The OmahaRealEstate.com Omaha Real Estate Blog

Trying to Sell Your Home Without a Real Estate Agent Is a Big Mistake — Here’s Why

Whether you’re new to the real estate game or you’ve bought and sold a home before, there are many details involved in selling. It can be enticing to think about taking on the responsibility yourself and going it alone, but there are a number of reasons it’s wise to use a real estate agent. Before you make a decision on selling your home, ensure you consider all the details you’ll have to deal with.

Misunderstanding Of The Market

It’s entirely possible for a home seller to look at the MLS listings and determine a price range for their home, but the right real estate agent will have a wealth of knowledge to draw from. In all likelihood, they will be familiar with the neighborhood and may even have sold a few homes in it. This means they’ll be able to determine the right offer for your home and ensure it’s feasible on the market, which may mean a higher price and a shorter selling time.

It Takes Time...

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – February 13, 2017

Last week’s scheduled economic readings were limited and included new jobless claims and Freddie Mac’s mortgage rates survey. In other news, all types of mortgage applications rose by 2.30 percent this week as compared to the prior week.

Mortgage Rates Lower, Home Loan Applications Rise

Freddie Mac reported lower mortgage rates for fixed rate and 5/1 adjustable mortgages; the average rate for 30-year fixed rate mortgages dropped two basis points to 4.17 percent. Average rates for 15-year mortgages also dropped two basis points to 3.39 percent. 5/1 adjustable mortgage rates averaged 3.21 percent, which was also two basis points lower than the previous week. Discount points averaged 0.40 percent for the three types of mortgages tracked in Freddie Mac’s weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, this small drop in mortgage rates caused all types of mortgage applications to rise by 2.30 percent...

How to: Protect Your Pets from the Cold

Winter may be almost over, but that doesn’t mean that it still isn’t cold out! We know that we have to take care of ourselves in inclement weather, but we often forget about our furry friends. Here’s how to protect our pets from the cold until spring arrives.

How to: Protect Your Pets from the Cold | CBSHOME

  1. Don’t Leave Them Outside

When the temperatures are extremely cold, be kind to your animals and bring them inside. No matter how fluffy your pet’s coat is, after a while they will get cold. Try to limit your pet’s time outside to only bathroom breaks and a quick exercising playtime.

  1. Put Paw Balm on Their Feet

Consider purchasing a ...

Take the Plunge: Why Installing an In-ground Pool Will Boost Your Home’s Resale Value

Whether you’re planning to sell or not, if you can afford to upgrade your home it’s almost always worth it. But the question is: which renovations add value to your life, as well as your house? Let’s explore how adding an in-ground pool to your backyard can boost your home’s value.

The Ultimate In Functional Luxury

It’s true that there are many home upgrades that add a ton of value. Kitchen renovations, home solar panels and other long-term investments tend to pay off. But few are as luxurious and fun as installing your own in-ground pool.

Not only will you get to enjoy having a swim whenever you feel like it. But some studies show that having a pool improves your health and quality of life. Of course, you’ll actually need to use your pool to gain its benefits. But once you have one… why wouldn’t you?

A Huge Draw For Families

As you might imagine, in-ground pools are very popular...

Worried About Future Mortgage Rate Increases? Here’s How to ‘Stress Test’ Your Finances

When it comes to real estate, there are always going to be upswings in the market that will have an impact on your mortgage payment and overall financial health. However, with a fluctuating market here to stay, you may be wondering how you can guard your biggest investment and your finances against rate increases. If you’re concerned about rates on the rise, here are a few tips to test out you’re fiscal well-being.

Calculate Your Debt-To-Income Ratio

It’s beneficial to determine your DTI ratio prior to purchasing a home, but since debt and housing costs are always fluctuating, calculating this number again can be a wakeup call. By adding up your monthly expenditures (including any debt), and dividing that number by your pre-tax income, you’ll be able to determine your DTI percentage. While it’s ideal to have a percentage of less than 28%, if your expenditures have risen above this number, it may be time to take a look at your monthly budget...

Buyer’s Remorse: 3 Things You Should Never Say When You’re Negotiating to Buy a Home

The prospect of finding the home you’ve always dreamed of can be such an exciting prospect that it’s easy to forget all about the process of negotiating. However, it’s important to keep a few things to yourself when it comes to the art of making the deal. If you’re currently searching for the right place and are preparing to sign on the dotted line, here are a few phrases it’s best to avoid.

Declaring It Your Dream Home

There’s nothing wrong with finding the ideal home and getting enthusiastic about the prospect of owning it, but it’s very important not to say too much to the homeowner or the homeowner’s agent. While it’s certainly welcome to be a polite home viewer and mention some of the features you like, giving away too much will inform the homeowner of just how much leverage they have with you. This can mean they may request a higher price since they know how interested you are.

What You’re Willing...

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – February 6, 2017

Last week’s economic news included several good signs for U.S. Labor Markets with higher than expected readings for private and public sector job creation. The Federal Reserve announced its decision not to raise the target federal funds range, and inflation rose. Mortgage rates held steady and pending home sales rose.

Private and Public Sector Jobs Post Unexpected Gains

ADP, which tracks private-sector job growth, showed a gain of 246,000 jobs in January against expectations of 168,000 new jobs and December’s reading of 151,000 private sector jobs created. Analysts said 208,000 of jobs added were service-related jobs. January’s Non-Farm Payrolls, which is issued by the Labor Department and includes private and public sector jobs, also posted higher than expected job gains with 227,000 new jobs in January as compared to 197,000 new jobs expected and December’s reading of 157,000 new jobs. Retail, construction, financial and restaurant industries led job growth....

Realtor Safety 101

As scary as it sounds, the world we live in is not always as safe as we’d like. It’s unfortunate that people need to be more diligent and aware these days, but it never hurts to ensure you are protecting yourself. As real estate agents, there are lots of other worries and security measures that need to take place. Here are 11 tips to help make you and your clients safer. If you feel like you are in danger, call 911 immediately.

REALTOR Safety 101 | CBSHOME

  1. Buddy System

If you feel uncomfortable going to a showing for whatever reason, call another Realtor to go with you. Whether your fears are correct or not, you’ll feel better knowing that someone else is with you.

  1. Inform Others

Always let someone know where you are going. Keep a...

5 Home Maintenance Chores That You Can't Forget to Take Care of This Winter

Winter may be a time for nesting until the cold weather abates, but there are a number of important tasks that a homeowner should be sure to do during the winter months. If you’re readying for the slow season or wondering what you might have forgotten, here are some things you’ll want to check off your to-do list.

A New Coat Of Paint

Getting out the paint may seem like a sizeable task, but any peeling paint is going to be adversely affected by the cooler temperatures of fall and winter. While you may want to hold off if it’s already cold, it might be a task worth prioritizing if the materials on your home will be damaged as a result of the coming weather.

Shovel The Snow

Shoveling snow may be important for sidewalk safety, but a build-up can actually have an ill effect on your home’s foundation. Instead of taking the risk, ensure you clear the areas around any basement windows and steps so that drainage will not impact your home’s...

The First - Time Home Buyer's Guide to Getting the Best Possible Mortgage Rate

Whether they’re found online or heard from family and friends, there are so many mortgage tips out there that it can be hard to know exactly how to proceed. But, if you’re new to the market, there are a few surefire things you can do to get a mortgage rate you’ll feel good about. For some of the best tips on getting a great loan, look no further than the following.

Know Your Credit History

It’s a simple fact that one of the most important factors in your mortgage application is your credit history, so good or fair, it’s important to be aware of where you stand. While the acceptable credit score for mortgage approval can fluctuate, the best rates are often available to those with a score that is higher than 760. In order to improve your chances, get a copy of your credit report and pay attention to any discrepancies that might be in it. These can have a negative impact on your score and your application, so you’ll want to have them revised if they’re incorrect....

DIY Valentine's Day Gifts You'll Love to Give

Last year, Americans spent nearly $20 billion just on Valentine’s Day – that is a lot of cash being floated around! If you’re trying to spend a little less this year (or if you’re still recovering from Christmas), consider making some homemade Valentine’s gifts this year. You’ll spend less money, have more fun making the gift and the receiver will treasure this gift even more because it truly came from the heart.

DIY Valentine’s Day Gifts You’ll Love to Give | CBSHOME

For Her:

  • What woman doesn’t want to wake up to a delicious...

Thinking About Buying a 'Fixer Upper'? Here's What You Need to Know

With all of the home renovation and fixer-upper shows on television, the idea of completely renovating and re-doing an old home can seem like an enticing premise. Unfortunately, investing in the wrong fixer-upper can mean an awful lot of expenditure without the added financial rewards. Whether you’re considering investing down the road or are ready to dive in, here are a few things to consider first.

How Much Do You Want To Spend?

It’s easy to be swept away by possibility, but before making an offer you’ll need to sit down and determine exactly what you’re willing to invest into upgrades for your fixer-upper. By deciding what you would want to renovate, what the cost of materials and labor would be and how this figures into the market price of the home, you’ll be able to determine if the price you’re offering will be worth it.

Are Major Repairs Required?

It’s one thing to consider a nice paint job and new tiling in the kitchen, but if there...

What's Ahead for Mortgage Rates This Week - January 30, 2017

Last week’s economic news included readings on new and existing home sales and mortgage rates. Also released were reports on new jobless claims and consumer sentiment.

New and Existing Home Sales Lower in December

According to the U.S. Commerce Department, sales of new homes fell to 536,000 sales on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis. This reading was markedly lower than the expected rate of 595,000 sales and November’s reading of 598,000 sales. Analysts said that the drop in new home sales indicated that the housing sector is still experiencing a rocky recovery. December’s reading for new home sales was 10.4 percent lower than December’s adjusted reading of 598,000 sales. December’s reading was 0.40 percent lower year-over-year.

The median sale price of new homes was $322,500 in December, which was 4.30 percent higher than in November and 7.90 percent higher than in December 2015. The dip in sales has increased inventory of available homes to a reading of 5.80 months needed to...

3 Ways That Buying or Selling a Luxury Home Is Different

Selling a standard home is fraught with enough concerns about marking it at the right price and staging it properly, but it’s an entirely different ball game when it comes to luxury property. If you’re planning on selling your high-end property and are trying to determine what sets it apart from the average home sale, here are some things to consider before putting it on the market.

The Price Must Be Reasonable

It’s important for the asking price on any home to show an awareness of market conditions, but when it comes to luxury, it becomes even more important. Most luxury homes are going to sit on the market for a longer period of time than a less expensive home because there are fewer potential buyers. In order to facilitate a successful sale, it’s necessary for the asking price to be competitive and in line with the amenities provided so that buyers won’t flock to other opportunities.

Use The Right Marketing Tools

With so many available methods to sell a...

Child-Friendly Activities for the Winter Weather

Let’s face it – kids love to run around and play outside! However, during the winter months, that proves to be difficult. So, what can you do with your kids when they need something to do and you don’t want them running around outside in the cold? We have a list of some great places to take kids on winter field trips around Omaha!

Child-Friendly Activities for the Winter Weather | CBSHOME

Children’s Museum

Always a classic, the Omaha Children’s Museum is perfect for taking your little ones on a day trip. They offer exhibits old and new and always have a mixture of educational, silly and fun things for your child to do!

Joslyn Art Museum

Introduce a day of culture and art to your little ones with a trip to the Joslyn Art Museum. They have permanent exhibits you can tour for free, or take advantage of classes for kids like Crazy for Clay or Feathers & Fur.

...

Get Your Mortgage Paid Down Faster With These 5 Simple Money Saving Strategies

The monthly mortgage payment can be burdensome for many, but it’s possible you’ve thought of trying to pay it down more quickly. Without getting a new job or working overtime, here are some tips you can use on a daily basis to save additional funds and pay off your mortgage at a swifter rate.

Make Your Lunch

The five or ten dollars spent on lunch might not seem like a lot, but over time this amount adds up to a lot of savings. Instead of hitting the cafe, pick one or two nights each week to prepare a lunch for yourself so you can skip the daily expense.

Take A Coffee To Go

Like lunch, coffee is another thing that can end up costing a lot of money. However, instead of going for the two-dollar cup, make a pot before you leave for the day or opt for the office coffee instead. If you prefer yours on the go, you can always make it a once-a-week treat.

Avoid The Impulse

This might seem like a hard one to stick with, but instead of buying something because...

Why You Need a Buyer's Agent When Purchasing New Construction

Buying new construction seems simple, right? Just pick out the floor plan you want, choose the perfect lot, and watch it go up. No sellers to deal with, no unexpected repairs that come up during inspection, no drawn-out negotiations. Right?

Not so fast. In any real estate transaction, it’s important to have a professional on your side, even if the process seems straightforward.

“Having your own agent provides a sense of security,” says Seattle-area homeowner Kristy Weaver, who has bought two new construction homes from two different builders. “It gives you some peace of mind, knowing that someone is looking out for your best interest.”

Peace of mind is just one benefit of having an experienced agent along for the ride. Read on for five more reasons you’ll want a local real estate agent by your side when buying a new construction home.

To help you find a reputable builder

“Your agent can rely on their own experience and that of their colleagues to help you find a builder you can...

Living the Simple Life: How to Minimize Your Clutter and Maximize Your Space

Many people look at a smaller living space and think that there are a lot of limitations imposed. However, a more miniature home can offer up the opportunity to be inventive with design and get creative about your abode. Whether you live in small apartment now or are thinking of downsizing in the future, here are some ideal ways to make the most of your pint-sized pad.

Invest In Multi-Functional Pieces

It may be nice to have a stylish bar cart or a hefty china cabinet for your space, but there are certain kinds of home items that only serve one function and this is not necessarily useful with limited capacity. Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, try purchasing items like a folding table tray that can serve as a coffee table or a bookcase that can hold dishes, books and other household items. This will enable you to maximize the space you have and create a uniquely modern design aesthetic.

Maintain An Organized Space

Every home has a little bit of clutter, but nothing will fill up a comfy space...

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week January 9,2017

2017 started with good news; fixed mortgage rates were lower, but the national unemployment rate ticked upward and labor reports showed fewer openings for public and private sector jobs. Construction spending was higher in November.

Mortgage Rates Lower; Construction Spending Higher

Freddie Mac reported lower average rates for fixed rate mortgages as the average rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage crept up. The average rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage dropped by 12 basis points to 4.20 percent; The average rate for a 15-year mortgage fell 11 basis points to 3.44 percent while the average rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage gained three basis points to 3.33 percent. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for fixed rate mortgages and 0.40 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

Construction spending was higher in November according to the Commerce Department and reached the highest level since April 2006. The November reading was 0.90 percent higher as compared to an expected reading of 0.60 percent and October’s...

Making the Grade: How to Research Local Schools Before Buying Your Next Home

There are so many things involved in moving into a new home in a different neighborhood that it can be easy to forget about the proximity of many nearby amenities. However, if you have children, the local schools available can make-or-break the decision on whether or not to invest in a house. If you’re wondering how you can find out more about the local school, let the following tips be your guide.

Take a Web-Search To SchoolMatch.com

One of the benefits of so many things being online these days is that local schools are no exception, and SchoolMatch.com is a great resource that puts this information at your fingertips. While you’ll have to pay a fee to get the details on many public and private institutions, this resource features ratings on schools throughout the country which can make it worth the price.

Contact The NAEYC

With a wealth of information on preschools, kindergartens and elementary schools located throughout the country, the National Association for the Education of Young Children is...