Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 8/19/2019

If you've been pre-approved for a mortgage, you can enter the housing market with a budget in hand. In fact, this mortgage will enable you to spend up to a certain amount on a house. But in many instances, it pays to buy less house than what you can actually afford.

Ultimately, there are many reasons to consider purchasing a house below your means, such as:

1. You might not have to worry about significant home maintenance.

A small house likely means less home maintenance than would be required in a large house. Therefore, you may be able to spend less time worrying about keeping your residence looking great if you acquire less home that what you can afford.

Of course, let's not forget about the money that you might save by purchasing an affordable residence. If you buy an inexpensive home, you may be able to use the money that you save to hire professional home cleaners, landscapers and others to help you enhance your residence's appearance.

2. You'll be better prepared than ever before for unexpected expenses.

There is no telling when a family emergency, natural disaster or other dangerous situations may arise. Fortunately, if you spend less on a house now, you may be better equipped than ever before to handle the expenses commonly associated with these unforeseen events.

Purchasing a cheap house may prove to be valuable if you encounter costly, time-intensive home repairs down the line too.

For example, your home's roof won't last forever, and you likely will need to fix or replace it at some point. But if you purchase a budget-friendly home, you may be able to save extra money that you can use to cover the costs associated with various home repairs.

3. You'll have more money that you can use to personalize your house.

The money that you save on a house today may be used to upgrade your home both now and in the future.

For instance, if you want to install a deluxe swimming pool or fire pit in your backyard, spending less on a house now may provide you with the financial resources that you need to fund these projects. And if you complete a broad range of home renovations, you may be able to increase your house's value as well.

Deciding how much to spend on a house can be a tough decision for any homebuyer, at any time. If you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can explore a vast array of residences that fall within your price range.

A real estate agent will learn about your homebuying goals and tailor your home search accordingly. He or she also will set up home showings, keep you informed about new residences that become available and ensure that you can discover a home that matches or exceeds your expectations.

Consider your budget closely as you prepare to kick off a home search. By doing so, you should have no trouble finding a terrific house at an affordable price.





Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 8/12/2019

If you’re trying to decide whether or not you should put a pool in at your home, there’s a lot to think about. You don’t want to regret spending a sizable amount of money. You may picture a life of luxury with a pool, but there’s a lot involved with the installation of it. It can be quite an ongoing investment to put in a pool. Maintenance, repairs, and more are involved. Depending upon the climate you live in, you may need to put a cover on the pool during the offseason as well.


When Putting In A Pool Is A No-Brainer


If you live in a warm climate like California, Florida, Hawaii, Or Arizona, it makes total sense to invest in a pool. these places get the maximum benefit from pool installation since the pool can be used the whole year through. 


If you have a large yard and are able to accommodate both a pool and some yard space, it’s also not a bad idea to put in a pool. The important thing is that you understand that you’re not always going to get a return on your investment when you sell your home. Not all homebuyers like pools and often the presence of a pool can even deter some buyers from even looking at the home.


Questions To Ask Regarding Return On Investment:


  • Does a pool fit in with the neighborhood?
  • Is the pool in good condition?
  • How old is the pool?

The idea with homes that have pools is to attract the right buyers. Many times, families with young children stay away from properties with pools since they see it as a safety hazard. Other home shoppers may fall in love with the property because of the pool. The important thing about putting in a pool is knowing that you as a homeowner will enjoy the feature. 


Costs


The average cost to put in a pool in the US is around $30,000. That’s just a basic pool. You’ll probably need to add a few more details like fencing, pool furniture, and more landscaping. That can cause the total investment to rise significantly. The type of pool that you choose also has an effect on the cost of the project. Don’t forget about the added energy expenses of running a filter and putting a heater in the pool. 


Insurance


When you have a pool, you’ll need to change the type of insurance that you have. The pool can increase your insurance costs significantly. There also could be certain requirements set forth by the insurance company, such as the pool needing to be fenced in. 


While adding a pool to your home may make your life more enjoyable, it may not add to the value and return you get on your home. Don’t over invest in an amenity that won’t give you the returns your looking for unless you’re prepared and know that you as a homeowner will truly enjoy the pool.




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Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 8/5/2019

For most homeowners, a home is not just a property with four walls and a roof over their head. Over time, it becomes a place that reminds them of sweet memories spent with family and friends. Buying a home is expensive, and as a result, it is essential that you relegate any form of emotions and apply business-minded strategies in making good decisions. With this in mind, here are some costly emotional mistakes home buyers make and how you can avoid making them.

Falling in love too quickly

Buying a home can play with your emotions. But you must balance your dreams with the realities of your budget. Turn a deaf ear when the agent tells you "Oh, this house was made for you," or "It suits you perfectly," Focus on what you want in terms of space, location, maintenance, and the price. If you are buying a house, buy the one you need rather than what you want.

Allowing others to "steer" the process 

Agents and family members can be assertive in attempting to "tell" you what home to buy. What's more, friends who won't even live in the house will aggressively offer opinions about the subject. In an attempt to please others, some homeowners get highly emotional and buy a house they never liked. It is your house, and you will be the one living in it. Friends and loved ones only visit. So put yourself in charge of the buying process. 

Overpaying for a property 

Another common emotional mistake homebuyers make is paying too much for a property. Buyers—especially new ones—always tend to become desperate to buy a house or buy a house in a popular area, and most time, they end up paying far too much for the property. To avoid overpaying for a home, keep your emotional side locked and check the prices of similar houses in the area to avoid being ripped off. 

Putting the pen on paper too soon 

Generally, before you purchase a house, you need to sign a contract and pay a deposit. However, don't get too excited and sign the contract immediately you make the decision. Take your time to read through every line of the agreement. Also, get a seasoned lawyer or property professional to guide you, to ensure your interest comes first and insert any needed clauses. It is tough to make changes once you sign a contract.

Although buying a house can be an emotional experience, it is also an exciting time. Avoiding emotional mistakes, doing your research and keeping a calm head should help you to get a good home that meets all your needs.




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Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 7/29/2019

Selling a home may prove to be an uphill climb. Fortunately, if you craft a home selling strategy, you can eliminate guesswork throughout the property selling cycle.

A home selling plan is a must-have, and perhaps it is easy to understand why. This strategy enables you to prepare for potential hurdles you may encounter as you promote your residence to buyers, review an offer to purchase and perform other house selling tasks. Plus, if you allocate time and resources to develop an effective strategy, you could streamline the process of selling your residence.

There are several things you can do to ensure your home selling strategy will deliver the best-possible results. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you craft a top-notch house selling plan.

1. Analyze Your Home

What you originally paid for your house is unlikely to match your home's current value. Luckily, there are various assessments you can use to evaluate all areas of your residence.

A home inspection enables you to identify any underlying house issues and correct such problems before you list your residence. Or, you can always hire a home appraiser who can give you a property valuation.

When it comes to selling a home, it helps to prepare as much as you can. If you conduct a home inspection and appraisal, you could gain valuable insights so you can set a competitive initial asking price for your residence.

2. Upgrade Your House's Interior and Exterior

Your home may have flaws, but you can address these issues right away. By doing so, you could make your house an attractive option to buyers.

Clean each room of your house. Also, eliminate clutter so you can show off the full size of your house.

In addition, mow the lawn and perform other home exterior updates. If you boost your house's curb appeal, you may be able to differentiate your residence from the competition – something that could result in a quick, profitable home selling experience.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent understands what it takes to develop a house selling strategy. Thus, he or she can help you craft a home selling strategy and put this plan into action in no time at all.

Typically, a real estate agent meets with a house seller and learns about this individual's property selling goals. A real estate agent next creates a plan designed to help a seller quickly achieve the optimal results.

A real estate agent offers plenty of guidance throughout the house selling journey too. Therefore, if you are unsure about how to showcase your residence to potential buyers, a real estate agent can deliver support. On the other hand, if you are uncertain about whether to accept or reject an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent can provide an honest, unbiased recommendation.

Use the aforementioned tips, and you can instantly create and implement a successful home selling strategy.




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Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 7/22/2019

Are you conscious of your environment? Fact is, almost every kitchen is causing some level of harm to the environment, no matter how environmentally-conscious the homeowner. That being said there are things you can do to "go green" and reduce your negative environmental impact.Here some ways to go green in your kitchen, at no additional cost.

Wash dishes the "Green" way

The method you adopt when it comes to washing your dishes determines how much water you use. Before you use your dishwasher, wait till you have a full load in it, not just one meal or days worth. The water used to run a partially filled dishwasher is the same as to wash one full load, so by combining multiple meals and days of dishes, you can cut your water usage in half or even further.

Most dishwashers come with an ‘economy' button option. Turning it on will save your energy and water. Another thing to look out for is the ‘heat dry' option. Turn it off and air-dry your dishes instead. That will save tons of energy for you.

Cook smart

The conventional oven consumes 50% more power compared to the microwave oven. If you are going to cook small dishes, use the microwave oven instead, or maybe the toaster oven or slow cooker.Using a microwave oven also brings less heat into the home, thereby needing less air-conditioning.

Fridge usage

Browsing through the fridge, keeping the door open for long is one of the ridiculous ways to waste energy. Also, make sure that your refrigerator is not leaking cold air due to a faulty seal. If that is the case, then it is time to get the seal repaired.

Keep recycling

Find out what in your home can be recycled and how to get them to your local recycling facilities. In most regions, the recycling company goes door to door to pick them up, just like they do your trash cans. So, always get those recyclables in your kitchen out for the recycling service to pick them up.

Products with less packaging

It is not easy to altogether avoid food packaging, but you can start from little and work your way up. Avoid buying products with excessive packaging. Instead of buying them individually, buy large sizes of products.

Going green in your kitchen is a practice that would benefit you tremendously. Apart from the money saved from less usage of energy and water, you help make the environment less polluted and more friendly. It's time to start building and working through a checklist of things to keep your kitchen green. You will be grateful you did.




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