Demystifying Closing Fees in Houston, TX

When in Houston, Texas, and buying real estate, we should be aware of closing fees so that we can budget for them in the overall costs of buying our home. The cost of living is very affordable in Houston which is of great benefit. However, we can get caught out if we do not know the closing costs and so the true cost of buying our American dream space to live.

So, this article will demystify closing costs for you. Sites like https://houstonrealestateobserver.com/closing-costs-in-houston-texas/ could also be worth visiting if you would like additional information.

What Closing Fees Can a House buyer in Houston Expect to Pay?

Closing fees relate to the underwriting of a mortgage. They will include commissions, taxes, insurances, and record filing. They are all part of a house sale going through, satisfying legalities, and putting protections in place.

Common closing costs would include loan application fees, appraisal fees, inspection fees, taxes to do with transfer, escrow fees, and attorney fees. These are just to name a few. If you follow the link above, then you can find out them all to help you decide on the house price that will suit your budget when allowing for these. The true house cost can only be the one that includes all the costs. Then, after that, we will look to factor in living costs, such as grocery bills and home maintenance. The living costs are, of course, low in Houston, which is good for house buyers there.

Escrow fees are a portion of the closing costs that are associated with buying a home. They are paid directly to the escrow company, the real estate attorney, or the title company so that they will conduct the closing and so distribute the funds to the third parties that are involved in the deal.

Who Pays the Closing Fees?

The reason we should know more about closing fees is that they can be paid by the buyer and the seller. So, it may be we do not have to include all of them within our budget. But, on the other hand, this may only mean that we pay a higher purchase price for our house to the seller to allow for them. It is swings and roundabouts in that respect. The important thing, however, once you have agreed on a house price, is to know which closing fees that you are liable for as the buyer.

How Much are Closing Costs Likely to Be?

Generally, sellers will pay real estate commissions to the buyer’s and seller’s agent. This will amount to closing costs of a total purchase price, with half the percentage to each. In addition, sellers will pay the buyer’s title insurance policy. This is a low-cost add-on to the lender’s policy.

In Texas, specifically, a seller will pay anything from 5% to 10% of the sale price and the buyer anything between 3% and 4% of closing costs. These are figures just to give you an idea, but it is worth finding out exactly what they might be before making a house purchase. It is about being prepared for all the costs and not just the price of a Texan house.

To conclude, we can better understand closing fees by knowing the different sources of the fees, knowing who will pay which, and then factoring in how much these fees will mean we pay. It is about good budgeting to know what many might consider hidden fees, although many real estate sellers are happy to share the information with you when you ask. Hopefully, because of this article, you will now feel that you know the true cost of buying a home. This will help you to make that purchase decision in Houston, Texas; a place famous for space exploration to be in awe of, air conditioning for our comfort, and the energy industry that keeps our homes powered.

It is a wonderful place to live with plenty of opportunities for development and lots of facilities to enjoy. Houston residents will look forward to welcoming you to their community.

Things To Do When Preparing To Sell Commercial Real Estate

Owning commercial real estate (CRE) is a responsibility that only ends until you’ve finally sold the property. Putting it up for sale requires careful handling, which still falls in your hands. You have to remain involved in the entire sale process from beginning to end.

You’re probably aware of the profit you can gain from selling commercial property. Now you finally decide to make a move and benefit from your investment. You can make money from it and sell it fast if you know what you’re doing.

It all starts with preparing your commercial property before listing it for sale. Knowledge is key to success in what can be a challenging endeavor. Here are the things you have to do when preparing to sell commercial real estate.

Get a property valuation

Property valuation is the process of estimating a property’s value. It’s necessary to know your commercial property’s assessed value to have a fair concept of how much you can sell it and ultimately come to a selling price. Besides your selling price, property valuation is also helpful for tax purposes regarding business tax, wealth tax, municipal taxes, and annual tax returns.

Here are the factors that can affect the estimation of your commercial real estate’s value:

● Buyer/seller’s market: The market heavily influences your final listing price and how much investors are willing to pay for your property. If the assessed value falls on the buyer’s market, the buyer has a say in the price. On the other hand, if it’s on a seller’s market, buyers may be willing to pay your asking price. It’s important to know because a property’s value changes quite quickly.

● Property size: Larger properties are usually valued higher than smaller ones because they’re more attractive and lucrative. However, some investors also look for properties that are easier to maintain, which are usually smaller ones.

● Rooms and amenities: The actual size of a property is also a relevant factor that affects commercial real estate valuation. The more space and amenities it has, the higher the assessed value it can have.

● Location: A property’s value varies depending on where it is located. If your commercial property is located in a neighborhood where properties are in demand, it’ll likely have a higher value.

There are different property valuation methods, and you can have it conducted by a third party to avoid bias. There’s also a difference between valuation and sales appraisal, which is usually interchangeable when selling a property.

Compare it with other properties

Selling any kind of real estate revolves around coming up with the right selling price. Before you place your property on any listings, you should compare it to other properties. By doing so, you’ll also have a better idea of its current market value.

Familiarizing yourself with the pricing trends around you will help in selling your commercial real estate quicker. Find other commercial properties that are up for sale near yours because there might be competition. You may be competing against other properties, so comparing will help see what you can do to attract buyers to yours.

Choose the right listing

As a seller, picking the listing where you’ll post your selling ad is critical to your success. You should place it where more buyers can see it. The challenge lies in choosing which listing platform to pick because there are numerous choices available.

One specific thing is you should look for it online. Online listings provide more chances to place your commercial property in front of more eyes.

Many of the top CRE listing platforms will require you to be represented by a CRE broker. You should also target off-market buyers to increase the likelihood of selling your property.

Showcase your CRE in the best possible way

Part of why you should choose online listing platforms is to present your property in a good light. You have more space allotted for uploading photos or videos showcasing the good sides of your property. This gives buyers a more realistic view of what they’re buying.

Keep in mind that buyers are more attracted to a property when they can picture themselves in the property. Always remember that when you’re coming up with ways to display your property for listings. Make sure that the buyers can see themselves using your CRE through your listing.

Final words

If you’re going to sell your CRE, do it in the best way you can. Have it assessed to know its current fair market value so you can come up with the right proper selling price. Prepare it for buyers and investors to get the return on investment you invested in in the first place.

Author’s Bio: William Ross may not be a lawyer by profession, but he’s one of the sharpest writers out there when it comes to property tax and valuation. Armed with considerable knowledge and gifted with impeccable writing skills, he can surely deliver engaging property-related content.

Common home buyer mistakes

Are you on the hunt for your very first house but have no idea what you are doing? Are you worried about choosing the wrong house or making a mistake and want to know what you should take into consideration before you buy a house?

It’s not just the cost of a home that you need to keep in mind when purchasing it. There are many common mistakes made by first-time homebuyers which can make for a disastrous purchase decision.

These include not doing enough research before looking at homes, not knowing what type of financing they’ll qualify for, failing to set a budget, and making an offer too quickly without getting all of their questions answered from the seller. By learning about these pitfalls now, you will significantly increase your chances of making a wise property investment. Here is a list of common home buyer mistakes.

Not Using an Agent

Buying a house is one of the biggest purchases you will ever have to make in your lifetime, and you want to be sure that you are doing everything as best as possible. Often, buying a house can be a tricky adventure and can get very overwhelming, especially for those who are first-time buyers.

If you want to make this process a hundred times easier and more efficient, you should look into hiring a real estate agent. Miller Metcalfe has a professional team of real estate agents that operate locally, and you can find out more about the services they offer in Blackburn on their website. The realtors know absolutely everything there is to know about the market, and they can help you from beginning to end making the whole process that much easier, and so much more enjoyable.

Putting The House Above Neighborhood

When it comes to buying a house, many people will only pay attention to the house itself and not its surroundings. A lot of people are just interested in finding their dream house, but don’t take into consideration that their dream house might not be what they want or even what they like if it is in a neighborhood that they don’t like or is not good.

Different neighborhoods are better suited to different people, and you need to know the kind of neighborhood that you can see yourself living in. When looking for a house, you should consider what you and your family need, whether it is a school, a mall, stores, entertainment, or something else.

You should try not to fixate on the house itself, but rather first look in a neighborhood that you would want to live in. From there you can look in the right area for a house that will be up to scratch with what you are wanting.

Not Getting Mortgage First

These days, there are not many people around who can pay for a house upfront in cash. Property and housing are some of the most expensive markets globally, and this means that most people, when looking to buy a house, will need some kind of loan or a bank mortgage.

A lot of the time people will go and look for their dream house first before they apply for a loan because they want to know how much they should expect to ask for or how much they should be needing to pay. While this isn’t the end of the world, sometimes it can leave you disappointed when a bank won’t loan you enough money to pay for the house.

By applying for a loan or mortgage beforehand, you can have a better idea about what price range you should be looking into.

Rushing The Purchase

Last but not least, while buying a house may be a very exciting thing to do, and you may think you have found the perfect house within a few days, you should rather take your time and make sure that you are holding out for the best house you possibly could get.

You don’t want to regret your purchase a few days after buying it because you’ve just seen a new house come on the market. You should also take you time to do some research about different areas and different aspects of the market. By doing this, you give yourself the best opportunity to find the house of your dreams in your perfect neighborhood.

What Costs To Expect With Selling Your Home

Houses are something people buy or sell relatively few times in their lives. Due to this, many people don’t know the process, costs, and other pertinent information. There are a few people who have attempted to explain this, but they typically do so from the standpoint of the buyer. Online resources are few and far between for sellers. Almost every potential buyer asks one question: ‘How much will it cost me to sell my home?’ You’ll want to make a profit on the property. If you don’t know how much you’ll have to spend on selling it, you can’t do that.

The answer to that question depends on quite a few factors, as simple as it may seem. You need to take into account several factors. When selling your house fast, you might be forced to sell at a lower price if you want it to be sold as soon as possible.

You can make more money, however, if you are patient. Selling a house will be easier with that.

The Commission 

Selling a house will cost the most in commission. That’s about 5% to 6% of your home’s sale price. Although, that doesn’t mean you’ll have to accept that price.

Realtors are often open to negotiation, especially for more expensive houses. They might also negotiate the price if they do not expect the home to take a long time to sell. Additionally, some may charge an upfront fee, although it’s often accompanied by a lower commission.

Staging And Repairs 

Homeowners can sell their homes in their current condition. It doesn’t mean, however, that it will get the amount you want. Making repairs to your home that increase its appeal is the first thing you need to do. You may have to pay one of the highest costs when selling a house if you require repairs.

The chances of this happening are very slim, however. Fixing leaks and painting your home are two ways to make your home look more welcoming and fixing the roof or arranging tick control will make your home more practically ready. The repairs you make might not seem important, but they can have a big impact on the amount you sell your home for.

Home Inspections 

Professional inspections are not a requirement, but they are recommended. Using this tool, you can determine if your home has any structural problems. Knowing these things ensures that you won’t be forced to take any deductions from the asking price. Additionally, potential buyers will have fewer reasons to leave. If the inspections are done in advance, it will ensure no surprises during the closing process. Before you list a property, you can also get repairs done more affordably.

To determine how much it will cost you to sell your home, you must determine the price. Selling a house will be impacted by knowing how much it costs. At the end of the day, you have to determine the price you want for your home. The cost of production can be factored into this as well, allowing you to set a price that is still profitable.

How to Find the Right Interior Design Services for Staging Your Home?

When you’ve decided to put your home up on the market, naturally, you want it to sell for the best price possible. As home prices are rising in Australia, an increasing number of buyers are hesitant to invest in a property they don’t like at first glance. You can impress such picky buyers with a well-staged and styled home.

Finding the ideal interior design services for your home can be difficult, but reliable interior designers like https://novaricollective.com.au/interior-design-services/ can help you stage your property to attract potential buyers.

When your property shows off its true potential through property styling, it can help you get more offers, sometimes even higher than your asking price. Consider the following points before hiring interior designers for this task:

They Should Understand Your Requirements

You require a property stylist who will understand your vision along with the buyers’ expectations. Interior designers who stay updated with the latest trends and popular designs will make your home look more appealing, thus attracting a wide range of potential buyers.

Affordable and Convenient Styling

Find a property stylist who will be able to make your home look more appealing at nominal rates. However, this doesn’t mean that you should be looking for the cheapest interior designer, because at very low prices, you may have to compromise on quality and finish.

Instead, look for a decently priced interior design firm that can ensure quality services. It’s best to ask how much time it would require to stage your home before you decide to hire a service. Most services should be in and out of your space within a few days. After all, you wouldn’t want to waste weeks on property styling alone.

Consider Previous Experience

Checking out your designer’s previous experience and portfolio can reassure you and offer more information about their styling techniques and aesthetics. You can safely assume that that’s how your home is likely to look once they’re done, and decide whether that’s what you need or not.

Most services have a collection of their work displayed on their website, making it easier for potential clients to check them out and determine whether they are the right fit for them.

You can also ask to see testimonials from previous clients to further ascertain their expertise in staging homes.

Provide a New Aesthetic for Your Home

A certified and experienced property styling service will be able to breathe new life into your home and make every corner feel new. This must be the least you expect from any property styling service.

The ideal interior design services will have various suppliers and contacts that will enable them to get a range of furniture and design options for your home. They can provide you with different aesthetic designs for your home, and you can choose whichever suits your preferences. Some services also offer rental furniture to spruce up your home’s exteriors and attract more buyers.

Find the Ideal Interior Design Services for Your Home Staging

Finding the perfect interior design services can be hard when you don’t know what factors to consider. The ideal property styling service should be able to give each room a defined purpose to let the buyer see that all spaces within the home are usable.

You can expect to find various references and a team of professional stylists who can ensure your home is staged according to the latest trends and popular concepts to impress potential buyers.

Please make your choice carefully, as it can determine how quickly your home sells and how much it sells for. Consider all the factors and research thoroughly so that you can be better prepared.

Real Estate: What Anchor Tenant is and the Benefits to Business

The success of commercial properties depends on the capability to maintain and attract credit-worthy and highly recognizable anchor tenants. High-profile tenants in the commercial industry may maximize the potential for adjacent tenants trying to attract customers and establish market credibility.

Anchor tenants validate commercial industries as a suitable place to do business. According to Sands Investment Group, anchor tenants can help to validate commercial industry as a suitable place to do business.

Their presence may change the character of neighborhoods and bring prominence to emerging locations. While office buildings might have many tenants, it is known by their popular anchor tenants.

Anchor Tenant and Office Space

When visiting office complexes or scrolling through sites, you may consider pricing, location, amenities, potential foot traffic, transportation, and other related factors. However, before signing any lease, first look for all the details about anchor tenants renting the space.

Anchor tenants are a known business, which leases office space in a building complex and neighborhood that attracts many customers, including big companies. They look a bit different in an office complex than they do in the shopping mall, and the idea of the anchor tenant is changing, all thanks to:

· Market demands

· Online shopping

The Power of Anchor Tenants

Anchor tenants usually drive demand for space adjacent to them because of the sales of every neighboring business. This basically means the failure or success of retail shopping centers may depend on the ability of landlords to attract anchor tenants.

Aware of the traffic they normally draw, a potential anchor tenant traditionally uses this leverage to negotiate rents, which are not lucrative for property owners alone. Anchor tenants expect landlords to make up for all the losses with a higher rent to a smaller tenant.

Technological, social, and cultural changes have resulted in some disruptions in the retail sector. Classical models of shopping center developments are in evolution as developers carefully assess what really works and what doesn’t.

Important Negotiating Terms in the Co-Tenancy Clause

Co-tenancy requirements are not a standard clause to every lease in the commercial real estate industry. Typically, it’s something tenants push for to reduce the risks of retail communities breaking down during their lease term.

If tenants and landlords agree to the term, they should determine several key negotiating points. These key points include:

· Available relief

· Cure period

· The threshold

Importance of Anchor Tenants to Real Estate Business

Anchor tenants help draw customers in the areas because they are either well-known names or have unique items. In a strip center, anchor tenants are usually big-box stores, such as groceries stores, Target, or Wal-Mart.

Zoom Tips And Tricks For Real Estate Agents

The entire world came to a standstill last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. All national and international businesses were impacted. The real estate business was also affected in the initial months like all other businesses. However, slowly, real estate agents understood that with the help of video conferencing technology, it was possible to continue working from home.

The realtors along with their clients since then decided to move to the virtual space. Now there are many video conferencing software available, but our experts prefer Zoom for meetings because of the extensive features and settings that Zoom offers on both the free and paid accounts. We would advise starting with the free account, and then based upon your usage and requirements, opt for the upgrades.

Zoom Video Conferencing Tips For A Real Estate Agent

Zoom Tips for Real Estate Agents

These are some of the features and tips which are helpful in conducting a professional online session that all real estate agents should be familiar with.

1. Enable Zoom And Calendar Integration

Zoom offers an extensive range of integration functions. One of the first things you should set up is the integration of Zoom with your business calendar. By integrating your Google or Outlook calendar with the platform, you can conveniently schedule, join, and manage all of your meetings, send reminders for meetings and webinars, and cancel a meeting, if needed, at the click of a single button.

2. Use Zoom Virtual Backgrounds

You may have seen countless funny videos of people using virtual backgrounds. However, as a real estate agent, you are going to be using this for professional reasons, so you must learn the proper way to use them. You would have to check the following to ensure that your meeting does not end up as a funny unprofessional video. You can use this virtual background to create a more professional image by displaying your business logo or company name.

Powerful Computer

The processing power of your computer is what enables you to use these backgrounds, so make sure that you have a processor with adequate speed. You can check your system settings on Zoom. You will have a choice to choose between a photo or a video background.

Background Screen

In some cases, due to lower camera and computer processor speeds, you may have to invest in a green screen. This will enable the software to adequately project your background correctly. A professional background is essential as it will help you to build rapport with your buyers and sellers.

3. Utilize Zoom Virtual Meetings

Zoom Meeting

Learn how to be prepare and conduct your Zoom virtual conferencing properly, whether it is with your clients or anything else professional.

Client Meetings

For clients, it would be helpful if you could share your computer screen and walk them through all of the details. Training them on the important aspects of how the meeting would be conducted will help them immensely. For a virtual listing appointment, prepare a set of slides. You can also include all of the property images, and then you can share the screen in such a way that your clients would be able to see both the slides and your video feed.

Real Estate Agents Business Meetings

When you are conducting office meetings, give proper training to all realtors on your team. Ask all real estate agents to be ready with their respective information and data. This will ensure that the meeting time is not wasted. Have a proper agenda and inform all of the realtors about the order of your meetings.

4. Enhance Your Professional Appearance

Even though the meetings are virtual, professionalism is a must in the real estate industry. Based on your preferences, dress the way you would when you are meeting your clients in person. You can also use in-built tools in Zoom to enhance your appearance. This will ensure that your buyers and sellers are able to feel confident in the realtor services that you are offering.

5. Learn About Lighting

Learn how to properly place your camera and adjust the light. These two tools are integral to create seamless video conferencing. You can even invest in a ring light if you feel that your home office position is not ideal in terms of brightness.

6. Zoom Meeting Tools For Going Live

Zoom meeting live

One of the keys to success with the help of Zoom is to use the live feature that Zoom offers. Real estate agents can conduct live open houses or live showcases of their listings. The clients can join the meeting from the safety and comforts of their home.

Plan everything in advance before going live. Practice it a few times so that you do not fumble. Always test all of the equipment such as the camera, microphone, and any Zoom advanced features that you are planning to use so that there are no lags in the live session. Your aim should be that a client who joins this session should feel as if they are actually taking a walk around the property.

7. Understand Zoom Technology

In Zoom, depending upon the account you have opted for, you will have access to different features and resources. Learn how each feature can help you enhance your online session. There are many posts about these. Go through those posts and start using these features. Even the free account gives you a lot of benefits.

For instance, the feature to record the session is indeed a boom for the professionals. This tool records and saves all of your sessions, which allows you to go back and check for any detail. It can also be a key to focus and identify aspects that you can improve upon. You can even share the recordings with any realtor who might have missed the meeting.

You can tour a property with a client with your phone, and if a deciding member was not there during your video, you can share the recorded copy with them. An important note is that you should get written consent that you are recording a property prior to doing this.

Summary

Zoom meetings and video conferencing have become the new reality in the real estate business. It is vital for real estate agents to adapt to this massive change in the way the business is conducted in the industry and help their clients to this new mode of conducting real estate transactions. The above-mentioned Zoom tips can help realtors access the wide range of features provided by Zoom and learn how to include them to offer better services to their clients.

The beauty about Zoom is that it can integrate into home selling platforms like Dorrmat via their custom API. This way the homeowners can schedule meetings with you on your platform-based website. They can also tour their house with you via zoom if they have the zoom app on their phone.

Unraveling The Ultimate Checklist of Buying Your Dream Home

Everyone wants a place that they can say “home.” And if that home is their own, the thrill and excitement multiply by many folds. Having said that, it is a significant investment that you will ever make in your lifetime. Undoubtedly, it is pretty overwhelming.

This is why you often look for expertise in this financial transaction. However, it’s not the only expertise that you require. You need to take care of a lot of aspects to buy your dream home in Edmonton. However, the intricacies involved might make this process even more daunting.

But who said it has to be scary? Once you read the ultimate checklist below, you’ll have an idea of all the right questions that you need to ask when purchasing a house.

Check Your Finances

Before starting your home search in Edmonton, you need to have a clear picture of your savings. For instance, you need to check whether you have the cash to cover your down payment or closing costs.

Remember, not everyone has wealthy relatives or has hundreds and thousands of dollars to buy a new home. So, you will require the help of a money lender. And if you are thinking of a mortgage loan, that means you need to find someone who will lend you cash.

For that, you must have a steady job, and if not, you must be doing something that ensures regular paychecks. Further, your credit scores must be good for you to qualify for a loan.

Set a Realistic Budget

It doesn’t make sense when you can afford a home that costs around $100,000, but you start looking at houses at a higher price range. This is why you need to narrow down your price range before you begin searching for good homes.

To do that, you need to list down all the monthly expenses and the expenses you’ll need to maintain your new home. Obviously, you won’t have an actual figure. But you can prepare a tentative budget using these figures. Once you have a number, divide it by your monthly income. This way, you can find out whether you can afford to buy that house or not.

Now Start the Hunt For Your Dream House

You can take the help of a local real estate agent to smooth your search for the home.  If you don’t know a local agent, a simple Google search can help. For example, you could look up  Aiken sc homes for sale. Once you find an appropriate house within your budget, start gathering your documents. For instance, you will need your tax returns documents. Besides that, you will need bank statements, proof of funds, ID, letter of recommendation. Then make an offer and negotiate. Or take the help of a lawyer to know more about legal insights of buying a home.

Arrange For Financing

When you get the final approval, call your lender and ask them to lend the amount. But before that, make sure to get your home inspected to understand better what you are getting into.

Besides that, you must get in touch with an insurance company and get your insurance coverage to safeguard your investment from potential risks. However, find someone who will give insurance coverage at a lower rate. Paying too much for your Edmonton Home? Get the lowest insurance rates today! That way, you can easily save on your monthly budget. Remember, you must find every way of saving to use that to build the house of your dreams.

Get Done With Closing Process

Once everything is in place, ensure you receive the keys to your new house and the required paperwork. The closing process is also a daunting task. So, taking help from experts will be a good idea.

In The End

Everything will go smoothly if you divide your home buying project into different tasks. The entire process will be less daunting and more exciting.

Small Items You Can Buy That Add Significant Value To your Home

If you have been living in the same house for a few years, chances are you get bored of the design. While remodelling is a good way to create novelty, it is often an arduous process that takes a toll on your bank accounts. Moreover, the results are not always satisfactory. Reports suggest that less than four out of twenty houses were able to regain the investments put into remodelling.

Does this mean you should just give up on the idea of increasing the value of your home? Absolutely not! In this quick read, we bring you a list of small items that help elevate the value of your home, without spending a fortune.

Garden Items

With the COVID induced lockdowns and the subsequent work from home culture, there has been a surge in gardening. Not only does this provide a chance to connect with nature, but it also adds to the visual appeal of the home.

Having a variety of plants, removing weeds timely, trimming bushes would make sure the garden looks beautiful. Adding an irrigation system to the garden is a great manoeuvre as well — remodelling reports suggest this ranks high on the list of projects with the best ROIs Artificial indoor plants have the same effect —they are easier to maintain because all they need is cleaning!

A garden can fetch you 10% higher value for your house; however, making sure the garden is well-kept is key to success!

Rugs

Rugs can infuse new life in boring living spaces without much hassle. Unlike wallpapers, the inherent simplicity with small rugs is intensely appealing for any home. All it takes is rolling them out on the floor, and space looks completely transformed.

Studio apartments and large halls can especially benefit from the area-definition that rugs provide. The best part is, it is easy to replace them if you no longer see them fitting the colour scheme or theme of the decor.

Lighting

If done skilfully, lights can make a room look bigger and make colours pop out. Some outdoor lighting is also a great way to turn your lawn into a dedicated party area.

Indoor recessed lighting can instantly add value to the house, making it look brighter and expensive. Experts suggest adding these to the hallway, living rooms and bedrooms. On the other hand, kitchens can benefit immensely from ‘under-the-counter’ lights. Unlike recessed lights, it is inexpensive to install LED strips that work well with every kitchen.

Art

Whether it is contemporary wall art, graphics, prints or original paintings, art always spices things up. With so many options available online, it is easier than ever to find something that goes with your style.

If you are not sure about placement, it is often best to go minimal with the items you buy. In this new world of decluttering, excess of anything is bad! With minimalism, spaces feel larger and attractive, something that leaves a great impression on buyers.

What to Look For When Buying a Home

Buying a home is not easy. There are many steps, many negotiations, and many items on the to-do list. Because there is such a flurry of activity surrounding the purchase and sale of a home, you may forget to ask important questions or keep important concerns on your mind. A lot of the time, a seller may be so ready to move on from their home that they may not be completely forthcoming with certain issues that may have arisen in their home while they were living there and sometimes real estate agents don’t know 100% of the information. You are going to have to do your part by doing a little investigating, so here are a few things to keep in mind if you are in the process of buying a home. 

How’s the Foundation?

Always ask about the foundation of a home. Literally, everything rests on it. If there have been problems in the past with cracks or wear and tear, beware. Having a home’s foundation repaired or replaced can be a huge headache and an even bigger bill. Foundation repairs may require you to vacate your home while the process is being completed and that is another expense and inconvenience all in itself. When looking at a home, ask about the lowest level and have it fully inspected to ensure it is solid and won’t need any repairs. 

Water Damage

Water damage is the worst damage. A lot of the time, water damage is irreversible and everything the water has damaged must be completely taken out and replaced. Have a home inspector take a thorough look at whether or not they can see any damage due to leaky pipes or rain water. This is also a great way to look out to see if the home is prone to flooding. It’s a huge inconvenience if everytime it rains you are going to have to deal with leaky windows, flooded basements, or dripping roofs. Water damage is the telltale sign that the seller is going to have to make some important repairs before you sign. 

Termite Damage

While looking for water damage, look for termite damage. Like water, termites decimate everything in their path. Termites not only weaken any wooden foundation or structure, but they multiply fast and you can easily have an infestation. Termite control is important, and the sooner you know if the critters are around the sooner the seller can have an exterminator come in and eradicate the infestation.  After that is done, the seller must then repair any damage to the home that was caused by the termites. If there are wood alternatives try to have that material used in the replacement of the damage to prevent any future termite infestations. If not, you can then prepare to prevent termites when you move in. 

Mould

This is a big one. Mould can cause serious damage to your health and if it is found, it must be taken care of immediately before you even think of buying the home. Mould can form for various reasons, but it usually has to do with damp areas in storage spaces. Mould can be gotten rid of in a timely fashion, but the reason for the mould must be addressed straight away. Have your inspector find what is causing the mould and have the seller fix the problem as soon as possible. Fixing the reason is the best solution to preventing the mould from coming back and potentially affecting your family’s health. 

Check the Boilers and Furnaces

Many hot water heaters and furnaces have a shelf life. Many last anywhere between 15 and 25 years. When doing a walk through of the house, ask when was the last time these items were replaced and installed. The installation date will most likely be on the units themselves, so you can easily find this out right away. You will be paying out so much money to buy the house and move. The last thing you need is to pay more money for a busted heater or furnace the first year you are in your home. If they need immediate replacement, ask the seller to do it right away. If there are still a few years left, at least you can plan to replace the units when the time comes. 

What Are Your Property Lines?

Knowing your actual property lines will save you a lot of problems. The person selling you your home may be the nicest person in the world, but that does not mean the neighbors are that nice. A lot of times, home owners are unaware of their property lines and don’t question when a neighbor puts up a fence, builds a garage, or cuts down a tree. Many neighbors may assume you will be the same way, but if you have big plans for your property, you may discover your neighbor is using your property and you are going to need it back. As soon as you purchase your new home, go downtown and get the true property line of your home. This way, if you are questioned by anyone as to what you are doing, you have proof that your land is your land and they need to adjust back to their own property line. 

Drainage

If you can, find out how well the property drains. Many homeowners don’t think to ask this question, and then when the first heavy rain comes, their backyard and front yard is a swampy pool of water. The water will dry, but the damage it can do while it is pooling can be costly. Standing water will not only draw bugs, but it can affect your foundation, your grass, and may even start to seep into the walls of your basement causing expensive damage or flooding. Ask what happens when there are heavy rains in the area, and if the seller won’t fix the problem, at least you know that can be your first order of business when you move in.