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OKC Realtors: Tips for first time home buyers

OKC Realtors: Handy tips for the first time home buyer

Buying a home can be a lengthy process. Some even find it scary. It takes a large amount of money and resources to buy a home and getting a bad deal can leave you stuck in bad way for years, even decades. OKC Realtors has some tips for the first time home buyer to make sure you get the best deal possible.

Save for a down payment early: The common rule for a down payment on a house is 20%. But most lenders will let you buy a house with a down payment with a little as 3% down. But these smaller down payments often mean larger higher costs overall and having to buy private mortgage insurance. Start saving early so you can keep your options on the down payment open.

Check your Credit (But not too much): When your getting approved for a loan, your credit will be one of the key factors in determining if your approved or not. It also helps determine interest rates on these loans. So be sure to check it before applying for a loan. Dispute any errors in your credit report and see if you can raise your score by paying off outstanding debts. It’s important to not obsessively check your credit score though, as multiple checks can lower your credit score. Once or twice shouldn’t hurt though.

Pause any new Credit activity: Any time you open a new account, whether it be for a new car loan or a credit card, the lender will check your credit score. This can actually temporarily lower your credit score. So be sure to stop any new credit activity before you start looking for a house.

If your looking for a new home, let the experienced realtors at Metro First Realty, OKC Realtors, help you find the perfect home.

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OKC Realtors: Does your lawn affect your home value?

OKC Realtors: How does your lawn affect your property value?

If you’re looking to sell your home, you might know to update the appliances, fix the fence, and touch up the paint job among other things. But have you ever considered your lawn? Have a look at your lawn now, how is it? Is it clean cut or wild? Are there weeds you haven’t gotten around to exterminating yet? Are there any flowers in your garden? If your lawn is a mess it can actually affect the value of the home it’s in front of. OKC Realtors explains how.

Keeping your lawn in top shape will help you with one of the most important aspects of a home, the first impression. If someone is looking at homes a nice, well-kept lawn will help differentiate you from the other homes the buyer is looking at. If two homes have equal value, the one with the nicer lawn will leave a nicer first impression. In many cases, a well-kept lawn can actually raise the dollar value of your home!

Similarly, leaving a good first impression also does wonders to set expectations for the buyer. This plays of what psychologists call The Halo Effect, where characteristic influences a person’s opinion of all other characteristics related to it. If you’ve got a well-kept lawn, a potential buyer will think more highly of your home because of the halo effect. If your lawn is on the wild side though, the opposite will be true regardless if your house is spotless and up to date.

The lawn is an important part of the home even though it exists outside it. Taking the time to care for and groom your lawn can pay massive dividends when you decide to sell. If you are looking to sell, let Metro First Realty, OKC Realtors, help you find the perfect home.

OKC Realtors

OKC Realtors: The most vulnerable parts of your house Pt. 2

OKC Realtors has some more home weak points and how you can strengthen them

Last time OKC Realtors went over some security weak points in homes, this time we’ll go over a few more.

Windows: Windows are vulnerable because it’s easy to forget about them as a homeowner. Often times we leave them open during hotter months or during nice days to let some natural air in. Sometimes, we can forget to close them leaving an easy entrance for an opportunistic burglar.  In older homes, the glass can become weak and brittle with age making it easy for a burglar to smash through. Older windows can also have weaker locks that can be easily forced. In order to strengthen windows, maintain them with regular repairs and replace old windows as soon as possible. If you can’t replace old windows for whatever reason, install new window locks that can be seen from the outside. These locks will slow down and potentially even stop a would be burglar.

Side Yards: Side and back entrances are a favorite of burglars. Homes next to alleyways can be especially vulnerable as these features grant easy, hidden access to your home. There are a few ways you can help make these easy entrances a little less enticing. First of all, installing stronger locks on your back entrances will help deter burglars. Building a fence, if possible, is also another great way to limit access. Installing motion activated floodlights can also help deter would be criminals. A cheap way to deter burglars is to install some fake security cameras. Just having them there will deter some burglars, it doesn’t matter if they work or not.

Keeping your home safe is one of the biggest responsibilities as a homeowner, and now you’re a little better prepared to keep you and your family safe. If your in the home for a new home give Metro First Realty, OKC Realtors, a call today at 405-242-4004.

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OKC Realtors: The most vulnerable parts of your house

OKC Realtors: What parts of your house are most vulnerable to break-ins

We all want to make sure our homes are as safe and secure from burglars as possible. But which parts of our home are most likely to be targeted by a burglar? OKC Realtors has some answers and some DIY tricks to help strengthen these weak points in your home.

The Front Door: It might seem paradoxical at first, a burglar trying to remain hidden busting into your home right through the front door. Sadly however, that’s how many choose to do it. Many homes have features that can help hide a burglar as they break into your home. recessed doorways, nearby trees, and potted plants can all hide a smart burglar just long enough to get into your home. The key here is to make your front door more visible. Lights are the best way to do this. Painting the door a bright color is another way to make it less appealing to burglars. “Beware Dog” signs and stickers can also deter some burglars not wishing to get chomped.

Specialty Doors: By specialty doors we mean things like sliding glass doors and French doors. These can be a beautiful addition to any home, but they are also particularly vulnerable to burglars. One of the many small glass panes on a French door can be busted open and the lock undone. Sliding doors might have tougher glass, but they can be undone with something as simple as a screwdriver. These doors can be strengthened in a couple of ways. When installing locks on French doors, make sure the locks are at least 36 inches away from the glass panes. For sliding doors, a simple, sturdy rod placed in the track can stop a burglar in their tracks.

These are just a couple of ways you can make your home burglar proof. If your in the market for a new home, give Metro First Realty, OKC Realtors, a call today at 405-242-4004.

 

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OKC Realtors: Is a Fixer-Upper for you?

OKC Realtors: Should you buy that fixer-upper?

It can seem romantic, a beat-up old house sitting in a quaint neighborhood. You eye it while house-hunting and get an idea. You’ll buy this old, run-down house and renovate it to look better than new! And it’ll be cheaper than buying a new home! Well, it might be! But there are some factors to consider. If you want it for some of the reasons below, then OKC Realtors says goes for it!

Because it’s a bargain: The obvious reason you want to but a fixer-upper is that it’s a bargain. Fixer-Uppers are often cheaper than buying a new home. But, as the name suggests, it needs work. Before you buy, make sure the home’s needed repairs aren’t going to be too expensive. Having good DIY skills also helps keeps these costs down. Speaking of DIY

Because you want a DIY project: Doin many of the repairs yourself not only keeps costs down, but it can be a great way to add character to you home and make it truly yours. Some people love the challenge and freedom that comes with doing these repairs and renovations. If your DIY skills are not as good as they could be, you’ll have to pay for more professional help which may drive up the price of this bargain fixer-upper.

You want to flip the house for profit: Buy low, sell high, some of the oldest advice you can get. Buying a fixer upper can be one of the easiest ways to make a profit on a house. Assuming you can do most of the renovations your self and the house itself hasn’t degraded too much, buying a fixer-upper can be a really solid investment.

If your looking for a home in the OKC area, give Metro First Realty, OKC Realtors, today at 405-242-4004!

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OKC Realtors: Are foreclosures cheaper?

OKC Realtors: Is it really cheaper to buy a foreclosed home?

Buying a home is all about balancing the perfect set of features with price. This might make foreclosed home look more attractive as common wisdom says they’re cheaper, but are they? Well, OKC Realtors is here to set the record straight.

According to most data, it is actually cheaper more often than not to buy a foreclosed home. Depending on where you buy the home, it may be anywhere between 18 to 59% cheaper than surrounding homes. And while this initial price reduction might make the home seem like a steal, there are a few things to consider when buying a foreclosed home.

Foreclosed homes often show signs of stress and neglect. People who get behind on payments often stop taking care of the home as well. The previous tenants may have also become upset at losing their home and done damage to the home on there way out. Banks are not likely to fix these damages either. The other thing to keep in mind is who owns the home in the case of a foreclosure. Unlike other homes, foreclosed homes are owned by a bank. Homeowners will try to make small improvements to help increase the value of their home. Banks are usually just trying to recoup losses on a foreclosed home and are less likely to make these improvements as a homeowner will. Before you buy a foreclosed home, make sure that it hasn’t deteriorated to the point that it’s not worth the price cut to make it livable. The home may be cheaper up front, but if the home has been left idle long enough, it might cost more to renovate the home than to just buy a new home!

If your in the market for a new home, give Metro First Realty, OKC Realtors, a call today at 405-242-4004!

OKC Realtors

OKC Realtors: Major Winter Problems for Homeowners

OKC Realtors lays out major problems to be aware of this winter.

Winter is here, and that means cold, dry weather. While this means alot of good things: Snow, Christmas cheer, holiday dinners, football. It can also mean some real trouble for your home. OKC Realtors has some major issues to watch out for this holiday season.

Tree Branches: Ice and snow place alot of extra stress on tree branches. This extra stress leads to an increased chance that these branches will snap. If one of those tree limbs happens to be around your home it can deal some real damage. Keeping dead limbs trimmed off your tree whenever possible can help insure your house is not damaged by a rouge tree limb. Falling tree limbs can damage fences, gutters, roof tiles, and other landscape additions.

In-Ground Automatic Sprinklers: While very convenient in the summer, automatic sprinklers can freeze and leak in the colder months. You can avoid this problem by draining and winterizing your sprinkler system. The last thing you want in freezing temperatures is a soaked lawn!

Burst Pipes in General: Burst pipes can cause extensive damage around this time of year. Faucets located outdoors are especially vulnerable to this kind of damage. Making sure your pipes are properly insulated is key to making sure they don’t freeze and burst. Keeping cabinet doors open and the heat up also helps insure pipes don’t freeze. Letting the faucet drip slightly when you expect a freeze can also help prevent freezing and bursting pipes.

Those are just some of the dangers to be aware of as a homeowner. If your in the market to sell your home or your looking to become a homeowner, let the experts at Metro First Realty OKC, OKC Realtors, help you find the perfect home! Call us today at  405-242-4004!

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OKC Realtors: Tips for setting up those Christmas lights!

OKC Realtors: How to Safely String up Christmas lights

Christmas is fast approaching, and that means Christmas Decorations are out in full swing! You may be feeling the urge to get those lights set up. For most people, lights are a big part of their decorations. It’s important however, to follow some important safety rules when putting up these gorgeous decorations. Aside from Christmas tree lighting fiascos, outside lighting issues cause hundreds of severe tragedies on an annual basis from improper hanging? The first thing you should do is test your lights to make sure they work, even before you hang them up. A burning house isn’t anyone’s idea of a christmas miracle. OKC Realtors has a few more tips to help you decorate safely.

  • Follow Instructions. Not hard to do and can save you a not-so-happy accident!
  • Make sure the lights are plugged into a plug with a ground fault circuit (GFCI).
  • Don’t hang lights with sharp fasteners. (Nails, Staples, Hooks, etc.)
  • Never use cloth or paper as a cover
  • Never use a frayed or damaged cord.
  • Additionally, never use cracked or broken bulbs and sockets.
  • Check to make sure the lights are designed for outdoor use.
  • Check your extension cords are fray free and that they can handle the load you put on them.
  • Again, make sure those extension cords are plugged into a GFCI outlet.
  • Replace any lights that go out.

In addition, keeping the lights unplugged until you have them all strung is the safest bet. If you’re planning on hanging your own lights our realtors would encourage you to keep ladder safety in mind as well. Our OKC realtors advise on using a good, sturdy ladder and make sure it’s on level ground before you start climbing up to the roof! It might not hurt to have a helper so you don’t have to climb up and down the ladder too much.

Additionally, keep the lights unplugged until you have them all strung up. It’s the safest way to hang them! If you plan to hand your own lights OKC Realtors would also encourage proper ladder safety. OKC Realtors advise on using good, sturdy step-ladder and make sure to place it on level, steady ground. It also helps to have a helper hold the ladder while you climb up.

Our OKC Realtors love Christmas lights as much as you do, but they’re not worth risking an accident. On behalf of our realtors at Metro First Realty, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season!

OKC Realtors

OKC Realtors: The best time to buy a house?

OKC Realtors lay out the best time of the year to buy a new home!

Buying a new home is a process. Finding the right home, in the right neighborhood, with the right neighbors is just the beginning. After that you’ve got to deal with making the down payment, hiring movers (or prepping to move it all yourself), and making sure all the little things are in order for your move. Your considering a lot of factors, but have you ever considered when your buying your home? When is the best time of the year to buy a new home? Well, Metro First Realty, OKC Realtors is here with the answer.

You may notice that alot of houses come up for sale in the spring. Houses get built, deals are signed, and people are looking for a fresh start. It’s nice outside so moving isn’t as much of a pain. There are alot of reasons why the housing market tends to spike in the spring. Here’s the thing, the spring can actually be the worst time to go house shopping. Why? Because everyone else is also house shopping! The spring selling market is the most competitive time of the year, the chance that someone won’t be looking at the same house you are are slim. These leads to generally higher prices and less favorable deals. Sure Spring is when the largest number of houses are on the market, but that’s also when they’ll be the most expensive!

If your looking for low competition and good deals, then you’ll want to wait for things to cool down a bit, or a lot! Houses drop to a 12 month low in December. Specifically though, buying a house on or around Christmas is the best time for many reasons:

  • People are in a giving, cheery mood because of the holidays
  • There aren’t going to be a lot of buyers competing with you
  • If a person has a home on the market over Christmas, you know they’re serious about selling.

The big key here though, is making sure you’ve got a real estate agent persistent enough to work through the holidays and get you that home! Nobody is more persistent that Metro First Realty, OKC Realtors. Give us a call at 405-242-4004

 

OKC Realtors

OKC Realtors How to protect from Freezing pipes

Now that we’ve had a couple of freezes this year, it’s a good time to talk about freezing pipes. Freezing pipes are not only inconvenient because they stop water flow, they can also lead to major damage to your home from bursting pipes. OKC Realtors is here with a few tips to protect your home from freezing pipes this year.

1.) Keep the heat on: Obviously, keeping the heater on in your place is one of the simplest ways to prevent freezing, while also keeping you warm as well! If your going to leave for an extended period, leaving the heater on so that your home or apartment does not fall below 50 degrees is sufficient to keep your pipes from freezing.

2.) Keep Interior doors open: Pipes are often located in cabinets. This can insulate them from the heat of your home and make them freeze even if it’s perfectly warm in your home. When it get cold, keep these cabinet doors open to let the heat in for  the pipes.

3.) Allow the faucet to drip: If you think your pipes might freeze, like during the night when your sleeping, allow the faucet to drip slightly. This will relieve pressure on the water system. Whenever a pipe bursts, it’s because the freezing creates pressure within the pipes. This pressure will build up and eventually bust the pipe. Allowing your faucet to drip keeps that pressure from building up and keeps your pipes intact.

4.) Add Extra Insulation: Pipes are often located in areas that don’t have proper insulation like basements. You can add extra insulation to these areas to help keep the pipes warm and prevent freezing. You can also outfit your pipes with Foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves to directly insulate the pipes. This can get pretty expensive if the pipes aren’t already exposed though. OKC Realtors doesn’t recommend tearing out your walls to insulate a few pipes, instead try one, or all, of the previous methods.

Thinking of selling you home or buying a new one? Give the realtors at Metro First Realty, OKC Realtors, a call today at 405-242-4004!