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Selling Safety: Home Improvements That Pay

by Karen Picarello

While many homeowners want to believe that investing in extensive renovations will increase the value of their home, the truth is that often these expensive changes do not manage to pay for themselves completely. While they may be necessary to help your home sell at all, you may not end up feeling like your investments were particularly worth it. However, there are some things you can do if selling on a budget which almost always help to sell a property. For the most part, these improvements are small relatively cheap things that are highly visible, or which will appeal to buyers on an emotional level.

A great example of this type of home improvement is the installation of home security features. Whether it is exterior lighting, cameras, or alarms for entrances, home security is something which can be improved without paying the huge sums commonly associated with major home renovations. While there will be a price tag, you can get some improvements done for a much more modest amount.

Additionally, these are highly visible features which you can show to guests touring your home, and which can help people visualize themselves taking ownership and living happily in the property. When moving into a new location, owners are often concerned about the things that they might not notice on an initial inspection. A house can be in great condition yet still be a purchase which they regret if the neighborhood or surrounding area do not allow them to feel safe. And with people more concerned with privacy than ever, assuring potential buyers that they will be well protected in their own space is a great first step towards securing a sale.

One of the major questions about installing a home security system in your home will be what infrastructure do you already have in place to support it? For example, installing security cameras can be done quickly and easily if the electrical system is designed to accommodate such things, but you may find that your home is lacking electrical wiring for improvements. This could cause it to become much more expensive. If you consult with a security professional, you will be able to figure out which upgrades you can do quickly and cost effectively, and you can then point out to potential buyers the benefits of living in a home with these features. Make you r home a place where a buyer would feel safe, and you will dramatically improve your outcomes when bringing the home to market.

Moving to a New City? Tips for Success

by Karen Picarello

Moving can always be a stressful time, but this is particularly true when you will be moving to a place which is very different from your previous environment. Moving to a city which is far from your previous living space can come with a whole host of problems. However, if you are prepared you can ensure that things are as smooth as possible.

Before you make the move, you should do everything possible to prepare. Here are a few ideas for things to do some research on.

First, look at the cost of living. Things like food, utilities, and transportation might be much more expensive (or possibly a bit cheaper) after the move. Having a good idea of how these expenses will change can help you budget for the move. When moving, you should always make sure that you have a solid financial cushion. There will be unexpected costs associated with the move, and you will need to be able to handle them until you can adjust to your new routine.

Ideally, you should have employment lined up before the move. While this is not always possible, moving to a new location without a solid plan for employment or a good financial cushion could quickly put you in a bad position. At the very least make sure that you have a solid contingency plan with some room for things to go differently than you expect.

If possible, go out and spend a few days in the area you plan to live. This can help you get a feel for the community, and an understanding of the neighborhood. Additionally, this can help you feel more comfortable when you move in, as you will already have a good idea of where some local places are. Instead of having to look for a grocer or restaurant, being somewhat familiar with them already can drastically increase your mental comfort and reduce your stress levels during the move.

Finally, be prepared for the fact that you may not sleep comfortably the first few nights, so make some allowances in your schedule. You want to be able to move in ahead of things like work start dates so that you will have sufficient time to orient yourself and become comfortable. Once you become comfortable in the area, you will be in a much better mental spot to be successful.

 

 

6 Steps to Buy a Home

by Karen Picarello

Buying a home can be an intimidating process. Whether it is your first time or you have owned several properties, you likely have many questions about the process. Because many people spend a great deal of time in between purchases of homes, they might be unsure about how things have changed since they last used the market. While I will not be able to cover everything here, this small list might help you to get a better idea of how a home purchase goes in general.

  1. Find your Budget. Your absolute first priority should be establishing your budget for the new property. Before you even start looking, figure out things like how much you will be able to put into a home each month, what down payments will be required, and how much money you can get approved to borrow from your lender. Homeowners frequently leave these details until later than they should, and sometimes pay the price. Make sure that you budget for everything, from fees during the transaction to costs associated with the move to proper maintenance and upkeep of your future property.
  2. Talk with your creditor, and get as much as you can from them. Being prequalified or preapproved for credit will help you to establish trust with potential sellers, and will help you feel peace of mind knowing what you have to work with.
  3. Find an agent, and start the search. When buying a house, you want to find an agent to work for you. Their financial responsibility will be towards you, and so they can look out for you rinterests during the transaction. Additionally, their experience will allow them to smoothly guide you through the entire process. By this point, you should have a clear idea of what type of property you want.
  4. Inspect the Home. Once you find a prospective property, make sure you don’t rush into a deal. Take your time and make sure you really understand the value of the property before you make any offer.
  5. Fill Out Paperwork. Work with your creditor and agent to ensure that all paperwork is done promptly and completely.
  6. Buy the Property. When the sale closes, you will take ownership of the property. Be prepared to make a smooth transition, and make sure that you are completely ready to take this final irreversible step.

When Should You Look for a Starter Home?

by Karen Picarello

Many millennials dream of owning a home, but worry about economic instability, and their own financial solubility. Many millennials were in a great position to observe the housing crash  a decade ago, and are therefore somewhat gun shy at the idea of jumping into the world of home ownership.

If you are trying to determine if a home purchase is on the horizon, here are a few tips to help put your mind at ease.

First, your decision about whether to purchase a home should largely be based on two factors. First, your creditworthiness and financial situation, and second, your future plans. If you want to purchase a home, a large part of the process will depend on things like your credit score and income. Saving up money for a down payment can be daunting but can help you to get the stability you need to forge ahead confidently. If your credit is poor, you may not be in a great position to look for home ownership. However, still do your homework. Talk to an agent and determine if there are options for you available.

The reasons that purchasing a home can be better than renting is that a home is one of the best investments you can make. With that said, you need to remember that homes are a long term investment. It is incredibly difficult to predict how a market might develop in 1, 5, or 15 years. With that said, the longer a period of time that passes, the better chances you have of making your investment pay off. So, if you are planning on staying in the area for at least 5 years, owning a home is a great choice.

This is also a great way to prepare you for your future. If you are looking to purchase your first home, you likely are just starting your career. You will learn what types of property you like, and what you want to avoid. Look for a property in a good area that fits your needs.

If you have questions, don’t hesitate to call today to talk to an experienced agent. Finding a home which fits you is the most important thing, and this is best done with the help of a professional. If you want to start a family, career, or simply want to invest, look into buying your first starter home today.

 

Insurance When Buying or Selling a Home

by Karen Picarello

Insurance is one of the most important parts of good financial planning. One inescapable fact of finance is that you can’t plan for every eventuality. Sometimes bad things happen, and you must find ways to deal with them. Insurance is your tool for making sure that a freak accident does not cost you financial stability for the rest of your life.

If you are selling a home, some homeowners can be tempted to cancel their insurance early. Make sure that you discuss with your agent and your lawyer exactly when you can cancel your insurance policy on the property. Typically, you should not do this until ownership has been legally transferred. Even if you have signed a contract so that neither party can back out of the sale, you must absolutely keep your insurance current. Should a disaster occur, you could be put in an incredibly bad legal position.

When buying, you will need to make sure that you have an insurance policy ready to take effect when you finalize the transaction. If coverage lapses between papers being signed and damage being done, you could end up on the hook for the bill but without a functional property. Additionally, insurance inspections and assurances can help you feel peace of mind that you will not discover any huge and expensive surprises upon moving into the property. Finally, you may not even be able to secure your loan If you cannot assure your creditor that the property is and will be insured.

So, if you are buying a property, you first will need to discuss with your lawyer or agent about when you will legally be responsible for the property. Once you have a date you are certain about, you should do everything in your power to make sure that insurance will kick in on or before that date. Work together with the seller to make sure that you have all of the information you need so that you will not end up holding up the sale. An honest seller will be happy and interested in making sure that you have all the tools you need to proceed with he sale in good faith.

Finally, it can be a good idea to consider purchasing a home warranty, which can help cover damages in the property. Do some research, and figure out if this is right for you.

Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5

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TeamPicarello
RE/MAX Fine Properties North Scottsdale
21000 N. Pima Road, Suite 100
Scottsdale AZ 85255
Office: (480)860-8733
888-548-8713
Fax: (480)860-8755