Ned Mahoney's Blog
Staging is a marketing tool, not an exercise in decorating for living comfort. Professional real estate stagers should be a member of your team when you want to sell your home quickly and for top dollar.
Even if you have a go-getter real estate agent and your home is in a great neighborhood, consider staging as a way to enhance value and prompt an acceptable offer in the least amount of time. Your stager will target the "right" buyer, based on price, features and demographics, to achieve results.
Planting a "Buy Idea"
Contrary to the popular notion of staging, it does not involve an effort to "sell," but rather encourages the buyer to envision living in a particular home. Savvy buyers will already have determined that a specific property is within their budget, that it has the right number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and that the location is a desirable option. Staging will reinforce the notion that the "good life" can become reality in that house.
Focusing on "Best" Features
A professional stager will not attempt to highlight every feature of the home. The purpose is to provide a prospective buyer with a memorable impression that distinguishes a particular property from all others. Your stager will discuss with you the best ways to create a lasting impression, but be prepared to remove overly personal accessories for the duration of the home's time on the market.
No home is perfect. Whether it's a matter of perception or personal preference, most houses have at least one space that can seem difficult. A professional stager might disguise a perceived fault, or may suggest a remedy. Common requests include repainting a room, clearing kitchen and bath clutter, or pulling weeds and placing pots full of colorful flowers near the front door to boost curb appeal.
Maximizing Existing Space
Your stager might want to remove or rearrange furniture, or ask you to pack up and store out-of-season clothing, books, sports equipment and toys. Understand that once the home sells, you will have to begin packing anyway, and spacious interiors are a selling tool. Let prospective buyers get a sense of possibilities as they walk through your home!
Assuming that your home is clean, well-maintained and reasonably priced, professional staging is the best way to provoke the emotional reaction that will prompt a prospective buyer to submit an offer. Staged homes typically sell faster and at higher prices than comparable unstaged property. The higher selling price will undoubtedly pay the fee!
It can be difficult to find the extra savings to put towards your first home as a renter. With rent and utility prices rising, most people’s paychecks are leaving them with less and less savings at the end of the month.
Buying your first home, however, can be a great long-term financial decision. It will help you build equity, and, eventually, you’ll be able to use that equity toward another home or toward retiring.
In today’s post, we’ll talk about some of the ways to save for a down payment while renting an apartment.
How much to save
In order to make the most of your first home purchase, you’ll want to save up as much of a down payment as possible. This will help you receive the lowest interest rate and reduce the amount you’ll pay toward interest.
If you can manage to save 20% of the loan, you’ll also be able to waive private mortgage insurance (PMI), that would otherwise set you back around $100 per month or more.
Smart ways to save while renting
If you’re ready to get serious about saving for your first down payment, let’s talk about the best way to approach your savings plan.
Pay off small debts
If you’ve had that lingering credit card debt that you’ve never quite paid off, now is the time. Take a look at your current debts. Pay off the smaller balances first and focus on debt with the highest interest rate.
This will enable you to start making larger deposits toward your down payment savings sooner and can help you avoid needlessly paying interest on small loans and credit card debt.
Open a dedicated account or CD
The best way to make sure you contribute to your down payment savings plan is to open a savings account or take out a CD (certificate of deposit).
A savings account with a high-interest return is a good option for people who are worried that they may need to access their funds before they’re ready to buy a home.
If you’re comfortable with not being able to access your funds until a set date, then a CD could help you save more money.
Since CDs are a one-time payment, many people choose to combine both CDs and high-interest savings accounts to achieve their savings goals.
Regardless of which option you choose, be sure to shop around for the highest interest rate. Online banks tend to have higher rates than traditional banks and are also easy to sign up for.
Direct deposit a portion of your pay
Opening a bank account or CD won’t do you any good if you don’t commit to contributing to it. If you are paid via direct deposit, visit your HR office and ask them to reassign a portion of your weekly pay to your new account.
By following these tips, you’ll be able to better prepare for your down payment. Don’t wait! The sooner you start saving, the sooner you’ll be able to purchase your first home.
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