Throwback Thursday

Happy Thursday! Hope your week has been well so far. Thanks for checking in for Throwback Thursdays! This week I’ve fell in love with a basement remodel.

While searching for homes, you may find that many have unfinished basements. Which can be a great thing because you can remodel it the way you want! So here’s a great basement remodel found on Pintrest posted by Utah Style! Check out their site! http://bit.ly/1qwr6uL

 

Bsmt remodel before   From Concrete Unfinished Basement   Basement Remodel Before and After    To Beautiful Architectural Detail

Bsmt remodel window  From Unsightly View of Window Well

Bsmt remodel window2   To Gorgeous Decorative Molding

Bsmt remodel kitchen   Full Service Kitchenette

Bsmt remodel other   Gorgeous Frame Round Mirrors

What a difference!  Hope you enjoyed this “Throwback Thursday” Before & After Remodel.  Don’t forget to check back next week and follow me on Pintrest for other great home remodel ideas!

Visit Knifie K Burks – HomeBuyerProcess.com’s profile on Pinterest.

 

Throwback Thursdays!

Hello Everyone,

Hope you enjoyed our “Throwback Thursday” last week, if you missed it check it out here. http://wp.me/p3Z3N3-aI There were a few great remodels!

Each week I will post great before and after photos of home remodels and connect you with the blogs that have shared this great information. Some will even give step by step directions for great home remodels.  Many of you are already looking at homes but you’ve allowed so many to slip through your fingers because when you walk in you see old carpet, old kitchens or baths.  You’ve also let a few go by because of ugly exterior or landscaping.

So I’m writing this blog each week to show you that these things can be changed!

So here’s the 1st great transformation for this week! ***Please note: If a link is not available, please click directly on the photo for details.

HomeBuyerProcess.com Throwback Thursdays
Gorgeous Kitchen remodel! Love it. http://bit.ly/1p6EB4d

Picture 5
What a difference a door makes! http://bit.ly/1x7lw6w

Hopefully the photos posted here have allowed you to see a huge difference a small remodel can make and a few of these changes can also increase your property value.

Download my form “Top Tips To Increase Your Homes Value”. http://bit.ly/1kMTIu5

 

 

Homebuyerprocess.com Fathers Day Contest – Enter To Win $100 gift Card!

Most of you are already aware of how I love Pinterest & how awesome it is.  If you figured it out yet, we’re giving you a reason to join!  Today we’re launching our Fathers Day Photo contest on Pinterest and we would love for you to participate! We are looking for great Fathers Day gift ideas and great photos of you and your dad or just a few great photos of dad!

To enter, create a board, title it “HomeBuyerProcess.com Fathers Day Contest” then add great photos of your dad, great gift ideas, and/or great man cave makeovers found on Pintrest.  Please include hashtags #HomeBuyerProcess.com and #Fathers Day Contest. When your board is complete, share it with us by posting a comment on the original contest announcement pin, with a link to your board,  found  on our “Fathers Photo Contest – HomeBuyerProcess.com“ Board.  Be as creative as possible. Please follow the details below. Your board could win a $100 visa gift card!

  • You must follow http://www.pinterest.com/knifie/boards on Pinterest to enter.
  • Contest begins June 4th, and ends Fathers Day June 15th 2014 at 12 midnight CST.
  • Each pin must include the hashtags #HomeBuyerProcess.com and #Fathers Day Contest.
  • Only one entry board per person.
  • Boards will be judged based on uniqueness, creativity, and adherance to the guidelines.
  • Winners will be announced June 16th 2014

Join and don’t forget to share your board with all of your friends!

Good Luck

Knifie

What’s Your Gift To Dad On Fathers Day?

My dad’s favorite gift that I’ve given him on Fathers day was a set of grilling tools, cookware, and a few grilling cookbooks  As you can see my dad loves to grill.  And we love for him to grill, of course because of the great food.  🙂  My dad is normally the hardest person to shop for because he doesn’t do much, he loves to grill and he loves to watch TV. Grill Plus SignFlat Screen TV So this year as I search for gift idea’s online, I decided to write a post because now I’ve found so many great idea’s and I thought I would share them with everyone because your dad may be hard to shop for also, but hopefully not as difficult as my father is.  🙂 I find a lot of ideas on Pintrest and also Amazon.  Some of you may want to do something small and other’s may want to go as big as making dad a new man cave.  So here are some of the ideas that I love.  You can just adjust them to your dad’s specific taste. Here are several great ideas found on Pintrest. Fathers day candy card Great kids project for dad.  http://bit.ly/1o2iFJj Fathers day card Great gift idea for new fathers!  http://etsy.me/1onmZD2 Fathers day photo I love this idea!  http://bit.ly/1h6A69U Shoe Clock Nice for the dad’s that love shoes!  http://bit.ly/1kiHWMY Great Man Cave And how many dad’s want a man cave? http://bit.ly/1psI64l Fathers Day Pillow Nice gift for dad to relax or use on his man cave couch 🙂 This website even shows you how t make it.  http://bit.ly/1onoLUN Fathers Day Man Cave Another Great man cave makeover! http://bit.ly/1psIEau Fathers Day Gift Cute and easy for kids to make for Grandpa!  Just print this sheet from the website! http://bit.ly/1h6BKbn Fathers Day Domino Clock Great for the Domino loving dads! This website has DIY Videos.  http://bit.ly/S9FPj6 Fathers day flat screens For the dad’s that have too many flat screen TV’s!  Fathers Day Garage Make Over Great Garage Remodel.  http://bit.ly/1hnTSIf Hope these ideas are helpful.  Have a wonderful fathers day & don’t forget to come back and comment if you decided to use one of these ideas.  I would love to know the reaction from your dad or father 🙂 Also check out our Fathers Day contest on Facebook, you could win $100 Visa Gift Card!  Click here to enter http://on.fb.me/1m6sIHu

Win a $100 Visa Gift Card!

How to play:

1. Upload a picture of your dad with a caption – “Cool Dad”, “Loving Dad”, “Silly Dad” etc.

2. Get as many friends as possible to vote for you!

3. The entry with the most votes wins!

Good luck!

Enter to Win! http://on.fb.me/1m6sIHu Best Wishes. Knifie

Throwback Thursdays

As a Realtor, I’ve walked into so many homes that offer great space & great location. But they lack the upgrades that so many buyers are looking for. The homes may have an old kitchen or an old bath, so old that a new home buyer will stop in their tracks, smile, and say this is not the home for me!

So I’m writing this post because I’ve seen so many buyers walk away from homes with great potential. I’ve seen homes purchased that haven’t been remodeled in years, that were remodeled to look more beautiful than a brand new home!

So for this reason each week I’m going to have “Throwback Thursdays” on my website. I’m going to show you great before and after photos of home remodels and connect you with the blogs that have shared this great information. Some will even give step by step directions for great home remodels.

So here’s your 1st “Throwback Thursday” remodel. From a great blog called Newsvine! http://bit.ly/1fTA0Bh

Kitchen before and after

Another gorgeous remodel found on Pintrest. I’m sure this home stands out and does not look like any other homes on the block! http://bit.ly/1r9tQSE

Exterior Remodel

And last but not least for today, a great bathroom Remodel, the homeowner has renovated a 1949 bathroom. Total difference! http://bit.ly/1npBZOM

bathroom before after

Hope you enjoyed “Throwback Thursday” check back next week for more before and after ideas.

Knifie

Top 5 Home Buyer Issues

As a Real Estate Broker, I would love to say there are no issues throughout the home buying process. You will find a home that you love right away, close quickly, and move in right away! Well that would be far from true! If I were to take a poll today of recent homebuyers, a large percentage of them would say that the process did not go smoothly.

So this is why I decided to write a post about the 5 home buyer issues and concerns that happen over and over again.

Not getting Pre-Approved before starting your home search! So many potential home buyers begin their search online, fall in love and begin the home search right away!  But there is a step in between, a very important step that has been missed.  That’s getting Pre-Approved!  Just say, you start looking at homes today and you fall in love with a home right away.  You call a lender right away to get Pre-Approved.  Your Pre-Approval takes 3 days.  Your excited about the Pre-Approval letter and even more excited to get that offer written.  You call your Realtor and you are advised that the property that you love and have envisioned yourself living in for the past 3 days, has a contract pending!

Another situation that I’ve found is that 99% of the banks and Sellers want to know that you are Pre-approved before they accept your offer.  Put yourself in the owners situation. Would you want to take your home off the market for 30 days or more to possibly find out that the buyer did not qualify? Or if you are the bank or seller, you’ve received  2 or more offers at the same time. Which would you consider 1st?  Yes, the offers received with Pre-Approval letters. This is why I suggest getting Pre-Approved in advance, otherwise you are in last place, loosing the race!

Searching for homes online, to later find they are not active. I find that many homebuyers begin their search online, of course because it is the quickest easiest way to start and to find information. But that information is not always accurate.  In the past few days I’ve received requests for information about properties that buyers have found online.  But when the properties are searched in the mls (system used by Realtors to confirm status and property details), it was found that they were inactive.  1 of the properties had a contract pending since January (Today is March 31st). The other property was sold last September. But the websites that buyers were searching were never updated.

So for the most current listings I suggest contacting Realtor and requesting them to set up your email to receive listings automatically as they come on the market and if the price changes.

I love this home but it is a short sale. A short sale is a home that the property owner owes more than the property worth. In many of these cases the banks allow the owners to sell the property at its current market value.  But there is a catch!  This is a very, very long process.  Some take 6 to 9 months to close! So if you plan on moving before that time or if you have little to no patience, this is not the type of property you should choose. But take into consideration that some short sale properties can be great prices.  So if you don’t plan to move right away this may be a good option for you to try.

Home needs too many repairs or doesn’t have everything on my wish list.  You walk in a home, there is green shag carpet with green wall paper in the kitchen and mustard yellow appliances! Wow where is the granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances that you wanted. When searching for homes you must take into consideration that everyone does not have the same taste that you have and also the home owners may not have been able to afford to upgrade the home. But there is help!

When applying for your home loan you can  ask your lender if you qualify for a rehab loan. When you choose a rehab loan you can take a loan for ” Value After Repair” or VAR. An example is if the home will be valued at $250,000 after repairs are complete, but the cost of the home is only $100,000.  You can obtain a loan for up to $150,000 for repairs of the home.  This is a good idea if you’ve been viewing homes in the higher range of your loan approval but you just can’t find the one that feels like home.  Why not search for cheaper homes, obtain the rehab loan, then fix up the home just the way you like it.  If you can’t envision this, just take a look at a few episodes of HGTV’S “Property Brothers”.  This will show you exactly how you can make that dream home a reality.

Not getting the facts.  We all have a friend, family member, or coworker that know’s everything! We often hear horror stories about everything including their home and the issues that they may have.  This may not be the person to get home ownership advice from because everyone’s situation is different. So try to seek the advice of a professional loan officer that can give you solid advice about your situation.  You can also search websites online that will help you with the goals that you have www.daveramsey.com is a website that I’ve found very helpful.

And here’s a bonus. My advice is to stick with 1 Realtor!  Working with more than 1 Realtor can drastically increase your stress level!  Many people choose to work with several Realtors because it’s believed that you will have access to more properties from every Realtor.  But guess what, each Realtor has access to the same system with the same properties! So choose 1 agent that you trust. An agent that continually provides you with the most recent real estate listings. You can request your agent to set up am automatic alert that will come to your email with new listings or listings with price changes.

I really hope this blog will help in your home search.  Feel free to connect with me on Facebook for any real estate advice.  www,facebook.com/gettingourhomesback

Grab a copy of my new eBook. “The Essential First Time Home Buyers Guide”.

In this eBook you will learn;

How to review and build your credit.
Mistakes buyers make when choosing a Realtor.
What an offer consists of.
Guidance for your home inspection.
The approval process, closing, and what to expect.

Click the link below for your copy.

http://homebuyersguide.gr8.com

Knifie K. Burks
Real Estate Broker & Consultant
Real People Realty

Taking It Step By Step!

The Stages of the Home Buying Process.

Are you thinking of buying your very first home this year? Are you wondering, “Where do I start?”

Well the first step is – Getting Your Finances in Order! This is usually the step that worry’s most people. You wonder ” Do I have the money to buy a home”? To pay a monthly mortgage or even the down payment.

So let’s take this step by step!

Can you buy a home based on the credit score that you currently have? So check your credit to see what your current score is. Many lenders today require a credit score of 620 to qualify as a first time home buyer. Make sure your credit cards are not maxed out. Try to keep the amount due as low as possible, I recommend under 15% of your credit limit.

For example your credit card limit may be $1000, so try to keep your balance under $150.00.

The next step is to make sure you have the down payment normally 3% for first time Home Buyers, could be a little less depending on the program your lender will connect you with. It also may be a little higher depending on fees. So I always recommend to save a little more for your down payment to be safe.

Next choose your Realtor and your Lender. You may already have a few people in mind but if you don’t contact me preferably 🙂 Just Kidding, contact a Realtor that you are comfortable working with.

You may be thinking “Do I really need a Realtor? I can find a home online and call the # myself, see it, and write an offer”. In most cases it is not that simple!

As you begin searching online you may find that many of the homes that you are calling for currently have contracts pending. This is because many websites are not directly connected to the the MLS (The system used by agents) so they may take 5 or more days to show the updates after they are entered in the MLS . This can become frustrating also as you drive around to look at homes to find out they are no longer available.

You may also find the home that you love but you must write the contract without guidance! So why not call a Realtor who can provide you with active properties and writing of the offer for you! Also remember as a buyer there is No Cost To You!

So, get recommendations from friends, family, or co-workers. You can also contact me, I am a Realtor licensed in IL. for over 12 years, if you are out of my local area or even out of state I can refer you to a great Realtor in your area. You can connect with a lender at your bank or I can connect you with a few recommended lenders.

I hope this blog helps you get going in the right direction. I’ve also written a 3 part series. ” Home Buyers Education Mini Guide”

In this guide you will learn…

  • Where to start
  • Tips on building your credit to qualify
  • Getting Pre-approved and Starting your home search

Click here to sign up today!

https://app.getresponse.com/site/challengefacebookgroup/webform.html?wid=640827&u=Sp6E

If your looking for a Realtor or Lender, complete the form below. You will receive a call within 24 hours.

Best Wishes,
Knifie

Is it Time?

I had to ask myself, “Is it the right time for me to buy a home? I had to decide if I was going to rent again or buy?

I really wanted to be a homeowner but I didn’t want the expenses that come with it. So I pushed homeownership thoughts to the side for just a moment and began searching for rental prices in the Western suburbs of Chicago. I began my search online and noticed that prices were a LITTLE HIGH!

So I thought “well I really miss my old apartment in Westmont, I will call for pricing”. $1300.00 was the price that I received for the same apartment that I previously rented for under $800.00. So I knew then that renting was not right for me.

Now there are so many other things to take into consideration before buying;

  1. Do you have savings just in case a repair is needed? You are the Landlord now! You can’t call for repairs anymore.
  2. Location, Location, Location.  Choose a home in an area that you love and that is not too far from work or the transportation that you will take to work – trains or buses. If you live in Chicago or a city that is just as cold or snowy, we know that winters can be brutal and this winter has been the worst. So I would suggest taking location into consideration.
  3. Is it priced right for you? We are excited when we receive that pre-approval amount from the lender. But just because the lender approved you for such a great amount does not mean you should use it all. Think about things that you normally do or purchase. Of course the lender isn’t going to take lifestyle into consideration. Do you normally travel or eat at restaurants often or shop a lot! These are things that can be cut back when you purchase a home but I wouldn’t suggest totally cutting them out because you will be miserable , especially if its something that you love to do. You don’t want to look at your home and think, “l have my home but now I can’t do the things I love!”

So is it the right time? After reading this blog post you may have even more questions running through your head. But guess what? There are always going to be questions throughout the process. 

So if you have any questions or if you would like to find out how much you qualify for complete the form below and you will receive a call within 24 hours. This will help you prepare and save before going through the pre-approval process.

Enjoy
Knifie

Knifie K Burks Exit Realty Redefined

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