Thinking Of Selling Your Home? Here’s How To Get Your Home In Saleable Condition

Selling your home can be just as overwhelming and daunting as buying one. They do say that house purchases are one of the most stressful things you can do. Unless you are a first time buyer, your house buying process begins the minute you place a for sale sign outside your existing home. This is where you wait patiently, hoping that someone will love your place as much as you did. Once the sale is agreed, you enter the next stage of finding your next home, and the whole process from start to finish can take quite some time. A time where you may feel anxious, nervous, excitement and fear.

While it’s never easy to visualise how much your home will sell for. Or indeed, if the whole process will go smoothly, there are steps you can take to make things more simple. A lot of the buying and selling process is in your hands. You just need to have the initiative to take control of the situation. So I thought the best place to start would be right at the beginning. Getting your home in a saleable condition will ensure a quick and profitable sale, allowing you to move on to the next step. With that in mind, here are a few ways you can get your home ready for sale.



Look at your home through buyer’s eyes

Your home has served it’s purpose for you. Whatever the reason for sale the house no longer works for you in size, location, or cost. However, what will have happened is you will have grown accustomed to your home. It will be lived in and be decorated to your tastes. Which is totally fine when you are living in it, but not necessarily your best move for selling it. Take a moment to walk through your home and imagine yourself in a buyer’s shoes. How would you feel when you entered a particular room? Does the house feel like a workable home? Does it show function and promise? These are all questions someone will be saying as they walk through your home. Check out websites like http://hoa.org.uk/advice/guides-for-homeowners/i-am-buying/top-tips-clever-questions-to-ask-the-estate-agent/ for a better insight. Doing this will indicate to you some of the work that needs to take place before you put it up for sale. It may be all cosmetic, or you may have to spend some time or money on getting it right. But it will all be worthwhile in the long run.



Appoint an estate agent you have confidence in

When it comes to appointing an estate agent who will market your home, it’s important to feel confident in their ability. It would be best advised to see a few different agents so you can gauge reactions and see how you feel towards them. You want someone who is enthusiastic about your house, is confident in selling it. At the end of the day, they are the ones that will be speaking to your potential buyer directly. So are they likeable? Considering agents like TaylorEstateAgents.co.uk/forsaleoffice/st-albans/1341/ or other local ones would be a good idea. They will know your property and area inside out.



De-clutter your home

As mentioned earlier when it comes to our houses they are pretty much lived in with our things and belongings. But when it comes to selling your home a great approach would be to try and minimise some of the chaos of daily life. This will mean decluttering the rooms and getting rid of things you don’t need. You could even consider packing some stuff up ready for the move and making the room feel much more functional. When a buyer enters your home, they want to be able to visualise their furniture and belongings in your house. It would be difficult to do that if they are distracted by newspapers or bills lying around.



Consider redecorating

Most people will decorate their homes to their tastes. This might mean bright feature walls or crazy patterned wallpaper. It is after all your home. But sometimes those cosmetic things can put someone off if the colour or decor doesn’t match their tastes. While it may seem pointless to decorate your whole home, especially as you are leaving, it might be worth making some changes here and there. You could repaint some of the walls in the home to a more neutral colour. This will make your home appear clean, tidy and ready to move into. All things a potential buyer would want to see in their new house.

Most buyers will want something they don’t have to mess with straight away. Having gone through a particularly stressful process of buying a house many people just want to enjoy their new home. This could be a big plus point for you if you take that issue away. A neutral decor will always appeal to the masses. Opening up your home to more potential buyers than it would initially. The first look someone has of a potential house is the pictures they see online or in the brochure. If something doesn’t appeal to them from that picture, they may likely never go and view that property. So put your best foot forward from the start.



Think about your home’s exterior look

Once someone has made an initial appointment to view your home their first physical impression of your house is the exterior. An unkempt front lawn, a messy driveway, a shabby door, can all be quite off putting. However, these are all easy fixes with just a little time and effort. Make sure your first impression is a lasting one. So tidy up your gardens and get those lawns cut and trimmed. Brush away any debris or fallen leaves from a driveway or path. By foxing a doorway and even making sure the windows and door panes are cleaned you are making your home look it’s best. It may not cost much more money, and it may cost a lot of time. But it could be the difference between a sale being made and not be doing.

Make any necessary repairs

Sometimes when we live in our house, general maintenance can get put to the bottom of the list. But when you are selling your home you won’t want to have any reason for a sale not to be made. So take care of those odd jobs and repairs. It might be as simple as fixing a fence or replacing something in your garden. It might mean plastering a wall or fixing a door frame in the home. Whatever that job is, just get it fixed. It can sometimes be the simplest of things that can let a house down when it comes to selling. Again it’s all about imagining what a buyer would see and making the changes to make it more appealing. All of these things may cost a little money for materials or labour for some of the big jobs, but in the long term, it could add more to the value of your home.



Think about the rooms that sell a house

It’s common knowledge that a good kitchen and bathroom can sell a home. They tend to be the two major jobs that cost a considerable amount to replace or renew. While no one is expecting you to put a new kitchen or bathroom into a home you are selling, you could spend extra time making the best of them. A clean and concise kitchen showing storage and space will be appealing. As will a clean and tidy bathroom with no clutter on the sides. Take a look at this website http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-corbett/these-are-the-2-rooms-tha_b_5456275.html for a better idea.

If you want to make the big profit

Understandably you are moving for a reason. Whatever that reason may be. But you also want a decent return on your initial investment. If you have the time and some funds behind you, then there are a few things you can do to your home to make a bigger profit. If you have an outdated kitchen or bathroom could replace them, making them much more appealing. If you have the space to create any extra rooms in the house like a loft conversion, this could add quite a bit on to the resale value for the extra bedroom. If you have the time, you could consider adding a conservatory on to the house or extending further. All of which will add considerable value. The only downside is that some people would want to do those things yourself. So you may have to pick and choose what you do to make that extra profit. Money well spent will always be on the initial decor and functionality of a home.

I hope this guide will help you in the future when it comes to selling your home. It can be quite a daunting prospect, and it can get the emotions running high. But if you can take a clinical approach and plan the process then you should be able to get a quick and profitable sale. Allowing you to move forward with the next steps of the process.

The Sunny Real Estate Market in South Florida

Probate_Database_real_estate_los_angeles_probateSouth Florida is prospering; it is currently experiencing a dramatic increase in the real estate market. I’ve been watching this market for many years, and South Florida consistently receives top honors in livability, desirable lifestyle, and economic growth.

The New York Times rated 30 cities in Broward County from the worst to the best: Ft. Lauderdale achieved the #1 status. Realtor.com ranked Miami #4 in gadget-friendly “smart homes” and #7 in “smart home” security. “Smart homes” use products and tools that provide convenient and efficient control of household functions.

Susan Rindley from Sothebys knows more about South Florida real estate than any agent I’ve ever talked to. She cites several factors responsible for the influx in real estate appreciation in South Florida.

A Stable Economy

Southern Florida’s Broward County has an unemployment rate which is significantly lower than the state and national rates of 6.1%. Broward County received $6.5 billion from public and private funds to use for community growth and improvement projects.

A Successful Financial Center

This area now provides national and international financial services. It actively supports and participates in a dominant cluster of banks, institutional investors, and companies that perform advisory services in mergers and acquisitions.

Diverse Activities

South Florida, particularly Broward County, has the foremost beautiful and relaxing beaches in the world. This area in Florida hosts exciting aquatic activities such as diving, fishing, and boating.

Art, music and culture entwine in a creative integration that myriads of people enjoy at assorted museums, exhibits, and events.


The Department of Recreation and Parks manages nearly 90 facilities. Most, if not everyone, living in or visiting this community will find an available outlet for their hobbies and interests at dog parks, athletic fields, and challenging golf courses which are playable year-round.

Football and hockey fans have the pleasure of attending professional football (NFL) and hockey (NHL) games.

Citizen Involvement

South Floridians are dissimilar in many ways. Despite their differences, they share an optimistic vision for their cities. They are united in their determination to elevate schools to the highest standards of excellence. They are committed to enriching these academic programs:

  • Technology
  • Literature
  • Art
  • Music
  • Mathematics
  • Science

Progressive and Effective City Planning

A multi-purpose recycle plan uses recycled seaweed collected from various beaches as garden mulch.

City travel is convenient, safe, quick, and affordable. Major areas in these cities and county are interconnected for the benefit of its citizens and welcome visitors. These plans include easy access to interstate roadways.

South Floridians enjoy 3,000 sunny hours a year. The pleasant temperatures promote infinite outdoor activities, enhance the diverse lifestyle of South Florida, and enrich the daily experiences of vacationers and residents. With a prospering economy and real estate market the current and future outlook for South Florida is “sunny.”

7 Things to Improve Your Home Buying Experience


Photo Flickr

In 2015, months after the military coup in Thailand, the country—or at least its property market—seems to be getting back on its feet. Despite the political unrest that rocked the nation, the price for single detached homes in the Thai property market surged by about 4.9 percent for the 4th quarter of 2014, the Global Property Guide reported. This came in the heels of an annual house price increase of 4.19 percent in the 3rd quarter. The figure was 4.81 percent in the 2nd quarter and about 5.71 percent in the 1st quarter.

Better Option than Its Neighbors

One of the reasons for the surging popularity of Thailand’s real estate seems to be rooted in the fact that Singapore and Hong Kong’s real estate are deterring buyers instead of encouraging them, FT says. Singapore’s higher stamp duty and the harder to fulfill down payment requirements in Hong Kong are doing their best to kill buyer interest. That makes the housing market in Thailand an affordable option.

Infrastructure Progress

Another reason for the rise in foreign investors is the much-improved local infrastructure. It’s mass transit routes make it easy to go around the capital. And with plans to build a railway that goes from China to Thailand and back, for a stretch of 8867 km, interest from these sectors aren’t going to go away any time soon.

Home Buying Tips

So if you’re in the market for property in Thailand, then here are a few tips to help make the search easier for you:

Know what you’re buying

What kind of home fits you need the most? If living in a building with all other tenants appeals to you, then getting a condo might be a good option. You can have access to the building’s facilities such as a pool for your morning swim or a gym for your workouts. If you don’t like the idea of condo living, you could go for a townhouse instead. This could offer you more ground as well as allows you to get away from that cramped and crowded feeling that some condo units tend to give.

Close to your work

It’s ideal to choose a location that’s near your workplace. That or look for dwelling places that’s just a stone’s throw away from major roads or highways as well as transportation hubs. Thailand is well known for its mass transit routes so getting a home that’s near one of these should be easy enough.

Use online listings

You could also use online listing portals. With sites like DDProperty, a detached house is simple enough to find. That way, you won’t have too much trouble commuting to and from work. If you spend too many hours traveling to and from work, you might need to move somewhere closer to consider renting.

Consider renting

If there aren’t good residential prospects right now, then don’t try to rush or force yourself to like a property. Unless it clicks with you, unless it gives you what you want and need, then put off spending on a house. Consider renting instead. It’s a good option for you while you wait out the market. If you’re under a deadline—your lease is ending and you need to move—don’t try to convince yourself that buying property is the better option for you. You might find yourself in too much of a rush that you might not give the thought the time it and clarity it needs.

Check out photos and information

Photos improve buyer reception. Shots that really present the house in the best light are all well and good. But know enough to look beyond the trappings of the photos posted on the listing site. Look past the staged furniture and lightning to the architectural details and bones of the space. Examine the home carefully, from its size to the location and type, before you decide if it’s the right one for you. That means seeing it face to face.

Pay a visit

There’s only one way to find out if it’s the right one for you. That means paying a visit to the property. Be on the lookout for any signs of infestations, any unpleasant smells or broken or damaged parts of the home. Leaky roof? Noted. Shaky footsteps in the back porch? Noted. Windows that won’t open or budge? Noted. Pay attention to these things. You’ll need the details when you ask for new stipulations or conditions to be added to the contract.

Hire a lawyer

Lawyers have great negotiating skills and that will come in handy for you if you want to renegotiate certain conditions or terms of the contract. With the help of someone who knows how the legal side works and how to make it work for you, you have a much better chance of getting the right home at the right price.

Mistakes You Need to Avoid when You Look for a Rental


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Finding the right rental isn’t always a ton of fun and ease. If you’re new to the Singapore rental market, it can get pretty confusing, not to mention eye-popping, especially when you see how much a rental could go for in the city proper. If you don’t want to shell out too much for a unit, do your best to avoid the following mistakes in the process:

Going for The First One You Find

You might have heard of this before but you would be surprised at how much people still go for the first option they find. Canvassing for a good rental takes time. If you want to get a great deal in a good spot, you need to be willing to take a look at all your options. That means not going for the first one you see, no matter how tempted you are to get it just to get the whole search over with.

Going With a Fully Furnished Unit

Do you really need a partially or even fully furnished unit? Those furnishings can jack up the rental rate of your place quite high. Opt for no-furnishings instead. A quick trip to IKEA should give you just about everything you need to get settled in right. You might have to shell out for those furnishings upfront but the monthly savings you get for as long as you live there should outweigh those costs pretty quick.

Not Doing Research

Not doing enough research can come back to bite you big time. If you rely on your agent to do all the work for you, then you might not find the best deals in the market. Since your agent has a lot of clients to look after, s/he might not have as much time to devote to searching for the right unit for you. If you want to make sure you get a good range of rental rates, go and ask around.

Not Sure How Long You’ll Stay

If you’re going to stay there for a year, then you could offer the landlord to pay for several months’ worth of rent in advance, in exchange for a discount on the rental. However, before you make this offer, be sure you’re going to stay there for that long. If you’re in the area and giving the property a try, best not to pay for several months’ of rent in advance if there’s even the slightest possibility that you’ll up and move somewhere else, says The Wall Street Journal.

Not Using Tools

These days, people go online for just about everything, from looking up reviews before they buy a book to checking up a restaurant’s menu before they book reservations. The same goes for your rental search. With resources like the PropertyGuru Singapore, an apartment in the city proper should be easy enough to find. With online tools, you can cut your search for a unit that much faster.

Choosing The Wrong Size

You can save on expenses by going for a smaller space, especially if you’re living on your own. There are plenty of ways you could make that space work for you. All you need is a little creativity to get the hang of living in a tiny rental unit. Going for a spacious unit might sound like a good idea since it’ll allow you to invite friends and family over but it’s going to cost you a lot. If you don’t want to shell out that much for a rental, opt for a smaller space.

Choosing The Wrong Location

It’s ideal to find a property that’s just a short walk or ride away from where you work. After all, you really wouldn’t want to spend too many hours going to and from the office. You don’t just save up on time, you save up on commuting costs as well. However, if the rental is too steep in the commercial district you have your eyes on, then the next best thing is to go for properties near or along a major road or transportation hub. That way, getting around should be easier on you.

Not Saving Enough for The Security Deposit

As soon as you find the unit that’s perfect for you, the only thing that can stand in your way is your lack of funds. So be sure to save enough for your security deposit. Set aside 6 months’ worth of a lease, though some might require you to pay for as long as 12 months. You could also go for a 12-month lease or a 24-month lease contract, depending on your length of stay.

So pay attention to these mistakes. Keep them in mind so you know what to avoid. By being aware of these rental slipups, you can save a ton on unnecessary expenses and costs.

Renting vs. Buying a Home: Which is the Best Route for You?


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Rising rental rates and low mortgage rates are driving people down the real estate ownership road much sooner than they had originally planned. Other individuals prefer to settle back and wait until the Malaysian real estate market makes a full recovery, in spite of incentives, before they buy in. Truth be told, there is no definitive or right answer to the question on whether to lease or purchase a house.

There are several factors that you have to consider as you make a decision. Both options offer you several advantages and disadvantages, and your own financial strength is the strongest factor of them all.


In spite of the fact that you cannot build equity, renting offers you more flexibility and freedom, especially if you are doing so on a monthly basis.


  • You do not have to deal with maintenance issues. If a fixture in the apartment breaks or you require an electrician to pop in, getting maintenance is as easy as calling in the building’s manager.
  • Easier to move. If you are in a place in your career where you have not settled or there is a possibility that you will have to relocate to a new town in the near future, it is much easier to make the switch rather than choosing to sell.
  • No depreciating asset. Property prices stabilize, rise, or fall in the housing market. However, there is no guarantee that your apartment’s value will increase within a specific amount of time.


  • Monthly payments may increase. Renting rates are periodically on the rise, especially in larger cities. This means that you could be facing another increase in your housing payments as soon as your lease expires.
  • No equity. The payments you make monthly offer you a place to live, but do not provide you with that asset that you can finally sell when you are ready.
  • No tax benefits. According to an Asia One Business report, homeowners will continue to benefit from various government homeownership incentives, like those stated by AsiaOne Business. Tenants cannot benefit from these incentives.
  • Owner approval required for remodeling of any type. Some landlords may be kind enough to offer their tenants some leeway when it comes to painting the residence. However, you will be required to consult them regarding your choice of color. Any changes that have to do with upgrading an appliance will require putting in a request with your landlord or housing complex manager.


Purchasing is not something for everyone, but it does offer you some enticing emotional and financial advantages.


  • Build equity. Conventionally, apartments rise in value anywhere between 4 percent and 6 percent annually. Even in situations where it is not increasing in value, you still build equity as you make your mortgage payments as long as your property maintains value.
  • Tax breaks. Homeowners have the added advantage of gaining from Malaysian tax benefits. These deductions go a long way in offsetting the cost of acquiring your housing.
  • Stable housing payments. A fixed-rate mortgage offers you the same principal and interest payments for the duration of your loan. However, insurance and taxes may change.
  • Home as an investment. If you choose to purchase a unit and lease it out, you will be creating a steady source of income. However, this works if you can cover mortgage from your tenants’ payments. Consequently, any time you are looking for a unit, choose one that will be a profitable asset in future.
  • Settle in a community. The commitment towards purchasing a piece of property will make you more involved in your local community since you will be there for years. You get to know your neighbors, join a Residents’ Association (which offers you several advantages as explained by the National House Buyers Association) or even volunteer in local projects that improve life around the community or a local school.
  • Freedom to decorate. One of the biggest joys of this option is the freedom to change your immediate environment to suit your lifestyle. However, if you live in within a homeowners’ association, you will enjoy less freedom when it comes to redoing the exterior décor, but you can still paint the kitchen luminous yellow if you want.


  • Maintenance is on you. You will find yourself spending more time and money in keeping your residence in good condition.
  • An illiquid asset. If you experience a sudden career change, relocation or circumstances change, you cannot quickly sell your unit and get as much money as you want.
  • Pay property taxes. Taxes can easily go up, making your property less affordable.
  • Loss of value. There is no guarantee that your unit will increase in value.

Purchasing a new place to live in is a major decision that should not be made lightly. However, rising costs and low mortgage rates can make purchasing a better option. Take your time and consider all the pros and cons of each. Depending on the factors mentioned above, you will likely find that an apartment for rent in KL on PropertyGuru Malaysia may be the best financial decision you can make till you are ready to make the jump into full ownership.

3 Reasons Why You Should Be Ploughing Your Money Into Property

Right now the market in real estate is what you might call buoyant. Prices all over the world are rising – and rising fast. What’s more, there’s good reason to expect these trends to continue. Most international investors say that they’re going to continue buying real estate in 2016. And the market looks set to expand further.

Not surprisingly, many people are becoming interested in the real estate market. After all, prices are surging in a number of cities. This post, therefore, details all the reasons why you might want to put some of your money into real estate this year.

City Populations Are Increasing

Right now, millions of people are moving from rural areas in the developing world to urban areas. This means that the global population of people living in cities is expected to rise by a billion over the next ten years or so.



What does this mean for real estate? Well, for one, it means that there will be more pressure on existing housing. In some places, the price of housing will increase much faster than inflation. We can already see this happening in Shanghai, for example. Thousands of Chinese migrant workers find their way to the city each year. And when they arrive, they need housing and places to go to work. This pushes up the prices of fixed housing stock in these places, often faster than new houses can be built.

Global Cities Are Becoming Global Markets

We’re also in the midst of another phenomenon: the global city. The term has been bandied about for decades. But it’s only in the last few years that we’ve really seen genuine evidence for it.

For instance, new apartments in global cities, like Melbourne are selling for more than 13 percent more than they did a year ago. And it’s all being driven by the fact that businesses no longer approach the market on a country-by-country basis. Instead, they see it as one giant market, and then just ask themselves where the greatest talent lies.

In cities, like Melbourne, there’s a lot of talent. So businesses from all over the world are relocating to the city. And this is driving a self-reinforcing process. The more talented people are attracted to the city, the more the city attracts new businesses. New businesses, in turn, attract new people to the city and so on. The effect is that real estate prices are being driven ever higher. And for good reason.

Low Global Interest Rates



We’re in the midst of something of a capital glut right now. Central banks all over the world are doing everything they can to keep interest rates low. While the wisdom of this policy is questionable, it’s doing a lot to boost real estate prices. Credit is cheap. And as a result, real estate investment is attractive. Cheap credit is boosting real estate prices around the world.

Will low rates continue? Almost certainly. Most governments and consumers around the world are so indebted right now that any interest rate rise would be devastating. It might sound bad, but this is bullish for real estate.

Want To Buy A House? Here’s All You Need To Know

The reason you’ve clicked on this article is because you’re looking for house buying advice. Purchasing a home is probably going to be the largest financial transaction of your life. A lot of people go into it thinking they’ll know what to do. It will be a breeze; there’s nothing to worry about, right?

Unfortunately, this line of thinking is incorrect. Buying your first house can be a very difficult and tricky process. There’s a lot more to it than you think. And, this is why I’ve decided to put this guide together. I aim to help everyone understand the process of buying their first property. We’ll go through some of the important decisions you have to make, and I’ll include tips along the way.

To set things in motion, I’ll start with the main thing on everyone’s mind; money.


(Pic via: https://goo.gl/TjhS8t)

Financing Your House

It’s no secret that you’ll have to spend a lot of money on a house. They can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, with some creeping into the millions. Naturally, this presents you with an immediate conundrum; how will you finance your house?

There are two main answers to this question. Firstly, you could pay for it using your savings and money that you’ve earned. If you’ve saved up all your life or are in a well-paid line of work, then you might be able to afford it. The benefit of doing this is that you are the full owner of your home from the get go. However, it’s something I recommend for people that are capable of surviving after they’ve paid for their house. You’ll find that this isn’t the case for most first-time buyers.

So, instead of using your own money, you can opt for a different route. The majority of people will apply for a home loan, aka a mortgage when buying their first property. This is a large loan, approved by a bank, and secured with your property. What does this mean? It means that your new house is used as collateral to ensure you pay the loan back. Failure to make repayments will result in the bank seizing your home, and you being kicked out. The obvious benefit of a loan is that it enables people to afford their first house. All you need to do is put down a deposit, which is a small fraction of the total house price. Financially, you won’t suffer, and mortgage repayments tend to be manageable. Of course, not everyone gets approved for a home loan. Sometimes, banks might reject your application. As seen here https://smbia.com.au you can find mortgage brokers to give you advice with your application. This makes sense if you’ve never applied for a mortgage before, and want to get approved. Once approved, you can buy your home and start thinking about your future

At this point, a lot of people might wonder whether buying a house is the right idea. Some people might be tempted to rent a home instead. However, I think it’s a better financial decision to buy a home because you’re paying for something you’ll own. Even if you get a mortgage, eventually you’ll own the house when you’ve paid it back. With renting, you’re essentially spending money on something that will never be yours. At least when you buy a house, you can sell it as well. There are sites like http://www.totallymoney.com/ that go through buying vs. renting in full detail.


(Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/7LhseC)

Planning Your Move

The financial aspect of buying a house is going to be the biggest decision and require the most thought. But, planning your move will be the second thing on your mind. It’s crucial that you’ve thought everything through and got a complete plan of how things will go down. Otherwise, you’ll find it very difficult to buy a house.

For starters, you need to plan where you want to move. Are you staying in the same area, or do you want a complete change of location? Obviously, this is going to have an impact on what houses you’ll be buying. If you’re moving locations, then you can ignore any houses in your surrounding area. Another thing you need to plan is when you intend on moving house. That’s right; you can’t decide to move randomly. It has to be thought out well in advance. Why? Because this gives you the time to find a house and perhaps save some extra cash too. If you woke up one day and decided to buy a house, then you’re going to run into all sorts of problems.

Rushing the house buying process will result in you making a terrible financial decision. You could end up buying a house for too much because you’re rushing and not thinking things through. Or, you might end up paying for a house, without doing any additional checks. As a consequence, you could buy a pile of junk and need to spend loads to fix it up. To make the best financial decision possible, give yourself a lot of time to plan everything and think things through.


(pixabay: https://goo.gl/Hrndr8)

Buy Less Than You Can Afford

My final piece of advice revolves around how much you should pay for a house. Naturally, people are going to be different here. It all depends on your monthly income, savings, etc. Typically, when applying for a mortgage, you’ll be given a figure deemed enough for you. The lender is basically saying that’s as much as they believe you can afford to spend on a house. There are even sites like http://www.bankrate.com/ with tools to help you work this out. The idea is that you’re given a figure, and that’s the maximum you can afford to pay.

After learning this, many people look for houses that are priced at that figure. However, this is not the way for you to do things. You should take the amount you can afford to pay, and look for cheaper homes. But less than you can afford, and it should help you stay in a good financial place. Too many people spend loads on a house and live poorly because of mortgage repayments and everything else.

And there you have it; this is all you need to know about buying your first house. Hopefully, this has been useful and you’re now ready to begin looking for homes.

Cutting Costs by Ensuring Your Home Appliances Run Smoothly

An appliance in disrepair can crack a gigantic hole in your budget, while seriously adding major inconveniences to your daily routines. Buying replacements are costly, so setting money aside for these unseen events is smart, but preventive strategies are even smarter. Simply giving your appliances some tender loving care will extend their lives and increase their performances, while saving you both money and energy in the long run. Here are some simple steps you can take to keep the appliance blues at bay.

Check Refrigerator Seals Regularly


Image via Flickr by Polygon Homes

Check the seals, or gaskets, on the doors for damage and keep them clean. Damaged seals allow cold air to leak out of the fridge, wasting precious energy, and forcing the unit to work unnecessarily hard. Dirty seals that have accumulated grease and grime can make the doors stick when opening, making them easier to tear.

Clean Refrigerator Condenser Coils

About once a year, or more frequently if you have pets, clean the condenser coils in the back or bottom of the fridge using a stiff bristle brush and vacuum hose attachments. Dust, pet hair, or lint that collects around the coils can cause them to overheat, forcing the unit to work harder to cool down. Remember to unplug the refrigerator before cleaning the coils.

Clean Up Food Spills on the Stove and Oven

Food buildup raises the heat level in the oven, which adds undue stress to the appliance. Food that has accumulated on or around gas burners can obstruct their performance. Cleaning up food spills as quickly as they happen also prevents damage to the appliance exterior and finish.

Handle the Dishwasher With Care

Like your fridge, your dishwasher has seals that can cause leakage when torn or damaged. Check them occasionally and keep them clean to prevent sticking. Use the recommended dishwasher detergent, and run the machine only when you have a full load. Handle trays carefully to prevent damaging the wheels they rest on.

Service Your Heating/Air Conditioning Unit

Check and change filters in your unit as often as recommended. Clean filters maximize the performance of the unit and ensures the best air quality circulating through the home. Also get the unit serviced annually by a licensed HVAC service to make sure more complex maintenance tasks are completed regularly.

Follow Manufacture Guides for Your Washer

Don’t overload washer and use the recommended type and quantity of laundry detergent. Avoid packing the machine with bulkier or heavier items like bed comforters or jeans. Instead divide these types of clothing and bedding between loads to prevent straining the machine.

Clear Dryer Filter and Vents

Clean the lint filter in your dryer before every load. This maximizes the dryer’s energy use. Also clean the dryer’s vent system, making sure the vent outside the house is free of debris.

Appliance care doesn’t have to be complicated. Simple maintenance tasks on a regular basis over the years is the most frugal way to maximize the performance and life of your appliances, while keeping your household efficiency at a warm healthy hum for longer periods.

5 Amazing Benefits of Working with a Mortgage Broker

To choose the right home loan offer, you need a good experience with the same. As a consumer, it is important for you to get the best kind of home loan without having to fuss over it, while you’re busy looking for the right home. A mortgage broker can act as your saviour in such instances. Listed below are few of the many benefits of working with a mortgage broker.


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  1. Hassle-free progress

Mortgage brokers are experienced and qualified to do your work. This will keep you at bay, and you won’t have to do everything yourself. Your broker will guide you through the process and even handle matters that you aren’t experienced enough to do yourself. Save your time, and let your broker take over. You can consult mortgage brokers even before you’ve looked at the home loan deals, because they will find you the right deal without you having to go through the trouble of finding one yourself. They will work according to your time-frame, and you won’t have to compromise on your work days, family-time, or when you’re out house hunting.

  1. Qualified Guidance

You’re no professional at choosing the correct home loan that suits your requirements. A mortgage broker has seen and heard it all. With this added help, you will not only be able to pick the right kind of home loan, but also be shown the correct mortgage options for your benefit. The broker knows what’s advantageous and disadvantageous, and you will be guided properly instead of you having to think of everything yourself. Finance brokers have worked with many of your kind, and are thoroughly experienced in this field, so why spend precious hours over it on your own?

  1. Cooperation fromthe Lenders 

Home loan lenders might refuse your proposal at first if you don’t have experience in this field. Dealing with lenders can be quite a demanding task, and not always will you be able to do it right. A mortgage broker has contacts, knows what the lenders are looking for and what they expect, which will in turn help you in developing your plan of action. Lenders communicate with brokers better than they would do so with you. It’s much easier if your case is handled by the broker, putting you in a better light before the lender. A mortgage broker will only render you wise decisions, because your focus lies on searching for your ideal home, instead of spending hours and days communicating with lenders, who might even refuse you at times. A record of previous refusal puts you in a tight spot, hindering your progress with other lenders. When a broker is there to guide you, chances of refusal are slim to none.

  1. Money Matters

You might not know which deal to pick on the home loans; or even the right mortgage option.Finance brokers have seen all of the choices that would be beneficial for you based on the numerous deals offered by lenders. They have done the same for others like you, and know what you need and expect in your deals. It will not only help you save more money, but also help you see the home loan deals in a much detailed way than you can notice on your own. Brokers take into account your requirements, and compare all of the deals that would either be useful to you, or be disadvantageous, and choose the right one wisely.

  1. Lay the groundwork

Brokers will take care of it all; be it the paperwork, settlement, or updating you with the process, mortgage brokers know how to handle every aspect, and since they work with this kind of stuff almost every day, you won’t be in the wrong hands. If you have the right finance broker, your work will progress much smoother than it would without one. You will be free to look for your perfect home while the broker works on all these details, without having to include you in things that don’t need your input.

Choosing the right home is one of the most important things in life, and you deserve to receive the right kind of deals for the same. Pick the right finance broker and the right home loan so you can live a disturbance-free life!

Buying a House? Why You Need to Have a Real Estate Lawyer

Buying a home involves the law of real property, which is why a real estate lawyer who is trained and experienced in handling the unique issues of this practice is needed to ensure that your transaction goes smoothly.

Even if the presence of a real estate attorney is not required during the course of negotiations, both buyer and seller may need to consult with a lawyer regarding certain issues, like the tax consequences of the transaction. A lawyer will also be helpful in explaining and making changes or additions to the purchase agreement, whichis the most important document duringthis transaction, so that it reflects the buyer’s and the seller’s desires. And since most home buyers finance a significant portion of the home’s purchase price with a mortgage loan from a lending institution, the purchase agreement should contain a provision that it is subject to the buyer’s obtaining a commitment for home financing.as

Once the purchase agreement is signed, the state of the seller’s title to the property needs to be established to the buyer’s and the finance institution’s satisfaction. A title search is usually ordered from an abstract or title insurance company but in some states, title insurance is not typical. In such cases, a real estate lawyer is importantin reviewing the status of the title and rendering an opinion of the title in lieu of a title policy.

On the other hand, if you are located in an area where title insurance is customary, a lawyer can help your review the title search and explicate the title exceptions as to what is not insured. A lawyer will also help determine whether the legal description is accurate and if there are any problems with adjoining or previous owners.

A real estate lawyer is particularly important during the preparation of the closing statement, when the deed and other closing papers must be prepared. An attorney can help explain the nature, amount, and fairness of closing costs. As the deed and mortgage instruments are signed, a real estate attorney can help give you the assurance that these documents are properly executed and explained to the different parties involved.

It is best to seek the advice of a real estate lawyer from the time you decide to buy a home until the actual closing. The most important benefit of being represented by a real estate attorney during this entire period would be to avoid conflicting interests of the parties. It is likely that the buyer’s and seller’s interests can be at odds with each other, as well as those of professionals involved in the sale, throughout this process. The real estate broker would be serving the the seller, while the lender would be serving the buyer. Both professionals would want to see the deal go through, mainly because that is how they will get compensated. Only the respective real estate lawyers of the buyer and the seller can serve with only their own clients’ best interests.

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