Donna Fessler - Berkshire Hathoway Home Service


If you plan to buy a house, you may want to host a yard sale sooner rather than later. That way, you can sell items you no longer need and won't have to worry about moving these items once you find a new residence.

Ultimately, there are many reasons why it may be beneficial to host a yard sale before you kick off the property buying journey. These reasons include:

1. You can earn extra cash.

Let's face it – purchasing a home can be expensive, regardless of where you decide to live. Fortunately, if you host a yard sale, you can earn extra cash that you may be able to use to cover assorted homebuying and moving expenses.

Whether it's the costs associated with moving supplies or the closing fees on a new home, expenses can add up quickly during the homebuying cycle. Thankfully, by hosting a yard sale, you can simultaneously cut down on unwanted items and earn cash from these items.

2. You can start packing.

As you separate items you want to keep from those you want to sell, you can start packing for your eventual move. Thus, hosting a yard sale may help you kick off the process of moving from one location to another.

Of course, as you start packing, you also may want to reach out to local moving companies. This will allow you to learn about local moving companies, find out their rates and determine whether a moving company is a viable option for your eventual move.

3. You can move one step closer to finding your dream home.

Hosting a yard sale provides a great opportunity to connect with community members and tell them about your plans to search for a new house. In some instances, community members may be able to help you accelerate your search for your dream residence too.

A yard sale may prove to be exceedingly valuable for an individual who wants to start a house search soon. And if you are ready to explore the local housing market following your yard sale, you may want to consult with a real estate agent.

Typically, a real estate agent streamlines all stages of the homebuying journey. He or she will help you pursue houses in your preferred cities and towns so you can find your dream home. Then, a real estate agent will ensure you can submit a competitive offer to purchase your ideal residence. If your homebuying proposal is accepted, a real estate agent next will help you finalize your home purchase.

A real estate agent is an expert resource throughout the homebuying journey. If a homebuyer has questions as he or she searches for the right house, a real estate agent can quickly respond to them.

Host a yard sale before you purchase a house – you'll be glad you did. Because if you host a successful yard sale, you can take the next step to find and buy your ideal home.


You might have heard one or two things about a short sale in real estate. It may look like a hard concept, but it is just another term for a conditioned sale. 

What is a short sale?

A short sale in real estate happens when a property owner needs to sell the property for less than the amount owed on the mortgages or liens. It occurs when the current fair market selling price is lower than the sum of the mortgages owed, but the seller must sell anyway.

It is a term coined to mean that the current seller is short of cash to repay the original mortgage that is currently outstanding and cannot receive an offer of a high enough price to cover it. Since the seller is short of money, he has to ask for help from the bank to recoup a portion of the loan. 

Today, short sales rarely happen. They were prevalent during the Great Recession but not anymore. In the rare cases where one is necessary, the bank may take into account mitigating circumstances such as a death of the primary income-earner, or a homeowner subject to a health challenge.

Advantages of making a short sale in real estate 

As gloomy as it sounds, short selling is not at all that bad. The following are some of the advantages that come with short selling: A short sale protects your credit score. Instead of the alternatives, foreclosure, and default, a short sale protects your credit score as it shows that you make financially sound decisions. Credit bureaus often frown upon a foreclosure, so it is better to make a short sale.

A short sale helps you avoid foreclosure. One of the worst things that one can do to a credit score is to add a foreclosure record on it. Hence, it is better to make a short sale as it deflects the adverse effects of having a mortgage foreclosed.

A short sale saves the seller from paying the fees that usually get paid by the seller. The charges get covered by the bank.

Disadvantages of making a short sale in real estate 

There is one disadvantage to making a short sale in real estate, and that is the lack of cash received on the part of the seller. This one is a given since the quick sale is a Hail-Mary pass in an otherwise potential foreclosure on the property.

Final Tip

Sometimes you need to short sell your property because you need to move to another state or country and keeping another property is not practical. Hire a real estate agent, one specializing in short sales, today to help you with the transaction.


When you think of your real estate budget, you should know that the more you spend on a home, the more overhead costs you’ll face. You’ll need to pay for things like real estate agent fees, attorneys fees, and other closing costs. The more you pay for a house, the higher all of these fees will be since they are usually percentage based. So, the overarching question is how do you budget and find a reasonable amount of money to spend on a home? 


Prioritize


Your real estate agent may show you a myriad of homes across many different price ranges. Each property will have pros and cons. You can look at seeing these homes as an educational experience. Viewing properties could even help you hone in on what you want in a home. There are a few good reasons to look at homes above your budget range. 


Housing Prices Could Rise Or Drop


When housing prices begin to rise, people tend to believe that they’ll keep climbing. The panic couldn’t be further from the truth. Eventually, the prices need to drop. The idea of buying a property and adding value is to make a bit of a profit back when you go to sell. You need to be prepared for anything when you head out to buy a home. Price changes will apply to you if you plan on living in your new home only for a specified period. If you don’t have plans in your future to move, you may not worry about home value changes quite as much when shopping for a property. 


Mortgages End Eventually


If you plan ahead, you don’t have to pay mortgages for the rest of your life. If you keep moving and taking out 30-year mortgages, you could be making mortgage payments forever. If the average family stays in their home for around a decade, that's not a significant amount of time. Here, you’ll find a great reason not to max out your budget on a home. If you buy a less expensive house, you can get the mortgage paid off faster. You may even be able to take the mortgage out for a shorter term. Paying your home off more quickly allows your financial freedom. It’s simple, yet many people opt for a bigger house that they aren’t planning on staying in, causing a bit of a financial headache.


You Need A Rainy Day Fund


If you avoid maxing out your budget to buy a home, you’ll be able to save a bit for any emergencies that come up. You will be under less stress knowing that you have a little bit of money set aside in case your home needs major repairs, or you face a job loss or illness. In conclusion, it’s never a good idea to max out your budget on a home purchase.                    



Making a kitchen look beautiful is easy enough to do with several options in appliances, sinks, and countertops. Out of these three options, the countertop is the biggest player because it poses a significant role in determining your kitchen designs in terms of weight, balance, proportion, and scale. The kitchen countertop options nowadays are made of materials that would both upgrade your kitchen and boost the overall value of your home. So, it is no wonder that homeowners consider luxurious countertops for their high-end kitchen renovation. Check out the list of some the high-end countertop options that will bring sparkle into your kitchen:

Exotic Wood

Woods have risen like a phoenix from the ashes and are a go-to solution for homeowners who want an upscale renovation for their kitchen. Wood countertops come in different colors and materials such as oak, maple, teak, walnut, and cherry. Wood countertops can have different finishes, with some being more durable than others, so consider the use your countertop will get before deciding on this route.

Granite

Granite has long been the number one choice for upscale homeowners looking for a luxurious finish to their kitchen. Some of the benefits of a granite countertop are that it is extremely durable and holds up to heat. Also, granite has the second highest hardness rating after diamonds, and will tremendously boost the resale value of your home.

Engineered Quartz

Quartz is another option that homeowners use to add elegance to their kitchen. Quartz is a natural material that is highly durable, ranking just under granite for hardness. Engineered quartz is a blend of quartz crystals with a polymer resin. The output is an extremely durable and low-maintenance countertop that is available in different colors. Also, engineered quartz has a non-porous surface, so buyers don’t need to worry about damage from water exposure or permanent stains. 

Copper

Copper is a less popular choice for kitchen countertops, but one that showcases elegance. Copper has plenty of benefits, but it's important to note that over time its aging will show in its appearance as it develops its sought-after patina with exposure to water and heat. Copper countertops are easy to maintain with quality finishes. All that you needed is to clean it with regular dish soap and periodically wax it. 

Soapstone or Slate

Soapstone is a stylish option for homeowners wanting to give their kitchen a dark and soothing air. Slate comes in different shades of red, green, black, and purple which can give your kitchen an elegant look and pop of color. If you manufacture either material into the sink, you can give your kitchen a modern look with clean lines.

Recycled Glass and Cement

Give your countertops a modern finish with recycled glass and cement countertops. These countertops are easy to maintain, incredibly durable, scratch resistant, and have a life span of 50 years. Furthermore, when buying these countertops, producers allow you to pick the pigments of the glass pieces that will be used in your countertops so you can choose a color scheme that blends with your home.

Visit your local home supplies store to see what options are available for you to choose. If you're planning to upgrade your countertops to sell your home, ask your realtor what gives the best return on investment in your community.


Every homeowner knows how difficult it is to maintain a household. There are so many things that could go wrong in one’s life that committing to significant home payments may cause trouble.

Those who have been in debt knows that the reality of real estate is that it goes up. The value of your house would increase with the limited inventory and the high demand for homes. 

Refinancing is always a viable option for every homeowner. With that, if you are asking if refinancing is a good step for you, the following should provide an answer:

First, refinancing is not a one size fits all kind of solution. It has different types which would determine if it is the right step for you.

There is a cash-out refinance which allows the homeowner to take advantage of the increase in price and replace the existing mortgage with a new one. Every person should know, however, that taking out cash-out refinancing is not good for those who cannot handle their payments in the first place. It renews your loan and extends it for a period, but it is not always a solution for those who lack self-control.

There is also a rate refinance where you would renegotiate the interest rates that you are paying. This one is a good step for those who are willing to pay off some of the debt through the equity and place it directly on loan.

Second, refinancing is not free. A common mistake that people think is that their refinancing option is open, so they get shocked when they have to pay about a thousand dollars for it. If you are in a position where you can afford a thousand dollar lost for tens of gain, it should be a good step for you.

Third, refinancing extends the term of your loan. You may feel like you get out of debt with refinancing but what you are only doing is reaching the end of your credit, and you are still in debt.

Now that you know some facts about refinancing, you can make a better decision if it is right for you and your mortgage. A financial adviser could advise you, but it is you who ultimately makes the decision.

Keep in mind that in case you need to ask more questions, you should ask a real estate professional and seek help from the experts.




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