Tina McManus' Blog
Putting your house on the market is a lot like preparing to host a holiday party; you want to make the best possible impression on people without having to spend a small fortune in the process!
Assuming your home is not drastically outdated or in disrepair, there are a lot of simple things you can do to make it more appealing to visitors.
For a lot of reasons, the kitchen is one of the most important rooms of the house. The impression your kitchen makes on potential buyers can easily make or break your chances for a quick sale. Although everyone's looking for different features in a home, it will always be to your advantage to spend a little extra time sprucing up your kitchen.
While it may not be practical or affordable to give your kitchen a complete makeover, here are a few simple ideas for enhancing its overall appeal.
Lighting affects perception: As a home seller, one of your primary objectives is to create an environment that's comfortable, attractive, and relaxing. Lighting, both natural and artificial, can play a big role in how people perceive your home. If you're fortunate enough to have sunny weather on days when your house is being shown, it will be easier to present your kitchen and other rooms to their best advantage. By letting in a lot of natural sunlight, colors tend to be more vibrant and your home's mood will be a lot more positive. Turning on electrical lights can also help give your living space a more cheerful feeling.
Cleanliness is crucial: Although the "grunge factor" is something you want to avoid anywhere in your house, prospective buyers will pay special attention to the cleanliness of your kitchen and bathrooms. Thoroughly cleaning counter tops, floors, sinks, and appliances will go a long way toward making a positive impression. If you can use cleansers that have a mild, natural-smelling fragrance -- like citrus, for example -- then you won't risk turning people off with the overpowering smell of harsh chemicals or artificial scents.
Staging your kitchen: A few things you can do to make your kitchen look more inviting and memorable include adding touches like a vase of fresh flowers, a bowl of colorful fruit, and a green plant or two. Removing distracting clutter from counter tops, tables, and desks can also help give your kitchen a more organized, tidy, and spacious appearance.
If your refrigerator door is covered with outdated children's drawings, coupons, photographs, and other miscellaneous memorabilia, it might be worth your time to weed that out a little bit! Not only does it detract from the beauty of your kitchen, but it also makes it impossible to clean the door of your fridge. Another tip to keep in mind is that too many personal items on display make it more difficult for prospects to visualize living in your home -- which is the first step to winning them over as buyers.
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Buying a home is a process that can seem daunting and even a little scary to most first-time buyers. After all, being a homeowner is a huge financial and personal responsibility.
To make this lengthy process a bit more approachable, we’re going to break it down into five steps. While these five steps may be somewhat different for each person, depending on their own unique situation, they do comprise most home buyer’s experience.
If you’re interested in learning the steps you’ll need to take before owning your first home, read on.
Step 1: Know your long-term goals
Before you buy a home, you’ll want to have a clear understanding of what you, your spouse, and your family want from the next five or more years. You’ll want to make sure the area you’re moving to can provide things like career advancement and opportunity, good schools for your children, and so on.
These questions may seem obvious, but it’s an important conversation to have before making the long-term commitment of owning a home.
Step 2: Your budget and your needs
It might be tempting to hop online and start shopping for houses, but first you should get a clear idea of the size and cost of the house you’re looking for. This involves determining your budget, thinking about your credit and planning for your down payment.
Step 3: Mortgage pre-approval
Getting preapproved for a mortgage can be a great way to gauge the interest late and loan amount you’ll be approved for. You’ll need to gather paperwork, including income information (pay stubs), tax returns, and W-2 forms.
Be aware that lenders will run a detailed credit report. Since credit reports count as an inquiry, they can temporarily lower your credit score by a few points.
Applying to several lenders within a short period of time can make a significant impact on your score. However, it will start to rise again within a few months if you don’t open any new credit accounts or take out other loans.
Step 4: Get an agent
Real estate agents know the ins and outs of the home buying process better than anyone else. They’ll be able to guide you through the process and provide you with information that you can’t get anywhere else.
Step 5: Pick the right home for you
Now it’s time to start home shopping. However, before you begin, remember that getting approved for a loan doesn’t mean you must or should seek to spend the full amount on a home.
Plan for your needs, and keep the future in mind. Someday you might decide to upgrade, but in the meantime you can be building your credit and building equity in a smaller or more frugal home.
A real estate agent is a must-have for homebuyers, particularly in a highly competitive housing market. However, it is important to understand what it takes to work with a real estate professional to ensure you can enjoy a fast, seamless homebuying experience.
What does it take to get the best results from the homebuying journey? Here are three rules to follow so that you and your real estate agent can work together to find your dream house.
1. Establish Realistic Homebuying Expectations Before You Begin Your Home Search
Buying a home can be a long, costly process if you're not careful. But with the right real estate agent at your side, you can simplify your house search.
Ultimately, you should work with a real estate agent to establish clear-cut homebuying expectations before you embark on your search for the perfect residence. This will enable you and your real estate agent to work together to achieve a common goal.
With realistic homebuying expectations, you'll be able to help your real estate agent understand what you'd like to find in your dream residence. Meanwhile, your real estate agent can get to work and keep you up to date about available homes that will meet or exceed your expectations.
2. Understand Your Real Estate Agent's Role in the Homebuying Process
A real estate agent should define his or her role in the homebuying process. That way, you'll know exactly what to expect as you go from homebuyer to homeowner.
Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings, negotiate with home sellers on your behalf and offer honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations. He or she also should be available to respond to your questions throughout the homebuying journey.
Your real estate agent will be happy to assist you in any way possible. By doing so, he or she will make it simple for you acquire to acquire your ideal residence at a price that matches your budget.
3. Ensure That Both You and Your Real Estate Agent Are Comfortable Working with One Another
Communication plays a key role in the success of a homebuyer and his or her real estate agent. If you keep the lines of communication open with your real estate agent, you should have no trouble staying on top of the housing market.
In most instances, a real estate agent will be able to keep in touch with a homebuyer via phone, email and text. At the same time, you should try to remain available to your real estate agent as much as possible.
With ongoing communication with your real estate agent, you'll be able to stay informed as new properties become available that fit your homebuying criteria. Furthermore, your real estate agent can help you alleviate stress by listening to your homebuying concerns at each stage of the homebuying journey.
Many real estate professionals are available in cities and towns nationwide. Start your search for a real estate agent today, and you can move one step closer to discovering your dream home.
A dish just about everyone can agree on anytime is pizza, and this tasty recipe for veggie pesto pizza with a homemade cauliflower crust is a healthy alternative to delivery or frozen options. While it takes about an hour to prepare and cook, those extra few minutes of prep are well worth the results.
Ingredients for Cauliflower Crust
Get the oven preheated to 400 degrees F. Place a sheet of parchment paper atop a baking sheet. Begin by breaking up cauliflower into small pieces and use a food processor until finely chopped. Give the cauliflower a gentle steam, drain well and allow to cool. Combine the cauliflower and the cheeses, spices and eggs into a bowl until well mixed.
Place ‘dough’ onto the parchment lined baking sheet and begin kneading and spreading it into a circle or shape of choice. You can determine the thickness of your crust from thin to a hand-tossed style. Add any ‘extras’ to the crust if desired by brushing it with olive oil and sprinkling add-ons to the edges. Place atop a pizza pan. Bake for 20 minutes, and begin prepping the toppings.
Rub the prepared cauliflower crust with a side of open garlic clove until the top is fully covered or to desired taste. Spread the pesto sauce atop the crust, adding extra if a saucier pizza is preferred. Top your masterpiece with the prepped spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, yellow pepper and sprinkle with the basil. Evenly spread the cheeses across the toppings and sprinkle the oregano to finish it off. Place in the oven and bake 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted or until the crust reaches desired crispiness.
When cut into 6 pieces, this pizza is only 310 calories with an estimated 4 grams of saturated fat—so enjoy it guilt-free with your family and friends in your new home anytime the craving strikes.