1. Residential Real EstateResidential real estate includes anything people can live in: single-family homes, apartments, condos, townhouses, etc. Often, investors purchase single-family homes and rent them out while they wait for them to increase in value. Other investors purchase multi-family properties to have multiple streams of income coming in. Many new investors get a start in residential real estate investing by purchasing a multi-family property, living in one of the units, and renting out the rest.
2. Commercial Real EstateCommercial real estate includes any property that can be used for commercial purposes. This includes retail stores, restaurants, and office buildings. Owners of commercial real estate rent out the space(s) to business owners, who then pay a monthly fee to conduct their business there. Commercial real estate investing isn’t as easy and straightforward as residential real estate. For starters, it’s much more expensive to get started and most banks won’t finance you unless you already have a signed lease from a tenant already occupying the property. Furthermore, your credit needs to be impeccable and down payments can be as much as 50 percent. Having said all that, owning a successful commercial building can bring in much higher profits than owning residential properties.
3. Industrial Real EstateIndustrial real estate is any property used for warehousing, manufacturing, or distributing products. These properties are usually owned by highly skilled investors with very extensive/diverse portfolios who know the potential for huge profit when they see it. Real estate investors like putting their money into industrial properties mainly because of their stability. The leases are usually longer and there’s less turnover as tenants don’t vacate this type of property as often as others.
4. Land InvestmentsOwning land can be a risky investment, however, if that land is located in an area that’s ripe for future development, it could pay off big. The reason investing in land is risky is because raw land won’t generate income on its own. As the owner, you’re responsible for paying taxes on the property, dealing with zoning and environmental issues, and finding developers to turn it into something that will make money. Unless you buy farmland, which can be rented out to farmers to plant, owning land often results in a loss rather than gain if you don’t know what you’re doing. When it comes to real estate investing, it’s important you understand the different types of investment properties so you can determine which is a good fit for you. As a new investor, it’s a good idea to focus on just one type of investment and learn it well before trying to diversify your portfolio.
1. Be ScarceOne 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 SpaceA 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 ShowingThe 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 ViewBecause 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 FeedbackYou 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
1. LocationBeing 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 ViewCan 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 AppealIf 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 SystemsNo 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.
5. StorageA 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.
Start Saving Early and Check Your CreditThe 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 AffordMany 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 OptionsOne 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 RatesShopping 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.
Get Pre-approvedSellers 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.
Transform A Small Closet Into A Large ClosetMany bedrooms include a small, single-stall closet that’s hardly big enough for everything a person wants to store in it. In many cases these closets are actually bigger than they appear because just beyond a non-load-bearing divider wall, lies another closet of the same size. It’s relatively simple to remove this divider wall to create a much larger closet worthy of storing all your personal possessions.
An Uninspiring Kitchen Island Turned Fabulous And FunctionalDoes your kitchen island serve as a catch-all for everything from bills to homework and more? This could be because the island lacks pizzazz and purpose. You can give your kitchen island purpose by turning it into a sit-down breakfast bar complete with sink for ease in preparing meals. With a hang-over countertop that allows family and friends to sit close to the bar, your newly remodeled kitchen island invites everyone to gather in the kitchen for good food and conversation.
Upgrade Your Homes ThermostatTechnology has come a long way as far as home thermostats go. Today’s thermostat is a smart device that can adjust your home’s temperature automatically, which saves you tons of money each year in energy usage. If your home has an old, round dial thermostat, make it a point to swap it out for a smart thermostat right away. Not only will you find it more convenient, but you’ll also appreciate the almost-immediate savings on your heating and cooling bills.
Stop Wasting Valuable Storage SpaceDo you have space above or to the side of your refrigerator that’s justsitting thereunused? That’s valuable storage space if you do it right. Start by replacing your old, non-energy-efficient fridge with a streamlined, energy-efficient model. Next, purchase or build storage cabinets above and around the unit to act as a pantry. This pantry storage can be used for anything from kitchen gadgets to pre-packaged and canned foods, and it looks great, too!
Replace Kitchen Wall CabinetsCabinets hanging on the wall above the countertop certainly serve a purpose. They allow you to store commonly used dishes and the like within arm’s reach. Unfortunately, they can also create shadows that make it difficult to work with and they can be quite bulky and unattractive, too. You can replace those dark, imposing cabinets with open shelving to make your kitchen look and feel bigger and brighter. Of course, you’ll need to find storage for all the stuff that’ll lose its home – or, you could just get rid of all the stuff you don’t really use anymore and eliminate the need for storage altogether.
Fewer People Means Fewer Public ServicesOne 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 OpportunitiesIf 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.
Fewer RestrictionsUrban 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 DevelopmentStrategically 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 PricesRural 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 MarketRecently, 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.
CostUnderground In general, the cost of an underground pool is going to be significantly higher than that of an aboveground pool. You can expect to shell out $30,000-$70,000 for a complete inground pool. Now, you may have seen ads in your local newspaper that say you can get an inground pool for just $14,999. While it may only cost that to install the pool itself, everything else that goes along with it is extra. These extras include decking around the pool, electrical hookup, grading/landscaping, and accessories like heaters, covers, generators, etc. Aboveground Aboveground pools consist of three main parts: the pool kit, the installation, and the decking (if any). You can expect to pay anywhere from $4,000-$12,000 (installed) for an aboveground pool. This price may not include decking, but it’s likely you’ll spend more on decking than you do for the entire aboveground pool.
SizeAboveground pools can be just as big as underground pools. The downside to an aboveground pool, however, is that you’re usually limited to a single depth, whereas with an underground pool, there are often varying depths from one end to the other.
MaintenanceWhen it comes to caring for an inground or aboveground pool, there really is no difference. Both require cleaning and regular maintenance, but if your aboveground pool doesn’t have decking around it, it can be harder to clean from the outside.
LongevityAboveground Aboveground pool structures can last up to 15 years, with their liners needing replacing every 5 to 9 years. Inground How long an inground pool lasts depends on the type. Vinyl – a vinyl inground pool’s structure will last a long time, but the liner needs replacing every 5 to 9 years. Fiberglass – fiberglass pools last up to 20 years. Concrete – concrete inground pools last indefinitely but need to be resurfaced every 10-15 years. Getting a pool is very exciting as it gives you a fun way of fighting the heat of summer. If you’re on the fence as to which type of pool is right for you, we hope the information given above helps you make a decision. Good luck and have fun this summer in your new pool!
1. The Right ApproachReal estate investment is a business. You need to approach it as such and devote as much time and energy to it as possible. Even if you’re only planning to have one rental property, it deserves your undivided attention. Should you decide to expand your investment business, you’ll need to devote even more time to attending open houses, researching neighborhoods, monitoring your financial state, and estimating costs in order to find good deals with high return on investment.
2. Dealing With HasslesBeing responsible for a rental property can be challenging, especially when tenants aren’t happy, or things need fixing. You can maintain a cordial relationship with your tenants by being discerning and smart. Avoid potential issues by building a network of reputable contractors you can count on when repairs are necessary. Furthermore, create a schedule for paying bills, insurance, and other expenses so you do so on time, and be sure to keep an emergency fund at the ready for unexpected expenses.
3. LocationIt’s much easier to manage a rental property that’s close by than one that’s in another town or state. If you’re very resourceful, you can pull it off, but problems of any kind can arise without warning, and being close to the problem makes it much easier and cheaper to solve.
4. Finding Good TenantsOne of the most challenging aspects of being a landlord is finding good tenants. It pays to do your due diligence when screening prospective renters. Do criminal background and credit checks and speak with previous landlords if possible. Renting to the wrong tenant can end up costing you big in terms of time and money. Should you need to start eviction proceedings, it will be impossible to rent your unit out again until they are finished, which could be several months. Furthermore, should your tenants be unhappy with your services or feel slighted in any way, they could take it out on your property, costing you way more in repairs than they’ve paid with their security deposit. Moral of the story? Don’t take shortcuts when screening potential renters. While the idea of making money being a landlord sounds easy, the reality is, it’s quite challenging. If you’re thinking of becoming a landlord, be sure to consider the four points above so you’re prepared.
ElectricalOlder 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.
PlumbingSmall 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 CoolingMany 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.
SecurityMoving 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.
Bookcases Aren’t Just For BooksIf you’ve never thought a bookcase was good for anything but holding books, think again. Bookcases are great for holding all sorts of things, and they work especially well in the closet for holding bins, baskets, and more. You can find used bookcases at thrift stores, or you can opt to build your own. Either way, try to find ones with deep shelving that will accommodate almost anything you want to put on them. If you need lots of added space, add more than one bookcase to your closet, and be sure to anchor them to the wall for safety sake. An alternative to bookcases in the closet is using small dressers instead. Dressers designed for use in a nursery or kid’s room are the perfect size for a small closet.
All Closet Space Is ValuableThe space inside your closet isn’t the only space usable for storage. Consider using the back of the door for storage, too. Add coat hooks or a towel bar to the door for hanging things like robes or necklaces. If permanently adhering hardware to the door isn’t an option, use over-the-door options instead. An over-the-door shoe organizer works great for things like socks, underwear, shoes, and other small items that can be separated and organized. Check stores like Ikea for other over-the-door storage solutions.
The Top Shelf Is Your FriendIt might be difficult to reach, but the top shelf in your closet is perfect for items you don’t use that often. Put it to good use for seasonal items like beach towels, winter hats and gloves, boots, and sports gear you only need periodically. Use boxes or bins to keep things organized, and don’t store any heavy object up there for obvious safety reasons. Label the outside of each box so you know exactly what’s inside at a glance.
Rethink The Way You Hang Your ClothesMost people hang their clothes on good old-fashioned hangers. Wire hangers take up less space, but many people prefer sturdier plastic or wooden hangers that take up lots of space on a closet clothing rod. You can double – or even triple – the space you have to hang clothes by switching to the Wonder Hanger. This As-Seen-On-TV invention allows you to hang several articles of clothing on a specially designed slotted bar that folds down to save space.
Think Outside The ClosetNo one says that closet storage has to stay inside the closet. You can expand the closet storage space you have by going beyond the closet itself. Use your imagination and repurpose old furniture pieces to work as storage anywhere you need it. Look for an antique armoire for the bedroom, or maybe a rolling storage cart for the bathroom or kitchen. Underneath the bed is a great place to store seasonal clothing, too. Just purchase the appropriately sized bins to place them in so they stay clean and fresh until you need them again. For many people, the closet space they have just never seems to be enough. Whether you own a home or rent an apartment, you can use the creative ways to expand your closet storage space above to get the most out of the closet space you already have.
1. Soft & Warm FabricsNothing says warmth and coziness than a soft quilt or a long shag rug. You can cover almost any surface in textiles, so let your imagination soar. Reupholster a chair in crushed velvet or add a soft shag rug to the floor – whatever it takes to make the space look and feel warm and inviting. Soft textiles have a calming effect no matter the season.
2. Balanced ColorsAlthough this year’s hot home décor trend is bold colors, to create the calming space you desire, try balancing pops of color against a neutral backdrop. For example, add vibrant throw pillows to your neutral couch for a balanced, interesting, and relaxing vibe.
3. Relaxing Home DécorLook for home décor that fits your personality while also standing the test of time. If you’d like to try some of the newest trends in home décor, be sure it’s something you like because if you don’t, you may find yourself unable to relax completely.
3. Relaxing Home DécorTo truly help you relax at home, carve out a space that’s separate from the rest of the area dedicated to doing yoga or meditation. Be sure to include things like a floor mat or pillow, pictures you love, a couple of plants, and a music source to make the perfect nook for your relaxation practices.
5. Embrace ScentYour sense of smell is the gateway to calmness as certain scents invite relaxation and reduce stress. Try lighting a few scented candles around your home or diffusing essential oils to create a relaxing atmosphere in your home. Scents to consider include chamomile, lavender, Jasmine, and lemon.
6. The Right LightingThe right lighting can have a dramatic effect on your mood. If it’s dark or gloomy when your workday is done, you may need some light therapy to lift your spirits and instill relaxation. Look for lights that mimic the sun or try stringing lights across your living room to bring a positive vibe to your space.
7. Let Natural Light InOne of the easiest ways to create a brighter, calming space is to let the natural light flood in. Even if your home or apartment doesn’t have a lot of windows, you can still embrace the natural light you do have by not covering the windows with heavy treatments and keeping them open for as long as the daylight hours allow. You can further increase the brightness in the room by hanging mirrors on the walls to reflect and bounce the light around.
1. Choose Properties In Up And Coming NeighborhoodsBuying rental properties is a great way to increase your wealth through real estate investing. Purchase the right property in the right neighborhood and you’ll enjoy huge returns on your investment. Up and coming neighborhoods offer the potential for growth as well as tax incentives for buyers.
2. Diversify GeographicallyThere’s a lot to be said for buying close by and understanding the local market. However, by purchasing properties in other areas, you diversify your investments and protect your portfolio from the volatility of a local market.
3. Don’t Spend Too Much On RenovationsYou don’t need to buy high-end fixtures and accents in order to make a rental attractive. Middle-of-the-road pieces are just as enticing to renters and a lot less damaging to a limited budget.
4. Don’t Over-Leverage YourselfSuccessful real estate investors have a combination of properties that they own free and clear and some that they finance. This creates a healthy balance that promotes profit while giving you the funds you need to grow your business.
5. Consider Investing In A Single-Family HomeMost people would love to live in a house, but some lack the finances to own one and others simply do not want to own. Whatever the case, a single-family home is a good investment as they have a history of appreciating quickly and profitably.
6. Get Ahead Of Big Maintenance ProblemsFinding and fixing minor issues before they become big ones can save you a lot of money. Unfortunately, not all tenants will alert you to small issues until it’s too late. Write a bi-annual walkthrough into the lease to give your tenants an opportunity to point out any potential problems they see as well as to give you a chance to spot anything that needs attention. You’ll come to look forward to these walkthroughs, especially when you spot a small water leak or two that could have cost you a lot of money had they gotten worse.
As a homeowner, you are responsible for a lot of things in and around the house. Below is a list of things you are responsible for when you own a home. Be sure to consider these things when deciding whether home ownership is for you or not.
1. The Legal Side Of ThingsIf you’re planning to build a home from the ground up, it’s your responsibility to make sure you have the proper permits in place to do so. Every community is different, so it’s up to you to find out what they require.
Obtaining approval on building permits can take weeks or even months to come through, so skipping this step might be tempting. It’s in your best interest to go through the proper channels, however, because without the right permits, the authorities could halt progress on your house, or worse, demolish it altogether.
2. Dealing With Homeowners’ AssociationsIf the home you’re considering is in a neighborhood overseen by a homeowners’ association (HOA), you could be in for some difficulty. These associations tend to have strict guidelines you must follow and even stricter enforcement and penalties if you don’t.
The best way to know what your HOA responsibilities are is to read the HOA agreement closely before buying or renting in the neighborhood and attending regular HOA meetings.
3. Paying The MortgageResponsible homeowners pay their mortgages on time, plain and simple. Failing to do so can result in harassing phone calls and letters from the lender, as well as legal action and/or foreclosure. To ensure you always have the funds available to pay your monthly mortgage payment, set a clear budget that sets the money aside for this payment before anything else. After all, you have to have a place to live, right?
4. Dealing With NeighborsUnless you move into the country where houses are few and far between, you’re going to have neighbors. It’s in your best interest to get along with the people who live around you. As a responsible homeowner, you should be polite when you see your neighbors, and you should go out of your way to remedy any situation your neighbors may find disturbing.
5. Understanding The MortgageMortgages can be complicated, so it’s a good idea to understand yours completely so there are no surprises when it comes time to make your first payment. Find out what your payment includes. Are you paying just principal and interest, or does it include escrow for homeowners’ insurance and/or property taxes, too?
Be sure you understand the going interest rates and how they apply to your loan. Is the interest fixed, or will you need to consider refinancing in a few years when your interest rate adjusts? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you prepare for anything that may arise with your mortgage payment in the future.
Owning a home is more than just making monthly payments. There are many things you become responsible for as a homeowner. Although not comprehensive, the list above gives you many things to consider if you’re thinking about buying a house.
1. Hang A HammockWho doesn’t like lying in a hammock on a warm, breezy day? If you have two trees within hammock-hanging distance of each other, or, even if you don’t (you can install your own poles for hanging), you can hang a hammock or some other swinging-type seating to enjoy the great outdoors in.
2. Hang Lanterns Or String Lights In Your YardJust as lighting plays a big role in the ambiance inside your home, it can also lend a warm, relaxing vibe to your outdoor spaces, too. Try hanging decorative lanterns or stinging pretty lights across your yard or along a fence for a rustic look that begs you to enjoy it once the sun sets.
3. Play Around With SeatingGone are the days when patio furniture had to match. These days, you have a multitude of options when it comes to outdoor seating. If you like collecting individual pieces and creating your own seating arrangement, go for it to create an outdoor seating area that portrays your personal style.
4. Accent With TextilesMake your outdoor space fun and exciting by adding accents in bright colors and textures. From area rugs and throw pillows to slipcovers and more, you can make an extension of your indoor living area. Just be sure to choose fabrics that are designed to withstand the elements, so you don’t have to worry about storing any of your accents when the weather turns foul.
5. Consider Your Outdoor ActivitiesHow will you use your outdoor space? Not only should it be comfortable and inviting, but it should also be functional. By adding a fireplace, you create a warm atmosphere that enables you to use the space during colder months. You can also add an outdoor kitchen, which will enable you to cook and dine outside on those beautiful summer evenings. Hopefully, the upgrades above will help you create an outdoor space that you love to spend time in.
1. What’s Old Is New AgainWhile styles come and go, it’s the nostalgia that’s playing a big role in today’s interior décor trends. Styles from the Victorian era, Art Deco, and even grand millennial aesthetics are making a comeback as many people wish longingly for what used to be in a world so full of uncertainty and strife.
2. Easy To Clean Is Always GoodWe’ll be seeing lots of easy to clean fabrics and surfaces. Expect non-porous surfaces like glass and metal to be part of many home renovations as they deter the growth and spread of bacteria. Also, the kid-friendly, durable, stain-proof fabric will take center stage where applicable.
3. Warm, Cozy ColorsEarthy tones and warm neutrals will be popular as we begin making our homes cozier places to be. Today’s trend is organic shades like Camel, which adds a layer of warmth and hominess gray just doesn’t have.
4. Calming Shades Of BlueColor has a big impact on our emotions, which is why shades of soft blue will be trending this year. The calming effect this shade has on the mind will help alleviate some of the stress we’re all feeling as we stay quarantined in our homes. Blue is a timeless color that never seems to go out of style, making it a great choice for a fresh look.
5. Natural Materials Aren’t Going AnywhereWood tones, organic materials, and natural accents are going to be extremely popular.
6. Say Goodbye To The Open Floor PlanIn years past, the open floor plan, where one room flows seamlessly into the next, was valued as it brought the family closer together. This realization puts open floor plans on the outs and closed floor plans at the top of many homeowner’s renovation plans.
7. A Shift Toward Sustainable FurnishingsSustainability is a subject that impacts our daily lives in many areas. Today’s homeowner is opting less for cheap, DIY furnishings and choosing instead to buy furniture that’s more expensive and better made. These furnishings are kinder to the environment and they give their owners a sense of pride in being able to hand down an heirloom rather than throwing the piece in the landfill.
1. Muted Lime/Powder Blue/WhiteBright colors like lime green and blue make for a winning combination when paired with white trim. Choose muted bright colors to keep the effect from being too much and be sure to paint every inch of trim in bright white for a stunning look.
2. Gray/Blue/WhiteIf you’re looking for something softer than the first suggestion, try combining pearl gray, slate blue, and bright white. Paint the front door/entry point blue and the rest of the exterior in gray. Finish the look with bright white trim and you end up with a sleek mid-century modern style.
3. Red/White/Blue/BeigeYou can never go wrong with good ole’ red, white, and blue. But, adding a twist of beige in there just brings the trio to a whole new level. The trick to keeping this color combo from looking like year-round Fourth of July décor is to choose a light blue hue rather than navy and paint the trim both white and beige.
4. Gray/Red/BlackSometimes simple is better, especially if your home is on the smaller side. Choosing a warm gray for the exterior and then giving the home a bright pop with a red front door and black shutters won’t overwhelm a humble abode. Any trim that’s visible should be finished with a bright white shade.
5. Purple/Lavender/WhiteLavender is a surprisingly great color for the outside of a home, especially when paired with a lovely purple door. The trick to keeping this color combo from being overly feminine is to choose a lavender shade with gray undertones and finishing the look with white trim for a modern look.
6. Navy/White/TurquoiseNavy blue is a popular exterior color these days, which means it will definitely up your home’s curb appeal. When paired with bright white trim and a lovely turquoise front door, your home will not only stand out, but it will also be the envy of the neighborhood.
7. Seafoam Green/WhiteYou would expect to see a seafoam green home on the beach, but your home doesn’t need to be surrounded by sand for seafoam green to work. Paired with bright white trim, seafoam green works well in any setting.
If you’re thinking about painting the exterior of your home, take a moment to consider a color combination that will make it pop. Hopefully, the exterior color combinations listed above give you some great inspiration.
1. The Seller Will Work with Your AgentA majority of sellers know you’ve worked with your agent closely for weeks (months?) before coming across their FSBO home and will gladly compensate your agent as any other seller would do.
If you’re interested in a for sale by owner home, have your agent make the first contact. This gives your agent the opportunity to find out if she can still work for you and collect payment on the deal should it proceed.
2. Be Prepared to Meet the Owners Face-to-FaceThe biggest difference between an FSBO home and one listed by an agent is that you’ll get to meet the owners face-to-face rather than meet with an agent when looking at the home. Selling a home is a sentimental time for the owners, so it may seem a little uncomfortable for you when meeting with them to look at or discuss their home.
If this is the home you’ve got your heart set on, you’ll need to move past those uncomfortable feelings and be respectful of their emotions. Don’t forget to use your agent as necessary and don’t be afraid to ask for some time alone in the home if you need it.
3. FSBO Sellers Must Still Abide by the LawAs with any other home sale, there are laws the FSBO sellers must abide by. If the law says a seller has to inspect the home, make repairs, or disclose any problems, then the FSBO seller must oblige. One of the biggest problems with FSBO home sales is that the sellers often don’t know or understand real estate law, or they simply want to do things their own way. At any rate, trust your agent and your own gut. If you think a seller isn’t on the up and up or isn’t allowing you due diligence, it might not be the right home for you.
For sale by owner homes can be just as great as homes listed with a real estate agent. While the same laws and requirements apply, there could be problems if the seller lacks real estate knowledge or isn’t willing to do things by the book. Keep these three things in mind if your dream home happens to be an FSBO home.
1. Clean It OutThe key to achieving a successful pantry setup is to figure out what you have to work with. You can do this by cleaning the space out. Start at the ceiling and remove any cobwebs hanging in the corners and work your way down. Wipe shelving, and if you’re feeling ambitious, give them a fresh coat of paint. Finish by sweeping and mopping the floor. If you aren’t feeling particularly ambitious, simply clean the space and apply contact paper to the shelves.
2. Take Stock Of What You HaveOnce you’ve cleaned out your pantry, it’s time to take stock of what you have and what you need. Throw out expired food items and start a box for donations to your local food pantry of items you won’t be using. This is also the perfect time to rearrange the items in your pantry for convenience. For example, move seldom-used items to the back or to a lower shelf to make room for the things you use most within easy reach.
3. Make It Easy To See What You HaveYou can make things easier to find and create a beautiful display at the same time by switching out the mess of open boxes and bags for pretty, clear containers. For instance, baking ingredients like flour and sugar look great in clear mason jars while rice, beans, and other dry goods make for a pleasant display in tightly sealed plastic containers with lids.
4. Purchase Storage SolutionsOnce you’ve decided how you’ll organize your pantry, it’s time to purchase the storage solutions you’ll need. Your list may include things like mason jars, plastic containers, baskets, wire racks, spice racks, racks for plastic wrap and aluminum foil, etc.
5. Put Your Pantry Back TogetherNow that you’ve purged what you don’t need and have acquired the storage solutions that will work best for you, it’s time to put everything back together. Be sure to group like items together – sugar and flour with other baking ingredients, for example – and face canned goods forward for easy viewing. Keep arranging and rearranging until you have the pantry you’ve always dreamed of. A pantry is one of those areas in a home that’s used daily and often becomes a disorganized mess. To make it easier to find what you’re looking for and what you need to replace, follow the tips above to organize your pantry once and for all.
To help make keeping your house clean easier and less stressful, we’ve come up with several cleaning ideas for you to tackle. These ideas are designed to help you work smarter, not harder, so without further ado, here they are.
1. Clean Your EquipmentBelieve it or not, your cleaning equipment could use a thorough cleaning, too. Begin by swishing your broom’s bristles in a tub filled with hot, soapy water. Throw in any scrub brushes and let them soak.
If you use microfiber cloths, toss them in a washing machine on the gentle cycle, then transfer them to a low-heat dryer. Lastly, soak sponges in a solution of 1-tsp. bleach to a gallon of water for five minutes before rinsing and allowing to air dry. Having clean equipment to work with makes your job so much easier and you’ll know your house is truly clean when you’re done.
2. Dust The Light FixturesIf your living room is looking gloomier than usual, it might be because the light fixtures need dusting. Turn the light off and wait for the fixture to cool. Take it down from the ceiling, if possible, and use a microfiber cloth to remove dust and debris. If the dust is especially stubborn, use a damp rag to remove it. Wipe all surfaces of the fixture and let it air dry before reinstalling.
3. Clean BookshelvesBookshelves and their associated books and knick-knacks are dust magnets. Many people forgo cleaning their bookshelves often because it’s such a tedious chore. If your bookshelves could use some TLC, turn on some tunes or your favorite podcast and get to work.
Remove everything from the shelves and place it aside. Use a feather duster or a dry microfiber cloth to remove surface dust. You can go a step further to protect the wood by using a quality dusting spray next. Buff the shelves to a shine, and then wipe down all the books and knick-knacks as you return them to their home on the shelves.
4. Refresh Framed PicturesGive your home a completely clean look by cleaning the framed pictures on the wall. Start by taking each picture down from the wall and placing it on the table. Spray window cleaner on a clean microfiber cloth and wipe the glass and frame of each picture. Let the pictures dry, then hang them back on the wall.
5. Wipe The Walls And TrimUnless your child expresses himself on the wall, wiping down the walls probably isn’t something you think of doing often. Taking the time to get rid of cobwebs and dust on the walls, though, can make your space look and feel brighter.
Grab a broom or feather duster and clear the walls of any visible dust. Pay special attention to the corners where cobwebs like to form. Lastly, use a feather duster or microfiber cloth to wipe down the trim, and you’re done!
1. Long-term Rental PropertiesInvesting in long-term rental properties is maybe one of the best ways to make a profit in real estate. It takes a lot of capital up front, but the return on investment (ROI) is high, with the biggest benefit being the constant monthly cash flow.
Both single family and multi-family units have the potential for being great moneymakers, but it can be difficult finding just the right property in just the right area to really make this type of investing worthwhile. Most investors prefer to purchase single-family homes because there are more of them for sale, which increases the chances of finding the right one.
2. Fix and FlipMany beginning real estate investors start with fix and flips. They buy properties on the cheap, fix them up, and resell them at a profit. A lot of money is needed upfront for down payments and repairs, as well as the funds necessary for carrying costs until the house is sold again. It can be overwhelming managing contractors during the repair phase, as well as when trying to sell the house again when everything is complete.
The biggest mistake people make when investing in fix and flips is trying to do the repairs themselves. They think they are saving money, but in the long run, it costs more because it takes longer to finish repairs. It is best to hire professionals to make the repairs quickly so you can get to making a profit sooner.
3. WholesalingWholesaling is when an investor buys a residential property, and then turns right around and sells it to another investor without making any repairs. In some cases, the first investor never even actually buys the property, but obtains it under contract before handing it over to another investor. Wholesaling goes very quickly, and many real estate investors make hundreds of thousands of dollars a month doing it.
4. Vacation RentalsVacation rentals are those properties purchased in a great tourist-y area and rented out on a monthly basis. During peak seasons, vacation rentals can bring in quite a profit. However, during off-peak seasons, they sometimes barely cover the monthly mortgage, upkeep and management fees. The key to continually making a profit with a vacation rental is to set the rent at a level that keeps renters in it year-round.
5. Long Distance RentalsWhen investing in residential real estate, it’s important to look for the best deals possible to increase profits in the end. This isn’t always easy because some markets have incredibly high prices for real estate. Places like New York, for example, see purchase prices as high as $500,000 or more. This makes it very hard to buy property because it requires too much money upfront. What buyers are doing to avoid this issue is investing in residential real estate in another market.
A lot of work goes into investing in long distance real estate. You have to choose a good market, find a superstar realtor, hire a property manager, and then look for the right property. You have to trust the people you have working for you, and be willing to travel if needed to.
Investing in residential real estate is definitely a great way to increase profits and save for retirement. There are several ways to do it, but it all depends on how much time and money you’re willing to put into the process. The five options above give an idea of just what it takes.
Watch the Market CloselyWhether you’re a buyer or a seller, you should watch the market closely for going trends and conditions that could be favorable to your situation. Knowing what’s popular at the time, in addition to the supply and demand in the area you’re buying or selling, are great negotiating tools.
Having said this, it’s important to note here that even if the market isn’t favorable at the time you’re selling, you could still have the upper hand in negotiations. For instance, if you are selling a nice house in a popular neighborhood where few houses are up for sale, you have leeway to negotiate a higher asking price because the supply of properties for sale in the area does not meet demand.
Know Who Holds All the Cards WhenAs the real estate deal progresses, the person with the most negotiating power changes. For example, at the beginning of negotiations, the buyer holds all the cards. As the deal moves forward, however, the buyer loses some of the power, until ultimately, the seller has all the power because he chooses the buyer with the offer and terms that best suit his needs.
Get the Best DealsIn a real estate deal, both the buyer and seller look for ways to save the most money. For the buyer, negotiating a good deal means getting the lowest transaction costs possible through concessions offered by the seller. For the seller, a good deal means selling the property without having to give any concessions at all.
The Financial Side of ThingsSecure financing is important to both the buyer and the seller. Without pre-approved financing in place, a buyer may not qualify for financing. For the seller, it may be hard to close a deal if the buyer isn’t pre-approved. Having secured financing in place ensures both parties can proceed with the transaction.
Know the Going Interest RatesLow interest rates are beneficial to both buyers and sellers. Buyers are looking for the lowest interest rates possible, as well as the lowest down payment, too. For a seller, lower interest rates encourage buyers, which increases demand for properties. The higher the demand for a property, the more negotiating power a seller has.
Don’t Underestimate the Other PartyWhile expertise and experience surely give a leg up in any transaction, it’s important to never underestimate the other party. Even with the most financial backing and best representation, an underdog could come along and negotiate a better deal no one ever saw coming.
How to Act When NegotiatingWhen negotiating a real estate bargain, keep the following behavioral aspects in mind.
- Negotiate face-to-face – Meeting face-to-face and speaking directly with the other party allows you to react appropriately and build a rapport with them.
- Be assertive – Let the other party know it won’t be easy to con you by asking knowledgeable questions and stating informed facts about market trends.
- Be polite – Mind your manners and speak politely when negotiating. Be prepared to walk away if the deal doesn’t suit you or you feel pressured, as it’s your right to do so.
- Be flexible – You may go into a deal with a certain plan but be prepared to alter that plan to seal the deal. It would be a shame to miss an opportunity because you’re unwilling to budge a little bit on the financial side of things.