Our Real Estate Blog
You’ve been binging on HGTV and DIY network every weekend while you save up your money and you’re ready to take the plunge. Your agent tours you through several potentials and there it is … the perfect corner lot, the mediocre house with the awkward layout, chopped up floor plan, aging kitchen, and dated bathrooms. It’s just waiting to reveal shiplap behind the cracked plaster, original hardwood floors under the stained and dusty carpet, and other treasures you can only dream about until their uncovered.
You make the deal … now it’s all yours. Where do you go from here?
Find the right professional
Ideally, a contractor with renovation experience toured the property with you, casting a professional eye over potential problems and exciting possibilities before you made the deal. If not, engage one now. Renovations require specific knowledge of structural issues like which walls to safely remove giving you that open-concept floor plan and which might be load-bearing. Experienced pros know when to call in an engineer to determine whether to expose the beams or if the wiring needs pulling.
Make a plan
As with any project, make a basic plan before you start. Unlike new-builds, however, your plan might be more general until you’ve removed walls and studs, discarded old cabinets and fixtures, and revealed the location of existing drainpipes, wiring, support structures, and other hidden gems. With everything visible determined, it’s time for demolition. Just know that with a renovation, once demolition starts, plans can change. A supporting beam here, an unmovable drain there, a hidden chimney under that plaster … could derail your perfect original plans. When that happens, a pro can help you figure out what do.
Don’t underestimate time
Watching a 57-minute renovation on television might give you an unrealistic expectation of how long it might be until your home is ready. After all, you don’t have a trove of assistants ordering cabinets, changing out flooring samples and visiting showrooms to cull through items for you. Choice fatigue (the inability to choose between too many choices) can stymy a project for a novice.
Normal delays, hidden issues
You’ve planned, then modified the plans after the demo, selected, deselected, then re-selected the cabinets, flooring, and fixtures. Now it’s time to get approvals and permits. Moving a project through the approval process in your municipality could be smooth sailing or rife with delays. Your professional contractor should help you navigate this process, but waiting for a permit can add days, or weeks to a project.
In addition to the normal delays, your demolition may uncover other issues that require remediation. These include lead, mold, asbestos, termite damage, shifting foundations, broken pipes, and myriad other possibilities. Bringing wiring up to code and changing out electrical panels consumes precious time and adds to the delays.
Before taking on a fixer-upper, seek the advice of a real estate professional with renovation experience to help you make a plan, and plan for contingencies.
Obtaining a home loan is a must for most homebuyers. However, assessing a wide range of home loan options and making the best-possible decision can be difficult, particularly for a buyer who is evaluating these options for the first time.
Lucky for you, we're here to help you perform a deep analysis of home loan options and make an informed decision.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you evaluate different home loan options.
1. Find Out How a Home Loan Works
The home loans that one lender offers may differ from the options provided by another lender. As such, you'll want to learn the ins and outs of each available home loan to guide your decision-making process.
Understanding how a home loan works may make it easy for you to discover your dream house too.
For example, if you get pre-approved for a home loan, you can enter the real estate market with a budget in hand. You then can use this amount to narrow your house search, which may lead to a fast, seamless homebuying experience.
2. Understand All of the Costs
The total amount that you pay each month under the terms of a home loan agreement may vary based on a variety of factors. Fortunately, if you understand all of the costs associated with a home loan, you may be able to find a loan that matches your finances.
Review all of the paperwork associated with a home loan as well. That way, you can find out the length of a home loan agreement and other relevant home loan information and proceed accordingly.
3. Get Expert Home Loan Insights
There is no such thing as "bad" questions about home loans. And if you're uncertain about how to proceed with a home loan, you can always receive expert guidance from a lender.
Oftentimes, lenders employ friendly, knowledgeable home loan specialists who can respond to your concerns and questions. If you meet with these specialists, you can get comprehensive home loan insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.
As you get ready to pursue a home loan, you also may want to consult with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you get in touch with the best lenders in your area and secure a home loan in no time at all.
Of course, let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent can provide throughout the homebuying journey, either.
A real estate agent will serve as your guide to buying a house. He or she will help you hone your home search, explore top-notch residences in your city or town and find a residence that matches your expectations. Plus, a real estate agent will even negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf to help you get the best price on your dream house.
Ready to make your homeownership dream come true? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can secure a home loan and take the next step toward purchasing your ideal residence.
If you plan to attend an open house, it usually pays to be prepared. That way, you'll know exactly which questions to ask during an open house and can ensure that you can gain the insights that you need to determine whether a residence is right for you.
Now, let's take a look at three key questions to ask a listing agent during an open house.
1. Why is this home for sale?
Although a home listing provides plenty of information about a residence, it is unlikely to explain why a homeowner is selling his or her house. Thus, you should use an open house to find out exactly why a home is for sale.
In many instances, a listing agent will be honest and forthright about why a homeowner has decided to add his or her residence to the real estate market. Once you receive an answer to your query, you can better understand whether a house matches your expectations.
On the other hand, if a listing agent hesitates or shies away from your question, you should be skeptical. At this point, you should continue to dig for more information about a residence to learn about any potential flaws.
2. Are there any home problems that I need to know about?
An open house enables you to get an up-close look at a residence. Furthermore, the event allows you to find out about a residence's pros and cons from a listing agent.
Ask a listing agent about any home problems – you'll be glad you did. The listing agent should be able to provide you with plenty of insights into a home's condition, ensuring you can make an informed decision about whether to submit an offer.
A listing agent is likely to be honest with you about any problems with a house. By doing so, this agent will reduce the risk of a homebuyer later rescinding an offer after a home inspection.
3. Have there been any offers on the house?
It is important to find out if there is any competition for a house, especially if you discover your dream residence. Thus, during an open house, you should ask a listing agent if any offers have been submitted on a residence.
If a listing agent responds "Yes" to your query, you may want to act fast to submit a competitive offer on a house. Because if you wait too long to make an offer on your dream residence, you risk losing this house to a rival homebuyer.
Lastly, if you need help getting ready for an open house, you should collaborate with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can provide deep insights into a residence before you attend an open house. Therefore, a real estate agent will help you take the guesswork out of getting the most out of any open house, at any time.
Want to optimize the value of an open house? Ask the aforementioned questions, and you can get the information that you need to fully evaluate a residence.
Looking to buy a house without having to break your budget? Put together a homebuying roadmap, and you can increase your chances of finding a top-notch house that falls within your price range.
Ultimately, there are many things to consider as you put together a homebuying roadmap, such as:
1. Your Dream Home Definition
Differentiate your dream home must-haves from your wants – you'll be glad you did. If you can determine exactly what you want to find in your dream house, you can narrow your home search accordingly.
For example, if you need a home with multiple bedrooms to accommodate your entire family, you should include this information near the top of your homebuying roadmap. You then can kick off a search of multi-bedroom homes and move closer to finding your ideal residence.
2. Where You Want to Live
Do you enjoy life in the big city? Or, would you prefer to settle down in a small town? Think about where you would like to call home so that you can effectively plan your homebuying journey.
Ideally, you should try to refine your home search to a small collection of cities and towns. This will enable you to speed up your home search and ensure you can find a house that suits you perfectly.
Keep in mind your day-to-day activities as you consider where you want to live too. For instance, if you work in the city, you may want to pursue houses in or near the city itself. On the other hand, you may be able to purchase a small town home for less than what you would have to pay for a city residence and commute into the city for work.
3. Your Homebuying Timeline
Determine how quickly you'd like to finalize a home purchase. That way, you can map out exactly how you want to approach the housing market.
If you are committed to buying a house as soon as possible, you'll need to be proactive. The top houses sell quickly, and if you don't act fast, you risk missing out on your dream residence to a rival homebuyer.
Conversely, if you can afford to be patient, you can avoid pressure throughout the homebuying process. In this scenario, you can pursue houses at your convenience. And once you find the right home, you can submit an offer and finalize your home purchase.
When it comes to creating a homebuying roadmap, it generally helps to get support from a real estate agent. In fact, this housing market professional can provide plenty of assistance throughout the homebuying journey.
A real estate agent will learn about your homebuying goals and help you develop a successful homebuying roadmap. Furthermore, he or she can keep you up to date about new homes as they become available and make it easy to discover a wonderful residence at a budget-friendly price.
Ready to get started on the process of purchasing a house? Consider the aforementioned items as you create a homebuying roadmap, and you can plan a successful homebuying journey.
A successful homebuying experience is a pipe dream for many individuals. However, those who understand the key attributes of a successful homebuyer may be able to transform their homebuying dreams into realities.
Now, let's take a look at three key attributes of successful homebuyers.
A successful homebuyer won't take "No" for an answer; instead, this individual will go the extra mile to ensure he or she can acquire a great house at a budget-friendly price.
Ultimately, a successful homebuyer is driven to accomplish his or her goals. This individual's persistence is distinct, and as such, may help him or her achieve the optimal results.
To be persistent throughout the homebuying journey, it generally is a good idea to monitor the housing market closely. Because if you keep track of new homes that become available in cities and towns where you want to live, you can pounce at the opportunity to acquire your ideal residence.
A successful homebuyer likely realizes that he or she needs to learn about the real estate sector. Therefore, this individual will allocate the necessary time and resources to analyze housing market data.
With a data-driven approach to buying a house, a homebuyer can increase the likelihood of a seamless homebuying experience. In fact, myriad housing market data is available to help a buyer discover the perfect house in no time at all.
Homebuyers may want to assess the prices of recently sold houses in their preferred cities and towns. This information can help buyers differentiate between a buyer's and seller's market and map out the homebuying journey accordingly.
Furthermore, examining a personal financial data may be helpful before kicking off a home search. And if a homebuyer collaborates with a bank or credit union, he or she can get pre-approved for a mortgage and enter the housing market with a budget in hand.
A successful homebuyer understands the challenges associated with purchasing a house. As a result, this individual can take the right steps to avoid such challenges as he or she proceeds along the homebuying journey.
For example, a successful homebuyer won't feel stressed if he or she encounters problems during a home inspection. Conversely, the homebuyer will look at his or her options and determine the best course of action. And if this individual decides to walk away from a home sale, he or she will feel good about reentering the housing market and beginning a home search once again.
When it comes to enjoying a successful homebuying experience, it pays to hire an expert real estate agent as well. This housing market professional can help you evaluate a wide range of houses and find one that matches or exceeds your expectations. Then, a real estate agent will ensure you can put together a competitive homebuying proposal to secure your dream residence.
Consider the key traits of a successful homebuyer – you'll be glad you did. If you strive for success at each stage of the homebuying journey, you should have no trouble acquiring your dream residence.