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How to Buy a Home for Your Personal and Professional Success

By Tina Martin

You have a killer idea for a home business and the funds to get things started, but you have realized that your current living space just won’t work for your business. Maybe it’s too small or your neighborhood isn’t zoned for commercial use. Whatever the issue, you need to find a new space that can accommodate your family and your business. Read these tips from NextHome to learn more.

Locate a Home You Can Customize

If you’re lucky or very patient, you may be able to find a ready-to-move-in home that is perfect for your family and your business needs. However, working with a skilled realtor from NextHome can help you find a home that can be affordably modified to match exactly what you need out of your living and working space.

Consider Buying “As Is”

Most of the time, when a seller puts a home on the market, the seller is responsible for making any repairs that would cause the home to fail an inspection. When a seller sells “as is,” the buyer is responsible for making repairs. The upside for the buyer is the potential significant savings on the purchase price. If you are already planning to make renovations to accommodate your home business, buying “as-is” is one way to boost your renovation budget by spending less on the purchase price.

Just be aware of the potential shortcomings involved with such a transaction, as well as how to go about completing the purchase in a manner that protects your interests. Not all problems are easy to spot. An “as-is” home might have pest infestations, hidden leaks, structural issues and more. You should always have a home inspection done before a purchase, but it’s particularly important to schedule a professional inspection for an “as-is” property and carefully review the seller’s disclosures.

Budget for Your Home Office Renovation

Fixr reports the average cost of a home office remodeling project is $66 per square foot, while a full addition will run around $300 per square foot. If you’re trying to set up an office on a budget, start by making a list of the things you have to have to conduct your business. Focus on those items and then consider any nice-to-haves if you have any wiggle room left in your budget.

As you weigh your considerations, think about things like special upgrades for your functionality, like ventilation, wiring, soundproofing, and so forth. Also think about whether you’ll meet clients at your home and if they will need a waiting area, restroom or parking. Storage might also be a concern, and whether or not delivery vehicles will come and go.

Protect Your Investment

You are going to pour a lot of time, money and energy into purchasing and renovating a space to accommodate your family and your business. Make sure you safeguard your investment by setting up your business as an LLC.

If your business becomes unable to pay its debts, as a sole proprietor, creditors can come after your personal assets. However, as an LLC, there are limited circumstances where creditors can pursue your personal assets. Additionally, LLCs come with some tax benefits and are easier to set up and more flexible than other business structures. The laws that govern LLCs vary by state, so consider using the cheapest formation service to ensure you get all of the paperwork right, without incurring the high fees an attorney might charge.

Additionally, check with your insurance professional to make sure you have the types and amounts of insurance you need to cover your home business and your renovation project. Standard homeowners insurance may not cover the unique risks associated with operating a home business or remodeling your home.

If your current living situation cannot accommodate your home business needs, the best solution may be to find a new home that can be renovated to custom fit your needs while staying within your budget. Connect with a skilled real estate professional from NextHome who can help you track down the right property at the right price. Give us a call today at (970) 507-8655.

A special Thank You to Tina Martin, author of “Ideaspired” for writing this week’s blog post!

Add Value To Your Home With Energy Efficient Upgrades

6 Ways To Make Your Home More Efficient While Adding Value!

Feeling like you spend too much money each month on your heat or electric? Your home probably isn’t as energy efficient as it should be! Luckily, though, there are several upgrades you can do that will not only increase efficiency, but also the value of your home! Doing the upgrades below now can help you sell your home for more later!

Efficient Spray Foam1.   Insulate Your Attic – While not something many buyers even think about, an insulated attic can significantly reduce heating costs in a home! An uninsulated attic allows heat to escape quickly as it rises, meaning your heating system will have to work harder to keep living areas warm. By insulating your attic, you significantly reduce the amount of heat loss that occurs. This means your heating system won’t have to work constantly to keep your home warm! Spray foam insulation can cost anywhere from $1000 to $3000 for professional installation. There are DIY kits available for less though, so that is something to consider if you are a handy homeowner! This upgrade is something most buyers won’t notice, so be sure to let them know the benefits of a well-insulated attic!

Efficient Windows


2.   Upgrade Windows – Windows are something most homeowners don’t think about replacing until they are broken or leaking. High quality double-pane windows can actually make a huge difference on your heating bill! Energy Star rated windows have been proven to reduce heating costs by up to 15%. This is because properly insulated windows help to trap heat in the home, in the same way that an insulated attic helps to trap heat.  That is a huge jump caused by simply replacing windows! Many homeowners are making Energy Star windows a requirement in their home search, so this is a great choice to increase value and interest in your home! The average cost to upgrade to these windows ranges from $250-800 per window, depending on size and installer costs. This isn’t the cheapest upgrade option, but we think it is worth a look as it is estimated to raise home value by around $9500!

Efficient Garage Door

3.   Replace The Garage Door – If your garage is attached to your home, and doesn’t already have one, you may want to consider installing an insulated garage door. If your garage door is uninsulated, it may be leaking cold air into the garage, and ultimately into your living space. This isn’t great for efficiency purposes! If you install a properly sealing insulated garage door, you may see up to a 15% decrease in your heating bill! Installing an insulated door will cost around $3695 on average, but you can expect to recover almost all of that cost when selling your home, making a new garage door almost free! If you already have a garage door that you love, there are DIY Insulation Kits available to insulate an existing door.

Efficient Appliances

4.   Replace Outdated Appliances –  One of the easiest upgrades a homeowner can do to increase value and efficiency in their home is to replace old appliances with updated, more efficient models. New kitchen appliances consume up to 40% less energy compared to 10 year old appliances! The kitchen is one of the most important rooms to prospective buyers, so it is worth taking a look at possible upgrades. Home Improvement stores such as Lowes and Home Depot offer matching appliance packages for as little as $2500, which is not a bad investment to spruce up one of the most used rooms in a home! Keep in mind that 75% of prospective home buyers prefer stainless steel appliances to all other finishes.

Efficient Doors

5.   Add Weather-Stripping To Doors – You may have read about door weather-stripping in our Sound-Proof Your Home blog postbut you may not know how many uses this cheap upgrade has! In addition to cutting down on the amount of sound entering your home, weather-stripping can actually cut your energy bill down too! By adding weather-stripping around the doors in your home, you create a seal between the door and it’s frame, making it much more difficult for cold air to enter your living space. While there is no information as to how much value this upgrade adds, for only $20-30 it is worth doing to eliminate drafts in your home!

Efficient Solar Systems

6.    Install Solar Panels – Solar panels, while more of an addition than an upgrade, can have a very significant impact on your energy bills as well as the value of your home! While not always the best addition to increase value, solar panels can be a big selling point in an area like Pagosa Springs where this form of supplemental energy is common. With the proper setup, solar panels can produce most, if not all, of the electricity needed for day to day living! While this may sound amazing, you do have to consider the initial cost and upkeep costs of solar energy. The average cost for a full residential solar system is anywhere between $15,000 to $25,000. This may seem very costly, but the cost of solar has actually fallen nearly 70% since 2010! Solar is a great way to get into efficient energy and self sufficiency, but may not be the best way to add value to your home. We recommend reaching out to a realtor regarding solar in your area to see what your return on investment might be.


These are just some of the ways you can make your home more energy efficient while also adding value to your investment! If you know of any other smart ways to add value to your home, let us know! If you are reading this in preparation for selling your home, we would love to talk to you about the selling process and all of the ways we can market your property! Don’t forget to like us on Facebook to stay updated on what’s happening with NextHome Rocky Mountain Realty and Rentals. Thanks for reading!





Ice Cream For Breakfast

Today Is National Ice Cream For Breakfast Day!

Take advantage and enjoy a frozen treat this morning! 


Video Doorbells

Taking A Look At The Best Video Doorbells

Video doorbells have become more and more common the past couple years, with many different companies joining the competition. It can be difficult choosing the right doorbell for you. In this post we will outline the current most popular video doorbells available. Hopefully by the end of this blog, you will know which doorbell is right for you!


  • Ring Doorbell – Ring is the most popular option right now. They have doorbells that are battery powered and hardwired, with several different color options available. They offer a subscription plan for $3 a month that includes 60 days of cloud storage. The ring doorbell is compatible with all Amazon smart devices as well as many different door lock companies such as Schlage, Kwikset, and Yale. The Ring doorbell is a great choice if you already use Amazon smart devices, or if you’re just getting into Smart Home integration.

Arlo Doorbell

  • Arlo Video Doorbell – The Arlo Video Doorbell is another great option to consider! It features higher video quality than some competitors with it’s 180 degree 1080p HD camera. The Arlo subscription starts at $3 a month for 30 days of video history up to 2k resolution. This doorbell is compatible with Amazon Echo and Google Assistant. The Arlo can be hardwired very easily, but there is not currently a battery operated version available. At roughly 2in wide by 5in tall, this option is much more compact than some! We recommend the Arlo for those looking for a higher quality camera than what Ring has to offer.

Nest Hello Doorbell

  • Nest Hello – The Nest Hello is Google’s flagship video doorbell. The front door package, priced at $289, includes the Hello camera and a Google Nest Hub. If you already own the hub, the Hello can be purchased separately for $229. The cloud storage subscription for this device, called Nest Aware,  can be had for $6 a month and includes 30 days of video history. If you have this subscription, the camera has the capability to recognize familiar faces! It is also able to distinguish the differences between people and packages, pretty cool! Unfortunately, the Nest Hello is only compatible with Google products, which may limit what you are able to do with it. This is the recommended device for consumers who have already bought into the Google ecosystem.

Eufy Doorbell

  • Eufy Video Doorbell – The Eufy is less expensive most of the other doorbells on this list, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t great! This doorbell features 2k footage and 16gb of local storage, so you don’t necessarily need cloud storage! If you do want cloud storage, however, it is available for $3 per month for 30 days of footage. This device is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Eufy’s own app. This doorbell is available in hardwired and battery operated versions. You cannot use your existing chime with this bell, but a new one is included. This is a great budget model, with some impressive features like Snapshot, which texts you a photo if someone has been up to your door.

RemoBell Doorbell

  • Remo+ Remobell S – The Remo+ Remobell S comes in at only $99, making it the least expensive video doorbell on this list! Included for free with this device is 3 days of rolling cloud storage, no subscription needed! If you would like more cloud storage, you can subscribe for 30 days of rolling storage for only $30 per year. This device is compatible with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and IFTTT. The main drawback with this device is the slightly lower resolution (1536×1536) and the lack of smart features such as facial recognition. It does, however, have the ability to set motion detection “zones” so you don’t get alerts you do not want. This is the perfect starter doorbell at a very reasonable price. If you aren’t possible video doorbells are for you, we recommend buying this one.

Altro Lock Doorbell

  • Altro Smart Model X – The Altro Smart Model X is a little different from the other video doorbells on this list. This device is a door deadbolt that has a video camera built in! This lock features two-way audio, a video doorbell, multiple passcodes, and 24×7 activity logging. This lock allows the user to lock and unlock the door from anywhere on their smartphone. The Altro is compatible with the Altro app, Alexa, and Google Home. This camera even has an HD IR night vision camera, so your footage is usable even when recorded at night! This is a great, feature packed model if you are looking for a smart lock for your rental properties, or your own home. Coming in at $349, it is more pricey than the standalone video doorbells on this list, but I think the added features are well worth the premium you pay.

At the time of this writing, these are the highest rated video doorbells currently available. We think each of them has their own advantages and are definitely worth a look! Smart doorbells increase the security at your home and can provide great peace of mind. If you really want a video doorbell, but don’t yet have a place to put one, give us a call at (970) 507-8655 or come visit us in the office! We would love to help you find your Next Home!

Sledding In Pagosa

Get Your Sled On This Winter!

With snow falling every other day, and many businesses still closed due to Covid-19, it’s a great time to get some sledding or tubing in! If you are in Pagosa Springs, or are planning a trip up, sledding is a fun way to pass the time!  Sledding involves a lot of time rolling around in the snow; so you really need good waterproof snow gear including gloves and a warm hat. We also recommend proper snow boots, no one wants wet feet! As far as sleds go, there are several styles to choose from, and you really can’t go wrong with one or another!

Photo Courtesy: Popular Mechanics

Below is a quick rundown of the sled types and how they function:

  • The Toboggan – Toboggans were originally made from wooden slats with a rope handle. Modern toboggans are made from plastic so they are easy to carry, and some are made to fit more than one person. The main advantage of these sleds over others is the extra capacity and the ability to steer by leaning to one side or the other. This toboggan is highly rated on amazon and can be found in stores in Pagosa!
  • The Sledge – The sledge is what many consider the classic snow sled. Constructed from steel and wood planks, this sled is fast, has a high weight capacity, and is steerable! The main con for this type of sled is the weight; it weighs in around 15lbs! This sled has narrow steel runners, rather than a flat plastic bottom like more modern sleds. This means the sled is not ideal for powder conditions. These sleds have been in production since 1889 and still do great!
  • The Saucer – The saucer is a favorite for many reasons. This disc shaped sled is lightweight and easy to carry, will fit most people, and can reach some impressive speeds in the right conditions! Best of all, they are super cheap to buy! Here is one of the highest rated on amazon. The main con with a saucer sled is the lack of steering control. We recommend these for open areas, not hills with multiple obstacles.
  • The Snow Tube – Snow tubes have gotten popular lately, and for good reason! These tubes are inflatable, so they take up less room than traditional sleds. They are also smoother going down hills than other stiff sleds. We recommend finding one with good handles so you aren’t bounced off the sled at speed! The main disadvantage with these is they aren’t as durable as other sleds; so they aren’t recommended for rougher terrain.

The Best Sledding Hills

We have compiled a small list of the best public spots in Pagosa Springs to go sledding! If you don’t see your favorite spot, reach out to us and we will add it to the list!

  • Reservoir Hill – Located right downtown across from The Springs and behind the Post Office; Reservoir Hill is an awesome place to sled! With multiple short runs to choose from, this spot is perfect for all experience levels. If sledding isn’t your speed, you can snowshoe the trails on Reservoir Hill instead!
  • Lobo Overlook – Lobo Overlook is located right before Wolf Creek Pass if you are coming from Pagosa Springs. While the overlook itself isn’t easily accessible in the winter, the hill next to the parking lot sure is! This spot is super popular due to it’s close proximity to Wolf Creek and the clear steep hill that is accessed easily right from the parking area! Be sure to bring a snack and water, otherwise you will have to wait until you get back into town to find food.
  • National Forest… All 1.8 Million Acres! – Pagosa Springs is blessed to be surrounded by almost 2 MILLION acres of National Forest! This forest is free to access and use, provided you respect the environment and don’t leave messes behind. What this means is you can drive down any forest road and find a spot to sled! Just beware, some private land is mixed in with the public, so be sure you are in the public areas! Most of the forest roads near Pagosa partially close for the winter months, so some walking may be required to find the perfect sledding spot. You can view the current road closures here.

Pagosa Springs is like a snowy wonderland. You could spend all winter sledding, snowboarding or skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and more! Hopefully this post has given you a good idea of where to start! If you are looking for a vacation rental, or something more permanent, give us a call at (970) 507-8655! Don’t forget to like us on Facebook for NextHome RMR updates and virtual open house videos! Humans Over Houses is our motto.

Driving In The Snow

Driving Safely This Winter

If you live in an area where it snows, you have probably seen someone who has slid off the road. Maybe you have yourself! Winter driving can be tricky, but with the proper knowledge you can significantly reduce the amount of mistakes you make the next time you find yourself in a slick situation!

Ken Block Goes Airborne In The Snow – Photo Courtesy: Hoonigan

Here are some tips that we think will help you drive safely this winter:

Drive Smoothly! – This first step is a simple one. Driving smoothly and deliberately will reduce your risk of losing traction. Jerky movements of the steering wheel, gas pedal, or brakes can be enough to break your tires free of traction; causing serious problems. Drive like you have a bowl of hot soup filled to the brim on your dashboard!

Stay Back – The less traction you have, the harder it is to stop! If you are driving around other cars you need to stay further back then you would in normal conditions. You need to give yourself enough space to make an emergency stop if needed. The rule of thumb for this is to double your following distance in wet conditions, triple it in snow, and at least triple your distance in icy conditions! This will also give you more time to slow down for turns, which need to be taken extra slow in these conditions.

Watch Your Instrument Cluster! – If you aren’t already in the habit of keeping an eye on your instrument cluster, you should be! There are several important warnings that can show up here. The one we are focusing on however, is the Stability Control Light. This handy little amber light will flash anytime your wheels lose traction, notifying you that you should probably let off the gas or ease up on the brakes! If you accelerate hard, you will probably see this light, indicating that your wheels are spinning. It is very important when driving in the snow that you ease onto the gas when accelerating from a stop.

Look Where You Want To Go – This one is important! If you feel your car beginning to slide, NEVER look in the direction it’s sliding! You always want look in the direction you want to go. Most of the time, you will end up where you are looking. This is a rule that even race-car drivers follow to pull out of a skid!

These are just a few of the best tips for driving in winter weather conditions! We hope you have enjoyed this blog. If you’ve followed all the advice in this post and still find yourself stuck in the snow, check out our post on getting unstuck here! If you enjoyed this post and want more NextHome Rocky Mountain Realty & Rentals content, like us on Facebook!


Sound-Proof Your Home

Working Remotely – In Peace

If you have recently switched to remote work, you may have been shocked by the level of noise in your home every day. You aren’t alone! Workers all across the country are realizing their homes aren’t the peaceful workspace they hoped for. Whether it be the sound of traffic outside your home or kids in it, there are many options to reduce noise levels to increase your productivity!

Sound Proof Home
Photo courtesy of

In today’s post we will be covering some of the most common and effective solutions to noise pollution at home:

  • Floors – If your workspace has tile or hardwood/laminate flooring, you may want to consider covering it up! Hard surfaces reflect soundwaves, causing them to amplify and echo. Obviously, this isn’t ideal! To help cut these sounds down to a minimum, put a rug down! Rugs will absorb those soundwaves instead of reflecting them. There are even sound deadening pads available that can go under your rug!
  • Walls – If you have an open floorplan, you probably already know how sound can bounce all through the house without a problem. You can minimize this a few different ways. Several companies make fabric covered “acoustic panels” designed to absorb soundwaves that would otherwise bounce off of your walls. There are many different options and styles to choose from so you are sure to find something you like! Another option is a bookcase strategically placed against the wall. Even a half-full bookcase can make a big difference in the sound levels of a room, just like the acoustic panels! Lastly, artwork can be a great way to reduce echoing in your room. There are even acoustic art panels available specifically for this use!
  • Windows – Windows are some of the biggest sound-leaking parts of your home. Properly sealing windows is crucial to block outside noise from entering your home and disturbing your work. There are many ways to go about soundproofing windows; we will cover the best affordable options! First up is window weather stripping! The stripping that comes on your windows can deteriorate over time, allowing sound to leak in! You can combat this by adding foam weather-stripping over the original seals. This will create an airtight seal, blocking outside noise! Even with perfect seals around your windows, sound may still make it through the glass and disturb you! Luckily, there are soundproof curtains available to further block unwanted sound waves from entering your home! Many of these curtains are thermally insulated too, which will help you stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
  • Doors – While they aren’t something we always think about, a lot of noise can leak in from your doors! Solid doors (as opposed to hollow-core doors) block a good amount of sound by themselves. The problem areas are around the door where a complete seal may not be happening. Remedy this by installing weather stripping where the door meets it’s frame! This stripping usually uses built-in adhesive, making install a breeze! If you also want to seal the bottom of the door, install a door sweep. This simple invention blocks drafts, and noise, from getting underneath the door. These usually take a few screws to install. If you are trying to block excess sound from getting through a hollow-core door, you may want to add mass loaded vinyl to either the core or face of the door. The reason this may be needed is hollow-core doors tend to absorb sound rather than reflect it like their solid-core siblings. Adding vinyl will further deaden any sounds trying to get through!

We hope this post has given you some insight on sound-proofing your home for remote work, or simply for a quieter space! If you have any questions about our blog, or you would like to talk to a Southwest Colorado real estate professional, give us a call at (970) 507-8655. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook to stay up to date on our virtual open house series and NextHome RMR updates!

Wolf Creek Ski Area

Wolf Creek Ski 2021

The New Year has been a sunny one in Pagosa Springs so far. One great place to enjoy the sun is on Wolf Creek! Every trail is open and there is snow in the forecast for this weekend. If you don’t have a pass already, they are available on Wolf Creek’s website here or in-person on the mountain! Season Passes are available as well as day passes. If you want to scope things out before heading up the pass, check out the Wolf Creek Live Webcams. They offer multiple angles of the ski area!

Wolf Creek

Don’t forget to wear layers and bring food and water with you, they’re are especially important at higher elevations. If you need snow gear, both Ski & Bow Rack and Summit Ski & Sports offer deals on tons of sport and outdoor equipment! If Wolf Creek has you hooked on this area, give us a call at (970) 507-8655 and we can help you find your dream property!



Frequently Asked Questions




  • What is the First Step in the Home Buying Process? 

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is the first step in the home buying process. This will allow you to know how much you can spend, and much you need to save for a down-payment. Many realtors require pre-approval before showing homes.

  • How Long Does it Take to Buy a Home? 

From start to finish, buying a home takes roughly 10-12 weeks. This number may change depending on several different factors. In hot markets, it may take longer to close than when the market is slow.

  • What is a Seller’s Market?

In a seller’s market, there is more demand than supply. This means multiple people are competing for the same homes, driving home prices up. This benefits the seller as more people want to buy their home.

  • What is a Buyer’s Market?

In a buyer’s market, there is more supply than demand. This means buyer’s have more property to choose from, and will probably pay less for a home because there isn’t much competition. This benefits the buyer because they can take their time and possibly find a better deal on the perfect home.

  • What is a Stratified Market?

A stratified market happens when market characteristics change based on price point. It may be a seller’s market for homes over $500k but a buyer’s market for everything under that $500k mark. This often happens when international investors decide to park their money in the U.S. by purchasing high-end real estate.

  • How Much Do I Have to Pay an Agent to Help Me Buy a House?

Home shoppers pay very little, if anything. For most sales, there are two real estate agents; a listing agent and a buyer’s agent. The listing agent represents the seller and is in charge of listing and marketing the property. When a home is sold, a percentage of the sale that is negotiated in the contract, is paid to the listing broker. The broker then pays the buyer’s agent their cut from that money. So buyer’s usually don’t have to pay the commission.

  • What Kind of Credit Score Do I Need to Buy a Home?

Most lenders require a FICO score of at least 620 to be eligible for a mortgage. Borrowers with higher FICO scores pose less of a risk to the lender; these borrowers will probably secure a lower interest rate. If you have a lower credit score you may need to bring more money for a down payment, or accept a higher interest rate to offset the lenders risk.

  • How Much Do I Need for a Down Payment?

The national average down payment is 11% of the purchase price, this number may fluctuate however. Several first-time home buyer programs allow a down-payment as small as 3-5%. An FHA loan only requires 3.5% down. If you are former or active US Military, you may be eligible for a VA loan that doesn’t require a down-payment at all! It is smart to shop around and look into different lending options to see which works best for you.

  • What is Earnest Money?

When you are ready to make an offer on a property your agent will ask for a check or cash to go with the offer. This check, called an earnest money check, demonstrates to the seller that you are serious about your offer and you are ready to continue with the deal. The money is kept in a trust account and is applied to the down-payment or closing costs at closing. If the deal falls through, the buyer receives the money. Earnest money essentially takes the property off the market and reserves it for you.

  • Should I Sell My Current Home Before Buying a New One?

If you plan on using the equity you have built in your current home as the down-payment for your new home, you will need to sell the current one first. If you plan on using your current home as an investment property, your loan advisor will need to confirm your ability to purchase a new home before doing so. If you are relocating to take a job with your current employer, reach out to see if relocation assistance is available!

  • How Long Does the Seller Have to Respond to My Offer?

Written offers have an expiration date filled in. Typically, you will hear back within 24-48 hours of sending the offer.

  • Should I Order a Home Inspection?

Definitely! Purchasing a home is one of the biggest investments most people will make in their life. Getting a home inspection will insure you are not buying a home with major structural damage or other issues. If you are using a VA or FHA loan, you will be required to get your home inspected prior to purchase.

  • Do I Need a Radon Test?

Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that emits from decaying uranium in the ground. It can seep into a home many different ways; from the basement, crack in the foundation, electrical outlets, etc. Radon can cause lung damage and may increase the risk of lung cancer. The EPA recommends that all homes be tested for radon at the point of sale. This test can usually be rolled in with your inspection. If the test shows higher-than-safe levels of radon, there are several techniques to adequately ventilate the area to bring the levels down. Consult your local radon experts on the best method for your home. This remediation costs roughly $1200, which isn’t too bad when you consider a new furnace can cost triple that!

  • Where Can I Get Pre-Approved?

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you will need five things.. First is proof of income. Usually, you will need to provide W2 wage statements from the last two years, as well as recent pay stubs, proof of any additional income, and tax statements from the previous two years. Next, you will need proof of assets. These include current bank statements and investment account statements to show that you have cash reserves available to fund your down-payment. Third is good credit. As we stated above, you will usually need a FICO score of at least 620 to be pre-approved for a mortgage. The higher your credit score, the lower your loan interest rate will be. Next up is employment verification. Your lender will need to verify your current employment to ensure you have a steady income. If you have changed jobs recently, the lender may need to call your previous employer. Stable work history is important to obtain a loan. Lastly is other documentation. Lenders will require other documentation such as the borrowers driver’s license, social security number, and signature in order to pull a credit score.

  • Should I Do a Final Walkthrough?

While not required, a final walk-through is a great idea! Walk-throughs give you a chance to look over the home one last time to make sure nothing has changed before you close. This is also the time to confirm any repairs that were requested have been completed.

  • When Should I Sell My Home?

This questions has many different answers. When you should sell your home depends on the market in your area, your home, and how much you want to make. Most agents will agree that Spring is the best time to sell, however in some areas Winter or Fall may blow spring out of the water for house sales. Talk to your agent about when the best time to sell YOUR home is!

  • How Do I Get My Home Ready to Sell?

By the time the first potential buyer enters your home, it should be sale ready! The first thing you should do to prepare your home is clean it! No one wants to buy a dirty home. Once your home is clean, you should go through and repair everything you can; broken door handles, blinds, paint touch-up, etc. Anything that is obviously broken should be repaired. Next you will want to stage your home for pictures. See our Home Staging Post for more info on how to do that! Lastly, you need great photos! Many real estate agents (including NextHome’s NextHomies) will have a professional photographer take photos of your home. Great photos will draw buyers in that may not have given your home a second look otherwise. In this day and age, visual media reigns supreme!

  • Zillow Says My Home Is Worth “X” Is This Accurate?

Absolutely Not! Many real estate listing websites provide an estimated list price for the listed homes. This price only accounts for square footage and bedroom/bathroom count! It does not take into account your area, home features, current market, comparable properties in the area, or area of land. Your real estate agent should be able to give you a comparable market analysis that shows you what your home is worth in the current market, as compared to other similar properties near yours! You cannot rely on a “Zestimate” or any other online estimator for accurate results.

  • How Is My List Price Determined?

As stated above, your real estate agent will perform a comparative market analysis to determine the value of your home. This compares homes, active and sold, based on several criteria to determine how much your home is currently worth in your area.

  • Should I Price My Home Higher to Facilitate Negotiations?

While it may be tempting to price your home higher than suggested, it could actually deter buyers who would otherwise pay the price you really want for your home! If your price is too high, you won’t have as much interest in your home. This means it will sit for longer, which could scare even more buyers off! We recommend staying as close to your CMA (comparative market analysis) value as you can to ensure a quick sale!

  • How Much Do I Pay For Commission?

If you are on the buying side of the transaction, you probably won’t have to pay any commission! If you are on the selling side, the commission you pay is negotiated in your listing contract. The national average real estate commission is 6%, but this is negotiable! It is smart to stick with the average commission rates, as buying agents will be less likely to want to show your home if their commission is smaller!

  • When Does the Listing Contract Expire?

The length of the listing contract varies from agency to agency, and realtor to realtor. Typically, they last between three months to a year! These contracts will always have an expiration date.

  • How Will You Market My Home?

This is something we are asked quite a bit. NextHome takes pride in being one of the most technologically advanced real estate companies. We distribute all of our listings nationally across hundreds of websites, so your property gets the exposure it needs for a quick sale! We also advertise listings on multiple social media platforms, print ads, virtual open houses, and in the windows of our offices! Every listing is sure to get tons of exposure on many different platforms.

  • What Happens During a Home Inspection?

Once a home is under contract, a buyer has the right to order a home inspection to determine the condition of the home and any repairs that may need to be made. The inspector will go room to room throughout the house, looking for any damage or hazardous issues that need to be addressed in the home. The inspector will go around the outside of the house and even the crawlspace if you have one. In many cases, the inspector will leave a radon test behind, to be picked up 24-48 hours later.

  • How Much Do I Need To Disclose To Buyers?

When selling your home, honesty is always the best plan. Some states require a property disclosure form to be filled out; outlining every issue known to the buyers regarding the home. As long as you disclose material facts about the property, you should be fine!