Three Low-Cost Things You Can Do To Stage Your Home For Buyers

Posted by on Nov 5, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Low-Cost Things You Can Do To Stage Your Home For Buyers

If you are in the process of selling a home or are about to list one for sale, then you probably understand the importance of making your property attractive to would-be buyers. This is accomplished by “staging your home”, a description for the pre-sale preparation performed by the homeowner. While there are a number of things you can do to stage a home for sale, many of them are costly and ultimately take away from the bottom line when selling your home. The good news is that there are things you can do to stage your home without it costing you a fortune in the process. Below is a list of three specific things you can do to stage your home at low or no expense: Cover nail holes in walls Pictures and decorative wall hangings can be beautiful, but they also tend to leave walls looking like pin cushions once you remove them. While you can just leave your items hanging on the wall, it is a good practice to remove the items to help make the walls larger. That means you will need to figure out how to cover the holes during the showing. Fortunately, temporarily covering holes in the plaster or sheetrock isn’t hard; all you need is shoe wax for your walls. If you are covering pinholes in lighter walls, then you will need to use a natural finish, canned shoe wax-based polish. For darker walls, choose either a brown or cordovan wax. The match between the polish and surrounding wall color doesn’t need to be perfect since you are covering small holes; just be sure it is somewhat approximate. To cover the pinholes, use a butter knife to scoop out a small amount of the wax and push it into the nail holes. Try to avoid spreading too much extra around the outside of the holes. Once you apply the polish, use the edge of a credit card or other similar plastic card to scrape away the excess wax. Landscape addition by subtraction A lush, full garden or landscaping arrangement adds a lot to the front of a home for sale and ups its curb appeal. However, adding new landscape plants costs a substantial amount of money and can be impractical due to the short timeline involved with selling a home. That’s why you should look at your existing landscape and consider what you can do to improve it by trimming and removing plants. In many cases, landscapes become overcrowded with fast-growing plants, or some plants become shelters that make it difficult to trim the growth of unsightly weeds. An unkempt landscape is a big turn-off to potential buyers, so don’t hesitate to take a shovel or pruning saw to it. When making considerations about specific actions to take, start by removing plants that aren’t healthy appearing or that are struggling for life. You don’t want buyers to think of your home as an unhealthy place, and dead plants can send a bad message to them. In addition, focus on removing the bottom limbs of bushes and trees; open space around these features helps make your property appear larger and less-cluttered. Finally, if you have any landscaping that is crowding your home’s wall or roof, fences or other structures, be sure to cut it...

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Renting a Furnished Apartment: How to Get the Furniture You Want

Posted by on Jul 10, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Renting a Furnished Apartment: How to Get the Furniture You Want

When landlords buy property as a long-term investment, they often decide to include furniture in the rental because furnished properties attract a higher monthly rent. Unfortunately, it’s still often difficult for tenants to find the type of style and design they want to live in, particularly with landlords who don’t really care about the standard of furniture in their properties. If you want a furnished apartment that meets your style expectations, or at least want to live with newer furniture, consider the four following strategies. Set design expectations with ‘real’ examples One landlord’s idea of ‘contemporary styling’ will differ vividly from someone else’s, so when you’re talking to real estate agents, it’s always useful to offer examples of the style you’re aiming for. A talented interior designer could probably draw a detailed mock-up, but most people will need to take clippings from style magazines and newspapers. Don’t expect to find your dream home straight away. In fact, you will almost certainly need to compromise. Nonetheless, if you can give the agent a clear idea about your design tastes, he or she won’t waste your time. For example, somebody who wants minimalist chic really won’t appreciate a rustic farmhouse finish. View the finished product before you commit Landlords will normally encourage tenants to view an apartment as soon as they know it is coming up for rent. As such, you may view the apartment when it has somebody else’s furniture in it, or before the landlord can replace things. It’s fine to view the property at this stage, but you should always ask for a final inspection of the furnished apartment before you sign on the line. Once you sign the agreement, it’s much harder to get the landlord to take out the scruffy sofa he or she has supplied, and not the sty­lish new leather three-piece you expected. If the landlord wants you to pay a holding deposit, make sure you only pay the money when you are sure you want to go ahead with the tenancy. As part of this, you need to make sure you have seen everything that you will have in the apartment when you move in. You can also ask the agent to list items specifically in the paperwork, in case there’s a discrepancy later. Shop around for the landlord Many companies now offer furniture rental deals for landlords, with products to suit all tastes. Landlords don’t always have time to research furniture at length, and they may simply go for the first reasonable deal they can find. If you can help find the sort of furniture you want, a landlord is more likely to give you what you want. Research rental companies online, and visit showrooms to see the furniture up close. Some companies specialize in furniture for apartments and can supply goods that are easier to move in and out of smaller units. See if there is room for negotiation on price with the dealer, explaining that you’re looking on behalf of a potential landlord. Some dealers may have ex-showroom stock or special deals they can use to help you sweeten the transaction. A lot of landlords will appreciate the effort, so you then stand a better chance of getting what you want. Share the burden Most reasonable landlords know that it’s...

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3 Real Estate Fails For First-Time Home Buyers

Posted by on Jun 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Real Estate Fails For First-Time Home Buyers

Buying a home can be a great experience. From the joy of making an investment to furnishing your very own place, it is easy to see the benefits of home ownership. Unfortunately, a large portion of home buyers make mistakes when it comes to purchasing their first piece of real estate. These mistakes may seem small at the time, but they can lead to long term financial ramifications and difficulty reselling the property. If you are part of the 38 percent of first-time buyers, using caution when starting the buying process is smart. Using this list of home-buying fails, you will have a successful first time home buying experience. Not Giving Your Credit Attention Ordering a credit report each year is smart for anyone, but if you are considering buying a house, it is an imperative task. Unfortunately, many first-time homebuyers learn their credit score is not high enough to qualify for a mortgage even though they have made minimum payments on their credit cards each month. Making these minimum payments is essential, but the act does not automatically give you excellent credit. Before venturing out to open houses, scouring the Internet, or contacting a real estate agent, order a credit report. If you have any negative accounts, consult the account holder to resolve the issue immediately. Pay attention to your debt to net ratio, as well. If your loan and credit card balances outweigh your household income, you will most likely not qualify for a home loan. Most lenders consider a score of 660 or higher good, but higher scores are necessary for receiving the best mortgage interest rate. Shopping without a Prequalification Finding an appealing home in your desired location may seem easy, but many first-time buyers do not place much consideration into the home price. You may find the perfect house, with all of the amenities you want and need, but it could be thousands of dollars over what you can realistically afford. To avoid the disappointment, be sure to contact a mortgage company for a prequalification. During the prequalification process, a mortgage consultant will require the following documents: Employment and Income Verification – Your bank may require pay stubs and tax returns from the last few years to verify employment and income. Credit Report – During the prequalification process, your lender will need to run a credit report to determine your score and debt-to-net ratio. Bank Statements – Copies of your bank statements may also be necessary. Bank statements will show your household spending habits, but also the amount you have available in your checking and savings accounts. The prequalification will ensure you know exactly how much house you can afford, so you can avoid searching for properties outside a specific price. Not Accounting for Other Expenses Most buyers know they will need a down payment to purchase their first home, but you may not be familiar with other expenses to pay at the time of closing. Of course, many sellers will pay a portion of your closing costs, but you will need to negotiate this during the initial contract. However, other expenses will arise during closing, so it is smart to prepare. If your down payment is less than 20 percent, you will need to pay part of your PMI, or Private Mortgage Insurance....

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