Buying a Home? How To Overlook Minor Blemishes

Young woman painting wall at homeWhen searching for a home to buy, keep your eyes open for possibilities when touring. If a home meets your price and location needs, it may require just a few modifications to suit your taste. Here are some tips about overlooking minor flaws and blemishes:

Old Homes
“Old” does not mean “bad”. Homes built many years ago have withstood the test of time. Many are well constructed with quality materials. Newer homes may offer more modern conveniences, but might lack that charm and character that an  older home offers.

Paint Colors 
Repainting a room is one of the most economic and easiest changes to be made to a home. Instead of focusing on the colors of a room, pay attention instead to a room’s structure.

If you do not care for the wallpaper selection in a home, remember this can be fixed by removing, covering over or replacing it.

Kitchen Appliances
Do not discount a home just because the kitchen’s appliances are older. A kitchen appliance such as a refrigerator can be replaced as long as the item fits your budget. You many need to live with the old appliance for a while and save up for a newer one.

Dated Decor
The decor in the home may not be to your taste, but you like the floor plan.  The home’s furniture will be gone when you move in and you can decorate rooms to your taste and style. So, forget about the flowery curtains or that funky chair.

There are many different types of flooring available at all price points. If you cannot afford to replace carpeting with hardwood floors, then a laminate that looks like hardwood may be the answer. Keep this in mind when you are touring a home with ugly green carpeting.

Popcorn Ceiling
A ceiling specialist can be hired to scrape off the popcorn look from the ceiling. It is best done before you move in as it is a messy job.

No Curb Appeal
Perhaps the home just needs bushes trimmed, flowers planted or the front door painted. A lack of curb appeal might need just a little TLC from you!

Need help fixing up a home? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services.Sibcy Cline Home Services. They can recommend experienced and vetted home-related vendors and services.

Eight Tips for a First-Time Home Buyer

House of clouds dream
You are thinking of purchasing your first home! It’s an exciting time. Here are eight tips to consider when taking that large step:

1. Stay on Budget 
A “starter” home is exactly that. Your first home will most probably not be your dream home and you will not live there forever. But, this starter home can help you build equity so down the road you can afford that dream home.

Before you begin your home search, talk to a mortgage loan officer to understand how much home you can afford. Besides the monthly mortgage payment, you will also need to consider property taxes, insurance, association fees, if any, as well as future maintenance costs.

2. House or Condominium
Depending upon your lifestyle, either a single-family house or condominium may be the best option. A condo gives you freedom from many outdoor maintenance chores. And you may also enjoy the benefit of a community pool, workout area or other amenities. On the other hand, that free-standing house is all yours to enjoy without the bother of a condominium association and its dues and rules.

3. New or Old
A newly built home will mean more modern conveniences and an open floor plan. However, older “existing” homes can offer charm as well as offer up-to-date features. If an older, fixer upper appeals to you, then expect some sweat equity (or an investment) to improve the home. Can you afford those costs or do the needed work yourself?

4. Location
You may need to be flexible about your location. A highly desirable area tends to have higher price tags for homes.

5. Must-Haves
When you make a list of the features you want in your first home, keep in mind that you probably will not get all of them. Make priorities for your list. Is a garage necessary? Do you really need a third bedroom? Does the kitchen need to be an open plan? Is the school district important?

6. Open Mind
You may need to see past the clutter and old home decor to see a home’s true potential. Look beyond a terrible paint selection and think of the possibilities of what the home has to offer.

7. Offers and Home Inspection
When making an offer on a home through your real estate agent, be prepared for a counter offer or rejection. If the real estate market is brisk, you may need to act fast with your offer in order not to lose out. If you do not ultimately get the home, do not stress. Remember, there will be another home for you.

If your offer for the home is accepted, the deal is not done. You will need to have a whole-house inspection on the property. If there are problems with the home, these issues will need to be addressed and negotiated. If the home shows serious defects, you may want to rescind your offer.

8. You’ve Bought the Home
Once you have purchased your first home, your work is not over. You will need to save for future home-maintenance expenses. And, speaking of home maintenance, it is important to keep your home in good shape on a seasonal basis. Fix small problems immediately so they do not grow into larger ones. Before doing any major renovations, think about how the changes will affect the resale value of your home. Over improving may not bring in more money when it is time to sell.

Start looking for homes here!

Buying a Home? Here Are 6 Tips

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Whether buying a home for the first time or the fifth time, you need to have a strategy in place. Here are 6 tips:

1. Get Pre-Approved
Pre-approval for a mortgage home loan lets you know how much home you can afford as well as gives you higher standing with sellers when a home purchase contract is submitted.

2. Work on Your Credit
If your loan officer finds issues with your credit, you will need to take care of these problems right away to clean up the credit history. (Sometimes there are errors on credit reports that need to be corrected.) Remember, a low credit score may hurt your chances for getting the best mortgage rate.

3. Work with An Agent
Your real estate agent will give you guidance throughout the home-buying process and will negotiate on your behalf. Your agent will also provide you with current market housing information for the areas of interest.

4. Narrow Your Home Search
Location is a very important factor when conducting your home search. You may want to live near work or family or shopping and the interstates. Or, a walkable neighborhood may be important to you. Once you have narrowed down locations, you will then need to decide what home features are most important to you. Make a list of the “must haves” of what you want in your next home.

5. Find That Home
You and your real estate agent can now search for homes that meet your criteria. At this point, you will be looking at homes on the Internet as well as touring homes in person. Be sure to keep good notes on homes toured. When you find a match, you will work on a purchase contract with your real estate agent who will add negotiation terms. Your agent will guide you in making a sensible offer.

6. Inspection
Before committing to a home purchase, it is wise to have a whole-house inspection to make sure it is in good condition and a sound investment.