Our Real Estate Blog
Before you even set out to buy a home, you may think that you need to look at a magic number of homes in order to find the house that’s right for you. There’s always a fear among buyers that they didn’t look at enough homes before settling on one. The number of homes that you look at is up to you. There is no magic number that will dictate finding the perfect home. The most important thing is to trust your own intuition. In A seller’s market, you also may not have much choice. When inventory is low, if you find a home you love, you’ll need to move to make an offer on it!
The Average Buyer
People looking at condos take between 1 and 3 months to find the property that’s right for them. Those looking for single family homes tend to take a bit longer- between 3 and 6 months to find a home. Buying a traditional house seems to spark more questions and more uncertainty, which leads buyers to take their time to find what they’re looking for.
Know Where You Want To Live
Before you start your home search, you should have a good idea of where you want to live. Have a list of cities, towns, and neighborhoods narrowed down to make your search a bit easier from the start. Take a ride around potential neighborhoods and get a feel for them. See the stores, restaurants, and nearby parks to really understand the area.
Match Your Lifestyles
Where you choose to live has a lot to do with your lifestyle. Think of the following:
- Where your friends live
- Where your family lives
- Where you work
- What you do for fun
Whatever you love and whatever you love to do should be a factor in your home search. If you love the beach, you don’t want to be a three hour drive away if you can help it. You also don’t want a 2-hour commute to work. Find the balance to make your life happier in the new space you choose.
Make A List
It sounds simple, but making a list of what you must have, what you’d like, and what would be a bonus can really help you in your home search. This holds true whether you look at 2 homes or 50 homes. The number of homes that you look at isn’t as important as your needs and wants. Buying a home is a huge investment and you need to be happy with your decision. While it’s not completely advisable to buy the first house that you see, if you have a good idea of what you want in a tough market, it’s best to put an offer in.
Buying a vacation home is a significant accomplishment that can also be a source a joy for you and your family for years to come. However, owning a second home is also a responsibility that you’ll need to be prepared to take on.
In this article, we’re going to talk about some things you should ask yourself before buying a vacation home. It will help you solidify whether or not you’re making the best decision so you can enjoy your time in your new home away from home.
What do you love about the area?
Most people who buy a vacation home do so because they’ve fallen in love with the area. Maybe it’s where you can practice your passion for skiing, or maybe it has all of your favorite restaurants and places to relax. Regardless of the reason, you’re going to want to make sure that this is truly the place for you.
How much time will you spend there?
If your plan for your vacation home is to spend a couple weeks a year there and leave it vacant the rest of the year, it might not be the best investment. You could be better off staying in a hotel those few weeks a year.
However, if you’re buying a home with the intention of renting it out when you’re not staying there, having a vacation home can be a source of income. On top of that, if the house is in an up-and-coming area, you could be building a lot of equity that you can later take advantage of if you choose to sell.
Do you know all of the costs?
Do you ever feel overwhelmed with all of the bills and taxes you need to pay for your house? The same will be true of your vacation home. And, if you aren’t there enough, you’ll also have to pay someone to maintain the house and property while you’re away. Some costs to consider: closing costs when you purchase, property taxes, home insurance, heat, electricity, landscaping, cleaning, and trash removal.
Are you aware of the rules?
If you’re planning on renting out your property, it would be awful to find out that there’s a clause in your contract or with the homeowner’s association saying that you can’t rent it out. Similarly, some small properties have rules against parking RVs in the driveway, having structures (like sheds) in the yard, and even prohibit you from working on vehicles in the driveway. Make sure you know all the rules before you agree to buy the home.
Are you prepared for emergencies?
Whether it’s a flood, fire, avalanche, or burglary, you’ll want to make sure you’re ready. Insurance may be able to protect against some of these but there’s always a risk of serious damage.
For home sellers who want to do whatever it takes to enhance a house's interior, depersonalization is key.
By depersonalizing a house's interior, a home seller can make it easy for a homebuyer to envision what life might be like if he or she purchases a residence. That way, a home seller can increase the likelihood of a fast, seamless and profitable home selling experience.
Effectively depersonalizing a home's interior can be simple – here are three areas that a home seller needs to consider to depersonalize a house's interior:
Although photographs of loved ones, celebrations and family vacations may hang throughout your residence, now is the right time to take them down if you're selling your house.
Removing photographs from all walls and shelves is necessary to effectively depersonalize a house. In addition, don't forget to hide any photographs located in a home office.
Antiques are beautiful treasures that deserve to be displayed. However, if you're selling your house, it may be worthwhile to temporarily store these items outside your residence.
When it comes to antiques, it is always better to err on the side of caution. If you have priceless treasures that need to be removed from your house, you should allocate the necessary time and resources to store them properly. This will enable you to minimize the risk of damage to your antiques while you sell your home.
In some instances, renting a storage unit for your antiques may prove to be a great idea. Or, if you have a family member or friend who has extra storage space available, he or she may be able to hold your antiques until your residence sells.
Awe-inspiring artwork can help you show off your unique personality. But if you have bold paintings, sculptures or other artwork in your home, you may want to remove these items while your house is listed on the real estate market.
Artwork sometimes can be distracting, and as a result, may make it tough for homebuyers to imagine what life could be like if they purchase your house. Also, if artwork takes up lots of space, it might be difficult for homebuyers to see the full potential of your living space.
If you need help with depersonalizing your house's interior, you should reach out to a real estate agent for support.
A real estate agent understands how to showcase a residence to homebuyers. As such, he or she will offer honest, unbiased recommendations to help you depersonalize your residence's interior and ensure your home will capture homebuyers' attention.
Furthermore, a real estate agent can serve as your guide along the home selling journey. He or she will set up home showings and open houses, negotiate with homebuyers on your behalf and respond to your home selling concerns and questions at any time.
Ready to depersonalize your house's interior? Consider the aforementioned areas, and you can give your home's interior a fresh look and feel before you list your residence.
What to secureThere are few things that are irreplaceable. Since most agencies you'll deal with in your life have your information backed up on their computer systems you probably can rest assured that your information is safe there. But for your own convenience and wallet, it's a good idea to secure the following documents and files:
- Social security cards
- Birth certificates
- Insurance papers
- Copies of wills
- Legal papers
- Vehicle titles
- Hard drive with family photos, home movies
- Medical information (doctors, prescriptions, etc.)
Buying a safeEven if you tend to back up all of your documents in a secure place online, it's still a good idea to own a safe. Servers can crash and files can be hacked. Plus there are certain items that you can't back up online. Spare keys to your home, vehicles, and safety deposit boxes are all important items for your safe that won't take up much room. Similarly, family jewelry or heirlooms are also priceless additions that should fit nicely. When buying a home safe there are a few things to consider. Safes can range from under a hundred dollars to several thousands of dollars depending on factors like their size and security capabilities. You should look for a safe within your budget that is both fire and water resistant, but is also a practical size. If you're only protecting some documents and keys, you won't need a huge safe that will be difficult to move if need be. A benefit of a large, heavy safe is that it becomes difficult to steal from your home to break open elsewhere.
Protecting your data digitallyThere are two ways of digitally security your items. One option is to use a flash drive and then keep that flash drive in a safe place (why not in the new safe you just purchased?). The benefit of a flash drive is that they are small and can hold huge amounts of data--multiple years of tax papers, for example. For an added layer of security on your flash drive, buy one with encryption capability. What's encryption? Encryption is a method of securing data by making the information unreadable to those without the key. There are several types of encryption and many ways of encrypting your data online. Another, simpler option for securing your data online is to use cloud storage. Google Drive, iCloud, and Dropbox are all common cloud storage systems that incorporate encryption. However, not all cloud storage systems are created equally. Some are better for security, others are designed to be convenient and user-friendly. Whichever storage service you decide to use, it's important to be smart with your passwords. Make them complex, unique, and change them frequently to ensure the safety of your data.