Kevin Durkin's Blog
When you’re shopping for a home, it’s easy to be overzealous in your attempt to find the perfect property. One of the biggest regrets of home buyers is that of paying too high a price for their dream home. There should be a balance between cost and the right property for you. No matter what kind of house you’re looking to buy or where you plan to buy it, a little planning goes a long way to help you get the most for your dollar when buying a home. Below, you’ll find some tips to help you avoid the dreaded mistake of overpaying for a home.
Look For Amenities That Increase Value
Does the neighborhood you’re looking to buy in have a lot of cool perks? Perhaps the property is close to the heart of downtown or close to one of the most desirable schools in the area. These features add value to the home based on the demand in the neighborhood.
You should also consider if the neighborhood is known as what’s termed “up and coming.” The potential that a neighborhood is also a factor in the price of a home. Is there a lot of construction going on in the area? Is the home you’re buying in a great area but considered a “fixer upper”? High potential properties in desirable areas can actually give you a bargain. A nice property in an area that is still being established can also be a bargain but beware. You may end up paying a higher price as sellers and developers understand that people are eager to move into the neighborhood. Also, if a neighborhood seems to be built up too much, it’s not a good sign. An overdeveloped area can lead to decreased property values over time.
Inside the home, look for things that have been updated to increase the value of the property. An updated kitchen and bathroom add the most cost to a home as these are the most expensive rooms to renovate. Other perks in a home that greatly increase the value include new flooring, new roof, being situated on a cul-de-sac or dead end street, and easy access to highways and main routes.
Know That Some Features Decrease Value
Things like power lines, poor economic growth in the community, high-traffic areas, foreclosures, and unkept homes can all drag down the value of a property. If you happen to be looking in one of these areas, understand that you shouldn’t be paying top dollar for a home there. Look for bargains. Whether you plan to stay or simply flip a property, you need to know at what point the price will be right without overpaying for the home.
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From the time an offer is made on a property, and the deal is done, you may face quite a few challenges. Whether you’re buying or selling a home, the process can be dizzying. There are a lot of things that go on from the time an offer is accepted, and the closing table is reached. The entire process of home buying and selling is designed with built-in protections to help both buyers and sellers avoid feeling a lot of regrets. Below, you’ll find some familiar situations in the buying and selling process, and what’s available to help you avoid disappointment.
Once An Offer Is Accepted, Is It Binding?
If you were overzealous to accept an offer on the home you’re selling and wish you had looked at others before making a decision, you’re not out of luck. Once you’re under contract, you’re obligated to sell to a buyer. The reason you may want to look at other offers is that it doesn’t hurt to have a “backup” buyer. If something falls through with the first buyer, the second buyer in line becomes automatically under contract. While you may not necessarily sell for more, in this case, there’s a sure way available to help you sell your home fast.
The Buyer Doesn’t Have The Financing They Thought They Did
If a buyer’s financial backing falls through or if the buyer is unable to get financing by the closing date, as a seller, you can walk away. Any financial changes to the contract that would impact you as a seller including a change in the type of loan, downpayment amount, or any variation from the contract terms allow the seller to end the contract unscathed.
Something Wasn’t Disclosed About The Property
Not everything is required to be disclosed by a seller. It all depends upon the rules within the state where you are buying. Understand what’s required to be revealed. If you feel uncomfortable with something, you can inquire about it, or add a contingency to have the problem addressed. Things like a death on the property can't be changed, for example. Your state may not even require that these events be disclosed.
The Home Inspection Raised Some Concerns
If the home inspection reveals some issues that the seller isn’t willing to fix, you have the right as a buyer to walk away. In many cases, these problems would be things like wiring or plumbing issues.
The Property Appraised For Less Than The Offer
If the property appraises for less than what you offered for the home, you may feel quite upset as a buyer. Don’t worry! There are a few things that you can do. Lenders won’t give you more than what the property appraises for. You can, however, bring more of your own cash to the closing table. You can also wait for the seller to adjust the asking price, or withdraw your offer altogether. The problem with the last solution is that you may lose any earnest money deposits
In many ways, the quality of your life is determined by the condition of your home. If it feels like your home is in disrepair, messy, or cluttered, you're not going to feel comfortable or satisfied with your living situation. While perfection is an unattainable standard, there are a lot of simple things you can do to keep your home in good condition and prevent problems.
Train Your dog. Although many people own dogs and consider them to be a cherished part of the family, not everyone takes the time to properly housebreak, exercise, and train their pets. Dogs are very eager to please, but they need clear guidelines to understand what you expect of them. Some dogs also tend to express frustration or restlessness in destructive ways if they're not given enough attention, exercise, or toys/treats to chew on. It's not uncommon for dogs to chew on furniture, shoes, or other valued possessions if their needs are not met. Ideally, people should research dog breeds before actually purchasing a household pet. That way you can know more about temperament, exercise requirements, and training potential before you bring a puppy into the family. In addition to helpful online videos on raising obedient dogs, pet supply stores periodically offer low-cost training classes for dogs and their owners. Effectively housebreaking your pet in the first few days and weeks of adopting them is a key aspect of a harmonious pet/owner relationship. Otherwise, your furniture, hardwood floors, and carpeting could be subject to irreparable damage!
Use Furniture Sliders: Hardwood floors can be a mixed blessing. On one hand, they're a high-quality, nice-looking material that enhances the look and feel of your home. On the other hand, it can be difficult to prevent scratching, scuffing, and even gouging of those beautiful surfaces. One solution, which is easy on both your floors and your pocketbook, is to put felt or plastic furniture sliders under the legs of your tables, chairs, and ottomans. Not only can you prevent or reduce hardwood floor scratching that inevitably happens when furniture is dragged across a floor, but it also makes it easier to rearrange furniture.
Maintain Your Rain Gutters: Properly working rain gutters serve the useful purpose of channeling water away from your roof, eaves, and foundation. By making sure your gutters are not clogged up with leaves, branches, and other debris, you can help protect your home from water damage. If the downspout of your rain gutter empties water too close to your house, you can often correct that by purchasing and attaching an inexpensive extension. Routing water away from your foundation can help prevent basement leaks, cracking, and crumbling. It can also be part of a multi-faceted approach to preventing basement mold.
Control Clutter: Household clutter not only degrades the appearance of your home (for both you and your guests), but it's a known source of psychological stress. Taking the first step to reduce clutter is usually the most difficult part of the process, but once it's a habit, maintaining a clutter-free home becomes infinitely easier!