Our Real Estate Blog
Although buying a home should be a fast, seamless process, negotiations with a home seller sometimes can slow down the homebuying journey.
Let's face it – no one wants to deal with long, arduous negotiations, particularly when they are close to acquiring their dream residence. However, homebuyers who prepare for the worst may be better equipped than others to avoid a complicated homebuying negotiation.
What does it take to prepare for a difficult homebuying negotiation? Here are three tips to help you do just that.
1. Understand the Housing Market
If you submit a competitive offer on a residence from the get-go, you may be able to avoid a difficult homebuying negotiation altogether.
Ultimately, a homebuyer who allocates the necessary time and resources to learn about the real estate market will understand how one residence stacks up against another. Then, he or she can submit a home offer that matches or exceeds a home seller's expectations, thereby reducing the risk of an extensive homebuying negotiation.
2. Analyze Your Homebuying Goals
A homebuyer who analyzes his or her homebuying goals can map out his or her property buying journey. That way, this homebuyer can assess homes that fit within his or her price range and minimize the chance of a complex homebuying negotiation.
Furthermore, if a homebuyer sets realistic expectations for a home search, he or she may be able to make informed decisions throughout a negotiation with a home seller.
A homebuyer who knows how much he or she can afford to pay for a house will be able to submit a home offer that corresponds with his or her budget. And if a home seller asks for more money, a homebuyer should feel comfortable walking away from a negotiation.
Remember, it is paramount for a negotiation to fulfill the needs of both property buyer and seller. If the negotiation favors a home seller, a homebuyer should be prepared to restart his or her home search.
3. Keep Your Emotions in Check
It is easy for a homebuying negotiation to escalate quickly. But a property buyer who understands how to control his or her emotions can take a step back during a stressful homebuying negotiation and plan his or her next move accordingly.
Stress sometimes can get the best of a homebuyer, especially if a property buyer wants to do everything possible to secure a great home as quickly as possible. If a homebuyer plans for stressful situations now, he or she may be able to reduce his or her stress levels when a homebuying negotiation begins.
Don't be afraid to take time to relax during a homebuying negotiation. Going for a walk outdoors or hanging out with family members and friends may provide a stress-relieving break from a homebuying negotiation.
Or, if a homebuyer wants extra help, hiring a real estate agent is ideal. This housing market professional understands the challenges of homebuying negotiations and will help a homebuyer alleviate stress time and time again.
Ready to acquire your ideal residence? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can get ready for a difficult homebuying negotiation.
If you live in a relatively safe, low-crime area, then that's definitely something to be thankful for! However, very few -- if any -- neighborhoods are 100% crime proof, so it's always a good policy to "err on the side of caution."
By integrating some basic, common-sense home security measures into your daily routine, you can dramatically increase the chances that you and your family will remain safe. While each home has different security needs and potential vulnerabilities, there are several steps you can take to thwart burglaries and help prevent home intrusions.
- Be security conscious: Good habits are one of the cornerstones of keeping your home secure. If you get in the habit of locking doors every time you leave the house, then you're making it a lot less convenient for an intruder to enter your home. Even if it's just a neighbor, relative, or friend who might innocently let themselves in through an unlocked door, there might be personal papers on your desk, a private letter left out, or a sink full of dirty dishes that you'd prefer they didn't see! Locking your doors when you're not at home can help protect your privacy, as well as your security.
- Avoid leaving ladders out when you're not using them. One of the cardinal rules of home security is don't make it inviting and easy for a burglar to gain access to your home. Leaving your garage doors open when you're gone or allowing your first-floor windows to be covered by overgrown bushes are two other security breaches that many homeowners overlook.
- Create the impression that someone is home -- especially at night. Leaving lights on or having them come on automatically at a designated time is one smart strategy for discouraging break-ins and home intrusions. Outdoor illumination, such as lamp posts and motion-activated spotlights, are other easy-to-implement techniques for making your home more burglar resistant.
- Secure first-floor windows. Since homes can get pretty stuffy if you leave your windows closed all the time, it's nice to let fresh air circulate, whenever possible. Although opening your windows on a regular basis can be highly desirable to maintain comfort and indoor air quality, remembering to close and lock them when you're sleeping or away from the house is of even greater importance.
- More ideas to consider: If home security is a major concern of yours, it may pay to look into options like deadbolt locks, stronger doors, window and door sensors, and high-tech security systems that you can control from a mobile device.
While it's beneficial to make your entire family aware of the importance of home security, it's often a good idea to designate one person as the resident security chief, so to speak. When the "buck stops" with one specific person -- preferably an adult -- then there's less of a likelihood that important precautions will be forgotten or overlooked. Since every family's security needs are unique, creating a customized checklist for your own individual situation is the best solution.
- Finances. We hate to put it first, but the reality is your finances are one of the main things that determines your preparedness for becoming a homeowner. Unlike renting, there's a lot more that goes into the home financing process than just your income. Banks will want to see your credit score to ensure you have a history of paying your bills on time. They'll also use your credit information to see how much debt you have and if you'll be able to take on homeowner's expenses on top of that. Another financial impact for buying a house is to determine if you can afford a downpayment. It's one thing to see that you can cover your bills with your income, but unless you have enough money saved for the downpayment (and any emergency expenses that may come up) you should wait a while and save before hopping into the market.
- What are your longterm plans? Many people are excited at the thought of home ownership to the extent that they forget their life circumstances. If you have a job that might cause you to relocate in the next 5-7 years you might want to consider renting rather than buying. Depending on factors like the price of the home, cost of living in your area, and how long you plan on living in your new home, it may be cheaper to buy or rent in the long run. There are calculators available online that will tell you which option is probably more cost-effective for you. As a general rule, however, if you plan on living in a new home for under 5-7 years, it might be cheaper to rent.
- Do you have the time and patience to be a homeowner? Owning a home means you can't call on the landlord to fix your leaks anymore. Similarly, you probably won't be able to depend on someone else to shovel snow or mow the lawn for you. It takes work to be a homeowner, and if your job has you away from home for long periods of time or working very long hours, renting might not be appropriate at this time.
- Plan for new expenses. If you can comfortably pay rent and you find out your home loan payments will be comparable, you should know that there will likely be new expenses to consider as well. Home insurance, property taxes, and expenses for things like sewer, plumbing and electrical repairs all should be taken into consideration. Additionally, you will likely have new utility bills, including electricity, water, oil, cable, and others depending on the home.
It’s not just an in-ground swimming pool that attracts home buyers. A long, well paved asphalt driveway works wonders too. Think of it this way. If you buy a house that has a driveway, you won’t have to risk having your vehicle banged into by drivers who may be speeding down the street that you live on. Regarding benefits of a house driveway, that’s just the start.
Driveways are for more than parking
Whether you’re working with an experienced realtor or house shopping independently, think about the following advantages that a driveway at your new house can bring. The right driveway adds a charming aesthetic appeal to the exterior of your home. In addition to asphalt, you could go with a concrete, grass, tile,gravel or shell driveway surface.
Wide driveways fit four vehicles that are parked side-by-side. Long driveways can run from the gate or edge of your property all the way to the side of your house’s front walkway. These paved parking areas don’t have to be straight. Some driveways are winding, others circular. Other reasons why you should look for a house with a driveway include:
- Pathway to a detached garage – Although older homes may be built with detached garages, some newly constructed houses are built with a garage away from the house. Driveways shorten the walking distance from your vehicle to the garage.
- Welcoming atmosphere – Guests appreciate having a safe place to park their vehicle when they visit you. An enclosed garage maybe the only parking option that offers more protection that a private driveway.
- Property divider – Regardless of who lives next door to you, a driveway signals where your property ends and your neighbor’s property begins. If your neighbors are contentious, this visual property divider could help prevent legal battles.
- Children – Instead of playing in your back yard,your children or grandchildren could play an assortment of games on your driveway which could, in turn, extend the life of your lawn.
Safety advantages you can get with a house driveway
Driveways do more than shorten the distance that you have to cover as you make your way from your vehicle to your house. A well paved driveway protects your vehicle from scratches and bumps. Those benefits extend into cost savings, as you won’t have to pay to get the body of your vehicle repaired or repainted.
A house that has a driveway can also alert neighbors, your children and strangers that your home is not vacant. When people see a vehicle in your driveway, it may help to send a message that your school aged children are not alone. Your children can also look for your car and wait for you to climb out as an added assurance that it’s you they hear on the front porch instead of a stranger.
There’s another safety advantage that you can gain with a driveway. You could park an extra vehicle in your driveway when you are away just to help strangers and neighbors think that an adult is at your house. Line your driveway with flowers and the strength of your house’s aesthetic appeal grows.
Windows are like the eyes of your home. They come in different sizes, styles and colors.Install the right windows and you could make your house look bigger. Quality windows could also improve your mood, help you to enjoy deeper sleep and inspire you to be more alert during the day, especially if you work out of a home office.
Beautiful window options that make your house look bigger
A low cost option that gives your rooms a larger look and feel are windows with thin or only a single pane. These types of windows may go from the ceiling to the floor. They also come in short, long designs. If you doubt that these windows can make a room appear larger, visit a business.
Many large companies have only one large pane. Museums are another facility with windows with thin or single glass panes. Notice how large the room feels. These windows can also make your house look bigger.
- Bay windows (These windows not only make your house look bigger, they also add personality to your house, from the inside and out).
- Forget dark, heavy drapes (The more well lit your house is, the larger the interior of your house may appear. Great natural light streaming into your house also lifts your mood.)
- Tall, clear windows (Again, opt for thin or single pane windows. Tall, clear windows work whether they are glass or plexi-glass.)
- Decorate horizontal edges of window panes with a line of beige, tan, light green or another pastel color
- Install windows so that you can look out at your yard
- Put your widescreen television close to a window,just make sure that there is no glare
- Install windows near cathedral ceilings. Wide windows work well near cathedral ceilings.
- Place your sofa near a window (The more outdoors you bring into your home, even it's only by putting great outdoor landscapes within each reach of your windows, the larger your house may feel.)
- Windows in the ceiling (Don't stop with installing regular windows. Install windows in your ceiling too.)
- Long mirrors (Intersperse long mirrors between windows. It also works to place long mirrors next to glass shower doors.)
- Exterior wood shutters (can make your house look smaller, especially if the shutter doors don’t open fully)
- Efficient, insulated windows help lower utility bills
Neutral colors on your house walls work like light colored drapes. They offer a brighter, more vibrant look and feel to a room. Lighter, neutral colors can also make a room appear larger. When you combine colors and window treatment textures with window sizes, shapes and designs, you can enjoy greater benefits of your work. You might even decide that your current house does, in fact, meet all of your space needs. Removing clutter from your house is another easy fix to a larger house. So too is getting and staying organized.