Carol George's Blog
You’ve got your dream job, and you can finally afford to more comfortable surroundings. But as you fantasize about your next neighborhood, you need to make sure you get top dollar for your present pad. Selling for more may mean a wholesale renovation exercise or minor touch-ups depending on how good you have been to your home over the years. Either can cost an arm and a leg, but you can keep things within budget if you try out the steps below.
Switch out older hardware items for snazzier new ones, such as drawer handles and cabinet knobs. Not only will it be reasonably cheap to do so, but it will also inject the home with your design sensibilities.
Become closet savvy
Arrange and organize your closet, not only for aesthetic purposes but also for space saving and efficient storage reasons as well. Ergonomic and smart shelving is one way of achieving this, as is building in clever nooks that fit your everyday storage needs.
Track lighting installation
Overhead lights are not always the answer to your illumination needs, as track lighting can serve in task completion in specific settings. These include the laundry room, bathroom, and kitchen. Or try undermount lighting installed on cabinet undersides for countertop surface lighting.
Create a memorable entrance
Transform your front door's interior area from drab to functional, with tasteful fixtures on which guests and family can leave their coats and shoes. Furniture such as overhead cabinets or shelving, hooks, and benches with built-in storage spaces can add a touch of class while helping you use available space better.
Update the light fixtures
Replacing aging contractor-grade light fixtures is a relatively simple and inexpensive home improvement exercise. Jazz things up by taking a walk through the lighting section at your favorite store to search for inspiration. You will be surprised at the budget-friendly options for you to choose from, and it would make an unmistakable difference in your home.
Upgrade the bathroom
Several additions can transform a standard bathroom. Mirror framing using wood costs little but gives the vanity area atmosphere. Change out the faucets for an upgraded appearance. Contemporary shelving, a new lick of paint and perhaps an art piece are other ways to transform your bathroom’s ambiance from bland to sharp.
None of these bathroom enhancement tasks take an age to accomplish, nor cost too much. They can be broken up into individual jobs, but will eventually, when complete, make your bathroom feel new.
Kitchen cabinet dimension
Consider switching your cabinet colors up for a total change in their feel and look. An option is a two-tone, flattering color scheme, whereby the upper cabinets are painted one color and the lower cabinets another complimentary one. This scheme creates dimension and depth, two things all kitchens need.
For more home improvement tricks and tips on a budget, visit a professional home improvement advisor today.
If you intend to purchase a house, it helps to submit a competitive offer. In fact, if you submit a competitive offer, you may be better equipped than ever before to enjoy a fast, seamless homebuying experience.
Ultimately, there are many reasons to submit a competitive offer on a home, and these include:
1. You can increase the likelihood of an instant "Yes" from a home seller.
Let's face it – no home seller wants to deal with a "lowball" offer on a house. Fortunately, a competitive offer helps improve your chances of receiving an instant "Yes" from a seller, thereby increasing the likelihood of a stress-free homebuying experience.
A homebuyer who allocates the necessary time and resources to understand a house and its strengths and weaknesses should have no trouble defining a competitive offer. Then, this buyer can submit a proposal that accounts for a house's age and condition. And if a seller accepts the homebuying proposal, both the buyer and seller can work together to finalize a purchase agreement.
2. You can open the lines of communication with a home seller.
Although a competitive home offer may suit your interests, it may not match a seller's expectations. However, a buyer's decision to submit a competitive proposal may open the lines of communication with a seller.
If a buyer submits a lowball proposal on a house, he or she may receive an immediate rejection from a seller. Comparatively, a competitive home offer may force a seller to consider his or her options closely. And even though a seller may not be fully satisfied with the proposal, he or she could counter the offer and negotiate terms with a buyer.
3. You can avoid the risk of overspending to acquire a residence.
A homebuyer who analyzes the real estate market can find out what a home is worth based on a variety of housing sector conditions. Therefore, this buyer can submit a competitive offer, one that minimizes the risk that he or she will overspend to acquire a residence.
When it comes to putting together a competitive home offer, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent as well. This housing market professional can work with you throughout your home search and ensure you can pounce at any opportunity to purchase your ideal house.
A real estate agent understands all aspects of the housing market. He or she will help you search for residences in your preferred cities and towns. Plus, once you discover your dream house, a real estate agent will make it simple to put together a competitive offer.
Furthermore, a real estate agent is happy to respond to your concerns and questions throughout the homebuying journey. This housing market professional will offer expert homebuying insights, enabling you to make the best-possible homebuying decision.
Limit the guesswork associated with submitting a competitive homebuying proposal – use the aforementioned tips, and you can make an aggressive offer on any house, at any time.
For most college students and recent grads, the prospect of buying a home seems slim and distant. With the cost of a college education growing each year and the price of houses inflating, it can seem daunting to begin to save for a down payment or build credit.
However, there are ways to start planning now for buying a home, even if you are burdened with student debt and rising rent.
In this article, we’re going to do just that. If you’re a recent grad or a current college student, read on for a guide to buying a home.
What do you need to buy a home
Once you graduate college you might be wishing you could have taken an elective called “How to Be an Adult 101.” There are many personal finance problems in life that just aren’t taught in school, from saving for retirement, to borrowing for a house or car, to investing in stocks and bonds.
So, what are the main things you’ll need to buy a home? Before you start applying for mortgages, you should know that just because you can get approved doesn’t mean you should buy a home.
Purchasing a home is a huge investment and one that most homeowners take decades to pay off. With high interest rates and private mortgage insurance (PMI), the cost of owning a home can be immense.
To avoid PMI and get a good interest rate, you’ll need a few things.
Your credit score is one thing that lenders take into consideration when determining how risky it is to lend to you. They want to know that they’ll receive a return on their investment and that you won’t stop paying your mortgage. A good way to gauge this is by looking at your financial history.
Your credit score mainly takes into account the following five things:
Payment history - 35%: Do you pay your bills (utilities, loans, etc.) on time each month?
Credit usage - 30%: How much of your maximum credit have you used? If you max out your cards this can reflect poorly on your ability to manage money. However, if you don’t use any accounts you might have a hard time building a payment history.
Length of credit history - 15%: The longer you’ve been paying bills the more trustworthy you are to lenders
New credit - 10%: If you recently opened or attempted to open cards this will temporarily lower your credit score as it could be a sign of financial duress
Types of credit - 10%: store accounts, credit cards, loans, etc. Having a variety of credit types will boost your score.
Having student loans as a college graduate can often give your credit score a leg up on others who don’t have a credit history. However, to boost your score you’ll want to keep making on-time payments and consider using a credit card if you can afford it.
Most recent college grads cringe when they hear that their employment history is important to lenders. However, you might be pleased to know that being a full-time student is something lenders take into consideration.
They will, however, need to see employment history from your current employer, and the more you can prove that you have a stable job the better.
One of the most important things you can do right now is to save for a down payment. Designate a portion of your paycheck each week to a separate savings account if you need to in order to hold yourself accountable. The bigger down payment you can make, the better your interest rate and the more money you’ll save over the length of your mortgage.
Finally, don’t let increases in your salary change your lifestyle. Staying frugal will help you avoid “lifestyle inflation” or spending more simply because you make more. Decide what you value, and choose purchases wisely.
It’s a competitive selling market and we all know how difficult it can be to entice buyers with your home.
There are a number of ways to highlight the best features of your house. From staging to great real estate photos, marketing your home is a key aspect to ensuring a sale.
However, sometimes sellers miss out on opportunities to give their home a competitive edge in the housing market.
In today’s post, we’re going to talk about some of the features in homes that are major selling points for today’s average buyer. That way, you’ll be able to update your listing and materials so that everyone who looks at your home knows exactly what it has to offer.
1. Location and convenience
Odds are you can find some major location selling points for your home if you think about it. Is your home near grocery stores, hospitals, parks, or major highways? Does it lack the rush hour traffic that other neighborhoods have?
Just because you’ve gotten used to the convenient location of your home doesn’t mean it won’t be appreciated by your potential buyers.
2. Low upkeep and utility costs
If you live in a newer home in your neighborhood, there’s a good chance it will beat out much of the local competition in energy efficiency and maintenance costs. If you’ve recently upgraded energy-related parts of your home (think windows, HVAC, insulation, etc.), you should highlight these upgrades in your listings.
This is also a good time to show off your utility savings. Many utility companies show you how much you spend compared to your neighbors. If your home is energy efficient, don’t be afraid to show off in your listing.
3. Storage space
Ever notice how self-storage facilities seem to be popping up just about everywhere? Storage space is a huge concern for homeowners and buyers alike.
Make sure your photos and listings reflect the amount of storage your home has.
4. Major upgrades
If you’ve recently replaced the septic system, roof, windows, HVAC or other major upgrade, be sure to list the date and cost of the system in your listing. They can help assure potential buyers that they won’t need to make any costly upgrades or repairs anytime soon.
5. Pet and smoke-free
If your home is free of any odors or signs of pets or cigarettes, it will likely be a plus for buyers who are only focusing on homes that are clean and move-in ready.
6. Natural lighting
If your home has a lot of windows or skylights, be sure to include them in your photo and listing. Natural lighting can dramatically improve real estate photos, and it will make your home seem more spacious and welcoming.