Date Archives: May 2022

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Buy a Home | 2 Posts
Home Improvement | 12 Posts
Homeowners | 2 Posts
Sell a House | 4 Posts
Tuscaloosa, AL | 18 Posts
May
16

Make Your Home Appraisal Ready With These Tips

Ready to sell your home? Here's how you can prepare for your home's appraisal.

Are you thinking about getting your home appraised? Maybe you're thinking of listing it and want to know how much your home is worth. Or, maybe someone is interested in buying your home and wants an appraisal to take to a lender — in which case, you want your home shipshape, so the lender will know your home is worth what you're asking for it.

While you don't necessarily need to get an appraisal before you list your home among Tuscaloosa homes for sale, you might want to learn a bit about how to prepare for an appraisal before you go for the real deal.

Here are some of the things our real estate agents recommend you do when prepping for an appraisal.

  1. Declutter and clean.
    Chances are, you can go through your house and find plenty to get rid of, either by donating to charity, selling on Facebook Marketplace or Poshmark, or just sending stuff out to the recycle pile. Once you've cleared some clutter, you're ready to clean. Go room by room, cleaning walls, fixtures, baseboards, doorknobs, light switch covers, and blinds (shades or drapes). We presume you're going to stage the home with a minimum of your possessions, so do make sure whatever stays in the home is free of dust and is sparkling clean.

  2. Spruce up the landscape.
    Beyond a good mowing, edging, and trimming of shrubbery, perform a painstaking cleanup of the property. Take out dead trees; have ragged, broken limbs trimmed and hauled away; rake up and bag dead leaves. Cut back weeds or perennial stalks left from previous years. Check the driveways and walkways; sweep them clean and get rid of any trash. Add mulch in flowerbeds and around trees and shrubs so it will look neat. Remove toys or any clutter; you can leave lawn furniture but it should be clean and in good repair.

  3. Repair damage.
    Walk around your home and assess everything with a critical eye. Repair cracks in walls, broken floor tiles, stained carpet, leaks in the ceiling, or damaged gutters. Your home should be in good repair prior to the appraisal.

  4. Safety equipment should be working properly.
    This includes fire and smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, and home security alarms. Smoke and CO alarms are inexpensive to install but if you don't have a home security system, it may be a bit of an investment. However, you can probably find a reasonably priced (under $1000) system with sensors and cameras that will boost your appraisal.

  5. Replace dated materials.
    Some materials in your home may look like yesteryear's trend. Replace flooring with snazzy laminate or tile; redo the countertop with natural stone, granite, or quartz. Aim for a modern look with neutral, sedate materials.

  6. Make a list of improvements you've done.
    List any improvements you've made to your home so you can inform your appraiser. Include such redos and additions as gutters, siding, new roof, new appliances, and the like. Improvements will have a positive impact on your appraisal.

A word of caution here: most appraisals are for a buyer's lender. The lender will want to know if the home is worth the asking price. Chances are, that lender will not be interested in an appraisal done by the seller, who of course has every reason to get the highest appraisal possible. So don't dash out and get an appraisal with the notion that a potential buyer will heed the results. In fact, it's usually the buyer who orders the appraisal, and it is likely to come farther along in the negotiations.

Want to know more about appraisals? Contact us today.

May
3

Explore Tuscaloosa Local Arts At These Venues

If you want to explore the creative side of Tuscaloosa, make sure you visit these local stores and venues.

If you've been shopping for Tuscaloosa homes for sale, you probably want to know what your prospective neighborhood has to offer in the way of schools, houses of worship, medical facilities, restaurants, and recreation. But our real estate agents also recommend that you broaden your horizons by checking out the local arts scene.

Maybe you're already in a home, and it just never occurred to you to get to know what artistic and cultural amenities are nearby. Whether it's going to a gallery show, taking art lessons, listening to live music, or hearing a lecture in an independent bookstore, you'll find fun, interesting and edifying things to do for the whole family. 

Here are some of our recommendations for the Tuscaloosa area. 

  1. Ernest and Hadley Book Sellers.  1928 7th St, Tuscaloosa
    April 30 was Independent Bookstore Day, but even if you missed it, celebrate by visiting your local bookstore: Ernest and Hadley Book Sellers. Independent bookstores have struggled with competing against national chains, but also because people have found alternative means of "reading" by listening to streamed books or just forsaking reading altogether. But bookstores these days are much more than places to shop for a book — although you can certainly do that by sampling a few pages of the books you're interested in. You can also stop by for book signings and talks by authors, sometimes served with tea!

  2. Tuscaloosa Amphitheater.  2710 Jack Warner Pkwy., Tuscaloosa
    Tuscaloosa Amphitheater presents a range of performers, offering the finest in live music. Recent headliners include the Avett Brothers while coming soon are the Black Crowes. 

  3. The Arts Council. 600 Greensboro Ave., Tuscaloosa
    Show your support for local arts in Tuscaloosa by becoming a supporting member of the Arts Council. Support a variety of arts initiatives from gallery exhibitions, to comedy shows, to cultural events and theater. The Arts Council encompasses Bama Theatre, Children's Hands-on Museum, Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center, Harrison Galleries, Kentuck Art Center, and others. 

  4. Oz Music. 506 14th St., Tuscaloosa
    Oz Music is Music Central for Tuscaloosa's discriminating indie music lovers, and others too, who just want to get a groove on by listening to the latest tunes. Plus, Oz buys and sells the latest vinyl, CDs, and DVDs. From Dance and Electronic, to Rap and Hip-Hop, to Blues and Jazz, to Classical and World Music, and Country and Folk, Oz is a real wonderland for the musically diverse.

  5. Art Garage. 2422 6th St., 2422 6th St, Tuscaloosa
    What a novel idea: a membership for the whole family so all can indulge their individual penchants for creating art. Buy a family membership and enroll the kids in such fun events as Dollhouse Camp or Crafts Camp. For adults, enroll in Parents' Night Out or Community Art lessons with a skilled instructor. Art Garage members may partake of exclusive benefits and have unlimited access to open play sessions.

  6. Kentuck Art Center and Festival. 3501 5th St, Northport. Art exhibitions are at various museums. 
    The Kentuck Center curates four exhibition spaces annually — the programming is chosen without biases of age, race, gender, and socioeconomic background and with the crossing of cultural boundaries. Some programming is free so that the underserved in the local community can participate. Further, there is an annual two-day festival in October, called Kentuck Festival of the Arts, which attracts more than 10,000 visitors, and features the works of 270-plus artists, live music, activities for children, spoken word, folk and contemporary craft demonstrations, food trucks, and craft brews.

Here's hoping you'll find your way to one of the fabulous arts and cultural venues around our area. Questions? Contact us today.

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