Spend A Little, Get A Lot #4

Here are some tips to stretch your dollar when preparing your home for sale.

Improve safety by ensuring that windows and doors can’t slam shut; fixing loose handrail on porches, decks, and stairways; and removing dangerous tools, sharp objects and hazardous materials from the garage.

Rent a bank safe deposit box to store cash and small valuables as long as your house is being shown.

Consider replacing hinges and springs on the garage door.  They’re relatively inexpensive and improve safety.

If you’re three or four months away from marketing your house, consider reseeding the lawn instead of laying sod.  Reseeding takes longer, but is much less expensive than sod.

Replacing a cracked and broken walkway with cement stepping stones purchased from a home improvement store is an inexpensive but attractive way to create a new path to the front door.

What’s the best bang for your buck that you’ve ever seen?

Spend A Little, Get A Lot #2

earnerHere are some more low cost tips to help you  showcase your home and check for repairs.

Holiday displays, including Christmas cards, should be removed and stored by the first week in January.

Use degreaser and a razor blade to make basement windows crystal-clear.

Remember to put away valuables while showing your home. Expensive jewelry belongs in a safe deposit box.

Have long-stemmed artificial flowers to pack? Ask your local florist for a couple of boxes wholesalers use to deliver fresh flowers to florists.

Even if your entire house doesn’t need to be painted, putting a fresh coat of paint in a new color on the door and trim may keep a couple thousand dollars on your sale price.

Don’t wait until the last minute to call professional painters because their schedules may be filled. Hire them as soon as you make the decision to sell.

Seven Money-Saving Secrets You Can Use When You Buy A Home…

1. Choose a low down payment loan.piggybank

There is no law that says you MUST put 20% or even 10% down. There are some loans that require as little as 3% or even zero down. This is attractive for three reasons: It’s hard to save for a large down payment, you could earn more interest on that money than you’re paying in interest on the loan, and it’s nice (and sometimes necessary) to have cash on hand after buying a home.

2. Have someone give you money to pay closing costs.

A relative, church or nonprofit organization can give you money for closing costs. Cash gifts from wedding gifts can also be used.

3. Ask the seller to pay some of your closing costs as part of your offer.

Sellers are usually allowed to contribute to a buyer’s closing costs.

4. Do not pay too much insurance at closing!

Most Lenders require 14 months hazard insurance paid at closing, so be ready. What happens to that extra money? It sits in your escrow account until you sell the house. It’s safe there, but it often earns no interest.

5. Remember, the homes that you’re looking at don’t belong to your agent.

You must be straightforward about your likes and dislikes in order for the agent to do the best job for you. Your agent should show you everything available that meets your requirements. Don’t make a decision on a house until you feel that you’ve seen enough to pick the best one. Review the Multiple Listing printout with your agent to make sure that you are getting a COMPLETE list.

6. Shop around for your home insurance.

A little shopping might help save you money.

7. You can deduct money paid for discount points from your gross income before computing your tax.

See a CPA for more information.

Spend A Little, Get A Lot

earnerHere are some low cost tips to help you  showcase your home and check for repairs.

If you have more than two cars in your driveway, park the extra vehicles at a neighbor’s house. This will give your driveway and yard a spacious look.

Oil and rust stains can be removed from concrete with commercial driveway cleaners that are available from automotive and home improvement stores.

The basement needn’t be spotless, but change light bulbs and clear cobwebs before showing the house.

Change air conditioning and furnace filters so the units will run efficiently.

If your washer and dryer are in the basement, create a cozy laundry area by adding an area rug and shelves to store detergent bottles.

Check for termites by using a pocketknife to jab the support beams near the house foundation. If the knife penetrates the wood easily, then there could be a termite problem.

DIY Transformations

Cabinet and Counter Transformed

There are some new products on the market for those Do It Yourselfers that can completely transform the look of your kitchen, bathroom or furniture. RUST-OLEUM® has come out with several new items that can change the look of cabinets, furniture or tile. While I have not used them myself, I have spoken to several home owners and contractors that have. They can revitalize a surface for short money when compared to pulling down tile and cabinets and replacing them with new product. Keep this in mind when either searching for a home that does not fit your expectations; or when considering putting your home on the market to give it a face lift, and you have to really consider your budget.  The image included is an example of the RUST-OLEUM® products.  I just love to find new ways to create beautiful spaces.  If you have any suggestions for products that help transform you home, let us know.