Tom and Kat's Blog
A home is one of the biggest purchases that an individual can make in his or her lifetime. It also may prove to be expensive, particularly for those who fail to plan ahead for the property buying journey.
There is no need to break your budget to acquire your dream residence. In fact, there are many quick, easy ways to guarantee you can keep you finances in check and avoid the risk of spending too much to purchase your ideal house.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to ensure you can buy a quality house at a budget-friendly price.
1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
You want to buy a home, but you still have no idea how much you can spend on a residence. Thankfully, if you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you can enter the real estate market with a budget in hand. As a result, you will know exactly how much you can spend on a house and can plan accordingly.
Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists who are happy to meet with you. These mortgage specialists can review your income, credit score and other relevant financial data. Then, they can provide you with mortgage options based on your finances.
2. Narrow Your Home Search
Although most people want to buy a mansion, it is important to establish realistic homebuying expectations. Because if you narrow your home search to properties that fall within your price range, you can speed up the property buying journey. Perhaps most important, you can shop around to find a terrific home that corresponds to your budget.
Don't forget to consider homes in a variety of cities and towns too. In some instances, it may prove to be more cost-effective to purchase a house in a small town than a residence in a big city.
3. Evaluate Your Short- and Long-Term Plans
Think about your short- and long-term plans, and you may be better equipped than ever before to map out your home finances for the foreseeable future.
For instance, if you plan to raise a family in the years to come, you may want to consider the costs associated with childcare and other child expenses. This will allow you to budget properly as you search for your dream home.
On the other hand, if you recently accepted a work promotion, your income soon may rise. In this situation, you may be able to increase your homebuying budget due to the fact that extra income will be coming your way.
Lastly, as you get ready to search for a house, you may want to hire a real estate agent. In addition to helping you find a home that matches your budget, a real estate agent will offer expert guidance throughout the property buying journey. He or she will help you prepare for a home inspection, closing and other important steps during the homebuying process. By doing so, a real estate agent will help you seamlessly navigate the homebuying journey and achieve the optimal results.
Believe it or not, selling a home may prove to be expensive if you are not careful. However, if you understand the costs associated with selling a house, you can budget accordingly.
Now, let's take a look at three expenses that home sellers commonly encounter.
1. Home Repairs
Cracked siding, floor damage and other home issues are worrisome, particularly for an individual who wants to sell his or her residence as quickly as possible. Fortunately, if you budget for home repairs, you can address these issues before you list your residence.
Oftentimes, it helps to conduct a home inspection prior to embarking on the house selling journey. A home inspection enables a property owner to gain expert insights into any underlying problems with his or her house. Then, the property owner can prioritize assorted home repairs and complete house improvements as needed.
2. Home Cleaning
A messy home is unlikely to garner buyers' attention. On the other hand, an individual who hires a professional cleaning company to improve his or her residence's appearance may be better equipped than ever before to enjoy a successful house selling experience.
Hiring a professional cleaning company may be costly. Yet if you shop around for home cleaning companies in your city or town, you can find a cleaning business that matches your budget.
Don't forget that you can clean your house on your own, too. If you purchase cleaning supplies and enlist family members and friends to help you clean your residence, you could enhance your residence's appearance without breaking your budget.
3. Home Staging
The cost of staging a house varies based on the size of a residence, the extent of the staging and other factors. But if you allocate time and resources to declutter your residence, you may be able to avoid the costs associated with house staging altogether.
To declutter your residence, you should try to remove any unwanted items from your home. You can list these items online or host a yard sale to eliminate clutter and earn extra cash. Or, you can donate your unwanted items to a local charity or give them to family members or friends.
As you get set to sell your house, you may want to hire a real estate agent as well. With a real estate agent at your side, you can cut down on your house selling expenses and get the help you need to achieve your desired results.
A real estate agent understands that each house is different, and he or she crafts a custom strategy for each home seller. Next, a real estate agent and a home seller work together to put this plan into action. And if a seller ever has concerns or questions during the house selling journey, a real estate agent is happy to respond to them.
Plan ahead for home selling costs – you will be glad you did. Because if you budget properly, you can put yourself in a great position to streamline the home selling journey.
Every home seller wants to enjoy a positive property selling experience. Yet ensuring your home selling strategy goes according to plan may be difficult, particularly for a seller who lacks property selling expertise. Lucky for you, we're here to provide the help you need to achieve the optimal results at each stage of the home selling journey.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you reap the benefits of a positive home selling experience.
1. Set an Aggressive Initial Home Asking Price
How you price your home will have a significant impact on how quickly your residence sells. If you establish an aggressive initial home asking price, you should have no trouble stirring up plenty of interest in your residence as soon as your home becomes available.
Check out the prices of available houses in your area that are similar to your own residence. Then, you can establish a price range for homes in your area and price your house accordingly.
Furthermore, it often helps to evaluate the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town. With this housing market data at your disposal, you can find out whether you're getting ready to sell your home in a buyer's or seller's market.
2. Remove Clutter
Clutter is problematic, particularly for a home seller who wants to streamline the property selling cycle. Fortunately, home sellers who identify clutter now can eliminate this problem before they list their houses.
Antiques, paintings and other excess items inside your home should be removed. You can always rent a storage unit, which will enable you to keep these items safe until you sell your house. Or, you can host a yard sale or sell excess items online prior to listing your residence.
Don't forget to remove lawn decorations and other clutter from outside your house as well. By doing so, you can instantly improve your house's curb appeal and increase the likelihood of a fast, profitable home sale.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is prepared to do everything possible to ensure you can enjoy a positive house selling experience. In fact, this housing market professional will offer plenty of support at each stage of the home selling journey.
Usually, a real estate agent will meet with you before you list your house. He or she then will craft a home selling strategy designed to help you accomplish your home selling goals. Next, a real estate agent will promote your house to dozens of potential buyers, set up home showings and open house events and keep you up to date about any offers to purchase your residence. And if you decide to accept an homebuying proposal, a real estate agent will guide you through the home closing process.
Ready to reap the benefits of a positive home selling experience? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can seamlessly navigate the home selling journey.
One very important, yet often overlooked aspect of setting up a home is that of lighting. We often take lighting for granted. We turn on a light in order to see something better, but there’s so much more to a well-lit room than placing a light anywhere in the space. Lighting should be done in layers. These layers include:
- Ambient lighting
- Accent lighting
- Task lighting
- Decorative lighting
For well-balanced lighting in a room, you should mix and match the types of lighting from these layers. Let’s break down the different layers of lighting:
This kind of lighting includes natural light sources such as windows and doors. Ambient lighting would also include pendant lighting and overhead light fixtures like a combination light/ ceiling fan.
Task lighting is exactly as the name denotes. You use this type of lighting when you want to complete some kind of task. These fixtures could include under the counter lighting, desk lamps, and reading lamps.
Accent lighting provides additional brightness to a room. These fixtures include adjustable lights and recessed lighting features.
Decorative lighting accents a room in a different way. These types of fixtures would be something like chandeliers, different colored light bulbs, and other lights that can be used for decoration.
The great thing about the right kind of lighting is that it will feature the best parts of a room. Do you have a painting that you love? Use lighting to bring it out. Is there a statue that you want to make stand out? Use a soft spotlight. You can even highlight your crown molding and ceiling features with some mounted sconces or rope lights along the edge of your ceiling for an added effect.
Spread It Out
One of the worst mistakes that people make when lighting a room is forgetting to spread out their light sources. All of the light in the room is concentrated in one spot, leaving dark patches in the space. This can be a decorator’s nightmare. This is why the layering method works so well. The lighting is spread out around the room and even. There won’t be any spots in the room where the lighting is overwhelming or on the flip side, not enough.
Use Your Windows
One of the other big mistakes in lighting is that people often forget to make use of the natural daylight. While you may need some lighting in a room that’s used often at night, there should be some great resources coming from right outside your windows. Don’t block this light! Use creative ways to direct the light accordingly like curtains and blinds. Don’t be afraid to leave some window space open as well to let the light shine in. While you don’t want to sacrifice your privacy, you do not want to live with your windows darkened all day, every day!