Susan Fung's Blog
Ready to sell your condo? Ultimately, listing a condo can be simple, particularly for condo sellers who plan ahead.
Now, let's take a look at three questions that condo owners need to consider before listing their properties.
1. What do I need to do to sell my condo?
Condo rules and regulations vary. As such, you should consult with your homeowners' association (HOA) to find out if there are any requirements related to selling your condo.
For example, an HOA may require a new property buyer to receive HOA board approval to purchase a condo in a particular community. Or, if you have outstanding condo fees, you probably will need to pay off these charges before you can sell your property.
2. How much is my condo worth?
Although your condo community likely hires landscapers to help keep your property looking great, it is important to understand that a condo's interior plays an important role in the property's value. Thus, you should allocate the necessary time and resources to upgrade your condo's interior. This will enable you to improve your condo's interior and help it stand out to property buyers, thereby increasing the likelihood of a quick condo sale.
In addition, completing a property appraisal usually is an excellent idea. A property appraiser will inspect your condo and evaluate various housing market data to help you pinpoint the value of your residence. Then, you can obtain a property valuation that can help you establish a competitive price for your condo.
3. Do I need to hire a real estate agent?
When it comes to selling a condo, it often pays to hire a real estate agent. However, it is important to note that no two real estate agents are identical, and you should try to find a real estate agent who possesses extensive condo selling expertise.
Let's face it – a condo is very different from a house. A condo owner does not have to worry about property exterior maintenance in the same way that a homeowner does. Conversely, a condo owner must follow HOA requirements; otherwise, this property owner may face steep penalties.
A real estate agent with condo selling expertise understands the pros and cons of owning a condo. Therefore, this housing market professional knows how to work with condo sellers and ensure these individuals can achieve their desired results.
Typically, a real estate agent will meet with a condo owner and learn about his or her property selling goals. After the meeting, a real estate agent will help a condo owner map out a successful condo selling journey.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent with condo selling expertise is ready to respond to a property seller's concerns and questions. This housing market professional also will go above and beyond the call of duty to exceed a condo seller's expectations.
Take the guesswork out of selling your condo – consider the aforementioned questions, and you can speed up the property selling process.
Obtaining a home loan is a must for most homebuyers. However, there is a lot to think about to ensure a homebuyer can secure a loan that matches or exceeds his or her expectations.
Some of the key questions to consider about a home loan include:
1. What is a home loan's interest rate?
It is paramount to understand a home loan's interest rate, along with any associated loan fees. That way, a homebuyer will know exactly how much he or she will be paying over the life of a home loan.
If a homebuyer chooses a fixed-rate mortgage, he or she can lock in an interest rate for the duration of a home loan. This means a homebuyer will pay the same amount each month. And in many instances, a fixed-rate mortgage can be paid off early without penalty.
On the other hand, a homebuyer may prefer an adjustable-rate mortgage. With this type of mortgage, a homebuyer may receive a lower interest rate initially that rises after a set period of time.
Compare and contrast the different home loan options and their associated interest rates. By doing so, a homebuyer can make an informed home loan decision, one that serves him or her well both now and in the future.
2. Does a home loan require a minimum down payment?
Ask a lender about whether there is a minimum down payment required as part of a home loan agreement. Typically, a homebuyer will need to pay at least a small portion of a home's price to secure a home loan, and it certainly helps to have this information available before you start evaluating available residences.
In addition, it may be worthwhile to save as much money as possible prior to starting a home search. With money at your disposal, you may be better equipped than ever before to make a large down payment, thereby reducing the amount that you'll need for a home loan. Plus, you may even be able to boost your chances of getting a favorable home loan interest rate.
3. Will I need to provide legal documents to obtain a home loan?
Lenders will require you to provide proof of your income and assets, W-2 statements and other legal documents to finalize a home loan agreement. If you stay organized and have these documents readily available, you should have no trouble providing them to a lender as needed.
Overall, the home loan application process may vary from several weeks to many months. The time it takes to secure a home loan can be stressful, and if you need extra help along the way, it never hurts to reach out to a real estate agent.
With a real estate agent at your side, you can streamline the process of buying your dream home. This housing market professional can offer expert tips throughout the homebuying journey and ensure you can discover a great house at an affordable price.
Take the guesswork out of securing a home loan – consider the aforementioned questions, and you can move one step closer to getting the financing you need to obtain your ideal residence.
If you're like many busy gardeners, your garden shed isn't as organized as it could be. Perhaps you've been telling yourself for quite some time that you're going to get around to giving it an organizational makeover but run short on inspiration whenever you try to brainstorm a game plan. You've probably got items in and around your home that can easily be repurposed as containers for various garden supplies in your garden shed. Following are just five suggestions and how they can be used.
Milk crates make excellent all-purpose containers for a variety of items. Because they're stackable and easily labeled, you can easily customize them to meet your individual needs and preferences. They're good for keeping bottles and boxes of garden chemicals organized. Simply stack them in a corner or along a wall with the labels facing outward.
If you buy fruit in bulk from a local orchard, you probably have a few stray bushel baskets hanging around waiting to be used for something. They're ideal for storing loose potting soil. For instance, when you're cleaning up your hanging baskets, window boxes and other containers after the season is over, you can easily empty the potting soil into bushel baskets so you can use it again in the spring.
Have your children outgrown their toy chests? If so, you can use them in your garden shed to store a variety of things. They're good for keeping garden sweaters and gloves handy, and they can also be used as dry storage for seeds. You can even keep a few snacks in them to keep them safe from rodents or bugs.
Flower Pots and Planters
Keeping a few empty flower pots that you no longer use on hand provides an ideal catch-all place for any stray items that you aren't quite sure what to do with. Think small items such as plant tags, half-full seed packets and even the occasional garden glove that doesn't seem to have a mate can all find temporary homes in an empty flower.
If a recent or current home remodeling project leaves you with some stray bookshelves, consider installing them in your garden shed. They're excellent places for storing all sorts of items from boxes or fertilizer to a few gardening books and magazines. Placing one of them as high as possible helps keep dangerous garden chemicals, such as weed killer, out of the reach of curious young minds and hands.
You'd be surprised at how many ordinary household items can be repurposed for storage in your garden shed. Perhaps the best thing about it is that the creative aspect makes it a fun adventure rather than just another home maintenance chore.
Selling a home usually requires various investments along the way. In fact, some of the most common house selling costs include:
1. Lawn Care
Maintaining a neat, tidy lawn is crucial, particularly for a seller who wants to stir up significant interest in his or her residence. As such, it generally is a good idea to account for lawn care costs as you put together a house selling budget.
Sometimes, home sellers hire professionals to mow the lawn, trim the hedges and conduct other lawn care tasks. If you decide to enlist lawn care professionals, you should explore all of the options at your disposal. That way, you can find a lawn care provider that offers a terrific mix of affordability and convenience.
You also can perform regular lawn care tasks on your own. This will allow you to eliminate the cost of a lawn care provider and ensure your lawn will impress potential buyers any time they see your residence.
2. Home Repairs
House repairs can be expensive, especially if an individual has failed to maintain his or her residence properly. If you dedicate time and energy to analyze your house, you can identify home problems and prioritize property repairs accordingly.
It may be helpful to conduct a house inspection before you list your residence. During a home inspection, a property expert will review your residence and identify any underlying issues. Then, you can use a home inspection report to determine how you can improve your residence.
Of course, you can limit home repair costs by completing property improvements on your own. On the other hand, if you want to hire a professional, there is no shortage of home improvement specialists available in cities and towns nationwide. And if you reach out to local home improvement specialists, you should be able to find one who can fulfill your requests.
If you relocate to a new house but still need to sell your prior residence, you will need to account for the latter home's water and electricity costs. Remember, a homebuyer likely will want to test a house's faucets and toilets to ensure running water is available before he or she purchases a house. At the same time, it may be tough to show a residence to buyers if no electricity is available.
As you get set to sell your residence, it may be beneficial to hire a real estate agent, too. A real estate agent is equipped to help a home seller streamline the property selling journey. Thus, if you want to learn about home selling expenses, a real estate agent is happy to teach you about them. Or, if you have questions about the home selling journey, a real estate agent can respond to them without delay.
Want to sell your residence? Consider the aforementioned home selling costs – you will be glad you did. Because if you develop a house selling budget, you can boost the likelihood of enjoying a successful property selling experience.
Homeowners love the idea of creating a personal sanctuary in their outdoor living space, but many aren't quite sure of how to proceed when it comes to making the most of their yard and garden area. One of the most common issues faced by homeowners is that they don't really know how to use hardscaping elements to their best advantage. For instance, it's standard procedure to place a trellis against the side of the house and let a rambling rose clamber up and around it, and while this provides a classically charming cottage garden look, it's not the only way to use a trellis. Following are three suggestions designed to provide you with inspiration concerning how arbors and trellises can help transform your yard into the serene sweet spot of your dreams.
Create a Privacy Hedge With Trellises
One of the most primary elements of serenity is privacy. By putting in a row of trellises on the edge of your property, you can create a living hedge that does double duty by providing aesthetics as well as privacy. Climbing roses are a good option, but if you want year-round coverage, choose something like evergreen clematis. If you like the idea of mixing it up every year with different types of vining annuals, choose fast-growing options such as morning glory.
Define the Back of a Perennial Border With Trellises
Traditional perennial borders sometimes lack the necessary height for optimal balance, but you can fix that situation by installing one or two tall trellises at the back of the border and planting vining perennials. Classic choices include wisteria, clematis, vinca and, of course, old-fashioned rambling rose. Feel free to let your imagination be your guide when it comes to selecting vining plants. Blue potato vine, for instance, is a vigorous climber that's not often seen in modern home gardens but is one of the few vining plants that reliably produce true-blue flowers.
Create a Secret Glade With an Arbor for an Entrance
If you've got a small, treed area on your property, consider creating a private glade where you and yours relax in an environment filled with natural beauty. Create a small seating area using a weather-resistant teakwood bench, and plant plenty of flowering woodland vegetation such as primrose, sweet woodruff and trillium. Plant your choice of vibrant flowering vines near the arbor so they can ramble up and over it to create a lush bower leading to your private retreat.
Any one of the above approaches will bring an average yard from mundane to magical. With a little creativity, you can no doubt come up with more ideas for creating a serene ambiance using garden arbors and trellises.