Lorraine Kuney's Blog
19 Old Post Rd, Walpole, MA 02032
Ready to enter the real estate market for the first time? As a first-time homebuyer, you may encounter many challenges as you kick off your search for the perfect house. However, property buyers who understand these challenges will be better equipped than others to overcome such difficulties quickly and effortlessly.
Now, let's take a look at three common challenges that first-time homebuyers may face:
1. You don't know what to look for in a house.
You know you want to own a house, but how do you define your "dream" residence? Ultimately, you'll want to consider what you'd like to find in your perfect house so you can map out your real estate search accordingly.
Creating a checklist of things you'd like to have in your dream home usually represents a great starting point for first-time homebuyers. This checklist should include both "must-haves" and "wants" and can help you narrow your search for the ideal residence.
2. You aren't sure how much money you have available to purchase a home.
How much can you spend to acquire a residence? Without a budget, you may struggle to begin your real estate search.
Lucky for you, many banks and credit unions make it simple to get pre-approved for a mortgage.
Set up meetings with a few lenders in your city or town – you'll be glad you did. These lenders can help you assess your current financial situation, outline all of your mortgage options and ensure you can gain pre-approval for a mortgage.
With a mortgage in hand, you may be better equipped than other homebuyers to secure your ideal residence. This mortgage will help you determine exactly how much you can spend on a home. Plus, getting pre-approved for a mortgage can help you avoid the temptation to spend beyond your financial means to acquire your dream house.
3. You don't know what it takes to go from homebuyer to homeowner.
The homebuying process can be long and complicated, especially if you have no idea about what to expect from it. Fortunately, real estate agents are available to help you take the guesswork out of going from homebuyer to homeowner.
A real estate agent is a housing market professional who is happy to share his or her insights with you. He or she will respond to your homebuying concerns and queries and teach you about all stages of the homebuying cycle.
Furthermore, a real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you up to date about new houses as they become available and negotiate with property sellers on your behalf. This housing market professional will even go above and beyond the call of duty to guarantee you can purchase a home that you'll be able to enjoy for years to come.
When it comes to buying a home for the first time, there is no need to navigate the homebuying journey alone. Instead, collaborate with a real estate agent, and you can accelerate the process of acquiring a top-notch house at a budget-friendly price.
If you intend to sell your home, your goal is to get more for it than what you paid. That goal can become achievable if your house is still attractive. But, in a case where the paint in your house is falling off the kitchen cabinets, the fence is wobbly, and every room seems to be tired-looking, then a home renovation is the best way to get the best resale value for your home.
A home renovation helps you boost your home's appraisal value, but before you begin renovating, it is essential to know which projects will raise your home’s worth. Which renovations can boost your home's selling price?
Upgrade the kitchen.
Installing new appliances and cabinetry usually will cost you a pretty penny, but you can easily give your kitchen a face-lift by making some affordable cosmetic changes. Painting cabinets a neutral color is a perfect way to cover up scratches without breaking the bank. Putting sparkling new knobs on cabinets and purchasing new faucets for the sink make it fresh and appealing to the eyes. Install an island if you have the budget. Potential home buyers make a beeline for the kitchen when they first view a home for sale, so ensure this room looks clean and reasonably upgraded to attract families with children.
Dress Up the Bathroom.
When it comes to increasing your home value, the bathroom is almost as essential as the kitchen. If your toilet is dirty, old, or doesn't flush properly, it is a turn-off to any potential buyer. A new shower, bathtub, or toilet will be a great value booster. Another great value booster? Bring natural light in the bathroom by adding a window and installing a glass shower door.
The demand for energy-efficient houses is on the rise thus making your home more green will increase its value. Anything that helps keep heat in your home during the winter months and out during the summer months is a huge plus. Furthermore, you can put solar panels on the roof for sustainable power generation as well as installing energy-saving LED light bulbs.
Affordable smart gadgets like fire detectors, security cameras, carbon monoxide detectors, and learning thermostats will incredibly boost your home value. You will be sure to get more than what you spent on installing these devices, especially when you meet a "techie" buyer.
Don't Forget the Outside.
For many home buyers, what your home looks like on the outside is as essential as what it looks like on the inside. Painting the door, getting a new doormat, trimming the shrubs, putting some potted plants on the front porch, removing debris from the gutters, raking up old leaves, buying a new mailbox, and replacing the door knobs and even improving the yard fence will increase your home value without busting your budget.
Speak to your real estate agent to know what home buyers in your area are looking for so that you give yourself the best chance of getting a quick sale on the market.
Although location is one of the most important factors that will impact the marketability of your home, it's not the only thing prospective buyers are thinking about.
If they're organized, focused, and serious about finding the right property for their needs, they've probably developed a detailed checklist of "must haves" and a "wish list."
In all likelihood, those who are working with a real estate agent are being shown properties that conform to their requirements and many of their wish-list items. A comprehensive list would include everything from the number of bedrooms and bathrooms they want to square footage and the quality of the school district.
Many people also have specific preferences about features like floor plans, amount of storage space, the size of the backyard, architectural style, and the availability of a fireplace, patio, porch, deck, eat-in kitchen, two-car garage, and privacy features. Some are even looking for the traditional white picket fence in front of the house!
While your home can't be "all things to all people," it is highly recommended to target the widest possible audience. Your agent, a home staging consultant, or a home decorator can provide you with valuable tips on how to achieve that outcome.
Stand Out and Get Noticed
Just looking good on paper, though, is not always enough to attract motivated buyers. Prospects need to love what they see and be inspired to envision themselves living in your house. Doing what you can to create irresistible curb appeal is one vital aspect of making a great first impression. A manicured lawn, a fresh coat of paint (if needed), and some strategic home staging -- inside and out -- can make all the difference in your results!
Curb appeal is vitally important because that sets the stage, so to speak, for creating high expectations in your prospects. Once you get them in a positive frame of mind, they'll be more inclined to notice all the positive aspects of your home. If your house meets all or most of their requirements and is arranged in a way that's pleasing to them, a purchase offer and negotiations may be right around the corner.
One of the most crucial hurdles to clear in getting prospects to consider buying your house is to help them imagine living, relaxing, raising a family, and pursuing their interests in your home. Your real estate agent can help you effectively stage the interior and exterior of your home to make it inviting and appealing to the widest range of potential buyers.
You can support their sales and marketing efforts by making sure your home is always clean, fresh smelling, and ready to be shown at a moment's notice to house hunters. Doing your best to eliminate clutter, keeping counter tops neat, and making sure pets are on their best behavior (or happily frolicking at the local "doggie daycare" center) can play a key role in winning over interested buyers and successfully selling your home!
Being in the market for a new home can be both an exciting experience and a scary one! It not only represents a huge financial commitment, but it also forces you to step out of your "comfort zone."
That's especially true if you're a first-time home buyer. When you make the switch from being a renter to a home owner, you no longer have the "luxury" of depending on your landlord for repairs, yard maintenance, or help with plumbing emergencies. Now, when the AC quits or the furnace conks out, the responsibility (and cost) of getting it fixed rests squarely on your shoulders!
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to minimize the possibility of incurring major expenses during the first couple years of owning a home. While there are (usually) no guarantees that household mechanical systems won't fail or that other crises won't befall you as a new homeowner, there are choices you can make that will reduce the chances of being saddled with unexpected expenses.
Buying a home with a newer roof, energy-efficient appliances, updated HVAC system, and a dry basement are four ways you can sidestep many predictable problems down the road. Wear and tear will eventually take its toll on everything from hot water heaters to microwave ovens, but if you can postpone having to replace appliances, roofs, and climate-control systems for several years or more, it will be a lot easier on you and your budget!
So all things being equal, home ownership will be more pleasurable and affordable if you choose a home with recent upgrades, replacements, and improvements -- preferably, those done within the past five or ten years. Besides comparing the maintenance history of houses you're considering, there's also the essential step of hiring an experienced structural inspector. When you've narrowed down your house-buying possibilities to one preferred home, a property inspector can help you identify "red flags" and potential problems before you close on that house.
As your real estate agent will probably tell you, if any major problems are identified in the home inspection process, you may be in a position to renegotiate the agreement or withdraw your offer, entirely. Since legalities are often complex and every real estate transaction is different, however, it's always essential to consult with an experienced real estate attorney whenever questions, problems, or complications arise in a real estate purchase or sale.
While it's a good idea to "expect the unexpected" when purchasing and moving into a new home, it pays to work with a team of trusted advisors. Working with a seasoned real estate agent, a knowledgeable real estate attorney, and a reputable property inspector will help make sure that your experience is both satisfying and relatively problem free! Knowing what you want and being adamant about what matters most to you should also serve you well in the house buying process.