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One of the most important steps when beginning your home search is to create a wishlist. This is composed of a variety of aspects that a person is looking for in their next home. In 2021, a typical home wish list may include granite kitchen countertops, a 2-car garage, a large backyard, wood floors, a certain number of bedrooms or bathrooms, and so forth. While it is easy to create a list of things that you would like to have in a home, it can be challenging to separate your needs versus wants in your home search.

What is important to you?

It can oftentimes be impossible to find a home that checks off every single box. When you are seriously considering your “must haves” in your next home you need to think long and hard about what is most important to you. While its true you will likely have to sacrifice some wants, you should stand your ground and not compromise on the aspects that are most important to you. 

Are you willing to wait it out?

Buyers today need to realize that in a limited market they are unlikely to get exactly what they are looking for in their next home. With this, a buyer needs to understand the longer list of needs or wants, the more you are putting yourself in a corner with your home search. In a sellers market, you may need to temper your expectations with your home search if you are serious about purchasing a home.

Have you considered ranking your needs?

Once you have separated your needs from your wants, it is helpful to rank your needs from most important to least important. By ranking your needs, you can make quicker decisions during your home search. For example, you may find yourself in a bidding war and based and having this ranked list may be helpful on whether the home is worth spending more for.

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Are you preparing to sell your home this year? We are currently in a sellers market due to low inventory levels across many parts of the country. With this, here are some of the most common real estate myths that sellers should be aware of before listing their homes.

Depersonalizing your home is not necessary

It is always going to be in your best interest to depersonal your home before you list it on the market. Many argue that this step is unnecessary; however, keep in mind that most potential buyers are not looking to buy your stuff, but your home. While removing personal items like family photographs, artwork, and other clutter can be emotional, you are making your home more favorable to potential buyers. The goal is for potential buyers to envision themselves living in the home. By removing personal items, you are helping to create a blank canvas for buyers to envision themselves living there. Buyers will always want to put their own personal touches to the home that they buy. 

You are guaranteed to save money by selling it yourself

Selling a home is no easy feat. Many home sellers have a difficult time letting go of the 5% commission fee which is pretty typical today. However, what many of these sellers fail to realize is although you will need to part with a small percentage of your money, you are increasing your chances of landing the best selling price.

You can always time the real estate market

Anyone who claims they know how to time the real estate market is either lying or is mistaken. Nobody has a crystal ball and can predict the perfect time to sell a home. You could list your home during the winter, which is often viewed as a bad time to sell, and receive your asking price. In other words, it may not be in your best interest to hold off selling your home until the “ideal” time of the year. Many people believe this myth to be true and wind up missing out on opportunities. 

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The process of buying a home is not only stressful, but it can also be complicated if you are working without a reputable agent. Additionally, navigating the buying process without the expertise of an agent can also leave room for mistakes. Below are some of the most common mistakes that homebuyers have made so far in 2021. 

Buying without establishing a budget.

A homebuyer should have a clear understanding of their budget. Many buyers neglect to sit down and calculate how much they actually afford. Before you place an offer on a home, a buyer needs to know how much they afford to pay towards their mortgage every month . This simple step will save you from stretching your budget too thin and stressing over your monthly payments.

Failing to account for property taxes.

One significant expense that is often overlooked by homebuyers is property taxes. Buyers should understand that property-related taxes are inevitable, and therefore they must be factored into their decision-making process. Property taxes can sometimes push a home out of a buyer's budget. Also, it is beneficial to look at the tax history in the local neighborhood to gain an understanding of what to expect in the coming years. 

Disregarding the competition.

Real estate is one of the most competitive industries in our country today. We are currently in a sellers’ market due to the low inventory levels this year. Buyers who are serious about buying a home in 2021 must understand how quickly homes are flying off the market. In many cases, a buyer needs to make an offer on a home immediately if they are serious. Unfortunately, buyers today do not have the luxury of thinking long and hard about whether to submit an offer on a home. Always expect competition when you begin your home search.

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When most people buy their first home, they can't wait to start putting their own personal touches onto the property. Most first-time homebuyers know that their first home will not be their last, and they understand that buying a home should be viewed as an investment. To make the most of your real estate investment, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of any home improvement or remodeling job. 

Stick to your renovation budget.

All too often, first-time homebuyers get wrapped up in the excitement of owning their own place and they spend too much on renovation projects. While it can be difficult to be patient, it is usually better to hold off on making major upgrades that are not absolutely necessary. Before investing hundreds, or even thousands of dollars into an aspect of the home, it is important to give yourself time to see what you really want before spending money on upgrades you may change your mind on later.

Consider DIY options.

While this may not be feasible for everyone, if you have the time, skills, and patience, you can save thousands of dollars if you do take on projects yourself. For the average person, this may include installing a new patio, remodeling parts of the kitchen, or changing out bathroom fixtures. While some jobs are only for trained professionals, there are certainly ways that you can add value to your home without spending money on a contractor. Another great way to add value to a home is through various forms of landscaping. Homeowners should never underestimate the importance of curb appeal when it comes to adding value to their property. If you like to garden this will be an enjoyable way to add value to your home. For instance, planting a few young trees may pay dividends down the line.

If you have recently just purchased your first home, one of the best tips of advice is to have patience. Do not try to tackle every home renovation project right away. Enjoy the process!

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It has been over a year since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in our country. The majority of Americans have adjusted to wearing masks and keeping a safe distance from one another.These precautionary measures have affected the real estate industry in a variety of ways, such as the home showing capabilities and homebuyer preferences. For instance, before 2021, open-concept floor plans were very popular; however, the pandemic has changed a lot of peoples' minds about their next home’s layout. More people are looking for homes that have dedicated quiet/work spaces because many people are working remotely as a result of the pandemic. 

Another major home buying trend that many real estate professionals are noticing is that buyers are looking for more outdoor living space, as well as functionality around their property. Since many Americans have been cooped up inside their homes more so than ever, the desire for more larger front and back yards has increased. Not only are people in search of larger outdoor living space, but they are also looking for more functional places as well. In other words, the desire for constructions such as outdoor kitchens, seating areas, screen-in porches has been an interest of buyers probably more so than ever before. People who are designing a home build are looking to include outdoor living spaces that include outdoor kitchen stations for cooking prep as well as storage areas. 

While it is unclear when the COVID-19 pandemic will come to end, it is clear that home buyer wish lists have been changed fairly dramatically. As we continue to monitor new real estate-related trends emerging in our country, we must take note how the pandemic continues to shape the real estate industry moving forward.

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From staging to taking pictures, pricing, and research, there are many steps involved with selling a home. This process can be especially challenging if you are a first-time home seller and are brand new to the process. With this, consider the following tips for first-time home sellers. 

Be flexible with times for home showings.

Many home sellers struggle with home showings because they can often be inconvenient. Sometimes, you are required to leave your home with minimal notice. As a seller, it is best to leave when buyers and their agents are touring the home. By staying, you could create a potentially awkward situation for the buyers and make them feel uncomfortable as they are walking through your home. If you are hosting several home showings or open houses, you may want to consider staying somewhere for a weekend.

Plan ahead for movers.

Moving out of a home usually requires a team of movers. If you do not have family or friends who can assist you, you need to schedule a moving team in advance. Moving companies can get booked up very quickly during the spring and summer months, be sure to plan accordingly. You do not want to put yourself on a time crunch when it is time to leave the property.

Professional photography is a must.

Never cut corners when it comes to your home listing photos. If the goal is to sell your home as quickly as possible at the best price, investing in professional photographs is critical. First impressions are everything, and poor quality images can be a total disservice to an otherwise beautiful home listing.

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