Joel Mistretta's Blog
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Whether you’re an empty nester, or just feel that you have too much “stuff” in your house, many people can stand to downsize. If you are planning on moving to a smaller home or if you want to get your family’s amount of “treasures” reduced, it’s not an easy task. We can promise that it will be a worthwhile one!
Just how can you downsize when you have a houseful of stuff? There’s a few rules of thumb that you should follow in order to keep your downsizing process streamlined and stress-free.
Don’t Try To Do Everything At Once
The more stuff that you have, the more overwhelming your project will be. You may want to be very efficient and try to get everything cleaned out as soon as possible. It’s probably not feasible to get it all done at once. You’ll stress yourself out both physically and emotionally. Think of a realistic time table for you based on how much time you hope to clean over a certain period and how much stuff you actually have. It’s best if you plan to tackle one room and one area at a time.
If You’re Helping Someone Else, Ask Yes Or No Questions
When you’re in the process of moving or even just getting rid of stuff, the people you’re helping will thank you if you’re direct. Ask yes or no questions about things as the whether it’s being donated, tossed, or saved. This will be especially helpful when working with children and older people.
You can also expedite the process of cleaning things just by sorting them out. Keep piles of clothing, kitchen items, tools and toys separate. This process works best with items that are numerous like clothing. Once the items are separated, they may be much easier to tackle.
Know How Much Space You Have
If your goal is to empty out one closet in your home, then you know that space will be unavailable for storage. If you’re moving from an 8 room house to 5 room condo, you may have a bit more purging to do! Just remember that there’s no point in hanging onto things that won’t be used or that have no place to be stored.
Don’t Have An Undecided Pile
Don’t start an undecided pile of stuff. It will just end up back in your pool of things that will need to be cleaned out at a later time. Make sure that you make a clear decision on what you’re doing with each item in the process of sorting. One exception to this rule is paperwork. If you need to sort through a lot of it, place it in a box to go through at another time, preferably once the rest of the house is settled.
If you focus on sorting and seeing what your most used items are, downsizing should be a less overwhelming task. Once you clean, you can focus on more important things like moving!
You may have a rough idea of what your home is worth. Maybe you have recently been given an assessed value on the home, or have peeked on an online search as to what comes up for your home. Do you really understand all of the things that affect the value of your home? There are many things that may not be obvious but are important to the number that you’ll come to when you decide to sell your home.
The Number Of Your House
Do you live at 13 Elm Street or 7 Winner’s Way? Buyers have superstitions that surround numbers and street names. Don’t be surprised if the number of your house or even the name of your street brings buyers in or sends them running. There’s not much you can do to change the house number or street name, but it’s something to keep in mind. Sometimes the reason that certain buyers are turned off from your house is truly out of your control. If you do live on a desirable street, that can help bring up the value of your home due to the demand in the area. Remember that what some consider “unlucky” others consider a blessing (like the number 13!)
While your home may be perfectly pristine, you don’t have much control over what your neighbors do. If there are neighbors nearby that have strange items in their yards, strange colored homes, or other eccentric tastes, buyers may be turned off from your home. This could actually cause the price of your home to drop slightly. You should be prepared for this to affect the sale of your home, but don’t be discouraged. If buyers enjoy your home enough, they’ll be able to turn off that all too bright paint color next door.
Trees and greenery increase the value of a home. Don’t think of cutting down those trees on your property unless you have to! Trees that have grown up on your property will add a lot of value to the home in the future. If you’ve been living at your residence for 20 years or so, think of the value that those first seeds and bushes you planted have added!
Interests Are Not Universal
If you have displays, shrines, or rooms dedicated to a certain hobby, it could either be beneficial or detrimental to your home sale. This all depends on who comes walking through the door for a home showing. If you’re a Veteran and have some Marine Corps things around the houses, it could attract the attention of other Vets. However, that strange Marilyn Monroe room you have might actually deter from the pool of people available to buy your home. Buyers like to be able to see themselves living in the home. Some circumstances make it easier than others for buyers to have a vision for themselves in your home.
When you’re buying a home, there’s a lot to think about. Your finances probably have the biggest impact in the entire home search process. The amount of a down payment you have and the amount of loan you’re approved for help decide what you can buy.
When you hear about closing costs, what do they entail? How much will you need to cover these costs? Many people get to the closing table for their home purchase and feel unprepared. You’ll need a certain amount of cash on hand when you finally close on a home. Learn more about closing costs, so that you understand everything that you need to know about your home purchase.
Closing costs are spelled out pretty plainly in just about every kind of real estate contract. These costs are the fees associated with the title companies, attorney, banks, lenders and everyone else who is involved in the purchase of a home. The closing table is also the time when you provide your sizable down payment. The closing costs that are being referred to are considered a separate expense independent of the closing costs.
Closing Costs Vary
Closing costs can range from anywhere between 2 and 8 percent of the purchase price of the home. You can’t really “choose” what’s included in the closing, so you’ll need to have an idea of how much money you’ll need to write a check for. Lenders can give you an estimate of about how much closing costs will be.
Certain things like the realtor’s commission fees can be negotiated and can be paid for by the buyer or the seller. The good news is that you can roll your closing fees in with your mortgage in some cases. You may also be able to negotiate with your lender to pay the closing costs for you in exchange for a higher interest rate.
What’s Included In Closing Costs?
Depending upon where and what type of home you’re buying, what the closing costs actually cover varies. Here’s just some of the things that closing costs cover:
- Escrow fees
- Credit reports
- Title search
- Title exam fee
- Survey fee
- Courier fee (Most transactions are done electronically, but in some cases this may be necessary)
- Title insurance
- Owner’s title insurance
- Natural hazards disclosure
- Homeowner’s insurance (Your first year of insurance is often paid at closing)
- Buyer’s attorney fee
- Lender’s attorney fee
- Transfer taxes
- Recording fees
- Processing fees
- Underwriting fee
- Pre-paid interest
- Pest inspections
- Homeowner's association transfer fees
- Special assessments
These fees vary widely by state and the type of property that you’re purchasing. Not every fee is required, but the above is just a list of many of the possible fees that could be included in on the closing of the home you choose.