Wayne Semprini's Blog
Let's face it – cleaning a house from top to bottom may prove to be a time-consuming task. Fortunately, we're here to help you streamline your home cleaning efforts and ensure you can get your house ready for the real estate market.
Now, let's take a look at three steps that home sellers should take before cleaning a house.
1. Make a Plan
If you only have a limited amount of time to clean your house prior to listing it, there is no need to worry. Plan ahead, and you can achieve the best-possible results.
Oftentimes, it helps to make a checklist of which rooms need to be cleaned. You also should include the types of cleaning that need to be done in different areas of your home. For instance, if you need to scrub the bathroom toilets or remove dust from the bedroom ceiling fan, you should include these details in your checklist.
With a plan in place, you'll be better equipped than ever before to speed up your home cleaning efforts. And if you need extra assistance as you craft your home cleaning plan, it may help to consult with a real estate agent.
A real estate agent understands what it takes to prepare a house for the real estate market. As such, this housing market professional can offer recommendations and suggestions about how to plan ahead for home cleaning.
2. Establish Priorities
Once you know which areas of your home that you need to clean, you should establish priorities. By doing so, you can further streamline your home cleaning activities.
It generally helps to clean common home areas at the same time. For instance, if all of your bedrooms are located on the top floor of your house, you may want to go from bedroom to bedroom and perform extensive cleaning. That way, you can simultaneously clean all of your home's bedrooms.
In addition, it may be a good idea to schedule attic or basement cleaning first. Cleaning an attic or basement may force you to get dirty. And if you clean these areas right away, you can minimize the risk of spreading attic or basement debris into other portions of your home.
3. Pick Up Cleaning Supplies
Make a list of cleaning supplies that you'll need to make your house sparkle. Then, you can purchase these supplies and return home to kick off your cleaning efforts.
Don't forget to buy gloves, facemasks and any other items that you'll need to protect your face, hands and skin. These items will enable you to stay safe as you work in areas that may be loaded with debris.
Lastly, if you need help getting the best-possible home cleaning results, you may want to consider hiring professionals. With a team of expert home cleaners at your side, you can receive comprehensive home cleaning assistance.
Ready to clean your house? Follow the aforementioned steps, and you can quickly and effortlessly prepare to clean your residence prior to adding it to the real estate market.
When it comes to financing your home, you have a several mortgage options available. Each type of mortgage offers different advantages, so be sure to do research before applying. Below are some of the most popular types of mortgages borrowers may consider.
A conventional loan is a mortgage not insured by the federal government. In most cases, conventional loans will conform to the standards established by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. However, some lenders may offer loans that do not adhere to these standards, which are known as non-conforming loans. In most cases, conventional loans will require a down payment of 20 percent. Otherwise, you will have to pay mortgage insurance.
FHA mortgages are a popular type of government-backed loan that is designed to give people with lower credit scores and/or lower buying power the ability to purchase a home. If you opt for an FHA mortgage, you may not need to make as large of a down payment, but you will need to pay mortgage insurance. Backed by the Federal Housing Administration, these loans are popular among first-time homebuyers.
VA mortgages are home loans backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. These loans are available to current members of the military as well as veterans. If you qualify, VA mortgages are very beneficial, as they offer a lower interest rate and may not require a down payment. VA mortgages don’t require you to pay any mortgage insurance, either.
A jumbo mortgage is a loan that has limits higher than most other mortgages, which allows you to buy a more expensive property. These loans are most popular in areas where home prices are higher. Interest rates on jumbo mortgages are usually comparable to the rates paid on a conventional loan. However, the qualification requirements are much more strict. In most cases, you will need to show proof of significant assets, as well as a high credit score. Some lenders may offer other options, but the mortgages above are the most common.
Keep in mind that even after you have chosen the type of mortgage you want, you will still have other decisions to make with regard to the type of rate and the length of the term. To make the best decision for your needs, consider working one-on-one with an experienced mortgage agent who can review your situation and help you choose the loan that makes the most sense.
Buying a home represents a life-changing decision. As such, you'll want to look beyond the price of a residence as you search for your dream house.
Ultimately, there are many factors beyond price that you should consider as you pursue your ideal residence, including:
1. A Home's Location
For most homebuyers, a house's location is the number one factor when they explore the real estate market, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.
Finding a home in a location that is convenient for you is priceless. And if you know how to conduct a comprehensive home search, you can quickly discover a high-quality home in a wonderful location.
As you prepare to kick off your home search, consider whether you'd like to live in a city or town. This will enable you to narrow your home search.
You also may want to consider homes that are located near work or school. By doing so, you can ensure that you won't have to travel too far to get to destinations that you frequently visit.
2. A Home's Condition
A home may look like a great investment at first, but its condition may have deteriorated over time. Thus, you'll want to take a close look at a house's condition before you finalize a home purchase.
Typically, a homebuyer will complete a property inspection after a home seller accepts an offer on a residence. This inspection will enable a homebuyer to perform an in-depth assessment of a residence and learn about its strengths and weaknesses. Then, a homebuyer can determine whether to move forward with a home acquisition.
If a property inspector discovers myriad issues that impact a home's condition, a homebuyer may want to reconsider his or her offer. At this point, a homebuyer can still walk away from a home purchase. Or, a homebuyer can ask the home seller to complete various home improvements as well.
On the other hand, a homebuyer who falls in love with a house may choose to proceed with a home purchase, regardless of the residence's condition. If you choose this option, however, it is important to consider the potential long-term ramifications of your decision.
3. Your Future
It is paramount for a homebuyer to find a house that he or she can enjoy for years to come. Therefore, a homebuyer should consider his or her future before finalizing a home purchase.
For example, if you plan to settle down and start a family, you may want to evaluate houses that are close to schools. Conversely, if you eventually want to work in the big city, you may want to consider homes that will make it easy to commute into the city day after day.
Don't forget to hire a real estate agent to help you during the homebuying journey too. With a real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble examining a broad range of top-notch houses that won't force you to break your budget.
The amount of time it takes to find the perfect residence varies from buyer to buyer. In some instances, a buyer may fall in love with the first residence that he or she views in person. Or, in other cases, a buyer may need to attend several home showings and open house events before he or she finds the right residence.
It ultimately may take more than a single day to find your dream residence. Lucky for you, we are here to help you streamline your quest for your dream house and ensure you can find the right home faster than ever before.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you accelerate your search for your ideal house.
1. Create a List of Homebuying Criteria
You know you want to buy a home as quickly as possible. With a list of homebuying criteria at your disposal, you'll be better equipped than ever before to discover a house that suits you perfectly.
Think about where you'd like to reside and the features you want in your dream house. Then, you can narrow your house search and move one step closer to finding a residence that matches or exceeds your expectations.
2. Get Your Finances in Order
Pre-approval for a mortgage can make a world of difference, particularly for a buyer who wants to speed up his or her home search. If you learn about all of your mortgage options, you can select a mortgage that complements your finances and enter the real estate market with a mortgage in hand.
Many banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists. By meeting with various financial institutions, you can learn about a broad array of mortgage options. Plus, you can receive comprehensive insights into fixed and adjustable-rate mortgages and make an informed mortgage selection.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
For those who want to quickly and effortlessly find their dream residence, it may be beneficial to collaborate with a real estate agent. In fact, a real estate agent can help a homebuyer remove the guesswork commonly associated with searching for a residence.
A real estate agent understands what it takes to discover a great residence at a budget-friendly price. First, he or she will meet with you and learn about your homebuying goals. A real estate agent then will put together a personalized homebuying strategy. Next, a real estate agent will help you put your homebuying strategy into action. And when you discover your dream residence, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase this house.
As you get ready to conduct a house search, you may want to hire a real estate agent soon. If you have an expert real estate agent at your side, you can get the help you need to find your dream house. Best of all, a real estate agent will go the extra mile to ensure you can seamlessly navigate all stages of the property buying journey.
If you’re new to homeownership, one of your first expenses is homeowner’s insurance. Not to be confused with mortgage insurance, your homeowner policy protects you in the event of a catastrophe.
Factors that Impact the Cost of Home Insurance
The cost of your home is only one factor in an extensive list of how insurance companies calculate premiums. Just like with car insurance, location plays a big part, as does age and construction. Then there’s your credit score and claims history. Here’s a breakdown of the factors that most determine the cost.
- Location, location, location. Living in a coastal area drives up the price of the home and the price of insurance. If there’s a chance a tropical storm or tidal flood can impact your home, you’ll pay extra to cover. The same is true of homes in tornado alley. However, living next to certain first responders may lower parts of your homeowners insurance. For example, living close to a firehouse usually reduces the cost of fire coverage because fire personnel can get to you sooner. Likewise, living in areas that may be higher risk, such as a high crime area, may increase factors of your homeowners insurance, like damage and theft.
- Construction materials is another consideration. Brick, stucco, fiberboard, or stone exteriors improve your home’s chances of surviving a fire over wood shakes or wood siding. That old Victorian is lovely, but wood burns quickly, so you’ll pay a premium to cover it.
- Roof age and composition. Roofs are expensive. A flat roof costs more than a sloped roof, and a roof older than twenty years carries potential storm damage replacement costs. You’ll pay for that. And, just like with siding, you’ll pay more for a wood shake roof due to its potential to catch fire.
- Homes older than about 40 years cost more to fix when damaged. And, they have older major systems that can break inside walls and under floors causing thousands in needed repairs.
A few other things impact the premium too. If your credit score is low, typically the insurance company asks for more money upfront and a higher premium. You’ll also pay more if you made multiple claims within the last five years. Of course, if you’re a first-time buyer this wouldn’t apply to you. Coverage for your personal property increases with the value of that property. If you own expensive jewelry, several computers or electronics, plan to pay more to cover them.
You can reduce premium costs by installing a security system, taking care of maintenance items, replacing major systems (wiring, plumbing, HVAC) and updating the roof. For more ways to learn how to reduce your insurance costs, ask your real estate professional for advice. Be certain to shop and compare prices and coverage too.