Claire Rainville's Blog
The number one factor that affects the length of time a house remains on the market is curb appeal. That's the consensus of real estate professionals across the country, and was documented in a recent study by a well-known real estate website.
So if it's such a high priority, then why do a lot of homeowners skimp on that aspect of preparing their home for a fast sale? Sometimes it's a lack of awareness; other times it may be a lack of money. In extreme cases, it can be quite pricey to transform a home from "shabby" to "exquisite!" That's an unusual scenario, though, and in most cases the cost of enhancing your home's curb appeal should be both affordable and cost effective.
Where to Begin
The ideal visual (and visceral) effect you want to achieve can be summed up in ten words: fresh, well cared for, aesthetically pleasing, manicured, meticulous, updated, and clean. Perhaps a more concise way to describe the image you want to project to potential buyers is "pride of ownership." Once you're conveying that impression, people are going to make positive assumptions about the value and condition of your home. While it's not necessary that the front of your property and home look perfect in every imaginable way, it is important to pay attention to small details and overall impressions.
Some homeowners will see this goal as an overwhelming challenge, but it doesn't have to be. The first hurdle is to take care of the basics, such as making sure your lawn always looks freshly mowed and that there's no signs of peeling or faded paint on your home and garage. Pulling weeds, placing a few colorful hanging flower baskets in strategic locations, and trimming overgrown bushes and trees are also effective ways to make your property look more desirable.
An advantage of working with a seasoned real estate agent is that they can quickly size up the outside appearance of your home, and make cost-effective suggestions of ways to improve curb appeal and increase the attractiveness of your property. When it comes to selling your house in the shortest period of time, first impressions are vitally important.
One helpful tactic for getting your house noticed by house hunters and real estate agents is to take a walk (or drive) in your neighborhood to see how your curb appeal stacks up to other homes for sale in the area. Ideally, you want your home to look at least as good, if not better, than other nearby properties. Since potential buyers may be focusing their search on specific neighborhoods, such as yours, you'll be giving yourself more of an "inside track" in the real estate market by making sure your home compares favorably to others in the immediate area -- both inside and out.
Applying for your first home loan can seem scary or daunting to many first-time homeowners. However, this process, if done correctly, can save you thousands or tens of thousands of dollars on interest over the lifetime of your loan.
Before you apply for a loan, there are several documents you’ll want to gather and steps you’ll want to take to ensure the application process goes smoothly. In today’s post, we’ll talk about one specific aspect of the mortgage application process--credit scores.
Credit scores may seem confusing. However, since they can so drastically affect your home loan interest rate, it’s important to understand their implications.
Credit checks and mortgages
One of the things that all lenders will want to see before approving you for a home loan is your credit score. If you’re thinking of applying for a mortgage, odds are that you’ve been working to build credit by paying off loans and credit cards on time each month.
The three main credit bureaus in the U.S. are all required to give you a yearly free credit report. This is a detailed document that outlines your lines of credit, payment dates, and amounts. It’s a good idea to get a detailed credit report and check for errors before applying for a loan.
Unlike a hard “credit inquiry,” a free report does not affect your credit score, so you don’t have to worry about dropping a few points by requesting one of these reports.
When applying for a mortgage, however, lenders will perform a hard credit inquiry to determine your borrowing eligibility. This is a part of the pre-approval process and is typically unavoidable.
This is important to note if you are planning on applying to multiple lenders. Be aware that each “prequalification” and “preapproval” may come with a temporary drop in your credit score.
Since credit inquiries make up a total of about 10% of your credit score, these inquiries can make a difference in the short term. For this reason, it’s a good idea to avoid opening new cards or taking out other loans (such as an auto loan or student loan) within six months of your mortgage application.
If you aren’t sure of your current score, you can always check for free from websites like Credit Karma and Mint.
One last thing to note about credit scores and their relationship to mortgages is that most lenders use a specific type of score known as a FICO score. In fact, every adult in the United States with a credit score will have three FICO scores, one from each major credit bureau.
So, when checking up on your credit score, it’s good to remember that each score will be slightly different and your lender’s score may not reflect what you see online.
11 BENTON STREET, Millbury, MA 01527
Every homeowner seems to come to a point where they wonder if it’s time to sell their home or renovate the one that they currently have. Whether or not you decide to sell immediately, you can start with some renovations to your home that will offer you a big return on your investments and more comfort. Certain renovation projects are more beneficial than others. We’ll go over some of the best projects that you can take on in your home to add value and comfort to your home.
Curb Appeal Pays
While you may turn to the inside of your home to make improvements first, it’s actually more beneficial to update the outside of your home before you even begin to tackle the inside. Curb appeal can boost the value of your home significantly.
Check Your Insulation
You can improve the overall energy efficiency of your home by sealing unattended places in the home. Add insulation and sealing right in your attic. This helps to save on energy costs the whole year through. New insulation brings quite a return on value in your home.
Make Your Spaces Peaceful And Open
If you have plenty of space available in the house, you’ll get a big return on your investment. Add a bedroom to the home if you are able. Expand on the master bedroom to include large closets along with a master bathroom. Some of these renovations can become a bit of an expense, but you’ll be happy you did them when you get a large return on your investment.
Add A Deck
Adding an outdoor space to enjoy will not only give you financial returns, it will give you an increased sense of happiness as well. You’ll have a new outdoor space that you’ll be able to enjoy for a good portion of the year.
Sometimes even small improvements can add returns and more appeal to your home. Does your kitchen need new tile? Could your dishwasher use an upgrade? Maybe the bathroom counter can be replaced. Anything small around your home that’s upgraded can add up. The kitchen and the bathroom are the two rooms of the home that people most desire to have updated. Doing any and all projects in these rooms can have a really big impact on the value of your property.
After The Renovations
After you complete the desired renovations in your home, live in it for awhile. If you’re still itching to move on from your property, make an appointment with your realtor. There is nothing wasted in doing renovations to your home whether you decide to stay on the property or move on.