Buying A Home Checklist
Find an agent
Interview three if you can and remember there are real estate companies that work for just sellers, some that work for sellers or buyers, some that try to work for both at the same time, and others that just work for buyers. The latter companies are called Exclusive Buyer Agent Companies (EBA), and it is worth making sure one of your interviews is with an EBA. Visit NAEBA.org for more info.
Obtain a preapproval
If you will be getting a mortgage, a preapproval will help make you more comfortable with what a mortgage payment would be like. A good agent will typically have recommendations for credible lenders. Choose a lender based on their proven ability to get the job done correctly first, then consider the costs. Be careful if the lender is associated with the real estate company; it sometimes creates a conflict of interest.
Start looking at homes
You can usually visit eight or ten homes in a well-planned day with a well-prepared real estate agent. Open houses typically are not the best use of time because they are only a small indication of the inventory of available homes.
Narrow down your choices
Start cutting down your list to a target group of two or three homes. Then make a second visit to do a “detailed” viewing. This way, you will always be aware of your best alternative if your top pick doesn’t work out.
Research purchase contracts
Don’t wait till the day you need to sign a contract to look at one. Your agent should be reviewing the documents, the processes, and the local customs for negotiations and contingencies with you while you are still searching for a home. You’ll be much more confident when the time comes to “sign on the bottom line.”
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Chevron stripes are really hot in interior design right now. Check out this awesome DIY tutorial on how to update your décor with a DIY chevron rug!
Here's how I transformed my rug from boring, to
First I taped off the fabric edges, like so, because I wanted to leave those their natural color.
Then I started paintin' away, with some plain ol' Olympic Semi-gloss latex paint.
This process took me a while.
Like about an hour and a half!
The texture of the carpet was a BUGGER to get through, with the paint. And even required a second coat, to get the coverage that I was looking for.
The reason I went with this rug, was because of it's durability and texture. I love how beachy it looked.
- See more at: http://www.thehouseofsmiths.com/2011/04/chevron-painted-rug-from-ikea.html#sthash.p7kw3Q9z.dpuf
Read more - Chevron Painted Rug Tutorial
Don't let the anticipation of a well-deserved vacation blind you to the risks of leaving your home unprotected. Go ahead and plan your beach, camping or city shopping holiday, but take precautions before you leave. We subscribe to the "better safe than sorry" philosophy, so review your home safety checklist before you head out. A little extra vigilance will help keep your property and belongings safer while you're gone -- and will keep you from obsessing about security once you're on the road to fun and adventure.
10: Consider Hiring a House-or Pet-Sitter
The best way to make sure your house is safe while you're gone is to have someone you trust still living in it. You may be lucky enough to have a tidy and conscientious relative who'll move in temporarily and water the plants, feed the pets and pick up the newspapers. If not, there are services you can use for house-sitting and pet-sitting while you're away. This can be a pricy option, but it's a solution that touches all the bases.
A house sitter can keep your home safe and take care of your beloved pet.
Click here to read more tips: 10 Tips for Keeping Your Home Safe While on Vacation
Maximize curb appeal with an exterior makeover. See how these 21 facades went from ordinary to unforgettable.
Before: Scrunched Living Space
The only eye-catching feature of this split-level home was its jarring combination of blue-painted siding and Santa-red brick. The entry was scrunched into a cramped alcove and upstaged by the garage.
After: Splendid Split-Level
A sophisticated Prairie-style makeover took this split-level from blah to beautiful. Stucco replaced cedar siding and the brickwork below was painted to match. The entry was pulled from the shadows and centered in a tall, gabled bump-out. Sidelights and a three-part transom dramatize the door. Pedestals were added to the revamped stoop, which leads into a colored-concrete walkway. Raised stucco trim surrounds new casement windows on the upper level. A band of slate tile strengthens horizontal lines, while a period light fixture adds a finishing touch.
View More - Before and After: Home Exteriors