Kristen Meleedy, CBR's Blog
Persistence may prove to be exceedingly important to a home seller. In fact, a persistent home seller may be better equipped than others to reap the benefits of a fast, profitable property selling experience.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you become a persistent home seller.
1. Analyze the Real Estate Market
Persistence and confidence often go hand-in-hand. And if a seller allocates time and resources to learn about the housing sector, he or she can build the confidence needed to remain persistent throughout the home selling journey.
Take a look at the prices of available houses in your city or town that are similar to your own residence. By doing so, you can see how your house stacks up against the competition and identify innovative ways to differentiate your residence from the pack.
Furthermore, it may be beneficial to look at the prices of recently sold residences in your area. This housing market data can help you determine whether you're preparing to enter a seller's or buyer's market.
2. Set an Aggressive Initial Home Asking Price
A persistent home seller will take a data-driven approach to establish a competitive initial asking price for his or her residence. That way, this seller can set an aggressive home price that will help his or her residence stir up plenty of interest as soon as it becomes available.
Conducting a home appraisal offers a quick, easy way to receive an expert property valuation. It usually only takes a few days to receive a home appraisal report. Once a seller has this report, he or she can use it to set an aggressive initial home asking price.
3. Hire a Real Estate Agent
Even a persistent home seller realizes that he or she may struggle to navigate the home selling journey alone. Thankfully, if you hire a real estate agent, you can receive comprehensive support at each stage of the home selling cycle.
A real estate agent is committed to helping a home seller enjoy a seamless property selling experience. He or she will work directly with a seller and keep him or her up to date throughout the house selling process. As a result, a home seller and real estate agent together can maximize the value of any house, at any time.
In addition, a real estate agent is resourceful and will do whatever it takes to promote a residence to the right groups of buyers. He or she will host open house events and home showings and provide a property seller with plenty of feedback. Best of all, a real estate agent maintains constant communication with a house seller. And if a seller has questions, a real estate agent is ready to answer these queries.
For home sellers who want to achieve the best-possible results, persistence is paramount. With the aforementioned tips, anyone can become a persistent home seller and boost the likelihood of a successful house selling experience.
If you’re retired, own your own home and have trouble making ends meet, a reverse mortgage may seem like the answer to prayers. You get to stay in your house and you’ll have some extra cash to see you through. Before you run to the nearest lender, however, consider the downside as well as upside to these instruments.
What is a reverse mortgage?
A financial institution lends you money, either a lump sum, a stream of payments or a line of credit, against the equity in your home. Unlike most loans, however, you’re not required to pay it back on a regular basis. You can let the loan ride until you die, move or sell the home, at which your home is sold and the proceeds pay off the loan.
While there are several flavors of reverse mortgage, most are insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) under a program called the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM).
Am I eligible for a reverse mortgage?
Everyone on the title must be 62 or older. The home must be your primary residence, and your equity needs to be at least around 50 percent. Also, you have to attend consumer counseling before signing up.
What are the pros of a reverse mortgage?
You stay in your home. You keep the title until you sell, move or die.
There are no required monthly payments. Any previous home loans are paid before you receive your proceeds.
If you choose to make payments, there’s no prepayment penalty.
The money you receive is not taxable, nor does it affect your Social Security or Medicare eligibility.
The loan is non-recourse. Regardless of your loan balance, you'll never have to pay back more than the house is worth.
What are the cons of a reverse mortgage?
Unless you make payments, the loan amount will continue to increase. It’s unlikely you’ll pass the home on to your heirs.
You must continue to pay taxes, insurance and necessary maintenance and repairs. Failure to do so can lead to foreclosure.
There are upfront and ongoing mortgage insurance premiums as well as a loan origination fee. These (and interest rates) trend higher than for other mortgage loans.
Your favorite bank may not offer reverse mortgages. Most issuers are small banks, credit unions and online lenders. Some lenders have made misleading claims that understate the risk.
If you go into a nursing home you will have to sell the home and pay off the loan.
While Social Security and Medicare are not an issue, reverse mortgage income can affect your eligibility for Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income.
Should I apply for a reverse mortgage?
If you plan to stay in your home well into retirement and are having trouble with ongoing expenses, it may be right for you. However, if you aren’t cautious about what you’re getting into, or if you’ll have trouble paying taxes, insurance and upkeep even with the extra money, it isn’t a wise choice.
If you like the outdoors, spending time on the terrace or balcony at your home is a great way to enjoy the fresh air and spend time with family and friends. But sometimes windy weather or lack of privacy can create a challenge. Consider installing a windbreak to make your outdoor space more comfortable. Depending on your style, budget, and space requirements, you’ll find a wide variety of available options. Here are some practical ideas you can employ.
Types of Windbreaks
Glass Railing: Glass railings are a great option if you do not want to block the view from your outdoor space. Replacing traditional railings with glass or acrylic panels will add protection against the elements as well as sleek, modern curb appeal to your property.
Retractable windbreak: A retractable windbreak is a good solution if you do not want to add a permanent wall or railing to your space. A retractable windbreak functions like a horizontal window shade allowing for easy storage when it is not in use. They are available in polyester, textile fibers or plastic. Premium options are waterproof and treated to resist UV rays.
Trellis with climbing plants: Consider creating a windbreak with climbing vines and plants for a more natural aesthetic. First, install a trellis or pergola structure to support the plants. If your working at ground level, plant your climbing vines directly in the ground otherwise line planters along the edge of the balcony.
Bamboo shades: Rolled bamboo shades are a great option if you have a covered balcony with open sides. Bamboo shades are a windbreak you can open and close as needed. They are easy to install and come in a wide variety of styles and dimensions.
Finding the perfect windbreak for your home requires planning and budget considerations. If you need to hire a contractor to help with your project, ask your real estate agent for local recommendations.
If you’re a newer homeowner, odds are you don’t really “own” your home outright. Rather, you likely have equity in your home.
In this article, we’re going to talk about what home equity is, how to use it to your advantage, and things you should avoid using your home equity toward.
What is home equity?
Unless you’re one of the lucky few who paid for their homes in cash, you probably took out a mortgage. As you pay off that mortgage you build equity.
Home equity is essentially the value of a property that a homeowner has at their disposal due to paying back part or all of their mortgage.
However, there’s another factor at play in home equity, and that’s market value.
Since the housing market fluctuates, the value of your home does as well, and as a result, your home equity changes with the market value of a house. That might sound worrying, but the good news is that due to something called appreciation.
In the same way that the cost of living tends to rise each year with inflation, so do housing prices. However, appreciation isn’t the only factor at play in the valuation of your house. As your home ages, it will likely need some renovations, which could decrease the home value.
Generally speaking, however, your equity achieves a net gain as you pay your mortgage and the value appreciates.
Now that we know why equity can be so beneficial as an asset, let’s talk about ways to build it.
The best way to build home equity is to repay your home loan. However, more than simply repaying, you’ll want to repay in the fewest number of years to avoid paying more in interest. The longer you take to pay your mortgage, the more interest accrues that could have been used toward other investments.
The second way to increase equity is one we mentioned before--market fluctuation--namely appreciation. To improve the chances of getting a high appraisal of your home, it’s important to keep up with maintenance and make smart renovation choices that will have a high return on investment.
Using home equity
The best use of home equity is to leave it be and increase its value over time. However, that isn’t always possible for all of us. Since many of us need to move before repaying our full mortgage, equity allows homebuyers to use their equity toward their next mortgage.
Another option is to take out a home equity loan or home equity line of credit. Ideally, you’ll only use these loans if you’re planning on using the loan money to increase the value of the home via home improvement projects.
Borrowing against your home equity does come with risks. Since you are putting your share of your home on the line, there is a chance of your home being foreclosed on if you don’t repay the home equity loan. However, lenders typically seek other methods of repayment or settlement before foreclosure.
Does your real estate agent have what it takes to help you streamline the process of buying or selling a home?
Ultimately, when it comes to choosing a real estate agent, it pays to hire a housing market expert. With this real estate professional at your side, you can accelerate the homebuying or home selling cycle and improve your chances of achieving your desired results.
There are many signs that a real estate agent is a housing market expert, and these include:
1. A real estate agent keeps you up to date about the housing market.
Ideally, you should be able to find a real estate agent who will go the extra mile to keep you up to date about housing market trends. This housing market professional can help you make informed decisions throughout the homebuying or home selling journey.
In addition, the right real estate agent should have no trouble differentiating between a buyer's market and a seller's market so you can plan accordingly. He or she will assess housing market data regularly, and as such, be better equipped than other housing market professionals to help you stay ahead of the competition.
2. A real estate agent possesses extensive industry experience.
If you're on the lookout for a real estate agent, it certainly is beneficial to hire a housing market expert with comprehensive industry experience.
A real estate agent with extensive industry experience will know how to handle tough homebuying or home selling situations. That way, he or she can help you identify and overcome myriad hurdles as you try to buy or sell a house.
Furthermore, a real estate agent who possesses in-depth experience likely has plenty of confidence. This housing market professional should be able to help you alleviate stress and remain calm, cool and collected at each stage of the homebuying or home selling journey.
3. A real estate agent can answer any of your housing market questions.
Navigating the homebuying or home selling journey can raise many questions. Fortunately, the right real estate agent will be ready to answer your housing market questions at any time.
A real estate agent who knows the ins and outs of the housing market can provide you with the insights that you need to succeed, regardless of the current real estate sector's conditions. Plus, he or she will listen to your homebuying or home selling concerns and offer honest, unbiased recommendations to help you accomplish your goals.
Lastly, it may prove to be worthwhile to hire a real estate agent who is a great communicator. This housing market professional will be able to explain complex real estate concepts in simple terms, making it easy for any homebuyer or home seller to make the best possible decisions.
Ready to buy or sell a house? Collaborate with a real estate market who is a housing market expert – you'll be happy you did. This housing market expert can help you proceed with confidence and accomplish great things throughout the homebuying or home selling journey.