Feb. 22, 2023

House Hunting 101- What You Need to Know About Hiring a Local Real Estate Agent

home buyer searching for a new home

 

When it comes to house hunting, there's a lot that goes into finding the perfect home. But one of the most important things you can do is hire a local real estate agent. Here's what you need to know about why working with a real estate agent is so important, and how to find the best one for your needs.

The process of finding a real estate agent can be daunting, but it's important to take your time and find someone you trust.

Hunting for a trusted real estate agent can be overwhelming, but it is worth putting in the extra effort. After all, you're about to entrust this person with the biggest financial decision of your life! To get started, your first step should be researching agents in your area; luckily that's easier than ever before thanks to the internet! Once you have a shortlist of names you can begin doing research - check out online reviews from past clients and don't be afraid to ask lots of questions. With patience and diligence, you'll find the highest-rated real estate agent near me who will help simplify the process and make sure that everything goes smoothly when it's finally time to commit.

 

Interview several agents before making a decision, and ask them about their experience with buyers in your area.

A real estate agent visiting with a new home buyer

When shopping for a local real estate agent, it can be overwhelming to know who to choose. To make the best decision, it's important to interview multiple agents and ask questions about their experience with buyers in your local area. It's easy to get lost in throngs of realtors - but if you do some digging, you will likely find an experienced local expert who is eager to help you navigate the home buying process. Interviewing agents is a crucial step in obtaining great service and finding the right fit. Do your research - local knowledge makes all the difference!

 

Once you've found an agent you're comfortable with, be honest about your budget and what you're looking for in a home.

Working with a real estate agent doesn't have to feel like serious business. When you've found someone you get along with, the house-hunting process can be a fun and enjoyable experience - as long as you share what your agent needs to know. Be upfront about what kind of budget you're working with, what your exact housing needs are and what type of space you're looking for. Be confident in what you want, and remember that having an agent who is on the same page will ensure there's no painful surprises when it comes to signing the dotted line.

 

Don't be afraid to negotiate on price - remember that the agent is working for YOU, not the seller.

home buying is an exciting process, but for most homebuyers it can be stressful. One of the greatest stressors is home price negotiating. Many home buyers wonder whether they should attempt to negotiate on the home's price when working with a realtor. The short answer is yes! After all, the real estate agent isn't working on behalf of the home seller - they're working for you. So don't be afraid to get creative and brave the world of home price negotiations. You'll never know what you could end up saving if you don't give it a shot.

 

Finally, get everything in writing before signing any contracts.

Buyer and Real Estate Agent reviewing an agreement

Before the age of the internet and the influencers that come with it, the most important rule when signing a contract was to always make sure you get everything in writing. Taking the extra step of including the details of the agreement can save you a lot of stress and headaches down the road. Sure, verbal promises are great but they can be difficult to prove in a court of law. After all, when the deal is done and the handshake is over, no one wants to stand on street corners asking people if they've seen any written contracts lying around. Just get it in writing and get on with your life!

Conclusion

If you're on the hunt for a real estate agent, remember to take your time and find someone you trust. With pressure from family, friends, and society in general to hurry up and buy a house, it's easy to get swept away by the first decent option that comes along. But taking your time at this stage is crucial - this person will be helping you make one of the biggest purchases of your life. Be sure to interview several agents before deciding, and ask about their experience with buyers in your area specifically. Once you've found an agent you think you can work with, be honest about what you're looking for and what kind of budget you're working with. They should be representing YOU during negotiations, not the seller - so don't hesitate to negotiate on price or terms until you're happy with the deal. And finally, get everything in writing before signing any contracts! For help finding a reputable real estate agent in your area, contact JW Martin Real Estate at 864-722-5558 or visit us at Real Estate Agent (jwmartinhomes.com).

 

 

 

 

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Most Overlooked Questions by Home Buyers

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Posted in Home Buying Advice
Jan. 30, 2023

Most Overlooked Questions When Buying a Home

Are you in the process of buying a home? If so, congratulations! This is an exciting time. However, it's also a time when buyers need to be extra careful and make sure they're asking all the right questions. To help you out, we've compiled a list of some of the most overlooked questions that home buyers should ask before making their purchase. Keep reading to learn more!

How Old Is the Roof?

Old shingle roof on home in Clemson, SC.

Before buying a home, be sure to ask your real estate agent or the current homeowner when the roof was last replaced. Many people don’t consider the old roof cost of replacing a roof until after they purchase the property. But depending on its age and condition, it can be costly. Depending on material and maintenance, roofs generally have a lifespan ranging between 20 - 30 years. Replacing it could require extensive costs and repairs, so it's best to double-check that it is good condition before signing off on any paperwork.

Have There Been Any Additions or Renovations?

When considering a new home purchase, always ask the seller if any additions or renovations have been done to the structure. If new home additions or remodeling have been completed, it is important to determine whether they comply with building codes and regulations. Additionally, finding out whether the builder offered a warranty is also essential, as this can help protect against any possible issues arising in the future due to faulty construction. Lastly, make sure you receive a certificate of occupancy from your local municipality when it comes to new developments or remodels. Asking these questions can ensure that new additions and renovations are up-to-date and in compliance before you move into your new home.

What are the schools like in the area?

students in a public-school classroom

When buying a home, asking about school ratings, special school programs, school awards and recognitions, and the ratio of students to teachers per classroom is essential. Doing research on school systems in the area will help you gain insights. It may also be important to consider if school programs and facilities are available for children with special needs. Seeking out school awards and recognitions can further provide insights into student performance. By looking at school rating metrics and asking about school programs, you can ensure that you are choosing the right education system for your family.

Are There Health or Safety Hazards?

Perhaps one of the most important questions for potential homebuyers to consider is whether there are any health or safety hazards in the area or in the home itself. These include flood zones, earthquake risk, radon gas buildup, lead paint, and other natural disaster risks. It is essential to research these matters prior to purchasing family-friendly home since making a mistake could have devastating consequences. Therefore, inquire about potential hazards that might occur in the area and make sure a thorough inspection is conducted before signing on the dotted line!

Why Is the Seller Leaving?

Learning why the seller is leaving their home is critical for potential buyers considering a purchase. Common reasons for why a seller might be moving out include dissatisfaction with the home itself, selling a home with major structural defects, or because of neighborhood problems like an increase in crime, a declining school system, or because the overall culture of the area has shifted. Homeowners may also be leaving due to needing to make more repairs and maintenance than they are willing to handle. Knowing why the seller is leaving can help buyers decide if purchasing this home is in their best interest or not.

How Long Has the House Been on the Market

If you're in the market for a new house, one key question to be aware of is how long has the house been on the market? Generally speaking, if it's been listed for a long period of time, this can present a buyer's advantage as it indicates that the seller may be discouraged - meaning you potentially have more buying leverage. Furthermore, if a house has been on the market for a while there's also an increased possibility that the seller may be more ready to deal. However, keep in mind that if a house has been listed for some time there could definitely be some home defects to look out for and consider the possible motivations of why the seller is so eager to get rid of it.

What is the crime rate in the neighborhood?

Police dispatched to a neighborhood crime scene

As a homebuyer, one of the most important considerations to take into account is crime rate in the neighborhood. Crime rate has an enormous effect on the safety of families living in these areas and the cost associated with buying and selling a property. A neighborhood with high crime rates can greatly impact the price of a home or property, making it difficult for buyers to make profitable investments or secure additional loans. When buying a home, crime rate should not be overlooked because it can greatly affect your quality of life and security in addition to having financial implications. Researching crime rate before making any big purchases is essential for ensuring family safety and wallet-friendly investments.

 

So, before you buy your next home near Clemson, SC.? call JW Martin Real Estate for free consultation and insight. One of our expert real estate agents will be more than happy to answer any questions you have about the area as well as give their professional perspective on the property.

Posted in Home Buying Advice
Jan. 8, 2023

Your Guide to Buying a Home in the Clemson, SC Area

 

It’s an exciting time for new homebuyers in the Clemson, SC area! Whether you’re a local looking for an upgrade or a first-time buyer searching for their dream house, there are plenty of options available. But before signing on the dotted line and committing to your new place, it’s important to understand what goes into buying a home in this area. This guide will help provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision when purchasing your next property. By following this guide buyers can make sure they find the perfect fit for them now and years down the road! Good luck on your journey!

Buying a Home in Clemson, SC. Area

Clemson is an amazing place to call home! So, if you're not already convinced, here are just a few facts that make Clemson one of the best places to live while raising your family. With its beautiful landscapes, bustling downtown area filled with shops and restaurants, and endless possibilities for outdoor activities it's no wonder why so many people choose this area as their forever home every year. As with any major purchase decision there are many factors that need consideration when purchasing a new home in this area including location, price range, amenities offered by different neighborhoods/homes and styles available. Follow these easy-to-understand guide to buying a home. 

 

Budget Considerations 

How much can you afford when it comes to your new home? When deciding what type of mortgage payment and monthly bills you can handle, it’s important to take into account other expenses such as taxes and insurance. Additionally, it is helpful to crunch some numbers and determine how much money you will have left over each month after paying your mortgage and other bills. This will help inform your budget decisions when it comes time for furniture shopping or any other unexpected expenses that come up during the process of buying and furnishing your home.  

Price Range

Your price range will determine how much house you can afford, and which neighborhoods are within your reach. Make sure not to stretch yourself too thin financially when looking at homes as unexpected expenses can add up quickly when purchasing a new home. 

Get Pre-Approved 

Once you've settled on a few potential homes, it's time to get pre-approved for a loan. This process will give lenders an idea of how much they're willing to loan you and can play an important role in negotiating with sellers if there's competition for the same property. It's also important that you understand all of the fees associated with taking out a loan so that you don't end up paying more than necessary at closing. 

Prepare For Closing Costs 

When buying any type of property, there are certain closing costs that must be paid upfront before ownership is transferred from seller to buyer. These costs vary depending on things such as location and size of the property but typically include items such as title insurance, transfer taxes, deed recording fees, appraisal fees, attorney fees and more. Be sure to factor these costs into your budget when calculating how much money you need in order to purchase a home in the Clemson area.

  Research Your Options 

Once you've set your budget and pre-qualified for a mortgage, start researching your options. You'll want to determine what type of home fits your needs and budget as well as where it's located. Take some time to explore different neighborhoods and consider things like commute times and school districts if you have children. Additionally, be sure to check out listings online or contact real estate agents for more information on available properties.  Visit new communities like those by Great Southern Homes, they often have great deals including mortgage assistance and home warranty.

Location Considerations

One of the first things to consider when you are looking for a new home is location. Do you want to buy within city limits or are you comfortable with living outside of city limits? What amenities do you need nearby? Are there specific schools or parks that you would like to be close to?  Once you have narrowed down your desired location, the next step is when should you buy.

TIP: Don't overlook your lifestyle and your desire to hike, bike, shop, dine etc.

Amenities

Swimming Pool at Keowee Key Community

Some neighborhoods offer additional amenities like swimming pools, tennis courts, playgrounds, and more for residents. Take into consideration what kind of amenities are important for you and decide if it is worth paying extra for them before settling on a particular neighborhood or house. 

Home Styles

Do some research online or visit model homes in person to get an idea of the different home styles available in the area. There are many different types of homes available such as ranch-style homes, colonial-style homes, split-level homes, and more; each with its own unique look and feel. Think about what style best suits your lifestyle before making a purchase decision so that you know you’ll be happy with it for years to come! 

Market Trends

home market trend chart

The Clemson real estate market has been consistently on the rise since 2014. Prices have increased steadily since then with no indication of slowing down anytime soon. This means now is an excellent time for potential buyers who are looking for a great deal on their future homes if they act quickly enough! To stay informed about current market trends, be sure to keep an eye out for updates from local real estate agents as well as online listings so that you won't miss out on any great opportunities that may arise due to changing market conditions.   

Find a Local Real Estate Agent

If you are buying a home in the Clemson area, finding a local real estate agent is one of the most important steps for your home buying journey. Whether you’re buying your first or fifth house, having a buyer's agent from a reputable Clemson-based real estate agency can give you an edge when it comes to finding the perfect property for your needs and budget. From researching local neighborhoods and schools to connecting you with qualified lenders and lawyers, a capable real estate agent can provide invaluable assistance during your home search. So, when you’re ready to begin this exciting process, make sure to find an experienced real estate agent in Clemson to help guide you through the buying process!

 

Conclusion: 

Now that you know what it takes to buy a house in the Clemson, SC area, it should be easier for you to make an informed decision about which property is right for you. Doing your research and understanding all of the associated costs are key components of becoming a successful homeowner and avoiding costly mistakes down the line. With this guide under your belt, we wish you luck on finding your dream home!  

 

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Posted in Home Buying Advice
Dec. 19, 2022

Is Now the Time to Buy a House?

A person pondering about buying a home

 

It’s a question that has been on the minds of many potential homebuyers as of late: should I buy now or wait until later? With the pandemic, economic recession, and looming uncertainty, this question is top of mind. If you’re considering buying a house in the near future – then this blog post is for you. We’ll go over some of the pros and cons of buying now versus waiting until 2023 so you can make an informed decision about your purchase. 

The biggest concern is that the Federal Reserve is playing its hand in controlling inflation, raising the federal funds rate to a whopping 3.75%-4% - higher than it's been since 2008! Markets had coolly predicted this hike as well as possible further tightening of monetary policy depending on economic and financial developments coming down the pipeline. December could see another increase that may not be as dramatic but still have an impact nonetheless! So, be smart and save money by shopping around for the best mortgage rate.

So, what do people think about the real-estate market and mortgage rates? Fannie Mea recently published HPSI (Home Purchase Sentiment Index) which tracks consumers’ housing-related attitudes, intentions, and perceptions, using six questions from the National Housing Survey® (NHS).

First Time Home Buyers

First-time home buyers with low to moderate incomes can now get a sweet deal on their mortgage rate! Thanks to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, they're offering discounts of up 1.75 percentage points - that's sure to help break into the housing market more easily.

Are you a first-time homebuyer looking to make your dream of owning a house come true? Thanks to the FHFA First-Time Home Buyer Mortgage Rate Discount, that goal could be closer than ever! Launched in late 2022 and sponsored by the government, this program eliminates up significant add-ons on mortgage rates. You can use it for single family homes or multi unit buildings; adjustable rate mortgages as well as fixed loans; no matter if they're located rural areas or cities - all at low/moderate incomes qualify. Just remember, move into your new place within 60 days from closing and make sure its counted as primary residence! Get ready for homeownership with this amazing chance provided by The FHFA Program! They're offering discounts of up 1.75 percentage points

Watch this video about why first-time home buyers should buy now: https://youtu.be/ytRSxiBMXBk

December 2022 could be the perfect time to dive into homeownership!

  • Mortgage rates dropped
  • Home prices are flat
  • Market is a "buyer's" market
  • First time home buyer discounts

 

2022 year-end is perfect for first-time home buyers! With mortgage interest rates dropped and housing prices stable. Negotiations are even leaning in favor of the buyer - it really is an ideal time to take that big step and purchase some real estate before 2023 comes around!

   

Conclusion:

Ultimately deciding whether or not to buy now or wait until 2023 comes down to personal preference and financial situation. If mortgages rates remain relatively low and you can find an affordable home that fits all your needs today – then buying now might make sense for you financially speaking since it will give you more time to build equity in your new home before selling it down the line. On the other hand, if mortgage rates do go up between now and then (and prices remain relatively steady) – then waiting until 2023 might make better financial sense since interest rates would likely be lower by then anyway thus resulting in smaller monthly payments overall over time due to having a lower rate applied during repayment periods. Ultimately, it's important to weigh all these factors together so that whatever decision best fits into both your long-term goals AND budget is made!

 

Unsure about entering the real estate market in Clemson, SC? Get your questions answered and get up to speed with a free consultation from JW Martin Real Estate Agency. Plus, grab their exclusive report for an inside look at all the current goings-on in town!

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Posted in Home Buying Advice
Nov. 22, 2022

The top 5 things that will make your home sell fast

If you're looking to sell your home fast, you'll want to make sure that it's in good condition and that it's staged well. In addition, here are the top 5 things that will help make your home sell quickly:

1) Price it right – don't ask for too much or too little money.

pricing your home right is essential to getting top dollar when you sell. But how do you know what price is right? There are a few factors to consider when pricing your home for sale. First, look at recent sales of similar homes in your area. This will give you an idea of what buyers are willing to pay for a home like yours. Second, evaluate the condition of your home. If your home needs significant repairs, it will likely sell for less than a comparable home that is in move-in condition. Finally, consider your motivation for selling. If you need to sell quickly, you may have to accept a lower offer than if you can be patient and wait for the right buyer. By taking all of these factors into account, you can arrive at a fair price for your home that will attract buyers and help you get the best possible return on your investment.

2) Clean and declutter – make sure your home is clean and free of clutter before showing it to potential buyers.

If you're preparing your home for sale, there are a few things you should do to make it as appealing as possible to potential buyers. One of the most important things is to make sure it's clean and decluttered. A clean house will show better in photos and in person, and decluttering will make the space seem more spacious and inviting. You may not think that these things would make much of a difference, but first impressions are important when selling a home. So take the time to tidy up your home before putting it on the market.

 

3) Stage it – showcase your home's best features by staging it appropriately.

Home staging is the process of preparing a home for sale. This usually involves making cosmetic changes to the home in order to make it more appealing to potential buyers. For example, home stagers might repaint walls, arrange furniture in a more pleasing way, or add decorative accents. While some home sellers choose to stage their own homes, others hire professional home stagers. either way, staging a home can help it sell more quickly and for a higher price. With that said, it's important to keep in mind that not all homes need to be staged before they're put on the market. In some cases, simply decluttering and doing a deep cleaning can be enough to make a home more appealing to buyers.

 

4) Fix up any problems – take care of any necessary repairs before putting your home on the market.

Before putting your home on the market, it's important to make sure that any necessary repairs are taken care of. Not only will this help to ensure a higher sale price, but it will also make the process of selling your home much simpler and less stressful. By taking care of repairs before listing your home, you can avoid the hassle of dealing with them during the negotiation process. Additionally, repairing any damage or defects will give potential buyers a better impression of your home, making it more likely that they will make an offer. Whether you plan to sell your home soon or further down the road, repairing any issues now will pay off in the end.

Here are some of the most common home repairs that should be carried out before selling: 

 

- repairing any cracks in the walls or ceilings

- repairing any leaks in the plumbing

- repairing any damaged electrical fixtures and exposed wiring

- repairing any damage to the floors (e.g., loose tiles, creaky boards)

- repairing any damaged or missing shingles on the roof

 

By taking care of these repairs before putting your home on the market, you can increase its appeal and its value.

 

5) Use good quality photos – good quality photos will help generate interest in your home.

When you're putting your home on the market, it's important to have good quality photos of your home for sale. This is because potential buyers will often use these photos to help them make their decision about whether or not to view your home. If your photos are of poor quality, it could deter buyers from even considering your home. 

 

There are a few things you can do to ensure that your home for sale photos are of good quality. First, make sure that the photos are well-lit and show off the best features of your home. Second, hire a professional photographer if possible - they will know how to take flattering photos that will make your home look its best. Finally, avoid using filters or editing the photos too much, as this can give buyers the wrong impression of what your home looks like in person. 

 

If you take the time to ensure that your home for sale photos are of good quality, it will pay off in the long run - you're more likely to attract buyers and sell your home quickly.

 

Conclusion

If you are thinking of selling your home, it is important to understand the role that preparing your home will play in how quickly it sells and for how much. By taking the time to properly stage and prepare your home before placing it on the market, you can help ensure a quicker sale at a higher price. If you need help getting your home ready for sale, our team of experts would be happy to assist you. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you sell your home faster and for more money.

 

 

 

Thank you for considering our services! We look forward to helping you prepare your home for sale and get the best deal possible. Call us today at 864-722-5558 to get started. Good luck on the journey of selling your home!

 

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Oct. 27, 2022

Fall Fun Around Clemson

Here are some fun things to do this weekend around Clemson.  Including places to go, dining, and entertainment, you may also enter to win $100 in a free Halloween home decoration. 

 

The Best Small Town in South Carolina for a Weekend Getaway

South Carolina is a state that's full of charm. From the gorgeous Atlantic Ocean to sprawling state parks and some of the most attractive small towns in the country, if you're looking to plan an incredible weekend adventure South Carolina has a lot of options. Greenville should be on your shortlist, to-do around Greenville: 

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Flea Market - From Idea to Reality

A visit to a flea market in Mexico by D. C. Bryson and Richard McClellion sparked the idea to create the Anderson Jockey Lot and Farmers' Market. D.C. decided to build a flea market, but his flea market would have plenty of parking and clean restrooms. He succeeded on both counts. The Jockey Lot opened in November 1974 on 65 acres right of HWY 29 between Anderson and Greenville SC, and has grown ever since. More than likely, any item you may be looking for can be found from one of the hundreds of dealers who offer their wares for sale....or you may even want to have the yard sale you have been talking about.
Click for a printable Map of the Jockey Lot (Size 1200x1700 pixel, 18x11 print, 270 kB). Today, the Jockey Lot has grown to cover more than 65 acres with more than 2,150 spaces. The average daily attendance is 30,000 to 60,000 people Halloween Contest

 

2nd Annual Halloween Horror Home Contest

Win a $100 Amazon Gift Card from JW Martin Homes for simply posting a picture of your Halloween home decoration on their FACEBOOK PAGE.  This 2nd annual event is fun, and the winner will enjoy a generous gift from the local real estate agency.  

 

 

JW Martin Real Estate is a locally owned and operated agency that partners in the community for a better Clemson.  If you have any news, or updates or need assistance with real-estate activities, please contact us at 864-722-5558

Oct. 16, 2022

The Best Halloween Decoration Ideas for Your Home

Halloween Decorations and Costumes

 

It's Halloween, Witches!

The nights are getting colder, there is a mist in the air and all is quiet in the run-up to All Hallow's Eve. But who wants to do quiet?

If you got it, haunt it! It's time to get those decorations up, brew the pumpkin punch, and let the ghoul times roll. If you want to step up your decorating game this year, you're gonna need some great new ideas though.

Read on for the best Halloween decoration ideas to get the spookiest house on the block.

It's a Boo-tiful Night for Halloween: But What Is It?

Halloween is a holiday we Americans love and it's celebrated on October 31 each year. The tradition comes from Samhain, an ancient Celtic festival. People would wear costumes and gather around bonfires to ward away evil spirits.

In the 8th century, Pope Gregory III set November 1 as a time to honor all saints, though some of those pagan traditions persisted. The evening before became known as All Hallows Eve then later morphed into Halloween as we know it.

Over time, Halloween is less about honoring saints and more about honoring our sense of fun. Children go trick-or-treating dressed up in the scariest costumes they can find. It's a time to gather and throw parties, carve jack-o-lanterns and play games.

Creepin’ It Real with These Great Halloween Decorations

Halloween home decorations

So, now that you know what Halloween is, it's time to embrace the spooky season. It's an important time for American households who like to go all out and light up the neighborhood. Here's how you can get involved, or up your decorating game.

A Pumpkin a Day Keeps the Goblins at Bay

If you want a Halloween decoration that won't look out of place all Fall, we have a treat for you. Go for classing over chilling with a set of glass pumpkins.

They come in a set of 3 different, distinct shapes with timed LED lights inside for a spooky glow. Set them to cut out in the middle of the party, plunging everyone into darkness for some screams.

Outside of Halloween, they give off a warm glow, offering the perfect comfort Fall brings. They are a very versatile home decoration to get your house ready for fall.

Eat, Drink & Be Scary

This home decoration for Halloween is practical as well as spooktastic. These snack bowls shaped like witches' hats will stand out in any snack graveyard.

A tabletop broom sits on a stand, where it holds up these bowls for all to see. With the option of 3 hats or 5, they're perfect for any size party.

I've Got a Bone to Pick With You

If you want to spook your guests right as they walk in, Lowe's 7-foot Skeleton doorman will do the trick. He's dressed in a dapper striped suit, with a top hat and Oxford shoes to boot. His eyes light up with glee as he utters one of 5 sayings to whoever has the misfortune of walking through your door.

Zombies Are So Overrated

Halloween Kid's Costumes

When it comes to decorating for Halloween, why have a zombie when you can have a zombie unicorn? For all the My Little Pony lovers out there, add a touch of magic with this 8-foot inflatable.

It comes with built-in bright lights and a fan to blow it up. There are ropes that come with it too so it won't go prancing off on its own magical adventure into the night.

Pick Your Poison

Whether you're hosting an adult-only party or want to make a spooky punch for the kids, wine glasses are a must. They're one of the best Halloween decorations because they offer practicality, too.

And Pottery Barn has the perfect decoration with their skeleton drinkware. The range includes:

  • A double traditional glass
  • A champagne flute
  • A stemmed wine glass
  • A stemless wine glass

They're the perfect, classy touch to complete any adult's Halloween party ... whatever your poison of choice is. There's something for everyone.

"Life's No Fun Without a Good Scare"

Nightmare Before Christmas was a film that merged two of our favorite holiday themes. So, there's no decorating a home without the iconic Jack Skellington. In this inflatable decoration, he's sitting on top of a purple Spiral-Hill.

At 9 feet tall, it'll make an impact on all those guests and trick-or-treaters visiting your home. Inside are energy efficient lighting, to make it pop even more against the dark night sky.

The inflatable is self-inflating and the kit comes with tethers and stakes to keep it in place. But this easy-to-set-up decoration is versatile as it's designed for both indoor and outdoor use.

I'm Watching You

Next up is an eyeball doorbell that will have the hairs standing up on the back of your neck. It's a great way to get some jump scares out of the trick-or-treaters on October 31.

The haunting eye opens and lights up when you press the bell and it'll make a range of spooky sounds. Then is a ghoulish voice, it will murmur welcome to all those who dare to enter.

If you're not expecting it, it'll cause quite the fright. All you need is 3 AAA batteries to get going. These aren't included in the package.

You Won't Suck the Life Out of This Party

For those decorating a house ready for Halloween parties, don't neglect the drinks. You'll want to make sure you keep them cold for guests to enjoy.

This inflatable coffin cooler can help you do that in a way that's sure to draw some creeped-out smiles. Who wouldn't want to pick their drink out of an open coffin, after all?

This cooler is 3.5 feet in length, so it'll have plenty of room for drinks and ice. Whether you're partying on the deck or inside the home, it's durable enough for both indoor and outdoor use.

Home Is Where the Haunt Is: Halloween Decoration Ideas to Die For

Halloween decoration ideas are a chance to get creative and push for those scares. But with technology advancing, it allows decorations to add a little practical magic, too. When people see what's up your sleeve this All Hallow's Eve, they're sure to be in for a spooktacular time.

And if you're looking for the perfect haunted house to decorate, check out our property search. At JW Martin, a haunting we will go in our dedicated search to find your dream property.

 

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Fall Decoration Ideas

Greenville, SC

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Sept. 29, 2022

Pumpkin Spice: 7 Fall Home Decoration Ideas

Have you fallen in love with Fall home decor?

It's that time of year again when the nights get longer, and the leaves start to change. As the temperature cools, you'll begin to retreat into your home more.

They're a safe space and a sanctuary, so it's only natural that you'll want to decorate your home for the cozy season. But when you're not an interior design expert, it can be difficult to know where to start.

That's where we can help! Keep reading for these seven home decoration ideas to get your home Fall ready.

1. Hocus Pocus Focus on the Fireplace

No fall season decoration guide could start without mentioning the fireplace. As we said, the cold will start to bite now, and your fireplace will become a focal point. This makes it the perfect starting point for your fall decoration efforts.

First, make sure you've had your chimney inspected and cleaned, ready for use. Especially if it's open and working. You can add candle holders and wooden photo frames for a rustic feel. If it's not an open fireplace, you can stack a few pumpkins and pinecones inside and around it for a pop of color.

 

Consider a garland too. Decorating for the season is great fun, so get all the family involved with a DIY pumpkin garland. Give each person a strip of orange paper and ask them to write why they love each other member of the family. Use these to create the pumpkins that will string together on your garland, showing off your love.

2. Magic Up a Monogram Pumpkin

fall sencils

The next of our fall decorating ideas take the pumpkin theme further. A monogram pumpkin makes the perfect decoration for a fireplace display.
In fact, it'll look good anywhere in the home, from the dining table to the porch. Get yourself:

  • Some stencils (florals and leaves are a good fall choice)
  • A roll of painter's tape
  • A foam pouncer
  • Crafting paint (orange, white, browns, and greens work for fall)
  • Pumpkins (real or fake it's up to you)

Paint on a think block capital letter on each pumpkin. You could use the first initial of each family member. Or, you could spell out a fall-related word or phrase.

A pumpkin "Welcome" on the front porch would be a delight for trick-or-treaters, for example. Or even a spooky message.

Line the letters with the painter's tape and then tape the stencils over them. Use your pouncer to then dab on the paint colors of your choice to fill in the stencil shapes. Leave this to dry, then carefully remove the stencils and tape holding them.

3. Fall Into the Season with a Throw Blanket (or Six!)

Another perfect decoration for the fall season is a fall blanket (or a selection of them). Warm-toned throw blankets will keep you cozy as you sip your hot chocolate and watch the stars outside.

Taupe, sage, cream, and orange make the perfect color palette for fall. You don't need to have phrases or pumpkins here, in fact, a nice texture or mix of colors will go further.

Less is more, in some cases, especially if you have pumpkins and phrases elsewhere already. You can also layer up different rugs to create an even cozier, nest-like look to snuggle up in.

4. It's Alive! Bring Pumpkins Back to Life with Succulents

Pumpkins are a versatile vegetable; you can do more with them than just carving faces. Use smaller variants to create planters for some fall succulents. They're moist inside and will help the soil keep its own moisture and give the roots what they need.

Succulents don't need much watering, so these are low-maintenance seasonal decor items. If you already have a lot of house maintenance to do, this is a good way to get into the fall spirit without adding too much to your checklist.

You don't have to stop there though! If you want something larger, to add more variety, you can use butternut squash as planters too. It's also a good choice for those who want a seasonal feel without a direct link to Halloween.

5. Channel Your Inner Kitchen Witch By Adding Greenery

Whether as a Halloween decoration or a full-style choice, cauldron-shaped pots are a great touch. You can get them with little sayings on them like "herbs for spells." These are brilliant for growing your own herbs in your kitchen while adding some fall decor.

You can also add herb and garlic wreaths on outside doors or hanging from doorways. You could even weave them around the railings of your porch and hang them from the rafters.

Use some pine cones, weaved twigs, firs, and other evergreens to decorate for a natural look. After all, fall is a season that's all about nature and its changes.

6. Cast a Spell with Creative Wheat Displays

Nothing spells fall seasonal decor better than wheat sheaves. Tie a bunch together arranged in various heights and bind it with a fall-colored ribbon.

Place them inside bell jars (vary the size of these too for more effect) and use them for table decorations. You could also place them in the hallway or foyer on a side table, on shelves and bookcases, and in many other places too.

Add in pine cones, weaving sticks, and evergreens to get a genuinely unique autumn decoration. It's sure to cast a spell over anyone who sees it who will be dying to have their own!

7. Have a Howlin' Good Time With Pumpkin Puppies

Lastly, decorating for fall should involve the whole family, so this one is for the kids. After all, they do say teamwork makes the scream work! And any deck, porch, hallway, or fireplace needs some pumpkin puppies and squash hounds ready for the festive fall season.

Get the kids to pick out some tall pumpkins and butternut squash from the shop. Then recreate the "long face" look with strips of burlap and fall-themed fabric. Stick on some buttons for the eyes and complete the look with some floppy, droopy fabric ears.

Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice About Fall Home Decoration Ideas

With cool nights and the promise of Halloween around the corner, fall is an exciting time. Of all the seasons, it's the one that probably inspires our imaginations the most and takes us back to nature. These home decoration ideas will help capture that imagination and inspire creations of your own.

And if you're looking for inspiration for a new home to decorate, then check out our property search. Whatever you're looking for, we can help you find the perfect home to add a little magic to your life.

Sept. 11, 2022

Home Maintenance Tips

home maintenance care

 

Is home maintenance becoming a home nightmare?

Part of the responsibility of home ownership is keeping it well maintained. But with so many tasks to do, it soon can start feeling like an overwhelming, never-ending journey.

That's where we can help! Keep reading for these 14 top home maintenance tips to help you maintain your home an its value.

Seasonal Maintenance Tips

First, let's start with breaking down the year by the seasons. We'll go through some tips that you should do in spring, summer, fall, and winter.

Spring

Spring is a good time to look at the year ahead and work out what you need to get your home through it.

1. Service the HVAC Unit: Home repairs soon spiral so preventative maintenance is key. Call out a professional HVAC technician to service your unit ready for summer. You should also follow instructions on how to change the air filters and keep them clean (AC filters should be changed every 30 days for best results. Additionally, you should consider having an AC Technician inspect your cooling system and coils for cleanliness and efficiency.

2. Drain Your Hot Water Heater: Another of the property repairs that can add up is a broken hot water heater. Debris and sediment will build up so you need to drain the water out to clean it out. Clean out that sediment and you'll help your water heater last longer and work more efficiently. 

NOTE: a conventional tank type water heater will consume the most energy in your home hence, its the most expensive on your utility bill.  If its time to replace your old water heater consider a tankless unit.  

3. Check the Windows and Doors: A good property maintenance tip is to check the windows and doors. In spring, replace or repair weather stripping. Check the locks and latches still work and that no panes or windows need replacing.

4. Check the Kitchen Appliances: Make sure your stove and range are working as they should. Clean the gas range ignition, or if it's electric, the range burner prongs. Give the microwave and oven a thorough clean too. Cleaning will make your home nicer to live in and can even boost its value

Summer

In summer the weather is often much drier and warmer so it's time to make use of it to get some jobs done.

5. Check the Plumbing: As part of your summer home upkeep, look around for leaks in the house. Check pipes under sinks, look for stains on walls and ceilings and test toilets work as they should.

You also want to check that shower heads and faucets aren't dripping or leaking. Clean the aerators inside them to remove any mineral build-up. Inspect sink, bath, and shower caulk and replace it where necessary. 

Last of all check the temperature pressure relief valve inside the water heater. If anything goes wrong, it should be cheaper to find a water heating repair service in summer than in winter.

You can find more plumbing maintenance tips here

6. Clean Out Chimneys and Fireplaces: You should have a professional inspect your chimneys. If you find chimney swifts have made a next, you'll have to wait until fall to clean out your chimneys.

7. Wash the Doors and Windows: You can do it in spring, but it'll be warmer in summer to power wash your home. Take a window cleaning solution to go over the windows and doors too. Or you can hire a regular window cleaner to do it for you.

8. Clean Up the Garden: Weed, aerate, mow and water your grass, plants, and yard. Power wash and sweep any decks and patios to have them looking their best. In the summer months, you'll likely want to sit outside more, and that's much nicer in a healthy, tidy yard.

Fall

The leaves are starting to all and the evenings are starting to bite. Winter won't be far off so it's time to start preparing.

9. Remove Fallen Leaves: While it's beautiful to look at, falling leaves can be a nuisance. For basement window wells, you may need to clear them every month. You also want to check gutters and keep them clear of leaves and debris too.

10. Test the Detectors in the House: Test each smoke and carbon monoxide detector. You the very least, you need to do this each quarter but it might be worth doing it monthly to keep on top of it.

11. Check the Garbage Disposal: This is a must on any good home maintenance checklist. Measure out 1/2 cup of baking soda then pour into the drain. Leave it for 3-5 minutes.

As you wait, mix 1 cup of vinegar with 1 cup of hot water and pour it down the drain when it's time. You can cover the drain with a plug and leave it for 10-15 minutes.

To flush it through, use a pot of boiling water. Make sure you then check the fixtures and make sure they're screwed in place. If not, tighten things up as needed.

Winter

The cold weather will start coming in hard and fast now. It's one of the harshest seasons for your home, so be extra vigilant during these frigid months.

12. Protect Against Frozen Pipes: If you're going away for the holidays, frozen pipes are a worry. To prevent this, you want to set the faucets to run at a steady drip. You should also keep the thermostat at a constant 55°F or higher.

13. Keep an Eye on Your Basement: Look for any leaking or damp patches forming in your basement. If you see anything suspicious get it looked at right away and repaired. If you have a dehumidifier, clean it, if you don't then consider getting one.

14. Check Your Home's Exterior: Rake and remove any leaves remaining from the fall. Keep snow shoveled and look at the gutters. Make sure they're clean and water can flow, you don't want any water backups. This can cause the gutters to freeze and burst, or form dangerous icicles.

Home Maintenance Tips You Won't Want to Miss

These home maintenance tips are there to show you that home upkeep doesn't have to be daunting. You can do them over 1-2 days, or you can break it up over a week, whatever works for you. All that matters is you get inspired and take pride in the home you love.

If you haven't found that home to be proud of yet, contact us today. At J W Martin, we've made it our mission to help get you into the home of your dreams.

Posted in home Care
Aug. 30, 2022

What Will Increase Your Home Value

Many people make expensive mistakes with their home improvements. Some home improvements increase home valuation much more than others. In fact, you can spend a lot of money on projects than will have no impact on your home's value.

On the other hand, there are some highly efficient and inexpensive ways to improve your home value with a minimum investment. Read on to learn all about the most efficient ways to increase the value of your home!

Cleaning Can Increase Your Home Valuation

One of the main reasons that people make so many mistakes when investing in increasing home value is that they are too rational. If people assess the value of a home in a rational way, they should not care much about how clean and tidy the home is when they are consider buying it.

However, people are not always rational. To make the most of strategies to increase your home value it is important to focus on what works, not on what makes sense. Cleaning and tidying are some of the most efficient ways to increase your home value.

If you think about it, it is easy to imagine how a perfectly clean and tidy home might seem worth more to people who are looking at it. In practice, cleaning and tidying is extremely inexpensive and will have a larger effect on home valuation.

Improve Your Curb Appeal With Fresh Paint

If you ask the professionals about increasing your home value, there is a good chance they will talk a lot about curb appeal. People don't think of their home just as a place for them to enjoy living in. Instead, they place a lot of value on how their home looks to other people, even if those people only see their home from the curb.

On top of that, first impressions make a big difference. The impression that people have of your home necessarily comes from how it looks from the curb first.

That is why investing in fresh paint can provide such excellent returns. A little extra work now can increase the value of your home by thousands of dollars!

Place Special Emphasis on Your Exterior Doors

As people start to enter your home, they may actually touch and interact with your front door. That makes it the perfect thing to emphasize to maximize appeal.

Make sure your door looks as good as possible, consider repainting or buying a new one. Make sure the door knob and hinges are clean, not loose and turn smoothly without squeaking. 

Invest in Other Kinds of Curb Appeal

Fresh paint is only the beginning when it comes to curb appeal. Have potted plant arrangement around the front door or on the walkway leading to it. Clean, paint or purchase a new mailbox.

Just as cleaning and tightening your home can make a huge difference, so can mowing the lawn and trimming the trees and hedges.

Stand at the curb and notice whatever seems a little bit off about your home, you can find the same things that will bother potential home buyers. Resolve them to make a good impression and improve your home's value.

Increasing Home Value With Energy Efficiency

More and more people are interested in energy efficiency, a smart and green home. As solar panel technology progresses, more people are attracted to the benefits that it provides.

That goes double right now since people are dealing with inflation That means the investments you make in energy efficiency will provide even bigger returns than they usually would. Of course, investing in energy efficiency does not mean you have to install solar panels. There are much simpler and more affordable ways to make your home more efficient in little ways. But those little ways can make a huge difference in the minds of potential buyers of your home.

Improve Your Home Value Without Spending Lots Of Money 

You can improve the value of your home without spending lots of money.  There are cheap projects that will have large impact on your home's valuation. Most people fail to appreciate what it can mean to them to increase a home valuation by just 10%. A 10% improvement to your home value will dwarf huge improvements in almost any other transaction you deal with.

To learn more about how to increase your home value, reach out and get in touch with us here at any time!