Exterior Home Improvements to Consider

Exterior Home Improvements to Consider

Taking good care of a home’s exterior can make it stand out from all the other houses on the block. The exterior is the first thing people notice when they see a house, so it can instantly make or break people’s first impressions. These are some exterior home improvements anyone should consider.

 

Proper landscaping and yard maintenance

Cleaning up the yard will make any home look more appealing. No one wants to see clutter or a messy front yard when they see a home for the first time. Even taking the time to get rid of little things like dirt and leaves will make a difference. A neat yard can make any home’s exterior appear significantly more appealing. Hiring a landscaper is an option for people who do not have the time to do their own landscaping.

 

A fresh coat of paint

A nice coat of paint can make an old house look new again. If a house looks like it needs to be painted, people will notice, and this can make the house look less attractive. When people get their houses painted in popular or classic colors, their homes instantly seem more inviting and valuable.

 

Outdoor lighting

This bright detail can make a house look more welcoming. Outdoor lighting can be affordable or pricey, depending on the type, but it is worth the investment.

 

A wooden deck

A deck opens the door for countless possibilities, from outdoor family barbecues to summer cocktails with friends. A deck is always worth the investment and can easily make any home stand out. It is something that people search for when looking for new houses and could be the deciding factor that makes potential buyers choose one home over another home.

 

A garden

Gardens are known for being beautiful and whimsical and can instantly make any home appear more appealing. They add color to a home’s exterior, along with a newfound sense of fun and playfulness. Gardens will seem extra attractive to potential buyers with families, as kids will enjoy playing in the “secret garden” and couples can enjoy planting flowers together as a new hobby.

 

All these home improvements are worth the investment, as they can bring any home’s exterior to the next level.

 

How to Find the Right Real Estate Agent for You

How to Find the Right Real Estate Agent for You

It seems like everyone and her brother is a real estate agent these days. It’s relatively easy to become licensed for the work, but it’s a lot tougher to get the experience, knowledge, and skills needed to help your clients thrive.

 

Which is why it’s so important to find the right real estate agent for your situation. Here are a few important points to consider.

 

Licensing

At the bare minimum, a real estate agent has to be licensed to sell in the state in which you’re buying/selling. (If they’re not, the person claiming to be an agent won’t even be able to help you, so why bother paying their commission?) After that, there are a few more licenses to look out for. Once this crucial threshold is met, consider looking for a professional who is a Realtor, rather than just an agent. Realtors with a capital “R” are members of the National Association of Realtors, a group that requires strict adherence to a code of ethics - and that’s something you want on your side.

 

Locale

Real estate markets vary from city to city - and sometimes even neighborhood to neighborhood. Make sure your Realtor knows what’s going on in the areas in which you are looking to buy/sell.

 

Experience

There are a million tiny little things that can go wrong during a real estate transaction, and really the only way to know what signs to look for is from experience. Make sure your Realtor has had experience both buying and selling and specifically in the type of property you are looking for. There are differences, for example having to do with available financing and rental potential for first-time buyers vs. experienced buyers, as well as for condos vs. single-family homes.

 

Fit

Is your Realtor available when you need her or him to be? Markets move fast, so an agent who’s there for you one day and ghosts you the next is a bad sign. Also, just having a genuine, authentic rapport with the person guiding you in the real estate process will go a long way towards having a genuine, authentic experience.

 

While shopping for a Realtor is an important first step in shopping for a property, it can be the most important part of the journey. And all of these factors aside, the right fit always comes down to feeling comfortable with and available to the real estate agent that will be taking you on this exciting journey.

What Makes a “Good” Location in Real Estate

What Makes a “Good” Location in Real Estate

Everyone agrees that a good location can make or break an investment property. While that is true, a locality place means different things to different people. The crucial considerations are accessibility, personal needs, amenities, and appearance. When shopping for some land, here is what you should consider.

 

1.Population growth

Places with a high population growth tend to attract a higher price and value because of their great potential. People prefer living in areas where they can find lucrative job opportunities, enjoy good weather, favorable local politics, and natural attractions. When doing market analysis, these are some of the factors that come to play, so a location that lacks these aspects may not be an excellent place to invest.

 

2.Lot Position

You need to consider the exact position of the land or house. If the home you want to purchase is close to a highway, you might get it for a low price, but you may face challenges when selling it. However, a commercial building that is close to a busy place is an excellent investment. A home with a great lake view is likely to be more valuable and might sell for a high price later.

 

3.Neighborhood

The neighbors you wish to live around are hugely a matter of personal liking. However, most great neighborhoods share some standard features like amenities, accessibility, and appearance. The environment might also determine the minimum size of land to build a house because some estates have restrictions. If you value accessibility, settle for a place that is along main transit routes and has two or more points of entry.

 

4.Centrality

Whether you prefer living in a city or town, the centrality will influence how much you pay for the home. Lands are a limited commodity that is rare in cities like San Francisco that are fully developed and don’t have extra space for expansion. Houses in such places will be pricier and even hard to find.

 

5.Development

Although the current amenities have a significant role to play in determining the value of land, futures ones have a lot to say too. Plans for new hospitals, schools, public transport, and other civic infrastructure can influence the value of the property significantly. Commercial development may also improve the price.

Living Large in Tiny Houses

Living Large in Tiny Houses

Those who lived through the 1980s may well remember it as the decade of excess where bigger was better, and whoever died with the most toys won the game of life. The concept of living large may have continued for years were it not for the housing market collapse in the Great Recession of 2007.

 

Tiny Houses Make Their Debut

For all its disadvantages, the Great Recession also introduced the country to a wildly new way of thinking about housing. Suddenly, small (typically under 600 square feet) creatively-built, often whimsical homes called “Tiny Houses” began to get a toe-hold in the housing market.

 

Twelve-plus years later, tiny houses remain an attractive option. From an economic standpoint, they cost significantly less than a traditional home, and often buyers can outright avoid even carrying a mortgage. Additionally, many homes are available in kit form, an appealing choice for the growing DIY demographic.

 

Statistically, tiny homeowners carry less credit card debt. After all, with less room for storage, they simply aren’t going to buy as much. This creates the added benefit of being able to save more or invest in other more adventurous pursuits. Tiny houses also tend toward lower energy costs, a seductive sales point for the environmentally-conscious among us eager to lower their carbon footprint.

 

Important Considerations

If not already a minimalist, deciding to live in a tiny house requires the paring down of possessions. Tough decisions must be made about what is needed, and what can be done without. It also requires making a pivot toward the concept of more open, functional, multi-use living space.

 

Partners and family members must also consider how their tiny house might impact their relationships. Even the closest of couples need their space once in a while, which can be a challenge in tight living quarters. Having a game plan about how to handle disputes or the need for alone time is an important consideration.

 

There are also residential zoning regulations to consider. Many towns have established minimum square footage requirements for homes, or restrict where they may be located. And if they are built on wheels, they may not be considered as permanent housing at all. Then again, having a tiny house on wheels offers its advantages, opening the door to travel and the freedom to live large in a whole new way. 

 

How to Qualify for a Loan as a First-Time Home Buyer

How to Qualify for a Loan as a First-Time Home Buyer

As a first-time homebuyer, it might be hard to raise the down payment needed by the seller. This should not kill your dream to own a house because you can obtain a mortgage loan to help you raise enough money. However, you might encounter challenges to prove that you are eligible for a home loan. You should take the following steps to enhance success in your application.

Early Inspection of Your Credit Scores

You should assess your credit score record immediately you decide to apply for a mortgage loan. Visit the relevant sites to and check for any issues that might disqualify you. If your credit record has problematic issues, use the months before the application to correct them.

Clear all the balances you owe other financial institutions to give your credit record a better rating. The actions might take months to change your credit score. Therefore, it is advisable to undertake them several months before your loan application. You should concentrate on mortgage loans without visiting other financial institutions until the current application is successful.

Compare Your Income and Expenditure

To know your deficit for the right income ratio, divide your monthly deficit expenditure with your total monthly earnings. That will assist lenders to decide whether you are eligible for a home mortgage or not. The financial institutions will either decide to lend you a small amount of money with a low monthly housing cost or keep all your monthly debts low compared to your monthly salary.

Weigh Your Options

If you have visited several financial institutions and all of them tell you that you don’t meet the loan application threshold, you should seek other alternatives to get financed. The only disadvantage is that you will have limited alternatives, and the loan you might get will have a higher interest rate. Try to improve your credit record before applying for a loan for a better chance of qualifying.

If you are a first-time homebuyer, you may not have enough funds to purchase it. However, you can apply for a mortgage loan to finance your project. If you want the application to be successful, take the steps above before starting the application process. The steps will enable you to have a good credit record before the application.