With Thanksgiving only a week away, now is the time to decide how to decorate your home for guests and visitors! The Matt Fetick Team went to Pinterest to for inspiration. Here is what we came up with:
CHANGE IS IN THE AIR! This month we are challenging you to send us your BEST local Fall Foliage pictures! Step outside your front door or go to a local park and snap a picture with your camera or smartphone. Then, email your picture toTeamChallenge@SoldNotListed.com OR post it on the MattFetick Real Estate Facebook Page to be entered into a drawing to win a $50 AMEX giftcard!
We'll be announcing the Challenge on Facebook in the next week, so take the opportunity to get a head start on your opponents. One entry per person. Please have all photos emailed or posted by Friday, October 26.
We are excited to introduce the *new* Matt Fetick Monthly Challenge. Each month, we'll announce a new challenge in our newsletter (have you signed up yet??), and then a few days later on our blog and Facebook. If you choose to participate in the challenge, you'll be entered into a drawing for a prize!
Have you seen a Matt Fetick Real Estate sign in your neighborhood? On your commute to work? Along the route you run? Snap a picture of a Matt Fetick Real Estate sign (only the sign please--no houses in the background) on your smartphone and email it to TeamChallenge@SoldNotListed.com OR post it on the Matt Fetick Real Estate Facebook Page to be entered into a drawing to win a $50 AMEX giftcard!
We'll be announcing the Challenge on Facebook in the next week, so take the opportunity to get a head start on your opponents. One entry per person. Please have all photos emailed or posted by September 25.
Marina is our March iPad Winner in our 2012 Referral Contest!
Will you be our next winner? Just refer a buyer or seller to the Matt Fetick Real Estate Team, and you'll be entered into a drawing to win an iPad! In December we'll be picking a GRAND PRIZE WINNER for a trip to the Caribbean!
If you haven't yet, we'd love for you to meet one of our newest team members, Abby. She does a lot of behind-the-scenes work, and if you call up the office you might just catch her answering your call!
Position at MFRET
Receptionist/Whatever I'm told, and I love it!
How long have you worked for the MFRET?
Nearly a month now!
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor
Mint Chocolate Chip
Favorite spot to grab dinner in Chester County
On my deck, grilling with my son on a beautiful summer day
Where was the best vacation you have ever taken?
Puerto Rico, I go every year to relax and unwind
Eagles or Phillies?
Neither, I'm not much for watching sports. I'd rather play!
Why do you like working in real estate?
I like learning about an industry that has such a great impact on our economy. Hopefully one of these days, I will understand it all! It's ever-changing, and my team is great.
Favorite thing about Chester County?
The history and beauty surrounding it all
If you could have lunch with 1 famous person, who would it be and why?
Emily Dickinson. She is an amazing poet, and I have always been intrigued as to what she was thinking when she was writing a particular piece. Also, Dr. Seuss. He is a literary GENIUS!
It's easy to get stuck into creative ruts once you own a home. For some, you do a lot of gutting and painting when you first move in. For others, the home is move in ready, and you become too content with the previous owner's status quo. There are lots of fun projects you can do to give your home a personal touch. Sometimes a small change is all you need to be excited about your home all over again.
Today we'll be checking out some fantastic Pinterest pins on Closets. Closets, you ask? That's right. Sometimes, these small nooks and crannies can afford some great and creative space. You just need the right inspiration!
Check out some of these fab ideas:
Turn your closet into an office area. Perfect to hide away and keep things organized!
Here is one of our newest listing in the Kennett Square Borough. David shares a bit about the home in this quick video. If you are looking in the Kennett Square area, the value of this home can't be beat!
Being prepared is a good motto for life in general. But when it comes to buying a home, it is particularly keen advice. There are lots of things you will encounter or have to complete before getting the keys to your new home. Knowing some of the things to be prepared for in advance can take some of the burden off of homebuyers who have never bought a house before.
In the dream world of real estate, particularly to those of us who have never bought a home, the process goes something like this: you find a house you like, you bid on the house, your offer gets accepted, and you are handed the keys the next day. In real life, the process is not like this. Most settlements are 45-90 days after the offer is accepted. So be prepared to wait for 1-3 months, in some cases longer. If you are working with a short sale or foreclosure, the wait time could be longer (and there are no certainties or guarantees for exact closing dates). Sometimes settlement gets pushed back after items are found out of compliance on an inspection, or if there is a home sell contingency. Be flexible, and be prepared to wait.
...To move quickly.
In direct contradiction to the statement above, you should also be prepared to move quickly, if the need arises. You might be expecting 45-90 days for a settlement, but circumstances might be such that settlement must be pushed sooner (I had friends who settled 3 weeks after their offer was accepted - rare, but possible). With a short sale, while you often have to wait months for the deal to go through, you might be given only a 1-2 week window of notice before settlement happens. Be prepared!
...For anything that might arise.
Expect the unexpected, and lower all your expectations when buying a home. Not on the actual house, but on how things will play out. Expect for things to show up on your home inspection. Expect negotiating instead of a clean deal. Expect timelines to change. Expect unexpected costs. Expect bumps to arise. Things WILL arise. And better to assume they will than to be caught off guard or blind-sided!
...With all your paperwork.
This will be a longer, more comprehensive post in the near future. But, as you are getting ready to start looking at houses for the first time (or you are already in an agreement of sale and waiting on settlement), make sure you have all your paperwork in order. Some of the forms you might need with both realtors and mortgage brokers: Bank statements from the past 3-6 months, Tax statements from the past 3-5 years, personal identification information (social security, birth certificates, passports, etc), household budget, employment contracts, any and all forms/proof of debt (credit card statements, alimony/child support statements, school loans, car loans, etc). Go back as far as you can with these statements - better to be safe than sorry (or left routing through your house at all hours of the morning in a panic - been there, done that).
...For life as a homeowner!
As you stay flexible and try not to get too attached until the keys are in your hand, get excited! Dream! Go furniture shopping as the settlement gets closer. Home-buying shouldn't just be stressful, it should be fun. You are buying a house that will become your home! With that said, be sure to go over your new household budget, with the figures of taxes, mortgage, and every bills so you are prepared and not totally thrown during your first few months as a new homeowner. Do everything you can to think ahead and be ready!
Little steps help you be prepared for one of the biggest (and exciting!) purchases of your lifetime. Make it easier on yourself and think ahead, so you are ready (and not freaking out) when settlement arrives.
We'd love to hear your First Time Homebuying tips and stories - so please leave a comment below!
I know, two Pinterest posts in a row. BUT, with Valentine's Day being TOMORROW, I thought it would be fun to share a few Valentine-theme decor pins to inspire you in making your home festive for the romantic holiday. I couldn't resist!!
I love that little touches here and there can make a home subtly "themed" for a holiday:
Are you on Pinterest yet? It is the hottest new site to waste hours of time on, and I LOVE it. I didn't quite understand it at first, but once I registered for an account, I learned quick and became infatuated.
One of the things I love about Pinterest is all the ideas I get for how decorating my home, tips for cleaning or fixing things around the house, and many other pertinent resources for homeowners.
Each week, I'd like to share a few "pins" I've come across that many home owners (and home buyers and home renters....really, anyone who lives in an abode qualifies here) will find useful and fun.
When you walk into a room in your home, do you sometimes think "this doesn't feel right" but don't know how to fix it?
A room is defined by the largest and the first thing that you see when you walk in. Example: The bed defines the bedroom.
So, when you look into a room, what do you see first? It should be the focal point.
Here's a story...
I met with a new client to stage her home. The first room we walked into was her living room which she had set up the same way for 22 years. My first impression was that it could be BETTER, so I suggested that she allow me to move some of the furniture around. She was a bit taken back, but granted me permission. The effort was minimal, but the impact was huge. She's contacted me several times afterward stating "I should have done this long ago" or "my friend was over the other day and couldn't believe how much better it felt"
Check out the before and after (click the right arrow to scroll to next pic):
In our last First Time Homebuyers post, we discussed knowing what you want and making sure your realtor does too. Being on the same page, both with your realtor and with yourself, it such an important home buying aspect. It will save you a lot of heartache in the long run!
Today we will talk about another important aspect, which goes hand-in-hand with our previous post: Knowing your limits.
We all know the economy is in a bad place, and part of the reason it declined is due in part to real estate. People were buying bigger and better, despite not being able to afford bigger and better. So they stretched their credit, their wishes, and then the foreclosures started popping up.
One thing I really appreciate about our journey is that after our initial chat with the realtor, my husband and I were directed to speak to a mortgage company. We crunched numbers, down to the penny, and had a solid grasp on what our absolute limits were. We knew we could not go above and beyond a certain amount (partially because we couldn't afford it, partially because no bank would [thankfully] approve loans above a certain amount).
Now, with an absolute range in mind and a mortgage pre-approval in hand, we knew exactly what houses we could (and couldn't) look at. We knew what bids we could put in. And even though a particular house might have been approved by a bank, my husband and I knew OUR limits. We knew what we could and couldn't afford (or, rather, what we wanted to afford). It really helped narrow down our search.
We also had a solid concept of our present financials. We were clear on how much actual money we had to put towards our offer. We did not kid ourselves with what savings we would have after we bought the house (for unexpecteds, for home repairs, etc). We knew without a renovation loan, it would not be prudent to look at major fixer-uppers (even if they were really inexpensive) because we did not have the actual funds in hand to put towards the repairs. We knew we could deal to buy appliances if it came down to it (which it did - a refrigerator, washer and dryer).
Today's Takeaway: Know your financial limits by meeting with a mortgage broker or bank before you start actually looking at homes. Know your current money and asset situation inside and out, so you can feel comfortable with what you can (or cannot) take on in possible renovations. And even if the perfect house is just a few thousand dollars outside of your range, check yourself by asking: Am I REALLY able to afford this on a monthly basis?
So I would encourage you to Dream Big as you search for a home. Make sure you are on the same page about those dreams. But then anchor those dreams with a visit to your mortgage broker or bank, so those dreams can become an affordable reality.