RE/MAX Journey



Posted by RE/MAX Journey on 2/12/2019

The concept of a starter home is an American tradition that has existed for decades. Buying a starter home makes it possible to achieve homeownership, financial independence, and to build equity and credit while you transition to a larger home.

However, your first home doesn’t need to be a tiny, one-bedroom house with none of the amenities that you want.

In today’s post, we’re going to look at some of the things that are desirable in a first home or starter home, so that you can make the best financial decision now that will help you save more in the long run.

Top things to look for in your first home

1. Resale value

Perhaps the most important thing to think about when buying your first home is the day that you eventually decide to sell it and upgrade. There’s a lot that goes into the purchase value of a home. But, if you maintain the home or even make some upgrades, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to sell it for more than you paid.

Other factors that affect resale value are the location and real estate market trends. While you may not be able to change the economy, you can choose to buy a home that is in a location others will find desirable in the coming years.

2. Size

The cost of your first home will be determined by its location, as mentioned before, but another huge factor will be the size or square-footage of the home and yard.

If you don’t plan on having children in the next few years and don’t currently have kids at home, having several bedrooms and a large backyard probably aren’t huge priorities. This means you’ll be able to save by buying a small home on a small property.

Similarly, if it’s just you and a significant other living in the home, you may be comfortable with just one bathroom for the next few years. These omissions can save you a ton of money on your first starter home.

3. Transportation and proximity

Typically, when people buy their first home they are just getting settled into their career and may still change jobs a few times. Most workers in today’s economy change jobs between 10 and 15 times throughout their career and do so more often toward the beginning.

This means it will make sense for you to buy your first home within commuting distances to companies in your industry.

4. DIY and fixer-uppers

Homes that are in need of repairs or renovations can be a great way to save money and see a return on your investment when you decide to sell. Of course, there are limits to how many repairs are reasonable while still getting your money’s worth from a home.

You’ll know from your home inspection or by doing a walk-through with professional contractors how much work is required to bring the home up to standards. Use those resources to ensure that you’re making a sound financial decision for your first home.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by RE/MAX Journey on 2/5/2019

No doubt about it, family life can be messy!

With you working all week, the kids going to school, and the dog, well, doing dog things, it doesn’t take long for the house to end up a mess. You manage to finish the dinner dishes but when you take a look around at everything else you just want to curl up on the sofa for the evening. Or, you look at the stack of decorator magazines on, or under, the coffee table and wonder how other people get it all done while you feel like a first-class failure (at housekeeping, that is).

Here’s the dirty little secret …

Nobody gets it all done by themselves. Comparing yourself to glossy magazines or social media is downright debilitating. And it’s unproductive because what you see on those pages isn’t real. Entire teams of designers, decorators, movers, and cleaners set up those spaces.

Getting real …

So, create a system that is real for you and your household. Don’t strive for perfection, do work at consistency instead. And first up … get everyone in the house on board.

Pick one simple thing and start there. Make that one thing the only thing you worry about getting done at the end of the day. Give everyone a part in the one thing. So … if every family member has a bin, basket, or plastic tub, their one thing is to collect all of their belongings from the living areas in their container and take it to their room each evening as they head for bed.

Kids can grab their toys, jackets, and shoes. Once the container reaches their room, don't worry too much about getting everything put away at first. You're creating a new habit, so working on the "removal from the living areas" first. After a couple of weeks of consistent follow-through, add just one more step. Try something simple like, put hang up your jacket on the hook, or put your shoes in the closet.

As each one thing becomes habitual, add one more. But don't add too many or something too difficult because that can backfire on you.

Make décor work for you …

Dripping pots of hydrangeas on artfully stacked books don’t work in a household of children, one living area where the coffee table holds cups and glasses, several electronics remote controllers, and today’s homework.

If what works for you is adding a flat basket to hold the controllers and gathering up the glasses at the end of the evening, don't complicate it by adding dust-catching décor that makes life more difficult, or gets in the way of your second grader's homework getting done.

Your home is about living life. Your life.

If you find your home no longer works for you, share your needs with a real estate professional that can help you decide if a new home is in your future.





Posted by RE/MAX Journey on 1/29/2019

When you hear about xeriscaping, you might envision a dirt or sand yard with more boulders than actual greenery and color. You now know about a few ornamental kinds of grass you can use to set off your yard and add greenery. Depriving yourself of flowers is not necessary either to create a beautiful, eco-friendly yard. Here are a few fabulous flowering plants to use in your xeriscape.

African Iris — After it reaches stable growth this beautiful perennial plant only requires occasional water. Enjoy white blossoms with hints of yellow and bluish-purple from Spring all the way through the Fall with minimal maintenance. 

Lantana — An evergreen shrub, Lantana is a fast-growing plant that blooms throughout all seasons in most areas. Even if you live in a climate experiencing frost, your Lantana will produce gorgeous orange and red blossoms during the Spring and Summer months. This plant requires little water once it's up and running if you do experience extreme heat in the summertime, up your watering some to keep your blossoms going year-round. 

Marigold — This vibrant flower is a remarkable and affordable annual to add to your drought-tolerant landscape. It grows quickly, has minimal watering needs and thrives in full sun. The plant is tough enough to survive extreme heat, and the bright orange blossoms bring life to your garden through Summer and Fall. Bonus — if you enjoy butterflies this plant is for you. Turn your xeriscape into a butterfly garden by attracting them with marigold blossoms. 

Bougainvillea — This flowering plant comes in many varieties offering different colors and sizes. Bougainvillea plants proliferate and burst with flowers year-round. You can use them in many ways making them a good option for different home types. They are great for ground cover; you can climb them up a trellis or drape them over your roof or balcony. This plant requires little water and will tell you so! If it stops flowering, you're overwatering it — the perfect flowering plant for drought climates.

Lavender — Brought to us from the Mediterranean lavender is a beautiful and sturdy plant that is fairly drought tolerant. Its toughness and varieties make it an excellent option for adding green to your xeriscape year-round and a splash of purple color through your warm summer months. English lavender grows best in colder northern climates, while French and Spanish lavenders grow best in hot southern environments. Lavender loves sunlight and takes at least 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. Soak your lavender plant to establish its roots then manage with moderate watering and enjoy purple blossoms for several years. 

Purple Sage — Desert purple sage is native to western climates and is very well suited to difficult growing areas with high heat and drought. This evergreen shrub blooms abundantly from Spring through Fall. Delight yourself and your garden with these fast-growing bluish-purple flowers with minimal watering once established.

Wildflowers — Wildflowers are a must add for any garden but are especially useful in your xeriscape. Choose wildflowers native to your area. If you select the right seeds, they will grow well in your high heat and drought-prone environment. Before purchasing make sure you research which wildflowers grow best in your area. If you ensure you spread the right seeds, you'll enjoy a beautiful and complex coloring of wildflowers in your garden.

Now your garden is full and blossoming while remaining eco and wallet-friendly. For more texture and unique coloring to pair with your blooms take a look at some tremendous succulent options for your xeriscape.




Tags: landscaping   flowers   how to  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by RE/MAX Journey on 1/22/2019

If you recently sold your home and plan to relocate to a new address, you may need to pack up your personal belongings. And in some instances, there may be items that you can sell before moving day arrives. These include:

1. Furniture

Although your couch, sofa, loveseat and other furniture may have served you well for many years, there is no guarantee that they will fit in your new residence. Furthermore, even if your current furniture fits perfectly in your new house, there may be a risk that it won't complement your new home's décor.

If you have furniture that you don't want to bring to your new home, there is no need to worry. You can always list furniture online or host a yard sale prior to moving day. Or, you may want to donate your furniture to a local charity.

2. Appliances

A refrigerator, washer, dryer and other home appliances can be large and heavy. Therefore, it sometimes may be beneficial to purchase new appliances when you arrive at your new residence rather than allocate time and energy to transport your existing appliances to your new address.

For those who want to get rid of large appliances before an upcoming move, lots of options are available. In addition to selling or donating your current appliances, you can offer your appliances to the individual who is buying your residence. Also, if you face a time crunch, you can provide your appliances free of charge to the person who is buying your home.

3. Home Decorations

Various decorations may have looked great in your current residence. But if you want to give your new home a fresh look and feel, you may want to sell your current decorations prior to moving day.

Generally, there is no shortage of online buyers or yard sale shoppers who may be willing to purchase your home decorations. You can donate your home decorations to a local charity or give them to family members, friends or other loved ones as well.

As you get ready for an upcoming move, you may have a lot of work ahead. Fortunately, moving companies are available that can help you streamline the moving process.

A moving company employs courteous, knowledgeable moving professionals who are happy to assist you in any way they can. These moving professionals can provide recommendations and tips to help you prepare for moving day. And if you have moving day concerns or questions, moving day professionals are ready to address them.

Lastly, if you need to sell your home so you can quickly move from one address to another, you may want to employ an expert real estate agent. With a real estate agent at your side, you can receive plenty of help during the property selling cycle. Best of all, a real estate agent will make it easy for you to sell your residence, get ready for moving day and ensure you can seamlessly relocate to any location, at any time.




Tags: moving tips   moving  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by RE/MAX Journey on 1/15/2019

Owning a second home or vacation home is the dream of many Americans hoping to retire in style. However, owning a second home can also be a huge financial asset and even an added form of income if you’re savvy with the rental process.

What stops most of us from buying a vacation home in our ideal getaway? The funding, of course. But, there are ways to plan ahead to ensure you’ll be ready to take the plunge and purchase a second home when the time comes.

In today’s blog post, we’re going to be talking about the steps to buying a home away from home and give you some tip on how to accomplish this goal in the most financially-sensible way possible.

1.  Location is Key

When you buy a second home, you take on all the responsibilities of homeownership a second time. Since you won’t be around every day to tend to maintenance tasks and troubleshoot problems, you risk discovering costly repairs that could otherwise be avoided.

The most common issues to be concerned with are frozen pipes in northern climates, flooding in coastal areas, and problems like pests that can be found just about anywhere.

Depending on your budget, you might want a home you can drive out to on the weekends, meaning somewhere close by to your primary home. This option also makes it easier to stay up-to-date on home maintenance tasks before they become an issue.

2. Try before you buy

If your ideal vacation home is in an area you’re not totally familiar with, it’s a good idea to visit the neighborhood, talk to the locals, and gain their perspective on the area before buying.

This trip will also give you a sense of what you can expect to spend each time you visit the home. And, if you plan on renting out the property when you aren’t using it, you’ll be able to gauge what a reasonable rent price is for the location.

3. Earning income from your vacation home

Making extra cash from a home that you get to use pretty much whenever you want. Sounds like a dream, right? It can be if done properly, but you’ll need to ensure a few things before you can start earning income from your vacation property.

First, be aware that investment properties often require a larger down payment (typically 30%). Lenders also charge extra interest on homes that will be rented out.

Finally, there are local and state-level laws you’ll need to adhere to. These laws are designed to protect your interests as well as the people who rent out your property, so make sure you use a standard rental agreement for your area.

4. Making an offer

You’ve been here before. Once you’ve decided on a home, it’s time to start crafting your offer and negotiating with the seller’s agent.

However, before you pick a number, do some research on all of the expenses you’ll be paying on the house in question. Property taxes, homeowners association dues, utilities, and any other costs should be on your radar before determining if it’s the right home for your budget.

You’ll also want to be aware of the stipulations of renting out a property you own. This includes reporting income from renting your home to the IRS.


Now that you know the steps you’ll need to take to move toward your goal of buying a vacation home, you’ll be better equipped to make decisions that are best for you and your family’s future.