Our Real Estate Blog
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The home appraisal is the process of re-evaluating or revaluing your property to determine the market value either because you want to put the house up for sale or because you want to refinance your mortgage. When you put up your property for sale, you want to have it appraised by a professional as this will give you a fair idea of how much your property is worth.
Financial institutions giving out loans order a home appraisal to ensure the value of the house they are taking as collateral is equal or more than the amount they are providing as a loan. The evaluation helps lenders to avoid losing money if they decide to sell off the property due to failure by the borrower to pay up at the specified time, also known as foreclosure. A certified professional handles a home appraisal and usually has years of training and experience. After the assessment, the expert is expected to give an unbiased opinion about the value of your property. Some things would present your house in a better light and impact on how valuable your property is.
Fix All Damaged Safety Equipment
Ensure all safety equipment that is not working is fixed before the day of appraisal, as lack of these would make you lose points during the inspection. Ensure safety equipment like smoke alarms, security alarms, water heater straps among others are present and functional in your property.
Document Your Renovations
Inform your home appraiser of recent renovations you may have done on the property, the time when you did them and the cost of such repairs. The appraiser might not notice all the changes since it’s not their house, which is why you should bring it to their notice.
A Little Touch Up
Houses with cracked walls, a leaking roof, water-stained walls, signs of pest infestation, damaged floors, or moldy smell will get valued at a lesser amount. Repaint your walls, replace your leaking roof, fix any broken kitchen cabinet, change the doorknobs and generally improve on the appearance of your property. Also, take a walk around and assess the visual appeal yourself to know the things that need fixing ahead of time.
The $500 Rule
Appraisers value property in $500 increments. To be assessed at a higher amount, it’s better to have things like broken doors, damaged floors, old wallpaper, leaky faucets, broken windows repaired immediately. By doing this, you will recover the amount you spent on such repairs in your home appraisal report.
Check Your Yard
You want to take a walk outside your property and do a thorough scan of what might devalue your property, and have it fixed before the home appraiser arrives. Keep your grass and shrubs neat, add some colorful flowers, remove dried leaves littering the yard and whatever clutter will make your yard less attractive. Houses with a welcoming curb appeal receive better appraisals and are considered more valuable in the market.
Your seller's agent can help you prepare for your appraisal so heed their advice.
No matter how you look at it, putting your home on the market is a life-changing experience!
Not only will it change your future circumstances, but it will have an impact on your day-to-day routine, right now.
If your home is actively being shown by real estate agents, there are a few things you may need to do on a regular basis to make the best possible impression on potential buyers:
Keep it clean: Ordinarily, most homeowners aren't inclined to thoroughly clean their house every day -- or "at a moment's notice." Very few people have the time or motivation to keep their home's immaculate on a constant basis; it's exhausting just thinking about it! However, when your house is being viewed by prospective buyers, cleanliness -- or the lack, thereof -- will be noticed. Although "old habits die hard," it may be necessary to enlist the help and cooperation of your children (and spouse) in keeping the house looking presentable at all times. While it's unrealistic to expect your home to look immaculate day after day, it might be necessary to establish some new rules and standards for your family to follow about picking up clothes, toys, snack wrappers, and food residues. If you can maintain a "semblance of order" on an ongoing basis, then it shouldn't be too difficult to prepare your home for the next showing. While you'll usually get at least 24-hours notice before a house showing is scheduled, there may be the occasional request for a same-day visit.
Appearances count: "Keeping up Appearances" is more than just a popular British sitcom; it's a necessary goal for anyone hoping to sell their home within a reasonable period of time. Doing your best to stage your home in an attractive, inviting way is a key ingredient to a successful home-selling strategy. Setting priorities for curb appeal will also help you put your best foot forward in a competitive real estate market. Although many aspects of home staging are based on common sense and simple home decorating principles, it's difficult to be objective when your family's home is involved. There's certainly a lot of credible information online concerning the benefits of reducing household clutter and leaning toward neutral paint colors, but you can also turn to your real estate agent for tips on enhancing your home's curb appeal, interior appearance, and overall marketability.
Unless the home you're selling is relatively new or completely updated, there are a lot of decisions to make about how much time, energy, and money should be spend on upgrades, repairs, and enhancements. While everyone's situation, budget, and timetable is different, it's usually necessary to correct issues that might be considered a glaring problem or a deal breaker. Sometimes those issues don't come to the forefront, however, until you get specific feedback from agents and prospective buyers.
The lifetime warranty. We’ve all heard about the wonders of owning an item with a lifetime warranty, but few of us actually own such products. Well, few of us are aware of it anyway.
The home is where we pour most of our money into. It seems like things are constantly breaking and needing to be replaced or repaired. But few of us check to see if the item has a manufacturer’s warranty. Nor do we remember if we bought an extended warranty.
In this article, we’re going to give you some tips on how to take advantage of warranties you may not know that you have, and how to shop wisely for warrantied products in the future.
But first, we’ll impart some general warranty knowledge.
Understanding the warranty
A warranty is a written guarantee provided to the purchaser of an item that they will repair or replace the item if it isn’t functioning as intended.
In most cases, there are time limits and exceptions to a warranty. Manufacturers know that their products won’t really last forever, so they plan for the eventual breakdown of the product from wear and tear.
Similarly, manufacturers don’t want you to misuse the product and then ask for a replacement, so they list exceptions to their warranties. To find out if one of your household items is under warranty, you can often check the manufacturer’s website.
To ensure you’re eligible for a warranty or replacement, it’s often necessary to have a copy of your purchase receipt which shows where and when you bought the item.
We know--keeping track of receipts is an annoyance few of us want to participate in. So, an easier solution is to keep an app like Google Drive or Dropbox on your phone with a folder called “receipts” or “warranties.” Then, the next time you make a purchase, simply snap a photo of the receipt and keep in in your drive.
Extended warranty warning
Many retailers will pitch you an extended warranty when you buy a product. Some of them are worth it, but most of the time you’re better off foregoing these add-ons.
Oftentimes, products are already covered by a manufacturer warranty. And, in some cases, the cost of the item is so low that owning a protection plan isn’t worthwhile.
Warrantied items you may not know about
Now that you know how to keep track of your warranties, let’s talk about some important items that you may not know has a warranty.
Roofing. Roofs are expensive and don’t last forever. However, many manufacturers promise 20 years of good service from your shingles.
Vinyl siding. Another expensive exterior item, siding is often warrantied by common manufacturers, including several “limited lifetime warranties.”
Tupperware. If there’s one product on this list you’ve probably heard of, it’s Tupperware. They’ve been famous for their lifetime warranties for decades.
Pampered Chef. This company makes an array of kitchen related products. Many of their items come with lifetime warranties.
Craftsman. Their power tools are affordable and include a lifetime warranty.
You thought that working from home was the ideal solution to your crazy daycare and commuting routine. You discussed it with your partner for weeks, spent hours convincing your boss, and her boss, and here you are in your pajamas two months later wondering what you've done. The house is a wreck. There are dishes in the sink. You haven't had a shower in what seems like days (it was only yesterday). The dirty laundry has piled up so high that it spills out the door of the laundry room … and the baby's crying … and the phone's ringing … and that project is due!
How could such a great idea, that works perfectly for so many others, be such a disaster for you?
Take a deep breath! Let it out slowly.
The truth is, most first-time telecommuters or from-home contractors experience complications in the first few months. Many do not realize that their commute time indeed was productive in a way because they could plan and focus in their heads so that they can start right in a soon as they reach the office (after that cup of coffee, though). At home, you tend to jump right in, directly after you've thrown in a load of laundry, the baby's fed—and you hope will play happily for the next 45 minutes—and do the dishes. The first few days go so great that you feel entirely productive. You got more work done because you didn't have that side trip to daycare on your commute to the office.
Within a few weeks or so, however, this house of cards tumbles down. Now, you not only have a chaotic household, but you're also feeling less productive than you did in the first week and you hope no one wants to Skype because you don't look or feel like the professional you once were.
Get back that commute time
Reclaim your commute time. Even though the commute is only from your kitchen to your home office, take back the 20-30 minutes you need to get your head in the game. Sit down with that extra cup of coffee and mentally run through your to-do list.
When managing a workload with at-home parenting, control the time baby is asleep or occupied by focusing entirely on work. The baby doesn't mind you folding laundry while he's awake. Do household chores when you're in mommy or daddy mode, but as soon as the baby is asleep or with someone else, focus only on work.
Your original plan was a good one. It will work, just a little differently than you'd planned.
If your home isn’t suited to a home office, ask your real estate professional to show you some options in your neighborhood.