Looking to purchase your first home? Not sure if you want to purchase a single-family home or a condo? What you purchase will be determinant on your thoughts about the below information. Take a look at the various differences between single-family homes and condos and decide the pros and cons for yourself.

Location: Based on your price range, you will typically be able to purchase a condo in a location where you would otherwise not be able to purchase a home. But in return, you are often getting less square footage, closer by neighbors, and smaller outdoor living space. If you sacrifice a downtown city location for a location right outside of the city, you will get more for your money. Do you want to be able to walk to restaurants, shops and maybe work or is a home with free parking a more attractive option to you? It all depends on what is most important to you.

Privacy: There will be less privacy when owning a condo versus a home, as neighbors are much closer. Condos typically share a wall with one another, some on just one side and some on both sides. This is an important detail to take into consideration when deciding between a condo and single-family home.

Additional Costs: HOA fees or homeowner association fees are monthly fees that condo owners must pay. The fees cover things such as utilities, reserve and contingency funds, amenities, maintenance and repairs, which includes lawn care, snow removal, trash removal, exterior upkeep, etc. These costs vary depending on the condo amenities and policies. However, it’s important to be aware that there is the possibility that these fees increase if there is not enough in the reserve to cover unforeseen costs. When owning a home, there are no HOA fees. This means that a homeowner needs to be cognizant of the additional costs of owning a home. Will you purchase a lawnmower and snow blower or hire a service? Will you have the additional funds to pay for unforeseen expenses? These are important questions to consider.

Restrictions: Owning a condo has some limitations as there will be restrictions that would not exist when owning your own home (unless you purchase a historical home). There are often restrictions dealing with the exterior of your home, parking restrictions as well as having certain barbecues on decks.

Condos are an attractive choice for those looking for a low maintenance lifestyle. And owning and maintaining a home will take more work on the homeowner’s part. It’s important to figure out exactly what you want out of a home before you decide on one or the other, but knowing the difference between a single-family home and a condo is a first step.

Stopping by local garage sales in search of bargains and treasures is a lot like panning for gold. Some days you’ll be sifting through a lot of rubble before you discover the hidden gems. Other days, you’ll hit the mother lode, right away! Whether you’re looking for cheap books, antique furniture, unique jewelry, retro clothing, statues, gardening tools, or gently used toys, you can expect to stumble upon some very interesting and worthwhile items — usually at extremely low prices.

Keys to Bargain Hunting Success

Many people who attend garage sales on a regular basis seem to have developed a system to ferret out what they’re looking for, spot bargains, and negotiate the lowest possible prices. They often don’t even get out of their cars if the items displayed fail to catch their interest.

Yard sales attract a wide variety of people, but the ones who find the best stuff at the lowest prices know the value of persistence, getting an early start, and advance planning. Many are quite adept at surfing the Web, clippings ads, and using social media to find promising yard sales to check out.

The Seasoned Garage Sale Hunter

In addition to a natural curiosity about the unexpected treasures they might find in their travels, they recognize the following underlying truths about garage sales.

  • There are two main reasons that people hold garage sales: to make extra money and to get rid of things they no longer need or want. In most cases, they’re highly motivated to make sales and do not expect to rake in boatloads of money. If they happen to be in the process of selling their house and getting ready to move, they should be especially motivated to clear out all their garage sale inventory. The last thing they want to see is an interested customer with a wad of cash in their hands walk away because the price wasn’t right. If you make a reasonable offer, chances are they’ll either accept it or make a counteroffer. By cultivating some basic negotiating skills and learning to have fun with it, you can pick up some amazing deals in your neighborhood.
  • At first, going to garage sales may seem like a hit-or-miss proposition. However, persistence pays off. Good timing, a little bit of luck, and being in the right place at the right time will eventually work in your favor. It’s sort of a “numbers game,” so if you plan to visit a few different yard sales in one morning, you’re bound to find all kinds of worthwhile treasures and bargains.
  • If you know what you’re looking for and have a pretty good idea of what its worth, you’ll be in a good position to make reasonable offers and walk away with exceptional deals.

Whether you’re looking for a used guitar, an inexpensive desk for a college student, or some hard-to-find first-edition books, you never know what you’re going to discover when you dedicate a Saturday or Sunday morning to some serious garage sale shopping!

When you buy a home, you may wonder what the benefits of having your own realtor to represent you are. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you probably will have a lot of questions. If you’re a second-time homebuyer you may still have a lot of questions! Buying a home can be a long, tedious process. It’s very helpful to know that you have a knowledgable realtor by your side to represent you and help you through the home buying process. If you’re looking to buy a home in a tough market, hiring your own realtor to represent you as a buyer is especially important. 

First, you should consider interviewing some prospective buyers agents in your area. Maybe you can get recommendations from friends and family as well. Learn what you can expect from a top realtor who will represent you as a buyer. 

Honesty Is The Best Policy

Your agent should be completely honest with you. While they can’t tell you what you personally want in a home, they should give you every last disclosure. No agent should put a home value or their own commission above their clients. This means that there’s strict documentation that realtors must follow including a code of ethics and standards for practice. A realtor must uphold these promises.  

Judging honesty in a realtor can be difficult. An honest real estate agent will help you through the home search process, for example. This is a good place to start. If the realtor points out some of the potential issues that you may have as a buyer in a home, you can see that honesty is one of their main policies.

Good Communicator

A realtor should be in frequent communication with you. Even if your home search isn’t active, they will check in, and see where you’re at in the process and if your needs have changed. 

Your realtor should alert you if offers have been made on properties that you’re interested in as well. Your buyer’s agent should reply to texts, e-mails, or calls within a short time frame of receiving them. Having a realtor that’s on top of things for you is important when it comes to buying a home since, without their help and information, the perfect home could slip through the cracks for you.                  

Knowledge Of Rules, Regulations, And Best Practices

Your buyer’s agent should have extensive knowledge of the real estate rules and regulations that are within your state. Each state has different practices when it comes to buying a home. Hiring a buyer’s agent is especially helpful if you are unfamiliar with a state or city. Your agent will be well-informed on all of your responsibilities as a buyer, as well as how and when you should complete these tasks and signings throughout the entire home buying process.

Looking to add your condo to the real estate market? Ultimately, you’ll want to set a “fair” price for your property. By doing so, you can stir up plenty of interest in your condo and boost your chances of a fast property sale.

List your condo at a price that meets the needs of both property buyer and seller – here are three tips to ensure you can price your condo properly.

1. Study the Housing Market

How does your condo rate against similar properties? Examine the housing market closely, and you can understand what differentiates your property from others that are currently available.

Check out the prices of comparable condos that have been added to the real estate market recently. That way, you can learn how other condo sellers are pricing their properties and map out your condo pricing strategy accordingly.

Also, evaluate the prices of condos that have sold over the past few months. This will allow you to identify real estate market patterns and trends and may help you establish a competitive price.

2. Hire a Property Appraiser

A property appraiser understands what it takes to assess a condo both inside and out. Therefore, if you conduct a condo appraisal, you can learn about your property’s strengths and weaknesses.

During a condo evaluation, a property appraiser will identify problem areas across your residence. Then, he or she will provide a report that you can review to understand how you can enhance your property’s value.

Take the results of a property appraisal seriously. If a property appraiser finds minimal problems with your condo, you may be good to go to establish a fair price for your residence.

On the other hand, if a property appraiser discovers a wide range of condo issues, allocate the necessary time and resources to mitigate these problems. In this scenario, you may need to lower your expectations for your condo’s asking price based on the current state of your property. Or, you can perform assorted property improvements to bolster your condo’s value.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Want expert insights into how to price your condo competitively? Work with a real estate agent, and you can receive comprehensive support as you prepare to add your residence to the housing market.

A real estate agent can make a world of difference for a condo seller, and for good reason. This housing market professional will teach you about the current real estate market and help you determine the right price for your condo.

Let’s not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent will provide throughout the condo selling process, either.

With a real estate agent at your side, you can receive help with condo showings, negotiations with condo buyers and much more. And if you ever have condo selling questions, a real estate agent will be able to provide instant responses.

Set the right price for your condo – use these condo selling tips, and you can move one step closer to maximizing the value of your property.

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