Tips for Holiday Decorating on a Budget

The holidays are approaching. Today, we thought we'd do something a little different and share this festive video on holiday decorating tips from HGTV. Designer Angelo Surmelis shares several great ideas to spread holiday cheer throughout the home. Here are some of our favorites.

  1. Pay attention to the mantle. If you don't have some already, buy some kind of garland to drape over the mantle. Next, use leftover ornaments and candles to add light and texture. When choosing ornaments and candles, ensure they are in the same color-palette. This helps make your mantle a great focal point!
  2. Use smaller Christmas trees. Every house has their main Christmas tree. In addition, you can also purchase smaller, inexpensive, eco-friendly trees to place throughout the home. Decorate these trees with strips of fabric from a T-shirt in holiday colors to save money for the main tree.
  3. Use what you have. Be resourceful. Adding a plate charge and place mat to your everyday dining set adds some jazz to your table. Fresh-cut flowers and candles will help finish the look. You don't need grand, expensive candles -- a little candlelight goes a long way!

As you can see, it doesn't take much to make your home feel more festive. If you have any questions, give us a call or send us an email. We would be happy to help you!

What You Need to Know About TRID

Today, we'll discuss the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID), which went into effect on October 3rd. Lenders began utilizing a new loan estimate and closing disclosure that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau requires.

The new disclosures replaced the good faith estimate and the HUD-1 settlement statement. There are also some new timeline requirements that could delay closings if you are not working with someone who knows their way around the new disclosures.

These are actually some great changes for the consumer. The first is the loan estimate, which replaced the good faith estimate normally done at loan application. The loan estimate is given to the consumer three business days after the loan application, and they cannot close for at least seven business days after the consumer receives the loan estimate.

The next form is the closing disclosure, which replaced the HUD-1 settlement statement. The consumer must receive this form at least three days before closing. This is a great change. Usually, the consumer wouldn't get the HUD-1 settlement statement until the day before closing, or even the day of! Now, the consumer has time to review the closing disclosure before they close on the property.

Sometimes, we have buyers in our military market who can only do a walkthrough the day before closing. Don't worry, the walkthrough won't delay a closing. If something comes up, then the seller can give the buyer a credit at closing.

We need to make sure that closings are not delayed for the buyer or the seller. We have the expertise to guide buyers and sellers through the new process. If you have any questions, please give us a call or send us an email. We are happy to help you!

Where Is the Clarksville Market Heading?

Today, we're here with your Clarksville real estate market update. We'll also be comparing the current numbers to the market earlier this year and the 2014 market as well.

Right now, there are 2,063 active properties on the market. From January 1st to today, 2,633 properties have gone to closing. During the same time period for 2014, we closed 2,586 properties. As you can see, the market is very active and we have sold more homes this year than last year.

The current average list price for a home is $170,700. In 2014, the average list price was $166,800. That is about a $4,000 increase in list price. This year, the average sales price is $168,000, and in 2014, it was $164,300. Again, we have seen about a $4,000 increase in sales price as well.

Currently, properties spend an average of 92 days on the market. Sellers are getting nearly their entire asking price on average, as the list-to-sale price ratio in Clarksville is 98.5%.

What does this mean for you? Sellers, if you're looking to sell a house, now is a great time. If you price your home correctly and the property is in immaculate condition, you can get multiple offers easily. Buyers, if you find the right house for you, go ahead and make an offer right away.

If you have any questions for me, please give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!

How Should You Handle Multiple Offer Scenarios in Clarksville?

Today we'll be discussing multiple offer situations and how you should handle them whether you're buying or selling. There are different strategies that you need to know for both situations.

When you're competing in a bidding war as a buyer, there are a few things you can do to make your offer stand out. Getting the highest price is a good idea, but there are other things that you can do. You can always offer to pay for more closing costs or shorten the closing period. These terms are also things that sellers like to see, and they could get you the home if you make the right offer.

One other thing you can do as a buyer is write a personal letter to the seller. This way, you become a face instead of a number, and you have much more emotional pull this way.

As a seller, cash is not always king when choosing from different offers. Look over the terms. Someone who is willing to pay for closing costs but offers less on the home itself may actually be a better deal than someone who won't pay closing costs but will pay more for the home. If you need to close quickly, then perhaps someone with a short closing period is your best bet.

Multiple offers can be overwhelming for buyers and sellers. If you're finding yourself in a situation where you need to make these kinds of decisions, please don't hesitate to contact me. I'm always here to help you!

Clarksville Real Estate Market Update

Today, I'll give you a brief update on the Clarksville real estate market.

Right now, there are 2,024 active homes on the market, and we have closed 1,997 properties. In 2014, we closed 2,008 properties, so we're down just a little bit this year.

However, in 2015, the average list price is $170,000, and in 2014, the average list price was $165,000. The average price at closing is $167,500, and in 2014, it was $162,600. As you can see, we've seen about a $5,000 increase in list and sale price. Our average days on market is 92, and the list to sales price ratio is at 98.52%.

What do all of these numbers mean? Ultimately, it means that Clarksville is currently in a balanced market. Sellers, if you price your home correctly and it's in immaculate condition, you could sell quickly with multiple offers. Buyers, interest rates are still very low, and if you find a home you like, do not hesitate.

If you have any questions about today's video or about real estate in general, give me a call or send me an email. I'd be happy to help you!