If you’re a homeowner, you probably already know that a remodeler’s best friend is paint. Painting is relatively easy, it’s cheap and it can make a big difference in the appearance of your home. Therefore, it should be at the top of your Vero Beach home improvements checklist. Here are a few tips and tricks to help your next paint job go smoother than ever.

Vero Beach Home Improvements: Painting Tips

Try these ideas on for size –– and convenience!
Use a lint remover to clean dust, fuzz, or other debris particles from a paint roller.

There's no need to ever clean another paint tray. Simply line it with aluminum foil or a small plastic bag, pour your paint in, and remove and dispose when finished.

If you’re doing more painting the next day, don’t clean your roller or brush. Wrap it with aluminum foil, make sure it’s air tight, and put it in the refrigerator. It should last for days.

If you have an old roller, you can salvage it and use it again by trimming the ends with scissors.

Hate the smell of paint? Mix a little vanilla extract in it.

If your masking tape has hardened, put it in a microwave for thirty seconds and it will soften up.

Keep paint cans clean by wiping your brush on a rubber band stretched across the top of the open can.

When it’s time to clean up, put your brush in a pot with a little vinegar and heat it up on the stove. Even a stiff brush will come clean more easily. However, this works on latex-based paints only.

For more information on Vero Beach home improvements see the other real estate related categories to the right. To keep you better informed, we also post daily on Twitter and Facebook.

If the Vero Beach real estate market isn't confusing enough at times, many people have misconceptions that make it even more so. Often these myths dissuade others from entering the home buying or home selling maze. Don't believe everything you hear. Here are a few popular real estate myths.

The Vero Beach real estate market can be confusing, especially given the misconceptions some people have.

Vero Beach Real Estate – Misconceptions

Myth: With all the information available online you don't need a real estate agent.
While there is a wealth of information on the Internet, it's probably more important than ever to use the services of a knowledgeable real estate agent. Because buying a home is one of the most important purchases you'll ever make, it just makes sense to have someone on your side to help. Remember, a good agent has probably helped scores of homebuyers. Wouldn't you agree you could use the experience and assistance?

Myth: To buy a home you need a minimum of 20% for a down payment.
This may be the most popular misconception among millennials. This myth was likely the result of the last housing and credit crisis. After that debacle, lenders tightened their credit policies and getting a mortgage without great credit and a huge down payment was difficult. Today, there are loan programs available for borrowers to qualify with as little as a 3% down payment. Despite the overall relaxation of mortgage lending requirements, borrowers must still have a good credit score and sufficient income and assets. However, having to come up with a 20% down payment is a thing of the past.

Myth: The value of my home is determined by a real estate appraiser.
This misconception is probably fueled by misunderstandings in real estate terminology. An appraiser's job is to evaluate a home –– usually for a lending institution –– and determine a market value of the property for lending purposes. The lender wants to ensure that its collateral, the home, is valued high enough to cover the loan amount and minimize the credit risk. The market value of a home is always defined as what a willing buyer will pay a willing seller in an arm's length transaction on the open real estate market.

Myth: The best time to sell a home is in the spring.
While it's true a number of homes hit the market during the spring, it's certainly not the only time to buy or sell. The truth is people buy and sell Vero Beach real estate every day. The best time to sell your home is when real estate inventory is low –– typically in the middle of winter. Similarly, it may also be among the best times to buy, since there are fewer buyers shopping for homes over the winter. Fewer buyers means that sellers who need to sell may accept the best offer.

Myth: An open house isn't all that important in selling a home.
Despite the cliche', most homes really don't sell themselves. A long-standing practice in the real estate marketplace is to conduct an open house for prospective buyers to visit and view your home. Not only can it save time and remedy the need to set up numerous showings of your home, but studies show many buyers are motivated to make serious offers on houses when other prospects are vying for the same home.

Find more information about Vero Beach real estate by checking out the various sections of articles just below the Vero Beach Real Estate Categories heading to your right.

A scam tied to the new "smart-chip" enabled credit and debit cards has reached the Vero Beach economy as millions of Americans await their banks to send the new cards. While the chips are designed to put an end to counterfeiting, as usual, the bad guys have other things in mind.

Crooks Target The Vero Beach Economy

Because it’s new, scammers are banking on you not knowing much about the smart-chip cards and how the banks will issue them. They’re sending out emails under the guise of your bank or financial institution requesting that you "updated their files" so they can mail you your new credit or debit card. Naturally, what they’re really trying to do is steal your personal financial information — either by you completing the emailed form or clicking a link in the email that would download malware to obtain it. It's just the latest in a series of identity theft scams to hit the Vero Beach economy.

Protect yourself as best as possible by knowing these tips:

  1. More likely than not, your bank will automatically send you your new card by mail. If you don’t receive it, call them and request it.
  2. Banks and financial institutions rarely call you on the telephone to request information of a confidential and sensitive nature about your checking, savings or loan accounts.
  3. Don’t click on suspicious email links. If you receive an email that asks you to do so, call your bank and verify it as soon as possible.

If you think you may have already fallen prey to this most recent identity theft scam, don’t panic. Call your bank and notify them of what happened. Report it to the local authorities, the credit bureaus and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC.) Lastly, monitor your credit report for any signs of identity theft or anything else unusual.

Being vigilant is one of the best ways you can thwart the scammers trying to illegally profit in the Vero Beach economy.
Get more updates and news that affects the Vero Beach economy by Following us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.

While housing continues to make a steady recovery, the percentage of first-time Vero Beach homebuyers remains very low. At only 32% of all home purchases, first-time buyer totals have fallen to the lowest level in almost thirty years.

Why Vero Beach Homebuyers Aren’t Buying

The percentage of first-time Vero Beach homebuyers remains very low.

Despite market conditions seemingly being favorable for first-time buyers, they simply aren’t getting involved. Low mortgage rates, promising employment opportunities for college-educated prospects, and rising rents ordinarily would signal a ripe opportunity for those looking to buy their first home. However, according to a recent survey, those same increasing rents and higher home prices are hindrances to young couples trying to save money for a down payment. Factor in the scarcity of new and existing homes in an entry-level, affordable price range, and it’s easier to see why first-timers are hesitant to enter the market. Many still think it may be too difficult for them to qualify for a mortgage.

Survey respondents cited debt as the major factor for putting off buying a home. They said too much debt prevents them from saving sufficient money for a down payment. And over half of those surveyed specifically blame student-loan debt.

Ironically, younger buyers still have a strong desire to own their own home. Of first-time buyers that made a purchase, 64% say their primary reason for buying was their “desire to own” rather than rent. That percentage represents an 11% increase from just one year ago.

Repeat home buyers surveyed cited their desire for a larger home as the main reason that motivated them to purchase. Many feel even though home prices are high, the values are rising as well and with interest rates near all-time lows there’s no better time for them to upgrade.

A majority of those surveyed — 80%, in fact — viewed home ownership as a good long-term investment, with 43% saying that home ownership was a better investment than the stock market.

The report was released during which time the U.S. home ownership rate is at its lowest level in 50 years, 63.4%. That rate leveled off in the third quarter of this year, marking the first time since 2013.

Other interesting survey findings were as follows:

Cash purchases still comprise a large percentage of home transactions. While most buyers needed mortgage loans to buy their homes, that percentage dipped slightly. Not surprisingly, roughly 50% of first-time buying prospects cited the mortgage approval process as being more extensive and more cumbersome than they anticipated.

Today’s Vero Beach homebuyers have the highest average FICO credit scores in history. And more borrowers are qualifying for mortgage loans — notably so among middle-income black and Hispanic borrowers — even though they comprise a smaller percentage of the total housing market.

As expected in this technology-driven world, today’s home buyers are utilizing mobile apps and real estate websites more and more to search properties and mortgage rates. They are also making quicker decisions and taking action faster than ever. Statistics show buyers purchase their homes on average in 10 weeks compared to 12 weeks during the period between 2009 and 2013.

What does this all mean for first-time Vero Beach homebuyers? First-timers hesitant to become purchasers need to be more aware of low down payment mortgage programs. In addition, if their credit is relatively good, financing should be available at low interest rates. And, even though home sales prices are high, so are rents. So, they should take a look at purchasing while the time may be right for them.

Get more up to date news and tips for Vero Beach homebuyers by checking out our other articles under the Vero Beach Real Estate News section just below Vero Beach Real Estate Categories to your right.

So, you’ve decided to sell your home? Before you do, consider these Vero Beach home selling tips for the best results.

Follow These 4 Vero Beach Home Selling Tips

Consider these Vero Beach home selling tips. New to home selling, these ideas may help.

Choose the right real estate agent. Of course, you can try to sell your home yourself, but most people seek the aid of a professional. Once you choose a capable and knowledgeable real estate agent, you will enter into a listing agreement with their brokerage firm. The agreement usually requires you to give your agent 3-6 months to sell your home. During that time, if the home sells you will pay the agency a commission for their efforts.

Be prepared to sell. In this information-rich and high-tech real estate market, first impressions are important. So, if your home isn’t in the best condition — especially if it’s priced too high — it may be on the market longer than you want. And a house that’s quickly identified as having been for sale for a long period of time automatically sends red flags to prospective purchasers as having problems. If you’re serious about selling, commit to a price range with the listing agent and be ready to accept a contract in that range. This could very well be one of the most important home selling tips we can offer you here.

Create a relationship with your agent. While the real estate brokerage firm is important, more important is the agent charged with selling your home. He or she will be your point person. Make sure you and your agent are on the same page with respect to sales price, projected sales time frame, move date and other components during your Vero Beach  home selling process. It will make for a smoother, less stressful experience.

Move quickly when you receive an offer. Many times in a bustling real estate market, when you get a serious offer, you need to act quickly. When you accept the offer and escape the contract, the countdown to closing — the ultimate goal — begins. Sellers often underestimate how long the home selling process can take. And once your home is under contract with a buyer, it can take several weeks before financing is approved and the actual closing occurs. Be prepared to move quickly in the event your purchaser is paying cash or is pre-approved for financing. You certainly don’t want to lose a potential sale because you weren’t ready to move. The bottom line: expect the unexpected. Have a plan and know what your next move will be regardless of whether the closing will occur a month or more, or if it will be in a week.

Follow the above Vero Beach home selling tips and you just may turn the "newbie" label into a savvy experienced home seller!

Find more tips to help you sell your home by hopping over to our Vero Beach Home Selling Tips section of articles just below the Vero Beach Real Estate Categories to your right.