Lorraine Silverman's Blog
A condo can be a great resource in expanding your property search for a home. Condos allow the same benefits of traditional single family home ownership with slightly less hassle. If you have been juggling the idea of buying a condo versus a traditional home, you may be in luck. The first thing you should worry about is whether or not your needs will actually be met by condo living. Do you want a big yard? Are you comfortable having neighbors super close by? Most importantly, you need to make an informed decision that will help you to find the kind of property that’s right for you.
If you want a secure space and living that provides you with easy upkeep, a condo is really a great option. Condos provide many advantages that people may have not even thought of until now.
Condo living has different perks than that of traditional homes. Your condominium complex can include things like a swimming pool, a clubhouse, community events, tennis courts, fitness centers, and more. You won’t get all of these little extras living in a single family home. It can be a great environment for both single people and families alike.
Condos often offer either a gated community or security staff on the premises. These features allow you to feel a lot more secure in your home environment. Security will keep rowdy kids from roaming the property and only allow owners and their visitors. This feature alone may be worth it for many home buyers when shopping for a place to live.
If you’re the type of person who doesn’t enjoy yard work and is not a DIYer, condo living could be for you. Included with your condo fees is the ability to have different things in and around your home taken care of. Although the fees include different extras from place to place, Living in a condo is definitely less work as far as home care goes than a traditional house.
Although condos do include additional fees, the price point of most condos is much lower than that of a traditional home. If you are just starting out, a condo is a great way to ease into homeownership without needing to save up an exorbitant amount of money for a downpayment.
While condo living has many different advantages, they do carry some disadvantages for people. These include:
- HOA Fees
- Lack of privacy
- A difficult sell if you want to move
- You live under management rules
These points can be deal breakers for some buyers. While many relish their freedom from maintenance responsibility, others just want to do as they please with their yard without needing approval. A condo could be a great choice for you in your own situation, you just need to step back and look at the pros and cons.
Because real estate is a people-oriented business, most agents are happy to answer questions and provide advice after the sale. Whether you've enlisted their help to purchase a house or sell one, your working relationship does not have to end the moment you sign the final papers.
Professionals in the real estate business are generally service-oriented and interested in cultivating ongoing client relationships. If you've been fortunate enough to find a real estate agent who exceeded your expectations, then they'll most likely be a resource you'll want to use down the road. Assuming you had good rapport and that you're satisfied with their service, here are a few solid reasons to keep in touch.
Reliable source of advice: When you consider the training, knowledge, and experience that a seasoned real estate agent has, having them as a professional contact can benefit you in a number of ways. As an example, many agents are familiar with the impact home improvements can have on resale value. In other words, if you're thinking about upgrading, expanding, or altering your property, a knowledgeable real estate agent can provide insights into how that might affect your home's current and future market value. Since every type of home improvement brings with it a potential return on investment (ROI), it's an important aspect to consider when remodeling, adding an addition, or making a major change to your property. Many real estate agents have cultivated relationships with dependable contractors, remodelers, and installers to whom they may be happy to refer you, too. As a homeowner, you will invariably need reliable recommendations, sooner or later, and real estate agents are often a great source of contractor referrals. As you may have already discovered, it can be a frustrating experience to try to find a good home improvement contractor or other service provider when you're starting from scratch or relying on the credibility of online reviews.
Help for friends and family: If you're not planning on buying or selling a home in the near future, there's a good chance someone you know would benefit from the help and advice of a proven real estate professional. Even if a family member or acquaintance just needs assistance in finding an affordable apartment or house to rent, real estate agents often have the connections and resources to provide options that others may have overlooked.
Income and Investment properties: After shelling out tens of thousands of dollars to landlords, over the years, some homeowners consider "turning the tables" and becoming landlords and real estate investors, themselves. While this is certainly not a guaranteed path to financial independence, some people do become quite successful at it. If you have a tolerance for risk and the tenacity to pursue it, then your real estate agent may be able to help you find some worthwhile income properties. It's not for everybody, though!
Finding a real estate agent who's results oriented, experienced, and a pleasure to work with is not an everyday event, but when it does happen, they're worth keeping as a trusted advisor for many years to come!
The bad news about selling your home is that there are dozens of mistakes you might make that could result in a lost sale, unnecessary price reductions, and delays in finding a buyer.
The good news is that the vast majority of seller mistakes are completely avoidable -- especially when you have an experienced real estate agent guiding you through the process and providing you with ongoing advice and marketing assistance.
Pricing and Perception
Setting too high of a price for your home is a common mistake -- one that's often difficult to recover from. Since "the clock is ticking" from the moment your home officially goes on the market, it's important to make the most of those first few weeks.
House hunters are often strongly attracted to homes that are advertised as being "just on the market." Those words can be very compelling because they imply newness, a limited opportunity, and scarcity. As the advertising industry has known for generations, consumers are drawn to products and services that are new, fresh, and in demand. However, just like yesterday's news or day-old bread, the longer a house is on the market, the less appealing it becomes.
According to a Zillow study, homes for sale priced around or slightly below market value are almost 50 percent more likely to sell within 60 days than those priced 12 percent or more above market value.
Working with a knowledgeable real estate professional can help make sure you don't lose that initial out-of-the-gate momentum by pricing yourself out of the market. They'll base their recommendations on a number of factors, including a comparative analysis of recently sold homes in your neighborhood .
Here's a house-selling mistake that most people probably don't know about: You might be losing potential buyers because you've chosen an "odd selling price." The National Association of Realtors points out that listings may sometimes be excluded from Internet search results if the asking price is just a few thousand dollars above a typical pricing range. "Buyers search real estate websites for price ranges, such as 'homes between $250,000- $300,000.' If you set an odd price to make your listing stand out, say $302,499, you may miss some of your best potential customers."
If you realize after a few weeks that you've incorrectly priced your house, it not only becomes necessary to lower the price, but you also have to contend with a lower perceived value among prospective buyers.
A few other words and phrases that tend to whet the appetites of prospects searching for their next home include "move-in condition," "landscaped," and "updated." Many people also like the sound of granite countertops, maple hardwood floors, and gourmet kitchens.
While it pays to know a little about pricing, home staging, and buyer psychology, getting advice and guidance from a seasoned real estate agent is usually your best bet for producing the fastest and most satisfying results in selling your house.
After you buy or sell a house, you may have only a short amount of time to relocate to a new address. As such, it helps to plan ahead for moving day. Because if you start preparing for your move right away, you can budget accordingly.
There are many moving costs you need to account for as you prepare to relocate, and these expenses include:
The costs of moving boxes, packing tape and other packing supplies can add up quickly if you are not careful. Fortunately, if you consider what you will require so you can pack your belongings, you may be able to minimize your packing costs.
Oftentimes, you can repurpose cardboard boxes for appliances and use them for moving day. If you have empty cardboard boxes for appliances you purchased, you may be able to re-use these boxes during your move.
You also may want to reach out to local supermarkets. In some instances, grocery stores have empty cardboard boxes and bubble wrap that they no longer need. And in these cases, you can pick up assorted supplies that you can use to get ready for your upcoming relocation.
If you have a large collection of items but do not have a place to keep them at your new address, there is no need to stress. In fact, you can rent a storage unit to keep these items safe until you are ready to bring them to your new home.
A storage unit is valuable for those who are moving to a temporary location until they find a permanent house. Or, you may want to rent a storage unit if you still unsure about which items you want to bring to your new residence.
There is no shortage of storage unit providers in cities and towns nationwide. If you shop around, you can find a storage unit company that offers you the space you need to keep your items safe for the time being.
If you want expert help on moving day, you may want to hire a moving company. That way, you can work with a moving company that can accommodate your moving day requests at a budget-friendly price.
Of course, you should account for travel costs associated with food and fuel, too. And if you are relocating from one state to another, you also may need to account for hotel costs as part of your travel expenses.
If you are uncertain about how to prepare for moving day, you may want to consult with a real estate agent as well. In addition to helping you buy or sell a house, a real estate agent can help you plan for moving day. Best of all, he or she can offer tips to help you seamlessly relocate from one location to another.
Create a moving day budget – you will be happy you did. If you account for the aforementioned moving expenses, you can avoid the risk of spending beyond your means to get ready for moving day.