Anna Messina's Blog
For frequent hosts owning your own home is an exciting upgrade to your hospitality skill set. A home large enough to include a guest room for friends and family to stay the night allows you to provide a homey overnight stay that trumps a hotel experience every time.
To create the perfect home away from home guest room for visitors just follow this guide.
First things first, keep it tidy over time. Don’t fall to temptation and use it as a catch-all storage room. This will just lead to more clean up before guests arrive and detract from the home away from home experience if they feel like they are staying in a glorified storage closet.
Before guests arrive freshen up the room by dusting, cracking a window for fresh air, spritz linens with a spray, and vacuum the floors.
Stock your guest bathroom well with toilet paper, tissues, q-tips and cotton balls. Keep two full matching sets of towels folded up nicely and in the open for guests to easily grab. Take a page from the hotel room playbook and have decorative shelving for this very purpose. Either mount shelving to the wall or find a standalone unit that matches your decor.
Have toiletries on hand in case guests have forgotten any while packing. Include new, individually packaged toothbrushes, a tube of toothpaste and travel size deodorants for example. It is always thoughtful to stock the medicine cabinet with the basics.
Stock up on luxurious soaps, lotions, and shampoos to keep on hand in your guest bathroom. It’s best to also keep these out in the open so it is obvious to guests it is for their use. Tiered cake stands, catch-all bowls and clear jars are a great way to put these stylishly on display.
Offer the perfect sleeping experience by including a light bedding option and a warmer one - no matter the season. An ottoman at the foot of the bed with extra blankets and pillows will help guests feel at home to set up the bed their way.
Lay down on the bed to get a feel for how it would be for your guests. In fact, interacting in the room as if you are your guest is a great way to discover what your room is missing. Offer plenty of lighting. Bedside lamps in addition to the ceiling light allow guests to create ambiance or stay up reading while their partner snoozes.
Decorate the room to keep it cohesive with and as homey as the rest of the house. Hang pictures of friends and family. Frame a decorative image that has your wifi network and password readily available for guests to log in. Include fresh cut flowers and seasonal decor.
Whether you're looking for the house of your dreams or the spouse of your dreams, it helps to write up a detailed description of the qualities that matter most to you!
While your goals should be realistic and attainable, you do not want to compromise your standards or aim too low.
In the case of house hunting, there are many conditions which will directly affect the success of your search.
Here are some of the main ones.
- Your budget: All things being equal -- the higher your budget, the greater your chances for getting everything on your wish list. The most desirable locations, lot size, amenities, and square footage often come with a price. The same can be said of homes that are in optimal condition with lots of recent updates, improvements, and energy efficient or high-tech features.
- The real estate market: Three factors which will invariably affect the outcome of your real estate search will be the local real estate inventory (the number of properties available -- especially those in your price range), the law of supply and demand, and property values in your chosen geographic area.
- Your real estate agent: Choosing a real estate agent who's experienced, resourceful, and dedicated can prove to be a significant advantage in finding a home that matches your budget, your goals, and your desired lifestyle. Once you've decided what you want in your next home, an agent or Realtor can show you houses on the market that will meet many, if not all, of your requirements.
- Your wish list: Creating a list of property features and characteristics that you absolutely must have in your next home will help ensure that you get them. A carefully thought-out "wish list" is also a vital aspect of your search for the perfect or "near perfect" home. By creating a clear mental picture of your ideal living space, location, and environment, you'll be increasing your chances of finding a home that meets all your expectations. There are literally dozens of features to keep in mind, including architectural style, square footage, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the size of the lot, distance from the street, privacy, the spaciousness of the kitchen, and the layout of adjacent living areas. If you plan on doing a lot of entertaining, for example, you might prefer an open floor plan. Features like a screened-in porch, a patio, and a large backyard are often major wish-list items for homeowners who enjoy outdoor living. Other items to consider may include things like a fireplace, a finished basement, a convenient laundry room, and a two-car garage. Proximity to stores, quality schools, medical/dental services, and recreation areas will also be key factors in the selection of your future home.
Want to relocate to a condo? With assistance from a real estate agent, you should have no trouble moving into the condo of your choice.
Employing a real estate agent with condo experience is ideal, particularly for property buyers who are considering condos for the first time. However, it is important to note that not all real estate professionals with condo experience are created equal, and some stand out for all the right reasons.
Ultimately, there are several factors to consider as you search for a real estate agent to help you find the perfect condo, including:
How many years has a real estate agent been assisting condo buyers? Does a real estate agent know how to get information from a homeowners' association (HOA)? And can a real estate agent set up condo showings at your convenience? These are just a few of the questions that condo buyers need to consider before they employ a real estate agent.
As a condo buyer, there is no need to settle for a subpar real estate agent. In fact, real estate agents with condo expertise are available across the country. And if you conduct a comprehensive search for the right real estate agent, you should have no trouble finding a real estate professional who can guide you along each step of the condo buying journey.
2. Communication Skills
How does a real estate agent keep in touch with his or her clients? Try to find a real estate agent who provides regular updates throughout the condo buying process. This real estate professional will make his or her clients a priority and do whatever it takes to help them get the best results possible.
Ideally, you should be able to get in touch with a real estate agent via phone, email or text. And if a real estate agent is unavailable, you usually should expect to hear back from him or her within a few hours at most.
A real estate agent who is readily available will be able to provide you with the condo buying support that you need, any time you need it. As a result, this real estate professional can keep you up to date about new condos as they become available, the state of negotiations with a condo seller and much more.
3. Client Satisfaction
Are past clients satisfied with the support that they received from a real estate agent? Ask a real estate agent for client referrals to find out.
Reaching out to past clients can provide you with a better idea about how a real estate agent will assist you during the condo buying journey. That way, you can determine whether you will feel comfortable working with this real estate agent or if you should consider other options.
Dedicate the necessary time and resources to find a great real estate agent to help you find your dream condo. By doing so, you can move one step closer to making your condo ownership dreams come true.
If you’re thinking about buying a home, you’ve probably heard a lot about closing costs. Closing costs can come at a hefty price- up to 5% of your home’s purchase price. When that amount must be paid up front, you need to make sure you have a sizable amount of cash on hand.
There’s many different kinds of fees included in the closing costs. Your lender will give you an estimate of what your closing costs will be, but you may not know what any of the terms that are included actually mean.
The Loan Origination Fee
This is the fee charged by your lender that covers the administrative costs that are associated with creating and processing a mortgage. This could also be called an underwriting fee.
Title Search Fee
This is how much the title insurance company charges to perform research on the title of the home. In some cases, the title may have some issues associated with it, so this research is to protect you. There’s also title fees known as lender’s title insurance and owner’s title insurance. You need to have lender’s title insurance, but owner’s title insurance is completely optional.
Credit Report Fee
This covers the obtaining and review of your credit report.
There’s also a fee when it comes to reviewing your mortgage loan application.
This fee covers the appraiser who is chosen by your mortgage company in order to assess an accurate value of the home.
Tax Monitoring Fee
This fee supports tax research on the home to determine if property taxes have been paid.
The property survey covers all aspects of the property bounds including gas lines, roads, walls, easements, property improvements, and encroachments.
The attorney fees will cover all of the document reviews, the agreements, and the escrow fees.
When you close on a home, your entire first year of home insurance payments must be made at the time of closing. If you have bought your home with an FHA loan, you’ll need to pay mortgage insurance premiums at closing as well. You’ll also need mortgage insurance payments if you put less than a 20% down payment on the home.
Escrow Property Taxes
The lender requires that you pay your property taxes up front. This money will be held in escrow and the taxes paid from there.
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes on during the closing of a home. Make sure you have some water handy, it’s going to be a long process! Understanding what will happen at closing when you buy a home can help you to avoid any surprise fees or financial burdens.
When you put your home on the market, it would be nice if you could just put a “For Sale” sign out front, then the home would magically sell. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. Most home searches begin online today. Then, buyers move to open houses and private home showings. Whether you live in a condo, townhouse, or a single family house, there’s ways that you can increase the amount of traffic to your home showing. The more people that see the property in person, the more likely someone is to buy it! You’ll need to work with your realtor to effectively market your home and make it easily available for home showings.
Don’t Require That Your Agent Be The Only One Who Shows The Home
The MLS is where properties for sale are listed and how realtors help their clients find homes. The listing should state that you have a lockbox available to allow other realtors to get into the home with a client. They will call first in order to set up an appointment for a showing. Also, don’t be restrictive for your showing times. Of course, your home won’t be available 24 hours a day, but you need to be flexible. Work with your realtor to set appropriate times for potential buyers to do walkthroughs.
Outside The Box Marketing Strategies
Aside from simply listing the home and posting it on social media, try other marketing methods. Maybe you can do some direct mailing to the neighborhood in order to announce that the home is for sale and showings are available. You can also put ads for the home showing in the local newspaper, on Craigslist and on Facebook message boards.
Don’t Forget The Buyer’s Agent Commission
Most likely, your listing agreement states that the buyer’s agent and the seller's agent are splitting the commission on your home 50/50. You can raise the amount of the commission and give the buyer’s agent a higher percentage to make the home more attractive to both realtors and buyers. Realtors are more likely to want to show the home, if they have a little extra incentive to bring clients to your home for sale. The money you get from the sale of your home is yours, so use a little of it to get your home sold faster, possibly for a better price.
Organize A Neighborhood Open House
If there are a few other homes in the neighborhood for sale, ask your realtor to try and coordinate with other agents to hold all of the open houses during the same hours on the same day. Real estate agents tend to love to work together because it gives mutual benefits to both parties. This strategy will attract a larger crowd because people who attend one open house will drive by with curiosity, or notice how close the open house listings are together and plan to visit all of the showings during that day.
If you plan your home showings right alongside your realtor, you should have your home sold in a timely manner to the right buyer for a great price.