You’ve gone to countless open houses, searched online for months, and have finally found the house of your dreams, but before signing your name on the dotted line there are a few key steps you should not overlook.
So you have found the home of your dreams, it has all the features you want, and it is in the right neighborhood.
Once you’ve made the decision to buy a home, it’s time to start thinking about what comes next.
When purchasing a home, especially for the first time, you are going to encounter a lot of terms and jargon you may never have heard before.
The process of purchasing a home can be a complicated and stressful experience, but if you have to purchase a new home in another city the experience can become even more complicated.
Now that you’ve signed all the paperwork and your loan is approved, it’s time to move in.
Most people who are in the market for a new home are aware of the costs associated with purchasing a home and moving, but closing costs can be expenses that may be overlooked, especially for first-time home buyers.
Now that you’ve made the decision to purchase your first home, a hearty congratulations is in order! Becoming a homeowner, especially for the first time, can stir up some feelings of anxiety and excitement.
While it may be nice to have a home with five bedrooms, an eat-in kitchen, and a four-car garage, how many of us really need this much space? The best approach is to look at a few particular aspects of your life and lifestyle to make the right choice.
Choosing A REALTOR® You Can Trust
When it comes to shopping for a home, especially if you are buying for the first time, having an agent on your side is extremely helpful.
When it comes to buying a home, the ability and willingness to negotiate is a must for both the buyer and seller.
There is a reason the term “location, location, location” is used so commonly within the real estate industry.
A home warranty plan, also known as a home protection plan, is a service contract that offers homeowners a way to safeguard themselves against possible breakage or a malfunction within the home.
Should You Consider A Condominium Or Townhome?
If you are buying a new home on a tight budget, one of the options that will come to your attention is purchasing a condominium or townhome instead of a standard single family home.
When it comes to a home, you have two options: buy or rent.
Examining A Home Objectively: What Matters And What Doesn’t
Everyone heads out to look at potential homes with a list of the things they want in a house, and a list of the things they definitely do not want.
Selecting Homeowner’s Insurance
One of the many things you will have to think about while you are in the process of buying a new home is the insurance you will need to protect it.
The appeal of income properties and the potential for what may seem like easy money and early retirement have likely crossed the mind of anyone who has heard of this business venture.
When we think of selling a home, the services a REALTOR® can provide usually seem worth the cost of their commission, but what about as a buyer? What can a REALTOR® do for you as a home buyer, and is the commission worth the services they can provide? Here are five great reasons you should hire a REALTOR® when you are in the market for a new home!
REALTORS® Can Help You Determine Your Budget—With a few simple pieces of information, a REALTOR® can help you pre-determine what kind of budget you may be looking at for your new home, and can match you with potential lenders that are right for you.
When the housing market is up and sales seem to favor sellers rather than buyers, negotiation contract contingencies may seem like a lost cause.
The traditional view of home ownership usually includes a married couple, but times have changed, and more and more single women are entering the housing market.
A Nice Home Or A Nice Neighborhood: Which Matters More?
When you start shopping for a home, you probably have a very specific image of what you would like that home to look like.
Given the recent state of the economy and the rising rate of mortgage foreclosures, the number of properties available at rock bottom prices is at an all time high.
Finding A Neighborhood With Great Schools
If you have children, or even if you don’t yet but plan to in the future, schools are something you will need to take into consideration when you search for a new home.
How Much Yard Do You Need?
You probably have spent a good deal of time considering how much space you need inside your home, but what about how much space you need on the outside of it? House hunting with an idea of the square footage you are seeking is a good idea, but in addition to that you should have an idea of how much yard space you will need around your new dwelling as well.
Always dreamed of renovating a home exactly to your specifications, or have you found an older house that is structurally sound but needs a lot of work inside? Perhaps the price is right and you can’t resist all that house you can get for your money.
Making An Offer: Negotiating Your Buying Price
There is perhaps no more exciting and nerve-wracking time in the home buying process than when you decide to make an offer on a home.
When To Consider Raising Your Home Buying Budget
Setting a budget for your home purchase is an important decision.
When it comes to buying a home, having bad credit is not the end of the world.
The decision to purchase a home is exciting and a major investment for your future.
As the old saying goes, real estate is all about location, location, location.
Often ads for homes on the market include the phrase “motivated seller,” and while this sounds as if it may be to your benefit as a home buyer, what does it actually mean? If a seller is truly motivated you can benefit from a number of potential perks they may be willing to throw in to get their home sold, or they may even be willing to accept a lower offer than the asking price.
An earnest money deposit, also known as a good faith deposit, is a specific dollar amount that a potential buyer pays to the seller in an effort to display their serious interest in a property.
Homeowner’s Associations: What You Need To Know
As you begin looking for a home to purchase, you will start to come across houses that have a homeowner’s association.
Whether it’s the character and charm of an older home with its original features, hardwood floors, and wood burning fireplace, or the quaint historic feel of the neighborhood in which it is found, there is a certain appeal to older property.
If you are a first time homeowner, or are purchasing a home after a major life change such as marriage or having children, what should you consider to be sure your new home can grow with your changing family? The time and effort that go into purchasing and decorating a new home, not to mention finding it in the first place, means that you’ll want to ensure that your home will be right for you and your family for years to come.
Should You Show An Empty Home?
If you have already moved out of the house you are selling, you generally have two choices.
So you have decided that you are going to sell your home.
Negotiating With A Buyer
Depending on the market in which you are selling, your position in the negotiations with a potential buyer can be either a very comfortable one or a difficult one.
Simple Ideas To Make Your Home More Welcoming To Buyers
It may seem obvious, but many sellers fail to recognize that a home that feels, looks, and smells welcoming and homey will more likely raise a buyer’s interest when they come for a showing.
Whether the initial love has faded, or your home just doesn’t work for you and your family anymore, deciding between selling your home and remodeling can sometimes be a difficult decision.
Anything that could be potentially harmful to the new occupant or the home itself must be addressed in the seller’s disclosure.
When selling your home, the last thing you want to do is invest more into it, but in most cases making a few repairs or renovations to your home before putting it on the market can really be worth the financial and time investment.
Here are the most common mistakes people make when selling their property.
There are a number of reasons why you may need to sell your home in a buyer’s market, and though getting the most for your home in that situation may seem impossible, there are several strategies you can use to get the best offer for your home.
You would never dream of inviting guests to your house without making certain preparations, so don’t invite potential buyers without first making the necessary updates by preparing your home to sell.
Every homeowner must set an asking price when listing their home on the market, but what happens when you don’t receive any offers? Just as it’s important to know when it’s time to sell, it’s important to recognize the right time to reduce the price.
When listing your home with a REALTOR®, you will be required to sign an agreement.
What Season Is Best To Sell?
So you are ready to sell your house, but you look out the window and see several feet of snow on the ground.
The process of selling your home can be a stressful and time-consuming event.
The temptation to save yourself the cost of hiring a real estate agent when selling your home can be overwhelming, and with more websites, books, and other resources popping up that claim to give you all the know-how and tools you’ll need to sell your home yourself, why should you consider hiring a REALTOR® at all? Like any job that requires a lot of insider knowledge and experience, hiring a REALTOR® will ensure that you are getting the best price for your house with the minimal amount of work and worry.
Five Things You Should Put In Storage While Selling Your Home
When your home is on the market but you are still living there, you can’t very well make it a model show home.
Quick Clutter Fixes For Unexpected Showings
When you have to continue living in a home at the same time you are trying to sell it, keeping it ready for a showing at any time can be a challenge.
An open house is one way that REALTORS® attempt to expose a home to multiple buyers at once.
How Long Should You Keep Your Home On The Market?
Many a home seller has been there—the house has been on the market for months and there is no sign of a sale.
If you are thinking of putting your home up for sale, or already have your property listed, you may want to consider hosting an open house as part of your marketing strategy to get your home sold.
Home staging is the latest trend in real estate, and if you are selling your home you are likely at least aware of what this growing practice involves.
If you’re selling your home, there are a number of things you can do to improve your property’s potential value and appeal.
If you are selling your home and are motivated to get the deal done quickly, you may be tempted to accept a low bid.
When a homeowner lists their house with a REALTOR®, they may choose to store their house keys in the lockbox for easy access for the REALTOR® showing the home.
Selling A Home When You Have Kids
Selling a home is stressful for everyone, and having young children in the house can add to the stress for the parents.
The Home Remodels That Will Most Increase Your Selling Price
So you are ready to sell, but you know that there are a few things in the home that could stand some updating in order to increase your selling price.
There is a lot more to putting your home up for sale than placing a sign on the front lawn.
You have put your home up for sale and done everything your agent has advised you to do to prepare your property for sale, but still no offers have come in.
The Downside To A Sale By Owner
In tough economic times, saving the money that you would have to pay a real estate agent to help you sell your home can be a tempting idea.
Showing your home is essential in the real estate business.
The process of selling your home at any time of the year can be a stressful experience, but if you are trying to sell your home during the busy holiday season it may seem to be almost impossible.
Once you’ve made the decision to sell your home, it’s time to think about what comes next.
Selling your home can cause potential anxiety about your personal privacy.
When we have pets, they quickly become a part of our family.
If you want potential home buyers to fall in love with your house, they first have to know it’s for sale.
In addition to location and condition, the asking price of a home is at the top of the list of important considerations.
Home And Garden
Let’s face it.
Congratulations on your decision to start a new garden.
When it comes to keeping your home comfortable in the summer, there are a number of ways to accomplish your goal without breaking a sweat over your cooling costs.
When the temperature outside begins to fall, our heating bills quickly start to rise.
Clutter, which is defined as things that lie about untidily, is often linked to creativity.
Whether it’s spring, summer, fall or winter, it’s important to take the necessary steps to keep your home standing tall every day.
Summer is a special time for having fun in the backyard pool, yet drowning is a leading cause of accidental death.
A patio offers a relaxing way to enjoy the outdoors while still getting a sense of home.
When you save on energy, you also save money.
Using Your Fireplace Safely
A fireplace is a great feature in any home, and can create that warm, homey feeling on a cold winter evening that every homeowner dreams of.
When you are planning to sell your home, a bathroom remodel may be one of the best places to increase your home’s value.
When it comes to entertaining outdoors, there’s no place quite like your very own backyard.
Let’s face it, most of us have at some point thought about the luxury of spending relaxing and romantic evenings soaking in our very own hot tub.
If you are planning to entertain outdoors, then you may also be considering the addition of an outdoor music system to help complete your theme.
When choosing the perfect grill, it’s important to understand the different types and their functions, but also how each relates to your particular needs.
A pest is not just a word that’s used to describe an annoyance; in fact, it’s also the term given to a destructive animal that destroys crops, food and even livestock.
Homeowners who are thinking of selling are often warned against choosing bright and bold paint colors for their walls.
Solar Lighting For Your Yard
One of the simplest, most economical and also eco-friendly ways to provide lighting in your yard is to use solar lights.
As a homeowner, you can use a number of landscaping design tips to make your house look just as polished on the outside as it does on the inside.
Who hasn’t had a cupboard full of Tupperware come crashing down on their head? And don’t we all have a drawer in our kitchen that holds every scrap of paper and useless knickknack we have ever owned? While kitchen clutter may be a universal truth, it can also make using your kitchen a time consuming and frustrating task.
Flowers are used for many purposes, including landscaping, weddings, gifts and even to decorate the interior of your home.
Let’s face it—two of the biggest issues most of us face in today’s world are concerns over the environment and the economy.
Sealing Your Windows And Doors Against Leaks
When it comes to making sure your home is energy-efficient as well as keeping it at a comfortable temperature throughout the year, there are few things as simple as looking to your windows and doors to make a big difference.
If you have the islands on your mind, you will be glad to know that you can bring the charm and decor of your favorite tropical paradise into your own backyard.
If you love your lawn, it’s only natural that you would want to give it the proper care to help give it a healthy appearance.
When you begin thinking about decorating, usually a man-friendly space is not what springs to mind.
When it comes to watering your lawn, the who, what, when, where and why rule applies.
An antique is a decorative object that is valuable because of its age.
If you have a room that requires a masculine touch, don’t fret.
Gardening is a fun way to enjoy the outdoors, but it is also a livelihood for many.
Decorating For Small Spaces
If you live in a smaller home or condo, you face some particular decorating challenges.
To many, a rose is one of the most beautiful flowers in existence.
Whether you are looking to sell your home or just think it’s time for a new look to improve your curb appeal, giving your front porch a makeover is an easy and inexpensive way to give your home’s exterior a fresh look.
Every home should have an emergency kit.
As adults, we often assume that gardening is designed exclusively for us.
Storage Solutions For Your Child’s Toys
If you have children, you know how quickly they can accumulate toys and other items.
Home Theater Tips And Tricks
With home entertainment equipment becoming more and more advanced and the cost of going out for entertainment making it less realistic for many people, creating the perfect home theater is on the list of many homeowners.
If you are like most people, dust is a part of life.
Making sure that your home is secure should be a priority in your life not only because you want to protect what’s rightfully yours, but more specifically because it could be the most important thing that you do for your family and for yourself.
A barbeque is an outdoor meal or party at which food is prepared on a rack over a grill.
Moving can be a stressful time, however, there are several things that you can do to make your move a smooth one.
An aquarium is designed to simulate a natural environment for freshwater life.
Give Your Old Furniture New Life
Old furniture doesn’t have to be put aside if the basic structure is still in good condition.
Your home is your haven and, as such, it should be a place where you feel safe.
There is nothing like fresh fruits and vegetables from your own garden to give your health and taste buds a treat.
Long gone are the days of plastic vertical blinds and grandma’s lacy curtains.
These days, a home theater is one of the most popular trends in the nation.
To clean your home is to free it from dirt, pollutants and other elements.
A backyard deck is a great way to not only improve the value of your home, but also make your outdoor living space more enjoyable for you and your family.
Simple Ways To Add A Splash Of Color To Any Room
If you are feeling a lack of color and vibrancy in your décor, but don’t have a lot of time or money to put into redecorating, you can still make a big difference.
When it comes to decorating your home, there’s a lot more to consider than simply coordinating your window treatments with your carpet.
The beauty and relaxation that your garden can provide you and your family is certainly worth all the work you put in each year.
The Best Ways To Reduce Your Water Bill
Although a lot of the energy efficiency efforts tend to be focused on saving on electricity bills, you can also save a lot of money on your water bill and save water, too, with only a few simple steps.
Whether it is a romantic dining room or a home office, finding the right lighting for each space in your home is essential to making it functional and inviting.
When moving day arrives, there’s nothing quite like the nagging feeling that you’re forgetting something.
Believe it or not, your garage is not only made to house your automobiles.
When choosing a style of furnishing, color scheme, or fabrics for your new home, or when redecorating a room, plants often do not immediately spring to mind when considering what you need to complete your space.
The cool refreshing look of water on a hot summer’s day can make any homeowner wish they had a pool in their backyard, but making the decision about whether a pool is right for your property is more complicated than buying an inflatable bed with a cup holder.
A home is a place where we create precious memories with those that we love, which is why photos are a big part of what makes a house into a home.
If you want a house to smell clean, you clean it.
It’s a known fact that the majority of accidents occur at home, which is why every household must be equipped with a first aid kit complete with all of the essentials needed to handle life’s unexpected and unfortunate events.
If you have a room that requires a feminine touch, don’t fret.
Bird watching is a popular past time that is shared by many, but what if watching your fluttering friends was as simple as peeking into your backyard? Thanks to a few landscaping techniques, you can trade in your binoculars for a lawn chair and enjoy bird watching from the convenience and comfort of your own home.
Whether you have just bought your first home or have been a homeowner for some time, chances are that at some point you will be faced with home repairs.
While open-concept homes seem to be the popular trend in the home construction industry, sometimes decorating for large spaces can be a challenge.
Maintaining Air Quality In Your Home
Whether you have allergies or simply prefer knowing that the air in your home is as clean as you can make it for better health, achieving and maintaining good air quality is an important issue.
If you are in the market for a new home, or it is time to refinance your mortgage, there is no doubt you have been looking at the current interest rates.
Finding the perfect home is a task, but shopping for the best home loan can be even more tedious.
Paying off your mortgage is one of the biggest financial goals of most homeowners, and retiring debt-free can certainly give your golden years a greater sense of financial freedom and stability.
With mortgage rates on the lower side, the choice to cash in and refinance your mortgage may be tempting, but before you make that decision here are a few facts to help you decide if it is the best financial choice for you and your family.
A reverse mortgage is a financial option available to seniors which allows them to free up some of the accumulated equity in their home.
Purchasing a home with a low down payment is important for a number of reasons, including the buyer’s ability to have extra cash left over for closing costs, decorating expenses, upgrades and/or other essentials needed to turn their new house into a home.
All About Home Equity Loans
You have probably heard a lot about home equity loans if you have spent any time at all looking at home financing options.
Tips For Qualifying For a Better Interest Rate
When it comes to a home loan, the interest rate is a very important factor.
Second mortgages are not as common as they once were, and getting one is not as easy as it used to be, but even with the recent financial pressures that many of us are facing in this economy, there are still a number of options that can allow you to get one.
Looking to buy your first home, but having trouble coming up with the down payment? Typically you need to have between 5-50% of the purchase price of your home, so here are a few tips to help you save your down payment faster!
Save Your Tax Refund—Doing this alone for a few years may add up to a considerable amount to contribute to a down payment, especially if both you and your spouse commit to contributing the full amount.
Finding your credit rating can be an intimidating task, but for anyone hoping to purchase a home it is a necessary step.
How Much Cash Will You Need To Close?
For first time buyers, the amount of money that is needed to seal the deal can often come as a bit of a shock.
FHA Loans: What They Are And Who Qualifies
In your house hunting you may have come across a mention of FHA loans.
If you’re facing an upcoming rate change on your adjustable rate mortgage, you may be a bit worried.
Applying For a Joint Mortgage Loan With Your Spouse
When you are ready to buy a home, applying for a mortgage is one of the first and most important steps.
Congratulations! Now that you have found the perfect home, all that’s left is getting the perfect mortgage.
Buying a home can be both exciting and stressful but, for those with past credit problems, the process may also seem intimidating.
Insurance And Property Taxes: Should You Add Them To Your Mortgage Payment?
When you buy a home, the mortgage payment isn’t the only regular expense you will have to consider.
Interest Only Loans: What You Should Know
Of the many different types of home loans out there, interest only loans are one of the more unusual types.
With the financial markets in crisis and the cost of homes plummeting, the subprime loan options that were responsible for this crash in the first place are becoming less common.
If you are a first time homebuyer, navigating all the new information about homeownership, the home buying process, and mortgages can seem overwhelming.
Can You Buy A Home With No Down Payment?
Coming up with a down payment in today’s economy can be difficult.
If you are in the market for a new home, it’s important that you know what type of loans are available to you.
First Time Buyer Loan Tips
For first time buyers, the mortgage loan process can seem complex and confusing.
Unfortunately, fraud and identity theft are increasing at an alarming rate every year, and mortgage fraud is one of the most important types of fraud from which you will want to protect yourself.
The decision to purchase a home can be an exciting but sometimes confusing undertaking.
Now that you’ve decided to purchase a new home, it’s important to know what to expect throughout the loan process.
Saving for a down payment can be a difficult and time-consuming task, but there are options for financing a home purchase other than saving or the traditional borrowing options.
With all the financial decisions that need to be made when purchasing a home, choosing the options that make the best sense for you can seem overwhelming.
If you are in the market for a new home, or are looking to refinance your mortgage, there are an ever increasing number of lending options that exist for you as a homeowner.
One of the most important factors to consider when buying a new home is affordability.
Balloon Payments: What They Mean To You
In your research on home loans, you may have come across the term “balloon payment.
A predator is defined as one that preys on others, which is why some lenders have fittingly earned the title as predatory mortgage lenders.
There are a number of factors that can contribute to the affordability of a house and, as a potential homebuyer, it’s important that you know what type of mortgage payments are within your budget.
If you are in the market for a new home, or looking to refinance your existing mortgage, then you will want to consider the option of hiring a mortgage broker rather than an individual lender or lending institution.
Once your loan is approved, you will be ready to take the final step that will lead to the door of your new home.
Independence Day is a great opportunity to get your neighborhood together to celebrate our great nation, and what could be more American than the block party! It is a great and inexpensive way to get to know your neighbors and add a more traditional community feel to your street.
Fabulous Homemade Halloween Costumes
Halloween is the time of year when you can dress up as just about anything you want to be.
Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season, a time spent with family and friends.
Memorial Day is usually spent watching the latest blockbuster film, but it is also a great time of year to get outside and celebrate the nice weather.
Every year, Valentine’s Day serves as a celebration of love, happiness and a commitment to those that you cherish.
The traditional Chinese New Year is becoming more and more a celebrated festival around the world, and it is a really great way to celebrate Chinese culture or just have fun with friends and family.
Planning The Perfect Memorial Day Barbeque
While the focus is often on the Fourth of July when it comes to backyard celebrations, Memorial Day is often a popular choice as well.
Preparing Your Home For Holiday Guests
It’s wonderful having friends and family at your home to share the holidays, but it can also be a lot of work.
Planning The Perfect Easter Egg Hunt
Searching for hidden treasures and tasty sweets is the biggest part of Easter for young children.
Every year, children enjoy festivities that include the coloring of Easter eggs, annual egg hunts and other activities that have emerged through the years as a growing holiday tradition.
Thanksgiving is an annual national holiday commemorating a harvest festival celebrated by the Pilgrim Fathers in 1621.
Is A Real Christmas Tree Right For You?
There is nothing quite like the smell of fresh pine filling your home during the holiday season, and a real Christmas tree can do that better than any candle or air freshener.
Every June, we celebrate our love for dad with Father’s Day and, although we don’t always know exactly what gift to give that could possibly express our gratitude, it is possible to get him something that he will love.
Along with the Christmas festivities comes the desire to decorate your home with twinkling lights, wreaths, trees and even yard ornaments featuring the theme of the holidays.
Safety Tips For Fourth Of July Fireworks
The Fourth of July is an exciting holiday filled with family and friends, backyard barbeques, and of course the main event—the fireworks.
On October 31 of every year, children around the nation enjoy carving jack-o-lanterns, dressing up in their favorite costumes and going out trick-or-treating for candy and treats.
Holiday Meal Ideas You Can Prepare Ahead Of Time
Preparing large holiday meals for a crowd is time consuming and a lot of work, too.
On December 31 of every year, the world celebrates New Year’s Eve.
Choosing the perfect tree is part of any holiday decorating tradition, but finding the right wreath for your front door can really finish off your holiday look and can be a beautiful and elegant addition to your exterior décor.
Celebrating New Year’s Eve With Children
Partying until midnight may not be in the cards for you come New Year’s Eve if you have small children.
Halloween can be one of the most child-like and fun holidays of the year.
Valentine’s Day Crafts For Kids
Valentine’s Day is all about love—and not just between couples! Kids love to get in on the action, and creating fun Valentine’s crafts to share is a great way to let them have a good time and make something they can give to friends and family to show their love on this special day.
Halloween is a great time of year to let the creativity go wild, and when decorating for this fun and family-oriented holiday, it really wouldn’t be complete without a jack-o’-lantern or two! While carving pumpkins is the traditional way to create a jack-o’-lantern, if you have young children or kids who want to create jack-o’-lanterns without adult supervision, then it can be a dangerous and risky craft idea.
Whether it is Thanksgiving or Christmas, a small family gathering or a huge party, cooking the perfect turkey for the holidays is every chef’s goal.
With times being as tough as they are, finding the money to make a special Valentine’s Day for your sweetheart can be difficult.
A mother is someone who looks after you, takes care of you when you are sick and is always there to show you just how much she loves you.
Decorating for the Fourth of July is really a great and easy way to show your patriotic pride, and with our nation’s colors of red, white, and blue going so well together, it also couldn’t be easier.
Christmas is probably one of the easiest times of the year to use environmentally friendly decorating ideas, and given the more traditional decorating trends for the season and the ever increasing need for all of us to contribute to making the planet a greener place, it’s never been easier.
Every year, the Fourth of July holiday honors the birth of our nation.
Easter is often left out when thinking of holiday decorating, but since it is also the beginning of the spring season it is a great time to freshen up your home and add some of the lively and vibrant colors of the season.
Mother’s Day only comes around once a year, and since mom is there for us every day of the year, the least we can do is create a one-of-a-kind day to show her our thanks.
New Year’s is a great time to host a party for friends and family.
A Mother’s Day Menu Your Kids Can Prepare
Mother’s Day is the perfect time for your children to show their love and appreciation for everything Mom does by preparing her a simple but delicious meal she will really appreciate.
Hanukkah is a very special time of year on the Jewish calendar.
If you are throwing a St.