Nikki Carter's Blog
Buying a home is a huge deal. First-time buyers transform from renters to owners in a single transaction, a change that has far-reaching implications about how you see yourself.
Being an owner grounds you in your community.
When you buy a home, you create deep community connections in a way renting never can. After all, when you’re a renter, your relationship to the actual property and structure are less personal. You don’t own it, so if something goes wrong, you call the landlord—the owner—to make repairs. If the wind blows shingles off it is the owner’s insurance that handles getting a new roof. When a natural disaster strikes you know someone else will take care of it.
Now, as the owner, all these things are yours to manage. When you live in the property that you own, you are your own landlord. You’re the property manager in charge of repairs. The buck stops with you!
Don’t let all that responsibility deter you, though. It is that very sense of duty that creates pride of ownership. While your home doesn’t define you, it does represent you in the neighborhood and to your community. And with the responsibility come all the rights of ownership as well.
Every payment you make toward your mortgage principle adds value—equity—to your home. Each time you maintain your home and yard, you’re helping it retain that equity. As a renter, your payment went to the owner’s equity. So, if you make improvements to your home, and continue to pay toward the principle, that equity accrues to you.
Equity increases when the community or neighborhood becomes more desirable so that the fair-market value goes up. Increases due to economic growth and demand add up to more value for you … instead of an increase in your rent payment that goes to a landlord.
Being an owner helps your bottom line in other ways too.
The most predictable thing about renting is that rent will go up. That means any increase you might get to your wages or salary must go toward rent rather than something else you’d like to have. If you have a fixed mortgage, the basic cost of your housing remains the same year over year. When you receive that cost of living adjustment or new position with a bump to your income, you can spend it on improvements to your home to further increase its value, pay off some other debt, or spend it on something else entirely. It gives you choices.
Because you appreciate your property, it appreciates in value.
If you've never owned a home and would like to explore the possibility, start by contacting a real estate agent and get the conversation started.
Ready to transform your home's interior from bland to fabulous? Ultimately, how a seller approaches home interior improvement projects is important. If a seller does everything possible to upgrade a house's interior, this individual could reap the benefits of a successful property selling experience.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you give your residence an interior makeover.
1. Analyze the Current Condition of Your Home
Although a home inspection generally is requested by a buyer after a seller accepts an offer to purchase a house, it may be helpful for a seller to complete an inspection before listing a residence. In fact, an inspection may enable a seller to analyze the current condition of his or her residence and prioritize home interior upgrades accordingly.
Many home inspectors are available in cities and towns across the United States. If you hire a top-notch home inspector, you can receive unprecedented insights into the condition of your house and map out your home interior improvement projects.
2. Remove Clutter
Let's face it – you've accumulated a vast array of personal items over the years. These items may have served you well, but they likely take up lots of space in your home. And if you're not careful, your personal items may make it difficult for you to show off the true size of your house to potential buyers.
If you have an abundance of clutter, there is no need to stress. You can always sell excess items online or at a yard sale, or you can donate these items to a local charity. Furthermore, if you have personal items you want to keep, you can rent a storage unit to hold these belongings until your residence sells.
3. Clean Each Room of Your Home
Maintaining a neat, tidy home is essential, particularly for an individual who wants to sell his or her residence as quickly as possible. If you perform regular cleaning tasks, you can keep your house looking great for the duration of the property selling journey.
Oftentimes, it helps to make a list of daily, weekly and monthly cleaning tasks. If you stick to a regular cleaning schedule, you can ensure each room of your home will dazzle at all times.
As you look for ways to upgrade your home's interior, you may want to hire a real estate agent too. This housing market professional is happy to provide home interior improvement recommendations and suggestions. Plus, he or she can put you in touch with the best local home interior improvement professionals.
In addition, a real estate agent provides extensive guidance throughout the house selling journey. He or she will help you list your home, promote it to the right groups of potential buyers and much more. And if you have home selling concerns, a real estate agent can address them right away.
Improve your home's interior – use the aforementioned tips, and you can bolster your house's interior before you add your residence to the real estate market.
A showing enables a buyer to walk through a residence and envision what life may be like if he or she purchases it. And if a buyer crafts a home showing strategy, he or she can make the most of this opportunity.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you plan ahead for a house showing.
1. Review the Home Listing
A home listing may include details about a house, as well as images that depict different areas of a residence. It also may feature information about various attractions and landmarks near a house.
By reviewing a listing prior to a showing, you can double-check to ensure a home falls in line with your homebuying goals. Plus, you can use a listing to understand what you may see during a showing and establish realistic expectations for a residence.
2. Make a List of Questions
There is no reason to enter a showing without a list of questions about a residence. Because if you attend a showing without questions in hand, you risk missing out on valuable insights about a house that otherwise could help you determine if a home is right for you.
As you create a list of home showing questions, consider what you want to know about a house that you were unable to learn from the residence's listing. For instance, you may want to ask why a seller has decided to list his or her house. Or, you can craft questions about utility expenses and other home costs so you can get the information you need to analyze a house.
3. Prepare Your Home Showing Essentials
A home showing is a learning experience unlike any other, so it often helps to put together a bag of must-have items for the event.
For example, you may want to bring a pen and paper so you can take notes during a house showing. Meanwhile, some buyers carry a camera with them so they can capture photos of a house and review them after a showing.
As you prepare to attend a home showing, you may want to consult with a real estate agent as well. This housing market professional can take the guesswork out of planning for a showing and help you gain the insights you need to assess all aspects of a residence.
Typically, a real estate agent will meet with a buyer prior to a showing and offer insights into a house. A real estate agent and buyer then will attend a showing together and walk through a house. After a showing is complete, a real estate agent and buyer next will discuss the house and weigh its advantages and disadvantages. At this point, if a buyer wants to submit an offer to purchase a particular home, a real estate agent will help him or her craft a competitive homebuying proposal.
Want to maximize the value of a house showing? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can plan ahead for any home showing, at any time.
Looking to add your home to the real estate market sooner rather than later? Ultimately, you'll want to look beyond the potential price of your residence as you get your house ready for the real estate market.
For home sellers, price is one of several factors to consider before they list their houses. In fact, some of the top home selling factors to evaluate beyond price include:
1. A Home's Location
A home's location may dictate how quickly you're able to sell your residence. And if you understand the benefits associated with your house's location, you should have no trouble promoting your residence to the right groups of homebuyers consistently.
For example, a home that is located near a big city may prove to be an ideal choice for those who work in the city. On the other hand, a house that is located near top schools could prove to be an ideal option for families.
2. A Home's Condition
Although you've tried to maintain your house's interior and exterior over the years, you may still be uncertain about how your residence will stack up against other houses in a competitive real estate market.
Fortunately, a home appraisal can help you take an in-depth look at your house's condition and map out your home selling journey.
During a home appraisal, a property inspector will examine your residence. The appraisal may take several hours to complete, as a property inspector will investigate your house's interior and exterior.
When a home appraisal is finished, a property inspector will provide you with a detailed report that describes his or her findings. Then, you can use the home insights contained within this report to prioritize myriad home improvements.
With a home appraisal, you can gain deep insights into your house's condition. That way, you can better understand your house's strengths and weaknesses prior to adding your home to the housing market.
3. The Current State of the Housing Market
The current state of the housing market may impact your ability to sell your house, and for good reason.
For instance, if you're operating in a seller's market, there may be an abundance of homebuyers and a shortage of top-notch houses. This means there will be high demand for the best residences, and you may attract plenty of interest in your house as soon as it becomes available.
Let's not forget about a buyer's market, either. In a buyer's market, there are many home sellers and few homebuyers. Therefore, a home seller may need to allocate significant time and resources to stir up interest in his or her property.
For those who are unsure about how to navigate a seller's or buyer's market, hiring a real estate agent usually is an excellent idea. A real estate agent can teach you about the current state of the housing market so that you can get the best results possible during the home selling journey.
Look beyond price before you list your residence, and by doing so, you can boost your chances of a fast home sale.