Our Real Estate Blog
Buying a home is a big change. New surroundings, new town and sometimes even a new state. And these things take time to get used to.
But there’s one thing you want to adjust to as quickly as possible - your new budget.
You already know that with a move comes lots of expenses and fees. However, there are a lot of long-term changes you might not realize to take into consideration until they show up in your mailbox.
One is your mortgage payment over the years. Okay, I know you know that your mortgage payment has changed. But what you should consider is how to plan to make that payment each and every month. Sometimes life happens and we don’t have a great month and sometimes we have a string of not so good months. It’s best to come up with a plan now to prepare yourself if anything should happen
It’s recommended to keep three months worth of living expenses saved and put to the side for emergencies. Perhaps you already have money set aside and need to increase this amount to reflect your new lifestyle. And if you don’t have any set-aside, it’s wise to start a savings plan now. Even if you are only able to put aside a small amount each month, your total will grow over time as you stick to the plan.
Home insurance, property taxes, and homeowner association fees/dues. If this is your first time owning a home these will all be new expenses for you and ones you don’t want to catch you by surprise. And if it’s not they are certain expenses you will need to account for. Be sure to add these to your budgeting software of choice ASAP.
Seasonal budget changes. Throughout the seasons you may find significant changes to your expenses. If you have moved to a larger home you will probably find you have higher utility bills, especially in those months where you need to run the furnace or A.C. However, there are also yard maintenance costs to take into consideration. Does your new home have a pool, lots of landscaping or a snowy climate? Ease upfront costs by estimating expenses and create an account to put money aside each month to spread these costs throughout the year.
Another account to consider building up throughout the year is for emergency repairs and renovation projects. Replacing appliances, a roof, porch or pool lining are not expenses we typically expect and can easily shell out for. At least, not without some planning ahead of time. Setting up an account to add money to each month for these specific costs can help ease your mind and feel on top of things.
Every homeowner seems to come to a point where they wonder if it’s time to sell their home or renovate the one that they currently have. Whether or not you decide to sell immediately, you can start with some renovations to your home that will offer you a big return on your investments and more comfort. Certain renovation projects are more beneficial than others. We’ll go over some of the best projects that you can take on in your home to add value and comfort to your home.
Curb Appeal Pays
While you may turn to the inside of your home to make improvements first, it’s actually more beneficial to update the outside of your home before you even begin to tackle the inside. Curb appeal can boost the value of your home significantly.
Check Your Insulation
You can improve the overall energy efficiency of your home by sealing unattended places in the home. Add insulation and sealing right in your attic. This helps to save on energy costs the whole year through. New insulation brings quite a return on value in your home.
Make Your Spaces Peaceful And Open
If you have plenty of space available in the house, you’ll get a big return on your investment. Add a bedroom to the home if you are able. Expand on the master bedroom to include large closets along with a master bathroom. Some of these renovations can become a bit of an expense, but you’ll be happy you did them when you get a large return on your investment.
Add A Deck
Adding an outdoor space to enjoy will not only give you financial returns, it will give you an increased sense of happiness as well. You’ll have a new outdoor space that you’ll be able to enjoy for a good portion of the year.
Sometimes even small improvements can add returns and more appeal to your home. Does your kitchen need new tile? Could your dishwasher use an upgrade? Maybe the bathroom counter can be replaced. Anything small around your home that’s upgraded can add up. The kitchen and the bathroom are the two rooms of the home that people most desire to have updated. Doing any and all projects in these rooms can have a really big impact on the value of your property.
After The Renovations
After you complete the desired renovations in your home, live in it for awhile. If you’re still itching to move on from your property, make an appointment with your realtor. There is nothing wasted in doing renovations to your home whether you decide to stay on the property or move on.
There are a lot of factors that can cause one house to sell quickly, while others in the neighborhood languish on the market for months.
In many cases, homes are scooped up because of a desirable location, a great school district, or irresistible curb appeal.
While all buyers have their priority items and wish lists in mind when shopping for a new home, final decisions are often based on psychological factors, emotions, and gut feelings -- not just cold, hard facts!
If you're getting ready to put your house on the market, here are a few strategies for improving your chances of making a fast sale:
Good feelings help sell houses. Prospective buyers are going to be drawn to your house if it looks impeccable from the street and well cared-for on the inside. When your home conveys a sense of pride in ownership and attention to detail, it sends a positive psychological message to house hunters. Very often, the power of suggestion can work in your favor when you're trying to make a favorable impression on potential buyers. Displaying fresh flowers, an appetizing bowl of fruit, or even table settings in your dining room or kitchen can help create a more inviting, appealing atmosphere. The right furniture arrangements can conjure up images of family gatherings, intimate conversations, or relaxing afternoons on the backyard deck.
Clutter creates discomfort. If you notice visitors side-stepping past your furniture or walking through your home as if they're navigating a maze, that's a sure sign your house is cluttered. Too much furniture or furniture that's too large and bulky for the space it occupies will make your rooms look and feel cramped. Creating a feeling of spaciousness and openness, on the other hand, helps bring out the best in all areas of your home.
Small touches make a difference. Displaying vases of fresh-cut flowers, an appetizing bowl of fruit in the kitchen, or colorful, new towels in the bathroom can help enhance the ambiance of your home. When conditions permit, the smell of fresh muffins, bread baking, or coffee brewing can infuse your home with a comforting and inviting fragrance. A house that looks and smells clean will also help create a positive multi-sensory experience for your visitors.
The right price can clinch the deal. Ideally, the price of your home should be based on comparable properties in your neighborhood and what they recently sold for. If your home is not in the same ball park, you could easily scare away qualified buyers who would otherwise be ready to make an offer. Working with a real estate agent can help ensure that you're house is competitively priced and that it doesn't linger on the market longer than necessary. Once you get caught in that cycle, the perceived value of your home and it's overall desirability can begin a downward slide. Take steps to prevent that from happening by having a comparative analysis done.
Adding a residence to the real estate market can be stressful, particularly for a first-time home seller. Fortunately, we're here to help you maintain a positive outlook as you await offers on your house.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help a first-time home seller remain calm, cool and collected after he or she lists a residence.
1. Set Realistic Expectations
Although a first-time home seller might expect dozens of offers in the days following a house's addition to the real estate market, it may take some time to stir up interest in a residence. However, a home seller who establishes realistic expectations from the get-go will know how to stay the course throughout the property selling journey.
A first-time home seller should understand both the best- and worst-case scenarios. That way, a home seller will know how to respond to any potential pitfalls that may arise.
Furthermore, a first-time home seller should have a plan in place for what will happen after a home offer is accepted. This will ensure a home seller is fully prepared to vacate a house as quickly as possible.
2. Learn About the Housing Market
The housing market is exceedingly complex, especially for those who are selling homes for the first time. Conversely, a first-time home seller who takes a diligent approach can gain the real estate market insights to make confident decisions.
For example, a first-time home seller should analyze the competition closely. By looking at the prices of similar houses that are available, this home seller can establish a competitive price for a house and increase his or her chances of a quick home sale.
A first-time home seller also should check out the prices of recently sold houses in his or her city or town. By doing so, this home seller can find out whether he or she is entering a buyer's or seller's market and plan accordingly.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
Selling a home may seem like a simple process on paper, but challenges can quickly arise that prevent a first-time property seller from achieving his or her desired results. But with support from a real estate agent, a first-time home seller can get the assistance that he or she needs to remain confident at each stage of the property selling journey.
A real estate agent understands the challenges associated with selling a house and will help a property seller avoid such problems. In fact, a real estate agent is happy to provide expert guidance to help a first-time home seller operate like a home selling professional.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will respond to a first-time home seller's concerns and queries. This guarantees a home seller can obtain unparalleled insights into how to set a competitive price for a residence, how to bolster a house's interior and exterior and much more.
Want to keep things positive as you proceed along the home selling journey for the first time? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can maintain a positive outlook as you navigate the home selling cycle.