing Is Not A Good Decision

While the idea of making money sounds like a smart move, there are some downsides to buying a condo or house in a college town.

You immediately become the property owner with responsibilities and extra maintenance expenses that accrue because you’re now a landlord. Some of those extra expenses include background checks on new tenants, writing lease agreements, preventive maintenance, taxes, and insurance.

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Furthermore, your tenants could turn out to be problematic, and dealing with this is sometimes harder if your tenants are also your friends or family. Make sure your lease is written well and outlines all the rules and what you expect. This is your investment so treat it as such.

All this can be very distracting for a student with a full set of classes at, Tallahassee Community College, Florida State University, or Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. Being a landlord is stressful work but it can provide a supplemental income in lieu of getting a part-time job.

When Your College Student Should Rent A House

Renting is way more flexible than owning. Renting a house while in school gives you more time to survey the area for the future. You can study the people, neighborhoods, crime, traffic, and the rate of migration to and from the area of the city. This will help you to decide if you really want to remain there for the rest of your lease.

Furthermore, should you ever change your mind about where you live, you can always move very easily as soon as you’ve found yourself a new place to stay in an area where you feel more comfortable or safer. If you had bought the house though, moving would be more complicated and may likely not happen as soon as you would want it.

Another great aspect is they when renting a property you do not have to deal with maintenance. The property owner will have to take care of anything that breaks. It should be included in your monthly rent to the owner or property manager.

When Renting A House Is A Bad Decision

There are downsides to renting an apartment or house, for instance renting does not yield any returns. You’re only helping the property owner make extra money and every month you pay is like giving away money.

buy rent housing tallahassee college student florida realtor eldridge home team

Another issue has to with the maintenance of the house. If the house requires repairs, you may have to wait a while till the property owner can find the time or the resources to do the repairs. This is the case because you are renting space and you, therefore, do not have exclusive rights to carry out any repairs on the property. Always keep this in mind that the state of Florida has rules and regulations in place for property managers and owners to abide by.

Our Final Thought If You Are Ready To Buy Housing Or Renting While Pursuing A Higher Education

It pays to ask questions when interviewing managers and property owners. There are a lot of great owners in this college town and on the flip side, there are a few slum lords too. Do your due diligence of researching on people and properties before buying or renting. When in doubt ask a professional.

Have you made up your mind to either buy a house or rent a house around FSU, TCC, or FAMU? Then you need expert guidance from a licensed realtor that knows the community. You can contact us for any inquiries you may have about renting or buying a house as a college student, or visit our website to view our listed homes.

10 Tips Local Real Estate Agents Should Be Telling You – Part 2 of 2

local real estate agent Tallahassee home

In this blog post, we are finishing up our selling tips on how to make your home ready to sell. Local real estate agents sometimes forget to tell their clients some of these simple tips. We don’t want a property to sit on the market very long so we are here to help and get the process done quick and painless. If you would like to check out the last post read more here.

#6 Hire A Local Professional For Photos & Videos

Visuals such as photos and short videos are everything on the internet these days especially social media and marketing efforts. The photos and videos of your house are what will attract people to your online property listing. Most of the time when people search for “Tallahassee homes for sale”, they will see the listing photos well before they ever step off to view the property in person. It pays to hire a creative, local professional to show off the house at an angle we could never accomplish with our Androids and iPhones. Create excitement with an amazing visual through a local real estate photographer or videographer.

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#7 See This As A Business

Your home is your greatest asset, and selling it should not be treated like selling an item on Craigslist. People, product, and process are very important to any business and local real estate agents know that! If you want to sell it well with a good profit, get into that mindset. Be prepared to answer any questions over the phone and through emails. Have open communication with all parties involved. Transparency is also key to any property transaction. Be open to criticism with an open mind. We know this can be stressful at times but a business mindset actually adds to the beauty and investment of a house.

selling home tallahassee Realtor

#8 Always Be Ready For A Showing

selling home local real estate agents clean ready viewingBe ready to adjust your schedule to fit the buyers’ viewing schedule, not the other way around. Always leave the home in a clean and orderly state so you get the most out of every showing. If you can do it during the week, plan to put in a few hours every weekend to tidy up every room. Every piece of clutter will make the house less desirable to a potential buyer. Make your buyers and agents feel welcome and entertained. Leave some homemade cookies even, and just leave them on the kitchen table with a note! Every little aspect of a viewing that is ready to show will give you better chances of make the sale in the first few weeks.

#9 Price The Property With The Real Estate Market In Mind

Don’t create a barrier with an unrealistic price point for people viewing the house and their Realtors. On the other hand, don’t price it as a steal either. This is a very thin line and hiring a professional agent that will give you an educated assessment is a must! If the price is too high, your house will sit on the market for months with too few views. And the longer it sits, the less value other Realtors will place on it in Tallahassee, FL. When in doubt, always hire a professional for their expertise.

selling home Realtors price

#10 Get An A+ Realtor In Your Area

Local real estate agents are hard to come by and this is one of the most important tips! In order to list your beautiful property, you need to hire the expertise of a licensed Realtor who has an impressive track record of sales. Do your research and interview them. Look at online reviews to make the best decision on who you are going to pick to be your listing agent. We recommend speaking and interviewing 3 different local Realtors before picking the one to show the property.

local real estate agent price selling home buyingFinal Thought About Getting Your Property Move-In Ready

Eldridge Home Team is invested in the Tallahassee community. We understand that getting your property ready is a lot of work. We keep a list of highly qualified local professionals ready if you ever need a question answered or a professional opinion. Do you need our guidance or want to speak about a listing in the Leon County area? Contact us and we’ll gladly sit down to speak about your plans. Visit our website to see the range of houses for sale in Tallahassee. We know our area because we live here! If you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to reach out to the Eldridge Home Team via email or phone call at (850) 792-4464

10 Tips: Make Your Home Ready When Selling In Tallahassee, FL – Part 1 of 2

to-do-list-make-your-home-ready-to-sell-tallahassee

Tallahassee home for sale? Selling your place presents an amazing opportunity to clean and declutter. Furthermore, we all want to make a return on this large investment. When we intend to sell, we need to keep in mind we must make your place ready to move in as soon as possible. This will add a little work and items to a to-do list but it is the most important.

The question that always comes up is, “What if we can’t sell the house?”. First and foremost you must think like a buyer! The less they need to change the easier they will put a bid on your perfect Tallahassee house. The best Tallahassee real estate listings on the MLS system always make the home move-in ready!

Here are 10 ways you can make your house move-in ready for a quick sale.

#1 Pick A Good Month To List The Property

There are ups and downs and hot and cold months in the real estate market, and you will need to do research and be observant. In order to pick the right time to list your house for sale speak to a local Realtor to see a market report. They will be able to guide you in the right direction. After taking everything into account, pick a good date which people are ready to make the move to a Tallahassee community. We have so much to offer the community, who wouldn’t want to live here! Tallahassee homes for sale tend to go quickly when the weather is warm and FSU football is not on.

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#2 Declutter All Of The Items You Don’t Use.

It is time to work on the interior of the house to get it looking in tip-top condition. First, declutter! Box up those things aka knick-knacks and dust collectors, you won’t be needing anytime soon. Most of your décor will be boxed up when you move anyways, so start early. Take them to a storage unit space, garage or a friend’s house. Out of sight, out of mind. Also, on a personal note remove any personal hygiene items in the bathroom. Buyers love to see clean and orderly spaces, not your soap, mouthwash or toothbrush. Keeping less is more to the value of the space.

#3 Fresh Paint and Touch-ups

Touch up paint make your house ready to sellWalking through a house with outdated paint and off colors can be a sign for disaster. Potential buyers will ask for them to be repainted or a lower selling price. The best listings owners, make sure the walls look great by doing some fresh painting and touch-up with neutral colors. Think a blank canvas, whites, and beiges, soft on the eyes. Make home buyers not think about having to paint and only how they will visualize decorating the walls. The property should feel clean and ready to move in.

#4 Staging Your Home Away from Home

The best houses for sale on the MLS system have staged rooms. This involves not only decluttering the property space but decorating and arranging the property in such a way every space is highlighted. You may have to hire an interior stager in your local market if you need any help but this will help your place sell fast. Rearranging the furniture will open up the amazing space and a professional will make it more desirable to a potential buyer. At open houses, people want to see a house where there is little work needed to make it a dream home. Tallahassee Realtors will be able to get you in contact with a local stager.

Tallahassee staging make your property ready

#5 Curb Appeal Is A Must To Make A Quick Sale

Now that we worked on the inside of the house, the outside needs your attention too. The first impression anyone sees is the outside of a Tallahassee property. The best real estate listings in Tallahassee look beautiful and well kept. If there is any wooden and stone structures give them a soft wash to get rid of mildew and rust spots. Hire a professional to make your intorior ready. Touch up on the patio and porch. Sweep, wipe and highlight the space so the real estate agent can make this a good selling point. Get new mulch and a fresh mow. Trim the trees so the outside does not look overgrown. Remember the outside of any property is the first impression someone will see in person and online. Make it count when putting up a Tallahassee home for sale!

Make Your property Ready ready to sell tallahassee fl

Finally, keep a look out for our second part of 10 Tips: Make Your Home Ready Selling In Tallahassee, FL. We will speak about getting professional photos, selling your property is like a business, always be prepared for a showing among other items. Furthermore, thank you for reading our blog if you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to reach out to the Eldridge Home Team via email or phone call at (850) 792-4464