Beyond Monopoly: board games about real estate

Various board games and many figurines background

Buying and selling real estate isn’t a game… or is it? For most people, buying a property is serious business, as well it should be.

Who knew 10 years ago that we’d all be watching popular TV shows about house hunting and flipping and remodeling! Turns out it is also possible to enjoy the hunt and acquisition of real estate in a board game too. It is always easier to take risks with funny money anyway, right?!

Whether you are starting the house buying process or are settling into a new home, here are a few board games you can break out to “play” at real estate:

For Sale: So you always wanted to be a realtor, huh? Here is a quick fun game about buying and selling houses. Bid for all sorts of houses from a hut to a mansion, and in the second half, sell them at a profit!

Acquire: This game isn’t about buying a house, but becoming a real estate mogul! Control the most real estate and hold the best stocks… and you could win.

Castles of Mad King Ludwig: You can make the castle of your dreams… if you like your throne room next to the stables next to the meat locker. Follow the unusual rules to get the most points for your unique castle!

Machi Koro: You build up a city by acquiring cards that represent different types of buildings, from farms to flower shops to an airport! First one to finish the major buildings for their city wins! It all depends on the roll of the dice.

When you are ready to commit to buying a real house – with a game room for all these new board games – call Jackie Ellis!

 

 

Jackie Ellis’ Pie Day Giveaway 2016!

It’s that time of year again! Jackie Ellis is Giving Away FREE Thanksgiving Pies to our valued clients and our local community!

We will be giving out the pies in the Keller Williams Office Parking Lot on Saturday, November 19! Be sure to register today!

All you need to do is register below…now the hardest decision you will have to make is Pumpkin or Apple!

pumpkinorapple

 

 

 

 
We ask that you fill the form out completely and correctly. We will need correct contact information so we can stay in touch with you about the event!

Jackie Ellis Home Selling Programs: “Love it or List it”

screen-shot-2016-05-17-at-6-00-25-pmAt The Jackie Ellis Team, we understand that your investment in real estate is one of the most important lifetime financial investments you will ever make.  With that in mind, our Buyer Guarantee or “Love it or List it” program is sufficiently designed to give you some much needed peace of mind during the home buying process.  Our “Love it or List it” reality programming is tailored to meet our client’s needs, guaranteeing incomparable satisfaction.  So, what does this program consist of, exactly?  A 10 year selling discount!

That’s right!  Our 10 year selling discount is a generous offer, but one that we have not taken lightly.  You may be thinking, “Okay, so what’s the catch?”  Well, there is none!  We make this generous offer to all of our clients because we are so confident that our team of handpicked professionals is dedicated to finding the “perfect home” for you.  And if your home is not everything you expected, or if circumstances, such as job change or job loss does occur, you’re still covered.

Here are the details…..

The First 6 Months after Closing:  Should something happen within the first six months of purchasing your new home, we will sell it for FREE!  Of course, “FREE” can only be applied to the seller side of the commission.  The buyer’s agent will expect their share of the commission.  It is also applied after any other costs such as referral fees.

6 Month to 2 Years after Closing:  If something happens during the first 2 years, we will sell your home for a .3% reduction of the selling side of the commission.  Simply ask your agent for a full outline of our commission structure for complete details.

2 Years to 10 Years after Closing:  Even after 10 years, we will sell your home for a .2% reduction of the selling side commission. This is our unwavering guarantee!

We know there are not many real estate teams with the level of dedication and commitment that The Jackie Ellis Team has for our clients.  We truly want the best for our customers!  To hear more about our “Love it or List it” program, call 561-965-1225 or visit us at www.JackieEllis.com.

Jackie Ellis Featured Programs: Builder Trade-In

btipIt’s undeniable that part of living the American dream is trading up, no matter the commodity.  Exchanging cars, motorcycles, boats and, yes, even houses is what continuously makes “the market go around” in the good ol’ U.S. of A!  We’ve all been there, “This is my dream home, and I will never want to move!”  Fast forward two, five, or even ten years, and the story may slightly change.   Evolving lifestyles, changing careers, and growing families always come in to play.  This is where we come in!  When your “once upon a time dream home” no longer fits your needs, you’ll be relieved to hear about The Jackie Ellis Team’s Builder Trade-In Program.

So, you may have to eat your words, but we’ve all been there.   Maybe you’ve decided that a new construction home is the only way that you will be able to get everything you need out of a home.  There’s something to be said for being able to select all of the details and customize your living space to best fit your personal needs.  The Builder Trade-In Program is designed for clients exactly like you.  The Jackie Ellis Team can help you get into your new, upgraded home, all the while helping you sell your old home.

Our team has developed relationships with local builders so that we are able to provide discounts to you for selling your home so that upgrading to a new construction home is simple and uncomplicated.  If you’re concerned because you’ve never worked with a new home builder before, there’s no need to worry.  We have plenty of experience, and we will be there to assist  you each step of the way.

To hear more about our Builder Trade-In Program, call 561-965-1225 or visit us at www.JackieEllis.com.  We look forward to working with you to help you realize all of your real estate dreams!

Jackie Ellis Featured Programs: Hassle Free Home Selling Program

sellinghasslefreeWith the Jackie Ellis Hassle Free Home Selling Program, the biggest advantage to our clients is simple; reduced stress!  This plan is based on three components: Cancel at any time, be free of all advance fees, and agent presentations with “no pressure” attitudes.

Cancel Any Time:  That’s right!  If you’re not happy, at any time, for any reason, you can walk away.  If you don’t feel that we are working for you, you have every right to cancel your contract with us and move on.  But we are certain this won’t be the case.  That’s how committed we are to your real estate goals.  We work harder than most to prove our loyalty and keep our promise to you.  We guarantee a professional working relationship with all of our clients, and this is what keeps them with us and coming back time after time…..not a binding contract.

No Advance Fees:   We, here at The Jackie Ellis Team, will never ask you to pay any advance fees.  Buyer’s agents will never require a “retainer fee” to help you find your dream home.  Likewise, as selling agents, we would never consider asking you to pay any costs or commissions up front.  Any and all fees associated with the marketing and selling of your home will be covered by our team.  We don’t get paid until the transaction has closed!

“No Pressure” Presentations:  We love sharing our proven track record with anyone who will listen.  That’s because we are truly passionate about what we do.  Needless to say, we are enthusiastic about our unique selling tools for sellers as well as our exciting opportunities and programs for buyers.  Developing and perfecting these strategies over time, we enjoy sharing our knowledge and success with potential clients in a relaxed and casual environment with the highest respect and regard for you.  High pressure sales tactics just aren’t our style!

For more information on our programs, specifically designed with you in mind, call 561-965-1225 or visit us at www.JackieEllis.com.

9 Common Real Estate Myths, Debunked

Facts Key Showing True Information And Data

If we aren’t the expert in real estate, chances are pretty high that our brother’s friend or cousin’s boss is!  So who needs an agent to buy or sell?  We can figure it out on our own or with a little help from our friends and save a ton of money.  Wait a minute! Not so fast! When it comes to real estate, most of us should probably defer to the professionals who have years of training and experience. If you’ve bought into any of the myths we’re about to cover, you may want to think twice before you try to “go it alone” on your next venture.

  • Myth # 1: When pricing your home, go a little higher to leave room for negotiation.

Often times, this backfires on the seller.  Agents and homebuyers tend to stray away from homes priced above market, and this can leave your house sitting with the sale sign in the yard.  Beware sellers! Buyers often become leery of homes that sit on the market too long.

  • Myth # 2: Buyers can get a better price without using a buyer’s agent.

This is a myth that is, very simply, false.  The agent’s commission is paid by the seller.  If the home is listed through an agent, and the buyer doesn’t use an agent, the listing agent receives the entire commission.  Furthermore, a buyer’s agent is priceless and can help the buyer avoid drastic mistakes and pitfalls.

  • Myth # 3: Selling your home without an agent will save you money.

It’s true that some people can successfully sell their own home.  But there are some serious issues that must be dealt with such as putting the home on the MLS, listing it online, marketing the home properly, and negotiating contracts.  Let’s not forget, when you list your home “For Sale by Owner,” the buyers always expect a good deal!

  • Myth # 4: The real estate market will only go up!

It seems that sellers and buyers alike tend to forget the ups AND downs of the market.  The old saying, “what goes up must come down,” is in order here.  Real estate prices DO fall, and the fall can be quite considerable.

  • Myth # 5: Update your kitchen and bathrooms before listing.

Everyone thinks these two rooms should be renovated.  Not necessarily true!  Buyers may not have the same taste, and they feel that the price is reflecting the recent upgrades.  It would be best for everyone to adjust the price accordingly.

  • Myth # 6: You will make your money back on the renovations you complete.

Major renovations will certainly sell your home more quickly, but the simple truth is that you probably won’t recoup your cost.  Sometimes, it’s a necessity, but don’t expect to get all of your money back.

  • Myth # 7: All properties listed on the MLS will show up online.

Not true!  This is your agent’s job.  Make sure you are on the same page and that he or she has your home showing up on the World Wide Web.

  • Myth # 8: Having an Open House will sell your property.

Rarely does an Open House result in a contract on the property that is being shown.  However, what is most helpful is an Open House specifically for brokers in your area.

  • Myth # 9: The agent showing or listing your home represents your best interest.

Definitely not always true.  In certain states, a client does have the option of signing a contract for the agent to represent him/her as a listing or buyer’s agent. Before choosing an agent to work with you, be sure to weigh your options and do your own research.

As always, we know you have a choice when it comes to real estate.  We are here to serve you!  Contact us here at the Jackie Ellis Team.  Call 561-965-1225 or visit us at www.JackieEllis.com.

Stinky Homes Equal Stinky Home Prices

Young man closing nosa against stinky smellSo, you’re ready to list your home?  There’s no doubt, you have a huge “to do” list in preparation for the upcoming parade of picky perceptive prospects to come waltzing through your door to inspect every last nook and cranny.  It’s for certain, every inch of your home will be noticed, but there’s one very important detail that can’t be seen that you will want to pay close attention to; the smell of your home.

Every home seems to have a unique aroma all its own, and the people who live there seem to be acutely unaware.  This is the reason many people don’t even think about the smell when they are readying their home for the market.  Strong odors, even those that are thought to be pleasant, can be offensive to your guests.  When these guests are looking at your home to consider purchasing it, these objectionable odors can actually have a negative impact on your negotiations. That’s right!  A stinky home can lower the value of your home in the eyes (or the nose) of the beholder.  To avoid this downfall, consider the following tips to get your home in “sniff-proof” shape!

  1. Air it out!  Nothing works better to free your home of unwanted odors than a dose of old fashioned fresh air.  As much as possible, open the windows and doors and let nature do the work.
  2. Stop smoking! If you or any family members smoke, do not smoke indoors.  Smoke is one of the smells that many people, especially non-smokers, react very negatively to.
  3. Groom the pets! We all love our furry little family members, and some of the odors that we have become accustomed to don’t bother us.  This is not true for visitors.  Pet odors should be alleviated by keeping pets bathed and pet areas clean and disinfected.  Sometimes, it is easier to do this by keeping the pets limited to one area of the home while your house is listed.
  4. Paint the walls! Walls tend to hold odors in the home.  A fresh coat of paint goes a long way in eliminating stale odors of smoke, food and pets.  It’s also great for staging!  Don’t forget to stay with a neutral shade.
  5. Clean the carpets! A professional carpet cleaner can treat spots, deodorize, and have your carpets looking better in no time.  This is also an inexpensive way to enhance the overall look of your home.
  6. Stop cooking! Well, let’s not go overboard.  Don’t completely stop cooking.  However, it is a good rule of thumb to keep your home in “show-ready” condition.  This includes odors, so stay away from strong odors like fish, bacon, onions and garlic.
  7. Don’t overdo on air fresheners and candles! Sometimes “more” is too much!  Strong odors from candles and sprays can be overwhelming and just as offensive as bad odors.  A lightly scented apple pie candle or a little lavender oil in a diffuser may be just right.
  8. Keep it clean! Keeping your home clean, dusted, swept and mopped while showing it is half the battle.  A home that is cleaned often will smell more pleasant and will look better too.

For more information on preparing your home for the real estate market, contact us here at the Jackie Ellis Team.  Call 561-965-1225 or visit us at www.JackieEllis.com.

Average Summer Temperatures

Straw hat, bag and sun glasses  on a tropical beach

Palm Beach County has some of the most beautiful year-round weather than any other tropical destination in the United States.  While the summer months are a little hotter than fall, winter, and spring, the hottest temperatures do not last that long.  And with the ocean breeze and amazing views we have here in Palm Beach County, there really isn’t too much to complain about….not even during the warmest months!

On average, temperatures reach 90 degrees in July and August, up from an average of 88 degrees in June and September.  Of course, humidity can change the way 90 degrees feels, especially with the scattered showers which are common throughout summer.  Spending more time in the swimming pool or playing in the ocean waves is the perfect solution to this “problem.”

If you’d rather not be outdoors during the heat of the day, no sweat!  Morning and evening temperatures are pleasant with average lows at 74 degrees in June and 76 degrees in July.  If you do want to be out and about in the heat but would rather opt for cooler activities, it would be the perfect time to visit the many museums and cultural centers our area has to offer.

And, if you’re in the market for a new home or would like to consult with us regarding listing your current home, there has never been a better time!  Contact us here at the Jackie Ellis Team. Call 561-965-1225 or visit www.JackieEllis.com.

Declutter Your Life with These 9 Steps

close up of file folder

Do you find it easier to focus and accomplish your daily “to do” list when your space is clean and organized? If you answered “yes” to this question, you are not alone. Studies show that most of us are more productive and are better able to focus when we cut the clutter out of our home and out of our lives. To declutter your work or living space, try this 9 step process:

  1. Make a Plan: As the old saying goes, “Plan your work, and work your plan.” In other words, write it all down and set goals. Once you’ve got it all down on paper, it’s time to implement the program. You’ll want to include the steps below in your process.
  2. Schedule Decluttering Sessions: Getting it all on paper is the easy part! In order to actually get the work done, you will need to set aside specific time to work. It’s amazing how much you can get done by just setting aside one hour per day.
  3. A Place for Everything, and Everything in its Place: Your detailed plan should include all the ways you want to organize your belongings. Making sure that every item you own has a specific place to be stored will keep you organized in the future.
  4. Room by Room: Be very organized and systematic with your plan.   Commit to doing one room at a time from start to finish. You’ll learn a lot about the process by completing the first room, and you will be able to see your progress. This will also keep you motivated!
  5. Use the 4-Box Method: Four cardboard boxes will keep you organized. Label them “KEEP,” “DONATE,” “TRASH,” and “STORAGE.” This system helps with the decision making process as well as with organization. Once everything is put into the prospective boxes, half the battle is over!
  6. Purchase Inexpensive Shelving: This is a life saver when it comes to having a place for everything. To further enhance the organization of your belongings, painting the back of the shelving in a dark or contrasting color makes it easier to find items.
  7. Invest in Inexpensive Storage Cubes, Tubs, and Boxes: Simple storage solutions are available everywhere today. These little designer cubes and boxes even add some flare, texture, and color to your room. Again, if you want a place for everything, this is the way to go.
  8. Dividers in Drawers: Dividing the space in your drawers will help you with keeping small items in place. Dividers work well in kitchen and bathroom drawers as well as in your nightstand and living room side-table drawers.
  9. Labels: Use labels where you are able to. You wouldn’t want to stick labels on your nice living room furniture, but cute labels on storage cubes and shelving can come in handy. Even if just temporary, putting labels up will help everyone in the family become accustomed to the new system.

Implementing this 9 step process will have you well on your way to a more organized way of living. Your home or office will look great, and you will be sharp and focused! And when you’re ready to put your home on the market, your decluttering will already be done. As always, we are here to help you with all of your real estate needs. Don’t hesitate to contact us here at the Jackie Ellis Team. Call 561-965-1225 or visit www.JackieEllis.com.

Remodeling Projects That Pay Off

RemodelingReturnGraphicPreparing your home for the real estate market can be grueling and stressful.  Trying to decide which upgrades or remodeling projects to tackle before listing is, sometimes, a seller’s worst nightmare.  But have no fear!  We have made it simple for you.  Well, actually, the good folks at Remodeling Magazine have made it easy for all of us.  In their “2016 Cost vs Value Report,” they have laid out the research in an easy-to-read format.  The bottom line is, of course, the bottom line.  That is, which remodeling projects are more likely to pay off?  Even better news:  This report is geared, specifically, toward the state of Florida and the southeastern United States.

The Top 10

  1. Attic Insulation – 116.9% return

This is a “no brainer” for the hot southern and tropical states like Florida.  With an average cost of $1,268, the resale value is $1,482.

  1. Manufactured Stone Veneer – 92.9% return

A good way to improve the exterior of an outdated home, the average cost of this remodel is $7,519, with a resale value of $6,988.

  1. New Garage Door – 91.5% return

This easy project has a job cost of about $1,652 and a resale value of $1,512.

  1. New Entry Door (Steel) – 91.1% return

A new front entry door can make a big difference when it comes to curb appeal.  For a cost of about $1,335, you can recoup about $1,217.

  1. Minor Kitchen Remodel – 83.1% return

The key word here is “minor.”  A minor kitchen repair with a cost of $20,122 has a resale value of $16,716.

  1. New Entry Door (Fiberglass) – 82.3% return

With a higher job cost than the steel entry door, the fiberglass door costs $3,126 and comes with a resale value of $2,574.

  1. Replacement Engineered Siding – 78.6% return

New engineered siding has a job cost of $13,832 with a resale value of $10,866.

  1. Wood Deck Addition – 75% return

A new wood deck is appealing, but with the high cost of $10,471 the resale value is only $7,850.

  1. New Vinyl Siding – 73.2% return

A little less expensive than engineered siding, the difference in your return is fairly significant.  The job cost of vinyl siding is about $12,341 with a resale value of only $9,032.

  1. Roof Replacement – 71.7%

If you’ve ever had to replace a roof, you know this is a big messy job.  The average job cost of replacing a roof is $20,142 and a resale value of $14,446.

As you can see, within the top 10, the return on your investment dropped drastically.  Before considering any major remodel, research is in order.  As always, your real estate professionals at the Jackie Ellis Team are ready to help.  Call 561-965-1225 or visit www.JackieEllis.com.  For more information on the remodeling projects with the greatest and least amount of return, visit www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2016/south-atlantic.

Source: Remodeling Magazine, 2016 Cost vs Value