Jeannette Myles' Blog
41 WOODBRIAR ROAD, Wakefield, MA 01880
When you’re searching for a place to live if you have kids, or even if you’re planning on having kids in the future, the neighborhood you choose is of concern. When you’re single, it’s easy to fill your desire for the city. You live near bars, clubs, conveniences, and more. Once you start thinking with a family in mind, your ideas shift.
So, if you’re looking for a neighborhood with children in mind, where do you start? Read on to discover the top priorities of a kid-friendly property search.
Most parents put a lot of consideration into where their children will go to school. Many resources allow you to research different school districts. You can also visit schools in person, or talk to other parents and see their opinion of the local schools for specific neighborhoods.
The Safety Of The Area
Whether you have kids or not, you want to know that the area you’re going to live in is safe. Before you select a neighborhood to live in, you’ll want to research the crime rates in the area. You might assume that individual cities and towns have better crime rates than others, but you may be surprised. Ask your local real estate agent for more information on local crime rates and how to research them.
Sense Of Community
If you are moving with kids or planning on having a family anytime soon, you’ll want to have a supportive community surrounding you. Having a community means that there are other families around with children. This way, it will be easier for you to build a network of other moms who are in the same stage as you. Some things to consider are:
Are there sidewalks in the neighborhood?
Is there a lot of traffic in the area?
Are there places for kids to play nearby?
Do you see families out for a walk together?
Answering these questions will give you an idea of how family-friendly your neighborhood will be. Sidewalks make the area accessible for kids to go and hang out with their friends safely. Parks and playground are not only a great place to play for kids but a great place to meet other parents. If a neighborhood has the things that you want for your family, chances are, many other families in the area feel the same way.
Choosing a neighborhood can be difficult, but with a little research and groundwork, you’ll be able to select an excellent place for your family to live.
It’s a competitive market for home sellers right now. That means it’s more important than ever to make your house stand out from the competition and draw visitors to your listings and open house, as well as attracting interested buyers with excellent curb appeal.
All of these preparations take time and planning. However, if done correctly, you’ll not only bring more potential buyers to visit your home, but you’ll also be able to increase your asking price based on a few key aesthetic upgrades.
In this post, I’m going to fill you in on some of the most time and cost-effective ways to prepare your house for sale to bring the most number of potential buyers.
Make a revitalization budget
Before you start spending on your home upgrades, take the time to make a budget for the things that are the most important to making your home look and feel great. This budget will help you keep your spending in check and get the most out of your sale preparations.
Start working on curb appeal
Without spending much money, many homeowners can drastically increase the curb appeal of their home. Pressure washing the siding and sealing and sweeping the driveway is a great start.
Before taking photos or receiving visitors, trim and edge the lawn and lay down some fresh mulch. You don’t need to spend hundreds on flowers to make a substantial difference on curb appeal.
To make your home stand out and look up-to-date, apply a fresh coat of paint to your front door. Choose a color that complements your home, but one that also “pops” and grabs your attention.
Declutter and organize
Preparing your home for sale also happens to be a great time to start packing away some personal belongings. Family photos and other items that are unique to your family are best left out of your photos and distract viewers from being able to picture themselves in your home.
Since our homes are built to live in, many of us keep our things in convenient places rather than tucking them away. Now is a good time to try and find ways to integrate some minimalism in your home so that visitors don’t feel crowded by clutter.
Spend money on the right items
Some home upgrades just aren’t worth the time and money they’ll take to perform before selling. So, it’s best to prioritize the things that will have the most impact on visitors and viewers of your real estate photos.
A new welcome mat and cabinet handles are a great example of inexpensive upgrades that can make a home feel new again.
Take a look around your home and find the accessories that look dated or worn and see what you can accomplish on your budget.
One of the most used rooms in the house is the bathroom. You do spend a lot of time in there. You want your bathroom to be an oasis of sorts. Making changes and renovations to your bathroom will not only make you happy but make potential buyers for your home happy as well. Below, you’ll find some trends to keep your bathroom stylish and a place that everyone wants to spend (at least some) time in.
Beware Of Design Trends
There’s a lot of trendy designs that just aren’t timeless. They don’t look very good in a bathroom after the initial install and tend to give the bathroom a drab feeling after awhile. Whether it’s a crazy color scheme or something bland that lacks texture, you need to think about the longevity of a look before you go after it in your bathroom. Some trends to look out for:
- Too much white
- Too little in the bathroom
- Funky color schemes
- Gigantic bathtubs
- Certain kinds of tile and finishes
- Hardware accents
Really, the bathroom needs to be about balance. There are trends that come and go. Some people are more receptive to certain designs than others. This is because their needs are suited. Take the his and her sink as an example. Many designers are shying away from this trend. For your routines and needs, this could be exactly what your bathroom needs. No hotlist can tell you what’s best for you.
Storage Is A Necessity
If you do only one thing in your bathroom, make sure that you have enough storage. There’s quite a bit that needs to go in the bathroom like toilet paper, towels, cleaners, medicines, as well as bath products like soap and shampoo.
Add Pops Of Color
If your bathroom has all white tile and you don’t have the time or the resources to actually change the tile, you should try and add pops of color where you can. It’s simple to do this with towels, floral rugs, curtains, and even bath accessories. You can really vary the color in the room and make it special. This is one renovation that doesn’t cost much to do but can make a big difference.
Remember What Sells
More neutral colors tend to sell better no matter what room of the house we’re talking about. It’s fine to mix neutral colors with pops of something bolder, but don’t go overboard. Remember that when someone goes to buy your home, they want to make it their own as well. They probably can’t achieve that with a lime green bathroom.
You hear about this magic "cost-of-living index" number, but where does it come from and how can you use it to improve your real estate experience? The cost of living index is a numerical measurement of the relative cost to live in a specific geographic region. There are a lot of economic formulas out there, but it basically adds up and compares the cost of goods and services that are part of ordinary living expenses. These include clothing, utilities, health care, transportation, groceries, restaurants, building materials and more. The index is relative and not an exact measurement, so you always want to compare with the actual cost of living you're familiar with to get an idea of the comparative costs where you want to move.
What’s the Math?
To begin, researchers collect a representative sample of goods and services and then compare prices. To determine what goods and services to include in the formula, they use a "typical family budget." When comparing the cost of living, remember that your budget may not be "typical." While they may sound similar, the cost of living index and the consumer price index aren't the same thing.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics sets the consumer price index—and the US government uses it to measure inflation in day-to-day-purchases, changes in interest rates and taxes. To make the CPI and Cost of living index more easily relatable, the CPI now measures housing costs using "owners' equivalent rent" instead of mortgage payments which allows them to remove the investment part of homeownership from the cost of living index and make it more equivalent for renters and owners.
Different companies use different market values and various products and services to make their calculations. One example, the Council for Economic Research, actually divides goods and services into six different categories, then chooses 60 items to represent the whole, gets the prices all at once and uses that to compare costs between locations.
Other sources take a variety of goods and service cost comparisons and combine them for a broader cost comparison between locations.
The US Department of State provides links to a lot of this information along with some great tools like the "Cost of Living and Salary Comparison Wizard." It combines information on goods, services, real estate, and average salaries to create a short 3-step process: enter your current base salary, the nearest metropolitan area to where you live and work, and the most adjacent metro area to where you want to move. The wizard will spit out not only cost of living comparisons, but what you can or should expect your salary difference to be, and whether that salary will actually be workable in the new area.
How do I Use it?
For example, if you have an annual salary of $50,000 in Dallas, Texas and you move to San Diego, California in a similar position, you can expect a 5.8% salary increase, which brings you to about $53,000. That $3,000 seems like a lot, but now you must look at the cost of living difference between the two areas. According to all these calculators, the average cost of living increase between Dallas and San Diego is roughly 36%. That calculates out to $15,000 less in disposable income. So now you can compare, do you really HAVE $15,000 you can give up in order to move to San Diego? If not, it might just be time to start looking elsewhere or trying to find a San Diego job with a salary of at least $68,000 to maintain the same lifestyle.
What If I Have no Choice?
Sometimes you don't have a choice about moving. Maybe you're being transferred by your company, or you need to be near a school, university or family. If you are stuck moving anyway, use the cost-of-living numbers to help you plan for your new budget and negotiate for a better salary.
Your real estate professional is familiar with the cost of living index for the area, and they will be able to help you find the right place for your budget.