Working to Get a Good Deal on a Home Purchase

Is This Your Situation: Working to Get a Good Deal on a Home Purchase? Homebuyers want to shave off as much money from the sale price as possible, and home sellers want to squeeze every last dollar they can out of the deal. So how do you know whether you’re getting a good deal on a home in today’s market? Here are 6 factors you must consider to help you get a great deal on your new home.
Working to Get a Good Deal on a Home Purchase
Start with a CMA

CMA, which stands for Comparative Market Analysis, is your first step in determining whether or not you’re getting a good deal on a home. Take a look at homes similar to the one you’re interested in to get a sense for how much the one you are considering buying is worth. Make sure that the homes you look at are in the same neighborhood as the one you’re interested in and are in similar condition. Don’t compare it against a foreclosed home if the one you’re interested in isn’t in foreclosure (and vice versa).

If the home you’re after is priced at or below the market value of comparable homes, then you’re most likely getting a good deal. If it’s above that, then it’s not as much of a steal.

Is the seller throwing in any “extras”?

A good deal on a home comes in lots of shapes and sizes. See what the seller is willing to offer to sweeten the deal. If the seller has agreed to help pay for some or all of the closing costs, that should be factored into whether you’re getting a good deal. Are they offering an allowance to pay for repairs and/or upgrades to the home? That could save you money in renovation costs, if any are needed.

Do the math: What’s the LP to SP ratio?

Have your real estate agent help you calculate the LP:SP, which simply means the ratio between the listing price and the sale price. If you’re getting a good deal, the ratio will be more than one, meaning that you are purchasing the home for less than its listing price. However, if the ratio is less than one, try to negotiate a better deal with the seller.

Is it a seller’s or buyer’s market?

You must consider whether you are buying in a seller’s market (meaning that homes are selling for more than their listing prices) or a buyer’s market (homes are selling for less than their listing prices). If you’re buying in a buyer’s market, you’re in luck! You are more likely to find a bargain this way. However, if you’re house-hunting in a seller’s market, it will be trickier to get a good deal because sellers have the upper hand. In this case, any extras that the seller is willing to throw in will help make the deal more attractive to you.

What season are you buying in?

Keep in mind that the season you’re buying in has a huge effect on home prices. Summer is usually the most expensive time to buy. There tends to be a lot of inventory during the summer months, but competition drives the prices up. If you really want a deal, hold off buying until the fall or winter, when prices can drop dramatically.

Appreciation opportunities

Appreciation opportunities should also be factored into whether you’re getting a good deal. If you’re buying a home way below the asking price but it’s located in a depressed area with little development, your home won’t appreciate much over the years. However, if you find a more expensive home but the area is “up and coming” with lots of new development, it could be worth the higher asking price because the home will become more valuable in the years to come. Signs of appreciation opportunities include new developments such as malls, parks, bike paths and — sometimes — residential buildings.

To ensure you’re getting the best deal on a home, reach out to us today!

4 Tips for Refinishing Your Basement

You probably have an idea of your perfect basement fixed in your head, but there are many decisions that go into achieving the space you’re envisioning. What are some commonly overlooked dos and don’ts that you should know before you begin to finish or refinish your basement?
Basement new construction home

1. Assess Structural Issues Before You Begin

If your basement has any structural damage, sagging joists or leaky walls, it is much easier to address these issues before you begin the renovation. It is best to take care of any potential problems now—you will thank yourself down the road.

2. Preplan the Order in Which You Will Build the Walls

It is significantly easier to build the walls on the floor and then put them in place than to build them upright, but this requires careful planning and a fairly large, open space.

Construct your outer walls first, and then work your way inward. If possible, you should build all the interior walls and place them somewhere out of the way before you start to put any of them up. This will ensure that you have space to work while you are constructing the final walls.

3. Complete Electrical and Plumbing Work Before Installing Walls

It is much easier to place your pipes if you do not have to cut through several studs in the process. Attach the pipes to your foam insulation—tape works, and it does not have to be permanently
attached—then place the wall in front of that. You will then be able to attach the pipes to the studs and nail the studs to the wall.

The one downside to this method is that there will be a gap between your wall and your foam insulation, slightly decreasing the available floor space once your renovation is completed. However, this method is much easier than the alternative, so you might want to consider whether you really need an extra few inches of floor space.

4. Consider the Room’s Airflow

If you are planning to divide your basement into separate rooms or areas, you will want to make sure that each portion has adequate airflow. Using long ducts with an inline fan can be a straightforward way to make sure that the heat from the furnace makes it all the way to the other end of the room. You can wire these fans to run all the time or to just turn on when your furnace turns on. They typically have their own control panel, so you will be able to easily access your inline fan when you need to.

Keeping these tips in mind can help make your basement remodeling as straightforward as possible. Call or email us today if you have additional questions.

4 Reasons for Keeping Baking Soda Around the House

Most people, by now, know that baking soda isn’t just for baking: It’s also a fantastic fridge deodorizer. (If you didn’t know that, rename the title of this article “6 Reasons to Keep Baking Soda Around the House.”) But did you know that baking soda has about a bazillion other uses?

To save us both some time, we narrowed down the uses we focus on to just four. Here they are, in all their glory.

1. Use Baking Soda as Toothpaste

We know, we know – putting powdery baking soda straight into your mouth sounds like one of the least appealing things, ever. Hear us out: Just dip the tip of your toothbrush bristles into some baking soda, and start brushing those soon-to-be pearly whites. Baking soda whitens and brightens your smile like crazy.

If you’re really having a hard time stomaching the flavor, you can always drop a bit of mint into your baking soda for something a little more toothpaste-like.

2. Use Baking Soda to Soothe Your Skin

Ever been stung by a bee or a wasp? There aren’t many things that hurt like that hurts.

Baking soda can actually relieve the pain from stings. Take out the stinger first, and then apply a baking soda paste (mixed with water) to the wound.

This home remedy also works for itchy bug bites and even sunburn.

3. Use Baking Soda as Elbow Grease

Pans can be a pain in the pot to clean. Cooked-on food is basically human Kryptonite. Your mother always told you that everything can be cleaned with a little bit of “elbow grease,” but if you haven’t been hitting the gym lately, sometimes your “grease” is on short supply.

That’s where baking soda comes in. Using a paste similar to the skin-soothing remedy, you can remove stuck-on food like you have, in fact, been hitting the gym.

Bonus feature: Baking soda also makes stainless steel pots extra shiny.

4. Use Baking Soda to Clean Your Bathroom

Sure, that name-brand spray cleaner gets the job done in your bathroom, but have you ever stopped to think what kind of chemicals are in there? What kind of chemicals you’re breathing in every time you clean your porcelain throne?

Skip the poison shower, and just use baking soda. It’s not just good for porcelain – it also cleans tile, counters, faucets and other stainless steel fixtures. If you want things fizzy clean, spray everything with vinegar first. Adding baking soda to the mix will fizz away all the grime, eliminating the need for the “elbow grease” we talked about earlier.

You want your house to be spotless when showing it to prospective buyers. If you need more tips on how to make your home sparkle before you sell it, give us a call.