Susan Baghdasarian's Blog
As little as four decades ago, it was common for Americans to know their neighbors. Homeowners and apartment dwellers knew their neighbors on a first name basis. Young children played with neighboring children, engaging in street races, jump rope,stick ball or flag football. Go back generations and you'd see adult neighbors visiting each other's homes, playing cards, sitting lemonade and chatting and laughing on the front porch.
American neighbors have changed so much over the years
It was as if the entire neighborhood was one big family. Today, few Americans know their neighbors first names, let alone take the time to engage in a sincere conversation with their neighbors. Busy schedules, choosing technology over in-person connections and reports of neighborhood crimes are some of the reasons why Americans erect invisible fences and keep neighbors out.
Coming out of the Great Depression, Americans may have sought and found solace in relationships that they developed with their neighbors. A similar shift happened after 9/11. People accepted each other more readily, even turning away from long held prejudices. But, the neighboring effect only lasted a few weeks.
Don't turn your neighbors into strangers
It's not hard to realize the benefits of developing and nurturing healthy relationships with neighbors. Yet, these relationships don't just happen. To create healthy neighborhood relationships, you need to:
- Speak with neighbors each time that you see them (This means that you don't only speak with neighbors when you want them to do you a favor or when you're on your way to church.)
- Offer to help neighbors when you the need arrives (For example, you could offer to assist neighbors if they're struggling to carry groceries onto their front porch. You could also offer to help neighbors during weather storms.)
- Support neighborhood and community initiatives (Examples of this includes attending city council meetings, joining community preservation organizations and attending community festivals and holiday events.)
Support neighbors. Develop healthy relationships with neighbors without over stepping healthy boundaries. Specific boundaries that your neighbors want vary person to person. For example, some neighbors may prefer to keep relationships at a distance. Other neighbors may enjoy chatting each time they see you.
You really don't have to argue and fight with neighbors
To create healthy neighborhood boundaries you can engage in conversations with neighbors when you see each other outside. You can excuse yourself when you notice that neighbors are hurrying to get inside their house or are hurrying to get to an event away from home.
By teaching your children to call before they stop by a neighbor's house, you can prevent your neighbors from feeling uneasy when you happen upon each other. If neighbors know that you won't stop by without calling first, they can feel confident that they can let their hair down while they're at home. They know that neighbors won't stop by unannounced.
To create healthy neighborhood boundaries, you may also have to train your pets. Stop your pets from relieving themselves in neighboring yards. Pick up after you pets if they relieve themselves while you're walking them around the neighborhood.
These boundaries demonstrate to neighbors that you respect them. It's this respect that helps relationships to develop in healthy, rewarding ways.
0 Chestnut Street, Uxbridge, MA 01569
The bad news about selling your home is that there are dozens of mistakes you might make that could result in a lost sale, unnecessary price reductions, and delays in finding a buyer.
The good news is that the vast majority of seller mistakes are completely avoidable -- especially when you have an experienced real estate agent guiding you through the process and providing you with ongoing advice and marketing assistance.
Pricing and Perception
Setting too high of a price for your home is a common mistake -- one that's often difficult to recover from. Since "the clock is ticking" from the moment your home officially goes on the market, it's important to make the most of those first few weeks.
House hunters are often strongly attracted to homes that are advertised as being "just on the market." Those words can be very compelling because they imply newness, a limited opportunity, and scarcity. As the advertising industry has known for generations, consumers are drawn to products and services that are new, fresh, and in demand. However, just like yesterday's news or day-old bread, the longer a house is on the market, the less appealing it becomes.
According to a Zillow study, homes for sale priced around or slightly below market value are almost 50 percent more likely to sell within 60 days than those priced 12 percent or more above market value.
Working with a knowledgeable real estate professional can help make sure you don't lose that initial out-of-the-gate momentum by pricing yourself out of the market. They'll base their recommendations on a number of factors, including a comparative analysis of recently sold homes in your neighborhood .
Here's a house-selling mistake that most people probably don't know about: You might be losing potential buyers because you've chosen an "odd selling price." The National Association of Realtors points out that listings may sometimes be excluded from Internet search results if the asking price is just a few thousand dollars above a typical pricing range. "Buyers search real estate websites for price ranges, such as 'homes between $250,000- $300,000.' If you set an odd price to make your listing stand out, say $302,499, you may miss some of your best potential customers."
If you realize after a few weeks that you've incorrectly priced your house, it not only becomes necessary to lower the price, but you also have to contend with a lower perceived value among prospective buyers.
A few other words and phrases that tend to whet the appetites of prospects searching for their next home include "move-in condition," "landscaped," and "updated." Many people also like the sound of granite countertops, maple hardwood floors, and gourmet kitchens.
While it pays to know a little about pricing, home staging, and buyer psychology, getting advice and guidance from a seasoned real estate agent is usually your best bet for producing the fastest and most satisfying results in selling your house.
After you buy a house, it may be only a few weeks before your closing date arrives. At this point, you and the home seller will finalize your transaction. And if everything goes according to plan, you'll own a new home.
Getting to closing day, however, sometimes can be difficult. Lucky for you, we're here to help ensure you can enjoy a quick, seamless home closing.
Now, let's take a look at three steps to close on a home.
1. Complete Your Mortgage Application
A mortgage is a must-have for a homebuyer to close on a residence. Fortunately, it often can be simple to obtain a mortgage that matches or exceeds your expectations.
Consult with several local banks and credit unions. By doing so, you can learn about all of your mortgage options and select a mortgage that corresponds to your finances.
After you complete a mortgage application, a bank or credit union can provide you with mortgage options. Then, you can make an informed decision about which mortgage suits you perfectly.
2. Perform a Home Inspection and Appraisal
A home inspection is paramount, as this assessment will enable you to identify any underlying home problems and address them before closing day arrives.
During a home inspection, a property expert will assess your residence both inside and out. This expert also will provide an inspection report that details his or her findings.
Review the results of a home inspection report closely – you'll be glad you did. If you assess a home inspection report, you can review a home inspector's findings and determine whether you still want to purchase a house.
If you accept the inspection results and decide to move forward with a home purchase, an appraisal may follow.
Like a home inspection, an appraisal requires a property expert to visit your home. This expert will evaluate your home's interior and exterior, as well as comparable houses in your city or town. Following a home appraisal, you will receive a property valuation.
Oftentimes, a property valuation may match or exceed the price that you intend to pay for a house. If it does not, there may be instances in which you can still walk away from a home sale or ask the seller to lower a house's asking price.
3. Buy Home Insurance
Home insurance safeguards your residence and personal belongings against loss, damage or destruction. As such, it is essential to purchase home insurance before you close on a house. Because with home insurance in place, you'll be good to go to protect your house and personal belongings against myriad disasters.
The closing process can be long and complicated. But if you work with a real estate agent, you can receive plenty of support leading up to closing day. In fact, this housing market professional is happy to provide tips to ensure you can streamline the closing process.
Get ready for closing day – follow the aforementioned steps, and you can speed up the process of acquiring your dream house.
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