Our Real Estate Blog
If you want to find and purchase a great house at a budget-friendly price, it helps to enter the homebuying journey with a plan in hand. Lucky for you, we're here to help you prepare for all stages of the homebuying journey.
Now, let's take a look at three tips so you can set yourself up for success as you search for your dream residence.
1. Make a List of Home Must-Haves
The definition of a dream home varies from buyer to buyer. To define your dream home, you should craft a list of house must-haves and use this list to streamline your quest to acquire your ideal residence.
Think about which home features you need. For instance, if you require a house that boasts multiple bedrooms, you can tailor your house search accordingly. Or, if you need a home that is close to your office, you can search for a residence that provides convenient access to your office.
You may want to make a list of preferred cities and towns, too. This list will enable you to focus on available houses in cities and towns that match your expectations.
2. Create a Homebuying Budget
Learn about different types of mortgages – you'll be glad you did. Because if you make an informed mortgage selection, you can begin your home search with a budget at your disposal.
Generally, it is a good idea to meet with banks and credit unions before you launch a house search. Banks and credit unions are happy to teach you about myriad types of home financing. Then, you can select a mortgage that can help you make your homeownership dream come true.
If you are unsure about how various mortgage options work, there is no need to stress. Banks and credit unions employ courteous, knowledgeable mortgage specialists, and these professionals can teach you everything you need to know about home financing.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is a homebuying expert who is happy to share his or her housing market insights with you. By doing so, a real estate agent will help you achieve your desired homebuying results as quickly as possible.
Typically, a real estate agent takes an in-depth approach to the homebuying journey. He or she first will learn about you and find out what you want to find in your dream residence. Next, a real estate agent will help you narrow your house search to residences that satisfy your needs and keep you up to date about available homes that may suit you perfectly. If you find a home you want to buy, a real estate agent then will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase this residence. Finally, if your offer to purchase a house is accepted, a real estate agent will help you complete the homebuying journey.
Want to acquire your ideal residence? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can put yourself in position to succeed as you pursue your dream home.
Going away on your vacation should be a time of relaxation and enjoyment. For some of us, however, we spend some of that time worrying about our homes, our pets, and all of the housework we have to catch up on when we get back.
One way to alleviate some of this anxiety is to employ a house-sitter while you’re away. In this article, we’re going to talk about getting your home ready for the sitter so that they can keep things running smoothly while you’re away.
Finding a house-sitter
There are three groups of people you should consult about finding a house-sitter for your home: friends, family, and neighbors. Many young people still living with their parents will be happy to get away for a week or two and have a house to themselves for a change.
An added benefit of asking an acquaintance or relative is that you can usually be assured that they’ll take good care of your home while you’re away.
In terms of payment, leaving them money for groceries and delivery is a good way to thank them for watching your house and pets while you were away.
Getting your house ready for the sitter
You might be at a loss of where to begin when it comes to leaving a note of things to do while you’re away. A good way to make sure you don’t miss anything is to keep a list in your phone and add to it throughout the day whenever you complete a task that you want the house-sitter to do.
You’ll also want to make sure you provide contact numbers for you and whoever else is away on vacation with you, and store the house-sitter’s number in your phones as well.
Next, make sure your home is emergency-ready. That includes checking the smoke detector and flashlight batteries. If you have a security system, it’s a good idea to let them know that someone will be watching your home while you’re away and provide their name in case your house-sitter accidentally sets off the alarm.
Finally, take care of anything you need to do before leaving, such as paying utility bills, putting fresh linens in the bedroom and bathroom, and parking your unused vehicles in a safe place.
Tip: It might be a good idea to lock or hide any alcohol, tobacco, etc. that’s in the house, especially if your house-sitter is underage.
Now, let’s talk about some things to include on your list to leave for the house-sitter:
Recycling information (sort or no-sort)
Which day to take out the garbage cans and recycling
Information about pets: when/how much to feed, treats, walks, when they need to go outside, which vet to call in case of emergency, etc.
Location of keys for shed, house, etc.
Garage door opener
Reminder to take in the mail
Pool filter and cleaning procedure
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If you're in the process of preparing your home for the real estate market, get ready to roll up your sleeves and make your home as irresistible as possible!
While this may sound like an enormous undertaking that you don't have the time or energy to tackle, remember one thing: When you put your home up for sale, there's a lot at stake!
Generally, the longer your house stays on the market, the less marketable it becomes. If potential buyers learn that your house has been on the market for longer than, say, a few months, one of the first questions they'll ask or think will be "What's wrong with it?" Once questions like that start arising, the overall appeal of your home begins to decline. As you can imagine, your ability to get the highest possible price for your house also weakens over time. That's why it's important to do everything possible to enhance the look and feel of your home.
Home Staging Counts
Although effective home staging can be a crucial aspect of selling your house quickly, there is a point at which diminishing returns may come into play. Few home sellers have unlimited time and money to invest in staging their home, and it's easy to go above and beyond what's actually necessary to secure a buyer.
There are dozens of variables that affect a house selling strategy, including the real estate market and the condition of your home. If it's a "buyers' market" and there are a lot of comparable houses for sale in your neighborhood, then you might have to work a little harder to make your home stand out and attract offers. If you're fortunate enough to be in a desirable area and not facing a lot of competition from other home sellers, then the law of supply and demand should work in your favor! However, it's still important to make the most of your property's curb appeal and the overall appearance of your home's interior.
The cost of home staging can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands, but your real estate agent can provide invaluable guidance on how to cost-effectlively maximize the "eye appeal" of your house and property. While perfection is generally an unattainable standard in home staging (or anything else), optimal results only come from putting your best foot forward.
Several words to remember and be guided by when preparing a house for sale are "immaculate", "spotless", "manicured" (lawn), "fresh" (looking and smelling), "updated", "well-maintained", and "charming". If prospective buyers are using those words and phrases to describe your home, then you know you're on the right track! Your agent can provide you with helpful insights and suggestions for making a great impression on potential buyers -- without having to spend more on home staging than necessary!