Tips For Preparing Your New Home Before Moving In

Did your dream home in Orange County look perfect and spotless during the open house? No matter how perfect or clean the home might have looked, prepare to see some dirty surprises and imperfections when you move-in. So take the initiative to avoid stressing on move-in day by by dealing with these surprises and imperfections prior to moving in. Here are some tips for preparing your new home before moving in.

Clean and Sterilize EVERYTHING.

By this, we really mean EVERYTHING. It’s easy for germs and filth to build up on any surface regardless of how clean a surface may look, so disinfecting and wiping down everything will really ensure your new home goes through a deep clean to be as close to being spotless as possible. Here are some areas to pay attention to:

  • Countertops in both the kitchen and bathroom
  • Both the inside and outside of kitchen appliances, such as the refrigerator, microwave, stove, etc.
  • Kitchen and bathroom sinks (this includes kitchen garbage disposals and drains)
  • Both the inside and outside of any cabinets and drawers in the home as well as the knobs and handles to those cabinets and drawers
  • The floors of every room, which includes both hardwood and carpet to undergo sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, or steaming

Identify Needed Repairs/Replacements.

Aside from making sure your home is spotless, look into what may need replacements or repairs in the home. Look through every area of your new home and ask yourself these questions:

  • Are the fire detectors working?
  • How old are the light bulbs?
  • Do the walls or floors need any touch ups?
  • When were the air filters last changed?
  • Are all the light fixtures/fans working properly?
  • Do the water-heater closets need to be cleaned out?

After assessing your home, deal with the necessary repairs and replacements in the home as soon as you can.

Preparing your new home before moving in may seem difficult, but it is not impossible. Keep in mind that the more you get done before you move in and unpack, the easier the process can be. If you have any questions or if you need any help, contact Stacy and Nicole today!


Courtesy of Cuselleration

Photo Credit: Shutterstock/Stock-Asso

How to Buy a Home Faster and Smarter

Are you looking to buy your home in Orange County? The home-buying process can take up to six months, a year, or even longer. Wouldn’t it be nice to finally own your home as soon as possible?  Here are some tips to how you can buy your dream home faster and smarter.

But first, ask yourself these questions:

1. What type of home am I looking for?

2. Do I have a good enough credit score to buy a home?

3. Do I have any debt that can potentially affect my home-buying process?

4. Do I qualify for a mortgage?

5. What type of mortgage would best suit me?

Answering these questions will allow you to assess whether you are ready to begin and go through the home-buying process as well as understand what bumps might come into the road. Once you have the answers for these questions, you are ready to begin the home-buying process.

Be on Top of Tracking New Listings

Once you know what you are looking for in your home search, being tracking down new listings that meet the needs and wants you have for your dream home. You can even sign up for automated emails with your local agent to stay on top of all the listings that pop up and fit your needs. Being on top of new listings is a good strategy for having an edge over other buyers because it shows sellers that you are able to potentially make an offer before another buyer sees the listing.

Look For Down Payment Assistance

Did you know that homebuyers could qualify for over 2,200 different down payment assistance programs that are offered nationwide? These assistance programs were created to help homebuyers by providing low-interest loans, grants, and tax credits. Homebuyers who sought out down payment assistance in the past have saved an average of $17,766 between upfront savings and lower mortgage payments throughout the life of their loan. Homebuyers can become eligible for down payment assistance by meeting requirements such as income, occupation, or credit.

Make Sure Your Finances Are in Order

Closing times for the home-buying process nowadays are getting longer and longer. A recent report by Ellie Mae, a software company that processes almost a quarter of U.S. mortgage applications, revealed that it now takes 50 days on average for a buyer to reach closing while it took 40 days in 2015.

In order to close faster in the home-buying process, make sure your finances are in order by getting pre-approved for a home loan before submitting an offer on a property. This is why it is important to assess your finances and financial capabilities before starting the home-buying process. A mortgage pre-approval involves a lender running a credit check and verifying a buyer’s income and assets.

The home-buying process may seem difficult, but it is possible to get through it quickly and smoothly. If you have any questions or if you need any help, contact us today!

 


Courtesy of Cuselleration

Photo Credit: Shutterstock/Andrey_Popov

Old House vs. New House: Which is the better option?

It’s finally time for you to purchase a home in Orange County and you’ve probably already found the ideal price and location, but there’s something else you’re forgetting to look into.

Are you looking to buy a new home or are you looking to buy an old home?

Considering the age of the home is something that’s usually overlooked, but it is actually something important to think about because it has many factors with pros and cons that may affect you as a future homeowner.

Old Homes: Pros

Unique – Designs of old homes have been more thought out with architectural details, meaning no two homes would look the same. With this, older homes also have a story to tell that may date back to decades ago, providing more value to your home and a story to share to your friends.

Communities – Older homes are usually located in an area that has a stronger and closer-knit community. This is especially a pro if you have children because your child can play with the kid next door or the kids down the block. Something to also consider in the community is who your potential neighbors would be. Imagine living next to a home with a teenager who blasts music all night vs. living next to a home with grandparents who are quiet and like to sleep early.  

Old Homes: Cons

Expensive Utility Bill – Old homes probably don’t contain insulation, new windows and doors, and energy efficient heating and cooling systems. This may result in costly utilities that may not outweigh the benefits that do come with living in an older home.

Maintenance – Older homes mean older appliances, old pipes, and more systems that are old and not guaranteed to last for a long period of time before maintenance is needed. Costs may add up for repairs, replacements, and upgrades shortly after buying the home itself.

New Homes: Pros

Design/Space  – Newer homes are more modern with sleek designs and abstract structures as well as enlarged rooms, bathrooms, and kitchens. Who doesn’t like the extra closet space or just the extra space in general? Newer homes built from the ground up include blueprints and structural designs with larger rooms and larger spaces compared to older homes. These new homes are built on areas with more square feet, giving them more flexibility with how to distribute the space around the home. So now, you may even be able to have that dream pool table right in your living room.

Stronger/Safer Structure – The structure of the home itself is also better engineered because the walls and ceilings of the home are no longer made with lathe and plaster, but now with shear walls. These shear walls provide stiffness and strength to the home, which reduces potential damage to the home in the case of large horizontal earthquake forces.

New Homes: Cons

Costly – Newer and bigger homes are more expensive than older homes. The new innovations and engineering behind the construction of your new home will allow it to last longer and defy potential natural disasters, but this also makes the construction of your home as a whole more costly. Older homes may not have as much protection and stability as the blueprints for newer homes, but they have enough to stay intact in the case of an incident.   

While looking at the pros and cons that contribute to the comparison of old homes and new homes, this decision is not a one-for-all. There may be even more factors out of your scope that are involved in weighing the pros and cons of old homes and new homes. If you have any questions or are unsure about anything, contact us today!


Courtesy of Cuselleration

Photo Credit: Shutterstock/Olaf Speier