Joyce Crommett's Blog
Before you launch a home search, it helps to prepare for the property buying journey as much as possible. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to get ready to find your dream house.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you prep for a home search.
1. Establish Homebuying Criteria
If you know you want to buy a home, it generally is a good idea to define your ideal residence as well. That way, you can streamline your house search.
Consider where you want to reside. For example, if you work in the city, you may want to focus on houses in or near the city itself. On the other hand, if you plan to return to school, you may want to search for a home near top colleges and universities.
Think about what features you want in your ideal home, too. If you have always wanted to own a home that boasts a luxurious outdoor swimming pool, for instance, you can map out your home search accordingly. Or, if you want to purchase a residence that features a state-of-the-art kitchen, you can search for a home that offers this amenity.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
A mortgage typically is a must-have, regardless of where and when you search for a home. And if you enter the housing market with a mortgage at your disposal, you will know precisely how much you can spend on a residence.
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage can be simple. If you meet with banks and credit unions in your area, you can review your options and select a mortgage that complements your finances.
If you have concerns about home financing, don't hesitate to ask questions. Banks and credit unions employ courteous, diligent mortgage specialists who can respond to your home financing queries. As such, you can work with these specialists to gain the home financing insights you need to make the best-possible mortgage decision.
3. Hire a Real Estate Agent
As you get set to conduct a home search, there is no need to work alone. If you hire a real estate agent, you can collaborate with a homebuying expert who can take the guesswork out of finding and purchasing a house.
A real estate agent is happy to provide guidance throughout the homebuying journey. He or she can offer tips and recommendations to ensure you can find a terrific home at a price that matches your budget. Plus, a real estate agent will simplify the process of setting up home showings. Perhaps best of all, if you are uncertain about whether to submit an offer to purchase a home, a real estate agent is ready to provide insights to help you analyze all of your options.
Dedicate time and resources to prepare for the homebuying journey. By doing so, you can enter the housing market with the insights you need to succeed.
Creating just the right amount of curb appeal can be a delicate balance, but one thing's for sure: Many real estate agents firmly believe that it is the most important factor affecting how long a property remains on the market. That being the case, it's a phase of preparing your home for sale that you don't want to neglect or put on "the back burner."
If your home and property is in reasonably good condition, it may be possible to give it some extra eye-appeal without going overboard on the cost. Here are a few curb-appeal basics to consider as you get your house ready for the real estate market.
Painting: If it's been more than a few years since the outside of your home has been painted, it may be time to either repaint the entire exterior (which won't be cheap) or do some extensive "touching up." Sometimes, simply repainting window trim, shutters, and the front door can help visibly improve the overall appearance of your property. In general, peeling or fading paint will negatively impact the marketability of your home, so it's an issue worth addressing early on.
Power washing: A professional power-washing service can remove unsightly stains, layers of dirt, and discoloration from concrete surfaces, fences, roofs, garages, garage doors, and your home's exterior. One cautionary note about power washing: Applying too much water pressure can potentially cause damage to materials like loose roof shingles, older painted surfaces, crumbling concrete, old slate flooring, untreated wood, and aging fences. Special instructions may need to be given to workers and their manager, regarding delicate surfaces and the need to adjust water pressure accordingly.
Front porch: There are a lot of nice touches you can add to a front porch to make it look more inviting and visually appealing. In addition to making sure floors, steps, railings, windows, and furniture are immaculate, inexpensive upgrades, such as a new welcome mat, mailbox, and house numbers can also make a noticeable difference in the impression you create. Weather permitting, colorful potted or hanging flower baskets will enhance the aesthetic appeal of your property. As is the case with interior home staging, strategically arranging furniture can help prospective buyers imagine themselves relaxing on your porch and elsewhere in your house. That can be a key step in triggering their interest.
Landscaping: When your house is on the market, it's crucial to keep your lawn and shrubs looking manicured at all times. Any hint of overgrowth, dying trees, or weeds can send the wrong message to potential buyers about the quality and desirability of your home. Edging for lawns, flower beds, and sidewalks can often be a relatively inexpensive way to enhance the eye appeal of your property.
A seasoned real estate agent can provide you with more cost-effective ideas on sprucing up the outside of your house to attract prospective buyers.
So, the family trip this year requires a road trip. The thought of everyone packed in the car or van for hours may cause some anxiety, but it doesn’t have to. These hours on the road can be an opportunity to build family bonds and create one-of-a-kind memories that you all will be talking about years from now. Although it may take some planning and a little imagination you can head on out with confidence, excited for the journey, as much as the destination. Depending on the ages of your family you can put together a road trip adventure kit that is sure to engage everyone in the vehicle.
Depending on how long the trip will be, you can plan it out by the number of scheduled stops. For one day trips, you can have everyone weigh in on when to stop and for how long. Including everyone in the logistical planning can create a sense of anticipation even before you hit the road. Making individual snack boxes or bags with each persons' choice of travel-friendly foods is a great idea. A small cooler to carry beverages and food items that need refrigeration is another good idea to keep passengers satisfied and the road trip, on the road. Individual activities such as books and 3-d puzzles (think Rubik cubes) can keep some travelers entertained. But if you have a passenger that tends to get a bit carsick, you can have them try a road trip scavenger hunt. Options are available online to print out and cover different kinds of areas you will be traveling through; for example, city, country or even mountain areas.
Many Miles to Go
If your road trip unfolds over the course of a few days, your planning will need to be a bit more detailed. Think about making a map with the route and stops marked with stickers for the younger travelers to use as a tracker. Then every time you hear that infamous question "Are we there yet?" you can refer them to the map and have them find where you are currently and how long it will be until you reach the next scheduled stop. Older travelers may want to plug in their electronics that entire way, but you can challenge them to take a selfie every 100 miles or so to document the trip process. With some planning, your family road trip will be an enjoyable part of your time together.
Next time you are planning a trip try having each person pack their individual activity bag with some car-trip friendly items and see what they invent.
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.
There is no surefire formula to craft the perfect home listing. Instead, a seller must allocate the necessary time and resources to ensure a listing hits the mark with buyers. If a seller fails to do so, this individual may struggle to stir up interest in his or her home. Perhaps worst of all, this seller's home may linger on the real estate market for an extended period of time.
Ultimately, there are lots of things a seller can do to craft an engaging and informative home listing. These include:
1. Focus on the Positives
Think about why a buyer may consider your house over other available properties. Then, you'll be better equipped than ever before to highlight your home's positive aspects in your listing.
It may be beneficial to consider what makes your house unique as well. If you include details that show buyers why your home is a one-of-a-kind residence, you may be able to increase the likelihood that buyers will want to view your house in-person.
2. Provide Accurate Information
There is no reason to stretch the truth in your home listing. In fact, doing so may actually slow down the home selling process. But if you include accurate information about your residence in your listing, a buyer can use your listing to determine if your house is the right choice based on his or her individual needs.
When it comes to crafting an effective home listing, a straightforward approach is ideal. Thus, avoiding jargon is crucial, particularly if you want your listing to make a positive impression on buyers.
3. Include High-Resolution Images
Although your listing may include great information about your house, you may want to incorporate high-resolution images of your residence into your listing. That way, you can show buyers the true beauty of your house.
Of course, before you take photos of your home's interior and exterior, you should perform house cleaning and maintenance. Because if you incorporate photos into your listing that portray your house in a negative light, it may be difficult to generate interest in your residence.
For those who require extra help as they put together a home listing, working with a real estate agent may be a good idea. A real estate agent is a house selling expert who can help you create a listing that matches your expectations.
Typically, a real estate agent will meet with a home seller and learn about this individual's property selling goals. He or she next will help a seller craft a listing. Finally, when a listing is ready, a real estate agent will add a seller's residence to the housing market and promote the home to buyers.
To achieve the best-possible results during the home selling journey, it helps to craft a listing that is easy to understand and provides valuable information about a house. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can create a home listing that may help you garner interest in your residence as soon as it becomes available.