Patricia White's Blog
When it comes to adding your residence to the real estate market, it is always better to err on the side of diligence.
Ultimately, there are many reasons to become a diligent home seller, including:
1. You can price your house competitively from the get-go.
For those who want to become diligent home sellers, it is paramount to set a competitive price from the get-go. By doing so, a diligent home seller can stir up plenty of interest in his or her house and boost the chances of a quick home sale.
A diligent home seller will allocate the necessary time and resources to learn about the real estate market. As such, this home seller will have no trouble establishing a competitive price for his or her residence from day one.
In addition, a diligent home seller will examine the prices of available houses that are similar to his or her own. With this housing market data in hand, a diligent home seller can establish a price range for his or her residence.
2. You can identify home improvement opportunities.
A diligent home seller likely understands that his or her residence has various pros and cons. At the same time, this property seller recognizes home improvement opportunities.
To learn about home improvement opportunities, a diligent home seller usually will conduct a home appraisal. This appraisal enables a property inspector to evaluate a residence and provide the home seller with an in-depth report about the house's condition. Then, the home seller can use these property insights to streamline his or her home improvement efforts.
Completing a series of home improvements can make a world of difference in the eyes of homebuyers. In fact, a diligent home seller will prioritize home improvement projects and finish assorted home interior and exterior tasks to transform an ordinary residence into a stellar one.
3. You can keep your cool in stressful negotiations with a homebuyer.
Let's face it – no home seller wants to worry about stressful negotiations with a property buyer. Fortunately, a diligent home seller will know what it takes to remain calm, cool and collected as home selling negotiations proceed.
A diligent home seller will understand the true value of his or her house. Thus, this home seller can enter negotiations with actionable data to help him or her make informed decisions.
Plus, a diligent home seller will maintain an open approach throughout negotiations. This approach will enable a home seller to listen to what a homebuyer has to say at all times. And if a home seller maintains an open approach, he or she increases the likelihood that all parties involved in negotiations will get the best possible results.
If you ever need extra assistance as you prepare to list your residence, you can always reach out to a real estate agent too.
Even a diligent home seller will collaborate with a real estate agent to get home selling guidance. That way, a diligent home seller can move one step closer to optimizing the value of his or her residence.
Once you’re a homeowner, you know that excellent finances are a necessity. You need to budget smartly and be aware of where your money is going. There are so many little things that drain our money that aren’t so obvious. Read on to see some places where your money is going right out the window and what you can do to control it.
Food Spending And Consumption
Not only do most people admit to overspending on food, they admit to wasting food as well. It’s a smart idea to have a weekly meal plan. Do you cherish pizza night? Write that into the plan. Set a week- or even a month of menus ahead of time depending on how motivated you’re feeling. Make sure you’ll have everything you need in the house to make these meals. Try not to stock up on too many items. The simple act of knowing what you’re eating can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars over the course of a year.
Are bank fees and credit card late payment fees getting you down? All of those extra costs add up over time. Each time you overdraft your bank account costs you somewhere in the neighborhood of $25-$35. Every time you miss a credit card payment costs you another $25 or more. Make sure you’re enrolled in overdraft protection. You should also get alerts from your credit card as to when bills or due. If auto-pay is convenient, you can also consider that option to help you not miss payments.
Utilities can cost a significant amount of money, but these bills don’t have to be astronomical. Make sure you’re not wasting energy. Keep the thermostat either higher or lower depending on the season when you’re not home. A few degrees can make a big difference in your bill. Old appliances can also be energy suckers. When you leave the room, shut off televisions and lights to save even more on your utility costs.
Do you have a gym membership and never use it? That’s money going right out the window. If you subscribe to online services that you don’t frequently use, only keep the subscriptions that you need and use. You can save hundreds of dollars just by keeping track of where your money is going and if you use the products. Take a look at your credit card statements and notice any monthly charges that look unfamiliar.
124 Village Post Road, Danvers, MA 01923
Just as your car needs regular maintenance, so does your home. It may not be the highlight of your weekend, but home maintenance is crucial. Keeping your home in tip-top shape will help prevent problems down the road and give you an edge when you decide to sell.
Check Your HVAC System
A general guideline is to swap your HVAC filters every two to three months. If you have a large household and/or pets, you may need to replace your filters more frequently. New HVAC filters can better trap dust and allergens and improve airflow throughout your home, benefiting both your health and your wallet. Service your HVAC system in the spring and fall before extreme temperatures hit.
Clean Kitchen Appliances
Freshen and de-grime your sink disposal. You can do this with conventional cleaners or with vinegar ice cubes. Grind up some orange peels to make the disposal extra fresh. Next up is the range hood filter. A degreaser mixed with hot water should do the trick. Lastly, you'll want to vacuum your refrigerator coils. Doing so will make your fridge run more efficiently and cut down on your electricity bill.
Check Your Fire Safety
Make sure your fire extinguisher is accessible and has sufficient pressure. This should be visible on the gauge. Next, test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Most modern systems have a test feature that will sound an alarm if all is good. Clean the detectors and replace the batteries as needed.
Check Your Water
Inspect your water heater to make sure all valves are working properly. While you're at it, check your water softener and add salt if needed. Inspect your faucets, tubs and toilets for leaks and water pressure issues. Any problems will most likely stem from the aerator, which is a simple fix.
Test Your Electricity
Check that all your outlets are working properly. You can follow various online guides on how to re-wire dead outlets. If you feel nervous about working with electricity, call an electrician.
Deep Clean Your Home
At least twice a year you'll want to dust, vacuum and scrub your interiors as thoroughly as possible. Remove stains and caked-on dirt from floors, carpets and countertops. Get into the nooks and crannies. Clean tile grout and showerheads.
Don't Forget the Outside
Hose and sweep your patio, clean your gutters and clear debris from around entrances. Trim overgrown plants. Inspect roofing, siding, paint, and brick for damages. Use caulk to patch up minor damages and seal gaps in window and door frames.
With proper maintenance, you can keep your home in excellent condition regardless of its age. Make a checklist of what you need to do monthly, seasonally and yearly. Fix seemingly small issues now before they turn into big, costly ones. If you have a busy schedule, consider hiring a professional to keep your home well-maintained.
Once you are ready to buy a house, you need to check your finances to determine how much you can put down, and how much you can afford to pay on a monthly mortgage. Knowing this helps you determine how much house you can afford. However, your interest rate is going to play a huge part in this figure. You can get a mortgage with a fixed rate or an adjustable rate. Typically, adjustable rates start out lower than fixed rates, which could help you if you want to save some money – for a short time.
Fixed Rate Loan
Lenders base a fixed rate on several factors, including the market and your credit score. Once you accept the loan and close on it, that rate will never change. This is a benefit if you don’t like surprises. However, with a fixed rate, if the interest rates go down, you have to refinance to get a lower rate. The good thing is that when rates increase, you don’t have to do anything — your rate stays the same.
Adjustable Rate Loan
With an adjustable rate loan, the interest rate follows the market. Lenders use several indexes to determine what the rate will be. In most cases, the rate is fixed for an introductory period. For example, in a 5/1 ARM, the rate is the same for 5 years, then changes once every year for the balance of the loan. Often the interest rates for an adjustable rate loan are lower than the fixed rate interest rates. However, you could end up paying more interest over the life of the loan if the rates continuously increase each time the rate changes.
Considerations for Adjustable Rate Loans
Before you agree to an adjustable rate loan, be sure to locate key pieces of information:
How high can the rate change each time it changes?
What is the highest rate the rate will ever be, if it gets to the maximum rate?
What is the lowest rate the rate will ever be, as long as rates continue to drop?
Who long is the introductory period where the rate doesn’t change?
What is the date of the first interest rate change?
How often does the rate change?
If your lender’s answers are satisfactory, then you need to figure out what the payment would be at the highest rate. If you believe you can still afford the payment at the highest rate, then you might consider an adjustable rate mortgage.
When an Adjustable Rate is More Beneficial
An ARM is more beneficial in certain situations, including:
If you plan on refinancing before the rate increases;
If interest rates are consistently going down, or staying steady; and
If you are buying an investment property that you do not plan to keep.
Be sure to consider all the different scenarios before you agree to an adjustable rate — if the rate raises significantly and you can’t afford the higher mortgage payments, you could lose your home.