Our Real Estate Blog
Although property buyers fall in love with a home for different reasons, there are four factors that generally cause people to prefer one house over another.
For sellers, the cost of making their home more appealing to buyers can vary widely. It depends on how recently they've painted, updated, and made improvements to their property -- both inside and out.
When it comes to owning and maintaining a residential property, one thing's for sure: Deterioration is going to happen! It's also human nature to postpone taking care of needed updates, minor repairs, and issues like fading paint. Even though the condition of your home may feel comfortable to you, prospective buyers will see things through a different lens. If you think you're "too close to the trees to see the forest," your real estate agent can provide you with valuable tips and an objective point of view.
While there are a lot of qualities house hunters look for when they're sizing up a house, here are a few key factors that can make the difference between a quick sale and a home that lingers on the market for months or more.
- Brightness: Inadequate light -- both natural and artificial -- can have a negative impact on the impression your home makes on potential buyers. If you're fortunate enough to have newer windows that let in lots of natural light, then the look and feel of your home will be much more appealing. Heavy drapes can detract from that effect, as can overgrown bushes and trees. Lighting fixtures that are noticeably outdated or glaringly bright will also work against you. Since one of your objectives as a seller is to make your home as appealing and cheerful as possible, proper lighting is a feature that's well worth keeping in mind.
- Cleanliness: A factor that comes in "a close second" to brightness is cleanliness (Some might even put it in the number-one spot). Visible signs of dust, dirt, spills, or smudges can make an otherwise attractive home unappealing to prospective buyers. Undesirable odors can also turn off most, if not all people that come over to check out your house. A solution for some sellers is to have their house cleaner stop by more often to help them stay one step ahead of dirt, grime, and household messes.
- Freshness: There are a lot of ways to create a feeling of freshness in your home, including opening windows (weather permitting), adding a coat of neutral-colored paint to scuffed walls, and displaying fresh flowers in a couple rooms -- especially the kitchen. Baking soda can also help eliminate unpleasant odors in your refrigerator, sink, and garbage disposal.
With school loans at an all-time high, and growing for each passing generation, many homeowners are ready to shoulder off any and all debt as quickly as possible. If you’re in this camp and looking to aggressively pay down debt there are a few options available when it comes to paying your mortgage off.
Also known as seller contributions, are where the seller agrees to pay a portion of the closing fees for the buyer. This can include title insurance, inspection fees, and processing fees. If the seller is looking to sell the house quickly they may consider agreeing to seller concessions.
Government options for loans.
Energy-efficient Mortgage (EEM) was created to help homeowners renovate to add environmentally friendly features to their home. So if you’re looking to install double-pane windows or update insulation this could be the loan for you.
Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans offer lower closing costs, smaller down payments, and a fair interest rate.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans can be applied to homes in rural areas, regardless of if they are a part of a farm. You may qualify to apply for zero down payment and loan payments will be at a fixed rate.
There are also many local programs offered at the state and city level. A quick Google search for loan options for your area should set you in the right direction!
Plan to Refinance
Down the road, you can refinance for a fifteen year home loan instead of thirty. You’ll pay off your loan in roughly half the time and save money on payments towards interest.
Throw It Everything You’ve Got
You’ll want to check with your lending company first as some have penalties for payments outside of the loan terms. However, if possible, making an extra payment either regularly or time to time will help cut down the overall time it takes to pay off your loan.
For example, you can make one extra mortgage payment each year or tighten up your day to day budget and apply what your savings towards your loan. Many homeowners get creative and take on side gigs to create the extra cash necessary to make additional payments.
If you don’t have that room to flex you can also always apply any bonuses, tax refunds or windfalls that come your way. This also makes a bigger impact when paired with regularly scheduled extra payments.
Aggressive debt payoff strategies aren’t for everyone. And that’s okay! However, if you’re looking to live a debt free life and enjoy your home knowing it’s been paid in total these tactics are for you. With some strategy and creativity, you can find plenty of ways to make the process go quickly and smoothly.
Believe it or not, upgrading your residence's curb appeal won't necessarily force you to break your budget. Now, let's take a look at three cost-effective ways to improve your house's curb appeal.
1. Mow the Lawn
Tall grass and weeds are unlikely to do you any favors, particularly if you want to reap the benefits of a fast, profitable home sale. Fortunately, if you spend some time mowing the lawn and trimming the hedges, you may be able to boost your house's curb appeal.
It generally won't take long to perform lawn maintenance tasks. Then, once you complete these tasks for the first time, you can set up a schedule to complete them every week or every other week until your residence sells. That way, your lawn will continue to look great in the eyes of potential buyers.
2. Clear the Walkways
Dirt, dust and debris may make your home's exterior walkways look messy. Perhaps worst of all, these problems may drive prospective buyers away from your house.
On the other hand, neat, tidy walkways could help your residence stand out to potential buyers. If you devote time and resources to sweep and clean your house's exterior walkways, you can increase the likelihood that your residence will make a positive first impression on buyers.
3. Remove Decorations
Although plastic flamingoes, lawn gnomes and other home exterior decorations have helped you distinguish your house from others in your neighborhood, now may be a good time to put these decorations into storage. Because if you keep decorations on your lawn, it may be difficult for a buyer to envision what life may be like as the owner of your house.
Remember, your goal as a home seller is to make your residence as appealing as possible to prospective buyers. By removing home exterior decorations, you can show off your residence's full potential. As such, you can make it easy for buyers to fall in love with your residence as soon as they see it for the first time.
As you search for ways to upgrade your house's curb appeal without breaking your budget, you may want to consult with a real estate agent too. This housing market professional is happy to provide home selling recommendations and can help you transform your home's exterior from drab to fab.
Typically, a real estate agent will provide expert guidance at each stage of the house selling journey. He or she first will help you craft a home selling strategy and promote your residence to dozens of prospective buyers. Plus, once you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent can help you analyze this proposal. And if you accept an offer to purchase your house, a real estate agent will do whatever it takes to help you quickly finalize your home sale.
Ready to list your residence? Upgrade your house's curb appeal today, and you can move one step closer to achieving the best-possible results during the property selling journey.
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Kitchens have become the new hip gathering spot in the home. With open floor plans, kitchens are combining the cooking, dining, and hanging out areas of your home and meshing them into one big room. Counters and islands have become tables, trading for fancy dining tables. People tend to congregate in the kitchen, allowing it to be the center of food, fun, and conversation. How can you make your kitchen ultra inviting? Below, you’ll find a few tips to help bring your kitchen to a new level of trendy.
Bright, Attractive Cabinets
Cabinets are one of the focal points of the kitchen. If you have bright cabinets, it attracts people to the room. The type of cabinets that you have also establish the type of style that you’re looking to create in the kitchen and possibly throughout your home. You’ll want to work the entire color palette of your kitchen around the color and style of your cabinets. As a bonus, good cabinets equal good storage. If your kitchen is organized, you’ll feel a lot happier and at ease in the room as well.
Kitchens are becoming increasingly technological. From smart, energy efficient appliances, to features of the kitchen that you can control with your smartphone, a kitchen can truly have it all. This makes entertaining a breeze. You could even get dinner going before you ever leave work! All of the new technologies that are being introduced surely make life much easier.
The type of lighting that you employ in the kitchen can set the tone for the whole room. Not only do you need good task lighting, but ambient lighting is important as well in order to attract guests to the main gathering place of the house. Whatever vibe you want your kitchen to give off works with the lighting that’s available. The kitchen certainly should never be a dark room. Consider the safety factor that’s needed in the room, then realize just how inviting a room is that is bright and airy. It’s important to plan out your lighting scheme accordingly when it comes to your kitchen.
One thing you’ll want plenty of in your kitchen is storage. This helps to reduce clutter, increase organization and makes entertaining an easier undertaking. Guests will feel more welcome as there will be ample room to sit and hang out while prepping and cooking are going on.
It seems that trends in kitchens are always changing, however, many things remain constant. The need for a clean and organized gathering area in your home will never go away.