Categories Cash Offer

How to Target Millennial’s When Selling Your Home

 

At the end of 2018, 33% of Millennials were reported to own homes – this is approximately 25 million Americans. With this majority of homeowners coming from this generation, it is important to prepare your home to sell to them! Below are some tips on how to target Millennials when selling your home!

PREPARING THE HOME

  • Make sure the home is move-in ready. A fixer-upper is a thing of the past – although Millennials are willing to do some projects on their own, they want a home that is ready for move-in. They don’t want to find somewhere else to live while they fix up a home. Make sure the areas are livable and comfortable at the time of the sale.
  • But…leave some DIY projects. Although they want it move-in ready, leaving some projects for the creative mind is recommended. Allow the Millennials to envision their concept, say in the backyard. This will give them the idea of personalizing the home without too much hassle.
  • Make your home a smart home. When adding upgrades, focus on smart home features. This includes installing systems that allow homeowners to access the systems from their phones or mobile devices.
  • Add eco-friendly features. Millennials are all about preserving the earth, so adding eco-friendly features will give you a competitive advantage in the market. Make sure that the upgrades are noticeable to the eye – the upgrades are for marketing as well as for going green. Some upgrades you can focus on include the HVAC system, installing double pane windows, and switching out old appliances.
  • Shoot for an open concept floor plan. If you have some spare time and cash, knockdown any walls that are preventing your home from having an open concept floor plan. First determine if they are load bearing, and if not, grab your sledgehammer! Don’t spend too much time or money though. If you don’t want to knock it down yourself, just include the opportunity as a highlight in your marketing package!
  • Include a home office when staging. Many Millennials are freelancers and therefore work from home. A majority are looking for homes that provide adequate space to set up an office; therefore, when staging the home be sure to include an office space, even if it is just a small desk set up in a corner.

Now that the home is ready, here is how you market it:

  • Use online websites. Most Millennials will look for their future homes online so make sure that you have your home posted on all websites, including Zillow, Redfin, Trulia, MLS, to name a few.
  • Use social media. When posting the home for sale, don’t forget social media posts! This includes Facebook and Instagram – make sure you use the right hashtags so you can gain access to this generation!
  • Ensure the marketing material is visually appealing. Better pictures, less words – this will attract Millennials. Don’t skimp out on your marketing photos; hire a professional so you can get the best return on your home.
  • Don’t overprice. Millennials are looking for a deal and they don’t want to haggle – make sure your home is marketed at list price. You are better off taking multiple offers and creating a bidding war than struggling to get one offer.
  • Think “Minimalist.” Put your stuff away! Millennials are the generation of minimalism – this means they want less clutter in their lives and in their homes. If your current home has knick-knacks everywhere, consider storing them away during the sale process

Selling your home is no simple task, and the process of preparing, marketing and closing is not for everyone! If you want to sell your home quickly and hassle-free, call us. We are Gulf State Homebuyers, all-cash investors who buy homes in the Houston/Baytown market. We buy homes with a simple process:

First, call us and get the conversation started. We will set up a time to visit your home and do an evaluation. On the day of the visit we will provide you an offer! If you choose to take the offer, we cover all of the paperwork associated with the sale; we even cover all closing costs! If you want, we can close in as quickly as five days. You will not need to pay agent fees, no need to stage, and no need to do any upgrades! We buy the home as-is. To learn more or to get started, contact us today.

Categories downsizing

Downsizing Feels Great Even if You’re Not Planning to Move

 

Let’s face it: When a move is on the horizon, one of the first things you realize is how much stuff you have, and when moving day arrives, more stuff seems to pour out of every closet and cupboard in the house. For many of us, it is hard to let go of our things, but when faced with the prospect of dragging everything to a new home, downsizing starts to sound like a good idea. The good news is that there are many reasons to go minimal, and trust us when we tell you that downsizing feels great, even if you’re not planning to move.

So, where do you begin? Everyone’s home and level of clutter is different, but no matter the size of the task at hand, it’s best to start with a game plan. We suggest you break your downsizing project up into little pieces. Start with one room every weekend, for example. That way, you won’t feel overwhelmed by the daunting size of the job. Hold yourself accountable, and by chipping away at it one piece at a time, you will be amazed at how quickly you finish.

Next, evaluate the things you own, and ask yourself if you really need them at all. Take into consideration how often you use the object: Every day? Every week? Once a year? Or are you hanging on to it just in case the Queen of England comes over for dinner? When you really get into the bottoms of drawers and the backs of the closets, chances are you aren’t using most of the things you find anyway. Cleaning house can also uncover duplicate items that you don’t need, borrowed objects that can be returned, and even things that have fallen apart from neglect, making it easy to let them go. If you haven’t used something in over a year – like sporting equipment – consider letting it go and borrowing or renting it next time.

As you begin to clear things out, consider your options for getting rid of it. Before you throw things in the dumpster, see if there may be a local charity that will put your stuff to good use. Most of them will come pick it up for you as well! If you have the time, garage sales are a great way to clear away clutter and you can make some cash at the same time. Plus, there are several apps that work great for selling old stuff. Remember: even giving things away for free will rid you of the hassle of moving them yourself.

Now that your home is clean and clear of clutter, here are a few reasons that lightening your load actually feels great. For starters, a decluttered environment feels more peaceful because it prevents us from becoming overstimulated. An abundance of clutter in the home creates too many visual cues that trigger thoughts or memories. We aren’t talking about the good memories like the picture of your family vacation; we are talking about the pile of bills lying on the counter. In essence, creating a home with fewer distractions and less clutter allows the mind to enjoy fewer distractions and less clutter. You will be able to focus better and be present.

Minimalism offers you the time, space, clarity, and freedom to enjoy your everyday life. You can also apply beautiful contemporary minimalist design to your freshly cleared-out space. Take it a step further and do a remodel; open floor plans are one of the most popular minimalist designs right now and lend themselves perfectly to a clean, clutter-free living space.

If you are planning to move, or if the downsizing bug has you thinking about moving, then there is an easy clutter-free way to get through the moving process: Sell your home to an all-cash buyer. We are Gulf State Homebuyers, and we can downsize the hassle on your next move. Imagine selling your home for a great price without having to do all the inspections, repairs, upgrades, remodels, and marketing that typically come with selling your home on the market. We can do exactly that because we buy homes as-is and in all conditions. We will even purchase your home if it has been damaged by an accident or disaster. All you need to do is schedule a free home appraisal, and we will make you an offer that very same day. Our offers are highly competitive, especially when you consider all the time and money you save by selling the home in as-is condition. So downsize your clutter and downsize your move; it will feel great!

Categories Tips

Top 5 Must-Haves for New Home Buyers

 

Home buyers today are looking for convenient layouts that promote comfort, organization, flexibility, and efficiency. Buyers are also considering homes that can adjust to any stage of life and are low maintenance with low monthly utility bills. Most importantly buyers are looking for homes that are ready for move in.

Buyers who pay top dollar for a home want to know that they will not be putting more work into it any time soon. New home buyers want a home that has passed all inspections, has a new or pristine roof, updated appliances, and a new HVAC system. Homes in excellent condition take the stress out of the purchasing process and make it easier to close a deal.

If you are looking into selling your home and it is not fully renovated, don’t fret, there are many features you may already have that buyers want. Let’s take a look at the top 5 must-haves for new home buyers.

1 Open Floor Plans

This trend has been holding steady for quite some time now and for good reason – People’s daily lives and social patterns have changed significantly between generations. Open floor plans give families more freedom to use space as they see fit while also allowing them to stay close and connected. By removing the walls between the kitchen, living room, dining room, and/or other parts of the house, residents can move freely throughout the home; plus, the extra space makes it easy to entertain large groups.

2 Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are one of the most desirable features a home can have. People love the timeless beauty of wood and appreciate its durability and easy maintenance. It is definitely a luxury that is expensive to install, but it can add up to 2.5% to a home’s sale price. This makes the upgrade a good investment if it’s time to replace your current flooring and accounts for some of hardwoods enduring popularity.

3 Extra Storage

This may come as a surprise; however, many first-time buyers are attracted to the prospect of more space after years of apartment living. Traditional storage areas like attics, basements, and garages are high on the list of must-haves for new home buyers. What attracts buyers even more is if the spaces are finished with built in cabinets, cupboards, shelving, or even a completely extra room. Buyers like this because of the easy access it provides to the storage areas and the added ability to keep things organized.

4 Fully Renovated Kitchens

Kitchen upgrades are highly sought after by homeowners and home buyers alike. This trend is based on where people spend the most time in their home and the kitchen usually tops the list. This is probably thanks to the open floor plan concepts that are so prevalent in home building today. As a result, the market continues to be focused on homes with beautifully upgraded kitchens; these upgrades can help maximize the value of any home. Upgrades can be as simple as a matching set of new appliances but buyers are more drawn to completely remodeled contemporary kitchens with features like granite or quartz counter-tops, hidden or pullout storage for utensils, and large pantries. Kitchens designed to eat in with large center islands fetch the highest sale price because they eliminate the need for a formal dining room.

5 Technology

Technology and smart home features are well on their way to becoming the most desirable amenity a new home buyer could want. Devices can be useful in any room of the house and cover a range of amenities, from added security to energy efficiency. Much of the technology is easy to upgrade like thermostats, video doorbells, and lighting. Plus, it can all be conveniently controlled with any mobile device. The limitless possibilities of smart home technology coupled with today’s lifestyle is what is making this new trend a must-have for new home buyers.

If you are looking to sell and you don’t feel that your home has enough of the must-haves for new home buyers, don’t worry. You don’t have to spend tens of thousands of dollars getting your home ready to put on the market. You can sell to an all cash buyer instead. We are Gulf State Homebuyers and we will buy your home as-is. We simply carry out our free appraisal at no-risk to you and give you a competitive offer on your home that very same day! So, stop worrying about what your home doesn’t have and start considering the top 5 must-haves for your new home today.

Categories Tips

Should You Move to Cut Your Commute?

 

Like many of us, you probably spend hours a day in traffic commuting to work. You have scoped out all of the alternatives like carpools, subways, and trains, but they all seem to take more time or cost more money than simply driving. Gas prices have been volatile and every time the prices start to spike, you find yourself wondering if it would be better to move closer to work and cut your commute. Here are some suggestions to help you know if moving makes sense for you.

Calculate Costs

To start, calculate the cost of your commute. The amount you spend each month on fuel will give you a quick idea of potential savings – But remember, there are more hidden costs to pay attention to. Don’t forget to include car payments, insurance, maintenance, and registration. At the very least your insurance company could cut down your monthly payments for driving less and at best you could move to a metropolitan area where you could get rid of the car all together. This may sound crazy, but there are many large cities in the US where it is a hassle to own your own car and better to just rent one on the rare event you need to travel long distances.

Beyond your transportation costs other major expenses can be evaluated in one of two ways. You can move to a comparable neighborhood with similar food, housing, and entertainment costs, giving you an extra boost to your savings; or, you can use the money you save to upgrade to a nicer home or neighborhood. Often times people find that they can get the home of their dreams closer to work because of the money they save by cutting their commute.

Weigh the Pros and Cons

All the amenities you have to weigh bring us to the next consideration, quality of life. You have to ask yourself if the amount of time and money you are saving is going to add to your overall quality of life. If you find yourself moving to a downtown area that lacks the open space, safe communities, and award-winning school districts that your family needs, then the money you save may improve your balance sheets, but not improve your lifestyle. On the other hand, if a bustling downtown full of exotic restaurants, art galleries, and live music is your idea of the perfect neighborhood, then you will definitely be making the most of the money and time you will be saving by moving closer to work.

The choice is going to be unique to every homeowner. Weigh the possibilities and make an evaluation based on the amount of time and money you can potentially save versus the comforts and amenities you gain or lose. This will give you a clear picture of whether or not moving is the right choice for you. It can be as simple as making a list with pros on one side and cons on the other. Once all the options are considered, often times the choice becomes obvious.

Are You Ready to Sell Your Home?

If it sounds like moving closer to work to eliminate your commute is the right choice for you, then it is time to sell. You will need to get the most out of your home to ensure that your next house is the one that is right for you. This means painting, landscaping, remodeling, and upgrading. Plus, putting the home on the market means dealing with realtors and sometimes hiring stagers to get the job done.

If all this sounds like it’s not worth the effort, what if we told you that there is a better way to sell your home…You can sell to an all cash buyer! We are Gulf State Homebuyers and we buy homes in all conditions for all cash. This means that there is no need to spend time on expensive prep work like inspections, repairs, and renovations. We purchase homes in as-is condition, even if they have been damaged in a disaster such as a fire, flood, or storm. This can save you time and money when it comes to getting your home ready to sell, especially when you consider the percentage that your realtor will take once the home is sold. Contact us today for your free, no-obligation appraisal. We will give you an offer they day we visit the home, and if you like what you see we can close the deal in as little as five days! We can even help you move into your new home so you can get rid of your commute ASAP!

 

Categories Cash Offer, Tips

How to Play the Housing Market

 

If you currently own your home, it is important to understand the two primary ways in which you can play the housing market. What do we mean by this? We are talking about how you can take advantage of your position to better meet your goal of getting into the house of your dreams. If you are looking to make a move, then there are two ways in which you can maximize your position. Let’s review.

  1. Refinance Your Home

Two weeks ago, the Federal Reserve lowed its benchmark on interest rates for the first time since 2008. Interest rates are now set to hoover between 2% and 2.25%. In some cases, this has had a major impact on homeowners looking to refinance.

The federal funds rate is the rate at which banks and other financial institutions lend money to one another overnight to meet mandated reserve levels. When the fed funds rate declines, it becomes cheaper for banks to borrow from other banks, providing them an opportunity to reduce mortgage rates for their clients. This is because they maintain the same spread (return between what they borrow money at versus what they lend money at). However, not all banks reduce their lending rates according to the fed fluctuation. In some cases, they leave their rates the same, making a higher return on their lending.

For homeowners to take advantage of the recent decline in federal funding rates, homeowners should seek out banks that have concurrently reduced their mortgage lending rates. Homeowners can refinance their home and ultimately reduce the amount the must pay back to the bank. They can refinance to 1) Reposition their debt, or 2) Refi and buy another property, say an investment asset of a vacation home!

  1. Sell and Buy Using Tax Code 121

The other avenue homeowners can take is to sell their home and buy a new home (that one they have been dreaming of for years) using Tax Code §121. Section 121 Principal Residence Property allows homeowners to exchange their home and avoid paying taxes. If they qualify, homeowners can exchange and be excluded of $250,000 of gain for single filers and $500,000 of gain for married taxpayers filing jointly. In order to qualify, homeowners must use the property as a principal residence for two out of the last five years prior to the sale; the use of the principal residence however does not need to be in concurrent months. Additionally, the exclusion is only available every two years and second homes and vacation homes do not qualify.

Which Option is Right for You?

Taking advantage of the housing market can be financially advantageous. At the same time, it can be risky. For anyone interested in making a move, by either refinancing with these low interest rates or by selling and exchanging according to tax code §121, it is recommended that they speak to a qualified professional.

How Can We Help You?

We here at Gulf State Homebuyers are all cash investors. We purchase homes in the Baytown/Houston area for all cash. For those who are in your position and are interested in moving into the home of their dreams, we make the process a bit simpler. Instead of taking the property out to market and engaging in the hassle of working with a real estate broker, marketing, and negotiating on a closing price and terms, we provide clients the option to simply sell to us. We purchase homes as-is and cover all costs associated with the sale. Our process is simple as well – once a client calls us, we set up a time to view the property and make an offer on the home that same day. No inspections required. Our goal is to help our clients move forward to the next stage of their life – And, with the way the current housing market is, now is an optimal time to take that leap. To learn more about how we can assist you, or learn more about your options (which are outlined above), contact us today and speak with one of our qualified professionals.