Posted by Marie Presti on 2/17/2019

Entering the housing market for the first time can be daunting, particularly for those who want to quickly and seamlessly buy a top-notch residence at an affordable price.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline the process of navigating the homebuying process.

Now, let's take a look at three vital tips to help a first-time homebuyer acquire a residence that matches or exceeds his or her expectations.

1. Analyze the Housing Market

The housing market constantly changes, and as a result, differentiating between a buyer's market and a seller's market can be tough. Fortunately, a homebuyer who analyzes the real estate sector closely should have no trouble discovering a variety of outstanding houses at budget-friendly prices.

To assess the housing market, you'll first want to look at the prices of residences that are currently available. This will enable you to better understand the prices of homes in cities and towns where you'd like to live.

Next, you should analyze the prices of recently sold houses in your region. With this housing market data in hand, you can find out whether you're preparing to buy a home in a buyer's market or a seller's one.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

A first-time homebuyer may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage. That way, you can prepare a homebuying budget and narrow your home search accordingly.

To obtain a mortgage, you'll want to meet with several banks and credit unions. This will allow you to learn about all of the mortgage options at your disposal and make an informed mortgage decision.

Furthermore, don't forget to share your mortgage concerns and questions with potential lenders. This will enable you to choose a mortgage that won't force you to overspend to acquire your ideal house.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Let's face it – the homebuying journey can be long and arduous, particularly for a homebuyer who is exploring residences for the first time. But with a real estate agent at your side, you can remove the guesswork of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

A real estate agent is an expert of his or her craft, and as such, will do everything possible to help you achieve your homebuying goals.

Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you and learn about your homebuying expectations. This housing market professional also will set up home showings, keep you up to date about new residences that fall within your price range and negotiate with home sellers on your behalf.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will help you alleviate stress throughout the homebuying cycle. A real estate agent understands the challenges of buying a house and will do whatever it takes to help you avoid or overcome potential homebuying hurdles.

Don't miss out on an opportunity to purchase your dream residence – use the aforementioned tips for first-time homebuyers, and you can boost your chances of acquiring a terrific house without breaking your budget.




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Posted by Marie Presti on 2/10/2019

The lifetime warranty. We’ve all heard about the wonders of owning an item with a lifetime warranty, but few of us actually own such products. Well, few of us are aware of it anyway.

The home is where we pour most of our money into. It seems like things are constantly breaking and needing to be replaced or repaired. But few of us check to see if the item has a manufacturer’s warranty. Nor do we remember if we bought an extended warranty.

In this article, we’re going to give you some tips on how to take advantage of warranties you may not know that you have, and how to shop wisely for warrantied products in the future.

But first, we’ll impart some general warranty knowledge.

Understanding the warranty

A warranty is a written guarantee provided to the purchaser of an item that they will repair or replace the item if it isn’t functioning as intended.

In most cases, there are time limits and exceptions to a warranty. Manufacturers know that their products won’t really last forever, so they plan for the eventual breakdown of the product from wear and tear.

Similarly, manufacturers don’t want you to misuse the product and then ask for a replacement, so they list exceptions to their warranties. To find out if one of your household items is under warranty, you can often check the manufacturer’s website.

To ensure you’re eligible for a warranty or replacement, it’s often necessary to have a copy of your purchase receipt which shows where and when you bought the item.

We know--keeping track of receipts is an annoyance few of us want to participate in. So, an easier solution is to keep an app like Google Drive or Dropbox on your phone with a folder called “receipts” or “warranties.” Then, the next time you make a purchase, simply snap a photo of the receipt and keep in in your drive.

Extended warranty warning

Many retailers will pitch you an extended warranty when you buy a product. Some of them are worth it, but most of the time you’re better off foregoing these add-ons.

Oftentimes, products are already covered by a manufacturer warranty. And, in some cases, the cost of the item is so low that owning a protection plan isn’t worthwhile.

Warrantied items you may not know about

Now that you know how to keep track of your warranties, let’s talk about some important items that you may not know has a warranty.

  • Roofing. Roofs are expensive and don’t last forever. However, many manufacturers promise 20 years of good service from your shingles.

  • Vinyl siding. Another expensive exterior item, siding is often warrantied by common manufacturers, including several “limited lifetime warranties.”

  • Tupperware. If there’s one product on this list you’ve probably heard of, it’s Tupperware. They’ve been famous for their lifetime warranties for decades.

  • Pampered Chef. This company makes an array of kitchen related products. Many of their items come with lifetime warranties.

  • Craftsman. Their power tools are affordable and include a lifetime warranty.




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Posted by Marie Presti on 2/3/2019

Curb appeal is paramount for a home seller. Because if you allocate time and resources to enhance your house's curb appeal, you may be better equipped than ever before to enjoy a successful home selling experience.

There are many reasons for a home seller to improve his or her house's curb appeal, and these are:

1. You can differentiate your house from the competition.

The real estate market is fierce, and as a home seller, it is important to look for any competitive advantage. Fortunately, upgrading your house's curb appeal may help you differentiate your residence from the competition.

Remember, a home with a beautiful front lawn, flawless siding and other dazzling exterior features is more likely than other houses to make a positive first impression on buyers. If you improve your house's curb appeal, you can make your residence an attractive choice to homebuyers. And as a result, homebuyers may be drawn to your residence as soon as it becomes available.

2. You can boost the likelihood of maximizing your home sale earnings.

Optimizing the value of your home sometimes can be difficult, particularly for a seller who is unsure about how to list a residence and promote it to potential buyers. If you enhance your house's curb appeal, however, you may be able to maximize your home sale earnings.

A home with great curb appeal is likely to stand out to potential buyers, and as such, lead to many home showings. Meanwhile, if buyers like what they see, there could be lots of competition to acquire this residence. And if a seller receives multiple offers to purchase his or her home, this individual could reap the benefits of a profitable home selling experience.

3. You can speed up the house selling process.

The home selling process may be long and challenging, especially if a seller enters the real estate market without a strategy in place. Thankfully, a seller who improves his or her house's curb appeal can speed up the home selling cycle.

A house that makes a memorable first impression on buyers may prove to be a popular choice, regardless of the current real estate market's conditions. If a seller enhances a home's curb appeal, this individual can make it simple for buyers to fall in love with his or her house right away.

If you need assistance as you get ready to list your home, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent as well. This housing market professional can offer tips to help you improve your residence's curb appeal. Plus, as you proceed along the home selling cycle, a real estate agent will help you determine the best course of action.

Prioritize your home's curb appeal – you'll be glad you did. If you dedicate time and resources to improve your house's curb appeal today, you could bolster your home's appearance and make your residence a top choice in a competitive real estate market.





Posted by Marie Presti on 1/27/2019

Establishing a competitive initial asking price for your house often can be difficult. Fortunately, we're here to help you determine the ideal asking price for your home, regardless of the current housing market's conditions.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you set the right initial asking price for your home.

1. Study the Housing Market

How does your residence stack up against the competition? Evaluate the prices of comparable houses in your city or town, and you can narrow your home price range.

Furthermore, it helps to examine the prices of recently sold residences in your area. With this housing market data, you can find out whether you're preparing to enter a buyer's or seller's market. Then, you can map out your home pricing strategy accordingly.

2. Conduct a Home Appraisal

A home appraisal offers a valuable learning tool for a home seller. It allows a seller to receive expert insights into the value of his or her residence. As a result, a seller can get a property valuation from a home appraiser and use this figure to establish a competitive home asking price.

In addition, it may be beneficial to conduct a home inspection prior to listing your house. An inspection enables you to learn about any problems that may affect your house's value. And if you choose, you can use a home inspection report to prioritize assorted home repairs that may help you boost the value of your house.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you're unsure about how to price your residence, there is no need to stress. In fact, you can hire a real estate agent to receive comprehensive support at each stage of the home selling journey.

A real estate agent is happy to help you assess your house and determine the right price for it. He or she is unafraid to be honest, and as such, will offer unbiased home pricing recommendations. That way, you can establish a competitive price from day one of the home selling journey and increase the likelihood of a quick home sale.

Also, a real estate agent goes above and beyond the call of duty to assist a home seller. This housing market professional will set up home showings and open house events to showcase your residence to prospective buyers. Plus, he or she will keep you up to date about offers on your residence. A real estate agent will even negotiate with a buyer's agent on your behalf to ensure you can maximize your home sale earnings.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will respond to your queries throughout the home selling journey. If you ever have home selling concerns or questions, you can simply talk to your real estate agent and receive expert support.

Take the guesswork out of pricing your residence – use the aforementioned tips, and you can set a competitive price for your home in any housing market, at any time.





Posted by Marie Presti on 1/20/2019

Listing a house may seem like a long, arduous process, especially for a first-time home seller. But with the right real estate agent at your side, you can receive expert support at each stage of the home selling journey.

What does it take to hire a diligent real estate agent to ensure you can sell your house? Here are three tips to help first-time home sellers employ the ideal real estate agent.

1. Conduct a Comprehensive Search

Search far and wide for a real estate agent – you'll be glad you did. With an extensive search, you can learn about the pros and cons of working with various real estate agents in your area and plan accordingly.

Don't hesitate to reach out to friends and family members for real estate agent recommendations. If friends and family members enjoyed outstanding experiences with certain real estate agents, it may be a great idea to contact the housing professionals who have helped your loved ones achieve their home selling goals.

Also, look for real estate agents who boast many years of industry experience. These housing market professionals are likely to understand the ins and outs of selling a residence. As such, they may be better equipped than other real estate agents to help you optimize the value of your house.

2. Ask Plenty of Questions

If you find a real estate agent who seems like a viable candidate to help you sell your residence, it is important to set up a face-to-face meeting. That way, you can ask questions and determine whether this individual is the right person to assist you.

During a face-to-face meeting, find out what a real estate agent has to say about your residence. Typically, a diligent real estate agent will conduct extensive research before meeting with you and should be able to offer honest, unbiased home selling recommendations.

Furthermore, there is no such thing as a "bad" question, especially for those who are selling a house for the first time. And if you have questions for a real estate agent, a face-to-face meeting provides an excellent opportunity to get your queries addressed by a housing market expert.

3. Get Client Referrals

Ask real estate agents for client referrals. Then, reach out to past clients so you can better understand how a particular real estate agent has supported home sellers over the years.

If a client offers glowing recommendations of a real estate agent, this housing market professional may prove to be the best choice. On the other hand, a client who encountered problems with a particular real estate agent may help you avoid making the wrong decision as well.

Ultimately, the right real estate agent is someone who can help you sell your house and keep you informed as the home selling journey moves forward. And if you spend some time learning about the real estate agents in your city or town, you should have no trouble employing a top-notch real estate agent who can take the guesswork out of selling your residence.




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