Skip to main content

10 Creepy Real Estate Stories That’ll Make You Gasp With Fear…or Laughter!

10 Creepy Real Estate Stories That’ll Make You Gasp With Fear…or Laughter!

Sometimes the scariest thing in the job of a real estate agent isn’t a mile long inspection report detailing foundation issues, or seeing your buyer pull up in a new car before their mortgage is approved. From the just plain weird to the downright freaky, the crazy situations agents find themselves in would surprise anyone who hasn’t been in the biz.

Below is a curated list of stories from fellow real estate agents who dared to share the spookiest, creepiest things they’ve come across when out listing and selling homes. Some can probably be explained away, while others are just downright funny…and a few will leave you scratching your head and wondering about the existence of “the other side”…

1. Out of the mouths of babes

2. The creepy canine

3. Getting ghosted

4. Head-scratching headstones

5. Nothin’ but knockin’

6. Even the ghosts are too busy in NYC

7. Again!? Does “he” do this often?

8. Maybe it just had great “central heir”!

9. Movement that’ll make you wanna move


10. Time to consider new construction

AUTHOR

KASANDRA CARDA

Kasandra Carda

Broker/Owner


Popular Articles

Continue reading

5 Tips To Get Your Home Ready For Warmer Weather

5 Tips To Get Your Home Ready For Warmer Weather

Spring is in full swing, and you know what that means: the days are getting longer, the temperatures are rising, and in just a few short weeks we’ll be heading into the warmer months of summer.

Summer is one of the best times of year; children are out of school, it’s the perfect time to explore the great outdoors, and of course, everyone’s favorite: good ol’ summer vacation.

After the freezing temperatures of winter and the unpredictability of spring, you and your family are probably more than ready for the warm, summer weather. But the question is: is your home?

Here are 5 tips to get your home ready for warmer weather:

1. Get your A/C checked

The summer heat is great for beach days and splashing in the pool. But when you’re done enjoying the sunshine, you’ll want to open the door to a nice, cool interior. But if your air conditioner isn’t working properly, you can quickly find yourself with no escape from the rising temperatures.

The best time to get your air conditioning in working order is before summer hits. Start by changing out the filters. Dirty filters make it harder for your A/C unit to do its job, lower the efficiency of your air conditioning system and waste energy. After you replace the filters, let your air conditioning system run for an hour or so to see how its cooling; a test run will give you insight into any potential problems you need to have serviced.

You should have an HVAC professional service your air conditioning system once a year. Even if you don’t notice any obvious problems, servicing your A/C annually will keep it running better for longer. Spring is the best time of year to get your A/C service; once summer hits, most HVAC companies are booked solid through the summer months, and the last thing you want is to find yourself in the thick of summer with a broken air conditioning system and no relief from the heat.

2. Switch out your gear

Each season required a completely different set of tools, gear, furniture, and decor. To avoid clutter, it’s best to store these items when they’re not in use. If you’re storing your seasonal items, you’ll need to switch everything out as summer approaches so you have everything on hand you need to enjoy the season.

Put your patio furniture out in the backyard so it’s ready for when you entertain guests. Check your grill to make sure it’s in working order and ready for summer BBQs. Switch out those heavy winter comforters with lightweight quilting that’s more appropriate for summer weather.

3. Get your lawn up to speed

One of the best parts of summer is getting to enjoy time outside, often in your own backyard. But if you’re like most people, your lawn could probably use a bit of TLC after the cooler months.

Survey your property for any visible damage caused by winter weather. Check all playground equipment to make sure it’s in good shape before the kids get out of school. Add a few new plants or flowers to add visual interest to the landscape.

Your backyard will play host to many celebrations, playdates, and lazy evenings with your family this summer. In order to enjoy all the fun of summer fully, you want to make sure your lawn is in the best shape possible.

4. Plant a garden

Speaking of the backyard, there’s no better time than summer to plant a garden. The warmer weather is the ideal time for a rainbow of vegetables to flourish, including beets, cucumbers, corn, tomatoes, peppers, and squash. If you’re new to gardening, pick up a few raised garden beds and plant your seeds now. Before summer hits its peak, you’ll be enjoying fresh vegetables straight from your garden – perfect for a refreshing summer salad.

5. Get painting out of the way

If you’ve been thinking about painting the interior of your home, now is the time to do it. Painting only gets more challenging as the temperature rises; since you’ll need to have your windows open while you paint, A/C isn’t an option. Not only will the heat make painting feel more physically demanding, but humid weather can make the paint fumes feel more overwhelming.

If you do decide to paint, consider some seasonally appropriate hues, like gold or sky blue, to bring the feeling of summer indoors.

Summer will be here before you know it. And with these tips, your home will be ready for it.

AUTHOR

KASANDRA CARDA

Kasandra Carda

Broker/Owner


Popular Articles

Continue reading

Want to Change Up Your Home’s Look? Try One of These Instagram-Famous Design Trends

Want to Change Up Your Home’s Look? Try One of These Instagram-Famous Design Trends

Spring is the perfect time to change things up and refresh your home design. But in 2023, what design trends can you incorporate to ensure your refresh feels timely and on-trend?

A recent article from realtor.com outlined some of the design trends currently trending on Instagram, including:

  • Junglecore. This trend pulls inspiration from nature — jungles, to be exact! For this look, incorporate bright, vibrant colors (like green and yellow); botanicals (including prints and plants); and natural materials, like wood and rattan.
  • Cottagecore. If your aesthetic is all about charm and coziness, a Cottagecore makeover could be just the refresh your home needs. Capture the look with farmhouse-style prints, muted colors, and English-inspired accessories like a display of tea cups.
  • Barbiecore. Is pink your color? Then you’ll love this Barbie-inspired design trend, which is all about bold paints, fabrics, and accessories in different shades of — you guessed it — pink. To keep the look from feeling too over the top, create visual interest with natural elements like plants and wood furniture.

AUTHOR

KASANDRA CARDA

Kasandra Carda

Broker/Owner


Popular Articles

Continue reading

Should You Wait for Mortgage Rates to Go Back Down to 5.5% Before Buying a House?

Should You Wait for Mortgage Rates to Go Back Down to 5.5% Before Buying a House?

If you’re thinking about buying a house, you might feel that mortgage rates are high and that it might make sense to wait until rates come down before buying.

According to this CNBC article, you’re not alone if you feel that way. A recent survey done by John Burns Research and Consulting found that 71% of prospective buyers aren’t willing to take on a 30-year mortgage unless it’s 5.5% or lower. This explains why there aren’t as many active buyers in the market as there were in the past few years, since rates are currently in the mid 6% range.

Interestingly, the consulting firm reported that their survey also revealed only 55% of prospective buyers feel like it’s not a good time to buy a home, and 22% feel it is a good time to buy. Simply put, there are a lot of prospective buyers who won’t buy a house right now, even though they actually feel like it’s a good time to do so.

To be fair, the potential buyers who feel that way have gotten used to mortgage rates that were considerably lower than they currently are for quite a few years. But they’re choosing 5.5% on emotion, rather than data. According to data from Freddie Mac, the average rate over the past 50 years was in the 7.75% range.

Graph

The first time 30-year mortgage rates had a number 5 as a first digit on a regular basis was in 2003. But even from then through late 2008, rates were as likely to be in the mid to high 6% range as they were in the mid 5% range. Mortgage rates only came down below 5.5% on a regular basis due to two major events: the 2008 financial crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic.

That was a fairly long span of years where people got used to the rates being lower, so it’s understandable why many potential homebuyers feel like a 5.5% rate is “historically normal” — even though it actually isn’t — but it was being done in order to stabilize the economy during extremely trying times. If you think about it, the good news is that we’re no longer dealing with such difficult times, and things are going back to normal. Well, at least in some ways…

The real estate market is still trying to figure out what “back to normal” is.

Why You Should Buy Before the Market Figures Out What “Normal” Is

By nature, the real estate market is rarely perfect for everyone. Sometimes it’s more balanced than others, but it’s usually more in favor of buyers versus sellers, or vice versa. Over the past few years it was most certainly a sellers’ market. Many people who listed their house in the past few years received multiple offers, and were able to sell their homes for over asking price in a matter of days. Great for them, but very difficult for buyers.

Buyers had to brace themselves for bad news every time they submitted an offer on a house. Even if they offered way above asking price and waived all contingencies, there was a good chance they wouldn’t be the winning bid. Plenty of buyers lost out on dozens of houses before they finally landed a house, and many others just gave up trying.

Back then, buyers couldn’t wait for the competition to die down…

Well, it has!

While higher interest rates aren’t something any buyer wants, they’re also exactly what many buyers need in order to have a fair shot at finding and buying a house they want. Lower rates don’t do you any good if you can’t actually buy a house. And if rates do come back down to where the majority of buyers polled say they want them to be, the competition will probably kick right back up. (Especially when you consider how many of the prospective buyers recently polled felt that now is a good time to buy, but want rates to hit 5.5% in order to do so.)

So, at least for right now, there’s a window of time where you have less competition to buy a house, and may not have to offer over asking or waive contingencies meant to protect you, like so many people had to do in the past few years.

And, who’s to say rates won’t only not go back down to 5.5%, but rather go up instead? Considering the rates have truly been closer to 7.75% historically — and for much longer periods of time — there’s as much chance of that happening as there is for rates to decrease. But if you buy now and rates do end up going back down, you can always refinance if they go down enough to make it worthwhile.

The Takeaway:

Many potential homebuyers feel like mortgage rates are too high and are waiting for them to come back down to what they feel is the “historically normal rate” of 5.5% before they buy a house. However, the historical average for mortgage rates isactually7.75% over the last 50 years. So the current rates in the mid 6% range are stillbelowthe historical average.

Interestingly, even though 71% of buyers polled said they’d wait for rates to come down, only 55% said it was a bad time to buy, and 22% said they thought it was a good time to buy a house.

This makes now a good time to buy a home, because there are less buyers competing for homes than there has been for years, and if the rates do come back down, the competition will increase.

AUTHOR

KASANDRA CARDA

Kasandra Carda

Broker/Owner


Popular Articles

Continue reading

Home Purchase & Education Go Hand-in-Hand

Home Purchase & Education Go Hand-in-Hand

For many families, schools are an essential consideration when searching for a new home. However, most property searches only offer property related criteria such as price, beds, baths, and square feet. As such, locating properties that meet the criteria for your family and your child’s education can be challenging, especially when you are less familiar with an area.

For this very reason, this website provides you with the ability to incorporate school ratings directly into your property search as a primary criteria.  Additionally, you’ll have access to detailed information and statistics on local schools and neighborhoods on every listing detail page.

In this post, you will learn how to:

  • Incorporate school ratings in your search for a new home
  • Access accurate school information for virtually every property

When you first start a property search on this site, you will see a menu of search criteria. The Lifestyle section on the right side of the search tool bar allows you to select criteria that reflect your lifestyle preferences. The first option is “Highly Rated Schools.” Simply select the value that best matches your requirements and the results will instantly update to show only the matches that fit your preferences.

If you are using the map search, hover over any home for summary info; click directly on a property to go to the details page. If you are using the form-based search, click “Search Results” once you are done selecting search criteria. You can then click on any property from the search results page to go to the respective listing detail pages.

To access school information from any listing detail page, just click the “Schools” link on the right side of the tool bar.

You will have access to detailed information on all nearby schools as well educational statistics such as expenditures per student, students per teacher, and much more.

As you scroll through this page, a great deal of valuable school data can be viewed. To research individual schools, simply click on the school name.

These tools will help you match your ideal home with the educational path of your children. By following these steps and thoroughly researching schools near any potential home, you will be able to pair two of your most vital investments: your new home–and the education of your children.

AUTHOR

KASANDRA CARDA

Kasandra Carda

Broker/Owner


Popular Articles

Continue reading

How to Track Your Home’s Value

How to Track
Your Home’s Value

Buying a home is generally the single largest purchase that we make in our lifetimes and most of us are interested in not only the value of our properties, but also the general value of like properties in our neighborhoods. Whether you have just moved into a new home or have lived there for years, tracking the market value of your property is essential for any informed homeowner.

This website’s property search provides an excellent platform to track property values and market trends in your area.  In this post, you will learn strategies for tracking the value of your home by researching similar homes in your area.

The goal is to track for sale and sold properties that closely resemble your own. The asking price (or sold price, if available) on similar properties will give you a better idea of the value of your own home at different points in time.

To begin, navigate to the property search on this site and fill in the search criteria and property characteristics that closely match your home, while setting the price ranges at “Minimum” for the low range and “Maximum” for the high range. Remember that you are trying to find other properties that are as similar as possible to your own. Thus, be sure to include location, property type, beds, baths, square feet, and garage spaces. If you live in a newer home, you may also wish to include a year in the “Built After” field to filter our older homes.

As you continue to select criteria, you will notice that the number of matching properties will continue to decrease. When you are done entering your property criteria, there should be a reasonable number of similar homes matching the criteria you selected. If not, you may wish to remove some of the less important amenities or add geography to your search in order to establish a better pool of similar properties.

Once you have selected all criteria, run your search to view homes similar to yours. Reviewing the prices of these homes will begin to help you develop a sense of your own property’s value. You may also wish to save your work by saving your searches for future reference. You can also elect to receive email notifications when new ‘like properties’ hit the market.

To use these tools, simply save your search and give it name such as “Comparisons to my home.” You can save your search on the main search page after selecting your criteria by clicking the “Save Search” button. Alternatively, you can save your search on the search results pages by clicking the button “Email Me When New Listings Match This Search.” Both links will take you to the same screen where you will set up your saved search name and email notification preferences.

As you track home values in your area over time, you will also begin to develop a sense of market trends in your area. For instance, if you notice that the selling price of homes similar to your own are increasing, you can typically conclude that the value of your property may be on the rise. If homes similar to yours are on the market for longer lengths of time and have a lower selling price, you could infer that the market value of your property may be decreasing. But, please remember the results of these searches are indicators–not hard science.

These easy, but important steps will empower you to stay informed regarding the value of your home and on the changing marketing trends in your neighborhood.

AUTHOR

KASANDRA CARDA

Kasandra Carda

Broker/Owner


Popular Articles

Continue reading

Become an Expert on New Homes Hitting the Market

Become an Expert on New Homes Hitting the Market

Knowledge is power and early knowledge can offer you a powerful advantage, especially in tight real estate markets. Those who find properties first gain an edge by being the first have a chance to see new properties and thus the first to make offers. More often than not, this first to market knowledge pays off.

This post will review how you can leverage the property search on this website to quickly access the newest properties on the market and how to setup email alerts when new properties match your criteria.

It’s important to first point out that this website offers you the most current, up-to-date property information available. In fact, the listing inventory on this site comes directly from the local MLS and is updated multiple times throughout the day. Having access to current and accurate information means another advantage for you.

Utilize the “New Listings” Checkbox to Filter Your Searches

From the main property search, enter your desired search criteria and check the “New Listings” checkbox. This will filter your results to only display properties added to the market in the past seven days.

Sort Property Results in Chronological Order. 

From the main search page, enter your desired search criteria and click “Search Results.” From the search results page, change the sort order to “Descending by Date Listed.” This will automatically display listings in chronological order with the newest listings to hit the market displaying first.

Set Up New Listing Email Alerts. 

From the main property search page, select your search criteria and then click the “Save Search” button. Alternatively, you can also click “Email Me When New Listings Match This Search” on any of search results pages. Follow the instructions to create your free account (make sure to activate your account right away), name your search, and then select your email notification preferences. You will receive email notifications whenever new listings hit the market that match your saved search criteria.

These tools give you fast access to new listings as soon as they become available. Enjoy the first to market advantage and happy house hunting!

AUTHOR

KASANDRA CARDA

Kasandra Carda

Broker/Owner


Popular Articles

Continue reading