mortgage interest payments
How To Increase Your Home’s Market
Value For $0.00 Out Of Pocket
Unless your home shows at its very best, it can cost you hundreds, perhaps even thousands of dollars during its sale, and you might have to wait a very long time before you even receive an offer.
Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get your home ready for sell. Some repairs may be necessary, such as fixing faulty plumbing or painting, but there are several things that you can do for nothing out-of-pocket that will make sure your home shines.
- Make rooms appear larger by packing away extra furniture and knickknacks.
- Clean out closets so everything appears orderly. Most people demand neatness in a home they intend to buy even if their residence is a mess.
- Always keep your blinds and draperies open and your windows sparkling clean to let as much natural light into your home as possible.
- Make sure your kitchen is spotless. Rid clutter from countertops and organize your drawers and cabinets. Buyers will look inside.
- Clean the refrigerator. Remove magnets with coupons and your child’s artwork.
- Make sure all floors are as clean as possible. Wax wood floors, shampoo carpets, bleach the grout in tile floors, if necessary.
- Dust everything in sight, clean dead insects from light fixtures, and polish mirrors.
- Clean the oven, broiler, and vent hood.
- Make sure bathrooms are spotless. Hang your best towels. Clean all fixtures.
- Prune all plants. Throw out dying plants.
- Take down offensive posters or Artwork from your teen’s rooms and put away all toys in younger children’s rooms.
- Make sure your utility room is clean. Don’t let laundry stack up.
- Clean the garage thoroughly.
- Mow the yard and keep it well watered. Edge sidewalks.
- Weed any flowerbeds and trim trees and shrubs, if needed. Uproot dead flowers, plants and shrubs.
- Sweep all sidewalks, patios and porches.
- Remove any rusted swing sets or patio furniture that is rusted, shabby and beyond repair.
- Put away all toys, bikes, rollerblades, etc.
- Make sure that pets are kept out of the way and pet areas are clean and odor free.
- Repair broken sprinkler heads.
- Water the lawn only very early in the morning or late in the evening.
- Clean the roof and gutters.
- Repair a broken or sagging fence. Make sure that the fence opens and closes without having to use excess force.
- Fix the doorbell if it’s broken and make sure that the front door is free of debris and dirt, as well as opens and closes with ease.
- Move firewood off the ground and away from the house. Otherwise, the area may be noted as conducive to termites or fire ants in a termite inspection.
- Park cars down the street during showings.
5 Reasons You Need a REALTOR®
- A real estate transaction is complicated. In most cases, buying or selling a home requires disclosure forms, inspection reports, mortgage documents, insurance policies, deeds, and multi-page government-mandated settlement statements. A knowledgeable guide through this complexity can help you avoid delays or costly mistakes.
- Selling or buying a home is time consuming. Even in a strong market, homes in our area stay on the market for an average of ____ days. And it usually takes another 60 days or so for the transaction to close after an offer is accepted.
- Real estate has its own language. If you don’t know a CMA from a PUD, you can understand why it’s important to work with someone who speaks that language.
- REALTORS® have done it before. Most people buy and sell only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase. And even if you’ve done it before, laws and regulations change. That’s why having an expert on your side is critical.
- REALTORS® provide objectivity. Since a home often symbolizes family, rest, and security, not just four walls and roof, home selling or buying is often a very emotional undertaking. And for most people, a home is the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you keep focused on both the business and emotional issues most important to you.
5 Property Tax Questions You Need to Ask
- What is the assessed value of the property? Note that assessed value is generally less than market value. Ask to see a recent copy of the seller’s tax bill to help you determine this information.
- How often are properties reassessed and when was the last reassessment done? Generally taxes jump most significantly when a property is reassessed.
- Will the sale of the property trigger a tax increase? Often the assessed value of the property may increase based on the amount you pay for the property. And in some areas, such as California, taxes may be frozen until resale.
- Is the amount of taxes paid comparable to other properties in the area? If not, it might be possible to appeal the tax assessment and lower the rate?
- Does the current tax bill reflect any special exemptions that you might not qualify for? For example, many tax districts offer reductions to those 65 or over.
Be sure you find a loan that fits your needs with these
- What are the most popular mortgage loans you make? Why?
- Which type of mortgage plan do you think would best for us? Why?
- Are your rates, terms, fees, and closing costs negotiable?
- Will I have to buy private mortgage insurance? If so how much will it cost and how long will it be required? NOTE: Private mortgage insurance is usually required if you make less than a 20-percent downpayment, but most lenders will let you discontinue the policy when you’ve acquired a certain amount of equity by paying down the loan.
- Who will service the loan? Your bank or another company?
- What escrow requirements do you have?
- How long is your loan lock-in period (the time that the quoted interest rate will be honored)? Will I be able to obtain a lower rate if they drop during this period?
- How long will the loan approval process take?
- How long will it take to close the loan?
- Are there any charges or penalties for prepaying?