New Home vs. Used Home
One of the biggest considerations when purchasing a home is whether to purchase new or existing. Although the topic has long been debated, here are many strong arguments why new homeownership makes more sense.
- Location...location...location - new home communities are built in the most desirable and convenient locations with the best school districts
- Energy-efficiency - homes today are built with the most innovative and energy-efficient features. These advanced technologies result in lower energy costs and less waste
- Tighter Code Requirements - building requirements become more and more strict. All new homes must meet these new requirements before they can be occupied.
- Build To Your Needs - one of the most unique aspects of new homeownership is your ability to personalize. Don't like where that wall is? Move it. Need another electric box in the family room? Add it.
- Less Maintenance - because new homes are built with new, innovative products they require less maintenance.
- Warranty - you can rest easy in your new home knowing you're protected by an industry-leading 10 year home warranty program.
- More Friendly Neighbors - everyone is new and much more eager to create a comfortable neighborhood. Here, you have the ability to help create the 'neighborhood lifestyle.'
- It's New - everything is new in your new home. Appliances, carpeting, bathrooms.
Tips for Selling Your Current Home
Here are some things to consider as you're trying to sell your current home for top dollar!
- Put yourself in your buyer's shoes: What's the first thing you see as you walk up to your house? Remember - first impressions matter. Is the lawn mowed? Flower beds weeded? Are there spider webs on the windows? Toys in the driveway? The outside of your house is as important as the inside. Take the time to make it picture-perfect.
- De-clutter: Want to make your rooms look bigger? Clear off all counters. Put away photographs and knick knacks. Minimize furniture and decorative items. And that goes for closets, too. If your closets are overflowing and messy, that says "not enough storage space in this house."Give away, throw away and store all your out-of-season clothes and accessories. (Think of it this way: it's less for you to pack when you move to your new house.)
- Make repairs: To get the most for your home, it needs to be in "move in" condition. That means making repairs that you may have put off. Among the first questions a prospective buyers asks is "how old is the roof?" Make sure yours is in good condition. Also repair, or replace, if necessary the hot water heater, heating and air conditioning systems and other mechanical, electrical or structural items as needed. In most cases, the value of making repairs is greater than its initial cost.
- Small touch-ups go a long way: That pink poodle wallpaper in the powder room may have been your favorite, but chances are it's not everyone's. Stage your home to look its best by painting all the walls white or a soft neutral color. Replace any torn window screens. Replace worn carpet - or at the very least - have all carpets professionally cleaned.
- Create a welcoming atmosphere: When you live with animals in your house, you don't notice the odor. But anyone walking into your home for the first time, will. Sanitize all pet areas. Use plug-in air fresheners. Open your windows in spring or fall. Put a wreath on the front door. Consider fresh flowers in the dining room or living room.
Renting vs. Owning
How can you tell if homeownership is the right move for you? First, let's consider it's benefits:
- You have the ability to build wealth as you gain more home equity
- There are tax advantages to owning a home, including mortgage interest
- Fixed monthly payments will provide you with more peace-of-mind
- You're living the 'American Dream'. Enjoy a sense of pride providing you and your family a permanent place where you can live and grow
Also, consider the disadvantages of renting:
- There is no tax advantage to renting
- No equity is being built as you make monthly payments
- You have no ability to personalize your home
- Your landlord controls the terms of your lease, which can result in higher rent payments each year