Blog

  • Homes for Heroes
    Brandon Shelton & TruMark Properties are Dedicated to Serving and Giving Back to Firefighters, Law Enforcement, Military (Active, Reserves and Veterans), Healthcare Workers, EMS and Teachers! It’s our way to say Thank You. SERVICE DESERVES ITS REWARDS! 15% Listing Commission Discount (Sell) 10% Closing Costs Rebate (Buy) Free Nationwide Relocation Service Call, Text or complete […]
  • Drop Ceilings: Pros and Cons
    Humans have long had a love/hate relationship with ceilings. On one hand, they help to hide the structure that keeps the rain out; on the other, they can be a pain to install and maintain over time. So when the idea of the drop ceiling started gaining momentum, it followed that two very die-hard camps […]
  • Investors: A Real Estate Agent’s Most Powerful Partnership
    As any real estate agent knows, leads are the lifeblood to success. This is why it is no secret that a high percentage of most agents’ time is dedicated to uncovering possible leads via as many conduits as possible.  That being said, all leads are not created equal. Some leads roll in thanks to expensive […]
  • How Pre-Qualification Can Help You Get Your Dream Home
    Buying a home is an important – and exciting – decision. After all, having a place to call your own, to raise your family in, to do as you wish with no landlord to answer to are all motivating factors in starting the process. But, in addition to these emotional reasons, buying a home can […]
  • WHICH DOWN PAYMENT STRATEGY IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
    You’ve most likely heard the rule: Save for a 20-percent down payment before you buy a home. The logic behind saving 20 percent is solid, as it shows that you have the financial discipline and stability to save for a long-term goal. It also helps you get favorable rates from lenders. But there can actually […]
  • MUST-HAVE TOOLS FOR HOMEOWNERS
    When you own your home, things are going to break and, unless you want to spend your money on visits from a neighborhood handyman, you’re going to need to fix them yourself. Luckily, you don’t need an arsenal of tools to handle most home maintenance fixes. These five tools will cover most of your basic […]
  • DEALING WITH SCRATCHED HARDWOOD FLOORS
    Hardwood floors are highly desirable for most homeowners, but they come with their share of challenges when it comes to cleaning, maintenance, and repairs. After a few months or years of heavy use from kids playing with toys and chairs being shuffled around, it may be time for some DIY fixes. Hiding scratches: If you’ve […]
  • 5 CRITERIA FOR PRICING A HOME
    When you put your home up for sale, one of the best ways to determine the asking price is to look at comparable sales. There’s rarely a perfect apples-to-apples comparison, so a pricing decision often relies on comparisons to several recent sales in the area. Here are five criteria to look for in a sales […]
  • HOW TO CHECK YOUR HOME FOR AIR LEAKS
    We’re well into the fall season and winter is right around the corner. This is the time of year when it’s especially important to make sure your home is properly sealed. Air leaks can make it difficult to keep your home properly heated and can lead to high utility bills. Here’s quick guide to checking […]
  • 5 SECRETS WEAPONS FOR DIY PROJECTS
    Is there a home maintenance project that’s been lingering on your to-do list for too long because you’re dreading the trip to the hardware or craft store? There are some projects you can tackle with items that are almost certainly already in your home. Vinegar: There’s probably a jug of vinegar in your pantry right now. […]
  • UPSIZING YOUR HOME
    Unfortunately, our homes don’t always grow with us. What may have initially worked fine for a single person, a young couple’s starter home, or a family with a newborn can quickly become too small as families expand and multiple generations live under one roof. Remodeling and adding to your home is one option for creating […]
  • IDEAS FOR ACCENT WALLS
    An accent wall can totally transform a room, taking it from boring and drab to bold and exciting. Accent walls create a new focal point for your space, add liveliness and contrast, and are typically a very inexpensive DIY project. The starter accent wall You can easily add an accent wall to your room in […]
  • IDEAS FOR ACCENT WALLS
    An accent wall can totally transform a room, taking it from boring and drab to bold and exciting. Accent walls create a new focal point for your space, add liveliness and contrast, and are typically a very inexpensive DIY project. The starter accent wall You can easily add an accent wall to your room in […]
  • SHORT SALE AND FORECLOSURE: HOW ARE THEY DIFFERENT?
    As unfortunate as it can be when homeowners fall behind on mortgage payments and must face the possibility of losing their homes, short sales and foreclosures provide them options for moving on financially. The terms are often used interchangeably, but they’re actually quite different, with varying timelines and financial impact on the homeowner. Here’s a […]
  • FINDING THE RIGHT MATTRESS
    You’ve got more options than ever when mattress shopping these days with no shortage of brick-and-mortar and online-only retailers to choose from. Here are the factors you should consider when you’re shopping for a perfect night’s sleep. Mattress construction: The most popular mattress types are inner spring mattresses, memory foam mattresses, and adjustable air mattresses. […]
  • PRIORITY TASKS FOR YOUR MOVE IN
      Moving into a new home is an exciting time, and you’re probably daydreaming about decor and paint schemes and new furniture. But before you get into the fun stuff, there are some basics you should cover first. Change the locks Even if you’re promised that new locks have been installed in your home, you […]
  • DEALING WITH SCRATCHED HARDWOOD FLOORS
    Hardwood floors are highly desirable for most homeowners, but they come with their share of challenges when it comes to cleaning, maintenance, and repairs. After a few months or years of heavy use from kids playing with toys and chairs being shuffled around, it may be time for some DIY fixes. Hiding scratches: If you’ve […]
  • MUST-HAVE TOOLS FOR HOMEOWNERS
    When you own your home, things are going to break and, unless you want to spend your money on visits from a neighborhood handyman, you’re going to need to fix them yourself. Luckily, you don’t need an arsenal of tools to handle most home maintenance fixes. These five tools will cover most of your basic […]
  • 5 NEGOTIATING TACTICS THAT KILL A SALE
    Negotiation is a subtle art in real estate, but skilled negotiators can usually find some common ground that satisfies all parties. On the other hand, using the wrong negotiation tactics can sink a deal pretty quickly. Here are some negotiation tactics buyers (and real estate professionals) should avoid: Lowball offers: Going far below market value […]
  • DISPELLING REFINANCING MYTHS
    “Refinancing” is a scary word for many people, but that shouldn’t be the case for you. For many homeowners, refinancing can not only lower your monthly payments and help with your monthly budget, but it can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. YOU’RE NOT TOO LATE. For years now, we’ve been hearing […]
  • FIVE MONEY-SAVING GREEN UPGRADES
    Going green is great for the environment, but that’s not the only benefit. When you make green upgrades in your home, it can also lead to some major savings. Solar panels: The upfront cost is big, but the long-term savings are huge. Solar panels will cost several thousand dollars to install, but ongoing maintenance costs are […]
  • CREATE AN EVACUATION PLAN FOR YOUR PETS
      An evacuation plan is a necessity for every home, especially if you live in an area where fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, and other disasters are a possibility. Many homeowners create evacuation plans for their homes and practice them with their kids, but far fewer have considered one for their pets. Take these steps to […]
  • Selling A House In Foreclosure
    When most people are notified by their lender that their house will soon go into foreclosure, they think all is lost. While it’s a difficult time, the good news is you do still have options that will not hurt you as much financially, such as a short sale. This will allow you to sell your […]
  • 4 Tips to Help You Figure Out the Cost of Building a New House
    If you are going to build a new home, you may be wondering how much it would cost you. This is a difficult question to answer as there are a lot of factors to take into account when figuring out the construction cost. Therefore, let’s take a look at 4 tips that can help you […]
  • Seeking High-Quality Contractors to Join Our Team
    An important piece of the real estate puzzle hinges on building a strong team. This is why in addition to our network of agents, lenders, attorneys, and brokers, we are always on the lookout for great contractors to partner with. Below is some more insight on what we are looking for along with a number […]
  • Are you Looking to Grow Your Real Estate Investment Opportunities?
    If you are a real estate investor looking to purchase wholesale properties or partner on joint venture projects, look no further. Our team has the experience, know-how, and infrastructure to offer you opportunities in your real estate investment endeavors. No matter if you are looking for a rehab project to work on or you are […]
  • Situations We Can Help Home Sellers With
    Homeowners find themselves in the position of having to sell their home fast for any number of reasons. For example, there are times when family obligations require you to move out of state with little warning. Maybe a job relocation takes you to a new area. Or a personal situation has arisen, putting homeowners on […]
  • Student Loan Debt Keeps Millennials From Buying Homes, Starting Businesses
    Posted in Establishing Your Business, New REALTOR®, Student Loan Debt, by Jane Dollinger on November 5, 2017.  Real estate industry experts and researchers  presented data and discussed the effects of student loan debt on millennials’ ability to participate in the housing market and own a business, during a panel titled “Digging Out: Growing Your Business While Paying Off Debt” at […]
  • Four Ways Your Home Can Boost Your Mood
    How can your home make you happier? ur home should be your sanctuary, a refuge from the stresses of everyday life, where you can relax, enjoy yourself and spend time with friends and family. If your home isn’t bringing you the happiness it should, take a look at the following tips to help put a […]
  • Reducing Allergens In Your Home
    Keep your home allergy-free with these simple tips. Allergies are often associated with the arrival of spring, but indoor allergy sufferers will often find themselves sniffing and sneezing year-round. The culprit? Indoor allergens such as dust, dust mites and pet hair and dander. So how do you make sure your home is a respite from […]
  • Real Estate News October 2016
    House Prices Inch Higher but Show Signs of Deceleration U.S. house prices rose 1.2 percent in the second quarter of 2016 according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI). House prices rose 5.6 percent from the second quarter of 2015 to the second quarter of 2016. FHFA’s seasonally adjusted monthly index […]
  • Fall & Winter Seasonal Maintenance Guide — Northwest
    If you live in the Northwest, here are maintenance jobs you should complete every fall and winter to prevent costly repairs and keep your home in top condition. Certain home maintenance tasks should be completed each season to prevent structural damage, save energy, and keep all your home’s systems running properly. These home maintenance tasks […]
  • Home Inspection Checklist For Buyers
  • 7 Tips for Short Sale Success
    Have to sell your home for less than it’s worth? Our seven tips will help you get the best price. When you owe more on your home than it’s worth, but you have to sell, you need to squeeze every dollar possible from the sale. Here are seven tips for navigating the short-sale process. 1. […]
  • Kitchen Countertop Triage: First Aid for Scratches
    You can repair kitchen counter mishaps with only a little time and money. Big boo-boos, however, will need professional help. Repair kitchen counters that show a history of wine spills, dropped pans, and unidentified sharp objects, and you’ll maintain the value of your kitchen and home. You can easily hide some counter mishaps, while only professional contractors can solve […]
  • Save Money with Your Edible Garden
    An edible garden featuring vegetables and herbs can save you a bundle if you keep it simple and raise plants that offer high yields. Whether you’re trying to pinch pennies on your grocery bill or just hungering to eat healthier, having your own edible garden is the answer. The beauty of tending a backyard vegetable […]
  • Meet the Families of Foreclosure
      We all know why some people have found themselves facing foreclosure—but too often what we “know” is wrong. We read the statistics about the number of home owners facing foreclosure and listen to the conventional wisdom telling us what the causes are. But no list of numbers brings home the foreclosure crisis more clearly […]
  • Deck Addition: Return on Investment
    A high return on investment makes a deck addition a worthwhile home improvement project. Adding a deck to your home is one of the most worthwhile of all home improvement projects. One of the reasons that a deck is such a good investment is because it increases living area at a minimal cost per square […]
  • 8 Tips for Adding Curb Appeal and Value to Your Home
    Here are eight ways to help your home put its best face forward. Homes with high curb appeal command higher prices and take less time to sell. We’re not talking about replacing vinyl siding with redwood siding; we’re talking about maintenance and beautifying tasks you’d like to live with anyway. The way your house looks […]
  • 4 Tips to Determine How Much Mortgage You Can Afford
    By knowing how much mortgage you can handle, you can ensure that homeownership will fit in your budget. Homeownership should make you feel safe and secure, and that includes financially. Be sure you can afford your home by calculating how much of a mortgage you can safely fit into your budget. Why not just take […]
  • 7 Smart Strategies for Bathroom Remodeling
    Here’s how to get the bathroom of your dreams without making your budget a nightmare. You dream about a bathroom that’s high on comfort and personal style, but you also want materials, fixtures, and amenities with lasting value. Wake up! You can have both. A midrange bathroom remodel is a solid investment, according to the […]
  • Your Guide to Choosing Patio Stones
    So you can create some hardscaping that’s uniquely yours Brick. Flagstone. Concrete. Even rubber! You’ve got choices when it comes to pavers. And that means anything but boring. Mix and match a couple or more to create your own backyard masterpiece. Here’s some info on each type, plus some tips on installing them. Happy paving! Brick Brick’s […]
  • 6 Outdoor Projects You Can Do With Your Kids
    Get your kids outside and spark their creativity with fun, simple home improvement projects. Plus, you’ll boost your curb appeal. If you’re looking for ways to unplug your children and get them some fresh air, try these engaging outdoor projects. You’ll introduce them to a little pride of home ownership while adding some finishing touches […]
  • 7 Tips for Staging Your Home
    Make your home warm and inviting to boost your home’s value and speed up the sale process. The first step to getting buyers to make an offer on your home is to impress them with its appearance so they begin to envision themselves living there. Here are seven tips for making your home look bigger, […]
  • 7 Smart Strategies for Kitchen Remodeling
    Follow these seven strategies to get the most financial gain on your kitchen remodel. Homeowners spend more money on kitchen remodeling than on any other home improvement project. And with good reason: Kitchens are the hub of home life and a source of pride. A significant portion of kitchen remodeling costs may be recovered by […]
  • Your Step-By-Step Guide To Regular Home Maintenance
    Create a calendar for worry-free home maintenance. Regular maintenance is an important contributor to the value of your home. The following steps will help you create an actionable maintenance calendar, so you feel confident your home is being cared for and kept in the best condition possible. 1. Make a list of what needs regular maintenance. Walk […]
  • Not All Upgrades Lead To A More Marketable Home
    Seller Insights   Many home sellers assume that home improvements are needed in order to sell their homes. While upgrades can help to appeal to buyers, it’s important to understand which upgrades will add to your home’s visual appeal and its value.Three upgrades that pack a large return for your investment: 1. Steel Doors – Steel […]
  • 4 Benefits to Investing in Real Estate Today!
    YOUR NEXT MOVE A home purchase can be a savvy financial investment whether or not you plan to live there. Today’s real estate market could be the best time to purchase investment property that will secure your long-term financial goals. Why should you consider investing in real estate? 4 Benefits to Investing Real Estate Today! 1. Cash Flow – A rental […]
  • Don’t Get Left Out In The Cold
    Don’t get left out in the cold As the temperature drops, many people look for ways to save money on heating and better preparing their home for the winter season. This simple checklist will help you ensure you and your home are ready for winter: Caulk and weather strip around windows and doors to prevent […]
  • Real Estate Lead Generation 101
    What are the best real estate lead generation options today? Where and how can real estate agents, investors and other related industry professionals generate more leads for buying, selling and renting properties? What are some of the little known benefits, and pitfalls of common real estate lead generation channels today? Here are 12 ways for real estate […]
  • Technology vs. People Skills: Which Real Estate Strategies Will Win?
    The real estate industry caters to independent strategies. For every investor, there is another way to go about conducting business. Some may prefer to utilize the convenience of technology while others want to maintain personal relationships. However, for one reason or another, there remains a void between these two independent strategies. Smart investors will figure […]
  • Real Estate Investing As A Business
    “Investment is most intelligent when most business like” – Warren Buffett If investing is better when conducted most business like, does it mean that more real estate investors ought to be investing in a more businesslike fashion? Should every real estate investor be investing as a business? What does that really mean? What does it look […]
  • Housing Still The Best Investment Tool Of A Lifetime
    Many people are still wondering whether or not real estate is one of the best investment strategies for long-term wealth building. Is investing in homes still a smart investment for the average individual? Is a home still the best investment of a lifetime for most Americans? If so, why are some pessimists still questioning the rebound […]