Finding the Balance Between Budget and Home Improvements

Whether you are revamping your own home or working on an investment property, renovating can be very expensive.

Weigh up your home upgrade options

There are not many homeowners with an endless budget to upgrade everything they want to in their home.

A good starting point is to sit down and evaluate the property as a whole and then decide on which parts are most significant and the parts most in need of upgrading. Then think about where you will need to spend the majority of your budget.

In the majority of renovations, the bathroom and kitchen offer the best investment, but they are not always the areas that require the most work. Analyse your kitchen and bathroom to see what you can keep and salvage from the materials that you already have and see what needs upgrading.

Look around the rest of your home to identify other areas that would impress potential buyers after being upgraded.

First impressions are vital in real estate, so think about spending some of your budget on the porch and front foyer.

Splashing out and reigning in spending

Look at every room in your house and identify the stand out features that will catch the attention of potential buyers. This will help you know where you should plash out and where you should save.

If you are renovating the kitchen, you could splash out on expensive marble counter tops, but you could save by being selective and only using marble for some of your counter tops. If you are splashing out on expensive counter tops then a stainless steel island can considerably save your budget.

In the bathroom, you don’t have to break the bank on the most expensive tiles on the market for the whole of your bathroom. A neutral tile for the walls of the shower and the floor can save you a bundle, and still provide great results.

You can give your bathroom some style by adding a strip of the expensive tile that surrounds the shower wall and borders the floor. This will give your bathroom a great look and cost a fraction of the budget.

Think about your flooring

Hardwood flooring is popular with everybody, but stylish wood flooring can make a large dent in your budget.

Laminate flooring has improved drastically over the years and can the most cost effective way to get a stylish hardwood flooring look that doesn’t break the bank.

If you do decide to go with real hardwood flooring, which lots of people still do, then you can create an elegant look by being selective where you decide to use it. Do you really need to replace the floors in all of the rooms?

Your kitchen and bathroom should be tiled to avoid water damage, so what about the bedrooms? You can save by using carpet instead of expensive hard wood flooring.

Keep things in the yard nice and simple

Be advised that is not a good idea to go crazy landscaping in the garden, particularly if you are trying to sell the property. Consider some low maintenance options instead of investing in expensive plants and flowers that will need to be looked after and maintained regularly.

Instead of spending big on an expensive paved walkway and blowing your budget, consider an appealing gravel path that surrounds your home. It will give a nice consistent look without the large cost of a paved walkway.

The best advice when it comes to landscaping and the outdoor features of your property is to keep things simple. A nice neutral look is appealing to potential buyers and gives them the space to view themselves living in the property before they even walk through the door.

Don’t break the bank on the garden, but ensure that everything is neat and tidy, save your budget for the important interior that buyers will see when they enter the property.

The best piece of advice when it comes to renovation that stays within a budget is to be selective and know where your money is best spent. Decide on the areas that require something special and a larger chunk of your budget. Then save on the areas that won’t drastically affect the value or appeal of your property, and not affect the your enjoyment of the day to day living in your home.

Looking to Buy a Bigger Home For Less? Let’s Make it Happen!

Compact housing options have actually gotten very popular in recent years, but if you could have the amount of space you were actually looking for at the price you wanted you’d be happy right? Exactly. You might be surprised by the different options available to you! So here are some ways you might be able to find some more space without breaking the bank. If you have any additional questions feel free to shoot me an email or leave your contact info and I’d love to get back to you.
Old listings
Look for homes that are just outside of your current budget and then narrow it down to homes that have been on the market for 30 days or more. When a house has been on the market that long you’ll be going into the deal with some leverage. You’ll be encountering a motivated seller because presumably at this point they just want to unload this house and they’ll be more open to negotiations.
Old homes
Yes older homes sometimes have terrible wallpaper and terrible old tile and lots of clutter. Don’t shrug this tip off just yet, these types of homes tend to be overlooked by buyers. If you have a vision you can make this the home you’re looking for without spending too much. You might even be able to get this home for less than your established budget and use the difference to make changes.
You’re looking to renovate
Some homes have lots of space but they feel small because of the layout. You can easily knock down some walls to make a cramped space feel very accommodating. Like the tip above you need to have a little vision, and if you like hitting walls with sledgehammers, bonus points.
There are also loan options that will allow you to basically bundle the renovation costs into the price of the initial home loan. If that’s something you’d be interested in, discuss it with your agent.
Discuss the new builds
This is a unique one, but if you’re willing to purchase a home before it’s been fully constructed you can negotiate the size. Also if the home is a very recent build odds are the floor plan is already more spacious so you might not even need to negotiate that much.
Shared living space
Roommates or even additional family members can make it easier to afford a more spacious place. If you’re not wanting to deal with the possibility of renovating this might be the option for you. Some of the key features you’re hoping to have could be paid for by the savings you get from an additional roommate. Just be detailed in your search for the right roommate, the wrong roommate can make a large home feel much smaller than it actually is. Find someone meticulous and clean, maybe even someone who won’t be there as often as you due to work.
Can you widen your search area?
This is a more common recommendation made by agents. If you’re willing to compromise your location at least a little bit you might be able to land more square footage. Even looking 5-10 minutes out of your ideal location can make a significant difference. So don’t dismiss this option if you’d rather avoid the possible work of renovation. Just make sure if things like school districts are an important consideration that you still fall within the area you need to be located in. It would be unfortunate to be aiming at having your child attend a certain school only to realize after you close you’re actually just outside the district.
Again I really hope you found this info helpful! If there is anything else you’d like to discuss on this list in more detail, leave me your contact info or reach out to me directly and I’d love to talk! Feel free to browse the rest of my blog for more tips tricks and helpful info you can use during your real estate buying or seling experience.

This Might Be Driving Your Listing Agent Crazy

If you’re a home seller and you have an agent, he or she will be spending a lot of time with you and your home. You can develop a very close relationship with your listing agent, and while that may be a good thing, it can also result in a few frustrating stand offs. So, let’s break down some common things that can make your listing agent’s job a little tougher than it needs to be.

 

Your home is a mess

 

If your home is a mess it’ll be difficult to sell. Give your agent the best possible chance at selling your home, by getting it in a show-ready state. Pick up the kids’ toys, wash or at least stash dirty dishes in the dishwasher and vacuum and sweep the floors. First impressions are everything to homebuyers, so make it easy and pleasant to show your home.

 

If you are determined to get that home sold (which I assume you are) make daily cleaning a thing. If you stay on top of it daily even just 30 minutes at a time it’ll be more manageable. Also Make sure before your home is listed that you remove any additional clutter that isn’t essential to you living there. The more spacious you can make the home appear while maintaining its appeal the better your shot at selling it quickly.

 

You’re there for the open house

 

Be involved with the home selling process by all means, but when you have an open house make sure you’re not there. People are coming to judge your house, in most instances people won’t be as relaxed and laid back as they need to be if the sellers are following them around. So take the off and go spend some time with your kids or just go relax somewhere else and trust your agent.

 

You’re waiting for the best possible offer

Your interpretation of the best possible offer might be skewing your judgement. You might be in the ideal situation where you’re receiving multiple offers. However, if you try to push the envelope too far you might end up pushing all those potential buyers away. So striking a healthy balance between your asking price and the offers coming in will come down to listening to your listing agent.

 

You left a mess for the buyer

 

You sold your home, which is great. However, you left a mess for the buyer to deal with when they finally decide to move im. Don’t leave the buyer in a sour mood, remember these are the people who might need to forward your mail for the next few weeks. So clean out any areas that usually go overlooked (garage, attic) and make sure the home is welcoming for the buyer.

 

You’re convinced your home is special

 

Your home will have a different amount of emotional value to you than it will to a prospective buyer. So try to separate yourself from the intangible qualities of the home that make it so special to you. Holding on to these special qualities and memories will make the process of selling the home a bit more difficult for your agent. Remember they see you home for what it is and you see it for something entirely different. Being aware of that will make this process easier for all parties involved here.

 

Just relax and make sure your listing agent is in control of this process and everything will be much easier. They understand how important the home is to you and their goal is to get you the value you deserve. So ask if you need to do anything additional to the house and stay clear when you need to. Your listing agent will be very appreciative to you throughout the entire process.                

Home Not Selling? This Might Be Why

Nothing is more disappointing to a homeowner than when their property sits on the market without receiving any offer. This can be a worrying situation. However, worrying too much is not going to fix a thing. Rather, it is all about finding the solution to that problem.

The solution is to identify the cause of your home sitting on the market for so long. Is there anything wrong with the home? Is it something you have done, or haven’t done that is affecting the home on the market? You should be worrying about how to fix all this and dig deeper to learn the real reason for the home sitting on the market for so long. To help you crack the code, here are some reasons that could prevent your home from selling.

The listing photos are not appealing

Most of the potential home buyers will go through the listing pictures of the home before they can decide to view the house physically. That is why photography is a vital aspect that enhances the first impression of the home. You might find it helpful to hire a professional photographer. Ideally, go for a real estate photographer, who will have an idea of the best photos to take. Improving the online presence via the photos will make the buyer want to pay a physical visit to your home.

A problem with the home touch-ups

Your home might look nice, and all appealing, but have you noticed the extremely classic-themed kitchen? What about the cracks in the driveway? These are some of the things that might seem minor, but they will chase away the potential buyers. Carry out all the appropriate renovations around the house, and get all the necessary help from a professional to make the entire process easy. You can spend less than $700 for an average home renovation, which is an investment worth trying.

The home is extremely personal

It is okay to customize your home according to your preference. Some people paint their bedrooms black, others paint their porches pink, among other customizations. All these are great for you and your comfort, but what about the buyer? If possible, use neutral paints and other customizations to make the home default enough for anyone to purchase it. If the home is too you, it could be a reason for it staying on the market for long without receiving any offer.

The price is too high

Everyone wants to make a profit whenever they put their home on the market. However, some tend to be too greedy, and they overprice their home. When the price is too high, buyers will try to avoid your property like a plague. Even if you want to profit from your home sale, you still need to be reasonable and friendly enough with your pricing.

You are too nosy during inspections

Before any home can be officially placed on the market or sold to a potential buyer, it must undergo proper inspection by a professional. During the inspection, the buyer will be taken round to be sure that everything is in shape. To some home owners, they stick around during the inspection, walking from one room to another with the agent and the buyer. It might be an innocent gesture, but it could also be a wrong impression to the buyer. Any seller should allow the buyer to speak freely with the agent. If you can, let the agent handle your property, and you will be updated whenever.

Hiring the wrong real estate agent

It could be that you did not hire the perfect real estate agent, or you didn’t hire any at all. While some try to avoid this fact, the real estate agent has enough experience and skills in the field. For that, they will help you make the right choices as you intend to sell the home. The real estate agent can also assist you in placing the right price that will benefit you and not scares away the buyers.
Also, hiring the wrong agent can lead you to more trouble. Some are only after the homeowner’s money, so you might not end up selling your home as you expected. For that, ensure that you do your homework and find a reputable and reliable real estate agent.

These are some of the factors that might be affecting your home listing on the market. Ensure that each of them is checked and that you get the necessary help from a professional real estate agent. With that observed, you can be confident in selling your home without much difficulty.

How Keep New Home Construction On Track


There are plenty of potential pitfalls with new construction; there are hundreds of nightmare stories of new homes that have gone terribly wrong. However, there are some steps you can take to ensure you do not suffer the same fate.

Visit the construction site regularly

There are lots of unnerving unknowns when it comes to new construction. Maybe your lumber has been left out in bad weather and is starting to show signs of wood rot, or a miscommunication with a subcontractor leads to your new home facing the wrong way!

The best way to ease your nerves, and ensure these problems don’t happen, is to visit the construction site very often to keep an eye on the progress. Don’t leave it until the final walk through before you see everything thats been going on there.

Try to visit the construction site for a walk through at least three times.

The first time should be after the home has been staked out and surveyed as it gives you the opportunity to ensure it is situated correctly.

Once the framing is complete and mechanical installation has begun. This is the ideal time to address any issues, such as ventilation or the electrical wiring.

The last time to visit is for the final walk through; at this stage you will review the punch list. Try to visit as often as possible to address problems as soon as they arise and have more chance to be quickly corrected.

Builders and contractors are human, so mistakes can happen. There is nothing wrong with bringing to their attention any issues or problems you have with the construction. Be aware that some things may appear to be problems, but may just be incomplete construction. Bring any problems to your builder’s attention and they should advise you as to whether it is yet to be finished or something that needs to be fixed.

Keep an eye on your punch list

You will do a final walk through of your newly constructed home with your builder before closing on your property. They will give you the opportunity to point out any issues, imperfections, or defects that need to be corrected before you can move in. You can check for anything from scratches on the wall to poorly fitted light switches and bring it to your builder’s attention.

Make sure you have an in-depth look around the property and compile a checklist before hand to take with you, some construction companies even offer software designed to help you create your punch list.

Make sure to be vocal about any problems. Your builder won’t be able to fix issues he doesn’t know about.

If you have been through your checklist and your builder has fixed any problems, you can feel confident and content closing on your new home.

Know your warranty

Most states require a construction warranty with new homes, with builders providing backing from one to several years.

Claiming on your warranty is the simplest way to correct any underlying issues with your home, caused by construction errors, poor workmanship, or just rotten luck.

Some problems take time to appear so it is worth getting a professional inspection of your property when it approaching the end of your warranty. They can point out any problems, such as slow leaks or mold, that can be resolved before your warranty expires. Think of it as the final walk through.

Try to be flexible with your time frame

You may be eager to move in to your new home, but construction takes time and can easily take longer than estimated to be completed.

Lots of potential pitfalls can delay construction, a freak hail storm or heavy rain over the summer months can result in time frames being shifted over the course of a projects completion.

There are not many builders that will agree to tight deadlines with penalties for late completion. It is best to try and agree on timeframes for construction landmarks, such as framing or roof completion.

You may have to pay a higher price for quick construction, but you will have a deadline for completion. However, it is advisable to have a flexible deadline on the project if possible. By allowing your builders a flexible time frame to work on the construction you might ensure that your property suffers from fewer long term errors.

High Tech Home Automation Upgrades


Bring your home into the 21st century with some high tech home automation upgrades.

Many people have already upgraded their property with home automation, but may be completely unaware that they have. You may already use products such as the Nest thermostat or the Amazon Echo, these products are in fact technologies that are part of the home automation revolution that is changing the way people live in their homes.

Today’s market provides a home automation device for each and every room in your home. Below are some of the top home automation products to upgrade your home.

In the kitchen

Bluetooth thermometer

You will never mistakenly burn your meal again with a helpful smart meat thermometer. It works by sending the information from the thermometer to your smart phone via a Bluetooth connection, showing you when your pork, chicken, turkey, or fish reaches the right temperature.

Slow cooker

You can start dinner before you leave the office with a Wi-Fi enabled crock pot. By simply swiping your finger across your smart phone you can turn the cooker on, set the temperature, or turn it off to make sure that your dinner isn’t burnt if you are delayed in getting back to your home.

Wi Fi enabled kettle

Set the kettle to boil remotely by using an app on your smart phone. Whether you want the kettle to be boiled before you get out of bed or ready for you when you get home from work, the Wi Fi enabled iKettle will boil your water and even hold its temperature for up to a half hour.

In the bathroom

Bluetooth speakers for the shower

Sing along to your favorite songs with the Aquatunes waterproof speaker. The speaker connects to your phone or tablet via Bluetooth and enables you to stream music from your device that is played in the shower. Simply hook the speaker on to your shower rod and press the sync button to link up with your mobile device.

Heated toilet seat

LumaWarm offer the heated nightlight toilet seat. The seat is illuminated by a blue LED light and is equipped with multiple temperature settings that warm the seat within a couple of minutes.

In the bedroom

Smart bedroom lighting

Smart lighting can help you relax at the end of the day, and even help you fall asleep, with lighting that is personalized to you, with dimming and variable color temperatures. There are several types of smart lighting products available, with some set by timers that can be easily accessed and changed through your smart phone, while others utilize motion sensors to adapt the lighting to your nightly routine.

Smart windows

Equip your windows with smart window film, or adjustable blinds that operate by a motor, which can be accessed on your smart phone. Smart blinds and shades can adapt and respond to the lighting level outside. Smart window film offers the ability to transition your window from clear to opaque by simply tapping a button on your smart phone.

Home automation for any room

Smart sockets/plugs

Smart plugs are a simple and easy way to make a start upgrading your home. The smart socket device plugs into your existing power outlet and enables you to remotely control the power usage and keep an eye on your energy usage. There are several manufacturers of smart plugs, iHome, TP-LINK, Belkin, and D-Link to name a few, and the devices are an affordable way to start upgrading your home with prices ranging from as low as $30.

Humidity detector

The Humidity Sensor and Fan Control by Leviton can identify the level of humidity in your home and automatically react to it by turning on a ventilation fan. The smart device can be used in the bathroom and any other area of your home to reduce moisture in the air.

Room by room upgrades

If you still don’t really know where to start, there are several home automation and smart home upgrade kits on the market.

The main purpose of home automation is to make daily tasks easier for the user. You don’t need to rush and try to upgrade everything in your home at once. Identify areas of your home or exact tasks where you would appreciate some technological help, then research what home automation options are available to fulfill your needs.

5 Secrets to Selling Your Home Above The Asking Price

Let’s face it! Every home owner wants the best deal when they finally decide to sell their home. It’s every homeowner’s dream to see a bidding war ensue. Unfortunately, most homeowners end up settling for average or even below-average offers according to most real estate experts. What most home sellers fail to recognize is; getting a great deal isn’t a matter of luck, timing or even location. It has more to do with being equipped with the right knowledge concerning the psychology of a home buyer and showcasing the value to your home. Let’s get right into it and discuss the secrets to selling your home for more than the asking price.

1. Ask for less to get more

This is by far one of the best-kept secrets of selling a home for more than the asking price. Although this strategy appears to be counterproductive at first glance, it works wonders by creating the necessary attention required to create a fierce bidding war. It’s worth noting that bidding wars are created when there are multiple willing buyers and to get multiple willing buyers, the price has to be very attractive i.e. lower than the going market rate. When you price your home lower than the market rate (ideally, 5-10% lower), you are bound to attract more buyers who will be willing to offer better offers to outbid other interested buyers. You are also bound to get great offers since potential buyers will realize the true value of your home when they view it.

2. Don’t accept the first offer

This is another best kept secret for selling a home for more than the asking price. It doesn’t matter how good the first offer is, you should wait and see what other offers come your way. Ultimately  you want to be able to cultivate fierce competition between interested buyers, which will ultimately increase your home’s final price. An interested buyer is always willing to offer more in the presence of competition.

3. Approach investors

Investors may not be the first people you think off when you want to sell your home, however, they are great because they are always ready to take on good deals and they also provide the much-needed incentive to force regular home buyers to part with some more cash. This strategy is great especially if you have a home with a great investment potential i.e. a home that can be easily remodeled to offer more rental space/fetch a higher price. Look for offers from investors just to motivate regular home buyers to offer more than the asking price.

4. Make your home stand out

You also need to make your home stand out for you to get more than the asking price. You have to carry out all the necessary renovations to make your home perfect. It is, however, important to invest in renovations that add value to your home as opposed to eating away your profit. Examples of renovations that will increase your home’s value include; repainting, landscaping, roof, attic and basement renovations. Such renovations boost the value of homes by approximately 10% or more as well as make homes stand out. To cut cost without compromising the outcome, you can consider doing some renovations yourself i.e. repainting and landscaping.

5. Highlight what makes your home divine/stand out from similar homes

Every home has a key selling point that may not necessarily be related to the features. It could be anything really from some extra garden space to a rare tree species in the backyard or a famous tenant who once lived in the house. You need to find out the most unique aspects of your home and highlight them to potential buyers to make them comfortable about offering more than the asking price. You shouldn’t settle for the average asking price for homes like yours. Find the most unique features of you home and highlight them.

The above information highlights the top secrets to selling a home for more than the asking price. You don’t get the best deal for your home because of sheer luck, the location or selling your home at the perfect time. It’s more about understanding what makes a potential home buyer consider paying more. Creating bidding wars is a great way of getting more than the asking price. You should also focus on making your home outstanding as well as highlighting your home’s uniqueness.

Top tips to save for a down payment


Being a renter does have some advantages. No paying off the mortgage, no property taxes, and the landlord takes care of any maintenance and repair costs. However, renting your home does have one major drawback: You are spending money on rent without gaining any equity of the property.

Many renters want to own their home, but struggle to find the cash needed to make a down payment on a property.

In fact, a recent survey conducted by the website gobankingrates.com showed that a fifth of adults in the U.S. don’t use a savings account, while a third of those that do have zero funds in their account.

Below you will find some top tips to help you start saving and put aside enough funds to put a down payment on a home.

Set a target

Knowing how much you can afford to spend on a property is crucial to help you identify how much you will need to save for a down payment.

After working out how much you need to save, you should compile a detailed saving plan to reach your target. Having a target goal to reach will help you buckle down and start to put money away. You will find it hard to save if you try and set aside an unknown amount of cash for a down payment.

Work out your spending habits

Go through your credit card and bank statements for the last few months to find out where your money is spent. You can then focus on the areas of spending you can cut back on.

Cut down on your cable bill

The average household bill for cable TV has rocketed in the last 5 years and now stands at nearly $100 a month, up nearly 40% from 2010. Unless you already have, cutting down on your cable bill is a great way to save money every month. If you just can’t bring yourself to cut the cord, you can talk to your cable provider and attempt to lower the bill and shop around for a better deal.

Get rid of your gym membership

Make the outdoors your free gym. Jogging, cycling and hiking are all great exercise and don’t cost a penny. If the weather is bad or you are already signed up for a year’s membership, most gyms offer a discount if you can get a friend to join.

Downsize your current rental property

If you currently rent a one bedroom apartment, then downgrading to a smaller studio can save you hundreds of dollars a month. A smaller property also means cheaper utility bills.

Make some income on the side

Due to today’s technological modern world of mobile internet and smart phones, it is easier than it ever has been to make some money from a side job. If you own a car, then you have a huge advantage and can jump straight into work with opportunities like Uber and Postmates.

Get a high yield savings account

Leaving your savings in a checking account does not earn you any significant interest. Move your funds to a high yield account and get some interest on your savings.

Get a credit card with cash rewards

Drop the no frills credit card that you currently have and get hold of a credit card with a great cash back reward scheme. Credit cards that offer a reward scheme usually have a higher interest rate, so be sure that you make regular on time monthly payments to clear the balance.

Put aside your tax refund

It can be tempting to spend what you get back in your tax refund each year, but by putting aside any money returned you can make big steps to reaching your goal of affording a down payment.

Sell some of your stuff

Pick a day in the summer months with a forecast of good weather and throw an old fashioned yard sale. Post signs around the neighbourhood in the days leading up to your sale and get online to promote it on facebook and craigslist. The more promotion you do, the more people turn out, and the more money you make selling your stuff.

Sell your stuff online

Are some of your possessions valuable or highly sought after? You will probably get more cash by selling them online through eBay than you will at a yard sale. While, larger items of furniture tend to sell better on Craigslist.

Make Sure Your First Home Has These 4 Things

Finding the right starter home can be quite a journey, it can also be emotionally exhausting. You have to establish what you’re looking for, needs versus wants. Consider pricing and narrow in on the right home for you. Remember though, if this is your first home it doesn’t have to be your one and only home. There will always be plausible ways to upgrade down the line and find different features that make a big difference.

 

Regardless of the home to finally settle on though, there are certain features you’ll want to make sure are there. So here we will discuss those features and exactly why you’ll want them. Pools and other attractive features are a wonderful bonus but they should probably take a back seat when it comes to the top four considerations to make.  

 

  1. A monthly expense that’s feasible

 

The first thing on this list is often overlooked, the exterior and location are of course important. But if your monthly expense is going to create other problems for you, it might be something to consider passing on. Your mortgage, utilities, insurance, and even maintenance costs. When you’re looking at what your monthly expenses will be look at more than just what the house costs.

 

Consider all possible expenses associated with the house on top of your mortgage. Also add a cushion of possible expenses that you may not be able to foresee. If you can’t comfortably plan for the extent of these expenses, it might be time to look else where. Balance out those costs by looking for something a little further away from where you want to be, or with a lower initial price tag.

 

  1. Little maintenance needed

 

Maintenance costs can often be difficult to plan for, due to their unpredictable nature. What’s important to consider here is the age of the home itself. If you picked a home that’s well over 10 years in age and hasn’t had a quality remodel since its initial construction, you may be in for excessive costs.

 

It’s always worth looking into newly constructed subdivisions in your area. These new homes are often very similar in their floor plans and have been replicated a number of times. How new they are, paired with how many times they’ve been setup can leave you with less needed maintenance down the line.  

 

  1. Room for the family

 

If you’re planning on bringing your family into this first home then you’ll certainly need room to expand into. You might be moving in with just your significant other, but you could find yourself with children running around soon as well. If that’s at all a possibility plan accordingly. Another possibility is bringing your parents in to live with you. So if either of those sound like something that may happen for you at the very least plan on having an additional room.

 

If you do have the potential purchasing power use it to buy space as opposed to unnecessary finishes. You can easily add to the amount of space you have in certain rooms by opening them up. However, trying to increase your square footage down the line will prove to be more difficult.

 

  1. Easy Transition

 

If possible don’t choose the home that will transport you away from your friends and the things you love. If you enjoy community theater or you play flag football with your friends on the weekends stay relatively connected to those circles of your life. Your first home doesn’t have to uproot your entire lifestyle.

 

Really research the community you’re considering to be your first home. If you find one that will also give you easy access to some of your favorite hobbies and entertainment outlets then you might have found the ideal location.
That all being said buying a space close to work is critical. Your daily commute can become quite a process so if you can make it at all easier then do so! If you have any questions regarding any of the areas around town don’t hesitate to contact me with your questions. If you’re looking for more real estate related tips feel free to check out the rest of my blog.

Before You Close, Have You Done Your Due Diligence?


After successfully submitting an offer on a property and having it accepted, there is a stage, usually up to three weeks, before the deal is concluded. During the wait before the deal is closed, buyers are often advised to do their “due diligence on the property they have placed the offer. But what does “due diligence” mean? And what should the potential buyer be doing during this period of time?

In the business of real estate, due diligence basically means evaluating and looking into any issues the property may have. The potential buyer should investigate the property thoroughly to identify any flaws or issues that may cost significant amounts of cash to fix after the property has changed hands.

The buyer should use their due diligence to ensure that the property fully meets their expectations of what they hope to receive after parting with their cash. The few weeks before closing are the last opportunity a buyer has to check the roof for leaks, ensure the basement doesn’t flood – and basically make sure that they are not getting ripped off or mislead by the seller. If a buyer does find issues or flaws, they still have time to do something about it. They can negotiate with the seller to have the problems resolved or reduce the price of the property. If the seller is unwilling to negotiate, and as long as the buyer was properly advised and has contingencies included in the contract, the buyer can cancel the deal and walk away from the property without losing any of their deposit on the home.

Using due diligence is an important process in buying a home. Below is a checklist of the key aspects you should investigate before closing on a property and parting with your money.

A property inspection

Almost every home buyer hires a property inspector to thoroughly analyse their potential new home from top to bottom. The inspector will look for leaks in the roof, problems with the foundations, infestations of pests, structural issues, electrical concerns, and any other potential problems that could cost considerable amounts of money to fix.

It also advisable to hire a separate professional inspector that specializes in testing for biotoxins. Radon, asbestos, mold and other hazards are not generally checked for by home inspectors and can be very expensive to eradicate and rectify. Although it may seem obvious, you should also look into issues with the local area of the property. Such as whether the property sits in the middle of a flood plain or is located within range of some other environmental factor that could be hazardous. Any of these issues would be enough to warrant renegotiating with the seller of the property or, if the issue is a major problem, walk away from the deal completely.

A property title search

Before the buyer can take title of the property, and become the established legal owners of the home and listed in public records, they will be advised to carry out a title search, to clarify the ownership of the property, before proceeding.

For example, what happens if the previous owner of the home has an ex spouse or lost relative the turns up claiming ownership of the property, or there are boundary disputes with the next door neighbour that are unresolved, or due to unpaid debts a creditor has place a lien on the property. Problems such as these are stressful and can be expensive to resolve, but can be brought to your attention, before closing on the property, by conducting a title search. Enabling you to approach the seller with any problems before they are passed on to you with the property.

Homeowner’s association or condo rules

If you are purchasing a home or condo that falls within a homeowners association, you should look into any CC&Rs, conditions, restrictions, or declarations of covenants. It is highly advisable to review the rules and regulations of the property, and any potential fines that could be incurred for infractions, as some properties have strict rules. With regulations governing anything from the color of the home to the amount and type of vehicles that can be parked outside the property, RVs are sometimes banned.

By purchasing the property you are agreeing to live by these rules, so it is a good idea to review them and ensure that you are willing to go along with them. If you are unwilling, you can withdraw from the deal and look for another property that is more suitable.