Tina McManus' Blog
Curb appeal, the illusive secret weapon that enamors potential buyers from afar and draws them into your home. There have been several attempts to nail down the “secret formula” for curb appeal.
In reality, the best approach to improving your home’s presentation from outside is to take the time to consider what fits.
In this post, we’ll give you some budget ideas to help you find the curb appeal boosters that will match with your home.
1. Fresh paint
One well-known curb appeal strategy is to repaint some of the notable components of the outside of your home. The places that have to most impact?
Front door - a front door that pops, but that also fits with the style of your home and complements its main color will make your home stand out from the neighbors.
Shutters - repainting your shutters is another inexpensive area to add some color to your home. However, be wary of choosing bright colors for your shutters if they’re going to clash with or disrupt the overall style of your home.
Mailbox - a neglected, dented, and a dirty mailbox is a huge turn off for potential buyers. Buying a new one, or adding a fresh coat of paint to your old one that matches one of the highlight colors of your home, can be a great way to add a sense of continuity to the exterior of your house.
2. Sparse decorations
Just like the inside of your home, less is often more when it comes to decoration. There are a number of things to add to your yard that will improve its overall presentation. But, just be sure that it doesn’t appear out of place or tacky. A single, small, and brightly colored bird house in a tree is usually a safe bet.
3. Simple landscaping
There’s no need to hire contractors for elaborate landscaping or to purchase expensive plants and shrubbery. A well-manicured yard is enough to make your home stand out. And, remember that potential buyers will most likely be looking for a home that is low-maintenance. A simple lawn and walkway say just that.
Also be sure to trim and prune your current trees, bushes, and flowerbeds. You might find that a cleanup is all they needed to be impressive once more.
4. Pressure washing
Most of us grow accustomed to how our home looks and might not notice the accumulation of dirt on the siding. By hiring or renting a pressure washer for a day, you’ll be able to update a number of aspects of curb appeal. From siding and decks to walkways and driveways, you can cover a lot of square footage with a pressure washer.
One note on pressure washers: the better ones can be dangerous. That means hiring a professional could help get the best results for your money. Also, while you can buy a pressure washer, you might find that for the amount you use it, it’s easier just to hire or rent every few years.
Believe it or not, the costs associated with selling a house can add up quickly. If a home seller fails to budget accordingly, he or she risks costly, time-intensive home repairs following a property inspection. Perhaps worst of all, this scenario may force a home seller to miss out on an opportunity to get the best price for his or her residence.
With a home selling budget in place, you can increase the likelihood of a profitable home selling experience. If you know what it takes to set up a home selling budget, you may be better equipped than ever before to streamline the home selling process.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you establish a home selling budget.
1. Assess the Condition of Your House
Before you list your house, it helps to perform a comprehensive home assessment. That way, you can identify potential upgrades both inside and outside your house and evaluate the costs associated with these home improvements.
Typically, a home inspection enables you to learn about your house's strengths and weaknesses. This inspection requires a property expert to assess your house and may take several hours to complete. Then, once the inspection is finished, you'll receive an inspection report that you can use to determine which home improvement projects that you may need to complete sooner rather than later.
2. Establish Home Improvement Priorities
Although you might want to give your residence a complete overhaul, there may be only limited time and resources at your disposal. Thus, you'll want to establish home improvement priorities to ensure you can maximize your time and resources.
Think about which home improvement projects are necessary. These projects should rank at the top of your list of home improvement priorities, as failure to complete them may prevent you from optimizing the value of your house.
As you establish home improvement priorities, don't forget to assess the costs associated with various home upgrades. This will help you achieve the best-possible home improvement results without spending beyond your means.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent understands exactly what it takes to sell a home, regardless of the current housing market's conditions. In fact, this housing market professional can make it easy to map out a successful home selling budget and ensure you can quickly and effortlessly navigate the home selling process.
With a real estate agent at your side, you'll receive expert support throughout the home selling journey. A real estate agent will learn about your home and help you identify ways to enhance your residence. Plus, a real estate agent will offer recommendations to ensure you can upgrade your house on a budget.
If you're getting ready to sell your house, it helps to collaborate with a real estate agent. Reach out to local real estate agents in your area, and you can get the support that you need to establish a home selling budget.
Buying a house is never a simple decision. Aside from all of the financial aspects of purchasing a home, there are numerous life-related considerations you’ll need to think about. So, it comes as little surprise that diving head on into the house hunting process can be stressful and taxing to the home buyer.
With all of the different numbers to keep track of--a down payment, closing costs, credit scores, interest rates, and so on--it’s easy to get lost in the finer details of your budget. This can lead to even more stress as you try to navigate your way through getting approved for a mortgage and shopping for the perfect home.
In this article, we’re going to give you some tips on how to maintain your budget and reduce stress throughout the home buying process. That way, when you do finally find the house you’ve been waiting for, you’ll be able to move forward confidently.
Trust the process
Many first-time home buyers enter the real estate market with little knowledge or experience of how things work. Any newcomer to such a huge and complex industry is bound to be flustered with all of the different options available to them.
However, much of the home buying process is relatively standardized. Real estate agents all make roughly the same commission, lenders use similar algorithms to decide how much of a loan you’ll be approved for, and real estate contracts contain legal safeguards and contingencies to ensure that you and the seller’s interests are protected.
When shopping for a mortgage or getting pre-approved, it’s a good idea to ask friends, family, or read reviews online to find someone you know you can trust. From there, rely on the experts to lead you through the process.
Have a long-term plan
Much of the stress and anxiety around buying a home comes from the uncertainty of the future. Sitting down with your family and significant other and deciding your long-term goals for homeownership is a good way to build confidence and know that you’re making the right choice.
Determining things like location, the number of years you want to live in a home, and what priorities are the most important (school districts, neighborhood safety, etc.) will help you make that plan a reality.
Use the tools at your disposal
If you’re reading this article, you already have started to take advantage of one of the most important resources you have, the internet. Look up real estate terminology you’re unfamiliar with, read up on the different types of mortgages, and take advantage of free online calculators to create what-if scenarios to find out what you might end up paying in closing costs and interests.
It’s also a good idea to check your credit score for free online. You can check your official reports once per year, but for simple credit checks you can look it up each month for free.
Knowing that you’re in good hands with a lender and agent, that you have a basic understanding of industry terms, that you have a long-term plan, and that your finances are in order will all help set your mind at ease and give you confidence as you move forward toward homeownership.
Once you buy a home, you realize that every penny of your budget matters. The initial purchase of a house can be financially overwhelming. You’ll be withdrawing thousands of dollars from your account to secure the home. Once you close on the house, it’s time to buckle down on your budget. Continue reading for some tips on how to do just that.
For most people, food spending is one of the biggest things that suck the life out of their budget. Whether you’re getting take out three times a week or spending massive amounts at the grocery store, it’s time to take a serious look at your food spending.
Shop With A Plan
If you head to the grocery store with a plan in mind, your shopping trip will be more successful and less expensive. Many people are unsure of what they have in their cabinets and fridge, let alone what to make for dinner. Make a list of meals to have for the week. Then, see what you need to complete those recipes in your kitchen and pantry. It’s also a good idea to stock your pantry with essentials when sales are going on.
Supermarket ads can also be incredibly useful. You might have to store hop on a weekly basis, but shopping with the sales can save you a lot of money in the long term.
Look At Your Credit Card Statements
Are you being charged for a monthly gym membership that you don’t ever make use of? You can do one of two things: Start going to the gym or cancel out your membership and begin a daily jogging routine. Look at your cable bill and any other monthly subscriptions that you have. See where you can cut back. Are premium movie channels a necessity? It’s easy to forget what we’re being charged for on a monthly basis if we don’t look at our bank and card statements.
Maybe in your life before becoming a homeowner, you went for a weekly massage or had a monthly housecleaning service. You can still have these luxuries, but they may need to be less often or less extensive. For example, a significant portion of time during maid service is spent loading the dishwasher or cleaning pots and pans. You can clean up after yourself and your family each night following dinner and cut back on the amount of time a maid would need to spend in your home. The cleaning person also now will have more time to spend on other things in the house that need attention.
You can keep your massage; it may just have to be bi-weekly or monthly. Get creative to still have the things you want in your budget without going overboard.