Tag Archives: home buying

6 Tips for Prepping Your Home for Sale

Selling a home can be a lot of work, with a lot of coordinated effort. All at once, you have to select a real estate agent, get your belongings ready to move to a new place, and get the home for sale in as best shape as possible.

The latter, of course, is very important. In order for your home to sell quickly and for as much money as possible, it has to be in great condition when it comes time for prospective buyers to see it. Whether in person or on a virtual tour, those buyer prospects will be scrutinizing your home.

That doesn’t need to be as daunting as it sounds. A simple-but-thorough checklist can help, so here are six tips for prepping your home for sale.

1. Sort and de-clutter

You probably hear about de-cluttering when selling a home. A house packed with stuff is unappealing to buyers, so create some space by packing away what you definitely want to bring to your new house. Sort out what you want to part ways with, and get rid of it. The sooner you start the process, the easier it will be.

2. Do a deep clean

A clean house is a nicer house in the eyes of homebuyers, which means a floor-to-ceiling cleanse is necessary. If there are things you do only every other time you clean house, do all of them this time. If you washed windows or dusted that high chandelier only a month ago, do them again. There’s no such thing as a house that’s too clean. If it requires hiring professional cleaners, it could be worth the cost.

3. Do a repairs walk-through

Completing a thorough cleaning might help you notice things in your house that need repair. It still helps, however, to do a top-to-bottom inspection of your entire home, writing down any blemishes or malfunctions. A walk-through would include looking for slow-draining sinks or tubs, loose door handles, scraped or gouged drywall, cracked wall plates, and more. Once your list is complete, you can make necessary repairs.

4. Paint what you must

Sometimes, painting must be done when you’re selling a home. Funky wall colors should be changed to neutral tones. Dingy or faded walls that don’t respond to just washing can be freshened up with a coat of paint. You might be especially surprised by how much newly painted white ceilings will brighten up a house.

5. Depersonalize the home

Homebuyers like to envision their belongings in a home, not yours. So, your wall of family photos, while endearing to you, is not going to endear your home to potential new owners. Any collections you have on display or any sports memorabilia should be packed away, too. Also, remember to remove anything you want to keep that might be considered a fixture, as buyers could ask you to include it.

5. Don’t forget the outside

Curb appeal is an important aspect of getting homebuyers’ attention, so sprucing up your home’s exterior is a near-must when selling your home. That means pruning any overgrown trees or shrubs, mowing the lawn regularly, weeding any beds, power-washing the siding, and maybe planting new flowers.

6. Set the stage

Home staging is a way to help homebuyers picture the ways a home can be used. You don’t necessarily have to hire a professional company to stage a home. You can at least somewhat do it yourself by making sure each area of the home has a specific purpose, furniture is arranged to maximize space and flow, and features that are strong selling points are highlighted. Remember to pay close attention to your home’s entryway, making it as welcoming and inviting as possible.

The bottom line

When you sell a home, it can feel like there are a lot of balls in the air. But getting ready to move and getting your home ready for sale at the same time can be a little less stressful if you follow a checklist of sorts.

Determining Which Mortgage Term Length to Choose


When you apply for a mortgage loan, one of the first questions your lender will ask is how long of a term you are interested in. The most popular term length chosen is 30 years, but there are also 15 and 20-year options. Some lenders offer other loan programs with different term lengths as well. When you are making your decision about which term length to apply for, there are a few points that you should consider.

The Mortgage Payment

As a rule of thumb, the longer your term length, the smaller your mortgage payment will be. This is because the principal repayment for the loan is extended over a longer period of time with a longer-term length. Most borrowers prefer a lower monthly payment, but if you can afford a higher payment, you may consider the other benefits associated with choosing a shorter term length.

The Interest Charges

The interest charges for a longer-term length can be considerably higher than with a shorter-term length, and this means that the shorter term length loans are more affordable over the life of the loan. It also means that equity will accrue more quickly in shorter-term loans. By using an online loan calculator with an amortization schedule, you can see how the interest charges accrue for shorter and longer-term lengths.

Your Future Plans

A final point to consider when trying to decide which term length to choose for your mortgage is your future plans. A shorter-term length may be ideal if you are nearing retirement and want to pay off your loan before you reach retirement age. It may also be preferred if you want to build up as much equity as possible before you sell the home in a few years. Longer-term loans are often the preferred option if you have a tight budget and want to have extra cash on hand for other things, such as to pay off credit cards or simply to have wiggle room in your budget.

Choosing a term length for your mortgage is not something to rush into, and it is something that you should spend time researching and reflecting on. By doing so, you can make a more informed decision about which mortgage to apply for.

How to buy a home this year

How to Buy a Home This Year

If you are tired of renting and ready to make your move, now is the perfect time to buy a home. Housing prices are still affordable, interest rates on mortgages remain low and there is plenty of inventory to choose from.

Owning the roof over your head can be a dream come true, but it is important to make a plan before you make your move. You can buy a home this year, but the planning and preparation you put into the purchase will make a big difference.

Check the Direction of Interest Rates

The general direction of interest rates will have a direct impact on the interest rates mortgage lenders charge, so having that information can be a big help when buying a home. If interest rates are on the rise, locking in a low rate now and getting pre-approved for a mortgage could work to your benefit. If interest rates are expected to decline, waiting to buy could actually be a good move.

You can find information on interest rates and mortgage interest policies in the financial press, from traditional newspapers to modern websites. The more you know about interest rates, the easier it will be to time your home buying decision.

Research Local Neighborhoods

There is an old saying in real estate that you should buy the worst home in the best neighborhood, and there is a lot of truth to that strategy. Buying into an up-and-coming neighborhood, even if the home itself needs some work, could allow you to benefit from a future appreciation and ultimately make a profit should you choose to sell.

Make a list of Must Have’s and Nice to Have’s

Whether you are shopping for your first home or looking for something nicer than what you have, it is important to think about what you must have and what you would like to have. Separating your wants from your needs can make shopping for a home a lot easier, saving you a lot of time and potentially a lot of money as well.

You might like to have granite countertops, but if the price is right, butcher block may work just as well. You may crave hardwood floors, but if the home is perfect in every other way, a little carpet should not stop you from making an offer.

Set Your Budget and Factor in Interest Rates

If you want to buy a home this year, you will first need to determine how much you can afford to spend. It is important to set a realistic homebuying budget, one that includes not only the monthly mortgage payment but the cost of repairs and upkeep as well.

You can download and use The Directions Home Loan App (https://myhomeloan.directionshomeloan.com/borrower/signup/easton@directionshomeloan.com) to estimate your monthly payment, but you will need three critical pieces of information to make it work. You will need to know whether you prefer a 15-year or 30-year mortgage, the price of the home, the amount of down payment you will be putting down, and an idea of what you.

You can do your homework and get the first three, but you will need your lender’s help to determine the interest rate you will likely have to pay. The interest rate on your mortgage depends on a number of factors, from the overall level of interest rates to your own credit score. Finding this information now can make your home buying easier, so be sure to check with your chosen lender.

Buying a home takes planning and preparation, and the sooner you get started the better off you will be. If you plan to buy a home this year or next, you will need to think ahead, and now is the perfect time to get started by contacting Direction Home Loan at www.directionshomeloan.com.

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