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.

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.

Tips for an Easy Move: 7 Strategies To Save Your Hassle and Headaches

Moving? These are our 7 tips for an easy move

Here are 7 tips for an easy move that will make the day go extra easy. We’ve owned over 21 homes and moved countless times.  Here are some things we’ve discovered that make the move easier.  From things you can do in advance to strategies for the day of, these tips will save you hassle and headache and ensure that your friends helping you move still like you when it is over.

 

1. Purge, purge, purge

Our number one item tips for an easy move?  The more stuff you get rid of, the less stuff you have to pack, move and then unpack.  A move is the BEST opportunity to get rid of the clutter.
Go through your books, clothing, kitchenware and garage and challenge yourself to get rid of anything that is old, outdated, broken or that you didn’t even know you owned.

2.  Pack stuff that won’t be needing right away first

Another one of our tips or an easy move is to pack the things that you don’t need right away.  Things that you don’t use regularly should get pack up first and unpacked last.

 

3.  Have a system for labeling your boxes

As you are packing up, label your boxes – which room they are going to and also which order they need to be unpacked.  Especially be clear which boxes have things that you’ll need right away – so that you can unpack them quickly.

 

4.  Take inventory

One of our biggest tips for an easy move is to take inventory.  As you are packing up, label boxes and list what is inside.  This is critical for moving companies as they will want to know exactly what is in a box if it goes missing.

 

5.  Be ready for your movers

No matter if you have professional movers showing up or friends who are willing to lend a hand, be ready for them when they arrive.  If you are still tossing things into boxes, the day of a move, the likelihood that things will get damaged, accidentally get tossed or go missing is much higher.

Plus you’ll annoy anyone who is standing around waiting.

 

6.  Don’t go grocery shopping for a week before you move

Eat up all your perishables, clean out your fridge and freezer, and also some of your pantry.  Unless you are moving a very very short distance, you can’t take it with you

 

7.  Have a moving day “kit”

Have some essentials ready to go, set aside with easy access – things you’ll need right away in your new space.  It will save you time, money, and multiple trips to the store.
These are things that you don’t want to dig through boxes of stuff to find after a long day of moving.

Some things to include: 

 

  • Clothes, toiletries, medication and personal items that you will need right away when you arrive – enough for a few days.
  • Linens – at least sheets, pillowcases, a shower curtain and towels for the bathroom and kitchen.  Nothing is worse than not being able to take a shower after a move because you don’t have towels or a curtain.
  • Some snacks and drinks for you and your moving team
  • Cleaning supplies, light bulbs, toilet paper, paper towels, rags garbage bags.  You’ll likely arrive and have to do some (hopefully) light cleaning and as you unpack you’ll have some trash right off the back.

 

Anything tips for an easy move that you’d add to the list?

Some additional resources and tips for a easy move: