Kimberley Martin - Homes of New Hampshire Realty

Posted by Kimberley Martin on 3/18/2018

For home sellers, staging a house can help you transform an ordinary residence into a stellar one. And even though it may seem like an expensive process to stage your property, there are many cost-effective ways to do just that.

Here are three cheap house staging ideas that every home seller needs to know.

1. Put Away Your Personal Belongings

Although you may display many treasured antiques and photographs throughout your home, you'll want to put these items in storage before you show your property to potential homebuyers.

Remember, your goal as a home seller is stir up significant interest in your residence. If you keep personal mementos on display in your house, it may be tough for homebuyers to envision what life would be like if they purchased your home.

When it comes to home staging, putting away your personal belongings is a must. Lucky for you, if you place your personal items in storage, you can boost your chances of a quick home sale. Plus, you may even be able to speed up the process of relocating to a new address, as many of your personal belongings will already be packed up and ready to go.

2. Remove Clutter

Let's face it – clutter is an eyesore that most homeowners can live without. However, many home sellers may have large book, CD or toy collections that can take up a lot of space.

Removing clutter is essential for home sellers who want to stage their residences properly. Fortunately, there are many simple ways to eliminate clutter with ease.

For example, you may want to host a yard sale before you add your house to the real estate market. A yard sale enables you to get rid of excess items as well as earn extra cash.

Or, if you are desperate to get rid of clutter quickly, you may be able to donate various items to local charities or dispose of these items altogether.

3. Clean and Deodorize Your Home

Pet odors and other unpleasant smells won't do you any favors, especially if you want your home to make a positive first impression on prospective homebuyers.

Cleaning and deodorizing your residence usually requires hard work and patience. On the other hand, you likely won't have to worry about breaking your budget to keep your property neat and tidy.

With a fresh, clean home, your residence may stand out from others in a crowded real estate market. The pleasant aromas that fill your house also can bolster your house's chances of making a positive first impression on potential homebuyers.

Staging your home may seem difficult at first, but expert real estate agents are able to help you prepare your residence for the housing market. Real estate agents can offer recommendations about how you can enhance your property quickly and effortlessly and ensure that you can stir up plenty of interest in your home as soon as it hits the real estate market.

Collaborate with a real estate agent, and ultimately, you should have no trouble staging and selling your house.

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Posted by Kimberley Martin on 3/11/2018

Buying a home is a lengthy process that requires months or even years of planning. The end result, however, is to have a home you can truly call your own and to own equity that you can then use later down the road.

Figuring out the right time to buy a home can be difficult for prospective homeowners. You’ll need to have a firm grasp on your finances and personal goals for what you want your life to look like for the next 5 or more years.

Buying a home in more than just a financial commitment. It also means you take on all of the responsibilities of owning that home. Maintenance, both inside and out, can take up a significant amount of your time.

Furthermore, owning a home ties you down to one area. You’ll need to determine if you’re ready and able to settle in one area for the next 5-7 years. This has implications for careers and for family life. Will your job bring you elsewhere? If you change jobs, are there ample opportunities where you live? These are just a couple of the questions you’ll need to ask yourself before deciding whether you’re ready to buy a home.

To simplify the process, I’ve created a checklist for some of the things you’ll need before you’re ready to buy a home. While this list does cover the basics, there may be other factors unique to your circumstances that you’ll have to take into consideration.

So, if you’re thinking about buying a home sometime in the near future, read on for the checklist. And, keep in mind that these are not necessarily mandatory before buying a home. But they will give you the best chance of making a solid investment and securing financial stability.

The home buyer’s preparedness checklist

  • Raise your credit score to 750 or more. A score in the “excellent” range will help you get the lowest possible interest rate on your mortgage. It’s possible to get approved for a mortgage with a score that is much lower, but a high score is ideal and can help you avoid PMI and a high interest rate.

  • Have an emergency fund saved. You don’t want to buy a house and then suddenly find yourself needing money for an emergency. Save a month’s worth of expenses before your down payment.

  • Have an active budget plan for saving up your down payment. Creating a dedicated savings account that you automatically have a portion of your pay deposited into is a good way to ensure that you meet your savings goals.

  • Bolster the case for your financial stability. Lenders will want to see that your income is predictable and regular. Keep records of your income, tax returns, and anything else that can help show that you’re making more than enough money to safely lend to.

  • Have open conversations with your family. If you’ll be buying a home with a spouse and/or children, discuss what you’re looking for in a home. This can include location, size, etc. It’s a good idea for everyone to be on the same page before you ever start shopping for a home.

  • Get preapproved. Getting preapproved for a home loan will make you a better prospective buyer in the eyes of sellers.

  • Run the numbers again. Aside from your mortgage payments, you’ll also have to pay utilities, trash removal, property taxes, and any other expenses related to the home. Make sure you can comfortably afford these while still contributing to savings.

Tags: Buying a home   checklist  
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Posted by Kimberley Martin on 3/4/2018

Let's face it – reviewing an offer to purchase can be difficult. And if a home seller feels unsure about a homebuying proposal, this individual may want to consider rejecting the offer to purchase.

Ultimately, there are many reasons why a home seller may decline an offer to purchase, and these include:

1. An offer to purchase fails to meet a home seller's expectations.

If a home seller receives a "lowball" offer to purchase, he or she may submit an instant rejection. In fact, this seller likely will have no regrets about declining the offer to purchase and continuing to wait for a homebuying proposal that matches his or her expectations.

As a home seller, it is vital to establish realistic property selling expectations before you list your residence. If you set a competitive initial asking price for your home, you may reduce the likelihood of getting lowball homebuying proposals. And as a result, you may be better equipped than ever before to speed up the home selling journey.

2. A home seller has multiple offers to purchase at his or her disposal.

If a home seller receives multiple offers to purchase his or her home, this individual likely has a tough decision to make. Fortunately, a seller can review his or her options and make an informed decision.

When a home seller receives several offers to purchase his or her residence, there is no need to rush to reject or accept a proposal. Instead, a seller should evaluate each homebuying proposal closely and use all of the information at his or her disposal to determine the best course of action.

3. A home seller can afford to wait.

If a home seller lists his or her residence in a buyer's market, the demand for houses may be limited. Conversely, if a seller lists a home in a seller's market, this individual may receive many offers to purchase as soon as his or her residence becomes available.

Sometimes, a home seller who can afford to be patient may choose to reject an offer to purchase in a buyer's market, even if the proposal is competitive. Because if the seller waits for the real estate market to improve, this individual may be able to optimize the value of his or her residence at a later time.

For home sellers who are committed to getting the best price for a home, it generally is a good idea to employ a real estate agent. This housing market professional will help a seller establish a competitive initial asking price for his or her residence. Plus, a real estate agent will set up open house events and home showings to promote this house to potential buyers. And if a seller receives an offer to purchase, a real estate agent can recommend whether the seller should reject, accept or counter the proposal.

Want to list your house and streamline the property selling journey? Hire a real estate agent, and you can work with a home selling expert to evaluate any offers to purchase your residence.

Posted by Kimberley Martin on 2/25/2018

After a home seller accepts your offer on a home, the next step usually involves a home inspection.

At this point, you'll hire a home inspector who will walk through the home you'd like to buy and offer expert insights into the residence's strengths and weaknesses. Then, you'll be able to assess potential issues with a home and determine whether to move forward with a home purchase.

A home inspection can be stressful, particularly for a first-time homebuyer. Lucky for you, we're here to help you take the guesswork out of home inspections.

Ultimately, there are many questions to consider after a home inspection is completed, including:

1. What did the home inspection reveal?

A home inspection offers unparalleled insights into a residence. It enables you to look beyond a house's surface and find out whether major repairs will be required both now and in the future.

Hiring an experienced home inspector is paramount for homebuyers. With an experienced home inspector at your disposal, you'll be better equipped than others to identify "hidden" problems within a house.

Also, don't forget to review a home inspection report closely. With this information at your disposal, you'll be able to understand whether a residence meets your expectations.

Be sure to consider the long-term value of a property as well. Remember, a home that you plan to purchase should be able to serve you well for years to come. But if you encounter myriad home issues during a property inspection, you may want to consider rescinding your offer on a residence and restarting your search for the ideal house.

2. Are there major home issues?

As a homebuyer, it is important to be able to identify the differences between major and minor home issues.

For example, if there are tiny cracks and chips in the paint on a kitchen's walls, these issues are minor. In fact, you may be able to repair such issues quickly and effortlessly.

On the other hand, an old, inefficient furnace can cause major headaches. Without a properly functioning furnace, you may struggle to heat your home in winter. Meanwhile, it may cost several thousand dollars to replace this furnace.

If you encounter problems with a residence during a home inspection, consider the costs associated with these issues. By doing so, you'll be able to determine how much you may need to spend to correct such problems and can proceed with a home purchase accordingly.

3. What should I do next?

An informed homebuyer will be equipped with the knowledge and insights needed to make a great decision.

Consider the problems that were discovered during a home inspection. If you can fix home issues without having to commit substantial time and resources to complete various home maintenance projects, you may want to consider moving forward with a home purchase.

If you encounter major home issues, you can always ask a home seller to perform home repairs. Or, you may want to remove your offer on a home altogether.

Working with a real estate agent is ideal, especially for homebuyers who want help with home seller negotiations. With assistance from a real estate agent, you should have no trouble determining how to proceed after a home inspection.

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Posted by Kimberley Martin on 2/18/2018

Home is where the heart is and we all want to make sure the heart of our home, our family, is healthy and happy. Creating a home that sets your family up for success towards becoming a healthier, and therefore happier family can lead to happy memories you can cherish forever. Keep reading for tips and habits you can enforce and lead by example in your home to encourage your family to make healthy choices both mentally and physically. Practice gratitude. At the end of each day, perhaps even around the dinner table review your family's favorite moments of the day and what they are grateful for. Creating space for these moments is akin to writing out gratitude lists which have been scientifically proven to help increase happiness. This habit also has the added benefit of bringing your family closer together . Spend time together at home. Whether it’s a weekly game night where your family gathers around the kitchen table to play board games, huddles up in the living room to play some video games or spend the day playing a game of ball in the backyard. Taking time to enjoy each other at home base creates happy memories and helps your family become more tight knit. Create zones in your house. Set up zones for activities such as tech only, homework, play, solo time and even family time to help encourage focus on the activity at hand while maintaining balance. By creating specific zones you help hardwire your family’s brains to focus on the activity at hand and allow a way for other members of the family to respect that person’s time while they are engaging in an activity. Healthy Choices. Set out bowls of fruits, pre-cut veggies to snack on and keep a jug of cold water on hand to guide your family towards healthy choices on their own. This works especially well with younger children so that you can allow them to make their own food choices at snack time and ensure you are making it easier for them to reach for the good stuff. Encourage physical activity. If you child is interested in an afterschool sport, practice being enthusiastic and supportive of their new interest. Spend time practicing with them in the backyard and volunteer to host their friends over for a group practice in the backyard. If your partner is interested in joining the gym or an adult league, leave room in your family’s schedule for them to easily stick to and enjoy their new commitment. Make relaxation easy for your family. Consider what each member of your family’s go-to technique to relax is and set up ways for them to easily do so. If your children love to draw or paint set up an art station they can easily access at their discretion. If your partner enjoys curling up with a good book and some hot tea arrange a bookcase with their favorite titles within reach and keep tea making supplies at the forefront of your cabinet. Get outside. Sometimes it's important to get out of the house too. A few times a month schedule times for family trips to get outside and visit nearby trails. Whether you walk, hike or ride bikes as a family getting outdoors to enjoy fresh air and be active will improve your family’s health and guarantee some quality time together. We all want health and happiness for the ones we love. You can help promote healthy habits that lead to increased happiness for your family with a little preparation and guiding by example. Working with, playing with, and supporting each other along the way will guarantee a healthier, more tight knit family with loads of memories to cherish for years to come.

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Kimberley Martin