Posted by Jennifer Santosuosso on 12/16/2018

If you plan to list your home, you may want to consider the buyer's perspective. That way, you can determine what differentiates your residence from others and promote your house to potential buyers accordingly.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you evaluate the buyer's perspective.

1. Assess Your House's Strengths and Weaknesses

Your home may be a wonderful option for many property buyers Ė you just need to be able to accentuate the key features of your residence to the right groups of prospective buyers.

Oftentimes, it helps to conduct a home inspection prior to listing a residence. A home inspection enables you to gain comprehensive insights into your house's strengths and weaknesses. Then, you can take the necessary steps to transform your home's weaknesses into strengths.

2. Consider Your Home's Location

Location plays an important role in a buyer's decision to purchase a house. Therefore, you need to think about where your home is located so you can price your residence competitively.

For example, a home in a small town may prove to be more affordable than a comparable residence in a big city. At the same time, a big city house likely provides convenient access to a broad range of notable landmarks and attractions.

You may want to check out the prices of comparable houses in your city or town too. With this housing market data in hand, you can boost the likelihood of setting a competitive initial asking price for your residence.

3. Craft an Engaging House Listing

A home listing offers a great opportunity to connect with a buyer. And if a buyer likes a house after reading a listing, he or she may be more inclined than ever before to set up a house showing.

Think about why a buyer may choose your house over others when you craft your home listing. By doing so, you may be able to find ways to help your home listing stand out to prospective buyers.

Furthermore, you should review your home listing closely before it is published. Because if your home listing is filled with grammatical errors or inaccuracies, buyers may shy away from your house.

As you look for ways to promote your residence to the right groups of buyers, you may want to hire a real estate agent as well. In fact, if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can receive plenty of support as you navigate the property selling journey.

A real estate agent will help you list your residence, set a competitive initial asking price for it and set up home showings and open house events. Plus, if you ever have concerns or questions during the property selling journey, you can receive expert responses from your real estate agent.

Ready to add your house to the real estate market? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can consider the buyer's perspective and increase your chances of enjoying a quick, profitable house selling experience.




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Posted by Jennifer Santosuosso on 12/9/2018

Whether youíre a first-time homebuyer or youíre upgrading to a larger house to fit your familyís needs, itís vital to understand just how much house you can afford before you start shopping for homes.

When planning for your future home, there are two main things you need to figure out.

  • What is a smart amount to spend on a home for your budget

  • What are the key features in a home that will give you the most benefits for the cost

These two questions may seem simple, but there are quite a few factors that should go into determining each one.

So, in todayís post, Iím going to walk you through the process of determining what kind of house you can afford so you can make the best home buying decision for you and your family.

A smart home buying budget

To create an effective budget, youíll need to gather some information and possibly create a spreadsheet with Excel (or a free alternative like Google Sheets).

On your spreadsheet, youíll first want to add up all sources of income that your family has. This is the easy part for most people who only have one or two sources of income based on a salaried job.

Next, is the hard part--expenses. We canít just use your current expenses to determine the new budget because we have to account for changes in several areas.

If you arenít sure of the cost of living for the area you hope to move to, try plugging it into this cost of living comparison tool to see get a better idea of the cost of things like transportation, childcare, groceries, and more.

Likewise, itís also a good idea to assume youíll be paying more in utilities if youíre hoping to move into a home that is larger than your current home. Keep in mind, however, that different houses have different levels of energy-efficiency, so itís a good idea to also ask the seller of the homes youíre interested in to determine what your costs might be.

Now, subtract your expenses from your income. The amount remaining should easily cover whatever mortgage payment you receive along with, ideally, 20% of your income going toward savings.

Deciding what you need in a home

The second part of determining how much house you can afford is to find out exactly what youíre looking for in a home. The number of bedrooms, bathrooms, location, the size of the backyard; all of these are questions that have a monetary value.

So, to really answer this question youíll need a strong understanding of what you and your familyís goals are for at least the next 5-7 years, if not longer.

Once you have your long-term goals and a good understanding of your budget, you can start safely shopping for homes with a clearer idea of the type of home youíre looking for and just how much home you can afford.




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Posted by Jennifer Santosuosso on 12/2/2018

Perhaps one of the most challenging things about buying a home is saving for the downpayment. Collecting such a large sum of money can be difficult. The truth is that most buyers actually think that they need more than they actually do to buy a home. The downpayment doesnít need to be a barrier to your path to homeownership. There are so many programs that offer low and even no down payment home loans. Read on to learn more about down payments and programs that can help you. 


First, letís look at what a down payment is and how it can help you. If you put 10% down on a $200,000 home thatís $20,000. The downpayment minus the purchase price of the home is $180,000, and that's how much your home loan will be. The more money you can put down on the house, the lower your home loan will be and the lower your monthly mortgage payments will be. A large down payment can indeed save you in the long term. If youíre looking to move into a home sooner rather than later, saving a considerable sum isnít always possible.  


Low Downpayment Mortgages


You need to decide what type of home loan you need by the amount of downpayment youíre willing and able to put down. Some benefits go along with making a down payment, but there are some negatives. 


By making a substantial down payment you may despite your savings, leaving little money for emergencies. Your mortgage rate may not be affected by a large downpayment either. It can be hard to decide what type of loan to get and just how much you really can afford.  


FHA Loans


FHA loans are among the most popular type of home loans. The downpayment thatís required is just 3.5%. The requirements are simple, and you donít have to be a first-time homebuyer to qualify. 


The drawback to an FHA loan is that you cannot cancel the monthly mortgage insurance that comes along with it unless you refinance the home. Traditional mortgage insurance is canceled when you have built up 20% equity in the house, but this isnít the case with FHA loans. 


Another positive about FHA loans is that your credit score doesnít have to be stellar in order for you to qualify. Some lenders approve FHA loans with credit scores as low as 580. 


VA Home Loans


Buyers who have current or former military service status can qualify for this zero down mortgage. These loans are benefits to veterans and current members of the Armed Forces. While no downpayment is required, buyers may put down any amount they wish. The only requirements are that buyers be members of the military either currently serving for 90 days or two years of active duty service if not an active member.   


The above options are great for those who canít afford or donít wish to put down large down payments but still hope to be homeowners. 





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Posted by Jennifer Santosuosso on 11/25/2018

Although you might already own a house, now may prove to be a good time to pursue a second residence. For example, if you have always wanted to own a home in the mountains, you can purchase a second residence to make your dream come true. On the other hand, if you want to own a vacation residence on or near the beach, you could enter the housing market to find a beachfront house that suits you perfectly.

Like any home search, finding a second house that matches your expectations may be difficult. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to streamline your quest to find a second home, such as:

1. Evaluate Your Finances

Your finances will play a significant role in your ability to purchase any house, at any time. As you get set to pursue a second home, examine your finances closely. Then, you can map out your home search accordingly.

Generally, it helps to consult with banks and credit unions before you launch the search. If you meet with these institutions, you can gain financial insights that you can use to make an informed purchase.

2. Establish Home Buying Criteria

Think about the features you want to find in a second residence. Next, you can craft home buying criteria.

Once you have home buying criteria in hand, you can narrow your house search, too. By honing your home search to residences in specific cities and towns, you can speed up your quest to find the right home at the right price.

It often helps to maintain flexibility as you conduct a search for a second home as well. If necessary, you can modify your home buying criteria throughout the home buying journey.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

There is no reason to enter the housing market on your own. Thankfully, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market experts can help you quickly and effortlessly acquire a second residence.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to navigate the home buying journey. This housing market professional first will learn about you and your home buying goals. He or she next will craft a custom home buying strategy based on your individual needs. Finally, a real estate agent will put this strategy into action and ensure you can discover a terrific home at an affordable price.

Furthermore, a real estate agent takes the guesswork out of buying a second home. If you are unsure about whether to submit an offer to purchase a particular residence, a real estate agent can offer a data-driven recommendation. Or, if you have concerns or questions at any point during the home buying journey, a real estate agent is prepared to respond to them.

If you want to pursue a second house, it helps to plan ahead for the home buying journey. By using these tips, you should have no trouble finding a second home that you can enjoy for years to come.




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Posted by Jennifer Santosuosso on 11/18/2018

As a home seller, it is important to do everything possible to ensure your residence makes a positive impression on buyers. Because if your residence fails to impress buyers during a showing or open house, your home may linger on the real estate market for an extended period of time.

Ultimately, there are lots of things you can do to ensure buyers feel good after they view your residence, such as:

1. Bolster Your Home's Curb Appeal

When buyers view your home for the first time, you likely want them to fall in love with your residence. If you allocate time and resources to enhance your house's curb appeal, you may make it simple for buyers to see your residence's full potential and envision what life could be like if they purchase your home.

To upgrade your home's curb appeal, you should perform lawn care tasks like mowing the lawn and trimming the hedges. You also should repair any cracked or chipped home siding, as well as correct any other property exterior issues that could negatively affect a buyer's perception of your house.

2. Remove Clutter

Clutter is a problem that may make it tough for buyers to picture a future in your home. If you have excess items scattered around your home, there may be no time like the present to get rid of these items.

To eliminate clutter, you may want to host a yard sale or list excess items online. In addition, you can always donate any items you no longer need to a local charity or give them to family members or friends.

3. Clean Each Room of Your Home

For homebuyers, nothing beats a pristine, tidy home interior. If you clean each room of your house from top to bottom, you can help your home's interior make an unforgettable impression on buyers.

Taking a room-by-room approach to home cleaning may be ideal. Furthermore, if you need extra assistance, you can hire a professional home cleaning company.

Of course, if you are searching for ways to streamline the home selling journey, you may want to hire a real estate agent as well. A real estate agent is happy to teach you the ins and outs of selling a house and ensure you can maximize your home sale earnings.

A real estate agent can guide you along each stage of the home selling journey. First, he or she will learn about you and your home selling goals. A real estate agent next will help you list your residence and promote your home to dozens of prospective buyers. Finally, if you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent will help you determine whether to accept, reject or counter this proposal.

Clearly, there is no shortage of options to upgrade your residence and ensure it garners buyers' attention. If you take advantage of the aforementioned tips, you could simultaneously help your house stand out to buyers and speed up the home selling cycle.




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