Connie and Bill Dolloff's Blog
Ready to enter the real estate market for the first time? As a first-time homebuyer, you may encounter many challenges as you kick off your search for the perfect house. However, property buyers who understand these challenges will be better equipped than others to overcome such difficulties quickly and effortlessly.
Now, let's take a look at three common challenges that first-time homebuyers may face:
1. You don't know what to look for in a house.
You know you want to own a house, but how do you define your "dream" residence? Ultimately, you'll want to consider what you'd like to find in your perfect house so you can map out your real estate search accordingly.
Creating a checklist of things you'd like to have in your dream home usually represents a great starting point for first-time homebuyers. This checklist should include both "must-haves" and "wants" and can help you narrow your search for the ideal residence.
2. You aren't sure how much money you have available to purchase a home.
How much can you spend to acquire a residence? Without a budget, you may struggle to begin your real estate search.
Lucky for you, many banks and credit unions make it simple to get pre-approved for a mortgage.
Set up meetings with a few lenders in your city or town – you'll be glad you did. These lenders can help you assess your current financial situation, outline all of your mortgage options and ensure you can gain pre-approval for a mortgage.
With a mortgage in hand, you may be better equipped than other homebuyers to secure your ideal residence. This mortgage will help you determine exactly how much you can spend on a home. Plus, getting pre-approved for a mortgage can help you avoid the temptation to spend beyond your financial means to acquire your dream house.
3. You don't know what it takes to go from homebuyer to homeowner.
The homebuying process can be long and complicated, especially if you have no idea about what to expect from it. Fortunately, real estate agents are available to help you take the guesswork out of going from homebuyer to homeowner.
A real estate agent is a housing market professional who is happy to share his or her insights with you. He or she will respond to your homebuying concerns and queries and teach you about all stages of the homebuying cycle.
Furthermore, a real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you up to date about new houses as they become available and negotiate with property sellers on your behalf. This housing market professional will even go above and beyond the call of duty to guarantee you can purchase a home that you'll be able to enjoy for years to come.
When it comes to buying a home for the first time, there is no need to navigate the homebuying journey alone. Instead, collaborate with a real estate agent, and you can accelerate the process of acquiring a top-notch house at a budget-friendly price.
As a home seller, there is always a chance that you may receive a lowball offer on your house. When this happens, you might feel disappointed and frustrated and be ready to move on to the next offer. However, a lowball offer may set the table for a negotiation, particularly for a home seller who knows how to respond to this proposal properly.
Ultimately, it is important to assess any offer on your home, even if this proposal fails to meet your initial expectations. And even though it may be tough to take a lowball offer seriously, you'll want to consider the pros and cons of it before you make your next move.
What does it take to assess a lowball offer on your home and counter it accordingly? Here are three tips to help a home seller do just that.
1. Stay Focused on Your Goals
For home sellers, you want to sell your home, maximize its value and move through the home selling process as quickly as possible. As such, you'll want to keep these goals in mind any time you receive a lowball offer.
If you receive a lowball offer, remain focused on your goals, and try not to get too emotional about it. With this approach, you'll be able to remain calm, cool and collected and respond to the proposal without the risk of burning any bridges between you and a potential homebuyer.
2. Respond to the Homebuyer's Offer
What you might consider to be a lowball offer may be a fair proposal in the eyes of a homebuyer. Thus, you should respond to a homebuyer's proposal, regardless of whether you consider it to be a lowball offer. By doing so, you may be able to open the lines of communication and help the homebuyer better understand what you consider to be a fair price for your residence.
After you receive a lowball offer, you may choose to pass on it and can relay your decision through your real estate agent. In this scenario, you can let the homebuyer know that you appreciate his or her offer but are going to pass on it. That way, you can decline the proposal politely and await offers that fall in line with your expectations.
Comparatively, you might decide to counter a homebuyer's initial offer, and your real estate agent can pass along the information about what you would be willing to accept for your house. By countering a homebuyer's offer, you may be able to begin a negotiation that could help you accelerate the home selling process.
3. Establish Realistic Expectations
Pricing your home competitively from the get-go is paramount for any home seller. With a competitive price, you'll be able to set realistic expectations for homebuyers and may be able to avoid the risk of receiving a lowball offer entirely.
When it comes to determining a fair price for your house, consult with your real estate agent. Remember, your real estate agent possesses industry experience and can help you set a fair price for your house based on the current real estate market's conditions.
Four decades ago, moving near downtown was considered to be a bad idea by some homeowners. Buying a house downtown put homeowners near transient traffic, people who frequented the area only to go shopping or work.
Is living near a mall the new downtown dilemma?
Not living downtown could reduce the financial, social and community investment that people visiting the area put into downtown. Fallout of that reduced investment could be higher crime, less community offerings and lower community based social connections.
Yet, there are conveniences that come with living near downtown. The same applies to living near a shopping mall. Buy a house near a mall and you can be minutes away from work. You might be within walking distance of public transportation. And, of course, you'd be near clothing stores, restaurants, shoe stores and entertainment.
Market shifts are changing shopping malls
But, shopping malls are seeing less consumer traffic as are several other retailers. More consumers are going online to buy clothes, vitamins, shoes and products as large as house furniture. If the shift from shopping malls to online retailers continues, shopping mall areas might decline.
This could impact landscaping, investments that are put back into the area and the numbers and types of employers operating business near malls. Let the numbers of employers drop and people could start putting their houses up for sale. Vacant houses will more than likely impact the value of your home.
Chances that this could happen are good even if you take good care of your house, regularly performing general maintenance on your home. At first glance, the possibility might seem unrealistic, especially considering that It could take several years for the mall to start to show decline.
Protect yourself from mall decline
However, you could protect yourself by choosing neighborhoods that are not only near a mall but that are also near small businesses, bookstores, grocery stores, gas stations, medical facilities and businesses that aren't linked to the mall.
Seeing restaurants in the area that aren't located at the mall is another good sign that the area could continue to thrive even if consumers shift their shopping from the mall to online retailers. Another sign that the area may be a good choice is if residents organize and actively participate in several community events each year. You can also look for national landmarks, historic sites and indoor and outdoor sports and entertainment venues, establishments that can thrive even if the mall closes.
Drawbacks could outpace rewards if you buy a house near a mall
Similar to living downtown, living near a shopping mall offers a host of conveniences. Buy a house near a shopping mall and you'll be near businesses. You might be near some of the city's largest firms, potentially giving yourself greater opportunity to land a good job.
But, that doesn't mean that there aren't downsides to buying a house near a mall. With some malls experiencing decline, you could be buying a house in an area that might see economic fall off a few years after you buy the house.
If security in your home is a concern, you can consider stepping things up a bit with steel entry doors. While you may think of steel doors as something that you’d find in an industrial type building, they’re not just for businesses anymore. Many homeowners are turning to steel entry doors in order to capitalize on their many benefits.
You’d be surprised that many new construction homes can be found with steel entry doors, and the prices aren't bad. A basic door will run somewhere between $100-$150. You’ll still need to buy the installation hardware for the doors, but these prices are fairly reasonable.
Benefits Of Steel Doors
There are many benefits to steel entry doors. The first of these perks is that they are incredibly secure. Break-ins generally occur either on lower level windows or through a front door. Thieves have a slim chance of getting into a steel door that has been properly installed.
The next benefit of steel doors is that they’re very durable. Steel is known to be quite a weather resistant material. These doors are also energy efficient and help you to keep the cost of your utility bills down.
Be careful when choosing your steel doors. Not all steel doors are fire resistant. A fire-resistant door can block high levels of heat and flames for about 20 minutes. You can check on your specific door of choice for how extensive the flame retardant material is and how long it will last.
Steel doors don’t require much maintenance. Because of their resistance to rust, cracking, and bending, these doors will last longer and keep your home looking sharp for longer periods of time. Steel doors are especially favorable if you live in an environment with high amounts of precipitation and humidity. The moisture won’t affect the condition of the door. If the doors happen to need any repairs, know that steel doors are just as easy to repair as a standard wooden door is. Your steel door will rarely require a replacement.
When you think of a steel door, you may picture a cold, metal door that’s quite unwelcoming. This couldn’t be further from the truth! You’re able to paint these doors any color that you’d like. First, you’ll need to remove all of the hardware from the door. Then, you’ll need to sand and prime the door. Next, you can move into the painting phase. You can use many different methods to paint a steel door including brushing, rolling, or spraying the door.