3 Tips for Buying a Home in a Buyer’s Market

Purchasing a home in a buyer’s market may seem like a fast, simple process. However, it is important to realize that homebuyers constantly compete for the best residences in cities and towns nationwide. And if you’re not careful, you risk missing out on an opportunity to acquire your dream house.

What does it take to secure a home in a buyer’s market? Here are three tips to ensure that you can do just that.

1. Study the Housing Market Closely

A buyer’s market features a large assortment of top-notch residences and a shortage of property buyers. As such, this market heavily favors homebuyers, and property buyers who examine the real estate market closely may be able to boost their chances of purchasing a terrific house at a budget-friendly price.

For homebuyers, it is essential to establish criteria for your dream residence. With homebuying criteria at your disposal, you can narrow your search for the ideal residence and accelerate the homebuying process.

Don’t forget to check out homes in-person, either. If you set up a home showing or attend an open house, you’ll be able to envision what it’s like to own a home and determine whether a residence is right for you.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

What good is shopping for a house if you cannot afford to pay for it? Fortunately, you can get pre-approved for a mortgage to understand exactly how much you can spend on a new house.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you’ll want to meet with several banks and credit unions. These lenders will be able to offer insights into a variety of mortgage options, respond to your mortgage concerns and questions and help you select a mortgage that suits you perfectly.

Pre-approval for a mortgage is vital for homebuyers, particularly in a buyer’s market. If you have a mortgage in hand when you explore available homes, you may even be able to avoid the temptation to overspend on a residence.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to navigating a buyer’s market, a real estate agent can deliver outstanding support.

A real estate agent can teach you about the intricacies of buying a home and help you streamline the homebuying process. He or she also will be available to respond to your homebuying questions, ensuring you can make informed decisions as the homebuying journey moves forward.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent can help you alleviate stress as you search for your dream home. This housing market professional will keep you up to date about new properties as they become available, set up home showings and negotiate with home sellers on your behalf. By doing so, a real estate agent enables you to focus on what’s important – purchasing a first-rate house at a price that matches your budget.

Buying a home can be challenging, even in a buyer’s market. But with the aforementioned tips, you can simplify the homebuying process and move closer to securing a house that meets or exceeds your expectations.

Get the Word Out That Your House is For Sale

Selling a house is a major life event. Generate a sizable profit on the sale of your house and you could use the money as a down payment for a new house. You could also use the profits to launch a business, travel or enjoy another life experience that you’ve been putting off due to finances. But, first you have to get the word out, announcing that your house is for sale.

Great places to announce that your house is for sale

Incorporate the internet into your house sale announcements. Also, take advantage of offline announcement opportunities. Below are great ideas and places to spread the word that your house is on the market.

  • Put a “House for Sale” sign in your front yard. Go for big, bold fonts and colors like red and white or purple and yellow.
  • List your home online. Zillow, Truila and Home Finder are examples of online listing sites. Check out the types of houses listed at the sites before you add your property. By reading through existing home listings, especially for houses that are similar to yours, you can get ideas on how to write a listing that grabs potential buyers’ attention.
  • Schedule open houses. Create a monthly schedule of when you’ll hold an open house. Space open houses out to give yourself enough time to clean and prep your home. Be open to partnering with a professional stager.
  • Hold a yard sale. Yes, a yard sale. It’s a great way to get rid of items you’re not going to take to your new house. Let everyone who stops by the yard sale know that your house is for sale.
  • Take out an ad in your local newspaper. Local magazines are another great place to announce that your house is for sale. Not only will you be telling people that your house is on the market, you’ll be taping into the very people who may be most interested in buying your home.
  • Create a website that highlights your house. As a safety tip, clear furniture out of a room, then take pictures and post them on the internet. Highlight the layout, spaciousness sand functionality of your home. Also, provide details on the front and back yard space. This is a time when great landscaping can really pay off. Pictures of your beautiful yards can easily attract house buyers who appreciate the outdoors.
  • Market your website at social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest and Google Plus. Target your marketing to people who live in the area where your home is located. Another demographic to target is military members.
  • Let your family, friends and colleagues know that you’re house is for sale. If you attend a worship center, tell people who attend the worship center that your house is on the market.

You’ve taken great care of your house. It’s the place where you may have started a family.The steps that you’re taking to begin the house sale process will allow someone else, perhaps an entire family, to become first time homeowners or to move into their dream home. By taking advantage of online and offline house sale announcement options, you could alert larger numbers of house shoppers about your real estate offering.

In-home Fitness Tips for the Winter

Staying in shape during the winter time isn’t easy. Colder weather means less time spent walking outdoors, jogging, or riding a bicycle. The days grow shorter and we get tired earlier when to sun is already on its way down as we leave work at night. All of these things combine to make it difficult to maintain fitness during the winter months.

Luckily, we live in a time when we have access to several great fitness resources right from our own home. In this article, we’ll cover some important tips to keep you moving this winter.

Skip the expensive machinery

As many fitness practitioners will tell you (except the the ones selling them on TV), most “home gym” systems are overpriced, difficult to move, take up a ton of room, and will probably turn into a hanger for your laundry after a few months.

Instead of spending a ton of money on exercise machines, go out and buy a good roll-up exercise or yoga mat and a couple weights.

The internet is your trainer and motivator

Many of us who buy gym memberships do so thinking that paying for something monthly will motivate us to use it. It’s easy to slip out of your schedule, however, and find yourself paying for a service you don’t use. Gyms that charge low monthly membership fees often have hefty cancellation fees. These gyms sign so many people up and then depend on them not to come every day, otherwise they would be extremely overcrowded.

Save your money, and try out various free routines on YouTube. There are videos in several different areas of fitness including yoga, pilates, dance, strengthening and cardio workouts, or even hula hooping.  

Don’t let impossible ideals ruin your good time

Fitness should be fun and rewarding. If you want to stick to it, choose an activity that you enjoy and don’t dread doing every day. If you can’t think of a physical activity you actually enjoy (trust me, I’m with you), then make your exercise something you look forward to by listening to your favorite podcasts while you do them.

So much of our consumer culture depends striving for an impossible to reach body standard. It can be hard for us to ignore, since women and men alike are taught these standards from birth. But to have the best results from your exercise, it should come from a place of pride and enjoyment in yourself and your body, not shame.

Make it social

If you aren’t great at holding yourself accountable (you aren’t alone) or just have more fun doing activities with others, making your routine a social act is a great way to make it a more rewarding and worthwhile experience. You can get your significant other, children, or even a rambunctious dog involved in staying active through the winter.

How Your House Could Be Making You Sick

Chemicals, metals and other household products in your home could be making you sick. Harmful products and chemicals at your house could also be creating illness symptoms in your children, pets and house guests. Keep reading to learn about some common ways that your house could be making you sick.

Overlooked and common household dangers

Lead paint can cause you to feel nauseous, constipated and sick to your stomach. Check the amount of lead in paint before you start decorating. If you exhibit symptoms,check the amount of lead in the existing paint at your house.

High mercury levels – Too much mercury in your home can cause metal poisoning. Symptoms of metal poisoning vary from person to person, but can include numbness, difficulty walking or standing, muscle weakness and poor vision. Mercury poisoning can also cause memory and cognitive thinking impairment.

You can become over exposed to mercury by eating certain types of fish. Mercury overexposure can also be derived from chemicals that you keep in your home. The Environmental Protection Agency shares that you can come in contact with mercury several ways, including by breathing in the metal. You can also ingest mercury into your system by touching products that have mercury in them and by eating foods that contain mercury. Batteries, thermometers, certain light bulbs, some vaccines, skin creams and jewelry are types of products that contain mercury.

Allergens – Pet hairs are a major cause of allergens. If you or someone in your family coughs, wheezes or sneezes every time they are around your dog or cat, visit the doctor and have test run to see if you or your family member is allergic to your pet.

Are any of these dangers at your house?

  • Poor ventilation
  • Dust mites
  • Asbestos
  • Carbon monoxide generally becomes dangerous for humans after carbon monoxide reaches levels of 100 ppm or higher.
  • Mold
  • Leaking roof
  • Pests
  • Old food

Take quick action if someone becomes ill at your house

Contact your physician immediately should you suspect that you, a family member or guest at your home has become ill due to coming into contact with a chemical or product in your house. Avoid assuming that just because you have never become ill in your home that means that no one else could be allergic or become ill to a product or chemical in your house.

For example, you might not be allergic to peanuts. However, a colleague or friend who visits your house could become dangerously ill if he is exposed to peanut butter or another peanut food product that you store or prepare a meal with at your house.

Share as many details as possible with physicians and nurses at the hospital or urgent clinic that you visit. Tell them when the person started to show signs of illness. Also, tell the medical professional or emergency technician what you ate. If you live near a landfill, share this information with medical professionals as well. The more details that you share with medical staff, the sooner the staff can narrow what may have caused the symptoms. Information that you share can also make it easier for medical staff to start treating you or another person who becomes ill at your home.