Posted by Peggy Farber on 8/2/2017

Taking ownership of an older house could save you thousands of dollars. In fact,ticket prices on houses built during the 1940s are generally half the ticket price on modern homes. Think of buying an older house the way that you approach buying a used car. As with a used car, because the house has experienced wear and tear, you won’t be asked to pay top dollar to move into the home.

Age could provide you significant cost savings

Pick an older home that’s not located in an area that’s overseen by a homeowners association and you could save thousands of dollars a year. Other ways that buying an older house could save you thousands of dollars are in structural maintenance costs.

Houses built around World War II were built to endure hard blasts. Punch a wall in a house that was built during the 1940s and you could break your hand. On the other hand, you could tear a hole in a house built during the 1980s or later if you accidentally jam the end of a broom handle against the wall.

Walls of houses built in the 1940s were made of cement. Modern homes may be constructed with fiberboard or plasterboard panels. Fiberboard and plasterboard are thinner than cement walls. You may have heard a relative or friend refer to the walls as being “paper thin”.

As a note of caution, get walls of older houses you’re thinking of buying inspected. Many walls in houses built during the 1940s were made with asbestos cement. To save money on an older home also ensure that the house is well ventilated.

Making the most out of buying older houses

If you don’t, you could buy a house that, although durable, is not well insulated or ventilated.Poor ventilation can cause a house to feel uncomfortably warm during summer months and far too cool when it gets cold outside. Also, make sure that the older house you want to buy has central air conditioning.

Of course,if you spend a lot of time outdoors, central air may not be a priority. To keep your older home cool during summer without turning on central air, close the doors to rooms that you are not using. Place chairs and sofas near windows and vents. And use window air conditioners and efficient floor fans.

You may love the privacy that you’ll gain with an older home, as older houses are generally not designed with open floor plans. Each room may have a separate archway or door. Houses in older neighborhoods tend to have a similar floor plan.Depending on when you grew up, you may recall how your parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents homes’ were laid out the same.

After you get an older house that you want to buy inspected, you can always modernize the home. For example, you could install solar panels in the house. Upgrade the insulation and knock down walls and create an open floor plan to give the home a more spacious look and feel.




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Posted by Peggy Farber on 6/21/2017

Making an offer on a home you’d love to buy is arguably the most stressful part of the buying process. You’ll be worrying about making the right offer, whether you’ve presented yourself in the best possible light, and just how much competition you’re up against.

Today we’re going to help you alleviate that anxiety by giving you the most common real estate offer mistakes to avoid, and show you how you can increase your chances of getting the perfect home for you.

1. Do your research on the house

You have a lot of research to do before making an offer on a home. You’ll want to know the price the home formerly sold for and improvements that have been made and that will need to be made if you move in.

It also helps to know the seller’s situation. Are they on a deadline and moving out-of-state? If so, they might be tempted to take one of the earlier offers they receive.

2. Know your own financial limits

Before you ever make an offer you’ll need to know how much you can spend. This isn’t just a matter of offering the maximum amount you’re preapproved for. You’ll have to factor in moving expenses, final payments on your last rent or mortgage, changes in utility costs, and more.

3. Don’t offer your full preapproval amount

Sellers who know that you’ve offered your maximum preapproval amount may be wary of selling since they know you lack room to negotiate your budget and therefore might have a higher chance of backing out of the offer. They might favor other buyers who have room to negotiate and account for unexpected changes in their budget or of rising interest rates.

4. Avoid aggressive negotiation

We know the stakes are high for everyone involved in making a real estate deal. However, sellers are more likely to accept the offer of someone they trust and like over someone who seems to be trying to gain leverage.

Always be cordial with your offers and support them with numbers--explain to the seller why you chose the number you did, so that they can understand your reasoning.

5. Don’t attempt to gain leverage by waiving a home inspection

By law, you are allowed to have a home professionally inspected before purchase. Waiving this right is sometimes misconstrued as a way to tell a seller that you trust them and don’t want to cause them any unnecessary headaches.

The reality of the matter is that if you truly do want to own their home, sellers understand that you want to know what you’re buying.

6. This isn’t the only house you can be happy in

Hunting for a home is hard work. Once you find one that seems perfect for you or your family, it can seem like everything depends on your offer being accepted.

However, the fact is there are endless houses on the market, and next week a new one could be put up for sale that is even better than the home you’re hoping for now.

If your offer isn’t accepted and you don’t feel comfortable committing to a higher price, move on to the next house knowing that you made the best decision under the circumstances.




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Posted by Peggy Farber on 6/14/2017

Buying a house can be a stressful process, especially when you’ve found your dream home and have put in your bid. While it’s easy to spend all of your spare time worrying endlessly if your bid will be accepted it won’t get you any closer to hearing that “yes”. Here are five things you can do instead of worrying and will help relieve stress instead. Read a book - Immerse yourself in another world by picking up a book. Spend some time browsing the shelves of your local library or bookstore for something that catches your eye. If you aren’t normally a reader choose a genre similar to your movie tastes or ask a librarian for a recommendation. Meditate - I’m sure you’ve heard it a million times before. Every time the topic of lowering stress come up you are sure to have meditation suggested as a combative tool. But it’s so widely recommended for good reason! Science has proven that meditation really does lower stress levels. With its popularity comes a plethora of options for you to experiment with. You can try in-person classes, apps, or CDs. There are even many different ways to meditate so find what works for you and keep practicing. Exercise - Exercise may not be everyone’s favorite past time but it is an excellent way to lower stress. Don’t worry this doesn’t mean you need a gym membership or to spend hours lugging weights around. Walking, dancing and even vigorously cleaning can all count as exercise if they raise your heart rate. You can even think of it as prep for move in day. Spend time with friends - Gather a group of friends together to catch up over brunch or go out on the town for the night. Either way, you will have a blast spending time with those you care about and lowering your stress levels. Social engagement is an important facet of human life and when you gather a group of friends there is almost a guarantee for some laughter. And yes, laughing really does help you reduce stress! Get outside - Spending time in nature is a guaranteed way to destress with endless possibilities. You can go for a hike, ride a bike, spend time on a boat, at the beach or in your own backyard. You also have the added benefit of the ability to combine this tip with any of those given above. Lay out a blanket to sit on to read or meditate, gather a group of friends for a game of kickball, or go for a run as a group or by yourself. Waiting to hear if your bid on your dream home has been accepted can be a stressful time, but it doesn’t have to be. By spending your time engaging in activities that help lower your stress levels you will not only keep yourself from worrying but also do yourself some good too. Whether you choose to snuggle up with a good book or go out on the town with some friends you’ll be glad you gave yourself some downtime before move in day!





Posted by Peggy Farber on 2/22/2017

Moving is a big adjustment for any of us, yet it can be hardest on the children in our lives. Moving can mean a new school for your kids and a whole lot of unfamiliar faces. There are a few ways that you can help kids adjust to the change of moving to a new place and help them to feel at home faster. 


Let Them Be Involved With The New House


As a child, it can seem like moving into a new house is all about adults. Kids may feel that they’re merely along for the ride. You can let the kids pick out some things in the house. What color should their room be? Can the kids give some input on a new piece of furniture? Make moving a family affair and allow everyone in the family to feel included to make the transition smoother. 


Get Enrolled In Local Activities


See what types of local activities are available for the kids (and you) to be enrolled in. From tennis lessons to summer camp to after school activities, there’s plenty of things in a community that you and your family can get involved in. If you can find an activity to participate in with your kids, it will only make it easier for them to feel comfortable meeting other kids. You can also get acquainted with other adults to get some more information and insight about your new community. Making new friends and doing something they love will help your kids to feel right at home. The kids will feel more comfortable i their new school as well if they get involved.  



Help Kids Stay In Touch With Old Friends


Moving isn’t all about making new friends. Kids can still keep in touch with their old friends. If you didn’t move very far away, schedule dates for your kids to meet up with their old friends. If you have moved across states, encourage your kids to keep in touch with old friends through phone calls and video chat meetings. They’ll know that someday, they’ll see each other in person again. These actions can help in the transition of moving as well, since kids will see that their old lives have not been completely lost and forgotten about.


Stroll Around The Neighborhood As A Family


One great way to get adjusted to a new neighborhood is to explore it by foot. Make it a point to take an evening stroll as a family. The kids can learn a bit more about the area and begin to feel more comfortable in their surroundings with your help. You’ll also make discoveries about your new surroundings as a family.




Tags: Buying a home   moving tips   kids  
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Posted by Peggy Farber on 1/25/2017

Living in an area that receives lots of tourist traffic offers rewards and challenges. Depending on your personality and lifestyle, buying or renting a home in a location that attracts thousands of tourists a day might be perfect. These lists of rewards and challenges could save you time, money and frustration. They can also help to prepare you for life in a city that, like a magnet, pulls in scores of people from around the country or world each day.

Rewards

  • Entertainment, arts, cultural and educational events abound in these cities. Many high profile events take place within several blocks, making it easy for you to take part in the events without having to travel far.
  • People from diverse backgrounds visit and live in a major metropolis. It’s a great way to interact with people from all over the world.
  • Food is as rich and diverse as are the people who live in the area. Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian or meat eater, you’ll find something that pleases your appetite. Highly respected chefs often operate or prepare meals at restaurants in these fast-paced cities. When you dine, you could be feasting on a meal prepared by one of the world’s top chefs.
  • Professional sports teams make their home in the busiest towns. If you live in a city like Boston, New York or Miami, you’ll have a pick of professional sports teams that you can root for.
  • Finding an excellent college or university to attend should be easy. Schools in major cities are among the top in the nation.In addition to attracting talented students from around the country, these postsecondary schools attract some of the sharpest students in the world.
  • Thriving business districts are located in popular cities, giving you more opportunities to land a job that aligns with your passions.

Challenges

  • When you go downtown, you’ll have to move in and out of crowds. Buy or rent a house in a city like Orlando, Honolulu or New York and, during peak tourist seasons, you may find yourself weaving in and out of people just to walk down sidewalks.
  • Parking is not cheap. Expect to spend money each time you drive into town and need to park. That or opt to take public transportation when you visit high traffic spots in the city.
  • You won’t see a lot of trees and grass in the busiest parts of town. If you’re a nature lover, you may prefer buying a house 30 minutes or more away from the heart of the city.
  • Homes in popular cities are pricey. Apartment rents are higher in popular cities too. Work with an area savvy real estate agent to find the best housing options.

Buy or rent a house in a tranquil part of town and you might not feel like you’re living in a town that operates at high octane levels. You might not feel like the streets of the town that you live in are brewing with millions of people, locals and tourists. What you will have is the option to withdrawal from crowds or go into bustling, thriving places like shopping, arts, sports and cultural communities within minutes. That alone is a rare option that smaller, less talked about cities generally cannot offer.




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