Lisa Giannetto Santilli's Blog
You may have heard about home warranties, but are unsure of what they are. A home warranty is an excellent addition to your home insurance and has a particular function. When you buy a home, the last thing you want to worry about is things breaking or malfunctioning in the house after you buy it. Buyers fear the expenses they may incur if items in the home start to break down shortly after the property becomes theirs. As a first-time homebuyer, a home warranty can be incredibly helpful since you may need a crash course on home maintenance.
Depending on what’s the norm for homebuyers locally, either the buyer or the seller will pay for the home warranty. Some sellers pay for warranties up front as an extra assurance to the buyer of the property they’re about to purchase. Sellers also use this as an excellent tactic to “wash their hands” of the property. The buyer won’t need to contact the seller if something goes wrong with the property. A home warranty is a fairly inexpensive way to show buyers that appliances and the home itself have been well taken care of. Occasionally, real estate agents will give buyers a home warranty as a gift for their business. Usually, this is done for higher-end homes.
Home warranties aren’t very expensive. They usually range in price around a few hundred dollars in cost. The cost is based on a yearly rate and can be renewed each year at a slightly higher premium.
How Do The Warranties Work?
The warranty provider works with specific companies for different purposes. When the homeowner calls the warranty provider to let them know there’s a problem, the service provider will call the homeowner to make arrangements to fix the problem. If an appliance cannot be repaired, the warranty company may replace the item. There are usually small service fees associated with these repairs and replacements.
Is Anything Not Covered?
A home warranty will not cover numerous items around the house. These items include:
Outdoor fixtures and plumbing
Indoor plumbing fixtures
Some appliances may not be covered
Home warranty plans can vary based on your location and the type of policy. Make sure you review what’s covered before you finalize any home warranty. It’s an individual choice that homeowners make to have a peace of mind when moving into a new place.
If you plan to list your house in the foreseeable future, you should do everything possible to differentiate your residence from the competition. That way, you can show homebuyers exactly what your house has to offer and increase the likelihood of a fast, profitable home sale.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you optimize your home's potential.
1. Boost Your House's Curb Appeal
Your house's curb appeal may dictate how quickly your residence sells. If you allocate time and resources to transform your home's exterior from drab to fab, you may be able to reap the benefits of a speedy home sale.
Mow the lawn, trim the hedges and perform other home exterior upgrades. By doing so, you can take your house's curb appeal to new heights.
Also, if you need assistance with home exterior projects, you can reach out to local home improvement professionals. Contractors are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these professionals can help you enhance your house's curb appeal in no time at all.
2. Remove Clutter
Clutter is an eyesore that home sellers need to eliminate. Because if your home is overloaded with antiques, decorations and other items, it may be tough for homebuyers to envision what life may be like if they purchase your residence.
If you own lots of items but want to keep these belongings, there is no need to worry. You can always rent a storage unit where you can store various items until your house sells. Or, you can contact family members and friends to find out if they can store some of your belongings for the time being.
On the other hand, if you want to get rid of assorted items, you can host a yard sale or sell items online. This will enable you to simultaneously remove clutter from your house and earn extra cash.
3. Conduct a Home Inspection
Identifying home problems sometimes can be difficult. Luckily, home inspectors are available who can analyze your residence and offer valuable property insights.
Typically, a home inspector will review your residence over the course of a few hours. The inspector then will provide you with an inspection report that details his or her findings. If you analyze the inspection report closely, you can gain comprehensive insights into your house's strengths and weaknesses and prioritize home improvements.
If you need help finding a home inspector or completing other home selling tasks, you may want to hire a real estate agent as well. A real estate agent will help you revamp your house both inside and out and ensure your residence stands out to property buyers. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is happy to respond to any of your home selling concerns and questions, at any time.
Maximize your house's potential – use the aforementioned tips, and you can update your residence and differentiate your home from the competition.
Deciding whether to set up a home showing sometimes can be a tough decision. Yet a home showing can make a world of difference for a buyer as he or she searches for the ideal residence.
Ultimately, there are many reasons to schedule a home showing, and these include:
1. You can look beyond a home listing.
A home listing generally offers details about a house's age and features, as well as photographs of different areas of a residence. But a home listing can only provide so much information. Fortunately, a home showing enables you to assess a house in person and decide whether a residence is right for you.
During a house showing, you can walk around a residence and view each room. If you want to further pursue a residence after a showing, you can submit an offer to purchase. Or, if you find a house fails to match your expectations, you can always continue your search for your dream home.
2. You can gain comprehensive insights into a house's condition.
When it comes to evaluating a house's condition, it typically is a good idea to attend a showing. That way, you can get an up-close look at a home's condition and determine whether a residence needs major or minor repairs.
A home showing enables you to analyze a residence both inside and out. After a showing is complete, you can decide whether you are satisfied with the condition of a home and map out your homebuying journey accordingly.
3. You can imagine what it would be like if you purchase a home.
A home showing makes it easy to envision what life may be like if you purchase a particular house. As such, a showing may prove to be crucial as you pursue your dream residence.
If you feel good about a house following a showing, you should not hesitate to submit a competitive homebuying proposal. Conversely, if you feel uncomfortable with a residence, you may want to pursue other options.
Of course, hiring a real estate agent may be exceedingly valuable as you search for your ideal house. A real estate agent can schedule home showings at your convenience and provide plenty of tips to help you pursue residences in any housing market. By doing so, a real estate agent will empower you with the insights you need to make an informed decision about a house.
Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent will provide after you find your dream house, either. At this point, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive offer to acquire your ideal residence. And if you have any concerns or questions as you move along the homebuying journey, a real estate agent is happy to respond to them.
Ready to find your dream residence? Schedule a home showing, and you take the next step to acquire your ideal house.
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You’ve been thinking it for a while: “I really should start putting some money aside for a down payment.” But, you just can’t seem to find any wiggle room in your budget.
You’re not alone. Saving for a down payment isn’t easy. Especially if you’ve got rent, car payments, student loans, and are trying to put money aside for retirement.
In today’s post, we’re going to talk about how to make a game plan for your down payment. This way, you can start saving immediately, bringing you closer to your goal of homeownership each day.
Step 1: Give each dollar a job
The first rule of budgeting is that you need to know where each dollar you earn ends up. From there, you can start re-allocating funds to the things you want to save for.
There are many apps and tools available to help you out with this process, including YNAB (You Need A Budget) and Mint. If apps aren’t your thing, you can always use a simple spreadsheet.
First, account for all of your income. This could include your salary, rental income, or other forms of money that you have coming in.
Next, detail each of your weekly and monthly expenses. Everything from groceries to the internet bill and retirement contributions.
Step 2: Reassess your expenses
Now it’s time to make some tough decisions. Are there ways you can cut down on your weekly or monthly expenses? Maybe you aren’t using that Amazon Prime membership as much as you thought you would. Or, maybe you’ve decided you don’t really watch anything on cable but the news. There are a number of ways one might cut back on their monthly bills.
Get creative with family plans, bulk shopping for food, or cooking budget-friendly meals. All of these savings will add up quickly.
Step 3: Pay off small debts with high interest
Let’s face it, if you have thousands of dollars in student loans, you might not be able to aggressively pay them down by the time you want to move out of your apartment.
But, for small debts (under $1,000 credit card debt, for example), you could save more in the long run by paying them off and avoiding interest payments.
Step 4: Be smart about your savings
With the right savings account and credit card, you can earn money through savings interest and through cashback rewards on credit cards.
First, find a savings account with the highest possible interest rate. These can often be found from choosing an online bank who doesn’t have the overhead of running branches.
Next, direct deposit a set amount of your paycheck each week into that savings account. This way, you can be sure that you won’t dip into your down payment savings.
To generate additional income, you can use cash back rewards from credit cards for things like groceries and gas. Choose a credit card that offers the best cash back rewards for things like groceries and gas purchases. The key here is to only use your credit card on necessities and to always pay off the card in full at the end of each month.
If you follow these four steps, you should be able to streamline your down payment savings process and start saving right now.