Posts Tagged ‘Home’

When selling a house, it is important to show the house in its best condition. Getting rid of the clutter, sprucing up the landscaping, and repainting the walls are the usual suggestions, but what about home staging? Hiring a home staging professional to do all of these tasks can be one of the best decisions you make when selling your house.

A potential buyer is not just looking for a house, but for a home. Make them feel like your house can be their new home! The “staged” look of a house can evoke emotion in a customer as soon as they walk in the door. If that buyer can picture themselves lounging in the living room, hosting in the dining room, and filling the picture frames throughout the house with pictures of their loved ones, they are more likely to buy it.

The more you invest in getting your home ready to sell, the higher the return will be. Creating an ambiance and an atmosphere that make potential buyers feel at home and comfortable is a wise investment.


Owning your own home can be one of the most satisfying experiences in life. There’s nothing like knowing that it’s yours and that you can customize it to make it the perfect place for you to live. Buying a home is both a joy and one of the biggest financial decisions you will ever make. Before you start dreaming about backyard barbecues or your first dinner party, it’s time to do some thinking about home ownership. Some questions you will want to ask yourself or discuss with your partner and family are:

Can you afford the costs associated with buying a home? Although you can buy a home with a low down payment, the more you put down, the lower your mortgage will be. Also there are other costs including home inspections and taxes. Plan to budget around 2-4% of the total value of your home to be able to handle these expenses with ease.  Also you will need to make sure you have enough in your savings to pay for any repairs and necessary upkeep.

Do you have enough of an emergency fund?

Some people make the mistake of using all their savings to fund their home purchase but this can leave homeowners unprepared in case of a sudden illness, unemployment, or other emergency. It is best to have enough money readily available that you could survive for at least six months without your regular paycheck.

Will your circumstances be changing soon?

Are you planning a family, getting married, or going back to school? All of these changes will impact both your lifestyle and your financial future. It’s important that the home you choose be the right size for you not just now but over the next few years?.

Is your job stable and is this a good place to find another job?

Many studies have said that having a short commute is a key to happiness. When choosing between more space and a longer commute or a smaller home and a shorter commute,

Will you want to move in a few years?
many people choose to endure the long commute. While this may be bearable in the short term it can add stress to your life and diminish the amount of time you actually get to enjoy your home. Another consideration is employment prospects in the area. Even if your job is very secure, it’s always a good idea to be aware of what other opportunities in your industry are available nearby.

In order get the most out of your investment you will likely want to make sure that you are going to stay put for a few years. If you have plans to move within a year or so you may want to wait until then. You don’t want to be in the position of needing to move and having to sell your home quickly.

Are you interested in home improvement?

Before you start shopping it’s also important to know how much effort you want to put into home repair, maintenance, and improvement. Are you interested in puttering around in the garden or making your own repairs? Even condos and lofts require some maintenance. If you’re used to calling the landlord for anything that goes wrong, getting accustomed to making and paying for repairs might be a bit of a wake-up call.

Filling out your home checklist

Once you have answered these questions, it’s time to start narrowing down your specifics. has created ahandy worksheet to help you narrow down price, square footage, number of bedrooms and more. If you are making this purchase with another person it may make sense to each fill out your lists separately and then come together to compare notes. That way you each get to see each others true feelings. Make sure that your wishes are aligned with reality. Also remember that the house that you are imagining while filling out this worksheet may not match with what is available in the area. Location is still the most important factor when choosing the home that is both right for you and has good resale potential so be ready to factor in the proximity to major roads, school districting, crime levels, and other considerations once you are out shopping.

Buying your first home with your partner/spouse.

Consider these tips when buying your first home together:

1. Browse together and often.
When buying your first home, it’s almost impossible to spend too much time browsing together. Visit as many open houses and home tours as possible. Pore over listings on the internet. Figure out what each of you can and can’t live without in your next home.

It’s vital to discuss your preferences often. Try this exercise: Pick a room in your future home and separately make a list of your “must-haves” for that room. Compare your lists and talk about the similarities and differences. Figure out what compromises can be made so that you’ll both be satisfied homebuyers.

Most importantly: Be honest. Don’t hide your true feelings and preferences. If you’ve changed your mind about wanting a huge backyard, say so. Most homebuyers these days stay in their homes for nine years. You want those nine years to be comfortable and enjoyable, right?

2. Consider credit issues for BOTH of you.
Your bills are always paid on time. Your credit score soars in the upper echelon. How did you fall in love with someone with bad credit?

All VA loan borrowers and co-borrowers will be under close credit scrutiny by a lender. Credit scores for both borrowers have to measure up to the 620 minimum. Income, employment and debts for all borrowers will be analyzed.

If your spouse lags far behind you in creditworthiness, you might consider obtaining a loan in your name alone. This action involves some legal consequences that vary from state to state, so make sure to get a real estate attorney’s advice before proceeding.

3. Don’t overspend.
Buying your first home with your partner/spouse can be the most thrilling time of your life. You picture dogs rambling in your first backyard and kids pedaling bikes down the driveway.

Somewhere along the line, budgeting tumbles to the bottom of the priority list.

Don’t let a home bankrupt your family. Determine the mortgage payment that you can comfortably make each month and stick to that figure. Keep in mind that as a homeowner, you’re responsible for repairs and maintenance, which can also be costly. Maintain a reserve fund for repairs and keep a few months of mortgage payments stashed away in case of emergency.

4. Have fun!
If you and your spouse are not shopaholics by nature, you may need a little motivation to get your house hunt started. Pack a picnic basket full of goodies to enjoy during a day of house tours. Splurge on a dark chocolate mocha for your next meeting with your agent. Post pictures of your home tours online and ask your friends and family for feedback. Enjoying your time together is key to both a successful relationship and a successful house hunt!

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