Christine Lindemer's Blog
After you have dotted your i’s and crossed your t’s to purchase a new home, you may have a million things running through your head. You probably want to buy new furniture and throw a house warming party, but there’s a few more pertinent things that you need to address just as you turn the key to enter your new home. The first thing that you should do when you move into a new house is create a checklist using the information in this blog post.
Inspect Your Stuff
Moving can cause some damage to your furniture and boxed up things. You’ll want to take a look at everything that’s been moved into the house and make sure that it’s completely in tact. If anything is damaged, you’ll need to file a complaint with your moving company or replace any items that were broken by the move if you were responsible.
Turn On Your Utilities
There’s a process in getting your utilities up and running. You’ll need to either have them turned on completely or just transfer their operations from the old owners to your name.
It’s important to unpack all of the essential things that you’ll need at your new home. These items include sheets, pillows, blankets, kitchen items and coffee makers.
Moving into a home is a clean slate for you and your organizational skills. This is the time for you to get organized and put everything in a proper place. No one wants to move into a new home and immediately have a giant mess to clean up! Take your time and put everything in the right place. If you need to purchase shelving or other organizational tools, do so at this time to help you get off on the right foot.
Inspect The House
It’s important to check out your house from top to bottom one more time shortly after moving in. If there are any problems that weren’t there during the home inspection or any major issues that weren't revealed, you’ll need to address them at this time.
Check For Pests
If there are any pests like mice or bugs in your home as you first move in, you’ll need to take care of this ASAP. You don’t want to have an infestation on your hands just as you move into your new home. You can either take on the problem yourself or call an exterminator for professional help.
Secure The Home
From door locks to window safety, you’ll want to check all around to ensure that your new home is safe and secure for you and your family. There’s nothing more important the the health and safety of those you love, so you want to be sure that they are indeed protected from accidents and crime.
Enjoy Your New Life!
Moving into a new home is very exciting. You’ll want to take the time to enjoy your new neighborhood and new surroundings. This also means taking care of your own well-being and your financial well-being as well. Make a budget so that all of your monthly payments are made promptly. Now that you have “taken care of business,” you can enjoy life!
Although there are a lot of sound reasons for hiring a real estate agent to help you sell your home, objectivity is near the top of the list.
Homeowners, when left to their own devices, tend to overprice their property and overlook easy, inexpensive ways to improve curb appeal and overall marketability.
There's both an art and a science to effectively selling residential real estate, and when either of these aspects are neglected (the art or the science), opportunities for a speedy sale are often missed.
Whether it's because of emotional attachments to the property or a lack of knowledge about real estate marketing, home sellers sometimes undermine the sales process and send prospective buyers scurrying. If you're considering putting your house on the market in the near future, here are a few tips to help you maximize your chances for producing the best possible results.
- Avoid the temptation to price your house too high. Other than emotional attachment, some homeowners inflate their asking price because they're not on a strict timetable and can afford to wait. They incorrectly assume that if they wait long enough and show their home to enough interested prospects, they'll eventually get their high asking price. While that strategy may seem to make sense at first, it's actually based on a false premise. Once an overpriced house lingers on the market for months, its desirability drops sharply. Not only will prospective buyers assume that something's wrong with it, but they'll also catch on quickly to the fact that you're asking too much for the property. Unless an eccentric millionaire comes along who is absolutely in love with your house and has no qualms about writing out a large check for more than the house is worth, chances are your property will linger on the market indefinitely. In the vast majority of cases, house hunters are looking for a home that makes financial sense and provides a decent amount of investment value. Also worth considering is the fact that a property priced well above its fair market value could make it difficult or impossible for an interested prospect to obtain bank financing.
- It's usually a mistake to assume the house will sell itself. Failing to price a property competitively, maximize its curb appeal, and keep the interior looking impeccable at all times is a recipe for disappointment. Since first impressions are crucially important in attracting prospective buyers, no detail should be overlooked when putting a home on the market. When you consider the competitive nature of the real estate market and the fact that most serious prospects are going to carefully evaluate all aspects of a home before making an offer, it makes sense for you, the home seller, to avoid placing barriers, stumbling blocks, or disincentives in the path of potential buyers.
If you're currently renting an apartment or house, it makes good financial sense to consider becoming a homeowner in the foreseeable future. There are pros and cons to owning your own home -- and it's not for everyone -- but for most people, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.
An exception would be if your job requires you to relocate frequently. In that scenario, the potential benefits of building up equity in a home would be greatly diminished.
On the other hand, if you plan on staying put for more than a few years, then the tax benefits and investment value of owning real estate could put you on a stronger financial track than if you continued shelling out your hard-earned money to a landlord. You've probably heard the argument before: "If you pay rent, you have nothing to show for it at the end of the year". However, when you buy a home, an increasing portion of your monthly payments is applied to your actual ownership of the property (as opposed to how much you owe the bank).
Tax Advantages of Home Ownership
In most cases, you can deduct all of your home mortgage interest from your federal tax returns, according to the IRS. More specifically: "The only costs you can deduct are real estate taxes actually paid to the taxing authority, interest that qualifies as home mortgage interest, and mortgage insurance premiums."
However, since everyone's financial situation is different and there is no "one size fits all" approach to financial management, it's always best to consult with an experienced CPA, enrolled agent, or knowledgeable tax preparer. There may be other tax benefits you could qualify for as a homeowner, too, including getting tax credits for installing a solar energy system. The government's Energy Star program says tax credits on new solar energy systems are available through the year 2021.
Getting the Process Underway
Two key steps to becoming a home owner are finding out your credit score and meeting with a mortgage lender to determine how much of a real estate loan you could qualify for. An experienced real estate agent can also provide you with a wealth of guidance and information on how to become a homeowner. They can fill you in on many of the exact steps, requirements, and advantages of buying your first home. A buyers' agent can also help you assess your readiness to take the plunge into home ownership.
In addition to finding out your credit score, which will impact your mortgage interest rate and the type of loan you may qualify for, other vital information can be gleaned from a detailed personal budget. Although the amount of rent you now pay will provide some insights into your potential house-buying budget, there are a lot of variables which will impact how much of a mortgage you could comfortably afford.
Life in the cityIf you grew up in a small town, odds are you always dreamed of someday living in the city. The busy streets, the tall buildings, and public transportation that you can take anywhere all make city life feel like one giant amusement park if you grew up in the country. However, there's a lot more to city life than just the bustling atmosphere.
- Amenities. One of the main benefits of living in the city is easy access to most of the necessities of life. Depending on your location in the city you might be surrounded by hospitals, schools and grocery stores.
- Entertainment. You'll never run out of things to do or new places to explore living in a big city.
- Community and culture. In most large cities you'll find great diversity of cultures and values. If you're looking for a place you can identify with, odds are you'll find a community you can fit into within the city.
- Cost of living. This varies between cities and states, but generally the cost of living goes up in the big cities with higher rent prices, more expensive groceries and dining options.
- Traffic. You have to love being around other people if you live in a big city. Whether you're on the train or at the crosswalk, you'll always be within arms length of a group of strangers.
- Privacy and sovereignty. If you like your alone time and the freedom to do what you want with the space you have, country life might be for you.
- Peace and quiet. If you hate traffic jams and don't mind driving long distances to reach amenities, small town living could be a good fit.
- Nature and space. Out in the country there's plenty of room to roam and to experience the local flora and fauna.
Suburban lifeLife in the suburbs is meant to have the best features of the city and the country. Hopefully your town has a couple grocery stores and easy access to the highway to reach the nearest city. It will also have access to recreation parks. One downfall of suburban life is that you need to make the extra effort if you want to build the sense of community provided in the city or the connection to nature that comes with living out in the country. However, if you are the type to actively seek these out, suburban life could be the happy medium your life needs.