Samson Kimani's Blog
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That starter house is too small and it’s time to move up to something that better fits your growing needs. The original plan—sell the current house and buy a new one—might not be the only option. What if you could keep both?
In many areas, housing is in lower supply. Some buyers are choosing to keep their original home, making it a rental, while buying a new one to live in. Is this a good plan for you? Here are some reasons why it might be (and some why it might not):
You don’t need the equity
Your current home has equity—the increase in value, plus the amount you’ve paid down on the existing mortgage—that you will receive if you sell it.The typical plan is to use that equity to make the down payment on the new home.If you don’t need that equity for your down payment, however, you could keep this home and rent it.
You don’t have equity
If you purchased your home during the last housing boom, or you got a second mortgage or refinanced and took cash out, your home may not have much equity. The cost to sell your home (real estate agent commissions, closing costs, etc.) might just eat up the equity you do have. In this case, keeping the home and renting it out might work out better for you than selling it.
You want to become a landlord
Turning a home into a rental is a business decision. Because it has its own costs, the decision to become a landlord should not be a casual decision. But, if part of your long-term plan includes real estate investment, start with the house you already own. The uptick in the economy and resultant business expansion in many areas means rental housing is at a premium, making this a prime time to own a rental.
The downside of being a landlord
Because it is a business decision, becoming a landlord is not for everyone.This is especially true if your family lived in the home and you have emotional attachments and memories built around it. The possibility of one or more months of no rental income must be factored as well, with a cushion to handle that contingency so that your mortgage is paid and the home you’re living in isn’t jeopardized. Additionally, setting aside funds for repairs from potential renter damage and general maintenance gives peace of mind to a new landlord.
If it makes business sense, but the idea of dealing directly with renters seems daunting or you don’t have the necessary emotional detachment,consider hiring a professional property manager. These real estate professionals know how to set appropriate rental amounts, execute lease agreements, handle repair and other costs, and screen potential renters.
Let a real estate professional know your plans. They can connect you with a property management professional to make becoming a landlord a smooth transition.
In times of rising temperatures and growing concerns of climate change, many of us are looking for small ways we can make a difference in our everyday lives. What better place to start than your own home?
It can be overwhelming to plan drastic eco-friendly changes to your home. That’s why we’ve broken these tips down room-by-room so that you can make changes in just one area and then build from there. Starting small will help you see your environmentally-minded project through to the finish.
Read on for tips for each room of your home to make your life more eco-friendly.
We’ll start with a small and easy one: the bedroom. Odds are your bedroom isn’t hogging too much power or creating a lot of waste. However, there are a few small changes you can make that will help you save some money while helping out the environment.
If your bedroom tends to get chilly at night, try using insulating curtains to help keep the cool air from slipping in through the windows. Similarly, on hot days close the curtains at peak sunlight hours to keep the bedroom cool. This small change could save you from having to turn up the heat or air conditioner when you enter your room each night.
The next time you clean out your closet, bring your items to a local thrift store or charity drop-off. You can even ask for a receipt which will make your donation tax-deductible. This way your clothes can extend their lives and stay out of a landfill a bit longer, and you’ll be helping out someone who could use the clothing.
Kitchen appliances offer a lot of opportunity for energy and water waste. When shopping for appliances, seek out appliances that meet Energy Star standards.
When it comes to water, forego the plastic bottles and buy a glass or metal refillable water bottle. Tap filters can greatly improve the taste, and you might find after a few days that you don’t even notice the water tasting differently.
Consider composting kitchen scraps in a composting bin. You can later use this for fertilizing plants in your yard and garden. And, finally, be sure you’re recycling all of your empty food and beverage containers.
Is your living room your entertainment center? If so, many of your devices, like cable boxes and streaming media devices, might continue running on “standby mode” wasting electricity. To prevent this, simply plug all of your devices into a power strip and turn it off at night.
Start by using refillable hand soap containers rather than buying a new one each time you run out. This will save you a lot of money in the long run and save you trips to the store as well.
If your hot water takes a long time to heat up and you find yourself running the tap often, consider installing a recirculating water pump in your bathroom.
To save on electricity throughout the house, make sure you’re using compact fluorescent bulbs and only keeping the lights on when you’re in the room.
When cleaning, try using non-toxic cleaners or making your own from solutions of water, vinegar, and citrus essentials.
As a home seller, it is important to do everything possible to ensure your house impresses buyers. If your residence makes a positive impression on buyers, you could speed up the house selling process. Plus, you may be better equipped than ever before to maximize your house sale earnings.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you transform your home from drab to fab and ensure your residence garners lots of interest from potential buyers.
1. Upgrade Your House's Curb Appeal
Your house only gets one chance to make a positive first impression on buyers. Fortunately, if you enhance your home's curb appeal, you can make the most of this opportunity.
Completing assorted home exterior upgrades may help you make your residence stand out to buyers. For instance, mowing the lawn and trimming the hedges will help you quickly improve your house's front lawn. You also may want to repair any cracked or damaged home siding.
2. Eliminate Clutter
There may be no time like the present to remove unwanted items from your house. Because if you eliminate home clutter, you can show off the full size of your living space to potential buyers.
To cut down on home clutter, you may want to host a yard sale or list unwanted items online. This will allow you to simultaneously get rid of unwanted items and earn extra cash.
You can always donate unwanted items to a local charity, too. Or, you can give unwanted items to family members and friends.
3. Clean Each Room of Your House
An in-depth home cleaning is a must, particularly for an individual who wants to enjoy a seamless house selling experience.
When it comes to cleaning a home, there are lots of options at your disposal. For do-it-yourselfers, you can allocate time and energy to mop the floors, wipe down countertops and perform other house cleaning tasks. On the other hand, if you want extra help, you can hire a professional home cleaning company.
As you search for ways to stir up interest in your residence, you may want to employ a real estate agent as well. If you have a real estate agent at your side, you can get the help you need to expedite the house selling journey.
A real estate agent knows the ins and out of the home selling journey and can help you plan accordingly. First, he or she will meet with you and learn about your home selling goals. A real estate agent then will put together a plan designed to help you achieve your goals without delay. And if you ever have concerns or questions as you navigate the home selling journey, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them.
Want to get your house ready for the real estate market? Take advantage of the aforementioned home selling tips, and you could reap the benefits of a fast, profitable house selling experience.