Patrick Degnan's Blog
The kids are gone and your home that once always felt full to the brim might begin to feel like too much for just the two of you. Which also means it’s the perfect time to buy just the kind of home you always dreamed of having. And let’s be honest, this isn’t always the home young couples need to raise their growing family.
Open the next chapter of your life by, quite literally, opening a new door.
One of the most important factors to consider when house hunting is whether to stay within your existing community. Many couples are excited to not be tied to one place and have the ability to move to somewhere much warmer or scenic. However, it’s important to consider a few factors that some couples find they wish they had when they first started house hunting for homes across the country.
One of the biggest factors to consider is your family and friends. Moving across country can mean seeing them a lot less. And even though we now have video call technology there’s no replacement for that one on one interaction you get when they’re just a drive around the corner.
Instead of jumping in feet first, consider vacationing in the location(s) you are considering for a week or two at a time. Get to know the surrounding community while you are there. What types of people are in the area and can you see yourself easily becoming one of the group? Visit the restaurants, coffee shops, library and community center to see where people gather and if they are “your” people. If you have a hobby or are looking to take one on look into what sort of activities are in the area. Look for sewing/knitting circles, cooking classes, speaking events, and/or hobby shops in the area.
You might just find that the area is best for visiting time to time and not a place you’d like to grow roots. However, you do find you love the location look into the different travel options and what pricing will look like throughout the year. Especially around the holidays. You don’t want to find out after the fact that you need to drive to a train station two hours away just to get on a train or pay an arm and a leg for a plane ride.
One last thing to consider is planning for your budget both now and in the future. Retirement has a lot of perks but cash flow can get tricky when it comes to big-ticket items. Look for homes that you can pay as much of the total as possible up front. Having small, or no, mortgage payments will ensure you are well within your means. If this is a home you plan to live in for a very long time you’ll want to make sure that all expenses can be covered by one of you if anything should happen to the other’s income source.
Ultimately, the amount of money an individual requires during the home selling journey varies. If you intend to sell a house, it often is a good idea to plan ahead for any expenses you may encounter along the way. Because if you fail to account for potential house selling costs, you may struggle to seamlessly navigate the property selling journey.
Now, let's take a look at three of the most common home selling expenses.
1. Home Cleaning
Regardless of whether you decide to clean your house on your own or hire a professional, house cleaning costs can add up quickly. If you prepare for home cleaning expenses, however, you can keep your residence neat and tidy without breaking your budget.
Oftentimes, it helps to make a list of the areas of your home that require extensive cleaning. You then can establish home cleaning priorities, make a list of the cleaning supplies you will need and clean your residence accordingly.
If you decide to hire a professional cleaning company, be sure to shop around. Professional cleaning companies are available in cities and towns nationwide, and if you conduct an in-depth search, you can find a cleaning provider that offers a great blend of convenience and affordability.
2. Home Repairs
Cracked or damaged home siding, a faulty water heater or other house problems are unlikely to do you any favors during the property selling journey. If you put aside funds to address such issues, you can upgrade your residence before you list it.
It may be beneficial to conduct a home inspection prior to adding your house to the real estate market. During an inspection, a home expert will analyze your residence and identify any underlying property issues. You next can use a home inspection report to determine which house repairs need to be completed right away.
Keep in mind that some home repairs are simple, and as such, you may be able to complete them on your own. Conversely, for complex home repairs, you should enlist professional support. Although you will need to pay to hire a home improvement professional, this individual can help you quickly and safely upgrade your residence.
3. Lawn Care
How your lawn looks to potential buyers is crucial, particularly for those who want to enjoy a fast, profitable house selling experience. If your lawn is freshly cut and weed-free, you could help your house stand out to dozens of prospective buyers.
In many instances, home sellers can mow the lawn, trim the hedges and perform other lawn care tasks on their own. This enables sellers to avoid the costs associated with hiring lawn care professionals.
If you prefer to hire lawn care professionals, be thorough. Request client referrals, and you can find out what it is like to work with a particular lawn care professional before you make your hiring decision.
Lastly, as you prepare for the home selling journey, you may want to hire a real estate agent. If you have a real estate agent at your side, you can plan ahead for all aspects of the house selling journey.
The decision to sell a home can have long-lasting ramifications. As such, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of listing a house. This will allow you to determine if now is a good time to add your residence to the housing market.
Furthermore, there are many factors to consider as you decide whether to list your residence, and these include:
1. Your Short- and Long-Term Plans
Think about what you hope to accomplish in the immediate future. If you have the flexibility to relocate from one location to another, now may prove to be a good time to list your residence.
Consider your long-term plans, too. If you find that you want to reside elsewhere sooner rather than later, you may want to consider adding your house to the real estate market in the near future.
2. Your Finances
Oftentimes, it helps to examine your current mortgage payments, as well as any other daily and monthly expenses. If you have a budget in place, you can determine if you are in a strong position to sell your home and move.
You also should consider the current state of your home – something that can have a major impact on whether you can turn a profit from a house sale. Of course, if you decide you want to list your residence, you can always upgrade your home. And by doing so, you could boost the likelihood of enjoying a profitable home selling experience.
3. Your Family and Friends
If you want to live closer to family and friends who reside many miles away from your current house, you can list your residence and plan to relocate. Then, you can pursue a new residence that provides convenient access to your family and friends.
Embarking on the home selling journey is rarely simple. But if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can receive comprehensive support as you navigate the house selling journey.
A real estate agent is happy to meet with you and learn about your residence. This housing market professional also can provide tips and recommendations so you can upgrade your residence before you list it. Plus, when you are ready to add your home to the local housing market, a real estate agent will promote your residence to potential buyers. And if you receive an offer to purchase your residence, a real estate agent can even help you make an informed decision about whether to accept, reject or counter this proposal.
If you hire a real estate agent, you can receive lots of assistance as you finalize a home sale as well. The final stages of the home selling journey sometimes can be difficult to navigate, but a real estate agent will work with you to ensure you can complete a successful home sale.
For those who are uncertain about whether to add a home to the real estate market, it generally helps to consider the aforementioned factors. If you examine these factors closely, you may be better equipped than ever before to decide whether to list your house.
“Curb appeal” is a term that worries many sellers who are concerned that their house doesn’t have what it takes to woo buyers when they pull up to your driveway. Some aspects of curb appeal aren’t always in your control, such as the neighborhood your house is in, the state of sidewalks and roads, and eyesores like outdated power lines.
However, there are many things you can do to make your house stand out amongst the rest in a positive way. Better yet, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to achieve curb appeal.
In this article, we’re going to give you 6 inexpensive ways to increase the curb appeal of your home to woo potential buyers.
1. Match your landscaping to your home architecture
We all have our own preferences when it comes to bushes, trees, and plants in our yard. However, some landscaping decisions work more fluidly and naturally with the architecture of your home.
A good way to achieve this is by planting things that are native to your area and avoiding expensive trees that are in fashion one year and out of style the next.
2. Paint your trim, shutters, and front door
Sprucing up these accent items will improve the appearance of the entire exterior of your home. Don’t be afraid to choose bright and bold colors, so long as they match the color and style of the rest of your home.
3. Buy a new mailbox and house numbers
For less than $40 you can buy a new mailbox and house numbers that will give your home a sense of newness. Like with the other items on the list, go with options that match the style of your home.
4. Upgrade the lighting
Although the lights might not be on when people come to view your home, they will certainly notice old lighting. Make sure walkway lights are standing straight, equidistant from one another, and clean.
Installing or updating your porch light is also a good way to up the curb appeal when potential buyers get to your doorway.
5. Photograph the home at the best time
Since most home buyers begin their house hunting online, your first opportunity to show off your home’s curb appeal is in your listing photos.
While there is no set rule to the best time of day to photograph your home, you’ll want to avoid harsh glares or extremely overcast days. Try shooting after sunrise, sometime before noon, in the late afternoon, and just before sunset (the golden hour). Then review your photos and find the ones that show off your home the best.
6. Wash or pressure wash your home
Before spending hundreds on landscaping, take some time to wash the exterior of your home. Viewers will look at your house first and foremost, and dirty siding won’t win over any hearts.
You can use soapy water and a long-handled brush, or you can rent a pressure washer for as little as $30.
Moving into a new home can often be a frantic, exhausting task. Matters are made worse if the house you are moving into wasn’t cleaned thoroughly after the previous movers left.
However, the best time to clean a house is before you move in. This is due to the fact that cleaning shelves is easier before they’ve been filled, and vacuuming carpets is simpler if the house doesn’t yet have any furniture.
So, in this article we’re going to show you the best way to clean your new home before you move in to avoid having to move objects around once you’ve brought them inside.
Before moving day
The idea moment to clean your new home is before the moving truck arrives. If possible, pick a day after the previous owners have moved out that is close to your move-in date. Bring all of your cleaning supplies with you, including cloths, towels, a duster, vacuum, hardwood floor polish, glass cleaner, bathroom cleaner, and so on.
It might be tempting to just start scrubbing as soon as you’re inside, but first take a moment to walk through the house and make a list of all the cleaning tasks you would like to accomplish before moving in.
Not only will your list help you determine how long you’ll need to clean, but it will also give some organization to your day and keep you on track.
On or after moving day
You don’t always have the luxury of being able to clean your new home beforehand. If you’re moving across states or are on a tight move-in/move-out schedule, you might have to clean your house as you move in.
In this case, the best solution is to organize your boxes and furniture by room. Then, when moving them inside, put them in the corner of a room in a neat pile. This will leave access to most of the room so that you can clean before putting things away.
Make sure you and your family are on the same page in terms of organizing items on moving day. If you have family members who start unpacking boxes, let them know they could be more helpful by picking up a duster or cleaning some windows rather than putting items in their future places.
Room by room cleaning
There are some rooms in your house that require special attention. Let’s start with the kitchen.
When it comes to cleaning your appliances (refrigerator, oven, microwave, etc.), it’s a good idea to spray on some degreaser or baking soda/vinegar solutions in advance to let them soak and loosen up any debris before you start scrubbing them. Soaking them all at once will help you save time cleaning.
The bathroom poses a challenge when moving in for two reasons. Since bathrooms tend to be small and crowded, it can be hard to work inside of them if there are boxes in the way. To avoid this, stack all of your bathroom items outside in the hallway or in the bathroom closet while you clean.