How to Measure Your Home’s Square Footage

One of the most confusing and misleading metrics in real estate is area — the “size” of a house. Like most aspects of owning or purchasing a house, measuring the square footage of a home is complicated. There’s no established standard for measuring a residential property, and everyone seems to measure square footage differently. But if you get it wrong, it can affect your home’s value. There’s no need to be nervous about calculating your home’s square footage, however. Let’s look at how easy it actually is to measure a home’s square footage accurately. Square footage of a house (GLA) …

How to Actually Afford to Buy A Home in America

Home buyers today face tough challenges—housing prices have soared, a dollar doesn’t go as far as it once did and rent is more expensive than the past. How are people today making such a large purchase in spite of these hurdles? With more flexibility and a bit of creativity when it comes to financing, today’s buyers are finding ways to achieve homeownership. Know Your Options (And Credit Score) To even begin the home buying process, it’s important to know what resources are available. Turns out, according to a 2017 Fannie Mae working paper, “How Much Do U.S. Households Know About Qualifying …

6 Ways to Score a Lease in a Competitive Rental Market

Follow these six tips to give yourself an edge over other renters and achieve your goal. In a competitive rental market, you’ll need to do quite a bit more than simply fill out an application and put down a deposit. Since 2005, there has been “an uptick in renters, with people in their 50s and 60s making up the largest chunk of the increase,” CNN Money reports. With large numbers of millennials and Baby Boomers competing in a growing pool of renter applications, it’s important to consider ways to boost your odds during the application process. Read on to learn how to …

How to Make a Competitive Offer Against All-Cash Home Buyers

Buyers who aren’t paying cash for a house aren’t necessarily out of luck. Here’s how you can gain an edge over cash buyers. Buyers making a cash offer on a house are active in many markets, and they can strike fear in new buyers who are bidding on a home. Cash home buyers can perform and close quickly and provide sellers with a sense of comfort. But does this mean a solid buyer putting down 20 percent or more shouldn’t attempt to compete with cash home buyers? Absolutely not. What if you can’t make a cash offer on a house? …

A 3-Step Plan for Finding and Buying Your Next Home

Ready to start your home search? Here’s where to begin. Chances are you’ve considered buying a home — maybe you even attended a couple of open houses and ran the numbers. But once you get serious, there are a few points you need to consider before signing a contract and heading to your closing. Buying a home takes more time and research than, say, buying a tablet or smartphone. Before diving in, it’s important to understand the process. Every home buyer’s journey happens on a slightly different timeline, but here are some steps every prospective buyer should take. 1. Search and discover The …

4 Surprising Things That May Increase How Much Your Home Is Worth

Does your home offer any of the perks some buyers will pay more for? For most Americans, their home is their most important financial asset. But in the past, homeowners only knew how much it was worth when they bought or sold their home. Zillow was founded to democratize this sort of information — starting with the Zestimate, Zillow’s estimated market valuation tool. To understand how much your home is worth, it’s important to understand the variety of factors that go into assessing the value, both existing (assessed and appraised) value, as well as potential real value on the market. The …

3 Weird Things You Can Ignore When Home Shopping

Ugly paint colors? Treadmill in the kitchen? Creepy family portraits in every room? Don’t let it bug you. In 15 years of real estate, I can honestly say that I’ve seen it all. Toilet seats up in listing photos, shag carpet covered with dog hair, bedrooms doubling as marijuana growing centers, and avocado green appliances from the ’70s. Sellers aren’t required to get their homes in their best condition before showing them — let alone cleaning their home before listing. But one seller’s laziness can spell a giant upside for the right buyer. Here are three sights that may be off-putting when you’re shopping for …

3 Reasons Why a Real Estate Agent Is a House Flipper’s Best Friend

Renovate your concept of flipping a home by teaming up with a real estate agent. Flipping houses isn’t just about visualizing how to change a home; it’s also about being able to actually sell the house when you’re done renovating. Whether it’s your first flip or your 30th, having an experienced real estate agent on your team can boost your likelihood of success significantly. Debbie Cederlind and Lora Lindberg — Seattle house-flipping pros and owners of Urban Squirrel — say their real estate agent, Jennifer Reyer, has played a huge role in their business. The three women met back in 2010 when Reyer was helping …

This Checklist Is the Key to Taking Care of Your Home (Without the Stress)

2018 is going to be your home’s cleanest, most organized year yet. Here’s an easy way to get on top of your home maintenance checklist in the new year: Take it one small chunk at a time! Little steps add up to big results. And if you dedicate some time to home maintenance — two hours a week, an afternoon per month and a couple of days a year — your home will remain in tiptop shape this year. Here’s our easy-to-follow checklist: Weekly home maintenance Your weekly home maintenance ritual will be largely determined by the features of your …