Karen Lawley's Blog
If you want to enjoy a successful homebuying experience, it may be beneficial to hone your house search to residences in a select group of cities and towns. That way, you can speed up the process of finding and buying your dream residence.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you narrow your house search.
1. Review Your Short and Long-Term Goals
Consider your immediate and long-term goals. By doing so, you can focus on finding a home that falls in line with your aspirations.
For instance, if you want to work in the big city, you may want to search for residences in or near the city itself. On the other hand, if you have children, you may want to explore houses near top schools and parks.
Be flexible as you consider homes in assorted cities and towns, too. If you are open to homebuying opportunities in different areas, you may be able to quickly find a great residence at a budget-friendly price.
2. Obtain a Mortgage
With a mortgage in hand, you'll know exactly how much you can spend on a house. Then, you can narrow your home search to residences that correspond to your budget.
Meet with a variety of banks and credit unions, and you can get pre-approved for a mortgage. Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable home financing specialists, and these professionals can help you determine which type of mortgage will suit you perfectly.
Also, you may want to ask questions as you review your mortgage options. Home financing specialists at banks and credit unions are happy to reply to your mortgage questions, and ultimately, help you make an informed mortgage selection.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
Finding a home in a particular city or town may be tough, especially if you try to navigate the real estate market on your own. Conversely, if you hire an real estate agent, you can get the help you need to discover your dream house.
A real estate agent is a homebuying expert who will go above and beyond the call of duty to transform your homeownership dream into a reality. He or she first will learn about your homebuying goals and budget. Next, a real estate agent will provide you with details about available homes in myriad cities and towns. A real estate agent then will help you kick off a home search so you can locate your ideal house.
Of course, once you discover your dream home, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase this residence as well. And if your homebuying proposal is accepted, a real estate agent will devote the necessary time and resources to ensure you can immediately finalize your home purchase.
Take the guesswork out of finding your dream residence – use the aforementioned tips, and you can boost the likelihood of acquiring a terrific house that you can enjoy both now and in the future.
After you accept a homebuyer's offer on your residence, he or she likely will complete a home inspection. Then, the homebuyer may choose to move forward with the home purchase, rescind or modify his or her offer or ask the home seller to complete home improvements.
Ultimately, a home seller is likely to have many questions following a home inspection, including:
1. What did the homebuyer discover during the home inspection?
As a home seller, it is important to do everything possible to enhance your residence before you add it to the real estate market. By doing so, you can boost your chances of generating substantial interest in your house. Plus, when a homebuyer performs a home inspection, he or she is unlikely to find any problems that may slow down the home selling process.
An informed home seller may conduct a home appraisal prior to listing his or her house on the real estate market. This appraisal enables a home seller to identify potential trouble areas within a residence and explore ways to address such problems.
If you failed to perform a home appraisal, there is no need to worry. For home sellers, it is important to see a home inspection as a learning opportunity. And if a homebuyer identifies problems with your residence during a home inspection, you should try to work with him or her to resolve these issues.
2. Should I stand my ground after a home inspection?
Be realistic after a home inspection, and you'll be able to make the best decision about how to proceed.
For example, a home seller who goes above and beyond the call of duty may address major home problems prior to listing his or her house on the real estate market. This home seller will dedicate the necessary time and resources to correct home problems and ensure a homebuyer is able to purchase a top-notch residence.
But what happens if a homebuyer identifies problems during a home inspection, despite the fact that a home seller already tried to correct various home issues?
A home seller should consider the homebuyer's inspection report findings closely. If minor home repairs are needed, he or she may be able to fix these problems to move forward with a home sale. Or, if a homebuyer is making exorbitant demands, a home seller may feel comfortable allowing the homebuyer to walk away from a home sale.
3. How should I proceed after a home inspection?
A home inspection can be stressful for both a home seller and a homebuyer. After the home inspection is completed, both parties will be better equipped than ever before to make informed decisions.
If a homebuyer encounters many problems with a residence, he or she will let the home seller know about these issues. Then, a home seller can complete assorted home repairs, offer a discounted price on a home or refuse to perform the requested home maintenance.
Working with a real estate agent is ideal for a home seller, particularly when it comes to home inspections. A real estate agent will negotiate with a homebuyer on your behalf and ensure you streamline the home selling process.
Multi-generational homes have grown in popularity as the benefits of communal living become more recognized and celebrated. If you are searching for a home to share with both your children and parents, there are many options open to you.
Single-family home with apartment: Some single-family homes have been built or renovated to include a completely separate living space within the walls of the house. In these instances, the apartment space provides a kitchen, bathroom and living spaces that can be accessed from a separate entrance. This situation offers privacy with the luxury of close proximity.
Two homes on the same property: Much like a home with a built-in apartment, if you’re able to secure a property that features two homes on the same lot, you’ll benefit from close proximity. However, if the structures do not share common walls this situation may not save you in utility and maintenance costs.
Homes with more than one master suite: This is a great option for those who don’t mind sharing common areas like kitchen or living spaces. Providing a master suite for each family group offers the opportunity to create separate more personal spaces without building walls or separate structures.
Custom-built options: If you’re not finding an existing home that meets the requirements for your family, consider working with a builder on a custom home. There is more flexibility to customize your space and make accommodations for communal and private space for each member of your family.
Consult with your real estate agent if you’re looking for a specialized property like this.
The holiday season is possibly one of the most beautiful seasons of the year. Besides the fact that the year is winding down, there’s a simplistic joy that hovers in the air. If you’re wondering how to bring the magic of the holidays into your new home, here are a few easy tips to follow:
A Few Basics
The most iconic holiday decoration is the evergreen tree. From fir to spruce to pine, real to synthetic, green to multi-colored, there is no mistaking that it's time for the holidays when you see one. However, you’ll want to ensure that you choose a tree that is the right size for your space. Be sure to take into account the placement of the tree and any additions that you may have added to your walls and ceilings such as ceiling fans or crown molding to ensure your tree doesn’t get caught or misshapen by the extra features.
If you’re keeping decorations to a minimum, for that simplistic highlight, be sure to plan where you want the decorations to go. If you’re hanging lights, make sure that you have the right type of lights and a long enough cord to ensure ease of use. A cord that is pulled too taught could result in the lights being pulled from the hooks or pins holding them up.
Adding a few knickknacks? Try using bookshelf ledges, fireplace mantels or window sills to incorporate your figurines, small trees, candle holders or other holiday trinkets to add a little extra flair to your space. Be sure these areas are away from small hands or wagging tails if you have others living in the home with you. Likewise, if it’s a solitary affair or your housemates happen to be older, try to avoid placing these items anywhere that they may be kicked or stumbled over.
Entertaining this holiday season? Adding small pieces such as table runners or a nice centerpiece made from holly or other seasonal plants may be just the thing you need. If you fancy a more traditional spread, try using a tablecloth with small pieces of garland around the backs of the chairs to delight your guests.
Having a cozy get-together? A quick run to the craft store could give you just the right amount of oomph. Get a few white coasters, garnish them with small blue and silver tinsel and place them around your coffee table. You could use a small tree or gift wrap a small, empty box and use it as your centerpiece with the coasters around it. Add a few trays for warm drinks and a little added protection for your furniture.
No matter what your style is this holiday season, you’ll be able to enjoy it in the comfort of your home with these simple tricks.
Boston, with its rich history and cultural scene, is a city that can easily take a week to explore. So what can you do if you have just one day to experience its wonders? While you won’t be able to see it all, there are some must-see attractions that you can work into a day. Here’s what you’ll want to do.
Focus on Downtown
Downtown Boston is where its oldest, history-rich neighborhoods are, so this is where you’ll want to spend your time. This is also where the museums and art galleries are. You may want to decide just a couple of things to see and experience, depending on your preferences. However, if you’re wanting to see as much of the city as possible, focus your efforts on the historic sites downtown.
Start with the Freedom Trail
The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile-long red line that takes you past some of the most historic sites in the city. It can take all day to walk and experience the Freedom Trail, but you can focus on the first two-thirds of the trail if you wish to see other things as well. Start your journey at Boston Commons, and pick up a Freedom Trail pamphlet from the Boston Common Visitor Information Center. This trail will take you through several of Paul Revere’s historic sites, as well as other important pieces of Boston’s history.
Do Your Shopping
You’ll want to grab a souvenir or two on your trip. During your walk down the Freedom Trail, end at Faneuil Hall, where you can find plenty of shopping options. Among those are Quincy Market, which is the hall’s food court. You’ll find a lot of excellent meal or snack options to grab-and-go as you continue your exploration of the city.
Grab Some Coffee
If you’re getting a little tired at this point, head to Hanover Street, which is known for its many coffee houses. Bag an espresso and a fresh-baked pastry, and see the historic buildings of the city’s North End while you indulge.
Head to the Waterfront
Now you’re ready to see the waterfront. Walk from the North End to the harbor, and jump on a ferry ride from Long Warf to Charlestown and back. You’ll also have the option to tour the New England Aquarium or the Institute of Contemporary Art in this area. This will finish out your day, and you will end at the perfect spot to pick up some fresh seafood for dinner.
You can’t fully experience Boston in a day, but you can get a good taste. With this itinerary, soak in many of the most important parts of the city and get a feel for its history and culture before your travels take you elsewhere.