Monthly Archives: February 2018

Nine Questions to Ask Before Buying Your First Home

Buying your first home can be as exciting as it is demanding. Home ownership is a huge part of the long-term goals of many individuals especially as it provides much needed space for growing families. However, it is important to give this plan some thought as there is no time given to “think about it” after the purchase and there is no refund policy for you too. Hence, you must ask yourself the right questions, so you do not end up making costly mistakes. Here are nine practical and important questions you must ask yourself before you buy a home.

Why am I buying a Home?

This is arguably the most crucial question you must ask yourself as it is vital before you begin considering your options. Do you wish to buy and rent it? Are you going to live in it? Finding answers to these questions will help you determine the size of house that you would purchase and the loan structure that best suits the purchase.

What are your Long-term Career Plans?

Although you may have factored in the financial implications of a home purchase and consider yourself ready to buy a home, your career path may be an obstacle. If there is a chance you could be transferred from your current office location in the next few years, it may be ideal to reconsider your options.

What Kind of Neighborhood do you desire?

While your current situation – nature of job and age could play a big factor in deciding your choice of neighborhood, you might want to consider other factors such as the ease of access to public parks, the quality of local schools, and any other relevant environmental factors if you are thinking about starting a family in few years.

What is the nature of the house?

It would be near impossible to get the perfect house upgrade. The beauty of the wood floors or the amazing nature of the bay window may seem attractive, but you must really take a hard look at how outdated the apartment is and how much time you would invest if you engage in DIY projects yourself. This will help you avoid purchasing a home you could regret in future.

How much Utility can you reasonably afford?

Although your usage will largely depend on your family size, identifying the utilities you need to pay, and all the costs associated with moving into a potentially larger home will help you in making a wise decision.

Are there any environmental issues in the neighborhood?

Look out for any polluted sites in the area that may contain hazardous materials or any other contamination that could lead to emission of unhealthy fumes. You can make use of the Environment Protection Agency website to identify such areas.

What is the Security Situation?

You may be satisfied with the nature of the house and the local schools; however, you must consider the security of the area. In many cases, realtors may not inform you about every detail concerning the crime rate and overall security situation of the area. It is recommended that you contact the local police, ask for relevant security statistics and decide.

What would your Work Commute look like?

Have you found the perfect house already? Your work commute in the morning and evening should play a big part in your decision and if you find out you cannot bear the commute; the house is not one for you.

What is the Condition of the Drainage?

It is understandable for you to fantasize about the patios and visually pleasing lawns. However, the gutters are usually expensive to take care of when there is a problem. When it rains, does water pour over the gutters? Are there functional gutter guards in place? What is the proximity of the water emptying system to your house? These factors are crucial as you take that big step.

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at www.ladyofthelakes.com.  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.

 

Which Generation Is Struggling the Most to Buy a Home? (It’s Not Millennials)

Scrimping and saving to come up with a down payment is no easy feat, especially when aspiring buyers have student loan debt, high rents, and soaring property prices to contend with. But millennials who are most likely to face those hurdles aren’t the generation having the hardest time saving up for a new home, a recent report finds. Instead, it’s Generation X.

The National Association of Realtors® report is based on about 4,000 responses received from non-homeowners in surveys performed each month in 2017.

Xers “are at an age where they may have children, car loans, credit card debt,” says Jessica Lautz, NAR’s managing director of survey research. “They’re also less likely to be able to move back home [with their parents] to pay down debt.”

 

About 47% of Generation X respondents said they were having difficulty saving up for a down payment. That’s compared with 23% of millennials.

Although the lingering pain of the financial crisis cut across age groups, it hit Generation Xers particularly hard.

“They were very likely to have purchased a home in the housing boom and then be hit by the housing bust,” says Lautz. “Generation Xers were most likely to have a home that was underwater.”

Not having sufficient home equity makes it harder to trade up to larger abodes to accommodate growing families.

But it isn’t just members of Generation X struggling to become homeowners. Millennials, many of whom are just beginning their careers and starting their families, make up the largest overall share of non-owners. Those making $50,000 or less were also more likely not to own their own abodes.

And despite 82% of non-owners aspiring to own a home in the future, the main reason that many are unable to do so is because they can’t afford it. Nationally, annual home list prices were up a median 7.8% as of Jan. 1, according to realtor.com® data.

“They believe that homeownership is part of their American dream,” says Lautz. But “[they’re] feeling priced out of the home-buying market.”

Original Source: https://www.realtor.com/news/trends/generation-struggling-become-homeowners-hint-not-millennials/

Original Author: Clare Trapasso

Original Date: Feb 7 2018

What your Buyer’s Agent Will Do for You

Are you considering the purchase of a new home?  Buying a home is never a simple task.  In order to purchase a home there are a number of elements that go into it.  One thing for sure is that you must have the cooperation of the individuals currently in possession of the home you are looking to buy.  Usually sellers have listed their homes with a seller’s agent as they are looking to find a buyer, so this part is usually a fairly simple part of the process.

Buying a house can be a very taxing and time-consuming process.  It can end with its fair share of problems as well if you don’t choose the right buyers agent.  To decrease the stress that comes along with the buying process, hiring a buyer’s agent is what you need to do. A good buyer’s agent ensures that you buy a house at the best possible price and with minimal exertion.

What does a buyer’s agents do?

Agents are essentially the main broker in such operations and deal in every aspect based on their client’s wishes. Hence, agents must have a great knowledge of everything related to houses, including marketing trends, street smarts, and thorough information about all the areas with houses for sale. Agents are the ones to initially advise you about the kind of property you should look for based on your wishes. After that, the buyer’s agent looks for houses meeting the requirements that their clients have expressed.

Real estate agents must have thorough knowledge of all the locations in which houses are for sale and must have a grab of the market trend prevalent in those areas. While dealing with the sale of the property, the agent is the one who talks and deals with the owners of the property, while representing the wishes of their clients. It is a buyer’s agent’s duties to make sure their client purchases the house they want at the best possible price and with the least hassle.

What you should expect?

It is important that buyers work with reputable agents since agents get a cut out of every single successful deal, they may often try to swindle you by brokering deals without disclosing all the details to you. Worse, agents might end up cheating you out of all the money you are entitled to with charges they might not have told you about before. Not all buyer’s agents are like this, with many being honest and highly efficient at their work. It is your job as the buyer of a home to find an agent that is dedicated to your needs.

Finding the Best Agent

It is necessary to hire the best possible real estate agent you can find. It is advised to always look for agents or real estate agencies that have a very good reputation in the market and a good reputation with previous clients. You need to thoroughly search for the real estate agent that works best according to your needs. Often you can easily tell the intentions of any agent at the very first meeting if you go with the intention of judging them. Many real estate deals end up in legal battles because of agent discrepancies, so make sure you buy the best possible buyer’s agent. A good buyer’s agent makes sure that you buy a house at the best possible deal while feeling the least stress during the process of buying a house.

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at www.ladyofthelakes.com.  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.

 

6 Surprising Ways Home Staging Can Sabotage Your Sale

If there’s one thing that’s hammered home during the selling process, it’s that prospective buyers hate walking into an empty house. They need to imagine themselves in your space, and that means seeing furniture, accessories, and other decor trappings that make a house feel like a home—and wake prospective buyers to the potential of the place.

To the rescue: home staging. Consider it the professional makeover your home gets before the big dance. If done correctly, it can be a seller’s best friend, slashing the time your home sits on the market and boosting your profits.

But it’s also possible for home staging to go desperately wrong, even when you think you’re doing it right. Take heed of these oh-so-easy-to-make mistakes when staging your home.

1. Overdesigning your space

The goal of home staging is to help buyers visualize what the house could look like once they move in. The trick is to give off that feeling subtly, not smacking buyers in the face with design, design, design right when they walk in the door.

“Home staging is like being a backup singer to the house, which is the star,” says Justin M. Riordan, founder of Spade and Archer Design Agency. “As a backup singer, you have to be good, but, girl—do not overshadow Miss Tina Turner.”

Staging should boost your home, not the other way around. Keep it simple with furnishings, some decor, and textiles to add softness. Don’t cover every nook and cranny, even if you think it’ll look amazing.

2. Displaying fake everything

Making a home feel lived in without actually being lived in is tricky. But if your home stager suggests a nice bowl of fake fruit or anything inflatable, run quickly in the other direction.

“Fake plants, fake flowers, fake food, fake TV screens and computers, and, most of all, blow-up mattresses,” Riordan says. “Every time [buyers] see a fake item they are reminded that this is not real, this is not achievable, and this is not their new home.”

Keep it real, and forget the artificial bananas and silk leaf palm trees.

3. Not staging to scale

What home seller doesn’t want to create the illusion of more space? And to do that, you might assume you should use smaller, lightweight items.

Au contraire! That tactic can actually dwarf a home, experts say. Instead, make sure your furniture and accessories match the room in scale and proportion. In other words: If you have a huge family room with a vaulted ceiling, don’t opt for a small, low-backed sofa and tiny ottoman coffee table.

Plus, buyers should walk in and feel like there’s room for the family to grow and for entertaining. If the furniture used for staging is too small, the whole space will scream, “not enough room for life in this house.”

“Putting a small four-top table in a giant dining room does not show good use of the room,” Riordan says. “It shows poor use of scale.”

The same goes for decor accessories—your Italian ceramics, votive candles, artwork, and other odds and ends. If they’re disproportional to the space, the whole room can feel visually cluttered—even if you’re not displaying many items.

“No piece should be smaller than a softball,” says Tori Toth, home stager, founder of Stylish Stagers, and author of “Feel at Home: Home Staging Secrets for a Quick and Easy Sell.”

4. Staging your entire home in one aesthetic

Even if you’re selling a restored Victorian, buyers might not want to see oil lamps and fainting couches in every room. Buyers are trying to envision themselves—and everything they already own—in the space.

To help them get there, feel free to showcase eclectic furniture that proves to buyers their mismatched furniture will also go great in the house, Riordan says.

When in doubt, however, opt for traditional pieces: light-colored sofas, tables with clean lines, and timeless decor pieces. Your goal is to create the feeling of home for the buyer, not a museum.

5. Keeping doors closed

This one seems like an obvious no-no, but sometimes we’re all guilty of habitually closing doors.

“Having a person be able to move through the house without thinking is hugely important,” Riordan says. “We have seen entire floors missed by potential buyers because a door was closed and the buyer had assumed that the door was a closet rather than a staircase to the basement or upper floor.”

Before your real estate agent shows your house, do a final walk-through and make sure everything is open and ready to go.

6. Going too neutral

There’s nothing wrong with a classic color scheme, but if you keep everything ivory and beige, it won’t make your house stand out from the pack.

We’re not saying you should go crazy with the color. But your home should have a bit of unique appeal—some pops of color here and there, and one or two rooms that don’t look like every other room in the house (and on the planet).

“We create one color story for each room,” Riordan says of his design firm. “There might be a red office, a green living room, and an orange bedroom in a single house.”

The end result? After a potential buyer has seen 10 houses—each with eight rooms—in one day, she’ll have an easier time calling yours to mind.

“The red office is much easier to recall hours later than the office that had a desk in it,” Riordan explains.

And, after all, your goal here is to have the house that buyers remember.

Original Source: https://www.realtor.com/advice/sell/home-staging-mistakes-that-sabotage-the-sale/

Original Author:

Original Date: Jan 24 2018