Joe Duggan, BROKER/OWNER's Blog
When you list your home for sale, you are setting it up to sell to a wide range of buyers. Chances are the person who buys your home is not going to be the same as you, and often they will belong to a completely different generation. For example, if you’re prepping to sell your starter home, you may find that it’s a retiree who is looking to downsize that finds it most appealing. Staging your home to sell well requires staging it to appeal to a variety of buyers, across different generations. These tips can help.
Choose Luxury Upgrades When Possible
If your kitchen cabinets need an upgrade, for example, you aren’t going to sway every potential buyer with just a fresh coat of paint. Choosing luxury upgrades when they are within your budget will make the home appealing across generations.
Younger buyers and older buyers all appreciate modern convenience. Updated appliances, technology-friendly additions, smart thermostats, and energy-efficient upgrades are all the types of things buyers want, regardless of their age. These types of conveniences will also make your home more appealing to older buyers who are more choosy when they shop for a home.
Create a Home Office
Both young buyers, who may anticipate work-from-home options while their children are little, and older buyers, who no longer need a lot of bedrooms, appreciate the convenience of a home office. Take inventory of your home, and consider if there is a part of it that you could transform to be a home office.
Choose Paint Colors Carefully
If you’re going to give the house a fresh coat of paint, choose wisely. Millennials and other young buyers tend to move towards white and gray color schemes, while older buyers often opt for neutral tones. Choose a white and gray color palette, but keep it on the lighter end to capture a neutral vibe that will appeal to a broad range of folks.
Create Open Spaces
While you don’t necessarily want to tackle a demo job, if you have spaces in your home that you can open up by moving your furniture placement, do it. It will make the space feel larger and invite people from any generation to feel more at home. It also creates images of fun family get-togethers, which both older buyers and younger ones appreciate.
Staging a home to appeal to multiple generations is not difficult, but it does require a little planning. By putting in the effort before you list, you will increase the chances of a fast, successful sale by opening the door to more potential buyers.
If you're renting a nice house, condo, or apartment, there's a good chance your monthly rent check is almost as much as a mortgage payment. Perhaps you've realized this and have been asking yourself why you're contributing to someone else's nest egg, instead of your own! If that sounds familiar, you may be ready to take the plunge into home ownership.
The other half of the equation is whether you're financially ready, and that would depend on a variety of things, including your credit rating, your debt-to-income ratio, and your ability to make a sufficient down payment on a new home. Although a 20% down payment is a desirable target to aim for, there's often a lot of flexibility on how much you're required to put down on a house.
One of the main reasons a 20% down payment is desirable is that it takes you "off the hook" for having to pay monthly private mortgage insurance (PMI). The second advantage of making a substantial down payment is that it reduces the principal amount of your loan, which, in turn, lowers your monthly payments even more. However, if you're ready to become a home owner, but can't afford a 20% down payment, you can often eliminate PMI payments earlier than scheduled by making extra principal payments. The bank or mortgage company you decide to work with can fully explain their policies and what your options are.
If you are interested in making the transition from renter to home owner, now's a good time to start talking to loan officers. If nothing else, you'll be educating yourself on the intricacies of buying a home. Working with an experienced real estate agent is another way to learn the ropes, so to speak, when it comes to the home buying process.
Other than the financial benefits of building equity in your own home, there are also a lot of practical advantages. If you're currently a renter, for example -- especially in an apartment building, duplex, or townhouse -- you're probably tired of the lack of privacy and the unwelcome noises you can often hear through walls, floors, and ceilings.
Becoming a home owner brings with it a pride of ownership and the ability to plant trees, bushes, and gardens on your own property. Depending on what's available in your price range, you can also enjoy your own private deck, screened in porch, or patio. Options for the kids (if you have them) include swing sets, sand boxes, and room to play backyard sports or run through a water sprinkler during the hot weather.
If you feel like you are ready to take the plunge into home ownership, the first step is to make lists of your requirements, your preferences ("wish list"), and financial resources. The next step is to find a good real estate agent to start showing you homes that fulfill your needs and check off as many items on your wish list as possible!
If you own a city home but are ready to relocate, now may be a great time to list your residence. In fact, there are many reasons why an individual may choose to sell his or her city residence, and these include:
1. You want to downsize or upgrade.
Although your city house likely has served you well for many years, it may become too big or too small for you due to changes in your living situation. Fortunately, if you sell your city residence, you can downsize or upgrade as needed.
If you decide to list your city house, it helps to plan ahead as much as possible. Therefore, if you craft a property selling strategy, you can determine what steps you'll need to take to quickly sell your city home and maximize your house sale earnings.
2. You want to live closer to family members and friends.
Your city home probably provides convenient access to a wide array of attractions and landmarks. But in some instances, a city residence may be far away from family members and friends.
If you want to live closer to loved ones, there is no need to worry. By listing your city home, you can take the first step to relocate closer to family members and friends outside the city. And after you sell your city house, you may be able to reap the benefits of quick, easy access to loved ones.
3. You are tired of the hustle and bustle of the city.
Let's face it – the city is a busy place. A city home may have seemed like a fun, exciting place to live, at least at first. But if you've grown tired of the hustle and bustle of the city, you may want to sell your current residence and relocate to a new home in a small town.
If you know how to promote your city home to the right groups of potential buyers, you should have no trouble stirring up interest in your house. And if your city residence boasts amazing curb appeal and a stunning interior, you could boost the likelihood of a fast, profitable home selling experience.
As you get ready to list your city home, you may want to hire a real estate agent. With this housing market professional at your side, you can achieve the best-possible results throughout the home selling journey.
A real estate agent will allocate time and resources to learn about you and your city residence. Next, he or she will craft a personalized home selling strategy designed to help you achieve your property selling goals. And if you have any concerns or questions as you put your house selling plan into action, a real estate agent is happy to address them.
Take the guesswork out of selling your home in the city. Employ a real estate agent today, and you can receive comprehensive support as you list your city home and navigate the property selling journey.
Buying a home is a huge investment and the buying process can be very confusing—especially if you’re buying your first home. However, buying a home doesn't have to be challenging. By understanding a few key tips, the whole home buying process can run smoothly and efficiently.
Understand Your Needs
Even before you start looking at houses to buy, you should clearly understand your needs. The last thing you would want to happen would be to regret your purchase decision down the road. That being said, it’s extremely vital to do a lot of homework before even browsing for your new home. Think about your budget, lifestyle, future plans and anything else that relates to buying a new residence. This new home is an investment that can be with you for a very long time; therefore, you must make educated decisions throughout the whole home buying process.
Have a Hefty Saving Fund Ready
When buying a home, it’s very smart to put down a solid down payment. Doing this can help to limit the amount of interest you’ll pay over time, including possible lower mortgage insurance. While many lenders will permit a low down payment, it’s a good idea to put down at least 20%. However, this can be a hefty fee. In fact, even a 5% down payment on a $200,000 home is still $10,000. That being said, you’ll need a big chunk of savings in order to have an appropriate down payment. Be sure to start saving early and don’t pull the trigger on buying a home if your savings isn’t sufficient.
Explore Down Payment and Mortgage Options
There are many stressful factors in the home buying process, but the money involved tends to be the most troubling aspect. However, by knowing the many options you have when it comes to the down payment and mortgage, you can rest easy knowing that you made great decisions when it comes to financing your home. If you’re trying to come up with a solid down payment, you may want to try these options:
Understand Your Budget
Understanding the budget is where many home shoppers fail. They may find a home that they can afford, but they don’t account for the unfortunate instances that can happen during home ownership. Things like a broken dishwasher, plumbing issues or water damage are all situations that can happen, and many of these scenarios can cost a great deal of money. That being said, be sure to look at properties that cost less than what you’re approved for.
Don’t Focus On Market Timing
Many home shoppers will continue to monitor the real estate market until they feel like the market has tipped in their favor. While some believe this is a very effective tactic, it isn’t a very intuitive move. That’s because it's impossible to anticipate the housing market. Prices will go up or down at any time, and it’s extremely difficult to know what will happen on any given day. So when you find that perfect home, pull the trigger and go for it—no matter where the market stands.