Brooke Caron's Blog
If you're like many Americans, your home is your biggest asset. And if you're thinking of selling your home to use the profits for a new home, sending the kids off to college or simply adding it to a retirement fund, there are a few things you may want to avoid to make sure your home sells.
Setting the Price too High
Some sellers make the mistake of thinking their home is worth more than comparable properties. A lot of times, living in the home and becoming attached to it may cause an overestimation of the value of upgrades or dismissal of the lower price tag of similar homes with similar features.
When you price a house too high, though, the property may stay longer on the market and go through several price reductions before it finally attracts interested buyers. And if you happen to be in a new home already, you might be paying two mortgage payments while waiting for a buyer to place an offer. Putting the right price on your home helps ensure buyer interest and a quick sale.
Neglecting to Order a Pre-inspection
Some buyers are open to fixing problems, but your cost during the negotiation phase may be significantly higher than it would have been if you hired a contractor to fix any preexisting issues.
A way to solve this problem is to order your own inspection before you put your house on the market. This is also a great way to establish buyer trust, showing that you are transparent about the house's issues when you give them the report or show the report of the issues being fixed.
Going Overboard on Presale Renovations
You love your home, and you want to prove to the buyer that it is a gem. But sinking too much money into presale renovations can mean spending money that you may not get back during the negotiations. You also want to be careful that you're not spending your renovation budget on cosmetic enhancement when the house needs structural improvements. That is another excellent reason to invest in a home inspection prior to putting your house on the market.
Failing to Choose the Right Agent
The real estate agent you choose to sell your home makes all the difference -- and with buyers' agents requesting up to 6 percent in closing fees, it's important to make sure you find someone who will work hard for you.
What should you look for? Good chemistry tops the chart, since you need to be able to trust your agent to act in your best interest. Other important factors are familiarity with the local market, experience selling houses in your price range, access to good marketing databases, and evidence of a strong network.
Ready to get started with the home selling process? Contact me, and we'll get the ball rolling!
The factor that has the most impact on your home search is your finances. You’ll need to save a significant amount of money. It’s not easy to save when you have continuous monthly bills and responsibilities. Read on for tips on how to get your finances under control in order to save the amount of money it takes to buy a home.
Do A Budget
Once you have decided to buy a home, the first thing you should do is take a good look at your finances. A budget is critical when you buy a house because it tells you how much you’ll have to spend on your mortgage. Doing this ahead of time will allow you to maximize your income and make adjustments ahead of time as needed. Don’t forget that even though you’re buying a home, you still need some savings in addition to all of your other monthly expenses. Your budget should be outlined as follows:
- Monthly utility spending
- Insurance bills
- Entertainment expenses
- Grocery spending
Basically, you want to write down how much money is coming in and where all of the money is going. That’s a budget in a nutshell. See where you can cut back. What you’re left with is the amount you can save each month. You may want to do this on a percentage basis rather than a flat dollar amount.
Get A Separate Account
The most straightforward things to do when you start saving for a home is to put all of your money for your house fund into a separate account. This way you can automatically transfer money in, and you’ll be less likely to spend any of the money if you don’t see it.
Sacrifice The Small Things
Can you take some hand me downs for your kids? Maybe you can start packing a lunch for work instead of buying lunch. Can you cut the cord on cable? It may be hard to sacrifice small luxuries, but these expenses can add up. If you cut these out of your budget, you’ll have a little more wiggle room to save for a home purchase. You’ll be surprised how much money you can save just by doing little things. Your morning latte is probably around $5. You could save at least $25 per week by merely making coffee at home! That’s a saving of over 1,200 per year!
While saving for a home can seem overwhelming, if you take it in small chunks, you’ll be see the results of your efforts rather quickly.
Successfully selling your home in the shortest period of time is generally an achievable goal, but there are many potential pitfalls to be aware of. Although one of the most important steps you can take involves hiring an experienced, proactive real estate agent, your own attitude and beliefs can have a major impact on things like the final selling price and how long your house stays on the market.
While your real estate agent can provide valuable guidance, advice, and marketing help, there are certain things that only you, the home owner, can do. Maintaining a positive outlook is one of them.
If you have self-defeating attitudes and beliefs, you may be undermining the sales process and keeping potential buyers at a distance. Here are a few examples of how your own negative attitudes can be a major stumbling block to getting your house sold quickly and for an optimal price.
Unrealistic beliefs: Sometimes sellers are so emotionally connected to their homes that they're unable to relate to the viewpoint and perspective of potential buyers. Pricing, for example, should be based on objective criteria and comparative data, rather than emotional attachment or perceived value. If the price you're asking for your home is significantly above the actual market value of your property, then that will raise red flags in the minds of both prospective buyers and mortgage lenders. Although you want to get the highest possible price for your family's home, it has to be based on a realistic range that would be acceptable to both buyers and lenders.
False expectations: Homeowners who expect prospective buyers to recognize the intrinsic value of their home, even though the paint is peeling and the bathrooms have never been updated, are setting themselves up for disappointment and failure! When you factor in human psychology and the competitive nature of the real estate market, it becomes apparent how vitally important first impressions and overall presentation are to the marketing a home.
Pessimism: Although positive thinking, alone, is not going to get your house sold, it can help give you that extra boost of energy and motivation to make sure your home is clean, organized, and visually appealing. Pessimism, on the other hand, can cause you to be less thorough, attentive, and conscientious about keeping your home immaculate, fresh, and ready for potential buyers. If there's any hint of the house being unclean, in disrepair, or cluttered, then you've lost your opportunity to make a positive first impression.
Finding and working with a real estate agent who's got a solid sales record and a proactive approach to selling houses is among the key ingredients to getting your home sold quickly and for the best possible price. Although they'll be doing the lion's share of work when it comes to marketing your property and coordinating the details, your support and cooperation plays an important role in the ultimate success of their efforts.
When you have allergies, there’s nothing worse than being around your triggers. Most people with allergies know exactly what causes symptoms for them. If you know what the best and worst types of flowers are for people with allergies, you’ll have a better idea of what you can plant in your garden.
Worst Flowers For Allergies
Unfortunately, most plants in the daisy family aren’t very good for people with allergies. Flowers in this family include asters, dahlias, daisies, Gerber daisies, chamomile, chrysanthemums, and sunflowers. Not every breed of every type of flower falls into the “bad for your nose” category. There are some hybrids available that aren’t as harsh for people with allergies. Most of these can even be pollen-free. Look for plants that are listed as “hypoallergenic.” These hold that title because they either have no pollen, or the pollen is just too heavy to be carried by the wind.
Goldenrod And Ragweed
You have probably heard a lot about ragweed getting a bad reputation since its pollen is carried by the wind. Goldenrod may not be as bad, yet it often is categorized in the same way. These plants are great to attract bees and other pollinating insects, but they’re terrible if you’re an allergy sufferer.
This type of flower is often seen in floral arrangements and bouquets. Although the flowers are small, they can bring on a large amount of pollen. The double flowered variety is a hybrid and is a better choice for allergy sufferers. This allows the tiny flower to have a lower level of pollen.
Better Choices For Allergy Sufferers
The good news is that there are many different types of flowers that won’t cause you grief. Many of the “safe” plants are those that are used for foliage. These would include Hosta, cactus, and dusty millers.
More choices for allergy sufferers who want color:
You can keep beautiful plants throughout your home and garden even when you suffer from the worst allergies. You don’t need to sacrifice color in the process. Keep in mind that you want to avoid flowers with extremely potent scents. Even with the absence of pollen, allergies can still be aggravated by these smells. The sap from these flowers may even cause mild to moderate skin irritation, so it’s best to stay away from these varieties of flowers.
Tree pollen generally needs to be carried via the wind from male trees to female tree flowers. So, it‘s important to find the right types of trees to plant in your yard as well when you have allergies. You want the pollen to land in the right flowers in order to pollinate, not in your nose.
The size of your kitchen does not necessarily determine its functionality. What matters more is how you utilize the space you have. With long aisles and parallel counter spaces, galley kitchens are a great and efficient option. This design provides plenty of room for storage and preparation. Galley kitchens feature a central aisle with countertops, appliances, and cabinetry on either side. It is an excellent option for small kitchen spaces but also works well for mid-sized areas. Galley kitchens are built for efficiency and when well-conceived, can also help to control traffic flow in and out of the kitchen. If you wish to have your small kitchen remodeled, the galley design is one to consider.
The tips listed below will ensure you get the best from your galley kitchen design.
There are several storage options that can be incorporated into a galley kitchen. Because the footprint is narrow, you’ll want to make use of vertical spaces. If you prefer to have more counter space, create symmetry with a design that utilizes counters and base cabinets on both sides. Include open shelving or glass-front cabinets above your counters for dishes and glasses. If storage is more important to you, consider using one wall for floor to ceiling cabinets and utilize the other wall for open shelving, and preparation space.
When it comes to styling this kitchen type, your creativity comes to play. The galley kitchen is a style that encourages minimalism, but don’t be afraid to introduce interesting colors or materials. If you don’t have much natural light, consider incorporating lighter colored materials and installing plenty of lighting options to brighten your work areas. If your space is especially narrow, selecting cabinetry that does not need knobs or pulls will save you visual space.
Because of its narrow layout, a galley kitchen design is not one that can accommodate a dining table and chairs. Incorporating a seating area can be a challenge. If you want to be social while you work around the kitchen, consider using an island as one side of the galley. This allows for counter height seating on the opposite side of your prep surface but doesn’t interrupt the flow of your space.