Our Real Estate Blog
Buying a home is one of the most expensive undertakings that you’ll ever have in your lifetime. You probably have spent months upon months saving for a downpayment in order to make your home purchase. The problem is that after they believe their savings are complete, many buyers discover unexpected costs that go along with buying a home, making the entire process even more stressful. You should be prepared for many different kinds of costs that go beyond the sticker price of a home. Below, many of those surprising costs are laid out in detail.
Closing costs can be anywhere from 2-7% of the purchase price of a home. Closing costs cover quite a bit including:
- Inspection fees
- Title insurance
- Property taxes
- Mortgage insurance
- Underwriting fees
- Recording fees
- Loan origination fees
Depending upon the type of loan you get or your specific circumstances, your closing costs could be even more. Keep in mind that you won’t find out your specific closing cost amounts until the purchase of the home is well underway. You can talk to your realtor and lender ahead of time to be prepared for your own situation.
Closing costs are also negotiable, so don’t forget to ask questions. Certain administrative fees, for example, are often unnecessary and can be waived.
If you have a low appraisal on your home, you may need even more cash on hand. In order to meet loan and home value requirements, lenders won’t approve a loan for an amount that’s higher than the home is appraised for. In this case, if you still want the home, you’ll be left to come up with the difference in cash. Otherwise, you could be forced to walk away from the deal and lose some money in the process. This is one of those home purchase emergencies that you should simply be aware of. It can be an emotional experience to get a low appraisal on a home, but remember that there are sensible ways to deal with this dilemma.
Many buyers forget in the excitement of buying a home just how much it will cost to move. Whether you hire a moving company or do it yourself, moving can be expensive. You’ll need a truck, packing supplies and a way to pay (or simply thank) the people who help you to move.
The Things You Need For Your Home
Your home won’t come with everything that you need. You may have to buy a refrigerator, have some repairs done, or simply get furnishings for the home. Don’t strap your budget so thin that you won’t be able to buy a sofa until six months after moving into the home.
During home decoration, it is natural to have one or more blank walls that leave you asking yourself: "What am I going to do with that?" You may get frustrated, but don't worry, you are not alone — barren walls are likely driving other homeowners crazy, too. What’s the solution? A fresh coat of ideas.
Below are some blank wall ideas that don't just cover the space but do so with a touch of beauty.
Add a Map
A blank wall in any room can be annoying, especially in a bedroom. Rather than waking up every morning to a bare wall, you can put a map on it. You can use the map of the United States, the world or any other destination you find inviting. If you place the map over cork, you can put pins in all the locations you’ve been to or the ones you want to see next. Have kids? Try putting a map on the blank wall in their room. It not only makes it beautiful but also provides a fun way to learn.
Hang Your Accessories
Don't allow your beautiful accessories to hide behind the closet doors. Show off your cloches, skimmers, berets, and trilbies on decorative hooks on your blank wall of choice. If you aren’t a hat-lover, you can hang a statement necklace for a dazzling effect.
Make Attractive Storage Options
Do you have limited storage in your home? Those blank walls could be the answer. Use your imagination to make an impressive design with floating shelves to store extra dishware in the kitchen or a favorite collection in the living area. If you get stuck on your design, there are plenty of DIY articles across the Internet, or you can get a consult from a home staging expert.
Create a Graffiti Wall
An easy DIY wall project is using graffiti. If you are the creative type, take the opportunity to show off your artistic skills. You could also hire someone to sketch a design on your blank wall. Another way to achieve the graffiti look is to buy graffiti mural wallpaper or wall decals. The decals are easily removable for when you’re ready to sell your home.
Give It a Dramatic Color
If you’re looking for a simpler way to make use of the wall, try creating an accent wall. Consider painting it with a geometric design, horizontal stripes or a bold, contrasting color. Painting is one of the fastest and most cost-effective ways to make a blank wall fun.
Decorate with Plants
A blank wall in a bathroom may be less of a worry, but you can use that opportunity to cultivate a mini-garden. A mini-garden in the bathroom? Absolutely. Hanging plants on the wall of your bathroom will help purify the air while steam from the shower keeps them hydrated.
Any season is an excellent opportunity to do an easy DIY wall project. Check out popular home design blogs or speak to an interior designer for more ideas on how to beautify your home.
A seller's market provides many opportunities for those who plan to list a residence in the near future. If you know how to capitalize on a seller's market, you may be able to quickly and effortlessly sell your house and maximize your property sale earnings.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get the most out of a seller's market.
1. Analyze Your Home's Strengths and Weaknesses
It may be beneficial to conduct an inspection prior to adding your house to a seller's market. With an inspection report in hand, you can assess your residence's strengths and weaknesses. Then, you can perform home repairs and upgrades and boost the likelihood of getting the best price for your residence.
In addition, you may want to complete a home appraisal. If you receive an appraisal report, you can analyze a property valuation and use this information to establish an aggressive initial asking price for your house.
2. Craft an Engaging Home Listing
A home listing typically plays a pivotal role in the house selling journey. If you devote time and resources to create an engaging home listing, you should have no trouble stirring up lots of interest in your home in a seller's market.
As you craft a home listing, it may be a good idea to evaluate the buyer's perspective. If you understand what separates your home from comparable residences in your city or town, you may be able to find innovative ways to differentiate your house listing from all others.
It often helps to include high-resolution images of your home in your listing too. You also should incorporate accurate details about your home into your listing to help buyers determine if your residence matches or exceeds their expectations.
3. Work with a Real Estate Agent
Selling a home sometimes is tricky, regardless of the current housing market's conditions. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available who can help you achieve the optimal results in a seller's market.
A real estate agent knows what it takes to sell a residence in any location, at any time. First, he or she will create a personalized home selling strategy designed to help you accomplish your desired goals. A real estate agent next will put this plan into action and promote your residence to potential buyers. If you receive an offer to purchase your house, a real estate agent will help you determine whether to accept, reject or counter this proposal.
Furthermore, a real estate agent will help you finalize a home sale. He or she will offer tips and recommendations to help you prepare for a home closing and respond to any of your concerns or questions. Plus, a real estate agent will keep in touch with you as your home closing date approaches to help you alleviate stress.
There are lots of things you can do to capitalize on a seller's market. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can take advantage of a seller's market and seamlessly navigate the home selling journey.
Our homes are special from the first time we enter. That's why we spend our precious time and money caring for our dwellings when bad weather threatens damage.
For homeowners, windstorms are often unassuming. We all know to watch for snow or rain, but high winds can cause significant home damage.
While we can't control the wind, there are some proactive measures we can take. Refasten any loosely hanging shingles or gutters. Check the yard for unsecured items that could become projectiles in high winds. Finally, remove branches or whole trees that are within falling distance of the house.
During the winter, one of the biggest problems for homes involves the weight of snow. As mentioned above, make sure to trim any branches hanging over the house. The last thing you need is a heavy branch falling on your roof.
Before it gets too cold, you should also change filters and perform necessary maintenance on your home heating devices.
Over the past decade, floods have happened more frequently due to climate change. If you live in a minor floodplain, now is the time for a plan of action.
You may want to consider building trenches and water runoff channels into your yard. Many homeowners also build decorative concrete walls or other barriers around their homes. Lastly, consider investing in a sump pump to remove internal flooding.
Hurricanes are the most destructive of storms; however, preparation mirrors earlier examples. Preparing for hurricanes means preparing for the worst possible winds and floods. Make sure to reinforce any home appendages, barricade doors and windows, and build water barriers.
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!