Guy Bocicaut's Blog
When it comes to buying a home, there is no reason to let negotiations get the best of you. Fortunately, we're here to help you become an expert negotiator, i.e. someone who understands the ins and outs of obtaining a high-quality residence at a budget-friendly price.
What does it take to become an expert homebuying negotiator? Here are three negotiating tips that every homebuyer needs to know:
1. Act Quickly on a Home That You Like
If you fall in love with a home and are ready to make an offer on it, don't hesitate to put your best foot forward. Submit a competitive offer, and you may be able to avoid stressful negotiations with a home seller.
Understanding the true value of a residence is paramount for homebuyers. Conduct plenty of housing market research before you submit an offer, and you can better understand the prices of comparable houses in your area.
Also, if a home seller counters your initial offer, don't be afraid to negotiate. Be flexible, and you can boost your chances of securing your dream residence.
2. Do the Math
How much can you afford for a new home? You'll want to establish a homebuying budget before you enter negotiations with a home seller. Otherwise, you risk spending too much to acquire a residence.
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage may make it easy for you to avoid the temptation to overspend. With a mortgage in hand, you can search for houses that fit your price range.
In addition, be sure to account for closing costs and other fees that you may encounter down the line. If you fail to do so, you may wind up overspending on a residence.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
Homebuying negotiations can be time-consuming and expensive if you're not careful. Thankfully, real estate agents are available who can negotiate with a home seller on your behalf.
Hiring an experienced real estate agent usually is a good idea, particularly for first-time homebuyers. Stress and anxiety can be problematic during homebuying negotiations, but a real estate agent will ensure that you won't have to deal with these issues.
Your real estate agent has a simple goal: to ensure that you can purchase the best house at the best price. He or she will go above and beyond the call of duty to accomplish this goal. As such, employing a real estate agent to handle homebuying negotiations can make a world of difference for homebuyers nationwide.
Furthermore, your real estate agent will keep you informed throughout negotiations. This real estate professional will offer expert tips and recommendations and will never make a move without consulting with you. Perhaps best of all, your real estate agent will be happy to answer any of your homebuying concerns and queries, guaranteeing that you can make informed decisions throughout the homebuying process.
Work with a real estate agent as you prepare to enter negotiations to purchase a residence. By doing so, you can simplify the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.
Owning a second home or vacation home is the dream of many Americans hoping to retire in style. However, owning a second home can also be a huge financial asset and even an added form of income if you’re savvy with the rental process.
What stops most of us from buying a vacation home in our ideal getaway? The funding, of course. But, there are ways to plan ahead to ensure you’ll be ready to take the plunge and purchase a second home when the time comes.
In today’s blog post, we’re going to be talking about the steps to buying a home away from home and give you some tip on how to accomplish this goal in the most financially-sensible way possible.
1. Location is Key
When you buy a second home, you take on all the responsibilities of homeownership a second time. Since you won’t be around every day to tend to maintenance tasks and troubleshoot problems, you risk discovering costly repairs that could otherwise be avoided.
The most common issues to be concerned with are frozen pipes in northern climates, flooding in coastal areas, and problems like pests that can be found just about anywhere.
Depending on your budget, you might want a home you can drive out to on the weekends, meaning somewhere close by to your primary home. This option also makes it easier to stay up-to-date on home maintenance tasks before they become an issue.
2. Try before you buy
If your ideal vacation home is in an area you’re not totally familiar with, it’s a good idea to visit the neighborhood, talk to the locals, and gain their perspective on the area before buying.
This trip will also give you a sense of what you can expect to spend each time you visit the home. And, if you plan on renting out the property when you aren’t using it, you’ll be able to gauge what a reasonable rent price is for the location.
3. Earning income from your vacation home
Making extra cash from a home that you get to use pretty much whenever you want. Sounds like a dream, right? It can be if done properly, but you’ll need to ensure a few things before you can start earning income from your vacation property.
First, be aware that investment properties often require a larger down payment (typically 30%). Lenders also charge extra interest on homes that will be rented out.
Finally, there are local and state-level laws you’ll need to adhere to. These laws are designed to protect your interests as well as the people who rent out your property, so make sure you use a standard rental agreement for your area.
4. Making an offer
You’ve been here before. Once you’ve decided on a home, it’s time to start crafting your offer and negotiating with the seller’s agent.
However, before you pick a number, do some research on all of the expenses you’ll be paying on the house in question. Property taxes, homeowners association dues, utilities, and any other costs should be on your radar before determining if it’s the right home for your budget.
You’ll also want to be aware of the stipulations of renting out a property you own. This includes reporting income from renting your home to the IRS.
Now that you know the steps you’ll need to take to move toward your goal of buying a vacation home, you’ll be better equipped to make decisions that are best for you and your family’s future.
Looking to sell a house for the first time? Ultimately, your home's curb appeal may dictate how quickly you can proceed along the home selling journey.
Typically, a house with an awe-inspiring exterior will make a great first impression on homebuyers. This means homebuyers may become more likely to pay attention to this home over others and submit an offer that matches or exceeds a home seller's expectations.
On the other hand, a home that has a messy, uncut front lawn, cracked and chipped exterior paint and other exterior problems is unlikely to generate substantial interest from the right groups of homebuyers. As such, this home may remain on the housing market for an extended period of time.
Lucky for you, we're here to help you upgrade your house's curb appeal before you add your residence to the real estate market.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you bolster your home's curb appeal and increase your chances of a fast, profitable home sale.
1. Take an Objective Look at Your Home's Exterior
For first-time home sellers, it is important to do everything possible to guarantee that a residence stands out from the competition. And with a few simple home exterior improvements, a home seller can improve a house's curb appeal quickly.
Home exterior maintenance like mowing the front lawn, clearing debris from walkways and trimming the hedges can make a world of difference in the eyes of homebuyers.
Also, if you want extra help with home exterior tasks, don't hesitate to reach out to landscaping companies or other home exterior maintenance professionals. These home exterior experts should have no trouble helping you transform an ordinary home exterior into a dazzling one.
2. Conduct a Home Appraisal
A home appraisal offers a wonderful opportunity for a first-time home seller to identify potential home exterior issues and address such problems without delay.
During a home appraisal, a property inspector will assess a house both inside and out. He or she likely will spend several hours analyzing a house's strengths and weaknesses. Then, when the property inspector's evaluation is complete, he or she will provide a report that details the assessment findings.
A first-time home seller should analyze a home appraisal report closely. By doing so, this home seller can find out what it takes to upgrade a house's exterior and map out assorted home improvements accordingly.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
If a first-time home seller is unsure about how to improve a house's curb appeal, consulting with a real estate agent is ideal. This housing market professional can offer honest, unbiased home exterior improvement recommendations to help a home seller bolster a house's curb appeal.
Furthermore, a real estate agent is happy to respond to a home seller's concerns and questions throughout the home selling process. He or she will serve as a home selling guide and do everything possible to help a home seller achieve the optimal results.
Take the guesswork out of boosting a home's curb appeal – first-time home sellers can use the aforementioned tips to enhance a house's curb appeal in no time at all.
If a new home has you dreaming of new possibilities for your lifestyle. This seems to be especially true when buyers home of choice has a spare bedroom and/or finished basement. Upgrade your lifestyle by creating a room dedicated solely to your interests.
Here are five ideas that will have you feeling like you're living the luxe life.
A home gym is a perfect addition to a finished basement or large spare room. To get a true gym feel install large mirrors, a widescreen tv and built-in speakers. Depending on the size of the room and amount of large exercise equipment you include in your room you can make this room even more upscale. Investing in a sauna and/or tanning bed will provide the perfect source of relaxation after a strenuous workout.
If you are a creative having a room solely dedicated to your craft is a dream come true. Whether you’re a painter, writer, scrapbooker or seamstress a whole room to neatly organize the tools of your trade is a new level of freedom. Most likely you are accustomed to packing up and stashing them away after each time you create. Claim your space and let your artistic genius flow!
An increasingly popular addition in new homes is a gaming room. And not in the sense of darts and foosball. Instead, homeowners are creating a space dedicated solely to their multiple video game consoles and creating the perfect gaming environment. Installing surround sound and a large widescreen tv will have you feeling completely immersed in the game experience. A comfortable sofa and well-stocked mini fridge will keep you fueled for those long hours invested in beating your next game.
Another popular choice is a sports bar or what many would call a “Man Cave”. As with a gaming room, you’ll want to create the ultimate game day experience with surround sound and a large high-def tv. Leather couches and a wet bar that includes a built-in beer fridge are a must for this room. Bring in a healthy dose of team pride with framed posters, signed memorabilia and mascot emblazoned items. All that’s left is to prep some game day snacks and stock the fridge before inviting guests over to cheer on the home team.
A spare bedroom should be taken advantage of. Don’t let it become a giant storage closet or a hardly used guest room. Instead, create a room that is unique to you and your lifestyle. Whether you’re a creator, a gym junkie or game fanatic your own room will get more than its share of usage. By investing in your own interests you’ll be gifting yourself downtime and a happier future.
One of the biggest hurdles in becoming a homeowner is that of saving for a down payment. In today’s world, it’s hard for anyone to save sizable amounts of money due to the extreme cost of living in most areas. With less income and higher expenses, many people have less of an opportunity to save money.
Saving Isn’t Impossible
Many homebuyers are first-time homebuyers. While many simply dream of owning a home, others work to make it happen. Saving money is a goal. Once you save the money, you have made a real accomplishment. You’ll have a huge reward waiting for you once you reach your goal. How can you save effectively? There’s a few simple steps that will allow you to start saving for a down payment on a home. Remember that no matter how slow you go, every step is one step closer to hitting your goals.
Get A Savings Account
Preferably, the savings account that you open should be dedicated to your house expenses. Most of the time, your bank will allow you to set up automatic transfers from your checking account. See how much you can afford to save and set up these transfers. Each time you get a paycheck from work, have a certain amount put right into the savings account. You’ll be saving without even thinking about it.
Be Budget Friendly
Budgeting sounds complicated, but really, it’s quite simple. First, put your monthly gross income on a spreadsheet. Then subtract things like taxes and fees that come out of your paycheck. Next, subtract all of your necessary monthly costs. These can include student loan debt, car loans, rent, and how much money you spend on food and entertainment. There's so many little things that we spend our money on everyday, you may be surprised to see how much you’re spending and what you’re spending it on. Some categories are important and others are not.
See Where You Can Cut Costs
After you have made a concrete budget, see where you can cut some costs. If you need to cut out going to dinner and the movies, then do that. There’s bound to be something that you can cut out of your budget that’s not a necessity that can help you to save some cash. The sacrifice will be worth it in the end!
Indulge For Your House
Every time that you get a small bonus, a gift, or a tax refund, put it away. It can be tempting to want to go buy a brand new TV or spend your money on entertainment, but saving that money for your house fund will be a lot more rewarding.
The bottom line is that it won’t be a huge task saving your money for a down payment once you put your mind to it. Happy saving!