Kimberly Delling's Blog
After you decide to sell your home, it may be only a few weeks before you need to pack up your belongings and relocate to a new address. Thus, it may be beneficial to start planning ahead for moving day. By doing so, you can sell any items you have no plans to bring to your new address before moving day arrives.
Ultimately, there are many items that you may want to sell prior to listing your residence. These items include:
An outdated refrigerator, washer or dryer is unlikely to do you any favors when you show your home to potential buyers. At the same time, you may be unlikely to bring these appliances to a new home in the foreseeable future.
If your current appliances no longer serve your needs, you may want to sell your appliances and pick up new ones. New appliances may help make your home more attractive than ever before to potential buyers. Plus, you can account for the price of any new appliances when you set your home's initial asking price.
Meanwhile, you should have no trouble selling appliances online or at a yard sale. You also can donate appliances to a local charity or give them to family members, friends or others.
Your couch, work desk or other furniture have been staples in your residence for many years. Yet these items may take up lots of space. And in some instances, your furniture may make it tough for you to show off the true size and beauty of your house.
When it comes to selling your current furniture, there may be no reason to wait. If you sell your current furniture today, you can earn extra cash that you can always use to buy new furniture for your new house. Furthermore, you can avoid the challenges commonly associated with moving big, bulky furniture from your current address to a new residence.
As a home seller, it is important to make it simple for prospective buyers to fall in love with your residence. And if you have decorations set up around your home, it may be difficult for a buyer to envision what life may be like if he or she purchases your house. As such, if you have lawn decorations, paintings or other decorations outside and inside your home, you may want to sell these items sooner rather than later.
Selling decorations online or at a yard sale is an effective option for those who want to get rid of various decorations. On the other hand, if you need to get rid of decorations immediately, you can give your current decorations away for free.
Lastly, as you get ready to sell your home, you may want to hire a real estate agent too. With a real estate agent at your side, you can receive expert recommendations as you navigate each stage of the property selling journey. As a result, you can receive comprehensive home selling support and boost the likelihood of a fast, profitable property selling experience.
With rent prices soaring in many areas of the U.S., renters are starting to consider whether now is the right time to start saving for a down payment on a home.
Depending on where you live and what your timeline is for buying a house, you might be wondering the same thing.
So, in today’s post, we’re going to talk about how to break down your rental costs to determine whether it makes more sense to buy a home rather than continue renting.
Add up your rental costs
There are any number of costs associated with renting depending on your lease agreement. Some renters are required to pay their own heating and utilities, while others have several bonuses thrown into the cost of their rent, such as internet, gym memberships and more.
So, take a minute to write down each of your rental expenses. To get you started, here’s a list of some of the most common costs for renters:
Now that you know how much you put toward renting each month, it’s time to take a look at what it could cost you to own a home.
The key thing to remember about buying a home is that your costs can vary widely based on the size of your home, where it’s located, and a number of other factors. However, you can often find area averages online.
If you’re considering a starter home (which you should!), then you’ll want to look at houses in your area that are on the lower end of the market.
To get an idea of what your mortgage payments and monthly interest will be, you can use a free tool like Bankrate.
Now, let’s make a list of your homeowner expenses:
Heating and AC costs (plan for higher costs than renting due to more space)
Property taxes (divided by 12)
Mortgage insurance (if you don’t have a 20% down payment saved)
Cost-benefit analysis of owning a home vs renting
Now that you know the general costs, you’re getting close to knowing whether it would be cheaper or more expensive to buy a home than rent.
However, that isn’t the full picture. When you own a home, you’re responsible for maintenance and upkeep. That means you should budget around $250 per month toward maintenance. Even if you don’t use that amount each month, there’s a good chance you’ll have to make a repair or upgrade, or even hire a professional to come and fix something on your home.
The final piece of the picture involves home equity. When you own a home, most of the money you pay each month to your lender will come back to you in the form of equity. As a renter, your money goes to your landlord and will never be seen or heard from again.
So, if you’ve added up your lists, accounted for maintenance costs, and still have enough left over to live comfortably each month by buying a home, you can most likely bet on buying as being a better option.
If not, it might pay off to rent for another year or two while you save up for a down payment so you can get the lowest interest rate and avoid PMI.
Sometimes the simplest habits can yield the greatest results. Making to-do lists is the perfect example of a productive habit -- especially if you're getting ready to sell your home.
When putting your house on the market, here are a few tips to keep in mind for staying on track and avoiding delays.
Organization: As a home seller, there are a lot of things you can do to prepare your house for real estate showings.
Making lists can be an extremely effective way to reinforce goals, clarify objectives, and remind yourself what needs to be done. Knowing your priorities for the day (and week) can strengthen your confidence and help you avoid that feeling of being overwhelmed. On the other hand, when you lack clarity and keep forgetting important tasks, frustration and pessimism can creep in, causing you to lose your edge.
Like any method of staying organized and focused, making lists is not without its potential pitfalls. Priority lists are of little use if they get misplaced, buried under other documents, or forgotten about for days or weeks. Ideally, your list of important tasks should be readily accessible, highly visible, and regularly updated. While some people like to use old-fashioned written lists in a spiral-bound notebook or legal-size pad of paper, others may prefer their mobile devices, computer, or a reminder app.
The benefit of creating a list and checking off items as you progress is that it helps keep you focused, goal oriented, and organized. The sooner you create a priority list of tasks, the greater your efficiency will be in getting them done.
Motivation: Although your real estate agent will handle most of the details related to selling your home, there are still dozens of tasks you'll need to be involved in. Keeping your home and property well maintained, presentable, and in a state of good repair are among them. If you're like most home sellers, however, your plate is already full with family responsibilities, career demands, and other obligations. Fortunately, there are strategies for balancing your priorities.
The three keys to getting important stuff done in a timely way are: effective time management, prioritization, and staying motivated. Selling a house is a team effort involving you, your family, your real estate agent, and other professionals. Doing your utmost to keep your real estate objectives on the "front burner" will help keep the sales process moving forward and make a good impression on potential buyers.
Goals, in general, should be specific, attainable, measurable, and deadline-oriented. As motivational writer Napoleon Hill said, "A goal is a dream with a deadline." When you fail to assign a target date or deadline to a house-selling task, it's all-too-easy to let that goal slide and cause you to lose your advantage.
The idea of a tight-knit neighborhood seems like an artifact of a simpler time in our country. And, in many ways, it is. Improvements in transportation and technology make it easier than ever to be connected with friends and family across the country and around the world.
However, there are still many good reasons to get to know your neighbors, aside from as a common courtesy. In this article, we’ll break down those reasons for you.
A watchful eye
If you plan on going for an extended vacation, it’s good to know at least one neighbor who you can trust to watch over your home while you’re away. That can include reporting any suspicious behavior and bringing in your mail so that it isn't obvious that your home is empty.
If you have kids, your neighbors are a good way to find out about any neighborhood news and safety concerns you should be aware of, which brings us to our next reason to get to know your neighbor.
Learning about the neighborhood
When you move into a new community, there often aren’t many ways to learn about the local events and places of interest. Introducing yourself to your new neighbors is a good way to learn about the place you moved to. It’s also a way to ask about any concerns you may have, such as traffic, noise level, or road safety if you have children who will be playing outside.
A helping hand
Like we mentioned before, it’s good to have trustworthy neighbors while you’re on vacation for home security reasons. However, it’s also a good opportunity to have neighborhood kids lend a hand while you’re away. You can pay them to mow your lawn, water the grass or flowers, and feed your pets. This makes your life easier and teaches them a lesson in work and reward.
Lending tools and services
It’s good to know a few neighbors with tools that you don’t have so that you can let one another borrow seldom-used tools rather than buying or renting them just for the occasional use.
Similarly, if you have an elderly neighbor, it’s a rewarding gesture to help them out when you see they need help with groceries, shoveling, or other physically demanding tasks. Those small gestures can also go a long way when it comes to gaining a friend in the neighborhood who you can count on for the local news.
No ill-will between good neighbors
Let’s face it, neighbors can be a source of annoyance at times. If it’s late on a school night and your neighbors are being noisy while you and your children are trying to sleep, you’ll have a lot better chance of getting them to quiet down if you have an established, friendly relationship.
Similarly, if you have a family cookout and need to park cars in front of their lawn, they’re more likely to not mind if you’ve helped them out in the past.
So, for these five reasons, and for many others, it pays to get to know your neighbors.
For those who want to achieve the best-possible results during the house selling journey, it helps to plan ahead. Fortunately, we're here to help you get ready to list your home and enjoy a seamless property selling experience.
Now, let's take a look at three items that every seller needs to pick up before listing a house.
1. Cleaning Supplies
A stunning home interior can make a world of difference in the eyes of property buyers. Thus, you should purchase cleaning supplies to ensure that you can transform your house's interior from drab to fab.
Cleaning supplies are easy to find at any grocery or convenience store and won't force you to break your budget. Plus, they often come with instructions so you can use these supplies for maximum effectiveness.
2. Lawn Care Equipment
In addition to improving the look of your home's interior, you'll want to do everything possible to bolster your residence's curb appeal. Because if potential buyers drive past your home and like what they see, these individuals may be more inclined than ever before to schedule a property showing.
A lawn mower, hedge trimmer and other lawn care equipment are paramount for a home seller. With this equipment at his or her disposal, a seller can improve a house's curb appeal. And as a result, this individual can help make his or her home an attractive option for prospective buyers.
3. Hand Tool Set
A hand tool set will serve a home seller well even after this individual sells his or her house. This set includes a hammer, wrenches, screwdrivers and other essential tools that will make it easy for an individual to perform quick fixes around a house.
In most instances, a standard hand tool set includes everything that a home seller will need to complete basic house repairs. And remember, an individual can always add to his or her hand tool set down the line too.
As you prepare to list your home, there are lots of things that you can do to differentiate your residence from the competition. In fact, if you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can receive comprehensive home selling insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.
A real estate agent is happy to offer honest, unbiased property selling recommendations. He or she can help you get your residence ready for the housing market and ensure it generates plenty of interest from potential buyers. Also, a real estate agent will show your residence to prospective buyers, keep you up to date about any offers to purchase your house and much more.
Perhaps best of all, if you have concerns or questions during the home selling journey, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them. This enables you to gain expert home selling insights and receive the support you need to succeed.
Employ a real estate agent today, and you can begin a successful home selling journey.