Happy June!

summerWell June is finally here in the South Jersey area and it seems and certainly feels like we went from Winter to Summer – What happened to Spring?

Spring always represents new beginnings and makes you think of the arrivals of little ones from the Storkstorklol, Spring Cleaning springcleaning

AND……..House HuntinghousehuntingYes, Buyers looking to Buy & Sellers anxious or sticking to their guns about Selling however, still want to get to the Closing Table. That time has arrived. Sure we look for homes all year around with a break on the holidays however, Spring represents renewalrenewal and starting over so everyone is on a mission to make it happen around that time. It’s a great feeling as an agent to help my Buyers find the home of their dreams. It’s all About You & what you are looking for. 

If I can be of Service, please respond to this post or email me at sbhardy@kw.com.

 

HAVE YOU BEEN NAMED EXECUTOR OF YOUR LOVED ONE’S ESTATE?

IMG_20180527_140412I was. It was a lot of work emotionally, mentally and physically. My sister and I were named Executor- well Executrix since I am a woman and my sister was named Executrix also, if for some reason I was unable to carry out the duties involved.

I lived in Jersey and my sister lived in New York at the time. My uncle’s Estate was in Seattle, Washington. That’s a five hour flight from LaGuardia JFK airport. Unfortunately, I wasn’t driving at the time and our brother, John came with us for ease of transportation.

I hadn’t been to Seattle since I was 14 when I visited for the first time with my mom, Vera. We visited My Aunt Ryoko and their dog, Jero Son. Jero Son means Harold, Jr. according to my Aunt because they didn’t have any children. Lol. I always thought that was so cute because my uncle was always annoyed with the dog barking and my aunt Ryoko (we lovingly call her Yoko), would make such a fuss because that was her “baby”. My aunt passed away in 2004 and my uncle kept the dogs they had at that time in remembrance of my aunt. They became very close over the years. By the time we arrived to visit my uncle, Chewy was pretty much in charge. I had to straighten him out while we were there and remind him who was the boss….. ME! Lol.

Fast forward to February 2014 and we visited my uncle a few months earlier and he too passed in February, actually one day before my birthday of that year. We had to fly to Seattle. The lawyer who was handling my uncle’s papers wouldn’t tell me anything until after he called the hospital and confirmed that my uncle was deceased. He then phoned me to get my contact information and extended his services to us to handle what needed to be handled. I looked over the paperwork and my sister and I decided not to hire my uncle’s attorney to do anything for us because we felt he overcharged my uncle every chance he got and we weren’t going to let him take advantage of us. Seattle has a great website to assist you through the process. We found another attorney to consult and he was excellent.

This was my first time ever going through a process like this and my uncle had a lot of paperwork to get through. It got emotional between my sister and I with whether or not to list the home for sale. Being a Realtor and not from the area, I considered very strongly just selling it to an investor and moving on. After discussing it with my sister we decided to put the home on the market. My uncle’s neighbor had a friend who was a Realtor. We listed the home with her. The home sold for $10k Over asking price. We were very pleased. A decision we were very happy we made.

This was a very emotional experience for all of us and we hit a few bumps in the road along the way. There were some highly emotional moments that could have turned out very ugly. Since my sister and I are close, we knew that uncle would not be pleased so we worked it out and came through the experience with our relationship still intact. Whew!

Would I do it again? I hope I am not given that task anytime soon. It was very stressful. If you are ever appointed Executor/Executrix of a family member’s estate, go into the situation with a clear mind and clear emotions. Keep Love at the forefront and you shouldn’t go wrong.

I share this experience in remembrance of my uncle, Harold J. Hardy this Memorial Day.

Love will keep it together~~~~

If I can be of Service, please email me at sbhardy@kw.com. IMG220

 

HOW IS YOUR CREDIT?

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The Homebuying Season is upon us and I know most Buyers may want to go Looking at Houses because you feel that’s the best way to start the Home Buying Process. However, I would like to suggest that the first thing you do is to ask yourself, “How’s my Credit?”

This is the best way to begin the Home Buying Process because when you know what your credit looks like and if you have any issues or challenges that you need to handle, you can just right in and get those issues handled. The next stop is a mortgage rep to do at least a pre-qualification letter so you will KNOW what you are eligible for. NOW – you’re ready to talk to your Realtor or real estate agent because your agent has a definitive number to search for properties for your budget. Now all you have to do is let your agent know where you want to live, how many bedrooms and bathrooms your family will need, if you want a basement, etc.

Imagine for a moment you didn’t do any of the above and you went around looking for homes with your family and you found a beautiful 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath, full basement, kitchen with stainless steel countertops, laundry room fully loaded. You call an agent on the fly and ask to see the house from the Inside and the agent asks you, “How much do you qualify for?” You ask the agent why is that important and the agent says, “I just showed that house to my buyers and it cost $190,000. “Do you have a pre-qualification for that amount?” You answer no you’re just looking and wanted to get into the home. The agent then tells you that the Buyers that she just took to see the home are qualified to purchase and are putting in an offer – Today! That just took the air out of your sails. Ouch!

Next Stop – Mortgage Rep so that won’t happen to you and your family again. 

If I can be of assistance, please respond to this post or email me at sbhardy@kw.com.

To Your New Home,

You may be Deserving of a home however are you Prepared for home ownership?

deserveI was having a conversation about home ownership with a past client who stated that the person deserved a home. That’s a beautiful thing and it got me to thinking well, just because that person is deserving are they prepared for home ownership. I immediately thought about both words – Deserve & Prepared.  According to dictionary.com, deserve means to be qualified for because of actions. Prepare means to put in proper condition or readiness. So as it turns out both words/verbs (according to dictionary.com), mean the same thing – to be deserving you also need to be qualified for what is deserved. So now the question becomes are you prepared to be a homeowner? You have decide.

I’d like to share my Story about Deserving. I purchased my home in July 2015. I didn’t move in until October. Why? To be perfectly honest, I didn’t think I deserved to have a home. Huh? Yes. That was my mindset at the time. How did I solve that issue within myself? I had a nice little conversation with me and said, “What is wrong with you? You have a home. Pack your s*** and move into your new home. I did just that and never looked back. It’s amazing the chatter that goes on in our heads sometimes. We really have to take control and silence the chatter. If you don’t, it can stop you from achieving your goals and dreams.

If I can be of assistance in your home search journey, please respond to this blog post or email me at sbhardy@kw.com. Believe me, I know how you feel if you’ve felt that you didn’t deserve it.

To Your New Home,

A Little Respect, Please!

downloadYou Remember that old song from Aretha Franklin – R-E-S-P-E-C-T… Well, let’s treat each other with Respect when working with your Realtor, real estate agent or anyone else you’re doing business with.

When you’re working with a real estate agent or Realtor, please keep in mind that when you do not get back to them and let them know what’s going on it’s very frustrating and down right rude~~Sorry to be so blunt but that’s the way it is. I realize that Life gets in the way, situations change, conditions change, feelings change, and that’s all ok. Please reach out to your real estate agent or Realtor and let them know. Even if you don’t do that right away because Life gets in the way at least when they call you answer the phone and let them know don’t just ignore them repeatedly.

This is how many full-time Realtors and real estate agents put food on the table – our connection with our clients – Renters, Buyers and Sellers. If we don’t hear from you, we are unable to help you which means we cannot create a paycheck for ourselves. Now, I get it – it’s not about us – it’s about you however, common courtesy is called for. All we’re asking is are we still moving forward and if not – it’s ok – just let me know.  We can always work together at a later date. A little courtesy goes a long way. I pride myself on treating others the way I want to be treated. downloadKeep that in mind the next time your Realtor or real estate agent calls. Thank you.

If I can be of assistance, please email me at sbhardy@kw.com.

Has Spring Sprung Yet?

Well, it certainly doesn’t feel like with the weather below 70 and we’re well into April. Ugh! marchHere it is April 17th and I don’t know about you but I still feel a chill that in my humble opinion, should be gone and we should be wearing lighter jackets. Anyway, I digress. As we wait for Spring to actually get here, let’s talk about Spring cleaning. This is a great time to get some Spring cleaning done to welcome the change of the guard so to speak. Also, if you’re thinking about Selling — take some inventory and see what you really don’t need. We tend to accumulate lots of stuff over the winter and this is the perfect time to de-clutter. Just in case it may cross your mind to get an value proposition on your home to get a glimpse of what it may yield on the open market – The Multiple Listing Service – that is. Getting ahead of Buyers by clearing spaces, making the yard pretty, shining up the door, doorknobs, etc., is a great way to attract buyers who may have thought about wanting a home like yours but nothing really grabbed their attention. You can make some changes in their mind by sprucing up a few things and it won’t take up too much of your time. You’d be surprised at how a little elbow grease can go a long way. Can you say, Closing date? If you would like some ideas on what to do get your home in ready to sell mode, please email me at sbhardy@kw.com or call 609-484-9890 x144. It would be a pleasure to have that conversation with you.

Happy Spring Cleaning!

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