Kimberly and John Solio's Blog
There’s a lot to buying a home. There’s no perfect home. Home inspectors will tell you that even brand new houses have their issues. If you know the right questions to ask before you even buy a home, you’ll be armed with a knowledge that you wouldn’t otherwise have. There are some very revealing questions that you can ask sellers to help you get some insight into a property. These questions can usually also be answered by your home inspector when you get to the inspection process.
Have You Had Water Damage Or Pipe Issues?
Water damage is a big deal. It can hide mold and other damage. There’s also a big issue if the pipes in a home have previously burst, or caused water damage on their own. Especially in cold climates, water damage and burst pipes can be common if the piping has not been properly insulated.
The Age Of The Roof
If the roof on a home has been recently replaced, that’s a huge bonus to buying the home. Roofing typically lasts about 25 years until it needs to be replaced. If a roof is getting close to the end of its lifespan, you can ask for a rebate or be wary that repairs will need to be made in the near future.
If a home has had any kind of significant pest infestation, then you’ll want to know about it and be sure that it has been resolved. There could be some underlying conditions within the home itself that have made the pest infestation possible. Whether there’s some unaddressed holes, rotting wood, or hidden leaks, they’ll need to be taken care of so that an infestation doesn’t reoccur.
This may sound strange but some people will run out of their homes as fast as they can if they see a ghost or something else. “Haunted houses” are a particularly difficult sell. This includes homes with:
- Ghost sightings
- Unusual deaths
- Drug labs
Many states require that these problems and conditions be revealed in a disclosure statement. Other states do not legally require this. Check local laws to find out more about paranormal activity disclosures.
Some other great questions to ask when you’re in the process of buying a home are:
- Will your car fit in the garage?
- How much are the utility costs?
- Who are the utility companies?
- Does the home have a sewer or a septic tank?
- Are there any warranties left on items in the home?
Asking these questions not only helps you as you move into a new home, but it helps you to get a better understanding of what types of insurance you need to put on your home. If you need to add a few extra pieces to the policy to protect yourself due to any information that you learn, you’ll feel safer.
You don’t have to go to a furniture store and spend thousands to find great furniture to fit your home. Secondhand furniture shopping can be a fun and creative hobby that will get you outdoors hunting for the perfect item to fix up for your home. This guide will tell you everything you need to know to help you get the best deals on furniture and how to go about making it your own once you find it.
Many people think the bargain section of their local furniture store is the best they can do when it comes to saving on furniture. However, there are several better places to start your hunt.
- Craigslist. The “for sale” section of your local Craigslist is bound to be full of furniture that people are clearing out. Oftentimes people put things on Craigslist that are still in good shape that hoping to make a bit of money from. For best results on Craigslist, sort by “most recent” and by posts that have images. This will give you the best items and ones that are most likely still available.
- Facebook. Aside from being the go-to place for arguing with your relatives about politics, Facebook is also a great way to find cheap used furniture. Search Facebook for local buy/sell pages for your town or city. Post in these groups with what you’re looking for. Also post what you’re searching for on your own wall. There’s a good chance one of your Facebook friends has something like it.
- Thrift stores. Secondhand stores like Savers, Goodwill, and Salvation Army all sell furniture in their brick & mortar locations. If you’re bored on a rainy day, head out to the thrift stores in your city to see what they have.
- Yard sales and flea markets. When the weather’s nice, take a Sunday drive out to some yard sales and flea markets. At yard sales especially people are desperate to get rid of everything so you’re likely to get the best deals.
Making it your own
Aside from getting a great deal, arguably the best part about secondhand furniture is that you get to add your own personal touch to it. Whether it’s reupholstering a sofa, sanding down a bookshelf, or painting a new kitchen chair, you’ll have the gratification of putting in work on your furniture, making it that much more special to you. Here are some furniture items that make great DIY or restoration projects.
- Tables. Since the weathered and rustic look in in style, finding used tables has become a competitive market. If you have a small kitchen you can turn a old cafe table into your kitchen table. If you need something larger an old work bench can be crafted into a long dining room table.
- Chairs. Many people think chairs need to come in sets to be worthwhile. However, having mismatched chairs can be a fun way to personalize your kitchen. Paint all the chair legs the same color or sand them and stain them all the same color to give them a sense of unity.
- Repurposed wood. Pinterest is filled with ideas on how to repurpose used lumber. A wine rack out of an old pallet? There’s a tutorial for that.
- Sofas. Oftentimes the only thing an old sofa needs is some reupholstering. Buy a secondhand sofa based on its style, not color. You can focus on fitting it to your color scheme when picking a fabric to reupholster with.
One of the most used rooms in the house is the bathroom. You do spend a lot of time in there. You want your bathroom to be an oasis of sorts. Making changes and renovations to your bathroom will not only make you happy but make potential buyers for your home happy as well. Below, you’ll find some trends to keep your bathroom stylish and a place that everyone wants to spend (at least some) time in.
Beware Of Design Trends
There’s a lot of trendy designs that just aren’t timeless. They don’t look very good in a bathroom after the initial install and tend to give the bathroom a drab feeling after awhile. Whether it’s a crazy color scheme or something bland that lacks texture, you need to think about the longevity of a look before you go after it in your bathroom. Some trends to look out for:
- Too much white
- Too little in the bathroom
- Funky color schemes
- Gigantic bathtubs
- Certain kinds of tile and finishes
- Hardware accents
Really, the bathroom needs to be about balance. There are trends that come and go. Some people are more receptive to certain designs than others. This is because their needs are suited. Take the his and her sink as an example. Many designers are shying away from this trend. For your routines and needs, this could be exactly what your bathroom needs. No hotlist can tell you what’s best for you.
Storage Is A Necessity
If you do only one thing in your bathroom, make sure that you have enough storage. There’s quite a bit that needs to go in the bathroom like toilet paper, towels, cleaners, medicines, as well as bath products like soap and shampoo.
Add Pops Of Color
If your bathroom has all white tile and you don’t have the time or the resources to actually change the tile, you should try and add pops of color where you can. It’s simple to do this with towels, floral rugs, curtains, and even bath accessories. You can really vary the color in the room and make it special. This is one renovation that doesn’t cost much to do but can make a big difference.
Remember What Sells
More neutral colors tend to sell better no matter what room of the house we’re talking about. It’s fine to mix neutral colors with pops of something bolder, but don’t go overboard. Remember that when someone goes to buy your home, they want to make it their own as well. They probably can’t achieve that with a lime green bathroom.
Ready to enter the housing market and find your dream residence? Ultimately, there are many signs that indicate now may be the perfect time to buy a house, including:
1. Your family is growing.
If you recently got engaged to the love of your life, tied the knot with that special someone or have kids on the way, now may prove to be an ideal time to buy a house.
A home offers plenty of space, ensuring that you and your entire family can reap the benefits of a superb living space. Plus, many affordable mortgage options are available, making it easy for you to purchase a house without having to worry about breaking your budget.
Before you begin your home search, consult with a real estate agent – you'll be glad you did! Your real estate agent can help you determine exactly what you'd like to find in a home, ensuring that you can purchase a house that meets or exceeds your expectations.
2. You've secured a new job.
Now that you've landed your dream job, you may want to consider pursuing your dream house as well.
With a new, high-paying job in hand, you may be better equipped than ever before to make monthly mortgage payments on a residence. Also, you can work with a credit union or bank to secure a mortgage that matches your budget.
Furthermore, if you've landed a job that is several hours away from your current location, you may need to relocate. And if you hire an experienced real estate agent, you should have no trouble finding a great residence quickly and effortlessly.
An experienced real estate agent understands the ins and outs of the housing market. As such, he or she can help you narrow your home search and discover the perfect home.
3. You're ready to make a change.
Are you getting tired of your current neighborhood or living situation? Or, do you want to relocate from a cold-weather climate to a warm-weather region? If you're ready to make a change in your life, now may be a wonderful time to purchase a house in a new city or town.
Buying a house represents a life-changing decision and should not be taken lightly. However, those who are ready to make a change may want to buy a home in a new city or town so they can settle down and enjoy life in a different part of the country.
For those who are considering a change, meeting with a real estate agent is paramount. Your real estate agent can offer housing market data to ensure that you can secure a terrific house at a budget-friendly price. In addition, your real estate agent can serve as a housing market expert who will be able to answer your homebuying concerns and questions at any time.
Employing a real estate agent can make a world of difference for a homebuyer. Collaborate with a real estate agent today, and you can explore a wide array of homebuying options.
A successful homebuying experience is a pipe dream for many individuals. However, those who understand the key attributes of a successful homebuyer may be able to transform their homebuying dreams into realities.
Now, let's take a look at three key attributes of successful homebuyers.
A successful homebuyer won't take "No" for an answer; instead, this individual will go the extra mile to ensure he or she can acquire a great house at a budget-friendly price.
Ultimately, a successful homebuyer is driven to accomplish his or her goals. This individual's persistence is distinct, and as such, may help him or her achieve the optimal results.
To be persistent throughout the homebuying journey, it generally is a good idea to monitor the housing market closely. Because if you keep track of new homes that become available in cities and towns where you want to live, you can pounce at the opportunity to acquire your ideal residence.
A successful homebuyer likely realizes that he or she needs to learn about the real estate sector. Therefore, this individual will allocate the necessary time and resources to analyze housing market data.
With a data-driven approach to buying a house, a homebuyer can increase the likelihood of a seamless homebuying experience. In fact, myriad housing market data is available to help a buyer discover the perfect house in no time at all.
Homebuyers may want to assess the prices of recently sold houses in their preferred cities and towns. This information can help buyers differentiate between a buyer's and seller's market and map out the homebuying journey accordingly.
Furthermore, examining a personal financial data may be helpful before kicking off a home search. And if a homebuyer collaborates with a bank or credit union, he or she can get pre-approved for a mortgage and enter the housing market with a budget in hand.
A successful homebuyer understands the challenges associated with purchasing a house. As a result, this individual can take the right steps to avoid such challenges as he or she proceeds along the homebuying journey.
For example, a successful homebuyer won't feel stressed if he or she encounters problems during a home inspection. Conversely, the homebuyer will look at his or her options and determine the best course of action. And if this individual decides to walk away from a home sale, he or she will feel good about reentering the housing market and beginning a home search once again.
When it comes to enjoying a successful homebuying experience, it pays to hire an expert real estate agent as well. This housing market professional can help you evaluate a wide range of houses and find one that matches or exceeds your expectations. Then, a real estate agent will ensure you can put together a competitive homebuying proposal to secure your dream residence.
Consider the key traits of a successful homebuyer – you'll be glad you did. If you strive for success at each stage of the homebuying journey, you should have no trouble acquiring your dream residence.