You may think your home is the only thing that has to impress when you put it on the market for sale. The reality is, you, the seller, also have to make a good impression. While someone may fall in love with your home, they may choose to pass on it if they don’t like the way you present yourself. To help you be on your best behavior when you sell your home, follow the tips below.
1. Be Scarce
One of the biggest turn-offs for buyers is a seller who hovers over their shoulders as they tour a house. If you are present when potential buyers visit your home, they may not feel free to ask certain questions, and you may say something that could jeopardize a sale.
The best thing you can do is let your agent show your home on your behalf while you relax someplace else.
2. Give Up Your Parking Space
A good seller wants a potential buyer to be able to picture themselves living in the home. You can help further this image by allowing buyers to pull up in the driveway and park as if they own it. When you leave the house for a showing, be sure to take your vehicle with you, or, if you’re not driving, move your car to the street to allow buyers the V.I.P parking spot.
3. Take Your Pets With You When You Leave For A Showing
The buyers who come to your home for viewing might be animal lovers, too, but you should always take your pets with you when you leave. First of all, you won’t know if the buyer actually likes pets, but even if they do, you don’t want your cute little fur baby to steal the show and draw attention from the home.
If you have pets, do your best to make it appear (and smell) as if your home is pet-free.
4. Place Important Documents In Plain View
Because you’ll be leaving when potential buyers come to view your home, you’ll want to place important documents such as the home inspection report, home warranty, and appraisal on a table for easy viewing. This will let buyers know you’re a responsible owner and seller who has nothing to hide.
You can also include recent utility bills to give them an idea of monthly expenses and proof of any major repairs or renovations you’ve made recently.
5. Don’t Pressure The Buyers For Feedback
You may be excited to hear a buyer’s feedback right after a showing, but a good seller gives the buyer time to process what they’ve seen and make a decision. Remember, this is likely the biggest purchase they’ve ever made, so let them have a few days to think it over before expecting feedback or an offer.
Your home isn’t the only thing that needs to impress buyers when you put it on the market for sale. You have to be a good seller, too. Following the tips outlined above will help you become the kind of seller homebuyers like to deal with
Whether you’re selling your home or buying one, you should know what things to look for in terms of value. For instance, did you know that where a home is located can impact its worth?
If you’re going to be selling your home anytime soon, it pays to pay attention to a few universal factors that might influence its value. Here is a list of things to consider.
Being located in a quiet neighborhood or near popular amenities such as restaurants and grocery stores can make a home worth more. Not every buyer needs a home to meet every location requirement, but if you can say your home is situated in or near things people deem important, it will retain its value better.
On this same note, if your home is located near schools, daycare, or even a school bus stop, it will be more attractive to buyers with children or who plan to have children, making it worth more, especially if it checks other boxes for them, too.
2. A Beautiful View
Can you look out your window and see a beautiful skyline? If so, your home may be worth more. Being able to look out a window and see something lovely calms the nerves, and buyers appreciate that. On the other hand, if you look out your window and all you see is your neighbor’s house, a flashing neon sign, or some other unattractive view, it could bring down the value of your home, too.
3. Curb Appeal
If your home looks nice from the outside, it will retain its value better. If you mow your lawn, landscape your yard attractively, and maintain the exterior of your home, it shows you’ve kept the property in good shape.
Curb appeal works both ways, however. If you don’t maintain your yard or the exterior of your home, the overall value will be less.
4. Major Systems
No one likes to move into a home and immediately have to shell out money to fix any heating, cooling, plumbing, or electrical issues. Selling a home with issues like these is usually the result of neglected maintenance and will subtract from the home’s value.
If you know your home has issues with any of its major systems, be sure to fix them before putting it on the market for sale to get the most out of its value.
A home with lots of storage is usually worth more than one that doesn’t have enough. If your home has plenty of closets, cabinets, and drawers, as well as basement, attic, and/or garage storage, buyers will be willing to pay more for the convenience.
Many factors influence the value of a home, with the 5 listed above being just a start. Be sure to keep these things in mind as you set an asking price for your home as it could be worth more (or less) than you think.
Buying a home is quite possibly the biggest purchase you will ever make. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, there’s a good chance you’ll get frustrated at some point. Fraught with confusing lingo and surprise costs, the whole process can seem overwhelming at times. To help make your home buying experience a little less stressful, we’ve put together the following five tips for the first-time homebuyer.
Start Saving Early and Check Your Credit
The home buying process starts long before you actually begin actively searching for the perfect house. The average mortgage lender requires a 20 percent down payment, although many first-time homebuyer programs allow for as little as 3.5 percent. Be aware, however, that lower down payments often force you to pay for mortgage insurance, so it’s best to be prepared to put down as much money as possible to get the best deal.
Your credit score is one of the most important factors lenders look at when determining whether to finance your mortgage or not. Check your credit score before starting your search for a home, and do your best to dispute any discrepancies and take care of any outstanding debt as soon as possible.
It’s also very important to halt all new credit activity if you plan to buy a house anytime soon. Opening any new lines of credit such as credit cards or auto loans cause a slight decrease in your credit rating when the lender does a hard inquiry.
Figure Out How Much House You Can Afford
Many first-time homebuyers make the mistake of buying a home based on the idea that their income will increase in the future. This often leads to higher mortgage payments than they can comfortably make while they wait for their income to go up. Play around with a mortgage affordability calculator to figure out what you can afford based on your income now. You can always sell the home and upgrade as your income increases in the future.
Explore Your Down Payment and Closing Cost Options
One of the biggest problems people have with purchasing their first homes is coming up with the down payment. Luckily, there are many options available for a first-time homebuyer that decreases the down payment amount to as low as 3 percent.
Many new homebuyers mistakenly give little consideration to the closing costs associated with their mortgage. These expenses can add up to thousands of dollars, so it’s a good idea to consider your two options here: pay them yourself or have the seller pay them for you. Both options have pros and cons, so discuss them with your lender to find out which works best for you.
Shop Around for the Best Mortgage Rates
Shopping for the best mortgage rates is just like shopping for anything else. You wouldn’t hire the first contractor you call to fix your roof, and you shouldn’t go with the first mortgage lender that gives you what sounds like a good deal either. Gather mortgage rate quotes from at least three lenders before deciding which one fits your budget and your needs best.
Sellers like to see that you’re serious about buying their property. Before heading out to find your dream home, take the time to get a pre-approval letter from a lender that states how much they are willing to lend you and at what terms. Not only will you have an upper hand over other buyers who haven’t completed this step, but you’ll also have a better idea of how much house your lender is willing to finance in your name.
Whether you love cleaning, hate it, or fall somewhere in between, these quick cleaning hacks are sure to make your life so much easier.
1. Cleaning The Toilet
When it comes to cleaning the bathroom, the toilet is probably the worst part of the job. To make it easier, pour toilet bowl cleaner into the commode, leave it sit for a few minutes, then give it a quick swish with a toilet brush. Use disinfectant wipes to wipe down the outside toilet surfaces and you’re all done!
2. Remove Floor Scuffs
Hardwood floors are beautiful, but they require a bit of work to keep them looking great. For scuff marks, use a sock or tennis ball to buff the mark away. If that doesn’t work, add a small bit of baking soda and buff again. Wipe any residue away with a damp cloth.
3. Freshen The Garbage Disposal
Garbage disposals are great and all, but they can get rather stinky if not cleaned properly. To freshen your garbage disposal in a hurry, cut up a lime or lemon and run it through the disposal. The citric acid will clean and disinfect the inside of the unit and leave it smelling lemony fresh.
4. Dusting The Blinds
If you haven’t dusted your blinds in a while, this hack won’t work to remove the thick layer of sticky dust that’s sure to have accumulated. However, if there isn’t much dust on your blinds, close the blinds and use a microfiber cloth in a side-to-side motion to remove dust. Turn the blinds the other direction and do it again.
5. Deodorize Your Home
There’s no need to buy expensive deodorizer products from the store to get out stubborn smells in your home. All you need is a box of baking soda and a vacuum.
Sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda on carpets, rugs, pet beds, and other soft surfaces. Let it sit for a few minutes and then vacuum. It’s really that simple and cheap to remove stale odors from your home.
6. Clean The Microwave
If the walls of your microwave hold more food than what you actually heat in it, this hack is for you. Cut up a lemon, add it, and a couple of teaspoons of white vinegar to a cup of water, and microwave the concoction until you see steam form on the window. Turn the microwave off, leave the door shut, and allow the steam to continue permeating the inside of the unit. After a few minutes, remove the cup and wipe the walls of the microwave clean with a damp cloth.
7. Shine Stainless Steel Appliances
Stainless steel appliances add a sleek, modern look to any kitchen, but when they’re covered in fingerprints, they can be quite the eyesore. Remove those prints and make your appliances shine again by using a soft cloth and some olive or coconut oil. Just be careful not to use too much of either oil as it will leave behind a sticky, oily mess.
Rural homes have a reputation for being large, airy, and downright homey. The lifestyle is often depicted as laid-back and freeing where quiet reigns king and things move at a slower pace. For some people, country living is ideal. For others, however, it’s boring. Rural living isn’t for everyone, so whether you’re thinking of purchasing a rural home for investment or living, here are a few pros and cons to consider.
Fewer People Means Fewer Public Services
One of the reasons people love living in a rural area is the fact that there are fewer people. Your closest neighbor may be a mile or more away. While this affords plenty of privacy and quiet, it also means there are fewer public services available nearby.
If you’ve lived in urban areas all your life and are now considering moving to a rural home, you must realize you’ll need time to adjust to this lesser level of public service nearby.
Fewer Business Opportunities
If you’re planning to live in a rural home, you’ll likely have to make a longer commute to work since there are fewer business opportunities close by. On the other hand, if you’re planning to use the rural home as an investment property, it’s important to have clear expectations when it comes to renting or selling it as it’s likely to sit vacant and/or for sale longer for the same reason.
Urban properties often come with a plethora of restrictions in terms of property development. Rural properties, on the other hand, often have fewer restrictions, giving the owner more leeway when it comes to land development. Furthermore, when it comes to listing rural homes for sale, the listing regulations are less strict than those for urban properties in cities like Los Angeles or New York.
More Opportunity For Land Development
Strategically purchasing multiple rural properties gives investors more opportunities for extending land development, increasing their profitability as a long-term investment. Should the investor decide not to pursue development, the rural property(ies) typically garners a profit when sold.
Cheaper Purchase Prices
Rural properties are typically cheaper to buy than their urban counterparts. As an investor, you can expect to pay about half what you would pay for an urban home of the same size. This makes it extremely easy to buy more than one property at a time and still stay within your budget.
Less Competition In The Market
Recently, there has been an increase in rural properties for sale with a lack of interest from investors, which means there is less competition in the market for purchasing these properties. This factor also drives the prices lower for these properties, making them prime investment opportunities.
It takes the right type of person to reap the benefits of investing in or living in a rural home. If you’re thinking of buying a home in the country for either reason, the pros and cons listed above may help you decide whether or not the purchase is right for you.
The kitchen is often the most used room in the house, which means it’s likely the most visible, too. As such, even the smallest changes can have a big impact.
If you’re looking for ways to give your kitchen an upgrade without spending a great deal of time or money, check out these cheap and easy kitchen DIYs below for inspiration.
1. Replace The Faucet
One of the easiest upgrades that make a dramatic statement in your kitchen is to replace the faucet with something sculptural-looking and high-tech. The upgrade will make your kitchen seem more high-end almost instantly.
To complete this DIY, simply turn the water off underneath the sink and detach the hot and cold hoses from the old faucet. Remove the old faucet and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing the new faucet. Once everything is in place and tight, turn the water back on and check for leaks.
2. Redo The Backsplash
A backsplash redo is easy to do and can change the look of the room without changing anything else. A modern choice in kitchen backsplashes is self-adhesive metal tiles. Just cut the tiles to the correct size and shape for the space, then apply them using the pre-applied adhesive on the back.
3. Update The Lighting
One of the most dramatic and effective changes you can make in any room is to update the lighting. Add some under-the-counter LED lighting using double-sided tape or small screws – if you can hang a picture on the wall, you can do this – or change out your old light bulbs for smart bulbs you can control with your phone. This will allow you to change the ambiance in the room to suit the mood with just a touch.
4. Replace The Drawer And Cabinet Pulls
One of the most cost-effective changes you can make in your kitchen to make a big impact is to replace the old drawer and cabinet pulls with new ones. It’s as simple as unscrewing the old hardware and turning in the new ones, so there’s really no excuse not to make this upgrade, especially when most hardware and home improvement stores carry a wide selection of handles and knobs to fit any budget.
If you’d like to give your kitchen an updated look without spending a great deal of time or money, try one or all the ideas mentioned above.
The average home is filled with microscopic particles that float through the air. These particles – pet dander, dead skin, cooking residue, etc. – can clog an HVAC unit’s air filters over time, leading to an increase in utility costs, potential damage to equipment, and poor indoor air quality.
Experts recommend changing your home’s air filters regularly (every 1-3 months, on average) to avoid the following.
1. Spending Excess Money in Energy Costs
A dirty filter on your HVAC system can increase your monthly energy bill significantly without you benefiting from the unit’s operation. When the filter is dirty, it doesn’t allow air to flow through properly, which means less air moving through your home’s vents. As a result of the ineffective air flow, the air that does reach the rooms in your home is less effective at altering the temperature inside the home than it should be.
The end result: your HVAC system operates for longer periods more often to achieve the desired temperature and you pay more in energy costs.
2. Your HVAC System is Less Effective and More Prone to Damage
Dirty air filters trap air flow and can’t effectively trap air particles as they should. As such, these particles collect inside your home and inside your HVAC system to the point they can damage the components inside the unit.
An HVAC system has a life expectancy of about 15 years, but without regular filter changes, it won’t last that long.
3. It Takes Longer to Heat or Cool Your Home
If your HVAC system has clogged air filters, its ability to move air to all areas of your home is diminished. Rooms further away from the unit may not be as hot or as cool as other rooms closer to the unit, which means the unit has to work harder for longer to compensate.
4. Air Becomes Stagnant
Decreased air flow throughout your home causes air to become stagnant. Stagnant air leads to more dust on surfaces and potential mold/mildew growth caused by increased moisture in the air. Sometimes air can become so stagnant that it actually changes the color of furniture and walls inside the home.
5. Air Quality Diminishes
It’s a known fact that inside air quality is many times worse than outdoor air. As technology has improved over the years to increase energy conservation, which is good for the planet and our wallets, it’s made indoor air quality worse, especially when people fail to change out their home’s air filters.
Since homes and buildings are sealed so well these days, poor indoor air just recirculates throughout the home. For those sensitive to it, this can lead to allergy-type symptoms and an increase in asthma-related illnesses.
Remembering to change out your home’s air filters can have a dramatic effect on the indoor air quality, as well as your monthly energy costs and the value of your home.
A majority of the population spends as much as 90 percent of their lives indoors. Two-thirds of that is spent inside the home. Sadly, very few of us consider how much our homelife impacts our wellbeing. With just a few changes inside the home, you can create a healthier space that promotes good mood and improves relationships. Here are a few suggestions.
1. Balance Social And Private Spots
Studies suggest that the key to happiness resides in the strong bonds we form with family and friends. As such, it’s important to have spots throughout the home that are conducive to socializing. Sharing a regular meal around the dining table is ideal.
Alternately, too much social can often lead to conflict, so be sure you have areas where people can get away to be alone when they need.
2. Have A Dedicated Workspace
Today’s digital world allows many of us to work from home. Unfortunately, most people who do telecommute don’t have a dedicated workspace. To create a healthier work and home environment, it’s best to have a separate workspace that you can close the door on at the end of the day. Ideally, the space will include natural lighting, a few green plants, and décor you find stimulating or pleasing.
3. Let Natural Light In
Research shows that a flood of natural light instantly improves mood and maintains good health. Adding natural light is relatively easy. Simply wash your windows more often and pull curtains back. Consider replacing solid wood doors with glass ones to allow light to filter through from one room to another. Allowing as much natural light as possible to infiltrate your home helps regulate sleep patterns and balance hormone levels so you feel better overall.
4. Heat Your Home Properly
A home that’s heated properly can have a dramatic impact on your health and your wallet. Cold, drafty, poorly heated rooms can be uncomfortable and weaken your immune system.
The first step is to ensure your home is insulated properly. This will help the heat stay in and keep temperatures consistent. Consider installing in-floor heating as it delivers a more consistent heat. Alternately, installing a wood burning stove or a heat source with fake flickering flames will give your home a feeling of warmth and comfort.
5. Reduce Noise Levels
Too much noise can have devastating consequences on our health and wellbeing. From being unable to recuperate from stress to not being able to sleep properly, constant noise is a bad thing.
While it’s very difficult to eliminate noise completely, you can soundproof areas of your home by strategically placing furniture or installing soundproof doors and floors. Try to have at least one spot in your home that doesn’t include any electronics to give family members a space of peace and quiet.
6. Eliminate Clutter
Cutting down on clutter in every room of your home can greatly reduce stress. Implement storage space to organize belongings and get rid of things you no longer need or use. A more minimalist lifestyle can save time and drastically improve your overall mood.
Moving into a new home is an exciting time, but that shouldn’t keep you from paying attention to possible issues with the property. If your home is more than a few years old, it’s likely there could be issues you can’t see. As such, it’s a good idea to consider a few professional services before moving your family in.
Older homes sometimes have outdated electrical components that are inefficient and potentially dangerous. Old wiring can cause electrical fires in some cases, so it’s important you hire an electrician to inspect the home’s electrical system and correct any problems before you move in.
In many cases, a homeowner won’t be able to sell a home with outdated electrical components, but it’s your responsibility to make sure everything is up to code and safe before moving into your new home.
Small plumbing issues can become big headaches if they aren’t addressed quickly. A plumber can inspect your home’s water and sewer pipes and fix any issues he finds. In some cases, you might be able to fix small problems (like a leak under the kitchen sink) yourself, but for a good bill of health on the home’s entire plumbing system, it’s best to hire a professional.
Heating And Cooling
Many homes have an HVAC system that needs to be inspected regularly. Before moving into your new home, this is a necessity to ensure the system heats and cools your home efficiently and that the ductwork is clear of any allergens and/or debris.
You can do some of the work yourself (changing filters, clearing the area around the unit), but to ensure everything is in proper working order, it’s best to have an HVAC technician come in and inspect the unit. The technician will change the filters, ensure the unit is working well, check the thermostat, and clean out the ductwork as needed. This will ensure your unit is as energy-efficient as possible and that your family doesn’t suffer allergies due to poor air quality in the home.
Moving into a new home can be somewhat scary since you don’t know the area very well. To help alleviate you and your family’s unease, installing a security system might be a good idea.
Today’s security systems are very interactive. They can be controlled using your smartphone and you can receive instant notifications of any emergencies while you’re away. It may also be possible to monitor your residence via a streaming video feed when you’re not home.
Having a security system may help your family feel more at ease in your new home, especially if you train everyone on how to use it properly so they can feel in control of their new surroundings.
You’re probably very excited about moving into your new home but be sure you have the above-mentioned services conducted ahead of your actual move-in date. Doing so will ensure you and your family will be as comfortable and as happy as possible in your new home.
Rental apartments aren’t known for having large, spacious kitchens. In fact, they usually have barely enough counter space to prepare a sandwich on. If your rental kitchen is on the small side, the following tips will help you transform that limited space into something reminiscent of a well-designed, functional kitchen.
1. Get Rid Of Stuff You Don’t Use
As you pack up to move into your new apartment, get rid of all the kitchen appliances and gadgets you don’t use. For example, when’s the last time you used that panini maker? Or what about that espresso machine? If you haven’t used it in a year or two, donate it to the thrift store. Doing so will free up valuable real estate in your new but tiny kitchen.
2. Store Things Vertically
In a small kitchen, every inch of space is valuable, so get creative and store things vertically. The walls in your kitchen hold lots of storage potential if you use your imagination. Things like magnetic knife strips, hanging pot racks, dish-drying racks installed above the sink, and hooks for hanging aprons, potholders, and small tools all help you make the most of your limited space in a small kitchen.
3. Decorate With Everyday Items
It just makes sense to leave things you use every day out for easy access. For instance, brooms, dish brushes, and soap dispensers can all be used to “decorate” in a small kitchen. Look for a wooden broom, glass soap dispenser, or a natural fiber dish brush to soften the look of your kitchen while still getting the job done.
4. Light It Up!
Good lighting can make even the smallest of spaces seem bigger and brighter. Invest in new light bulbs that provide plenty of cool light that’ll wake you up in the morning and get you going.
? Humidity in a basement is a problem for many reasons.
? If you’d like to find out how to prevent humidity in your basement, this article is for you!
Humidity in a basement is a problem for many reasons. Not only is the space smelly and uncomfortable, but it can also cause structural issues and health concerns, as well. There are several causes of dampness in a basement. From temperature changes and the presence of groundwater to excess rain and/or moisture inside the house, damp basements are a common issue for many homeowners.
The good news is, there are a number of ways you can prevent humidity in your basement. The trick is to be proactive in finding the source of the moisture and then eliminating it. Below, we give you several things you can do to get rid of and prevent humidity from being a problem in your own basement.
Get Rid Of Dampness Inside Your Home
Moisture and leaks from inside your home can cause humidity to form in your basement. If you know of any leaky pipes in your home’s plumbing, make sure to get them fixed right away. Additionally, you should turn off humidifiers, make sure your clothes dryer is vented outside properly, install and use exhaust fans in the bathrooms and kitchen, and during humid months, run a dehumidifier on each level of your home to remove as much moisture as possible from the air.
Eliminate Outdoor Moisture Sources
Basements are humid enough without additional moisture coming in from the outside. Do your best to control these sources by cleaning out your gutters at least once a year. This will keep rain and runoff flowing away from your home, so it doesn’t spill over right next to the foundation and leak into your basement.
Also, it’s important to make sure your sump pump is functioning properly at all times. This is a vital piece of equipment that cannot fail, for if it does, it could mean thousands of dollars in damage.
Lastly, make sure your basement is as watertight as possible by covering the dirt floor with a plastic sealant, filling in any cracks in the foundation, and covering the walls with waterproof paint.
Temperature changes occur in the basement quite regularly. This causes condensation to build up, making the space more humid. You can prevent condensation from occurring by increasing ventilation in the room. Open your basement windows on dry days to increase the airflow to help dry things out. Be sure to close the windows each evening and during humid/rainy weather, though, to prevent excess dampness. Lastly, insulate exterior walls and cold-water pipes to keep them warmer.
Nothing is worse than a damp basement that smells funny and is uncomfortable to be in. By getting rid of moisture in and around your home, you can prevent humidity in your basement.
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