Jena Khabazeh's Blog
When you've owned your house a long time, getting it ready to sell may seem like a daunting task. If relocation is on the horizon for you, get an early start and organize your spaces.
Ideas to help you get organized right away!
Resist the temptation to add items to your home that might not be needed or used in the short term. If you tend to purchase commonly used items in bulk, try to reduce the quantity you store to no more than you can use up within a month or so.
Sort your belongings and donate or throw away items or clothing you no longer need. Move items designated for donation into the trunk of your car right away so you have them with you the next time you pass by a donation center.
Start small. Choose one thing to organize at a time but make sure you can tackle the project in one day. A drawer, cabinet, or closet would be a great place to start. Every week — or if you're especially motivated, every day — choose another place to organize. Throw away or donate unused items as you go.
Get a handle on paper. You will need to keep some physical documents like marriage licenses, certified birth certificates, and passports but for other things like invoices and receipts, a digital version is all you need. If mail is an issue, consider switching to electronic delivery for bank or credit card statements and removing yourself from mailing lists for catalogs or other marketing that you don’t need to receive anymore.
Check the sentiment. When an object is received from a special person or under special circumstances it can be hard to part with even if it’s not an object that is used or displayed often. If there are items like this in your home, consider passing them on to someone who will use them. Memorialize the sentimental value with photos or journal entries, the memory is often more important than the thing.
Organizing is step one toward preparing for a sale.
Your real estate professional can help you plan for a home sale. They’ll walk through your house with you and show you what items to repair, what to update, and what you might want to pass on or put into storage, contact your agent today to get started.
Buying property can be fun, but it can also be exhausting. You want to find a place that fits your personal lifestyle and invest in a home that'll bring you years of happiness. As you're looking at shorefront real estate:
1. Understand Your Access Rights to the Water
On the surface, it may look like a no-brainer that you have access to the water, but many people learn the hard way that their beautiful waterfront views don't have easements that allow access to the lake, pond, or ocean. Most people don't want a beautiful view of the water without being able to use it.
2. Know Your Waterfront Buffer Zones
State and local regulations may prohibit your landscaping plans from making forward progress if you're too close to tidal waters. Know the buffer zones before you buy so you're not stuck with a landscape you don't love.
3. Learn Your Littoral Rights
If you purchase waterfront real estate, you may very well be granted littoral rights—that is, you'd have unrestricted rights to use that water as though it was land. The government may also own the water up to a certain point, so it's best to gain this knowledge up front.
4. Know if You have Riparian Rights
If you purchase a non-riparian waterfront property, you likely won't be able to have a private dock or pier on the water. Since this is one of the major reasons people want to own waterfront property, it's important to understand these rights before you buy.
5. Understand Your Obligations Regarding Water Depth
You don't have any control over Mother Nature, but you do often have certain obligations in terms of what you're permitted to do in certain water depths. You may need to build a deck farther out into the water than you'd first anticipated in order adhere to depth regulations.
6. Look at the Fixtures Surrounding the Property
Certain watercraft, such as sailboats, need far more clearance than others. If your potential property is directly next to fixed-height bridges that wouldn't enable you to enjoy leisure time on your sailboat, that may not be the best home for you. Alternatively, people who enjoy kayaking wouldn't need to be concerned with fixed-height structures. In fact, those areas might be best for this type of buyer.
7. Research Regulations Impacting Docks and Piers
It's not atypical to have to purchase pier permits. Depending on your location, these regulations may be governed by federal, state, or local institutions. It's best to have an idea of the cost before you get your heart set on a single property.
8. Include Flood Insurance in Your Monthly Costs
Natural disasters can bolster the cost of flood insurance. Even if you think you'll never need it, a waterfront property is always best protected when flood insurance is calculated into the cost.
9. Know How Secluded You Really Want to Be
Waterfront real estate is appealing because it's quiet and serene, but if this will be your year-round residence, make sure you've taken winter into consideration if you're looking for lakefront property where snowfall can change the landscape quickly. Super-secluded spots can make it difficult to get to the store when blizzards hit, so you may want to look for a place that has easy access to shopping. However, if you're willing to rough it, or if you'll only be using the property in the summer, seclusion is a great way to go! Of course, if you're looking for beachfront property in Florida, parts of California or the Carolinas, winters won't really be a concern you'll have to worry about.
10. Explore the Pros and Cons of Private Beaches Versus Public Shores
There are pros and cons to each. Make sure you have an idea what you're looking for before you and your real estate agent start house-hunting, but be open to possibilities if your real estate agent has a property they insist you must see.
As you're shopping for waterfront real estate, be sure to keep these tips in mind. The more you know, the more likely you'll be to find a home that makes you happy for many years to come. Contact me if you have questions about buying waterfront property!
In the heat of the summer, sometimes you feel as if you have to choose between your budget and your comfort. It doesn’t have to be scorching both inside and out and you don’t have to break the bank. Below, you’ll find some ways to help you cut costs and keep cool all summer long.
Close Your Windows And Keep Them Covered
Look around your home. If your windows are letting a lot of light in, they’re also letting a lot of warmth in the home. You can easily cut the extra heat that’s being let in from the outside by shielding your windows and using insulated or darkening window treatments. This can be especially useful if you’re not home during the day. This simple measure can help to keep your home cooler.
When The Temperatures Dip, Take Advantage
Many regions throughout the United States have warm temperatures during the day but cool down considerably in the evening hours. You can use natural cooling and just open your windows in order to bring the temperature of the house down. The best part is that fresh air is free!
Install Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are useful the whole year through when it comes to circulating air. If the air is cooler, but stagnant, putting a ceiling fan on can make a huge difference.
Turn Off The Oven
Try to avoid using any kind of appliances that generate heat when there’s a heat wave. Don’t use your oven to cook. You can either grill, use a slow cooker, or make no-cook meals on these days. Even running the dryer can increase the temperature of your home. If you must do laundry, make sure the area is well-ventilated with some type of fan.
Use The AC Only When You’re Home
You can save on energy costs by simply limiting your use of air conditioning to only when you’re home. If the temperature becomes unbearable then use the AC, but try to use the techniques mentioned above before you run the air conditioning.
Get A Programmable Thermostat
Modern technology has provided us with thermostats that can be set to a certain temperature. The AC system will only turn on when the temperature reaches a certain level. You could even get a thermostat that allows you to control the temperature in your home remotely.
Have An Energy Audit Performed
Many energy companies will provide you with an energy audit for little or no cost. This helps to identify any areas of your home where you can do better as far as energy conservation and lessening the utility bills your home incurs. Since heating and cooling takes up a good majority of your home’s utility costs, this can be a very worthwhile measure to take in saving money during the summer months and the whole year through.
Purchasing a deluxe home at an affordable price may seem impossible, particularly for property buyers who are searching for a residence in a seller's market.
Lucky for you, we're here to help take the guesswork out of buying a terrific residence at a budget-friendly price, regardless of the current housing market conditions.
Now, let's take a look at three factors that homebuyers need to consider before they enter a seller's market.
1. Your Timeline
What is your homebuying timeline? Ultimately, you'll want to consider how quickly you need to relocate to a new residence. This will enable you to map out a homebuying journey that boosts your chances of getting the best results possible.
For example, if you have several months to plan ahead, you may be able to wait out a seller's market. You can pursue a wide range of residences over an extended period of time. And if you find a residence that you like, you can submit an offer on it.
On the other hand, if you need to move right away, you'll likely need to speed up the homebuying journey. In this scenario, you'll want to make the most of the time and resources at your disposal. If you can optimize the time and resources that are available, you may be better equipped than other homebuyers to discover a great home in a seller's market.
2. Your Budget
How much can you afford to spend on a home? A seller's market favors property sellers, so you'll want to do everything possible to budget appropriately and avoid the temptation to overspend to acquire a residence.
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage usually is an excellent idea. If you meet with banks and credit unions, you can learn about your mortgage options and choose a mortgage that matches your finances perfectly.
With a mortgage in hand, you can enter the housing market with realistic property buying expectations. You also may be able to narrow your home search, and as such, speed up the process of purchasing your ideal house.
3. Your Homebuying Expertise
What do you know about the housing market? In most cases, homebuyers lack real estate expertise. However, working with a real estate agent ensures you can receive comprehensive support as you navigate a seller's market.
A real estate agent is a friendly, knowledgeable housing market professional, one who will go above and beyond the call of duty to assist you during the homebuying journey.
Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you informed about new properties as they become available and negotiate with home sellers on your behalf. He or she will even provide honest, unbiased recommendations, guaranteeing you can get the expert insights you need to make informed homebuying decisions.
When it comes to exploring houses in a seller's market, why should you be forced to leave anything to chance? Consider the aforementioned factors closely, and you can improve your chances of acquiring a stellar home without having to break your budget.
If you’ve been renting and preparing to buy a new home, you’ve probably saved up your down payment and are in the process of getting pre-approved for your mortgage loan. If, on the other hand, you’ve been living in a home you own and paying on your mortgage, you may be ready to buy, but only if you can use the equity in your existing property. Logically, that would mean you have to sell your home first, which pays off your existing mortgage, then live somewhere temporarily while you shop for your new home. However, you have more options, and none of them require you to live in a third location.
Option 1: Contingent Purchase
Ask your real estate agent for in-depth information on contingent purchases in your area, since different cities and states can have conflicting rules. This means making an offer on a new home that is “contingent” on your accepting an offer on your current home. Basically, you will do the buying and selling parts of your real estate plan at the same time. While your agent is looking for new homes, they are also showing your home to buyers. You can use the same agent for both parts of the process, which is often cheaper, or you can use a buyers’ agent for the purchase and a sellers’ agent for the sale, which may help you get better deals. Not all sellers are willing to entertain contingent offers since that can put a crimp in their own moving plans, so make sure your agent is aware of your circumstances from the beginning.
Option 2: HELOC Loan
Home equity line of credit or HELOC is a particular type of home loan. These loans are usually second mortgages of some sort but allow you to withdraw the entire amount within a given time period. This means you can keep your current home, and use the HELOC loan to buy your new home. Then, when your current home sells, pay off the mortgage on that home, and get a new mortgage on your new home to pay of the HELOC loan as well. This can be risky, however, since HELOC loans are based on the equity value of your current home, which may not be as high as the market value. In addition, they can have variable interest rates, which, if your old home ends up not selling for an extended period of time, can really start to drain your savings. If you plan to go with this option, make sure your real estate agent knows the timelines you’re working with, and try to find an agent with a “sellers’ guarantee.”
Option 3: Contingent or Rent-Back Sale
A contingent sale is similar to a contingent purchase, but instead of closing relying on you finding a buyer, it relies on you finding a new home and that offer being accepted. These tend to be shorter-term agreements, such as 1 to 2 weeks, but can be longer, even up to several months, depending on your buyer. Be careful and try to have contingencies on only one side of your purchase, since if you end up with too many chained together (you are on contingency, as are your buyers, and their buyers and so on) if one person’s plan doesn’t work, the whole chain could fall through. Alternatively, if your buyer has a longer moving timeline, they might be interested in setting up a “rent-back” agreement. This allows you to sell your home and then rent it back from the new buyers for either a specific time period or for as long as it takes for you to find a new home. This is especially a good idea if your buyers are currently renters on a month-to-month agreement since both of you can move whenever is needed.
If you’re ready to buy a new home, but are worried about selling your current one first in order to afford it, you are not alone. Make sure you explain your situation to your real estate agent during your very first meeting. Once they know what kind of agreements will work for you, they can do a much better job of finding your dream home and helping you complete the purchase.