Sherri Schneider, CBR, SRES, CIPS - Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty



Posted by Sherri Schneider, CBR, SRES, CIPS on 11/10/2019

While home ownership can be a very satisfying and rewarding experience, it does bring with it a new set of responsibilities and demands. Whether you're buying a brand new home or a fixer-upper, several things will have a major impact on your lifestyle.

One of them is the need is to personally handle or manage your own repairs, decorating, and home improvements. In many cases, you can (and should) hire a professional to do the actual work, but there are a lot of projects you can do more cost-effectively on your own.

The first one that comes to mind is interior painting. If you want to keep your home looking fresh, well maintained, and visually appealing, repainting your walls and ceilings every few years is a necessity. How often you need to break out the paint brushes, rollers, and drop cloths depends on several factors. For example, some rooms are subjected to more wear and tear than others. Bedroom walls, hallways, and bathrooms often seem to need the most attention, but kitchens, family rooms, and other areas of the home are usually not far behind.

If you've been noticing that one or more of your rooms are starting to look scuffed, faded, or dull, then it may be time to roll up your sleeves and give those walls a fresh coat of paint! It always makes a dramatic difference in the look and feel of that room, and it typically can be completed in less than a day -- especially if you team up with an energetic spouse, friend, or family member. If you're focused and organized, a room-painting project can often be completed by lunchtime. (Depending on who's providing the help, however, you might be expected to provide lunch!)

When procrastination is a problem, taking small steps will often help you gather momentum and keep moving forward on your painting project. An easy, but necessary first step is to pick out and bring home an assortment of color samples from your local hardware or paint store. Holding them up to your walls and seeing whether they complement existing furniture, flooring, and decorating schemes will help you choose a color you'll be satisfied with.

If you're not ready to tackle the project right away, you can still purchase the paint, rollers, and other supplies. Assuming you're not going to postpone the project indefinitely, you'll be a lot more likely to get started in the near future if the supplies are already in the house. You'll be streamlining the process and nudging yourself to get the job done soon by purchasing the painting supplies and having them close at hand.

While motivating yourself to do projects around the house may sometimes seem to be the biggest hurdle to clear, starting small and gaining momentum as you go is often an effective way to keep your home looking its best at all times!





Posted by Sherri Schneider, CBR, SRES, CIPS on 11/3/2019

Entering the housing market may be difficult for a buyer. In many instances, buyers worry about paying too much for a house. On the other hand, the temptation to overspend on a house sometimes can be overwhelming for a homebuyer who is concerned about losing his or her dream residence to a rival buyer.

Fortunately, we're here to help you determine exactly what you can afford to pay for a house, thereby reducing the risk of spending too much on a residence.

Let's take a look at three tips to ensure a buyer can purchase a great house at the right price.

1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

A mortgage generally is a must-have for a homebuyer. If you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you can start searching for houses that fall within your financial limits.

To learn about your mortgage options, you should meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. These financial institutions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists who can teach you about myriad mortgage options.

Also, don't hesitate to ask questions as you search for a mortgage. If you understand all of the mortgage options at your disposal, you can make an informed mortgage decision. Then, you'll be able to start pursuing houses with a budget in hand.

2. Assess the Housing Market

The real estate market frequently fluctuates. As such, you should look closely at housing market data to find out whether you're preparing to search for a house in a buyer's or seller's market.

Oftentimes, it helps to look at the prices of recently sold houses in your area. This will allow you to see how much sellers received for their homes, as well as how long these houses were available before they sold. That way, you can use this housing market data to narrow your price range and establish realistic expectations for your home search.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a housing market expert. Therefore, a real estate agent can make it simple for you to pay the right price for your ideal house.

Typically, a real estate agent will want to meet with you before you start your home search. He or she then can learn about you and your homebuying goals and help you craft a homebuying budget. As a result, a real estate agent will allow you to refine your home search, ensuring you can check out high-quality houses at budget-friendly prices.

Let's not forget about the support that a real estate agent delivers throughout the homebuying journey, either. A real estate agent will set up home showings and keep you up to date about new houses that fall within your price range. And if you'd like to submit an offer on a house, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive proposal as well.

Pay the right price for your dream house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can boost the likelihood of discovering the right home, at the right price.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Sherri Schneider, CBR, SRES, CIPS on 10/27/2019

When selling a home, most sellers are eager to sell quickly. Especially when living out of their home while simultaneously showing it. One of the biggest determinant factors for house shoppers right now is the staging. Whether they recognize it or not the atmosphere you create within your house helps buyers imagine themselves living their day to day within its walls. It creates a canvas for them to dream up all the memories they will create in their new home.

But keeping your home staging level clean and organized at all times while living out of it isn’t the easiest of tasks. Afterall, there’s a reason all of our homes don’t look like the inside pages of a home decor magazine.

If you want to put your home’s best “foot” forward, however, it, literally, pays to put in the time and effort to live differently for a few weeks.

Here are a few tips on how to get your house show-room ready:

Start with a deep clean. Some people like to hire a cleaning company to come in and do the job for them. But there’s no reason you can’t get the same results on your own. Plan to dedicate a week to clean your home top to bottom and a whole lotta elbow grease to get every nook and cranny.

Give your home a facelift. Repaint your walls, rent a carpet cleaner (or hire a service) and power wash the exterior. When repainting considers switching to a modern, neutral color palette to appeal to prospective buyers.    

Declutter, declutter, declutter! This is a step many sellers dread but is so worth the effort. Donate and get rid of everything you no longer use or need. When you’re finished go the extra step and rent a storage unit to stash away extra furniture, off-season items, and family mementos.

You want to create as much space in your home as possible. Taking a minimalist approach that strips your unique personality from the decor allows potential buyers to see how the house can become theirs. You don’t want to distract buyers and have them wonder about what kind of people you and your family are. Additionally, keep closets, drawers, and cabinets tidy because they will get opened! And keep desk and counter surfaces clear of paperwork and other stuff we always seem to allow to accumulate in these spaces.

Add greenery. Potted plants and fresh cut blooms will be like the icing on the cake. This is always what makes the biggest difference in making a room feel pulled together and comfortable. If you’ve ever flipped through the pages of a home decor magazine you may have noticed this is a trick they use in all of the rooms they showcase.

Living out of your home while showing it isn’t a walk in the park, but it can be easy if you are prepared ahead of time. These simple tips will put you ahead of the competition and have bidders in no time!




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Sherri Schneider, CBR, SRES, CIPS on 10/20/2019

If you’re a first-time homebuyer, odds are you’ve thrown the words “prequalified” and “preapproved” interchangeably. However, when it comes to home loans, there are some very important differences between the two.

For buyers hoping to purchase a home with a few missteps and misunderstandings as possible, it’s vital to understand the procedures involved in acquiring financing for a home.

Today, we’ll break down these two real estate jargon terms so that you can go into the mortgage approval process armed with the knowledge to help you succeed in securing a home loan.

Mortgage prequalification

Let’s start with the easy part--mortgage prequalification. Getting prequalified helps borrowers find out what kind and what size mortgage they can likely secure financing for. It also helps lenders establish a relationship with potential customers, which is why you will often see so many ads for mortgage prequalification around the web.

Prequalification is a relatively simple process. You’ll be asked to provide an overview of your finances, which your lender will plug into a formula and then report back to you whether or not you’re likely to get approved based on your current circumstances.

The lender will ask you for general information about your income, assets, debt, and credit. You won’t need to provide exact documents for these things at this phase in the process, since you have not yet technically applied for a mortgage.

Prequalification exists to give you a broad picture of what you can expect. You can use this information to plan for the future, or you can seek out other lenders for a second opinion. But, before you start shopping for homes, you’ll want to make sure you’re preapproved, not prequalified.

Mortgage preapproval

After you’ve prequalified, you can start thinking about preapproval. If you’re serious about buying a home in the near future, getting preapproved will simplify your buying process. It will also make sellers more likely to take you seriously, since you already have your financing partially secured.

Mortgage preapproval requires you to provide the lender with income documentation. They will also perform a credit inquiry to receive your FICO score.

Mortgage applications and credit scores

Before we talk about the rest of the preapproval process, we need to address one common issue that buyers face when applying for a mortgage. There are two types of credit inquiries that lenders can perform to view your credit history--hard inquiries and soft inquiries.

A soft inquiry won’t affect your credit score. But a hard inquiry can lower your score by a few points for a period of 1 to 2 months. So, when getting preapproved, you should expect your credit score to drop temporarily.

After preapproval

Once you’re preapproved for a mortgage, you can safely begin looking at homes. If you decide to make an offer on a home and your offer is accepted, your preapproval will make it easier to move forward in closing on the home.

Once the lender checks off on the house you’re making an offer on, they will send you a loan commitment letter, enabling you to move forward with closing on the home.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Sherri Schneider, CBR, SRES, CIPS on 10/13/2019

In every kitchen, there is a need for proper storage, display, and functionality. And that is what a kitchen Island does perfectly. There are a lot of design options available for kitchen islands, and it can be a headache to know where to start.Whether you need some ideas for a complete kitchen redesign with an island, or just looking to give your existing kitchen a bit of freshness, these ideas will help you unlock your creativity no matter your budget. 

Create more counter space

One of the most cost-effective ways to decorate your kitchen Island is by adding more counter space on it. Doing this makes it stylish as well increases its functionality; more room to make a smoothie, try out some cooking recipe you watch on TV and can serve as eating space if you have a large family. 

Creating contrast is also a brilliant idea. Here is the thing: you can create beautiful contrast by using various material or color on your island counters that are distinctive from other countertops in the kitchen. If the countertops in your kitchen are white quartz, make you Island counter green or black which is in vogue. 

Bring in more seats

Having a big family is fun but when it is time to eat, it can be a war zone as siblings, and family members fight over who will sit on the dining table. Well, you can kill two birds with one stone by resolving the fight over the dining table and bringing a fresh look into your kitchen by adding low profile seats to make it a dining area. However, make sure you have a counter that overhangs so you can tick in the stools or chair after a meal.

Place some appliances

Placing sinks or stove tops on the surface of the island is a brilliant way to spread the workflow throughout the kitchen. Installation can be complicated so erase the thought of doing it yourself. For proper installation, it is best that you seek the services of professionals.Incorporate more storage Make your island stand out by adding more counter space like drawers, shelves for cookbooks and even a trash area.

Go multilevel 

Use your island for multiple purposes, like eating and preparing a meal. There will always be ample space for both activities. It will make it seems like two different spaces.

Nothing makes a kitchen prettier than a decorated Island. If you are unsure of how to decorate your kitchen island, use these tips mentioned above or talk with your local kitchen designer. Adding an island can increase the value of your home. Talk to your contractor or real estate agent and get their thoughts on the most economical choices with the greatest value to add.




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