Kathy Kelley's Blog
If you’re in the market to buy a home, you want to find the perfect place for you and your family. In a seller’s market, the competition can be fierce. As a buyer, you may be under the impression that you need to make the highest offer in order to secure the home of your dreams. The problem is, you may never know what price other people have offered for the same home.
Know Your Budget
First, you should know what kind of a budget you have to work with to buy a home. You probably have done an online search to see what’s out there and what price range the homes you like fall into. You’ll want to go beyond the online search and actually see some of your favorite houses in person because pictures can be deceiving.
Next, you’ll want to do is speak with a lender. This can help you before you even hit the ground running on your home search. A lender can pre-qualify you then work you through the process of pre-approval. This will give you a definitive number to work with when searching for a home. With this number, you’ll know how much you can offer comfortably when you find that house you fall in love with.
Make A List Of Priorities
Finding the “perfect” house usually requires that you make a few compromises along the way. It’s very unlikely that you’ll find one house that gives you everything you want in one place without a bit of imagination. Jot down all of the things about a home that are the most important to you. These items could include:
- The neighborhood
- Big backyard
- Open floor plan
- Number of bedrooms
- Hardwood floors
- The size of the rooms
- Style of the house
- Granite countertops
Whatever is important to you should be on the list. Next, go through the list and see what can be compromised on. There are probably a few luxuries on the list that you could stand to give up in lieu of something else.
Once you find that home you know that you absolutely want to live in, you’re going to want to make an offer. Let your realtor know immediately that you’re interested in the home and they can get to work. Your realtor can help you to make an offer that’s reasonable based on the asking price and your budget. Your offer doesn’t have to be thousands of dollars over the asking price for you to win the bid. There are a couple of strategies that can help you to land the right home even if you’re not stretching your budget to the max.
Showing You’re Serious
Taking steps like being pre-approved and having all of your finances in order can help to give you the upper hand in the house hunt. Sellers don’t want to deal with a buyer who is ultimately going to have issues where the deal will fall through.
The Offer Letter
Writing a letter along with your offer is a great personal touch to help you land the home of your dreams. If a seller knows that the home they have lived in and loved will go to another owner who is going to appreciate and take the same great care of the home, they will be more likely to go with you as a buyer. First, tell the seller a bit about yourself and why you love the home so much. Compliment the landscaping. Tell the seller just how much your kids are going to appreciate living in the home. Don’t be afraid to get too personal when it comes to writing an offer letter to the sellers. They will appreciate honesty and a candid approach in the sometimes all too serious matter of buying a home.
65 Grove St, Wellesley, MA 02482
For those who want to enjoy a quick, seamless homebuying experience, it helps to prepare as much as possible. In fact, those who plan ahead may be better equipped than others to avoid various challenges throughout the homebuying cycle.
From struggling to obtain home financing after a seller accepts your offer to purchase to struggling to find the right home in one of your preferred cities and towns, myriad issues may make it tough for you to achieve your desired results on the homebuying journey. Fortunately, we're here to help you minimize risk as you pursue your dream residence.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you avoid a homebuying fiasco.
1. Establish Homebuying Criteria
If you enter the housing market with criteria in hand, you can narrow your house search. As a result, you may be able to accelerate your journey from homebuyer to homeowner.
Think about where you want to live. Then, you can hone your home search and focus exclusively on houses in specific cities and towns.
It also may be beneficial to establish a list of home must-haves and wants. This list can help you determine exactly what you want to find in your dream house so you can map out your home search accordingly.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
There is no need to wait to get a mortgage. Thankfully, lenders are available that can help you get approved for a mortgage before you kick off your home search.
Meet with a variety of banks and credit unions – you'll be glad you did. This will allow you to learn about the ins and outs of different mortgage options.
Furthermore, don't hesitate to ask questions about all of the mortgage options at your disposal. Because if you understand exactly how a mortgage works, you can make an informed mortgage decision.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
When it comes to avoiding problems during the homebuying journey, it generally is a good idea to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional will offer comprehensive support at each stage of the homebuying journey. By doing so, a real estate agent will ensure you can quickly and effortlessly navigate the housing market.
For example, if you want to find a house in a small town, a real estate agent will help you explore residences that match your expectations. He or she will set up home showings and keep you informed about open house events. Plus, if you identify your dream house, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase.
Let's not forget about the housing market expertise that a real estate agent possesses, either. If you ever have concerns or questions as you pursue your dream house, a real estate agent is happy to address them at any time.
Want to discover your dream residence? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can reduce the risk of encountering problems as you search for your ideal residence.
One of the benefits of hardwood floors is their durability. When they start to look worn, refinishing takes time, but is much less of a hassle than replacement. Yet sometimes, stains won't simply buff out of the surface of your hardwoods. If you’re dealing with tough stains, like juice or wine spills or ink stains, and need to prep your hardwoods for new finish, bleaching is the answer. Whether you bleach the entire floor and refinish it or simply bleach the area with the stain, this process is not difficult and can restore the look of your beautiful floors. Here’s what you need to do.
Step 1 – Prep the Floor
Sand the floor to remove the finish, using a chemical stripper if necessary. You need to remove all of the finish for the bleach to soak in well.
Step 2 – Mix the Bleach
Oxalic acid crystals, which you can purchase at a hardware store, are the best material to use for bleaching hardwood. Mix these crystals into water until no more crystals dissolve. This will take some trial and error, and hot water works best. Be sure to use gloves to protect your skin.
Step 3 – Apply the Bleach
Use rubber gloves, safety goggles and a respirator mask, then grab a sponge and apply the solution on to the stain. Allow it to dry completely. Apply a second application if needed to completely eliminate the stain. Wash off all of the bleach crystals that remain with clean water.
Step 4 – Neutralize
Make a solution by mixing two heaping tablespoons of baking soda and a quart of water. Apply this to the wood to neutralize the bleaching solution, and allow the area to dry.
Step 5 – Refinish
Once you are sure the stain is gone and the wood is dry, refinish the floors as you see fit. If you only bleached part of your floor, take some sandpaper and sand the area, fading the edges of the repaired area to the edges of the rest of the floor. Then, find a matching stain and refinish the area you treated.
Whether you are getting a house ready to stage for sale, have purchased a home and discovered hardwoods under the carpet that need a little TLC, or simply want your existing home to look its best, bleaching the hardwoods is often the best way to get rid of stubborn stains. Before you assume that your stained hardwoods have to be replaced, consider trying this easy DIY solution.
Looking to move out of a big city? Relocate to a small town, and you can enjoy the simple joys of small town life.
Many people prefer the small town lifestyle, and for good reason. In a small town, you won't have to worry about excess traffic or noise. Plus, many homes are available in small towns nationwide, ensuring you should have no trouble discovering a wonderful residence without having to worry about breaking your budget.
Kick off your search for a small town home today – here are three tips to help you secure a terrific small town house.
1. Study the Local Housing Market Closely
What are you looking for in a small town home? Ultimately, you'll want to consider exactly what you'd like to find in a small town house before you conduct your search for the ideal residence.
Creating a checklist of must-haves is essential. With this list, you'll be able to examine available homes in a small town and narrow your search accordingly.
Also, don't forget to examine the prices of recently sold houses in a small town. This housing market data will enable you to differentiate between a seller's market and a buyer's market.
2. Get Financing Before You Start Your Home Search
Can you afford a small town home? It all depends on the financing at your disposal.
Meet with several banks and credit unions to explore your mortgage options. That way, you can learn about fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages and obtain financing.
If you ever have concerns or questions about home financing, be sure to ask a lender for assistance.
Remember, banks and credit unions employ mortgage professionals who are happy to help you in any way they can. These mortgage experts can teach you about different types of mortgage and offer personalized mortgage recommendations, ensuring you can get the financing you need to make your homeownership dreams come true.
3. Collaborate with an Experienced Real Estate Agent
When it comes to the real estate market, it is always better to err on the side of caution. Fortunately, real estate agents are available in small towns and big cities alike and will do whatever it takes to help you find a great house.
Hiring an experienced real estate agent who understands the properties that are currently available in a small town is vital. This real estate professional will offer tips throughout the homebuying process, guaranteeing that you can make informed decisions at every stage.
Perhaps best of all, an experienced real estate agent will take the guesswork out of buying a small town home. He or she will set up home showings and open houses, keep you up to date about new properties as they become available and negotiate with home sellers on your behalf. As a result, this real estate professional will streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.
Take the next step to acquire a home in a small town – use these homebuying tips, and you can locate a small town home that can serve you well for years to come.