Diane Stone - CENTURY 21 Commonwealth



Posted by Diane Stone on 9/24/2017

For some people, cleaning the house is a relaxing way to pass the time. It's a mindful activity and living in a clean space can help improve your mood and focus. However, for many of us it can be hard to find time to clean after a long day of work, cooking dinner, caring for kids and pets, and so on. Many people try to keep up with the mess by cleaning one room at a time. However, it actually takes much longer to clean if you do it on a room-by-room basis. The most efficient way to clean is by chore. You wouldn't dust or vacuum just one room; you'd do the whole house because it saves you the pain of taking out the vacuum cleaner every time one room needs to be vacuumed. In this article, we'll go over how you can avoid having one long, excruciating cleaning day by spending 5-10 minutes per day cleaning your house.

Monday

Today is pick-up day. After the weekend your home is likely to have a lot of things laying around out of place. Do a quick tidying up in each room of your home. That includes: picking up clothes, clearing off tables and surfaces, and putting away any children's or pet toys that might be on the floor.

Tuesday

Dusting. With your duster in hand, run through each room of your house hittingall of the surfaces. Grab a microfiber cloth for things like TVs and computer screens that might have fingerprints and put it in your back pocket. In your other pocket, keep a lint roller or lint brush for your sofa, bed, chairs, etc.

Wednesday

Floors. Get out your Swiffer, mop, vacuum cleaner and whatever else you use to clean the floors of your home. Sweep each room into a pile, starting from the walls and working your way in. Once all rooms are swept, grab your dustpan and pick up each pile. From there you can run your Swiffer or mop through your rooms with wood floors or tile. Finally, vacuum any carpets or rugs you have.

Thursday

Kitchen day. Mix some white vinegar and water, toss in a few drops of lemon or lime juice, and you've got an all-purpose kitchen cleaner that's free of any harsh chemicals that you don't want going near your food. For areas that need to be scrubbed, like your sink or countertop, sprinkle some baking soda down after you spray the vinegar solution. Once you're done, tuck your spray bottle and baking soda within reach under your sink--you'll need it again tomorrow.

Friday

Bathroom day. There's no denying it--it's the worst room in the house to clean. But, think about how you'll have the next two days off from work and cleaning and you'll have the motivation to get through it. First, go grab your rubber globes, vinegar spray, and baking soda from yesterday. Today, you'll need them for the sink, tub, and toilet. Other useful items to keep for cleaning your bathroom: an old toothbrush for scrubbing tile grout and baby oil for polishing the chrome on your sinks.   Follow this schedule and you'll be on your way to cleaning the whole house in just 5-10 minutes per day so you don't have to dread those marathon cleaning days.




Tags: house   cleaning   clean  
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Posted by Diane Stone on 9/17/2017

Do you dream about owning your own house? Has the idea of living in a property that adds to your personal equity started to appeal to you? If so, you're in good company. Each year, millions of Americans buy a house. Many of these homes are purchased with a home loan.

How you could get the right home loan

To protect themselves against loan defaults, lenders prefer to work with borrowers who have a history of being financially responsible. Doing so helps more than lenders.It can keep an entire economy from contracting, similar to the debacle that happened to cause the Great Recession.

Knowing what lenders look for in borrowers can help you to secure a home loan. To begin,your credit history is going to get reviewed while you're trying to secure a home loan. The amount of debt that you have and your history of making minimum or higher payments on these debts is going to be reviewed.

Your income, including income from second jobs that you work, and your spouse's income will also get looked into. Landing a higher paying job helps when it comes to securing a home loan. But, don't just increase your income.

Take advantage of military home loans if you served the country as a service member.If you work for a bank, you could get lower interest rates. Check with your employer to see how much you could save. If you don't work for a bank, consider securing a home loan through your current bank.

Opt for lower monthly mortgage payments

It could improve your chances of getting approved for a mortgage. It could also help you to save on interest payments. In addition to choosing a mortgage that has a lower interest rate, to secure a home loan:

Go after home loans that require lower monthly mortgage payments. Lower interest rates and military home loans are just two ways to achieve this. Applying for a home loan when the economy is recovering is another path to lower monthly mortgage payments. After feds start raising interest rates and the economy becomes stronger, mortgages generally rise.

Pay off as much debt as possible before you apply for a home loan. For example, you could pay off your auto loans and furniture. You can also pay off personal loans that you took out before you apply for a  mortgage.

Increase your liquidity. You can do this by investing more in stocks, cash savings and bonds. The value of your current home can also improve your liquidity. The value of a business that you own is another way to improve liquidity.

Get financial statements together to present to a lender. Items to get include income tax returns, pay stubs, investment account statements and business income, if you own a business. This includes an at home business. Also, get exiting loans and other debts together to present to lenders. The amount and type of debt may be sufficient, depending on the lender that you work with.




Tags: Real Estate   home loan  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Diane Stone on 9/10/2017

A real estate agent doesn't get paid unless he sells your house or negotiates a great deal on a new house for you to move into. If you've never worked with a real estate agent before, you may have lots of questions about how the process works. The below points offer insight into what you can generally expect when you work with a real estate agent.

Start smart when dealing with a real estate agent

During early meetings with a real estate agent, expect to find out how many other sellers or buyers the agent is representing. You'll also learn about the agent's standard commissions or fees. Third parties that the agent works with should also be discussed during early meetings.

The agent will create a marketing and advertising plan if you are selling your home. If you are house shopping, your real estate agent will search indexes, websites and directories for houses that are within your price range. The agent will also look for houses that meet your square footage and amenities requirements.

Home staging and open house schedules will be shared with you, so that you can view houses you're interested in buying in person. This also gives you the chance to as current owners of the houses or their representatives questions. If you'reselling your home, real estate agents work with stagers and interior designers to get your house ready to be showcased. Agents may ask you to remove family pictures and bright colored decorations off walls and tables while your house is being staged.

Photographs and videos will be taken of your home to generate leads. These pictures and videos will be placed on realtor websites. As a buyer, your real estate agent will share pictures and videos of houses that match your new home requirements with you.

What happens when you get closer to buying or selling a house

Throughout the home selling or home buying process, your real estate agent may telephone and email other area realtors to learn about properties on the market.

When your real estate agent finds houses that fit your requirements, he'll contact you and schedule a day and time for you to visit the houses. This part of the home buying process could take weeks or months. The more clear you are about what you want in a house, the shorter the process generally is.

Your real estate agent should handle paperwork and negotiations. Your agent should stick with your pricing requests. Your agent shouldn't talk you into buying a house that you cannot afford. Nor should your real estate agent try to talk you into buying a house that's too big or too small.

Few are as well versed in the world of home buying and selling as a real estate agent. Knowing what to expect from a real estate agent helps to take the uncertainty out of the process, especially if you're a new home buyer or a new home seller. Knowing what to expect from the real estate agent relationship also helps you to know which questions to ask agents you're thinking about contracting with.




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Posted by Diane Stone on 9/3/2017

Want to list your house? Ultimately, you'll want to work with an expert listing agent, i.e. a housing market professional who knows what it takes to get the best price for a residence.

Let's face it hiring a listing agent can be tough, particularly for a first-time home seller. Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline your search for the perfect listing agent.

Now, let's take a look at three tips that you can use to find the right listing agent for your house.

1. Learn About a Listing Agent's Background

Evaluating a listing agent's background often serves as a great first step in the home selling process. It allows you to better understand how long a listing agent has worked in the real estate sector and learn about his or her industry expertise.

In most cases, you should have no trouble finding information about a listing agent online. Or, you can always call a listing agent's office for more information.

Allocate the necessary time and resources to learn about listing agent's background. That way, you can understand this housing market professional's experience, education, networking skills and much more and plan accordingly.

2. Conduct a Face-to-Face Meeting with a Listing Agent

If a listing agent looks good on paper, invite him or her to meet with you. By doing so, you can gain first-hand insights from this housing market professional and find out what separates him or her from other listing agents.

Prepare a list of interview questions before a face-to-face meeting with a listing agent. This will enable you to get the insights you need to make an informed decision.

Also, evaluate a listing agent's communication skills and personality. If you feel comfortable with a listing agent after a face-to-face meeting, don't hesitate to hire this individual to help you sell your residence.

3. Get Client Referrals

How has a listing agent helped past home sellers optimize the value of their properties? Request client referrals from a listing agent, and you can receive additional insights into how this real estate professional has supported home sellers over the years.

A top-notch listing agent should be able to provide you with multiple client referrals. Meanwhile, it only takes a few minutes to reach out to a listing agent's past clients and learn about their home selling experiences.

Client referrals can help you accelerate the process of finding the right listing agent. Moreover, they can provide insights into what it is like to work with a listing agent throughout the home selling cycle.

Lastly, be sure to ask past clients how a listing agent approached challenges throughout the home selling process. If a listing agent went above and beyond the call of duty to help past clients overcome myriad home selling challenges, he or she probably will be able to help you do the same.

Selecting the right listing agent may seem impossible at first. But with the aforementioned tips, you can choose a listing agent that will promote your residence to the right groups of homebuyers consistently.




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Posted by Diane Stone on 8/27/2017

When it comes to selling a house, there is no reason to operate as a "basic" home seller. Instead, you can become a "responsive" home seller, i.e. someone who goes above and beyond the call of duty to get the best price for his or house.

Ultimately, becoming a responsive home seller may be easier than you think here are three tips to ensure you can enter the real estate market as a responsive home seller.

1. Track Housing Market Patterns and Trends

As a responsive home seller, you'll want to monitor the real estate market closely. By doing so, you'll be better equipped than other property sellers to identify housing market trends and respond accordingly.

For example, if you notice a large collection of available houses and a shortage of property buyers, this likely indicates a buyer's market reigns supreme. In this market, you may face steep competition as you try to sell your house.

On the other hand, if you find that many high-quality residences are selling quickly, a seller's market may be in place. And in a seller's market, you may be better equipped than ever before to enjoy a fast, seamless home selling process.

A responsive home seller will be able to differentiate between a buyer's and seller's market. Then, this home seller can map out his or her home selling journey accordingly.

2. Remain Open to New Ideas

Selling a home often requires plenty of persistence and hard work. For responsive home sellers, it also requires flexibility and patience.

Typically, a responsive home seller will be happy to listen and respond to past home sellers' advice. This home seller will be open to learning from past home sellers' successes and failures and using their insights to make informed home selling decisions.

For those who want to become responsive home sellers, feel free to reach out to family members and friends who have sold houses in the past. This will enable you to gain deep insights into the home selling process that you might struggle to obtain elsewhere.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

With a real estate agent at his or her side, an ordinary home seller can become a responsive property seller in no time at all.

A real estate agent will communicate with a home seller throughout each stage of the home selling cycle. Meanwhile, a responsive home seller will listen to this housing market professional and work with him or her to achieve the optimal results.

Furthermore, a real estate agent will be available to respond to a home seller's concerns and queries. At the same time, a responsive home seller will be ready to collaborate with a real estate agent via phone calls, emails and texts.

Use the aforementioned tips to become a responsive home seller you'll be happy you did. Responsive home sellers may be more likely than other property sellers to seamlessly navigate the home selling cycle and maximize the value of their residences.




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