Len and Leslie Marma's Blog
- Leaving a house key under the front door mat: Although it may seem like a convenient and somewhat discreet place to "hide" a key, it's one of the first places a resourceful burglar is going to look. Not only that, but every time a friend or member of the family accesses that key, they could easily be observed by someone passing by. The longer it's there, the more people are going to see it.
- Forgetting to suspend mail or newspaper delivery: When you go on vacation or visit relatives for more than a few days, your mind is already cluttered with travel plans and other arrangements. It's easy to forget about details like mail delivery and newspapers accumulating in the driveway. However, if either of those items start piling up in front of your house, it's equivalent to placing a flashing neon sign in your window, saying "Nobody's home!" Rather than contacting the post office and newspaper circulation department, an easier method is to have a trusted neighbor or friend gather your deliveries and store them in a safe place -- possibly inside your home. (If they're a really good friend, they can also water your plants, feed your tropical fish, take care of your pets, and turn on a couple lights at night -- but, maybe you don't want to test the limits of your friendship that much!)
- Leaving lampposts and outdoor floodlights on continuously: Again, it's like an advertisement that the house is unoccupied.
- Allowing the grass to get too long: It's amazing how a little sunshine and rain, while you're away, can cause an unexpected growth spurt in your lawn. Although it's not as obvious as the previous items, it can be a tip off that the family is on vacation, blissfully unaware of the security breaches that are occurring. The overgrown grass problem can be prevented by either hiring a regular lawn mowing service or recruiting an enterprising teenager in the neighborhood to keep your property looking well tended while you're away.
You've decided to sell your home and listed your residence with a real estate agent. Now, you'll need to prepare for your first open house.
Ultimately, hosting an open house can be a stressful experience, particularly for a first-time home seller. Lucky for you, we're here to help you take the guesswork out of getting your house ready for potential homebuyers.
Here are three tips to ensure that you can prep your residence for an open house.
1. Get Rid of Clutter
De-clutter your house as much as possible – you'll be happy you did. With clutter out of the way, homebuyers should have no trouble assessing every nook and cranny of your residence.
For those who possess a large assortment of clutter, it may be worthwhile to donate items to charity or host a garage sale. Also, you may be able to sell your excess items online.
Don't forget about family members and friends, either. If you have excess items, family members and friends may be willing to take them off your hands for free. By doing so, they'll be able to help you de-clutter your house and ensure that it looks great during an open house.
2. Clean As Much As Possible
There may be only a few days before your open house, but you should try to take advantage of any free time at your disposal.
Use your time wisely and clean up your home as much as you can. You can clean rugs and carpets, wipe down walls and floors and much more. If you need extra assistance, you can always hire a professional cleaning company to help out as well.
For home sellers, it is paramount to make a positive first impression on homebuyers. And if you commit the necessary time and resources to clean your residence, you may be able to boost your home's chances of making a long-lasting impression on homebuyers.
3. Consult with Your Real Estate Agent
Your real estate agent is available to help you before, during and after an open house. As such, he or she is happy to provide tips so you can get your residence ready for an open house in no time at all.
With an expert real estate agent at your disposal, you'll be able to prioritize home maintenance and repairs. This real estate professional will be able to explain the importance of an open house, along with the steps that you can take to transform your ordinary residence into an unforgettable one.
Plus, your real estate agent will help you minimize stress in the days leading up to your open house. He or she will be ready to answer your open house concerns and questions and ensure that you can set realistic expectations for the event.
Getting ready for an open house may seem like a time-consuming and exhausting process. Fortunately, your real estate agent will make it easy for you to plan accordingly and ensure that your open house is a resounding success.
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Buying a home represents a dream come true for many individuals. However, to transform this dream into a reality, you'll likely need to qualify for a mortgage.
Finding the right mortgage may seem difficult, particularly for a first-time homebuyer. Fortunately, we're here to help you make sense of all of the mortgage options at your disposal so you can select the right option based on your budget and lifestyle.
Here's a closer look at three of the most common mortgage options for homebuyers.
With a fixed-rate mortgage, there are no cost fluctuations. This means that you'll pay the same amount each month for the duration of your mortgage, regardless of economic conditions.
For example, if you sign up for a 15- or 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, you'll wind up paying the same amount each month until your mortgage is paid in full. In some instances, you may even be able to pay off your mortgage early without penalties.
A fixed-rate mortgage often serves as a great option for those who don't want to worry about mortgage bills that may fluctuate over the years. Instead, this type of mortgage guarantees that you'll be able to pay a consistent monthly amount for the life of your loan.
An adjustable-rate mortgage represents the exact opposite of its fixed-rate counterpart. The costs associated with this type of mortgage will change over time, which means you may wind up paying a fixed interest rate for the first few years of your loan and watch this rate go up a few years later.
For instance, a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage means that your interest rate is locked in for the first five years of your loan. After this period, the interest rate will adjust annually. Therefore, a rising interest rate may force you to allocate additional funds to cover your mortgage costs in the future.
An adjustable-rate mortgage may prove to be a viable option if you plan to live in a home for only a short amount of time. Or, if you're a college student or young professional, an adjustable-rate mortgage may help you pay less for a home now, secure your dream job and become financially stable by the time your initial interest rate period ends.
3. VA Loans
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides loans to military service members and their families. These loans are backed by the government and enable individuals to receive complete financing for a house. Thus, with a VA loan, an individual is not required to make a down payment on a house.
If you ever have concerns or questions about mortgage loans, banks and credit unions are available to help. Also, your real estate agent may be able to offer mortgage insights and tips to ensure you can secure a mortgage quickly and effortlessly.
Learn about all of the mortgage options that are available, and by doing so, you can move one step closer to buying a home that matches your budget and lifestyle.