Five Things You Should Put In Storage While Selling Your Home

When your home Five Things is on the market but you are still living there, you can’t very well make it a model show home.  Still, there are a few things you should think about putting in storage while your home is for sale in order to make it as appealing as possible to buyers.  Here are the top five things you should consider putting out of sight.

Excess Family Photos

Buyers want to picture themselves in the house, and a slew of family photos hung all over the place can make that difficult.  If all they can see is you and your family, they won’t be able to easily envision their own family there.

Your Liquor Cabinet

A nice wine rack or a few bottles displayed near the wet bar are fine, but if you keep a lot of liquor in the house put it somewhere out of sight.  While it may seem illogical, buyers who share different lifestyle views might be put off by it.

Your Pet’s Toys

Chewed up tennis balls, smelly stuffed animals, and half-digested bones are part of life with a dog, but people coming to see your house will find it unattractive.  It will also tell them your pet has the run of the house, and they will wonder what damage might have been done.

Signs Of Repairs

Put away the plunger and similar items when you are selling.  It will prevent buyers from wondering if something is wrong with the plumbing, even if you only keep it around as a precaution.

Anything That Clutters A Room

So the extra bedroom is used as an office/exercise room/guest bedroom?  Versatility is great, but all that stuff in there will just look like there isn’t enough space in the house for everything you—or a buyer—needs.  Get rid of the exercise equipment and the desk, and leave the guest bed.  Extra bedrooms are more of a selling point than an office or exercise room.

It might be annoying to have to put some of your personal items away while you sell your home, but it can mean a faster sale and a larger profit.  Buyers need to see a home as a place where they can live, not the place where you live.

 

Examining A Home Objectively: What Matters And What Doesn’t

Everyone heads out to look at potential homes with a list of the things they want in a house, and a list of the things they definitely do not want.  In addition to that wish list, there are also some other things you will notice about the homes you visit that may strike you as potential problems.

When looking at homes, it is important to know what things are deal breakers and what things are minor issues that you can deal with easily.  Turning down a dream home because of something that is an easy fix seems like a silly thing to do, but it happens surprisingly frequently.

Cosmetic Issues

You walk into a home and it has terrible wallpaper or paint colors you wouldn’t dream of using, and it turns you off immediately.  While the gut reaction is normal, it is important to step back from that instinct and think about it objectively.  Painting is not particularly difficult or expensive, so try to imagine how the home would look with a different color palette, one that is more your style.

The ability to recognize which issues are merely cosmetic and can be easily fixed is an important key to finding a house you will love.  Be prepared to visualize the home as you could make it with a few cosmetic changes.  It will open you up to the possibilities and might allow you to consider homes that aren’t perfect the way they stand now, but could be just right with a little elbow grease and paint.

Major Repairs

In some cases the major repairs that a house needs might be obvious.  In other cases they might only be unearthed during a home inspection.  Either way, you will need to give serious consideration to whether or not you are willing to deal with the problem.

If the home needs expensive repairs, you can either try to get the seller to do the repairs or accept that you will need to do them yourself.  In most cases, the seller will probably not be willing to take on major repair work, but might reduce the price accordingly.  Still, this might be a deal breaker if you are seeking a turnkey home.

Knowing The Difference

A home inspection is the best way to uncover all of the issues, both minor and major, that a house might have.  When you review the inspection, look for things that can be easily fixed as well as those that can’t.  The amount of work you want to do on your home will determine what problems you can personally live with.

 

Show Me the Money: How Much Cash You’ll Need to Bring to the Closing Table.

Let’s start low and then build up. First of all, if you qualify for a VA loan, they allow a zero down payment. If you’re a veteran or an active duty service member, you need to know that. Also, if you’re buying a home in a rural area, ask your REALTOR about the Department of Agriculture program. Yep, the USDA has a zero down home loan program for people buying out in the country.

Now if neither of those programs work for you then you’ll have to come up with some cash when you buy a house. But, you do not need a 20% down payment. If you’re a qualified buyer you can find a good safe mortgage which requires as little as 3% down. And again, this is not some sub-prime back alley mortgage, this is a high quality home loan. So that’s a good starting point.

Now, how do you get the money? Well course people who sell one house and buy another, they just take the profit from the first place and buy the second one. But if you’re a first time home buyer you don’t have that ability. So for you there are basically four ways to get your down payment ready to go.

First, save it. Just sock away all the money you can and try to temporarily stop spending on things you don’t really need. Plenty of people have given up vacations or expensive dinners in order to conserve their down payment money. You can too. It helps by the way to have your money put in your savings account automatically – direct deposit. You never see it so you won’t be apt to dip into it.

Second, plenty of first time home buyers get the down payment from their parents. But it has to be a gift, not a loan. Lenders won’t allow you to barrow the down payment. Your parents will have to give you the money. It happens all the time all across America.

Third, if you have an IRA or a 401K you might be able to withdraw money for a down payment. Talk to your accountant about this one. You need try at least to avoid penalties for early withdraw. So talk to a financial pro about whether that’s a smart move for you or not.

The forth way to come up with a down payment, your city or state might have a program that provides down payment assistance. Again, talk to your REALTOR about what programs are in your area. You might qualify, you might not. Many people are surprised that they can be making a pretty good amount of money and still get down payment assistance.

On last thought. I talked a lot about how to get into a house with a low down payment. But if you can, you should know, it’s almost always better to put down more. Put down as much as you can. Your monthly payments will be less, you’ll walk into the place with more equity. And if prices were to drop, you’ll have more protection against going under water. So more is better. And if you just don’t have more, that’s okay. Remember, you do not need 20%. If all you have is 3%, 3.5%, or 5%, don’t give up. Because the home you want could be within your reach.

 

Things You Need When Applying For A Home Loan

Congratulations!  Now that you have found the perfect home, all that’s left is getting the perfect mortgage.  In order to do that, you will have to know what your lender needs from you in order to get your loan application approved.

Property Description

When applying for a home loan, you will need to provide the lender with detailed information regarding the property that you intend to purchase, including a physical address, what type of loan you are requesting and how you obtained the funds to be used as a down payment.

Borrower & Co-Borrower Information

All persons named on a home loan must be able to provide their name, date of birth, current address, former address (if within the last two years), marital status, current and former employment information, telephone number and social security number.

Most lenders require tax returns for the two years preceding the loan application, along with current paystubs or, if self-employed, a year-to-date profit/loss statement.

Current Mortgage Expenses

An important part of every home loan is affordability, which is why your lender will need to know how much of your income is available to pay for a new home.  If you have a current mortgage, be ready to provide a detailed list of expenses that you pay each month in relation to the property.  This includes a mortgage payment, real estate taxes, mortgage insurance, homeowner’s association dues, utilities, etc.  If you plan to sell the home, let your lender know so that they will understand you are simply replacing one debt with another.

Yes Or No

Almost every loan application asks both the borrower and co-borrower (if applicable) to answer a few simple yes and no questions on the application.  Questions pertaining to outstanding judgments, bankruptcy filings, foreclosures, lawsuits, alimony, child support and citizenship status are standard and should be expected when applying for a home loan.

Statement Of Assets & Liabilities

When applying for a home loan, both the borrower and co-borrower will be required to disclose all of their current assets and liabilities.  An asset is property, either real or personal, that is owned and is of value.  A liability, on the other hand, is a financial obligation for which one is liable.

A loan application will request information relating to assets and their current market value, including automobiles, real estate, stocks, bonds, life insurance (cash value), business net worth, personal property, etc.  If any amount of money is owed on these properties, the lender will request information relating to the unpaid balance in order to determine the actual equity that the borrower has in any given property.

 

Is An Income Property Right For You?

The appeal of income properties and the potential for what may seem like easy money and early retirement have likely crossed the mind of anyone who has heard of this business venture.  There is a lot more to consider before entering the income property game, however, than simply purchasing a property and watching the dollars roll in.  Here are a few things to consider before launching into your new career.

Can You Recognize An Income Property When You See It?

There are a lot of features that make a good income property.  Whether you are considering flipping it for a profit or renting it out to potential tenants, knowing what to look for is more than half the job.  Can you realistically estimate what the cost of renovations to the property will be?  Do you know what the value of the home will be after the renovations, based on its size, location, etc.?  Do you know what the market rent would be for the property?  If you can’t answer any of these questions you either have a lot of work to do, or you may want to reconsider.

Not Scared Off?

So you think you can reasonably identify an income property and are still interested in making your first purchase.  Here are a few tips for making that a success!

Know Your Intent—Whether it’s flipping or renting the property, you should have a clear picture before you make the purchase.  Have an estimate of what the renovations will cost as well as the profit margin of the investment, both in the short and long term.

Consider Splitting The Costs—Many people who enter the income property market reduce the risk by having partners.  Whether it’s a friend, relative, or business partner, this may be the right decision to minimize your risk in your first venture.

Make It Your Business—Whether you plan on doing this as an additional source of income or you are going into it full time, realizing that this is now a business will prevent you from losing a fortune.  You will spend a lot of time getting to know both the real estate and the home renovation industries, and the more you know, the more successful you will be.

Deciding to get into the income property business can be a time consuming, but ultimately very rewarding, venture.  Like any business, the effort you put in and the knowledge you have will determine the success you achieve.

 

Creating Curb Appeal

If you’re selling your home, there are a number of things you can do to improve your property’s potential value and appeal.  Creating curb appeal is one of the most effective and easy ways to accomplish this and to increase the interest of potential buyers in your home.  Here are some simple and inexpensive ways you can increase your home’s curb appeal.

Use Color Effectively

Color can be a power tool in attracting people to your home.  If the exterior of your home could use a fresh coat of paint or a new door, this is a great opportunity to add some points of interest to your property.  Always remember, however, more is less—choose colors that are similar to other homes in the area.  You can infuse more vibrant and interesting colors through accent features and flowers or plants.

Create An Inviting Entrance

Making the entrance to your home attractive and inviting will give potential buyers an instant sense of welcome the moment they walk through the door.  Make the door the focal point of the exterior of your home, and think about elements such as lighting and color to make it as attractive as possible.  Also think about details such as including a nice welcome mat on your front step, some flowers in attractive pots or urns flanking the entrance, and even consider adding a chair with a small table if you have a larger porch area.

Landscaping is A Must!

Is A Must!Making your lawn and yard attractive, free of clutter and debris, and nicely landscaped can really make all the difference in adding curb appeal.  First remove all weeds, fix any areas on your lawn that need repair, and mow it carefully.  If you have any unsightly items or clutter in the yard, remove it and replace it with well-placed flowers and plants.  If you have a large front yard with no trees, consider planting one or two to add interest and value to the property.

These are just a few of the many ways in which, with a little effort and a small amount of money, you can increase interest in your home.

 

Avoid The Most Common Mistakes When Selling Your Home

Here are the most common mistakes people make when selling their property.

Home Is Priced Too High

This will certainly turn buyers off, and you may have to make several contingencies or offer incentives in order to get buyers even interested in making an offer. While you may feel your home is special, asking more than the fair market value will usually get you nowhere.

Home Is In Bad Condition

While your home in its current condition may work for you and your family, if there are obvious repairs that need to be made, or it is terribly outdated, fixing these problems will not only make it easier to market your home, but will also increase its value.  In most cases this increase will be considerably greater than the money you put into making the changes.

Home Is Being Marketed Incorrectly

When selling your home, there are no guarantees that the ultimate buyer will simply walk through the front door.  In many cases you may have to bring your home to the buyer.  Effective marketing will help ensure that your property receives maximum exposure to attract a ready, willing, and able buyer in the shortest period of time.

By adhering to the advice in these simple tips, you can avoid the biggest mistakes homeowners make when selling their homes, and the process will be smoother and more profitable in the long run.