Christine Lindemer's Blog
Buying a home is a process that can seem daunting and even a little scary to most first-time buyers. After all, being a homeowner is a huge financial and personal responsibility.
To make this lengthy process a bit more approachable, we’re going to break it down into five steps. While these five steps may be somewhat different for each person, depending on their own unique situation, they do comprise most home buyer’s experience.
If you’re interested in learning the steps you’ll need to take before owning your first home, read on.
Step 1: Know your long-term goals
Before you buy a home, you’ll want to have a clear understanding of what you, your spouse, and your family want from the next five or more years. You’ll want to make sure the area you’re moving to can provide things like career advancement and opportunity, good schools for your children, and so on.
These questions may seem obvious, but it’s an important conversation to have before making the long-term commitment of owning a home.
Step 2: Your budget and your needs
It might be tempting to hop online and start shopping for houses, but first you should get a clear idea of the size and cost of the house you’re looking for. This involves determining your budget, thinking about your credit and planning for your down payment.
Step 3: Mortgage pre-approval
Getting preapproved for a mortgage can be a great way to gauge the interest late and loan amount you’ll be approved for. You’ll need to gather paperwork, including income information (pay stubs), tax returns, and W-2 forms.
Be aware that lenders will run a detailed credit report. Since credit reports count as an inquiry, they can temporarily lower your credit score by a few points.
Applying to several lenders within a short period of time can make a significant impact on your score. However, it will start to rise again within a few months if you don’t open any new credit accounts or take out other loans.
Step 4: Get an agent
Real estate agents know the ins and outs of the home buying process better than anyone else. They’ll be able to guide you through the process and provide you with information that you can’t get anywhere else.
Step 5: Pick the right home for you
Now it’s time to start home shopping. However, before you begin, remember that getting approved for a loan doesn’t mean you must or should seek to spend the full amount on a home.
Plan for your needs, and keep the future in mind. Someday you might decide to upgrade, but in the meantime you can be building your credit and building equity in a smaller or more frugal home.
A home showing can make or break your chances of selling your house. Therefore, you'll want to do everything possible to ensure that each home showing is a success.
Ultimately, there are several best practices for home showings that every home seller needs to know, and these practices include:
1. Clean and Declutter Your House
A tidy home is sure to garner homebuyers' attention. Comparatively, a messy house is unlikely to do you any favors in a competitive real estate market.
Allocate the necessary time and resources to clean your house. Mop the floors, wipe down the walls and perform assorted home interior cleaning. Also, don't forget to mow the front lawn, trim the hedges and ensure your house's exterior looks great.
In addition, eliminate clutter from your home as soon as possible. By doing so, you can show off the true size of your living space to potential buyers.
2. Remove Personal Belongings from Your Home
Although you may have many personal photographs and other treasured mementos scattered throughout your house, you should put these items away before a home showing. That way, you can make it easy for homebuyers to envision what life might be like if they purchase your house.
When it comes to personal belongings, it sometimes can be tough to hide these items. However, if you store your personal belongings properly, you can guarantee these items will maintain their quality and appearance until you sell your house.
Pack up any treasured belongings carefully. Then, you can put these items in a storage unit for safe keeping. Or, if a family member or friend has storage space to spare, you can always ask a loved one to store your personal belongings temporarily.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
If you're unsure about how to host a successful home showing, you're not alone. Thankfully, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals know what it takes to transform an ordinary home showing into an unforgettable experience.
A real estate agent can offer expert recommendations to help you get your house show-ready. In fact, a real estate agent can put you in touch with the best home cleaning companies in your area. He or she also is unafraid to be honest and will share any home interior or exterior concerns with you.
Furthermore, a real estate agent will teach you about the real estate market. He or she can educate you about the differences between a buyer's and seller's market, respond to your home selling concerns and questions and much more. Thus, if you work with a real estate agent, you should have no trouble making informed decisions throughout the home selling journey.
Take the guesswork out of prepping your house for a showing – use the aforementioned best practices, and you can improve the look and feel of your house in no time at all.
Selling a house is no small feat, particularly in a competitive real estate market. As such, home sellers may be prone to make mistakes if they don't plan ahead for potential pitfalls.
Common home selling mistakes include:
1. Listing a Home Without Performing Housing Market Research
Let's face it – selling a house can be stressful. In many instances, home sellers will want to speed through the home selling journey – something that may lead these sellers to list residences without evaluating the real estate market in advance.
Spending even a few minutes looking at the prices of homes in your city or town may make a world of difference. Ultimately, the more housing market research that you perform, the more likely it becomes that you'll be able to optimize the value of your house.
Take a look at the prices of available homes in your city or town that are similar to your own. Also, evaluate the prices of recently sold houses in your area. With this housing market data at your disposal, you'll be better equipped than ever before to price your residence competitively and boost your chances of a profitable home sale.
2. Accepting an Initial Offer on a Residence
The first offer that you receive on a residence may prove to be the best offer. However, in some cases, the initial offer may fall short of your expectations.
Immediately accepting the initial offer on a residence may prove to be costly. Fortunately, a home seller who understands the housing market can take a data-driven approach to determine how to proceed with any offer, at any time.
Performing a home appraisal before you list your residence can provide valuable insights into a property's value. Then, you can list your house for a competitive price, one that helps generate substantial interest in your house and may lead to offers at, near or above your initial asking price.
In addition, don't forget to consult with a real estate agent. If you receive a home offer and are unsure about whether to accept, reject or counter it, a real estate agent can provide expert advice to help you make an informed decision.
3. Ignoring a Real Estate Agent's Recommendations
A seller's agent is committed to helping you optimize the value of your residence, and this housing market professional will offer recommendations as you sell your house to ensure you that can get the best results possible.
If you ignore a real estate agent's recommendations, you may miss out on a golden opportunity to sell your house. A real estate agent provides housing market analysis and insights, along with honest, unbiased recommendations about how to overcome a wide range of home selling hurdles.
Furthermore, a real estate agent always has a home seller's best interests in mind. This housing market professional also is available to respond to a home seller's questions, guaranteeing that a home seller is fully supported at each stage of the home selling journey.
Ready to sell your house? Collaborate with a real estate agent, and you should have no trouble achieving your desired results.
Taking care of your body and being physically fit should be your utmost priority. The fact you just moved into a new area does not mean that you should feel relaxed about keeping fit. And if you've slacked already and you need to regain all you've lost, then what you need is a fitness boot camp. A good, legitimate, and reputable fitness boot camp is not so difficult to locate if you know what to look out for that will ensure your comfort.
- Location. Find out if boot camp is near you by asking a work or searching online. Make sure the environment is safe, accessible, and comfortable. A good fitness camp should have plenty of parking space and excellent facilities. Also, find out if the company or trainer that owns the boot camp has legal permission for the location used to avoid unnecessary disturbance.
- Instructors. Make sure to do thorough research on the instructors. Find out if they have all the necessary qualifications required. In addition to excellent skills, you want them to have the proper attitude. Are they accommodating? Are they helpful? Are they professional instructors? These are essential questions you need to ask yourself.
- The other participants. It's better to surround yourself with people who are on the same mission with you as well as those who have the same goal with you so that you can motivate each other. Are they friendly? Are they fun to be around? Are they inspiring? Make sure you join a boot camp that won't be boring or makes you feel like an outcast.
- Do they offer nutritional advice? For a person keen on being physically fit, take nutrition seriously. It is vital for an outstanding fitness boot camp to participate in their members’ nutritional understanding to help them achieve their goals.
- What are your expectations? You need to set your goals before you register for a fitness boot camp. There are different concepts involved in fitness, so seek a camp that aligns with your desires. You need to know your strengths but expect your trainer to push you harder to achieve success.
- Reviews and Testimonies. If the camp or trainer has a website, you can check for other people's reviews. Also, talk to people who have had experience with the fitness boot camp you are intending to join to know what to expect before signing up.
- Motivations. You need to answer these questions in your heart before signing up for any boot camp. Are the members and instructors inspiring? Do they always want to achieve your goal? Do they keep you motivated? Will you get enough positive vibes from them that will make you do more?
It's straightforward to see a fitness boot camp to join; however, locating the best fitness boot camp that will suit your personality should be your priority.
Believe it or not, curb appeal can make or break the home selling journey. If a house has a pristine front lawn, flawless siding and clutter-free walkways, it may make a positive first impression on potential buyers. And once buyers walk through this home, they may be ready to submit an offer to purchase the residence right away.
As a home seller, it generally is a good idea to do everything possible to boost your house's curb appeal. Lucky for you, we're here to help you enhance your residence's curb appeal so you can increase the likelihood of a fast, profitable property selling experience.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you transform your home's exterior from drab to fab.
1. Mow the Lawn
If tall grass and weeds cover your front lawn, you may want to give your lawn a makeover. Because if you mow the lawn, trim the hedges and perform other lawn care tasks, you may be able to bolster your lawn's appearance in just hours.
Of course, if you need expert lawn care assistance, professional landscapers are available. Landscapers can help you improve your lawn's appearance without delay.
2. Repair Cracked or Chipped Siding
If home siding is cracked or chipped, you may want to perform siding repairs. In some instances, you may be able to fill in minor cracks, chips or gaps in your home's siding on your own.
On the other hand, if your home's siding is old and beyond repair, you may want to hire a contractor to replace it. Get price quotes from several home siding professionals in your area. Then, you can determine which home siding professional can offer the best services at a price that matches your budget.
3. Remove Lawn Clutter
If you've decorated your front lawn with plastic flamingoes, lawn gnomes or other knick-knacks, you may want to remove them. By doing so, you can help buyers see the full potential of your house and allow them to envision what life may be like if they purchase your residence.
For those who have lots of lawn decorations, it may be beneficial to sell them at a yard sale or online. Meanwhile, if there are lawn decorations that you intend to keep, you may want to rent a storage unit for these items and other personal belongings.
As you search for ways to achieve the best-possible results during the home selling journey, you may want to hire a real estate agent too. If you have a real estate agent at your side, you can receive comprehensive guidance throughout the property selling journey. Plus, a real estate agent will respond to your home selling concerns and questions, ensuring you can make informed decisions as you navigate the property selling cycle.
Allocate time and resources to upgrade your house's curb appeal today, and you may be better equipped than ever before to enjoy a seamless home selling experience.