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Mobile Real Estate Search 0 Post a comment

More consumers are going digital to look for their needs. Many real estate agents are aware of this, yet still continue to find clients by traditional means: referrals, agencies, classified advertisements and yard sale signs. These days, consumers no longer cruise potential neighborhoods on Sunday afternoons to leisurely stroll through open houses. 100% of customers cruise the listings online instead. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 9 out of 10 home buyers use the internet as their primary resource. They perform an average of 11 searches before they even approach a realtor.

In 2011, real estate searches via Google grew over 22% — an experienced a 120% growth from 2011 to 2012. Coupled with the gains recovery the housing market is experiencing, this means that once potential home owners decide they want to buy they often go online first. Of the homebuyers who go online, 90% of these go online with their smart phones or tablets.

MOBILE-FRIENDLY WEBSITES

Realtors and agents looking to engage with potential buyers online before they even pick up the phone. This means their listings should show in search results, a focus in consumer-oriented marketing and mobile-friendly websites should be a priority. Nothing turns off a potential buyer more than a website without a mobile version. They are forced to navigate through slow loading pictures and tiny text. Invest in a small website revamp that allows for friendlier loading times, better pictures and better text.

BETTER PICTURES AND VIDEOS

Access to high speed Internet has also changed the way buyers browse websites. Terrible, badly-lit photographs do your listing more harm than good. Savvy consumers now look for good-quality photos and even videos that accompany standard listings. Many realtors take advantage of this awareness by uploading not just photos and video, but directions, maps and schedules for open house viewings. This means that your website does half the work, bringing customers to the agent. Customers that are already invested, interested and willing to buy.

USING PAID SEARCHES AND SEO

Tailoring your website for local and national search results can help your potential buyers find your listings without jumping through hoops. The NAR study shows that many buyers browse through local listings first. They use terms such as “Indiana two bedroom” when searching for new homes. They tend to include their specifics in the search terms i.e. “foreclosure”, “apartment”, “near CBD” to help aid searches. Later on, their searches become more specific as they slowly figure out what they want. This often includes adding amenities i.e. fireplaces. Determine the type of searches popular for your area and tailor your listings accordingly. Take advantage of large website directories that list your specialties.

Neglecting the mobile website is a mistake you don’t want to make. Your market is glued to their phones. Get your content across by tailoring to their needs, and watch your sales soar.

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Where can I start with my Condo Finish? 0 Post a comment

The decision is set, get yourself a Condo!  You then walk in the door and you are instantly presented with a list of materials, color pallets, and possible upgrades.  What kind of flooring do I want?  Which light fixtures will work best?  What kind of appliances?  You then take a quick breather to check the total amount presented in dollar signs.  Upgrades good enough?  You then ask yourself one final question before saying the magic ‘yes’ to the seller, “Are all these upgrades going to make the difference?”

As a tip, not all upgrades are worth the money you pay for them.  But, some upgrades from the standard features will make a huge impact in the overall look and feel of a condo and not to mention, increase the resale value.  Doing diligent research will guide you to choose wisely from all of the selections presented.

Often, people start by choosing the color and then match everything to it.  Not a bad idea, but it is better to choose a color last to complement other permanent selections such as cabinetry, flooring, and counter tops.  As a suggestion, it is good to start with the flooring and the cabinetry.  Condos have smaller spaces than houses and keeping the flooring consistent throughout the home will have a finer visual flow and a feeling of a wider space.

After you have finalized all the add-ons and upgrades, the next thing you have to consider is resale value.  Stainless steel, granite countertops and hardwood flooring are all elements that buyers are attracted to and smart upgrades to invest in making sure that your personal selections appeal to a broad range of styles and personal tastes.  As a tip, spend about 5% of your total budget on upgrades in order for you to maximize your return on investment.

If you are a bit hesitant, consider hiring professional help.  They have the eye for details, colors, arrangements, and for other key elements that work well in particular areas.  This decision may actually help you save money if you are undecided  about all the options presented to you and help you understand what upgrades will increase the value of your condo.  A designer who is familiar with the builder’s finishes is the best person to ask which upgrades, options or finishes will bring out an outstanding look and feel for the lowest possible cost.

Whether you’re looking for a finished condo or one that you can put the finishing touches on…Haury & Smith Contractors is here to help with your needs!

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Testimonial from a Morningside Homeowner 0 Post a comment

Whether you are a newcomer to Tennessee, a resident for many years, or a native Tennessean, you will find a welcoming community at the Villages of Morningside in Franklin, Tennessee.   As a newcomer to this area, but a resident of Nashville for many years, we have come to love and appreciate our home on Sunrise Circle.  The beautiful landscaping and quality care of our grounds, the condo floor plan that lends itself to easier down-sizing, and the wonderful community of friends and neighbors are all welcoming gifts for the aging or busy senior as well as younger ones who are looking for a more convenient life style.  Come join us at the Villages of Morningside.
Marshall and Thelma Helm

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New Home Design Trends 0 Post a comment

Annually, The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) conducts their Best in American Living Awards (BALA). This award is open to all home builders and design professionals and the thrust is that good design “is not and should not be limited to high-priced and custom homes.”

NAHB then uses these awards inorder to look for emerging trends for new home designs. For 2012, the design jurors have determined 8 design trends that will have an impact on home designs now and progressing into the future.

Speaking about these trends, the International Builders Show held in February in Orlando, FL, BALA jurors took note that new home designs are significantly better now comparing them to a few years back.Unlike the past few years in which homes are built then quickly sold, it is the current situation of competing companies or individuals that are compelling home builders to build a better and improved home design.

Here are some points on the new design trends:

Design trend #1 – Outdoor spaces as an extension of living space

Whether it is a house for a single family or a living complex, homebuyers are constantly looking for open outdoor spaces that blend seamlessly with their indoor living spaces.

Design trend #2 – Contemporary, with a retro feel

A new home that incorporates new and modern designs with traditional components creates clean and simpler elevations. Currently, these homes hold strong sales in the market. Major characteristics of these new homes are bright, simple and clean.

Design trend #3 – The Family Angle

Traditionally, open floor plans are limited to specific buyer profiles and geographic regions. Now, open floor plans are highly regarded throughout the country and almost every market segment in the home building industry. For example, the conventional living room is now a flexible space that can be used in any occasion or function according to what the family needs it to be exactly. In a sense, it can be assembled and disassembled to cater to any occasion or function.

These new open plans maximize the use of light and specific details to give the home owner and guests a feeling of roominess in the area rather than it being simply large.

Nashville’s Haury& Smith Contractors are progressively staying atop of the trends when designing some of Nashville’s best homes and condos. Give us a call today and schedule a tour of one of our communities.

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Customer Testimonial – Don & Marcia White 0 Post a comment

When we decided to build our home we obtained bids from four contractors. As we went through the interviewing process, we became very comfortable with the staff at Haury & Smith.  They asked a lot of questions and gave us some much needed advice.  I also liked the fact that they “did it all” from start to finish – from architectural design to construction.  They were not the least expensive bid, but I believe you get what you pay for, and for us we definitely received a great value from Haury & Smith.  First Class from top to bottom.

Marcia & Don White

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Bob’s Tip for August: Maintain and clean your HVAC condensate drain pipes 0 Post a comment

Many homeowners are not aware that their HVAC unit can become a source of water damage to their home, especially if their unit is inside the house or attic.  The HVAC condensate line can become blocked, causing water to back up into the unit and overflow. This can be easily avoided if the unit is properly maintained.

Most drain pipes for HVAC systems are made out of PVC.  Locate the condenser unit inside your home, and you will see one or two PVC pipes exiting the system.  A short section of PVC will point upright and may be open or capped.

Before doing this maintenance, turn off your unit.  Take the cap off the PVC pipe.  For the best and safest results, dilute 1 part bleach with 1 part warm water.  Using a funnel, pour the mixture in the PVC vent pipe.  Capture the mixture when it exits the pipe outside to avoid contaminating your yard or the surroundings.  To avoid any pooling of the bleach mixture along the line, follow the bleach mixture with a gallon of warm water about an hour after the initial application.

This application should not be necessary more than twice each summer.  Performing this maintenance more could damage the condensate line.

This video shows the basics of how to do the above maintenance.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x93Ag1dtgsQ

If your condensate drain line is clogged, the following video shows one way that you can clean it out using a wet/dry vacuum.  (Note:  You can create your own vacuum attachment without having to purchase the one advertised in this video.  This is for information purposes only.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyvPR7yMqbk

If you are uncomfortable doing this yourself, please call an HVAC technician to help.

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Home Sales UP in Nashville 0 Post a comment

July was a great month for home sales in Nashville.  With the low interest rates and the housing market improving, there’s no better time to buy.

See the article from the Tennessean.
http://www.tennessean.com/article/20120809/BUSINESS/308090087/Middle-TN-home-sales-surge-27-July

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Mortgage rates new low – check out these articles 0 Post a comment

Check out these articles about the low interest rates for mortgages.
Now is the time to buy!

http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/housing/story/2012-05-17/mortgage-rates-new-low/55035264/1

http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20120724-714517.html

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Consumers Beware: Home Remodelling Disasters 0 Post a comment

It’s no secret to the general home owner that there are both good and bad contractors working in the industry. This is an overly stated fact. Home remodelling clients find themselves in big trouble with their projects when they do not know any specific background of the contractors either from published media, be it online or offline or getting some feedback with some previous clients whom they have worked with. This is a major ordeal to home owners – The lack of knowledge of the background and the much needed education on their part as well.
According to the Consumer Federation of America, the home improvement industry is ranked to be one of the top enterprises that are flagged for customer dissatisfaction and fraud. Other organizations such as The National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators and the North American Consumer Protection Investigators say that this has been a trend for over a decade.

The responsibility of doing the necessary research and background checks on the potential contractor falls squarely to the homeowner. This is the key in finding the best suited home remodelling contractor for the specific job a customer may have.

As Nashville’s oldest locally owned home builder, Haury and Smith Contractors, we have seen our fair share of these incidents.

To avoid these unpleasant experiences, the following are the top 5 mistakes homeowners make when they begin their search for a contractor:

1. The homeowner checks the license and a few references and makes their choice without having to check other available contractors.

- This formality is necessary but tells consumers nothing about the contractor and their business ethics.

2. Clients quickly trust the contractor and signsa binding contract.

Trust is not given away freely and must be earned.

3. The Homeowner fails to do all the background research.

To avoid all the troubles, a homeowner must have the initiative to find out more about the contractor before signing a contract. Doing this gives the home owner confidence in hiring a contractor.

4. All oral agreements must be honored as a part of the deal.

This is a situation to avoid, have everything written in the contract as part of the project scope and specifications. If it is not written, it will likely not get done.

5. Gives the contractor a large sum of money upfront to start the project.

Some states have down payment limits, others don’t. Putting down a limited amount to start the project and having a tight payment schedule puts the homeowner in control of their money and not at the whims of a contractor. This is a common scenario heard from homeowners that are conned by these underperforming contractors.

To wrap things up, it is highly advised that homeowners should research more on their prospect contractors before hiring one. Getting relevant information will save you many troubles and in the long run it will save you time, money, and energy for your home remodelling projects.

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Things to Consider before Moving in to Condos in Nashville, TN and Other Cities 0 Post a comment

Thousands of families have lost their homes to foreclosure in the recent economic crisis. At that time, people sought alternatives to traditional housing models in and out of the city. Many people prefer the relatively relaxing suburbs while others see the logic in maintaining their own place within easy reach of city centers.
Continue reading

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