Sharon Mandigo-Darakjian's Blog
Real estate market data is readily available to home sellers across the United States. With this information at your disposal, you should have no trouble maximizing the profits from your home sale.
Now, let's take a look at three real estate market data that every home seller needs to check out before listing a residence.
1. Prices of Comparable Houses
Let's face it – determining a competitive price for your house may prove to be difficult, regardless of your home's age or condition. Fortunately, if you analyze the prices of comparable residences in your city or town, you can better understand how your house stacks up against the competition and price it appropriately.
Furthermore, it may be beneficial to conduct a home appraisal prior to listing your house. This appraisal enables a home expert to assess your house both inside and out. Then, you'll receive an appraisal report that contains a property valuation, which may help you determine a competitive price for your house.
2. Prices of Recently Sold Houses
Are you preparing to enter a buyer's or seller's market? Review the prices of recently sold houses in your area, and you can find out whether the current housing market favors buyers or sellers.
If home sellers are receiving offers at or above their initial home asking prices, now may be an ideal time to list your residence. Thus, you may want to add your house to the real estate market sooner rather than later to capitalize on a housing sector that likely favors sellers.
Conversely, if home sellers are receiving offers below their initial home asking prices, you may want to allocate significant time and resources to find ways to improve your house. Because if you enhance your house's exterior and interior, you may be able to help your house stand out from the competition and increase the likelihood of a profitable home sale.
3. Average Amount of Time That a House Is Listed
Check out how long houses stay on the real estate market before they are sold – you'll be glad you did. With this housing market data in hand, you can assess the pulse of the real estate market and map out your home selling journey accordingly.
If you need help collecting or analyzing real estate market data, there is no need to worry. Hire a real estate agent today, and you can gain the insights that you need to make informed decisions throughout the home selling journey.
A real estate agent is a housing market expert who is happy to help you in any way possible. He or she will provide recommendations about how to price your house and improve your home's interior and exterior. Plus, a real estate agent is available to respond to any of your home selling concerns or questions, at any time.
Ready to list your home? Review the aforementioned housing market data, and you can obtain deep insights into the real estate sector prior to selling your house.
You want to buy a house, but you know that you need to save as much money as possible for a down payment. Although you've tried to save money in the past, your best efforts have failed to help you collect the funds that you'll need to make a down payment on your dream residence.
Let's face it – saving for a home can be difficult. Fortunately, we're here to offer creative ways to help you get the money that you'll need to make your homeownership dream come true.
Now, let's take a look at three creative ways to save for a down payment on a house.
1. Start a Friendly Competition
Competition often brings out the best in homebuyers. Much in the same vein, you and your friends may be able to compete against one another to see who can save the most money for a down payment on a home.
If you and your friends intend to buy a home together or separately, a friendly competition can make a world of difference in getting the required funds for a down payment. In fact, you can even award the winner of this competition with an "Ultimate Saver" trophy or other fun prizes.
Ultimately, a friendly competition is a great way to have fun with friends and save money for a down payment on a house at the same time. Regardless of who wins the competition, you'll notice that your down payment savings will increase, moving you one step closer to acquiring your ideal residence.
2. Use a Rewards System
Saving for a down payment on a home may seem like a long, arduous process. However, if you build rewards into your day-to-day savings efforts, you can earn incentives as you reach various milestones.
For instance, you may want to reward yourself with a special dinner every time that you reach a savings milestone. Or, you can always celebrate hitting a savings milestone with a trip to the dog park with your puppy.
3. Trim the Fat from Your Budget
It sometimes can be tough to remove cable TV, takeout meals and other excess items from your budget. But if you consider the long-term benefits of these short-term sacrifices, you may be better equipped than ever before to save significant funds for a down payment on a home.
Look closely at your daily, weekly and monthly budgets. Then, you can determine which budget items are essential and which are not and trim the fat from your budget accordingly. This will allow you to speed up the process of saving for a down payment on a house and ensure that you can achieve your homeownership dream faster than ever before.
Lastly, as you prepare to explore available homes, don't hesitate to reach out to a real estate agent for extra help. By hiring a real estate agent, you can get the assistance that you need to discover a great house that falls within your price range.
The concept of buying a fixer-upper can tempt brand new homebuyers. For those on a budget who enjoy DIY projects, it might make perfect sense to spend less up front on a home you can fix up yourself. However, there are some disadvantages to consider before making this important choice. Here we will go over the pros and cons of buying a fixer-upper as a first-time homebuyer.
The Pros of Buying a Fixer-Upper
Lower Down Payment - The lower upfront cost is the first thing that might attract you to the idea of a fixer-upper. Homes sold “as is” that require a lot of maintenance will have a lower price than anything nearby. This is because of the desire to sell quickly and the fact that it’s expected you’ll spend more in construction costs after purchase. For many, this low price means an easy entry into a wide range of possibilities. Also, the relatively low popularity of fixer-uppers means you probably won’t have to negotiate and buy at a much higher price. Depending on the area, you might purchase with hardly any competition.
Creative Freedom & Control - With a fixer-upper, you’re in charge. You can choose your own contractors, materials, vendors and choose to do as much of the work yourself as you wish. You also have full control over larger-scale decisions like building additions to the home or other major structural changes. Want to emulate a specific architectural style, or open up the layout? These are your choices to make. A fixer-upper is like a blank canvas for many homeowners who want to customize a home completely without starting completely from scratch.
The Cons of Buying a Fixer-Upper
Unexpected Future Expenses - Even knowing that you’ll need to spend money on maintenance and remodeling, additional expenses can pile up quickly. As with all construction, it’s impossible to predict every potential delay or problem—however, with a fixer-upper, you will probably need to cover all of those costs. A fixer-upper can also be difficult to budget for even without planning for potential issues. Even the most carefully calculated budget for material costs, renovations and other fees won’t be completely accurate. For new homeowners on a tighter budget this can pose an enormous risk.
Slow Construction - A fixer upper is typically not a home you can live in right away. Many homes sold as fixer-uppers may not even be safe for habitation per local ordinance because of construction and maintenance needs. If you want to buy a home that you can move into immediately, a fixer-upper will not be your best choice. Regardless of whether you live in the home during the process, the fixing up can take a long time. There will be inevitable delays outside of your control and you will also have to rely on your own energy and time for anything you plan to DIY. Fixer-uppers require patience, and sometimes willingness to live in the middle of a construction zone for months or years.
When trying to decide whether to buy a fixer-upper there are many things to consider. New homeowners especially should weigh the pros and cons of the decision and consult real estate and construction professionals for additional insight. This will help you get a better sense of what is and isn’t worth the risk to your budget and your lifestyle.
While house hunting, it’s always a good idea to drop your pets off at doggy daycare or get a pet sitter for the afternoon. If you have no choice but to leave them at home, you can keep them safe by properly preparing the space ahead of time. Here’s a look at just what it takes to create a safe area for your pets to stay while home alone.
Always Secure Them in a Safe Area
Even if they are trained to behave while having the full run of the house, pets are best kept in a safe area while you’re away. You can put them in a bedroom, for example, or block off a section of the living room instead.
Pets that are not fully house-trained or cannot resist the urge to chew stuff up are best kept in a crate while you’re out. Either way, limit your time out to about a few hours or so to avoid mishaps as your pets grow lonesome.
Get Down to Their Level
Given just a little time unsupervised, pets can get into a lot of trouble. Chewed furniture, pilfered snacks and messes on the carpet are just a few ways pets can wreak havoc while you’re out. Thankfully, you can prevent a lot of issues by getting down to their level and looking for ways to misbehave.
While looking around, you might find:
- Exposed cords
- Loose shoes
- Errant throw pillows
- Low-lying snacks
- Vulnerable plants
- And more
Think like your pet and just imagine what trouble you could get into with the items you find. Then, put the items well out of reach to help all your pets remain on their best behavior.
But Don’t Underestimate Their Abilities
Pets are natural athletes who are frequently known for their incredible feats and daredevil antics. Dogs chilling on top of refrigerators and cats standing on the tops of doors are not an uncommon sight, after all.
So, as you button up the house for the safety of your pet, keep that in mind. It may not be sufficient to simply put items a little higher than they were. It’s often best, in fact, to hide the items behind closed doors and in cabinets fitted with child locks.
Skip the Toys and Chews Until You’re Back
Although it seems wise to keep your pets preoccupied with toys and chews, most of those items are meant to be used under strict supervision. Pets can easily bite off more than they can chew and choke even while gnawing on the toughest of pet-friendly objects.
Instead, wear them out before you leave the house to encourage them to rest while you’re away. Then, give them a toy or chew when you return home to reward them for staying out of trouble. With that move, you create a positive connection with your absence and return that encourages them to behave each time you go out.By moving through these steps, you can keep your pet safe while you’re out looking for your perfect house. You won’t be distracted by worries about what they are up to or come home to disaster when you’re done.
A mortgage pre-approval can be a valuable tool for understanding how much you can afford to spend on purchasing a home. It can also make you seem much more attractive to sellers and help to identify any potential problems that may make it difficult to get a loan. In fact, many lenders claim that if a buyer isn’t pre-approved for a mortgage, they will have a difficult time navigating the real estate market. But what does pre-approval really mean?
What is a Mortgage Pre-Approval?
While it can sound like you’ve got a sure thing locked in when you’re pre-approved for a mortgage, being pre-approved doesn’t promise that you’ll be able to secure a loan for the home that you want to purchase. A mortgage pre-approval simply means that a loan officer has reviewed your finances and decided how much money you're allocated to borrow, what you should be able to pay each month towards your mortgage and what your interest rate will be.
Once, you’ve been pre-approved by a lender, you will get a letter that can be shown to sellers. This letter indicates that you’ve already established a working relationship with a lender. This helps to give sellers peace of mind in knowing that you’re serious about putting in an offer on their home, and they don’t have to risk wasting time with a buyer who isn’t serious.
What Are the Benefits of Getting a Pre-Approval?
A pre-approval doesn’t guarantee you’ll get a mortgage but it does offer a few key advantages during your search for the ideal home. It helps to give you confidence while looking at potential properties, as you look at homes that are within your budget. There’s no need to fall in love with a home that you can’t afford. Additionally, it establishes credibility as a buyer, showing that you have your finances under control and can help to put you on the fast-track to closing once you’ve found the perfect home.
Are Pre-Approval & Pre-Qualified the Same Thing?
Unfortunately, no. These two similar real estate terms are not interchangeable. When you are pre-qualified for a mortgage, this indicates that you have given your lender information regarding your income, debts and assets. Without doing further research, the lender then tells you that you should qualify for a certain mortgage. Pre-approval is a much more in-depth process, requiring your lender to verify the financial information provided by pulling your credit history, as well as verifying your income and assets.