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Guide to Downsizing a HomeDownsizing (by buying a smaller home or condo) can be a time consuming and discouraging process for many people. Knowing what to get rid of, how to get rid of it and when to start can help make the process of downsizing a little less daunting. There are some things a homeowner who plans to move into a smaller home or condo can do to smooth the process along.

Get A Head Start

Downsizing is best done over a long period of time. With only a short time to downsize, many home buyers will either fail at it completely or will fail to do it in an organized way. Downsizing over the course of many months or even years is best. Homeowners who know that they'll be moving into a smaller home in just a few short years should start as soon as possible to

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Can You DIY or Is It Best Left to the Professionals?Many homeowners like to think that they can watch a few videos and then make any repair needed in a home. While there are many repairs that are relatively simple, other types of upgrades or changes do require the expertise of a professional. Homeowners should know when to address a repair or upgrade yourself and when to call in a professional.

Be Clear on What You Can Do

Some projects can be handled by the average homeowner, while others require more extensive knowledge. It can be better to hire a licensed contractor or electrician when mistakes can lead to potential fire hazards or fines for a homeowner. This can come into play when work on a home may change the existing structure, making it hard to sell a home with work that has not been

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Green Upgrades to Improve Home Energy EfficiencyNow more than ever, homeowners are becoming more environmentally conscious both to help preserve the environment and also because green alternatives are more often less expensive than their traditional counterparts. There are many different ways homeowners can make their homes more environmentally friendly, but here are four different energy efficient upgrades that can easily find their way into any home.

1. Use LED Light Bulbs Instead of Incandescent Bulbs 

Incandescent light bulbs are the most common type of bulb used in homes because they’re widely available and often the cheapest option, sometimes costing only $1 per bulb. However, incandescent light bulbs are some of the poorest quality options out there, especially when compared to LED

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Investing in a Fixer Upper Home: Tips for Buyer SuccessBuying a fixer upper home can lead to one of two final results: buyers either get a great deal on a dwelling to live in or flip for profit, or they may end up facing a scenario where serious problems expose the home for the money pit it actually is. However, anytime is considered a ‘good time' to buy a fixer upper, regardless of current real estate market conditions. The key to success is to obtain numerous inspections on fixer uppers, which can help buyers negotiate the bottom line price while giving them a good idea of what they're getting into beforehand.

Tips for Choosing a Fixer Upper Home

While many buyers want a move-in ready dwelling, those who can see beyond a few imperfections and are not intimidated by taking on a few repairs can

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How the Right Landscaping Can Perk Up Your HomeLandscaping may sound like a fancy term reserved for fancy homes, but it's really a call to action for all homeowners. No matter how modest a property may seem, the right landscaping can make a huge difference. Not only does it make the home more livable for residents, but it's also a sign that an owner cares about how their home is perceived by others, which can be valuable when trying to boost a home's curb appeal. This subtle difference can have a chain reaction of raising property values for everyone on the street.

Choosing the Look

If homeowners don't have an exact landscaping vision, they should start with logistics. Succulents aren't just good for a drought-ridden area—they're also good for a homeowner who doesn't want to put a lot of

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Pros and Cons for Buying a CondoCondominium living has its advantages, but it is not the ideal choice for everyone. With this guide, people will understand the common benefits and concerns surrounding buying a condo.

Pro: No Exterior Maintenance

Being a homeowner often calls for more work in maintenance and upgrades than renting. For owners of single-family homes, much of that upkeep is related to the yard. Condo owners can bypass most of it. People who own condos have to pay for the management of the:

  • exterior structure
  • grounds
  • amenities and features of the property
  • building repairs

The benefit is that they are not personally obligated to provide this maintenance. Buyers who have limited time, funds, or ability to do yardwork may have an easier time

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When Is the Best Time to Buy a Home? With almost two-thirds of households owning their home, it is no wonder that more people are looking to make the leap into homeownership. Those who have never owned their home may be surprised at the financial considerations and other obligations to be prepared for prior to going for a home mortgage. Renters may want to position themselves in such a way as to get the best rates possible or wait for market conditions to change before buying. What should renters realize before buying a first home?

Preliminary Financial Expenses

Individuals who are looking to take out a conventional mortgage loan should be aware that most lenders prefer borrowers who can make a 20 percent down payment. Such individuals may be offered better terms. In addition,

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5 Ways To Sell Your Home FasterNo homeowner wants their home to sit on the market for months on end without finding the right buyer. It may seem like there is little a homeowner can do about this, but in reality there are many different things a homeowner can do to make their home more appealing to buyers, which may lead to a faster sale. Here are five different projects and strategies homeowners can use to help their home find the right buyer faster.

1. Take High Quality Pictures

These days, people almost always go online to look for homes for sale, so it’s of the utmost important that the homeowner uses the best photos possible on these listings to give buyer an accurate representation of the home. Cellphones have such high quality cameras now that it’s possible for

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Tips For Staging Your Kid-Friendly HomeHome sellers are often overwhelmed at the possibility of listing their home, because they know that showings will almost immediately be booked. Each showing is an opportunity to catch the attention of a prospective buyer, so it's necessary to have the property staged so that it's attractive and appealing. This can be challenging though for families with young children who are trying to sell their home.

Families with young children living in the home can make a few extra efforts in order to stage their home yet still provide a comfortable, functional space for themselves.

Get Back to Basics and Eliminate Personal Decor

Home sellers who are listing their property are also going to be preparing to move themselves. This is a great time to

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What You Need to Know About the USDA Home LoanA USDA home loan is a specific type of loan given to individuals and families who would prefer to live away from the hustle and bustle of the major cities. To stimulate the growth of rural areas, the US government has created attractive incentives (e.g., no down payment, flexible credit requirements, extremely low interest rates, etc.) for those who are willing to strike out on a different path. This loan is not only forgiving to its applicants, it may also be the key to breathing new life back into the more forgotten towns of the nation.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed mortgage professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

Bare Minimums

To get a USDA loan, applicants are judged based on

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