Whether you're looking for your first house, a vacation home, or a retirement condo, there's always an element of excitement in finding a new place you can call your own!
Although buying and selling real estate can be stressful, especially if you've never done it before, being prepared and knowing what to expect can help keep things on an even keel.
Similar to planning a vacation or a cross-country trip, you'll want to avoid missed connections, frustrating delays, and wasted time. When it comes to buying a home, a little research, planning, and expert advice can go a long way toward ensuring a smooth journey. Here are a few specifics:
Check your credit score: Your credit rating has a major impact on your ability to successfully apply for a mortgage and be offered a relatively low interest rate. Knowing your credit rating can help you understand your options, avoid unexpected surprises, and take action to correct errors in your credit report or improve your credit profile.
Prepare a wish list: One of the keys to getting what you want in a new home is to clarify and prioritize the features that matter the most to you. Your checklist can include everything from lot size and architectural style to the reputation of the school district and proximity to stores. Some house hunters also place a high value on features like a fireplace, screened-in porch, and an open floor plan.
Find a good real estate agent: A buyers' agent can provide you with an immense amount of help in finding properties for sale that meet your specifications. They can also provide assistance, advice, and guidance on the many steps involved in going from loan applicant to new home owner. An experienced agent can also negotiate the best possible deal, in terms of price, seller concessions, and other advantages.
Meet with mortgage lenders: A crucial step in preparing to become a homeowner is understanding the mortgage application process, knowing how much banks would be willing to lend you, and determining an affordable price range. Meeting with lenders is also the first step to comparing interest rates and choosing a financial institution that would best suit your needs. Here's a helpful tip from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: "Getting a preapproval letter helps you show sellers that you are a serious buyer – but it doesn’t commit you to a lender."
When it comes to searching for and buying a house, probably the best advice anyone could give you is "stay the course!" Let's face it: It's easy to give up, get discouraged, or settle for a home that's less than what you really want. However, when you adopt a "stay the course" mindset, you'll do a better job of staying motivated, focused, and well organized until you find just the right home for you, your family, and your future!
It is an age-old conundrum. Everyone notices what is wrong, but when something is right, they can't put their finger on what it is if they even try. Chances are that if you have a hard floor, you either have or are considering a rug to put on it. Did you know that the size shape and placing of the said rug can have a significant impact on the appearance of that room? It can. For instance, small rugs tend to make the room look smaller and choosing a rug with the wrong shape (read square or circle) can lead to a confused look and at worst a tripping hazard (partially due to its placement).
When choosing a rug no doubt you have looked for specific colors, patterns, and prices, but it is equally as important to consider the size, shape, and placement in the room. In general, it is better to go with an oversized rug. Just measure so that you know what will fit in the room that you have, and you don't come home with a carpet that is too big.
Shape and placement
When it comes to the shape of your rug points to think about can include the shape of the room and the furniture that will be on it or the placement of the furniture that is there. If it is in the dining room, what shape is your table? If round, then a square or circle will be complimentary. If it is a rectangle or oval, then longer rugs will provide you with appropriate floor coverage. If you were to place a circle rug under a long table then not only would it look small it could also pose a hazard when pulling the chairs in and out or stepping up to the table. Likewise, if it is in the bedroom centering the rug under the bed rather than at the foot (unless it is a runner for that purpose) would diminish the beauty and make it look small thus making the whole room seem smaller than it is.
Do your research or find an expert
These days you can do research online to see what options are available to optimize the flow of your room and bring you the best results. If you come away with more questions than answers ask a professional to give you advice. This person can be a furniture specialist, design professional, or even a professional home stager so you could ask your local real estate agent to help you find an expert that could help guide you in assuring that your rug looks your room and your room looks great.
Generally, a closet ought to bring simplicity to your life. Whether it's a large walk-in or an itty-bitty space, a neat closet should be where you can get the things you need any time of the day. However, keeping a closet neat and organized can be more complicated than it seems. One day you have a clean closet that makes you hum James Brown's "I feel good." The next day the closet looks like a sharp gust of wind swept through it. No worries. Erase your closet headaches with these excellent tips.
Remove What You Don’t Need
Save with Hanging Organizers
Hang Items on the Inside of the Door
Store Out-of-Season Items
Add a Light
Store Your Shoes Elsewhere
So many great features that make up many clients’ dream homes can actually be a hindrance in selling a home down the road. While certain features in a home may be attractive to you, remember that all buyers are not looking for the same thing. Beware of the following perks and how they can affect your plans to sell a home in the future.
While having schools close in the neighborhood is a plus, not everyone sees it that way. A nearby school is fantastic if there are young children in the family, however, if a buyer doesn’t have young children, living near a school could be seen as a hinderance. Not only will there be an excess of foot traffic in the area, but there will be a lot of traffic, in general, each school day as buses and cars head to and from the school. The extra noise factor from the school may also turn off some buyers.
Being In The Heart Of The City Or Town
Some people love to be in the heart of the action. A bustling neighborhood with tons of shops and restaurants and constant activity can be the life that you or someone you know is looking for. If you buy a home on one of these main stretches, but, it could be a hard sell should you decide to move. These property locations are targeting a specific kind of buyer and it could be hard to find them. Unless you live in a strictly urban area, you may want to think twice about the property location. Not only could it be a hard sell later, but you as an owner may get sick of the constant action very quickly.
A Swimming Pool
If you live in a place where the weather is always warm and a pool is a requirement, then putting a pool in your home makes sense. In more variable temperature regions, a pool is not always the best idea. Pools require a lot of maintenance and can be a significant investment. Think of how much of the year a pool is actually usable in your area. The biggest issue with swimming pools is that while they are a luxury, they really don’t add value to the home. In some cases, a pool can end up detracting value and interest from a property.
A Big Yard
While a large backyard can be attractive, not every homeowner wants to care for such a large amount of space. These large yards can take a significant investment of both time and money to maintain. A large yard attracts a certain type of buyer. Not that you can restructure property lines, but know that bigger isn't always better when it comes to a home’s outdoor space.
An ambitious home seller may be better equipped than his or her rivals to enjoy a seamless property selling experience. In fact, this individual likely will go the extra mile to ensure buyers can learn about his or her house and make an informed purchase decision.
Believe it or not, becoming an ambitious home seller can be simple. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you streamline the home selling journey.
1. Analyze the Housing Market
The local housing market may have major ramifications on the home selling journey. If you review real estate market data, however, you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market. Then, you can map out your home selling journey accordingly.
Review the prices of available houses in your city or town that are similar to your own. Also, check out the prices of recently sold homes in your area and find out how long these residences were available before they sold. With this housing market data in hand, you can distinguish a buyer's market from a seller's market. Plus, you may be able to find innovative ways to differentiate your home from the competition.
2. Evaluate Your Home
Your home – like all other residences – has various strengths and weaknesses. If you perform a comprehensive home evaluation, you can identify your house's weaknesses and explore ways to transform them into strengths.
It may be helpful to schedule a home inspection prior to listing your residence. During an inspection, a property expert will walk through your home and identify any underlying house issues. He or she next will provide you with an inspection report that you can use to prioritize home repairs.
In addition, you may want to perform an appraisal. If you obtain an appraisal report, you can receive a property valuation that accounts for your house's condition and the current state of the housing market. You then can use this property valuation to establish an aggressive initial asking price for your home.
3. Work with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of selling a home, regardless of the current housing market's conditions. He or she will help you promote your residence to the right groups of buyers and host home showings and open house events. Furthermore, a real estate agent will help you review any offers to purchase your residence and provide assorted house selling tips.
If you hire a real estate agent, you can receive lots of insights into the housing market that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere, too. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is prepared to respond to your home selling concerns and questions at any time.
For those who want to enjoy a successful home selling experience, it helps to prepare for the home selling journey. By using the aforementioned tips, you can become an ambitious home seller and quickly generate significant interest in your residence.