Sunday, February 26, 2012

When is the Best Time for Home Buying?

There are times in a year when it is particularly ideal to go into home buying. Aside from the actual time though, the situation of the buyer should also be considered. Timing in terms of what period of the year it is and timing in terms of the financial condition of the buyer are both important.
House Sold
If you are on a fence as to whether it is the right time for you to purchase a house, you may have to consider some or all of the factors enumerated here. Below are some guidelines that may help you decide.

1. Market condition. This is quite obvious, particularly to those who are aware of what is going on in the housing market most of the time. The best time to buy, of course, is when it is a buyer's market. This is a point in time in housing when there are more sellers than buyers. As expected, this favors the buyer since the prices will be lower, more choices are available and their power to negotiate is stronger. Sellers will be forced to compete against their fellow sellers for a limited number of potential buyers, so they will be more willing to lower their prices.

2. Unusual time of the year. Most home buyers get into the market during spring. The weather is ideal for house hunting and this is the time when most sellers unveil their best offerings. However, this is also a time when competition among home buyers is tightest since almost all of them have the same goal in mind. If you have the patience for it, it may be best for you to buy during times when most of your fellow buyers prefer to stay inside their homes. Winter months and the weeks leading to Christmas season are examples of such times. If you shop during these periods, you will have fewer competitors and you may just luck out, especially since sellers who have their properties listed at these times are the most motivated to unload their houses.

3. You have resolved your debt issues. If you are at a period in your life where you have multiple debts to pay for, then you may have to reconsider your plan to purchase a residential property. Paying for a mortgage is a big responsibility, so you need to make sure that you do not have other heavy financial obligations when you decide to buy a house. Pay off 75% or all of your debts first before you go into home buying to avoid being weighed down by too many financial obligations.

4. You are ready to settle down. This does not necessarily mean that you are ready to have a family or to get married, although it could also cover these situations. What this means is that you have really decided that you can stay in one place for long. This is important because you need to live at least five years in a home for it to build a decent equity. So, before going into home buying, make sure that you have really decided that it is the right time for you.

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

3 Musts in External Home Improvement

As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to keep your home looking as great as the day you first moved into it. Regular home improvement and maintenance will not only make living in it more comfortable, but it could also improve its market value and make it easier for you when the time comes to sell it.
3 Musts in External Home Improvement
Most homeowners fail to pay attention to the home’s exterior, spending time and money on interior home renovation and improvement projects. You should realize there is no way potential buyers will be motivated to look inside if they do not like what is outside. For this simple reason, you need to make an effort to change the way your home looks outside.

Here are some must dos:
Tackle your home garden
There is nothing which says comfortable and relaxing than a lawn full of well-maintained plants. You need to make sure your garden does not look like a jungle by taming the growth of the grass and other foliage. You should also have some sort of organization to make your garden a backdrop of your home and not the other way around. If gardening is not your thing, you can always hire a professional landscape artist to design your garden and after, you can handle the maintenance yourself.

Spruce up pathways walkways
Many homeowners tend to neglect the paths leading from the road to the house. You need to check whether or not you need to fix it up or simply clean it up. If you do decide to renovate them, make sure your choice of material is both affordable and easy to maintain as well as appropriate for the area. You can choose stones, concrete, bricks or tiles.

Give your home a facelift with fresh coat of paint
You will be surprised at how painting your home’s wall can make such a huge difference. This is perhaps the easiest home improvement project you can tackle and it will not even cost you much. But if you think all your walls need is a good scrubbing to get rid of the moss and other stains, be sure to use a high pressure water hose.

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Home Remodeling Tips for the Bedroom

A home remodeling project can change the way you see your house and the way you feel when you are inside it. Some people feel the need for a change after a few years of living in the same place. If you are one of them, a change in decoration or an altered appearance of your surroundings may help.
Remodeling a Bedroom
You can start in your bedroom since this is a place where you spend nearly half of the 24 hours of each day. Various remodeling options are discussed here to give your bedroom a new look and a new feel.

1. Mix and match. Playing with colors and designs can be a fun way to spend your days and also a great way to change the look of your bedroom. If its current look leans more towards a traditional style, like everything in their proper places and every color complementing each other, a bolder, more adventurous look may be in order. If the dominant shades are neutral or safe colors, pick out some bold furniture, like a hot pink foot stool or couch and combine it with the neutral-colored sheets. Add velvet accents instead of the traditional linen and cotton to provide a bolder look. The key is to throw in bold colors and accents amid neutral and safe materials.

2. Romantic look. If you feel that there is too much going on in your bedroom, tone it down a little and go for the romantic look. Choose just three soft shades that you will use for the sheets, curtains, cabinets, lamps and accents. A combination of white or cream, light blue or green and skin-tone color looks peaceful and quiet. Add romance by putting bed posts and draperies around the bed and soft light to complete the theme.

3. Modern look. This may require a higher budget since you need sleek and modern furniture to give your bedroom a more sophisticated look. Solid colors combined with pricier furniture can give it a contemporary appearance. Put in a huge headboard in solid color and add a shiny, black bedside table. Light browns and blue shades provide a modern look to any room.

4. Play with shapes. Combining rounded lamps with solid, square and rectangle furniture will produce a creative atmosphere. Accessorize with different figurines and table top decors that vary in sizes and shapes to give your room a more adventurous look. You can also use screens or shades instead of curtains to change the look of the room. Warm colors usually go well with this type of design.

5. Stripped-down design. If you have a tendency to feel crowded in when there is too much color and too much furnishings around, remove them and go for a more stripped-down look. Do without the many-colored pillows and sheets and choose a neutral color all throughout. White or cream all throughout – from sheets, to curtains to carpets – is enough to give it a simple look. Break the monotony by adding a single bold-colored lamp. Home remodeling can be as simple as changing colors or removing excess furniture and you can always start the change in your bedroom.

For your copy of Remodeling Hell, CLICK HERE!  

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

12 Most Refreshing Remodeling Tips

12 Most Refreshing Remodeling Tips
During the holiday season, homeowners are confronting aspects of their property more closely, as a result of entertaining friends and family. Being guests themselves, at open houses and small gatherings, those same homeowners are taking mental notes about what improvements or changes they might choose for their own homes.
Here is a listing of a dozen recent remodeling tips for upcoming projects:

1. Continuity

Start from your main entry and see your home as do guests. If you own an older home, previous owners may have added their own “touch” with a different floor, a new color scheme in one room and over time, the continuity was lost. Just be sure to take into account how your home looks from different eyes.

2. Put in some color

There have been many periods where minimalism was very appealing. If you happen to have a home with an abundance of contrasting black and white walls, flooring and ceiling patterns, spend some time imagining warmer colors and the effect, aesthetically and emotionally, such a change might offer.

3. Storage

Whether you’re updating your home for your own pleasure or investing as a means of boosting value, increasing and improving your storage capacity, especially in the kitchen, bedrooms and garage, may add practical utility that will be appreciated.

4. Combine wants with needs

Like any project, you have constraints of financing, time and scope. To prevent your remodeling plans from growing in unhelpful directions, control the scope of your project by first listing those needs your house might have and then build the want list around those needs.

5. Bathroom

There’s a consensus among real estate professionals that remodeling the kitchen and any bathroom will yield the best returns; there’s also an agreement that, of the two, bathrooms are less expensive. Bathrooms get plenty of wear and tear, so remodeling and old one or adding another may combine both wants and needs.

6. Refinish Bathtub

If you have an older home and it contains an iron bathtub, even one in rough shape, don’t replace it – refinish it. Reputable companies that provide this service can take an old tub and resurface it until it looks like new.

7. Countertops

Think of replacing a countertop as a simple, relatively inexpensive way of updating a kitchen or bathroom. For serious cooks who plan on sticking around in the same house for some years, marble countertops with slate tiled (not stainless steel) backsplashes are a classic looks with a modern touch, though more costly.

8. Patio

Don’t think of increasing your living space as an exclusively indoor affair. If you entertain, or if you simply enjoy the outdoors, adding a patio can provide that extra living space that will get plenty of use. Adding to the functionality of homes are outdoor kitchens of various scopes and styles to accommodate climates and lifestyles.

9. Patio doors

Your parent’s generation had patio doors that added to the openness of a room, but also added to heating costs. With leaps in thermal properties, widening your access area to the patio with glass doors no longer mean inefficiencies in maintaining your indoor climate.

10. Radiant Heat

Radiant heat is one way to control the amount of energy you use based upon real-time needs. From accommodating individual preferences to keeping patios floors comfortable and snow free, radiant heat has advantages worth considering.

11. Retirement 

If you see yourself remaining in a home into retirement, consider both the convenience and financial savings of building in easy access/easy mobility features into your remodeling plans.

12. Consult an architect

If your plans involve additions of rooms, removal walls or major changes to the outline of your home, invest the money to consult with an architect. Together, you can head off potential problems that can lead to an unsatisfying result or expensive rework. Like any profession, not all architects are alike, so engage in some thorough due diligence in researching architects far beyond the helpful recommendations of friends and colleagues.
No remodeling project has ever come and gone without periods of trepidation and frustration. Your project will be no different, either. When those inevitable moments come, picture yourself as the host of next holiday season’s open house and imagine the compliments you’ll hear, including your own.

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