Lisa Westerman's Blog
Since there are so many things to keep in mind when searching for the right home, it can be very helpful to create a priority list. If you're at the beginning of the house-hunting process, one of the best ways to clarify your thoughts is by organizing them in a notebook or on a computer screen.
As is the case with creating any kind of plan, you need to start with the basics and then branch out from there. While a house-hunting plan can and should change as you proceed forward, once you start visiting listings, your insights will begin to deepen. If you happen to be working with an experienced real estate agent, they will help you refine your search and zero-in on listings that are the best match to your needs.
Although you probably already know how many bedrooms and bathrooms you want, it may be time to come up with a more specific picture of what you're looking for, in terms of square footage, lot size, neighborhood walkability, and distance from neighbors.
As you revise your list of requirements, you may decide to rank the importance of items like a screened-in porch, a backyard patio, a wood-burning fireplace, yard size, the age of the house, and whether you'd like a finished basement or attic.
Many people prioritize the size, layout, and functionality of the kitchen, too, so take into consideration your decorating tastes, the size of your family -- both today and five years from now -- and how often you expect to be entertaining guests. Perusing kitchen layouts and remodeling ideas online can help you clarify the type of counters, flooring, appliances, and cabinets that would please you the most.
Other features that will determine your level of satisfaction with a new home may include the architectural style of the house, the quality of the school district, and various convenience factors, such as nearby grocery stores, public parks, and medical/dental services. Commuting time to your job or business can also have a huge impact on your lifestyle, as well as your weekly budget and personal stress level! When choosing a neighborhood in which you'll feel comfortable, you'll also want to pay attention to first impressions, the amount of traffic on the street, and miscellaneous noises you hear while visiting the neighborhood.
Above all, try to avoid making snap decisions based on emotional factors, time constraints, or the fear of not being able to find "anything better." Although there may be days in which the prospects seem slim, it's essential that you maintain a positive outlook and be confident that new listings and fresh possibilities are always cropping up. Working with a seasoned buyer's agent who's familiar with the local market and is responsive to your needs will also help immeasurably in your search for the perfect new home!
One decorating principle that’s a huge help for any homeowner is that of layered lighting. This is the different aspects of lighting that you’ll use in different rooms of your home to complete your lighting needs. The layers of light create a basis for the design of the room. These three main aspects of lighting also have a practical purpose which is nice as well. Below, you’ll learn more about the three main components of lighting for any room of the house and how to best use them.
Ambient lighting is often the base of where people start with their lighting design in a room. This type of lighting allows you to get the overall feel for a space. The brightness level should be good enough for anyone to walk through the room without walking into things. The illumination may not be bright enough for activities that require a lot of focus like reading or chopping vegetables.
If you think of a retail store and how the shiniest things have the brightest lights focused on them, you’ll discover that you can use this type of lighting right in your home. Think of a chandelier hanging over a massive dining table. Accent lighting is usually for decorative purposes. The lumens that are given off are typically not enough for any other purpose than to attract attention to the item the light is shining on. This type of lighting is best used for things like display cabinets, statues, and china closets. The bottom line is that the accent light will add some drama without actually adding much practical use.
This type of lighting is important because it’s what ensures that you won’t chop your hand off while you’re chopping up vegetables in the kitchen. Task lighting varies widely from room to room and can be anything from a desk lamp to a reading lamp to lights on the vanity for shaving and putting on makeup. Task lighting is all about being functional. When you’re trying to decide where to put your task lights think of everything from safety to convenience. The last thing you should worry about with task lighting is the look. While these lights are great under cabinets, for example, so the more creative you get with where to place your task lighting the better the look will be.
Using this simple yet useful design principle can help you to light your entire home correctly. The right lighting can truly transform a space and give it the depth that it needs.
As a home seller, receiving the first offer on your residence can be an exciting experience. However, the initial offer on your home may prove to be insufficient for a number of reasons, including:
1. The offer fails to meet your expectations.
Ideally, a home seller will allocate the necessary time and resources to fully analyze a house before adding it to the real estate market. This will enable a home seller to establish realistic expectations for his or her house and price it accordingly.
Conducting a home appraisal offers a great starting point for a home seller to determine the true value of a residence. This appraisal ensures a home inspector will examine a residence's interior and exterior. Then, the inspector will provide a report that details a house's strengths and weaknesses.
With a home appraisal report in hand, a home seller should have no trouble establishing a "fair" price for his or her residence. And if an initial offer falls short of this price, a home seller can politely decline the proposal and wait for additional offers.
2. The homebuyer has submitted a "lowball" proposal.
In some instances, a homebuyer may submit a "lowball" offer in the hopes of acquiring a terrific house at a budget-friendly price. If a home seller cannot differentiate between a reasonable offer and a lowball proposal, he or she risks missing out on an opportunity to optimize the value of a residence.
An informed home seller should examine the prices of available houses that are similar to his or her own. By doing so, this property seller can see how his or her residence stacks up against the competition and map out the home selling journey accordingly.
Moreover, an informed home seller will mow the front lawn, trim the hedges and do whatever it takes to enhance a house's curb appeal. This home seller likely understands the importance of making a positive first impression on homebuyers, and as a result, will perform assorted home exterior improvements to help reduce the risk of receiving a lowball initial offer.
3. The offer does not correspond to the current state of the housing market.
For a home seller, it is essential to work with a real estate agent who can provide full details about the current state of the housing market.
A real estate agent can help a home seller differentiate between a buyer's market and a seller's market. Plus, this housing market professional can provide honest, unbiased recommendations about whether a home seller should decline an initial offer on a home.
Many real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market experts are happy to help home sellers in any way they can. If you employ a real estate agent before you list your home, you can reap the benefits of unparalleled guidance at each stage of the home selling journey.
There is no reason to settle for a subpar initial offer on your residence. Instead, consider a first offer closely, and you can make an informed decision about whether to decline or accept it.
For those who want to sell a house as quickly as possible, it often helps to think about what will happen after you list your residence. That way, you can plan ahead for the home selling journey and minimize the risk of potential roadblocks that otherwise may prevent you from achieving your property selling goals.
Ultimately, there are many questions for a seller to consider before listing a house. These include:
1. What makes my home unique?
No two houses are exactly alike, yet differentiating one home from another in a competitive real estate market may prove to be difficult. Fortunately, a seller who understands a residence's strengths and weaknesses can determine what makes his or her house unique. This seller then can develop a strategy to promote his or her residence to the right groups of prospective buyers.
Sometimes, it is beneficial to conduct a home inspection prior to listing a residence. With an inspection report in hand, a seller can analyze a house's strengths and weaknesses. This seller next can use the inspection report to prioritize home upgrades and find innovative ways to differentiate his or her residence from the competition.
2. How much is my home worth?
What you originally paid for your home is unlikely to match your residence's current value, regardless of when you bought your house. Thankfully, you can conduct a home appraisal to receive an accurate property valuation.
A home appraisal frequently helps a seller establish a competitive initial asking price for his or her house. After a home appraisal, it takes only a few days for a seller to receive an appraisal report. And once this report becomes available, a seller can use it to set an aggressive price for his or her house – something that may help this residence generate lots of interest from potential buyers.
3. Do I need to hire a real estate agent?
Hiring a real estate agent may be crucial, particularly for a seller who is uncertain about how to navigate the property selling journey. A real estate agent will help a seller develop a plan to quickly sell his or her house. Plus, a real estate agent will do whatever it takes to help a seller optimize his or her home sale earnings.
In addition, a real estate agent wants to help a home seller make informed decisions. He or she will educate a seller about the local housing market and ensure this individual understands all aspects of the home selling journey. And if a seller ever has concerns or questions during the home selling process, a real estate agent can provide immediate responses.
When it comes to selling a house, it is beneficial for a seller to prepare for the property selling journey. If a seller knows what to expect after he or she lists a residence, this individual can plan accordingly. Perhaps most important, a seller can map out the home selling journey and take the necessary steps to ensure a quick, seamless and profitable property selling experience.