Elite Real Estate Services

2245 Texas Dr. STE 300 Sugar Land, TX. 77479
Office: 281-566-2517
Email: info@texaseliteliving.com

Blog

Winterizing Your Home

Your home is probably the biggest investment you will ever make, so why not protect it at all costs!! You can start by winterizing your home. In just a few easy steps, not only can you save yourself money but also protect your home.

1) Change Furnace Filters – Your filters should be changed once a month. A good way to remember to do it, is set a reminder, every time you pay the mortgage, change the filter. An even better idea is to buy a permanent filter. Permanent filters will cost more initially, but over time they will save you money and may even help your family to combat illnesses. Permanent, electrostatic filters trap appx 88% of home air pollutants and help control bacteria, viruses, pollen and mold.

2) Stop Draft(s) – If you find you have doors or windows letting in cold or even hot air during the summer, you can fix it without it costing you a dime! Use the old school remedy by putting a rolled up towel at the door/window. You can actually use any kind of material to stop the unwanted air from coming in. Also, make sure the window seals are in good condition. If they are damaged, you may be able to repair yourself.

3) Use Weather-strips and Caulking – Like above, if you find that you have drafty windows, you may be able to fix them easily with caulk or weather strips. If you are unsure that a draft is present, do an incense test. Make sure to remove curtains and any flammable material first! Then take a lit incense stick and move it around the window and to see if a breeze blows the smoke, if so, you definitely have a draft. You can also do this test with a candle, but an incense stick may be safer, due to the fact, there is no flame. Use weather strips or caulk at the places you noticed the draft coming in.

4) Winterize Your A/C and Water Lines – This one is pretty easy too. Make sure you drain all hoses and a/c pipes. Also, check that you don’t have any water pooled in your equipment. Inspecting these items in the winter, will also help you save money during the summer, so it’s a win/win situation. All exterior water spigots need to be turned off and checked for leaks as well. If you find that you need a new air conditioner, there may be a federal government program in your area that will actually reimburse you a certain percentage of the cost for a new energy saving unit. If you don’t know how to drain the a/c pipes or hoses, check online for demonstrations, especially on sites like YouTube.

5) Turn Down the Temperature on the Water Heater – I know, you’re probably thinking, it’s freezing, why would I turn down the water heater…well, most water heaters are set to 140 degrees F when they are installed, but you normally don’t need it to be that high. If you lower the water heater to 120 degrees F, or even lower if you possible, you will actually reduce your water heating costs by 6 – 10%. Also, once again, if you find you need a new water heater, you may be eligible for a federal tax credit. Ask your accountant or check government websites for more info on this.

6) Get a Tune Up! – Did you know that just like your car needs tune-ups, your heating system for your home does too?! Many utility companies offer free annual checkups by qualified technicians. If you are in need of a checkup, make sure to call early in the season. As you can imagine, everyone will be calling to get their furnaces, etc checked, so the earlier you call, the more likely you are to get an appointment quick.

7) And finally, Install Storm Doors and Windows – Depending on where you live, if the climate is pretty severe in the winter, installing storm windows and doors may save you a lot of money and help to keep your family healthy. Storm windows/doors will prevent cold air from getting in. They may be cumbersome to install, but it will be well worth it to your pocketbook and your well-being.
All of these simple solutions can protect your home throughout the winter and some may even help during the summer. Look online for more tips and tricks to protect your home. Also, remember to check your local government websites for tax credits that are applicable when making your home more energy efficient.

 

Written by Roxy McDonald

Roxy McDonald, Sales Consultant

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elite Real Estate Realtor

 

Pool Safety

Its summer time and what are the first things that come to mind? School’s out, kids are everywhere and it’s hot! To beat the heat, most kids want to swim, swim, swim…and in their spare time, swim some more. LOL
Whether you have your own personal pool or your subdivision has a community pool, safety should be your first priority. Below are some tips to make your pool experience fun and most of all safe!
Community/Subdivision pools:

pool2

 

 

 

 

 

 

1) There should be a fence to limit access to the pool
2) Pool should be in good condition and professionally inspected before opening to residents
3) Safety equipment should be available to residents
4) Most times there is no lifeguard present, make sure there is an adult present at all times
a) Adults – Make sure you are not distracted, drownings can happen in mere minutes
5) Make sure your cellphone is charged, just in case you need to call for help

Residential/personal pools:

pool

 

 

 

 

 

 

1) Make sure you watch your children at all times, especially the younger ones

2) Teach your children about pool safety

3) If you haven’t already, take a CPR class. There are many classes available, some are offered at little to no cost. Check your local YWCA, community colleges, etc.
4) Get swimming lessons for children before summer, so they are prepared when all the fun begins; lessons are available even for toddlers!
5) When your pool isn’t in use, make sure to limit access to it by locking fence; if no fence is present, cover pool or lock backdoors, use child safety doorknobs so smaller children can’t get to pool without you knowing
6) Make sure to get your pool inspected and that it’s in good condition
These are just some of the tips that can keep your pool outings fun and most of all safe. For more safety tips, go to: http://www.poolsafely.gov/
Happy summer everyone!

Roxy McDonald, Sales Consultant

 

 

 

 

Written by Roxy McDonald

Staging your home to sell

 

Are you trying to sell your home? Is it cluttered? Is it empty? Well, guess what, your ‘stuff’ or lack thereof may be the reason your house isn’t selling! Statistics show that a well-staged home sells much faster and often for more than the asking price.

Now, you may be thinking, “I don’t know how to stage” or “Staging is going to cost me too much money”….Never fret, the tips in this article will show you how you can get your home ready to sell in no time and even how to do it on a tight budget.

Tip #1 – De-clutter

Clutter makes a home look like it’s too small. When there are toys or a lot of knick-knacks everywhere, your potential buyers will concentrate on those things rather than the room itself. The area in the picture below was given a whole new look by taking an old dresser, giving it a good coat of paint and new drawer pulls; then hiding all the books and unused pictures in end tables. On top of the dresser, we just placed a few items to give it a clean, artistic look:

roxy 1

Tip #2 – Clean and de-personalize the space

Make sure each space is clean and free of family pictures or personal items. Of course, buyers want to see that a real family lived in the home, however, too many family pictures and personal items make buyers not be able to visualize themselves living there. If you don’t have enough storage space for your items, think of renting a small storage unit or ask a friend/family member if you can keep your things in their garage for a short time. The pics below show a room that was cleaned and staged as a boy’s room.

 
roxy2roxy3
Tip #3 – Warm up the room using simple artwork and inexpensive decor

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make a room look good. In the next picture you will see where artwork by the real estate agent, thrift shop nightstands, lamps, and a few dollar store items made a bedroom look warm and inviting:

roxy4

Hopefully, these tips will help you get your home ready to sell. And remember, if you feel you can’t do it yourself, here are a ways you can get your home staged:

1)     Ask your realtor/agent to help you

2)     Hire a staging company (may be costly, but shop around)

3)     Go online and look for tips/tricks (free!!)

Happy selling and staging!

Roxy McDonald, Sales Consultant

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Roxy Mcdonald

 

Why You Need To Work with a Commercial Real Estate Expert

Purchasing or renting commercial real estate can be a complex process which is why you should work with an experienced commercial real estate expert. While your area of expertise may lie in another area, a commercial real estate expert understands the market, the importance of location, and how the market can fluctuate from time to time. Finding the perfect commercial real estate location is not a one size fits all process; an experienced commercial real estate expert will do their research and locate the property that is best suited to meet the specific needs of your business.

One of the most important factors that should be considered when choosing a commercial property is the location. Location is extremely important, especially for businesses that are customer-driven, such as a restaurant or retail store. Choosing the right location for these types of businesses will ensure that your business receives the traffic that it needs to survive. When operating a customer-driven business, your success relies on the visibility of the location, ease of access, security, and convenience. These are all important factors that you need to consider when choosing the appropriate location for your business. An experienced commercial real estate expert understands the importance of location and will do their best to locate the ideal property for your business.
In addition to location, the next factor that you should consider is your target market. The commercial property that you choose should be located in an area that is relevant to your target market. This will ensure that your products or services will be utilized by those who can actually benefit from them. Choosing the wrong location will almost guarantee that your business will not reach your target market and your services will likely go unnoticed. An experienced commercial real estate expert will have done the appropriate research into your target market and will have located different property options for you to consider.

When you locate the perfect commercial real estate property for your specific business needs, you can expect to experience the results your business needs to survive in a competitive market. An expert commercial real estate professional can help you choose a location that will ensure you reach your target market, your products and services are noticed and utilized by your perfect client, and that your business has the opportunity it needs to become successful. Choosing the ideal commercial property for your business requires market insight that only a commercial real estate expert can provide. If you’re ready to find the perfect commercial property for your business, contact a commercial real estate expert today

realtor-3
Lomil Truitt

Whats Bringing All These People To Houston?

Dwight D & Sherly H Howard “Girlz Rule Camp”

Click on the link below to read!

Top 10 Reasons people move to Houston

 

Requirements for being a Successful Realtor

1. Be Honest – Honesty is the key! When it comes to an important decision like purchasing a home, the client should know everything there is to know about the house. How would you feel if you realtor lied to you just to make a commission?

2. Dress for success – We are professionals and we should act like that at all times. Have you ever been in a multi-billon dollar company and the CEO is wearing shorts? No! Whether you going to the office just to drop something off or attending a closing with your client. You should always dress for success. You never know who is watching you or whom you will run into.

3. Listen– Being a Realtor means you and working for the clients. So in order to satisfy your client you will have to listen to their needs/wants. There is nothing more upsetting than having someone trying to tell me what I want/need. If the clients ask for a suggestion or your opinion then it’s ok to give them your professional opinion. We are here to please the client.

4. Time is of the Essence- Every second in real estate counts. You need to be available to your clients 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Your family needs to understand that you work off of commissions. So when you clients call you must be able to stop what you are doing and tend to his/her needs.

5. Keep a clean vehicle– people can tell a lot about you by the way you keep your vehicle. Would you like to ride with someone who has a junky vehicle? Your vehicle is your office away from your office. You never know when a client will call and ask you to show them properties.

6. Be knowledgeable– you have to study and do research for the areas you would like to specialize in. How is the economy? What is there to do for kids? What are the tops schools and why? Is it a diverse area? You have to show the client that you are serious about your job.

7. Self driven– Again you don’t not have a steady paycheck. So what you put in to your business is what you get out. Realtors can basically make their own schedule. So you have to have that drive a determination to get up early and go to the office even though you really don’t have to. You have to go after what you want; you cannot sit around and wait for someone to give you anything. You may work for a broker but it is your job to go out and market yourself. Clients want to work with someone they can trust to get the job done.

 
image1-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by: Julius Bertrand

Renting vs Buying: Which is better?

Rent vs. Buy

Before you burn that tax refund on shopping sprees, red bottoms, or a lavish vacation, now is the besttime to consider whether or not you should use those funds towards home ownership, or continue to pay rent in your cozy apartment. Becoming a home owner is still considered to be part of the “American Dream”. However, just like anything else, there are definitely pros and cons. It all depends on the individual-your lifestyle, career, family etc. Purchasing a home is both the biggest financial decision and reward one can make because homeownership builds equity. Think you’re in the market to purchase a home? Here are some pointers that will assist you in making this critical decision.

Advantages of Renting

• More fixed costs for term of the lease. However, you do run the risk of an increase rental rate. This normally happens when there is more demand than there is supply. Your landlord will expect you to pay the going “market rate” if you’d like to renew your lease agreement.

• Not gaining equity, but not losing any either

• Short-term commitment; when your lease is up, you’re free to move

• Little to no maintenance. If the AC goes out (God forbid you’re in Texas), your landlord is the responsible party (per your lease agreement)

• Smaller upfront deposit/down payment. Depending on your type of financing, unless you’re a veteran, you may be required to put a percentage down.

• No minimum required credit score

Advantages of Buying

• As your Mortgage balance decrease, your equity will increase. A rule of thumb is to live in a property for at least 5-7 years.

• Creative control to remodel and personalize your home to match your needs and style.

If you’re a lover of pink paint, by all means, paint away. You may have trouble selling it, but you definitely won’t get any flack from your landlord.

• Tax deductions. You can deduct mortgage interest as well as your property taxes.

Unfortunately, renters don’t receive this bonus. Your landlord receives all of the available

tax breaks. Additionally, if you meet certain requirements the IRS won’t apply a “capital gains” tax on your profits from the sale of your home. You can keep the first $250,000 in profit you make when selling the home if you’re single, or the first $500,000 if married. Also, if you run a home based business you may be eligible to take deductions for your home office and portions of utilities.

So, you see? Being a home owner definitely has its perks, but then again, so does renting. Most people are afraid to swim the home owner’s water due to financial or credit limitations. This shouldn’t deter you. A great mortgage professional will assess your credit and income. If they find restrictions, they will be able to guide you by advising what on your credit will need to be addressed.

Side note: Did you know you are entitled to a FREE credit report once a year? Pulling your credit report will be a great start to knowing if you’re ready to purchase a home. Your credit score is made of 3 scores, your middle score is known as your FICO score. This is the score lenders use to determine financial credibility. When you pull your scores, 2 suggestions: Pull from a reputable site such as the 3 credit reporting agencies-Equifax, Transunion, Experian; this will be where your most accurate data will be.

Caution: Be SURE to speak with a lender prior to going to these “credit repair” agencies which “dispute” derogatory items. Lenders will REQUIRE you to contact the credit bureau to remove the dispute from the item, before granting an approval. I’d hate to see waste your hard earned money that should be going towards your pink paint.

About Jami Bertrand:

Jami Bertrand is the founder and broker for Elite Real Estate Services in Houston,TX. Elite Real Estate Services is a full service real estate brokerage firm that provides “customized customer service” from start to finish. With about a decade in the real estate industry and being the preferred broker for DuPont, she opened her boutique real estate firm last year. Her team of seven agents have hit the ground running since July 2014 where Elite Real Estate Services surpasses their goals every month.

Jami is a devoted wife and consummate supporter of various charitable causes throughout Houston such: as Susan G. Komen, and volunteering at Houston Methodist Hospital Cancer Unit.

 

Broker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by: Jami Bertrand