Marianne Belanger's Blog
People downsize their living-space for all kinds of reasons. Making the decision to downsize shouldn't be a negative experience and shouldn't feel like your downgrading your home. Follow these tips to level up your lifestyle and home enjoyment while downsizing your accommodations.
Find a space that works for you.
You might be moving from a large home with a big kitchen or dining area to a more compact condo or cottage and feel like you're losing a lot of space. Think about how your current home is laid out and what parts you utilize the most. If you love your big kitchen, then search for a highly functional, if smaller, kitchen space. Pay attention to how you move through your kitchen now, is it fluid to go between different cooking, prep and cleaning areas? You might find that in reality, you run around your kitchen and loose efficiency. Look for a more compact, but well-appointed kitchen in your new home search and find an even better space for the cooking and entertaining you love.
Modernize your home view.
Your current home may have significant square footage, but how is it laid out? Are there lots of walls and hallways separating your rooms? What height are your ceilings? Does your house have a plethora of windows? Many modern homes have great open layouts. Shared space—a kitchen that opens to your living room, for example—makes both areas feel more substantial. Consider a condo or loft that has extra high ceilings and employ vertical storage to give height and openness to your living space. Finally, windows, windows, windows. Look for a home with large windows, and lots of them. Opening your house up to the beautiful outdoors and letting in lots of natural light gives your home the most added feeling of enlarged space.
Make your new rooms work double for you.
- Invest in a home with open kitchen, living, and dining spaces so you can entertain and remain a part of the activity while creating a meal or prepping drinks.
- Combine your office, guest and craft rooms into one multi-functional space. Use modern storage and office systems to keep your room organized and ready to use for any purpose. Find a great sofa bed for seating and guest use or go old-school with a built-in Murphy bed with added shelving on the exterior.
- Use combination appliances like a stacking washer and dryer or upgrade to front loading systems that you can put under the countertop or build a worktable over.
- Look for outdoor space that maximizes your interior space. French doors or a big sliding door that opens your living or dining room up to your patio expands your useable entertaining space. Find a home with a balcony off the master bedroom and extend your feeling of outdoor space.
Amenities. Amenities. Amenities.
In your home search consider narrowing in on communities with amenities that improve your lifestyle. Community gyms, pools, clubhouses, dog parks, and even a golf course are great opportunities to add to your lifestyle and help you make new connections. Properties with large green areas, barbecue pits, and trees make you feel like the whole community is your backyard. Associations that take care of maintaining your yard or washing windows can reduce the time you spend on home upkeep and free you up to live your life.
No matter the reason for your downsize take the smart steps to make it work for you and help you upgrade your living. Before you start your home search consult with your real estate professional about the best way to find the right space for you.
Purchasing a home may prove to be a long, arduous process, particularly for individuals who fail to prepare for potential house buying hurdles. Thankfully, there are several things that you can do to put yourself in position to enjoy a successful homebuying journey, such as:
1. Establish Realistic Expectations
Much in the same way that Rome was not built in a day, you should not expect to find and acquire your dream house right away. If you establish realistic expectations from day one of the homebuying journey, you can identify and resolve potential problems before they escalate.
Think about why you want to buy a home, where you want to reside and other homebuying factors. Then, you can make a list of homebuying goals and criteria. And once you have this list in hand, you can map out your quest to achieve your desired house buying results.
2. Get Your Home Financing in Order
If you find a home you want to buy but cannot quickly obtain financing for this residence, you may lose the house to a rival buyer. On the other hand, if you start a home search with a mortgage in hand, you could seamlessly navigate the homebuying journey.
To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you should meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. These financial institutions employ mortgage specialists who can teach you about all of your home financing options. Next, you can select a mortgage that enables you to acquire your dream residence without spending beyond your means.
3. Hire a Real Estate Agent
Oftentimes, it helps to hire a real estate agent prior to launching a home search. Because if you work with an expert real estate agent, you can gain comprehensive homebuying insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.
A real estate agent understands what it takes to purchase a house in any housing market, at any time. First, he or she will learn about you and your homebuying expectations. A real estate agent then will craft a plan designed to help you identify your ideal residence. This housing market professional next will put this plan into action and ensure you can check out a broad array of quality residences. Finally, when you discover your dream house, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to acquire this home.
Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent provides after a seller accepts your offer to purchase his or her home, too. At this point, a real estate agent will help you schedule a home inspection and finalize your house purchase. And if you ever have concerns or questions before you complete your home purchase, a real estate agent is happy to respond to them.
There is no telling what challenges you may encounter when you try to buy a house. With the aforementioned tips, you can minimize risk during the homebuying journey. Perhaps best of all, these tips could help you speed up your quest to find and purchase your dream home.
Ready to kick off your search for the perfect house? You may need to find an expert real estate agent first. By doing so, you can streamline the homebuying process and discover a house that meets or exceeds your expectations.
However, selecting a real estate agent can be tricky, especially for first-time homebuyers. And if you make the incorrect choice, the risk increases that you may encounter problems as you conduct your search for the ideal residence.
We're here to take the guesswork out of finding the right real estate agent to guide you along the homebuying journey.
Now, let's take a look at four questions that every homebuyer needs to ask a real estate agent.
1. What is your real estate experience?
Learn about a real estate agent's housing market experience – you'll be glad you did. With this information at your disposal, you can find out how a real estate professional has helped past homebuyers achieve their goals.
Also, ask a real estate agent about how he or she deals with homebuying challenges. This will enable you to find out whether a real estate agent can help homebuyers through tough times, or if a real estate professional struggles when he or she is faced with homebuying hurdles.
2. How do you communicate with clients?
As a homebuyer, it is essential to find a real estate agent who is readily available. This real estate professional will keep in touch with you at each stage of the homebuying journey and ensure you can make informed decisions along the way.
A real estate agent who prioritizes communication will keep you informed about open houses and new residences as they reach the housing market. As such, this real estate agent may help you accelerate the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.
3. Can you provide client references?
Typically, an experienced real estate agent will be able to provide client references at any time. If you get in touch with these references, you can gain firsthand insights into what it might be like if you select a particular real estate agent.
If a real estate agent cannot provide client references, this is a surefire red flag. In this scenario, you may want to consider other real estate agents who have proven they know how to deal with potential roadblocks on the homebuying journey.
4. Why should I hire you?
When it comes to finding the right real estate agent, it is important to understand how a real estate professional stands out from the crowd. By asking a real estate agent why you should hire him or her, you're sure to receive a unique response that gives you a better idea about what this real estate professional is all about.
Spend some time reviewing multiple real estate agents in your city and town. And if you use the aforementioned questions, you can boost your chances of hiring a real estate agent who can help you discover your dream residence quickly and effortlessly.
If you want to purchase a home, it may be beneficial to check out the residences available in a major city. In fact, there are many reasons to pursue a city house, and these include:
1. You can live near a variety of attractions and landmarks.
Most cities provide quick, easy access to attractions and landmarks. And if you purchase a city residence, you can explore a wide range of attractions and landmarks any time you choose.
Of course, it generally helps to plan ahead if you intend to buy a city residence. If you enter the real estate market with a homebuying strategy in hand, you can narrow your city house search to residences near your preferred attractions and landmarks.
2. You can upgrade or downgrade from your current residence.
If you find your current residence no longer matches your needs, don't stress. Houses are available in cities around the country so you can upgrade or downgrade from your current home.
Oftentimes, it helps to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start to explore city residences. If you are pre-approved for a mortgage, you'll know exactly how much you can spend on a city home. Then, you can hone your city house search and speed up the homebuying journey.
3. You can find a residence close to family members and friends in the city.
If your family members and friends frequently rave about life in the city, now may be the perfect time to join them. And if you kick off a city house search, you can find a great home that allows you to live close to loved ones.
The city real estate market often fluctuates, and a housing sector that favors buyers today may shift into sellers' favor tomorrow. Thus, if you want to buy a city home near loved ones, you should allocate time and resources to learn about the local housing sector. Because if you have housing market insights at your disposal, you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market and prepare accordingly.
As you get ready to launch a search for a home in the city of your choice, you may want to hire a real estate agent too. By employing a real estate agent, you can get the help you need to streamline your city house search.
Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you, find out where you want to reside in your city of choice and help you budget for the homebuying journey. He or she also will keep you up to date about city residences that meet your homebuying criteria. And if you find a city residence that you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase this home.
Simplify the process of locating and purchasing your ideal city home. Hire a real estate agent today, and you can receive extensive assistance at each stage of the property buying journey.
The homebuying journey may prove to be long and complex, particularly for an individual who fails to plan ahead. Fortunately, there are lots of things that you can do to get ready to pursue your dream house, such as:
1. Make a Homebuying Budget
A homebuying budget will give you a good idea about how much money you have at your disposal to find your ideal residence. Thus, if you craft a homebuying budget, you can hone your house search to residences that fall within your price range.
As you craft a homebuying budget, you should consider both your house mortgage and closing costs. That way, you can prepare for myriad costs that you may encounter as you try to acquire your dream house.
You also may want to meet with various banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can help you budget for a home purchase. Perhaps best of all, they can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage.
2. Narrow Your Home Search
You know you want to purchase a house, but it usually is beneficial to understand what you want to find in your dream residence. If you put together a list of home must-haves and wants, you can narrow your house search accordingly.
Consider your short- and long-term aspirations prior to launching a home search. For instance, if you need a home that is close to your office in the city, you may want to check out residences in or near the city itself. On the other hand, if you aspire to own a residence that includes a state-of-the-art heating and cooling system, you should explore homes that offer this feature.
3. Hire a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is a must-hire, especially for an individual who wants to seamlessly navigate the homebuying journey. Because if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can take the guesswork out of finding and purchasing your dream residence.
Typically, a real estate agent learns about a buyer's goals and crafts a personalized homebuying strategy based on his or her aspirations. If you want to purchase a budget-friendly house as quickly as possible, for instance, a real estate agent will help you accomplish your goal. Conversely, if you are operating on a tight homebuying budget, a real estate agent will do everything possible to help you find a first-rate house that won't put you in the red.
Let's not forget about the homebuying expertise that a real estate agent possesses, either. A real estate agent understands all aspects of the homebuying journey and will share his or her industry insights with you. Therefore, if you ever have concerns or questions during the homebuying journey, a real estate agent will respond to them at your request.
Those who understand what to expect during the homebuying journey can boost the likelihood of finding a terrific house at an affordable price. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you could reap the benefits of a successful home search.