If you’re like me, you’ve been longingly waiting for summer. I’m keeping my fingers crossed it seems to be here. Bring the vacation, the beach, the pool and all that it entails.

Just like the weather, the seasons change in real estate. Whether the market is calming down after a robust spring or yours is the opposite, the only guarantee in real estate is change!

If you like good real estate content, here’s some hot reading to fill your summer bucket list:

Outdoor living spaces add value to a home

As summer approaches, many homeowners want to enjoy their outdoor spaces. Outdoor spaces add real financial value to a home, offering joy and relaxation. If you want to beautify your garden, you cannot neglect a beautiful and functional garden.

Gardening’s popularity exploded a few years ago when the pandemic shut down our lives and impacted our grocery stores. According to several surveys, home gardens are at the top of the wish list for many home buyers. When planning a garden, there are several innovative gardening techniques to consider.

When planning your garden, you should do your research. Learn which plants thrive in your zone. Watch your property to see where the sun sets during the day. Decide what you want to plant, whether it’s vegetables, fruit, ornamental plants or a mix of all of the above.

Reach out to other gardening enthusiasts and see what works for them. Gardening success multiplies when we learn from each other. Find out more about the five most important garden trends that inspire hobby gardeners.

All about real estate contingencies

If you have been following the real estate market for a number of years, you may be familiar with the recent changes in the real estate market. We have seen a shift in the markets as interest rates rose in 2022.

As the market changes, so do the strategies required to attract bids. Although competition is fierce, buyers tend to accept contingencies to make their offering more competitive.

When the market is more relaxed, the competition isn’t as fierce, and buyers often feel they can add more contingencies to their offerings without the risk of being overlooked.

What happens when a buyer finds a house they like but it’s already under contract? Should they write a replacement offer? Or should they continue?

You will want to examine the contingencies in this offer and see how to proceed. What are contingent liabilities? Bill Gassett has compiled a list of common contingent liabilities and how long properties remain in contingent status. If you’ve never bought or sold before, it’s worth a read.

FHA 203K rehab loan

If you’re considering buying a fixer upper, you’ll want to learn about the pros and cons of the FHA 203K loan and see if it’s right for you. Joe Boylan has a helpful tutorial on the types of FHA203K loans, how they are used, and what they cost. There are advantages over traditional loans, but there are also disadvantages.

Learn more about the FHA 203K loan benefits, such as lower down payment requirements and relaxed credit scores, among other benefits. As for the cons, if you plan on tinkering or hate paperwork, an FHA203K rehab loan might not be the best solution.

Types of agencies in real estate

In my opinion, a real estate summary would not be complete without some terminological education. Sometimes in the industry we forget that people are not always familiar with our slang. Realtor® or real estate agent? Buyer agent or seller agent… or dual agent?

There are differences between different types of real estate agents, and these differences define the roles and services that the agent offers. Bill Gassett points out that understanding how a real estate agency works will help consumers avoid mistakes.

Having the right broker or real estate agent by your side can make all the difference. Buyers and sellers need to understand the role of a real estate agent.

This is all the more important when dual representation is possible, where the representative becomes a neutral party. If you understand the three types of real estate agents, you are less likely to run into problems.

I contrast this counter with the counter of your offer

When you sell your home, you may receive an offer that is not what you expected. In this case, you should think about a counter offer. A counter offer is a new offer that changes one or more terms of the original offer.

As Alex Capozzolo points out, an effective counteroffer must strike a balance between closing the deal on acceptable terms and price without upsetting the seller.

The goal is to craft a winning counteroffer, know when to accept a counteroffer, and create a win-win situation. Learn how to work with numbers and apply some psychology to real estate counteroffers.

When a house doesn’t sell

We haven’t seen it often in the past few years, but it does happen…sometimes a house doesn’t sell. As Paul Sian explains, this may be more common as markets in many parts of the country shift from a strong seller’s market to a buyer’s market.

So what goes wrong when a house doesn’t sell? There can be several reasons for this. One of the most common issues in a changing market is pricing.

Things have changed with higher mortgage rates. Mortgage rates directly or indirectly affect prices because buyers can afford less than when interest rates are lower. Be sure to look at all the reasons that keep a home on the market with no offers.

Terrace life for victory

Who doesn’t love a relaxing evening with family and friends on a beautiful summer evening? Or a cozy afternoon on your terrace with a good book? People are ready for outdoor life after being locked down during the colder months. Michelle Gibson gives five compelling reasons why a patio can add value to your property.

A well-designed and aesthetically pleasing patio can create an entertaining area and effectively increase your living space. It’s a valuable improvement to your home, but at a much lower price. Consider installing a patio if you’re looking for an inexpensive way to add value to your home.


Check out some of the excellent advice from previous property reviews.

Karen HighlandAbout the authors: Karen and Chris Highland of Highland Group with eXp Realty in Central Maryland have been helping people buy and sell homes in and around Frederick, Maryland for over 30 years.

“We are passionate about educating consumers about the ins and outs of residential real estate and the local market, and giving them realistic expectations when buying and selling a home.”