Debbie Glass REALTOR® Broker/Owner's Blog
Are you considering buying a home with a Home Owner's Association (HOA)? Living in an HOA community can be very rewarding. But if you're accustomed to living without one, it can bring some challenges.
Know in advance what to expect with HOA living. Checking out the biggest pros and cons HOA homeowners face.
Pro & Con: Lawn Maintenance
Some HOAs may pool HOA money together to cover landscaping costs for the neighborhood. Not only does this mean you never have to do yard work again. It also provides a consistent aesthetic throughout the community that you'll come to appreciate.
This can be a con as well. You'll have less say about the flowers you can plant. And some HOAs don't handle landscaping but give you basic landscaping rules you must follow.
Pro: Access to Amenities
An HOA may maintain a community swimming pool, clubhouse, golf course, or mini-gym. As a member of the HOA, you'd have access to these shared spaces.
Pro: Fewer Worries about Unruly Neighbors
Is your neighbor throwing loud parties at all hours? Are they letting their dog run around and relieve itself in your yard? In a non-HOA, these are neighbor disputes. But in an HOA, these are community issues.
When you join, you each agree to by-laws. If someone is out of line, they may face penalties. But beware, if you're the unruly neighbor, you might face the same.
Pro: You May have Automatic Friends
If you've moved across the country and don't know anyone, you'll appreciate the organized social events most HOAs host.
Con: Fees Can be Expensive
If you get a lot of amenities, you'll be paying for it through the HOA. It's much cheaper than if you paid for all of it separately. But it's essential to move into an HOA with amenities you'll use to get your money's worth.
You owe these fees regardless of changes in financial status. The by-laws may give the HOA the right to put a lien on your home that will have to be paid before you can sell or refinance.
Con: You Can't Paint your House
The HOA will typically choose one or more colors for your exterior. You have little say.
Are you a rebel? This level of control over your life may take some adjustment.
Con: The HOA Organization
Not all HOA's are run well, try to gain insight into how the Association's governing board functions. Before joining one--which is automatic when you buy a house there--we recommend that you talk with your future neighbors and the HOA to get a feel for things. Also, walk through the neighborhood to see how well yards, roofs, and other outdoor features are maintained.
The Pros & Cons of HOAs
Every HOA is different. So consider what you're looking for. Speak with your real estate agent about your desires and expectations. And for more tips on finding the home you'll love, follow our blog.
You don't need to be a real estate market expert to find and acquire a great house at a budget-friendly price. In fact, if you use common sense during your home search, you should have no trouble achieving your desired homebuying results.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you discover your dream home.
1. Consider Your Home Must-Haves
You know you want to purchase a house, but you still have no idea what defines your ideal residence. However, if you devote time and resources to establish home must-haves, you could speed up your house search.
Think about what will make you happy and what you need from a house. For example, if you want to own a home that is close to your office in the city, you can narrow your home search to residences in or near the city itself. On the other hand, if you require a home that offers multiple bedrooms, you can explore residences that match your needs.
2. Create a Budget
A budget often plays a key role in the homebuying journey. And if you fail to create a budget before you start a house search, you risk checking out residences that fall outside your price range.
To establish a homebuying budget, you should consider your current and future expenses. It may be helpful to make a list of your expenses and compare them against your income. Then, you can determine exactly how much you can afford to pay for a home.
You may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage, too. If you enter the housing market with a mortgage in hand, you can search exclusively for houses that you can afford.
3. Work with a Real Estate Agent
There is no reason to search for your dream home on your own. If you hire a real estate agent, you can receive comprehensive guidance as you explore houses in your preferred cities and towns.
Typically, a real estate agent is willing to go the extra mile to help you achieve the best-possible results. If you want to purchase a home near a beach, for example, a real estate agent can help you do just that. Conversely, if you want to acquire a top-notch house as quickly as possible, a real estate agent will help you accelerate the homebuying cycle.
Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent can provide as you weigh the pros and cons of submitting an offer to purchase a home, either. If you find a home you may want to buy, a real estate agent can help you determine the best course of action. And if you decide to submit a homebuying proposal, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase.
Want to acquire your dream home? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can use common sense throughout the homebuying journey and make your homeownership dream come true.
Forty years ago every house had some paneling. Some more than others. Paneling can bring the look of natural wood and the great outdoors into a home. But unless your home is a cabin in the woods, chances are that's not what you're going for. Just like many home trends, paneling has fallen out of favor. And you're ready to replace it.
Removing it is the easy part. What to do next is where many get stuck. We're here to help with how to prepare your wall in the four most common wall condition scenarios.
How to Prepare a Wall for Painting After a Clean Removal
If you were lucky, when you removed the wood paneling, you found that you have drywall back there. And they nailed the paneling to it rather than gluing it, so you could quickly get it off.
If the drywall is in good shape, you're ready to:
- Purchase supplies (primer, paint, brushes, rollers, plastic, paint pans, putty knife, spackling paste for nail holes, safety goggles).
- Lay down plastic to protect your floors.
- Remove baseboards or use painter's take to protect them if you don't want to paint them.
- Sand the surface.
- Apply spackle to fill nail holes or other damage and allow it to dry. Apply a second coat if needed.
- Sand the spackled area again to smooth it.
- Prime your wall.
And you're ready to paint.
*Note* If you find dark paint like black, hunter green or cranberry, you'll need a special primer to prime over it.
How to Prepare a Wall for Painting After Glued Panel Removal
If the panels were glued, you have a little more to do here. The paper face of the drywall may have come off, sometimes in chunks.
You might be able to salvage it. But you'll probably be much happier if you just skin it. That means you'll hang a very thin (1/4") drywall over the existing drywall.
- Purchase or gather 1/4" drywall, screws, safety glasses, drywall knife, drill, drywall tape, drywall taping knife, setting-type joint compound, hammer as well as the items listed above.
- Remove baseboards, outlet covers, door frames, etc..
- Measure and cut drywall if needed.
- Screw the drywall to the studs. Screws should be flush but not sunken. Drag a putty knife over the screws to feel if any are protruding.
- Use your drywall knife to cut around outlets, etc.
- Apply drywall tape over the seams.
- Apply compound, smooth and sand.
- Apply painter's tape.
- Prime the wall for painting.
How to Prepare a Wall for Painting When the Wall is in Rough Shape
If you find nasty wallpaper or hard-to-peel paint back there, your best bet is to skin the wall just like we did for glued panels. Follow the instructions above.
How to Prepare a Wall if the Paneling was Nailed Directly into the Studs
In rare instances, you may have started pulling paneling and there's no drywall back there. In this case, you have a larger drywall project and may want to defer to professionals.
For more home projects you can DIY to improve the look and feel of your home, follow our blog.
Receiving multiple offers on a residence is a home seller's dream come true. However, if a home seller faces a tight deadline to review several homebuying proposals simultaneously, making the right decision may prove to be exceedingly difficult.
Ultimately, evaluating multiple home offers at the same time can be quick and seamless – here are three tips to ensure that you can review various home offers and make an informed decision.
1. Consider the Homebuyer's Perspective
Although you probably won't be able to find out the identity of a homebuyer who submits an offer on your home, you may be able to learn about the homebuyer's perspective if you study a home offer closely.
For example, a homebuyer who wants to close on a residence as soon as possible may face a time crunch. And if this buyer has fallen in love with your home, he or she may do anything possible to acquire it.
On the other hand, a homebuyer who submits a lowball proposal may be looking for a bargain. Therefore, this home offer may fall far below your initial expectations, and you should not hesitate to decline or counter the proposal.
2. Analyze the Housing Market
Operating in a buyer's market or a seller's market may dictate how you proceed with multiple offers on your house.
If you've listed a house in a seller's market, the number of homebuyers likely exceeds the number of first-rate houses that are available. As such, you may want to accept a home offer in a seller's market only if it matches or exceeds your expectations.
Comparatively, if you're working in a buyer's market, there likely is an abundance of high-quality residences and a shortage of homebuyers. Thus, you may be more inclined to accept a home offer that nets you the biggest profit – even if the home offer falls shy of your initial home selling expectations.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
If you're unsure about how to approach multiple offers on your home, it certainly pays to consult with a real estate agent. In fact, a real estate agent can help you examine various offers and decide which home offer – if any – is right for you.
By hiring a real estate agent, you'll gain an expert ally who will support you throughout the home selling journey.
Typically, a real estate agent will learn about your home selling goals and ensure you can set a competitive price for your residence. He or she also will host home showings and open houses, negotiate with homebuyers on your behalf and do everything possible to help you get the best price for your home, regardless of the real estate market's conditions.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is prepared to respond to your home selling concerns and queries. And if you have questions about a home offer, your real estate agent is available to respond to your questions at any time.
Take the guesswork out of evaluating multiple offers on your home – use the aforementioned tips, and you can determine the best course of action based on the home offers at your disposal.
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