Aimee Kniceley-Barnes' Blog
There are a lot of ways a real estate agent can help you find the best home for your needs. However, the final decision always rests squarely on your shoulders.
The challenge for many home buyers -- especially first-timers -- is to keep everything in perspective and avoid sacrificing features that are especially important to you.
Developing a carefully thought-out priority list, consisting of both necessities and "wish list" items, is an essential starting point for getting what you want in a new home. Even though house hunting can potentially wear you down, it's important to hang in there and stay true to your priorities.
While everyone has different expectations, lifestyle needs, and personal requirements, some things are bound to create issues down the road.
- Being too close to neighbors: Depending on your need for privacy, this may or may not be a problem for you. However, if you don't want your life to feel like a reality show (with your neighbors being the audience), then it would probably pay to maintain a comfortable distance between houses. Unfortunately, that's not always possible. For example, if you're in the market for a home in an urban environment or a townhouse setting, then close proximity "comes with the territory". If living in suburbia is your objective, though, it's often feasible and desirable to keep some breathing room between neighbors.
- Basement laundry: Having to go up and down an extra flight of stairs every time you do your laundry is not the worst thing in the world, but it can make laundry day more of a hassle. The inconvenience of a basement laundry is multiplied if you have to do several loads of laundry every week. To make that chore even more unpleasant, unfinished basements are often dank, musty smelling, and not much to look at! Regardless of the condition of the basement, though, having a first-floor laundry does make life a lot easier!
- A tiny yard: A spacious yard is not a feature all house hunters require, but if you have dogs, kids, and the occasional backyard barbecue, then you'd probably find a good-sized yard to be more satisfying. On the other hand, if your short-term plan includes moving in a few years, then yard size might not be a major issue.
- Being too far from conveniences: Do you have your heart set on a rural setting for your next home? If so, you may have to sacrifice being close to shopping, entertainment, friends, and work. It is a potential trade-off that you and your family will need to consider carefully. Reaching a consensus on what you must have versus what you'd like to have in a home will hopefully help ensure a decision you'll all be satisfied with.
Although not everyone is a fan of carpeting, there are definitely benefits to having it in your home. The big question is, "Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?"
Well, that answer depends on a lot of variables, but if you happen to like the look and feel of carpeting, then it's probably worth having. Assuming the carpet fibers are made of a soft material, it offers an extra layer of comfort for walking barefoot and sitting on the floor. It also provides some minor benefits, in terms of both sound absorption and heat insulation.
One of the negative aspects of carpeting is that it tends to conceal dirt, allergens, and food crumbs. Depending on whether it's a stain-resistant carpet, keeping it looking clean could be an ongoing challenge. That, of course, would be especially true if you have children, pets, or a spill-prone spouse!
Although stain-resistant carpets are supposed to be easy to clean, you can't help but wonder if that applies to pet accidents and grape juice spills that aren't immediately cleaned up. Another possible pitfall of carpeting involves the risk of using carpet spot-cleaning sprays and solutions. Some cleaning products could cause the color of your carpeting to fade in the treated areas. So while it may remove the stain, it may also leave permanent faded spots in the area you cleaned -- hardly the effect you were aiming for!
If you or a member of your family has allergies or asthma, a carpeted floor could potentially trigger unpleasant symptoms, too. Since carpeting is known to harbor everything from dust mites and mold spores, to pet dander and pollen, it could be the source of discomfort for allergy sufferers and others.
From the standpoint of improved air quality and reducing allergens, carpets made of nylon, short fiber strands, and/or tightly woven strands are said to be less of an issue. Another partial solution is to ask family members and visitors to remove their shoes before entering a carpeted area. Pro tip: this is much easier to accomplish if you get everyone in the habit of removing their shoes at the front door.
For homeowners planning to put their property on the market in the near future, the presence of carpeting could have a negative effect on its marketability. That's not to say that carpeting is going to prevent you from being able to sell your home, but it may reduce the number of prospective buyers who are actively interested in it. If you happen to have hardwood floors underneath that carpeting, it may pay to remove the carpeting -- a sometimes difficult task, which is often best left to the professionals.
If you are getting ready to sell your home, remember, it's essential to clean your carpeting as thoroughly as possible before real estate agents show your home to the public. Hire a professional carpet cleaner, or check out some DIY articles on how to get those carpets clean.
A home selling budget can make a world of difference, particularly for individuals who want to avoid potential problems during the property selling journey. Yet crafting a home selling budget may be difficult. Thankfully, there are lots of things you can do to simplify the process of creating a home selling budget that matches your finances.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you create an effective home selling budget.
1. Analyze Your Home's Condition
The condition of your home can have far-flung effects on the home selling journey. If your house requires a wide range of repairs and upgrades, you will need to budget accordingly. Otherwise, assorted home problems may go unaddressed and could make it tough for you to maximize your house sale earnings.
Consider the buyer's perspective as you assess your house. That way, you can identify minor and major home issues and include various property repairs and upgrades in your house selling budget.
It may be beneficial to hire a home inspector too. If you have a property inspector assess your house, you can receive expert insights into myriad home improvements.
2. Determine If Professional Home Improvement Assistance Is Needed
If you find you need home improvement assistance, you should plan for the costs of hiring professionals. By doing so, you can avoid the risk of overspending to improve your house.
Reach out to dozens of home improvement professionals in your city or town. If you shop around for home improvement professionals, you can boost the likelihood of getting the best prices.
Don't forget to ask home improvement professionals for client referrals as well. If you get client referrals, you can gain firsthand insights into what it is like to work with a home improvement professional before you make your hiring decision.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent can provide extensive support throughout the house selling journey. In fact, he or she may help you budget for all stages of the home selling journey and ensure that you won't have to break your budget to achieve your desired results.
Typically, a real estate agent will offer tips and recommendations to help you enhance your residence before you add it to the housing market. In many instances, a real estate agent can provide suggestions so you can upgrade your residence on your own. Or, if you require additional assistance, a real estate agent can put you in touch with the top home improvement professionals in your area.
A real estate agent also is happy to provide expert guidance as you navigate the home selling journey. This housing market professional can help you make informed decisions as you try to sell your home. As a result, a real estate agent can help you make your home selling goals come true.
Ready to sell your house? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can prepare a successful home selling budget.
No matter what your age, buying a new home symbolizes the beginning of a new chapter in your life. It's an exciting event, whether you're a first-time home buyer or a retiree looking to downsize. When you stumble upon a house in your price range that has the features and characteristics you've been searching for, it can be a life-changing moment!
Unfortunately, it's at this point that many people cast their good judgment to the wind! Although it's difficult to separate your emotions from the rational part of your brain, it's crucial that you try to make a balanced decision -- one that's based on your budget, your short-term needs, and your long-term goals.
Sometimes buyers can develop "tunnel vision" when they see a house with a white picket fence, a big backyard, or a cozy-looking eat-in kitchen. In some cases, people are irresistibly drawn to a house that reminds them of where they grew up. While all those elements can enhance a home's ambiance and charm, the most satisfying home-buying choices usually come from being able to look at "the big picture."
One vital step in the house-buying process that helps eliminate a lot of the risk is having the property carefully looked over by a certified house inspector. That way, even if your judgement is a little skewed by your emotional attachment to the house's architectural style or its resemblance to the house you grew up in, you can be reasonably sure it is structurally sound and free from any major defects. Although home inspectors can't look behind walls or accurately predict how long an HVAC system will last, they can provide you with valuable insights into the condition of the house, the stability of the foundation, and other aspects of the property. When you know the strengths and weaknesses of a house you're considering buying, you can make an informed decision that will be based, in large part, on a professional, objective opinion.
Other factors worth bringing into your decision might include the commuting distance to your job or business, the amount of privacy the property affords, the overall character of the neighborhood, and the proximity of the property to grocery stores, drug stores, other retail shops, entertainment, recreation, childcare, medical services, family, friends, and other necessities. When choosing a place to call home, you may also want to take note of how quiet (or noisy) the neighborhood is, its access to highways and transportation services, and the reputation and ranking of the local school district.
Additional information about desirable places to live can be gleaned from websites like Livability, U.S. News and World Report, Niche, Money Magazine, and the National Association of Realtors. To get expert guidance that relates to your specific circumstances and wish list, consider working with an experienced real estate agent. They'll help you navigate the market, negotiate on your behalf, and find the home that best suits your needs and lifestyle.