Your Home Search
an enviable position in which to find oneself, but it happens. You're approaching
the end of your home search, and you're torn between two or more homes. The
major deciding factors -- asking price, quality of the neighborhood, quality
of school district and commute time to your office as well as your spouse's
-- are relatively equal, so those won't help you favor one home over another.
What to do now? The decision could drive
you batty. If you lean toward one home, you'll be looking over your shoulder
longingly at the other home. All of those "What ifs?" questions will run
through your mind. Maybe the carpeting in the other house would
have been more versatile. Maybe the layout of the other home would have been
more agreeable both for your furniture and for your
Homes for Your Current and Future Needs
When my husband
and I bought our first house, we tried to anticipate the needs of the babies
we hoped to have. The house had 3 bedrooms, a big flat level yard for playing,
and was in a top rated school district. What we did not foresee was that the
spiral floating staircase would necessitate extensive custom babyproofing
when we had a cruising toddler.
The "open plan" layout which had been great
for adult entertaining later became problematic when the happy noise of children
was channeled throughout the house. The ski-slope driveway leading to our
wooded aerie created a private retreat for we two. When we became four, the
first sign of snow on our driveway led to playdates hurriedly cancelled
by nervous friends.
When buying a home, it's important to look
at your future needs as well as your current ones. According to the National
Association of Home Builders
Repairs Should You Make Before the Sale?
If you're preparing
to place your home on the market, it's inevitable that you'll need a couple
of minor repairs and slight improvements before that "For Sale" sign can be
driven into the front yard.
Practical projects like a fresh coat of
paint require little time or money but can make your home more attractive
-- and more attractive homes are likely to sell faster and for more money.
But what if an item needs repair, something
which doesn't jeopardize anyone's health or safety -- a problem of the "out
of sight, out of mind" variety. Should you simply disclose it and leave the
buyer to deal with the problem? Or should you fix it before placing your home
on the market?
Before making any decisions, consider that
repairing the problem could result in a higher sales price. It's sweet music
to any buyer's ears to hear the terms "new" or "just replaced" as they walk
through a home.
Think of it this way: A move-up buyer or
transferee has a good idea of what it takes to operate a home. The goal here
is to move in with the fewest costs and headaches, so making repairs in advance
is a big selling point.
For first-timer buyers the situation is
Think Green: Trees a Big
Plus For Your Home
As you embark
on your house-hunting ventures, chances are the contenders canopied by mature
trees will make the top of your list. Or, if you're buying a new home, you're
probably anxious to get those trees planted to reap the awards in the years
The benefits of trees are numerous. They
increase property values, sometimes as much as 20 percent, according to the
National Arbor Day Foundation. On average, trees add between 5 to 7 percent
to the value of the property - the U.S. Forest Service says the added value
results in an extra $5,000 per lot.
Trees also help cool your home.