Janice Walker's Blog
An HOA — or Homeowners' Association — is an organization in your subdivision or community that creates and enforces regulations and rules for the properties and residents. If a property is part of an HOA's jurisdiction, buying it automatically makes you a member. Therefore, you are required to pay HOA dues that cover the organization's costs and services. The strictness of HOA rules can vary significantly from community to community, and while some are very restrictive, others allow a wide range of changes to your property. It's essential to check in to what an HOA requires, costs and offers in a particular community or neighborhood before purchasing a home. Contrary to fictional portrayals, an HOA can be really beneficial to the homeowners by providing deals on local services and generally keeping the home values constant or increasing by keeping the neighborhood the same.
In a lot of ways, you can think of an HOA like a homeowner's union. It gives you that collective bargaining power with larger agencies like utilities, city services and local governments. This power can save you a lot of money by getting members better deals on trash services or electricity, including landscaping with HOA dues and more. It's a well-known rule that the more you buy, the better prices you get. That means when a group of 50 homes is negotiating for a landscaping deal, they can get much better prices than if it's just one home. Don't feel like you're cheating the other business owners either. They offer lower prices because doing a bunch of things in one area lowers their overhead, and having a consistent client increases their overall profits.
Maintaining Home Values
The main job of any homeowners' association is to maintain property values. They do this not by restricting what you can do but by limiting what your neighbors can do. And yes, since you are a neighbor as well, you are also subject to the same neighbor restrictions. That means you typically can do whatever you want inside your home since that only affects you. However, you can only do things within a specific range to the outside of your home since that affects your neighbor's houses as well. The look of a neighborhood, especially neighboring homes, can significantly affect the value of a home and usually are outside the purview of the homeowner. HOAs seek to fix this by requiring that everyone keep their home up to the same standards and avoid practices that will devalue the neighborhood.
It's essential to understand the benefits and restrictions of living with an HOA, especially if you've never had one before. Your professional real estate agent will be familiar with or be able to get, the bylaws of any HOA that covers a home you are considering. Sit down and go over them together to ensure that those rules work with your preferred lifestyle.
The short answer to our question of the day is...
We all know what we like when we see it.
New flooring can greatly increase your home's beauty in the eye of the beholder, yet it's impossible to know what kind of flooring will attract your home's next buyer. That said, here are the top selling points of three popular options.
Kudos for Carpeting
Carpet, especially if your home will be shown in the winter, is a popular way to add a comfortable look and feel to a home. Most often chosen for bedrooms, carpet can also hide a multitude of flaws beautifully and without a big dent in your savings. To spruce up a home for sale quickly, carpeting can be a great choice.
Now, for the possible drawbacks. Carpeting can cause issues for people with chemical sensitivities or allergies. It doesn't last forever, and it usually won't be as stylish in five years as it is when first installed.
Tip: Going with one flooring choice throughout your main living spaces can produce an expansive, well put-together look.
Hoorahs for Hardwood
Hardwood flooring is a classic choice. Walk into a home with hardwood floor, and you get a sense of elegance, comfort and beauty. Over time, the essential oils of the wood offer a subtly aromatherapeutic and natural appeal. A well-maintained wood floor lasts for decades.
Yes, a lot of moisture can impact its look, and the kids and pets can scratch it. And refinishing is a big job involving chemical abrasion, although fans of the DIY method point out to us that there are wood and laminate refinishing kits on the market for under $100.
Tip: A great, cost-effective alternative is engineered hardwood. Engineered hardwood comes prefinished, can be easily installed without a subfloor.
A Toast to Tile
Tile is as practical as it is handsome. Well-chosen tile will last the home's lifetime. The richer the hues, and the narrower the space left for grout to show, the easier tile is to clean.
In kitchens, either tile or laminate styled as tile works well. Expanses of tile are especially desirable in homes and condos throughout Florida and other warm states.
If you have tile, talk it up! Note its ease of cleaning, especially to potential owners with pets.
Tip: You can buy tile or laminate that looks like hardwood and have the hardwood look—without the refinishing needs.
Sellers Can Offer Options
If you're selling, and your flooring could use updating, considering offering to trim a little off your sale price, encouraging potential buyers to install their own choice of new flooring as desired. That offer itself might just make a deal happen.
A small town home initially may have proven to be ideal. But if your current small town house fails to meet your needs, there is no need to worry. In fact, you can add your small town residence to the local housing market and relocate to a new city or town at your convenience.
Ultimately, there are many reasons why now may be the right time to sell your small town house. These include:
1. Your small town home no longer suits your present lifestyle.
If your small town home has become too big or too small for you, it may be beneficial to list your residence. That way, you can sell your current small town home and upgrade or downgrade as needed.
Before you list a small town residence, it generally is a good idea to study the local housing market. If you allocate time and resources to analyze housing market data, you can identify home selling patterns and trends. Then, you can use this information to establish a competitive initial asking price for your small town home – something that may help you accelerate the property selling journey.
2. Your small town home is far away from family members and friends.
If you find that you have to commute several hours to visit family members and friends, it is important to remember that you can always move closer to these loved ones. By selling your small town home, you can relocate near family members and friends any time you choose.
For those who want to sell a small town home and move close to family members and friends, it helps to plan accordingly. You should craft a strategy to sell your current residence as well as determine where you are going to live going forward. This will allow you to map out any home selling and homebuying plans and take the necessary steps to put your plans into action.
3. Your small town home fails to provide convenient access to attractions and landmarks.
If you enjoy lots of big-name attractions and landmarks, small town living may not be the right choice. Fortunately, city residences are available that provide quick, easy access to many entertainment options. And if you sell your small town home, you can pursue a city house that delivers convenient access to your preferred attractions and landmarks.
As you get set to sell your small town home, you may want to employ a real estate agent too. This housing market professional will learn about you and your house selling goals and craft a custom home selling strategy for you. Plus, a real estate agent will promote your small town home to prospective buyers, set up property showings and do everything possible to ensure you can maximize your home sale earnings.
Remove the guesswork commonly associated with listing a small town home. Hire a real estate agent, and you can receive in-depth assistance as you sell your small town residence.
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Let's face it – the thought of entering the home selling market can be stressful, even if you don't plan to put your house on the market for several weeks or months. However, there are many simple ways to ensure you can enjoy a fun, exciting and successful home selling journey.
Now, let's take a look at three tips that you can use to kick off an unforgettable home selling journey.
1. Examine Your Home's Interior and Exterior
How will a potential homebuyer view your residence when he or she sees it for the first time? This is a question that you'll want to consider closely, as a homebuyer's first impression of your residence may dictate whether he or she moves forward with an offer.
Take a close look at your house's interior and exterior from a homebuyer's perspective. If home improvements are necessary, now may be the ideal time to complete these tasks. That way, you can enhance your house's interior and exterior before you add your residence to the real estate market.
Also, a home appraisal may help you identify problem areas with your residence. This appraisal enables a property inspector to examine your residence from top to bottom and can help you better understand your house's strengths and weaknesses.
2. Declutter Your Residence
Unfortunately, clutter can accumulate in a home over an extended period of time. But if you start decluttering your home today, you may be able to avoid the stress of cleaning out your residence as you get closer to adding your home to the housing market.
To declutter effectively, consider items that you need to keep and store them safely. Then, take the items that you no longer require and consider all of your options to get rid of them quickly and safely.
In many instances, you can sell excess items or donate them to charity. Or, you can always offer these items to family members and friends as well.
3. Meet with a Real Estate Agent
What does it take to get your house ready for the real estate market? Meet with a real estate agent, and you can learn everything you'll need to know about selling a house.
A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of the real estate market. As such, he or she can answer any questions that you may have about the home selling journey and help you plan accordingly.
In addition, after you list your residence, your real estate agent will streamline the home selling cycle. This housing market professional will set up home showings and open houses, promote your residence to large groups of potential buyers and much more. By doing so, your real estate agent will do everything possible to help you maximize the value of your residence.
When it comes to getting ready to sell your home, there is no need to worry. Instead, use the aforementioned tips, and you'll be able to enjoy a memorable home selling journey.