Carol George's Blog
When you own a home, you want to reduce your costs as much as possible. As a homeowner and environmentally conscious person, you may also want to reduce your carbon footprint and reduce the amount of waste that you and your family produce. Read on for some tips on how to reduce the amount of trash you produce on a weekly basis and see what a difference you can make in your little corner of the world.
Find Reusable Products In Lieu Of Disposable Ones
There are so many convenience products that we find on store shelves. For every type of product that you can just throw away, you can find something reusable. Products that you can substitute include:
Washcloths instead of disposable makeup wipes
Reusable water cups instead of disposable bottles
Washable plastic cups substituted for disposable ones
No paper plates
Use washable plates instead of paper plates
Dust with rags, not paper towels
Use reusable grocery bags
Drink coffee out of a refillable mug
Buy reusable containers to pack a lunch in
Any products that provide less buildup of waste are better for the environment. Many times, we rely on convenience for ourselves and our families, but convenience can be costly to both the environment and our budgets.
Use Natural Cleaning Products
Many cleaning products contain harsh chemicals that are dangerous for our bodies and our environment. There are many things right inside of your kitchen cabinets that can be useful and effective in cleaning your home. Items that you can clean with include:
Wth just a few products, cleaning naturally is easy. You won’t have to worry about harming children, pets, or yourself by using these all natural items that can be found right in your kitchen. You also will have more space in your cabinets because you’ll need fewer bottles to stock your cleaning supply. Vinegar can be used to clean most things in your home, and it does the job pretty well compared to its harsh chemical counterparts.
Your new lifestyle that consists of less waste will take some time. You can gradually switch different products and containers as you move through your days. This will be a much more practical approach than just starting from scratch all at once. Not only is changing your lifestyle a time investment but a money investment since you’ll need to buy new products to replace old ones initially. Over time you should see a big difference in your wallet and your trash can with your waste-free lifestyle.
You and your agent invested hours, days, weeks and even months searching for the right house. Time spent visiting open houses. But now all your efforts pay off. You’ve found the one. It’s the right size, the right neighborhood and within the budget parameters. This is the home of your dreams. It’s time to make an offer.
First Things First
Let your agent guide you. A great agent knows what the market will bear. They also have the experience and know-how to save you thousands on your home purchase. When you work with an agent, you can submit an excellent offer that the buyer wants to accept.
Don’t make the mistake many first-time homebuyers do of low-balling the offer. Of course, you want to pay as little as possible for the house, but too low of an offer, one that doesn’t account for proper market analysis, just frustrates the seller. If nearby, comparable homes recently sold for five to six percent less than the asking price, you can reasonably offer seven to nine percent less, leaving both of you room for negotiation. But if this is a seller’s market, offering less than the asking price exposes you to the risk of being outbid by other buyers. Your agent knows the temperature of the market. They’ve already experienced what buyers accept and what they reject. If this is the house you want, follow the guidance of your agent when making the offer.
Dot the I’s
Submitting a bid for real estate is a legally binding document. You don’t want to make a costly mistake that jeopardizes your purchase or forces you to buy a home that requires a lot of repairs and renovations to be livable.
Cross the T’s
Having a pre-approval sets you up for negotiating power. Remember that the seller actually wants to sell. And you actually want to buy. This is where a little give-and-take compromise wins the day. Once you make the offer, the seller counters, you resubmit, and they accept, your next action includes a home inspection. Your knowledgeable agent will have written contingencies into your offer for failures in significant systems that the inspection reveals. At this point, any HVAC, plumbing, electrical, foundation and roof systems that need repair are negotiable. Do not let anyone talk you out of doing an inspection. It is well worth the cost to protect yourself from major but hidden issues. Your agent can recommend a home inspector, or you can hire one yourself. Make sure they have all licenses and certifications.
The other primary contingency should be the final appraisal. To qualify for your loan, your lender will require an appraisal of the property’s fair market value. While the inspection protects you from future problems, the appraisal protects you from overpaying. If the appraisal comes in lower than your accepted offer, your agent will begin renegotiation for you.
Now you’re on your way to closing. The best day in the process. Use your professional real estate agent’s abilities to get you to the finish line.
Some of the best real estate investments are raw land purchases. The idea is to buy raw land in an up-and-coming neighborhood, sit on it, and then sell it to a developer who will do anything to get their hands on it. But while this sounds great, there are a few caveats that are specific to raw land you should know.
You May Need to Wait
There are plenty of ways to make serious money off of raw land, but you may need to wait a bit before the right offer comes along. You need to look at who's moving into the neighborhood, who's moving out and why the land is priced the way it is. This can give you a better indication of when you'll be able to sell it for the price you want. Some people can't afford to have their assets tied up for too long in raw land, but those who are patient can typically see a significant return on their investment.
Check the Topography
From soil erosion to sinkholes, it's not always obvious what makes land good to build on. Overenthusiastic tree roots can easily interfere with a foundation, so much so developers may avoid the project altogether. If the land is surrounded by hills, builders may hesitate to build because the structure will get too much shade.
Zoning Laws Matter
Buyers are highly encouraged to research the current zoning laws that will affect their land. Doing so will give you a sense of how difficult it is to build and why. It should also give you an indication of what's to come down the line. For example, if your land is located in an area that environmental groups want to protect, the zoning laws may change between when you purchase the land and when you sell.
Even if you're not doing anything with the land, you'll still need to factor in the property taxes. Again, if you're waiting for a while to sell, this can eat into profits fairly quickly. Many landowners can sell quickly at a healthy turnaround, but it's important to plan ahead if it takes more time than you imagined.
Watching the Land
Unless you're hiring security guards to watch your land, it can quickly become a dumping ground. A certified inspector can give you more information as to the state of the land, so you know of any contamination long before you sell.
There are so many ways to make money off of raw land, but it helps to understand more about how certain factors can interfere with your sale price. As long as you're planning ahead, you shouldn't have any surprises.
Selling a house sometimes can be complicated. But if you understand the home selling journey, you may be better equipped than other sellers to avoid potential pitfalls.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you simplify the home selling journey.
1. Analyze the Local Housing Market
The age and condition of your home may have far-flung effects on how much a buyer is willing to pay to acquire your residence. At the same time, the local real estate sector can have major ramifications on your property selling experience.
A home seller who analyzes the local housing market can identify real estate patterns and trends. Then, this seller can use housing market data to establish a competitive initial asking price for his or her residence – something that may lead to a quick, seamless home selling experience.
Don't forget to review the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town too. By doing so, you can see how your home compares to these residences and price your house accordingly.
2. Assess Your Home
If you've maintained your home over the years, you may be in a good position to maximize your house sale earnings. On the other hand, if your home requires repairs, there may be no time like the present to complete property improvements.
Oftentimes, it is beneficial to conduct a home inspection and appraisal prior to listing a residence. During a home inspection, a property expert will examine your residence and offer insights into any underlying property issues. Meanwhile, during an appraisal, a property expert will craft a property valuation based on your residence and various housing market factors.
3. Hire a Real Estate Agent
If you're unsure about how to navigate the home selling process, you may want to hire a real estate agent. That way, you'll have a home selling expert at your side to help you identify and eliminate assorted property selling hurdles.
A real estate agent understands what it takes to sell a home, regardless of the current housing market's conditions. He or she first will meet with you and help you create a property selling strategy. Next, a real estate agent will set up home showings and open house events to promote your residence to prospective buyers. And if you receive an offer to purchase your house, a real estate agent will provide recommendations and suggestions about how to proceed with this proposal.
In addition, a real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure you can get the best price for your house. He or she is ready to negotiate with a buyer's agent on your behalf, and as a result, can help you optimize your home sale earnings.
When it comes to selling a home, complications may arise. Fortunately, the aforementioned tips can help you streamline the home selling process and ensure you can enjoy a fast, profitable property selling experience.
If you’re trying to sell your home, there are many things you need to think about. One of the reasons that it’s wise to hire a realtor is that they can handle a lot of the difficult stuff for you. From home showings to phone calls to sealing the deal, your realtor will be with you every step of the way.
One thing that you can do to help your realtor out is trying to avoid things that will scare off buyers in your home. While some things are out of your control (we’re looking at you radon), you can check and remedy a lot of problems before a buyer even sets foot in your home.
Leaky, Aging Roof
Roofs last around 20-25 years. If it’s been forever since you have paid attention to your roof, you’ll need to take a second look before selling. Your buyer is going to either ask for some kind of rebate or go for a home with a newer roof. Roofs are one of the things that home inspectors often see the most problems with.
If your gutters are in disrepair, you might want to have them cleaned or replace them altogether. Faulty gutters are often what causes problems with the roof. If rain water or snow melt can’t properly drain from the gutters, more leaks may be found in the home.
If your appliances are outdated, consider replacing them. Buyers don’t want to move into a new home only to need to head out to buy a new refrigerator, range, or dryer. Buyers like things to be ready for them, and they’re willing to pay for it. You’ll definitely get a return on your investment when you buy new appliances.
Outdated Or Neglected HVAC System
It’s important to keep up with regular maintenance when it comes to your heating and cooling system. Keep it clean and keep regular maintenance appointments. These systems are costly to repair and buyers do not want to deal with these issues immediately (or ever if they could avoid them!) Get the HVAC system serviced before you put a for sale sign out front to keep your buyers happy throughout the inspection and sale process.
Your realtor will be a big help in assisting you to price your home right. They will perform a CMA (comparative market analysis) in order to help you find the sweet spot for pricing your home. An overpriced listing will make buyers wonder. A property must be priced right in order to get buyers through the door to even look at the home.