When preparing to put your house on the market, usually your main concern is making your home look as appealing as possible. Cleaning every corner, fixing what needs fixed, and making sure it is a home that others would want to buy. With all that in mind, prioritizing the safety of your home while it is on the market can fall to the wayside until you are fully out of the home. Once you are moved in somewhere new, you may realize that you are worrying quite a bit about just how safe your home is. Between showings and being empty most days, there is a much higher chance that your house can become a target for theft. Here are some ways to protect your home while you wait for it to sell.
TALK TO YOUR NEIGHBORS
While you may think it’s obvious that your neighbors know you are selling your home, it may not be their first thought to keep an eye out for strange behavior. If you have a friendly neighbor, ask if they can swing by after showings to make sure your doors are locked and if they can alert you if they see any strange behavior.
PREVENT SLIPS AND FALLS
While theft is always a concern, you also need to keep in mind that you could be held liable for injury on your property. It is a good idea to take preventative measures to keep an unnecessary lawsuit from happening. Make sure you repair any uneven or missing flooring, secure rugs, remove clutter, and clear ice and snow during the cold seasons.
HIDE YOUR VALUABLES
The best way to prevent high-value items from being stolen is to make sure they aren’t visible. If you can’t take them with you, make sure you have a safe or a secure place to keep them. While jewelry and other expensive collectibles are important, don’t forget about anything with important information on it, like Social Security cards, blank checks, medications, etc.
If you are a gun owner, it is imperative that people touring your home cannot access your weapons. If you do not take them with you, make sure they are unloaded and locked away. While theft is a concern, physical damage (or even death) caused by your gun on your property can have serious consequences
If you’re a first time home buyer, the stress of choosing the perfect house for your family can feel overwhelming at first. While that stress may seem very real, it is often unnecessary. Instead of entering the market trying to find a house that is perfect in every way, keep an open mind. Approach the situation with a willingness to hear ideas and you are much more likely to find a home that you and your family will love. The process can be long and require work, but it will be worth it in the end – and it doesn’t have to drive you crazy. Here are some tips to guide you when you are trying to find potential new homes and how to know if it is the right one for you.
DECIDE ON DEAL BREAKERS
The easiest way to narrow down the right house for you is to start by deciding what you either can’t live without or cannot tolerate. If two bedrooms will never work for you, or you must have a large backyard for your pets, create a list of those things so that you can rule out properties that just aren’t worth your time.
TRUST YOUR GUT
There may be times when you walk into a home and it seems like it may fit what you need, but there is just something off that you can’t shake. On that same note, if you tour a home and you instantly fall in love, don’t doubt your feelings. Sleeping on a house you love for too long can end up in you losing that home to someone else. Trust your instincts and you will end up in the home that is perfect for you.
TRY TO VISUALIZE
Can you see yourself in this home? Can you imagine your children playing in the backyard and doing homework in the kitchen? If you are touring a home and can already picture what it would be like for your family to live there, you are heading in the right direction.
KEEP LOCATION IN MIND
While a house may check most of your boxes, don’t forget to consider the neighborhood. Are things that are important to your family close by? Are you close enough to good schools or your place of employment? Make sure that you consider location factors so that you don’t end up in a home that becomes an inconvenience.
TRUST YOUR AGENT
While it is important to know what you want and trust your gut in the process, don’t forget that your agent has your best interest in mind. They want to find you the perfect home, and they have worked hard to do that for many others before you. They know the ins and outs of the real estate world, and are there to help you if you are willing to trust them!
If you have any questions regarding the home buying process, don’t hesitate to call me! (707)332-2662
While you’re fussing over your bills, did you realize you’re making your landlord rich? Rentals are the most lucrative business to get into. It turns ordinary people into multi-millionaires. The next time you’re afraid of committing to a mortgage, keep in mind that you’ve already committed to paying off the mortgage of someone else – every single month you rent. The only time home buying doesn’t make sense is if you’re still living with your parents rent-free. Or, you prefer to live out of an R.V. or tent. But if you prefer to live in a home or a condo, it always makes the most sense to buy.
Stop making your landlord rich and start building your own net worth. You can still enjoy owning a home – even if you don’t intend to stay in an area for long. You can always resell your home, most often for more money than you put in, or turn it into a lucrative side business by hiring a property management company to rent it out on your behalf. Whatever you decide, don’t be afraid of a mortgage commitment – you’re paying one regardless. Now ask yourself, do you want to make yourself money or make your landlord money?
If you have questions, or want to see how you can become a home owner, call me today!
Homeownership has plenty of perks. You can make changes whenever you want, but that also means you are responsible for making any fixes that you want (or need)! Instead of calling the local handyman every time something small goes awry, you can try out these quick fixes for common bathroom issues that arise while saving yourself some money along the way.
1. Shifting Toilet Seat
Is your toilet seat wobbling every time you sit down? Sometimes, there are visible bolts to tighten, but that just doesn’t fix the issue. Many are unaware that you can actually purchase a toilet seat tightening kit. Most home improvement stores will carry an inexpensive kit, usually around $10. Rather than investing in a new toilet seat, you can save time and money by picking up a kit the next time you’re out.
2. Slippery Shower
There are two main options to remedy a slippery shower. If you have a geriatric family member, a shower chair may be the best option to provide security. These chairs can be as affordable as $20 and can offer peace of mind when it comes to the safety of your loved ones. If chairs aren’t for you, a non-slip bath mat will keep you from falling in the shower and cost as much as a few coffees.
3. Clogged Shower Head
Do you normally have great water pressure, but now your shower feels like a slow leak? Your shower head is likely clogged from a build up of minerals in your water. Instead of calling the plumber or heading to the store to buy toxic chemicals, you can use ingredients already in your home to fix your problem. All you need to do is fill a sandwich bag halfway full with white vinegar, submerge the shower head into the vinegar in the bag, and tie the bag to the piping and allow the head to soak overnight. When you remove the bag, you should wipe the head to remove any excess and then your shower should be back to normal pressure.
4. Slow Drain
Before calling a professional, consider trying a Zip-It tool. You can find one at your local hardware store for around $5, but you have to be willing to deal with a little bit of gunk. The tool is placed in the drain and pulls out whatever is clogging it, usually hair and soap. If you can get past that, you’ll save yourself the price of a plumber.
5. Leaking Water Valve
Instead of heading to the store for a replacement water supply valve, try tightening the packing nut on the valve. A quick video search online will show you which nut to tighten, and it will only take a few minutes. Now you’ve saved time and money!
While these are easy fixes to do yourself, selling your home isn’t nearly as easy to DIY. Call me today if you are ready to put your home on the market!
You’ve found your dream home! After months of searching, you’re finally closing on the house that you’ve wanted for so long. The last thing you want to do is take any action that would interfere with the closing of your home. Since the start of your home search, your agent has probably told you time and time again not to do anything that would impact your credit score, like opening a new line of credit or making a large purchase. While this makes sense during the approval process, you may wonder why it is key to keep your credit in check until after closing. Here is an explanation of the 2 credit checks performed during the home-buying process and why it is important to maintain your credit from start to finish.
Pre-Approval Credit Check
To get a loan to purchase a home, you’ll go through a pre-qualification process. You’ll let your potential lender know a variety of financial information, from your credit score and employment to your marital status, as well as any number of factors that can impact your qualification. With this self-reported information, you can then be pre-approved. After that, lenders will verify the information you’ve provided and this is when they will pull your credit history. It is important that what you’ve reported matches the credit information pulled by the lender – which is why you shouldn’t miss any payments or open new cards during this time. Lenders offer approval based on a risk assessment, and you do not want them to think that you are a risk.
Credit Check at Closing
The main concern of the lender is the risk you pose to them. Because it can take time for an offer to be accepted, your lender may pull a second credit check while waiting for your loan to pass underwriting. This is to ensure your credit hasn’t changed since the initial credit check. If you took out a loan or created massive credit debt, you could change your debt to income ratio and your lender could decide you are too risky to loan to. This is why it is so very important to keep your credit in check before, during, and after the home-buying process!
If you have any questions regarding the home buying process, don’t hesitate to call me!
After living in a home for several years, it can be easy to discover things you may not be crazy about. While some things can be a quick fix, there may be major changes that make you wonder if it is worth the investment. At this point, you’re probably asking yourself if you should remodel or just find a new home. As you have probably realized, this isn’t always an easy choice. There are many factors that go into this decision. Here are some things to consider when deciding what will work best for you.
1. Determine which is more cost-friendly
While both options will have costs, one will have more than the other depending on your situation. Some of
the costs of selling include agent commissions, moving costs, minor repairs, the costs of a new home, and potential upsizing costs. The costs of remodeling can include permits, architectural plans, materials and labor, and any other additional costs incurred in the process.
2. Look into the current housing market
Depending on whether your local real estate market is hot, it might make more sense to just sell if houses are
selling quickly around you. By talking to a real estate agent, you can find out what to expect in terms of days on market, average sales price, and other important factors when it comes to selling a home.
3. Decide if your roots are deep
Is your home more than just a home to you? If you and your family are actively involved in the community,
remodeling may work best for you. On the flip side, if there are better schooling or job opportunities in a different neighborhood, or you already spend hours a day traveling to those locations, selling may be a better option.
4. Decide if a renovation can solve your problems
Take the time to decide if the problems with your home are fixable. Is it really the house, or do you dislike
your neighborhood? Do you have to spend an hour driving one way to work? Do you need a lot more space? If your answer to questions like this make you realize renovations won’t solve your problems, consider that it may just be time to put your home on the market.
5. Consider the ROI on your remodel
Calculating your return on investment will help you determine two things – first, if a remodel will cost
you less than selling your home. It will also help you determine if you will be able to make your money back on a remodel if you choose to sell in the future. Look into the Cost v. Value Report for the last year, which can guide you on the most and least cost-effective improvements.
If these considerations make you realize it is time to sell your home, give me a call today
Summer has officially begun! That means one important thing – home selling season is upon us. With the kids home from school and vacation time accumulated, both buyers and sellers are ready to enter the market as the weather heats up. As the market begins to grow, you may wonder how to make sure your home stands out among all the others trying to sell during the summer months. Here are a few tips to make sure you can catch the eye of potential buyers during busy season!
1. Tour Other For-Sale Homes
Check out open houses for homes similar to yours that are also on the market. As you are preparing to list, use these tours to see what decor and design-types are attractive to you and potential buyers. If there are things you notice that you do not like, be sure to remove those features from your own home if you have them. Sometimes stepping out of the box (or in this case, your own home) will allow you to look at your home through the lens of a potential buyer.
2. Complete Your Home Inspection Up Front
The home inspection can be a dreaded part of the closing process. Instead of waiting for a buyer, complete your home inspection ahead of time. The goal is to set your home apart from the others on the market, and an easy way to do so is letting those potential buyers know that your home is not just for sale, but it is already inspected. If you repair any issues found by the inspector, you’ll be one step ahead and gives potential buyers peace of mind.
3. Completely Remove Clutter
Decluttering and cleaning is always the first step on the list when you are preparing to list your home, but often we don’t take the clutter ‘removal’ part as seriously. Instead of just moving clutter from a room to a closet, completely remove the clutter from your home. Whether that means donating, storing, or just tossing those items, removing clutter will allow potential buyers to picture themselves in every part of your home, including your closets and garages – rather than just picturing your clutter stashed away there.
4. Curb Appeal Is Key
Now that spring is over and summer is here, your yard may need a little love. Spring rains and warmth might’ve left your lawn a little overgrown. Take the time to remove weeds, mow your lawn, and add new plant life around the outside of your home. The outside will be the first thing potential buyers see, and you want them to be drawn in by your yard, not turned away by it.
5. Use Refreshments To Your Advantage
Whether you’re a baker or just love buying baked goods, open houses are the perfect opportunity to draw potential buyers in with sweets. With rising temperatures, a thoughtful treat with a glass of lemonade or ice water adds a personal touch to your open house that will, at a minimum, guarantee that potential buyers cross the threshold of your home. Sometimes, getting them in the door is all you need.
If you are thinking of buying or selling and have questions, don’t hesitate to call me! I’m never too busy!
Have you ever walked into someone else’s home and were overwhelmed by how incredible it smelled? Or maybe you couldn’t wait to leave because there was a not-so-great scent as soon as you entered? Often, we become so accustomed to the way our own home smells that we don’t notice if the scent is bad or good. It can be frustrating to wonder what others think about the scent of your home. If you feel like your house doesn’t always smell fresh, follow these steps to make sure that it smells amazing all the time.
ELIMINATE BAD SMELLS
~ Empty garbage cans regularly
~ Clean out your refrigerator once a week
~ Sprinkle baking soda or carpet deodorizer before vacuuming
~ Open the windows when the weather is nice
~ Invest in an air purifier
~ If you have pets, brush and bathe them often
~ Get rid of old musty towels
~ Use a daily bathroom cleaner spray to prevent mildew smells
~ Pour a little drain cleaner in your sinks on a weekly basis to get rid of any unwanted scents
ADD NEW SCENTS
~ Add a few drops of essential oils on your air filters
~ Use linen spray daily
~ Burn candles (Make sure they are out if you’re not home)
~ Use a wax melter
~ Arm up homemade potpourri in your crockpot
~ Place car vent clips in your air conditioner vents
~ Buy fresh plants for your home
~ Invest in good-smelling cleaning products with scents you love
~ Use an essential oil diffuser
Even if you have a beautiful headboard, the space above your bed can seem empty if left untouched. This space can be tricky to decorate, but that doesn’t mean you should leave it blank. There are plenty of ways to easily spruce up that space. Here’s 5 ways to make the best of that negative space!
1. Add a Set of Shelves
Even if you don’t need the extra storage space, you can use shelves to add small decor that is unique to you. Your favorite books, small planters, or even picture frames are a great way to personalize the shelves.
2. Wallpaper the Wall
If you’re worried about adding anything above your bed, consider creating an accent wall with floral wallpaper. Many places sell peel and stick paper so if you decide you don’t love the style or you’re renting and can’t make a permanent change, you can still try out wallpaper.
3. Make the Room Look Bigger With Mirrors
The best way to make a room look bigger is to strategically place mirrors across from open windows or sources of light. You can also place 2 small mirrors alongside a large central mirror if your bed isn’t across from a light source. This will also make your room appear larger while filling empty space.
4. Consider a Tasteful Tapestry or Wall Hanging
Tapestries aren’t just for college dorm rooms. If you aren’t ready to add shelving fixtures but want something a little more than wallpaper, consider adding a pop of color with a tapestry or a statement yarn wall hanging.
5. Create a Gallery Wall
Whether it’s gridded and organized or statement and staggered, a gallery wall is the perfect way to add a little more ‘you’ to your bedroom. Frame your favorite family photos or the landscape photos from your favorite vacation.