Sanders Properties Inc's Blog
Attending an open house is a great way to learn a great deal about a home in a relatively short amount of time. It allows you to see inside the home with your own eyes, enabling you to notice details that are omitted in photos, whether it’s a noisy neighborhood or a smelly basement.
Aside from learning about the home, an open house is also an opportunity to help real estate agents learn about you. Being prepared and professional at an open house could set you apart from other, more casual, attendees helping you make a good impression.
Since most of us don’t attend open houses on the regular, and since there probably isn’t an Open House Etiquette 101 course you can take at your local college, it can be difficult to know exactly how to prepare for an open house. How should you dress? Should you take notes? Is it rude to take photos? Which questions are welcome and which should be avoided?
In this article, we’ll help demystify the open house, leaving you more prepared to leave a positive impression when you go to see what could potentially be your future home.
How should you dress when attending an open house? An open house is neither a funeral nor a trip to the beach. The realtor showing the house likely isn’t a fashion critic-they’re there to answer your questions.
In most cases, casual clothing is appropriate. Since you’ll be touring the house and yard, however, you might want to avoid heels.
Questions and conversation
An open house is your time to learn all of the relevant facts about a house. Good questions to ask include upgrades to the house, how many offers it has received, and the current owner’s timeline (when they want or need to close by).
There are other topics you’ll want to avoid. Don’t ask too many personal questions about the sellers. It will make the real estate agent, understandably, uncomfortable. Also be sure not to reveal too many details about yourself. You don’t want to mention things like your spending limit as this will remove some of your powers of negotiation.
It’s okay if the furniture and decorations in the home aren’t your taste, but it’s a bad idea to criticize these items as you tour the house, as you may offend the agent or owners who have decorated.
Being respectful of the owner's’ space
Even though the house is for sale, it’s still someone’s home. It’s inadvisable to bring food or drinks without a secure cap into an open house.
We live in a time when everyone photographs and shares everything. But avoid the temptation to take photos when you’re at an open house. Would you want someone going through your home, taking pictures of your valuables, and then sharing them online? Instead, refer back to photos that are available online or from the agent.
When it comes to touring the house, all of the rooms should be viewable. In fact, if there’s a room you can’t enter for any reason this should raise a red flag that something is wrong with the home. However, just because you should look in the closets to get an idea of space doesn’t mean you should touch or go through the personal belongings of the homeowner.
Follow all of the above open house tips and you’ll be sure to leave a good impression.
If you're an allergy sufferer, you probably have a love-hate relationship with carpeting. On one hand, you may love the way soft carpeting feels on your bare feet when you step out of bed first thing in the morning. On the other hand, you probably hate the allergy symptoms it triggers and the cleaning problems it creates.
There's no denying that wall-to-wall carpeting can be a nuisance to clean and maintain. Once you've spilled something on carpeting, it's often tough to get that stain out. For households with children, pets, or "spill-prone" adults, the problem of dealing with carpet stains is unrelenting!
Issues For House SellersThe fact that many people have both a physical and mental aversion to carpeting is an important thing to keep in mind if you're considering putting your house on the market. Although it can be relatively simple and inexpensive for new homeowners to remove carpeting, some prospective buyers can't look past it. It can be a "deal breaker." When staging a house for sale, it might be worthwhile to remove old carpet or -- at the very least -- point out to prospects that there are hardwood floors or other desirable flooring material underneath the carpet. Loosening up a corner of the carpeting so that it can be easily pulled away to show the underlying flooring material can help deflect objections about the carpeting being there.
Partial Solutions For Dirty Carpets
Newer carpets that haven't been subjected to the wear and tear of daily use can temporarily look good and complement the décor of a room. However, it doesn't take long for carpet fibers to collect and harbor a host of undesirable household allergens -- ranging from dust mites and mold spores to pet dander and bacteria.
Regular vacuuming and steam-cleaning can help reduce the problem, but it's more of a "Band-Aid" approach than a long-term solution. If you don't have the right kind of vacuum cleaner, it could even make the problem worse. Unless your vacuum cleaner has a HEPA (high-efficiency particular air) filter, it may actually redistribute dust mite proteins back into the room, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Carpet manufacturers often recommend that carpets be professionally cleaned at least once a year, but the benefits of that can wear off quickly.
There are a variety of products on the market for cleaning carpet stains, but they sometimes tend to do too good of a job. Not only do they get rid of the stain, but they also can cause the color of your carpet to fade in the treated area! Some carpet spot cleaners also contain toxic chemicals, so you have to be careful when using them.
One way to slow down the problem of dirty carpets in your home is to ask family members and visitors to take their shoes off when entering the house. Although you probably are not going to get 100% compliance -- especially with kids -- it will be step in the right direction!
Buying a house may prove to be a long, complex journey, especially for a first-time homebuyer who decides to pursue a residence on his or her own. Fortunately, many real estate agents are available to help first-time homebuyers make their homeownership dreams come true.
Now, let's take a look at three tips that first-time homebuyers can use to find the right real estate agent in any housing market, at any time.
1. Go Beyond a Web Search
In many instances, it is easy to conduct a web search of real estate agents in a city or town. However, a diligent first-time homebuyer will know to look beyond a simple web search to discover the ideal real estate agent.
Take a look at a real estate agent's website. By doing so, a homebuyer can learn about a real estate agent's industry accomplishments and experience.
Also, don't hesitate to contact a real estate agent's office directly. This enables a homebuyer to have a brief conversation with a real estate agent and find out exactly what this housing market professional is all about.
2. Host a Face-to-Face Meeting
A face-to-face meeting may prove to be exceedingly valuable for both a first-time homebuyer and a real estate agent, and for good reason.
During a face-to-face meeting, a homebuyer can ask questions and learn about a real estate agent's industry expertise. Plus, a homebuyer can receive comprehensive insights into what it will take to acquire a top-notch residence at a budget-friendly price.
Meanwhile, a face-to-face meeting helps a real estate agent learn about a homebuyer's goals. A homebuyer can provide information about what he or she wants in a dream home, and a real estate agent can offer details about what a homebuyer should expect at each stage of the property buying journey.
3. Receive Client Referrals
Although a first-time homebuyer may feel comfortable with hiring a real estate agent after a face-to-face meeting, it is always better to err on the side of caution. Thus, a homebuyer who requests client referrals from a real estate agent ensures that he or she can make the best possible decision.
A real estate agent should have no trouble providing you with multiple client referrals. Then, you can reach out to this housing professional's past clients to find out how he or she has helped homebuyers achieve their desired results.
Spend some time reaching out to a real estate agent's past clients – you'll be happy you did. With additional client insights at your disposal, you can improve your chances of choosing the perfect real estate agent.
Lastly, it is important to remember that a real estate agent should be available to guide you along the homebuying journey. This housing market professional boasts in-depth industry experience, and as such, can share deep insights to help you make informed decisions as you go from homebuyer to homeowner.
Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and a first-time homebuyer can employ a first-rate real estate agent and gain unparalleled support throughout the homebuying cycle.
Bad credit happens. Maybe you were late on some loan payments, or maybe you got a bit to swipe-happy with a credit card while you were in college. Or, maybe you were like many other Americans who took a financial hit during the housing crisis. Regardless, it can take a long time to recuperate from a bad credit score.
If you’re hoping to buy a home but have poor credit, it can seem like you don’t have many options. However, there are many mortgages designed with such people in mind.
In this post, we’re going to discuss some of the options for people interested in home ownership who have low credit and ways they can achieve this goal without taking on high interest loans.
First thing’s first: start prioritizing your credit
Even if you want to buy a home within the coming months, it’s always a good idea to start building credit. It does take several months to see a substantial difference on your credit report, but starting now will save you in the long run and will show lenders that you’re making a difference.
To give your credit score a boost in the shortest time possible, set all of your bills on auto-payment, repay and late bills such as medical expenses, and set up payment plans wherever needed. If possible, become an authorized user on someone’s credit card and use that for everyday expenses like groceries. Doing so will help you build credit without opening new cards that have high interest.
Many types of mortgages
Mortgages come in many shapes and forms. Since lenders are in competition with one another, you can often find loans that cater to underserved markets. In this case, that market is people with low credit scores.
Call some local lenders and ask if they have programs for people with low credit. Often they will point you toward first-time homeowner loans and USDA-guaranteed mortgages. Other times they might offer loans with high down payments. But, you’ll never know until you ask.
USDA and FHA Loans
Currently, USDA loans have a minimum credit score of 620. For FHA loans, lenders recently reduced the minimum score to 580. With these loans, you can pay a low, or no, down payment and still receive a mortgage loan.
The first step to getting approved for either type of loan is getting in contact with a lender to determine your eligibility. Eligibility is based on other factors such as your income, and in the case of USDA loans, the location of the home.
If your score is lower than 580 or you don’t qualify for a USDA loan, you can still find other options. One would be to pay a higher down payment on the home. This would help ensure the lender that you are able to provide income to make payments in spite of your credit history.
Another option would be to reason with your lender of choice. Most of the application process comes down to numbers, but if you can show a lender that you have substantial, reliable income, and have been making rent payments for multiple years, these can both help build your case.
Buying a home will likely be the most important and expensive purchase you ever make. And, although that might seem like a scary commitment, it’s one well worth it. It’s an investment in your future. There are many benefits or perks that come with owning a home.
Equity: Owning your own home typically comes with gaining equity. Every month that you pay your mortgage, you are increasing your equity. And as long as the market continue upwards, your home and the equity you’ve gained will hold significant value.
Privacy: Privacy is a large perk of owning your own home. This is more so possible when owning a single-family home in a rural location, but many duplexes and condos also provide opportunities for privacy. And in many cases, since you own the home,you can put up your own privacy such as planting arborvitae trees along your properties edge.
Tax Advantages: One of the biggest perks when owning a home is the ability to deduct mortgage interest on your federal income taxes. This will be a significant amount for the first few years of your mortgage, making this a huge benefit. Although, the amount of interest paid decreases over the years, there will still be deductible interest paid in the last few years of your mortgage.
Space: Houses will almost always provide you with more space than an apartment—and it will certainly have more space than your childhood bedroom. The space will be all yours, which means not having to share with other renters or your parents. Of course, home location and the market come into play here, but for the most part you will get more square footage for your money—as landlords charge high rents to cover things like water, electricity, snow removal, or still charge high rent prices and do not cover any of those other expenses.
No restrictions: There are many restrictions that come with renting or living in a condominium. These restrictions could include no pets, parking restrictions, outdoor updating restrictions and many other different types of constraints. When you own your own home, you make the rules. If you want to put up a fence, you can. And if you want to put an addition on your house, you can do that too. Just be sure to check with your town before beginning any construction projects.
Establishment: Buying a home provides you the ability to set down roots, to be established. Although, not a benefit to some, it is to many. Buying a home provides you with ownership and a sense of freedom. You now have the opportunity to invest in something that is yours. You can make updates to the bathrooms, add a pool in the backyard, and paint the front door any color you want—because it’s yours.
A home is often the foundation of one’s life and who can deny its appeal with these perks discussed above? So, what are you waiting for? Start your search today!