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Posted by Stacey West (NH/MA) on 6/15/2018

There’s a lot to buying a home. There’s no perfect home. Home inspectors will tell you that even brand new houses have their issues. If you know the right questions to ask before you even buy a home, you’ll be armed with a knowledge that you wouldn’t otherwise have. There are some very revealing questions that you can ask sellers to help you get some insight into a property. These questions can usually also be answered by your home inspector when you get to the inspection process.  


Have You Had Water Damage Or Pipe Issues?


Water damage is a big deal. It can hide mold and other damage. There’s also a big issue if the pipes in a home have previously burst, or caused water damage on their own. Especially in cold climates, water damage and burst pipes can be common if the piping has not been properly insulated.


The Age Of The Roof


If the roof on a home has been recently replaced, that’s a huge bonus to buying the home. Roofing typically lasts about 25 years until it needs to be replaced. If a roof is getting close to the end of its lifespan, you can ask for a rebate or be wary that repairs will need to be made in the near future. 


Pests


If a home has had any kind of significant pest infestation, then you’ll want to know about it and be sure that it has been resolved. There could be some underlying conditions within the home itself that have made the pest infestation possible. Whether there’s some unaddressed holes, rotting wood, or hidden leaks, they’ll need to be taken care of so that an infestation doesn’t reoccur. 


Paranormal Activity


This may sound strange but some people will run out of their homes as fast as they can if they see a ghost or something else. “Haunted houses” are a particularly difficult sell. This includes homes with:


  • Ghost sightings
  • Murders
  • Suicides
  • Unusual deaths
  • Drug labs


Many states require that these problems and conditions be revealed in a disclosure statement. Other states do not legally require this. Check local laws to find out more about paranormal activity disclosures.

Some other great questions to ask when you’re in the process of buying a home are:


  • Will your car fit in the garage?
  • How much are the utility costs?
  • Who are the utility companies?
  • Does the home have a sewer or a septic tank?
  • Are there any warranties left on items in the home?


Asking these questions not only helps you as you move into a new home, but it helps you to get a better understanding of what types of insurance you need to put on your home. If you need to add a few extra pieces to the policy to protect yourself due to any information that you learn, you’ll feel safer.




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Posted by Stacey West (NH/MA) on 6/8/2018

When you find a home you love, you most likely will want to take the steps you can to buy it. When a home is already under contract, there’s actually a little-known strategy that can be used to help you have a chance at getting the property. 


When you make a backup offer, you’re doing all of the same things you’d do under normal circumstances. The only difference between a normal offer and a backup offer is that you’re not guaranteed to get the home. The first deal needs to fall through in order for you to have a shot.


Advantages To Backup Offers


The backup offer is a bit of a stretch, but it still does give you a little bit of a chance to get a home. When a backup offer is in place, the home won’t just go back on the market if something falls through. This is especially smart when it comes to lower inventory markets. When a home is re-listed, you’ll need to compete against other buyers. If a bidding war is initiated, the home’s price will keep going up. The backup offer being in place helps the seller to feel secure in the sale of their home one way or another. If for any reason the first buyer falls through, you’ll be able to swoop in and get the home yourself.


Timing Is Everything


Keep in mind that there’s a certain period of time before a deal needs to be closed on for a home. The original buyer will need to close the deal on the home in an average of 50 days. Knowing the time frame that you’ll need to wait around for a decision is helpful for you in your own search for a home.


You can also have your agent check in with the listing agent for the property on a frequent basis. This lets the agent ad seller know that you have a keen interest in the property in case there are any difficulties coming from the other side of the deal. 


If The First Deal Doesn’t Go Through


If the first deal on a home does fall through, you’re not the new owner of the home just yet. There’s always a possibility that the first buyers found some very difficult problems with the home during the inspection. These could be big issues like an issue with the roof or the foundation of the home. Be sure to include a home inspection contingency with your contract so that you can have your own inspection conducted. This way, you’ll know if there are any problems with the home and that you will be able to deal with them.


A backup offer can be a great tool to use in tight markets to help you get a home that you love. It’s always a good idea to proceed with caution in any home deal to make a sound financial decision.




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Posted by Stacey West (NH/MA) on 6/1/2018

To sell your home, one of the essential things for you is to stage your home. While the price of your home is often dictated by the market and your own surroundings, the people who are going to buy your home ultimately need to have some attraction to it.


The question is- can you stage your home yourself, or do you need to leave the home staging to the professionals? Either way, you may need to spend a little bit of cash in order for the home staging to actually work well. 


Declutter


The first step in the home staging process is for you to declutter the home. Get rid of anything that’s taking up space, or making the home appear “junked up.” No one can picture themselves living in a cluttered home. 


Hire A Maid


If you’re doing the home staging yourself, one of the most important aspects of getting your home ready is making it clean. A maid service can provide that deep clean that you may not have time to do yourself. This service is definitely worth the investment to make your home presentable to potential buyers.


Professional Home Staging Is Pricey


Professional home staging can cost quite a bit, (we're talking thousands of dollars.) You can do a lot yourself to stage your home. You don’t need to spend top dollar in order to have your home staged appropriately. Just know that homes that are staged correctly (whether professionally or by you) sell for more.


Staging Gives Buyers Vision


It may be hard for buyers to envision a room any other way than how you currently have it set up. People may not be able to picture a chair in the corner or a bed in a different position. You can play around with the furniture in your home to make the rooms look best. 


Add Some Paint


One of the easiest things that you can do to stage your home is to paint it. Even if you simply put a fresh coat on the doors, it can really add some appeal to the home. If you have the time, you should paint the rest of the home’s interior as well. Buyers are most attracted to neutral colors. If you have any rooms that are oddly colored, or looking rough due to age, some paint can really bring life into the home.  


Make Each Room Inviting

When potential buyers walk through the home, you don’t want them to simply skim the house without checking out each individual room. See what draws you into the room, whether it be lighting, a fireplace, or an ornament on the door. Any of these small touches can make a big difference when you stage your home.




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Posted by Stacey West (NH/MA) on 5/25/2018

Ready to transform your home's interior from bland to fabulous? Ultimately, how a seller approaches home interior improvement projects is important. If a seller does everything possible to upgrade a house's interior, this individual could reap the benefits of a successful property selling experience.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you give your residence an interior makeover.

1. Analyze the Current Condition of Your Home

Although a home inspection generally is requested by a buyer after a seller accepts an offer to purchase a house, it may be helpful for a seller to complete an inspection before listing a residence. In fact, an inspection may enable a seller to analyze the current condition of his or her residence and prioritize home interior upgrades accordingly.

Many home inspectors are available in cities and towns across the United States. If you hire a top-notch home inspector, you can receive unprecedented insights into the condition of your house and map out your home interior improvement projects.

2. Remove Clutter

Let's face it – you've accumulated a vast array of personal items over the years. These items may have served you well, but they likely take up lots of space in your home. And if you're not careful, your personal items may make it difficult for you to show off the true size of your house to potential buyers.

If you have an abundance of clutter, there is no need to stress. You can always sell excess items online or at a yard sale, or you can donate these items to a local charity. Furthermore, if you have personal items you want to keep, you can rent a storage unit to hold these belongings until your residence sells.

3. Clean Each Room of Your Home

Maintaining a neat, tidy home is essential, particularly for an individual who wants to sell his or her residence as quickly as possible. If you perform regular cleaning tasks, you can keep your house looking great for the duration of the property selling journey.

Oftentimes, it helps to make a list of daily, weekly and monthly cleaning tasks. If you stick to a regular cleaning schedule, you can ensure each room of your home will dazzle at all times.

As you look for ways to upgrade your home's interior, you may want to hire a real estate agent too. This housing market professional is happy to provide home interior improvement recommendations and suggestions. Plus, he or she can put you in touch with the best local home interior improvement professionals.

In addition, a real estate agent provides extensive guidance throughout the house selling journey. He or she will help you list your home, promote it to the right groups of potential buyers and much more. And if you have home selling concerns, a real estate agent can address them right away.

Improve your home's interior – use the aforementioned tips, and you can bolster your house's interior before you add your residence to the real estate market.




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Posted by Stacey West (NH/MA) on 5/18/2018

Home maintenance plays a key role in ensuring your house will impress both now and in the future. If you establish a home maintenance budget today, you can reduce the risk of spending too much to find ways to keep your residence looking neat and tidy.

Ultimately, creating a home maintenance budget can be simple – here are three tips to help you craft an effective home maintenance budget.

1. Assess Your Home Maintenance Needs

Home maintenance generally varies from house to house. Thus, the home maintenance needs of a mansion owner are unlikely to match those of a condo owner.

Think about what types of home maintenance that you need to perform. That way, you can determine exactly what you'll need to do to maintain your residence for years to come.

It often helps to examine each room of your house, as well as your home's exterior. Then, you can better understand different aspects of your home and what you'll need to do to achieve the optimal home care results.

2. Make a Home Maintenance Checklist

A checklist is a terrific option for any homeowner who wants to limit his or her home maintenance expenses. This checklist will enable you to determine the home maintenance tasks that you'll need to complete and the expenses associated with them.

For example, if you want to maintain a lush garden in your backyard, you may need to purchase assorted gardening supplies. Conversely, if your bedroom has carpet, you'll want to pick up a vacuum that you can use to keep the carpet dirt- and dust-free.

It also may be a good idea to update your home maintenance checklist regularly. If you perform home upgrades, your home maintenance needs may change. As such, you'll want to revise your home maintenance checklist to account for various home upgrades over time.

3. Establish Home Maintenance Priorities

Whereas cleaning your swimming pool may need to be done periodically during summertime, mowing the front lawn likely needs to be done much more frequently. Fortunately, if you have home maintenance priorities in place, you can budget your time and resources appropriately.

As you craft your home maintenance budget, you should consider your home care expertise as well. If you don't feel comfortable performing certain home maintenance projects, it may be worthwhile to hire professionals to complete these tasks for you. And if you decide to hire professionals, you probably will need to account for additional costs in your home maintenance budget.

With a home maintenance budget, you'll be better equipped than ever before to ensure your house dazzles day after day. Plus, if you decide to sell your house, you'll be in a great position to maximize its value.

Lastly, if you plan to list your home, you may want to contact a real estate agent sooner rather than later. This real estate professional can help you prepare your residence for the housing market and provide expert home selling tips. As a result, a real estate agent will make it easy for you to list your house and enjoy a quick, profitable home selling experience.




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