Cathy Youngs' Blog
Looking to sell a home for the first time? Ultimately, a first-time home seller must be able to identify a strong offer for his or her residence. With extensive real estate insights, a first-time home seller may be better equipped than others to accept a strong offer and accelerate the home selling cycle.
Identifying a strong offer for a home can be quick and easy – even for a first-time home seller.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help a first-time home seller differentiate between a strong offer and a poor one.
1. Analyze the Housing Market
The housing market can be complex, particularly for a first-time home seller. Fortunately, many free, easy-to-access resources are available to help a home seller learn about the ins and outs of the housing sector so he or she can plan accordingly.
For example, a home seller can check the prices of homes available in his or her area via a simple online search. This home seller can even find out how long a particular house has been available, whether the price of a home has been reduced over time and much more.
With in-depth knowledge of the real estate market, a home seller can study how his or her residence stacks up against the competition. Then, this home seller can establish a competitive price for his or her home, increasing the likelihood that he or she will receive a number of strong offers.
2. Understand Your Home Both Inside and Out
A home appraisal is a must for a first-time or experienced home seller, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.
During a home appraisal, a property inspector will take a close look at a house's interior and exterior. This inspector will provide a report at the appraisal's completion that highlights a house's strengths and weaknesses too.
For a home seller, an appraisal offers a valuable learning opportunity. It enables a home seller to gain deep insights into a home's condition that he or she may struggle to obtain elsewhere. That way, a home seller can complete assorted home repairs before listing a residence and boost his or her chances of receiving multiple offers that exceed a house's initial asking price.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
A first-time home seller should meet with a real estate agent and discuss the differences between a strong offer and a poor one.
Thanks to a real estate agent, a home seller can seamlessly navigate the entire property selling journey as well.
Typically, a real estate agent will help a home seller establish a fair price for a residence from the get-go. This housing market professional also can offer helpful tips throughout the home selling journey to ensure a home seller can get the best possible results.
Don't leave anything to chance as you prepare to list a residence for the first time. Instead, take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and a first-time home seller should have no trouble distinguishing between a strong offer and a subpar proposal.
Essential oils are catching on as a natural way to spruce up your home. However, many people are unaware of the full array of uses for essential oils in the household.
In this article, we’ll cover some of those uses that you may not have heard of, and give you some tips on which essential oils are the best to use.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are the result of distilling large amounts of herbs, spices, or other plant-based materials. There are dozens of essential oils commercially available and they all emit strong aromas that can be used in multiple ways.
When buying oils, it’s important to check the labels to make sure you are buying 100% pure essential oils. Many companies dilute their oils in a carrier oil such as olive oil, coconut oil, or almond oil. While this isn’t inherently bad, it does probably mean you’re getting less for your dollar due to being diluted.
Aside from smelling nice, essential oils are often used for aromatherapy and other medicinal uses. However, be aware that they are not intended as a treatment for any medical condition.
Similarly, some oils might cause an allergic reaction in some individuals. So, be careful when spraying them in the air or using them on your skin if you think you might be allergic to a certain oil.
Which oils are best for use around the home?
There are dozens or even hundreds of essential oils that have various scents and uses. However, some are more pleasant and suitable for the home than others.
The main essentials that serve a number of uses around the home are:
There are various kits available online that include some or all of the oils listed above, or you can buy them individually from retailers.
Household uses for essential oils
There are many uses for essential oils around the home. They include:
Used as an air freshener with an oil diffuser. These diffusers humidify the air while diffusing the oil into the room, resulting in a pleasant aroma.
Mixed with water or alcohol to make a fabric spray. You can find several formulas for creating a fabric spray. However, the easiest way to quickly freshen up the sofa or carpet is to mix 10% oil to 90% water or ethanol and put the mixture into a spray bottle.
As a natural cleaning product. Lemon, lime, lavender, and peppermint all make great additions to a homemade cleaning solution. Diluted with water and vinegar, many essential oils can be used to freshen up a countertop or scrub a sink.
Spruce up your clean laundry/linen. You can put a couple of drops of lavender onto a damp washcloth and put this in your dryer with your clothes to give them a nice fragrance. This works particularly well if you use unscented laundry detergent. However, be sure not to go overboard--essential oils are strong and some can cause skin irritation.
Refrigerator deodorant. The best way to get rid of the smell of a refrigerator is to give it a thorough cleaning. But afterward, help keep it smelling clean longer by putting several drops of lemongrass into a small bowl with baking soda. Stir the baking soda on occasion to release the lemongrass fragrance.
For a homeowner who wants to make green improvements and renovations to their personal property, the Conditions, Covenants & Restrictions, or CC&Rs, of the local homeowner association can pose problems that cost time, money and freedom of choice. This is especially true for homeowners who wish to make structural or aesthetic changes to existing homes. Here are only a few of the battles you might face when the local HOA discovers your plans for going green in a traditional or historic neighborhood.
Your Planned Solar Panels Aren't Warming Anyone's Hearts
While some HOAs may interfere with your choice of color of solar panels, others may not permit them at all. It's an aesthetic dilemma. Allowing solar panels on one home differentiates it from the others. In a community that's built upon history or tradition, individuality is rarely a good thing. If you're thinking of adding solar panels to a home that's governed by an HOA, you may be forced to buy certain-colored panels, or you may be banned from adding them at all. Consider this before buying a home, if you plan to make green upgrades in an area that features a homeowner association.
Your Energy Efficient Windows Are Getting a Cold Reception
Windows that feature double-paned glass or visible solar tints may get you in hot water with your HOA. Changing out historic windows and doors for more energy-efficient versions should be advantageous, right? Not if doing so sets your home apart from your neighbors or your condo unit apart from the rest of the building. If you want those new, modern windows that lower the cost of your energy bill over time, and you live in a home regulated by an HOA, prepare to fight for your right for window replacement.
Your New Cool Metal Roof Is Being Hotly Debated
Cool metal roofing is all the rage for homeowners who live in dramatic climates. Cooler in summer and warmer in winter, they'd be a big improvement over those old cedar shakes your home is currently rocking. But you'll probably never experience the convenience of cool metal if you live in an historic area where cedar shakes abound. While your HOA can't prevent you from repairing or replacing a failing roof, they can legally limit the materials you use to do it.
While homeowner associations do a lot for the communities they serve, they can cause consternation to those homeowners who place value on energy efficiency above historic appeal. If you're planning to buy or renovate a home that's regulated by the CC&Rs of the local HOA, make sure you completely understand the limitations they impose before you buy. Once in, you're bound by the rules you agreed to follow, even if it means sacrificing energy efficiency in lieu of tradition.
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