The spare room. How is it that they always seem to be a catchall for random household items and never quite turn into a useable room? If you’re tired of walking by your spare room and it’s dismal mish-mash state keep reading for tips to turn it into a room you’ll be excited to use.
Art studio. Whether you were born with a paintbrush in hand, haven’t touched one since high school or have always wanted to learn how an art studio can bring creativity into your life and home. Invest in an easel and a paint set to get started. But be sure to cover the floors for easy clean up! Unless that is you want to go for the splattered look.
Reading room. Turn your spare room into a cozy reading nook by installing floor to ceiling bookshelves and some reading chairs. Create a room others will envy by building a window seat snug between two bookcases. Add ambiance with thick, ornate curtains and a plush area rug.
Music room. Have you been longing to learn piano or guitar for years? Set your spare room up to be a practice space by installing soundproof walls and adding some instruments. Hooks on walls to hang your growing guitar collection or a small bookshelf for sheet music will keep your room neat and organized.
Crafting room. If you have more craft supplies than you know what to do with you would probably benefit from a craft room. By dedicating space to your hobby you can organize your projects to be picked up at will and safely stored when you are ready to dive back in. If you have more than one craft you prefer you can even set up station dedicated to each one throughout your room. Add a cozy sitting chair for knitting or needlepoint or a large desk for scrapbooking or sewing.
Playroom. Give your kids a space of their own by creating a playroom to store all their toys and have ample room to play with them. The extra space allows you to add fun playtime extras like a rug with a racetrack printed on it or a large dollhouse. A playroom also helps kids transition from playtime to other activities throughout the day.
Movie theater. If you are a movie buff consider turning your spare room into the ultimate home movie theater experience. Large reclining chairs with cupholders add the comfort of the movie going experience. Pick up a screen projector and popcorn machine to recreate that theater feel.
Don’t let the extra space your spare room offers go to waste. Clear out any clutter that’s built up over the years and dedicate it to a new hobby, a long loved pastime or a place for your family to gather and spend time. Your options are endless so get creative and then get to work!
Regardless of whether you’re shopping for a home in a buyers’ market or a sellers’ market, you’ll want to avoid the risk of submitting a “lowball” offer, i.e. an offer that a home seller will turn down immediately.
Remember, if you want to land your ideal home, you’ll likely need to submit an offer that is attractive to a home seller. And if you know what it takes to minimize the dangers of submitting a lowball proposal, you’ll be better equipped to secure your dream house quickly.
Making a fair offer on a home is simple – here are three tips to ensure you can avoid the dangers of submitting a lowball offer:
1. Review the Real Estate Market.
As a diligent homebuyer, you’ve probably checked out dozens of residences in your search for the perfect home. Along the way, you might have even noticed that home prices vary depending on the size and condition of a residence.
The real estate market remains in a constant state of flux, and what a home is worth today is unlikely what it is going to be worth in five years. However, a homebuyer who evaluates real estate market trends as well as prices of similar homes in a particular area should have no trouble submitting a fair offer on his or her dream house.
2. Evaluate the Condition of the Home.
Keep in mind that the condition of the home may impact its short- and long-term value. Thus, you should try to submit an offer that accounts for the overall condition of a residence.
For instance, a home’s old furnace may need to be replaced in the near future, and doing so could prove to be both costly and time-consuming. But if you consider the cost of a new furnace installation in your proposal, you may be able to justify submitting an offer that is below a home seller’s initial asking price. Or, in some cases, you may be able to convince the home seller to repair or replace this furnace to seal the deal.
3. Understand Your Budget.
You’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage and know your budget for a new home. When you submit an offer, you should keep your budget in mind and ensure you’ll be able to make the mortgage payments if a home seller accepts your proposal.
A homebuyer who understands his or her budget can explore residences within a set price range. And ultimately, this homebuyer will be able to eliminate the chance of submitting a lowball offer on a house that he or she may be unable to afford down the line.
When in doubt, don’t be afraid to discuss your options with your real estate agent, too. This professional can offer insights into how much similar homes in an area have sold for recently, along with other housing market resources and tips to help you secure a house at a fair price.
Avoid the dangers of submitting a lowball offer on a home, and you’ll be better equipped to land your dream residence without delay.
It may be the last thing that you want to hear. But, keeping up with your mortgage payments may not be enough to keep you in your house. Homeowners living in major cities have been faced with these three scary things that could push you out of your house.
Why you could lose your home even if you’ve been making mortgage payments
At the top of the list of scary things that could force you out of your home are property taxes. Penalties for making late property tax payments vary from state to state. Depending on where you live, you could be hit with interest on property taxes that you owe.
The interest may accrue monthly. This offers good incentive to catch up in your property tax payments as soon as possible. Fall behind on paying property taxes for a year or longer and local government could send someone from the sheriff’s office to your house to serve you papers.
A lien might be placed on your house. If you don’t resolve the issue in time, you could watch your house get sold. Even if the local government doesn’t sell your house after you fall to far behind in your property tax payments, your name could be published in a list of delinquent property tax payers.
More scary things that could take your house
Should you decide to sell your house and move out of an area that has high property tax rates, the fact that you’re on the delinquent list could scare away potential buyers. You also might decide not to put your house on the market, choosing instead to argue with local government officials about the injury that rising property taxes could cause to thousands, perhaps millions of people.
Rising interest rates and failing personal health could cause you to lose your home. Let your health fail and you may not be able to generate enough income to pay homeowners insurance, mortgage insurance or interest rates.
You might only have enough money to cover the principal on your mortgage. Similar to property taxes, rising interest rates could force you to spend $100 or more extra money to keep your house. To keep up with these costs, you could start falling behind in your mortgage.
Paying your mortgage may not keep you safe
Falling behind in your monthly mortgage payments isn’t the only thing that could cost you to lose your home. Rising property taxes, interest rates and health challenges could also see you get forced out of your house.
Buying a house in a jurisdiction that sharply increases the amount of property tax that you owe could also cost you a house. Changes in interest rates and your personal health could also significantly impact your ability to stay in your house. The only way out of the tight spot might be to sell your house, bring in a renter or start building a savings that you can fall back on should one of the three scary things that could take your house occur.
Online courses are gaining popularity as a way to learn new skills and subjects without enrolling in expensive certificate or degree programs. They’re also great for working adults and parents who don’t have time to leave the house every night to go to a class after work. Better yet, many online courses are free (or come with a free trial), so you don’t have to worry about losing money if you don’t like the course.
You might be wondering, “What can I really learn from an online course that will benefit me as a homeowner?” There are a number of courses relevant to homeowners when it comes to things like the home buying process, budgeting, interior design, and more.
In this article, we’re going to introduce you to some of those courses in case you have some free hours in the evenings and want to learn something new. Read on for our list of the best free online courses for homeowners (or soon-to be homeowners).
Buying a home
Unfortunately, many of us go into the home-buying process knowing little about what to expect. This can be cause for stress and anxiety as you navigate the complicated steps of building credit, getting preapproved, and making an offer.
Udemy offers a one-hour course on home buying that can help you with this process. First, A Beginner’s Guide to Buying Your First Home will help you prepare for a down payment, understand the housing market, and teach you about things like home inspections and appraisals.
I often wish that kids were taught more practical finance and budgeting skills in high school so they have an idea of what to expect once they graduate and enter the workforce or apply to college.
Making financial decisions is stressful at any time of your life, whether it’s taking out student loans, buying your first home, or deciding when is the right time to retire. Fortunately, edX has you covered with this free personal finance course from Purdue University.
You’ll learn about retirement savings, the different types of investments, how insurance works, and the role credit plays in your ability to make healthy financial decisions.
Decorating and designing the layout of your furniture is often something that we just guess at. Maybe you saw layouts and colors that you liked on Pinterest and tried to emulate them, or perhaps you just buy decorations and furniture just because you like them and not because they fit the style of your home.
If you want to gain a better understanding of basic interior design and decorating, this series of video lectures from Howcast is a great place to start. With 53 short videos you can watch whenever and wherever you want, you can browse and learn at your leisure, then try some of these methods in your own home.
The real estate market is filled with many high-quality residences, and after a comprehensive search, you’ve found a residence that fits your personal needs and budget perfectly. However, you may need to think twice before you submit an offer on this residence.
There are many factors that homebuyers should consider before they make an offer on a house, including:
Ideally, you’ll want to find a home in a community filled with friendly neighbors. But in many cases, homebuyers may focus exclusively on a residence and ignore the neighborhood entirely.
Taking a walk around a neighborhood often allows you to get a better feel about what it is like to live in a neighborhood and may give you a chance to meet some of the neighbors as well. Also, a simple walk around the block will provide you with a better idea about whether a house’s value may rise or fall in the foreseeable future.
For instance, a neighborhood filled with houses with well-maintained front lawns, nearby parks and schools and other local amenities may prosper for years to come, and home values may rise in this neighborhood over the next few years.
No one wants to live in an unsafe area, and you can learn about crime near a prospective home before you submit an offer on a residence.
Contacting a local police station usually is a great idea for homebuyers who want to find out about crime statistics in a particular area.
Furthermore, your real estate agent can provide insights into crime in a specific area and help you determine whether a particular house is the best option.
Although your dream home features all of the amenities you want, it might fail to provide you with quick, easy access to your office day after day.
For example, traffic can be a problem if your house is located in or near a major city. And if you need to travel to work every day, it is important to understand how traffic could affect your daily commute.
To better understand traffic patterns in a particular area, try driving to a residence at different times during the day. By doing so, you can learn about traffic patterns near a house and be better equipped to make a more informed decision about whether to submit an offer on a residence.
You’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage and have established a monthly budget for a new home, but taxes may vary depending on where you move. Thus, you’ll want to learn as much as possible about potential taxes that you could face at a new residence before you submit an offer.
Taxes may add up quickly, but homebuyers who budget accordingly can minimize the risk that they’ll fall behind on tax bills. And with support from your real estate agent, you can learn about taxes that you may encounter if you purchase a particular residence.
If you’re fully satisfied with a residence after you consider the aforementioned factors, you’ll be ready to submit an offer and move one step closer to moving into your dream house.
If you want to sell your home quickly and provide the appeal that buyers are looking for, there are a few things that you should know about in relationship to what buyers are looking for. Buyers look for clean, inviting properties that they can see themselves in. Below, you’ll find the tips to help you create that appeal.
What Does The Home Look Like From The Curb?
The first impression that buyers will get from your home is what it looks like from the curb. Your yard should appear neat and inviting when potential buyers pull up to the home. This means that before an open house, you should rake up the yard, add some colorful plants or flowers if you don’t have any, and be sure that the lawn has been mowed.
Stage Your Home
As much as you think that lighting candles and organizing the inside of your home just so is slightly over the top, do it. Everything in your home should be neat. Don’t leave unsightly papers laying around or furniture in disarray. Prepare your home for an open house as you would for a magazine shoot.
The first place most people start their home search is online. If the photos of your home on the listing aren’t high quality and fail to give a good visual of the home, buyers will scroll right past it. You can even integrate video tours with the listing as well. To get people to attend an open house, you need to get them virtually interested first.
Make Updates If You Know That You’re Selling
There are certain changes that just look great on a home. These include updated appliances, new cabinets, bathroom updates, and new flooring. Updating these things also can facilitate a big return on your investments. Buyers love homes that don’t need a whole lot of work- especially in the kitchen and the bathroom. They are willing to pay for these luxuries.
Know The Market
Hiring an agent who knows the market is one step in the right direction to selling your home fast and easily. Your agent will help you to price your home appropriately based on many factors including the neighborhood, the size of your home, and the demand that is present in the market. Price a home too high and you’ll leave the home sitting on the market for an extended period of time. If the home is priced too low, you could end up in the middle of a bidding war. Worse, buyers may wonder what’s wrong with the home that it is priced so low.