Sue Revis' Blog
Whether you are buying a condo as a starter home, downsizing or if you just don’t like taking care of a yard, a condo might be the perfect situation for you. However, even with the plus of not having to maintain a yard, condos do have other pros and cons.
While you won't have to keep up with landscaping or worry about exterior tasks like washing or painting, you are at the mercy of those contracted to complete those tasks. The list of outside chores generally covered within a condo complex is long, including mowing, cleaning gutters, driveway maintenance, trimming shrubbery and otherwise keeping the landscaping and yard maintained. However, if you prefer gray paint on your house and the condo complex chooses to paint it brown, you’re pretty much out of luck. You will have to maintain the interior of your condo and make sure any shared walls are in good condition.
Rules and Regulations
Even when you buy a condo, you have to abide by the condo association’s rules and regulations. That means no pets if that is a rule, even though you own the condo. However, rules and regulations are sometimes a good thing. If you prefer enforced quiet hours or that no one has pets because you are allergic, these types of rules will benefit you.
In a nutshell, a condo is very similar to an apartment. You share walls just as you would in an apartment. You might have people over you and under you. Unless you have an end unit, you have people on either side of you. Some may like living in close quarters with other people — they feel safer and are more comfortable having neighbors very close. But, if you want more privacy, condominium living might not be for you.
If you live in a cooler climate, you don’t have to worry about clearing snow. The driveway is cared for by the condo association, which means it is cleared and then salted so that people do not slip. If the wind blows a tree over on the property, you don’t have to wrestle with a chainsaw to clean it up or find someone who is reliable to show up to clean up the mess.
Depending on how the condo is set up, in addition to walls and ceilings, you might share an interior hallway with others. While you won’t have to keep the hallway clean, you will routinely hear the foot traffic of your neighbors. Most people who live in communities like these are mindful of the amount of noise they create within shared space. However, noise could still be a significant disruption especially when neighbors keep opposite schedules.
For those who want to enjoy a seamless homebuying experience, it helps to prepare accordingly. That way, you will be ready to identify and address any hurdles that come your way during the homebuying journey.
Ultimately, there are lots of things you can do to avoid a complex homebuying journey, such as:
1. Establish Homebuying Criteria
If you enter the housing market with homebuying criteria in hand, you can search for residences that match your expectations. Best of all, you may be better equipped than ever before to streamline your quest to find and acquire your dream home.
To craft homebuying criteria, think about what you require from a house. For instance, if you need a home that is located near your office in the city, you can hone your house search to residences in or near the city itself. On the other hand, if you want a home that offers two or more bedrooms, you can search for a house that provides the space you need.
You may want to create a list of home must-haves, too. This list may help you simultaneously narrow your home search and speed up the homebuying journey.
2. Know Your Homebuying Budget
There is no need to focus on homes that fall outside your price range. Instead, develop a homebuying budget, and you can avoid the risk of wasting time pursuing a house that you are unable to afford.
Oftentimes, it helps to meet with banks and credit unions before you launch a home search. These financial institutions can teach you about different home financing options so you can develop an effective property buying budget.
Banks and credit unions can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage as well. Once you have a mortgage in hand, you will know precisely how much you can spend to acquire your ideal residence.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
Let's face it – no one wants to encounter roadblocks during the homebuying journey. Fortunately, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these homebuying experts are happy to help you achieve your desired results.
A real estate agent can offer comprehensive insights into the homebuying journey. He or she also can help you conduct an in-depth home search, set up house showings and much more.
In addition, a real estate agent understands the challenges associated with buying a house. He or she will help you alleviate stress throughout the homebuying journey and ensure you can make informed decisions along the way. Plus, a real estate agent is ready to provide homebuying recommendations and suggestions at your request.
When it comes to navigating the homebuying journey, you may want to start planning today. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can map out a successful homebuying journey. And as a result, you can boost the likelihood of purchasing a house that will serve you well both now and in the future.
Going green sounds like a big, lofty goal. For many, it brings thoughts of installing solar panels or upgrading entire HVAC systems to be more eco-friendly. While these are helpful tasks, there are many little things you can do right now to “go green” at home. If you want to make a big difference in the environment, start small with these surprising electricity savers.
1. Install a Programmable Thermostat
Your AC uses quite a bit of your energy, and so does electric heat. In fact, the Residential Energy Consumption Survey indicates that 48 percent of the energy use in American homes comes from heating and cooling spaces. A programmable thermostat allows you to set your system to a more eco-friendly level, so you’re not heating and cooling it too much when you’re sleeping or away from home.
2. Turn on the Ceiling Fan (and Turn It off Too)
A ceiling fan is a great way to make you feel cooler in a room even when the air conditioner is set at a higher temperature. However, ceiling fans only help if you’re actually in the room, because they don’t actually lower the temperature. They simply change the way you feel. When you leave the room, turn the fan off. You’ll save about $7 a month on electricity by not running it when you’re not enjoying it.
3. Vacuum Refrigerator Coils
A refrigerator’s coils, often on the back of the refrigerator, are essential to its cooling process, and they’re also a dust and dirt magnet. Many people forget about them, because they are completely out of sight. Once every three months, pull the refrigerator out and clean the coils with the vacuum. This will help your refrigerator use less energy. Set a reminder on your phone so you don’t forget this important task.
4. Check for Energy Vampires
When you plug an electronic into the wall, your electricity will constantly flow through the cord, to the device, and back to the wall. If the device is off, this cycle continues, and some of the electricity is lost. In fact, as much as 75 percent of the electrical use from your home electronics occurs when the device is off, and these are called “energy vampires.” There are two easy ways to stop this problem. First, consider plugging all of your devices into surge protector power strips. When you’re not using them, switch the strip off. A smart power strip is another option. These will cut the power to the devices when you turn the device off, so you don’t have to remember to switch the strip on and off.
Saving electricity at home starts with making smart choices. Use these ideas, and start watching your energy bills drop.
For home sellers who want to accomplish the optimal results, it is important to remain open to negotiations with buyers. There are many reasons why home sellers should negotiate with buyers, and these include:
1. You can accelerate the house selling journey.
If your mission is to sell your house as quickly as possible, you should be open to negotiating with a buyer. Because if you can negotiate a home purchase agreement, you can move one step closer to concluding the house selling journey.
As you enter a negotiation with a homebuyer, it is important to keep your house selling goals in mind. At the same time, you should be willing to adjust your goals as needed. If you maintain flexibility throughout a negotiation with a homebuyer, you may be better equipped than ever before to enjoy a fast, profitable house selling experience.
2. You can reach an agreement that works well for both a seller and buyer.
If you find a buyer's initial offer to purchase your house falls short of your expectations, you can open up negotiations with this individual. Then, you and a buyer can work together to come to terms on a home sale agreement that suits both parties.
Of course, a negotiation with a buyer does not guarantee instant success. If you and a buyer cannot reach a home sale agreement, there is no need to worry. Even if negotiations with a buyer fail, you can wait for another offer to purchase your home that falls in line with your expectations.
3. You can get the best price for your house.
As a home seller, it is important to do everything you can to optimize your house sale earnings. If you negotiate with a buyer, you can increase the likelihood of getting the best price for your house.
Furthermore, home sellers should keep in mind that they have options during a negotiation with a buyer. If you are not satisfied with the progress of a negotiation, you can walk away from the negotiating table.
When it comes to negotiating a home sale, you may want to hire a real estate agent, too. A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of home sale negotiations and will do whatever it takes to help you achieve the best-possible results.
Typically, a real estate agent can handle a negotiation with a buyer on your behalf. This housing market professional will continue to provide status updates throughout a negotiation and do what it takes to streamline the house selling cycle. Plus, if you ever have concerns or questions during a home sale negotiation, a real estate agent can instantly respond to them.
Don't stress about negotiating the sale price of your home. If you are open to negotiating your house's sale price with a buyer, you may be able to speed up the home selling journey. Best of all, you could maximize the profit from your home sale.