Tom Lee ABR CRS GRI LTG SRES's Blog
Purchasing a home in a buyer's market may seem like a fast, simple process. However, it is important to realize that homebuyers constantly compete for the best residences in cities and towns nationwide. And if you're not careful, you risk missing out on an opportunity to acquire your dream house.
What does it take to secure a home in a buyer's market? Here are three tips to ensure that you can do just that.
1. Study the Housing Market Closely
A buyer's market features a large assortment of top-notch residences and a shortage of property buyers. As such, this market heavily favors homebuyers, and property buyers who examine the real estate market closely may be able to boost their chances of purchasing a terrific house at a budget-friendly price.
For homebuyers, it is essential to establish criteria for your dream residence. With homebuying criteria at your disposal, you can narrow your search for the ideal residence and accelerate the homebuying process.
Don't forget to check out homes in-person, either. If you set up a home showing or attend an open house, you'll be able to envision what it's like to own a home and determine whether a residence is right for you.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
What good is shopping for a house if you cannot afford to pay for it? Fortunately, you can get pre-approved for a mortgage to understand exactly how much you can spend on a new house.
To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you'll want to meet with several banks and credit unions. These lenders will be able to offer insights into a variety of mortgage options, respond to your mortgage concerns and questions and help you select a mortgage that suits you perfectly.
Pre-approval for a mortgage is vital for homebuyers, particularly in a buyer's market. If you have a mortgage in hand when you explore available homes, you may even be able to avoid the temptation to overspend on a residence.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
When it comes to navigating a buyer's market, a real estate agent can deliver outstanding support.
A real estate agent can teach you about the intricacies of buying a home and help you streamline the homebuying process. He or she also will be available to respond to your homebuying questions, ensuring you can make informed decisions as the homebuying journey moves forward.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent can help you alleviate stress as you search for your dream home. This housing market professional will keep you up to date about new properties as they become available, set up home showings and negotiate with home sellers on your behalf. By doing so, a real estate agent enables you to focus on what's important – purchasing a first-rate house at a price that matches your budget.
Buying a home can be challenging, even in a buyer's market. But with the aforementioned tips, you can simplify the homebuying process and move closer to securing a house that meets or exceeds your expectations.
Depending on how many years you’ve been working, retirement can seem like it’s too far in the future to worry about or too close to be able to effectively make any real change.
However, retirement is about more than doing the math and investment planning. Retirement includes making several life decisions, and considering things you may not have thought of before.
In this article, we’re going to talk about planning aspects of your retirement including your home and assets, your savings and investments, and setting and achieving goals for yourself.
Pay yourself first
If it feels like your paycheck is spent before you get a chance to set any aside each week, you’re not alone. However, it’s never too late to start setting aside money for retirement. The “pay yourself first” theory states that you should set aside a certain amount for bills, savings, and retirement plans before you spend a dime of your paycheck each week.
The easiest way to achieve this is to take advantage of an employer-based contribution matching program such as a 401K. However, if you are self-employed you can still open up an individual retirement account (IRA) or a Solo 401K. With an IRA, you determine where you want to invest your money, and can choose safer or riskier investments based on your own preferences.
Draw up your plan, literally
There’s no better way to start planning than to actually sit down with a notebook or your computer and start figuring out what you want to save and how you want to achieve those savings.
You’ll want to determine how much money you can accrue in your savings account, estimate the price of your assets and properties, and look at the projected return on investment for any IRAs or 401Ks you have in place.
As you likely know, these numbers are all projections. There’s no way to know for sure how much your home will be worth, or how well your investments will do by the time you’re ready to retire.
So, one of the most important aspects of making this checklist is to return to it yearly to determine if you should change your investments or alter your retirement goals.
Determine your lifestyle needs
Whether you have dreams of settling down in a quiet town for retirement, touring the country in an RV, or traveling the world, you’ll need to find out how you can make it possible on your retirement plan.
You and your spouse will need to sit down and draw up a plan for your mutual retirement goals. Determine which expenses you can do away with in retirement so that you can fulfill other goals. Having these conversations now will help you more effectively plan for the future. And, remember that the time of your retirement is always closer than you think.
A confident home seller is a unique individual, and perhaps it is easy to understand why. In fact, this individual likely possesses many traits that are sure to help him or her enjoy a successful home selling experience.
Now, let's take a look at three key attributes of a confident home seller to better understand this individual's approach to the housing market.
A confident home seller may be more likely than others to go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the best-possible results. As such, he or she will do what it takes to list a home and promote it to the right groups of buyers, which may result in a fast, seamless home selling journey.
With a proactive approach, any home seller can boost his or her confidence. Taking a proactive approach may even help a home seller maximize his or her home sale earnings too.
Typically, a proactive home seller will allocate time and resources to improve his or her house's interior and exterior. Because if a home stands out from the competition, the probability of a quick and profitable home sale will increase.
A proactive home seller also won't settle for subpar results. Instead, this seller will constantly search for ways to improve his or her home, as well as explore new opportunities to promote his or her house to buyers.
A confident home seller is willing to learn new things. Thus, he or she may be willing to learn about the housing market to discover innovative ways to speed up the home selling process.
To learn about the housing market, it generally helps to meet with a real estate agent. This housing market expert can teach a home seller about different aspects of the real estate market. And if a home seller has housing market questions, a real estate agent can respond to them immediately.
Furthermore, a real estate agent is happy to help a home seller build his or her confidence. This housing market professional can offer tips and recommendations throughout the home selling journey, ensuring a home seller can make informed decisions as this journey progresses.
A confident home seller understands that no home selling experience is perfect, and various home selling hurdles may arise along the way. Fortunately, this seller also knows how to stay calm, cool and collected under pressure.
As a confident home seller, an individual will stay patient, even when the worst-case home selling scenarios occur. This individual will be able to look at the big picture throughout the home selling journey. Perhaps most important, a confident home seller won't let small problems escalate; conversely, he or she will try to quickly resolve problems and take the necessary steps to prevent them from happening once again.
Becoming a confident home seller is no small feat. But if you understand the key attributes of a confident home seller, you can build your real estate expertise and work toward achieving the optimal results during the home selling journey.
That kitchen sink faucet needed replacing for a while, but between the cost of the new faucet and the cost of paying the hourly rate of the plumber and his helper, it is still the same old faucet. It works—sort-of—at least water comes out. Then, while watching one of those shows (that is either remodeling a house to live in or to flip and make some money), you see them change out the kitchen faucet, and you say to yourself, "I can do that.”
So, the adventure begins.
On the surface, changing out a faucet does not seem like such a challenging project. However, if you are not doing plumbing on a regular basis, it can get more complicated. The first step is that you have to buy the faucet you want that will look good. That seems simple enough, but there are holes already drilled in the sink or the countertop, so you must get a faucet that will fit those. There are two ways to size the holes: either remove the old fixture or get under the sink to measure the distance between the holes. (This is particularly important if this is an older home.)
Now to do the work.
Removing the faucet requires crawling under the sink.
- First, remove all of that stuff stored under there.
- Turn off the hot and cold water. If there are no valves under the sink, you need to find the master valve for the house. (If this is the situation, you might decide to install valves while you’re at it, but remember, you are not a plumber, so that might be biting off more than you can chew.)
- Now you find that the drain pipes are in your way of trying to get under the sink to reach the backside. So, you decide to remove them to get around under there. Seems logical right? Unfortunately, you find that someone else that is not a plumber replaced those drain lines and did not put them back correctly so now you are going to have to replace those.
- Back to the faucet you finally get the water lines removed and the nuts holding the faucet to the sink. (They're corroded—apparently, there had been a leak at some point).
Following the instructions that came with the faucet, you get it attached to the sink, and it looks GREAT! Unfortunately, you go to connect the waterlines, and the ends do not match the faucet. So, you remove the waterlines from the inlet valve and head to the DIY store to find new lines that will fit. You also remember to take all of that drain pipe with you because you are going to need to replace it and make it fit correctly.
Wrap it up!
Now you have the new parts you can get the water attached and the drain pipes reconnected. The drain pipes look a lot different, but they work, and they do not leak. Congratulations to you!
You have finally replaced that old faucet. It looks good, but bummer it took you all Saturday morning and then some. Maybe you should have paid that plumber for an hour. You could have done something more fun. Plumbing is one of those DIY things that when you do not do it all of the time, you NEVER have the correct pieces and you end up making several trips to the store. You are not alone.
The choice is yours: spend money or spend time. DIY can be satisfying or frustrating, so remember to start a project with your eyes open to what could be involved. Good luck!
For a referral to a qualified plumber, check with your real estate professional.
If you decide that moving on your own isn’t for you, you need to find and hire good movers to get you from place to place. You can start with a simple internet search, but you need to find the right movers to be able to get dependable service. Below, you’ll find some tips to help making the process of finding a moving company that much easier.
Get Quotes From A Few Companies
Get quotes on prices from a few different moving companies. Don’t just go with the first company that you find. Do a bit of research and even see if you can get some type of a background check on each company that you get a quote from. This way, you’ll avoid any nightmare stories from your move.
Have A Mover Do An Assessment
Your movers should come and visit your home before you move. Will they be packing for you? Do They need a larger size truck? If the moving company comes to make an assessment of the home, they will know what needs to be done when moving day arrives. Make an inventory list of everything in your home so that you’ll know what you have to take with you. You’ll also know what you have in your new home once you get there. This can really help streamline the process.
Price Isn’t Everything
The most expensive mover may not provide much more services over the least expensive moving company. Sometimes, it’s better to pay a bit more if you get additional services like boxes or packing. If a quote is much lower than you think it should be, then you probably should be a bit cautious of hiring the company.
Look For Reputation
You need to be aware of the reputation that a moving company carries with them. If you’re moving locally, you can usually go with a local company that has some good reviews. If you’re moving across states, try and find a larger company that has a lot of experience and a reputation built up for those types of long-distance moves.
You’re paying a lot of money to hire a moving company and have a right to know exactly what you’re paying for. Make a list of questions to ask each company. Find out their protocols and understand how your things will be treated. You want to know that your items will be in good hands. Some things you’ll want to know about each moving company:
- What kind of insurance do you have?
- What types of fees do you have?
- What’s the timeline for my move?
- Have all your movers undergone background checks?
If the company tends to avoid certain questions, you should beware. With a little research, moving both near and far will be a breeze.