Our Real Estate Blog
Being in the market for a new home can be both an exciting experience and a scary one! It not only represents a huge financial commitment, but it also forces you to step out of your "comfort zone."
That's especially true if you're a first-time home buyer. When you make the switch from being a renter to a home owner, you no longer have the "luxury" of depending on your landlord for repairs, yard maintenance, or help with plumbing emergencies. Now, when the AC quits or the furnace conks out, the responsibility (and cost) of getting it fixed rests squarely on your shoulders!
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to minimize the possibility of incurring major expenses during the first couple years of owning a home. While there are (usually) no guarantees that household mechanical systems won't fail or that other crises won't befall you as a new homeowner, there are choices you can make that will reduce the chances of being saddled with unexpected expenses.
Buying a home with a newer roof, energy-efficient appliances, updated HVAC system, and a dry basement are four ways you can sidestep many predictable problems down the road. Wear and tear will eventually take its toll on everything from hot water heaters to microwave ovens, but if you can postpone having to replace appliances, roofs, and climate-control systems for several years or more, it will be a lot easier on you and your budget!
So all things being equal, home ownership will be more pleasurable and affordable if you choose a home with recent upgrades, replacements, and improvements -- preferably, those done within the past five or ten years. Besides comparing the maintenance history of houses you're considering, there's also the essential step of hiring an experienced structural inspector. When you've narrowed down your house-buying possibilities to one preferred home, a property inspector can help you identify "red flags" and potential problems before you close on that house.
As your real estate agent will probably tell you, if any major problems are identified in the home inspection process, you may be in a position to renegotiate the agreement or withdraw your offer, entirely. Since legalities are often complex and every real estate transaction is different, however, it's always essential to consult with an experienced real estate attorney whenever questions, problems, or complications arise in a real estate purchase or sale.
While it's a good idea to "expect the unexpected" when purchasing and moving into a new home, it pays to work with a team of trusted advisors. Working with a seasoned real estate agent, a knowledgeable real estate attorney, and a reputable property inspector will help make sure that your experience is both satisfying and relatively problem free! Knowing what you want and being adamant about what matters most to you should also serve you well in the house buying process.
If you're getting ready to put your house on the market, your mind is probably flooded with dozens of unanswerable questions. Much of your uncertainty may revolve around the marketability of your home and how quickly a qualified buyer will come along.
Although there are factors over which you have little control, there are several things you can do to tip the scales in your direction.
Other than sprucing up your home and yard to maximize their visual appeal, choosing a top-notch real estate agent is the single most important step you can take. It's not only crucial to select an agent who is both experienced and proactive, but you'll also want to find a professional with whom you have a good rapport. You can usually get a pretty good idea of their experience and sales history from online profiles, but the only way to know whether they're a good fit for your needs and personality is by meeting with them face to face.
If you have the time and inclination, it can also be to your advantage to interview more than one candidate. The agent you ultimately choose will have a direct bearing on virtually all aspects of the sales process. By choosing a professional who is dedicated, knowledgeable, and easy to work with, you'll be taking a big step toward getting your house sold within the shortest period of time. A good agent will keep you motivated, informed, and focused on keeping your home in marketable condition. They'll also help you with everything from pricing and negotiating to problem solving and setting up appointments.
There are several other things you can do to increase the chances of attracting potential buyers and offers. Creating as much curb appeal as possible can go a long way toward making a great first impression. The concept of curb appeal can encompass many different elements, but the battle is half won when your lawn, bushes, and trees are kept neatly trimmed at all times. Weather permitting, displaying colorful potted flowers and hanging baskets is another way to add a lot of eye appeal to your home. Simple improvements like painting your front steps, sealcoating your driveway, or touching up the paint on window shutters or porch railings can also help enhance your home's curb appeal.
Although interior painting can be time-consuming and a bit messy, it's often one of the most cost-effective ways to make a positive impression on potential buyers. If your walls are looking scuffed, faded, or otherwise neglected, a fresh coat of neutral, beige, or grey paint can often make a huge difference in the eye-appeal of your home. Making sure your carpets are clean, counter tops are immaculate, and your windows are crystal clear are other ways to put your best foot forward when house hunters are scheduled to visit your home.
With just minutes of prep and a little more than an hour of cooking time, you can make a great twice baked sweet potato dish ready to serve for your household. Here's a closer look at why it makes for such a healthy meal and what you'll need to pull it off:
Why It's A Great Dish
Sweet potatoes are highly nutritious, and a great source of fiber, vitamins and minerals. They help with digestive health, and studies suggest they can also help boost the entire immune system. Sweet potatoes also:
Just 200 grams of baked sweet potato (including skin) offers up to 769 percent of the daily value of Vitamin A, 65 percent of the daily value of Vitamin C, half the daily value of Manganese and 29 percent of the daily value of Vitamin B6. The recipe shared here contains 257 calories per serving and 14 grams of fat.
Twice Baked Sweet Potato: What You'll Need
Here are the ingredients you'll need to make six servings:
How To Prepare It
This twice-baked sweet potato recipe is an ideal part of a balanced, healthy meal. It's also an ideal dish for vegetarians or those trying to introduce meatless meals.
Let's face it – the thought of entering the home selling market can be stressful, even if you don't plan to put your house on the market for several weeks or months. However, there are many simple ways to ensure you can enjoy a fun, exciting and successful home selling journey.
Now, let's take a look at three tips that you can use to kick off an unforgettable home selling journey.
1. Examine Your Home's Interior and Exterior
How will a potential homebuyer view your residence when he or she sees it for the first time? This is a question that you'll want to consider closely, as a homebuyer's first impression of your residence may dictate whether he or she moves forward with an offer.
Take a close look at your house's interior and exterior from a homebuyer's perspective. If home improvements are necessary, now may be the ideal time to complete these tasks. That way, you can enhance your house's interior and exterior before you add your residence to the real estate market.
Also, a home appraisal may help you identify problem areas with your residence. This appraisal enables a property inspector to examine your residence from top to bottom and can help you better understand your house's strengths and weaknesses.
2. Declutter Your Residence
Unfortunately, clutter can accumulate in a home over an extended period of time. But if you start decluttering your home today, you may be able to avoid the stress of cleaning out your residence as you get closer to adding your home to the housing market.
To declutter effectively, consider items that you need to keep and store them safely. Then, take the items that you no longer require and consider all of your options to get rid of them quickly and safely.
In many instances, you can sell excess items or donate them to charity. Or, you can always offer these items to family members and friends as well.
3. Meet with a Real Estate Agent
What does it take to get your house ready for the real estate market? Meet with a real estate agent, and you can learn everything you'll need to know about selling a house.
A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of the real estate market. As such, he or she can answer any questions that you may have about the home selling journey and help you plan accordingly.
In addition, after you list your residence, your real estate agent will streamline the home selling cycle. This housing market professional will set up home showings and open houses, promote your residence to large groups of potential buyers and much more. By doing so, your real estate agent will do everything possible to help you maximize the value of your residence.
When it comes to getting ready to sell your home, there is no need to worry. Instead, use the aforementioned tips, and you'll be able to enjoy a memorable home selling journey.
If you encounter home selling challenges, there is no need to worry. In fact, if you know how to approach potential house selling hurdles, you may be better equipped than others to enjoy a seamless property selling experience.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you hone your approach to home selling challenges.
1. Remain Calm
A home selling challenge may seem like the end of the world. But it is important to remember that home sellers like yourself likely have faced similar problems in the past. And as such, there is probably a viable solution to address any home selling challenge, at any time.
When a home selling challenge presents itself, it often helps to take a deep breath. Then, you should try to remain calm, cool and collected and approach the challenge from an objective point of view. By doing so, you may be able to find a way to resolve this challenge in no time at all.
2. Be Persistent
Let's face it – no one said selling a house would be easy. But for those who are persistent, even the toughest home selling challenges can be overcome.
If you approach a home selling challenge with persistence, you'll be ready to explore every potential solution to address this issue. As a result, you may be able to quickly identify the right solutions to various home selling challenges and move one step closer to achieving your property selling goals.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
For those who face a home selling challenge, it generally is a good idea to seek out expert guidance. Fortunately, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals are happy to help you address any home selling challenges head-on.
Typically, a real estate agent offers plenty of support throughout the property selling journey. He or she first will learn about your home selling goals and provide a personalized home selling strategy. Next, a real estate agent will promote your residence to the right groups of prospective buyers. And if you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent will help you analyze this proposal and decide whether to accept, reject or counter it.
A real estate agent is prepared to respond to any concerns or questions that you may have during the home selling process too. If you are unsure about how to price your home, for example, a real estate agent can offer housing market data to help you establish a competitive initial asking price. Or, if you face a time crunch to sell your residence, a real estate agent will do everything possible to help you sell your house as quickly as possible.
There is no reason to let home selling challenges get the best of you after you list your residence. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, however, you can boost your home selling confidence and determine the best course of action to resolve any house selling challenges.