Len and Leslie Marma's Blog
Although clutter in your home may seem like an insignificant problem, it can actually have a negative impact on everything from your personal productivity to family relationships.
When dirty dishes pile up, clothes gather on the floor, and toys are scattered everywhere, it often creates a feeling of discouragement that can seep into every aspect of your life.
While most people view clutter as an annoyance or an eyesore, studies have shown that it can contribute to stress, feelings of guilt, and even depression. Books have been written on the topic and well-known websites have devoted countless pages to the connection between stress and clutter.
In addition to feeling embarrassed when guests drop over unexpectedly, household clutter makes it difficult to find important things, like car keys, homework assignments, or cell phones. A disorganized, messy home can also lead to bills being paid late, which can bring with it a whole separate set of problems, such as late payment fees, collection letters, and credit rating issues. For people planning on applying for a mortgage in the near future, a damaged credit score could adversely affect interest rates, loan terms, or even their chances of obtaining a mortgage.
Fortunately, there are ways to turn the tide on your battle with household clutter. The first step, of course, is to recognize that you have a problem. The second step is to begin writing a plan or set of goals for taking charge of the clutter. The third step is to begin taking action and to set aside 15 to 30 minutes a day for organizing your home and putting clutter in its place!
If you're considering putting your home on the market in the near future, you may need to bump up that time allotment! Cluttered closets, storage areas, and countertops are sure to send the wrong message to prospective home buyers. Living areas that contain too much furniture, stacks of magazines, or piles of unsorted mail will convey an unwanted image of chaos, messiness, and disarray. Clutter can also have the effect of making rooms look smaller and less appealing.
In addition to establishing new and better habits for keeping your home organized and looking its best, it's also important to enlist the cooperation of your family. When everyone does their part to keep your home looking presentable and well maintained, fewer things will get misplaced, moods will be lifted, and you'll no longer feel embarrassed when company drops by!
The best time to begin attacking the problem is now. If the project seems overwhelming, the solution is to start small, but stick with it on a daily basis. As the famous quote says, "The race does not always go to the swift, but to those who keep on running."
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.
Many of us will move home several times throughout our lives. Whether it’s relocating for work, needing a bigger house for children, or a quiet place to retire to, it’s likely that the home you live in now won’t be yours forever.
As a result, many homeowners wonder what they can do to ensure their home will have a high resale value when the time comes to move on.
The good news is that there are a lot of things you can do now that will give you a good return on investment when it comes to selling your home later. However, there are a few factors that affect a home’s valuation that are out of your control. We’ll talk about all of those factors below. So, read on for a list of the factors that affect your home’s resale value.
The age of your home
Your house may not complain about it, but it isn’t getting any younger. Homes tend to slowly decrease in value over time. A home built in the late 1970s, even if it’s well taken care of, most likely won’t sell for the same price as a 15-year-old home.
There is one exception to the rule, however, and that is historical houses. Homes that are a century old can sell for top dollar because of the craftsmanship and history that the house contains.
Admittedly, this is a niche market, as many people just want a safe and efficient home to live in. However, there are some homebuyers who will put in a bit of extra work around the house for the chance to live inside of a piece of history.
When you’re upgrading your house it’s important to remember how that upgrade will pay off years down the road. Some renovations will almost always give a good return on investment such as a finished basement or attic and improving efficiency via added insulation or replacing windows.
Renovations that match a very specific decorative taste or style could come back to haunt you. This includes bathroom sinks, kitchen cabinets, countertops, and other expensive projects that are subject to the next owner’s taste. While these upgrades can give a good return on your investment, they’re more likely to be successful if they fit the current trends of style and craftsmanship.
Neighborhood and town
One of the factors of home valuation that you have little control over is the town and neighborhood the house is located in. If there are closed down businesses, foreclosed and deteriorating homes then potential buyers might be turned off to the neighborhood.
Similarly, the town you live in has a lot to do with how much people are willing to spend. If you have easy access to interstate highways and large cities, highly rated schools, and good local infrastructure, then buyers are likely to take these into consideration when making an offer, as the average cost of a home in your town is likely higher than some surrounding towns.
Purchasing a house should be an unforgettable journey for all the right reasons. However, problems sometimes may arise that can make it tough to enjoy a positive homebuying experience.
Whether it's struggling to know where to search for your dream home or getting the financing you need to purchase a house, myriad problems may prevent you from enjoying a positive homebuying experience. Lucky for you, we're here to help you identify potential homebuying hurdles and eliminate such problems before they escalate.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you reap the benefits of a positive homebuying experience.
1. Enter the Housing Market with Clear Expectations
If you know you want to purchase a house, it helps to enter the real estate market with clear expectations. That way, you'll be better equipped than ever before to streamline your house search.
Consider what you want to find in your dream house. For example, if you want to own a house near the beach, you should conduct your home search accordingly. Or, if you want to buy a home with a big backyard and outdoor swimming pool, you can hone your home search as needed.
Think about areas where you want to reside too. By doing so, you can focus on available homes in specific cities and towns.
2. Know Your Homebuying Budget
Get pre-approved for a mortgage – you'll be glad you did. Because if you have a mortgage at your disposal, you can pursue houses in a specific price range and speed up your home search.
Obtaining a mortgage can be simple. In fact, if you meet with a variety of banks and credit unions, you may be able to get a mortgage in no time at all.
Remember, banks and credit unions employ knowledgeable mortgage specialists who are happy to assist you in any way possible. If you have any mortgage questions, these specialists can respond to your queries. And as a result, you can gain the insights you need to get a mortgage that matches your finances.
3. Employ a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is a difference-maker, particularly for a homebuyer who wants to seamlessly navigate the property buying journey. With a real estate agent at your side, you can achieve the best-possible results, regardless of where and when you're searching for a home.
Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you, learn about your homebuying expectations and help you map out a property buying strategy. This housing market professional can offer expert insights into the local real estate market and ensure you can pursue houses that match your expectations. Plus, a real estate agent will set up home showings, help you submit an offer to purchase your dream house and negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf. And if you ever have concerns during the homebuying journey, a real estate agent will address them immediately.
Ready to enjoy a positive homebuying experience? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can quickly and effortlessly navigate the homebuying journey.
As a home seller, your goal is to optimize your property sale earnings. Yet doing so may prove to be difficult, particularly for those who are operating in a fierce real estate market. Lucky for you, we're here to help you differentiate your residence from the competition and boost the likelihood of a profitable home selling experience.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you optimize your home sale earnings.
1. Enhance Your House's Curb Appeal
How homebuyers perceive your residence when they view it for the first time may impact your ability to maximize your home sale earnings. If buyers see a home with a pristine front lawn, dazzling garden and other stunning exterior features, they may set up home showings right away. Then, after buyers see all that your residence has to offer, they may submit homebuying proposals that match or exceed your expectations.
Ultimately, your house's curb appeal can make a world of difference during the home selling journey. If you allocate time and resources to trim the hedges, mow the lawn and perform other home exterior upgrades, you can boost your residence's curb appeal in no time at all.
2. Remove Clutter from Inside Your Home
Although you may have collected many antiques, paintings and knick-knacks over the years, these items may actually do more harm than good when you try to sell your house. In fact, your personal belongings may make it tough for buyers to envision what life may be like if they purchase your home.
Oftentimes, it helps to rent a storage unit before you list your residence. This will enable you to keep assorted personal belongings safe and outside your home until your residence sells.
You also may want to host a yard sale or list items online prior to selling your house. This will allow you to simultaneously remove clutter from your house and earn extra cash.
3. Hire a Real Estate Agent
For home sellers who want to maximize their home sale earnings, it pays to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional will work with you throughout the home selling journey to ensure you can get the best price for your home.
Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you, learn about your house and craft a home selling strategy. He or she then will host home showings and open house events to promote your residence to potential buyers. And if a buyer submits an offer to purchase your house, a real estate agent can provide a recommendation about whether you should accept, reject or counter this proposal.
A real estate agent can respond to your home selling concerns and questions too. As a result, he or she can help you make informed decisions throughout the home selling journey.
Ready to list your home? Use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble enjoying a quick and profitable home selling experience.