Comfort Usukumah & Team's Blog
An open house represents a valuable opportunity for a home seller. If a seller plans ahead for an open house, he or she may boost the likelihood of hosting an unforgettable event that showcases the full beauty of a residence. As a result, this seller may receive multiple offers on his or her home as soon as the open house reaches its conclusion.
Believe it or not, preparing for an open house can be easy. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help a home seller get ready for an open house.
1. Perform Extensive Cleaning
A neat, tidy home is ideal, particularly for a home seller who wants to enjoy a fast, profitable home selling experience. Thus, if you allocate the necessary time and resources to clean your residence now, you may be better equipped than ever before to host a successful open house.
To clean your home's interior, you'll want to take a room-by-room approach. Wipe down each room's walls, mop or vacuum the floors and remove any debris.
Moreover, you should spend some time mowing the front lawn, trimming the hedges and performing assorted home exterior maintenance. And if you need extra help along the way, don't hesitate to reach out to a professional landscaping company, either.
2. Declutter As Much As Possible
Clutter can make it tough for a homebuyer to envision what life may be like if he or she buys your residence. Therefore, you'll want to remove as much clutter as possible prior to an open house.
Oftentimes, it helps to rent a storage unit where you can store assorted clutter until you finalize a home sale. A storage unit generally provides a safe and affordable option for home sellers who want to safeguard various belongings over the course of several weeks or months.
On the other hand, it may be beneficial to sell excess items online or host a yard sale. Because if you can sell items that you no longer need, you can declutter your home and earn extra cash at the same time.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
Hosting an open house may prove to be challenging, particularly for those who are trying to work alone. Fortunately, real estate agents are available who can help you take the guesswork out of getting ready for any open house, at any time.
A real estate agent is happy to provide comprehensive support at each stage of the home selling journey. As such, he or she will help you enhance your home and ensure it is open house-ready.
Usually, a real estate agent will offer personalized recommendations to help you prep your residence for an open house. This housing market professional also will promote your open house in the weeks and days leading up to the event. And when the open house ends, a real estate agent can provide honest, unbiased event feedback as well.
Host a successful open house – use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble achieving the best-possible results during an open house.
If you’re a first-time buyer, odds are you’ve never seen or heard much about mortgage applications. However, for something as important as buying a home, it pays off to go into the process knowing what to expect.
Mortgage applications aren’t all that complicated in and of themselves. Most of the time, your chosen lender will walk you through the process and answer any questions that arise. However, complications do arise when it comes time to provide documentation on things like your income.
To make things easier for your first application, I’ve put together this list of frequently asked questions that first-time buyers often have about their mortgage application process.
Will applying for a mortgage hurt my credit score?
Mortgage lenders will run a credit inquiry to help determine your lending eligibility. There are two types of credit inquiries: hard and soft. A soft inquiry is a quick credit check that doesn’t affect your credit score. A hard inquiry, on the other hand, does. This means your score will be lowered slightly for a few months and then will bounce back.
Mortgage lenders run both types of inquiries. For quick, pre-qualifications, lenders typically run a soft inquiry. Then, as you progress through the approval process, they’re run a detailed credit report (hard inquiry).
What information should I have available?
Lenders will ask you for various documents. The most common things they will ask for include proof of income in the form of W-2 forms from the previous year and your most recent pay stub. They will also require a record of your other debts, including student loans, auto loans, credit card debt, and any other outstanding debt that you owe. Finally, they will ask for an inventory of your assets. This could include investments, properties, auto titles, and more.
What if I don’t work a conventional job?
People who are self-employed or have unconventional income can still qualify for a loan and will still be required to show proof of income. Lenders may ask for Form 1099 records, tax returns, or any other record or proof of income you have available.
How long does it take to complete an application?
Mortgage applications can be completed as quickly as you gather the required documentation. However, there’s more to getting approved for a mortgage than filling out an application. There will be time needed to process the application, and underwrite your mortgage. This entire process typically takes between 30 and 45 days.
Is it safe to apply for a mortgage online?
Most lenders allow you to start the application process online and their online portals are typically secure. Make sure you check your browser window to ensure that the connection to the site is secured, and you should have nothing to worry about.
Keep in mind that most online applications are designed to get you prequalified and on your way to getting a mortgage. So, if you want to avoid getting calls from the lender, you might not want to enter any data until you know you’re interested in borrowing at this time.
Want to get the sleek and stylish Scandinavian look in your new home? It’s much easier than you might think. And it doesn’t require buying all your furniture from Ikea. I’ve got a few tips for you to create a warm, welcoming home that could grace the pages of any home design magazine.
When attempting to recreate this look most go wrong by painting everything black and white. The real secret to this look, however, is in the details. Less is always more so a serious decluttering project will start you off on the right foot. And don’t think that the only way to recreate this look is to replace all your furniture. In fact, working with existing pieces will make the look feel more natural and unassuming.
You probably already know to reach for shades of grays, whites, and creams when choosing your color palette. But having some color is crucial. Blue is the perfect addition of color for this look especially for a sofa, some throw pillows or your kitchen table chairs. When adding other colors do so sparingly to really make a statement. For example, a yellow lamp in the kitchen, green chairs in the dining room or pink throw pillows on the couch.
To avoid a cold, sterile environment natural elements like wood, stone, and glass add warmth back into the room. Copper and gold accents also warm up a room while keeping a modern touch. Think a natural wood table top where the grain takes center stage or copper hardware that pops when placed against blacks and whites.
Give your space a welcoming homey feel by reaching for texture to create visual interest. Think furry pillows, woven textiles, and chunky knits. Monochrome artwork breaks up blank walls without looking out of place and furniture pieces are the main attraction. There’s no need for knick-knacks here, in fact, they’re best donated or stored away. To stay true to this look each piece you add to the room should have a function.
Another key to this look is lighting. During the day you want to let in as much of it as you can. While curtains and blinds are often skipped altogether pleated and roman blinds maintain privacy and a clean look. When choosing curtains stick to your neutral palette and avoid prints or dramatic drapery. For the night you can create perfect ambiance with string lights and paper lanterns. As a bonus, a paper lantern floor lamp pulls double duty by adding natural texture to the room.
The sleek clean lines of Scandinavian design, especially those you see in catalogs, can seem impossible to replicate. At least not without replacing everything you own. But the truth is it is easily achievable to recreate with your existing furniture. With a little creativity, a few cans of paint and a lot of decluttering you’ll have a cozy, modern home before you know it.
Whether you're planning on selling your home in the near future or just enhancing it now for your own enjoyment, your kitchen is a great place to focus some of your attention.
If your kitchen is dreary, disorganized, and grungy, then several aspects of your life could be negatively impacted.
One surefire way to start your day on a sour note is to be "greeted" first thing in the morning by stacks of unwashed dishes, dirty cookware, and spills! Sound familiar? It happens to everyone occasionally, but it becomes a major issue when it occurs on a regular basis. Messy kitchens can not only leave you feel frustrated and irritable, but they can be a contributing factor to family squabbles.
Here's a related scenario that's worth avoiding at almost all costs: Leaning your arm on a dirty counter and realizing you're now wearing last night's tomato sauce or Cabernet on your work clothes! We won't even go into that sinking feeling you get when an important document, research paper, or business report gets placed on a wet counter top!
There's no solution that works flawlessly every time, but establishing consistent habits, routines, and family responsibilities is a great starting point. While it may be a bit of hassle to keep reminding your kids to clean up after themselves and put their dirty dishes in the dishwasher, it's usually worth it when you know you're not going to have to wake up to a messy kitchen!
Other ways to ensure your kitchen is an inspiring place, rather than a depressing one, is to remove clutter from counter tops and tables, keep windows clean and unobstructed, and make sure artificial lighting is adequate in dining and food preparation areas. Replacing old, heavy window treatments and installing recessed lighting with dimmer switches can also enhance the look and feel of your kitchen.
Besides doing a partial or complete remodel of your kitchen -- which many homeowners need to do at least once -- there are a lot of small, more affordable touches that can make your kitchen a more inviting and enjoyable place to spend time. Colorful wall art, a bowl of fresh fruit, a flower arrangement, and the use of citrus-scented cleaners are a few simple touches that can set the stage for a cleaner, more cheerful living space.
Painting or re-staining kitchen cabinets may be more of a cumbersome job than you're willing to tackle, but it can dramatically freshen up the appearance of your kitchen. For some homeowners, cabinet refacing is an economical choice that is relatively simple and budget friendly.
Cleaning and organizing your pantry, kitchen cabinets, and refrigerator is also a good way to weed out expired grocery products and take inventory of what needs to be replaced. When ingredients and food supplies are easy to find, mealtime tends to be more relaxing and enjoyable for everyone.