Anna Messina's Blog
Preparing your home for emergencies in advance is important. Waiting until the last minute increases the danger and could cause harm to your family that you could easily prevent. Here you'll learn how to prepare the inside of your home for emergencies.
Get Familiar with Your Home (and tell your kids too)
Make sure you know how to disable all the utility lines in your home. It means knowing where to find the shut-offs for electricity, gas, and water just in case there is a problem with the services near your home. Downed power lines can cause shorts in your electronics and appliances, which can damage them or even start fires. It's important everyone in your family is aware of where to find these locations and teach everyone in your home as well. Keep your walkways clear in case you need to exit quickly and work with your family members to memorize all the exits from your home. Practice moving through your home in the dark in case of power outages and ensure that your family knows where to find candles and flashlights in the dark. Don't keep this information to yourself, if you happen to be injured, the rest of your family, kids included, will need to know how to help you and to keep themselves safe.
Build an Emergency Kit
OK, so this might sound like overkill, and sometimes it will be. However, if you've ever experienced an emergency with no power, food or water, you know just how important this is. For everyone else, it is better to be safe than sorry. Especially when "sorry" could mean the injury or even death of family or friends. Most of this emergency kit will keep year-round, so get it prepared and accessible, then leave it be. Make sure to update it as your situation changes.
- Water – keep a 3-day supply of water for your entire family. That means 3 gallons per person.
- Medicine – keep a week's worth of medication for your family. That means prescriptions, but also include a first aid kit and over the counter medicines like ibuprofen and aspirin.
- Food – prepare a week’s supply of non-perishable food that is easy to prepare. Your best options won’t require cooking or water, but if they do, make sure to plan with a camping stove and pots as well as extra water.
- Clothing and Sanitation – keep at least a three day supply of clothing (make sure to plan for different weather types) for each family member along with some sanitary wipes, dry shampoo, and emergency blankets.
- Radio – get an emergency radio so you can stay informed. Your best option will be a combination of battery and hand-crank power. Set aside extra batteries but be aware they will run out.
- Tools – get an extra toolkit, car emergency kit, flashlights, extra batteries, and any additional tools for your area such as ice scrapers.
- Contacts – get yourself a pre-paid emergency cell phone and keep it charged and with the kit. Make sure the phone has all your emergency contacts, including their emergency phone numbers when possible. If you end up without power for an extended period, that battery will die, so make sure to list the contacts in a physical notebook and include that as well
- Documents – make copies of all your family's important documents. That means birth certificates, medical notices, passports and IDs, and anything else you can think you might lose if your home is damaged.
- Pets – most emergency shelters don’t accept pets, so if you have them, make sure to find a pet-friendly shelter ahead of time. Your pet will need the same things as your family, so be sure to include water, non-perishable food, extra leashes and anything else you can think of that your pet will need
Remember to update this kit as needed. When your family needs change, update the kit accordingly. Do some research to find out what additional items you might need due to your particular living situation.
Your family needs to be just as prepared as you. Practice reacting to emergencies, and make sure that everyone has as much knowledge as you can. Older children are often capable of memorizing all the aspects of your emergency plan and helping out with injuries, smaller children and the elderly or pets. Explain all the elements of your plan to your children and create a manual or book they can study or reference. Its best to stick with picture-based instructions, think of the emergency flyer on an airplane for inspiration, so no one has trouble figuring out what to do if you aren't home or if they need to explain to their friends. Lastly, make sure that your whole family has everyone else's emergency contact information and knows how to reach emergency services.
If you prepare in advance, you can protect your family in case of disaster. Make sure to ask your real estate professional about the most common hazards in your area.
Selling a home can be challenging, even for an individual who is laser-focused on getting the best price for his or her house. Fortunately, we're here to help you achieve the best-possible results during the home selling journey.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you obtain the best price for your residence.
1. Study the Prices of Comparable Residences in Your Area
Your home may seem like it is one of a kind, but there likely are comparable houses in your city or town. If you take a look at the prices of comparable houses in your area, you may be better equipped than ever before to establish a competitive initial asking price for your residence.
Also, studying the prices of comparable residences in your area enables you to see how your house stacks up against the competition. And if you find your home pales in comparison to its rivals, you may want to dedicate time and resources to upgrade your house. That way, you can help your house stand out to potential buyers.
2. Conduct a Home Appraisal
A home appraisal commonly is requested by a buyer after a seller accepts his or her offer to purchase a residence and a property appraisal has been completed. However, it may be beneficial for a seller to conduct a home appraisal, especially if this individual wants to get the optimal price for his or her residence.
By conducting a home appraisal, you can receive expert insights into how much your house is currently worth. Then, you can use your home appraisal results to set an aggressive initial asking price for your residence.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
If you are unsure about how to price your residence, you may want to hire a real estate agent. Because if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can quickly and effortlessly accomplish your property selling goals.
First, a real estate agent will meet with you and learn about your residence. This housing market professional next will help you establish a competitive initial asking price for your home that accounts for the current state of the real estate market. A real estate agent then will list your home, promote it to potential buyers and set up home showings and open house events. And if you receive an offer to purchase your residence, a real estate agent can help you review this proposal and decide how to proceed.
Of course, a real estate agent will do everything possible to help you maximize your house sale earnings too. He or she will negotiate with a buyer's agent on your behalf and ensure you can get the best price for your residence – regardless of the current housing market's conditions.
Don't wait to list your home and maximize your home sale profits. Instead, take advantage of the aforementioned home selling tips, and you can boost the likelihood of a fast, profitable property selling experience.
The amount of time it takes to find the perfect residence varies from buyer to buyer. In some instances, a buyer may fall in love with the first residence that he or she views in person. Or, in other cases, a buyer may need to attend several home showings and open house events before he or she finds the right residence.
It ultimately may take more than a single day to find your dream residence. Lucky for you, we are here to help you streamline your quest for your dream house and ensure you can find the right home faster than ever before.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you accelerate your search for your ideal house.
1. Create a List of Homebuying Criteria
You know you want to buy a home as quickly as possible. With a list of homebuying criteria at your disposal, you'll be better equipped than ever before to discover a house that suits you perfectly.
Think about where you'd like to reside and the features you want in your dream house. Then, you can narrow your house search and move one step closer to finding a residence that matches or exceeds your expectations.
2. Get Your Finances in Order
Pre-approval for a mortgage can make a world of difference, particularly for a buyer who wants to speed up his or her home search. If you learn about all of your mortgage options, you can select a mortgage that complements your finances and enter the real estate market with a mortgage in hand.
Many banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists. By meeting with various financial institutions, you can learn about a broad array of mortgage options. Plus, you can receive comprehensive insights into fixed and adjustable-rate mortgages and make an informed mortgage selection.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
For those who want to quickly and effortlessly find their dream residence, it may be beneficial to collaborate with a real estate agent. In fact, a real estate agent can help a homebuyer remove the guesswork commonly associated with searching for a residence.
A real estate agent understands what it takes to discover a great residence at a budget-friendly price. First, he or she will meet with you and learn about your homebuying goals. A real estate agent then will put together a personalized homebuying strategy. Next, a real estate agent will help you put your homebuying strategy into action. And when you discover your dream residence, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase this house.
As you get ready to conduct a house search, you may want to hire a real estate agent soon. If you have an expert real estate agent at your side, you can get the help you need to find your dream house. Best of all, a real estate agent will go the extra mile to ensure you can seamlessly navigate all stages of the property buying journey.
Once you have found the home that you want to live in, put in the offer, and start the process of closing on a home, you may feel like you’re “home free.” The hard part may technically be over, but there’s one more important thing that you need to think about before you get the keys to your place: Closing costs.
A few days before you head to sign all of your paperwork to close on the home, your lender will send you a detailed report of different closing costs that you need to pay upon the settlement of the property.
Closing Costs Defined
Closing costs are what you pay to the lender and third parties. These are due at the time of closing on the property and must be paid up front. You should estimate that your closing costs will be between 2 and 5 percent of the purchase price of the home.
Everything Included In Closing Costs
Closing costs cover both one-time and recurring fees that are a part of your home purchase. The one-time fees are things that are generally associated with buying the home. These would include attorneys fees, lender fees, home inspection fees, document prep fees, underwriting fees, credit report fees, and realtor fees. You’ll also need a bank issued check for your down payment at this time.
At closing, an escrow account will be set up. This is like a forced savings account that will be drawn from to cover things like taxes, insurance, loan interest, and title insurance. These are all very important costs that are a part of buying a home.
Do Your Homework Ahead Of Time
The best way to deal with closing costs is to be prepared ahead of time. Talk to your lender in order to get an estimate of the closing costs. From there, you’ll need to decide if you need to finance your closing costs or simply pay them up front. There are advantages to both approaches. Sometimes, lenders will look at you as less favorable if you need to finance all of your closing costs. It all depends on the terms of your loan. This is why research is vital.
Compare Rates And Lenders
It’s important not to go with the first lender you talk to. Get some recommendations from your realtor and friends to see who might be a good fit for you. Every lender specializes in something different, so you want to be sure that who you chose is a good fit for you.
The most important thing that you can do with closing costs and the financing of your home is to get educated!
Let's face it – stress can be problematic, particularly for a homebuyer who is competing with others to find the best house at the lowest price. Lucky for you, we're here to help you minimize the guesswork associated with purchasing a house, increasing the likelihood of a stress-free homebuying experience.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you enjoy a stress-free homebuying journey.
1. Study the Housing Market
The housing market conditions in one city or town may vary from the real estate conditions in another. As such, you'll want to assess the local housing market closely to identify patterns and trends. This will allow you to obtain comprehensive real estate market insights that can help you become a diligent homebuyer.
Of course, don't forget to analyze the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town too. This housing market information can help you differentiate a seller's market from a buyer's one so you can tailor your homebuying journey accordingly.
2. Prep Your Finances
Although you know that you want to buy a house as soon as possible, you still have no idea how you'll pay for a residence. Fortunately, if you prepare your finances today, you'll be better equipped than ever before to enjoy a stress-free homebuying experience.
Consult with a variety of banks and credit unions to learn about all of the mortgage options at your disposal. That way, you can explore a wide range of mortgage options and select one that matches your finances perfectly.
Also, be sure to ask lots of questions when you meet with lenders. These financial institutions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists who can help you evaluate all of your home financing options. And if you ask plenty of mortgage questions, you can gain the insights that you need to make the best-possible mortgage decision.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
If you want to avoid stress throughout the homebuying journey, it helps to hire a real estate agent. In fact, with a real estate agent at your side, you can get the support that you need to thrive.
A real estate agent will learn about your homebuying goals and help you map out a successful homebuying journey. As a result, a real estate agent will make it easy to identify potential homebuying hurdles and ensure that you can avoid such issues.
Furthermore, a real estate agent delivers extensive assistance at each stage of the homebuying journey. He or she will help you examine a broad array of houses and find a home that is right for you. Plus, after you discover your dream house, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive homebuying proposal.
As you get ready to enter the real estate market, it helps to plan ahead as much as you can. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and ultimately, you can minimize stress as you proceed along the homebuying journey.