Perhaps the only downside of living in a relatively secure, desirable part of town is that you might let your guard down completely. When that happens, especially on a regular basis, you're creating a vulnerability that could eventually be taken advantage of. That's why is pays to be consistent when it comes to locking doors, teaching your kids good security practices, and always making your home appear as if someone's home.
Your home IS your castle and -- short of building a moat -- there are a variety of practical measures you can take to keep it safe and secure.
- Install a burglar alarm or home security system. There are a lot of options for making your home more burglar-proof, such as installing video surveillance cameras, window and door alarms, or a whole-house alarm system that alerts the local police department or alarm monitoring service of a break-in or other security breach. Virtually any security steps you take will help "tip the scales" in your favor, but a professional advisor from a reputable home security company can assist you in identifying potential vulnerabilities and choosing the options best suited for your budget, your degree of risk, and your comfort level.
- Plan ahead when going on vacation. Allowing your mail or newspaper deliveries to pile up on your front steps or driveway is like extending an open invitation to burglars who might be scoping out the area. Temporarily suspending your deliveries while you're away is a good starting point for keeping your house looking occupied in your absence, but you might also ask a trusted neighbor to keep an eye out for unexpected deliveries. If you really trust them, you could even give them a key to your house, in case they're inclined to water your plants and take care of your pets! (That would eliminate the need and expense of sending your dogs and cats to a pet-boarding facility.) One tactic that a lot of homeowners forget about when they're going away for a few days (or even just overnight) is to hook up an automatic timer to a few of their lights. That simple step will help ensure that their house isn't pitch black at night. There's also the more expensive strategy of having a home security system that can be activated and monitored from your mobile device. Do-it-yourself installation kits are available, but some homeowners prefer the technical support features that come with a professional home security service.
- Outside lights can be a deterrent. A few motion-activated outdoor floodlights placed in strategic locations around your home can significantly reduce the risk of night-time prowlers staying on your property for very long. Since one of their primary objectives is to remain undetected and low profile, bright spotlights that turn on when they approach the house will often be enough to send them on their way.
The prospect of buying your first home is both exciting and nerve-wracking. On one hand, owning your own house is the final step of financial independence. You’re no longer accountable to a landlord and their rental agreement. On the other hand, buying a home is a huge financial decision that will determine where you live for the next several years.
As a first-time buyer, there’s a lot to learn about buying a house. You’ll often hear homeowners say, “I wish I knew that before buying this house.” So, in this article, we’re going to give you some common mistakes that first-time buyers make so you can have the best possible experience in the home buying process.
1. Underestimating the costs
When first-time buyers get preapproved for a mortgage, they sometimes see this as permission to spend whatever amount they’re approved for. However, even after closing costs, there are a number of other expenses you’ll need to account for in your budget.
You’ll be responsible for maintenance, utilities, taxes, and repairing things when they get old. If all of your money is tied up just paying your mortgage and other bills, you won’t have anything left over to maintain your house.
Furthermore, living your life just to make your mortgage payments is draining. Instead, buy a house that gives you enough room to save for retirement, vacations, a family, or whatever else you see in your future.
2. Prequalify first
Before you start shopping for homes, make sure you meet some basic prerequisites. You’ll need a solid credit score, steady income history, and money saved for a down payment. You might set yourself up for disappointment looking at homes that are outside of your spending limit if you don’t get prequalified first.
3. This probably isn’t your last home
While it’s okay to dream about the future, don’t set unrealistic expectations for your first home. You can always upgrade later on, and building equity in your first home is a good way to help you do that.
4. Don’t get too attached to your “dream home”
So, you’ve been shopping around for a few weeks and finally found the perfect house. If everything goes well your offer could get accepted. But if it doesn’t, don’t worry about it. There are constantly new houses appearing on the market, and there’s a good chance you’ll like one even more than this one.
5. Don’t waive contingencies without good reason
Contingencies are there to protect you. They might seem like a way to needlessly complicate a contract. Or, you might think that waiving them makes you look better in the eyes of the seller. However, both sellers and their agents know that contingencies serve an important purpose.
The three main contingencies you’ll want when buying a home are an appraisal contingency, financing contingency, and an inspection contingency. Unless you’re buying under special circumstances, you’ll want to keep all three in your contract.
Your luxury home is a major investment, so it’s important to make sure that you’re approaching the selling process the right way. Selling a luxury home comes with certain challenges that you’re less likely to encounter with a non-luxury home. Luxury homes aren’t as numerous overall, so you’ll have to work harder to attract more buyers. According to the National Association of Realtors, only 13 percent of first-time and repeat home buyers purchased homes costing $500,000 or more, and only 9 percent purchased homes measuring 3,501 square feet or more. Keep the following tips on selling luxury homes in mind before putting yours on the market.
Get the Pricing Right
Determining the right price for a luxury home can be a challenge. You might not have other comparable homes nearby to help you figure out your listing price, or your home might have special features that could make it worth more. Asking for too much for your luxury home could mean that it ends up staying on the market longer than you expected, especially since the number of buyers for these homes overall tends to be smaller. Asking too little means you’re missing out on getting what your luxury home is worth.
Think Twice About Open Houses
Open houses are a common part of the marketing process for non-luxury homes. However, you might not want to have them for you luxury home. Anyone can attend open houses, which means you’re likely to have people stop by who have no intention of making an offer on your home. In addition to wasting your time, these open houses could also make it easy for criminals to target your home. Instead of open houses, consider arranging private showings for buyers who have a genuine interest in purchasing your home and the financial ability to do so.
Use High-Quality Photos and Videos
When marketing your luxury home, make sure you use high-end cameras for photos and videos. The quality of these can have a huge impact on how successful your online and offline marketing efforts are. High-quality photos and videos are an important part of attracting buyers and making an initial favorable impression on them.
Find an Experienced Real Estate Agent
When you work with a real estate agent to sell your home, make sure that you find one who has experience in the luxury market. Selling luxury homes involves taking different factors into consideration compared to selling non-luxury homes. A real estate agent without this experience might have a more difficult time selling your home or overlook important ways to attract the right buyer. Real estate agents with in-depth knowledge of how to sell luxury homes provide you with valuable help when your home is on the market, including helping you determine the right price for it.
14 Wingate Road, Holliston, MA 01746
As a home seller, it is important to do everything possible to ensure your residence makes a positive impression on buyers. Because if your residence fails to impress buyers during a showing or open house, your home may linger on the real estate market for an extended period of time.
Ultimately, there are lots of things you can do to ensure buyers feel good after they view your residence, such as:
1. Bolster Your Home's Curb Appeal
When buyers view your home for the first time, you likely want them to fall in love with your residence. If you allocate time and resources to enhance your house's curb appeal, you may make it simple for buyers to see your residence's full potential and envision what life could be like if they purchase your home.
To upgrade your home's curb appeal, you should perform lawn care tasks like mowing the lawn and trimming the hedges. You also should repair any cracked or chipped home siding, as well as correct any other property exterior issues that could negatively affect a buyer's perception of your house.
2. Remove Clutter
Clutter is a problem that may make it tough for buyers to picture a future in your home. If you have excess items scattered around your home, there may be no time like the present to get rid of these items.
To eliminate clutter, you may want to host a yard sale or list excess items online. In addition, you can always donate any items you no longer need to a local charity or give them to family members or friends.
3. Clean Each Room of Your Home
For homebuyers, nothing beats a pristine, tidy home interior. If you clean each room of your house from top to bottom, you can help your home's interior make an unforgettable impression on buyers.
Taking a room-by-room approach to home cleaning may be ideal. Furthermore, if you need extra assistance, you can hire a professional home cleaning company.
Of course, if you are searching for ways to streamline the home selling journey, you may want to hire a real estate agent as well. A real estate agent is happy to teach you the ins and outs of selling a house and ensure you can maximize your home sale earnings.
A real estate agent can guide you along each stage of the home selling journey. First, he or she will learn about you and your home selling goals. A real estate agent next will help you list your residence and promote your home to dozens of prospective buyers. Finally, if you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent will help you determine whether to accept, reject or counter this proposal.
Clearly, there is no shortage of options to upgrade your residence and ensure it garners buyers' attention. If you take advantage of the aforementioned tips, you could simultaneously help your house stand out to buyers and speed up the home selling cycle.