Carol Snider and Laura Snider Cooperman's Blog
If you plan to add your residence to the housing market soon, now may be a good time to list any unwanted items online. In fact, there are many reasons to sell furniture, decorations or other unwanted items online prior to listing your residence, and these reasons include:
1. You can eliminate clutter from your home.
Excess items may take up lots of space in your residence. As a result, these items may make your home appear small and cluttered.
By listing excess items online, you can give these items a new home. Then, you should have no trouble showing off the true size and beauty of your residence to prospective buyers once you list your house.
2. You can improve your home's overall appearance.
In addition to taking up space in your home, unwanted items may collect dust over time. These items therefore may make your residence look messy and dirty.
On the other hand, selling your unwanted items online gives you an opportunity to transform your home from drab to fab. You can clean items to improve their appearance and showcase them to dozens of prospective buyers online. At the same time, you can clean your residence from top to bottom and ensure your residence is show-ready as soon as you list it.
3. You can earn extra cash.
Selling a home may prove to be costly, particularly for those who need to invest in property repairs or upgrades. Thankfully, listing excess items online allows you to earn extra cash that you can allocate toward the home selling process.
Clearly, there are many reasons to sell items online before you list your house. If you start listing items online today, you may be able to move one step closer to kicking off the property selling journey.
As you get ready to sell your house, you may want to consult with a real estate agent too. If you have a real estate agent at your side, you can receive extensive support from the moment you list your home to the moment you finalize your house sale.
A real estate agent is a home selling expert who will craft a personalized property selling strategy for you. Then, you and your real estate agent can work together to put your plan into action.
Typically, a real estate agent will showcase your residence to potential buyers and keep you up to date with any buyer feedback. If you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent can provide a recommendation about whether to accept, reject or counter this proposal. And if you approve an offer to purchase, a real estate agent will help you navigate the final stages of the home selling cycle.
When it comes to selling a home and achieving the best possible results, it is crucial to employ a real estate agent. Because if you have a top-notch real estate agent at your disposal, you can boost the likelihood of enjoying a seamless property selling experience.
There are a number of programs, government-sponsored and otherwise, that are designed to help aspiring homeowners find and get approved for a mortgage that works for them.
Among these are first-time homeowner loans insured by the Housing and Urban Development Department, mortgages and loans insured by the USDA designed to help people living in urban and rural areas, and VA loans, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
In today’s post, I’m going to give you a basic rundown of VA loans, who is eligible for them, and how to apply for one. That way you’ll feel confident knowing you’re getting the best possible deal on your home mortgage.
What is a VA Loan?
VA loans can provide soon-to-be homeowners who have served their country with low-interest rates and no private mortgage insurance (PMI).
If you’re hoping to buy a home soon and don’t have at least a 20% down payment, you typically have to take out private mortgage insurance. This means paying an extra insurance bill on top of your monthly mortgage payments. The downside of PMI is that it never turns into equity that you can then use when you decide to move again or sell your home.
Loans that are guaranteed by the VA don’t require PMI because the bank knows your loan is a safer investment than if it wasn’t guaranteed
VA loans may also help you secure a lower interest rate, or give you some negotiating power when it comes to discussing your interest rate.
Finally, VA loans set limits on the number of closing costs you can pay in your mortgage. And, if you’ve ever bought a home before, you’ll know how quickly closing costs can add up.
Who is eligible?
There are some common misconceptions about who can apply for a VA loan? So, we’ll cover all the bases of eligibility.
If you meet one of the following criteria, you may be eligible for a VA loan:
You’ve served 90 consecutive days during wartime
You’ve served 181 days during peacetime
You’ve served six or more years in the Reserves or National Guard
Your spouse died due to their work in the military
There are some restrictions to these eligibilities. For example, your chosen lender may still have credit score minimums.
Applying for a VA Loan
There are two main steps for applying for a VA Loan. First, you’ll have to ensure your eligibility. You can do this by checking the VA’s official website. Be sure to call them with any questions you may have.
Next, you’ll need a certificate of eligibility. The easiest way to acquire one is through your chosen lender. If you haven’t chosen a lender, you can also apply online through the eBenefits portal, or by mailing in a paper application.
Once you have a certificate, you can apply for your mortgage and you’ll be on your way to buying a home.
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Buying a home represents a life-changing decision. As such, you'll want to look beyond the price of a residence as you search for your dream house.
Ultimately, there are many factors beyond price that you should consider as you pursue your ideal residence, including:
1. A Home's Location
For most homebuyers, a house's location is the number one factor when they explore the real estate market, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.
Finding a home in a location that is convenient for you is priceless. And if you know how to conduct a comprehensive home search, you can quickly discover a high-quality home in a wonderful location.
As you prepare to kick off your home search, consider whether you'd like to live in a city or town. This will enable you to narrow your home search.
You also may want to consider homes that are located near work or school. By doing so, you can ensure that you won't have to travel too far to get to destinations that you frequently visit.
2. A Home's Condition
A home may look like a great investment at first, but its condition may have deteriorated over time. Thus, you'll want to take a close look at a house's condition before you finalize a home purchase.
Typically, a homebuyer will complete a property inspection after a home seller accepts an offer on a residence. This inspection will enable a homebuyer to perform an in-depth assessment of a residence and learn about its strengths and weaknesses. Then, a homebuyer can determine whether to move forward with a home acquisition.
If a property inspector discovers myriad issues that impact a home's condition, a homebuyer may want to reconsider his or her offer. At this point, a homebuyer can still walk away from a home purchase. Or, a homebuyer can ask the home seller to complete various home improvements as well.
On the other hand, a homebuyer who falls in love with a house may choose to proceed with a home purchase, regardless of the residence's condition. If you choose this option, however, it is important to consider the potential long-term ramifications of your decision.
3. Your Future
It is paramount for a homebuyer to find a house that he or she can enjoy for years to come. Therefore, a homebuyer should consider his or her future before finalizing a home purchase.
For example, if you plan to settle down and start a family, you may want to evaluate houses that are close to schools. Conversely, if you eventually want to work in the big city, you may want to consider homes that will make it easy to commute into the city day after day.
Don't forget to hire a real estate agent to help you during the homebuying journey too. With a real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble examining a broad range of top-notch houses that won't force you to break your budget.
Adding a residence to the real estate market can be stressful, particularly for a first-time home seller. Fortunately, we're here to help you maintain a positive outlook as you await offers on your house.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help a first-time home seller remain calm, cool and collected after he or she lists a residence.
1. Set Realistic Expectations
Although a first-time home seller might expect dozens of offers in the days following a house's addition to the real estate market, it may take some time to stir up interest in a residence. However, a home seller who establishes realistic expectations from the get-go will know how to stay the course throughout the property selling journey.
A first-time home seller should understand both the best- and worst-case scenarios. That way, a home seller will know how to respond to any potential pitfalls that may arise.
Furthermore, a first-time home seller should have a plan in place for what will happen after a home offer is accepted. This will ensure a home seller is fully prepared to vacate a house as quickly as possible.
2. Learn About the Housing Market
The housing market is exceedingly complex, especially for those who are selling homes for the first time. Conversely, a first-time home seller who takes a diligent approach can gain the real estate market insights to make confident decisions.
For example, a first-time home seller should analyze the competition closely. By looking at the prices of similar houses that are available, this home seller can establish a competitive price for a house and increase his or her chances of a quick home sale.
A first-time home seller also should check out the prices of recently sold houses in his or her city or town. By doing so, this home seller can find out whether he or she is entering a buyer's or seller's market and plan accordingly.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
Selling a home may seem like a simple process on paper, but challenges can quickly arise that prevent a first-time property seller from achieving his or her desired results. But with support from a real estate agent, a first-time home seller can get the assistance that he or she needs to remain confident at each stage of the property selling journey.
A real estate agent understands the challenges associated with selling a house and will help a property seller avoid such problems. In fact, a real estate agent is happy to provide expert guidance to help a first-time home seller operate like a home selling professional.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will respond to a first-time home seller's concerns and queries. This guarantees a home seller can obtain unparalleled insights into how to set a competitive price for a residence, how to bolster a house's interior and exterior and much more.
Want to keep things positive as you proceed along the home selling journey for the first time? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can maintain a positive outlook as you navigate the home selling cycle.