Maxann Davis' Blog
Whether you’re moving in for the first time with your boyfriend or girlfriend or you’re moving in with a spouse, the thought of breaking up can be scary as far as your property is concerned. Even if you’re simply living with a roommate, rents are awfully high throughout most of the country. It’s difficult to make rent payments from month to month on your own. It’s helpful to live with another person, but what happens if and when you part ways?
At best, living with another helps your to manage your finances and gives you some companionship. At the worst, living with someone can be one heck of a financial and emotional roller coaster.
Whatever type of relationship you have aside, trying to figure out who is leaving the property and who is taking what can be a bit of a headache. Even when lawyers are involved, the process can get messy. There are a few different ways that the situation can be handled before you both need to go your separate ways.
Ideas For Coexisting
Many times, you may need to live in a space where you’re uncomfortable for awhile before you are able to part ways with the person you’re living with. Here are some ideas to get you through the transition period:
- Live together yet apart
- Stay in separate rooms, work different shifts
- Put beds in separate places
Try to have one partner buy the other out. If one roommate needs a couch and you have no interest in it, let them buy it. Splitting things evenly isn’t always possible, but sometimes need can outweigh the messy process of dividing property. Do what’s best for you and any pets involved in the process. This is a basic rule of thumb that can help you through the process of dividing your property.
Who Stays On The Property?
Once it has been established that the two of you will coexist for some time before you go your separate ways, you’ll need to decide which one of you (if either of you) will stay on the property. Generally, if you’re under a lease, it will be much more financially sound for one person to take over the lease and for the other person to go. This can save on costly fees involved with breaking the lease. If you’re thinking of subletting the place you’re living, be sure to check on the restrictions in your area or made in your rental agreements.
No matter who you are living with, going your separate ways can be difficult. With a little communication, the process can be executed smoothly.
If you’re a newer homeowner, odds are you don’t really “own” your home outright. Rather, you likely have equity in your home.
In this article, we’re going to talk about what home equity is, how to use it to your advantage, and things you should avoid using your home equity toward.
What is home equity?
Unless you’re one of the lucky few who paid for their homes in cash, you probably took out a mortgage. As you pay off that mortgage you build equity.
Home equity is essentially the value of a property that a homeowner has at their disposal due to paying back part or all of their mortgage.
However, there’s another factor at play in home equity, and that’s market value.
Since the housing market fluctuates, the value of your home does as well, and as a result, your home equity changes with the market value of a house. That might sound worrying, but the good news is that due to something called appreciation.
In the same way that the cost of living tends to rise each year with inflation, so do housing prices. However, appreciation isn’t the only factor at play in the valuation of your house. As your home ages, it will likely need some renovations, which could decrease the home value.
Generally speaking, however, your equity achieves a net gain as you pay your mortgage and the value appreciates.
Now that we know why equity can be so beneficial as an asset, let’s talk about ways to build it.
The best way to build home equity is to repay your home loan. However, more than simply repaying, you’ll want to repay in the fewest number of years to avoid paying more in interest. The longer you take to pay your mortgage, the more interest accrues that could have been used toward other investments.
The second way to increase equity is one we mentioned before--market fluctuation--namely appreciation. To improve the chances of getting a high appraisal of your home, it’s important to keep up with maintenance and make smart renovation choices that will have a high return on investment.
Using home equity
The best use of home equity is to leave it be and increase its value over time. However, that isn’t always possible for all of us. Since many of us need to move before repaying our full mortgage, equity allows homebuyers to use their equity toward their next mortgage.
Another option is to take out a home equity loan or home equity line of credit. Ideally, you’ll only use these loans if you’re planning on using the loan money to increase the value of the home via home improvement projects.
Borrowing against your home equity does come with risks. Since you are putting your share of your home on the line, there is a chance of your home being foreclosed on if you don’t repay the home equity loan. However, lenders typically seek other methods of repayment or settlement before foreclosure.
As a home seller, it generally is a good idea to consider the buyer's perspective. That way, you can determine why buyers may consider your house over other available properties and map out the home selling journey accordingly.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you assess the buyer's perspective before you embark on the house selling journey.
1. Analyze Your Home
Think about why you decided to buy your home in the first place. By doing so, you may be able to discover what makes your house unique from other properties so you can promote your residence to the right groups of prospective buyers.
Don't hesitate to take an objective view of your home's interior and exterior too. Remember, your goal as a home seller is to generate as much interest as you can in your house. If you take a critical view of your house, you can identify problem areas and work to correct various issues as quickly as possible.
2. Review the Local Housing Market
The local housing market may favor buyers or sellers. By reviewing housing market data, you can find out whether a buyer's or seller's market is in place. Plus, if you evaluate the local real estate sector, you can understand how your residence stacks up against the competition.
Analyzing the local housing market also may help you establish a price range for your home. As you check out the prices of comparable houses in your city or town, you can use this information to set an aggressive initial asking price for your residence. And as a result, you may be able to stir up lots of interest in your home among potential buyers.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
If you are unsure about how buyers may perceive your house, it may be beneficial to have a housing market expert at your side. Luckily, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market experts are happy to help you find ways to generate interest in your residence.
A real estate agent will learn about you, your home and your house selling goals. Next, he or she will craft a personalized house selling strategy designed to help you achieve your desired results. After a real estate agent puts this strategy into action, it may be only a matter of time before you receive offers to purchase your residence.
Let's not forget about the assistance a real estate agent provides after you receive an offer to purchase, either. At this point, you'll have to decide whether to approve, reject or counter a buyer's proposal. Meanwhile, a real estate agent can provide an honest, unbiased recommendation to help you make an informed decision about a homebuying proposal.
Want to streamline the home selling journey? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can incorporate the buyer's perspective into your home selling strategy and increase the likelihood of enjoying a fast, profitable house selling experience.
The definition of a "dream house" varies from homebuyer to homebuyer. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to determine if a residence is right for you.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you evaluate a home so you can decide whether to proceed with an offer to purchase.
1. Review a Home's Features
Think about why you are searching for a home and what you want to find in a house. For example, if you require a home that features a deluxe kitchen, you can narrow your house search accordingly. On the other hand, if you want a home that boasts an above-ground swimming pool, you can focus on houses that offer this amenity.
Consider where you want to reside too. That way, you can hone your home search to a select group of cities and towns and find a residence that is located in one of your preferred locations.
2. Examine a Home's Price
The cost of a home depends on a number of factors, including the residence's age and condition. Of course, the housing market itself plays an important role in a house's cost as well, so you'll want to examine the real estate sector closely. By doing so, you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market – or vice-versa – and determine if a home's price falls within your budget.
In a buyer's market, there may be an abundance of quality houses available at budget-friendly prices. If you shop for a home in a buyer's market, you may be able to purchase a house at or below a seller's initial asking price.
Comparatively, in a seller's market, there is a shortage of premium houses, and top-notch homes that become available may be in high demand. In a seller's market, you may need to act fast to acquire your dream home. Plus, you may need to submit an offer to purchase that exceeds a seller's initial asking price so you can purchase your ideal residence without delay.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is a home selling expert, and he or she is happy to help you weigh the pros and cons of buying a house. In fact, a real estate agent will go the extra mile to ensure you can make the best-possible decisions throughout the property buying journey.
With a real estate agent at your side, you can receive lots of support so you can enjoy a seamless homebuying experience. A real estate agent first will learn about you and your homebuying goals and help you search for a residence that matches your expectations. Next, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase your dream home. And if your homebuying proposal is approved, a real estate agent will help you finalize your house purchase.
Use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble deciding if a house is right for you.
Want to sell your home? Like many home sellers, you're probably on the lookout for a real estate agent who can help you get the best price for your house.
Choosing the right real estate agent usually will require you to perform comprehensive research. You'll need to examine the credentials and skills of many real estate agents in your area. Plus, you may want to sit down and chat with various real estate agents to find one who can simplify the home selling process.
Ultimately, there are several questions you should ask a real estate agent before you hire him or her to sell your house, including:
1. What is your home selling experience?
No two homes are identical, and much in the same way, no two real estate agents are exactly alike. As such, you should learn about a real estate agent's experience to ensure he or she possesses the expertise necessary to sell your house.
For example, if you're selling a condo, you may want to hire a real estate professional with condo experience. Or, if you're looking to sell your home as quickly as possible, you should find a real estate agent who knows how to promote a home across social media and other platforms.
2. How will you keep in touch?
What good is a real estate agent if this professional fails to keep you informed throughout the home selling journey?
With the right real estate agent at your side, you'll be able to stay up to date along each stage of the home selling process. In fact, this professional will provide you with updates about offers on your home, requests to view your residence and much more.
Furthermore, your real estate agent should be easily accessible via phone and email. This means if you need support at any point during the home selling journey, your real estate agent will be able to assist you.
3. Can you provide references?
An expert real estate agent should have no trouble connecting you with past clients. That way, you can find out how this real estate professional has helped previous home sellers accomplish their goals.
If you connect with a real estate agent's past clients, you can get a better idea about how this real estate professional responds to various home selling challenges. As a result, you'll be better equipped to determine if this real estate agent is the right person to help you sell your house.
4. How will you market my house?
A real estate agent should go above and beyond the call of duty to market your house to the right groups of homebuyers. This professional typically will allocate extensive time and resources to learn about you and your home selling needs and help you plan accordingly.
Finding out how a real estate agent will promote your home is essential. With this information, you can understand whether a real estate agent will do everything possible to showcase your residence to potential homebuyers.
Use the aforementioned questions, and you can select the right real estate agent to help you sell your home.