Buying a Fixer Upper? There are many ways to make a new home livable while you are saving for that new living room furniture you want. Below are some quick tips to get your new home into tip top shape without spending a lot of money!
Make Each Room Your Own.
You’ve done it! You own your first piece of property. Make a list. Take each room and place a photo, plant, paperweight or personal item that reflects you and your individuality. Your home should show off your unique personality.
Any new room can be made comfy with a new coat of paint. Choose warm colors for rooms you will be relaxing in, and cool colors for offices and bathrooms.
Pay Attention to Light.
Does your new home have a great window that lets in beautiful light? Or maybe you have a sliding glass door that gives you a great view. Be sure to keep these spaces open and unblocked.
Go inexpensive with some pretty, simple curtains. Use white to match with everything, or pick a color that you know would brighten up the room.
While moving in to your new house, make sure to take charge and throw away useless items that you will not use. You are starting over!
Plants and Flowers.
Use your interior decorating eye and find the perfect places for some potted plants and flowers. Instead throwing out withering flowers, hang them upside down and dry them for a great wall piece.
Go Flea Marketing.
Spend a Sunday shopping at a local flea market for a unique piece for the new room in your home that is your favorite. Treat yourself and you just might come across a valuable piece!
Rugs and Carpets.
Find a nice simple rug to save your carpet. A vibrant rug can add a splash of color to any room.
Simple Oversized Mats + Simple Frame
Instead of a posed Department Store picture, choose a candid action shot. Buy an oversized Mat and simple frame. Try this in two’s and three’s. It’s a great way to dress up a lonely wall.
Give your favorite oversized chair a makeover and buy a plain colored chair cover. These work great and make it look like you bought a new piece of furniture!
One major concern for families planning to move to a new home is making it as comfortable as possible for their children. Many child experts agree that involving the kids in the process of moving is a good way to ease the tensions associated with moving. Taking your children house hunting will help get them excited about the idea of having a new home. Below are some pointers on making house hunting a great experience for the whole family…
Narrow your options.
There is no need to take your children on walk through every potential house on your list. If you can, wait until you have narrowed your options down to just a few houses before bringing the kids with you. Or at least limit your house tours to three or less houses per day when the kids are along. There is no need to make the kids overly tired or bored with the process.
Make sure they know the rules.
Make sure the kids know they will be going through someone else’s home. They must treat the sellers and their property with respect. Make sure your children are in the same room with you at all times and not handling any of the sellers property.
Also, if the sellers are present, your children should be told to keep their opinions about the house to themselves until you leave. Negative comments can sway an owner to sell to another buyer and positive ones could work against you when trying to negotiate a lower price.
Give the kids a job.
Depending on the age of your children, let them take notes on the properties you are looking at. They can record information about the houses to go over later, including: location, square footage, types and numbers of rooms, etc. They can add their thoughts about the house too. This will help them remember the homes and also make them feel included in the process.
Equip your children with games, books, and small toys in case they become bored. Bring along music for the car or audio books this is especially important if your will be driving for extended periods in between properties.
Take a break.
If you pass a park or playground close to a property you are interested in let your kids have a quick break to play. This will also give you an idea of the local lifestyle and let you see if there are other children the same age as yours in the neighborhood.
Timing is everything.
Try to look at houses in the morning or after nap time when your kids are happy and rested. Also remember to bring along snacks and drinks to keep energy levels up.
Ask for input.
Even though the final decision on what home to purchase is yours, ask your children for their opinions. This will let them know you value their thoughts on the potential new home and neighborhood.
Found your dream house? Get ready to Negotiate. Your real estate agent will guide you through the process of making a purchase offer. Start by learning how much the property is worth.
Compare to other like properties
Your agent has up-to-the-minute price data that can help you analyze any comparable properties. Although every home is unique, here’s some of what makes a home “comparable” to the one you’re considering purchasing:
- same neighborhood;
- same age and condition;
- same size lot;
- same home style–equivalent living space, number of rooms and baths;
- similar terms of sale.
Check the Prices!
Get to know the sales prices in your market place. A professional CMA will show you what recent sold prices were in your area and the difference between list price and sold price. Make sure to note the amount of time each listing was on the market.
Make a good offer.
Don’t low ball a well priced listing. Sure we all know that some properties are over priced, but you could lose your dream home by not understanding the difference between a fair price and an over priced property.
Make a priority list
Assess what your priorities are before you begin negotiating. This will allow you to make quick decisions and get what you want. This way you will know ahead of time what you are willing to give up and what you simply can’t live without. Most frequently negotiated include repairs, what personal property stays and what goes, closing costs, and move-in date. Knowing exactly what you want and where you are willing to give up will make negotiating less stressful and quicker.
Negotiations may take several days. Remember this is one of the biggest purchases you will ever make. Work with your agent to make sure you negotiate this transaction successfully.
When purchasing your new home, it is a good idea to take a look at the inner workings of the house, which can cost a small fortune if overlooked. Pay attention to the electrical, plumbing , heating and cooling aspects of your new home. Before hiring a professional, which is recommended before final purchase, there are a few things you can do first, to rule out any problems in the future.
Start at the Bottom.
Make sure the basement is in good shape. Look for signs of water damage and cracks in the structure. Many home owning problems seem to start in the basement.
Check outside plants.
Make sure outside plants are trimmed at least 30 inches away from the house. Insects can get in and out of a structure with the help of plants.
Too Much Water.
Does water seem to be flooding around the foundation? This indicates a need for better drainage of the soil next to the foundation. Walk through the house and look for water stains in the ceilings, the wallpaper, the carpet, and hardwood floors. Check the faucets, check below the sink, and flush the toilets. You can check water pressure by turning on the shower etc. Water is one of the biggest causes of household damage.
Get on Top of Things.
Check for a roof that may need repairing. Take a good look for a roof that is not straight. This can cause certain damage to the structure of the house itself. If it looks saggy, get a repair estimate.
Knock on Wood.
If the house you are looking to purchase has hardwood floors, make sure there are no elevated areas, no rotting wood.
Many financiers won’t approve a loan if there is major problems with structure foundation. Still, it is a good idea to check for cracks and shifting in walls and floors. Walk through the house and check for crack and movement in the walls, ceilings and floors. Inspect the areas where the walls and ceilings come together, change in foundation will be visible. If a house settles, the foundation will crack and can cause different problems. If a cracker is larger than a quarter of an inch, there could be problems. Expanding soil can cause cracking and eventually collapse.
Check for Termites.
Signs of termite infestation:
- Pencil-thin mud tubes extending over the inside and outside surfaces of foundation walls, piers, sills, joists, etc.
- The presence of winged (swarmer) termites, or their shed wings on window sills and along the edges of floors.
- Damaged wood hollowed out along the grain and lined with bits of mud or soil.
Termites eat wood.
Termites are attracted to moisture and are more likely to enter a structure if the soil next to the foundation is consistently moist. Water should be diverted away from the foundation with properly functioning gutters, spouts and splash guards. Leaking faucets, water pipes and air conditioning units should be repaired, and the ground next to the foundation should be sloped so that surface water drains away from the building.
Make Sure Everything Works!
This may sound simple, but it is true. Ask questions, make sure the heating works correctly. Make sure if there is air conditioning, that it works correctly. Asking questions now can save you money later.
In today’s real estate market, many first time buyers opt to buy a condo vs. a house for various reasons. There are different and significant advantages, and disadvantages of buying a condominium. The trick is to figure out if this type of real estate dwelling is right for you. Read through the below list quickly for some identifying qualities of purchasing and living in a condo. It could be right for you!
Expense Expense Expense!
Often More than not, for a first time Buyer, a condo can be a good option because of financial and money issues. Sometimes, its a step up to a larger property, like a house. Many first time buyers will start out and “pay their dues” in a condo, and then are able to think about saving for a house.
Working at the office vs. the house? A condo often is smaller and is easy to maintain. You won’t have a lot of outside work, which leads us to our next point, the HOA.
What is HOA? HOA stands for “Home Owners Association”. This allows you to pay a fee, for someone else to take care of the outside work. Different HOA’s have different terms of agreement, and will cover different things. For example, your condo complex good have plenty of green belt, or plants or garden that the HOA will keep up for you.
Do you really need a garden?
For a lot of first time buyers, they are working full time and don’t have the money or time to keep up a garden, front yard or back yard that owning a house requires. Hey, this condo thing may just work for you.
Everyone Loves A Pool…
Different Condominium Complexes offer different types of amenities, which the HOA will pay for. Many have pools, clubhouses, tennis courts, etc. that are maintained by the HOA and that you can use at your leisure.
Smaller Can Be Better..
Since there is usually less space in a condominium, they can be easier to re carpet, paint and fix up. This can be great investment and great for reselling.
Not Sure Where You’ll End Up?
Some first time buyers and condo owners are ready to get into the real estate game, but are not sure where they will end up. A condo is a great way to start investing , and at the same time figuring out in what are you want to live!
Investing In The Future…
Ultimately investing in a condo now is a great way to invest in your future. You many not have money to buy a house, but your condominium property could end up appreciating and you may want to keep it as a rental property, when you finally are ready to buy a bigger property. Starting small can be beneficial in the end.
When looking to buy a home, one important factor to consider is the area in which you buying. There are many things to consider…
How close is my new home to where I work?
Proximity to one’s place of employment is a significant factor in buying a home. Driving to and from work is going to effect your life everyday at your new place of residence.
Freeway accessibility is another important factor to consider.
What is the parking situation like?
Parking is another key factor to buying a new home.
Parking needs to be accessible in purchasing a new home. If you buy in a densely populated area, chances are parking is going to be something to be dealt with on a daily basis.
What are the demographics in my new city?
It’s a great idea to take a look at the demographics of the neighborhood and city you are going to be living in. What is the average income of the area? Appreciation and property value are sometimes very dependent upon the upkeep and professionalism of the community you are buying in.
Don’t be afraid to scope out your new neighbors – how they treat their property can directly affect your property value. Can you handle living next to the type of neighbor that lives on your new street?
Are there children in your new household / or in your future?
Checking out local schools is important if you have children or will have children in the future. Make sure your new community is family oriented, and scope local parks and daycare centers.
What is recreation like in my new city?
Don’t forget to overlook enjoying your new area in your playtime. What recreational activities are provided in your area? Take a look at the literature that your new community provides. Does this jive with your lifestyle?
Different areas have unique features which may be desirable for you, but
often while one community offers great parking, it may be a drive to get to your favorite shopping center. Make a list of pros and cons when choosing an area to live in. Weigh the pros and cons of each area carefully before you make your decision.
When searching for a new home, you want to make sure the new neighborhood is suitable for you.
Drive by the house you are interested in purchasing after dark. Park on your new potential street. Pay attention to the neighborhood for a few minutes.
Upkeep | General Maintenance.
Property Value can spike and plummet depending on how the neighbors take care of their properties. Are the lawns groomed? Are the houses kept up and in good shape?
Make note of the kind of lifestyle your new neighbors have. Are their lifestyles compatible with yours?
Noise, Noise, Noise
Spend some time around your potential new neighborhood. How is the noise level? Is it too quiet for you, or too loud?
Spend some time in your neighborhood on the weekend. Check noise levels, parking and the overall atmosphere of your street.
Pay attention to how close you will be living in proximity to your neighbors. Do you share a fence, alley or driveway? Is there available guest parking?
Local Recreation and Shopping Center
Spend some time in your local park or shopping center nearest your house. Does it have all the services you usually need?
Don’t be afraid to say hello and have a conversation with your potential neighbors. Get a first impression and ask them about the neighborhood.