August 2014 - Loftway : Loftway


Choosing Paint by Light Direction

14 Apr 2017 · by Virtual Results PubSub

Choosing Paint by Light DirectionLight exposure in your room plays a large part in the visual drama of your paint colors. In rooms with multi-directional sun exposure—either opposing (east/west or north/south) or perpendicular (north/west, north/east, south/west, south/east)—the play of light over your walls, reflecting off your ceiling or bouncing off the floor can change the appearance of the paint colors your chosen. In fact, the colors will look different at various times of the day and even change with the seasons throughout the year. And, when you add artificial light into the mix you may end up with a look you weren’t expecting.

The Basics

As you may remember from grade school, the concept of color is part of the light spectrum. You know that when you see a rainbow, its colors are different lengths of light rays from the sun bouncing off water molecules in the atmosphere. In fact, the very definition of color is the property of an object producing different sensations on the eye resulting from the way it reflects light. Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so is color.

Humans have varying degrees of color-blindness, and in men, it is as high as seven to 10 percent in the red-green spectrum. A smaller number of colorblind people of either gender do not see the blue-yellow spectrum. That means that if you’ve chosen a neutral gray or taupe with a red or green undertone, your spouse may see it differently from you.

Add the play of light to the scenario and you can see why your color choices can make a huge difference to how you enjoy your Loft … and how it appears to potential buyers.

Light Direction

In the northern hemisphere, a southern exposure has light throughout most of the day and most of the year. Light from the sun intensifies colors, so consider the room’s use when choosing bright vs. cool colors. If this is the room you’ll be relaxing in at the end of the day you’ll want to cool it down with blue undertones.

East or west exposure is most intense in the morning or evening. A bedroom with a west exposure will be darker in the morning. If you have trouble waking up, you might want to add red or yellow undertones to your room colors. On the other hand, a room with an east exposure will be light and bright in the morning, so you might want to tone it down with blue or green undertones.

In the afternoon, light rays are shorter, giving them a blue tone that washes out color. If you’ll use a room most often in the midday, consider a brighter color that is opposite the blue spectrum (yellow on the color wheel) or with yellow undertones.

Lighting makes a big difference too. The type of light bulb, wattage and placement of the light fixture change the appearance of color on walls, floors and ceilings.

Making the Right Choice

Before choosing a color, bring Loft swatches and hang them on the walls. Watch how light plays off them throughout the day. If you’re still not sure, buy sample sizes of a couple of colors and paint larger swaths on the walls (or on butcher paper) to get a better idea.




Do I Want to Buy with Cash?

4 Oct 2016 · by Virtual Results PubSub

Do I Want to Buy with Cash?According to Market Watch, 43% of Loftbuyers in 2014 so far have purchased with all cash. While some analysts believe that the cash-buying frenzy will not last, there is always more room for negotiation when the buyer brings cash to the table. When it comes to buying a Loft in a hot real estate market, sometimes cash can net you a lower price than a mortgage. So, if you’ve just sold your Loft and are looking to buy a new one with cash or are otherwise planning your estate, here are some things to remember.

Reasons to buy with cash:

As an empty nester or retiree looking to downsize, you often have cash from the sale of your larger Loft to purchase a new Loft. This allows you to choose a smaller Loft, pay cash, and possibly have money left over. Or, you can buy into a better community for retiring. So while you may end up with a smaller Loft, the amenities more than make up the difference.

Sometimes, you want to gift a Loft to your children as a wedding gift, or as part of your estate planning. After all, Loftownership is part of the American dream. However, gifting only a down payment may pressure your loved ones to purchase a Loft when they are not ready to be Loftowners. A better option for them would be to purchase a Loft for them with all cash. The Loft is paid-for and their obligation would extend only to yearly taxes and insurance, but not the heavy burden of a mortgage. A paid-for starter Loft protects them from the ups and downs of the market as well, and gives them a basis for a mortgage when the time is right for them.

Investment property that is completely paid for can be a “cash cow” for your retirement. The ongoing income from a rental that does not have a mortgage can make your retirement a little more comfortable, and is less problematic in probate than properties with mortgages would be.

Reasons to have a mortgage:

If you have a financial instrument that might give you a higher rate of return than the mortgage will cost you, it might make more sense for you to invest your cash in the higher return and to take out a low cost mortgage on the property.

If you need to improve your credit report, it might be better for you to take a mortgage. This type of “good debt” can improve your credit score and make it easier to borrow money for other reasons.

Additionally, there are tax benefits from holding a mortgage that, depending on your financial situation, may be more beneficial than owning the Loft free and clear. Of course, before you make this decision you should check with your tax accountant or financial advisor.

Negotiating with cash:

When you find the perfect Loft and you’re ready to make an offer, don’t start with the “all cash” offer. If the sellers know that you are able to pay cash for their asking price, they will be less willing to negotiate with you. Let your professional real estate agent help you determine the best time to reveal your cards. We know the right time to offer cash to get the seller to agree to your offer.  Call us today and we can get started finding the perfect Loft for you and negotiating the best offer for your needs.




Cleaning to Sell

11 Aug 2014 · by Virtual Results PubSub

Cleaning to SellWhen getting your LOFT ready to sell, spending some elbow grease cleaning can save you some money and make your home more attractive to buyers. Here are a few of the items to try.

Cleaning Painted Walls

When cleaning painted walls, start with a clean microfiber cloth or sponge and water. Gently wipe or sponge walls. If the grease, grime, and dirt persist, use mild water-based cleaner or dish soap. For difficult stains like soot or tobacco smoke, use a spray kitchen cleaner or all purpose cleaner. Do not use the abrasive side of a sponge, steel wool, or other metal mesh cleaners as these will remove the paint and may mar the drywall.

Caring for Stainless Steel

Ideally, clean stainless steel appliances once or twice a week. Disinfect with a disinfectant spray or bleach and water solution (1 part household bleach to 9 parts water), then use a wax-based aerosol spray. Lightly mist a soft, lint-free cloth and wipe over the surface to remove fingerprints and other marks. Don’t use anything abrasive—not even liquid cleansers or soft scrubbing pads as they can scratch or ruin the surface. If you have hardened, burned-on foods on your stove burners, remove them, and soak them in warm water and dish soap until it is soft enough to remove.

Caring for Your Tiles

Clean your bathroom and kitchen tiles using a neutral pH cleaner or make your own with a gallon of water and to 1/4 cup baking soda. Apply the mixture to floors with a soft mop or sponge. To clean your grout, use the same baking soda and water mixture, or use a toothbrush to apply a paste of an oxygen-based bleach and water. Allow the mixture to sit for 10-15 minutes, the wipe with a soft cloth or sponge and water. Once grout is clean, use a grout sealer to protect it. Apply the sealer with a small, slanted foam brush.

Countertop Stains

Various types of countertop material requires different approaches:

  • Granite: wipe up stains immediately and have your granite sealed yearly. For rust stains, use a poultice of a half-gallon of water to 1/4 cup household ammonia. Use hydrogen peroxide in water for juice or coffee stains. Add a couple drops of ammonia for harder stains. Everyday scratches and wear respond to superfine, grade 0000 dry steel wool.
  • Butcher block: To remove stains and scratches from solid butcher block, sand lightly with a fine wood sand paper. Oil the surface with food-safe wood oil.
  • Solid Surface: Composite, solid-surface materials respond well to gently sanding with a fine dry steel wool or mildly abrasive cleanser. Remove stains with the oxygen-based bleach and water paste described above.
  • Laminate countertops: Stains on a laminate countertop respond will to the bleach and water mixture or kitchen cleaners, but scratches are more difficult to disguise. Try a wax-based polish to fill in small lines and scratches or try this recipe. If your countertop is very marred, consider replacing it or using one of the DIY countertop faux finishes to give it an updated look.

Wood Floors

Clean wood floors with a water-based household cleaner or wood soap, or follow the instructions here. If your floor has scratches, use an oil-based polish in a color similar to your wood to fill in the scratches. If you have many scratches, consider lightly sanding the area and applying a stain-finish combination available at most hardware or paint stores.

Carpet

For synthetic carpets, you might rent a carpet-cleaning machine. Be sure to use only the soap or cleaning solution suggested, and avoid applying too much soap as the residue may attract more dirt.




What Loft ownership Can Mean for You

24 Mar 2017 · by Virtual Results PubSub

What Homeownership Can Mean for YouWhen you’ve never owned your Loft, your relationship to it is less personal. Let’s face it, when something goes wrong in your rented apartment, you call the landlord or manager to fix it. You don’t worry about insurance against natural disasters, save up for that new roof or upgraded furnace, or myriad other requirements of Loft ownership. After all, you just live there.

Loft ownership changes all of that. You are your landlord! You are the manager, and all those repairs and upgrades? They’re your responsibility now.

So, do you really want to own a Loft? Yes! And here’s why:

Equity

When you own your Loft, every payment that you make toward your mortgage principle (i.e. not an interest only payment) increases your equity (ownership stake) in your property. As a renter, your payment goes toward the property owner’s equity. You also gain equity when the fair market value of your Loft increases due to changes in the market, economic growth in your region, or shortages in housing due to increased demand. And, if you make useful improvements after you purchase your Loft, both your improvements and your principle payments may increase your equity.

Predictable payments

As property values and costs increase, rents go up. If you are not in a rent-controlled situation, you have no control over what your lease payment will be from year to year. When your current lease ends, you may find yourself priced out of your building or neighborhood. When you buy a Loft with a fixed-rate mortgage, particularly in an area that does not have association dues, your monthly and yearly outgo is steady and stable. Having predictable payments allows you to stick to your budget.

A place of your own

We teach our children to save up for that toy they want, and that teenager to work toward the cost of that first car because we know that the personal investment brings pride of ownership, increased responsibility, and appreciation for the cost and value of the object. When you buy your own Loft and have the responsibility of caring for it, you work toward keeping it in the best possible condition and presentation. When something is broken, you fix it. When it needs and upgrade, you save up for it. It becomes an extension of you and your dream for yourself and your family.

You also take more pride in how your Loft building appears to your neighbors. You know that if yours is the only uncut lawn, your standing in your neighborhood diminishes. Neighbors that work together to increase the curb appeal of the entire neighborhood have not just pride of ownership, but also a sense of belonging. Common improvements to the neighborhood raise the value of everyone’s property.

Loft ownership changes you. It grounds you to your community and connects you to your neighbors.




How to Sell for Full Price

10 Mar 2017 · by Virtual Results PubSub

How to Sell for Full PriceOften, Loftowners try to “test the market” with a higher than fair-market price when first listing their Loft. That can be a poor marketing strategy. When your agent tries to talk you out of it: Listen!

Setting “too high a price” will be too high a price for you to pay in the end.

Results from too high an initial price

Lowering your price after listing causes a chain-reaction in the marketplace that reduces the status of your listing. In the eyes of other agents that might bring buyers your way, a price reduction raises red flags. Here’s the short list:

  • You miss the critical first 14 days when buyers and agents are most interested in a new listing.
  • Other agents may dismiss you as an unreasonable seller that would be difficult to work with.
  • Your Loft can no longer compete with other new listings fresh on the market, particularly if they are more fairly priced for your market.
  • Buyers may think something is wrong with the Loft. They may press for more concessions, discounts or repairs, and upgrades.
  • Relisting your Loft at a new price is not really a new listing, so agents may simply dismiss it.

Price your Loft right the first time

We are professionals that know the market for your Loft. Let us help you price your Loft fairly from the start. When priced correctly, your marketing strategy works for you to sell your Loft as close to your asking price as possible.

Regardless of what you may believe about the value of your Loft, pricing it commiserate with five years in the past or five years into the future is to doom your Loft’s sale.

Current fair market value means: The price that an interested but not desperate Loftbuyer would be willing to pay and an interested but not desperate Loftseller would accept on the open market for your area and based on comparisons to Lofts in location, size, upgrades and amenities.

What if prices are going down?

If prices in your area are trending down when you choose to enter the market, you may want to set your price “under” the fair market value so that you’re not forced to lower your initial price and trigger the results listed above.

What if prices are going up?

You cannot anticipate the market, so if prices in your area seem to be going up you can choose the top end of the “fair” range. Do not overprice your Loft, however, since market trends are volatile and can shift just enough to place your Loft out of range. Remember that lenders operate slightly behind the market, so if your Loft is too high too soon, a buyer may not be able to obtain funding to buy it.

Increase the value, not the price

As professionals, we work with you to set the right price for your Loft and get the most for your Loft sale. Some ways to raise the initial fair-market-value of your Loft are:

  1. Make sure your Loft is in the best condition possible: make repairs, simple upgrades (e.g., light fixtures, faucets), and clean, clean, clean.
  2. Neutralize deep paint colors and strong faux finishes. This doesn’t mean to paint everything white, but a modern neutral such as café au lait, warm gray or deep cream sets a canvass for Loftbuyers to visualize their own furnishing in.
  3. Depersonalize your Loft: buyers want to see themselves in the Loft, not the former owners. Remove family photos, trophies, school banners, children’s artwork and other giveaways that might hinder a buyer’s vision for his new Loft. Make sure none of your personal information is visible: hide bills, letters, cards and other items with your name.
  4. Clear clutter and simplify furnishings: As we live in our space, we tend to add, but rarely take away. An extra bookshelf or side table fits our needs, so we ignore that it crowds our space a little. When buyers enter a furnished Loft, crowded spaces can make the Loft appear too small. Clutter, even decorative clutter, can obscure a Loft’s assets such as architectural detail, higher ceilings and beautiful wood trim.

Setting the right price

We can help you set the right price the first time, so call us and we’ll get started today.




Caravan Express

4 Aug 2014 · by ChrisSampaio

Today our monthly Caravan Express AD came out. The Caravan Express is a weekly publication by the CLAW MLS and is distributed to all Real Estate offices that are members. All Loftway LOFTS and Listing are showcased there. Make sure to check a copy. You can download one here IMG_5735