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Are you preparing to buy your first home this year? The process of buying a home is both an exciting yet daunting task. There are many steps a home buyer should take to have the best chance for successfully buying a home. Keep reading and discover a few important steps first-time homebuyers should take in 2020. 

Save a Down Payment Save for Closing Costs

Many real estate and financial experts believe that it is in your best interest to make a 20% downpayment when purchasing real estate. Yet, there are plenty of buyers today who put down far less when they purchase a home. There is not necessarily a right or wrong answer when it comes to how much homebuyers should be putting down on a home. However, you want to be sure that you have enough saved for not only your downpayment but your closing costs as well. This is where many buyers go wrong. They think they have their finances in order but don’t factor in closing costs into their projections.

Set a budget

Be sure that you set a budget when you begin your home buying search. This is an important step for several reasons. Most notably, it prevents you from buying a home you cannot afford. Also, it helps expedite the home buying process by eliminating home listings that are out of your price range. 

Get Preapproved for a Loan

One of the best ways to gain a competitive advantage from the competition is to get preapproved for a loan. When you get preapproved, you gain a competitive advantage because you become more favorable to sellers. You will be seen as a more serious buyer if you get preapproved for a mortgage.

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One of the most challenging questions that most homeowners face at some point is paint color selection. Several factors go into the decision-making process, like the space and resale value. While you may be tempted to go with bright colors, it may be in your best interest to go with a toned-down approach and choose a neutral color scheme throughout your home. Examples of neutral colors include white, gray, brown, and beige. Continue reading and discover a few reasons why neutral colors are a great option for your home. 

Appeals to the greatest number of people

If you plan to sell your home down the line, you should know that neutral colors have mass appeal to buyers today. Also, it can be tricky for some buyers to see past bright colors and see the potential of a room. When it comes to staging a home, your goal should be to appeal to the greatest number of people possible.

Provides the perfect base

Neutral colors provide the perfect base for a room. Vibrant hues can be extremely distracting and inhibit one’s ability to envision their style to the setting. Think of neutral colors as a blank canvas for your room design. It is easier to incorporate different colors into a room with neutral-colored walls with furniture and accessories. Also, if you decide to make major interior design changes in the future, it will be easier if you have neutral-colored walls. 

Provides a feeling of calmness 

Your home should be your oasis and the place where you can always go to relax. For most people, neutral colors give a tranquil look and feel inside your home. It may be challenging to develop a sense of calmness if you choose a bold color scheme for your interior walls.

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Open houses can be a great way to generate buzz about a home listing. It is important to realize that the process of staging a home can require a great deal of work. In many cases, a homeowner needs to make several cosmetic changes to make their home more favorable to homebuyers. Continue reading and discover a few easy steps a homeowner should take before hosting an open house. 

Set out fresh-cut flowers

Fresh-cut flowers can be a nice touch to your open house. Not only do they help make the home smell nice, but they add a nice splash of color as well.

Bring in the natural light

Most people do not want to purchase a dark and dreary home. Before every open house, be sure to open your curtains and other window treatments to allow the light to shine through. If you do not receive enough light that way, turn on the lights inside of your home.

Monitor the indoor temperature

The goal should be to get your visitors to stay for more than just a few minutes. One of the best ways they stay long enough to see the home in its entirety is to make the home as comfortable as possible. Be especially mindful of the temperature inside of your home.

Leave the home

There is no reason for you to stay in the home when hosting open houses. The main reason for this is because your presence can make homebuyers feel uncomfortable. If you staged your home well, it should sell itself. Also, more than likely, you have your agent present to answer any questions. 

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Are you stressing over your credit score? Your credit score is important because it helps lenders determine how likely you are to repay a debt. When you go to buy a house, mortgage lenders will look long and hard at your credit history. They want reassurance that you are not going to default on the loan. Payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, new credit, and types of credit used all go into a person’s credit score. Late payments, for instance, have a detrimental effect on your credit score. If you are planning to buy a home and need a mortgage, here are a few ways to raise your credit score. 

Check your credit report for errors

Errors sometimes appear on your credit report. If you have a suspicion that your credit score took a hit because of an error, you should request a copy of your credit report and review it for inaccuracies. The three major credit reporting agencies include Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. A person is entitled to one free copy of their credit report from each of these agencies every year. 

Reframe from opening new lines of credit

When you open a new line of credit, your credit score will decrease slightly. The same is true if you were to obtain a large loan. Many people are under the misbelief that opening new credit accounts will increase their utilization ratio. In fact, every time you submit a credit request, it can decrease your score. 

Pay off old credit lines before closing unused accounts

Do you have any older credit lines that are no longer in use? Even if you have paid off old lines of credit, you should reframe from closing those accounts. The reason is that it may negatively affect your utilization ration.

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Are you in the market for a condo? The process of purchasing a condo is a little different than buying a single or multifamily home. Continue reading and discover a few crucial steps when buying your first condo. 

Hire an agent who has experience with condos 

Did you know that the vast majority of condo communities require buyers to sign a contract that says they will adhere to the rules and regulations of the association? Buyers are also expected to pay ongoing fees for things like maintenance. One of the best ways to ensure all the paperwork is handled correctly is to hire a real estate agent who has experience selling condos. An experienced agent will walk you through the process to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible.

Learn what is included 

Most buyers will look at several properties before deciding on one. When many people buy their first condo, they aren’t fully informed of everything that it includes. For example, you should check and see if you receive your own reserved parking spot. Another consideration should be if it offers additional storage areas. When you are comparing properties, you will need to take these kinds of factors into consideration.

Know the association fees

Did you know that in most condos communities, there are ongoing fees required from each resident? In most cases, these association fees are used towards expenses like maintenance and insurance. When you purchase a condo, it is important to know and understand the fees that will be expected from you. In some cases, they affect whether or not a buyer can afford a property.

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Are you trying to sell your home this fall? If you want to make your home more favorable to potential buyers, you may need to look for ways to boost your curb appeal. Fortunately, there are many easy ways to enhance the appearance of the front of your home before it hits the market. With this, here are a few easy ways to enhance your curb appeal this fall. 

Clean your gutters

Dirty gutters can drastically bring down the appearance of a home. Also, it can make homebuyers question whether or not you have kept up with your home’s upkeep. If your gutters are dirty, you may need to invest in a service to fix the issue before homebuyers turned away by it.

Incorporate outdoor lighting

The days are shorter during the fall season. If you are planning to sell your home this time of year, you need to make sure there is adequate lighting for potential homebuyers. Not only do you want to provide them with a safe path to your entrance areas, but you also want to be sure people can see your whole landscape. This may require you to invest in decorative lights, lanterns, and other fixtures for your property. 

Upgrade your front door 

Your front door speaks volumes about the rest of your home. A relatively easy upgrade is to spruce up your front door, so it is more visually appealing to potential buyers. This could mean giving it a fresh coat of paint with a new color. It may mean swapping your old and outdated door with something more modern.

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