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Press Release: Jennifer Ireland Makes Commitment to Excellence

9/4/2019
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Chesapeake, VA, August 29, 2019 – Jennifer Ireland, SRES®, SFR®, MRP®, RESA® CSA™, a Realtor® with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Towne Realty has earned the Commitment to Excellence endorsement from the National Association of Realtors®. The endorsement goes to Realtors® who have demonstrated knowledge and competency in 10 core areas of real estate practice:

 

  1. Client service
  2. Professional reputation
  3. Real estate law
  4. Realtor® Code of Ethics
  5. Equal service to all (Article 10 of the Code)
  6. Advocacy of real property ownership
  7. Trust and integrity
  8. Use of technology
  9. Data privacy
  10. Areas of practice

The C2EX endorsement is available only to Realtors®. It is earned through a self-directed program that enables users to assess and build on their competency in each of the core areas. Launched in November 2018, this innovative program sets the standard for what it means to be a professional in the real estate brokerage business.

Is A Bigger House Better?

6/10/2019

Large home

If you are looking for your next home, it’s natural to assume that you should buy the biggest home you can afford.  Certainly if you need a big home, then this is the right decision, but if not there are other ways to maximize your investment that doesn’t include more square feet.


Bigger isn’t always better.  If you don’t need four bedrooms, then why spend your money on that?  There are many other ways to spend your money.


ViewHomes with a view will always command higher sales prices than those without.  If you enjoy a distant vista, use your money for a view and enjoy better returns when you sell.

SpaceSpace is not only counted in square footage, lot size also adds value and enjoyment to a home.

AmenitiesAsk anyone who has looked at upscale retirement communities about amenities and how they contribute to qualify of life. Golf courses and lake front homes increase value as well.

LocationThe old adage of location, location, location is true.  From the craftsman cottage in the historic downtown to a trendy urban loft, choosing a home in the right location is critical to building value.

Choosing the right home is not simply about resale value, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think about it.  First and foremost, choose a home that fits your needs and lifestyle.  But if that’s not a huge house on the hill, there are other options that are just as good.  The bigger house is not necessarily the best choice.

How Do You Know When It's Time To Move?

4/29/2019

couple moving

Most people dread the thought of moving.  Yet those same people love it when they move.  Why?  Most likely it’s the emotional attachment and the nostalgia for a beloved home.  It’s understandable, but yet a home that just doesn’t fit your needs any longer can make even the most loved home uncomfortable.

Are you wondering if it’s time to move?  Here are six telltale signs that you should consider when thinking of putting the “for sale” sign up in your front yard.

Your Home is Too Small
One of the most common signs is that you’ve outgrown your home.  Has your family size grown?  A newborn, an adult child returning to the home, or even a parent moving in can make your home feel too small for your growing family.  

Your Home is Too Large
Life changes!  Empty-nesters often find the home too large when the kids have all moved out.   Is the maintenance becoming too much?  Or do you want to have more time to travel and relax?  These can all be factors for feeling that your home is too large.  

Your Home is Too Expensive
Are you spending all your extra cash making repairs, or do you want major upgrades to suit your lifestyle?  Have your finances changed due to retirement, loss of job, or loss of a loved one?  If so, it may be time to move to a less expensive home that will fit your needs.  

The Neighborhood is Losing Value
Neighborhoods do change overtime.  If the homes in your nieghborhood are declining in value, you may want to consider a move.

Change in the Weather
Are you finally tired of shoveling snow?  Is the heat and humid too much for you to handle?  A change in climate could be the right move.

Change is Good
The last great reason to move is to try something new.  Different style or location, or if the home isn’t making you happy any longer, it may be time to move.  Do you want to be closer to family and friends?  Change can be exciting, leading to new adventures and new opportunities!  

If you don't know if it's the right time to move, contact me! We can discuss your options and decide if moving is the right decision for you and your family.  

 

 

Add A Spring Touch To Your Home

3/18/2019



yellow decor


Even if the weather isn’t cooperating quite yet - spring is here!  Cheering up your home with some spring decor is the perfect way to prepare for warmer days and more sunshine.  Here are some options to prepare your home for the next season!


ADD AN HERB GARDEN

While they may not last outdoors with the sporadic weather of spring, bringing potted herbs into your home and letting them soak up sunlight in a kitchen window is the perfect way to add life to your home and have access to fresh herbs while you’re cooking. 

THINK SPRING 

If you are all about DIY-ing, creating simple decorations can add a pop of seasonal color to your home. Take that pair of rain boots you don’t wear anymore and turn them into planters - add bright floral arrangements and use your new decor item as an inviting piece by your front door.

POPS OF COLOR

Neutral and sleek is all the rage right now, but adding a pop of color in your normal decor can add a cheerful touch to your home. Swap out your kitchen napkins or tablecloth with something a little bit more colorful, like soft blues or pinks. Small changes can do enough to make your home feel different without being overwhelming.

FLORALS ARE ALWAYS THE ANSWER

Whether or not you already include florals in your home decor, take the time to swap out or add something new that feels like spring. While fresh flowers are a great choice, consider picking up some faux florals for the majority of your decor and saving the fresh flowers for a centerpiece. Don’t be afraid to add pops of color, specifically yellows and pinks, to create a focal point for the room. 

TOUCH UP TIME

Is there a room in your home that is just feeling drab? Maybe it is dark and uninviting, or maybe it has white walls that have started to fade. While you are spring cleaning, consider adding a fresh coat of paint to a place in your home that needs a boost of light. Spring is all about being fresh and new, so your home should feel that way too!

Winter DIY Projects for Homeowners

2/16/2019

Winter months bring cold days and long nights.  While you wait for the weather to warm up so you can get out into the garden, there are still plenty of great DIY projects to tackle, even in the winter.  Here are some terrific ideas for the Do it Yourselfer in you.

  • Paint Your Walls – Paint an accent wall or an entire room with a fresh color.

  • Declutter – Sure this sounds like a fancy name for house cleaning, but decluttering is more than that.  Remove excess furnishings to make your rooms seem larger and more inviting.

  • Update Your Kitchen – A new backsplash or cabinet pulls can quickly change the look and feel of your kitchen.

  • Add Insulation – This will provide instant satisfaction as those cold, drafty rooms feel warm and cozy.  If you have some real skill, you can include changing out old windows or doors as well.

  • Smarten Up – This is a great time to automate your home with Smart devices.  Add security cameras, a smart thermostat or smart lights and plugs.

  • Build Something – For the handy,  winter months are a great time to add cabinets, a TV hutch or bookshelves to your home.

  • Re-Grout Your Tile – From kitchen counters to floors, re-grouting can freshen up the room.

New Year's Resolutions for Home Sellers

1/8/2019



Happy New Year!


With the start of the New Year, thoughts naturally turn to change. If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to sell your home, then making the right resolutions can help you sell your home quickly and for the best possible return.

 New Year’s Resolutions for Home Sellers

  1. Move Up Spring Cleaning – It is time to do your spring cleaning now.  Declutter, depersonalize and make your home look roomier.

  2. Stage Your Home – Whether you hire someone or do it yourself, this is the time to do it.   Rearrange your furniture to make your rooms look bigger and brighter.

  3. Think it Through – Before you spend money on renovations and upgrades, think it through carefully.   Plan it out so you don’t overspend by guessing.

  4. Take Care of Neglected Repairs – This is a great time to hire a handyman, or breakout your tool belt,  to take care of any deferred maintenance and take care of minor repairs.

  5.  Interview Realtors® – Hiring a Realtor® is critical to your success.  Take the time to interview a number of agents and choose the right one for your needs.

  6. Check out the Competition – Go see homes listed for sale in your area and adjust your timing, staging, and pricing based on the market.

  7. Prepare Mentally – Selling a home can be stressful.  Be prepared for low offers, picky buyers, last-minute showings, drop-by agents, and odd terms.  Prepare yourself now so you will take them in stride when you’re on the market.  You don't want to be stressed when it's time to negotiate.  

If selling your home is on your To-Do list this year, contact me so we can discuss your options.  We will work together to get your home sold quickly! 

Selling During the Holidays

12/10/2018


The Holiday Season has arrived and you may be concerned that it's the wrong time to put your home on the market.  The truth is that the holidays can be a great time sell your home.  Not only does your home look beautiful dressed up for the holidays, but buyers are often more emotionally tied to your home because of it.  There is no need to wait for the hectic Spring and Summer selling season to list.

 There are benefits to selling now: 

  • Lower Inventory - Typically there are fewer homes on the market.  Fewer homes means less competition. 

  • Serious Buyers - During the holidays, buyers tend to be more serious about purchasing a home than at other times of the year.        Moving is not fun at anytime of the year, but the holidays can be particularly hard.  Buyers willing to this are serious about moving. 

  • Interest Rates Are Still Low - No one knows what's coming in the New Year, but for now, interest rates are still traditionally low.  

The Holiday Selling Season is here.  As a home seller, you can capitalize on the slower pace, smaller inventory, and serious buyers if you list now.  Deck the halls and offer a warm, cozy home to potential buyers,  and take advantage of the season for selling your home now.  

Thanksgiving Home Decor Ideas

11/12/2018

Thanksgiving is the start of the holiday season. While the standard pumpkins and scented candles are a nice touch, there are so many other options for decorating a home for Thanksgiving. Consider a few of these interesting and unusual touches to bring a fall feel to your home.

  • Colorful Leaves – During this time of year , there are probably piles of fall leaves in your front or back yards. There are a huge variety of uses for these bright leaves. Gather some to use on the dining room table, inside candle hurricanes or scatter along the mantle.

  • Natural Elements – Decorations don’t need to be so obvious. Consider using driftwood, acorns and pinecones to add a fall flavor to your home décor.

  • Fall Fruit – Lemons placed in a bowl have long been a staple in spring and summertime staging. In fall and winter, change the lemons to a variety of colors of apples. Everything from red to green and everything in between adds a seasonal tone to the kitchen.

  • Pillows and Throws – There’s no rule that says that one needs to keep the same pillows and throws throughout the home all year around. Consider fall/winter colors and themes to add interest to living rooms, bedrooms and dens.

Fall Leaves Bring Sold Signs

10/15/2018


Summer has come to an end and you are probably thinking you've lost the opportunity to sell, and need to wait till next summer. But that's far from the truth! Although it's not as hectic and crazy with the swarm of buyers on the market, the fall season brings out the most serious of lookers. They are the pool of buyers that waited out the summer frenzy to find their perfect home in the fall, and you don't want to miss these buyers! They are ready to make a move, today! And selling in a slower period does not equate to less money. That's a misconception that home owners have based on untrue data that floats around. With the right agent, and your home being priced correctly, you can get a great deal selling your home during the fall season. And might actually prefer it.

Here are the top 3 benefits to listing during the fall season.

1. Serious Buyers - Let's be honest, if buyers are out during the busy season, looking for homes, they are serious and ready to buy. Although the summer brings in a large crowd, that crowd contains a lot of people that are excited by the season, and fall into the "trend" of house hunting. These people end up not really being serious about the process, and tend to hold off for another time. If people are investing time to look during the fall season, they are more likely to be interested in actually buying your home, instead of touring it.

2. Less Competition - Selling in the fall isn't something many families can accomplish due to personal schedules. That's why a significant amount of homes get listed during the summer season. Which means that summer time brings in a lot of competition. Selling in the fall means the potential house next door that has slightly more perks that may have been listed during the summer, doesn't make your home sit stagnant, since everyone wanted your neighbor's house. It also doesn't devalue your home because of the house that could go up next door that could be under-priced in your neighborhood, and draw all of the attention.With a slower season, you get dedicated attention to your property, which increases the chance of a sale. 

3. Easier to Find Your Dream Home - Not only do you get to benefit from a slower season during the selling process, but you can also benefit on the buying side. With less competition on your dream house, you can get a better deal. The summer brings a lot of missed opportunities for buyers on their dream homes, because they go off the market instantly. This will give you the opportunity to get your home on the market and take your time to find the right one to resize into. A much calmer pace to the transaction will make it less stressful, and everyone all around happier. Don't feel rushed into buying a home overnight during the summer, it could turn into a headache. If you want a far more peaceful transaction, that has calmer pace, then selling during the fall is perfect for you.

I'm your Senior Real Estate Specialist®

9/23/2018
Jennifer Ireland Earns NAR Designation in Seniors Real Estate

Chesapeake, VA, 2/20/2018 - — Jennifer Ireland with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Towne Realty has earned the nationally recognized Seniors Real Estate Specialist® designation from the Seniors Real Estate Specialist Council of the National Association of Realtors®.

Jennifer  joins more than 15,000 real estate professionals in North America who have earned the SRES®designation.  All were required to successfully complete a comprehensive course in understanding the needs, considerations, and goals of real estate buyers and sellers aged 55 and older.

“Working with seniors to meet their housing needs requires an expert understanding of their lifestyle and financial needs, and the SRES® designation means that a Realtor® has that understanding,” said Jennifer. “Whether they are buying, selling relocating or refinancing, seniors can be confident that a Realtor® designated SRES® will be able to help them every step of the way.” 

SRES® Council, founded in 2007, is the world's largest association of real estate professionals focusing specifically on representing senior clients in real estate transactions. There are more than 15,000 active members of the organization world-wide.  

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.


For more information, visit SRES.org.  
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