Aura Gauthier's Blog
If you're a homeowner or are planning to become one in the near future, hiring contractors to maintain and upgrade your home is a fact of life. Although older homes often need more TLC than newer ones, "newness" (like youth) can be a fleeting quality! Time passes quickly, and before you know it, your house needs a fresh coat of paint, landscaping improvements, or even wet basement solutions.
There may be times when you're tempted to accept the first estimate you're given for a home improvement project, but there are sound reasons for taking your time and choosing home contractors carefully and in a methodical way.
- Saving money: It's not unusual for one home contractor to quote a price that is literally thousands of dollars more than the competition. While, on one hand, very low prices may be a sign of inferior quality, there is no guarantee that high prices assure superior quality. Fortunately, there are plenty of good contractors who charge competitive prices and make it their business to provide customers with exceptional value. If you get references, read online reviews, and make sure your prospective contractor has all the necessary insurance coverages, licenses, and relevant experience, then you'll be ready to make an informed decision based on quality, service, and pricing. Regardless of the caliber of a contractor's work, if you don't get at least two or three estimates, you'll always be wondering if they overcharged you. When you get multiple quotes, you'll never be plagued by that nagging question!
- Getting helpful ideas: In addition to finding a qualified tradesman with solid expertise, project management skills, and competitive pricing, it also pays to choose one who offers innovative suggestions and creative ideas. By interviewing three contractors, you'll gain insights into their communication style, their overall attitude, and their willingness to provide helpful advice when needed.
- Personality factors: After meeting with prospective contractors, you'll know which of the three you feel the most comfortable doing business with. Many home improvement projects can easily last between 3 days and a couple weeks, so you'll tend to be a lot more satisfied with a contractor who's courteous, punctual, above the board, friendly, professional, and customer-service oriented. If they seem annoyed with your questions or evasive in their responses, you can be reasonably sure there will be problems down the road in working with them -- possibly even quality assurance issues. If they tend to complain about other customers or berate their competition, then that is also a potential red flag.
A successful home selling experience is not a guarantee. However, if you prepare for the house selling journey, you may be better equipped than others to reap the benefits of a quick, profitable home selling experience.
Now, let's take a look at three tips so you can set yourself up to succeed during the house selling journey.
1. Identify Your Home's Strengths and Weaknesses
Your home has served you well for many years, yet your residence still has flaws. Fortunately, if you allocate time and resources to identify your house's strengths and weaknesses, you may find ways to improve your residence before you list it.
Consider the buyer's perspective – you'll be glad you did. If you take an objective view of your residence, you may be able to identify assorted home problems and correct them right away.
Also, it may be beneficial to conduct a house inspection. Following an inspection, you'll receive a report that outlines any underlying problems with your house. You then can use this report to prioritize home repairs and upgrades.
2. Establish a Competitive Initial Asking Price
As a home seller, it is important to do everything you can to establish a competitive initial asking price for your residence. Thanks to a home appraisal, you can gain the insights you need to price your house appropriately.
During a home appraisal, a property expert will evaluate your home and various real estate market data. Next, this property expert will provide you with a property valuation. With this property valuation in hand, you can set an aggressive initial asking price for your house.
Maintain flexibility with your home price, too. And remember, if you upgrade your home before you list it, you may be able to receive multiple homebuying proposals at or above your residence's initial asking price.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
For those who want a helping hand throughout the house selling journey, it may be a good idea to hire a real estate agent. Because if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can receive comprehensive support at each stage of the home selling journey.
A real estate agent is happy to teach you about all aspects of the house selling journey and ensure you can plan accordingly. He or she can help you identify your house's strengths and weaknesses, price your home appropriately and much more. Plus, once you list your residence, a real estate agent will set up home showings and open house events to promote your property. And if you receive an offer to purchase your house, a real estate agent will help you analyze this proposal and make an informed house selling decision.
If you want to take the guesswork out of selling your home, you should start preparing today. By taking advantage of the aforementioned tips, you can plan ahead for the house selling journey and set yourself up for a successful home selling experience.
If you recently bought a house, congratulations! Now, you just need to pack up your belongings, finalize your home purchase and relocate to your new address. You also may want to set up the following services prior to completing your move:
What good is a new house that lacks electricity? Fortunately, if you contact the electric company in your new home's city or town, you should have no trouble establishing electric services.
Typically, an electric company employs friendly, knowledgeable customer service representatives who will assist clients in any way they can. This means you can call the electric company in your new city or town, speak to a customer service representative and get the help you need to quickly set up electric services.
2. Cable and Internet
In many cities and towns, multiple cable and internet services providers are available. And if you allocate time and resources to review all of the options at your disposal, you may find a quality, affordable company for cable and internet services.
As you evaluate cable and internet services providers in your new city or town, don't forget to ask lots of questions. By doing so, you can find out what types of services are available, as well as the prices associated with these services.
Try to get several quotes too. If you receive multiple quotes, you can decide which cable and internet services provider offers the best value.
Learn about how you pay for water in your new city or town prior to moving day – you'll be glad you did. That way, you can contact your new water provider in advance and ensure that you will have water available as soon as you arrive at your new house.
When it comes to completing a home purchase, many challenges can make it tough to achieve the best-possible results. But if you employ a real estate agent, you can receive extensive support at each stage of the property buying journey.
A real estate agent can offer recommendations to help you establish essential services at your new home. He or she may even be able to put you in touch with the best services providers in different cities and towns and help you find the best deals on various services.
Furthermore, a real estate agent is happy to help a homebuyer discover the perfect residence, at the right price. Before you kick off a home search, a real estate agent will learn about you and your homebuying goals. He or she next will help you establish homebuying criteria and hone your house search. Best of all, a real estate agent will set up home showings and keep you up to date about open house events, enabling you to find your ideal residence in no time at all.
Want to remove the guesswork commonly associated with finishing the homebuying journey? Hire a real estate agent, and you can get the support you need to enjoy a fast, seamless and stress-free property buying experience.
Buying a vacation home is an important goal and milestone for many Americans who want to make the most of their holidays and plan for retirement.
Vacation properties needn’t be lavish or expensive to still be a perfect way to enjoy the winter months at your home away from home. Furthermore, owning a vacation home can prove to be an excellent financial asset that increases in value over time, as more people seek to scoop up properties in your area.
In today’s post, I’m going to talk about some of the most important things to look for in a vacation home to help you kick off your search. Whether you’re months away from buying a home or the idea of a second home is still a far-off dream, this article is for you.
1. Consider locations
The most important aspect of any vacation home is that it’s located in the perfect place for you to enjoy. Whether that’s a remote getaway in the mountains or a beachfront property in Florida, your plans for the home should be your number one priority.
If it’s your ultimate goal to retire and move into your vacation home someday, consider what it would be like living in that location full time. Is it close to amenities like grocery stores? Or, if you’re moving to a coastal area, will the traffic drive you crazy?
On the other hand, if you don’t intend to ever move into your vacation home full-time, it might be wiser to choose a location that will suit your family’s vacation needs while remaining a great asset to sell down the road.
2. Spend a week at your destination before buying
Some homeowners have a dream of buying a vacation home in a place they’ve always wanted to visit or have simply heard is a great place to own a vacation home in. The problem with this is that you might find, once you arrive, that you don’t want to spend several weeks or months there after all.
It might get too crowded during vacation season or you might decide that there isn’t enough to do that will keep you busy for extended stays.
To prevent buyer’s remorse, spend a week or two in your planned vacation home destination to make sure it really is the best spot for you.
3. If you plan on renting, know what to expect
Many Americans purchase a vacation home with the intention of renting it out while they aren’t using it to earn extra income. While this can be a great way to generate income, you will need to be prepared for becoming a landlord.
Look up local rental laws in the area to make sure you understand your responsibilities. Furthermore, understand that renting out a property part-time takes work; you’ll interact with prospective renters, filter out those that you think aren’t suited for your home, and handle problems with the property as they arrive.
If you keep these three things in mind, you should be able to find the perfect vacation home for you and your family.