Judy Rivard's Blog
Yes, prepping your home for sale seems like a lot of work, but its definitely worth it! Selling your home "as-is" can increase the time on the market and decrease the sale price. Depending on how much you can to invest, its possible to go all-out with the exterior design process but you can make great strides with just a few dollars in your pocket and a weekend to work on it.
Your real estate professional can give you specific suggestions after viewing your property, but here are a few that help just about everyone:
Start with the Garden
First things first, clean up your yard and garden. Getting rid of those fall leaves you've neglected to pick up, and dead branches hanging on your trees and bushes makes a big difference. If you have a lawn, make certain it’s mown down to a practical level so that it always looks clean and cared for. If you have a xeriscape, make sure your ground coverings are spread evenly. Mulch, gravel, and rubber are all easy to rake back into place with standard gardening tools. A cared for landscape will draw in buyers, helping them fall in love with the vibe of your home.
Add Some Color
Adding some window boxes or planters with seasonal flowers can brighten up your home and make it more appealing to potential buyers. Be careful not to over-water them and clean up any old blooms to keep them looking fresh. Worried about the upkeep? You can simplify your gardening efforts by adding a drip-irrigation system. Not only are they automatic, but the EPA also says they save water and are more efficient than sprinkler systems.
A lot of buyers drive around their favorite neighborhoods looking for just the right home. Want to make sure they can find your property? Check to see just how visible your house number is. The easier it is for a home seeker to find you, the faster your property is likely to sell. If you have existing door numbers, try a metal polish to clean up brass or steel numbers or a new coat of paint for wooden or even plastic ones. If your home is missing digits, or they are hard to see from the street, check out your local home improvement and craft stores for larger or more decorative options.
Do Some Painting (but just a little)
It can be expensive to repaint your entire home, and that's not in every budget. It's okay! Start by just cleaning off your existing paint. Use a proper hose attachment or rent a power sprayer from your local home improvement store and see just how much brighter and more inviting your home is when the paint is clean. To add that extra something, consider repainting your door and window shutters with a matching or contrasting color. Just that little bit of fresh paint at the focal points can make your home much more inviting. Make sure you do a clean job though, paint on door handles and windows won't help your cause.
Make it Bright
If you have existing outdoor lighting, now's the time for some elbow grease. Make sure all your lights are clean of dust and grime, so they show at their best. Get some bright new bulbs for them to ensure none are burnt out. Need some extra appeal? Try adding lights along your driveway, walkway or to accent a specific part of your landscape like a tree, statue or fountain. Landscaping lights can be easy to set up, just look for solar-powered LED lights. Available in a variety of colors, with no batteries or cords required, just stick them where you want for a dramatic evening look.
Your property may benefit from a couple weekends spent in the yard. Ask your real estate professional for specific advice about how to best show off your home.
There's no question about it: Being a homeowner can be a very satisfying and rewarding experience! However, enjoying that added privacy, control over your environment, and pride of ownership does not come without a price.
When you go from being a renter to an owner, a lot of things change! In additional to being responsible for property maintenance, repairs, and improvements, home ownership requires an investment of time. For many people, devoting a block of time to painting a room, organizing a closet, or cleaning out the basement can be the trickiest part of getting a project done!
One of the biggest obstacles to starting a home project is the natural human tendency to procrastinate -- especially if the project infringes on your relaxation or recreation time! On the other hand, the satisfaction you'll experience when the job is done will more than justify the time and effort. The overriding question is: "How can I motivate myself to tackle the project and get it done?" While there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to self-motivation, here are a few ideas which might help!
Create a To-Do List: Writing down a list of priorities and revising it several times a week is a tried-and-proven method of getting things done around the house. Writing down your short-term (and long-term) goals engages your attention, serves as a visual reminder, and sets an intention for taking action. When you create a to-do list and look at it a couple times a day, it helps to focus your mind on what you want to accomplish. By organizing your thoughts, it makes it much easier to organize your home and your life. It's definitely not a panacea for all of life's ills, but it can be a darn good starting point!
Announce Your Intentions: Once you tell your spouse, your best friend, or your mother that you're going to clean out your garage or paint the spare room on Saturday, it makes it a little harder to wiggle out of it -- especially, if you've used that project as a reason for declining an invitation or postponing a favor. By stating your intention, it's almost like you're promising to do something. Since most of us are inclined to live up to our promises, announcing your intentions to complete -- or at least start -- a home-improvement or organizing project may be all it takes to get the ball rolling!
Buy or Gather the Supplies: Whether you need supplies for cleaning, painting, or screen repair, having them on hand will make it much easier to get started. On the other hand, not having them in the house makes it all-too-convenient to say, "I'll get to it tomorrow!" And as you may know, "tomorrow" either never comes or it turns into "next year!"
3 Oakwood Dr, Belchertown, MA 01007
3 Oakwood Dr, Belchertown, MA 01007
Going through the process of applying for a mortgage only for your application to get denied can be a frustrating and confusing time. If you’re hoping to buy your own home in the near future, it’s vital to secure financing or you risk missing out on a home that you may have been depending on getting.
In today’s post, we’re going to talk about what happens when your mortgage application is denied and what you can do to fix the problem as quickly as possible.
Determine the Cause of Denial
If your application is denied, priority number one needs to be to understand what happened. Since lenders are required to provide denied applicants with a letter explaining why they were denied, this just means reading the letter and making sure you understand all of the reasons listed.
There are a few common reasons that an application may be denied. Some of them are simple fixes, while others might require time and effort on your part that may delay your house hunt for a while.
One issue that many mortgage applicants have to handle is when their employer won’t provide proof of income to a mortgage lender. Since income verification is vital to the mortgage application process, it’s important to make sure you can provide all of your income details from the last 2 years to the lender.
Sometimes there are issues with contacting employers, such as when your former place of employment goes out of business. Or, you may be a freelance or contract worker with atypical forms of income verification. Regardless, make sure you are clear with your loan officer regarding your employment history.
Other common causes for denial of an application include problems with your down payment (such as not meeting the required down payment amount) and credit history issues, such as having a lower score than you thought.
Credit score lower than expected
It’s not uncommon for a lender to run a credit check and come up with a score that is lower than you anticipated. Since scores change on a monthly basis, and since there are differences between the scores provided by the three major credit bureaus, you might find that your lender found a score slightly lower than what thought.
If the score is drastically different, however, this could be a sign of two things. First, make sure that you haven’t recently made multiple credit inquiries (such as applying to several lenders who perform credit checks) or by opening new credit cards or loans. These inquiries temporarily lower your credit score.
If you haven’t recently made any inquiries (other than applying for a mortgage with your lender of choice), then it’s a good idea to get a detailed credit report and scrutinize it for errors. Inaccuracies on your credit report can be disputed and resolved and can give your score the boost you need to be competitive on your mortgage application.
Choosing a different lender
While most lenders use similar criteria in determining your borrowing eligibility, there are some differences between lenders.
For example, some lenders might take on more risk by lending to someone with a lower credit score. However, they will also likely require a higher interest rate in exchange for the added risk they’ve acquired.
Now that you know your options for what to do when an application is denied, you’re well-equipped to start tackling the issue and getting back on track to becoming a homeowner.