Tips for First Time Home Buyers

Buying your first home is a very exciting time, but first-time homebuyers can also feel a bit anxious if you do not have all the information you need or are not fully prepared for all the costs necessary to buy a home.

 

Here are some things to consider to help you be prepared for your big move.

  • First and foremost, determine a realistic amount for how much you can afford.Consider your current monthly budget, leave room for miscellaneous home costs and repairs, like HOA fees, taxes and insurance. Then determine the amount you can afford for a house payment, considering what percentage of your take-home pay can be used.

 

  • Pay off all debt. Carrying debt will not only decrease the amount you will qualify for but can also add stress to your monthly bottom line
  • Save for a down payment. Having 20% down is ideal, that will get you into a position of not having to pay Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).
  • Save for closing costs. Typically, closing costs are 3-4% of the purchase price. Once you have a good idea of the home price, you can get to this number easily.
  • Loan pre-approval. Once you have paid off debt and saved for closing cost, it is a good idea to have a lender pre-approve you for a loan. This will help expedite the closing process and give you an idea of what amount you actually qualify for.

 

  • When it comes time to finding the perfect house, research desirable neighborhoods to find the best fit.

 

  • Hire a real estate agent that can help you navigate the maze of open houses and do all the necessary paperwork!

Tips for Getting Your Home Ready to Sell

Now that you have made the decision to sell, getting your home in the best condition so it will show well can take a little time.

 

Some simple tips for getting your home ready to sell are just minor details. Like, on showing days, be sure there are no dishes in the sink, all the beds are made and the house is freshly vacuumed. Wipe off counters, hang fresh towels and putting fresh flowers out is a nice touch!

 

Here are a few other tips to consider:

Give your house a deep cleaning

You want any potential buyers to get the best first impression possible. Deep cleaning includes, laundering drapes, cleaning base boards and blinds. Remember not to neglect the bathrooms. Give your backsplashes a good wipe down in both the kitchen and bathrooms.

De-clutter

Having a cluttered space makes it difficult for some buyers to see the homes potential, it can also make a space appear smaller than it is. Getting rid of unnecessary Knick knacks and decorations will allow people to see their belongings in the space, and make the space more asthetically pleasing overall.

Paint Walls

A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for a room. Stick to neutral colors like light grays, whites and beige etc. Having freshly painted walls also allows potential buyers to check an item off their list of things to do when they move in.

Stage Your Home

Spruce up the inside by adding textures, symmetry and nice linens. This can be as easy as adding throw pillows. Lighting candles also adds warmth and homeyness.

Don’t forget about curb appeal, make sure your yard and walk ways are free from debris and obstacles.

Hire a handyman

Little things like broken drawers, even burned out light bulbs etc, may seem like just annoyances but having multiple items that need fixing can devalue your home to some people. Do the things you can do yourself, then hire a handyman for the others.

How To Find & Work With a Property Manager

Making the decision to work with a property manager or management company is not one to take lightly. After all, having investment property is a big undertaking in itself, you defiantly need a reliable property manager to entrust it to. Hiring the right property manager will defiantly make the rental process much easier for you in the long run.

Here are few tips when looking for one to hire.

 

Do your research.

 

Find out how many other properties they manage and how many are vacant.

 

  • How do they advertise property that is available for rent?
  • Are there any negative reviews about them?
  • Check with the Better Business Bureau and Real Estate Commission as well.

Ask for referrals.

 

Real estate agents are a great resource when looking to hire a property manager.

Ask around to other property owners, who do you know that also has rental property? Who do they use? Check with the Better Business Bureau and Real Estate Commission for this as well.

 

Meet with them in person before hiring them.

 

Often your first impressions are the best way to decide. Meet with him/her to get a sense of their professionalism, knowledge etc. Get clarification on how they can be reached, text, phone call, email etc. There is nothing more frustrating than hiring someone to manage something and they are difficult to reach when needed.

Look over the contract with a critical eye.

 

If something seems off or unfair, ask for clarification. Do not sign anything until you are certain that this property manager best suits your needs. Also make sure the costs are in line with your expectations and other companies.

Property management is a competitive field, doing your due diligence will pay off and you will enjoy the extra income the rental property can provide by choosing the best person/company for the job.

Why You Should Work With a Realtor

Working with a realtor to buy or sell a home is not only a good idea, it will take most of the stress out of the process. From dealing with the financials to writing contracts that protect you in the transaction, working with a realtor is an important first step to having a successful sale.

10 Reasons why you should work with a realtor:

 

1. Hiring a realtor will ensure your property is listed at the right price, as a result it will help it sell faster.

 

2. Presenting your property in the best manner is also vital to the sale, from staging to pricing, a professional can help direct you in this process.

 

3. Exposure is key. Realtors work for you, ensuring that your property has the proper exposure, from open houses to social media.

4. Working with a professional will ensure your contacts are signed and initialed correctly so there are no hiccups at closing. Working with a realtor streamlines the entire closing process and allows you to just show up at a scheduled time.

5. A realtor will schedule showings and appointments to see the property, all while keeping you in the loop on any progress.

6. Hiring a realtor gives you the peace of mind knowing that a professional ‘has your back’ and is working diligently to meet your needs throughout the real estate transaction. Have questions on any part of the process? Your realtor is there to help.

7. Typically, higher price offers will be presented when working with a realtor, resulting in your property selling at top of the market.

 

8. Negotiations and inspection issues are addressed by the realtor, therefore taking that responsibility off of you.

 

9. Closings are sped up when working with a realtor.

 

10. A realtor will have current market knowledge, knowing what homes have sold for in the area, therefore ensuring you have it priced correctly.

Tips for Moving with Children

Moving to a new city or even a new home can be very upsetting for children. Having to say goodbye to neighbors, school friends and teachers can be overwhelming and scary. Children often think of being the ‘new kid’ with a negative connotation and they may have anxiety about making new friends. Maintaining a positive attitude about the move and find things that they can get excited about, like decorating a new room or having a bigger yard to play in, are crucial to helping kiddos make the transition.

 

1.  Start parking early

Give children plenty of time so that they may feel like they have some control over the situation by allowing them to help pack, especially their own things. If you plan to get rid of any of their items, be sure to do it with their permission or when they are not around to see it go.

 

 

2.  Provide Reassurance

Reassure them that they can still maintain the friendships they have made at their former school or neighborhood. Invite those kids over periodically and utilize social media to stay in touch on a regular basis.

3.  Say Goodbye

Say goodbye to the old house. On the morning of the move, take the time to walk through the empty house and say goodbye, it will help your child have closure.

 

 

4.  Find a Routine

Be sure to establish a new routine quickly in your new house. Routines provide stability and young children especially do better with a routine

5.  Get Them Settled

Set up their room/space quickly. Having familiar things around them will be comforting in a new space and assure them they are ‘home’.

 

 

6.  Get to Know the New Teacher

Make early connections at the child’s new school. Let the teacher know if your child is having any anxiety, is shy, has difficulty making friends etc. This heads up will give the teacher a good understanding of how they can help put your child at ease.

New Year, New Goals 2019

The timeless tradition of setting new goals for oneself is a way to refocus at the beginning of a new year. Whether your goals are professional or personal, or both, they can be a powerful motivator when kept top of mind. Nothing is more satisfying that checking off those resolutions as you conquer the list.

This year, Monique has set both professional and personal goals. Taking on the year with gusto, she has already sold her first house of 2019, making her one step closer to her goal of 50.

 

On a personal note, Monique hopes to do more traveling this year. 2018 did not lend itself to much down time and she is ready to recharge!

In addition, she plans to work out, at least twice a week to take care of her body and her mind. The life of a real estate agent is a lot of hustle and moving parts, Monique wants to slow her pace down just a tad.

Monique also turns the big 4 0 this year! We can’t wait to see what else she has in store to make this year her best yet.