Want to sell your residence? As a home seller, you'll want to take a cautious approach to the real estate market. That way, you can improve your chances of getting the best price for your residence, regardless of the current housing market's conditions.
Ultimately, there are many reasons why home sellers should err on the side of caution as they prepare to add their houses to the real estate market, including:
1. The housing market constantly fluctuates.
For home sellers, it is important to differentiate between a seller's market and a buyer's market. By doing so, a home seller can assess the current housing market and proceed accordingly.
In a seller's market, there is usually a shortage of high-end houses and an abundance of interested homebuyers. This means home sellers who operate in a seller's market may be more likely to stir up plenty of interest in their houses as soon as these properties become available.
Conversely, a buyer's market typically favors homebuyers, as it features a limited number of homebuyers and a wide range of home sellers. If you're selling your home in a seller's market, you'll likely need to price it competitively to help your residence stand out from the competition.
Allocating the necessary time and resources to analyze the housing market is key. With housing market data in hand, a home seller can determine whether he or she is getting ready to list a house in a buyer's or seller's market.
2. What your home was worth yesterday is unlikely to match what it is worth today.
The price that a home seller initially paid for a residence is unlikely to match what the house is worth today. Thus, a home seller should perform a home appraisal to learn about the present value of his or her residence.
During a home appraisal, a property inspector will assess a house both inside and out. Then, the property inspector will identify any problem areas with a house that could negatively affect the residence's value.
A home appraisal is exceedingly valuable to home sellers. It enables them to understand a house's strengths and weaknesses as well as uncover ways to transform a home's weaknesses into strengths. As a result, a home seller can use a home appraisal as a learning opportunity and find innovative ways to enhance a residence before adding it to the real estate market.
3. Homebuyers are always on the lookout for bargains.
Although a home seller will do everything possible to learn about the housing market, there is always the danger that a homebuyer will submit a "lowball" offer on a house. Conversely, a home seller who errs on the side of caution will be able to differentiate between a legitimate offer and a lowball one time and time again.
Lastly, if you need extra help as you get ready to sell your house, don't hesitate to work with a local real estate agent.
Real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide. They can help you get your house ready for the real estate market and ensure you can reap the benefits of a quick, seamless home selling experience.
Become a cautious home seller, and you can move one step closer to maximizing the value of your house.
Many homeowners or soon-to-be homeowners are anxious about making big purchases online. However, there’s a lot to be said for the perks of online shopping for things like furniture and appliances for your home.
As technology progresses and more and more retailers build their online presence, the selection has never been bigger. That’s why we’re going to show you how to find the nicest furniture and appliances online, get the best deals, and ensure that you’re buying from a trustworthy seller.
Read on for our tips on online appliance and furniture shopping.
The efficiency of online shopping
If done correctly, shopping online is much faster than driving to your local furniture store. The best way to achieve this is to know exactly what you’re looking for before ever opening up your browser. This will help you avoid scrolling endlessly through Ikea’s or Best Buy’s websites wondering what’s worth clicking on.
You’ll need to determine the following:
Your budget. This will narrow down the selection immensely and keep you from dreaming about unnecessarily expensive items.
Your style. Is there a specific color that you’re hoping to match? Does your furniture need to meet a specific style, such as mid-century modern? Using these search terms will help you find very specific results.
Practicality. There’s a difference between buying a washing machine and refrigerator for yourself and buying one for a family of five. Knowing the size and load specifications you need will help you narrow the search.
Take advantage of user reviews
One of the immense benefits of online shopping is the wealth of reviews that can be read. User reviews help the consumer and the company--it tells the company what products people prefer and it tells the consumer if the product met the description and quality standards of other customers.
It’s best to purchase items that have a higher number of positive reviews. A refrigerator that has a single five-star review might be of good quality, but I would trust that the refrigerator with twenty four-star reviews is consistently a top-quality item.
If you’re buying from a smaller online store, check out reviews for the retailer itself. Websites like Yelp and Google+ are both good places to look before hitting the “checkout” button.
Try before you buy
The internet is just one tool used for online furniture and appliance shopping. If possible, make a list of your favorite products and visit a local retailer who has them in stock. This will allow you to compare how the products look and feel in real life, as sometimes photos don’t quite portray the color and texture correctly.
This is also a good time to make sure the items are sized correctly to fit your home. Before leaving for the store, measure the space you have to work within your home. Remember that there often needs to be room behind your appliances for wiring. At the store, check to see if the products you looked at online will meet your space requirements.
Apartments in some cities and municipalities offer as much space as the average size house. Amenities in apartments make living at the rentals comfortable and flexible. There are granite kitchen and bathroom counters, large walk-in closets and spacious bedroom en suites, to name a few apartment amenities.
Why it might be time to transition from renting to owning
With amenities like these, you can feel like you're living at a house even while you rent an apartment. But, that doesn't mean that it always makes sense to keep renting a house or an apartment. When you rent, you're not in complete control of your living arrangements. Your landlord is.
Generally, renting a house offers more independence when it comes to making decisions about your living space than renting an apartment. However, regardless of where you rent, your landlord may communicate that you cannot:
- Keep large dogs in your apartment or leased house
- Upgrade bathroom or kitchen cabinets
- Plant fruit or vegetables in the front or backyard, even easy to care for food like tomatoes
- Install a different style of windows at the property
- Allow guests to stay at your apartment for longer than three to four weeks without getting management approval
- Rent one or more rooms even if you are not using the space
- Barbecue on your front or back porch or in outdoor areas besides set barbecue cooking locations near the clubhouse or recreation center
More reasons to stop renting
Lack of authority to have any type of pet that you want at your home or redesign and style the property the way that you want is only one reason why it might not make sense to keep renting. Check out these other reasons when it doesn't make sense to keep renting:
- Less opportunities to build real estate equity - You'll never own property that you rent unless you enter a rent-to-own agreement with the current owner of the property.
- Rising rents - It's not uncommon for landlords to raise apartment and housing rents once a year or every two to three years.
- Fewer chances to make money off the property - Owning your own home gives you the chance to earn income from the property. For example, you could rent out your house while you take ownership of another house, broadening your real estate equity.
- Limited parking options - Although parking lots at apartment complexes are large, you have a limited number of parking spaces that you can use. If parking at apartment complexes is small, the apartment management might only be allowed one parking spot per resident.
It's true that renting removes the need to pay for and perform house repairs and general maintenance. By renting, you also avoid taking on a mortgage. What you don't get when you rent is assurance that, despite inflation and other economic shifts, your monthly housing costs won't change. You also generally won't have the authority and legal right to make any design and structural changes to property that you rent whenever you want.
While they have become ubiquitous with the emergence of suburban neighborhoods and townhouses, homeowners associations (HOA, for short) are a relatively new phenomenon.
In modern America, there are many ways to live: apartments, condominiums, houses, townhouses, and now even “tiny houses” are gaining traction. But it wasn’t until the late 1900s that property owners began to experiment with alternative ways of living that revolved around share, “common spaces.”
What constitutes a common area?
Whether you live in an apartment, a house, or in your RV you likely experience common areas every day that are owned by the government. Roads, bridges, and parks are all common areas in that they are used by multiple people and their upkeep is paid for with taxes.
If you take that analogy and apply it to the greenways and lobbies of a condominium, or the streets and sidewalks of a gated community, there are few differences.
What is a homeowners association?
When a developer plans a new community they will often create a homeowners association that will be managed by the people who move into the houses or condominiums. Once a certain number of people have moved into the development and joined the HOA the developer will typically hand over ownership to the HOA and relinquish their legal rights and responsibilities of the land. From there, the HOA typically has complete control over management. Though it should be noted that states have their own HOA related laws with varying levels of oversight.
What does an HOA do?
The most common thing we associate with HOAs is fees and rules. People who move into a community governed by a homeowners association are typically required to join the HOA and are therefore obligated to pay fees and adhere to the guidelines set down by the HOA board.
The fees you pay will go towards maintenance and development of the common areas of your community. That usually amounts to landscaping, maintaining pools and fitness complexes. Fees can range from anywhere between $200 and $450 per month depending on where you live.
HOAs also enforce regulations that homeowners must follow. These vary depending on the community but often include building restrictions for things like fences and additions, as well as other ways that homeowners can customize their homes such as paint and vinyl color. Some homeowners associations go so far as to regulate whether or not a homeowner may fly the flag on their favorite sports team over their door.
Advantages and disadvantages
So what are the advantages and disadvantages you can expect when you belong to a homeowners association? Let’s start with the clear disadvantages. If you are a tinkerer or someone who relishes the freedom to do what they want with their property, living in an HOA-run community might not be right for you. If your salary isn’t quite what you’d like it to be, the cost of living in an HOA neighborhood, along with the monthly fees, might be a bit more than you’re comfortable with.
What about the advantages? First, you can expect that the neighborhood will be well-maintained. This brings about another advantage in that you can expect your property value to grow or at least remain stable thanks to the quality of the neighborhood being carefully managed.