Recent Entries

Three “Unconventional” Places to Find Your Dream Home...

Whether you are looking for your “dream home” or are looking for investment property to rent out or “flip” for a profit, you are likely looking for a great house that is priced at less than it is worth. If this is the case, it can be difficult to find what you are looking for via traditional methods. These methods include utilizing major realty listing websites that pull listings from the MLS. Generally, the MLS shows listings from realtors, and these listings are looking for fair market value. Don’t let this lack of inexpensive houses discourage you. It is possible to find an amazing house priced under market value; you just have to know where to look. Online Sales Websites There are several major websites that cater to people selling their own possessions, from clothing and household goods to cars and boats. These sites are great places to find houses that are listed for Sale by owner. You can also find sellers that are looking to sell cheap because they just want to be rid of a property or don’t have the time and money to do the necessary repairs and upgrades on a home they own. Check these sites at least once a day, and if possible, set up alerts that will email you when a listing that meets your requirements is posted. Social Media Many people don’t realize that there is a whole hidden world of buy/sell/trade groups on social media websites. These groups cater to individuals living in a certain area or those who are looking to buy, sell, or trade certain items. These groups are great places to search for properties that you can buy cheap, put a little work into, and then sell for a nice...

How You Can Start Preparing For Home Staging Several Months In Advance...

Although the process of staging a home is something that takes place right before you intend on taking high-quality photographs in preparation of listing your home for sale, you can start preparing early on to reduce some of the stress associated with selling your home. Home staging generally involves the same methods because a homeowner or professional only has so much time to actually stage a home before they intend on having it listed. When you start this process several months in advance, you can greatly improve the final results of home staging. Sell or Put Away Highly Stylized Decorations It is not that hard to put away items for staging purposes, but you should not feel the need to handle everything at once. Alternatively, you can start selling or putting away decorations that are highly stylized, which only make potential buyers look at your home in a certain style, and not in their own style. By staying more neutral and removing some decorations, you can make it much more likely that potential homebuyers will be able to envision themselves living in the space and won’t be turned off by the d├ęcor. Eliminate Crowding with a Storage Unit Real estate professionals do not want to completely gut your home of its furnishings, especially while you are living inside, but you can eliminate crowding on your own. If you have plenty of furniture to accommodate your large family or to simply maximize your options in a given room, you should consider renting a storage unit to cut down on the crowding and make the entire home look more open. With less furniture in each room, potential buyers can get around the home more freely and you’ll be able to create...

Things You Are Wise To Do Before You Dip To Buy A Flipped Home...

Are you considering purchasing an older home that has been remodeled by an investor? If so, you may have heard the term “flipping” at some point. Perhaps your interest in buying this type of home is piqued because you have seen television shows that broadcast the process from start to finish. There are a few things you should do before you consider buying this type of home. Make an inquiry regarding the investor’s flipping track record. This does not mean that you have to go around your city asking everyone you know or everyone involved in the real estate industry about the investor. You will likely find that many of these investors are eager to answer some questions about their history themselves. For example, it is wise to know how long they have been flipping homes and the approximate number that they have flipped. You can also inquire about whether they perform the renovations themselves or hire outside work. You can use this information as a potential indicator of shoddy work. For example, if you are considering a purchase from an investor who performs his or her own remodeling and usually hires two additional people, then flipping a high number of homes in a short time span could mean that the remodeling work performed is mediocre at best.  Check the home for signs of a rushed remodel. Ensure that the doors and cabinets open and close completely. You should also look for gaps between areas such as tile and between vanities and the walls. Unfinished tile and grout are also potential signs of shoddy work. Molding, baseboards, switch plates and outlet plates should not be installed crooked or uneven. Verify that home  improvement permits and paperwork were filed.  When homes are...

Two Tips for Testing Out a Tiny Home Before Purhasing Your Own...

A large part of the attraction of a tiny home lies in the idea that purchasers will be able to live a simple life. If you are looking to downsize all aspects of your life, then a tiny home can help you do this. Many of these homes are only a fraction of a standard one-bedroom apartment. While a tiny home is great for bringing minimalism into your life, it is important to research the home before purchasing. Going from having multiple bedrooms to sharing one small space can be a bigger change than many people imagine. Therefore, it is important to test out the home before purchasing your own. Fortunately, there are a few tips designed to help you do this. Rent Out a Tiny Home for at Least a Month Living in a tiny home for a few days or even a week does not have the same effect as living in the space for a month or more. During the first few days, you are still experiencing the honeymoon period. Everything is new and interesting to you; therefore, it can be difficult to determine whether you truly would live there or whether you are just having a fun experience. As a result, you should rent out a tiny home for at least a month in order to determine this. A month-long stay in a tiny home will allow you to determine what you dislike and what you really enjoy about living in such a small space. You can rent out a tiny home by searching on traditional third-party apartment-rental sites. In addition, there are sites dedicated to tiny home rentals. Live in the Tiny Home During All Seasons Depending on where you choose to live, some seasons can be more...

What To Examine When Buying Your First Commercial Property...

Real estate can be a lucrative way to invest your money; if you make the right decision on a property, you can make a great deal of money over the years as you improve your property and sell it. It can be just as easy to lose money if you make foolish decisions because you don’t have the right information in mind. Examine the following documents in order to make a wise choice about buying a commercial property. Zoning Ordinance If you’re looking to buy commercial properties, it makes sense that you assume that the buildings and properties you are looking at are in business zones. However, it’s important to be mindful that every property is required to adhere to the zoning ordinance guidelines. If you plan to raze the small building on a property and erect a two-story building in its place, you need to verify that a new building like that would be allowed in that particular business zone. If your improvement plans run contrary to the existing ordinance, all is not lost yet. You can still petition the town or city for a variance that would allow you special permission to go through with your plans. Every variance application is different, so be sure to ask what is required in order to be granted permission to do what you like. Leases Whether you plan to purchase a set of apartments or an office building, many times commercial properties have tenants that are already inside the building you plan to buy. It is wise to take a look at the terms of these leases to determine whether you are satisfied that the terms are fair for you after you buy the property. For example, a part of...

Not Just A Dream: How An FHA Loan Can Help You Become A Homeowner...

Nearly everyone dreams of someday owning their own home. Rents are at an all-time high, and to make matters worse, the rent money you pay is going straight to your landlord’s pockets, instead of building valuable equity in a home of your own. If, like many, you have despaired of ever owning a home, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers a loan program that was custom-made just for people like you. You may be able to qualify for this program, even if you have little-to-no down payment and less-than-perfect credit. For a quick primer on FHA loans, read on. 1. Lenders require that borrowers have good credit before they lend to them. Your credit score is a major indicator to lenders of your ability to repay a loan, and most require high scores. A score of 720 is considered an “excellent” score by most lenders, putting a home loan out of reach for many. But even if your score is considerably lower, you are still in luck. The FHA offers loans to people with scores as low as 500, if you can also come up with a down payment of at least 10% of the home’s price. Additionally, if your score is at least 580, you may be able to qualify for an FHA loan with an even lower down payment of only 3.5% of the purchase price. 2. Bankruptcies are an unfortunate fact of life for some people, and the presence of a federal filing on your credit report can make a traditional mortgage loan approval difficult, if not impossible. The FHA understands that sometimes financial obligations can become overwhelming and that the decision to declare bankruptcy is not an easy or impulsive one to make. Fortunately, you can...

3 Tips For First-Time Home Buyers...

Buying your first home can be incredibly exciting, but it can also be stressful, especially when you don’t know what to expect. Your first home purchase is a very big financial investment, so it is a good idea to be as prepared as possible. If you’re planning to buy your first house in the near future, use the following tips to help ensure that the process goes smoothly: Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage A lot of first-time buyers get confused by the terms pre-qualified and pre-approved in regards to mortgages. Pre-qualified means that a lender believes that you are a good candidate for a loan based on the financial information that you provided, but it does not guarantee you a loan. On the other hand, getting pre-approved for a mortgage requires submitting a lot of documents and having your application go through underwriting; if you are approved you will know exactly how much you can borrow and what interest rate you will pay on your loan. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is essential; doing so will help you set a budget you are comfortable with. Have a List of Needs vs. Wants Most first time buyers do not have the budget to purchase their dream home that has every amenity and feature that they have ever wanted; in many cases concessions will need to be made. It can be very helpful to sit down and make a list of things that you absolutely need in a home, and then list things that you would like to have. For example, based on your family size you may need a certain number of bedrooms, and you may want a finished basement but it won’t be a deal breaker if you find...

Getting A Game Plan In Place For Viewing Open Houses...

If you are on the market for a new home, it can seem overwhelming to view so many properties before you find your dream home. The thing is, by viewing a variety of open houses, you will narrow down your wish list and begin to know what you are really looking for in a property. Here are four ways to make sure you use your time wisely when visiting multiple open houses over the the weekend. 1. Map Out Your Day Ahead of Time Depending on how big your search area is, you might want to focus on one town or neighborhood’s open houses on offer. If this is in a neighborhood that you don’t know well, bring along maps or orient yourself ahead of time to save time once you are on the road. The more time you can spend at open houses instead of on the road, the more productive your afternoon will be. 2. Make Sure You are Focused on the Task at Hand If open houses in your area are primarily on weekend afternoons, it is important to focus this time exclusively on house hunting. It is a good idea to eat before you go and to try not to get distracted with other errands while you are out and about. Try to designate the time you can to seeing homes so you can cast a wide net on the options out there. 3. Don’t Waste Time on Out-of-Scope Properties Location, price, and features can all be vetted ahead of time online so that your search is focused on properties that are actually viable. It might be tempting to check out an open house in a nicer neighborhood that is too far away, or a...
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