These days in the complex world of buying or selling a home and with the winter weather here in Oakland County, Michigan it’s a great time to find some great books to read, especially if your thinking of buying or selling a home in the near future. There are many differences in buying a home as appose to selling one and being fully prepared when the time is right can be the difference between thousands of dollars out of your pocket. Let’s face it, buying a home or selling a home is one of the most important financial decisions you can make in your life, so a little homework before hand is a very smart move.
As your Realtor it is my job to guide you through the home buying and home selling process and help the transaction as seamless as possible, but if I can share important information beforehand it is my pleasure to do so. The six books that I would recommend are listed below and they also are in audio form in case your like me and like to listen in my car (my second home). These books are such a value-add that I felt compelled to share them with you. Also, I’m always here for any advice or help that I can provide to you personally. Hope you enjoy!
For Home Buyers
1. Homebuying For Dummies, Eric Tyson and Ray Brown
Homebuying For Dummies, now in its 4th edition, is the quintessential guide for any newbie homeowner getting ready to make the purchase of a lifetime. Just like the rest of the contributions to the massively popular For Dummies series, this book gives step-by-step instructions on how to buy your first property. The volume covers everything from finding the right property, understanding your lending options and the tax implications of purchasing a home.
2. Mortgages For Dummies, Eric Tyson and Ray Brown
Sticking with the For Dummies series, first-time homebuyers who don’t fully understand what it means to purchase a house with a loan should definitely check out Mortgages For Dummies. Not only does this volume break down the basics of mortgages, like what they are, the difference between fixed rate and variable rate mortgages and how to secure your loan, it also breaks down how to determine how much house you can afford, how to get your finances in check before you apply and even tips for raising your credit score to clinch a lower interest rate.
3. 100 Questions Every First-Time Home buyer Should Ask, Ilyce R. Glink
Written in easy to understand question and answer format, this first-time home buyer guide from real estate expert Glick digs deep into virtually any question a first-time home buyer might have in today’s market.
In 100 Questions Every First-Time Home buyer Should Ask, Glick leveraged expertise from top real estate brokers around the world to create what is essentially the encyclopedia for buying your first home. Questions run the gamut from how to have your potential purchase tested for harmful substances like mold or radon to how the purchasing process has evolved in recent years – and how you can make those changes work for you.
For Home Sellers
4. House Selling For Dummies, Eric Tyson and Ray Brown
Tyson and Brown created another essential how-to guide, this time for sellers, with House Selling For Dummies. This edition will give you all the information you need to make the most out of the home selling process and get the maximum profit for your home. Topics include how to best prepare your home to put on the market, the best time of year to list your home, how to find the best real estate agent and negotiating tips to ensure you get the best offer on your property.
5. How To Sell A House Fast in a Slow Real Estate Market: A 30-Day Plan For Motivated Sellers, William Bronchick and Ray Cooper
Whether you’ve already purchased a new home or you’re in the red on your mortgage, there are going to be times you need to sell sooner rather than later. For those sellers who are looking to unload their property fast, How To Sell A House Fast in a Slow Real Estate Market: A 30-Day Plan For Motivated Sellers is a great guide for securing a quick selling process, even if the market in your area runs slow. This guide is full of practical advice on how to leverage marketing techniques, advertising and improvements to the property to get your house sold quickly and (relatively) easily.
6. The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Staging Your Home To Sell, Julie Dana
One of the major components of selling your home for a prime price is showcasing your property in its best light. Staging your home in a way that makes it most appealing to potential buyers can mean the difference between getting an offer you’re excited about or consistently falling short on your asking price. The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Staging Your Home To Sell gives you step-by-step instructions on how to effectively stage each room in your home for maximum impact. This book is especially helpful for the design-challenged and will have even the most novice interior designer staging rooms like a pro.
If you’re gearing up to buy or sell your home , grab a cup of tea, get comfortable and read these books. Your wallet – and sanity – will thank you.
Home Improvements to Avoid When Selling Your House
Home improvements a bang for your buck? Don’t go out just yet with your tool kit, expecting those YouTube DIY tricks to work out perfect. It rarely happens!
The problem is many sellers believe that taking on home improvement projects themselves will help them save on repairs and insurance. When you are targeting something major, first think about how much the repair or renovation will impact the value of your home for sale on Oakland County, Michigan.
Some projects yield high ROIs, which are easy to do on your own such as painting the interior, while others are difficult such as roof repairs and extensive plumbing installations. In the end, you might be looking at a costlier repair than the small patch that could have been fixed for $100 by a professional.
Even if you are making a new addition to the house, think long and hard before doing so. Do your research and make sure that the features you’re planning to add to your house are present in houses across the neighborhood. If they’re not, and you still proceed with your plans, you could potentially lose all your money.
Home Improvements May Wind Up Costing You In The Long Run
Here are a few such features that require extensive research before being added to mitigate risks of losses:
1. Swimming Pools
Unless the buyer demands a swimming pool and agrees to your asking price without demanding insurance for repairs, this improvement might work in your favor. An in-ground swimming pool can cost somewhere between $20,000 and $60,000. It might sound surprising but many rational homebuyers and investors might not prefer swimming pools due to the high maintenance costs involved.
Beautiful, right? High ROI? No! A sunroom does not even guarantee a 60% ROI. You will be better off building a deck in the backyard and furnishing it with chic furniture. The ROI on a deck is much higher and is an improvement that is loved by all buyers, especially those who have a big family.
3. Home Office
A home office is yet another feature you need to think about twice. You can never be sure that the next owner would be an entrepreneur or would use the space to work from home. A home office costs around $20,000 and rarely pays even half of the value on your home for sale on Oakland County, Michigan.
If you already have a garage, then don’t add extra space to it. The buyer might not want the extra space and can refuse the offer on the basis of it. Since, you will be adding a large margin to the asking price; buyers might not find it realistic.
5. Master Suite
This is an improvement you need to think on when you buy the house. How long do you plan to live in the house? More than 20 years? No? Then, you better stay away from this improvement. Master suit only promise a 40% on the sale of your house.
Keep the improvements to a minimum and limit them to the kitchen and bathroom because these are two rooms that are used the most. Before putting your home for sale on Oakland County, Michigan on the market, why not get it appraised by experts. Visit Homes2MoveYou now and get yourself a real estate agent like myself to help you every step of the way.
With Summertime right around the corner, the spring is the best time to prepare for the long summer days. Below are some great ways to prepare your home for the warmer weather so you can enjoy your home to its fullest.
Summertime is one of the best times of year; children are out of school, it’s the perfect time to explore the great outdoors, and of course, everyone’s favorite: good ol’ summer vacation.
After the freezing temperatures of winter and the unpredictability of spring, you and your family are probably more than ready for the warm, summertime weather. But the question is: is your home?
Here are 5 tips to get your home ready for warmer weather:
1. Get your A/C checked for the Summertime heat
The summertime heat is great for beach days and splashing in the pool. But when you’re done enjoying the sunshine, you’ll want to open the door to a nice, cool interior. But if your air conditioner isn’t working properly, you can quickly find yourself with no escape from the rising temperatures.
The best time to get your air conditioning in working order is before summer hits. Start by changing out the filters. Dirty filters make it harder for your A/C unit to do its job, lower the efficiency of your air conditioning system and waste energy. After you replace the filters, let your air conditioning system run for an hour or so to see how its cooling; a test run will give you insight into any potential problems you need to have serviced.
You should have an HVAC professional service your air conditioning system once a year. Even if you don’t notice any obvious problems, servicing your A/C annually will keep it running better for longer. Spring is the best time of year to get your A/C service; once summer hits, most HVAC companies are booked solid through the summer months, and the last thing you want is to find yourself in the thick of summer with a broken air conditioning system and no relief from the heat.
2. Switch out your gear
Each season required a completely different set of tools, gear, furniture, and decor. To avoid clutter, it’s best to store these items when they’re not in use. If you’re storing your seasonal items, you’ll need to switch everything out as summertime approaches so you have everything on hand you need to enjoy the season.
Put your patio furniture out in the backyard so it’s ready for when you entertain guests. Check your grill to make sure it’s in working order and ready for summer BBQs. Switch out those heavy winter comforters with lightweight quilting that’s more appropriate for summer weather.
3. Get your lawn up to speed
One of the best parts of summer is getting to enjoy time outside, often in your own backyard. But if you’re like most people, your lawn could probably use a bit of TLC after the cooler months.
Survey your property for any visible damage caused by winter weather. Check all playground equipment to make sure it’s in good shape before the kids get out of school. Add a few new plants or flowers to add visual interest to the landscape.
Your backyard will play host to many celebrations, playdates, and lazy evenings with your family this summer. In order to enjoy all the fun of summer fully, you want to make sure your lawn is in the best shape possible.
4. Plant a garden
Speaking of the backyard, there’s no better time than summer to plant a garden. The warmer weather is the ideal time for a rainbow of vegetables to flourish, including beets, cucumbers, corn, tomatoes, peppers, and squash. If you’re new to gardening, pick up a few raised garden beds and plant your seeds now. Before summertime hits its peak, you’ll be enjoying fresh vegetables straight from your garden – perfect for a refreshing summer salad.
5. Get painting out of the way
If you’ve been thinking about painting the interior of your home, now is the time to do it. Painting only gets more challenging as the temperature rises; since you’ll need to have your windows open while you paint, A/C isn’t an option. Not only will the heat make painting feel more physically demanding, but humid weather can make the paint fumes feel more overwhelming.
If you do decide to paint, consider some seasonally appropriate hues, like gold or sky blue, to bring the feeling of summer indoors.
Summertime will be here before you know it. And with these tips, your home will be ready for it.