Paul Stonkus' Blog
If your dream kitchen space is one that is used to for both large gatherings and small intimate dinners, then think about what you would want to include. The layout has everything to do with how you use the space. An entertaining kitchen may not be a chef's kitchen, or it may fit both the social butterfly and the serious iron chef. Depending on your available kitchen space, you will need to prioritize your wish list and possibly compromise depending on your other needs and who else will be using the area regularly. Designing, planning, and deciding is the process of acquiring that dream kitchen space.
Morning, Noon and Night Kitchen
When you think about the amount of traffic your kitchen seeing throughout a day, you realize it's one of the busiest and most used rooms in the house. Start with the morning hours before everyone rushes off to school. You may want a coffee bar, especially if you spend your retirement fund at local coffee shops and drive-throughs. What about your blender for protein shakes or fruit smoothies; or the toaster crisping up that bagel or toast? Easy access to appliances and cookware but hidden when not in use is a must. Pullout shelves that lift to counter height are intelligent and practical. Having a 6-8 burner gas stove with griddle would make breakfast brunch gathering easy to provide all the hotcakes you would need. Many cooktops have large drawers right underneath where the pots and pans sit for easy access and tidy organization. Wall ovens let you cook dinner and bake dessert at the same time, and are also useful for keeping food warm until meal time when you are hosting a large gathering. The wall oven is located higher then free-standing ovens and reduces the stress on your back when retrieving a heavier item from the oven.
Keeping it All Clean and Stocked
Having a farmhouse sink is a beautiful big space to wash up not only your bigger pots and the awkward jelly roll, but also that vast stack of Sunday dinner plates. Drawer dishwashers are excellent for when you want to run a smaller load and not waste water, and energy. Smart refrigerators these days can keep a grocery list for you, check the current inventory when you are out and about and have adjustable zones for when you have more produce than deli or need a bit more freezer space. Walk-in pantries are great for storing bulk items when on sale or for a party. They can also house the small appliances that you use only on occasion.
Find a few open house events in your area this week and take a tour to see what kitchen items you cannot live without.
Pick a date
The best time to set a closing date is at the end of the month as interest at the table is at its lowest then, and you'll want to pick a closing date around the same time your current lease is set to lapse.
Take your time
The conclusion of the closing means you have committed 20-30 years of your life toward repaying a house loan. So take time to ensure you understand the full implications of the agreement you're signing. If you feel there's something unclear, don't hesitate to ask. Don't rush—you can even back out of the deal at that point. You can request the closing documents a few days before the date of closing so that you have time to go through them with a fine-tooth comb.
First, get title insurance. This kind of coverage offers your mortgage provider a measure of comfort in the event that the seller didn't really own the property they were offering you. What about you, the buyer? There is a similar policy available specifically for buyers. This insurance will give you some redress in the event there were some legal issues in previous sales on the property that have resulted in fraud claims against you or liens on the property.Also, begin arranging to have your new property insured. Before the closing date, start sourcing for home insurance quotes online or from the insurance companies you know. If you already have car insurance, getting a home insurance policy from the same provider might mean you'll pay lower premiums.
Inspect the new house
Conduct a thorough inspection of the property from top to bottom one more time asking yourself the following questions:
- Have any changes occurred to the house since you last viewed it?
- Have the repairs you requested on my last walk-through been done?
- Are amenities like water and electricity functioning as they should?
- Are the front and back yards as you left them or have some shrubs been removed or landscaping damaged?
- Has the seller removed all their belongings?
If the inspection raises some issues, delay the closing until they are resolved. Should you have already fixed a moving date, try to get cash compensation to compensate for outstanding work.
Ask your real estate agent any and everything you need to know before the closing.
A home showing can make or break your chances of selling your house. Therefore, you'll want to do everything possible to ensure that each home showing is a success.
Ultimately, there are several best practices for home showings that every home seller needs to know, and these practices include:
1. Clean and Declutter Your House
A tidy home is sure to garner homebuyers' attention. Comparatively, a messy house is unlikely to do you any favors in a competitive real estate market.
Allocate the necessary time and resources to clean your house. Mop the floors, wipe down the walls and perform assorted home interior cleaning. Also, don't forget to mow the front lawn, trim the hedges and ensure your house's exterior looks great.
In addition, eliminate clutter from your home as soon as possible. By doing so, you can show off the true size of your living space to potential buyers.
2. Remove Personal Belongings from Your Home
Although you may have many personal photographs and other treasured mementos scattered throughout your house, you should put these items away before a home showing. That way, you can make it easy for homebuyers to envision what life might be like if they purchase your house.
When it comes to personal belongings, it sometimes can be tough to hide these items. However, if you store your personal belongings properly, you can guarantee these items will maintain their quality and appearance until you sell your house.
Pack up any treasured belongings carefully. Then, you can put these items in a storage unit for safe keeping. Or, if a family member or friend has storage space to spare, you can always ask a loved one to store your personal belongings temporarily.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
If you're unsure about how to host a successful home showing, you're not alone. Thankfully, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals know what it takes to transform an ordinary home showing into an unforgettable experience.
A real estate agent can offer expert recommendations to help you get your house show-ready. In fact, a real estate agent can put you in touch with the best home cleaning companies in your area. He or she also is unafraid to be honest and will share any home interior or exterior concerns with you.
Furthermore, a real estate agent will teach you about the real estate market. He or she can educate you about the differences between a buyer's and seller's market, respond to your home selling concerns and questions and much more. Thus, if you work with a real estate agent, you should have no trouble making informed decisions throughout the home selling journey.
Take the guesswork out of prepping your house for a showing – use the aforementioned best practices, and you can improve the look and feel of your house in no time at all.
The last thing you want to experience after purchasing a new home is "buyer's remorse!" With that in mind, it pays to look at all angles when house shopping. Although emotions and first impressions are going to play a big role in your home-buying decisions, a thoughtful analysis of the pros and cons of every home that appeals to you will help ensure you're making the best decision for you and your family.
While your real estate agent will help you find houses for sale that have the necessary number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and square footage, you'll need to make sure they're fully aware of your "wish list," your desired lifestyle, and your personal preferences. Here a few examples:
Commuting distance: Unless you've found your dream home that's absolutely perfect in every way (if such a thing exists), a long commute to work, every day, could dampen your enthusiasm about an otherwise great house. Since everyone has a difference tolerance for long commutes, there's no hard-and-fast rule for that facet of home buying. Having a comfortable vehicle, listening to books on tape, or streaming your favorite music or radio programs can help make a long commute more acceptable -- even enjoyable. If you take a train to work, every day, you also have the option of catching up on your reading, preparing for meetings, or even meditating. So while a long commute does not have to be a "deal breaker," it is an important factor worth pondering.
Privacy level: This is another aspect of home ownership that's based on personal preferences. However, if you realize -- after the fact -- that you don't have enough privacy from neighbors or passersby, then you might end up feeling less-than-satisfied with your new home. Fortunately, you can compensate for lack of privacy by installing fences or planting privacy hedges, but the best laid plans are generally formulated before you make a purchase offer. If you consider privacy to be a high priority, always take notice of a house's distance from neighbors and streets.
Leaky basements: Although there are solutions for wet basements, there's a lot of expense and inconvenience associated with having to implement them. Excessive moisture can not only damage stored furniture, books, and other belongings, but it's also a fertile breeding ground for mold and mildew. A qualified home inspector will generally point out issues like that, but it's much better to notice them before you get to that advanced stage in the home-buying process.
An experienced real estate agent who represents your interests can provide valuable guidance and help you notice potential "red flags" that could adversely affect your future enjoyment of a home. A buyers' agent can offer you the expertise, professional insights, and objective point of view you might not otherwise have.
If you want to achieve the best-possible results during the house selling journey, you need to be flexible. Because if your initial home selling strategy fails to deliver the desired results, you need to be ready to make adjustments.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you revamp your home selling strategy.
1. Analyze the Local Housing Market
The local housing market may play a role in your house selling success or failure. If real estate market conditions have changed since you originally listed your home, you need to adapt accordingly. Otherwise, you risk falling behind rival home sellers in a fierce real estate market.
Oftentimes, it helps to monitor home sales in your city or town. This will allow you to see if houses similar to your own are selling quickly. It also enables you to understand how your house stacks up against the competition and may help you find ways to differentiate your home from comparable residences.
2. Review Your Home Listing
If you find that buyers rarely set up home showings or visit open house events at your residence, now may be the perfect time to assess your home listing. That way, you can explore innovative ways to use your home listing to engage and inform buyers about your residence.
Generally, it helps to make a home listing as clear and concise as possible. If buyers can read your home listing and retrieve accurate information about your house, they can determine if your residence matches their expectations.
You may want to include high-resolution images of your home in your listing as well. These images can help you show off the true size and beauty of your residence to buyers. Plus, they may help you distinguish your home listing from all others.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
For those who are struggling to stir up interest in a house, it may be beneficial to hire a real estate agent. In fact, with a real estate agent at your side, you can receive expert assistance as you navigate the house selling journey.
A real estate agent understands what it takes to make a home an attractive choice to buyers. He or she will learn about you and your home and analyze your past house selling efforts. Then, a real estate agent will offer recommendations to help you promote your residence to the right groups of buyers.
In addition, a real estate agent will set up home showings and open house events to showcase your residence to buyers. And if a buyer submits an offer to purchase your house, a real estate agent will help you determine whether to accept, reject or counter this proposal.
As you try to sell your home, you may want to consider revising your house selling plan. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can revamp your home selling strategy and move one step closer to enjoying a fast, profitable house selling experience.