MARY ANN QUINN's Blog
Buying a home is a very detail-oriented process, and there's a lot of important things you can overlook if you're not organized.
Home buyers generally have the opportunity to do a last-minute inspection of the premises to make sure everything's up to standards prior to closing on the property.
A real estate buyer's agent can accompany you on the final inspection or provide you with advice on what to look for.
If you've already visited the home a couple times and had the house professionally inspected, you're probably well-acquainted with any major malfunctions, flaws, or repair issues. In many cases, home buyers may reach an agreement with the seller to fix, replace, or make allowances for mechanical or cosmetic problems. While real estate negotiations and sales agreements are as varied as the people and properties involved, there are typically dozens of things buyers need to check on before they sign the final documents and accept ownership of the property.
Final Walkthrough Tips
As you're doing the final walk-through of the house, it's necessary to remember or have notes on the condition of the home when you last looked at it. You'll also want to have a clear idea of what appliances, fixtures, and window treatments are supposed to be remain in the house after it's been vacated by the seller. Depending on how close your final walk-through is to the actual closing, that has probably already happened.
If there's anything missing that the seller agreed to include in the sale, then that's an issue you'll want to discuss with your real estate agent or attorney. Any property damage that may have resulted from moving furniture and other belongings should also be discussed before final papers are signed. The same thing would apply to landscaping changes that appear to be inconsistent with the sales agreement. Your buyer's agent and/or lawyer can serve as intermediary in getting these issues clarified and ironed out.
To make sure your final inspection is thorough, it's a good idea to have a "final walk-through checklist" to help keep you organized and focused. You'll want to take a last-minute inventory of items that are supposed to be included with the property sale, such as appliances, lighting fixtures, furnishings, window treatments, children's play structures, hot tubs, and anything else that was agreed to in the sales contract.
Other items you'll need access to may include garage door openers, manuals for appliances and mechanical systems, warranties, invoices for repairs made, and remote control devices for things like ceiling fans, alarms, and other systems.
Your checklist and final walkthrough should focus on a variety of items, including the working condition of appliances, the electrical system, plumbing fixtures, and the condition of walls, floors, ceilings, doors, windows, and landscaping features. For a complete checklist, look online or consult your real estate agent.
Looking to sell your condo? You're in luck, as there is high demand for condos across the United States.
As a condo seller, it is important to allocate the necessary time and resources to find ways to maximize the value of your property. By doing so, you'll be able to evaluate your condo, understand its strengths and weaknesses and take the right steps to enhance your property's appearance.
Moreover, there are several factors that you should consider before you add your condo to the housing market, including:
1. Your Condo's Condition
How will property buyers feel when they see your condo for the first time? Ultimately, you'll want your condo to make a positive first impression on homebuyers. To accomplish this goal, you may need to complete assorted home improvement tasks to enhance your condo both inside and out.
A property appraisal may prove to be exceedingly valuable, as this assessment will allow you to learn about your condo's condition. During the evaluation, a home appraiser will take a close look around your condo and offer honest, unbiased recommendations that you can use to improve your residence.
2. Your Timeline
You know that you want to sell your condo, but how quickly would you like to relocate to a new address? Understand your condo selling timeline, and you'll be able to plan accordingly.
For a condo seller who wants to move as soon as possible, establishing a competitive price from the get-go is essential. This price will help your condo stand out from other properties that are available and increase your chances of a quick condo sale.
3. Condo Rules and Regulations
If you plan to sell your condo, it is always better to err on the side of caution. Therefore, you should check with your homeowners' association (HOA) to see if there are any rules or requirements that must be followed when you sell your property.
For example, some condo communities may require HOA board approval for a new property owner. Or, if you live in a gated condo community, you should find out whether permission is needed to host an open house to showcase your property to a broad range of property buyers.
Selling a condo may seem like a complex process, particularly for those who are listing a property for the first time. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available to help you get the best results.
Employing a real estate agent with condo selling experience is paramount. With this real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble optimizing the value of your condo.
Typically, a real estate agent will set up condo showings, negotiate with property buyers on your behalf. This real estate professional also will respond to your condo selling concerns and queries, ensuring you can make informed property selling decisions.
Don't leave anything to chance when you sell your condo. Collaborate with a real estate agent, and you can boost your chances of a seamless property sale.
Not every neighborhood is pedestrian-friendly, especially if you live on a busy highway or have no access to sidewalks. However, if you're fortunate enough to live in a walkable area (or have a chance to move to one), why not take advantage of it?
Walking in your neighborhood is a free way to stay healthier, happier, and more relaxed. As long as you don't have any health conditions that would stand in the way of taking regular walks, a daily constitutional can provide you and your family with an array of benefits.
Healthy Lifestyle: Staying physically and mentally healthy is not the result of one or two positive habits, but rather a variety of lifestyle decisions you make throughout the day. Walking on a regular basis can help you achieve weight loss goals, maintain muscle tone, and increase your energy level. A moderate exercise program can also help relieve stress, enhance your mood, and slow down the aging process.
Family Bonding: Walking in the neighborhood or at a nearby public park can be a great way for your family to spend quality time together. It's also an opportunity to take a refreshing break from television watching, social media use, the Internet, and video games. Going for family walks is a simple activity, but the benefits can be far reaching.
Neighborhood Connections: The very act of walking around in your neighborhood, every day, makes you feel more connected to your environment. It also gives you a chance to chat with neighbors, meet new ones, and observe any changes that may affect the character of the neighborhood.
Critique Your Property: When you walk past your house and yard, you can often see features and flaws that may have escaped your notice when you last drove by in your car. Looking at your property from different angles and directions can help give you landscaping ideas and point out ways you can improve the outward appearance of your home. You can also pick up landscaping and property ideas by seeing what your neighbors are doing. Curb appeal is especially important if you're planning to sell your property.
Bargain Hunting: If you happen to be taking a walk in the neighborhood when yard sales are underway, it's easy to stop and scope out the treasures being offered. One caveat: If you do find something you want to buy, especially if it's a large piece of furniture, you may have to return later with your vehicle to pick it up.
Find a New Neighborhood: If you're in the market for a new home, the walkability of neighborhoods is an important feature worth keeping in mind.
Save Gas: Sometimes it's nice to take a break from driving and walk over to your neighborhood grocery store, pharmacy, or post office. On those occasions when you only need to pick up a few small items, hoofing it over to your local retailer is an alternative worth considering!
If budgeting isn’t your thing, you’ll be glad to discover that it’s quite simple. There’s a way to categorize your spending and save money easily. If you learn the rule, it will become so automatic that you won’t even think about it. If you’re saving money for a home, this practice will be essential. Break your budget down into three categories:
- Living expenses
- Financial goals
- Personal spending
Half of your budget should go towards living expenses. This number includes all of the essentials like rent or mortgage, utilities, groceries, commute costs, and insurances.
20 percent of your income should go towards other financial goals like savings, investments, or paying down debt. Credit card bills, student loans, and other bills would fall under this category. This category is also where you’d save for your down payment, closing costs, and other expenses. This percentage can be adjustable depending on how much debt you have or how much you need to save for retirement.
The remaining 30 percent of your income can go towards personal spending. This category includes everything that you use your money for but isn’t a necessity. This percentage is also flexible. If your lifestyle doesn’t require you to use all 30 percent each month, you can indeed save more money.
A Clear Plan
These categories simplify your budget. Even if you make some adjustments to the numbers, the outline truly makes budgeting easy even for the most scatterbrained among us. It allows you to see where your money goes clearly. It also works no matter what kind of living situation you have.
The great thing about this budgeting plan is that you have some future needs built into it. Many times, when we budget, we think of our immediate needs and our shorter term goals. Saving for any occasion can never happen too early. You are able to not only focus on your current goals and the future.
First, determine your monthly income. This number is how much money you take home after taxes. From here, you’ll be able to split your money into categories by percentages. If your income fluctuates frequently, you’ll need to take an average of your monthly income to determine your numbers.
Next, you should take a look at your spending habits. These include everything from your morning latte to your monthly rent payment. From here you can make adjustments. Perhaps you need to look for a less expensive apartment. Maybe you need to cut down your weekly pizza to a bi-monthly purchase. Whatever you see in your finances, a simple percentage rule gives you the tools you need to become a saver and be well on your way to the purchase of your first home.
One decorating principle that’s a huge help for any homeowner is that of layered lighting. This is the different aspects of lighting that you’ll use in different rooms of your home to complete your lighting needs. The layers of light create a basis for the design of the room. These three main aspects of lighting also have a practical purpose which is nice as well. Below, you’ll learn more about the three main components of lighting for any room of the house and how to best use them.
Ambient lighting is often the base of where people start with their lighting design in a room. This type of lighting allows you to get the overall feel for a space. The brightness level should be good enough for anyone to walk through the room without walking into things. The illumination may not be bright enough for activities that require a lot of focus like reading or chopping vegetables.
If you think of a retail store and how the shiniest things have the brightest lights focused on them, you’ll discover that you can use this type of lighting right in your home. Think of a chandelier hanging over a massive dining table. Accent lighting is usually for decorative purposes. The lumens that are given off are typically not enough for any other purpose than to attract attention to the item the light is shining on. This type of lighting is best used for things like display cabinets, statues, and china closets. The bottom line is that the accent light will add some drama without actually adding much practical use.
This type of lighting is important because it’s what ensures that you won’t chop your hand off while you’re chopping up vegetables in the kitchen. Task lighting varies widely from room to room and can be anything from a desk lamp to a reading lamp to lights on the vanity for shaving and putting on makeup. Task lighting is all about being functional. When you’re trying to decide where to put your task lights think of everything from safety to convenience. The last thing you should worry about with task lighting is the look. While these lights are great under cabinets, for example, so the more creative you get with where to place your task lighting the better the look will be.
Using this simple yet useful design principle can help you to light your entire home correctly. The right lighting can truly transform a space and give it the depth that it needs.