Thursday, September 26, 2013

Unappealing Home Design Features: Make Sure Your House Doesn’t Have These

Every decade has had a fair share of debatable home design features ranging from the wood paneling of the 1970s to glass blocks and vertical blinds of the following decades. Home buyers are often repelled by outdated designs and offer less, keeping in mind the costs associated with covering up or correcting problematic areas.

As per a survey of property agents and interior designers, following is a list of the least liked features in the real estate arena.

Shag carpeting

Deep-pile carpeting with shaggy texture in a vibrant array of colors was quite popular in the 70s. It was considered to be kid-friendly, but the problems were trapping of dirt and getting easily matted, which required a shag rake to be used regularly.Though shag area rugs are sometimes linked to hipsters, most buyers turn away from the conventional wall-to-wall style.

Colorful toilets and sinks

If you’re looking to add some color, designers feel that commodes are not the place to consider. They say that since sinks and toilets are positioned center and front, they should not hurt the eyes. Tubs can be hidden from buyers by using shower curtains.

Buyers today do not wish their bathrooms to have remnants of the 70s and bring down their offer price when they know they will have to fix them.

Metallic wallpaper

The use of any kind of wallpaper is slightly dicey, primarily because of the problems associated with its removal. Prominent offenders are metallic wallpapers with silvery floral prints or bronzy metallic stripes. This flashy trend began in the 1970s and continued till the 1990s. Designers say that prospective buyers are also turned off by floral wallpaper borders which were quite ubiquitous in the 80s.

They advise that if there’s wallpaper in your home, you should get it removed and repaint your home before you put it up on the market.

Carpeted bathrooms

Some people like to have their bathrooms carpeted. According to experts, this is not a good idea since carpets can get matted and mildewed.

Carpets retain water and become big repositories for bacteria. If you do not wish to get your feet cold in the morning, it's better putting down a flat weave woolen area rug that can be easily cleaned. Investing in flooring with radiant heat might also be a good idea.

Sliding-plastic enclosures

Through the decades, plastic bathroom doors have become common, especially when there is a tub-shower combination inside. Plastic shower doors invariably have outdated gold trim and get soap scum all over. Potential buyers sometimes find these repelling and useless.

It’s better to have an easy-to-clean simple shower rod with a curtain. Glass doors that open are also easier to keep spotless as compared to those that slide on tracks. Sliding doors come off the tracks often and since the tracks are recessed, they attract grime and mildew.

The tracks are also functionally challenging. Young parents have a tough time bathing their kids by leaning over because the tracks come in the way. Seniors face problems due to the tracks as well since it adds to their problems when coming out of the shower.

Too many mirrors

While mirrors make rooms appear larger, they look downright tacky if they cover large expanses like backsplashes and bedroom ceilings. Large framed mirrors over fireplaces or hung in foyers for bouncing light can look nice, but huge, permanent full wall mirrors are definitely a no-no.

And in the end, a small tip: Minimal design is the best way to go. It will be appealing to all types of buyers.

Since home design can be an factor on a home’s true worth, it may be a good idea to get a valuation report. You can rely on a free home value report from Neighborhood IQ to learn what your home is worth.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Moving Your Pets

There’s no doubt that buying a home and moving is stressful for you, but it can be even more overwhelming for your pet. The disorganization and chaos of packing and moving can send your furry one disappearing under the bed or even worse, having an accident on the carpet or running out the door.

While pets such as gerbils, fish, and hamsters will adjust to the transition and new location with ease, other pets like dogs and cats take more effort and patience to move. It takes some planning to help your pet adjust to their new home and surroundings, but with patience, effort, and love, your pet will be feel right at home in no time.
Before the move

Pets are creatures of habit, so they thrive on daily routines. Prepare your pet by sticking with their regular routine every day until you move. This includes walks, naps, play time, and feedings. Give them their normal food and avoid giving them too many treats as this can upset their stomach. You want the routine to be familiar to them, as this familiarity lessens the stress of moving a great deal. If you are moving to a different time zone, slowly change your pet’s feeding and sleeping schedule a few weeks in advance before you move.

It’s a good idea to tour the new home with your pet before you move in so that they can become familiar with the property. Prepare a separate box with food, medicine, water and other essentials your pet will need. Bring copies of your pet’s up-to-date medical records with you.

Don't wash your pet's toys or blankets before the move. The familiar smell will help to comfort your pet in the new home. Also, be sure to order new ID tags for your pet that have your new address on them. If you need a carrier, purchase a sturdy and comfortable transport carrier for them and familiarize them with it before the move.

During the move

The best thing you can do during the move is to keep your pet away from the chaotic environment. You can have a friend or relative watch your pet in their home, or you can put them in an empty room in the old or new house while you’re moving. The room should have plenty of food and water. You could also board your pet at a professional kennel or hire a pet sitter.
After the move

Make sure that you new home is escape-proof by walking through and checking for unlatched gates, windows that are open without screens, or any other ways that your pet may be able to get out. Also be certain that your pet cannot get into the family pool.
The safety of your pet should be your main concern. They need some time to get used to new surroundings, so try to make them feel at home with their favorite toys and plenty of play time. Make it a smooth transition for your furry friend!

After you get your pet all settled in, you should check the value of your new home to see if you’re buying or renting for a fair price. Neighborhood IQ offers free home value reports online for your convenience.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Buying a Home with Bad Credit

If you are considering buying a house, having good credit is extremely important. It allows you to expand your loan availability and impressive interest rates. While you can buy a home if you have bad credit, your options are more limited. But there is hope! You can help to repair your credit score and better your chances of getting a loan with decent terms.

Just a decade or so ago, potential home buyers were able to get loans more easily. Nowadays, home loans are approved on a much more constricted basis. If your credit needs some work, there are some things you can do to alleviate the skittishness that lenders have when it comes to lending you money for a home.

Consider the following suggestions when buying a home with bad credit:

Understand your credit reports and score.

Your credit score is the first thing that lending companies and mortgage firms look at when they research your credit. They usually evaluate it with a letter grade, just like in school. You can get your credit report from all major credit agencies, and you should look them over to make sure that everything is correct. If there are any errors, you can report them to get them corrected, which can actually help your score enough for you to qualify for a traditional home loan mortgage.

Apply for a subprime loan.

If you need a house right away and don’t want to get your credit score up before you buy, you may be able to get a subprime home loan. Subprime loans are loans for those with blemished credit histories. While it was easier to get a subprime loan a few years ago, they aren’t particularly popular in these economic times. These loans carry a higher rate of interest than prime loans to compensate for increased credit risk.

Shop around for flexible lenders.

There are some lenders that will be more sympathetic to your credit woes. Be sure to ask lenders whether or not your past credit blemishes may cause any problems in obtaining a loan. A mortgage broker may also be more accustomed to helping those with credit problems as well.

Save more and keep a clean credit record.

Of course, the best recommendation is to wait on a year two before buying a home and spend some time improving your credit score. If you don’t have to rush to buy a home, then why not buy some more time to clean your credit record? It may just result in a great credit score and lenders scrambling to get your business!

Keep in mind that a smart potential homeowner is always looking for ways to improve their credit score, reduce debt, and save money. When you do decide to buy, consider getting a free home value report from Neighborhood IQ to find out what your home is worth.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Organizing for Moving Day

You’re moving soon, and while you’re excited to live in a new place, you also know that you’re in for a lot of work. If you’re dreading it, don’t despair! The process of moving to a new house or condo can be a huge headache for some people. After all, it is a time-consuming and energy-draining task. But with a little planning, your stress level can be lowered when the moving van arrives!

The key is to be organized. Yes, moving presents a challenge when it comes to your organization skills. A plan goes a long way, and you can begin to get organized for moving weeks or even months in advance. Don’t be intimidated or afraid to move! It’s an exciting time in your life, so try to relax and get ready for your new adventure.

Here are some tips to help you get organized for moving day:

Go through each room and make a list. Take an inventory of each room and decide what you will move and what won’t take with you. Moving is a great time to clean out closets and rid your home of items that you no longer want or need. Making an inventory will also give a good idea of how many boxes you will need to get.

Get sturdy boxes. Flimsy boxes just won’t do, especially when you are packing items like books and dishes. You need good boxes that will hold your valuables securely. Sturdy boxes are easier to pack and seal. Remember that you can never have too many boxes!

Group items together. Put boxes of dishes in one corner with kitchen items, and things like brooms, mops, and household cleaners in a separate box. Make piles and stack boxes in each room of similar items.

Label every single box. After you’ve packed your grouped items, you need to label each box legibly. This way, when you are moving you can put the box in the appropriate room. You will thank yourself for doing this once your boxes are all unloaded and you need to find things.

Pack a transit box for your first night. You probably won’t feel like doing much unpacking the first night in your home. This is why it makes sense to pack a box with all of the essentials you will need for the night and early morning. Items like toilet paper, a shower curtain, coffee maker, clean clothes, toothbrushes, and some cleaning products should be handy for when you arrive at your new home. Your transit survival box will be personalized for your particular household.

After you’re all settled into your new home, make sure that you got a great deal! You can rely on a free home valuation report from Neighborhood IQ to learn your new home’s value.