Buying A Home As A Newly Married Couple


While the home buying struggles of unmarried couples are well known, the process is not straight forward for married couples either. After tying the knot, many newlyweds look forward to buying a home together. But before you start scanning property listings and searching for the perfect bathroom suite, make sure you sit down together and ask each other these house buying questions.

What is your financial history and credit rating?

At the start of a relationship, couples talk all the time, from music to travel and everything in between. However, as a married couple you should have a serious conversation about your finances and credit scores.

While some couples will have already discussed their credit scores, others consider it a taboo topic of discussion. If one person has a credit score that is significantly lower than their partners, it could affect the couple’s chances of securing a mortgage to buy a property, or at a minimum affect the ability to get an appealing interest rate on a loan.

Discussing your credit scores with each other before arranging to meet with a mortgage lender is vital. By knowing your credit rating you have the chance to work on repairing any credit problems before you apply to get a mortgage. If you don’t know your credit score, you can contact your credit card company to see if you can access your score for free, or use an online credit check company.

Where do you want to live in a few years time and in the future?

The life goals you want to achieve will impact the type of property, and the mortgage, that is most suitable for you. If you plan to stay for a long time in a property, then a fixed interest rate 30 year mortgage may be for you, since it ensures that your interest and monthly payments will be consistent throughout the length of your loan.

If, however, you plan on moving again within a reasonably short amount of time, to buy a bigger property for starting a family – then a fixed rate mortgage may not be the most suitable. A better option may be an adjustable rate mortgage that offers a lower rate of interest than a fixed rate mortgage for a preliminary length of time, possibly up to 7 years. After the initial period of time has passed, the interest rate can fluctuate up and down as a result of market indexes.

Will one of you be a stay at home parent?

After tying the knot, you may not want to rush into starting a family, so why the need to have a discussion about kids? Because having children will drastically affect your income as a couple, which is crucial for establishing how much you can afford on a property. A good rule to follow: don’t have mortgage expenses that account for over 30 percent of your take home income.

Remember that you may be making mortgage payments for up to 30 years, so you should not only consider your current income, but your anticipated future income. What happens when/if you have children and one of you decides to leave work to look after the kids at home?

Your family income could be reduced by half. So when you are estimating how large of a mortgage you need, it is best to be cautious. Just because you are eligible for a $1 million loan, it doesn’t mean you should go out and buy a $1 million property.

What happens to the property if your marriage breaks down?

Although you may be a happy, recently married, pair of love birds, you should discuss the potential future conclusion of your marriage, through divorce or death. If either, unfortunately, occurs you will need to know how to separate your assets.

When buying a property as a married couple, you have several home ownership options. Joint tenancy is the most common type of ownership with spouses. Each partner holds an equal share in the property. If one of the couple dies, the deceased’s share of the property is passed on automatically to the surviving spouse.

Tenancy in common is another option, with its transferable interest in the property, which may be a more suitable form of homeownership. If one person is contributing a larger initial down payment or paying the majority of the mortgage payments, they can protect their investment in the event of divorce.

Home Exterior Considerations To Make Before You Buy

When you’re house hunting it’s very easy to focus in on certain attributes of a house that you find appealing. Unfortunately when you narrow your focus in on the things that are perfect about the house, you’ll often overlook some important things in the process. Make sure you thoroughly examine the exterior of your “dream home” before you go through with your purchase.

Here I’ll be giving you a specific list of key elements to examine while inspecting your potential home’s exterior. None of these issues have to be a home buying deal breaker, but the seller should be willing to help you resolve anything I list below before you sign on the dotted line and finalize your purchase.

Trees

Does the property have any trees? Trees can and to the overall beauty of the home but they can also create problems for your foundation if they get to be too big. So be sure to examine how close these trees are to your homes foundation. Also if the tree already has well established roots within the home’s foundation, there can be a drop in your foundation if those roots are removed. If the trees are large enough to encounter the roof of the house then consider inspecting the roof as well. The roof can often be overlooked when potential buyers examine the exterior of the property. Trees that come in contact with the roof can leave certain areas exposed and open to rodents or even birds to build nests. Rodents especially will use an overhanging branch to make their way onto your roof.

In addition to trees surrounding your home take note of any other foliage that comes in contact with the home. If the seller hasn’t done an adequate job maintaining the bushes that surround the house then you may encounter problems with insects later down the line.

Foliage upkeep in general is usually a strong indicator of the type of attention the seller gave the exterior of the house. If things look a little lack luster from afar, it should certainly be cause for a closer inspection.

Foundation

Many buyers come across cracked concrete and think nothing of it. However, crack in the concrete can allow for moisture to penetrate your foundation. If you live somewhere with very cold winters this can pose a very significant problem for you financially. It’s certainly advisable that if you find significant cracks in the foundation that you negotiate a repair cost with the seller.

Also experts usually suggest that you expect the foundation for adequate drainage. It’s advised that you have about 2 inches of exposure and a gradual slope away from your house to prevent water from collecting.

Pool

Pools are always big selling points, but just because you’ve always wanted a pool doesn’t mean you should forget to inspect it carefully. Pools obviously come with a significant amount of upkeep and sellers can easily neglect that upkeep. So inquire about the age of the pool itself and the equipment that comes with it. It may also be worth asking about any resurfacing.

If you encounter a problem

One or two problems with the exterior doesn’t have to break the deal. If you and the seller can reach an agreement that solves the issue at hand then by all means proceed with purchasing the house. if you can’t find an affordable solution to it however, consider passing on the house. Have an in-depth inspection of the property done, list out anything that needs attention before you agree to close and find a way to resolve it.

In most instances the exterior issues you encounter can easily be fixed and the deal can proceed. Just don’t allow the big selling points of your possible dream home distract you from exterior issues that the seller is responsible for. Also consult your agent if you’re not sure which issues the seller should be responsible for handling, once your inspection is complete of course.
If you have any further questions about inspecting your property please feel free to leave me your contact info in any one of the available forms here on the page.

The Key Factors For Choosing A Storage Facility


Every now and again you’ll come across things around the house that you never use but you can’t throw away or donate. These items can take up significant space in your home and become quite a hassle to store. If you find yourself in such a situation, using a storage facility is a great option to keep your possessions secure and easily accessible. Below are some crucial factors to help you decide on  exactly what you’re looking for when it comes to choosing a self storage facility.

What type of storage do you need?

You should choose a facility that provides the right storage options to suit your specific requirements.

Size

It can be difficult to judge how much space you will need to adequately store your items. Renting a unit that is too large is a waste of your funds, while storage that is too small, will obviously not be able to hold all of your items. To estimate the amount of space you will need, make a comprehensive list of all the items that you wish to store and shop around for quotes and advice from storage companies on the size of storage unit you will require.

Climate controlled storage

While they can be more expensive, climate controlled storage units are ideal for keeping items that are delicate or of sentimental value. Or if you reside in an area that is affected by varying climatic conditions, climate controlled units are a great way to keep your possessions safe and secure from the elements.

Storage location

Storage that is located close to larger cities tends to be rented at a premium, whereas more isolated storage locations are usually cheaper. If you require your items to be regularly accessible, it is a good idea to choose a storage location that is nearby to your home. If you only rarely need your items, a cheaper facility that is further away from your home is worth considering.

Ease of access

Standard weekday access to your storage unit may not fit with your schedule, while some storage facilities are accessible 24/7 and may be more suited to your needs. Decide how often and at what times you will need access your storage unit before researching the accessible hours available at different storage facilities.

Security

You want your possessions to be secure, so security is a priority when choosing a storage facility. Make sure that the storage company offers the following security and safety features.

CCTV and alarm

The facility should have a modern camera surveillance system and alarm system. It should have comprehensive coverage of the whole site to ensure the security of the storage units.

Fire safety

The facility should be equipped with fire alarms and a sprinkler system to protect your items from fire damage.

Storage Features

Storage units should be adequately ventilated by gaps at the top of the walls, or a ventilation system, to ensure that there is circulation of air to prevent any mildew. The floor of the unit should be raised to avoid the flow of any surface water, and the door should be secure and equipped with a strong latch so you can use a personal lock.

Upkeep of the facility

The condition of a storage facility is a good indicator of the trustworthiness of the company. When researching facilities you should ensure that:

The buildings a well maintained and not structurally damaged. Holes and cracks in a building can indicate leaking, infestations of pests, and other issues.

The property is kept clean and in a good state of repair. Dirty and cluttered areas indicate a lack of maintenance and increased fire risk.

Useful equipment and loading docks are available to clients.

Ample parking, with direct access to the storage.

Adequate lighting to ensure you can easily handle your belongings during the day and night.

A high occupancy of storage units, a lack of occupancy indicates the facility may have underlying problems.

Friendly and helpful staff that are knowledgeable about the operation of the facility.

Visit storage facilities in person before choosing a company. You will be well informed of the strengths and weak points of each site before making a decision. Make sure that the facility you choose provides satisfactory theft and damage insurance to cover your valuable items.

Closing Day Problems And How To Avoid Them


Purchasing a home for the first time can be a daunting experience, and the closing day is perhaps the most daunting part of the buying process. Dealing with unexpected issues that may arise can be difficult. While some problems can be easily solved, others can derail a deal at the final hurdle.

Disheartening walk-through surprises

The final walk-through of the property is the number one cause of unexpected issues on closing day. The final inspection takes place the day before, or during the morning of, closing day, leaving the buyer with not much time to prepare and react to potential problems.

A heavy storm may reveal downstairs flooding, or the furniture that you thought was included has vanished, cracks in the ceiling or walls may be revealed.

If the issue is a serious problem you should take careful steps in proceeding with the deal. To avoid any unfortunate revelations, you should have very thorough inspections of the property before the final walk-through on closing day.

Feel free to ask the current owner to view the property after a large storm to inspect for any damp or potential flooding. Discovering a last minute problem does not necessarily mean the deal should be compromised. Negotiate to have the cost of repairs covered by the seller, and have the money put in escrow. Get estimates from professionals to verify how much the repairs will cost.

What the seller takes with them

A common issue on closing day is confusion between the buyer and seller over which items are taken by the seller and which items remain with the property. Perhaps you liked the antique furniture at the property and were disappointed to discover it had disappeared on closing day.

Unless you’re extremely attached to an item and regard it as a deal breaker, it is often best to let go any issues over the transfer of items and furniture. The simplest solution to any misunderstanding on closing day is to state in a contract what is expected to remain or must be removed. Be detailed and make sure that the contract matches what you expect to be in the property on closing day.

Credit issues

Most buyers have approval for a mortgage organised over a month before closing day. However, slight changes to your financial situation can alter your credit rating and problems can occur right up to the point of closing on the deal. If you change your job, apply for a credit card or loan, fail to make payments or bills, even an unexpected influx of cash can cause issues with mortgage approval.

If the lender backs out of the deal, you will have to find another mortgage provider before you can close. The mortgage provider may adjust the interest rate and you will have to reconsider whether the property is still affordable.

To avoid any lending issues, you should communicate with the mortgage provider the day before closing to ensure there are no issues, and resolve any if there are. It’s advisable to avoid any large financial moves in the month or so before closing, like changes to your employment or any financial influx from a relative or family member.

Money transfer problems

The crucial part of closing day is the transfer of funds. Some banks and financial institutions prefer to conduct transfers electronically, while others prefer certified checks. If you bring the wrong paperwork or make a mistake with account numbers, you can delay the deal.

While not to serious, it is best to avoid creating any unnecessary stress. Ask your mortgage provider and real estate agent what type of transfer is required.

Title issues

A title company will reveal details of the property, such as any liens, covenants, and past ownership, that can reveal serious issues on closing day. Give yourself time to consider any issues or stipulations that come with the property. Any tax owed on the property or claims of ownership from family members or co-owners can delay closing. While and unpaid HOA dues or covenants can be a surprise, but not derail closing on the property. It can be frustrating, but all title problems must be resolved before closing. However, when it comes to purchasing a property it is better to proceed with caution than making any costly errors that must be dealt with later.

Renting a Home: City or Suburbs Dilemma


The rental market of today offers plenty of properties to suit the tastes of both city lovers and suburbanites. Renters just have to work out which location and lifestyle suits them best.

Is your dream rental property a cool townhouse in the heart of a vibrant city center? Or are you more suited to the more relaxed lifestyle and spacious properties available in the suburbs?

The suburbs versus the city has been debated by potential renters for decades. The suburbs tend to offer better schools, more space, and peace and quiet, while the city offers unmatched convenience, exciting city culture, and the cool factor of living in the heart of the metropolis.

Each location has positives and negatives to mull over. The most important factor is to choose the neighbourhood that best suites you and your lifestyle.

Monthly rental costs

Living in the city is very popular with today’s renters and the cost of renting a property downtown may seem more expensive than suburbia. However, surprisingly the average monthly rent of an urban property, $1,640, is actually cheaper than the average cost of renting a property in a suburban area, $1,695.

The monthly rental cost obviously depends on the location, some cities cost much more to live in an urban area.

How much space for your money: inside and out

Per square foot, the suburbs offer more space for your money. Urban properties cost $1.22 per square foot, while the suburbs are cheaper with an average cost of $1.04.

How much space do you need and how many rooms do you require? Do you want a spacious kitchen to prepare meals, or will a compact kitchen suffice. Do you mind having neighbours below and either side of your home, or do you require a more private property location?

Outdoor space is also a consideration. Urban apartments sometimes have a rooftop deck and a small pool, but suburban properties often have much more, and larger, outdoor facilities.

Do you like the idea of enjoying a sunny afternoon in your own spacious back yard, or is the idea of lounging on a balcony and watching the bustling city life below more appealing?

City homes don’t often include large private areas. However, you will be close by to the large public parks, museums and other exciting city locations to visit.

Transport and commuting

Do you own a vehicle? Do you like being able to walk to the shops, cafes, or the local bar?

These are considerations that you should take into account when deciding where you wish to rent. In the suburbs, a car can be essential and the costs of fuel and upkeep should be factored in. How long will it take you to drive to work and transport connections for commuting?

Parking is cheaper in the suburbs than in the city, but most city dwellers often do not need a car. Most urban areas have great public transport options and can be cheaper and often quicker than traveling by car.

Suburban and city schools

If you have children that attend school, this can be a major factor in your decision. On average, schools in suburbia tend to be regarded as better than schools in the city. However, this can vary by location and private schooling is an option if you can afford it.

Lifestyle choices

In the past, the suburbs used to lack the culture and shopping centers of the city, but times have changed and the suburbs offer much more than they use to.

Today’s suburbs, especially suburban areas close to big cities, have been developing into centers for shopping, eating, and more active pursuits.

You need to decide what best suits your lifestyle. Do you want to be within easy travelling distance of first class museums and vibrant late night music and entertainment areas? If you do, the city is probably a better fit for you.

However, if you’re more interested in restaurants and visiting cultural hubs every now and again, the suburbs may be more suited to you and your lifestyle.

Whether you are attracted to the bright lights of the bustling city, or the peace and quiet and white picket fences of suburbia, you have a lot of factors to consider before making your decision. Decide on the necessities for your home and local area, and what you would like from the location. Once you know what you want and need, you can find the property that is suited to your city life or suburban lifestyle.

Being Outbid On A Home Can Be A Good Thing

Too many people go through a tough time when they are trying to save up money to buy their dream home. One common challenge that makes the entire process stressful is the competition from other potential home buyers. The big fish out on the market target and the shallow pool of properties available. If you don’t have enough money to match their bid, you’ll probably lose out. However its all a matter of perspective, so lets discuss why being outbid might actually be the best thing that can happen.

The beauty of being outbid

While it can be stressful to place your bid on a particular property that is targeted by the super-wealthy, it can also have some benefits. One unbeatable fact is that being outbid in one home is not the end of it all. Suppose you are outbid by a higher offer than the one you placed on a specific home, there will always be another home elsewhere! There is always another home that will provide you with the features you’re looking for an an appropriate price.

The money-saving opportunity

One thing about being outbid on a home is that you end up securing your budget. Stick with your budget and try to avoid a bidding war that could lead you well outside your comfortable range. This means that you will save money and avoid blowing your budget.

Some people make the mistake of placing a higher bid just to win and secure ownership. Conversely, you now have dipped into your reserves and can no longer afford to make the changes you were hoping to make. Without the budget needed to renovate your home, it may never be the home you were hoping it would be.

How to deal with an outbid

A lot of potential homebuyers are tensed when they can’t win the bid and be the owner of a specific property. It is all about being wise and using the right strategies and tips to avoid overspending and stay on the safe side. Here are some insights to help you out.

Determine your budget

Before you think of placing any bid on any home, you should again consider your budget and determine if you can afford the property or not. The point here is to purchase what is within your reach, based on your finances. This means current financial situations and possible future financial situations.

• Do not panic

As you are preparing to place a bid on a particular home, always keep in mind that some offers can be rejected. Never be afraid of placing an offer on any home of your choice.

• Know when to stop

Understand what it is that makes the property so appealing to you and understand what it might cost to add such features to another house with a lower price tag. Set your budget and go into the process with back up houses in mind. Having a back up will allow you to stop at your limit with more ease.

Study the bid keenly

You may encounter a situation where the initial price of the house is really quite low, but the final bidder will pay almost double the price. Therefore, study the number of bids of a particular home before you rush in. Sometimes you’ll come across deliberately low pricing attempting to create a bidding war. Remember try to avoid a bidding war if possible.

• Consider going for the older homes

When the bidding war is heating up on the top homes in the market, you can use this opportunity to look for older homes that need a little remodeling. Here, you will not only save money, but you will have the chance to renovate the home to match your preference.

Have a backup plan

Before you take part in a bidding war, you should always have a backup home (as mentioned earlier) that you will turn to when you are outbid. This helps save you time and spares you the stress of looking for a new home once your target home is gone. The backup home can be well within the price and area or in a different neighborhood all together. All in all, ensure that you know where to turn to after you lose in a bidding war.

You should set your budget and determine the “no-go zone”. If anyone else places a bid that is beyond your limit, you will have to pull out as soon as possible. This will of course save you money and prevent you from making a purchase you really can’t afford. Anyone can be overwhelmed when it comes to bidding on a spectacular home. Nonetheless, it is always advised to consider the aftermath, and determine what you will pay in the long run. Always stick to your budget, no matter how elegant and attractive the target home seems. There will always be another home waiting to give you all the features you’re looking for at the price you want.

The Future of Sharing Your Home?


Property developers, home builders, and mortgage lenders are working hard to adapt to the growing trend of shared properties that are accommodating several generations of families and shared rental units.

Statistics show that more families in the United States are now sharing a home, with reasons ranging from the cultural and economic, to those centered ob providing care to family members.

A Fannie Mae study in 2013 showed that families of the same generation or multiple generations, parents, grandparents, and children, in a shared home accounted for just under a quarter (21 percent) of all households in the United States.

The lowest year on record for homes shared by multiple generations of families in the United States was back in 1980.

Two homes in a single property

The statistics show a growing trend of shared homes, a shift that the property industry must adapt to.

John Burns Real Estate Consulting conducted a survey on the growing trend of shared homes. Their results show that forty-two percent of potential home buyers plan to accommodate for their adult children; and forty four percent would like their property to be able to accommodate their elderly parents/family members.

Property developers and home builders are adapting to the growing demand for shared homes by creating and adapting properties so they can accommodate several generations of the family. Separate entrances, bedroom suites with private kitchen areas and living spaces, and separated outdoor areas are becoming increasingly important tick boxes for family aimed properties. The privacy and secluded areas of the property are designed to offer a home that can accommodate several generations of a family, but still offer some separation.

The beginning of the year saw the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) International Builders’ show in Las Vegas, which showcased the latest homes that have been designed to offer comfortable living accommodation for several families or help home owners that wish to earn an extra income from their property.

Element Design Build displayed a 5,000 square foot concept property that included a completely separate accommodation unit on the second floor of the property, designed to accommodate children of adult age or elderly parents/grandparents.

A TRI Pointe company, Pardee Homes, showcased another property that featured two guest suites, that include separate entrances and self contained kitchens, which could be rented on internet based home sharing markets and websites.

A survey conducted by TRI Pointe discovered that over 1 in 3 (35 percent) young adults would like the opportunity to rent out areas of their home, at least intermittently. According to Linda Mamet, the vice president of corporate marketing at TRI Pointe, the financial benefit of renting out part of their home made the prospect of buying a home a more affordable proposition.

Mortgage

However, potential home owners will still more than likely need a mortgage.

By analyzing the data of loan performance and household demographics, Fannie Mae demonstrated that the makeup of American households was changing, and asked whether the rules that govern mortgage lending should be adjusted.

As a result of the research Fannie Mae conducted, the HomeReady mortgage was introduced at the start of the year. The mortgage allows lenders to consider the extra income from renting or boarding to help the requester qualify. The HomeReady mortgage also permits potential buyers to put down a minimum of 3 percent and also eliminates the top barrier and credit score that is often cited as a hindrance by young potential buyers that are currently renting a property.

The vice president of capital market, underwriting, an pricing at Fannie Mae, Jonathan Lawless, claims that the HomeReady breaks from the traditions of lending by offering a groundbreaking new element to a mortgage, that supports those that wish to have an extended household.

Making strides forward by adapting to the needs of the market

The housing industry is quickly attempting to adapt to meet the needs of the market and demand for accommodating shared households, whether it is a newly designed property layout that can provide private space for renters or independent members of the family or a new type of mortgage that regards methods of income differently.

The housing industry works in the same ways as other business industries; once a product is doing well other companies will adapt their strategies to follow in the footsteps of what is successful. So we can expect plenty more of invention as the housing industry adapts to the changes of the modern day household.

Thinking of Buying a Flipped Home?

Home buyers often make the mistake of assuming that a recently renovated home is the same as a brand new property. They see the newly renovated property as a problem free and ready to move in home. Newly renovated homes often sell for top price, due to the buyer’s belief that the property is turnkey and ready to move in.

House flipping shows are very popular on TV and make the process of transforming a home seem quite easy. However, TV shows do not stick around long enough to show how the home holds up after a buyer moves in, strong weather, and unavoidable wear and tear.

Property flippers and contractors are often keen to move on to the next property as soon as possible. While others can find hidden issues that require greater expense, resulting in them going over budget. Work on the home can often be rushed as a result.

If you are thinking of buying a flipped home, one that has been purchased by the seller within the last year, the tips below will help you avoid any distressing problems down the line.

Concentrate on the details

While new bathrooms, kitchens, and appliances will draw your attention, try to look beyond at the quality of the workmanship. The details will reveal how well the work on the property has been completed.

The signs of rushed work include:

Slanted or unevenly spaced bathroom tiles

Doors that do not close flush to the door frame

Gaps between the wall and countertops

Light switch plates that are slanted or not flush to the wall

Any cosmetic mistakes could be an indication of bigger problems that cannot be easily spotted by the untrained eye. If the house flipper little attention to the details, you should make sure to check the plumbing connections, the gas line to the water heater, and the electrical panel. Lack of attention to detail can often times signal lack of attention to other more significant areas of your home.

Make sure you have a full inspection of the property

Buyers often make the mistake of assuming a newly renovated property will be in brand new condition. Don’t make the same mistake and be sure to get a quality inspection done.

An inspector will be able to check the quality of the contractors work, and find any hidden issues that the buyer may not see. Has the contractor completed the work thoroughly or tried to get away with the minimal amount due to the desire for a short turnaround on the property? Have the renovations been completed in compliance with code?

The local area authority will have signed off on the renovations, but officials are strictly looking at issues concerning health and safety. A home inspection will give a complete overview of whether the property is up to scratch.

Be diligent

Buyers that are purchasing a flipped home should make sure to fully review the disclosures. Were the correct permits taken out and signed off for the work that has been completed?

Make sure you receive copies of all work approvals and finalized permits. If you don’t receive them, you can look for them online or at the local building department. All permits that are applied for and signed off on are a matter of public record.

Always ensure that all permits are cleared before closing on a property. As the new owner, you could be liable for any unsafe or illegal work.

Research the flipper

Find out as much information as possible about the seller. Are they an experienced contractor? Do they have a positive reputation in the community? Your estate agent can help you find information relating to the seller.

Good contractors and investors have been flipping properties for some time, and have an established reputation. A property flipper with a strong track record should be open and clear with disclosures, documentation, and even provide warranties. A good home flipper is interested in maintaining their reputation as well as accumulating satisfied customers. They don’t want complaints from buyers, legal issues, and a bad reputation.

The last two years have seen a significant increase in homes being purchased for the purpose of renovation followed by resale. Improvements can be completed to a high standard, but there is a chance the contractor was over budget or short on time. Properties that have renovation rushed can leave the new owner with plenty of problems.

Flipped properties should be checked over top to bottom by a trained expert that knows what they are looking for. Poor workmanship can cost money and the peace of mind of the new owner.

Becoming The In Demand Property On The Market


Boost the interest in your property by including additional key amenities and making the most of the buyer appeal of your home’s top features.

Whether you have lived in your home for two or twenty years, when the time arrives to sell your home you must change how you view your property. You need to view your home as a product that is for sale. Like any good salesman, you want your product to attract the interest of buyers and stand out from the competing products on the store shelf.

Of course it can be difficult to change how you see your property. The memories that you have made here paired with the emotional attachment you feel for your home can make it a difficult mental switch. However, sellers that can form the needed emotional detachment and make that mental transition will benefit financially over those that struggle to overcome their attachment to their home. Properties that move quickly into the contract stage and with few hold ups in price negotiation and reductions usually sell for greater financial value, a goal that every seller should have when selling their property.

What are buyers are looking for in a home?

The homes that sell the fastest and are on the market for the least amount of time usually have lots of the hot features that buyers in today’s market find appealing and desirable. A good salesman knows that the key to making a product appealing is to understand what the consumer wants, and to provide the product that fills that need. People selling their home should do the same with the sale of their property.

When you’re in the stages of preparing to put your home up for sale, you should consider making minor renovations, upgrades, by cleaning the property and possibly some light staging. It is not unheard of for some sellers to question whether they really want to leave their home after making noteworthy upgrades to their property, prior to putting it on the market.

In today’s housing market, the majority of buyers are looking for turn key homes that are ready for the buyer to move in as soon as the paperwork of the property purchase is complete. The more attractive move in ready features that a property has the better to attract potential buyers.

Focus the upgrading of your property on kitchens and bathrooms

It is a well known and well established rule of real estate that the kitchen and bathroom can make or break the sale of a property. If your home’s kitchen or bathroom is outdated or a little tired, consider an upgrade that could bring some life into the room and attract buyers.

A simple lick of paint can work wonders in the kitchen. Paint cabinets white to give a bright and clean look to your kitchen, and consider including some new stone counter tops made from granite or quartz. Old and tired faucets should be replaced with fresh new units.

Upgrades should be seen as an investment and you can see an incredible return on the moderate amount you need to spend to brighten up the key features of a property.

Make the most of your property’s key features

Industry experts know that a property with certain features is more likely to sell faster. Even if you are unable to upgrade your home, you may already be blessed with some of the hot features that are on most buyers’ wish lists.

If you home has subway tiles in the bathroom or kitchen, craftsmen features, or barn doors you are already a step ahead of the competition with these hot features that are currently in demand. Home features that are in demand help to sell a property faster, so if you have them make the most of these features.

Home sellers must think like the CEO of a company selling their new product, fashion accessory, or gadget, for their industry. A smart salesman finds out what their audience wants and adapts their product to meet the demand of their customers.

When you are ready to sell your home, consider the needs of your potential buyer and turn your property in to an in demand product that will attract buyers.

The Pros and Cons of a Month-to-Month Lease

The rental market can prove to be a very intimidating environment. There are a number of sites to search through, legal jargon to research, and even misleading landlords to deal with. Obviously it can be a very rigorous process. However, there are certain decisions to make before you even consider entering the search phase of your apartment hunt. Making these decisions early on will help elevate some of the potential stress of the entire process.

So let’s go over some of the advantages and disadvantages of specifically a month to month lease. The type of lease you decide on will impact a number of things as you move along. So consider your own needs first and compare them with the following pro’s and con’s.

Pro: Flexibility

For some flexibility is a very important aspect of owning an apartment. Obviously investing in a mortgage can lock you down for a longer period of time. If your future is somewhat up in the air, even within the next 6-12 months than a month to month lease might be ideal for you.

It’s important to note that you’ll need to give your landlord at least a 30 day notice before you’re ready to move on from your apartment.

Con: Cost

While you did the added flexibility you’ll often times be charged a premium. The goal is to have an apartment rented as much as possible and finding someone to replace you can prove to be a challenging process for the land lord. To compensate for the possible time gap between your departure and another renters arrival you might have pay more.

A 12 month lease will certainly be cheaper and allow you to lock in a rental rate. However, if you do need to leave before that 12 month period is up you’ll need to find someone to take your place. This is the only way you’ll be allowed to terminate the agreement early.

Pro: TYPICALLY you can switch to a long-term lease

In most cases a Landlord will be open to the idea of you becoming a longterm tenant. As long as you we’re a good tenant that is. Discuss this possibility with the landlord first however before making your final decision.

Con: Non fixed rent

On a month to month rent basis the landlord is legally allowed to hike your rent for any reason. One of the best benefits to a 12 month lease is a locked in rent rate. So be leery of this possibility.

Pro: Renovated

In most cases it isn’t all that difficult to find an apartment that was actually designed or renovated specifically for a short term renter. Places near hotspots in town for example typically accommodate such a thing. Also you should find there are some caps in place in most cities preventing land lords from hiking your rent too high. Again though, only a longer term lease will let you establish a fixed rate.

Con: Cost of Moving

Flexibility is great and all but remember if you bounce around from short term lease to short term lease, you’ll use up money that could have been used on a down payment. Also there are some apartment complexes that charge a move in fee.

Con: More Searching

In most cases landlords will want a longer term commitment so you might have to do more searching than you would like to. Finding the right land lord who won’t hike your rent and will be perfectly fine with your short term lease is some what of a rarity but it certainly can be done.

Choosing between a short term lease and a 12 month lease can certainly seem like a difficult task. Flexibility is certainly a desirable quality, especially if your at an early stage in your life. It’s important to note however again that you can in most cases opt out of your 12 year lease if you have another renter lined up to take your place. So talk to your land lord and see if they’re comfortable with you locking in a 12 month rate as well as with the possibility of you leaving as long as you have a replacement.

Bottom line, just be open an honest with your landlord about your intentions and you should be able to find a set up that works out well for the both of you.