Our Real Estate Blog
For those who intend to list a house, it helps to establish realistic expectations. That way, you'll have a good idea about what to expect during the home selling journey.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you manage your expectations as you attempt to sell your house.
1. Understand the Housing Market
You may own a great home, but even a top-notch residence may be difficult to sell based on the current housing market's conditions. If you allocate time and resources to study the real estate market, however, you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market. Then, you can map out your home selling journey accordingly.
In a buyer's market, there may be an abundance of houses and a shortage of buyers. Therefore, sellers may need to price their houses competitively to stir up interest from buyers.
Comparatively, in a seller's market, there likely is an abundance of buyers and a shortage of first-rate houses. This means a seller probably won't have to wait long to receive offers to purchase after he or she lists a high-quality residence.
To distinguish a buyer's market from a seller's one, you should look at the prices of recently sold houses in your area and find out how long these properties were listed before they sold. This information enables you to review the level of interest in properties in your city or town and can help you determine whether you're preparing to enter a buyer's or seller's market.
2. Know Your Home's Strengths and Weaknesses
You may believe your home is flawless, but buyers may quickly identify problems with your house. Fortunately, a seller who conducts a house inspection can address any potential issues before listing his or her residence. Home inspection results may help a seller establish realistic pricing expectations for his or her house too.
During a house inspection, a property expert will examine a residence both inside and out. This property expert next will provide a homeowner with an inspection report that details his or her findings. With an inspection report in hand, a homeowner can correct underlying house issues before he or she adds a residence to the real estate market.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent understands the opportunities and challenges of the home selling journey. As such, he or she will help you set expectations for this journey, as well as help you make the most of available home selling opportunities and resolve property selling challenges.
Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you and find out what you want to accomplish by selling your home. He or she next will craft a personalized home selling strategy for you, promote your residence to potential buyers and do everything possible to help you maximize your home sale earnings.
Manage your expectations as you proceed along the home selling journey. By doing so, you can limit the risk of encountering home selling problems and boost the likelihood of a successful property selling experience.
Credit plays an important role in your ability to secure a home loan and to qualify for a low-interest mortgage. However, many first-time homebuyers aren’t aren’t sure about the exact relationship between credit scores and mortgages.
This doesn’t come as much of a surprise considering the many factors that go into your credit score and into your lender’s decision to approve you for a mortgage. So, in this article, we’re going to cover three commonly asked questions that homebuyers have about credit scores and how they’re used by mortgage lenders to determine your eligibility for a home loan.
Will my credit score go down if I check my credit report?
If you’re thinking of buying a home in the near future, one of the first things you’ll want to do is check your credit. However, if you’ve heard that some credit inquiries briefly lower your credit score you might be hesitant to find out.
This common misconception stems from the fact that taking out new lines of credit results in a temporary decrease in your credit score. The difference between checking your credit and a credit inquiry is simple: a credit check you can access for free online through a service like Credit Karma, whereas a credit inquiry is performed by a lender or creditor with whom you’ve applied for credit.
In short, checking your credit score online won’t affect your score. In fact, the major credit bureaus are required to allow you to check your credit for free once per year.
Can I get a loan with low credit?
Increasing your credit score is a lengthy process that requires careful financial management. Many people who have had difficulties paying off bills, loans, and credit cards will have to rebuild their credit. Or, if you’re young and don’t have a diverse history of credit payments, you’ll be starting from scratch to build your score.
If you’re hoping to get an FHA (first-time homeowner loan), the lowest your score can be is 580. However, that doesn’t mean you should always take a loan with a low credit score. When you don’t have a good credit history, lenders will seek other ways to guarantees their investment. This comes in the form of higher interest rates or PMI (private mortgage insurance) which you’ll have to pay on top of your monthly home insurance and mortgage payments.
Will applying for a home loan affect my credit?
Simply stated, yes. However, applying for a loan or get preapproved is considered a credit inquiry and won’t leave any lasting negative on your credit score. Making several inquiries within a short period of time, however, can significantly lower your score, so choose your inquiries wisely. And, be sure to monitor your credit score on a monthly basis so you have an idea of where you stand along the road to applying for a home loan.
Buying a house should be a fast, seamless process. However, problems sometimes may arise that prevent you from acquiring your dream house in a timely fashion.
Ultimately, it is important to be proactive to minimize the risk of encountering time-consuming hurdles during the homebuying process. Fortunately, we're here to help you identify and address such problems before they can slow you down.
Let's take a look at three tips to help you avoid delays as you pursue your dream residence.
1. Enter the Housing Market with a Plan in Hand
An informed homebuyer is better equipped than others to enjoy a successful homebuying journey. In fact, this buyer should have no trouble narrowing his or her homebuying criteria to speed up the homebuying cycle.
When it comes to purchasing a house, it helps to consider what you want to find in your dream residence. That way, you can enter the housing market with a list of homebuying criteria in hand and tailor your house search accordingly.
Remember, it is your duty as a homebuyer to do everything possible to find your ideal residence. If you narrow your house search, you can focus on finding a home that matches your expectations. And once you discover your dream house, you can quickly submit a competitive homebuying proposal.
2. Get Your Home Financing in Order
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage can make a world of difference for a homebuyer. If a homebuyer receives pre-approval for a mortgage, this individual will know exactly how much he or she can spend on a residence. As a result, this buyer can explore residences that fall within a specific price range, increasing the likelihood of a fast homebuying journey.
To obtain a mortgage, a homebuyer should meet with several banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can teach a homebuyer about a broad array of mortgage options. Perhaps most important, each lender can help a homebuyer weigh the pros and cons of assorted mortgage options and ensure a buyer can make an informed mortgage decision.
3. Collaborate with an Expert Real Estate Agent
There is no need to let problems escalate that otherwise could slow down the homebuying journey. Fortunately, if you hire an expert real estate agent, you can get the help you need to accelerate the homebuying cycle.
An expert real estate agent understands the ins and outs of buying a house, and as such, will make it simple for you to streamline the homebuying process. He or she will offer lots of recommendations as you pursue your dream house. Plus, when you discover your ideal residence, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer right away.
The homebuying journey can be long and complex, particularly for a homebuyer who chooses to work alone. But if you employ an expert real estate agent, you can receive plenty of support as you navigate the homebuying journey.
Ready to acquire your ideal residence? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can reduce the risk of encountering time-intensive obstacles as you search for your dream home.
Making a chocolate cake from scratch is always fun. While it isn’t difficult, a lot of people prefer to pick up a box from the local bakery. If you, however, love to bake and make your sweet desserts, then you should learn some of the secrets to making the perfect, moist and creamy chocolate cakes right there in your home kitchen.
While there are many recipes for making chocolate cake, it always pays to learn from experienced bakers to make your evening tea the best:
Use premium unsweetened cocoa powder
The best chocolate cakes have a deep, rich flavor depends on the quality of the cocoa powder that you use. Make sure that you use the best variety of cocoa powder that you can find in the bakery supply store. Don’t use the cocoa powder used for beverages and other stuff, ask for that used in cakes. Unsweetened cocoa powder makes it easy for you to correctly measure how much sugar you want to add to your cake. Look out for superfine cocoa powder or a premium natural brand that you can trust.
Shiny pans work best for baking chocolate cakes
Expert bakers swear that shiny pans bake better chocolate cakes than dark ones. This anomaly is because dark pans absorb a lot of the oven's heat and do not allow the cake to cook correctly. This heat issue is why some chocolate cakes come out dry, prematurely brown and hard-crusted. If you are worried about a shiny pan sticking to the dough, grease it properly, line with non-stick paper or dust it with some cocoa powder to ensure your cake comes out whole and cooks properly.
Measure exact portions of flour and sugar
Using too much sugar gives you a chocolate cake with a darkened crust. If you add too much flour to the cake mixture, the top of the cake will crack and make it come out unattractive. As much as possible, weigh out exact amounts of sugar and flour that you are using. If you don’t have a scale in the kitchen, get one or use precise volume measurements for accurate results. Do not ever wing it as you will end up with a chocolate cake that is either too dark or too hard.
Cream the butter and sugar properly
Here is another underrated step in making chocolate cake. The more time you spend beating the butter and sugar, the fluffier your cake will be. If your hands get tired quickly, buy yourself a mixer.
Consult your local baking supply store for the right tools for a perfect chocolate cake, and you'll be well along your way toward being the family and neighborhood cake boss.
Giving the interior of your home a fresh coat of paint is one of the best ways to revitalize drab-looking rooms and make scuffed walls look new again.
While there are plenty of home improvement, repair, and decorating projects that are best left to the professionals, interior house painting is usually a task that can be successfully tackled by homeowners.
Advanced skills are not a prerequisite for doing a respectable job, but you do need patience, attention to detail, and the right tools. When you don't start out with the right supplies, wall painting can end up being a frustrating and stressful task -- not to mention messy! Here are a few pointers to help make the project go more smoothly.
- Wear the appropriate clothing: If paint gets on your everyday shoes, your new jeans, or even a good watchband, it will basically ruin those articles of clothing. No matter how neat or precise you think you can be with a paintbrush or roller, it's almost impossible to avoid dripping a few drops of paint in the wrong place or even accidentally brushing up against a messy ladder, paint can, or freshly painted surface. By taking the time to change into clothes you don't care about, you'll be saving the aggravation of messing up a favorite pair of pants, shirt, or shoes. Wearing a painter's cap with a brim and disposable vinyl gloves can also minimize the amount of paint that gets on your face, hair, and hands. By making it easier to keep yourself clean, you'll find painting to be a much neater and more satisfying experience.
- Choose the right drop cloths: The temptation for many do-it-yourselfers is to save money and cut costs whenever possible. While this certainly makes sense in principle, there are certain cases in which it pays to spend a few extra dollars to get quality supplies. The perfect example is drop cloths -- an essential item on your painting supplies list. Floors, furniture and appliances can get permanently damaged (cosmetically) if they're not properly covered up while the wall and ceiling paint is being applied. The really cheap drop cloths that you'll often find at hardware stores and other retail outlets are difficult to keep in place and could easily tear, become bunched up, or move a few inches from their intended spot. Those really light-weight, plastic drop cloths don't stand a chance of staying put when breezes from open windows, fans, or doors exert the slightest bit of air pressure on them. The solution is to either purchase canvas or heavy-duty plastic drop cloths. (In a pinch, old bedsheets can often do the job, too!)
- Painter's tape is crucial: One of the most time-consuming, but necessary aspects of room painting is taping the edges of surfaces to be painted (or not to be painted). While not everyone takes the time to do this step correctly, it helps produce a professional-looking job you'll be proud of.