Debbie Glass REALTOR® Broker/Owner's Blog
A condo offers a great opportunity to enjoy a comfortable living space without the hassle of home exterior maintenance. As such, many property buyers are exploring condos in cities and towns nationwide.
However, buying a condo sometimes can be tricky, particularly for property buyers who are unfamiliar with the real estate market. Lucky for you, we're here to help take the guesswork out of purchasing a condo.
Let's take a look at three questions that condo buyers need to consider before they purchase a property.
1. Am I ready for condo life?
Owning a condo and owning a home are two very different things, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.
Like a homeowner, a condo owner has a property to call his or her own. But a condo community usually has a homeowners' association (HOA) in place that manages exterior maintenance and other tasks. This association also establishes rules and regulations that all condo owners must follow; otherwise, property owners may face fines.
Before you purchase a condo, it is paramount to prepare for condo life as much as possible. To do so, you may want to consult with friends or family members who have resided in condo communities over the years. These loved ones can share their condo living experiences with you to help you better understand what life will be like as a condo owner.
2. How much can I afford to pay for a condo?
Although you know that you'd like to purchase a condo, you still need to find out how much you can afford to pay for a property. Fortunately, banks and credit unions are available to help you determine how much you can spend on a condo.
Consult with several banks and credit unions to explore all of your home financing options. Then, you can select a mortgage that matches your expectations.
In addition, you may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start your condo search. If you enter the real estate market with a budget in hand, you can narrow your condo search and speed up the property buying process.
3. Do I need to employ a real estate agent?
Ultimately, a real estate agent is a must-have for any condo buyer, at any time. This housing market professional can teach you the ins and outs of real estate and ensure that you can make an informed condo purchase.
A real estate agent strives to provide you with an outstanding condo buying experience. To accomplish this goal, he or she will work with you, learn about your condo buying goals and help you plan accordingly.
Furthermore, a real estate agent is unafraid to be honest. He or she will offer condo buying recommendations and suggestions as you check out a variety of properties. This housing market professional is happy to respond to your condo buying queries as well.
Streamline the process of buying a condo – consider the aforementioned questions, and you can move closer to acquiring an outstanding condo at an outstanding price.
Home showing preparation is key for any homebuyer. In fact, if you know how to get ready for a home showing, you may be better equipped than other buyers to assess a house and determine whether to move forward with an offer to purchase.
Ultimately, there are many ways that a homebuyer can prepare to attend a home showing, and these include:
1. Create a List of Questions
A home listing provides plenty of information, but it also may leave many unanswered questions about a house. Fortunately, if you craft a list of questions about a home prior to a showing, you can gain comprehensive home insights during this showing.
There is no such thing as a "bad" question to ask about a house during a showing. Remember, a home purchase is one of the biggest transactions that you may complete in your lifetime. And if you prepare a list of questions before a showing, you can take an informed approach to this showing and gain the insights you need to determine whether a house is right for you.
2. Perform Plenty of Housing Market Research
The housing market constantly fluctuates, and a real estate sector that favors homebuyers one day may favor home sellers the next. Thus, it generally is a good idea to study the housing sector closely to determine whether you're operating in a buyer's or seller's market.
In a buyer's market, there is no shortage of high-quality residences available. And if you attend a home showing in a buyer's market, you may be able to take your time to decide how to proceed with a residence.
Comparatively, in a seller's market, there is an abundance of homebuyers and a limited number of top-notch residences. This means you likely will need to act quickly if you want to acquire a deluxe residence following a showing in a seller's market.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
The housing market can be complex for both experienced and first-time homebuyers. Luckily, real estate agents are available who can offer expert guidance at a home showing and ensure you can achieve the best results during your home search.
A real estate agent understands what it takes to acquire a home in any housing market. As such, he or she will help you plan ahead for a home showing and guarantee you can obtain in-depth home insights during this event.
Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent can provide throughout the homebuying journey, either. A real estate agent can help you find houses in your preferred cities and towns and submit offers on residences. Plus, a real estate agent is happy to respond to any of your homebuying concerns and questions.
Take the guesswork out of attending a home showing – consult with a real estate agent today, and you can get the support you need to discover your dream house in no time at all.
If you have been looking to give your home a bit of pizzaz, you may be worried about the cost or the time investment. The good news is that you don’t need to put in a huge amount of work or money in order to make a big difference in your home. Below, you’ll find some of the easiest projects that you can complete in a hurry. You’ll be enjoying a new view of your home in no time!
Change Up The Mantel
We often grow comfortable with the decor in our homes. It’s a good idea to change those pictures and displays that you have along the top of your fireplace from time to time. For a more dramatic change, you can replace the entire mantel.
Bring Out The Front Entryway
The entry to your home is all a part of the curb appeal. You can easily paint the front door or part of the entryway to enhance the look of the front of your home. If you want to go even bolder, try and replace the door with something a bit different than what you already have.
Refresh The Paint
Whether you look at the inside or the outside of your home, you can easily bring about change to the look of your home. Add a fresh coat of paint to the front door. Take a tired looking room and change the paint color of the space. Taking things room by room can be less time consuming than trying to take on the entire house at once. If the exterior of your home needs some fresh color, this project can be expensive, yet rewarding as the amount of curb appeal that you have will increase dramatically.
Try Some New Lighting
It’s easy to get some new lighting fixtures. It could be as simple as switching a lamp or installing a few new light fixtures. For an even more dramatic change, add some dimmer switches or energy efficient lightbulbs. Checking in on the lighting in your home can be beneficial for both your home decor and the practical use of lights.
Don’t forget the outdoors as well. It can be very refreshing for your landscape to have some outdoor lighting that highlights the more dramatic pieces of the outdoor space.
Plant Something New
If you take the time to plant something new, you can bring a whole new look to the exterior of your home. Whether you take the time to plant one simple bush or are able to place down a whole new flower bed, small changes make a big impact.
However small your home improvement projects are, they are a part of working towards making your home a better place to live.
With so many pictures stored away on digital devices, we forget how enjoyable images of children, friends and memorable experiences in our living space can be.
Selecting several of your more meaningful photos for a photo showcase adds character to your home and demonstrates that you value family, connection and staying active.
On top of that, those photos will get a lot more views than they would on Instagram. And they'll inspire you to create new memories. Check out these useful ways to create beautiful wall art with photos.
Build Your Own Frames
Yes, you can create your own frames. And it's easier than you might think. Doing it yourself opens up a world of possibilities. Choose any colors, mediums, shapes or designs.
- Select your materials. We could create a typical wooden frame here. But why not think outside the box? Use driftwood, pine cones, bark or re-purposed materials from old furniture or industrial machinery. Scavenge for ideas to settle on a theme that works well with your decor.
- Measure dimensions for the frame. Don't forget to leave some room for a mat.
- Cut your frame to size with wood saw, hacksaw or scissors, depending on the material. Don't forget to put on your eye protection.
- Paint before assembling. If you plan to paint the materials, do so before putting things together. It will be easier to get into all the crevices and off areas that you want a different color.
- Assemble your frame. Place the glass over the photo to protect it or leave it open. For safety, you'll probably want to head down to a crafts store to find the right size versus trying to make it yourself.
Utilize Canvas Like the Pros
A canvas gives any photo display a fun and unforgettable backdrop. The art becomes your free-form frame on which you can pin pictures, trinkets and other items.
You don't have to be Monet to decorate a canvas. Instead, try these fun techniques. But before you start, lay out some plastic. This can get messy.
Stencils & Painter's Tape
Use painters tape to create straight lines across your canvas. Or consider creating other shapes by taping construction paper cut-outs, stencils, leaves or other items to board. Then paint over them and remove the items.
Sponges & Color
Get a bunch of sponges and bowls of paint. Soak up the paints with the sponges. Then express yourself. Depending on the look you're going for, you can use neutral tones that go with your decor. Or create your canvas with pops of color that people notice from across the room.
After your canvas dries, add photos at various angles for a playful look. Or measure and evenly space the images, creating a more traditional appearance.
For more fun ways to love the home you live in, follow our blog.
Ready to submit an offer on a house? Before you present a proposal to a seller, it is important to plan ahead as much as possible. That way, you can increase the likelihood of an instant "Yes" from a seller, as well as boost your chances of a quick, seamless homebuying experience.
Now, let's take a look at three steps to follow before you submit a homebuying proposal.
1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
What good is a homebuying proposal if you lack the necessary financing to purchase a house? If you get pre-approved for a mortgage today, you can ensure that you will have the home financing that you need to make your homeownership dream come true.
To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you'll want to meet with several local banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can offer full details about a variety of mortgage options and help you select one that matches or surpasses your expectations.
Also, if you are unsure about the differences between assorted mortgage options, don't hesitate to ask for assistance. Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists, and these professionals are happy to teach you about various mortgage options.
2. Define a "Competitive" Offer
If you want to acquire your ideal residence, it pays to put your best foot forward with your homebuying proposal. Because if you submit a "lowball" offer, you risk missing out on the opportunity to purchase your dream house.
A "competitive" offer generally accounts for the condition and age of a house, along with the current real estate climate. Thus, if you evaluate a wide range of housing market data, you may be better equipped than ever before to submit a competitive offer on any home, at any time.
Take a look at the prices of recently sold houses in your area. This data can paint a picture of the current state of the local housing market.
Furthermore, find out how the home that you want to buy stacks up against similar houses that are available in your city or town. With this information, you can further refine your homebuying proposal.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is a must-have, regardless of where you are on the homebuying journey. In fact, this housing market professional can help you can make the best-possible choices at each stage of the homebuying journey.
Prior to submitting a home offer, it often helps to collaborate with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you determine exactly what to offer on a home. And if your initial proposal is rejected, a real estate agent will make it simple to reenter the housing market and discover your ideal home.
When it comes to submitting an offer on a house, it usually is a great idea to prepare. If you follow the aforementioned steps, you should have no trouble providing a homebuying proposal that is sure to capture a seller's attention.