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Budget-friendly Curb Appeal Upgrades

by Home Action News

Budget-friendly Curb Appeal Upgrades

 

Curb appeal is the first impression that any potential buyer receives, so you should ensure that the front of your home, from the curb to the facade of the house itself, is in the best shape it can be in — even if you don't have the budget to splurge on huge upgrades and services. 

With these easy and cost-effective suggestions, you can improve the curb appeal of your home, while giving yourself a lovelier residence to enjoy right now.

Paint your front door
Giving your front door a fresh coat of paint can do wonders for the overall appeal of your house. Make sure that it's a color that contrasts with the color of the main body of the house, so that it pops out more than it would otherwise. This makes a home feel more welcoming, not to mention more stylish and appealing.

Spice up your front porch
After painting your door, don't neglect your front porch! Add small, inexpensive luxuries like metal house numbers or other decorations. Make sure everything is spotless as well. Sparkling windows and a freshly swept porch make for a more welcoming home, and a more welcoming home often sells far more easily.

Get your lawn in order
Tidying up your lawn is a given. Making sure it's spick-and-span, regardless of the season, is a great way to improve your curb appeal without spending much money — or any money at all! An unkempt lawn can make the house seem less appealing overall, so before showings, make sure your lawn has been mowed and edged for a more professional appearance. Also try to ensure that weeds are pulled. The healthier the lawn looks, the healthier the house looks.

Plant flowers
Having a garden with flowers can really make a home stick out in a buyer's mind. The pops of color can improve even the most immaculately manicured lawn, and a healthy garden can make any house feel more welcoming to anyone possibly looking to buy a home. It's an inexpensive way to improve your home's overall aesthetic, and can also give you a brand-new hobby.

Hose off the front of your home and sidewalks

No need to buy a pressure washer — your standard garden hose is usually sufficient to get most of the gunk and grime off your house. You want your house to be as clean as possible for potential buyers and guests.

Touch up your driveway
Repairing the cracks in your driveway can go a long way toward making your house more accessible in the mind of a buyer. Even superficial flaws such as driveway cracks can really sour someone's opinion of an otherwise beautiful house. And a smoother driveway is easier on your car's tires and suspension.

Expert Tips Getting the Best Mortgage Rates

by Home Action News

Expert Tips Getting the Best Mortgage Rates

 

Here are five expert tips you can use for getting the best mortgage rates.
 
Shop around. Different lenders can offer drastically different rates. It is best to explore options at your regular bank and other banks and local credit unions. A larger down payment can increase your options as far as loan types.
 
Know the differences between fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages. There are two common types of mortgages: fixed rate and adjustable rate. A fixed-rate mortgage will have the same interest rate for the life of the loan — the only way to change it is to refinance. An adjustable-rate loan, on the other hand, will fluctuate along with the market rate. These loans usually begin with a fixed-rate introductory period, usually one to 10 years, and then will change based on the bank's interest rate index. Typically, these rates will be based on the prime interest rate plus a certain constant percentage.
 
Which type of interest rate is better? Adjustable-rate mortgages can be appealing since they can have very low introductory interest rates, but if you choose to go this route, prepare yourself for the possibility of a rate increase after the introductory period expires. If interest rates are fairly low at the time, a fixed-rate loan can be a good idea. When interest rates are low, a future increase is very likely. Alternatively, if interest rates are high, most people will expect them to drop in the future. When this happens, you might want to consider refinancing or you will end up paying an interest rate that is higher than the current market rate.
 
Maximize your credit score. The higher your credit score, the lower the interest rate will be on your mortgage. One important part of this is paying off debt. Your debt-to-income ratio is an important factor in determining your mortgage interest rate.
 
Decide whether you want to pay for points. Buying a point — usually by paying a fee of 1 percent — will lower your long-term interest rate by a set amount — usually 0.125 percent. This may seem like a very small amount, but it can add up over the life of the loan. If you are planning to keep your home for a long time, paying for points can be a solid financial strategy. Average homeowners, however, will live in their home for nine years. On this shorter horizon, the upfront cost will usually be greater than the long-term interest rate savings. If you aren't sure how long you will live in the home, it is usually best to skip paying for points.
 
You might also be presented with the option to select negative points. This is exactly what it sounds like — a higher long-term interest rate but lower upfront fees. Carefully weigh your options before settling on a strategy.

Displaying blog entries 1-2 of 2

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Contact Information

Photo of Frank Taglienti Real Estate
Frank Taglienti
Berkshire Hathaway PenFed REALTORS®
565 Benfield Road, Suite 100
Severna Park MD 21146
410-440-0824