Articles Tagged "Home-buying tips"

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Buy a Home | 13 Posts
Cedar Rapids | 15 Posts
Coralville | 4 Posts
Iowa City, IA | 21 Posts
Lifestyle | 7 Posts
Market Update | 5 Posts
Sell a Home | 17 Posts
Uncategorized | 28 Posts

Driveway Curb Appeal

A beautiful, well-maintained driveway increases curb appeal and adds value to your property. It's the first thing people see when they drive by or visit your home. Our real estate agents know that a buyer's first impression has a big impact on a sale.

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Spring Cleaning

Have you ever noticed that sometimes, even when a home appears to be clean, it doesn't have that fresh feeling others might? The difference is probably in the little details that are often forgotten. Whether you are moving into a new home, getting one ready for sale, or just want your house to sparkle, you want to be sure to address these often-ignored spots. Our real estate agents will always recommend a deep cleaning before showing or photographing a home going on the market. Make sure to pay attention to these areas in your home.

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House Hunt Tips

Choosing a new home is an endeavor that seems to involve an infinite number of tasks. You must prepare to part with your current home while adapting your lifestyle to a house you might not have seen yet. Knowing what needs to be done makes the transition smoother, if not seamless. Before you start your hunt among the Cedar Rapids homes for sale, make sure you have the following covered or at least underway. 

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New Neighborhood

Buying a house is never just about the house. Before you buy, take a close look at the neighborhood. Whether you're single, a couple planning a family, or you already have a full nest, you will want to know how you're going to mesh with your surroundings. As you search for your dream home, decide what factors are musts for your home's setting. Easy access to work? Public transportation? 

Start your search for Cedar Rapids homes for sale by thinking about what would make the ideal neighborhood for your family. From there, jot down a list of things you want in your neighborhood. These will get you started.

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Deep Clean New Home

Buying a new home is an exciting and rewarding experience! Most new homeowners can't wait to move in. But before you start unpacking, make sure to complete a deep clean of your new home. This involves cleaning your new home from top to bottom.

Start by gathering the necessary cleaning supplies. Your essential cleaning supplies include cleaning products, rubber gloves, sink/tub cleaner, paper towel, floor cleaner, mop, bucket, duster, and if you have carpeting, invest in a good vacuum. Once you've gathered your supplies, work through cleaning these areas in your new home to ensure a fresh start! 

  1. Bathroom
    Your home's bathroom is one of the most used rooms in the house. Start with the bathroom first to get rid of germs or bacteria. When cleaning the toilet, remember to get behind the porcelain base. Clean the sink; if possible, pull out the vanity to clean behind the area. Wipe down the bathroom walls and any shelving units. Wash the bathroom mirrors if the bathroom has a built-in medicine cabinet, clean each shelf. Clean the tub and replace the shower curtain.
  2. Kitchen
    Start with the appliances. The refrigerator should be first. Wash all drawers and sanitize the shelf before filling with food. If you do not want to use harsh chemicals, use vinegar mixed with warm water to clean the refrigerator. Pull out the fridge to clean behind the appliance. Next, wash the oven, including the stovetop and hood. Pull out and clean the drawer underneath the stove. Next, scrub the kitchen sink and any other remaining appliances. Wipe down and clean all the cabinets inside and out, wash any countertop space, and any other shelving units.
  3. Remaining Rooms
    If the rest of the rooms are empty, you will have an easier time cleaning. Wipe down the walls, vacuum or sweep, and mop floors. Depending on your move-in date, you may want to get a professional carpet cleaning service to steam clean the carpets in each room.
  4. Windows
    Clean all your windows on the inside and outside. Clean the window sills. Often dead bugs accumulate on the ledge. Using your vacuum attachments is a great way to clean your window sills. If you have blinds, carefully wash each blind to remove any germs or residue.
  5. Doors
    Using a cleaner, wipe down the doors and the knobs. Wash the windows. If you have sliding glass doors, clean the window areas.
  6. Air Vents
    Dust the air vents in your home. Check and replace your air filters. A dirty air filter can cause pollutants to enter your freshly cleaned areas.
  7. Ceiling Fans
    Wipe down each blade on the ceiling fans. Dust quickly accumulates on the back of the blades.

Deep cleaning a new home ensures a fresh start for you and your family. Looking for a new home for you and your family to move into? Contact us to start your search for Cedar Rapids homes for sale.


Time to Downsize

The adage "bigger isn't better" applies to many things in life, including your home. Your home should meet your specific spatial needs and contribute to your preferred lifestyle. Here are a few signs that it's time to downsize your home and check out smaller Coralville homes for sale

  1. You Can't Properly Maintain Your Home
    If you feel like you're always behind on home maintenance or that your home is frequently dirty, this is a sign that you have too much home. While every home requires some maintenance and cleaning, if you constantly feel overwhelmed or find that the work interferes with your quality of life, it's time to downsize. 
  2. Your Home Costs Exceed 30 Percent of Your Takehome Income
    Your financial state can provide some insight as to whether it's time to downsize your home. If your monthly home costs (like your homeowner's insurance, mortgage, and property taxes) exceed more than 30 percent of your takehome income, you should give downsizing some consideration. Spending too much on your home will prevent you from achieving other financial goals, such as saving for retirement or paying down your debt. The 30 percent rule is just a guideline; if you can't afford things that are important to you, like travel and hobbies, downsizing is an effective way to lower your home-related expenses. Our real estate agents can help you find affordable homes that are right for your income and personal goals. 

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Dog Friendly Neighborhoods

Have some beautiful Cedar Rapids homes for sale caught your eye? If you're one in the nearly half of U.S. households with a dog, you may have more to think about than the commuting distance and the number of bedrooms. Ensure your pup will love your new neighborhood when you know how to spot a dog-friendly neighborhood. Here's what you should keep an eye out for:

  1. Plenty of Sidewalks
    Sidewalks can be dismissed as "nice to have" features, but this should be at the top of your must-have list. You'll walk Fido often, so you'll want wide, brightly lit, and well-paved sidewalks for enjoyable walks, especially in the late evening or predawn hours. Bonus point if the neighborhood has special dog stations with garbage cans and plastic bags on almost every block.

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Moving TipsMoving into a new home can be exciting and overwhelming. From figuring what to unpack first, arranging furniture, and generally getting used to your new space, there are plenty of things to do before you settle down comfortably. But during the moving chaos, even the most organized person can forget something. Our REALTORS® highlight five important things to remember after your move.

  1. Change the Locks
    Even if you remember to carry all of your new house keys, you shouldn't plan on holding onto them for very long. Security should be your first concern after your move. Your previous owners might no longer have keys, but you can't know how many copies they gave to trusted neighbors, friends, family members, or contractors.

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Improving Credit Score

Have some of the beautiful Cedar Rapids homes for sale caught your eye? If you're dealing with a less-than-perfect credit score, you may feel like you're stuck renting forever. While past credit indiscretions can certainly put a damper on your home buying goals, all hope isn't lost. 

If you start today, there's a good chance that you can bring your credit score up in far less time than you may think. Our real estate agents often work with people who thought they would never be able to get financing. With just a bit of effort, they're able to move into the home of their dreams! 

Here are a few simple steps to help you improve your credit score so you can finally buy your own home. 

  1. Check for Errors
    One of the easiest things you can do is check your credit reports to make sure all of the information is accurate. Errors can pull down your score, so you'll want to report anything incorrect. Fixing an error can sometimes take several months or longer, so it's important to get the ball rolling on this as soon as possible. 

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How to Buy a House While Selling

Have you fallen in love with one of our Cedar Rapids homes for sale? Now is the right time to secure your dream home and sell your current house to reap the investment you made. We understand that the process of buying or selling a house is a major milestone in life; doing both at the same time is truly a feat. Our real estate agents created this informative guide, offering advice on how to buy a house while selling your current home.

Life is all about making decisions, and a real estate transaction will provide you with plenty of choices to make. Before you begin the process, we believe the following four questions must be answered to ensure you make the best decisions.

  • Decision #1: Which Real Estate Agent Will You Choose?
    This may indeed be your most crucial choice in both transactions. A dynamic real estate agent can navigate these transactions smoothly, helping you buy and sell your properties with confidence. However, an unreliable broker may be unable to negotiate for your benefit or assist you with unforeseen problems that arise. Make sure you research your real estate agent options thoroughly.

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Multigenerational Home

Our real estate agents are hard at work, helping clients find the perfect Iowa City homes for sale. Over the last few years, more and more people have approached our team looking for homes where three or more generations of the family can live together.

Multigenerational living can be a huge benefit to all family members – under the right circumstances.

Pooling resources means you deal with unexpected financial challenges. Sharing instead of buying duplicate items can save money. And the value of family closeness is incalculable.

But it doesn't work for everyone.

How can you be sure multigenerational living is right for you?

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Can You Find Sensible Compromises on Location?
    Location is an essential piece when choosing a home, but even more vital when everyone has different needs. Job opportunities are crucial, but so are educational options for those with kids and healthcare options for elders. Ideally, no one in the family should commute 100 miles to needed destinations.
  2. Can You Agree on Home Financing Strategies?
    In general, things go smoothest when every working adult in a home contributes to what they can during the mortgage process and other bills. Lenders will take into account all income, which includes things like pensions and disability funds. Your family should agree to a budget before moving in together.

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Final Walk-Through-Skogman Realty

It's the final walk-through! You're now only a few steps away from making your dream home a reality. Our real estate agents are just excited as you are, but before you celebrate, there's still important work to be done during the final walk-through. Here are our top five things that you shouldn't overlook as you finalize your home purchase. As you perform the walk-through, make sure you have a copy of your contract and inspection summary with you.

  1. Check that all repairs have been made.
    It's wise to first grab your inspection summary and verify that all requested repairs have been completed to your standards. As you walk the property, feel free to ask questions about the repairs, especially if they're on important aspects of the home such as the roof or plumbing. Ideally, the seller will have receipts and warranties for each job that you can file away in case further action is needed.

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