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New RE/MAX Video - Own It! Separating Wants From Needs

by Jorge Gonzalez, ABR, CRS, GRI

New RE/MAX Video - Own It! Small Cost, Big Impact (Seller Tips)

by Jorge Gonzalez, ABR, CRS, GRI

The ancient Chinese art of feng shui uses design principles to create harmonious spaces that encourage health, wealth and happiness. According to the practice, colors encourage energy to flow freely throughout a structure, and each color is thought of as an expression of one of the five feng shui elements: fire, earth, metal water and wood.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when designing your home using general feng shui color principles.

1. Wake up a space with yellow
Yellow energizes spaces and is great for brightening rooms and adding a welcoming feeling. Yellows can be an excellent choice for kitchens, living rooms, hallways and offices.

2. Hues that work for you
If it's a calm sanctuary for a restful night's sleep, feng shui rules suggest water-element colors of calming blues to create tranquility. If you'd like your bedroom to be more passionate than peaceful, fire element colors like red can help crank up the heat.

3. A blank canvas for the kitchen
In feng shui, white is one of the preferred shades for a kitchen because it encourages purity and freshness. Plus, it creates the perfect palette for the rich colors of food.

4. Better than a lullaby
Shades of green in a child's room help make calm, serene spaces for sleeping. Plus, wood-element shades of green also encourage growth and learning.

5. Mind your reds
While red is the Chinese color of luck and happiness, too much of the fiery color can throw things off balance, bringing aggression and over stimulation.

6. Shades for success
Wood-element colors like greens and browns promote creativity, and water elements like blues and blacks promote wealth. Combining shades of each can change the energy of your home workspace.

7. Look outside your walls
According to feng shui principles, adding accent pieces and furniture in elemental shades also can help change the energy of a space. You don't need to go big (or commit) with an entire wall.

Color can help bring balance to your home, but it works best when you're living in a place that suits your needs. Looking for harmony in a new zip code? Start by talking to an experienced agent, contact Jorge today at 757-287-3400.  

4 Things Your Agent Knows About Negotiating

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Negotiating your deal is one of the most critical aspects of your real estate journey. It's also one of the parts of the process where my experience can make the most dramatic difference. Your home purchase or sale, probably one of the biggest financial transactions you'll make in your life, is not the time to test rookie negotiation skills. Here are just a few things agents, as professional negotiators, know that help them reach the best closing agreement for you.

1. That knowledge is power
In addition to in-depth knowledge of the market and valuing a home, I will have dug into public records about the property and the neighborhood. I will also look into the seller's motivation. Knowing things like whether the seller is under pressure to move quickly can help shape negotiating strategy.

2. How to time it
Sometimes a quick response to an offer is critical. Other times, it's best to keep the other party on the hook. Knowing which strategy to employ is crucial in negotiations.

3. Objectivity is a must
As a professional negotiator, I am able to control the process without being affected by the emotions that swirl around real estate transactions for buyers and sellers. Among other potentially expensive missteps, inexperienced negotiators can reveal too much info to the other party, especially during intense, fast-moving negotiations.

4. What to ask for
If you don't ask for something, you won't get it. As your advocate, I will know how to ask for things like concessions and repairs in a manner that's most appealing to the other party.

Selling your bike online? Go forth and make a killer deal on that two-wheeler. But when it comes to buying or selling your home, stick with a professional. Real estate negotiation is no place for training wheels.

According to the National Association of Realtors, 42 percent of homebuyers start their home search online, and 92 percent use the Web during the home search process. While the Internet can be a good place to start looking, there are things real estate agents know about the process of buying and selling a home that can't be found in any Web browser. 

Here are a few. 

1. How to price a home

When setting a listing price, agents consider scores of factors, from local and national market trends and neighborhood development activity to the latest buyer preferences for kitchen appliances and landscaping. Every home is unique, and an agent with a track record of success knows how to price it attractively in the market.

The Internet isn't always much help when it comes to comparison shopping, either. Many of the same factors that help an agent set an appropriate listing price aren't available in an algorithm, so online estimators aren't always accurate – and could be costly if you purchase without consulting a real, live professional. 

2. Marketing offline

While online marketing can certainly be valuable, agents have networks of contacts and years of experience to round out their marketing plans. 

And, for buyers, agents often can tap into their network to learn about great properties before they hit the real estate websites or even the MLS.

3. Key points in the process

If you find a home you love online, the website won't be there to guide you through a mortgage application, find a home inspector or advise you what to do if an inspection reveals issues.

4. How to negotiate

Having an experienced, professional negotiator drive your transaction can be vital to reaching a fair price for the property you're buying or selling. A website can give you an estimate of how much a property should cost, but it can't evaluate whether that's a great price or not.

When you are ready to sell or buy a home, please contact me. I would be happy to help.  Jorge Gonzalez at 757-287-3400.

 

Considering selling your home? You may be competing against your neighbors. Here are some things to look at before you list your home for sale:

1. Who's remodeled?

Tap into the neighborhood grapevine to find out who's remodeled their kitchen and upgraded their bathroom. I can look up the listing and sale price of those homes to find out if updates made a difference. 

2. How fast are homes selling?

Keep an eye on how quickly neighborhood homes have been moving off the market. A low inventory may mean you can set a higher listing price. I can add valuable pricing insight. 

3. Take inventory of the inventory

It's difficult to fetch a competitive price when you're competing for buyers. If several homes are for sale on your street, waiting a season may prevent your home from languishing on the market. Ask me about market trends in your area. 

4. Stay current on planning and zoning news

Keep tabs on upcoming public projects that could impact the timing of your sale. Is major road construction planned that may deter buyers? I can discuss selling strategies to work around issues.

5. Get the scoop on your neighborhood from an expert. I would be happy to assist you in selling your home.  

Books To Read To Your Kids About Moving

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Moving to a new home, a new neighborhood and a new school can be tough for kids. Luckily, a variety of children’s books are out there to help parents explain things, add some fun and hopefully alleviate fears.

Here are a few classics – and you can post your favorite children's book titles about moving in the comments section below:

1. “Alexander, Who's Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!) Going to Move” by Judith Viorst
Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 1995
Poor Alexander. First, the kid had a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Now, his family is moving! Just like your kids, Alexander has to say goodbye to some special places and people, but with the help of his parents he learns to make the most of the situation.

2. “The Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day” by Stan and Jan Berenstain
Random House Books for Young Readers, 1981
Little Brother Bear’s pretty worried about moving, and more than a little scared. Kids can relate to his apprehension, and hopefully his positive change of view as moving day gets closer.

3. “A House for Hermit Crab” by Eric Carle
Aladdin Paperbacks, 1987
A little hermit crab has outgrown his shell and needs to find a bigger one – and new friends to help decorate it. This book will reassure kids that it will be easy to make new friends in their new town.

4. “Tigger’s Moving Day” by Kathleen W. Zoehfeld
Disney, 1999
Tigger needs a place with more bouncing room! His friends aren’t as close to his new house, but they still come and visit. A story to help kids understand they’ll still be able to hold on to old connections.

5. “Goodbye House” by Frank Asch
Moonbear Books, 1989
This book is a terrific way to talk about moving with preschoolers. After the moving van is packed, a little bear returns to say farewell to his old house, saying goodbye to everything, except, of course, the memories.

Other favorites include: “Big Dan’s Moving Van,” by Leslie McGuire, “Neville,” by Norton Juster, “The Moving House” by Mark Siegel, “I’m Not Moving, Mama” by Nancy White Carlstrom, and “The Leaving Morning,” by Angela Johnston.

New remax.com Video Demo Of Site Funcitionality.

by Jorge Gonzalez, ABR, CRS, GRI

Lenders will perform extensive research into your financial history before they approve you mortgage application. Prepare for your meeting with a loan officer by finding the answers to the following questions:

1. What is your credit score?
Not only should you know the score, you should take a look at the items on your record. Say you missed the final electric bill from your last apartment and it ended up in collections. It’s also important to check for instances of mistaken identity, especially if you have a common name. And never pay for your credit score: You’re legally entitled to a free report every 12 months.

2. What is your annual income?
Don’t forget to add in income earned through bonuses and investments. Track down your most recent W2s and tax returns for easy reference.

3. How much debt are you in?
Tally up all of those credit cards, car loans, student loans and other monthly payments. This will be important information to help you and the lender determine your debt-to-income ratio, a tool for figuring out how large of a mortgage is appropriate.

4. What are you worth?
Lenders will want to see documentation of your assets, including automobiles, investments and income properties. Did you recently receive an inheritance? Loan a family member money? Be ready to explain any large deposits or withdrawals.

5. How much can you put down?
All this financial reckoning will help you determine how much cash you’re able — and willing — to spend on a down payment. If family members plan to help, the lender will most likely require a letter from them.

6. How much house can you afford?
A general rule of thumb: Your monthly housing payment (principal, interest, taxes, insurance, HOA, etc.) should not take up more than 28 percent of your income before taxes. There are plenty of online calculators to help give you an idea of what your monthly mortgage payment will be.

As you compose your list of "must-haves" for your next home, make sure you're up for the work and added maintenance expense each item may require. Here are a few things to think over.

1. Wood-burning fireplace
Snuggling by a cozy fire can be sublime, but beware of the splinters that come with maintaining a wood-burning fireplace. There's the bill from the annual chimney sweep, the cost of wood and the hassle of keeping critters from camping out in the pile. Plus, a fireplace can raise your energy bill. A chimney sucks up most of the warmth from a fire, along with some of the room's heated air, according to the EPA.

2. Pool
Fishing out leaves, balancing chemicals, scrubbing the tiles. Pools can be a lot of work. And if you choose to hire a specialist, that's an added cost. Your homeowner's insurance may also increase if you add the liability of a pool – the same goes for outdoor hot tubs.

3. Extensive landscaping
A beautiful garden may draw you to a home, but keep in mind how much work it will be to maintain once you move in. Perhaps you find trimming topiaries a soothing form of meditation. If not, a home with less landscaping may be a better fit.

4. More square footage
Vast rooms with cathedral ceilings come come with soaring energy bills. Unused rooms leech heating and cooling energy from the rest of the house. Keep this in mind if you're considering purchasing a home to grow into.

As you think about what you really must have to make you happy in your next home, contact me today. 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 27

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Jorge Gonzalez primarily provides Real Estate and Property Management services for rental properties for the following areas of Hampton Roads:

Virginia Beach Real Estate For Sale and Virginia Beach Property Manager (Largest City In Hampton Roads)
Chesapeake Real Estate For Sale and Chesapeake Property Manager
Norfolk Real Estate For Sale
Suffolk Real Estate For Sale