3 Questions to Consider After You Attend an Open House

You’ve attended an open house – now what? Ultimately, there are many questions for homebuyers to consider after they attend an open house, and these include:

1. Did the home match or exceed my expectations?

It is important to understand whether a home is one that you could enjoy both now and in the future. And if you found that you liked a home after an open house, you may want to proceed with an offer on this residence.

Usually, it is a good idea to carry a checklist of your homebuying wants and needs that you can use throughout an open house. With this list in hand, a homebuyer can identify a house’s strengths and weaknesses.

If you ever have concerns or questions during an open house, don’t hesitate to find the listing real estate agent for assistance too. By doing so, you can gain the insights you need to determine whether a particular house is a viable long-term investment.

2. What would life be like if I purchased the home?

An open house can bring out a broad range of emotions in homebuyers, particularly if these individuals see things that they like in a residence.

For example, a homebuyer who sees a large outdoor deck may envision summer barbecues with family members and friends. Or, a homebuyer who views a spacious kitchen might picture dinner parties that he or she could host in the future.

If a home brings out positive feelings, it may be a keeper. As such, a homebuyer who feels good about a home after an open house may want to move forward with an offer.

3. Am I ready to submit an offer on the home?

Submitting an offer on a house can be tricky. On the one hand, you don’t want to overspend to acquire a residence. Conversely, you want to submit a competitive offer that matches the home seller’s expectations.

After an open house, it never hurts to meet with a real estate agent. Then, you can outline your homebuying goals and determine whether now is a good time to submit an offer on a residence.

If you decide to proceed with an offer, ensure that the proposal is fair and is submitted in a timely fashion. In all likelihood, the home seller will have 24 to 48 hours to accept, decline or counter your proposal. Once you receive a home seller’s decision on your offer, you can determine the next step on your homebuying journey.

Lastly, if a home seller rejects your offer, there is no need to worry. With an expert real estate agent at your side, you can check out other open house events in your area. And as a result, you should have no trouble accelerating the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

Alleviate stress as you decide how to proceed after you attend an open house – consider the aforementioned factors, and you can determine whether a particular residence is right for you.

Perks That May Make Your Home Harder To Sell

So many great features that make up many clients’ dream homes can actually be a hindrance in selling a home down the road. While certain features in a home may be attractive to you, remember that all buyers are not looking for the same thing. Beware of the following perks and how they can affect your plans to sell a home in the future.

Schools Nearby

While having schools close in the neighborhood is a plus, not everyone sees it that way. A nearby school is fantastic if there are young children in the family, however, if a buyer doesn’t have young children, living near a school could be seen as a hinderance. Not only will there be an excess of foot traffic in the area, but there will be a lot of traffic, in general, each school day as buses and cars head to and from the school. The extra noise factor from the school may also turn off some buyers. 

Being In The Heart Of The City Or Town

Some people love to be in the heart of the action. A bustling neighborhood with tons of shops and restaurants and constant activity can be the life that you or someone you know is looking for. If you buy a home on one of these main stretches, but, it could be a hard sell should you decide to move. These property locations are targeting a specific kind of buyer and it could be hard to find them. Unless you live in a strictly urban area, you may want to think twice about the property location. Not only could it be a hard sell later, but you as an owner may get sick of the constant action very quickly. 

A Swimming Pool

If you live in a place where the weather is always warm and a pool is a requirement, then putting a pool in your home makes sense. In more variable temperature regions, a pool is not always the best idea. Pools require a lot of maintenance and can be a significant investment. Think of how much of the year a pool is actually usable in your area. The biggest issue with swimming pools is that while they are a luxury, they really don’t add value to the home. In some cases, a pool can end up detracting value and interest from a property. 

A Big Yard

While a large backyard can be attractive, not every homeowner wants to care for such a large amount of space. These large yards can take a significant investment of both time and money to maintain. A large yard attracts a certain type of buyer. Not that you can restructure property lines, but know that bigger isn’t always better when it comes to a home’s outdoor space.      

Four Advantages of a Two-Car Garage

Is a two-car garage a luxury or an essential feature of a home? While it may not always be a top priority for first-time buyers, many seasoned homeowners consider it a “must have” item. In a lot of cases, it all boils down to expectations and what people have grown accustomed to.

Climate also plays a key role in how important a two-car garage is to you and your family. However, even if your winters are mild and your snowfall amounts are slim to nil, there are other weather conditions that a garage can shield you (and your cars) from.

Being able to park your vehicles in a protected, enclosed area is especially welcome when you have an armful of groceries, inclement weather outside, small children in tow, or an elderly parent to care for. Once you start adding up the advantages of having a two-car garage, it makes you wonder how you ever got along without one!

  • Crime deterrent: No matter where you live, if your cars are parked in your driveway or on the street overnight, they’re going to be much more vulnerable to vandalism, car theft, and break-ins. From a personal safety standpoint, it can also be safer to drive into your garage, close the automatic door behind you, and go directly into your house. Even if you live in a low-crime neighborhood, safety habits are a good thing to cultivate, especially if you sometimes arrive home late at night.
  • Valuable storage space: As you acquire more possessions and your family grows, storage space becomes more of a precious commodity. In addition to protecting your vehicles from the elements, spacious garages are also great for housing lawn mowers, bicycles, barbecue grills, golf clubs, yard maintenance equipment, spare tires, gardening supplies, firewood, tools, and lawn chairs. If you don’t have a backyard shed, then garage storage space is indispensable.
  • Protection From The Elements: Besides wind and rain and dark of night, other elements your cars don’t need to be subjected to include the hot, baking sun, bird droppings, and air pollution. And speaking of the hot, baking sun: Keeping your cars in a cool, shady place during the hot summer months can help spare you the discomfort of having to sit down in a sweltering vehicle! For those who live in chillier climates, garages can make your morning commute just a little less bone chilling!
  • Privacy: There are a lot of benefits to being sociable with your neighbors, but it’s also nice to be able to pick and choose when those social interactions takes place! Parking in your garage can provide you with an extra measure of privacy when you don’t have the time (or inclination) to stop and chat.

Whether or not a 2-car garage is a “must-have” for your next home depends on your climate, your neighborhood, and what you’ve grown accustomed to. For some people, a one-car garage may suit their needs just fine — especially if they only own one vehicle and have all their yard maintenance taken care of by an HOA.

How To Get Used To Living In A New Area

It doesn’t matter if you’re moving down the street or across the country, moving into a new neighborhood can be hard. You want to make your new property, and new area feel like home. Relocation is always a challenge. There are a few things you can do to make the transition smoother for your family. Meeting people and learning about your new community doesn’t have to be a huge ordeal. Read on for tips to make it fun! 

Approach Your Neighbors

It can be kind of scary to approach your new neighbors, but reaching out to them is one of the best ways to meet people. If you see your neighbors out and about give them a wave or shout “hello.” These gestures are a way to extend yourself without intruding on them. Ask questions about the neighborhood like when the trash pickup is or how the traffic on a local route is. You can even find out where the best grocery store to shop at is. Anything simple can open up a great conversation. 

Get Outside

It’s easy to meet up with your neighbors if you give them an opportunity to see you. Sit out on your porch. Go for a walk around the neighborhood. Spend some time outside gardening. Just be approachable. If you’re cheerful and seem a bit inquisitive about the area, people will be more likely to talk to you. 

Spend Time In The Community

If there’s a local diner or coffee shop, spend some time there. You’ll be more likely to meet your neighbors and have something in common with many of the people that live in your new space. Check out local parks with your kids or bring your dog. You can talk to other dog owners or parents and get to know them. 

Finding ways to volunteer and get involved in your community is also a great way to connect and get to know where you live. 

Other Ways To Get Involved

You can get connected with people in the area through connections you have. College alumni networks can connect you with social clubs in a new city or region. Your employer may also have mentoring programs to assist you through the transition         

Moving to a new area can be hard, but with an open mind to opportunities, you can make the transition pleasant for both you and your family.   

Hints And Tips For Selecting Curtains

If you are considering framing your windows with long curtains and drapes, they are a great way to add unexpected glamour and personality to your home. The biggest challenge that comes with this for most people is the difficulty in selecting curtains. So, before you head out to your home goods store to buy some, check out these hints and tips.

  1. What is the purpose you want your curtains will serve in any given room? Will they provide a splash of color? Privacy? Darkness? Warmth? All of the above? If you opt for lined panels, you will be able to control the temperature in the room, and also regulate the amount of light that filters through. Using a loose-weave cotton lining will help preserve the fabric while still allowing some light to penetrate. For bedrooms, a blackout lining is perfect because it prevents light from sifting through to disturb the sleeper.
  2. Think very well about the color and pattern of curtains you want to use. Curtains max out a significant volume of visual space, and that is sure to reflect on the general outlook of your room. Before you select any final color, request a swatch of the fabrics you have in mind and bring them into the room you want to decorate. Place them on the furniture and against walls to see if they match. You can tape swatches to the wall for a few days before you decide.
  3. Don’t hold back on size. Your curtains should be at least double the width of your windows and long enough to reach the floor. Having them puddle on the floor gives a more elegant look. Otherwise, they can stop short of the floor. Short curtains should brush the window sill. If you’re buying ready-made curtains, it’s advisable to buy them too long and then have them hemmed.
  4. Hardware is important also. The curtain rods should complement the fabric. Use large and decorative rods for heavy drapes such as velvet, while light silks and sheers can balance on lightweight metal rods. The hardware should also match the rest of the room and connect to the design there.
  5. Consider your different needs before settling on fabric options. Cotton is easy to clean and can be used anywhere while velvet can be a little thick and formal for some rooms. In the same way that sheers are rather light and graceful, they don’t add much to the privacy of the room.

It’s always better to consider future needs before you eventually pick a fabric option. Before purchasing drapes for a home you’re selling, talk to your professional stager to make certain they are neutral and complement the home’s architectural features.

Are Your Cleaning Products Making you Sick?

Are you concerned about what ingredients are in your cleaning products? If you find yourself getting headaches, sinus infections, or skin rashes, your household cleaning products could be making you sick. Many household cleaning products contain thousands of toxic chemicals that can negatively affect you and your family’s health. By switching to products free of toxins, your health can significantly improve.

What’s in your cleaning products?

Many household cleaning lines contain harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde, arsenic, phosphates, naphthalene, and parabens. Chemicals like these have been linked to serious health concerns such as cancer, birth defects, allergies, asthma, and infertility. Make the switch to non-toxic cleaning products by checking your cleaning bottles and disposing of anything that presents itself as toxic. Switching to a greener lifestyle will not only improve your health but give yourself peace of mind. Stop worrying about kids and pets accidentally ingesting ingredients that can hurt them. By swapping your current cleaning materials for greener ones, you’ll be confident that your family will be safe no matter what.

Greener cleaning.

The first step to getting a greener clean is ridding your household of its current hazardous products. Research your current cleaning ingredients to search for hidden toxins. Switch out your old toxic products for brands that use only natural components such as Honest, Method, and Mrs. Meyers. There are many more brands of green cleaning products, so find the one you like best. 

Make it yourself!

The best way to know what’s going in your home is by making your own cleaning products. Use all natural materials such as vinegar, baking soda, castile soap, and peroxide to get a healthier clean. Add these items to a spray bottle for convenient cleaning on the go. Another benefit of going natural is that it’s much cheaper. Save your budget potentially hundreds of dollars a year by transitioning to natural ingredients that are probably already in your pantry.

The health difference. 

There are many notable benefits to making the switch to natural household products.

– You can ensure the safety of your children and pets.

– Keep the air you breath free of harmful chemicals.

– Save money.

– Help the environment by keeping your water source free of toxins.

Health is the main reason why you should swap toxic chemicals for safe cleaning products. Start your evaluation of what’s in your home today. Ask your neighbors to join your effort to be confident that your water supply is free of harmful chemicals.

Is Buying a House a Good Idea?

Purchasing a home may prove to be a good idea. In fact, there are many reasons to pursue a house, and these include:

1. You can purchase a home that you can call your own.

There is nothing quite like the feeling an individual typically experiences after he or she buys a house. If you conduct a search for your dream residence, you can enjoy this one-of-a-kind feeling in the near future.

Of course, if you decide to purchase a home, you may want to establish property buying criteria. This will allow you to hone your home search and accelerate the property buying journey.

As you put together homebuying criteria, think about where you want to reside and what features you want to find in your ideal residence. Then, you can begin the homebuying journey with a plan to achieve the best-possible results.

2. You could save money over the long haul.

Let’s face it – the costs of renting an apartment, condo or house can add up over time. On the other hand, a home is a long-term investment that may help you save money in comparison to renting a property.

If you decide to launch a home search, you may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage too. Banks and credit unions are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these financial institutions can teach you everything you need to know about home financing. As a result, if you meet with banks and credit unions in your area, you can find a mortgage that complements your finances perfectly.

3. You can personalize your residence however you choose.

A house is more than just a place where you eat, sleep and store all of your personal belongings. And if you acquire a residence, you can transform an ordinary house into a personalized home.

As a homeowner, you can paint your home any color you choose, perform assorted house upgrades and much more. Therefore, homeowners enjoy unprecedented flexibility and can customize a house so it matches or exceeds their expectations.

For those who are ready to pursue a house, it often helps to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can offer plenty of guidance throughout the property buying journey and ensure you can quickly discover your dream house.

A real estate agent will keep you up to date about houses that fall within your price range, set up home showings and help you submit an offer to purchase your ideal residence. Plus, a real estate agent will negotiate with a seller’s agent on your behalf to help you pay the lowest price for your dream home. And if you ever have concerns or questions during your home search, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them right away.

Ultimately, buying a home is a good idea for many people. If you hire a real estate agent today, you can instantly start a home search and move one step closer to acquiring your dream residence.