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8 in 10 homeowners expect the value of their homes to go up either "a little" (55 percent) or "a lot" (26 percent) in the future.
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It’s important to have your finances and credit in order before even considering buying a home. If you can’t save money, follow a budget, and pay your bills on time, purchasing a home probably isn’t for you. But, even if you save enough for a down payment, and have budgeted enough to pay your mortgage and other expenses each month, there are still hidden costs to owning a home. If you don’t properly prepare for them and save the money, they can jump up and bite you! Read this post by Vicki Duong at Househunt.com for more information:
-Closing costs: these include legal costs, taxes, and lender fees.
-Moving costs: did you include moving truck rentals, movers, travel expenses, and new furniture in your budget?
-Maintenance costs: if you bought a fixer-upper, be sure to leave money for repairs and upkeep.
-Insurance costs: homeowners insurance, and disaster coverage.
Real estate agents have a few staple marketing strategies that are tried and true: you list the house, maybe put it online or put out some other kind of ad in a paper or something. But, there are so many other ways to get your listings out there– easy, free ways to market them! Some may seems a bit out of the box, but they’re sure to get your homes noticed- and sold. Check out this post at Max Real Estate Exposure for some great marketing ideas:
-Get your listing found on Google
-Get on Pinterest
-Hire a professional photographer
-Post ads on Trulia, Zillow, and Realtor.com
-Use Google Plus
-Post Your Listings on Youtube
-Use social media
Older homes usually have a special charm to them. They’re unique, sometimes made with better quality materials, and have history to them. While buying a new home has its advantages, many people find the idea of owning an older (or even historical) home much more romantic. However, despite the appeal that old homes have, there can be many pitfalls: both risks for your safety and your wallet. But, if you keep your eyes open and you know what to look for, you can avoid potential risks and still find the perfect older home. Check out this post by Jaime de Haas at Plum Deluxe for things to ask your realtor:
-When was the last inspection report?- make sure everything is up to date
-How’s the roof?- They can be an extremely costly repair.
-How are the septic systems?
-Is the structure stable?
-Are there problems with damp or mold?
-Termites? Wood rot? Asbestos?
-How old are heating, plumbing, and electrical systems?
-Are you budgeting and planning for all possible restoration scenarios?
Just like with any other professional field, real estate comes with its own set of jargon that might not make sense to your Average Joe. However, unlike microbiology, physics, or classical literature, most people in their lives will actually have to experience a bit of the world of real estate when buying or selling a home– including Average Joes. The trouble is, most people only have a vague understanding of what certain terms mean. That’s okay if it’s basically any other profession, but when the biggest purchase of your life is riding on your knowledge, it pays to brush up on the vocab. This post at the Cornerstone blog will help clear up some common misconceptions:
Commission- the money that is paid to real estate agents after the closing of the transaction.
Earnest Money- a deposit made by the potential home buyer to show that he or she is serious about buying the home.
Escrow- To place something in escrow means to place it in the hands of a third party until certain conditions are met.
Equity- a homeowner’s financial interest in a property.
Lien- a legal claim against a property that must be paid off when the property is sold. A mortgage or first trust deed are both considered liens.
Listing your home without a real estate agent (For Sale By Owner, FSBO) is a popular option for people trying to save money. However, what most people don’t realize is that realtors’ knowledge will usually save them their commission PLUS much more. FSBOs are generally harder to sell as well, especially if you have no real estate experience and no access to realtor resources. If you are considering selling your house as a FSBO, be sure to read this post by Bernice Ross at Inman.com first. One reason why buyers tend to ignore FSBOs is:
Buyers want the savings
Even for those who do search for FSBOs, most buyers automatically deduct 6 percent from the sales price because they want the savings in their pockets, not the seller’s. The result is that many FSBOs end up selling for up to 20 percent less on average as compared with sellers who hire a Realtor.
Sometimes, the unexpected happens. You or someone in your house might become injured. An elderly in-law may need to move in (who can’t get up and down stairs). It’s not pleasant to think about, but it’ important to know what to do to make your home more accessible for those with mobility problems. Maybe you have someone who needs a scooter, a wheelchair, or walker to get around, and your home isn’t very easy to navigate. This checklist of easy fixes by Jamie Goldberg at the Zillow blog will make your home safer for your loved ones:
-Remove any trip hazards, like stray water cans or cracked pavers, from walkways.
-Add a handrail on the inside stair wall to supplement the outside hand rail.
-Speak to a qualified remodeler about creating a zero-step entry, adding a ramp to your home and widening doors and hallways to accommodate a wheelchair user.
-Move someone in a wheelchair, using a walker or lacking good balance, to a first-floor bedroom.
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