Jeffrey Harrington's Blog
Although your condo has served you well for many years, now may be a great time to look to move out of your condo and into a new home.
Ultimately, there are many reasons why you might want to sell your condo, including:
1. Your condo is too small.
Your condo was large and spacious when you initially moved into it a few years ago. However, as you have accumulated items and your family has grown, your condo now lacks the space you need.
If you find that your condo is too small for your family, there's no need to worry. In many instances, a condo offers a great starter home, and it is common for people to look to upgrade from a condo to a house.
Lucky for you, interest in condos is rampant across the United States. This means you should have no trouble stirring up interest in your condo if you ever decide to sell it.
2. You want to capitalize on a seller's market.
The housing market fluctuates constantly. As such, when a seller's market arrives, it may prove to be the best possible time to maximize the value of your condo.
In a seller's market, there is a shortage of quality properties available and an abundance of homebuyers who are searching for their dream residences. Meanwhile, if you own a top-notch condo, you may be able to add it to the real estate market and receive a hefty sum for your property.
To learn more about how a seller's market works, consult with a real estate agent. This real estate professional will be able to educate you about the ins and outs of a seller's market. And if you decide to list your condo, your real estate agent will be able to help you price it competitively from the get-go.
3. You want greater flexibility to complete home improvement projects.
Let's face it – your homeowners association (HOA) does an excellent job to maintain your home's exterior, but it would be great to have the flexibility to complete a home exterior project without the HOA's approval.
Condo living involves trade-offs. Typically, condo owners will pay HOA fees that guarantee walkways are shoveled in winter, lawns are cut in spring and summer and other day-to-day home maintenance tasks are performed regularly. On the other hand, if you want to repaint your home's exterior, you'll likely need the HOA's approval to do so. And if you decide to add a fresh coat of paint to your home's exterior on your own, you will probably receive HOA fines and penalties.
As a homeowner, you'll never have to worry about asking an HOA's permission to update your house's exterior. Instead, you can paint your home any color you'd like, plant a garden in your front yard, install a swimming pool in your backyard and much more any time you choose.
Ready to add your condo to the real estate market? Employ a real estate agent, and you can boost your chances of optimizing the value of your condo.
Your mortgage isn’t the only expense that can put a hole in your wallet. There are several hidden costs that come with owning a home. If you’re not aware of these costs, they can sneak up on you and quickly put you in a position where you can no longer afford your home. However, if you are caught by surprise when these bills arrive, there are seven steps that you can take to reduce the costs.
7 easy ways to save money as a homeowner
Utility bills are one of the biggest expenses that you’re responsible for as a homeowner. If you’re like many Americans who own a house, included among your utility bills are electric, telephone, gas, water and cable bills. By themselves, these bills equally add up to $250 to $300 a month.
Save money on utility bills by cutting out a service that you don’t use or moving to a less expensive service provider. Other ways to save money on utility bills include moving to a lower priced telephone package and only paying for cable channels that you actually use.
Here are six more ways to save on home expenses:
- Water your lawn during the evening. It helps the earth to absorb water better, eliminating the need to use more water during the heat of the day to keep your grass from turning brown.
- Perform regular maintenance on your house. Clean the gutters and repair cracks in your driveway and sidewalk when you see them instead of letting these damages get so big that they cost you hundreds of dollars to fix.
- Rid of pests immediately. Pests can chew through your walls and damage furniture.
- Work with your homeowner’s association to have them care for property around your home. Don’t take these projects on yourself if you don’t have to.
- Bundle your homeowner’s insurance with your auto and life insurance. Ask the insurance company agent to give you a discount based on where you work and how long you have been a customer. Some employer’s offer discounts on insurance to their employees.
- Install your own security alarm system. Depending on where you live, a security system that you buy from a housewares store might do the trick.
Another way to save on the cost of owning a house
Regardless of where you live, property taxes will probably rise at some point. The best way to save on property taxes is during the home buying process. Ask your real estate agent to find you a house that’s located in a thriving area that doesn’t have an enormous property tax attached to it. Let your real estate agent do the legwork for you. Don’t just look for a house that’s located in an area that has reasonable property tax rates. Go with a house that’s in an area that doesn’t experience frequent property tax increases.
If you’re a first time homeowner, you might be shocked at the hidden costs of home ownership. The sooner you familiarize yourself with the additional costs,the sooner you can prepare to meet the expenses. Knowing about the hidden costs of owning a house could also prevent you from getting in over your head and taking on more mortgage than you can afford.
When you’re getting ready to sell your home, there’s probably a lot of things going through your mind. You’ll want to get the most return on your investment. You hope to sell in a timely manner. You are probably also busy making plans for where you’re moving next. Below, you’ll find some things to think about before you even put a “For Sale” sign out front:
Research Agents’ Marketing Strategies
Most homebuyers start their home search online. If people don’t like what they see on a screen, they certainly aren’t going to waste their time going to the property in person. This means that your home is going to need pictures to help it sell. Some agents even create short videos of properties and neighborhoods to help buyers get a better feel for the area. You can work with your agent to make sure that these things are done. Be a proactive seller! You might even be able to make a video of your home on your own.
Post Your Listing On Social Media
Pretty much everyone is on social media and checks the sites frequently. Even if none of your first degree connections are searching for a home, someone may have a prospect for you who would be the perfect candidate to purchase your home. Sharing is definitely caring in this case!
Your neighbors are probably some of your social media connections as well. It’s nice for the people who live in the neighborhood to know that you’re moving so that they can “choose” a new neighbor in the event that they know someone who is looking to buy a home.
Part With Some Of Your Stuff
Buyers will be more attracted to your home if they get some benefits with it. Consider leaving some of your things behind when you’re selling a house. Any item including your washer and dryer to your plasma TV to your kitchen table can make a difference in how well your home sells.
Focus On Staging
You should stage both the interior and the exterior of your home to give a great first impression for home showings. The exterior of your home should present immaculate landscaping. If any paint touch-ups can be made quickly, you should do that as well. Show potential buyers the way that your home presents the maximum amount of enjoyment. If you’re able keep the furniture displayed inside of the home, show potential buyers your best set up. People will get a better idea of things like where the couch will go, and how their own kitchen table will fit in the dining area when the home is well staged.
Price The Home Reasonably
It’s important that you and your agent work together to know the market. Your home should be priced competitively along with others in the neighborhood. You don’t want to give the home away, but one of the worst things that you can do when selling your home is to out-price yourself. Research is key when it comes to pricing your home appropriately.
When you’re ready to buy a home, there’s an anxious excitement that’s within you, making you feel like a small child on Christmas night. One question that is probably burned in your mind throughout the home search process is, “How long is this going to take?”
If you’re a first-time home buyer, you’ll likely be using some programs through the Federal Housing Administration, also known as the FHA. With any kind of home loan, there’s many variables that can affect how long the process will take. This can be due to many factors including the seller’s circumstances and the nature of your loan.
When you’re securing a home loan backed by the FHA, you may wonder how long it’s going to take for the entire process to finish from beginning to end.
Variables That Affect The Loan Process
This is one of the variables that can fluctuate the most in the home loan process. Once you have found the home that you love, the lending process can take a few weeks beyond the point where you sign a contract. This part could entail many different steps that may become hurdles for you as a borrower. Your loan officer can also have an impact on the length of the process. Some loan people are just faster than others!
Keep in mind that you can’t close on an FHA loan until you get through the underwriting process. In the underwriting process for an FHA loan, it will be assured that you meet all of the criteria necessary for securing the loan, such as the standards that have been established by the HUD (Department Of Housing and Urban Development).
Closing On An FHA Loan
While it’s difficult to say the exact amount of time that it will take for a loan to process, there’s some things you can do ahead of time to prepare. If you apply for an FHA loan before you have even found a home, you’ll expedite the process a bit. If you have been pre-approved prior to making an offer on a home, you’ll likely be in a better position than if you haven’t yet met with a lender. This will also make the underwriting process move a bit faster for you, provided there aren’t any major red flags on your paperwork.
FHA appraisals do differ a bit from appraisals for a home with a more conventional loan. With an FHA appraisal, the appraiser must look for things in two main areas including any health and safety issues and determine the market value of the property as well. This process will most likely only take a few days. Part of the appraisal process may include the appraiser looking at similar properties in the area in order to get a bit of a comparison on the value of the property.
Can You Speed It Up?
If you have everything in order before you even decide that you’re ready to go on the house hunt, you’ll discover that the process of securing an FHA loan will be a bit smoother. Talk to a lender before you start the process so you can familiarize yourself with the requirements. Once you can present the lender with the right documents, they’ll be able to do their job with little intervention on your part.