Hiring a Landscaper: Is It Worth It?

When putting your home on the market, you want to do everything within your power to make your property irresistible. Staging your home’s interior is often doable, but to optimize the rest of your property, you might consider hiring a landscaper. High-Expense, High-Reward Landscaping isn’t a cheap business: on average, homeowners spend around $3,000 per project. If you’re operating on a budget, you might not have the spare cash to afford a total overhaul of your yard—the consultation alone is fairly expensive. On the other hand, chances are pretty high that your experience with landscaping is limited to mowing the lawn and occasionally weeding the garden. Unlike several aspects of preparing your home for an open house, you won’t automatically learn how to transform your yard into an aesthetically-pleasing paradise; unless you have an eye for it, you’re better off leaving your yard in the hands of a professional. Determining if Landscaping is Pertinent to Your Home It all comes down to a statistic: your average client decides whether or not they’re interested in your home within the first 30 seconds of perusing it. With that figure in mind, consider how much of a role your yard plays in the overall aesthetic quality of your home. If you have a large, sprawling front yard that serves as a proverbial red carpet, guiding the way to your front door, you should certainly look into making it presentable. If, however, your yard is small, manageable, and simple, consider a lighter contract than landscaping. Paying a yard maintenance company to come in and do a day’s worth of work in a couple... read more

Pets and Their Effect on Your Home

There’s a simple reason landlords are loathe to allow pets on their property: pets cause damage regardless of how well they’re trained or the status of their pedigree. Whether you have a lizard, a snake, or a furry, four-legged friend, it pays to be aware of these repercussions before you decide to put your house on the market. Bedding and Litter Any sort of pet waste left inside tends to leave a noticeable mark, regardless of your countermeasures; even odorless litter leaves a residual smell over time. To compound this effect, litter—and all the waste that accompanies it—works its way into the smallest of places, such as grooves in your hardwood floor or the space between trim and the wall. The sawdust, sand, or other detritus used for reptile bedding works in the same way as cat litter, so make sure you regularly clean and maintain these mediums of disposal—besides the obvious health risks associated with litter and bedding, the smell is incredibly difficult to remove. Damage Claws on hardwood, teeth on the siding—sooner or later, one of your pets is going to shred something. Before you even consider putting your house up for sale, it’s well worth the initial cost of repairing any damage they’ve caused. Though physical damage is unsightly, problems caused by accidents or poor training can be even more destructive. Urine and feces, if unchecked, can cause expensive odor damage to insulation. You can prevent this by keeping pets out of sensitive areas of the house, but it’s a possibility you should be aware of. Allergens The fact remains that an awful lot of people... read more

Buying a Home for the First Time Isn’t as Scary as You Think

Because of the recession, many children of the ’90s are of the mindset that purchasing a home and investing in real estate is far out of their budgets. They are often content to rent and try not to think about how they will never get any of the thousands of dollars they shell out every year back. However, contrary to popular thought, getting into a home isn’t as difficult as you may think. If you meet a series of requirements, first-time home buyers can take advantage of a number of incentives banks and the government give out to get people into homes. See whether you might be eligible for some of those programs below. Eligibility for Getting a Mortgage Banks want dependable people to take out mortgages so they can collect interest reliably. In order to do that, they make a number of assessments of your job and credit history. If you qualify for their programs, you may not have to make a down payment and can get a relatively low interest rate. Remember that these banks are competing for your business. You may be eligible for these programs if you have a good credit score an income that can support a mortgage payment a stable job you have worked at for some time successful loan repayment on your credit report These assessments will determine whether a bank will be willing to work with you, but if you are not eligible for the programs now, you know what you need to work toward. Determining Whether You Have Enough Income to Pay a Mortgage Oftentimes, people assume they don’t make... read more