Joel Mistretta's Blog
When you decide to make an offer on a home, your mind may be flooded with dozens of questions and concerns -- several of which may involve money matters, while others are about the condition of the house.
However, if you've had the house professionally inspected and made sure your income is sufficient to absorb monthly expenses, than you've already taken steps to prevent or at least minimize future challenges.
Since buying a home is such a big investment and there are so many emotional factors that could influence your decision, it's essential to stay focused, adhere to a budget, and be aware of what you need in order to be satisfied with your purchase.
The Financial Side of Things: Even though a mortgage broker or loan officer may approve you for a large mortgage, only you can determine whether you'd be comfortable making those monthly payments. In addition to the cost of your mortgage, property taxes, and school taxes, there are also other expenses to consider and include in the equation. If you're moving into a larger house, for example, the cost of heating and/or cooling your home may be higher than you're used to. Poorly insulated houses can also have a negative impact on home energy costs.
Another key factor to think about when you're figuring out the affordability of a potential new home is property maintenance, the cost of HVAC service, and miscellaneous expenses, such as appliance repairs, plumbing leaks, and electrical services. Some neighborhoods, residential developments, and condos also require a monthly Homeowner Association (HOA) fee, which can potentially put a burden on your cash flow situation. A good rule of thumb, of course, is to avoid spending beyond your means. While nobody would dispute the logic of that advice, it's often a lot easier said than done -- especially on an ongoing, consistent basis.
Non-Financial Priorities: The only way to know what you truly want and need in a new home is to clarify your goals, requirements, and wishes. Making lists, discussing it with your partner, and visiting lots of homes for sale will help give you the ideas, the inspiration, and helpful points of comparison you need. Online real estate listings and home improvement websites can also provide a wealth of practical ideas.
In addition to having enough bedrooms and bathrooms to meet your family's needs, it's also important to feel comfortable with the quality of the school district, the amount of noise in the neighborhood, and the traffic level on nearby streets. Proximity to recreation, shopping, and other amenities can also make the difference between your ideal home and one which doesn't quite make the grade. Privacy (or the lack, thereof) is also a major issue which can impact your satisfaction with a real estate purchase. While it's good to approach home buying with a sense of optimism, the best time to weigh all the pros and cons is before you sign the final papers at the closing table!
Want to add your house to the real estate market? If you're operating in a seller's market, you may be able to generate plenty of interest in your house as soon as your residence becomes available.
A seller's market commonly features an abundance of homebuyers and a shortage of home sellers. As such, a home seller who lists a high-quality residence in a seller's market could earn a significant profit.
Operating in a seller's market offers many opportunities for home sellers who prepare accordingly. Lucky for you, we're here to ensure you can get the best price for your residence in a seller's market.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you optimize the value of your house in a seller's market.
1. Complete a Home Appraisal
A home appraisal will help you understand your house's strengths and weaknesses. That way, you can perform any home improvement projects before you list your residence. You may be able to boost your chances of a quick property sale too.
Typically, a home appraisal requires just a few hours to complete. A home appraiser will visit your residence and inspect it both inside and out. Then, this appraiser will provide you with a report that details your home's condition.
Review the results of a home appraisal report closely. By doing so, you can prioritize various home improvements and work toward transforming your ordinary residence into one that will stand out in a seller's market.
2. Analyze the Housing Market
How does your residence stack up against comparable houses that are currently available? Examine the housing market to find out.
Evaluate the prices of houses that are similar to your own. This may help you establish a realistic price range for your residence.
Also, look at how long recently sold properties were available before they were purchased. This may help you understand how long it might take for you to get the best price for your residence in a seller's market.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
When it comes to selling a home, there is no reason to embark on the property selling journey on your own. Thankfully, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market experts are happy to assist you in any way they can.
A real estate agent can provide details about what to expect before you add your residence to a seller's market. He or she will help you plan ahead and ensure your residence features an awe-inspiring exterior and flawless interior that differentiate your property from others.
Moreover, a real estate agent will help you alleviate stress throughout the home selling journey. This housing market professional can respond to your home selling concerns and questions and provide plenty of guidance to help you make informed decisions.
There is no need to leave anything to chance when you list your home in a seller's market. Instead, take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble stirring up interest in your house.
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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!