Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Buying Property in Another Country? What you Need to Know

Maybe you have a close family member living in Mexico. Or perhaps skiing in Vancouver is your favorite winter vacation spot. Maybe you have a child attending school in London. Or maybe you want to retire to the small town in China that your ancestors are from.

No matter what the reason may be, more and more Americans are looking to purchase property outside of the U.S. And as the world becomes an increasingly connected place, it’s become easier to do so.

According to the 2016 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate, approximately 14 percent of REALTORS® reported that they had a client who was seeking to purchase property in another country, compared to six percent in the previous 12-month period. The report also revealed that 46 percent of Americans bought a home outside of the U.S. as a vacation or investment home.

Looking to spread your wings and explore homeownership in another corner of the world? Here are some important tips to keep in mind:

Find the right local real estate professional. You’ll need an excellent point person in the country you’re considering. The best way to find this person might be right here at home. Talk to your local real estate professional first - he or she might be part of a global network that has affiliates in other parts of the world.

Find out if there’s a real estate association representing your destination country in the U.S. These organizations are in the U.S. to support real estate transactions from and to their countries. They can be an incredible resource for your mission.

If you’re not fluent in the language of the country in which you want to purchase a home, find someone who is. The language of real estate in particular varies from country to country so having an interpreter is essential.

Consider the value of the dollar where you’re headed. If the dollar is weak, you may want to hold off on your decision to purchase until the economic picture shifts. Conversely, if the dollar is faring well, you may want to accelerate your plans.

Enlist U.S. home search engines that have international listings - like and Not only will these sites provide you with listings to peruse, they’ll serve as a resource for information on currency and customs, and connect you with real estate professionals to work with.

So when it comes to your next home purchase, think global but enlist local resources. For more information on real estate listings, contact me.                

Friday, May 18, 2018

How Roof Materials Impact the Look and Feel of Your Home

Like a great hairdo, your roof plays a big role in the overall style and quality of your home. If you are deciding which roof to install on a new home or are replacing your present one, here’s how you can achieve beautiful curb appeal and functionality while staying within budget.
Asphalt Shingles
The most common residential roofing material used in the U.S., asphalt shingles are attractive and easy to install. With a life span of 20 – 25 years, they lack the longevity of more expensive materials. However, they come in a variety of colors that work well with many architectural styles, especially traditional suburban homes. And at a price of $75 to $90 per square (which covers 100 square feet), they are the most economical choice.
Clay or Concrete
Extremely durable and with a life span of 40 to 50 years, a clay or concrete roof is the go-to for Southwestern or Mediterranean style homes. Concrete tiles are less expensive than genuine clay, but both are very heavy and may require additional framing. At a cost of $300 to $500 per square, they add elegance at a hefty price.
Offering beauty and distinction to Colonial or European chateau-style homes, slate is durable, fire-resistant and may last for as long as 100 years. Available in several colors, a slate roof will cost about $5 to $8 per square foot.
Wood Shingles and Shake
At the other end of the fire-resistant spectrum, wood shingles and shake roofs are dangerous if not altogether banned in many areas. Handsome and rustic looking, they especially enhance the look of Cape Cod, Craftsman and Tudor homes. While some wood shingles are made with fie-resistant coating, the longevity of these roofs is 20-25 years. At a cost of $100 to $200 per square, they offer great aesthetics at a moderate price. But consider the life span and check local fire codes before selecting.
Made of rubber, plastic or polymer, synthetic roofing materials can mimic the color, look and texture of natural materials like slate and wood. Strong and fire-resistant and at a cost of about $300 per square, they are warrantied for up to 50 years and are a choice worth considering when your budget prohibits using the natural product.
Source: HGTV

Monday, May 07, 2018

5 Home Maintenance Projects for Your Home This Summer

Summer is often synonymous with relaxing. However, the sunny season is also a great time to catch up on your home maintenance. Below are five things to do to your home this summer.

Bathe the exterior. Summer brings long, warm days—perfect for giving your home’s exterior a bath. Cleaning your siding, roof and gutters can rid your home of unsightly grime and bacteria build-up. Choose a soft wash over a power wash, which can strip paint and remove shingles if done incorrectly.

Wash those windows. You may be flinging your windows open this summer, or closing them to blast that frosty A/C. However you choose to cool your home, take the time to give your windows a wash. Lather up some soap and polish the glass, wipe down the frames and remove the screens to give them a detailed clean. Holes or tears in your screens? Replace them to keep the bugs out.

Freshen the furnace filter. Now that your furnace is on summer vacation, open it up and inspect the filter. Full of unsightly dust? Clean or replace as needed.

Clean the porch or deck. If you have an exterior lounging area like a porch or deck, it likely has accumulated a bit of dust and dirt since you last used it. Sweep the dirt away, scrub away any hard stains and give the whole thing a solid mop. Still looking less-than-fresh? Consider a new paint job.

Mulch mania. If summers are dry in your area, consider upping your curb appeal with a fresh layer of mulch. This will help the ground retain moisture on sunny days, keep weeds at bay and tie the look of your yard together.