Chris Lorenzen's Blog
You’ve never owned your own home and your thinking about buying. Transitioning mentally from renter to owner can be confusing at times. As a renter, you haven't had to deal with the ins and outs of owning your own home, and as you examine the reality of ownership, it can seem like it involves more cons than pros. You have to take care of all maintenance, repairs, insurance, upgrades and more. With all the added work to maintain only to one day resell your home, it might not seem worth it. So why is buying a good idea? Here’s why!
Consistent monthly payments
As a renter, you constantly are subject to rent increases. Depending on your city or neighborhood, this might be a small percentage annually (if your rental unit is under rent control), or an annual increase determined in your rental agreement. In many cases, your rent is subject to your landlord’s discretion at the end of each term of your lease, and if the property value and quality of living go up in your neighborhood (as you hope it does), it could price you out of your favorite living space. When you choose to purchase a home, you make a longer commitment, but your monthly payments are guaranteed to be the same throughout the repayment of your fixed-rate mortgage. Living with no surprise changes allows you to set budgetary and lifestyle goals further into the future, and the certainty to achieve them.
Equity and future cash flow
Yes, you will likely need to take out a loan to purchase your own home. The upside to ownership is that every mortgage payment you make increases the percentage of equity you have in your home. When you rent, you are only paying toward the term of your lease and the owner of the rental property gains all the equity. Investing in your own property helps your financial stability for the future. The more equity you have, the better your net worth and the more you can invest in other properties or goods. The more stake you have in your home, the more valuable it becomes to you when you want to sell your property in the future—to create cash flow, or to invest in a new home, other property, or your retirement lifestyle.
Apart from the personal value of owning your own home—taking care of it, raising a family there, or starting a new life in your place—the investment can add even more value to your life. If you’re considering your first home purchase and aren’t sure about the commitment or investment value, speak with your local real estate agent for the best advice for you. Review your current means, your interests and abilities, and your life goals and let them help you make the right decision.
Although not everyone is a fan of carpeting, there are definitely benefits to having it in your home. The big question is, "Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?"
Well, that answer depends on a lot of variables, but if you happen to like the look and feel of carpeting, then it's probably worth having. Assuming the carpet fibers are made of a soft material, it offers an extra layer of comfort for walking barefoot and sitting on the floor. It also provides some minor benefits, in terms of both sound absorption and heat insulation.
One of the negative aspects of carpeting is that it tends to conceal dirt, allergens, and food crumbs. Depending on whether it's a stain-resistant carpet, keeping it looking clean could be an ongoing challenge. That, of course, would be especially true if you have children, pets, or a spill-prone spouse!
Although stain-resistant carpets are supposed to be easy to clean, you can't help but wonder if that applies to pet accidents and grape juice spills that aren't immediately cleaned up. Another possible pitfall of carpeting involves the risk of using carpet spot-cleaning sprays and solutions. Some cleaning products could cause the color of your carpeting to fade in the treated areas. So while it may remove the stain, it may also leave permanent faded spots in the area you cleaned -- hardly the effect you were aiming for!
If you or a member of your family has allergies or asthma, a carpeted floor could potentially trigger unpleasant symptoms, too. Since carpeting is known to harbor everything from dust mites and mold spores, to pet dander and pollen, it could be the source of discomfort for allergy sufferers and others.
From the standpoint of improved air quality and reducing allergens, carpets made of nylon, short fiber strands, and/or tightly woven strands are said to be less of an issue. Another partial solution is to ask family members and visitors to remove their shoes before entering a carpeted area. Pro tip: this is much easier to accomplish if you get everyone in the habit of removing their shoes at the front door.
For homeowners planning to put their property on the market in the near future, the presence of carpeting could have a negative effect on its marketability. That's not to say that carpeting is going to prevent you from being able to sell your home, but it may reduce the number of prospective buyers who are actively interested in it. If you happen to have hardwood floors underneath that carpeting, it may pay to remove the carpeting -- a sometimes difficult task, which is often best left to the professionals.
If you are getting ready to sell your home, remember, it's essential to clean your carpeting as thoroughly as possible before real estate agents show your home to the public. Hire a professional carpet cleaner, or check out some DIY articles on how to get those carpets clean.
Buying a home is an extensive process that comes with a bit of a learning curve. For first time buyers, this process involves making mistakes and learning from them.
While we can never be 100% sure of our home buying decisions, there is a way to increase your chances of making the best choices when it comes to buying and maintaining your first home.
In today’s post, we’re going to do just that. We’ll take a look at some of the biggest things that homeowners wish they knew before buying their first house.
1. Forgetting to research the neighborhood
It’s easy to become so enamored with your dream home that you barely look beyond its fence. However, the neighborhood your home is in can have a huge effect on your daily life. Having local parks, safe sidewalks to walk on, and road infrastructure that doesn’t drive you crazy on your daily commute are all important aspects of choosing the right home.
2. Getting pressured into making a decision
Many times, a seller will want to portray their home as being highly sought after to encourage higher and more frequent offers. Similarly, you may find that your own family has time constraints and want to make a quick decision to buy a home.
It’s when we’re under pressure that we can make choices that we aren’t happy with in the long run. So, in these situations, make sure you don’t make any snap judgments on a home. If it seems like you’re being pressured into making a decision without enough time to consider all of the possibilities, there’s a good chance you should pass on this opportunity.
3. Forgetting that you might someday have to sell this home
Sometimes homes can be difficult to sell due to things like their location and surroundings. For instance, a home that is remote or one that is located in low-scoring school districts may not matter to you if you don’t plan on having children. But, they likely will be important to a lot of your potential buyers when it comes time to sell the home.
This lesson also holds true for what you do with your home once you buy it. Making renovations or design choices that won’t appeal to the average buyer can make your home more difficult to sell and harder to get top dollar for.
4. Didn’t consider all financing options
There are several steps and several options when it comes to financing a home. Not only are the several mortgage lenders to choose from, but there are also many different types of loans available.
While there may not be one “right” decision when it comes to financing your home, it’s a good idea to do your homework and browse carefully all of the lenders and mortgage types.
Consider ways to increase your credit score or save for a higher down payment before buying if possible, so that you can secure the lowest interest rate possible.
You always want to be safe in your new home, but bringing home a new baby brings your safety protocol to a whole new level. In the first few months of life, the baby won’t be getting into too much trouble. By the time the baby can crawl, however, it’s a whole different story. This is why you want your home prepared before the baby even gets there. You should keep your home free of hazards. No more boxes in the way on the floor. The glass coffee table may need to be put away for a time. The nature of your home will certainly change once your little bundle of joy arrives. Below, you’ll find some of the most basic baby safety measures that you can take around your home in order to bring it from normal home to “baby proof.”
You’ll want to look at your home from the level of a child. Anything that you feel he or she could get into when you’re on the floor on your hands and knees is fair game.
Lock Drawers And Cabinets
Both drawers and cabinets should be locked in the bathroom, kitchen, even in your office. You never know what a baby can get himself into! This is especially important for drawers and cabinets that have sharp objects like knives, scissors, or tools. Any cabinets that have chemicals, heavy pans, or anything else you don’t want a child getting into should have a lock on them. Locks for cabinets are available in both the interior style or exterior style safety lock. Both types of locks can be easily installed in cabinets and drawers in order to prevent children from opening them, yet giving the adults in the house continued access to the things that they need.
These small plastic fittings come in a variety of types and styles. Some insert into the outlets themselves while others cover the entire outlet plate. Some snap onto the outlet while others open like a door. You’ll want to choose a type of outlet cover that will work best for your needs. You don’t want an inconvenience when you do use the plug and you also don’t want a lot of small plastic pieces hanging around the home to be just another hazard to your child.
Gates are one of the most valuable safety items that parents can install for their kids. Gates can be installed in doorways where the child shouldn’t have immediate access. These safety measures are also important at the bottom and top of each stairway in the home. Baby gates come in all shapes and styles, so you’ll want to decide what works best for your needs in the home. Some gates are mountable while others are detachable and portable from room to room. Some gates even have extension pieces that are available to be installed along with them to fit rooms of all sizes.
Bumpers get their name because they prevent exactly what the name states-bumping! You’ll want to put these bumpers and corner guards to cover any rough or sharp edges around your home. Consider covering the following areas of your home:
- Coffee tables
- Wood stoves
Anything with a sharp corner or edge needs to be covered to prevent your child from injury.
Baby Proofing can be a difficult task, but with the right tools, you’ll be able to protect your precious little one from harm around your other big investment- your home.
Hosting an open house is a key milestone for a home seller. If an open house proves to be successful, it may be only a matter of time before a seller receives multiple offers on his or her residence. Comparatively, if a home fails to impress during an open house, a seller may need to consider new ways to stir up interest in his or her residence.
Ultimately, it helps to plan ahead for an open house as much as possible. Lucky for you, we're here to help you get ready for any open house, at any time.
Let's take a look at three tips to help you prepare for an open house.
1. Perform Home Interior Cleaning
A pristine home interior can make a world of difference to potential homebuyers. Thus, you should allocate time and resources to clean your home's interior from top to bottom prior to an open house.
Mop the floors, wipe down ceilings and walls and perform other home interior cleaning to ensure that your house will dazzle as soon as a buyer walks through the front door. That way, you can increase the likelihood that your residence will make a positive first impression on buyers.
2. Enhance Your House's Exterior
Your home's curb appeal may make or break your open house. Because if your home has a messy, cluttered front lawn, your residence is unlikely to impress potential buyers when they see your house for the first time.
When it comes to improving your home's exterior, even minor upgrades can have far-flung effects.
Mowing the front lawn and trimming the hedges can help you show off your house's exterior. And if you need assistance with home exterior improvements, you can always hire a professional home landscaping company to help you out too.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
Preparing for an open house can be challenging, particularly for a seller who is worried about the current state of his or her residence. Fortunately, real estate agents are available who can help you get ready for an open house.
A real estate agent is happy to help you sell your home in any housing market. He or she will schedule an open house at your convenience. And in the weeks and days leading up to an open house, a real estate agent will offer expert tips to help you prepare for this event.
Furthermore, a real estate agent will provide plenty of guidance at each stage of the home selling journey. He or she will help you promote your residence to the right groups of potential buyers and review any offers on your house. Plus, if you ever have questions about selling your home, a real estate agent can instantly respond to these queries.
If you want to achieve the best-possible results during an open house, it generally is a good idea to work with a real estate agent. Contact a local real estate agent today, and you can receive comprehensive support as you navigate the home selling journey.