Maureen Roberts' Blog
When selling your home you may receive many offers from different buyers, but the smart move isn’t always to pick the highest bidder. Selling a home goes beyond just picking the largest dollar amount; there are other factors to consider while selling your house and how they influence your decision:
Most home-sale offers come with certain contingencies before they can go through. These contingencies are certain conditions that must take place within a specific time-frame for the sale to be successful. You should pick the offer with the least number of contingencies and the shortest periods stipulated. Typical contingencies include a home inspection, approval for a mortgage and the home appraisal. When there is an inspection contingency, the buyer can withdraw his offer depending on how the inspection goes. Financial contingencies also allow the buyer to stop the purchase if they do not get a mortgage approved early enough.
The best kind of offer is one that is offering cash up front. The offer may not be the highest, but it is guaranteed to go through because you don’t have to worry about a bank financing application that may or may not be approved.
Few people can afford to pay cash upfront for your home. The next best set of people are those who already have a pre-approval letter from their lender. This letter means that they can get a loan whenever they are ready. A buyer with a pre-approval implies that they already have everything necessary to get a credit and so the process following the offer will not be as difficult as it is for someone without a pre-approval.
There are many kinds of mortgages, and if a mortgage from a bank backs your buyer's offer, then it is not going to be complicated. If the buyer is using an FHA loan or another government-backed credit facility, it could become involved with more processes and requirements.
Everyone wants to close the process as quickly as possible and move along to other things. If the buyer wants to close immediately or under thirty days, then that is the perfect situation. You could also need some time especially if you are buying another house and would like it to be ready before moving in. Work with the offer that offers you the best timelines for your plans.
Price matters, but a lot of other things matter too when considering offers for your home. Discuss these with your real estate agent to help you decide which offer will work best for you.
When you have kids sharing a room, there will be conflict. It just happens, no matter how much they get along, at some point, there is going to be a fight about something. Fights about tidiness, noise levels, or just about anything. Now sometimes your kids can come to some sort of solution without intervention by applying a little bit of creativeness. Other times you will need to step in and mediate a solution.
One option for ongoing sibling space sharing issues includes the traditional, but none too practical, splitting the room in half. You can do this any number of ways; painters’ tape may be the least damaging to flooring and walls, a border made of blankets, or a curtain panel hung from the ceiling. These options may give the roommates some sort of illusion they have separate private rooms. More than likely they will come to the conclusion they will need to compromise on some things to really make a life together more peaceful.
Layout the Lair
If your kids have several areas of shared interest, they can start with those items when they set up their space. A “common” area, so to speak, can create a sense of camaraderie and bonding. From there you have them could move into planning the furniture layout and traffic flow. Maybe discuss schedules and who wakes up first and how the morning routine needs to play out. Next, an agreement on a bedtime routine can help avoid any conflicts when everyone is tired and out of patience. Finally, figuring out how and when things like studying, reading, friends hanging out or other activities will take place in the shared space. You may need a third-party mediator to help shape some of the details and provide an objective perspective on issues.
Contract for Compromise
Writing out the agreements and signing you will give each person ownership over the space. This way any issues can be settled by going over the written agreement. As time goes on, the deal can have amendments, but these need to be agreed upon by all before being added. When it comes to living together in harmony, healthy boundaries and common courtesy go a long way. When you can remember to show respect to the other person you can often iron out any issues about shared room space easily with little conflict. When moving kids into a shared bedroom space have each kid list a “rule” for their area, write it down and hang it up in the room.
Need extra space for your growing family? Talk to your real estate agent about a larger home in your budget.
With rising energy costs and temperature extremes, fans are a great investment for your home. They help lower energy costs in both the summer and winter by helping move the air you want to the right locations in your house. More than that, fans can be a lovely decorative addition to any room and can increase the value of your home.
Ceiling fans are a great addition to any room. Usually combined with lights, these double-duty fixtures add beauty and temperature control to any room in your home. For best results, go for ceiling fans that are reversible, so you can push warm air down towards the floor in the winter, and pull cold air up through the room in the summer. The latest iteration of ceiling fans is “Smart Fans”. These fans have motion sensors, temperature detection, scheduling timers for both fans and lights and more. Many of them will connect to their own app or your smart home devices like Google Home or Alexa. These fans have the added benefit of using the lowest amount of energy for the greatest benefit and can pay for themselves rather quickly, at least according to the latest test and advertising.
If your home doesn’t have central air-conditioning, or even if it does, a whole house fan can help reduce your cooling costs and make your house more comfortable year-round. Better for the environment than air conditioning systems, the latest designs are quiet and can lower skin temperatures by as much as 10 degrees. These fans, located in hallways or stairwells and venting into the attic, pull air through open windows to reduce the temperature of the whole house. Just want the fan in the attic? Both whole-house and attic-only fans vent warm air out to help protect your roof from heat warping damage. The main difference is that an attic fan doesn’t draw air through the living spaces. It can be a great augmentation to a whole house H-VAC system.
Box fans, tower, pedestal, and other free-standing fans can be moved from room to room in your house and just used when needed. Newer high-end bladeless fans are quieter and safer for children and can even include remote controls, multiple speed options, and scheduling features. Like window air conditioners, window fans fit into the window frame of an open window and draw air in from outside. They work the best overnight when the air is cooler and can offset air conditioning costs considerably when used correctly.
Fans in the Winter
You might think fans are only for summer, but you would be wrong. Fans can move air in multiple directions, that means they can pull warm air down in the winter just as easily as they push cool air up in the summer. In addition to reversing your ceiling fans with the built-in switch, reversing window box fans on your lower level can bring warm air down from the upper floors and push cold air outside. Bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans are especially useful in the winter since they can reduce the mold and mildew caused by moisture build up.
Next time you go to an open house, make sure to note existing fans and take pictures of areas that would benefit from new fan installation.
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