A lot of buyers will know exactly what to look for inside of a house when they’re househunting. However, the interior isn’t the only space you should be concerned about. It’s important that you look for potential issues around the exterior of the property as well. The following are a few potential landscaping problems to look out for when on the hunt for a new home:
- Landscaping features too close to the house – Having bushes and flowers next to the house might seem aesthetically pleasing, but it also means that insects, such as termites and carpenter ants, will have an easier time getting into your home.
- Trees are too close to the house – If any trees on the property seem like they are too close to the house — or if any of its branches reach too close to the roof — take note. If any branches were to break off during a storm, they could cause serious damage to your roof or siding.
- The landscape slopes down to the house – If you notice that the ground slopes down towards the house, it’s a bad sign. It means that rainwater is more likely to gather near the foundation, where it could cause serious water damage and where it could potentially leak into the house.
- Too many landscape features – You might be impressed by the amount of features that a landscape has, from the flowers and bushes to the gardens and water features, but remember — the more features a landscape has, the more work is required to maintain the landscape.
These are a few things that you should look for when evaluating the landscape of a property.
Preparing your home to make a good impression on potential buyers is extremely important when selling your house. This doesn’t just mean staging and cleaning your house, it also means making sure that your home smells nice. Not only will you want to make sure that you eliminate potentially offputting odors (such as the scent of a pet if you have one), but it means adding pleasing scents that make the space more comfortable and inviting as well. The following are a few tips for adding scents to your home:
- Use pine and cedar scents – Pine and cedar can be used to create a natural scent in your home that will help create an inviting environment, especially during the winter months.
- Use candles – Candles are an easy way to add visual warmth to a space as well as add a scent. There are many different scented candles to choose from, but vanilla, in particular, tends to help create a very cozy atmosphere. Just make sure that you place your candles carefully so that there’s no risk that they’ll be knocked over.
- Use herbs – Herb plants in the kitchen can help to add a fresh scent to an area where the air is often a bit stale. Herbs like rosemary, basil, and thyme are particularly effective.
- Make some green tea – The scent of green tea is very crisp and relaxing. It will also give you something to offer to buyers as they come into your home. Warm beverages such as green tea work better in the winter months.
Consider using these tips to add pleasant scents to your home in order to make a stronger first impression on home buyers. For more tips on how to prepare your home for sale, be sure to contact us at Randy Lindsay today.
Once you fall in love with a home, it can be difficult to restrain yourself from submitting a bid right away. In some cases, the emotional pull of a house might be obscuring its actual value — so while you might be willing to put up the asking price, it may not actually be worth that much. The following are some of the things you should be sure to consider before you make the decision to buy even if you’re in love with the house:
- How well was the house maintained? – Ask for maintenance and repair records from the owner. If the owner regularly got the house inspected and invested in repairs when needed, it means that it was well taken care of and problems are less likely to arise in the future.
- How old are the systems and appliances? – Ask about the age of the HVAC system and its components as well as about the age of different appliances, including the oven, dishwasher, washer and dryer, etc. The older these are, the greater the odds are that you will have to pay to have them replaced soon.
- How old is the roof? – Replacing the roof can be a huge expense. If the roof is older, then it may be reaching the end of its expected lifespan. You may not want to buy a house that is going to require such a big investment so soon.
- Is there a need for repairs or renovations? – Owners are required to disclose any issues, so keep in mind any major repair costs. Also, keep in mind the cost of any renovations you may want to do.
- How is the neighborhood? – What other homes in the area have sold for, whether there are schools or parks nearby, the local crime rate, and other factors affect the value of a home. Knowing these will help put the value of the house you are looking at in perspective.
Ask these questions to better assess the value of the house before you buy. Above all, enlisting the help of a local real estate agent can give you insight as to what the market value of the home really is and give you an inside edge.
Selling your home isn’t always easy, especially if you’ve decided to list your home in a down market. A down market occurs when the supply of homes exceeds the demand. This means that there will be more competition amongst home sellers to attract homebuyers. The following are a few tips to help you successfully sell your home in a down market:
- Set your listing apart from the rest – Highlight features that most homes don’t have to set your property apart, whether it’s a finished basement, an outdoor pool or some kind of architectural feature.
- Offer a transferable home warranty – Transferable home warranties only cost between $300 and $400 for a one-year policy, but they provide homebuyers with some peace of mind since they will cover the failure of the home’s appliances, such as the refrigerator or air conditioner.
- Offer to cover some of the closing costs – Closing costs add up to the point where they can be quite expensive for the buyer. Offering to cover some of the closing costs ahead of time can help to sweeten the deal.
- Price the home properly – You don’t necessarily have to lower the price of your house so that it’s the cheapest property in the area, but you need to make sure it’s priced appropriately. Overpricing your house in a down market is not a good idea since buyers aren’t going to be willing to overpay.
- Hire a real estate agent – A real estate agent will not only be able to provide you with professional advice on selling a home in a down market, they’ll have connections with other agents and potential buyers that you can take advantage of.
Few people can afford to buy a house outright. Fortunately, there are many financing options out there that you can consider. Many of these options are favorable towards buyers as well due to the fact that consumer confidence has been low ever since the economic downturn. The following are a few of the financing options that may be available to you:
- Conventional loans – Most banks offer conventional mortgage loans to buyers, but it’s important to shop around and compare terms. However, you will likely have to pay mortgage insurance if you don’t put down a 20 percent down payment. The terms will depend heavily on your credit history as well.
- FHA loans – FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loans were established as a way to help first-time homebuyers. Because they are backed by the federal government, they offer better rates than most traditional home loans, require smaller down payments and are easy to qualify for.
- Home builder and developer financing – Builders will often offer terms that are below market rates and that are more favorable than bank loans. Some builders will even sweeten the deal by offering 95 percent financing, payment of closing costs, cash incentives, deferred mortgage payments and more.
- VA loans – If you are or were a veteran, then you may qualify for a VA loan, which offers 100 percent financing with no down payment or mortgage insurance requirements.
While there are many home financing options available to you, it’s important that you figure out your budget first before you decide to apply. Remember, just because you qualify for a certain amount, doesn’t mean you can afford it.