Jeanne Little's Blog
A home repair checklist can make a world of difference for any home seller, at any time. With this checklist in hand, a home seller can prioritize assorted home repairs. Plus, a home repair checklist helps ensure that a seller can enhance his or her house before adding it to the real estate market.
Ultimately, there are several items to include in a home repair checklist, such as:
1. Inspecting and Repairing the Roof
If you notice damaged, loose or missing roof shingles, you'll want to repair or replace these shingles immediately. That way, you can improve your home's roof – something that may make your house more attractive than others to dozens of potential buyers.
Remember, many homebuyers don't want to deal with the hassle of roof repairs. If you allocate the necessary time and resources to repair your roof today, you can include details about your upgraded roof in your home listing. Thus, roof repairs may help you increase the likelihood of a fast, profitable home sale.
When it comes to roof repairs, it often pays to hire professionals. Reach out to local roof repair companies, and you should have no trouble upgrading your house's roof.
2. Sealing Cracks and Gaps in Windows and Doors
Cracks and gaps in windows and doors can cause warm or cold air to leak outside a house. As a result, these problems can drive up a homeowner's monthly heating and cooling bills.
Fortunately, sealing cracks and gaps in windows and doors can be quick and easy. In most instances, caulk or weather stripping can help minimize these issues. Or, you can always reach out to local contractors for professional assistance as well.
3. Power-Washing Windows and Siding
Your home's curb appeal can have a significant impact on how quickly your residence sells. If you power-wash your residence's windows and siding, you can instantly boost your home's curb appeal and help your residence stand out to potential buyers.
Oftentimes, you can rent a power-washer from a home improvement store. You also may choose to buy a power-washer; by doing so, you can use your power-washer both now and in the future.
A home repair checklist is a must-have for home sellers, regardless of the current housing market's conditions. If you need extra help determining which home repairs to complete prior to listing your residence, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent too.
By hiring a real estate agent, you can receive expert guidance throughout the home selling journey. A real estate agent can put you in touch with the best local contractors to help you finish myriad home repairs. In addition, a real estate agent will help you promote your residence to the right groups of buyers and ensure that you can generate substantial interest in your house.
Ready to sell your house? Include the aforementioned items in your home repair checklist, and you can upgrade your residence in no time at all.
Saving for a down payment on a house can seem like an insurmountable challenge to first-time homebuyers. You don’t have the benefit of equity built from owning previous homes, and most, if not all, of your income could be tied up in other places like paying rent and bills.
If this sounds like you, don’t worry--you’re not alone. The good news is that there are some other things you might try before giving up on saving for a down payment.
In today’s post, we’re going to discuss a few techniques for saving for a down payment that you might not yet have thought of, and talk about how to can start saving sooner rather than later.
1. Know your options
Many first-time buyers aren’t aware of all of the different mortgage types that may be available to them. VA loans, USDA loans, and more are all available to buyers who don’t have a large down payment saved up.
There’s also the common myth that your down payment needs to be at least 20% percent of the cost of the home. However, this number is more like an ideal figure that will allow you to avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI).
Before determining how much you need to save, make sure you understand all of your options.
2. Learn the art of budgeting
Most of us use the term “budget” as a vague word that means the amount of money we can spend.
The true point of a budget, however, is to gain a detailed understanding of where your money goes and to develop a plan.
One good method of budgeting is to do what budget experts call, “giving every dollar a job.” This means that you know where each dollar o your paycheck will go.
There are many tools available for you to use when budgeting. You can use a free app like a spreadsheet from Google Sheets, or a service that connects you your bank account like Mint. Mint will also let you set goals (such as saving for a down payment) so you can track your progress.
3. Asking for a raise
Depending on how long you’ve been at your job and your work performance, it might be time to ask your employer for a raise up front. Many employers are more than happy to reward hard work and dedication, but just don’t hand out money if they aren’t asked.
4. Start that side hustle
There are a lot of ways to earn extra money in a service economy. From waiting tables at night to delivering packages for Amazon, and giving lifts in your car for Uber, there are numerous ways to earn some extra cash in the evenings.
Just remember that you want this project to be something that’s enjoyable or interesting, otherwise it’s easy to burn out from overwork.
5. See if you have employee assistance options
Some employers offer housing assistance programs to their employees as a work benefit. If you haven’t flipped through your HR packet in a while, now might be a good time to make sure you’re taking advantage of your options.
There is no shortage of smart home devices available to property owners nationwide. From light bulbs to thermostats, there are lots of devices that you can pick up to transform an ordinary residence into a smart house.
Ultimately, there are plenty of reasons to invest in smart home devices. These reasons include:
1. Smart home devices offer unmatched convenience.
A smart home device is designed to simplify a myriad of tasks. Plus, a smart home gadget is easy to use, regardless of your technical background or expertise.
When it comes to automating chores around the house, there may be no better option than a smart home device. For instance, a smart vacuum now enables homeowners to control a vacuum from any location, at any time. This means you can use a smart vacuum to keep your house neat and tidy – even when you are not at home.
2. Smart home devices are proven to perform.
Smart home gadgets are equipped with state-of-the-art technology. Additionally, they are constructed from heavy-duty materials to ensure they can serve you well both now and in the future.
And let's not forget about the savings that smart home devices can provide. For example, a smart thermostat may be used to activate your home's heating or cooling system at different times during the day. As a result, this thermostat may help you save hundreds of dollars on your heating and cooling expenses over the course of a year.
3. Smart home devices won't break your budget.
Many smart home devices are available, and they are sold across a wide range of price points. In fact, some smart home devices may require a minimal upfront investment, and the savings that they provide may quickly exceed this investment.
Of course, smart home devices may help you boost the value of your residence as well. With smart gadgets installed throughout your home, your residence may prove to be an attractive option to buyers if you ever decide to sell it. Or, if you decide to remain in your current residence, you can continue to enjoy your smart home gadgets for years to come.
4. Smart home devices can help protect your residence.
Smart security cameras are available that make it simple to monitor your residence on your smartphone or tablet. Meanwhile, these cameras allow you to track activity outside of your home and limit the risk of theft or property damage.
Some smart security cameras also may allow you to lower your home insurance costs. Insurers may provide discounts based on home security investments, and as such, smart security cameras may allow you to reduce your home insurance expenses in the foreseeable future.
Clearly, there are many reasons why homeowners choose smart house devices. By reviewing the smart home devices at your disposal, you are sure to find some that will serve you well.
Finding the ideal home for your family's needs is no easy task, but if you stay organized and focused, the right property is sure to come along!
One of your most valuable resources in your search for a new home is an experienced real estate agent -- someone you trust and feel comfortable working with.
They'll not only set up appointments for you to visit homes in your desired price range and school district, but they'll also help keep you motivated, informed, and on track. Once you know and have shared your requirements (and "wish list") with them, your agent will be able to guide you on a path to finding the home that will best serve your needs -- both short- and longer term.
In addition to proximity to jobs, good schools, and childcare, you'll probably want to pick a location that's close to supermarkets, recreation areas, and major highways. If you have friends or family in the area, then that would also be a key consideration.
While your immediate needs are a good starting point for creating a checklist of requirements, it's also a good idea to give some thought to what you may need in the future. Plans to expand your family, possibly take care of aging parents, or adopt pets are all factors to consider when looking at prospective homes to buy.
If you have college-age children or recent graduates in the family, you might have to save room for them in your new house. Many grads need a couple more years of financial and moral support from their parents (not to mention home-cooked meals) before they're ready to venture out on their own. Houses with a finished basement, a separate in-law apartment, or even a guest cottage on the property are often well-suited for multigenerational households.
In many cases, people tend to buy a home based on their emotional reaction to it, and then justify the purchase with facts. For example, if the price was right and a particular house reminded you of your childhood home, then that combination of elements could prompt you to make an offer on the house -- assuming those childhood memories were happy!
Sometimes prospective buyers might simply love the look and feel of a neighborhood or the fact that there's a spacious, fenced-in back yard in which they can envision their children or dogs happily (and safely) playing.
According to recent surveys, today's buyers are attracted to homes that have energy efficient features, separate laundry rooms, and low-maintenance floors, counter tops, and backyard decks. Gourmet kitchens, stainless steel appliances, a farmhouse sink, a home office area, and outdoor living spaces are also popular features. Although your tastes may differ, many house hunters also like design elements such as subway tiles, hardwood floors, shaker cabinets, pendant lights, and exposed brick.
When it comes to choosing the home that you and your family will live in for the next few years, your top priorities will probably include a sufficient amount of space, plenty of convenience, and a comfortable environment in which you and your loved ones can feel safe, secure, and happy for the foreseeable future!
Perhaps the ultimate test of your planning and organizational skills is moving to a new house. If you fail to plan ahead and make the necessary preparations, moving can be a stressful and frustrating experience.
On the other hand, if you approach it in a methodical, goal-oriented way, you'll be pleasantly surprised at how smooth the process will unfold.
That's not to say that there won't be a few bumps along the way, but staying focused on the details can help ensure that the experience won't feel like a roller coaster ride!
Depending on how many weeks you have before your actual move, you'll probably want to get rid of stuff you don't need, want, or have room for. Planning a garage sale and a donation truck pickup are often among the first orders of business for families on the move. If a lot of your excess belongings are of questionable value (to anyone), you may want to call a junk removal service. For some people, renting a dumpster is a convenient and affordable way to have household junk hauled away.
Since one person's junk is another man's treasure, you can also get rid of things you don't want by posting them on social networking and classified websites. If the items you want to pass along are even marginally useful, the word "free" will almost always generate a few emails and phone calls from interested people looking to save or make money.
It also helps to have plenty of packing supplies on hand. That would include an ample supply of cardboard boxes, packing tape, permanent markers, and cheap packing material. Although you may be able to get your moving company to "throw in" some wardrobe boxes and other containers into the price of their service, cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, and packing paper are often free for the asking -- especially from friends, neighbors, relatives, coworkers, and sometimes retail stores.
One word of caution when it comes to cardboard boxes: Flimsy containers often have a way of tearing and falling apart at the most inopportune times! Another mistake people make is filling large boxes with too many heavy items. Not only are heavy boxes difficult to move, but it also increases the probability of dropping them or having the boxes tear while you're carrying them.
If you're hiring a professional moving company to transport your belongings to a new home, it usually pays to get two or three quotes. As is the case with other services and contractors, you can often save headaches and hundreds of dollars by comparing prices, terms, incentives, and online reviews.
Probably one of the most important methods of making sure things get done in a timely way is writing out your own detailed to-do list and revising it on a regular basis. Unless you commit goals, priorities, and tasks to paper (or a computer file), there's a good chance it will be forgotten about or left to the last minute.