Author archive

8 Stay At Home Vacation Ideas For Your Family

by Steven Young . 0 Comments

This summer have your very own adventure from home…

Sure Disneyland, the beach, and camping sound like a lot more fun to your kiddos then staying home this summer.  But below are eight fun and exciting staycation ideas for any budget, giving you easy ways to create memorable experiences this summer.

Put Your Culinary Skills To The Test

Let your kids experiment in the kitchen with a cook or bake off.  Team up with your little ones and create unique creations in your own kitchen.  To spice things up, turn the activity into a competition.  Introduce new and unfamiliar tastes to peak your kids interest and expand their pallets.

Take a trip to the store so your kids can exercise their independence, choosing new foods right off the shelves.  

Camp Out In Your Backyard

There is plenty to explore in your own backyard.  Moss, trees, and local wildlife are all fun things to study right outside your front door.  So roll out those sleeping bags and light the fire to create an experience in the backyard your small children will remember forever.  

Don’t forget the marshmallows!

Plan A Treasure Hunt

Create clues to lead your kids on an exciting adventure.  Ask your neighbours to join in on the fun for an extra exciting adventure, taking your kiddos around your home, backyard, and neighbourhood.  Hide little treasures along the way to peak their interest.  End the hunt with a fun prize.

For extra fun, play dress up and see who is the best pirate in your family.  

No matter your budget or allotment of free time, you too can easily create a fun, memorable staycation for the whole family to enjoy.

Take The Adventure To The Classroom

Use an online class, the library, the aquarium, or even word of mouth.  Teach your children a skill or provide them with exciting new knowledge.  Perhaps, teach them a new sport and have a family tournament.  Even something as simple as knot tying can be a memorable experience. 

Construct A Fortress

Every kid loves turning the living room furniture into a fort.  So wrangle up the pillows, blankets, and chairs because this summer the perfect activity can take place in the comfort of your home.  Build tunnels, separate rooms, or even a moat.  Spend the day going in and out of your families castle all day.

Calling All Artists

Let your kids imaginations run wild with some simple arts and crafts time.  Help them tie-dye shirts or try knitting instead.  

Need them out of your hair?  Easy fix.  Set them up with some finger paints or sidewalk chalk for an afternoon full of imagination and fun.

Making A Splash!

Occupying the kiddos can be hard when all you can think about is the extreme heat.  The best fix for the heat, make a splash in your own backyard.

Break out the sprinkler, fill up the water balloons, and collect your squirt gear.  Let your kids burn off their energy and stay cool with a backyard water park.

Don’t let apartment living or lack of water gear kill the fun.  Take a trip to your local splash pad or pool for a just as memorable and cool experience.

Town Fair

Call your friends and family, it’s time to go to the fair!  The best part, you can easily create this memorable time in your own backyard.  

Serve up classic fair foods like corn dogs, snow cones, and cotton candy.  

Create your own versions of balloon darts, fishing hole, and ring toss. 

Close your event with an outdoor movie, project it onto the garage or a large sheet.

3 Things To Consider Before Home Buying

by Steven Young . 0 Comments

When someone tries to sell their home, they do not always tell the whole truth. Unfortunately, hiring a professional inspector can get expensive if you are viewing multiple homes. Therefore, here are some things that are obvious even to a novice which can tell you not to buy the home.

First and foremost, check the neighborhood. Very few things are more important than this. Find out whether the community is going through growth, or whether it is declining. If you notice many homes are being foreclosed and local businesses are closing, then the community is declining. Make sure you visit the area on two different occasions. This will also give you an idea of what traffic is like at different points. Don’t forget to schedule one evening visit, to see whether there is nuisance on the streets at night. Additionally, make sure the police provide you with a crime report on the area.

You should now look at the property itself and how it was treated. You should be able to tell whether it was maintained regularly. A home that is run down on the outside will probably be in a similar state on the inside. Make sure to inspect the wiring. Only a qualified electrician can identify real problems, but you can have a general look. For instance, flickering lights and hot or warm outlets are signs of a bigger problem. Similarly, if you notice that there is a single wall, or just a few walls that have been painted very recently, where others haven’t, the owners may be hiding something. Next, look closely at the windows. Windows that have mold or condensation or that open with difficulty may be signs of very expensive problems.It goes without saying that if there are any rooms that the sellers don’t want you to see, you should avoid the property completely. If there have been any structural changes to the original property, you need to check whether these were done in accordance with various building regulations.

The reality is that you are the only one who can decide whether or not to buy a property. Additionally, if you find that there are certain problems, you could use this as a negotiating point to drive the price down. On the other hand, if you then have to pay even more money to fix it up, or if you can never sell it again, then it was a waste of money. A home is a place where someone, either you or a tenant, will have to live and this means it does have to be an enjoyable property to seem extent. It goes without saying that checking the condition of the property itself is very important, but the area it is in must be focused on as well. To check on the actual property, all you really need to do is hire the services of a property inspector. This is different than a neighborhood inspection, which really requires a personal opinion and feel, something that only you can do and decide upon.

Finding Where To Find Distinct Ideas When Thinking Of Selling a Property

by Steven Young .

Clear-Cut Suggestions When Looking At Selling a House Described

A lot of folks have been investing in real estate today so if you’re intending to sell your house, the best time is now. The only dilemma is that it’s very difficult to sell a property.

Many of you have most likely seen articles stating that selling a house is easy or you have came across ads informing you that they will probably be able to sell your house in weeks. If you will choose to bring down the price of your house, it would be more desirable to the buyers, but it’s not a good thing to do.

Though the supply outstrips the demand in the real estate market, there are still a lot of ways to sell your house. We’re going to give some suggestions on how you may do this efficiently.

Pay Attention to Curb Appeal

First impression lasts so you must be certain that your property is desirable enough for potential customers. If you’ll put yourself in the shoes of the buyer, what are the things that you would like to see in the exterior of the house? Is your property good enough to attract the attention of prospective buyers or you should perform some maintenance? The exterior of your property will be the first thing that potential customer will see and you need to understand that they are always paying attention to the external design of your home that they really want to buy.

Make Some Upgrades In Your home

If you would like to draw in the possible buyers, you need to make upgrades in your house. You’ll need to improve the interior and exterior of the house so it will be appealing to the buyers. If you actually want to sell your house, you have to check everything that needs fixing and make the required upgrades. Even so, make sure that you won’t over improve as there are upgrades that may not make a big difference.

Upgrades can undoubtedly boost the value of the house and its chances to be sold, but you can’t make enhancements that will not pay in the end. You should make your own research and only invest on things that would offer the best return.

Eliminate Personal Items and Displays

When you say clutter, these are the things that should not be inside the house when you’re selling it. You will need to remove all of your personal items, collectibles and art works because it is going to not help in selling your property. Eliminate all of these things and leave out the required furniture to make the rooms a bit bigger. The aim here is to actually help the customers visualize what they really want to do in your house once they bought it. When they enter your house, they will begin to visualize what they want to add so you must take away the unneeded and personal items inside the house. It’s going to be quite difficult for them to do this if your personal items are inside the house.

The Price Should be Competitive

If you plan to sell a home in [LOCATION], you need to put a great price for the property. If you’ll put a low price, it’s going to be the same as leaving money on the table and if you priced the house too high, it is going to be unattractive to buyers. In case you’re speaking about home buying, the buyers will always search for houses that are similar to yours and compare the prices. If your house is very costly, the customer will surely ignore your house and check others. These buyers usually rely on home financing so they cannot actually afford houses that are quite expensive. If the value is low, you could sell the house easily, but your investments will not be given back to you.

Find a Real Estate Agent

You’re making a mistake if you believe that you could sell your house by yourself. In case you’re not a professional real estate agent, it is going to be very difficult because you do not have the experience and knowledge to do it. If you’ll do this on your own, it’s feasible that you will not be able to sell the house or you will not get a great deal. You may get fortunate and get a great deal for your house, but you cannot depend on luck alone when selling a house because this is a huge amount of money. You should hire an agent and allow them to do everything for you. You’ll need to pay them, but this is much better than acquiring a bad deal as you do not know anything.

In case you are going to sell your house, it’s best to follow these simple guidelines so you will not make any mistakes. They are very basic, but you may assume that these suggestions will help you sell your house quickly.

Real Estate Landscaping: What This Means For You as A Seller

by Steven Young . 2 Comments

When you start thinking about selling your house, it is extremely important to start thinking about how you can make improvements to your home in order to get the most money for it. However, since you are selling your home to make money, you also don’t need to lose money by pouring in cash to improvements or renovations. You’ve heard time and time again how important it is to repaint, or re-caulk, and the like. But, you should know that these aren’t the only improvements you can do to increase the value of your home. images

This may surprise you, but studies have found that remodeling outdoors will offer you some of the return on investment. The verdict here, is that you should consider spending your hard work and money on the outside, rather than the inside. Curb appeal is extremely important and can literally determine whether or not a buyer will consider your house. However, you might be wondering which projects you should take on. Here are the ones that are the most likely to get you a great return on investment when it comes to the sale price of your home. images-1

Patio repair
Replacing or re-staining the wooden deck
Basic lawn care such as weeding, throwing out flowers and plants
Replacing the grass 

Obviously, each of these projects will cost different amounts. Simply adding new grass or replacing old grass is an extremely cheap and easy way to increase your curb appeal. Some studies say that home sellers should spend around 9-22% of the homes value on landscaping. While that is a general rule of thumb, you’ll have to be the judge. For example, perhaps your yard is already in tip-top shape. Also keep in mind the length of time the project will take. images-2

If you decide to re-pave your driveway, or add new hardscaping, you need to consider that timetable into when you list your house. Do not list your home before you have made these improvements. No one wants to have to step around wet cement to view your house. Again, it is easy for a home seller to roll their eyes at the thought of spending money on improvements for a house they’re planning to move out of. However, do not underestimate the advantages of these improvements. They will soon turn out to be an investment that shows itself in the form of a sold house.

10 Tips Most First-Time Home Buyers Don’t Consider

by Steven Young . 1 Comment

10 Tips Most First-Time Home Buyers Don’t Consider

Think long-term and think re-sale: You never know what might come up in your life, but you need to think about the possible things that could come up. You might have children, you might need to take a parent into your home when they get older, you may not plan to stay in the house past a few years. If you buy a house in a very bad school district or a house on a very busy street, when you are ready to sell the house, most families with children will be out of your list of potential buyers. These are very important questions to ask yourself.

Make a list of items to check: Home-buying is an emotional process. Ideally, you should set aside all your emotions when evaluating a house. Make a checklist of your requirements.

Look at ALL the expenses: You need to add up the interest, taxes and insurance, and utilities as well. You can’t just look at the cost of the house, and say yes, I can afford the mortgage. You can’t just buy the house and that’s all. You’ve got to pay for lights, gas (which is an important consideration if you’re commuting), city fees if there are any. Do not overlook the other monthly expenses of the potential house instead of just the monthly mortgage.

Research grants and other sources of funding: There are many different options based on profession such as grants for teachers, and farmers, for example. Research all the grants and funding options you are eligible for before you automatically decide you won’t qualify for anything.

Be sure to read your contract before you sign it: A house is probably the largest purchase you will ever make in your life, so make sure you understand the terms of your contract. If you don’t understand any of the terms, ask your mortgage broker and your real estate agent.

Learn about the neighborhood demographics: If you are buying a house in a neighborhood full of renters, it only takes a few bad renters or bad landlords to drive the neighborhood down fast. If the neighborhood is full of single people, will you be happy there if you have very young kids?

Look beyond the staging: The psychology does work; staged houses look far better than houses that are still being occupied. When you are considering a house, mentally try to remove the staging. Pay more attention to the layout of the house and the structure itself. Ugly wallpaper and paint can be easily fixed later.

All the old advice about buying your first home is true. Some examples — have an emergency fund, save for a down payment of 20 percent, get your credit into a better shape and don’t buy more than you can afford.

23 Things Every First-Time Homebuyer Should Know – HGTV

10 Worst First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes – Investopedia

10 Things First-Time Homebuyers Want, But Don’t Need – Home & Garden

Selling Your Buyer on an Older Neighborhood and Home

by Steven Young . 1 Comment

Selling Your Buyer on an Older Neighborhood And Home

Houses are getting larger and consumers are getting more demanding about amenities. Everyone feels they are entitled to the latest amenities such as granite countertops and stainless steel kitchen appliances. But these features don’t come with older homes. They just don’t. You have to make the most of the market in your area. So, you’ve got to get your buyers interested in the idea of an older home instead of a new construction home and neighborhood.

• What you see is what you get. In older neighborhoods everything is obviously, already built. You can see what kind of growth is taking place, and you can see what kinds of updates are being done by other families to make the most of the space and what kinds of amenities they are adding. What is a low-cost neighborhood today may be up-in-coming tomorrow. Actually, an older, stable neighborhood is the most likely to be targeted for change and improvements. No big-time investor will back a project that doesn’t have existing or new consumers.

• Hot neighborhoods net full recovery of remodeling costs. If your neighborhood is being rediscovered by buyers, they may be more inclined to remodel an older home if you can tell them that they may get a large portion of their renovating costs back. Improvements help the home, the neighborhood, and the community. An older home takes on charm and appeal with an updated kitchen, new baths, or an expanded bed or living room, and makes it more appealing for the next buyer.

• Negotiation. Because of the low margins on new homes, there’s very little opportunity for negotiation. The builder is more willing to sit on an unsold home to get the right price because he has more leverage. The average homeowner may be in a must-sell position and may be more willing to deal on issues such as move-in dates or repairs, especially if the buyer insists on a repair allowance. That can provide needed cash to make repairs without your having to incur a home improvement loan right away.

• Sell them on the neighborhood. Take your buyers around the area, and sell them on the experience. Show them the cute old time-y shopping center, the dog park, and the one of a kind local grocery store that sells famous pie. Show them what is special about this area over the newer neighborhoods.

• Show your buyers how they can get involved. Your buyers may be interested in making new friends and volunteering. Introduce them to all of the activities going on in the area.

Buying Old Homes vs. New Construction – Zillow

Buying an Old House? Common Problems, Hidden Costs & Benefits

Should You Buy That Fixer-Upper? – Times, “This Old House”

When a Housing Deal Falls Through

by Steven Young . 1 Comment


When a Housing Deal Falls Through

Selling a house is not a simple process, and it can become even more complicated and expensive if the deal falls through; sometimes this can be a result of buyers back out at the last minute. As a seller, here are some things you need to know about late-stage exits. 

Legal Ways That Buyers Back Out
Buyers will make an offer on your home and when it’s accepted, a contract is signed between the two parties. At that point, the property’s status typically changes from “For Sale,” to “Under Contract.”

This tells buyers and other agents that the seller has a buyer and is in the process of closing the deal. However, a home sale or purchase is not complete until both parties have signed all necessary legal documents transferring ownership of the home at closing. Buyers often have contingency clauses written into their contracts which are legal ways of backing out of the contract at no cost to the buyer. The most common contingencies include:

• Mortgage Loan Contingency: The buyer must be able to obtain a mortgage loan for the property, usually within a specific period of time of signing the contract.
• Home Inspection Contingency: The home for sale/purchase must either pass inspection or the seller must agree to make any necessary repairs noted by the inspector.
• Sale Contingency: The home purchase depends on the buyer selling his or her property.
• Appraisal Contingency: The price of the home for sale must either meet or be less than the official appraisal price.

When Your Buyer Backs Out 
If you have a contract in hand for the sale of your home, you have a few things to lose if your buyer backs out:
Interest From Other Qualified Buyers
Other buyers that may have been interested in making an offer on your home will begin looking at other properties. One of those buyers may have been able to meet the terms of the contract within your desired time frame, but by then, they are already gone.

One of the most frustrating aspects of a housing deal falling through is that you have to find another buyer. This takes time and could also complicate your plans to purchase another home and/or your moving timeline.

Your Next Home
 If you are buying another home and the contract on that property was contingent on selling your current residence, you may find yourself unable to financially move forward. You may have to back out of the purchase of your next home or figure out another way to finance it if you were depending on the proceeds from your current home to purchase the next. 

You may lose money as a result of the deal falling through if you:

• Failed to include a contingency in your next home purchase contract and you need to break it
• Need to continue making the mortgage payment on your current home and make a mortgage payment on a new home or pay rent
• Have to continue paying to keep the property up to show the home when it’s put back on the market

Negotiating With Your Buyer 
There are steps you can take if your buyer wants to back out. First, make sure that both of the real estate agents involved are communicating and that both you and your buyer are getting copies of all changes or communications in writing. See if there are concessions you could make to keep your buyer on track to close. While you may not want to reduce the sale price of your home or lay out more money to make repairs, it may be worthwhile.

Also check if the potential losses due to a broken deal would be more costly than making desired concessions.Be sure to read your contract to determine what recourse you have as the seller. For example, is there a clause in your contract that would give you legal grounds to sue your borrower for breach of contract and obtain a set percentage of the originally agreed-upon selling price?

Warning Signs 
There are some warning signs that a buyer is about to back out of closing on the purchase of your home:

• Not returning papers signed, dated and completed as instructed
• Failure to make required payments to third parties
• Not returning calls
• Missing appointments
• Multiple requests for contract changes from the buyer’s agent

Protect Yourself 
You can protect yourself from this type of buyer by being an informed and empowered home seller. You may want to have a real estate lawyer review the contract and inquire about your recourse options, including the ability to sue your buyer if necessary.

What to Do if Buyer Backs at Closing

How to Make an Offer on a House

Earnest Money Battles