Carol George's Blog
It must have been frightening, in the days before the internet, to move to a new place that you knew little about. The culture, the people, the things to do--all of these things are now at our fingertips thanks to Google and others.
However, it can still be difficult to get used to a new town, especially if you’re moving far away from your previous home. So, in this article, I’m going to give you some tips on how to investigate your new town. That way, you’ll have a good idea of what kind of things you can do for fun, where to eat, and countless other things you might want to know about the place you’ll soon call home.
The lay of the land
A good place to start your search is on Google Maps. From here you can explore your future neighborhood; find out how close you are to grocery stores, parks, hospitals, and even get an estimate on how long your work commute will take each day.
Since many of these places will have ratings and reviews, you can also take some time to read the reviews for popular places around town.
Eating around town
It can seem like you’re always flipping a coin when you eat at a new restaurant. When you move to a new town, you’ll have to discover new favorite places to eat. However, you don’t have to do these experiments on your own.
Check out Yelp reviews for local restaurants and cafes to get a sense of the pricing and atmosphere. This way you’ll give yourself the best possible chance of enjoying the experience.
Meeting new people
Making friends is hard enough as an adult. In today’s world, many people meet their friends online or through other connections, rather than simply hanging around with their neighbors.
Luckily, sites like Facebook and Meetup make it easier to introduce yourself to like-minded people.
Browse local meetups that you’re interested in, and don’t be afraid to try out a new activity or attend a paint night--you might meet new people and discover a new hobby all at once.
Most towns have a strong presence on Facebook in terms of things like groups and events. Joining local groups will give you an idea of the type of things people do for fun around town and give you a way to introduce yourself to new people.
Read the news
Many towns are covered by a local or regional newspaper. They can often be found online or at a local library or cafe. These newspapers are often the key to discovering the good and the bad about your new home, tipping you off to the things you’ll want to pay attention to when you move.
Purchasing a deluxe home at an affordable price may seem impossible, particularly for property buyers who are searching for a residence in a seller's market.
Lucky for you, we're here to help take the guesswork out of buying a terrific residence at a budget-friendly price, regardless of the current housing market conditions.
Now, let's take a look at three factors that homebuyers need to consider before they enter a seller's market.
1. Your Timeline
What is your homebuying timeline? Ultimately, you'll want to consider how quickly you need to relocate to a new residence. This will enable you to map out a homebuying journey that boosts your chances of getting the best results possible.
For example, if you have several months to plan ahead, you may be able to wait out a seller's market. You can pursue a wide range of residences over an extended period of time. And if you find a residence that you like, you can submit an offer on it.
On the other hand, if you need to move right away, you'll likely need to speed up the homebuying journey. In this scenario, you'll want to make the most of the time and resources at your disposal. If you can optimize the time and resources that are available, you may be better equipped than other homebuyers to discover a great home in a seller's market.
2. Your Budget
How much can you afford to spend on a home? A seller's market favors property sellers, so you'll want to do everything possible to budget appropriately and avoid the temptation to overspend to acquire a residence.
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage usually is an excellent idea. If you meet with banks and credit unions, you can learn about your mortgage options and choose a mortgage that matches your finances perfectly.
With a mortgage in hand, you can enter the housing market with realistic property buying expectations. You also may be able to narrow your home search, and as such, speed up the process of purchasing your ideal house.
3. Your Homebuying Expertise
What do you know about the housing market? In most cases, homebuyers lack real estate expertise. However, working with a real estate agent ensures you can receive comprehensive support as you navigate a seller's market.
A real estate agent is a friendly, knowledgeable housing market professional, one who will go above and beyond the call of duty to assist you during the homebuying journey.
Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you informed about new properties as they become available and negotiate with home sellers on your behalf. He or she will even provide honest, unbiased recommendations, guaranteeing you can get the expert insights you need to make informed homebuying decisions.
When it comes to exploring houses in a seller's market, why should you be forced to leave anything to chance? Consider the aforementioned factors closely, and you can improve your chances of acquiring a stellar home without having to break your budget.
If you’re looking to buy a property in the near future, you may be considering a condominium as a part of your search criteria. There’s so much to consider when you are deciding on whether to buy a condo or a traditional home. Condos can be great for the right buyers. You just need to be sure that your needs will be met by purchasing a condo. Hopefully, laying out the pros and cons will help you to make an informed decision that’s right for you.
There’s many great pros to buying a condo. For people who seek security and easy upkeep living, buying a condo can be great for the following reasons:
Security: Many condominiums offer gated communities with security staff on duty. In this way, living in a condo gives you a special sort of safe community feel.
Amenities: Condos also offer many different kinds of perks for owners. These can include a pool, a clubhouse, or community events. You won’t get all of these unique benefits living in a traditional house.
Maintenance: You don’t have to worry about maintaining your home or the surrounding areas. In a condo, someone else takes care of it for you! When your heating unit fails, it will be taken care of. This is one of the great benefits to this style of home.
Accessible prices: Condos are much more affordable than homes in many places. Purchasing a condo can be a great first step to home ownership.
HOA Fees: All of the amenities that condos carry come at a price. You as the homeowner cover the costs of maintenance and security in the community. This fee is paid on top of your mortgage payment. In some cases, the association fees can vary widely, so plan your finances accordingly.
Privacy: Living in a condo is similar to living in an apartment. There’s a lack of privacy that exists when you’re sharing walls with your neighbors. You’ll hear people going up and down the halls and fellow owners will be around you 24 hours a day. If you enjoy your privacy and space, condo living may not be for you.
Selling: If you have seen one condo in a specific complex, you have seen them all. That’s what makes selling a condo difficult at times. If a building has more empty units than not, the condo may be more difficult to sell. Keep this in mind when you’re searching.
Condos Have Rules: Living in a condo means you’re living under the management’s rules. You may not to be able to install the technology that you want like solar panels and satellite TV under the community regulations, for example. A condominium's home owner association may limit things like what you can do in your yard or hang on your door.
The decision to buy a condo over a single family home is a big one. There’s many different things that need to be considered on an individual basis for your choice to be complete. Look at your decision from all angles. A condo could be a great pathway to home ownership for many people.
When selling a home, most sellers are eager to sell quickly. Especially when living out of their home while simultaneously showing it. One of the biggest determinant factors for house shoppers right now is the staging. Whether they recognize it or not the atmosphere you create within your house helps buyers imagine themselves living their day to day within
But keeping your home
If you want to put your home’s best “foot” forward, however, it, literally, pays to put in the time and effort to live differently for a few weeks.
Start with a deep clean. Some people like to hire a cleaning company to come in and do the job for them. But there’s no reason you can’t get the same results on your own. Plan to dedicate a week to
Give your home a facelift. Repaint your walls, rent a carpet cleaner (or hire a service) and power wash the exterior. When repainting
Declutter, declutter, declutter! This is a step many sellers dread but is so worth the effort. Donate and get rid of everything you no longer use or need. When you’re finished go the extra step and rent a storage unit to stash away extra furniture,
You want to create as much space in your home as possible. Taking a minimalist approach that strips your unique personality from the decor allows potential buyers to see how the house can become theirs. You don’t want to distract buyers and have them wonder about what kind of people you and your family are. Additionally, keep closets,
Add greenery. Potted plants and fresh cut blooms will be like the icing on the cake. This is always what makes the biggest difference in making a room feel pulled together and comfortable. If you’ve ever flipped through the pages of a home decor magazine you may have noticed this is a trick they use in all of the rooms they showcase.
Living out of your home while showing it isn’t a walk in the park, but it can be easy i
Many hopeful homebuyers seek to save money by buying a fixer-upper and doing most of the renovations themselves. This is a proven method for those who have a knack for home improvement and aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.
However, estimating the cost of a remodel can be difficult. There are many costs you may not be aware of, and others that are easy to go over budget on.
In this article, we’re going to talk about the cost of an average remodel, and some lesser-known costs that you might be forgetting to factor into your budget.
Average remodeling costs
As you might guess, the cost of a remodel can vary greatly. Things like the size of the home, the number of rooms you’re remodeling, and the type of repairs you’ll be making all factor into the equation.
Some repairs can be quite costly. Septic system replacements can cost several thousands of dollars depending on the type of system you need. And, if you’re buying an old home, you’ll need to look out for expensive fixes like asbestos removal and foundation damage.
According to one report, most Americans spent between $17,000 and $61,000 on their remodel, with the average renovation cost being around $37,000.
If you’re hiring a contractor for the bulk of your remodel, expect them to charge between 10% and 15% of the total cost.
Lesser known costs of a home renovation
Remodeling a home isn’t as simple as looking up a contractor and telling them to give you the bill once it’s finished, and that’s probably a good thing because odds are you would be shocked by the cost.
First, you’ll pay a contractor to do a walkthrough and estimate costs. Next, you’ll need to get any permits that are required for your renovations.
If you plan on doing the renovations yourself, there are a few costs you’ll need to consider. First, understand that you likely won’t be able to take advantage of all of the discounts that contractors can, meaning your building materials may be more expensive than expected. Similarly, the cost of tools for the project adds up quickly. And, when you make mistakes--we all do, we’re only human--you’ll be paying for it out of pocket.
Knowing your long term goals
An important consideration for a remodel is to look toward the future. Do you want to sell your home within the next few years? If so, you might consider going with less expensive materials--such as generic kitchen cabinets rather than custom-built--to save money while still increasing the value of the home.
However, if you plan on being in this home for decades or more, it may be worth the extra money now to make sure you are happy with your home for years to come.
Remodeling a home can be a memorable and rewarding endeavor. You get the chance to take a house that you see potential in and make it truly your own. Now that you know the costs, you’ll be better prepared for planning your home renovation.