There are a lot of reasons why people want to downsize when buying a home. The kids are off to college or buying homes of their own, you’re getting older, or you just realize you don’t need as much space as you thought you did. But downsizing almost always impacts the way you live in one way or another. So, it’s worth taking a thoughtful look at what’s important to you and what will be important in your new, smaller home. Here are the top things to consider when downsizing your home.
Have you ever been browsing major online real estate sites, found a great deal on a listing only to discover it was a home in foreclosure? Some buyers will stop considering it right then and there because they think it means there’s something wrong with the home or trying to buy it will be too much of a hassle. But buying a foreclosed home can actually be a great opportunity to save some money because many are sold below market value. You just have to know what you’re getting yourself into. Here’s everything home buyers need to know about buying a foreclosed home.
When buying or selling a house, your agent is supposed to act as your expert guide, answering questions and offering advice to help you get the best deal possible. But sometimes they don’t have all the answers, or rather, they won’t give you the answers. Why? The reason, in a nutshell, is fair housing laws. Because of restrictions put in place by the Fair Housing Act to prevent housing discrimination based on race, religion, sex, nationality, familial status or disability, there are some things agents simply can’t legally tell you. Even making somewhat vague comments could be interpreted as showing bias and fall on the wrong side of the law. So, here are some questions for your real estate agent that they might not answer and how you can still get the information you need.
There are a lot of steps to buying a house, and while they are all important, some are just more valuable than others. Writing an earnest money check, for example, is necessary, but it doesn’t do much for you as a buyer. A home inspection, on the other hand, can be extremely valuable, potentially helping you save money when you negotiate the home price or keeping you from buying a total lemon. But to get the most value out of your home inspection, you need to ask the right questions.
Many first-time home buyers use FHA loans because of the significant benefits they provide. But there are some unique considerations you have to keep in mind, particularly when it comes to actually writing an offer. Here’s a quick introduction to FHA loans as well as some tips on how to submit a winning offer using one of these loans.
There’s a certain hierarchy when it comes to what home sellers are looking for in an offer. An all-cash offer is generally considered the strongest and most desirable because there is no loan required. Offers that involve government-backed loans like VA loans are often considered on the lower end of the spectrum, mostly because some people believe that VA loans make a deal harder to close. That may have been true at one point, but those days are long gone. Still, these beliefs persist. So, if you’re an active duty military member or veteran using a VA loan to buy a house, you’ll need to make sure your offer is as strong as possible to have the best chance of getting accepted. Here are some tips on purchasing a house with a VA loan and crafting a winning offer.
Many housing markets are extremely competitive, with multiple offers coming in for desirable homes, especially moderately priced ones. So, if you find a house that you love, you need to do everything you can to make the strongest possible offer. For years, real estate experts have recommended writing a personal letter to a home seller to explain why you want to buy the house. But in the age of technology, many people wonder, “Do I really need to write a letter to buy a house?” The short answer is yes. A personal letter is your opportunity to make a meaningful connection that motivates the seller to accept your bid. Let’s look at some tips for writing a strong personal letter as well as some special considerations for heroes.
Many heroes enter their professions because they are continuing a family legacy. It’s not uncommon to see whole families of teachers, men and women following in their parents’ footsteps to become police officers or firefighters, or military service members carrying on a proud family tradition. But home ownership can be a legacy too, and many people want to pass down the homes they cherish to their children or other relatives. Other times heroes want to purchase a home from a family member to help them out or return to live in their childhood home. But buying a house from a family member comes with unique emotional and legal considerations, so it isn’t as easy as just handing over the keys. Here are some tips on how to buy a house from a family member while making the process as quick and painless as possible.
Whether you’re looking to buy or sell a home, major real estate sites like Zillow and Redfin make it easy to get a home value estimate. The information is listed prominently when you look up any address or use their search tools. But housing markets are in constant flux and there are countless variables that factor into a home’s true value. So, just how accurate and reliable are these estimates? To help you make the most of online resources and get the best possible price for your home, here’s a look at how online calculators determine home values and how you can use that information to your advantage.
What your home looks like on the outside surely doesn’t matter as much as the quality of the interior, the number of rooms, etc. But ask anyone who’s tried to sell an “ugly home” and they’ll tell you that curb appeal matters. In fact, the National Association of REALTORS® says that “homes with high curb appeal tend to sell for an average of 7% more than similar houses with an uninviting exterior,” and that number can climb to 14% in slower markets. Good curb appeal also helps sell your home faster. So, making a few small upgrades can produce great return on investment (ROI), and improving your curb appeal on a budget is possible. Here are some tips on how to improve curb appeal when selling your home.